Re-Redux

No quacking required.

We can sum up the sentiments of the day with one sentence: It’s Cinco de Mayo, and all the bars are closed. Coronavirus replaces Corona beer, swapping out the deplorable with death. Not very inspirational, even for a Tuesday.

So I probe the archives and discover this isn’t entirely new ground: I cheated before by posting a CDM rerun, so today I will post the rerun of the rerun. It is fun to run through the comments and see how the world remains the same despite its changes. It’s more fun with a shot of tequila, of course. What isn’t?

Activate the link, read on, and thanks for coming by!

 

 

 

 

Posted in #Trumpandemic, Golden Oldies (Deja Vu All Over Again) | 11 Comments

May Day 2020

May Day, celebrated the first day of the fifth month, goes ‘way back. Wikipedia says so, which makes it true! Although a Google search includes the question, “Why us [sic] doesn’t celebrate May Day?” and goes on to explain that it’s only celebrated in communist countries. It’s a jungle out there.

My Wiccan spouse tells me that May Day is all about coupling. Known as Beltane – which sounds like a gasoline additive (“prevents engine knock!”) – it celebrates the “union of the Goddess and the Green Man, the coming together of male and female energies to create new life.” Which goddess and green man depend on the idiosyncrasy of the particular culture you choose.

But this year’s May Day is muted, given the deadly pandemic sweeping across the planet. No dancing around Maypoles during social distancing! This year’s May Day is more like “Mayday,” a universal cry for help, the emergency distress signal. It’s based on the French “m’aider,” or “help me.” Snarky references to the French as connoisseurs of begging for help when not actually surrendering are pure bigotry (and pretty damn funny).

You know about the dehydrated Frenchman, right? All he could do was pee air? That guy?

Anyway, insofar as this year’s joyous May Pole dancing ain’t happening, I offer the alternative of celebrating Maypo instead. Yes, I know, a sickly sweet and gummy oatmeal cereal just doesn’t convey the joys of the season quite the same, let alone coupling. Whatever else you want to say about oatmeal, nobody will confuse it with an aphrodisiac.

But in the time of plague, one celebrates with the commodities one has, not the ones we want. Little Marky Maypo is all grown up, now, susceptible to the same Boomer Remover Disease that stifled May Day 2020. If we can’t raise a glass, then we’ll raise a bowl. All together now — “I Want My Maypo!

And look! It’s even available now with quinoa! That explains the Green Man’s pallor!

 

 

Posted in #Trumpandemic, Gen. Snark, Maj. Snafu, Corp. Punishment | 7 Comments

Happy Bidet To You……..

How Retro!!

Panicked Americans have effectively emptied the shelves and supply of toilet paper. Confronting shortages, various alternatives have been proposed, including coffee filters, corn cobs (an old traditional practice), and of course, newspapers. Locally, it would seem as though the Miami Hurled would be a natural, for lots of reasons, although subscriptions sales remain flat. Interestingly, there is renewed interest in bidets and add-on devices to convert your toilet. The Tushy Classic, for example, sells for about $250 and installs in 1o minutes! What could go wrong? Intrigued, I call the company and speak to a friendly rep.

“Good morning! My name is Lana! How can I help you?”

Good morning, Lana! You’re not dyslexic, are you?

“Excuse me?”

Never mind. I wanted some additional info about your products, like the Tushy Classic.

“Oh, that’s our best seller! Easy to install – no plumbing or electricity! Just pop the attachment on the side of the bowl, connect to the water tank, and you’re ready! You can adjust the pressure from gentle spray to ‘power wash,’ and set the angle for maximum comfort. Neat, clean, and problem-free.”

So the stream comes from the same source that fills the toilet tank. Isn’t that cold water?

“Well, yes – whatever temperature the water achieves in your house. It’s cold, but not refrigerated.”

Yikes. Talk about a wake-up call. I’m in south Florida, but even here I don’t think I could handle cold water shot up my ass after dropping cable. Certainly not in the winter.

