Category Archives: General Satire

Swine Flu: What’s in a Name?

"Read my lips (which one day become hotdog ingredinets): I am not to blame for the swine flu."

"Read my lips (which one day become hotdog ingredinets): I am not to blame for the swine flu."

What’s in a name? That which we call the Swine Flu
By any other name would still kill you.

Nonetheless, the latest global epidemic has the name-calling communities in a mudslinging stir, especially the swine aficionados and pork producers, who feel the deadly influenza uprising will systematically slaughter the pig trade.

Having been bred and raised in Iowa, a leading pork-producing state, I can see how the unsolicited branding of the swine flu could breed misconceptions, fear, paranoia, and hatred in the pigheaded global community, in particular anti-swine extremists who have already declared a jihad on Porky Pig – America’s most beloved stuttering swine: “Th-th-that’s all folks!”

Clearly these folks aren’t pop-culturally learned, for if they had seen the 1985 film “Porky’s Revenge,” they would know that ol’ Porky Wallace (see pic) is a big force (pun intended) to be reckoned with, especially if your name is Meat.

Porky Wallace:  Oh, I got your jihad right here...

Porky Wallace: "Oh, I got your jihad right here..."

Moreover, some religious sects are up in hooves over the name (and bad puns) over the swine flu. Israel Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman said the reference to pigs is offensive to Muslim and Jewish sensitivities to pork and suggested we should call it the “Mexican flu.” Even though the latest strand of swine flu allegedly began in Mexico, I don’t imagine that Mexicans will take too kindly to this name change.

I imagine there’s one sect of the global population that is quite pleased with the swine flu name: the pigs. I wouldn’t be surprised if the pigs, stealing a chapter from George Orwell’s cautionary tale “Animal Farm,” are the ones behind fanning the anti-swine propaganda with an updated slogan:

“Four legs deadly, two legs better watch the fuck out.”

(This slogan was sponsored by the International Swine Workers Union to commiserate this year’s International Workers’ Day (May 1).)

"Pig Brother is Watching You!"

"Pig Brother is Watching You, Imperialist Humans!"

I suspect these pissed-off pigs are still bitter when the Communists’ and Socialists’ propaganda machines butchered their name by attaching it to western capitalists: Imperialist Pigs

In an attempt to ease fears in the global swine community, which has already lined up to ban pork imports from the United States and Mexico, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, led by our former governor Tom Vilsack, announced that the swine flu is no longer the “swine flu,” rather “H1N1 flu.” Yeah right, I’m sure that name is going to stick and bleed like a stuck pig into American discourse.

Worse than HINI flu, the European Union announced yesterday that they will now call the new virus “Novel Flu Virus,” which I guarantee will be shortened by the media to the “Novel Flu.” I realize novel means “new” but as a high school English teacher, the prospect of attaching novel to a deadly virus in mind boggling. While pushing novels on to unsuspecting young readers over the last eight years, I’ve had a hard enough time closing the deal, when students contend: “Why should I read? Our president doesn’t read and he got elected not once, but twice.”

My only defense to this anecdotal evidence: “True, but he was elected by an electorate that doesn’t read regularly, and now look where that has landed us.”

If health officials were smart, they would revamp their flu epidemic marketing strategy and change the name by replacing swine with something they want people to fear, hate and/or avoid like the plague.

Here are some suggested swine substitutions, compliments of Say Something Funny:

Deep-Fat Fried Flu

Hollywood Sequels Flu II

Rush Limbaugh Flu (although, given the literal girth of this influenza strand, it’s completely unavoidable)

One Flu Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Corporate Farm Flu

American Idle Flu

Poo –Too-Tweet Flu (or Twitter Flu)

Any Movies Starring Keanu Reeves Flu

Dick Cheney Flu (or Dick Jokes Flu)

That’s What She Said Flu

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Earth Day Hung Over (Please Recycle This Post)

Mother Earth's Creator threatens to drop her if Earthlings don't get their shit together real soon

Mother Earth's Creator threatens to drop her if Earthlings don't get their shit together real soon

Earth Day: a man-made invention (from the makers of Valentine’s Day & All Saints’ Day), wherein its creator sets aside a 24-hour period each day to reflect upon the other 364 days of the year when man clog’s Mother’ Earth pores with plastics, recyclable garbage, archaic non-plasma television sets, nuclear waste, appliances, concrete slabs, dead sex toys, and aluminum canisters filled with petty rationalizations and excuses as to why Americans feel the need to bend Mama Earth over and stick it to her every non-Earth Day of the year.

