Thursday, January 26, 2012

Occupy Everywhere
Dear Friends,
I’m feeling grumpy these days. I’m grumpy about, among other things, the gross lack of social and economic justice and equality in my nation. This has led me to get involved with the Occupy movement in my hometown. That is the other thing that is making me grumpy.
While pretty much everybody in the group are nice and good hearted folks, as a unit they are remarkably ineffectual. They mainly are going about having meetings about having meetings and instructing newcomers in arcane hand signals that seem like some weird fraternity handshakes perhaps created by mute extraterrestrials. These are used to supposedly facilitate a democratic to-and-fro that winds up a discussion on how to come to consensus about what constitutes a consensus and hence arrives at no consensus except to have another meeting… maybe.
There is often no consensus as to whether or not it was decided to have a meeting, nor where and when it should happen if it was to happen to somehow have a meeting somewhere in space and time. The disassembled, well-meaning folks wiggle their fingers and gesticulate patiently in a manner that would befuddle a native speaker of ASL. There is silence in the room until the formation of a working committee is proposed. Another meeting is called for somewhere, sometime under the Great Arc of Heaven to decide on actually forming such a group. More gesticulations flurry the air, everybody gives up on the issue and agrees to tell each other how nice they are and exchange hugs.
Thus, I am now submitting an action plan to actually get something, one thing, done. If these good people can’t get out of their own way to work toward the stated and simple goal of promoting economic and social justice across the world and here in the U.S.A. I’ll do it on my own initiative with just a little assistance. Only a few folks happy to take a bit of time and small risks are required. A sense of humor and willingness to spend a night in the local lock-up are also essential. The staff at the police station are very accommodating and breakfast from McDonald’s is customarily served at 7AM, prior to the 8AM date in court. Don’t ask me how I know this.
Action Plan # 1: A Fugue in Ten Easy Pieces
  • Recruit at least one sympathetic lawyer and one doctor to lend their efforts to the action described below.
  • Recruit at least four folks willing to disrupt the local evening newscast that uses our city’s streets as a set to talk about how good business is, how swell the weather is, and how nice our fair city is, while ignoring the folks living on the street just out of the view of the news camera.
  • This can be done very simply. We only need to have four or more folks with large, readable signs standing in view of the camera behind the lovely newscaster. As the camera and lights are weighted down by sand bags, they cannot be moved once the location’s telecast has begun. All the camera will be able to see is our protest, our signs and our presence in front of Bank of America (twenty feet away). We needn’t say anything, chant, play bongos, or make any fuss but by simply standing on our own street.
  • A lawyer and a doctor should stand aside but able to clearly see, take notes, and record on video the unfolding, silent protest.
  • Protesters should be prepared to be asked to move by the news crew. We should remain in place. One designated individual may report to the camera that we are standing on our street, where we pay taxes, and we are only exercising the same rights as the local TV station.
  • If the cops are called, we must be prepared to be arrested, as mentioned above. Be polite with the officers. Repeat our statement made to the news crew. If told by an officer that we are being a public nuisance, ask how we can remedy the situation while not sacrificing our 1st and 4th Amendment rights to peaceful assembly, free speech, and the freedom from unlawful search and seizure.
  • If told by the officers that we may not remain on the sidewalk, state that there is no local ordinance against standing on the sidewalk (factually true). Again, be prepared to be arrested.
  • If arrested, be compliant. Thank the officers for their contribution to the cause (as this is being recoded, if not by the news crew by our doctor or attorney). The attorney will follow us to the local station and sort things out, if possible, or stay tuned to the upcoming morning’s court docket where he will represent us. He will also call the local print, television and Internet news outlets, offer the recording, his notes and comments.
  • If the evening local news crew has not delivered any news of the event, or even the lovely weather, the producer back at the station will be fuming mad with that crew. If they do tape the protest, that will be all the station has to use to fill the four minute hole in their evening program. Either way, we just took over the biggest broadcast outlet in the region.
  • If we do wind up in the clink and have to go to court in the morning, we will have a recording of the entire event, a doctor to report on the physical treatment of the detainees, a well dressed lawyer to argue for our rights… and one irritated judge wondering why his time is being taken up with a few citizens who did nothing but hold up some oak-tag on the street that they actually own. He may be irritated with us. He may be fed up with the cops that should be busy rounding up the kid that sold his own son some pot. Either way, again, we win. We just made the news.
So, who’s with me?
Res Ipsa Loquitor,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Romney's Golden Nose

