Thursday, May 29, 2014


Good morning friends and followers.
It's raining here and I'm trying to get some nagging questions about your species answered. My keepers, Mr. and Mrs. Big Dope, said to quit bothering them and to ask my readers. They threw in one question each while they were at it. So, here goes:

Why do Americans put 10 pillows on a bed upon which two people sleep?
Why does the media quote someone named Joe the Plumber?
Why is Sarah Palin considered relevant?
Why would a person who doesn’t plan to assault anything want an assault rifle?
Why is the British royal family considered newsworthy to Americans?
Why is the British royal family considered newsworthy to the British?
Why do some people who say that “God” made a disabled person the way he is refuse to say that “God” made a gay person the way she is?
Why is prostitution illegal most everywhere in your country?
How do deniers of natural selection explain breasts on the male species?
Why do Americans want the Ten Commandments on courthouse lawns but not the Beatitudes?
This one from Big Dope himself: Why do some people who wear American flag pins on their lapels vote to refuse funds to support American veterans?
And this one from Mrs. Big Dope: Why are expensive women’s clothes purposely mislabeled as smaller sizes?

I can't look at this too long.
It makes my electrodes smoke. - C.W.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

202. Service

“You want to do what?”

“Calm down,” C.W. said.

“Calm down nothing. What are you planning now?”

“I told you. I want to enlist.”

I collapsed onto a kitchen chair. “In the military?”

“Yes. I need you to help choose the branch.”

“Oh goodness.”

“I could join the Navy. You know, follow in your footsteps.”

“Are you insane? Enlist?”

“You did.”

“I had to. Now let’s not hear any more about this.”

He pulled a chair out and sat across from me. “Afraid it’s too late for that.” He had taken the shape of a young, athletic youth of 18, with bright blonde hair and sparkling eyes. “Too late.”

“Too late how?”

“I’ve already talked to the recruiters, one from each branch.”

“Oh no,” I said. “You haven’t.”

“Afraid so. They want to talk to both of us. I told them you were my dad.”

“Oh Jesus. You didn’t. Those guys are like bulldogs when they get a prospect. They put insurance salesmen to shame.”

“Well get ready. The natural or synthetic substance used to add a color to or change the color of something is cast.”

“The ‘dye’ may be cast, but we can uncast it. This is insane.”

He looked at me with surprise. “What’s wrong with you? Aren’t you patriotic?”

“When things call for it.”

“And when they don’t?”

“When they don’t, I tend to agree with Samuel Johnson that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. Anyway,” I said, hoping to change the direction of the conversation, “what prompted this?”

“Simple,” he said. “Tomorrow is Memorial Day.”


“Haven’t you seen the great outpouring of love for our service members? Why, even the stores are staying open in their honor. Oh, and by the way, you’re supposed to buy Mrs. Big Dope a diamond for Memorial Day. And a car for me.”

“Memorial Day honors service members who died in battle after they enlisted. Do you want to be one of them?”

“Oh, I wouldn’t be. The Army recruiter promised that with my knowledge of aerodynamics I would be a drone operator. Never leave the country. See?” He produced a recruiting ad that encouraged kids to become members of “The Stateside Shock and Awe Team.”

“Oh Jesus,” I said.

“Don’t you love your country?”

“What’s love got to do with it?” I thought I might divert him with the words of a song by his favorite singer.

Ignoring me, he said, “Then there’s Veterans’ Day. I’ll surely be honored on that day.”

“Oh yes,” I said. The flag decals will be shining on every automobile and every store will have a sale.”

He straightened in his chair and said, “Why are you so cynical?”

“Because I’ve been down this road.”

After thinking it over, I've decided.
Maybe the best way to honor the fallen
is to have no more wars. - C.W.
“And aren’t you proud that your country takes two days to honor those who serve?”

“Oh yes,” I said. “But therein reside the reasons I’m wary.” I made a few clicks on my computer.

“What are those reasons?”

I turned the computer around so he could see a news article reporting how one of my state’s senators had voted against funding for veterans’ benefits.

“The other 363 days,” I said.

Click on an ad. It helps me pay the rent. - C.W.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

201. Politics

“Absolutely not.”

“Give me one good reason.”

“I could give you a thousand.”

“Give me one good one.”

“Look, C.W.,” I said. “I’m not telling you again that I can’t get into politics.”

“I’m not asking you to get into politics.”


“I’m just asking you to run for office.”

I said, “We need to have a long talk someday.”

“Don’t you want to save your planet?”

“Save my planet?” I said. “I’ve spent years trying to do that.”

“It needs you,” he said. He was in the shape of a soft, pitiful looking man with a balding round head and wire frame glasses. He looked vaguely familiar but I was too agitated to place him. “I’ll write your ads for you,” he said.