“We haven’t had any complaints about that, to be frank. Evidently one gets used to it. In fact, we’ve had customers tell us they like it. They use it several times daily whether they’ve moved their bowels or not.”

I know some of those same people. We don’t shake hands even when there’s no pandemic raging.

“It’s a responsible alternative to paper. Did you know that Americans use 34 million rolls of toilet paper every day? That’s equivalent to about 15 million trees! We’re deforesting the earth just to wipe our butts!”

Bad news for those bears and the pope shitting in the woods.

“We’ve found that once people get used to a bidet, they don’t go back to wiping – it’s less efficient and effective. It’s sort of barbaric, if you think about it. You’re familiar with dingleberries, right?”

Tell me – does using a bidet present a danger to serious hemorrhoid sufferers?

“Remember, you can adjust the spray to your own comfort level. At its gentlest, you can work around any sensitive areas. Or, if you’re into it, at its highest strength, you can use the spray to massage the area – safer and better than scratching or yanking. Less blood, too!”

Gosh that sounds like fun. But I’m still concerned about the temperature.

“Well, we have more expensive models that require plumbing that allows you to regulate the temperature – why not check out our website to see what works best for you?”

I’ll do that. Thanks for your help.

I guess she knows her shit, alright. But I’m a careful consumer, so I’ll probably shop around – ClearRear has a model, as does Uranus Bidet. Meanwhile, maybe I can experiment with my Water Pik. Somehow I suspect Guido won’t like that idea, though.

Posted in Shaken and Stirred | 7 Comments

Swing and a Miss — and Missing the Swings

Baseball Bat — see the balls?

I am not inside the Liquor & Rubber Balls Sports Bar and Underwear Pressing Service since it was shit down like everywhere else, so it is a pleasant surprise to bump into (so to speak) Duck Diamonds as he emerges from Hollywood Discount Liquors. Takes me a click to recognize him, thanks to his mask, and he doesn’t t recognize me at all.

Doing your drinking at home, I see.

He literally jumps, gives me a double-take. “Squatty!” he finally exclaims. “Long time, dammit. Took me by surprise.”

We stand about 10 feet apart in the parking lot. I ask him how business is. Remember, Duck is a professional gambler.

“Huh,” he says. “Sports betting is in the toilet, for sure, but you’d be surprised how much action there on-line even if you exclude card games. Which I want nothing to do with. The other day I had some money on one of the teams that drove cross-country to set a new record.

Yeah, I saw that. It’s called the Cannonball, or some such crap.

“A million percent irresponsible, alright, but hey, money is money. People are taking bets on the number of COVID cases reported, number of deaths, which country or state will show the biggest increase day-to-day, etc.”

That’s just sick, if you’ll pardon the expression.

“Gamblers are sick people,” he shrugs. “I oughta know!”

You think they’ll play baseball this season?

“Oh, sure. They’ll cook up a scenario, like playing all the games in one state like Arizona or Florida where there are lots of minor-league and spring training stadiums. Play one after another, 10 a day. No fans in the seats, of course, not to start.

No fans? Hell, we’ve been doing that for years here in Miami! And Tampa.

“Good point. Can’t wait to see the stats generated at the end of the season. More asterisks than a coded password.”

Would be better off flushing the whole damn thing.

“It’s all about the money, of course, although count on MLB to bray out some bullshit about their duty to distract Americans from their misery, life their spirits, establish a sense of normalcy, blah blah blah. Just a way to generate some revenue with ad sales. Can’t blame ‘em. You’ll probably see as many pharmaceutical ads as beer commercials.”

And of course there’s the sports book to consider.

“Yeah, which makes me happy. Or happier. As it is, I’m stuck at home drinking ‘way too much.” He brandishes his purchases. “Going through the Jack Daniels enough to drink Tennessee dry! How about yourself?”