Like insincere New Year’s Resolutions, we Americans used Earth Day as an excuse to take time away from producing more waste to make vows not to produce more waste. The big question is how many of us, when we wake up tomorrow morning with an environmental hangover, will actually remember the promises we made in the global warming of the moment while trying to get into Mama Earth’s pants.

That said, I’ve decided to strike preemptively by going public with my vows to help protect Mother Earth’s borders:

1. Whenever somebody tells me Global Warming is a hoax (which usually happens on an uncharacteristically cold day in Iowa), I will open up a can of Lysol on ‘em and spray the CFCs in their eyes and say: “How does that feel, naysayer? You think Mother Earth likes it? Do you? Huh?” (Note: this is merely a hoax, so if anyone should go blind or bleed from the eyes, chalk it up as mere happenstance.)

2. Participate in the “Litterbug Catch and Release Program.” Any time I see somebody litter or flick their cigarette butt on the ground, I will apprehend them and call the authorities, who will arrest them and either release them on the other side of the ozone layer or sentence them to hard time in a nearby land fill (formerly known as “The Dump”).

3. Stop using modifiers in the future.

4. Team up with Mother Earth’s Creators, Klaatu and Gort (aka Jesus and God) and film a sequel to the original “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (not to be confused with the recently recycled version starring Keanu Reeves, whose acting career has been overly recycled beyond the Best-When-Used-By Date: “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”). In the new film, “The Day the Earth Stood Full,” we will declare Inertia on Earth, holding earthlings hostage until they meet our demands: Appoint WALL-E Czar of Earth, stop using doublespeak to mask threats against Earth (e.g. “clean coal”), and boot Keanu Reeves out of the Actors’ Guild – no questions asked.

Future Earth Czar WALL-E unveils Trash Talkin' Manifesto during stump speech in T.S. Elliot's Wasteland

Future Earth Czar WALL-E unveils Trash Talkin' Manifesto during stump speech in T.S. Elliot's Wasteland

5. Recycle this post.

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Steal My Identity, Please

identity-theft-protection1

Finally, somebody stole my identity.

That somebody, or who I, not by choice mind you, now call the New Me, finally took the bait and stole my identity. Ever since I invested all of my hope inY2K (that’s “Year 2000” – for my fellow Acronym Challenged brethren out there) wiping the financial slates clean from microchip memory, only to be thoroughly disappointed when the anticipated crash did not happen, I’ve been praying somebody would steal my identity and the financial baggage that comes with it.

During the waning days leading up to the turn of the century, when I wasn’t thinking about what life must have been like in debtors’ prisons, I channeled all of my remaining energy into Operation Ground Zero – my little pet name for the impending Y2K crash. Often times these thought strands would merge, and I imagined the resurrection of debtors’ prisons in the post-Y2K era.

The First Rule About Operation Ground Zero is That You Don't Talk Aboutd Operation Ground Zero

The First Rule of Operation Ground Zero is That You Don't Talk About Operation Ground Zero

Ironically, I envisioned debtors’ prisons in an optimistic light – a trait I picked up through my mother’s umbilical cord while floating aimlessly in the womb, without any financial worries whatsoever. Ah yes, the salad days. Debtors’ prison: Where else are you guaranteed a roof over your head and three square meals a day? Moreover, debtors will get the opportunity to spend more time with their families, since they’ll be imprisoned alongside their loved ones instead of alone in an office cubicle, not to mention, debtors’ prisons will have the best education system, since most teachers are in debt up until they retire.

