Politics and laundry: wash, rinse, spin, repeat, spin, repeat

I settled in Wednesday for an evening of doing laundry.  The clothes are in the machine, the coffee is brewed, and the television is turned on to some quality programming.  And so it begins.

FIRST WASH:

All hail the Great Dear Super Leader!

As the debate began on MSNBC, it was easy to see who would win off the bat:  Bernie Sanders.  His style, wit and candor, combined with his campaign platform, were a populist’s dream come true.  Crazy enough, he wasn’t even there, as it was the Republican debate!

CBS fared much better in the ratings for this period, buoyed by the new hit series, Criminal Minds Antarctica, featuring savvy FBI experts wearing parkas, looking for a renegade band of penguins killing other penguins because they were trotting instead of marching.

The new Trump! Network debuted, showing images of the Amazing Dear Leader Potentate of Glory walking down the stairwell to the debate floor, pitching a fit over the questions about his hair, then threatening to storm out.  The journalist pigs of the evil MSNBC network will suffer the wrath of our great people and our revolution.

FIRST RINSE:

Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a press conference televised live on CNN, announced that Russian jets would begin more aggressive patrols over regions once considered be exclusively American territory.  In an act of good faith, the Obama Administration immediately cedes most of Pasco County, Florida to Russia in exchange for some really crappy vodka.  Putin declares this an act of war.

Back on MSNBC, the Republican Presidential Debate kicks into high gear when former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio, during a highly contentious moment, agreed that Senator Ted Cruz’s tirade was both “epic,” “awesome” and “excellent.”  They then called each other “bogus.”

TLC debuts its newest feature, Blame it on Facebook, where users get to vent their frustration with the running updates to the social media giant’s interface.  The debut episode was built around various user rants about the latest change to the messaging system, in which missives sent to other users include a link to a website threatening to report every single porn and erotica site ever visited to the North Koreans.

SOFT WASH (adding fabric softener)…

HLN televised a speech by Democratic Candidate Bernie “Show Me the Socialism” Sanders, in which he attacks Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner for his decision to end nude photographs of female celebrities, declaring “both men and women have the constitutional right to look at really hot chicks, and this smacks of sexism.  Seriously, they aren’t doing that with Playgirl, right?”

Trump reportedly considered suing this storm for copyright infringement because it resembled his hair too close.

Switching to The Weather Channel, forecasters begin to plot the possibility that the remnants of Super Mega Ultra Master God Hurricane Patricia would somehow reform and go toe-to-toe with Godzilla.  They later admitted that conditions are favorable for reconstitution into, at the very best, John Boehner’s political career.

FINAL RINSE

Changing the channel over to CBS and clips of the next episode of the hit series Supergirl, a thought occurs to me, partly inspired by Supergirl’s really snazzy suit – it’s interesting how gender changes perception. Example…it is proven, proven, that women almost exclusively read erotica written by other women, and tend to eschew stuff written by men mostly because of the way women approach sex. Now, those of you men who think “eschew” is a sex move, congratulations! You just proved my damned point!

A quick turn back to MSNBC shows Donald Trump and Ben Carson locked in a purple-nurple battle, Ted Cruz screaming at them both “I don’t care who started it, I’m finishing it!”

Back to CNN, where Anderson Cooper reported that Russian aircraft are intensifying bombing of ISIS training camps.  When asked what the Obama Administration’s plan to become involved in the crisis, a spokesman referred all questions to Commissioner Bebe Heiskell’s Office at the Walker County Government Center in LaFayette, Georgia.

SPIN CYCLE

On Fox News, experts are arguing over the definition of “birth certificate,” “Trump,” and “President.”   Moderators suddenly become suspicious of the intent of the experts when it is noticed that one is a crack-addled orange cat and the other is a flightless bird with a ginormous nose.  They immediately cut to a report that Trump is about to open a casino in Chattanooga to compete with a planned casino in Walker County, Georgia.

Back to MSNBC, where the hosts of the Republican Debate suddenly, to their horror, realize the debate was actually supposed to televised on CNBC, but was bumped to their network because Major League Baseball and Fox were arguing over the definition of “going to First Base.”

