Daily Limerick
Archives: March 2003

Contains Mature (and immature) Content;If You’re a Minor, Go Away!

 

NOTE: DL has not yet taken the time to put "anchors" into the archives. Translation: You're gonna have to scroll all the way through the long-ass documents (use your "find" commands, squatlicks)!

 

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You'll find a sample limerick below as well as a sample of "Slappin' and Yappin'," our commentary section, of sorts, on our nutty, copiously-corporate-sponsored world! There's also a taste of the "Letters to the Idiot" section! That's right, what began as simply a limerick service is now a full-blown... er, at least a lukewarm attempt at a blog and e-newsletter!

So you've spotted that guy or gal who's causing a dance in your pants--but what, oh what can you possibly say to pick him or her up? "You've got more legs than a bucket of chicken" is nice, but it takes a special kind of person to appreciate it--namely, people who don't know English too well. Perhaps you should throw out a LIMERICK! For limericks truly soothe the soul and part the thighs. If that doesn't work, some quotes from "Slappin' and Yappin'" will surely break the ice.

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***

DAILY LIMERICK 3/1/2003:

Seems fright'ning, but some find it great

one church accepts--passing the plate--

credit card donations.

Today's situation:

they'll even charge int'rest on faith.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/1/2003:

How can E! call Tonya Harding's story, "Tonya Harding: The E! True HOLLYWOOD Story."

So ATHLETES are "Hollywood" now? (I'd understand, perhaps, Dennis Rodman.)

Or does her stint on "'Celebrity' Boxing" qualify her as "Hollywood"?

Very Orwellian, if that's the case. For "reality" shows don't create celebrity, they kill it. (Well, usually when a "celebrity" agrees to a "reality" excursion, the celebrityhood is on life support--so perhaps it's more appropriate to say that "reality" TV dumps the truckload of hay that breaks the camel's back.)

And just a reminder: Tonya Harding somehow turns me on--though I don't feel good about it.

******

SUNDAY DAILY LIMERICK 3/2/2003:

With prospect of Iraqi war on

"stars" feel compelled to take the floor on

debate--con and pro--

through ads and on shows

assuming we listen to morons.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/2/2003:

Take a look at different photos of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the just-arrested, high-level al-Qaida operative. Then recall old SNL's Father Guido Sarducci.

Ever seen 'em both in the same place at once? I thought not...

For those of you who thought that DL/S&Y couldn't positively have a positive effect on society at large:

Do you recall how, at the first mention of activists stripping as a means of attracting notice to their protests, S&Y issued a bellowing, rallying cry for activists of all stripes (or at least, women activists of all stripes) to make this a full-fledged trend?

It's happening!

Never underestimate the power of naughty crackpots...

There was a story on the "News Backburner" this week about some San Francisco cops on trial for off-duty involvement in a bar fight.

The fight was reportedly over a bag of fajitas.

More fuel for those among us who sincerely believe that Homer Simpson in fact walks the face of the Earth...

P.S. Careless spellchecking could lead to "Father Guido Sarducci" being pegged as "Father Guide Sardonic"...

Oh, and for any Taco Bell PR folks out there, "fajitas" could become "faggots."

I won't go there.

***

MIKE'S ACCURSED VERSE 3/2/2003:

A SPECIAL SUNDAY EXTRA SECTION

(IN BLAZING COLOR... IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT JUST RIGHT)

BY MIKE "BOOM" CHMIELECKI

TODAY'S POEM: Migraine

Slick me in liquid,

throw cold heat,

fire in pools.

Smear my face

against these walls.

Painted sleep.

A clock thrown to bricks,

a hand broken stone --

I will know

the quiet of nothing.

The heat's ragged pulse.

Mud in the rain.

[If you'd like to physically thank or berate the poet, e-mail him at b_squirrel@hotmail.com. He will bite.]

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/3/2003:

Rural chubby-chasin' young Dewey

required little to go "ka-blooey."

He'd polish his sabre

oft times when his neighbor

would lean out the door and yell, "soo-ey."