“Oh boy,” I said.

“How about this one, ‘Vote for me, the other sonsabitches are crazy.’ Neat huh?”

I had to look to see if he was kidding. “What makes you so determined I should run for office?”

He looked at me as if I had just said the moon was ablaze. “Why because the other sonsabitches are crazy,” he said. “Since I entered the political ad writing business, I have met nothing but demagogues, morons, radicals, provocateurs, religious nutcases, and one-issue wonders.”

“Sounds normal.”

“Did I mention that most are dulled craniums?”

“I think you mean ‘numbskulls,’ and yes they are.”

“Why do you repeat what I say? Why won’t you run? Do you want them in office? Some of them think you can run the government without money.”

“I know.”

“Some of them want the male of your species to run everything,”

“I know.”

“Remember how well that worked out in 1914 and 1939?”

“I know.”

“Some of them think the universe is 6,000 years old. Hell, it took me longer than that, by your methods of timekeeping, to get here. Your planet is becoming a flippant witticism, you know.”

“A joke. I know.”

“So why? Why won’t you jump in? I’ll manage you.”

I had to look again to see if he was kidding. “Behavioral baggage,” I said.

“What is that?”

“I haven’t always met society’s definition of acceptable behavioral standards.”

“A circularer.”

“A ‘rounder’ so they say, and you need to get your Galactic Universal Translator adjusted.”

“I trust my GUT,” he said. Then he brightened. “Say, that gives me an idea. I know just how to fix your problem. Get ready to run.”

“Fix what problem?”

“Your troublesome past.”

“And how would you fix that?”

“Well,” he said. “You’ve been pretty straight for a long time now, right?”

“Except for hanging out with aliens.”

He ignored me. “We’ll use the ‘Salvation Stick’ trick.”

“The what?”

“We’ll go back to just this side of your last malfeasance and plant a stick in the ground on a given day.”


“You’ll say the Lord saved you from your life of sin on that day.”


I don't know why Big Dope is concerned.
Running for office in your country seems
pretty simple to me. - C.W.
“Nobody is allowed to question anything before that date. That is your ‘Salvation Stick’ day and anything before it is off the table.”

“You have got to be kidding.”

“I wouldn’t kid about anything as serious as saving your planet. It’s about to fry, don’t you know?”

“Yes, but ‘Salvation Stick?’”

“It worked for President Small-Plant, didn’t it?”

“Out,” I said. “Out.”
Be sure to click an ad so we can pay the bills. - C.W.
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Sunday, May 11, 2014

201. Commitments

“What the hell is all the fuss about?” I looked up to see C.W. in one of his favorite shapes, Donny Wayne Jr., the Redneck Philosopher. Backwoods people intrigue him.

“What do you mean?” I said.

“The news is all about people getting married. What’s with that?”

I thought for a moment. “Oh,” I said, “a judge ruled yesterday that it is illegal to deny couples the right to marry in our state.”

“The hell you say.”

“It’s true. It’s true.”

“You think I’m stupid, don’t you?”

“Well, uh, … that is … uh. Why do you ask?”

“I know that people get married in your state all the time. Look at you and Mrs. Big Dope.”

“Yes,” I said. “Look at us: a picture perfect couple.”

“Except when you try to haul her treasures off.”

“I thought we weren’t going to talk about that anymore,” I said. “Besides, the ruling now allows people of the same sex to get married.”

This puzzled him. “All three?”

“Uh, we only have two here.”

“What do you do about …”

“That’s quite enough,” I said, interrupting him. “My mother-in-law is in the next room watching the news.”

“I know,” he said. “She kept asking me what is so gay about being married?”

I let out my breath. “It means that gay people can get married now.”

“They couldn’t before?”

“Not here.”

“With all those churches out there, they couldn’t find one that would marry them?”

“Of course they could find a church that would marry them. That wasn’t the problem.”

“What was?”

“The state wouldn’t allow it.”

“What’s the state got to do with it?”

“They must recognize the commitment in order to allow certain legal arrangements.”

“You gotta be shi…”

“C.W.” I said, interrupting him again and nodding toward the next room.”

He grimaced. “The state gets involved in allowing churches to marry people?”

“The state is involved in legalizing commitments.”

“But,” he said, “commitments are based on what earthlings call love, you know, mutual affection and compatibility, the willingness to be together.”

“Yes,” I said. “That sums it up.”

“So why does the state get involved in all that?”

“Some folks just believe it should.”

I saw a puff of smoke emerge from his ear and caught the smell of burning rubber.

“Are we overloading your circuits?”

“I’m okay,” he said. I relaxed. “Let me ask you this, in your world, corporations—that I understand exist only in contemplation of the law—are considered homo sapiens.”