On ESPN, guests and anchors are debating the merits of the College Football Playoff, the recent upsets in on the college gridiron, and how nobody understands just how important Urban Meyer and Ohio State are to college football.  Of course, everyone is watching another network, mainly because there is no reason to gamble on the outcome of the current program.

Paul Ryan strokes his chin thoughtfully as he ponders The Munsters marathon coming up this weekend.

CBS debuts CSI:  Tampa Bay, in which crime scene investigators attempt to discern the reason the Buccaneers gave up a 24 point lead to the freaking Redskins, who had a backup quarterback and the league’s most anemic offense, but nobody here is bitter.

ABC News reported the Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan has agreed to become Speaker of the House on the explicit condition that “everyone quit calling me ‘Eddie Munster!'”

Finally, on CNBC, network officials actually cut back to the Republican Debate after realizing they had been actually showing a replay of the 2015 Kitten Bowl.  Ratings plummet immediately.  Trump blames “weakling loser cat lovers.”

In honor of a friend lost years too soon

My recent struggles with depression and loneliness have brought to mind the passing of my friend, Nicole, who took her own life a few years ago.  Without going into the details, what I can say that Nicole was a beautiful, witty, vibrant woman I admired and cherished as a friend.  We knew each other in passing in high school but I only got to really know her in the months leading up to when she left this earth.  Of any person I have even known, she is the one I have chosen to live for, because I know she would want a better fate for me.  She once said she saw something “special” in me.  I’ll never forget that.

This article is to honor her.

Folks, I am absolutely tired of people saying they don’t “have time” to help someone in depression situations.  I have work to do.  They are just doing it for attention.  I don’t have time.  There are services and hotlines for that.

Screw that!  It takes less than a split second for a person to take their own life.  Up to that point, it’s an eternity of self-doubt, loathing, angst, fear, sadness, heartbreak and just trying to get out of the emotional ditch.  It is so easy to get stuck; so very hard to get out.  It doesn’t matter why it happens or who is reached out to for help.  News flash:  when someone you care about is at or near rock bottom, thinking about the unthinkable, and they reach out for help, that’s bottom-of-the-ninth, two outs, bases loaded time, and like it or not, ready or not, you’re up to bat.

In a situation like, you swing and do not miss.

Now yes, there are some folks who will do themselves in no matter what.  It’s just how it is.  But isn’t it worth having the chance to save even one life in a billion with just a kind word, a pat on the back, or a hug at that critical moment?  You just never know.  I went through that myself recently.  I’ll treasure the help and support I received.

Please, if you know someone at this stage, help them.  They will never forget your kindness and compassion, and the rewards are immeasurable.

I miss you, Nicole.  And thanks.

Meet Walker County, Georgia: America’s Crazyland!

Another week down, another crazy news week over, and I believe that science has managed to achieve a earth-shattering discovery.  No, not the megastructure in a distant galaxy resulting in enough fan artwork to power conspiracy theorists in perpetuity, or if a purported “Planet X” video shown during a NASA briefing is real.  What I am referring to is something far more immediate, far more groundbreaking, and far more worthy of a Taylor Swift song.

“Just two good ol’ boys, never meanin’ no harm…” Wait, what? This ISN’T Hazzard? You coulda’ fooled us!

I’m referring to the fact that science may have located a place in America which is similar enough to Pasco County, Florida to be considered a permanent natural disaster area.  This particular place is Walker County, Georgia, home to what is widely considered one of the first American banana republics, within a republic, within a state, within a, well, you get the idea.  An alert reader and fan of my work, and connected to a group of rugged, dangerous journalists working undercover as large rocks in the region, brought some of the goings-on of Walker County to my attention.

For those of you who are not aware, Walker County, Georgia is a county in Georgia, but not just anywhere in Georgia.  It is located in northwest Georgia, which features a large amount of wildlife masquerading as humans, at least according to reports from residents who actually appear to have human DNA.  According to more than one report, this county operates under the concept of “Unified Government,” which means that one commissioner runs the ship much the way Donald Trump promises to, if elected, run America, Earth, and parts of the New Republic.  Technically, this sort of government runs counter to the democratic principles of government, but in this part of northwest Georgia, most people are more concerned about more important things, such as how fast they can move the hell out of Walker County to, say, North Korea.