To help tempt and encourage identity thieves, I’ve been leaving my financial baggage all over the Internet, unattended, despite all the warnings circulating in the virtual airwaves via telecom:

Warning: Do not leave your financial baggage unattended, for bags may be stolen or injected with a virus that will virtually destroy your life. Please report any unattended bags to the Internet police or any behaviors that may be considered suspicious, including but not limited to persons fitting computer hacker profiles that demonstrate antisocial behaviors in public places, shoeless children offering to carry your bags in exchange for money and/or sexual favors, or mechanical dogs sniffing through your matching, leopard-skin luggage set.

Despite making wholesale security cuts and leaving behind a mixed-trail of computer cookies a hack hacker could easily digest, nobody had been tempted by my identity. They must have read the writing on the firewalls:

Keep Out! This Poor Cat Ain’t Carryin’ No Cash or Credit

Even so, I thought somebody would at least nibble on my identity before moving on to other, more reputable and potentially profitable marks, say AIG shareholders. Although I had never bought into the Fear Industry’s mega-marketing machine, I thought my revealing identity would lure somebody into its financial abyss. Exacerbated by 9-11 attacks and the “War on Terror,” the “War on Identity Theft,” has stepped up its measures as well, pumping paranoia into the market through fear generators – known as televisions and radios in less paranoid communities.

Not a day goes by that I don’t hear some advertisement warning me about identity theft:

Voice Over: Did you know that paying with unprotected plastic is like having sex without a rubber? Whether it’s somebody stealing your identity or giving you an incurable STD, you’re putting your life on the line. Why risk subject yourself to a long, painful death, when you can protect yourself and enjoy the temporary gratification without having to worry about what or who’s on the other end? No more worries; now you can buy the best protection in the industry…

The Identity Protection Industry Racket has become the new Mafia in America, offering consumers protection from identity thieves in exchange for nominal fees.

"You want identity protection...I'm going to make you an offer you can't refuse..."

"You want your identity protected? I'm going to make you an offer you can't refuse..."

For me the key to fighting identity theft is making sure I don’t have anything worth stealing (at least that’s what I keep telling myself), including my dignity. Subconsciously, at least that’s what I tell Therapist Bob, I’ve taken this philosophy to an extreme by digging a financial hole to China, who by the way, already owns my debt by way of the United States. Hmmmm…maybe we should tempt another country to steal our country’s identity to help erase our debt and lift us out of the current recession.

Got toxic assets?

So I began leaving my identity laying around on the Internet, thinking somebody would quickly snatch it up, but no such luck. I even resorted to using reverse psychology: “Yoo hoo. Over here. Whatever you do, keep your hands off my sweet, little identity, big boy.”

But to no avail.

However, some sucker, the New Me, finally took the bait and hooked my identity last month, only to discover he had been hobbled by a rapidly falling credit score. The New Me is not banking too well. Worse, the New Me had the nerve to file a lawsuit against the Old Me, claiming I had entrapped him into a financial quagmire.

But I’ve vowed to fight the New Me, to the death if need be, and it’s no longer about the money, rather it’s about protecting my dignity – at least what’s left of it after amortization.

They’re Always After Me St. Paddy’s Day Limericks!

leprechaun8

Ah yes, St. Paddy’s Day has arrived. A day of Irish reconciliation in America where, for a day, everyone has at least one drop of Irish blood alcohol level, thus qualifying them to drink liberally and slur their best Irish accents among their 1/32nd Irish friends. For the record: I’m half Irish, but I’m not entirely sure which half – the bottom or top half. Although I inherited a number of Irish traits from my father’s side (green eyes, reddish hair, and a soft spot for Bono), I did not inherit his Irish taste buds. I cannot stand Irish cuisine and feel blessed my grandfather immigrated to America, where he drank himself, probably to kill the taste of corned beef and cabbage, to an untimely death.

I plan on celebrating by wearing green all day, not because I need to profess or celebrate my Irish heritage, rather so nobody pinches me. Moreover, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, I thought I would serve up some tasty limericks as either appetizers or chasers for those of you who plan on indulging in Ireland’s favorite pastime: Guinness green beer.

