Category Archives: Politics
Given my recent struggles with depression, an inefficient colon, and a bulldog who hates Halloween, I decided to drop out of the United States presidential election for this year. So, don’t write me in or anything. I don’t think you really want someone who mentally decapitates the person who spelled her name wrong on an offer for a free oil change for the car she sold 6 years ago to lead your country. Or, maybe you do.
If I was still running for president, you can bet that I would add some more pertinent issues to the national debate. Most of the topics being hurled back and forth seem to deal more with domestic problems, and I tend to have a more global view.
For example, one of the top priorities of my campaign would be to lean on the International Olympic Committee to eliminate their archaic sexist policies. They seem to think they are free and clear now that woman can box, but I refuse to turn a blind eye to the two last exclusionary sports – rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming. It’s completely unfair that men cannot compete in these sports. They have just as much right to cake on the makeup and paint their hair with Knox gelatin as the rest of the population.
And, come on, a few more handsome men in speedos or leotards certainly couldn’t be detrimental to the numbers of viewers tuning in.
More and more men have been participating in synchronized swimming, in particular, and I think it’s an international tragedy that their talents cannot be showcased on the world stage. If Martha Raddatz does not grill Obama and Romney in the October 11th debate about their intentions for rectifying this situation, I will lose all faith in Martha and her journalistic ability to cut to the chase.
Of course, when I run in the next presidential election, I will make this a priority in my platform, as the next Summer Olympics will be right around the corner. But I will expect the men to refine their performance a little bit more by then…
After a couple of glasses of wine, I have a tendency to get a bit feisty. Cap’n Firepants tends to avoid conflict, but when we’re stuck in a booth together at a fancy restaurant, I don’t give him a whole lot of choice.
Me: So, gun control.
Cap’n Firepants (eyeing me cautiously across the table): What about it?
Me: Assault weapons seem to be a bit controversial.
Cap’n Firepants: Yes.
Me: I think it’s ridiculous for an ordinary person to own one. But I can kind of see why we should have the right.
Cap’n Firepants (incredulously): You can?
Me: Well, if the government people are the only one that can own them, then they can take us over any time. What am I gonna do – shoot down an AK-747 with my starter pistol?
Cap’n Firepants: I never really thought about it that way.
Me: Well, you obviously don’t read dystopian teenage novels in which the government force adolescents to kill each other in a sick attempt to quell rebellion.
Cap’n Firepants: No, I really don’t.
Me: Of course, we can’t just let every Tom, Dick, and Harry Potter own a weapon like that. There should be some kind of control.
Cap’n Firepants: Okay-y-y
Me: But the government can’t be in control because then we’re just gonna have the same problem. They can stick it to the man anytime.
Cap’n Firepants: I don’t really know what to say to that.
Me: Don’t worry. I’ve got it figured out. I think the NRA should be in charge.
Cap’n Firepants: The NRA?
Me: Yeah. Think about it. It’s perfect. They’re the ones trying to keep the government out of it, so they should be the ones responsible for what happens when the guns get in the wrong hands.
Cap’n Firepants: Hmm.
Me: And if someone goes crazy, they should have to suffer the consequences.
Cap’n Firepants: The NRA?
Me: Of course. Checks and Balances, you know. You really need to read your Constitution more often.
Cap’n Firepants: Again, really not sure what to say.
Me: Aren’t you lucky? Aren’t you glad you married such an out-of-the-box thinker?
Cap’n Firepants: You’re out-of-the-box, alright.
I’ve decided that my daughter, Dimples, elderly friend, MILlie, and Donald Trump are all conspiring to drive me bonkers. The three of them seem to enjoy having the same darn conversation over and over again…
Dimples: Can I get this hair band for my hair?
Dimples: Why not?
Me: Because you won’t wear it.
Dimples: Yes, I will.
Me: That’s what you said the last three times.
Dimples: No, I didn’t.
Me: Yes, you did. And then I fell for it, and you didn’t wear it.
Dimples: So-o-o, can I get it?
Me: Yeah. No.
Me (to MILlie, our elderly friend): I notice you are wearing your old glasses. As soon as I get out of school, I’ll take you to get the scratch on your new ones fixed.
MILlie: It won’t make a difference. They’re no good.
