The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Easter tale

Well, it's Easter, and so we come to the tale of a man and his family who went on a long-planned vacation to Israel. They were good stout Christian farm folk from Iowa, Presbyterian by denomination, if I remember right, and the whole family went along, including the mother in law, who never thought very much of the man her daughter married and was not shy about letting him know that. The man of the family resented this no end, but for the sake of family peace he just nodded his head and said, Yes mother, whenever she went off on one of her tirades about how her precious little baby girl should have married Freddie Himmelfarb, who was the captain of the high school football team and was now a rich lawyer in Des Moines, but no, she had to marry you, she'd say, and not in a very complimentary manner, I might add.

And lo, it came to pass that in the City of David the days of the mother in law's life were completed, and she went to be with the Lord, who was none too pleased with the arrangement, but that's another story altogether. In discussing what to do with the old hag's carcass, an El Al official told the man of the family that he could bury her in Jerusalem for about $500 or he could fly her back to Iowa for $10,000. Our totally nongrieving son in law said immediately, Let's ship her home to Iowa. The El Al official was a bit surprised, because the son in law did not look like a wealthy man. She must have good insurance, the El Al official said. Nope, our hero said, my mother in law didn't have two nickels to rub together. Then you must be a wealthy man, the El Al official. No, I'm not, our hero said, this trip and now flying her back will take just about all of my savings. Then I don't understand you, sir, the El Al official said. Why are you spending $10,000 to send your mother in law back to Iowa when you can bury her here in Israel for $500? Because, our son in law said, a man rose from the dead here once and I'm not taking any chances with that old bitch. No one comes back from the dead in Iowa, no one at all.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Just my opinion, you understand

This is about the time I usually start apologizing for not posting more often, and I would, except that this time it’s not really my fault. It’s my lumbar number five disc and its insistence on putting pressing on my sciatic nerve.  I don’t know why it’s putting pressure on the sciatic nerve; that nerve has no bad habits that I am aware of, so why anyone would want to pressure it is beyond me, but apparently lumbar number five has an entirely different view of the matter and so the pressure continues, with more than the usual number of sudden and very painful flares.  Annoying, but true, I fear.

In other news, I see that the Bloomberg Business News’ headline for the week is, Am I really such a jerk, or something to that effect.  That is an interesting question, I think, and one I’m sure that we’ve all asked ourselves at one time or another, but it does occur to me that if you have to ask yourself this question in a business setting, then yes, in all probability you really are such a jerk, and the people whom you are asking will probably be more than happy to tell you so to your face, unless this is the boss doing the asking, in which case you should lie until you are blue in the face. Getting another job in this economy is only slightly more difficult than pulling a woodpecker’s wisdom teeth, and while your unemployment benefits will continue for as long as China is willing to loan us the money, watching daytime television for any length of time will cause large portions of your prefrontal cortex to develop dry rot and lead you to drooling great buckets of spit on your nice clean shirt in a public place, which is cute when you’re six months old but not when you are in your forties.  Given the dreadful alternative, lying to protect your livelihood seems the lesser of the two evils. That’s what I think, anyway; your mileage may vary.

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