The problem appears to stem from County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell who, in her natural habitat, is considered among the most fearful predators due to her sharp talons, razor sharp beak, and ability to dive at…crap, confused a politician for a falcon I was watching on Nova.  We all know politicians don’t move that fast.  Now, according to unconfirmed reports, Heiskell spends her weekends roasting copies of open records laws over an open dumpster fire.  These reports also indicate that not only has the commissioner transferred ownership of several county-owned properties to the local development authority, but that said move was done with the purpose of taking out bonds to pay to keep the county afloat.  Reports indicate that the county had $100 in the general fund in June, just enough throw a really snazzy pizza party in the commissioner’s office, but without the requisite alcohol to effect “responsible government.”  You can save your head-explosion moment, however, for this gem; the county has a $10 million dollar loan to pay back to a “hedge fund” by mid-January, 2016, and something tells us this fund has nothing to do with hedges, but this Walker County, so we really can’t be that sure.

Shown here: Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell. Not shown: Sanity, integrity or anything related to democratic rule, such as the constitution.

Of course, no self-respecting politician of Heiskell’s ilk will dare go out like a unnamed spokesman paying his victims big money for molesting them while eating allegedly healthy “sandwiches” while “walking.”  No sir, this commissioner is doing what any good politico does; namely, going on local television and brag about what is being done with the county tax dollars in the name of all that is “good, moral and decent” (our quote, not hers…hers is likely far more comical and incriminating.)  Of course, this doesn’t even begin to cover the sale of the goat to a local ambassador, who has been sleeping with the former owner’s brother’s half-sister, who is waiting for Kate to emerge from a coma while Stefano plots his revenge….wait!  Dammit, another Days of Our Lives flashback again, but you can see where all this insanity would lead one to believe that this section of Georgia is actually part of a parallel universe or, at the very worst, Central New Jersey.

Contrast this to Pasco County, Florida, a county which has decided that the best way to fix the problem of urban blight, crime, unemployment and income inequality is to rename the local highway said issues are located on.  An April 2015 article in The Suncoast News cites local real estate broker Greg Armstrong as saying (you simply can’t make something like this up!) “If we’re going to give it a new facelift, we have to give the ol’ gal a new name.”  Bear in mind, this is also the county which suffered some of the worst rates of foreclosure during the Great Recession, as evidenced by the sheer number of people attempting to move out of Pasco, only to find out that – surprise – enough pain pill clinics had opened up that border patrol agents were diverted from the Mexican border to deal with the influx of Oxy to the area.  But, as always, I digress.  Today, Pasco County is a vibrant, beautiful county filled with lush fauna, chirping birds, and enough pain meds to power political denial well into the 22nd century.

US Highway 19 in Pasco County, Florida features a variety of quality businesses, such as strip clubs, pawn shops and adult bookstores. Check with your travel agent, or bookmaker.

Between Pasco and Walker counties, we are fairly confident that if their elected representatives were to ever meet, it would result in a butterfly being stepped on, which would ultimately result in Ted Cruz winning the Presidency, Russia assaulting the United States with nuclear weapons, and the world eventually being ruled by a group of solitary penguins worshipping a colony of feral, radiation enhanced supercats.  Then again, the cats would actually eat the penguins, so that idea is shot to hell already.

A look at the canon Bond actors, who was the best, and who should be next

The worldwide release of the latest Bond film, Spectre, has the usual Bond starwatching and debates roaring again.   Who was the best Bond?  Who was the worst Bond?  Who will be the next Bond?  These are all questions which fans of the film franchise have been asking ever since United Artists announced the release date.  This article will focus on the Bond actors in the canon films (produced by Eon and sanctioned by Ian Fleming), with my personal assessment based on their body of work.  This is in chronological order.

Sean Connery:  6 Films (First:  Dr. No, Last:  Diamonds Are Forever)

Shaken, not stirred! And certainly not shot, like I was in Hunt for Red October! Damn you, Tom Clancy!