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/3/2003:

Happy three/three/03!

For all you number fetishists out there...

Okay, this story's a bit old--I somehow overlooked it on my "S&Y idea" page in my notebook--but I have to pipe in, anyway.

Toni Smith.

Heard of her? Well, she's certainly no poster girl for Celebrityhood--in fact, she's about at the requisite level for "I'm a Celebrity--Get me Out of Here!" She's a high school basketball player whose recently attained "fame" by refusing to face the U.S. flag during the national anthem and such.

To give her a moniker that's easier to handle than, "That High School Basketball-Playin' Chick Who Refuses to Face the Flag," we can just call her, "A Flamin' Idiot."

There's nothing wrong with voicing your problems with America. (Duh!) In fact, that's why Ms. Moron is doing this, reportedly--there's a history of discrimination in America, and there's the Iraq thing she's not happy about, blah blah blah.

She could write a poem. Or a play. Or a song--whatever. But whenever anybody refuses to face the flag, or acknowledge the national anthem, or burns a flag, or walks on a flag, or makes a g-string out of a flag and puts a "Texaco" patch on it... It's lazy and a brainless cop-out.

Naturally, I'll defend her right to be an utter moron. And the right of the "pro Bush" types bringing their own banners to games. (They've also been tossing food at her.)

But the anti-war folks should be throwing rotten tomatoes her way as well. She makes activism itself look bad...

Speaking of activists, a bunch of Brits went over to Iraq to become "human shields" in the hopes of stopping Brit human shields.

They were initially welcomed by Iraqis. Then some government department started to delineate exactly what they should be "shielding" and the would-be human shields, hoping for gigs shielding schools and hospitals, wimped out and are going home.

Hmm. In our increasingly Disneyfied World, even human shields aren't what they used to be...

I understand that Newsweek published a story about successful black women having trouble pairing up with black men.

(Again, always remember--if Newsweek does a story on something, it was a hot topic about two years ago.)

One of the women it consulted with was Star Jones.

Ahem. Have you ever had the, er, "pleasure" of listening to Star Jones prattle on? Have you seen Star Jones?

Star focusing on getting a BLACK man is a little like a guy bumming smokes on the street--and insisting on Cubans...

I remember hearing about some knucklehead Illinois politician instituting a tax on illegal drugs back in the '80s. I guess the idea was popular in a number of states. The plan was to call on dealers to buy tax stamps for their product, under the assumption that they wouldn't do that and would thus be open to prosecution on even more charges.

I'd forgotten about this. For about 15 years.

Yesterday, I read that Kansas still has a policy--and sales of the illegal drug tax stamps provided a big boost to their state budget.

Most of them, however, were bought by collectors...

Despite their belief that anybody who doesn't see the world their way should die, where aren't Islamic militants ever painted as bigots?

That would be stereotyping Islamic militants, I suppose...

And now for an episode of "Duh! Factor," my "reality" feature that brings you real headlines.

Today's RedEye (put out by the Chicago Tribune) has the bold headline: "Ephedra."

Underneath: "Popular herb has been tied to athletes' deaths. Should you take it?"

I never thought about taking Ephedra. But, now that you paint it as such an attractive option...

Just thought I'd report that, for some reason, I've had no problems switching to the writing of "2003" on checks.

I take excitement where I can get it, these days.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/4/2003:

I've long maintained: Retro is trite.

Which pisses some off--to near fight!

But the '80s vulture

can ruin more than culture--

just look at the dolts from Great White!

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/4/2003:

Madonna is writing, or perhaps has already written, children's books.

I don't think J.K. Rowling has much to fear, however. This is the woman who needed to hire somebody to write such ingenious verse as, "Papa don't preach/ I'm in trouble deep"...

Some genius is producing an "unauthorized documentary" on Anna Nicole Smith.

So, she doesn't do a good enough job of making herself look bad?...

The other night, a bit of "Married by America" hit DL's TV screen. After a few moments (shows like this have the effect of a monkey wrench to the brain--they simply must, somehow, kill brain cells) the channel was switched.

