Monday, March 26, 2007

Most Craven

The following is a list of the top contenders for Mr./Mrs. Craven of 2007. Please vote for your three favorite poltroons:

/__ / Osama Bin Laden
/__ / Hillary Clinton
/__ / Joseph Biden
/__ / Ann Coulter
/__ / Kim Jong il
/__ / Rush Limbaugh
/__ / Jimmy Carter
/__ / Al Sharpton
/__ / Don Imus
/__ / Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
/__ / Jim Cramer
/__ / Keith Oberman
/__ / John F. Kerry
/__ / George Potts
/__ / Katie Couric
/__ / George W. Bush
/__ / Al Franken
/__ / Kofi Annan
/__ / O.J. Simpson
/__ / Jacque Chirac
/__ / Nancy Pelosi
/__ / Bill O’Reilly
/__ / John Edwards
/__ / Sean Hannity
/__ / Barbara Streisand
/__ / Bill Clinton
/__ / Vladimir Putin
/__ / Dick Chaney
/__ / Mike Barnacle
/__ / Howard Stern (either one)
/__ / Hugo Chavez
/__ / Alberto Gonzales
/__ / Chuck Schumer
/__ / Ted Kennedy
/__ / Newt Gingrich
/__ / Lawrence O‘Donnell
/__ / Rosie O’Donnell
/__ / John Murtha
/__ / ________________ (your write-in)

Friday, March 23, 2007


Ham Rind -- Why is it that many hams and ham steaks now come with a layer of plastic welded to the outside? Ham used to have nice soft tasty fat on its outside, not a cuticle of a non-organic nature that reminds me of the cellophane rind on bologna. And why do U.S. consumers tolerate such nonsense? And while we’re at it, let's get rid of the huge brine injections that meat processors give hams to bulk them up for higher profits. This thumb-on-the-scale trick adds nothing to the taste of ham ... it only causes water to exude during cooking and dilutes the resulting flavor.

“Jumbo” Eggs -- Has anyone noticed that jumbo eggs aren’t often “jumbo” any more? Jumbo egg cartons have “jumbo” compartments, but the eggs you often find there are frequently one or two sizes too small. As an educational exercise sometime, compare the largest egg of a “Large” egg crate with the smallest egg of a “Jumbo” egg crate. Your eyes may be opened.

Strange Names -- Weird spellings of common names is an irksome trend. Novel spellings like Jessye, Eriq, and Alisyn I guess are meant to set children apart ... but they unnecessarily slow the pace of life. How many times a year do people with such nonsensical appellatives have to stop and spell their names during introductions and applications? It’s not just a waste of their time, but also wastes the time of those on the receiving end. It even forces everyone to ask for spelling of those with normal names ... just in case. I suggest that parents endow their offspring with uniqueness in some other, more enduring but less trivial way ... say with character or selflessness or piety or honor. Even common spellings of weird names don’t ensure that the children so named will be so endowed ... witness Chastity Bono.

Commercials on Public Television -- Public television is supposed to be funded by individual and corporate donations and, disputably, the government. So why is it that corporate donations engender what increasing appear to be commercials? Public television is slowly morphing its segment breaks into product commercials. First, just the name of the company was mentioned. Then a corporate image statement of one sentence was added. Then two sentences. Then product names were introduced. Then favorable attributes of these products were added. And through it all the length of these segment brakes keeps increasing. It won’t be long before public television is as commercial as network TV. Then perhaps we might wean them from our government’s funds ...

Vanity Street Names -- Corporations increasingly are adopting vanity street names for their headquarters address -- Apple Computer has Infinite Loop; Data General had Computer Drive; and Gateway Computer has Gateway Drive, etc. Since most of these names don’t exist on city maps, it almost assures that you must stop and ask directions in order to get to these headquarters ... another indication that corporations sometimes behave like they’re above it all.

Free Handicap Parking -- Now I don’t have any problem with physically handicapped people having special parking places. However, why is this parking free? What about a nabob who has a bum leg? He gets gratis parking (near the action) while a destitute schmoo who happens to be physically able must feed a ravenous parking meter. Why do we equate being physically handicapped with being fiscally distressed?

Mothers with Infants Parking -- The other day I saw a sign reserving a parking space in a supermarket lot that said “Mothers with Infants.” Now, since we already have handicapped parking and loading zones, this new category of privilege is a little disturbing. What about “Fathers with Infants” parking? What about “Cars with Faulty Mufflers” parking? What about “Parents with Whining Children” parking? What about “Munchausen’s Syndrome Sufferers” parking? When will it all stop?

Homophobe-Phobes -- People who find in-your-face homosexuals uncomfortable or even offensive are quickly labeled “homophobes” and are automatically criticized or even ostracized by many ... sometimes with a good bit of vitriol. Can we, in turn, stamp those, who rail against “homophobes,” as “homophobe-phobes”?

Trite Expressions of Grief -- A smoldering trend that erupted into a conflagration with Princess Dianna’s death is the trite expression of grief -- a Teddy Bears tied to a chain link fence, a plastic balloon with a maudlin message, a rubber duck with a [blue, red, pink, black] ribbon around its neck, one rose packaged in Saran Wrap, etc. Such anonymous crepe hanging is like chalk on a blackboard to me. In Princess Dianna’s case, the sheer volume of this banality became a public health hazard. Please, please, please ... when I pass on to that place where there are no more pet peeves; let no one memorialize my death with a plastic balloon of any type with any message, however heartfelt.