That’s why I’m here. Big bottle o’ JD for the week, two bottles of Partida for the weekend. Guido can’t work, either. I ask her how she likes forced retirement, and she says, “Fattening.” Lotta beer, too. Fortunately, Publix delivers. You hear from anybody else at LRBs?

“Not a soul. Place is shut down like it’s Prohibition. God only knows what those dykes do all day and night without that watering hole to graze at.”

Well, I know what I’d be doing, and it wouldn’t be alone.

Duck sighs an old man sigh. “Me too – are we still allowed to say that?” He laughs. “Lemme get going. I got some calls to make.”

When do you think baseball will start?

Duck gives me a classic sideways raised eyebrow look. “Call me later,” he says. “I’ll give you some odds, some dates, and we’ll get you on the books.” He mock salutes, gets in his car, and drives off.

Can’t blame a man for making a living, I guess. I affix my mask, snap my gloves like a proctologist taking the plunge, and stride to the bourbon aisle like I own it.

Posted in Playing With Balls | 10 Comments

Coronials

Been reading that one after-effect of this shelter-at-home phenomenon will be evident in 9 months or so when there’s a spike in births. With nothing to do and nowhere to go, couples are, well, coupling. This inevitably leads to pregnancies, intentional or otherwise.

The precedent cited most in the 1965 NYC blackout. That noted, research suggests it’s something of a myth. Killjoys!

But it makes sense to me. If I were cooped up in an apartment somewhere, I’d be all over my live-in, regardless of gender or species. Wait, I take that back. It’s 2020. I’m too damn old. But it’s a nice thought.

Anyway, I decide I want to look into this further, so I place a call to Mistress Anna Sthesia, the proprietor of a sex toy establishment to solicit some professional opinion. Mistress Anna is a regular at the Liquor & Rubber Balls Sports Bar and Headlight Alignment Center, where we’ve both hung out for years (more about LRB in these #TrumPandemic times at a later date).

“Good to hear from you, Squats!” she tells me, brightly. “I guess we’re still a ways away from slugging brews and grabbing ass, but I’m still pluggin’ away!”

Nice choice of words, Mistress. Anyway, what do you make of this talk about a spike in births 9 months from now because of this virus? Are we gonna see a whole new generation of Coronials?

“Good question. I can tell you this: my in-store trade is flat as a 7 year old – we’re closed. But I’ve been getting a lot of calls for pick-ups and packages. People are still buying. I guess we’re an ‘essential business!’ So there’s sex happening, that’s for certain.”

What are people buying?

“Oh, the usual creams and lotions. Lingerie, crotchless panties, and edible underwear. But there’s also a real spike in vibrator sales, which tells me the DIY crowd is going crazy. Most of my female trade is gay, you know, and I suspect they’re practicing social distancing. That doesn’t mean they don’t wanna get off.”

I can relate. Sort of. But that won’t lead to pregnancies.

“No, of course not. But my straight friends tell me they’re fucking a lot more, too, getting more adventurous just to keep it fresh and new. Handcuffs, under-the-bed restraint systems, butt plugs – stuff they might not have given a second thought to are now in the mix. I guess they’re experimenting.”

Do you take returns?

“Um, no. Not if they’re used. Oh, yuk.”

So I guess the answer about the Coronial Generation is a definite maybe.

“Hey, welcome to the sex business. It’s always a definite maybe. Like maybe 5 years ago when anal became the new oral – what was low-class and taboo all of a sudden became de rigoeur. We had to scramble for inventory. Now, as you know, we have, well, everything to accommodate the ass-humping community.”

Well, great, I guess. But THAT won’t lead to additional pregnancies, either.

“What do you mean? Where do you think politicians come from?”

Posted in #Trumpandemic | 10 Comments

WHORER (from the #Trumpandemic files)

This morning we welcome to our virtual interview room Mr. Dennis Dumas, recently appointed Director of the White House Office of Reactive Emergency Responses, or WHORER. The thinking behind establishing this new agency is that our nation’s current models are no longer equipped or prepared to address some of the terrifying and unprecedented impacts of COVID-19.  Thanks to the administration’s hollowing out Federal agencies, driving out seasoned professionals, and appointing temporary directors with little or no expertise, it has become necessary to establish a specialized, focused task force to step in for immediate action.