Dear Friends,

More news on the tragic hair gel poisoning of Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. This follows his recovery from the emergency nosectomy and full body depilation. The following report was filed by Normand Pudvacker of the AP just this afternoon.

Kludge Ergo Foo,


From Columbia, South Carolina

Former Governor Mitt Romney was last evening near death, bald over his entire body and without a nose was immersed in a bathtub full of ice and Nair® . As doctors struggled to save him, a Jewish Rabbi was summoned to Columbia’s Our Lady of Blind Hope Hospital from Ox Pit South Carolina, some one-hundred and twelve miles away, to deliver last rights. Rabbi Edelmensch was the closest thing that the hospital administration could find for a Mormon minister. The kindly nuns administering to Mr. Romney’s care provided the Rabbi with some hastily scribbled words for the departed. As the candidate was heavily sedated, he never knew the difference.

Amazingly, at four-thirty this morning, Romney rallied and regained consciousness with surprising vigor. Dr. Professor Yogi Vinnie Bum Raisin, the candidate’s political and personal care assistant was instantly summoned from the campaign’s rented penthouse headquarters and promptly put down his hookah to make his way to the hospital. (See sidebar story: Mysterious Fire at Romney Headquarters Probed.)

By cell phone while in transit to Blind Hope, the Dr. Professor was informed of his client’s noseless and hairless condition. Given the hour he knew there was no opportunity to acquire a toupee for former Governor Romney, but the campaign’s tour stretch limo provided a fine swatch of lush, black shag carpeting. Deftly removing a one foot portion with the switchblade that Rum Raisin reliably kept in his left boot, a fairly suitable rug was fashioned for Romney’s now smooth and shiny pate. The Piggly Wiggly up the street from the hospital was open, and luckily had penny nails on sale, as well as a serviceable, if not ideal, rubber mallet from the automotive section.

Now, with only hours to spare before a previously scheduled press conference, the media ablaze with rumors of Romney’s condition and potential need to drop out of the race, a new nose was required. Rum Raisin made a few calls to medical colleagues, both on the eastern seaboard of the USA, and as far away as Pyongyang, North Korea. No suitable transplant donor could be found. His final call was to Mr. Sikh's Custom Jewelry Shoppe on Magnolia Terrace. The proprietor was a longtime associate of Rum Raisin and could be entrusted to provide a splendid nose of gold on an emergency basis, and he would keep his yap shut about who came up with the cash for it. Thus it was swiftly back to the Piggly Wiggly to fetch a bungee cord to affix the new nose to the presidential hopeful’s puss.

Everything seemed to be coming together very smoothly for the campaign by 4PM today. The candidate was reinvigorated in overcoming the tragedy of addiction to hair gel. As Rum Raisin offered to slather a handful of Redken® Certified Hypoallergenic and Non Addictive Smoothing Mousse upon the shag about to be hammered on to Romney’s skull, he declined and stated that his aides should simply hammer away.  Bellowed Romney, “My hair gel days are over! Today I have a new life and a fine, fine new nose!!!” With that, the head nailing done, the golden nose was bungeed to Mitt’s head and, after a few adjustments to get the thing on straight and right side up, the exuberant presidential contender expressed his thanks to all the good folks at Blind Hope Hospital and to his own staff. He will appear to the public via television, radio and Facebook® at 8PM EDT, this evening.

Reported by Normand Pudvacker of the AP; 1/19/12

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mitt Romney's Bad Habit…

Dear Friends,

The following is fresh off the AP Wire. Dateline Columbia, S.C. and reported by Melton Tirebiter, Tuesday 17th of January, 2012.