(Note: To fully appreciate these limericks, it’s recommended that you read them aloud in private, using your best Irish accent, before you start knocking down the beers in a public pub.)

There’s No Place Like Ireland on St. Paddy’s Day in America

St, Paddy’s Day rolls ‘round but once a year
As Americans quest for green beer,
Pour on thick accents,
Spew yarns of nonsense,
And long for a home they’ve never been near.

Just Say No to Me Lucky Charms

There once was a leprechaun named Lucky
Who hooked kids on marshmallows quite sticky.
When they need a fix.
They must turn a trick;
For Lucky’s charms are magically tasty.

Saint Patrick’s Snakes on a Plane

There once was a saint named Patrick
Who chased off Ireland’s snakes with a stick.
They boarded a plane,
Drove the crew insane —
Inspiring this muthufuckin’ snakes on a plane lim’rick.

Saint Patricia’s Night at the Roxbury

There once was a lassie from Listerine
Who dipped her whole body in green.
She drank herself blind,
Nearly drowned her mind
And awoke to a leprechaun drag queen.

Spring Forward: Daylight Savings Next Casualty in Economic Downturn

The Clock Also Rises

The Clock Also Rises

In states that still participate in Daylight Savings, which may soon be nationalized by the federal government if Americans continue to lose confidence in daylight and are reluctant to spend their time, everyone bemoans the loss of an hour – namely because they could have used the hour to reset all the clocks in the house.

But seriously, what would they have done any differently had they had that extra hour this weekend? I’m sure if we conducted a family-feudal survey, the survey’s number one answer would be: sleep. Of course this assumes that those surveyed do not have children or milk cows, whose biological clocks resist man-made cosmic alterations in the Timexian universe. By the time these biological clocks are completely recalibrated, it will be time to “Fall Back.”

In Iowa the designated witching-hour to either spring forward or fall back centers the 2 a.m. bar-closing time, thus clearing up any confusion among alcohol peddlers as to when they should stop nursing the drunks passed out at the bar. The delayed time-switch also provides the lonely beer-goggle populace an extra hour to lose even more focus as they zero in on their intended target, preferably the one in the middle – even though they’ve only locked in on one target.

Local drunk attempts to pull back clock's big hand to extend bars' "last call"

Local drunk attempts to pull back clock's big hand to extend "last call"

So why do we still have Daylight Savings, which allows Mother Nature’s invisible hand to unhinge our time-structured world without any government oversight and/or transparency? Better yet, what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of Daylight Savings and the age-old prospect of Springing Forward?

ADVANTAGES:

Less time for our Do-Nothing Congress to do less of nothing

More daylight in the evening to watch your new Plasma television

Provides excuse to take off for lunch an hour earlier or justify extending your afternoon cat nap: “Really, it’s an hour later, so…”

Get your newspaper an hour earlier, so your metabolism can get a jump start digesting all of the depressing news

Milk cows, whose teats aren’t prematurely pulled, are less likely to conspire with the pigs and the horses in overthrowing the Animal Farm and/or the government

DISADVANGAGES:

More time for the GOP-arm of our Do-Nothing Congress to obstruct Congress from doing less of nothing

If you die before ‘Fall Back,” you’ll be robbed of an hour of precious life, assuming every hour of your life is not already preciousssssssssss…

More daylight in the evening to shed even more light on the melancholic faces of those folks who have lost their jobs, homes, dignity, or thought injecting botulism into their foreheads ten years ago seemed like a good idea at the time

More time for Rush Limbaugh’s shadow to eclipse the sun, especially after he has succeeded in fully consuming the GOP

Insomniac’s more likely to join Fight Club, but we’ll never really know, because the first rule of Fight Club is never talking about Fight Club (looks like my membership has just been revoked; now what Tyler?)

English Conspire with Exiled Aussies to Steal 81st Academy Awards

The envelope please: And the winner of this year’s Oscar for “Best Abduction of the Academy Awards Unbeknownst to Hollywood” goes to…Australia.

Three of Hugh Jackman's henchmen disguised as Oscars helped rig the balloting backstage (Note: photo nabbed from Oscar's offiicial web site and I'll be damned if they think I'm giving it back.)