Me: What do you mean? That was the 5th pair we’ve gotten this year! You said they were good!
MILlie: They don’t work. He didn’t fit them to my eyes.
Me: Of course he fit them to your eyes. He used the prescription you gave him – remember, the one that you went to get on your own because you didn’t like the one that my doctor gave you?
MILlie: They give me a headache.
Me: You said the old ones, the ones you are wearing now, the ones you keep going back to every time we get you a new pair, give you a headache.
MILlie: But I can take these off when I read.
Me: Now, I’m getting a headache.
As for Trump, I’m sending him a box of Dimples’ headbands, since I think he needs them way more than she does. Or, maybe he would like to borrow one of MILlie’s pairs of glasses, so he can take them off when he examines President Obama’s birth certificate for the 798th time. Geez, dude, give it a rest.
So, one of my former co-workers (who obviously does not read my blog), recently asked if the Firepants Family would be interested in hosting a foreign exchange student.
Two things come to mind whenever I hear “foreign exchange student”: Sixteen Candles and That 70’s Show.
I’m pretty sure that I would not want either of the foreign exchange students represented in these shows to share a house with my 9 year old daughter.
Now, I know that those are stereotypes, and that most exchange students are probably delightful. I also know that it would be a great experience for Dimples.
When I received the invitation, I even briefly considered requesting a student from Malawi – since that country appears to me my second biggest fan based on my blog stats.
Then I realized that the problem with this whole scenario is not that we might end up hosting a not very intelligent but excessively horny male teenager who consistently misunderstands American idioms.
The problem is that any student who has the misfortune of being assigned to Firepants household will, at the very least, sue the organization that matched him/her with us. And, it would not be completely outside the realm of possiblity that word of the student’s experiences with us would result in an international incident threatening nuclear annihilation.
Maybe, I thought, I could compose a letter ahead of time that would gently prepare the student for the culture shock sure to occur after a few days residing with Family Firepants.
We are delighted to hear that you will be staying with us during your visit to the United States. You have learned, I am sure, about many of the differences between our two countries. However, there are some things you may want to know that you will probably not find in the Wikipedia entries you may have been perusing.
First of all, you would be well-advised to pack the following things in your suitcase: noise-canceling headphones, white clothes, and a gas mask.* Other than that, bring nothing that you truly value. In fact, just throw your clothes in a trash bag. Luggage is overrated, anyway.**
Secondly, if you have not had any martial arts training, I suggest that you take a crash course before you make your trip.***
Thirdly, if you are at all sickly, are allergic to peanut butter, cannot swallow pills, and are adverse to having a hand shoved down your throat – you should probably reconsider your decision to make this trip.****
And, as a friendly warning (that you should not consider to be threat in any way shape or form), it would be best if you never mention the words “Diet Coke” around your hostess in any context. This is considered an obscenity in our
family culture and, in the state of Texas, for this you could be shot.*****
*headphones to block out the sound of smoke alarms beeping and Dimples’ c.d. endlessly repeating c.d., black clothes will be covered in fur the moment you enter our house, gas mask to filter the mixed toxic fumes of Wonderbutt’s gas emission and a half-dozen Wallflowers from Bath and Body Works
**Wonderbutt only chews items of value
***As we do not have a concealed light saber license, martial arts is our only defense against the members of the Temple of the Jedi Order who may or may not have ordered a hit on us
****I have one way to administer pills to those who won’t swallow them – and it isn’t pretty
*****I have been a recovering Diet Coke addict for 2 months, and appear to have permanent withdrawal symptoms
Of course, there are far more rules that should be outlined to ensure the student’s survival – but I don’t want to overwhelm the poor kid.
Well, I think that this is the longest I have lasted, People. I tried to hold out for at least a week past the start of the month, and I have succeeded.
For any newbies or highly forgetful readers, please allow me to explain. I have a monthly “Dead Rubber” post, which is, basically, one into which I have put less effort than usual. “Dead Rubber” is, apparently, slang for “boring.” I forget my source for that little gem. Maybe I made it up. I am sure some of you can think of more colorful definitions, and you are welcome to them, as the entertainment is completely up to you today, I am afraid.
“No tag backs,” one of my students yelled as he tagged another at recess.