Candidate for the Republican party’s nominee in the 2012 race for President of The United States, Mitt Romney, was stricken ill while at a campaign fundraiser and primary race rally in Columbia, S.C. As the former Governor of Massachusetts lay suddenly incapacitated on the floor behind the dais, his personal holistic medical assistant, Dr. Professor Yogi Vinnie Bum Raisin, rushed from the auditorium to Romney’s aid as his patient lay apparently choking on his own vomit.

The candidate’s tongue was seen to enlarge and extend from his mouth heavenward as it turned a luxuriant shade of purple. Dr. Professor Yogi Vinnie Bum Raisin applied a silver spoon obtained from the head table to restrain the groaning tongue and then aspirate the candidate in a procedure know as the “French Kiss of Life.” Upon his first exuberant inhalation, Romney was then observed to writhe and suffer further symptoms. Large tufts of vibrantly orange hair emerged from under the cuffs of his pants and shirt. The hair on his well trimmed head suddenly grew six inches in three seconds. It then turned paisley with a day-glo sheen in the background color. He began to sweat profusely as he was taken by emergency ambulance to the nearest hospital, Our Lady of Blind Hope.

As he was removed from the auditorium he was heard to mutter “Hrrrmph-nonnnn-quaff-nah-nonnnn.” At this time there is no word on the meaning of this message from his bewildered but hopeful campaign staff.

Once in the Emergency Operating Room, it was immediately clear that Romney was suffering from Aveda Hair Gel poisoning. His nostrils were utterly clogged with cement hard clots of the stuff. Again, there was no comment from the staff as to their man’s addiction to his wife’s hair products. Nonetheless, having failed to dislodge the gunk from his proboscis with surgical tongs, an emergency Nosectomy was performed. The patient was then placed in a cooling bath of nepilatory Nair and ice-cubes from the local Piggly Wiggly to lower his seething body temperature and remove all unsightly body hair, as well as every other follicle on his hide.

Surgeons, joined by Professor Yogi Vinnie Bum Raisin have declared the procedures a total success. Campaign spokeswoman, Nancy Spankmy, vows that the presently noseless and hairless candidate, Romney, will be back on the campaign trail in days. His new slogan, she predicts, will be “Flumph’n ush Conumfha. Romphee in Fwo-Fhousand un Twelfe. I Shtansh fner da Noshelesh!”

From Colombia S.C. Melton Tirebiter

Sunday, January 15, 2012

President Colbert?

Dear Friends,

This last Thursday, satirist and comedian Stephen Colbert announced his campaign for the fictional post of President of South Carolina. A day or so later he released his first attack ad against Mitt Romney, funded by a SuperPAC now headed by Comedy Central colleague Jon Stewart. It declared Mitt a serial killer. Today, Colbert is presently atop Huntsmen in the polls and neck and neck with Gingrich and Santorum in the race for Republican Presidential nominee. That is a position that Colbert is not actually running for.

Think about what this indicates regarding the crisis in American public education. South Carolinians are not, as has often been alleged, natively stupid. They just don’t seem to know that their state has no office of President. Neither have they been informed in civics class that they are liable to being pranked by an obvious clown. Yet, they will confide to a total stranger that they strongly support a brilliant goofball in his non-existent run for the White House, and if successful in his ill-understood quest, they will reward him with nuclear weapons and the grandest military that this planet has yet seen. Real comedy is not funny.

I am astonished, smiling, but a bit tearful for the state of this nation.

Kludge Ergo Foo,


Monday, January 9, 2012

Plan C: Paisley Jello

Dear Friends,

My lawyer has advised me that he will not represent me in what he judges to be the certain repercussions, the stout fist of The Law falling upon my head and his fragile reputation as an officer of the court, upon my following through on either Plan A or Plan B for the local Occupy movement. The Commonwealth will not abide by dead pigs, dead horses, baloney cannons nor a spew of stinky mortadella juice showing up in the lobby of a prestigious bank; one globally owned tho currently leasing a small patch of property for a tiny office next to the Mayor’s office and up the street from the police station.