Three of Hugh Jackman's henchmen disguised as Oscars helped rig the balloting backstage (Note: photo nabbed from Oscar's offiicial web site and I'll be damned if they think I'm giving it back.)

That’s right folks, the fix is in, but the filmmakers down-under could not have pulled off the largest gold heist in Hollywood alone.

The envelope please: And the winner of this year’s Oscar for “Best Support Abduction of the Academy Awards Unbeknownst to Hollywood” goes to…England.

While Academy members sat around stroking their Hollywood-sized, sequined egos, Australian front-man Hugh Jackman orchestrated the abduction, distracting them with cheeky song and dance numbers while his Aussie posse cleaned house.

hugh-jackman-wrestler

“Look everyone, nothing up my sleeves…”

Jackman, when not subliminally pitching his un-nominated self-titled Australian propaganda film “Australia,” seduced television viewers with his Australian accent, which he borrowed indefinately from his English predecessors — who reluctantly surrendered the King’s English to America, so we could butcher it accordingly.

Meanwhile, the “Slumdog Millionaire” clan led the Oscar abduction charge, nabbing eight of the gold Oscar statues, which at the time of this post had already been melted down into Australian and British currency and prepped for final shipping.

“Slumdog Millionaire” serves as the perfect allegory for this Oscarnapping, which, if discovered, is destined to launch a thousand sailboats from the United States nautical team. Here we have a story about fate, destiny, and the power of hope captured on screen by descendents of exiled penal colonists from England, who go to one of England’s former colonies to exploit the formerly colonized citizens for mega-profits in America and boomeranged back to Australia. What more could you ask for, other than a living wage for the film’s extras.

But the Slumdog Millionaire Aussie posse could not have pulled this off without help from down-under and up above, by which I mean fellow Aussie Heath Ledger who won an Oscar posthumously for Best Supporting Abductor – a fitting award for The Joker.

Moreover, the Aussie’s picked up an assist from descendents of their former wardens from afar, the bloody Englanders, who picked up three tasty gold nuggets with Kate Winslet. ames Marsh, and Danny Boyle’s Oscar chicanery.

Follow the gold and you’ll find that the yellow brick road not only leads out of Hollywood, but America as well. It’s only a matter of time before Hollywood will be completely outsourced to Australia, so you mates be sure to stay tuned for the 82nd Academy awards broadcast out of Sydney.

"Thanks for all the gold, Hollywood. We'll be back."

"Thanks for all the gold, Hollywood. We'll be back."

Thank Darwin for Prednisone

“So I have this rash…” has been a great icebreaker for the past few weeks when talking to friends, colleagues, and strangers at the bus stop. I’ve grown tired of talking and hearing about the weather, especially when the subject is broached while outside:

Stranger: It sure is cold out here. (hands tucked up in arm pits, shivers while waiting for me to agree with statement of obvious).

Me: (wearing puffy snow suit, scarf, and ear muffs) Really, I hadn’t notice.

Stranger: It’s supposed to get even colder the next few days.

Me: So I have this rash…

Stranger: (suddenly uncomfortable and at a loss of words, relieved by emergence of bus) Well here’s our chariot.

Me: Do you mind if we sit together? I would love to tell you all about my rash…

Despite the past couple thousand years of evolving, assuming you buy into Darwin’s theory, our species has yet to find a solution to deal with uncomfortable encounters with strangers in small, compact spaces. We tried silence, but that merely created a new problem that needed to be dealt with: repressed tension.

To deal with this, some sadistic bastard created Muzak – faux music which strips the soul out of its original recording to keep compliant with current copyright laws. As is the case with most innocuous inventions and discoveries (e.g. splitting of atom), Muzak was used for evil purposes. Muzak, for example, when not used to extract vital information from detainees at Guantanamo Bay, is pumped into elevators to sedate unsuspecting guinea pigs as a means of keeping us from turning on each other in a raging fit of uncomfortable silence.

For the most part it worked. How often do you see random acts of Elevator Rage splashed across newspaper headlines?

