Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Sermonette: It's Swankronicity!

I'm basically the Anti-Dixie Chicks -- people always tell me to shut up and not sing -- so even around the holidays, when certain papal dispensations are made for the tone-deaf, I don't go caroling, or accompany the radio, and probably haven't given voice to any Christmas-related composition since third grade, when each class would troop onto the stage of the multi-purpose cafetorium and murder a selection from the Great American Songbook in turn.   But I was standing in line at the grocery store, waiting to buy a bag of cat food (the slightly fancier brand that Moondoggie prefers, since several of the very kind folks who've contributed to our fundraiser earmarked a portion of the proceeds for his upkeep), when I noticed the holiday muzak droning over the loudspeakers, and out of sheer boredom tried to sing along (in my head). This is what I got:

I'll be home for Christmas,
You can pounce on me,
And Mop & Glo,
And strangers in a tree

This is about where I called it quits. Anyway, the apparent lesson here is: Christmas caroling -- it's not like riding a bicycle.

In other news, it's Sunday, which means it's time for the next link in the chain of Swank columns I forged in life, and what do you know, this one contains the only known Swank-related reference to a dreidel!

Don’t Start The Armegeddon Without Me

Posted by scott on June 5th, 2009

Nothing has been heard from World O’ Crap spiritual adviser J. Grant Swank since May 1, and we were becoming fearful, since the only things on this earth which could interfere with his writing are serious illness, or good mental health.  Apparently, it’s not the latter.  Here’s the first paragraph:
That’s right.
Oh…Okay then, guess we’re done here.  Thanks for coming, everybody!
There’s enough evil in the world and enough nuclear blow up on the planet that by now we should have been blown to smithereens.
“Nuclear blow,” of course, is cocaine which has not been excessively cut with baking soda and Vitamin B.  “Nuclear blow up” is, I guess, an inflatable model of Chernobyl you can have sex with?
However, we are still here. Explain why.
And show your work.
It is because the God of the Bible made this creation and maintains it.
Which is why our HOA dues are so steep.
One day and hour He will leave the right hand of the Father’s throne in heaven to return to His turf.
Hopefully this time he won’t take a shiv to the gut from Bernardo at the end of the first act.
Because this is His property, He sees to it that it is still here. That’s the Alpha and Omega of the question: Why is the globe still spinning?
So basically the Earth is a dreidel God’s parents gave him for Hanukkah.  Let’s hope he doesn’t get bored with it, or distracted by those chocolate coins!
God has deemed it so. God is God. God has decreed that though the human population is wicked and the nuclear pantries are full to overflowing, no mortal will have the say as to what occurs on His property. The deed belongs to Him.
During the 50s and 60s, of course, God was a big fan of atmospheric nuclear testing. But hey, it was his property, and it cut down on the need for lawn maintenance.
If there is any proof that there is a God it is that the world is still here. That is empirical evidence.
Thanks, Francis Bacon.
Anyway, the rest of the piece concludes with a list of Bible quotes in an obvious effort by the pastor to beef up his empirical bona fides, but hey, it’s just nice to have him back.  Now I’m gonna go see if I can straighten up those nuclear pantries before we have an accident and God and I wind up on The People’s Court.
(Fundraiser explanation here)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Secret War on....HANUKKAH!

[We're having an fundraiser to keep the ugly, cottage cheese-looking acoustical ceiling over our heads. The details are in this post. Thanks to everyone who's contributed!]

So I hear that Bill O'Reilly has won the War on Christmas, and I trust he will be decorated with our nation's highest honor, the Silver Star of Bethlehem, with Tinsel Clusters, which will either be pinned on his chest by the President, or placed atop his head by a Bumble.

Unfortunately, our boys won't be home by Christmas, because this is a two front war, and Bill must now turn his attention to...


And he'd better snap it up, because we're on the fourth night already.  Luckily, the Holiday-Industrial Complex is turning out the weapons we need, such as this Camouflage Dreidel.  Or a Draydel (changing the spelling is one way to confuse your enemies).