Overview:  Connery is the quintessential Bond and, to most long-time fans of the franchise, the gold standard.  In any debate about who is the best, Connery will always be mentioned.  He possessed all the things needed to be a 60s and 70s film superstar – the looks, the build, the attitude, and a fiery look in his eyes.  If you could equate Connery of Dr. No to today’s film stars, the closest you could likely get would be Christian Grey – he had a particular debonair style to him which made him quite unique, and his ability to deliver the classic “shaken, not stirred” line, combined with his innate natural tongue-in-cheek approach to Bond, makes him entertaining and exciting at the same time.  Yes, Bond wasn’t Mr. Politically Correct back then, but Connery remains the one actor who can make a womanizing secret agent look like something every man would aspire to be.  Perhaps the only knock against him was his being featured in a very entertaining, but non-canon Bond movie, Never Say Never Again.

George Lazenby:  1 Film (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)

Substituting for Connery, George Lazenby…yes, a backup Bond.

Overview:  Lazenby often gets a bad rap because of his being the “lost Bond.”  He played the super spy when Connery couldn’t be inked for this film.  The reality is that Lazenby was, in fact, quite capable as an actor, though the story itself was certainly written for a more Connery-style character.  For a one-off Bond, Lazenby really should be regarded as more than just a footnote – sometimes your backup player is who needs to carry the franchise when the star isn’t available.  That’s exactly what Lazenby did with a very entertaining portrayal of the actor which did the books justice.  Too bad he wasn’t in more.

Roger Moore:  7 Films (First:  Live and Let Die, Last:  A View to A Kill)

He still had the best nemesis name in Bond history – Pussy Galore!

Overview:  Moore vs. Connery – the Bond debate which will never end.  Roger Moore is what purists would call a “Bond’s Bond.”  British to the core (Connery is actually Scottish), Moore combines suave sophistication with the sort of dry British humor which personifies the secret agent.  His roles in movies such as Moonraker and The Spy Who Loved Me actually inspired other secret agent movies, and reportedly was the inspiration behind some of the settings in Pixar’s The Incredibles.  Though he is often criticized by some fans of the franchise as being “stiff,” the reality is that Moore’s wittiest deliveries are often in the tensest of moments in a film.  The lone check against Moore was his overly candid assessment of A View to A Kill, which he once described as the worst Bond movie ever made.

Timothy Dalton:  2 Films (The Living Daylights, A Licence to Kill)

You can Photoshop his picture all you want…he’ll still look stiff!

Overview:  Dalton has been often decried as the actor who nearly killed the Bond franchise.  That’s a rather unfair assessment, though Dalton’s own acting style was decidedly incompatible with the Bond concept.  Too stiff at times, too loose at others, Dalton was noticeably uncomfortable with the role, and appeared in many scenes to be portraying a character which was not in his wheelhouse.  While Daylights was a reasonably decent film which appeared to suffer more from ponderous dialogue and minor editing gaffes, Licence to Kill was a train wreck in every sense of the word, right down to Bond’s “rogue” status.  When viewed objectively, Dalton’s acting ability was solid; it was the fact he appeared to just not be the sort of actor who could pull off “Bond,” a role which requires a uncommon combination of traits Dalton simply did not possess.

Pierce Brosnan:  4 Film (First:  GoldenEye, Last:  Die Another Day)

I made it with Teri Hatcher, Halle Berry, and Denise Richards, but never even got to first base with Moneypenny? WTF? And no, a virtual reality headset fantasy doesn’t count!

Overview:  Brosnan, the 1980s star of the action/intrique series “Remington Steele,” was actually an accidental casting!  As the story goes, when Dalton refused to return as Bond for GoldenEye, it was Brosnan, whose then-girlfriend was a member of the studio staff, who was offered an audition.  The producers were so impressed with his delivery, contract negotiations began almost immediately.  GoldenEye was actually delayed several years by Dalton’s departure, but got back on track when Eon signed Brosnan, hoping for a bottom-of-the-ninth miracle.  Brosnan delivered, as GoldenEye was both critically acclaimed and a box office smash.  Brosnan had established himself as a Bond who was thrust into a new world with a no-nonsense female M in Judi Dench, and a far more liberated Moneypenny in Samantha Bond (Bond franchise irony there).  That said, longtime fans of the franchise like to call attention to Brosnan’s somewhat inconsistent delivery (he did fluctuate between silly and serious a little too often), and the fact that he was nowhere near as buff as Connery and Moore.  However, he did have some of the best and most timely lines in the history of the Bond franchise, including an instant classic from GoldenEye when talking about the singing ability of the mistress of Russian spy-turned-mobster Valentin Zukovsky, “who’s strangling a cat?”  While Tomorrow Never Dies remains his most timely and entertaining film, he didn’t fare near as well in The World is Not Enough, and was hugely upstaged in Die Another Day, a movie which featured an overly star-studded cast trying to horn in on the Bond franchise renaissance, including Halle Berry, William Baldwin, John Cleese and Madonna, who actually had one of the all-time best lines in Bond history “I don’t do cockfights.”