Although Mr. Dumas has not clocked prior experience at any level of government until now, his extensive background in the liquid and gaseous fertilizer industry, including manufacture, marketing, and administration, prepares him for the assignment. Based in Oklahoma, Mr. Dumas is a lifelong registered Republican, member of the state’s chamber of commerce, and an avid Trumpf donor and supporter (which had nothing to do with his appointment, of course).

Welcome to the show, Mr. Dumas! Let’s start by……

“It’s pronounced DOO-mas. Doom. Not Dum.”

Aah. Noted.  So let’s begin by talking about how the idea for this new government agency came about. It’s unusual, is it not, for as anti-government this administration claims to be, for it to create yet another entire department?

“I suppose, but these are unusual times. Americans elected this president to be something apart from the business-as-usual model, so this is consistent with that.”

Yes, we’ve gone from business as usual to bankrupt as usual – this stock market collapse, enormous swell in unemployment, and stunning record deficit will be amount to what, the president’s 7th bankruptcy? This time the whole damn country, if not planet? Americans wanted “a business man in the White House,” and end up with the self-proclaimed King of Debt!

“That’s not entirely fair. This coronavirus was completely unanticipated, and at present seems to be ‘way more deadly and consuming than anything we’ve ever seen. My office was established because we simply didn’t have the apparatus in place to address all the issues, including the financial impact you just mentioned.”

Actually, it wasn’t entirely unanticipated. Turns out the WH itself published a study in September 2019 that specifically addressed the economic impact of a pandemic like the one we’re experiencing now. Entitled Mitigating the Impact of Pandemic Influenza Through Vaccine Innovation, it projected economic losses depending on how contagious and deadly the virus turned out to be. It estimated that a pandemic flu could kill up to half a million Americans and inflict as much as $3.8 trillion in damage on the economy. Sound familiar? But the current administration ignored it. Why?

“Well, again, that isn’t quite accurate to say it was “ignored.” The administration set it aside only because it described what it believed to be an unlikely scenario. Besides, this was late 2019, and the President was concerned about his reelection campaign. This would have been regarded as a distraction!”

An unlikely scenario? Again, this WH itself had been made aware of the possibility of a pandemic’s devastating impact, especially in light of the country’s entirely insufficient preparation. Are you aware of the “Crimson Contagion report in 2019? It ran a simulation of what would happen in the event of a pandemic like this, and alarmingly concluded just how underfunded, underprepared and uncoordinated the government is to wage a life-or-death battle with a virus for which no treatment existed. But again, the Trumpf administration pretended it never happened.

“Well, get over it. My office is up and running to address whatever real or imaginary oversights like this that arise, and I promise you this administration is fully focused on the impeachment hoax. I mean, the coronavirus. Sorry – still adjusting my talking points here. Heh heh!”

Give us an example.

“Sure. Right now there are refrigerator trucks waiting outside NYC hospitals to cart off coronavirus corpses – CCs, as we’re calling them. They’re being discreetly loaded by forklift – well, as discreetly as using a forklift on a city street allows – and taken away for appropriate shallow-grave disposal in mostly Democratic boroughs. Never waste a crisis, you know? Anyway, looking ahead, my office sees that because we’re going to run out of masks, respirators, and hospital beds, there simply won’t be enough refrigerator trucks, either.”

So what’s the solution?

“We contacted Mister Softee to see about acquiring their trucks to help take the load. In most of the country, it’s off-season for ice cream trucks, and besides, the sight of Mister Softee outside houses of death might help lighten the mood. They could play their theme music as bodies are (discreetly) piled into the trucks, and the drivers could wear their colorful uniforms!”

I dunno, Mr. Dumas – seems like that could have a real down impact on ice cream sales when the season rolls around. What happens when little Billy finds a cuticle in his cone – or a whole damn finger?