My wife remarked, "I can't believe people would let a TV audience pick their husband or wife! Can you?"

Here's how you tell a TRUE cynic, Slap Yappers. The semi-cynic "can't believe" that these things are on the air. The true cynic, well... Let's just say that my answer to wifey was: "Unfortunately, I CAN believe it"...

There's this apparently hot, new trend (if you believe TV reporters) of shaking a baby so badly that it dies.

The name assigned to this is "Shaken Baby Syndrome."

Syndrome? Doesn't that make it sound like a crowd of germs shake the poor babies?...

I read today of a "high end" dating service called Selective Search. They use strategies similar to those used in "corporate recruitment" to find people dates/mates.

Nothing like a corporate system to "fix" the often awkward, frightening, deception-laden, back-stabbing world of dating.

Actually, maybe this makes more sense than I originally thought.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/5/2003:

A hot baker chick, seeking fun

seduced customers--and when "done"

begged dog-style accosting

'fore shooting of "frosting"

(so she'd claim she made "sticky buns").

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/5/2003:

Here's but one example of how every dark cloud--including a toilet swimming economy--has a silver lining:

Utah, facing budget trouble like everybody and everything else, has had to eliminate its office of "Porn Czar."

I'm not making that up. And, in case you weren't considering the mostly deserved reputation of Utah--it's not the world's greatest job. It's an ANTI-porn type of deal...

I've figured out one of the main things wrong with politics today.

You see, considering that this is America, the assumption is that we got the important laws workin' early and, with time, we'll have less to do on that front. (I should add that this idea exists largely "in theory"--but the general trend follows the idea, if not 100 percent.) The Bill of Rights was real early. Giving women the right to vote, and freeing the slaves, both occurred a long time ago. It took a little longer for civil rights concerning the races and such but... In general, things have only gotten better and better.

Oh, there are always new developments. New technologies. Fine tuning of our general principles through laws. Blah blah blah. In other words, lawmakers should have considerably less and less to do.

But they keep up with the pace--actually, the pace, and the number of lawmakers, has only increased since the time that we needed new laws most.

Outlawing smoking in bars. Forcing fast food places to post nutritional info. Legislative panels on the Internet. Extending copyright laws with Mickey Mouse legislation (literally Mickey Mouse legislation).

Hate to say it, but with time, we're only going to need lawmakers less. And they're only going to grow busier.

Be afraid. Be very shit-your-pants afraid.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/6/2003:

One activist, like a good priest

had no action under his sheets,

which wasn't his choice.

His protesting voice

was really protesting for "piece."

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/6/2003:

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has decided to earmark $1.2 million toward making all of its subway tunnels cell phone compatible.

So instead of, oh, increasing service so I can occasionally get somewhere in a reasonable amount of time, or enjoy a ride without wondering if I've accidentally impregnated another rider... This may be one of those things that's just too stupid to make jokes about...

After penning yesterday's nugget about my belief that legislators are legislating too much, I received a letter than ran a bit contrary to my assertion (see--duh!--letters, below).

Then today, I flip through my newspaper to see that a couple of Chicago City Council knuckleheads--aldermen Bernard Stone and Ray Suarez--are proposing to ban the use of fireworks at indoor events, including the United Center (one of our huge, corporately-named stadiums).

Ahem. The Rhode Island Great White Tragedy would not have been prevented by banning responsible venues from the use of fireworks. More efficient and tougher inspections of venues planning fireworks may be in order but...  Well, SEE?

How come politicians aren't held accountable more often for shamelessly attempting to capitalize on tragedy with Segway-like moron legislation?...

By the way, considering that most columnists write on computers these days, should we not be "penning" columns, but instead "fingering" columns?

Sounds more fun to me!...

It seems there's a growing movement--well, more likely a small movement with very big mouths--lamenting the use of phrases like, "Ohmigod!" Some, still in the year 2003, have this concept of "taking the Lord's name in vain."