Whether it's in the jungle or in the snow, our enemies will never see the Draydel with their name on it.  Or maybe they will, but they'd still have to be able to spell their name in Hebrew to figure it out.  (And maybe it's because I was raised Catholic, but whenever I play Camo Draydel I always seem to get "Hey Nun", which is something I said to Sister Camilla once, just before she broke a yardstick over my shins (but not, fortunately, my gimels).

Anyway, I'm not quite sure how we exploit this advantage in stealth, let alone weaponize it. I guess we'll have to send a bunch of 4-year olds to war and just hope they wind up fighting a bunch of 3-year olds who can't cope with a choking hazard.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Sorry, Ross. The Hanukkah Armadillo Isn't Gonna Cut It.

[Note from Scott: We're having an "Avoid the Joad Family's Fate" fundraiser; this post has all the sorry details.]

First off, I wanted to thank all our awesome Crappers for their words of encouragement and their help.  One of the most awesome things about all of you is that you don't need a special holiday season to give of yourselves. You give of yourselves every single day. From hilarious comments on the blog all the way to making sure lost and abandoned pets are cared for.

Of course, that got me thinking about the holiday season. The fun of decorating, the food, giving gifts, um...the food...I mentioned decorating, right? Okay, let's include "getting gifts". Getting gifts is fun, but not always. There's often an ugly sweater lurking under the Xmas tree, and, let's face it, the stocking stuffers can be weird. I had an ex-boyfriend whose parents used to put cans of soup in his stocking. I, personally, will never forget when my sister gave me cocktail swizzle sticks.

However, it's not Christmas yet. It's actually the season of Hanukkah, in which people remember how the Maccabees kept their temple candles lit for 8 nights, when they only had enough oil for one.  Did you know that part of the celebration is eating oily food? It's true! Donuts, latkes, and fast food for everyone! Along with 8 days of gift giving! Let's rifle through Hanukkah Harry's pockets and see what he brought the kids for the first 3 days of Hanukkah:

On The First Night of Hanukkah, Hanukkah Harry Brought To Me:

Sure, it seems first. What no one knows is that Sammy is an Australian Funnel Web spider and will kill everyone in the house before Hanukkah is over!  (Do arachnids keep kosher? I mean, technically flies are neither pork nor shellfish, so...)

On The Second Night of Hanukkah, Hanukkah Harry brought to me:

Awesome! Hanukkah Hacky Sacks for the Hebrew Hippie in your family!

On The Third Day of Hanukkah, Hanukkah Harry brought to me:

Color Your own Hanukkah Banner, you Macher! What? Our traditional Hanukkah Banners aren't good enough for you?!

So there you have it: Three gifts for the first three nights of the season. Are they meaningful and appropriate? What do I know, I'm a Shiksa! (Which, as I discovered, means I'm a Gentile chick, and not the Other Leading Brand of safety razor.)

Happy Hanukkah everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sperm Delivery! Sign Here.

[Note:  We're having an Anti-Homelessness fundraiser (details in the post below), sort of a virtual Amish barn-raising, just without the buggies, and the lumber, and Kelly McGillis sponging herself.]

At one point in Lanford Wilson's play Talley's Folly, set on a farm in Lebanon, Missouri in 1944, the female lead bristles upon hearing her home described as "the South," insisting, "It's Missouri. We're in the Midwest." The male lead, a middle-aged Jewish accountant, sighs that he's been around, and in his opinion, "There's New York City, isolated neighborhoods in Boston, and everything else is the South."

So it comes as no surprise that when a bill was proposed making it illegal to obtain an abortion without the sperm donor's permission, it was brought to us by the Show-Me (What a Dickhead You Are) State.

