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Sunday, October 26, 2014

223. Ad Man

C.W. has never quite given up on his dream of becoming an ad man. This latest burst of enthusiasm developed from his viewing so many political ads that ran in our state. He was in his “Ad Man” form the other morning as I was busy with computer-aided drafting and half paying attention.

“They seem to be stuck in a loop, so to speak,” he said as an ad ended in which a candidate for state attorney general promised to destroy the President if elected.

“Yep,” I said as I clipped the unneeded ends of some lines. “There,” I said. We won’t need those any longer.”

“My point exactly,” he said.

“Good.” I said, selecting several objects and moving them to a new location. “We can save them and use them over here.”

“That’s what I’m thinking,” he said.

“It’s always good to reuse old things,” I said, “even old ideas.” I imported a drawing block I had used in a previous project and inserted into my new drawing. “There. Perfect.”

“I thought you would agree,” he said.

“With what?”

“My plan to expand the political ad paradigm to other products.”

“Say what?”

“You said it yourself. It’s wise to reuse good ideas.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Just look,” he said, and he produced a portfolio he had brought with him. Gold-embossed lettering on the cover said, “Red States Advertising Group.” He opened it and drew out an ad mockup for me to see. It was a large drawing of a tube of toothpaste. The copy read, “Barack Obama uses Colgate toothpaste. So, choose Crest: White teeth for white folks.”

“Are you out of your fu …?”

A female voice from the next room said, “I can hear you in there.”

“Are you crazy?”

“Don’t like that? How’s this?” He laid the first down and picked up another. It was a photo of a brand new pickup truck with a young Caucasian couple standing alongside and beaming. The copy read, “While Barack rides around in his Lincoln, you’ll enjoy your Chevy pickup, the ride of choice for real Americans.”

I was speechless.

He continued with another. “Here’s one of my more popular ones.” It was a photo of First Lady Michelle Obama with an Aunt Jemima headdress. It read, “Michelle says ‘Eat Healthy.’ Let’s show her. Enjoy a Big Mac, fries, and milkshake with your family. Show that uppity female of the dog or some other carnivorous mammals.

“Uh, you don’t have the exact word and you couldn’t use it if you did.”

“Why not?”

“It isn’t fitting and it bodes ill of you. You can't call America's First Lady that.”

“That’s what they call her down at campaign headquarters.”

My aim is to cleanse the advertising
industry of old ideas. - C.W.
“Maybe so, but not in this house.”

“Drats,” he said. “You probably won’t like this one either. He held up a shot of the President’s daughters, all dressed up in gorgeous evening wear, under the heading, “These Obama kids may say ‘Black is Beautiful’ We say, ‘White is perfect.’ Ivory flakes, pure and proud.”

“I’m not sure they still make Ivory Flakes.”

“That’s okay. Purex has already put in a bid.” He tossed it aside and flashed an ad for a company called “Nobama Temps: Your source for cheap temporary labor. Low salary, no benefits, no promises, and tax deductible. The next best thing to owning a slave.”

That’s all I could stand. I started to leave the room, but he yelled out behind me. “One more, look at this sure-fire winner.”

I couldn’t help myself. Turning as I reached the door, I saw a poster featuring a huge .45 caliber, semi-automatic pistol beside an open box of cartridges, several of them scattered alongside the box.

The copy read simply, “Obama, Obama, Obama. The worst. Remington guns and ammo. The best.”
 
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Also check out www.wattensawpress.com
- C.W.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

222. Explanations

Oh no, it was “Explanation Day.” I can always tell I’m in for it when C.W. appears as a faint resemblance of Thurgood Marshall. We had decided to meet for a short walk along a downtown park. He had been in hiding for a few days while we entertained out-of-state friends and I was feeling a little blue after their departure and not wanting to talk much. I had hoped he might entertain me with another of his get-rich schemes and I could just listen.

It was not to be.

“Good morning sir,” he said.

Oh no, formality. It would be especially taxing,

“Good morning. What you been up to?”

“I greet you with much new insight,” he said. Oh boy.

“And how did you gain such insight?”