Now, if God is so nit-picky, so revved by the concept of throwing out a veritable mine field of silly rules to trip us up, that with all that's going on in the world, he/she is concerned with somebody uttering a form of his/her name without complete and utter awe... Well, in that case, there are only about 3 of us in the world who aren't on the Hell Express, so I wouldn't lose any masturbation time over it...

There's a pair of competing publications in Chicago, RedEye and Red Streak (published by the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, respectively), that were launched in an effort to draw that "coveted" 18-35 year-old demographic into reading newspapers more often. Both featured condensed news coverage and "edgy" material--although sometimes it's more like "wannabe edgy" material.

Readers should know, and should possibly be reminded occasionally, that I recently brought the form of News Limerick to RedEye (before being dumped) and that I've since been published in Red Streak (not with News Limericks, though).

So I shouldn't bash the whole concept too heavily. Partly because I'm self-interested and partly because, well, put it this way: They aren't exactly hard to bash.

But I've had a general theory that, once they stop shoving these in people's faces at subway/El stations, and stop offering them for free in many places... Well, the publishers will find out that people either like to read or they don't. And I've noticed a whole lot of people WELL outside the demographic reading these things next to "coveted" youngsters not reading anything. If it's a free pub, and it's new, and it even TRIES to be edgy, us reader types will probably pick it up, at least occasionally.

Supporting my theory, today's RedEye ran a series of replies to a question posed a while back by a columnist. There were 15 replies published, and while some didn't print the age of the pundit, of those that did, six (over one-third) of them were past the "worthy" age of 35. Some of those were in their forties and fifties--thus completely and utterly useless to those marketing folks!

Just an observation.

***

LETTERS TO THE IDIOT 3/6/2003:

Piping in concerning my comments about how legislators are legislating more and more all the time, when they should be legislating less (or something like that--re-read yesterday's edition if you're confused):

>Actually, scarily enough?

>

>The Equal Rights Amendment still hasn't been ratified by enough states to

>join the Constitution.

That's true. But it's not NEW legislation.

And I didn't say that legislators should stop legislating altogether. And while I agree with everything in the act (that I know of), I think it was dumb to put stuff like legalizing homosexual marriages in with a bill guaranteeing equal pay for equal work. We're a nation still hung up on the Puritan thing--one step at a time.

There are more problems than legislating too much, however--perhaps I over simplified. Poor choices made in determining WHAT is legislated and HOW is another rampant problem.

Then again, who'd have thunk somebody'd take S&Y seriously?

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/7/2003:

The viewers tuned in two-by-two--

though many, like me, did eschew--

George Bush's press briefing,

just a "verbal queefing"--

for over and hour, nothing new!

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/7/2003:

I'm not sure if today's limerick uses the proper spelling for "queefing," so fill me in if it's not.

If you don't know what "queefing" (SIC?) is, well... Ask somebody else...

The U.S.' camp for "possible terrorists" in Guantanamo Bay to opening a ward for terrorists with "mental problems."

You'd think that there'd be more in that ward than outside it.

But only among the deeply religious can a completely whacked take on reality be considered "sane"...

I have to extend a "DL Award for Bi-Partisanship" to the Chicago Reader.

The Reader, like most big city weeklies, is known for it's high levels of liberalism--which is just fine in Chicago anyway, as both dailies are pretty conservative these days.

But in today's edition, the Reader's headline is "War: What It's Good For." (I didn't mistype--it's a take on the song lyrics now ridiculously cliche in headlines across the country.)

The story is partly about how, among anti-war activists, little is said about Saddam murdering and torturing his own people with regularity. Which is a good point--although, good or bad, that "point" is not MY point. The point is objectivity in the editorial process--which is frighteningly rare these days...

I'm ridiculously late with this, but the whole Retro Saddam thing sorta makes it relevant:

In 1991, the anti-war cry was "No blood for Oil."

And it occurred to me the other day: Wasn't it more about the fact that Iraq actually INVADED another country?...

You may recall that I recently decried New York's law fining people who use cell phones during theater performances and such. I figured it may have thrown people for a loop because I've made no secret of the fact that I despise cell phones and what they've done to our lives.