From Mother Jones:
A Missouri Republican is pushing a bill that would allow a man who gets a woman pregnant to stop her from having an abortion. The measure would force a woman who wants an abortion to obtain written permission from the father first—unless she was the victim of "legitimate rape."
Ah, I see someone's bringing back Todd Akin's signature catchphrase. Can "Kiss my grits!" or "Jane, you ignorant slut" be far behind?
Rick Brattin, a state representative from outside Kansas City, filed the bill on December 3 for next year's legislative session. The proposed measure reads, "No abortion shall be performed or induced unless and until the father of the unborn child provides written, notarized consent to the abortion."
Sure, that sounds like a breeze. Okay, it actually sounds like what you'd get if Franz Kafka wrote Office Space.
Yeah...I'm gonna need you to put a cover sheet on your notarized abortion permission slip.

So who is this panty-sniffing paper-pusher?
(Raw Story's Scott Kaufman found this portrait of Brattin giving the camera a Zoolander-like look known to high fashion photographers as "The Full Eddie Haskell.")
The bill contains exceptions for women who become pregnant as the result of rape or incest—but there are caveats.
Dick Caveats.
"Just like any rape, you have to report it, and you have to prove it," Brattin tells Mother Jones. "So you couldn't just go and say, 'Oh yeah, I was raped' and get an abortion. It has to be a legitimate rape."
So the cops will authenticate your rape for you, and it's actually pretty cool; it's like having a Verified Twitter account.

But I do worry that Republicans are pushing "legitimate rape" so hard as a term of art that it's going to show up in the next edition of the OED (and I'm the kind of guy who locked himself in his room and had a good long cry when they added "humongous").
Brattin notes that his bill also contains an exception for cases in which continuing the pregnancy would endanger the life of the mother. Women whose partners have died can sign a sworn affidavit to that effect.
In a stunning rebuke to critics who claim Brattin is just another misogynistic control freak without a dram of genuine concern for women's health or civil rights, his legislation offers a reasonable workaround to women who can't easily obtain their partner's permission: just kill the guy and skip off to a notary public. After all, Rick already thinks you're a murderer for getting an abortion, so go big or go home, right ladies?
Brattin adds that he is not using the term "legitimate rape" in the same way as former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who famously claimed that women couldn't get pregnant from a "legitimate rape" because "the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down." 
"I'm just saying if there was a legitimate rape, you're going to make a police report, just as if you were robbed," Brattin says. "That's just common sense." 
Granted, when a guy goes to report his car was stolen, the cops don't usually imply he was "asking for it" because he dressed like a slut and danced all sexy at the roadhouse.
Under his bill, he adds, "you have to take steps to show that you were raped…And I'd think you'd be able to prove that."
Easily! You lodge a complaint, the police investigate; they arrest the perpetrator, there's a trial...Sure it may sound like a long waiting period for an abortion, but on Law & Order it only takes 44 minutes, and assuming there aren't too many continuances you should have all the proof you need by no later than your 15th trimester. Admittedly, you'll be probably be carrying pretty low by then, but you'll still need to hustle over to Mailboxes Etc., because the guy with the notary stamp leaves at five.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I Guess We Need a Telethon For Fail

I’ve started, stopped, and started this post over again about a dozen times so far, and if this were a movie we could establish that fact with a single shot of a wastebasket overflowing with crumpled paper, and the sound of another sheet being ripped from a typewriter platen and wadded up to join its fellow failures. Or, depending on the period, you could go with the less static visual of a hurled inkwell exploding against the wall in a black starburst, then dripping slowly down the yellow wallpaper while the frustrated author weeps, and clutches at his Byronic locks.

But you can’t get away with that anymore, because nobody’s going to sit still for a ten minute scene of some guy pursing his lips and holding down the Backspace key. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that this is proving to be a painfully difficult post to write, in no small part because it may be my last for awhile – not that I’m planning to leave in a huff, but because I suspect the huff is planning to leave without me.

Okay, this may be the absolute worst set-up for a clip ever. Let me start over again. Again.