“Well, they’d need to develop and implement extraordinary sanitation protocols, but look – as I keep reminding you, these are extraordinary times. And speaking of time, I need to wind this up.”

Yessir – one last question – Like most of the current leadership in the Trumpf administration, , you’re inexperienced, inexpert, and totally out of your league. Why’d you even take this assignment?

“Oh, well, the president asked me to – I’ve sent him a bunch of dough over the years — and you know he can be real persuasive, especially to gullible people. Besides, my entire career has been in fertilizer. This shit comes naturally to me!”

Posted in #Trumpandemic | 5 Comments

The Verminator

Among the plethora of lessons to learn from this current pandemic: we’re reeling in real time from horrifying discoveries about political leadership; the role of science; heroism in unlikely places; our own mortality; the world’s fragile interdependent economy. Etc., the list goes on. Personally, I learned that it’s easier to train a dog to sit and stay than it is a science-denying Republican or evangelical pastor.

But there’s less obvious lessons as well, as I discover when I visit the message board at The Verminator, an on-line trade magazine aimed at working pests such as rats, cockroaches, bedbugs, maggots, mosquitoes, etc. Did you realize that these critters are in panic mode because of COVID19?

Why? With bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, airplanes, parks, beaches, etc. either inoperative or working reduced hours, the food supply for vermin that infest these establishments is drastically reduced. And with fewer people out on the streets, inside offices scarfing down lunch at their desks, or shopping, another source of the nutritional supply chain is sharply diminished.

Some of the stories of rats unable to gather sufficient food for their families are heart-breaking. One relayed her tail (see what I did there?)  of trying to get help from a Salvation Army food kitchen, but was actually refused! By the Salvation Army! Something about her being a rat.

In south Florida, whole nests of roaches at our ubiquitous Chinese buffets have been abandoned, the occupants taking to the streets and back alleys where they’re prey to lizards, frogs, iguanas, and scorpions. It’s a jungle out there! One roach reported losing his entire family (“I’ll make more, of course!”) to a crazed, violent home owner with a rolled-up newspaper who attacked them mercilessly just for wanting to crawl under his refrigerator to scrounge some crumbs!

In an amusing sidebar, a mosquito posted her story of raising wrigglers in a permanent puddle created by the AC unit on the roof of a Truly Nolen storefront. Irony abounds. I suspect Truly Nolen itself is seeing some significant downturn in business as a result of all these food establishment closings. Maybe some of their more ambitious agents will hire out as hit men – is the extinction of 4- and 6-legged critters substantially separate from 2-legged? The Mob is always hiring, although I understand the retirement plan isn’t super generous.

I suppose with everything else in the world so topsy-turvy, this is just something else to (wait for it) bug us. Or is that a bugus consideration?

Posted in #Trumpandemic, Gen. Snark, Maj. Snafu, Corp. Punishment | 5 Comments

New Jork Pest

In part because I’m an old fart (that rhymes!) who harbors this comedically outdated notion that high-quality, professional journalism plays an essential role in the functioning of a successful democracy, I’m a 30-year subscriber to the NY Times. Underpaid substance abusers with drivers’ licenses toss one on (or close to) my lawn every morning, along with a Miami Hurled (mostly for the comics).

Understandably, once in a while they screw it up. One day this week, instead of a NY Times, I get a NY Post, a truly ghastly specimen of tabloid. But I do give them credit for their occasionally brilliant and entertaining headlines. E.g., “Nopening Day” on the sports page.

I pick through the paper anyway. I’m a big fan of newspapers, so even a bad one is worth a critical look.

I encounter a truly upsetting column – I won’t mention the hack’s name or provide a link – that suggests Noo Yawkers are suffering from a tsunami of negative social media aimed at enforcing the statewide policy to “socially distance” with fear, despair, and terror. He characterizes this as “horror mongering” for attention, and wants it toned down, if not shut it off. And he finds it especially irking that the perpetrators cloak their motives by claiming they’re performing a public service.