Icon Flags -- This pet peeve might lose me some friends, so I will be as gentle as possible. What is it with people who have a repertoire of multi-colored event flags that they proudly display at the drop of the tam-o-shanter ... a martini glass, a birthday cake, a snowman, an exploding firecracker, etc.? Do I really care that it’s Aunt Louise’s birthday? Or that tonight they are abusing their livers?

Diagonal Parking in Parallel Spaces -- “I’m so important and rich that I get two parking spaces while you get none.” This is the kind of ludicrous thinking that causes people to park their new expensive, usually foreign, cars diagonally across two parking spaces ... denying others the extra spaces. Greed and anal retentiveness trump neighborliness in this ostentatious power play by these boobs. If I were a miscreant, I would “key” their shiny news, but I am not. However, I shall find no real fault with those that do.

U.S. Female Correspondents Wearing Hijabs (Islamic Head Scarves) -- I find it profoundly offensive to see non-Muslim female TV correspondents (CNN, MSNBC, etc.) reporting from the Mideast wearing hajibs (usually black and white checked) as though they are Muslims and have sided with the terrorists.

Gross Generalizations -- As soon as polls show more than say 60% of the U.S. populous agree with a leftist position (no more war, Bush lied about WMDs, etc.), then talking heads (like James Carvel, Eleanor Clift, etc.) start saying that "All the American people want blah, blah, blah.")

Space "Walks" -- When astronauts work outside their space capsule, it is called a space "walk". Now, this is similar to when you "dial" a phone by pushing some buttons … or why doen't everyone (other than Emeril) call a refrigerator an "ice box?" When you step on the accelerator, do you then say you "whip" your car? Can't we, for God's sake, update our terminology?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Evacuation Day

In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts they celebrate one obscure holiday which is conveniently concurrent with St. Patrick’s Day. It is called “Evacuation Day.” On this day, the state government closes down ... allowing its many pols and solons to gather at their favorite watering holes to celebrate the banishing of snakes from the ole sod. Once there, they donate a parcel of liquor taxes back to the treasury from which they draw their sustenance. Incidentally, the reason Massachusetts is called a “commonwealth” is that the Pilgrims believed “from each according to his ability and to each according to his need” ... a tradition that lives on in this state unto this day.

Evacuation Day was named to honor the purging that supposedly saved the life of Paul Revere’s mother when she had come down with the croup the night before her son’s famous ride. Her doctor, Elias DeBakey, gave her a double dose of ipecac and prune juice. Then he bled her with leaches; sweated her in a log-cabin sauna; gave her a soapy water enema; and finally, had her down a triple dose of bromide expectorant. She was “evacuated” so completely that she dropped nearly a third of her body weight. But, despite all this bad medicine, she survived ... and the people of the Bay State chose to honor this miracle by declaring this day an annual holiday.

The Irish, when they are not blowing each other up, spend a good deal of their time writing blue-ribbon prose; and, as already noted, have an affinity for amber liquids. On Evacuation Day this tropism becomes an obsession. Brass-railed bars with names like “Galway Bay” and “Glacamora” fill with corpulent-visaged Celts downing tuns of Harp lager and Guinness stout. And, at the tables, sit hoards of green-tie trenchermen devouring nitrided corned beef, bilious cabbage, boiled Bliss potatoes, and Irish soda bread. In the more radical of these establishments, Erse is spoken to cover the intrigues and cabals being planned, abetted by the bravado of booze.

These Sons of Erin, having sated and slaked themselves, finish the day with some sort of melee. On this day, a bloody nose or a broken tooth is a badge of honor. But the belligerents know it’s time to go home when they start seeing leprechauns prancing among the pots of shamrocks on the bar top. Then, after everyone has left, the leprechauns really do emerge, belt down the bar spitsies ... and, invariably, start their own brouhaha. But when in turn, these elves start seeing even littler people hidden among the mosses and detritus of the clover pots, even the leprechauns call it a day.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Last night Boston set a new record for the lowest temperature in recorded history -- not just for March 8th, but for all of March – 3 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a FULL FIVE degrees LOWER than the previous record of 8 degrees/F. It must … it has to be all Bush’s fault!!! And I’m sure we will hear from at least one Al-Gore looney today that such low temperatures are a result of global warming. Don’t try to follow the supporting logic to such assertions for they will basically devolve into, “You just have to believe … that’s all.”

Speaking of believing, it has recently been posited that Christ had siblings and, therefore, clearly was a historic construct. And as a result, the Church of the Latter Day Polar Bears (Al Gore, Pope) is rapidly supplanting Christianity. We will soon be asked to stop buying Polar Seltzer and wearing Polar Fleece as a token of our piety.

Yours in Genuflection,
Saint Elmo (The Vicar of Sesame Street)

Monday, March 05, 2007


Why is it that all those talking heads and (now) solons who are screaming about the Walter Reed/V.A. Hospital “scandal” are the same ones who are constantly kvetching for our government to take over our nation’s health care system (read “single payer” health care)?