Thus, I have come up with Plan C. It’s a good plan, I think.

Ya’see, I have an associate. His name, his code-name, is Wladimir. He is late of Minsk. He has an advanced degree in, um, engineering, from a Soviet-era university where the education was as broad as it was deep and included a minor in “social engineering”. He knows some people who know some people. He also owes me a favor. One of the peoples that Wladimir knows who know some peoples is a fellow that I cannot presently name.

That fellah has access to a Redi-Mix cement truck. It’s a Teamster Union-thing. Anyhow, that fellah that Wladimir knows knows the guy with the cement truck who knows a guy who found about a ton of Jello® brand jello that just sort’a happened to fall off the back of a semi down by the river. The Staties have yet to find the driver, but the accident had been ruled an accident, so it’s all okay. Okay. Well, the missing driver’s wife will have to wait until the corpse is recovered until she gets her insurance check, but it’s all okay. Okay?

Now, Wladimir is a bit of a tinkerer, a serious hobbyist. He’s got this microwave dish in his garage. He made it himself. It’s a lot like the little flying-saucer things that you see on cable or cell phone company towers, but has enough power to roast an elephant with radio waves in about ten-seconds. That is not our purpose in its first “real world” deployment of his device.

No. We will soon fill the Redi-Mix truck with 200 or so gallons of water, dump in a ton of yellow jello powder. Then we will add the secret ingredient! That is the paisley in the pudding. Yes! I’ve got it all figured out.

Down the hall from my tenement apartment is Mad Ray, The Insane Poet. He is brilliant but does not write well. His dyskinetic scrawls are indecipherable, but this apparent affliction makes him the perfect man for the task at hand. You see, his jittery squiggling of a pair of scissors, while a potential risk to his trembling digits, is ideally suited to cutting the colorful swirls and giggling ameboid lines from the lovely drapes we will rip from his beautifully adorned windows.The wobbly serrations will perfectly complement the generous folly of the pattern, as well as the iridescent goop in which the fabric will be embedded. Even better, Mad Ray will do this garment work at no cost, in the name of ART! All he requires are some real scissors (not his little plastic ones) and plenty of beer and cigarettes.

Once the millinery effort is complete, we are off in the cement truck to the side of the river, just out of site of the highway and the marina. There is a fire hydrant right up the hill. I’ll take my trusty Moon Wrench and attach the fire hose borrowed from the apartment building. As the giant, rotating cylinder gyres and fills with water, we’ll dump the heady compost of paisley and approximately one hundred pounds of jello mix into the beast. Once mixed, it is time to fire up the portable generator that somehow disappeared from the hardware store up the road and light up that microwave to boil the water.

Now, this might be the only dangerous part of the enterprise. Microwaves do not like metal. Great bolts of lethal electrical energy and howling tongues of plasma may erupt about the vehicle. There is diesel fuel in its tanks. Thus, as a precaution, I will be at a safe remove as Wladimir hits the switch. If things should go horribly awry at least his boiling, exploding flesh will be contained in the rubber suit obtained from the local exterminator’s shop.

I am, however, an optimist by nature. I believe that Plan C is a good plan. Wladimir will pilot the commandeered cement beast laden with a then well congealed load of paisley jello from the river’s edge and into town. In front of the bank, an “accident” will occur. About a ton of yellow gunk laced with the ephemeral proceeds of a crazy person’s two days and nights with a dangerous tool and the supremely coordinated efforts of several criminals and a right-thinking citizen will be disgorged during a slight parking mishap on Main Street. A terrified driver, mysteriously clad in a rubber suit and lugging a fire extinguisher will be seen fleeing the scene as pedestrians recoil in horror and confusion. I will be nowhere nearby.

The bank will closed for quite a spell as police and haz-mat men in bunny suits from the Department of Homeland Security argue with the good folks from the EPA and the local DPW as to what this mess actually is and what might be done about the radiant excrescence that is slowly melting into confetti as its liquid corpulence flows into the city’s sewage system.

Yes. I think that Plan C is a good plan. It's much better than Plans A and B. Nobody gets killed… well, probably. Are you with me, my fellow patriots?