Daniel Craig:  4 Films (First:  Casino Royale, Last: “Bond 25 – 2018”)

Shown: Daniel Craig as James Bond and his Aston Martin. Not Shown: Stick shift, soon-to-be-dead Bond girl.

Overview:  Daniel Craig is easily the most polarizing Bond ever.  You either love him, or you hate him.  There is absolutely zero in-between.  His acting style is far different from any Bond ever cast, not to mention his skill set a bit more limited (he reportedly didn’t know how to drive a manual-shift vehicle when signed), not to mention being the “blonde Bond” (Ian Fleming’s novels have all clearly indicated Bond is not a blonde).  Those nitpicks aside, Craig has proven to be capable of handling a grittier, more “raw” style of Bond which Eon was apparently looking for.  His debut in the franchise reboot “prequel” of Casino Royale wasn’t the best foot he could have put forward.  It only got worse in Quantum of Solace, which had more a Rambo feel to it.  Craig appeared to have saved his Sunday punch for SkyFall, a timely, intrigue loaded tale which brought Bond into the 21st century in many ways, from dealing with questions of internet privacy, to government meddling in intelligence matters, to terrorists taking the fight straight to MI6.  Craig’s greatest issue, however, appears to be a rather fatal flaw, and we do mean fatal – women don’t seem to fare very well in his movies.  In both Casino Royale and SkyFall, the “Bond girl” doesn’t make it, and even M is killed off.

The Best Bond?

Thank you for the recognition. I thought you’d forgotten about me.

This is always subject to debate but, for my money, I am going to go with the Bond nobody would ever think of:  Brosnan.  He came in at a time when Bond was at its lowest ebb and literally saved the franchise.  Yes, his acting was inconsistent at times, and he appeared to be overly cute in his portrayal in some scenes, but Brosnan was the man who brought Bond out of the Mad Men era and paved the way for (gulp) Daniel Craig and his posterity to carry this torch.  Had it not been for Brosnan, this franchise may have faded into obscurity.  Tomorrow Never Dies remains, in my opinion, the most entertaining Bond film ever for a variety of reasons, not least of which being the super-villain, Elliot Carver, was a man with the power of the press behind him (nice dig at Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch), and GoldenEye is the movie which almost never happened had it not been for a thought-to-be-washed-up actor delivering lunch to his sweetie on the set.  You can’t get more right place, right time than that, and that’s exactly what Bond is all about.

My nomination for the next Bond…

As Craig is expected to abdicate the Bond throne in 2018, there is rampant speculation on who could be, and should be, the next Bond, with names like Idris Elba, Henry Cavill, Jack O’Connell, et al.  I’m going to go strictly objective here, and forsake the desire for political correctness in the name of genuine ability.  While many people will think I have completely lost my mind with this suggestion, I’m going to  go out on a limb and toss out a name nobody would ever think of, mostly because he’s already in a series, but also because by the time 2018/19 rolls around, he may be ready for some film time…

Tom Mison of Fox’s Sleepy Hollow.

I’m following Daniel Craig? Couldn’t I just be offed by the Headless Horseman instead? Oh, that already happened?

Yes, you read that right (and please stop sending me prescriptions for medication!)  Mison has more than a few things going for him, not least of which being that not only is he British, but he’s also the sort of tongue-in-cheek actor who could pull off a rather credible Bond.  I’ve often argued that portraying Bond requires a semi-Shakespearean sense of comedy, and Mison’s delivery in Sleepy Hollow is both dry and highly entertaining.  He also has one very unique ability which most folks don’t think about – he’s successfully delivered British-style flair and wit to a prime-time American television series.  That doesn’t happen every day.

So there you have it…my take on Bond.  Your comments, as always, are more than welcome.