“Breaking: 13 Killed in Elevator Rage Incident, While Going Up”

jerry_elevator

Site of deadly episode of Elevator Rage allegedly spawned by Muzak version of “Rage Against the Machine” song

But I digress, dear Reader.

So I have this rash…and what better way to celebrate a full-body rash and the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin than a trip to the dermatologist, eh?

That’s where I was headed when I met up with the reluctant Stranger at the bus stop. My conversation-starter didn’t quite seduce the gentleman at the bus stop, who upon boarding, bolted to the only open seat in the back of the bus. I sat up front, feeling what the lepers must have felt when the Christians relegated them to the lazar section of the bus — named after Lazarus, patron saint of lepers and public transportation.

“Viva la Lazarus!”

Now, I’m willing to bet a pound of dead skin that nobody starts off in the medical profession by openly admitting: “I’ve always dreamt that of one day I will become a dermatologist.”

I’m guessing that dermatology is one of those fallback occupations in the medical field – should you not make the final cut for one of your top choices – brain or plastic surgeon (depending on what you’re more attracted to).

When I was plugging away on my undergraduate degree in Open Major at the University of Iowa, the fall back major was Communication Studies. Nobody started off on this track, but after partying leap-frogged academics on the priority list, this is where a lot of people were derailed, including my roommate, who later dropped out altogether. He was quick to rationalize his fall from academic grace, citing Tom Brokaw as his poster-boy for success:

“Brokaw flunked out of Communications at Iowa, and look at him now.”

True, Brokaw did drop out of UI, where he says he majored in “beer and co-eds,” but I was quick to remind my roommate that he also finished his degree at the University of South Dakota, not to mention his nabbed 17 honorary degrees without having dropped a single dime for tuition.

Instead of minoring in Beer & Co-eds, maybe I should have double-majored, so I would have had something to fall back on in case my Open Major didn’t pan out.

So you’re probably wondering what all this has to do with my rash, huh?

Which leads to why I found myself sitting in the dermatologist’s office with a rash that had consumed most of my body, thinking about Darwin and evolution theory. The walls in the waiting room and the examination rooms were covered with photographs of underwater sea creatures. I tried to figure out a possible motif linking these creatures to dermatology when it dawned on me that they breathe through their skin. Skin is their essence.

Sure looks fishy to me

Sure looks fishy to me

I suspected my rash was an allergic reaction to laundry detergent. Thanks to the recent downturn in the economy, I’ve had to alter my normal shopping habits. Normally, when the economy is on the upswing and I’m poor but not dirt poor, I tend to buy the second-to-cheapest product on the brand chain. Not only does this help feed the illusion that I’m not a bottom feeder, but I found the thought of playing Consumer Russian Roulette exhilarating as well.

That said, I purchased the cheapest laundry detergent on the shelf.

Bang! I lost.

My dermatologist, who I suspected dreamt of a life in plastic surgery before his Darwinian fall from grace, confirmed my suspicions. His diagnosis: an allergic reaction to cheap shit.

The cure: a steady dosage of Prednisone and a 12-step program to break my addiction to cheap shit.
Speaking of Darwin, I realize there are still skeptics out there who don’t buy into his theories on evolution, but clearly none of these naysayers saw how my rash evolved on my body. It started off as a small colony on my forearms before spawning sub-colonies that spread up my arms that eventually descended down to my ankles, where they set up temporary shop.

Sure, the Creationists will argue that my spreading rash is all part of the Creator’s master plan to keep me from buying cheap crap, but I turned to a more reputable source for guidance: The Flying Spaghetti Monster of the Church of FSM.

the new Creationism of Choice

Join The Church of FSM: the new Creationism of Choice

For whatever reason, I find the Almighty FSM’s beliefs easier to swallow.

Thank Darwin for that.

(Update: T.M. Lindsey is currently rash-free and would like to thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s creations for creating non-generic Prednisone. Let it be noted that T.M. is also enjoying the uptick side-effects of Prednisone and has gone five days without purchasing cheap, toxin-filled products; although thanks to the former he has yet to enjoy taking the latter.)