“From walking to and fro upon the earth,”

When he “goes Biblical,” on me, it is going to be a long day.

“You seem to be such an intelligent species in some ways,” he said.

“Oh?”

“Yes,” he said. “Your advancement from blue algae to a species capable of mechanically escaping the gravitational force of your home planet with manned craft in a little over four billion years is remarkable, truly remarkable.”

“I had no idea.”

He looked to see if I was kidding, Satisfied I wasn’t, he said, “It took us Falloonians almost seven billion,” he said.

“It’s good to know we can excel,” I said.

“Of course,” he said, “we weren’t doing it for domination.”

“Oh? Then why?”

He cocked his head in that funny way he does when his circuits become temporarily overloaded. “Why,” he said, “for the simple love of knowledge.”

I knew the other shoe was about to drop so we walked along in silence as the birds sang and vehicles sped above us on the Interstate. A hawk suddenly appeared and landed on a tree near us, a sight that would normally have delighted my alien friend. He scarcely noticed it. I braced myself.

Finally, he spoke. “Why then?” was all he said.

“Why then what?”

“Why do you elect mendacious ignorami to public office/”

“Hey,” I said. “You got your Galactic Universal Translator fixed.”

“My GUT is fine,” he said, “and I trust it completely.”

“Only I think,” I said, “we would simply say ignoramuses.”

“You are certainly proving all over again that you are one,” he said.
 
When he goes “snippy,” I usually back off. “Want to tell me,” I said, “what brought this all on?”

Gonasxhitoowicitasan.”

“Pardon?”

“You call it ‘Ebola’ but that isn’t the galactic name.”

“You’ve heard of it?”

“Everyone has heard of it,” he said. “It is planted on developing planets by Castasurneans.”

“By whom?”

“They have appointed themselves as purifiers of the Galaxy, They plant a deadly, but controllable virus on developing planets.”

“Why?”

“To determine if the controlling species is worthy of existing. In their view, those that are will combine their intellectual resources in a communal effort to defeat the threat, while the galaxy is best cleansed of those who don’t.”

“Did they do that to Falloonia?”

“Some five billion of what you call years ago.”

“You seem pensive today,” I said. “Is that a bad sign?”

“We had reached the commercial corridor that we call the ‘River Market’. He stopped in front of a newspaper stand and pointed. “Look,” he said.

There was a front page article in which a congressman stated that our President was spreading the virus for political gain.”

“How did he get elected?”

“The congressman?”

“Yes, the ignoramus.”

“Someone thought they should invest in him, I suppose.”

We walked on. I was the one getting pensive now.

“So …” I began, “Can you predict our chances?”

“Look,” he said, pointing at a magazine in another stand. Its front page advertised an article stating, “Governor of Louisiana says the state won’t limit the teaching of science in state schools to fact-only curriculum.”


Isn't it a little dangerous to allow grown
men to make statements like this in front
of little children? - C.W.
I was getting worried. “Any conclusions?” I said.

“Look,” he said. There was a pickup truck waiting at an intersection. A bumper sticker read, “Got a problem? Get a gun.”

“Uh …, I said, “and?”

He stopped and turned to me, His eyes grow large and black and within them I could see a vast field of eternity in which a tiny spark growing was growing dimmer as the scene turned dark.

“You haven’t started any long novels, have you?” he said.
 
Click an ad. I have to purchase a ticket home. - C.W.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

221: Be Very Afraid

“We have to wake Mrs. Big Dope up.” C.W. came running in a little while ago with this bizarre proposal.

“Say what?”

“She’s got to start sewing.” He had a portfolio of drawings under his arm and looked exactly like an excited Norman Rockwell, complete with pipe. “We’re going to have abundant possessions.”

“You mean we’re going to be rich?”

“That’s what I just said.”

“Oh no,” I said. “Not again.”

He clenched his pipe between his teeth. “Can’t miss this time. Want in?”

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll bite. What’s going to make us abundantly blessed this time?”

“Halloween costumes,” he said, pointing to his drawings. “I have all the designs right here.”

“Halloween costumes?” I took a deep breath.

“Just in time for the elections.”

“What have the elections got to do with Halloween?” I said. This was taking an ominous turn.