The artist, the picture, and true love’s prayer

A man, married for many years, finally was divorced.  He was left heartbroken from years of pain and anguish.  In the waning months, he began to pray that his true love would someday be delivered.  After the divorce, he devoted himself to his truest of loves:  art.

He wrote but also made pictures. 

Landscapes, scenes of friends, and buildings, all the while praying that he would meet his true love and that he would find happiness and joy.  He worked everyday, feeling stronger and stronger, until one day he felt confident enough to take his work to some art festivals to sell.

He sold a few pictures at each festival, just enough to pay his expenses.  Each night, he prayed for his true love and that she would be delivered to him.  Finally, after months and months of prayer and no answer, he forgot to pray the night before a show, exhausted from the trip.

That day was like any other.  The festival was lively, vendors with their wares and the smell of food everywhere.  The artist sat in his booth, working on a picture of two people sitting together holding hands.   His mind was so focused on the work that he didn’t notice a customer.

“Excuse me, but how much for this?”

He looked up, and couldn’t believe his eyes.  A old friend from years ago, a woman whom he had feelings for, stood in front of him.  She was as beautiful as ever, and seeing her sent his heart soaring.  Still, he was nervous, and attempted to brush her off.  “I’m sorry, ma’am. You can’t afford it.”

The woman was quite surprised by this.  “how do you know?”

The artist had an interesting answer.  “tell ya what.  Let’s talk it over.”

They found a coffee shop sat down and talked.  For the next two hours, they caught up on life.  They were amazed at how much each other had changed but still had certain things in common.  In some ways their lives went in opposite directions, while in others they were nearly identical.  They had picked up where they left off years ago, different people from then, but never missing a beat.

Finally, she asked him again.  “So, how much for that picture?”

He shook his head yet again. “I told you.  You can’t afford it.”

The woman was baffled.  “Good grief.  What on earth could the price be?”

He took her hand in his and said.  “This, in marriage.”

The woman was stunned and began to tear up.  She explained that it was the most romantic thing ever done for her.  Then she kissed him on the cheek and nodded.  “That’s a small price to pay for two things so beautiful.”

Now it was the artists turn to be puzzled “two things?”

“Yes,” she beamed.  “The picture and the artist.”

The artist smiled and they walked, hand in hand, back to his tent.  Another man stood there, examining the picture of the two people the artist was working on, then noticed them.  “I recognize these two people.”

“Impossible,” the artist said.  “I just made this today.  Who are they?”

The man was adamant. “You two.  I saw you both holding hands just now in the coffee shop.”

At that moment, just when it seemed things couldn’t be more coincidental, the woman remembered something.

“You know it’s funny,” the woman said.  “I prayed every day to have my true love sent to me, but I forgot to pray last night.”

Everyday Alert Systems we can all believe in

It seems like every day there is an alert or emergency broadcast of some sort.  If it’s not a “News Bulletin Alert” for a political crisis involving or more Congressional members divulging their use of taxpayer dollars for the study of combustible dust, it’s one of thousands of reported sightings of a so-called “megastructure” around a star, with ET-enthusiast renditions which looks like a cross between a disco ball and the Death Star.  This of course, has brought me to a concept we should consider; a variation of the Emergency Alert System, only designed to alert people to everyday annoyances.

That’s no moon, it’s a…wait a sec! What the hell IS that, seriously?

As you know unless you’ve been hammered on enough beer to send hops futures skyrocketing, the Emergency Alert System, or EEP, is a remastered version of the Emergency Broadcast System, or BASF.  The former replaces the latter, which was the last and shall come first, and the first shall – wait, sorry, was watching a Creflo Dollar televangelist ad on television.  Now, where were we?  Oh yeah, the Emergency Alert System features three long annoying tones, followed by three short annoying tones, and is always played right in the middle of the really good part of your favorite TV show.  In my case, that would be right in the middle of an episode of Sleepy Hollow where Ichabod is about to say something really creepy about an apocalyptic prophecy, but the alert comes on as a “test.”  It certainly tests my patience, as I miss the entirety of what becomes a foreshadowing moment in a great series which features both ghosts, demons, and cops, but I’m really digressing now and, for me, that’s saying something.