As most of you guys know, things have been on an inclined plane around here for the past few months, with both Mary’s and Riley’s health deteriorating simultaneously (which I referred to as the “Elliott and E.T. Effect,” to the amusement of neither one). Not surprisingly, the rate of southward descent seems to have increased since Riley passed away in September, which makes me think that she was our own little household goddess, warding off evil spirits and keeping the wolf from the door with the searing power of her sidelong glance.
Mary's surgery solved the one major health problem we knew about (and the one lurking issue we were afraid of; yay for Early Detection). But she's in constant pain from the neuralgia in her jaw, making it an ordeal for her to eat, and often impossible for her to talk (we basically communicate through pheromones, Clan of the Cave Bear-style gestures, and text messages); which is a bit of a handicap for a teacher, or would be if the school district hadn't informed her that she was out of a job.

She's planning to appeal, but it will probably be 60 days -- at earliest -- before she gets a hearing, and in the meantime, she's on unpaid suspension (with loss of benefits -- we're so lucky they didn't pull this before the surgery).  
Moondoggie tried to help with the mound of paperwork the District sent by laying on it, but the legalese sent him into a fugue state.

I wasn't overly panicked, since I had an assignment lined up that was supposed to start on November 28 and would have picked up some of the slack, but it kept getting postponed, and tonight I was told it's been pushed to the end of January. Which means we facing eviction at the end of the month -- and where we'll go, I honestly don't know. Also, AT&T is turning off the internet service tomorrow, but with all my kvetching and wheedling, that may come as a relief to some people.

So things are, frankly, desperate, and we're forced to come hat in hand and beg for help. Even worse, the only hat I could find is a mesh trucker cap with felt moose antlers from Bullwinkle's Family Fun Center in Tukwila, WA, but I guess beggars can't be choosers. 

I'm very sorry about this; I know we couldn't have picked a worse time of year, and if you're not in any position to help, I completely understand, please don't worry about it. If you can help -- with anything at all -- it would be a life saver. You can click the button on the top left, or, if you're not Pals with Mr. Pay, drop me an email at scott.clevenger - at - and I'll send you our snail mail address.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, December 15, 2014

It's A Marshmallow World in the Wintertime and a Rainbow World in the Litter Box

Remember Christmas of 2011, when our innocence was only slightly soiled by Doggie Doo? Those were good days, weren't they? Too bad they didn't last. Nope. This holiday season, pumping your pets for plastic poop is no longer a game, now it's a lifestyle, and for our first entry in the World O' Crap Wishbook, we present the Moxie Girlz and their Poopsy Pets!

Leaving aside the questionable assumption that all tween girls are squealing coprophiles, the match of species to feces seems reasonably appropriate. Take Moxie Girl Kellan and her pet unicorn...
...a unicorn that proudly declares, "I poop RAINBOWS!"

Then there's Avery and her Panda:
A panda that poops bamboo shoots.  You are what you eat (I just hope it doesn't shoot bamboo shoots, because I don't think I could deal with projectile diarrhea, no matter how magical it is).

Lexa's elephant poops peanuts, while her pink bunny evacuates glitter from its bowels. All well and good. But Avery also has an aquamarine koala that craps jewels, which I think is stretching the premise.  Not as much, however, as Kellan's tiger...
...which craps eggs.  Eggs!  So tigers are monotremes now? (Perhaps we can get Helmut Monotreme to weigh in here with an expert opinion).

So anyway, the trend this year seems to be products which alienate our young daughters from their previously beloved kitties and puppies in favor of cryptids with theme feces.  But it's all very empowering, because Moxie Girlz'z motto, seen at the bottom of each package is:
be true! you!
Enjoy poo.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Sermonette: A Hank O' Swank!

First published April 13, 2009. Original comments below the fold.