I thought about this. “Yep.”

“So can they get married?”

It was a tough question but, “Yes. They merge and form lasting legal commitments all the time.”

He walked over and poured himself a cup of coffee, returned to the table, and sat. He sipped carefully, and then said, “So do you think this ruling will last? Lots of folks seemed real happy about it." He stopped and sipped again. Then he said "But, I’ve noticed that your so-called ‘evangelicals’ don’t care too much for people being happy. It sort of unnerves them, if you know what I mean.”

Imagine, a pair of corporations in holy matrimony. - C.W.
“I do,” I said. “And I am sure they will challenge the court’s ruling and try to get it overturned.”

“If they should,” he said, “I have a solution for all those happy folks—a way  to keep them happy.”

“How is that?”

“They should just re-form themselves as corporations.”

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Dear Friends and Followers:
I don't usually comment on your political follies, but ...

Just my own opinion, but it seems to me that the conservative majority of the Supreme Court of the United States did something truly remarkable yesterday, even for that bunch of yahoos and corporate hacks: they administered a stinging rebuke to every living American.
First they rebuked the large majority of Americans—those who aren’t religious or prefer their religion confined to the home or to places of worship, who follow the words of the Gospel According to Matthew—Chapter Six, Verse Five: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” (KJV)
To those, the Court said, “Your First Amendment rights of the United States Constitution are second-rate.”
To religious zealots, it was worse. To them, the Court said, “Your enthusiasm is not enough to sustain your faith. It must be supported and nurtured by the government.”
I fear a time will come when you will regret this. But for now:
“By the rivers of Babylon,
There we sat down, yea, we wept
When we remembered Zion.” Psalms 137 (KJV)

Is it my imagination, or does this man look
more like Lou Costello every day? - C.W.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

200. Slogans



“Sloganeer? Really?”

“You heard me.”

“And what,” I said, “is a sloganeer?”

“It’s a person who writes slogans,” C.W. said. “I’m writing political ads now.”

“And why?”

He thought for a moment. He had assumed the shape of a cub reporter, complete with dark-rimmed glasses and a pocket full of pencils. He held a reporter’s notepad. He looked quite serious. “Somebody needs to,” he said.

I said, “So how is it going?”

“Great he said. “Want to see some of my work?”

“Why not?”

He picked up a file folder and pulled out a sheet. It was an ad featuring a full-face photo of a man in his late fifties, smiling broadly at the camera with an American flag behind him. Across the bottom, in bold type was written, “Tired of Taxes? I’ll fight to eliminate them. I’ll work for you and not for Obama.”

I stared. “Uh, C.W.,” I managed.

“Pretty good huh? He really liked it.”

“Uh, C.W.”

“Want to see more?”

Uh, C.W., do you know what office this man is running for?”

“Makes no difference to me, but which one?”

“County coronor.”

“Great. Here’s another.”

This one was simple. It just had the word “Benghazi” sprawled across it in every imaginable font of every imaginable size at every imaginable angle. Behind it was an image of President Obama. I swear the man’s skin tones had been digitally darkened until they glistened. It was an ad for an obscure state representative in the northwest corner of our state.

I was speechless. He handed me another.

“This one has a sound track,” he said with pride, handing me several sheet with the President’s face on each. The first said, “My opponent wants you to think he hates Obama.”

“Then the sound track kicks in,” C.W. said. “Ever hear a song that goes ‘Once, twice, three times a lady?’”

“I have tried my best to forget it with no luck.”

“Just change it to ‘Once, twice, three times the hatred.’”

I looked and on each succeeding sheet was a reason.

- He didn’t even grow up in one of the real states.

- He was too good to attend a regular college like your kids.

- He married a black woman.

The last sheet said simply, “I know hatred. Vote for me.”

I put the sheets down in disgust. “C.W., I said. “I’m ashamed of you.”

“What for? Because I want to be rich? Look this one.”

It showed an overweight man in army fatigues and combat boots holding a serious looking rifle. The caption read, “Against abortions? Vote for me.” It was an ad for county assessor.

C.W. pointed to it and said, “He says that one has produced some sizeable contributions.”

“I know this man,” I said. “He has had six children by five wives and has been arrested dozens of times for not paying child support. He is also under investigation for kiddy porn.”

I'm really proud of this one. I call it
"I don't need no stinkin' law books, just my
little friend here." - C.W.
“That’s what is so great about the power of my ads,” he said. “He is way ahead in the polls now.” He pulled out a sheet showing a woman in full battle gear holding an assault rifle and promising that she would do away with affordable health care if elected state Auditor.

I slumped and said, “Can I ask you a question?”

“Sure. What do you want to know?”

“I’m not sure Cost Rica is far away enough. Can humans live on the planet of Falloonia?”
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