Anyway, this system replaces the Emergency Broadcast System which, despite it’s brain-numbing tone which writers such as myself can only describe as a really whiny version of Seth Green going “OY”, still had the decency to be conducted during a commercial break.  Who cares if China just lobbed a dozen nuclear-tipped ICBMs at North America – Ichabod and Katrina are about to get it on in a cemetery, for goodness sakes!

Now that our loin-girding moment of supernatural induced lust is behind us, let’s take a look at some of the “Everyday Alert System” samples:

THE ATTENTION-GETTING CHILD RANGE TEST ALERT:

I´m practicing to be a police siren, Mom! Honest!

This test is designed to remind everyone in a crowded store or office that a young child looking for parental attention is nearby.  In the event this was an actual attempt at getting attention by said child, the ear-splitting screech you just heard would be far longer, certainly stroke-inducing, and result in the parents getting enough nasty looks to warrant the purchase of a very large adult beverage, which would be consumed in the privacy of their home under a fort of pillows which still couldn’t drown out the screech.

THE ANGRY GIRLFRIEND/WIFE CATCHING HIM IN THE ACT ALERT:

This test is designed to remind men that getting their jollies with a person other their spouse/significant in their own home is potentially hazardous to their health.  In the event this was an actual instance of a woman (man as well, to be gender neutral) walking in on her beau “doing the deed,” the “WHAT” you just heard would have likely been followed by the words “bitch,” “slut,” “skank,” “whore,” “cheater,” and “divorce,” and not necessarily in that order (and not necessarily all at the female), with potential flying objects also involved.

Fellas, news flash: when you see THIS flash, it’s ALREADY too late! Special thanks to Orange County, Florida for making this picture public domain, by the way!

THE OVERDRAWN CHECKING ACCOUNT SHOCK ALERT:

This test is designed to remind us of the main signs of potential cardiac arrest following a trip to the ATM.  In the event this was an actual overdrawn checking account, the “WTF” you just witness would be accompanied by additional profanities, possible kicking of the ATM, storming into the branch to speak with the Branch Manager, and quit telling me I have had so many fees refunded because we all know your freaking overdrafts only cost 25 cents to cover, not that I actually know about the nuances of this particular alert.  It’s just an idea – you can put the police hotline phones down now.

THE INDIGESTION FLATULENCE FOLLOWING BY DOOM DIARRHEA ALERT

Those aren’t “speed lines,” folks! That’s actual cartoon gas!

This test should be self explanatory, but millennials may not get it, so here goes:  it’s intended to alert you to potential issues with your bowels in the event you eat 20 Red Vines, 10 chocolate bars, 2 whole pizzas, and still save room for a small bag of Haribo Sugar Free Gummi Bears.  In the event this was an actual case of said indigestion, the loud noise which would sound either like a lot of air being let out of a latex balloon, or several shots from a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol, would be followed by a mad dash to the nearest restroom in such a fashion that even infants in strollers would be regarded in the same league as the Seattle Seahawks defensive line.  This, of course, is contingent upon one actually arriving at the bathroom before the dreaded “brown streak.”

THE STAR WARS MEME OVERLOAD ALERT

Again, this should be self explanatory, so I won’t even both to explain it.  In the event this is actual Star Wars Meme Overload, the Darth Vader breath voice you just heard would be replaced by blaster fire, Chewbacca going “RAAARRRR” a billion times, and the Death Star blowing up, followed by the trailer for Star Wars, Episode VIII:  The Force Bathes Chewie.

THE GAME OF THRONES GRUESOME DEATH SCENE ALERT

She will kill you with her scorching hotness, or her magic, but definitely ONE of the two!

Oh, for the love of God, if I have to explain this one, you shouldn’t even bother reading this blog!  In the event this is an actual GoT Gruesome Death Incident, the gagging and retching sound you just heard would be followed by gratuitous sex, limb severing, and speculation on the identity of Jon Snow, and that’s before House Lannister even figures out when the hell Turnip stuck Littlefinger’s talisman, and of course that’s just a guess because we all know that pot girls don’t know where the hell the Master of Coin would actually keep said talisman, though it certainly isn’t within anyone’s cleavage, right?