“No tag backs,” the next student yelled as he tagged the closest victim.
This went on for fifteen minutes.
I don’t know if this is regional or generational, but when I was a kid we had no such proclamations when we played tag. It was just understood you couldn’t simply tap the person who had tapped you half a second before.
So, I asked, “Hey guys, why do you have to keep saying that? Can’t it just be the rule you establish at the beginning of the game? For example, ‘Hey everyone – during this game of tag, there will be no tagging of the person who just tagged you.’ ”
They looked at me open-mouthed. Not the open-mouthed in awe kind of way. The open-mouthed, what the heck is this crazy lady saying kind of way. For some reason, my idea is not considered good. In fact, it’s not even considered. It’s immediately dismissed as another wildly impossible request from their somewhat unbalanced teacher, and everything is back to normal the next recess.
During which I start thinking about the implications of a generation of “No Tag Backs” kids growing into adulthood and attempting to lead our nation some day in the future. What if we could just invade a country and say, “Sorry, no tag backs. You’ll just have to find someone else to pillage and plunder instead.”
And, if someone attacks us, and forgets to say those three vital words, we can pummel the heck out them, and then yell, “No tag backs!” as we retreat.
By the way, Infinity No Tag Backs to anyone who wants to try this game with me. Now I’m covered. I can strike with no fear of retaliation. I should run for President.
Secondly, even if I did make New Year’s Resolutions, I think it would be presumptuous of me to assume that you would be the slightest bit interested in what I feel like I need to improve.
Therefore, I’ve decided this post will be about what I feel like you need to improve. These are my Resolutions for the World:
- For every reality show you watch, you must exercise thirty minutes a day. If it’s Toddlers and Tiaras, you must run naked around an entire public park with a tiara on your head.
- If you participate in a reality show in any way, shape, or form (whether it be the production, the music, or even provide a single prop), you must donate a dollar to charity for every misconception you allow to appear on T.V. uncorrected. Unless you are a Kardashian. You ladies have to donate a hundred dollars per transgression.
- If you are an adult who participates in Toddlers and Tiaras, you must donate yourself to the local zoo as an attraction to be ogled for at least a month.
- You must read my blog at least once a day, or several times a day from different computers.
- Spay or neuter your cats and dogs so I don’t have to cry every time I hear Sarah McLachlan’s song from the ASPCA commercial.
- If you are a doctor, SEE YOUR PATIENTS AT THEIR SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT TIME, FOR GOD’S SAKE!!!!
- Stop voting for politicians for stupid reasons, like “they have good hair” or “they like chicken-fried steak.” But don’t vote for Donald Trump if he decides to run. No one with that hair can ever be taken seriously at World Summits.
- Laugh at least three times a day.
- Do something stupid at least once a day so other people can laugh. (If you need help, my sister, Crash, and I can give you pointers on this one.)
- Cure cancer.
I think that about covers it. I was going to give you a handy little checklist so you could keep track of your goals, but I don’t want to spoil you. Just print this out and stick it on your fridge. And, if my list seems a little too ambitious for you, just focus on the important parts, like #4 and #10, for this year. You can always build on your success in 2013.
I am considering becoming a Jedi Knight.
I’ve checked out the Temple of the Jedi Order, and it appears to reflect most of my religious beliefs. I am a little hesitant, however, in committing myself to a religious order in which none of the council members have last names, and one of them is named War Beauty.
You might ask what inspired me to consider this life-changing decision. I can’t really pinpoint the origin, but I think there may have been several factors.
#1 – The Catholic Church changed some of the wording in the mass. This makes it very hard for me to think about my grocery list while I am mindlessly repeating responses I’ve spoken for 40 years. If I become a Jedi Knight, then I can say some of the cool lines I’ve memorized from the Star Wars movies instead.
#2 – While I was standing against the wall between Stations of the Cross #4 and #5 at the Christmas mass that was apparently attended by every breathing person in San Antonio, I began to question how my spirituality was being enhanced by trying not to faint as I watched a little boy in the last pew practicing his Star Trek Vulcan hand shake.
#3 – I heard a story on the radio claiming that there has been a rise in people listing Jedi Knight as their religion on censuses being taken in other countries. Which means it’s not a trend yet in this country. I LOVE to be a trend-setter.