“Synergy,” he said, “that’s the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects …”

“I know what synergy is,” I said, “but how does it link Halloween and the elections?”

He looked at me as if I had just asked why the sky gets dark at night. “Fear,” he said. “Haven’t you heard? Fear is the dominant campaign theme of our party.”

“Your party,” I said.

“Whatever,” he said. “We’ve got white people shaking in their boots with fear and my idea will cinch it.”

“C.W.,” I said. “Sometimes you disappoint me.”

“Lookit,” he said, pulling a sheet from his packet. It was a drawing of a costume made to look like President Barack Obama in a mullah outfit holding a sword and bloody head in one hand and a candy bag in the other that said “Give me your riches, or else.”

“Christ,” I said, “Put that thing away.”

He let it fall to the floor and retrieved another. It was a drawing of a costume that would fit over a young child and resulted in a seven-foot likeness of Michael Brown with a sign that said, “Give me your daughter, or die.”

“Clever, eh?” he said.

“Disgusting,” I said.

This time he looked a little disappointed, but he discarded it and pulled out another. It was a girl’s outfit this time—a red dress, high-heeled red shoes, and a Nancy Pelosi mask. She was holding a big beaker labelled “Ebola juice. Will trade for candy.”

“Out,” I said. “Out. And don’t return until you’ve come to your senses.”

“But wait,” he said, “you haven’t seen ‘Hillary Viper’ or ‘Pit Bull Biden’ or ‘Creepy Crawley Carter’ or “Rob A Manwewill’ or ..”

“Out,” I said.

"From ghoulies and ghosties and long leggety
beasties and things that go bump in the night,
 Good Lord, deliver us!" - Scottish Prayer
Said to be one of the oldest examples of your
written English language. - C.W.
I guess I yelled it this time for a voice came from the next room, “You two better quieten down in there,” it said, “I’m working on a project.”

“She’ll be on my side,” C.W. said. Then he yelled out in his sweetest voice. “Whatcha working on, Mizz BD?”

“An idea for a Halloween costume,” she said.

“See,” he said, smirking at me, “she’ll be my partner in this.” The he yelled back. “I’ll bet it’s a good one,” he said. “What do you call it?”

“Bawling Boehner Bones,” she yelled back.
 
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And check out www.wattensawpress.com
- C.W.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

220. Simplicity

He burst into the room as if the house was on fire. “I’ve got it,” he said. “I need your help.”

My goodness but he was excited. He had assumed his Reggie the Young Conservative shape and was wearing a silk shirt, bowtie, and chinos, set off by white buck lace-ups and argyle socks.

“Calm down,” I said. “What’s up?”

“What’s up?” he said. “Political campaigns, that’s what's up. We can’t lose.”

Oh no. We had been through this before. He is constantly thinking up new ways for politicians to be elected. It fascinates him that we elect leaders the way we do. He calls it “institutionalized trickery.”

“So,” I said. “What is it this time?”

“Controlled Response and Simple Solutions,” he said. “How’s that as the name of my new consulting firm?”

Sounds crass,” I said. “How does it work?”

“I got the idea from one of your people who is a holder of or a candidate for an elected office.”

“They aren’t my ‘politicians,’ by any stretch of the imagination,” I said. “but go ahead.”

“Your species loves simple solutions to complex problems,” he said. “It is a symptom of undeveloped cognitive systems.”

“You mean we’re stupid?”

“No,” he said, “you just act stupid. But don’t let’s change the subject.”

“Let us not,” I said. He was beginning to annoy me.

“A person on parole from one of your penal institutions commits a crime,” he said.

“Yes, and?”

“One of your politicians offers a solution. Just eliminate parole.”

“Seems I heard that. I don’t think he has thought that through completely.”

“Of course not,” he said.”That’s the combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight, of my method.”

“The ‘beauty’ of your method is cynical,” I said.

“Exactly. Now name a major problem facing your species.”

“Poverty”

“Now, here’s what we will do. Put all the poor people in your country to work making pizzas.”

“And?”

“That’s it. No more poor people and everyone has all the pizza they want.”