And finally, we come to…

THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE TIME LIMIT WHINING ALERT

In the event this was actual instance of President Debate Time Limit Whining, the shrill voice of Hillary Clinton you just heard would be followed by Donald Trump talking about “losers” and “making America great again,” followed by him hawking hats for his campaign which say the same thing, but are actually made in China.

Now, this being revealed, it’s time for me to retire to my bed until I hear of Cellphone Wake Up Alert, which will be followed by a Screen Shattering Throw Incident.

A little bit of “vida loca Espanol” with a touch of Klingon tossed in!

My current project, aside from discovering new and creative ways to stop my cats from knocking every known paper in my house off the dining room table, is studying Spanish.  The goal, as some of you may know, is to pass my College Level Equivalency Program Examination, colloquially known as the “Shit Just Got Real Test.”  Passing this particular exam will serve two very important purposes; first, it will allow me to obtain the necessary remaining credits to graduate from my university in the most expeditious way possible, but there is a far more important reason for learning this language and passing the exam.

Esta muy loco, pero esta quien nosotros amamos!  (Crazy, but we love this sonofabitch...) No, not really.
Esta muy loco, pero esta quien nosotros amamos! (Crazy, but we love this sonofabitch…) No, not really.

I’ll be in possession of not only a Bachelor’s Degree, but will also be able to call Donald Trump a vacuous, arrogant gasbag in two languages!

Spanish is a rather remarkable language.  Based in Latin, it falls under the category of “Romance Languages,” or tongues you would most want to hear in your ear while watching Fifty Shades of Grey on DVD (parent guidance mildly suggested.)  There is a bit of a learning curve, as all nouns have a gender, meaning they are either masculine (“el”) or feminine (“la”).  Contrast that to the world’s fastest growing language, Klingon, and you discover that anyone who attempts to first speak Spanish then the mother tongue of an alien race will get you very weird looks in your local Mexican restaurant.  They don’t even have a word for burrito, though there is, oddly enough, a Klingon phrase for “where do you keep the chocolate” – nuqDaq yuch Dapol (seriously).

One of the beauties of Spanish is the fact that many of the nouns and verbs used are actually borrowed from English and those which are not, such as the verb for the word believe (creer), are actually taken from a Latin root.  This makes Spanish rather simple to learn from a vocabulary sense; most of the common Spanish verbs and nouns are actually rather common to English speakers, such as amar (“to love”), pensar (“to think”), pantalones (“pants”), telefono (“telephone”), hamburgesa (“hamburger”), and bolsa de gas (“gasbag”).  Some, however, are a little trickier, such as mil (“thousand”), agua (“water”), leche (“milk”), and ser (“to be”), are actually derived from their Latin origins, which means that, technically, learning Latin could, theoretically, allow one to learn not only Spanish, the language named by Ugly Americans Worldwide as the smelliest on earth:  French.

That being said, here are some common Spanish sentences and how they translate:

Me llamo Senor John Guzzardo – “My name is Mr. John Guzzardo.”

Yo soy para Atlanta, Georgia – “I am from Atlanta, Georgia.”

Yo gusta beisbol, hockey y escribiando cuentos.  – “I like baseball, hockey and writing stories.”

Mi coche es de cinco anos de edad.  – “My car is five years old.”

Trump es una vacuo bolsa de gas, y teine muy cabello loco. – “Trump is a vacuous gasbag, and has crazy hair.”

El periódico Playboy no es mismo sin fotos de mujeres calientes. – “Playboy ain’t the same since they took out the hot chicks!”

Ka’Pla!  Esta un loco madre*bleep* – “Ahhh shit!  We mixed Klingon and Spanish again!  Please pardon the mistranslation.”

They were supremacist aliens before supremacist aliens were linguistically cool!
They were supremacist aliens before supremacist aliens were linguistically cool!

Yes, I am well on my way to learning this language to where I need to be in order to pass this test.  The goal is to finish the test, graduate from Georgia Southwestern State University, and promptly attempt a Donald Trump Rally here in Atlanta where I can, conceivably , be able to scream Spanish slurs, then wave my Real ID Legion of Doom Identicard at the security officers, and scream in my newly adopted native tongue, in best cartoon supervillain voice, “Yo viaje a universidad!”

Double points to any Spongebob fan who gets that joke!  Triple points if you can actually do the voice.