Kludge Ergo Foo,


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Plan B

Dear Friends,

I’ve been getting a bit of feedback on my previous post. Most of the local Occupy folks no longer talk to me. They regard me with glowering stares and sullen silence. My girlfriend, a strict vegetarian, has moved out of the apartment. She regards the killing of farm raised animals as a heathen practice and will have no more to do with me following my modest proposal that would involve their gun-shot demise at the hands of a thuggish idiot startled into a panic by their mere presence in the small lobby of a bank on Main Street.

Thus, here I am in a now unfurnished apartment. She did leave Sophie, the cat, and tins of cat food. It smells very poorly, but Sophie and I enjoy it at our meals together. It is nutritious, I think, and with enough cinnamon and sugar, it does go down without provoking a gag reflex. Sophie has shown me how to eat right from the can, as my girlfriend took all of her fine silverware before slamming the door behind her.

So, tummy full of nasty gravy soaked meal and unspecified meats and gristle, I am rethinking my approach to making a statement at the bank. There is a possible solution, an alternative to sending pre-deceased critters into a confrontation with an armed maniac. See, there’s a fire hydrant in front of that bank and an invention called Baloney (Bologna, if you prefer).

Now, for forty-seven dollars and fifteen cents (plus shipping) I can get my hands on a Grainger Adjustable Moon Wrench, suitable for opening any hydrant. A trip to the hardware store will provide me with the PVC pipe and fittings to affix it to the fire hose procured down the hall from my apartment. A fat tube of baloney will only cost about ten dollars. But, at minimal cost, there you have a baloney cannon!

Of course, firing the baloney through the window of the bank will require some legal risk to myself, along with the theft of public property, damages to private property, and perhaps the damage to a customer’s skull should that skull be in the trajectory of the hurling meat. That would be regrettable and, thus, I have a Plan B. Let’s say we commandeer a book binder’s press. I know where to get my hands on an old rig that is no longer in use. It’s in the basement of a neighborhood bar that long ago housed a printing shop. Let’s make some baloney juice!

With proper squeezing, a fulsom tube of commercial baloney will yield quite a bit of juice. Baloney is mainly made of water, salt, and spices; there’s really not much else but fur, bones, gristle, insect parts and fat in it. So, we got about a gallon of baloney juice from the enterprise. Yet, it occurs to me that baloney juice is not sufficiently stinky to do the job intended. Let’s try salami or, better yet, mortadella! Mortadella has the right water and fat content. It’s a fine Italian cold cut from which to ring a truly horrible herb saturated goo from. I’m surprised that our military has yet to exploit the properties of mortadella sludge in the field of modern warfare.

Anyhow, all you have to do is fill a very large plastic container with the proceeds of the Italian cold cut squeezing and load it in the back of a van. I know where to steal a forklift to do the job. That container will be fitted with couplings to attach Fire Hose-A to the hydrant, and Fire Hose-B. The nozzle of Fire Hose-B will be placed in the mail slot by the front door of the bank from whence it will gush the foul excrescence at force into the lobby. Nobody will be hurt. The creep with the gun will be running from his post to alert the pudgy little manager to the horrible situation. Customers will flee whilst gagging on the aromatic fumes and rising, soupy tide of shattered animal parts. I and my unnamed confederate will hasten to abscond as panic and confusion take the day!

Yeah. That’s the plan. What do you think?

Res Ipsa Loquitor,


Monday, January 2, 2012

Trouble in Paradise…

Jenny Lind: The Swedish Nightingale

Dear Friends,

Jenny Lind, a renowned opera singer of the 19th Century and known across the world as the Swedish Nightingale, visited my small, fair city, Northampton, Massachusetts for a brief run near the hight of her career. The event was highly celebrated and well publicized. Indeed, at one point she made a comment from the stage of our Academy of Music, pronouncing the little dimple in a small valley along the Connecticut River “The Paradise of America.” I can only assume that Ms Lind was then swooning under the influence of too much tincture of opium taken as a precaution against stage fright or being kidnapped by the rough and ready local merchants and still nearby red-skins of that day.