“How about the resulting obesity problem?”

“Free motorized wheelchairs.”

“What about other health problems?”

“More churches. The state will build them.”

“More churches?”

“Sure, lack of faith is the cause of illness. We don’t need health care. Just more churches.”

It was useless. Still, I was intrigued so I played along. “What about the growing army of terrorists lined up against us?”

“Haven’t you heard?” he said. “We kill them all.”

“Uh,” I said. “We’ve been trying that for 14 years.”

“And?”

“It doesn’t seem to be working.”

“We’ll arm our drones with ‘mini-nukes’ and watch them scatter like cockroaches while we show them our love.” He smiled. “Similes and metaphors come free with my consulting.”

If your species really believed the world was complex,
you would only elect smart people to office. - C.W.
I rose to leave. “I’ve got things to do,” I said. “They are predicting a vicious winter on account of global climate change.”

“Cute kittens,” he said. “Your species is crazy about cute kittens.”

“I don’t get it.”

“How can you worry about approaching climatic catastrophes while you are videoing cute kittens?”

I thought I heard it thunder somewhere far away.
 
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And check out www.wattensawpress.com
- C.W.
 
 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

219. Transgressions

“You use a mug instead of a cup and saucer for your coffee.”

“Say what?”

“A cup and saucer is more appropriate. Someone who is supposed to be the head of the household should maintain decorum and you don’t.”

“C.W.,” I said, “don’t f … mess with me in the morning before I have had said coffee. And why do you look like that O'Reilly guy on TV, what’s his name?”

“Why do you call people by their last name only? Doesn’t that show disrespect? You certainly don’t act like a leader to me.”

It was hopeless. I drank my coffee in silence. He had started in early this morning for some reason. Anything I did, even the slightest gesture was grounds for disapprobation. It was annoying, even by C.W.’s standards.

“The fact that you didn’t answer me means you agree,” he said.

“Don’t you have a report to work on or something?”

“I suppose you are going to wear that awful cap today.” He was relentless.

“What cap?”

“The one that has ‘Vietnam Veteran” on the front.”

“I may. Why?”

“It’s old and dirty and it brands you.”

“Brands me as what?”

“A loser. Your kind lost that war. A leader wouldn’t advertise that he was part of it.”

“You are beginning to annoy me.”

“Ronald Reagan never got annoyed at anything.”

“Except the Constitution.”

“There you go again. Disrespecting those past middle age or characteristic of later life.”

“You may never reach the status of ‘elderly’ if you keep it up.”

He didn’t miss a beat, just said, “I suppose you want to take the day off.”

“If it pleases you.”

“With so much to be done, you want to take the day off? That is unmanly.”

“Have you been analyzing the liquor cabinet again?”

“So what do you intend to do?”

I took a deep breath, counted to ten, and said, “If it is any of your business, I thought I might read.”

“George W. Bush didn’t waste his time reading.”

Oh, the temptation was there, but I took another breath. “Mind telling me what you are planning now?”

He seemed pleased with the question. “A job.”

“With whom? What kind of job?”

“In comedy, on this TV network, named after a small wild animal that is related to dogs and that has a long pointed nose and a bushy tail.”

“Fox ‘News,’ I said.

“That’s what I said.”

I ignored him. And what exactly will be your title?”

“Transgressionater.”

“Transgressionater?”

“Yes. They have several openings. My job is to monitor every move, even the slightest, that the President makes.”

The light began to shine. “And turn each slightest move into a …”

“Transgression,” he said. “The people have a right to know. Isn’t that great?” He actually saluted.

“I think I’ll have another cup of coffee.”

He beamed. “Too much coffee causes a leader to make snap decisions from a part of the alimentary canal, you know?”

“And speaking of the ‘gut,’ your Galactic Universal Translator …”

Wear a brown suit? Why a man might as well
invade the wrong country to start a war. - C.W.
“I know,” he said, “you think it needs adjusting. But I trust my GUT and besides.”

“Besides what?”

“It reflects poorly on a leader to demean a simple investigative reporter.”

Coffee. That was my only hope, more coffee.





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And check out www.wattensawpress.com  - C.W.