Mad About The Boy

I see Pastor Swank has deigned to favor us with his Bull Connor impression today.  You may recall that during the late campaign, many of our old friends in the right blogosphere struggled to depict Senator Obama as a Teleprompter-addicted dullard who would comically turn white with fear at the first whiff of an Islamofascist; but they still stopped short of addressing him the way a harried traveler might query a shoeshine provider on the whereabouts of the Chattanooga Choo-choo.  The one exception to this conspiracy of restraint was Pastor Swank, a man who considers it his God-given right to use the English language in any way he sees fit — as a chamois for his golf clubs, say, or a furnace filter, cock ring, or doily — and who fervently believes that “grammar” is just another word for “tyranny.”  So it came as little surprise last fall when he began referring to Obama as “the Boy.”  What did shock me, however, was the speed with which he dropped it in the face of criticism, almost as if he were self-aware, perhaps even evolving toward sentience.   As it turns out — not so much.
Mob hysteria rushed The Boy where he is today.
Liberal media worked alongside mob hysteria.
I find this reassuring.  Even though a majority of Americans are in a mob, and enraged or suicidal enough to rush the President, our hysteria is apparently friendly and cooperative and works well with others.
Now The Boy sits in the White House, surrounded by the crooks he has known during his so-called career mired in Illinois.
Okay, show of hands.  Which is worse — Mired in Illinois, or Stuck in Lodi?
What is so frightening is that the socialist Marxist Muslim B. H. Obama is the brainwashed child of Jeremiah Wright.
Wait, I thought he was the secret love child of Malcom X.  Come on, can’t we stick with that story?  Because then we can dissolve to “Twenty Years Later” and end with a big, score-settling confrontation between a grown Malia Obama and a cyborg Louis Farrakhan, climaxing in a shoot-out with lasers at the Audubon Business and Technology Center.
Though not much is said these days about Wright, he is right there in the Oval Office.
And, one presumes, in the woodpile.
He is implanted in the thought patterns of both Michelle and B. H.
Just like Spock’s katra was implanted in McCoy at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  So I guess the lesson here is, if you want to grow up to be President of the United States one day, never let your pastor touch your head when he’s dying of radiation poisoning.
They are just beneath the skin anti-white, anti-Jew, pro-Muslim and ready to crush any semblance of a Christian nation.
Fortunately, Swank stumbled into a church where they happen to have boxes of these special X-Ray specs that can see beneath the skin of the First Couple…
N.B.  The pastor is all out of bubblegum, bitchez!
The Boy and wife have no regard whatsoever for the Christian heritage to this country. They play out their church membership in the most liberal denomination in the United States. But behind that act out is their allegiance to the Koran, Allah and Islam World Rule.
Why do you think Michelle Obama is always going around sleeveless in public?  It’s her only chance to flash the guns, since at home she has to wear a burka.
As The Boy has traipsed across the planet recently, he has acted out in body language and spoken word his admiration for Muslims wherever he went.
Not since Lillian Gish in the 1928 classic The Wind have we seen this kind of vivid pantomime.
He bent over backwards to befriend the very coalition out to destroy this Republic.
Having drained our nation of its economic security, The Boy will march forth under Allah’s banner. Those Muslim cells planted in America are waiting for their chance to join The Boy in usurping every office in the nation.
Oh no — Muslim stem cells are going to unite like Voltron to create a giant Lion Force Caliph who will make Barack Obama the Mayor, City Clerk, Animal Control officer and Library Services Administrator of every city in America!
The Boy is Marxist. He is Muslim. He is therefore not what we have always defined in the generic sense as “American.”
Generic humans are a little pastier, and taste more like mayonnaise.
If the hysteriacs had only known who they were pushing into the presidency, they would have never elected The Boy. Even now most of them do not see his destructive agenda. They are still blinded by his charisma.
Quick — We need more magic sunglasses!  And some wrestlers!
That in itself is so frightening for it reminds thinking citizens of every despot who ever bobbed to the political and powerful top.
And do we really want to be ruled by iron-fisted flotsam?
Now the United States is victim to “one of them.”
Oh…so that’s what McCain meant by “That One.”