Perhaps he’s just a sensitive soul – lotta those on the NY Post, right?  —  or as dense a Covidiot as President Pinocchio – but how is it even possible to condemn tweeters for harping about a plague that’s slaying citizens by the thousands, in a city where medical staff at hospitals is reduced to wearing makeshift trash bags because there aren’t enough HazMat suits or masks to go around? Stay off the streets, they’re saying, echoing the Ongoing Official Message. Stay inside and help us all stay alive! How is this a bad thing?

He condemns their attitude, because he has deduced they’re getting a thrill out of scaring people. How he comes to his conclusion is unclear. But his motive is obvious: with every tweet and call-out, he’s reminded how inept, wrong-headed, and lethally dangerous the Trumpf administration’s approach has been and continues to be. While we already know that Trumpanzees can’t handle the truth, ever, he reminds us they don’t like to hear that we know they can’t.

There’s no question this country has been terribly managed throughout this pandemic. Leadership played it down, wingnut media spewed misinformation and outright lies, and official efforts squandered precious time that is costing us lives and liberty. Unqualified, uninformed, and incompetent people abound in positions of authority, threatening entire lives. Of course people are outraged, helpless, and terrified, and need to vent. We don’t need patronizing crap that dismisses our fury at this administration’s gross incompetence and the horrors that result. Stick your politics back up your ass where you hatched them.

Sure hope I get a NY Times tomorrow.

Posted in #Trumpandemic, Gen. Snark, Maj. Snafu, Corp. Punishment | 7 Comments

Sex in the Shadow of COVID-19

In fact, this brief post has NOTHING TO DO with sex, but I figured putting that in the title might generate a few hits. Expecially considering this blog has been silent for about a year.

But with the entire world (exception: moronic Trumpanzees still in denial) hunkering down, maybe this is the moment to resurrect, even if only temporarily.  Your thoughts?

Meanwhile, Corona spotting! — a 1957 Dodge Corona!Dodge

Posted in Shaken and Stirred | 9 Comments

He Said It Out Loud

bathroom bottles

The bottles of these 3 discontinued brands were much better than their contents. In fact, the plant water they contain now is better. Scene is from my bathroom.

Yes, this is about beer. Yes, again.  Yes, I will reiterate my frustration over “craft beers” that taste like cake topping or citrus punch – on purpose. Brewers carefully mix in everything from pigeon pee to craisenette squeezings in search of flavors traditional brewers would have been skinned alive for concocting.

“Just because you’re an old fart that resists change doesn’t mean everybody else is,” (I get sniffed at, dismissively). “Not all beer has to taste the same.

Yeah, fine. I agree. Nobody with functioning taste buds would confuse a Guinness Stout with a Grolsch Lager. But they both taste like beer, don’t they? And evidently, this isn’t important anymore, at least to this local brewer:

“I want to make beer for people who don’t drink craft beer, but also beer that enthusiasts will love,” Artanis says. “My wife doesn’t drink craft beer, so I try to make beer that doesn’t taste like beer.”  — Corey Artanis, owner and head brewer, 3 Sons’ Brewery in Dania Beach.  Sun-Sentinel

I’ve not sampled his wares yet, but there’s no doubt he successfully achieved his objective of cooking up beer that doesn’t taste like beer. Look what’s out there already: Mango chocolate. Bacon cranapple. Daffodil teriyaki. Sarsaparilla smegma.

It makes a certain degree of sense, I suppose. For decades, fast food franchises have been making hamburgers that don’t taste like hamburgers. Good Humor makes ice cream that doesn’t taste like ice cream. All over Florida, bakers bake bread that doesn’t taste like bread. Ever tried those hydroponic water bags that pass themselves off as tomatoes? So why not beer that doesn’t taste like beer?

How quaint: all us decaying fossils who want food that tastes like food, and beer that tastes like beer. And get off my lawn!

Posted in Shaken and Stirred | 8 Comments