#4 – The Jedi Creed happens to be a variation of the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, who just happens to be my favorite saint. Because he always has animals surrounding him in his statues.
#5 – They apparently have two Corporate addresses – one in the United Kingdom, and one in Texas – the state in which I happen to reside. That can NOT be a coincidence.
#6 – I will not have to be in a mixed marriage because my husband already worships Star Wars.
#7 – It will sound so cool when I run for political office to state in my ads that “I….Am a Jedi Knight.”
I have not applied for membership, yet, as I still have a few questions. My biggest one does not appear to have been answered on the Temple of the Jedi site, so I had to look elsewhere. The results were less than satisfactory. You see, one of the recent changes in the Catholic Church has been to modify the standard response to the statement, “The Lord be with you.” Formerly, the response was, “And also with you” but is now, “And with your spirit.”
I can’t get it right. I either say the old one, very loudly and wrongly, or I say something to do with the Spirit that is far more complicated than the actual response:
“And with the Spirit of St. Louis.”
“Goin’ up to the Spirit in the Sky. That’s where I’m gonna go when I die.”
“We’ve got Spirit. How ‘bout you? We’ve got Spirit, yes we do.”
My brain is apparently not equipped to remember the Vatican’s version.
So, I thought I better check the response to, “May the Force be with you.”
Apparently, this is a point of confusion for the Jedi.
So, I’m putting a hold on my membership until this little detail gets resolved. After all, I don’t want to jump out of the frying pan into the Fires of Hell.
I am convinced that the power of suggestion has much more strength than actual demonstrations of brute force.
When I was a kid, I could not understand terrorism. It made absolutely no sense to me. Why would someone do something considered to be particularly heinous by the majority of humankind, and then send a letter actually claiming responsibility? And, secondly, if they had admitted to it, why weren’t these people thrown in prison immediately? No one explained to me that terrorists like the Symbionese Liberation Army didn’t sit around at registered addresses watching The Love Boat and waiting for the police to politely escort them to a cell in the local jail.
In elementary school, you learn that it’s wise to stay out of trouble. Especially when you go to a Catholic school with nuns wielding rulers that never seem to be used for measuring. You do your best to walk the straight and narrow, and if, for some inexplicable reason, you commit one of the Deadly Sins (which was a much longer list according to the nuns than the Vatican version), then you make darn sure that you never admit to it.
Mind you, I never once saw a nun use one of those rulers, and none of my troublemaking friends ever actually reported getting paddled when sent to the Principal’s Office. But the rumors were prevalent.
However, every time I happened to overhear a news report about a plane being hijacked or hostages being taken, my understanding of human behavior based on my observations at school seemed to become less reliable.
“No one has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing.”
“Well, of course they haven’t,” I would think to myself. Geez. Is that all you need to do to be a news anchor – state the obvious? Let’s think about this. If Mother Superior could paddle you for cheating on a spelling test, what horrible consequences would be inflicted on someone who admitted to planting a bomb in a marketplace?
Then the next day, someone would “claim responsibility,” and I would be completely perplexed. Why would they do that? Especially if they weren’t Catholic and didn’t believe in confession? What was the point? You don’t brag about committing crimes (unless it was to a priest), because then you get caught. Not that I ever committed crimes – or broke any rules for that matter. But I did, according to my mother, have some Mafia relatives dangling off of a distant branch of the family tree. And the Mafia has a whole different approach to advertising its misconduct, if you know what I mean.
Now that terrorism seems even more prevalent – or I just listen to more news – I get the point of the responsibility claims, but I understand human behavior even less. Why do terrorists think they are going to get what they want by making people hate them even more?
Comedian Jeff Dunham’s puppet, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, pretty much sums up the effectiveness of this strategy:
“I can’t wait to see Santa Claus. I sit on his knee, I tell him what I want, then I blow him up!”
And so, I submit to you that a group of women dressed like penguins and about as brutal as Oprah, might have known a little bit more about getting people to behave the way you want. Of course, you might argue that they were merely dealing with 5-10 year olds. And my response would then be, “Have you tried to teach a class of 22 5-year olds lately?” I think you’d rather negotiate with terrorists.