Whatever. She was pretty well right. This is a lovely place, even today. It is the sweet spot in the middle of an urban and rural terrain beset by a severe recession and the failing of family farms. It’s far enough from the river, some one-hundred and fifty feet above sea-level, to remain dry and cozy and we’ve got our own soot belching coal plant and a nearby nuke to provide power even when the lights go out on neighboring burgs. There are also many public parks and playgrounds that are well tended, good schools, and several colleges within eye-shot from the meadows down low by the water or from up on the mossy bumps we call mountains ‘round here.

The place is quite congenial. People actually look up and say “hello” to each other when promenading on our prosperous Main Street or searching the aisles of the little food markets that still thrive in a day when in most other places they’ve long shuttered their doors. Folks are also quite politically active in both local civic affairs and politics nationally and worldwide. We tend to be conscious and conscientious citizens. Thus, a group of fine individuals have come together to act in concert, or not, in The Occupy Movement.

That is were I see the trouble in Paradise. These folks tend to be too nice. They are obliging to the goon with a loaded gun and pepper spray guarding the the little office of the local Bank of America. Their signs are itty-bitty things, nicely laminated. Their banners could have been painted by a brutally damaged vet undergoing art therapy in rehab at the local VA hospital. They politely stand on the curb so as not to disrupt anything, and are always handy with a hug but otherwise do not bother anybody or anything… other than handing our tiny flyers adorned with indecipherable doodles or a few dozen bullet points so as to be utterly meaningless in informing the public.

There is one very large exception to this stereotype that I have just drawn. There’s this one amiable, shaggy, very clever and observant fellow that regularly shows up to raise some gentle hell. He noticed a sign on the door to the bank that said “No Pets Allowed.” He had the idea that we should bring a horse into the lobby. I rather liked that idea. I thought about it for the next day or so.

Now, I do know how to get my hands on an old nag, one about to be put down by a nearby college’s stable. That stable is close enough to walk the old lady down to Main Street, and gentle pat on the ass will get her to walk on in, just as she enters her stable. Once in, she will be in the comfy confines of a place of no exit, except in reverse. She will not be able to move forward to the lobby, as the corner around the banister is too tight for a beast of such dimensions. She will likely be rather upset and confused and her bowels will loosen. A heavy compost of horse poop will now grace the entrance to the Bank of America. The manager will not be pleased.

He will encourage his hired thug to shoot the poor creature. As this jerk has been thumbing the stock of his pistol and fingering the trigger in a masturbatory gesture for weeks on end (without ever achieving climax), the guy might just comply in his eagerness to satisfy his boss and get his rocks off by killing something, anything, at last. Now they got a dead horse and a further enriched pile of horse manure blocking the entrance of the bank.

I rather like that plan, but wonder if it is ethical to doom a creature, even one already sentenced to meet her demise, to death by prank… even in the name of a good cause.

So, let’s try Plan B. We get a pig. I know where to get a pig. So, what I do is get a pig and pull up the trailer and loading ramp to the door of the bank. We then run Piggly-Wiggly down the ramp through the door after slathering the little monster in cheap mineral oil or sun-block discounted by CVS for the New England winter season.

Most of the public will have no problem with seeing a pile ‘o porcine flesh dispatched, even at the hands of a creep in jack boots in the lobby of a major bank. People eat bacon or ham every day. They will be grateful for the bloody horror before them, in fact, as the two-hundred pound pink maniac will be charging around the lobby, forcing customers up on the counters and the manager’s desk, tellers will be weeping and screaming. Poor, old Mrs. McGuillicuty will vomit and faint. Mr. McGuillicuty, a prominent local lawyer, will be irate when he learns that his wife has to be picked up at the hospital and will begin legal proceedings as no bank that allows crazy pigs into its lobby should be in business.

I think, quite assuredly, that either on of these modes of direction action will serve to advance the cause of The Occupy Movement, put our points across, and perhaps get the attention of local news media.

Res Ipsa Loquitor,