Likewise, you may assume that the reason I critique the whole War on Smokers--far too often, I'll admit--is because I, myself, smoke.

But that's not the reason. I can't say it's not one of many reasons, as no person can be 100 percent objective--but the point is just that: We SHOULD be objective in our opinions about laws and regulations. And that's how cell phones and smoking intersect here, young Slap Yappers.

Most people hear about things like, for example, N.Y.'s cell phone law, and make a personal judgment, ala, "You know, I hate when those damn phones go off during a performance! Hooray for that law!"

But there's another different question that should do more in forming your opinion: Is it really something the government should be involved in? Or can business owners and citizens themselves solve these problems?

Usually, you'll find that it should be none of government's business. Continuing this week's them of "Too Much Lesgislatin'"...

I read a story about cosmetic surgery the other day. It was supposed to be a bit critical about the trend, but it happened to recommend asking your doctor about whether or not its right and/or safe for you.

Isn't that a bit like asking a lawyer whether you should sue over something?

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/8/2003:

Bob Blake and Phil Spector's crime woes

leave one thing that I'd like to know:

Just who are these "stars"

thinkin' that they are--

pro sports stars or big CEOs?

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/8/2003:

Have you noticed that DL has waxed more like a "real" newspaper since adding the "special" Sunday feature? (Not "waxed" in THAT way, mind you--although I imagine fashion columnists and such wax regularly at "real" newspapers. Huh?)

That's right, young Slap Yappers! (In DL's mind, you're all young--or at least immature--at heart.) I've tried to make sure the Sunday edition has especially, er, "quality" S&Y nuggets--and also, usually, quantity. (Am I using quotes too much?)

But there is, of course, a dark side to this situation. Just like the Big Boys, the Saturday edition is often skimpy and often quite cheezy. (Although I expect that most readers don't mind "cheezy" so much or else, well, they wouldn't read this at all!) (P.S. I spell "cheezy" with a "z" for "zing"--I even have a half-kidding poem about the eroticism of cheese! Perhaps this results from growing up so close to Wisconsin!)

However, while many otherwise regular newspaper readers (not regular in THAT way, mind you) skip the Saturday edition of their favorite Big Boy, I happen to like it. It has columnists you don't see otherwise and extra editorial cartoons from newspapers around the country (at least they do in the Chicago Big Boys).

So maybe, while keeping the Saturday edition skimpy, I need my own special angle--like the Big Boys' extra editorial cartoons.

Maybe I'll try to keep up this trend toward buttloads of parentheticals and digressions along the way.

******

SUNDAY DAILY LIMERICK 3/9/2003:

A horned-up young girlie named Kate

had strong tendencies to man hate.

No lez--lived alone

with cellular phones

stuffed into her skirts on "vibrate."

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/9/2003:

Another reminder that there are idiots on each side of every issue:

Many in the Iraqi community of London (would their P.C. name be "Iraqi-Britons"?) took to the streets to show support for overthrowing Saddam Hussein.

You curiously won't hear much about this from those protesting the war...

I read a story about consumer buying being down for February.

Experts blame the weather.

It would evidently have nothing to do with massive layoffs, unemployment and a lack of companies' hiring...

Nonetheless, J.C. Penny went forward with an attempt to draw those consumers in with its National Bra Fitting Event.

Is there a way I can get involved with this? I'm deeply concerned and would even volunteer...

The Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of filtering out porn on library computers, which brings to mind a very important question:

Who the hell looks at porn in the library? I hit the library now and again, and I hit porn now and again, but I don't see such a setting as the ideal place to, er, "enjoy" my porn.

Then again, there are the Pee Wee Hermans of the world, I suppose...

Rosa Parks will be boycotting the NAACP awards. I guess because they will be hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, of "Barbershop" fame and controversy--a flick which featured a character cracking jokes about Ms. Parks which, although they were decried by the other characters in the film, violate some Sacred Cow deal somehow.

I've always found it odd how great American heroes can somehow miss the boat on certain American values. Kinda how some war veterans will clamor for an anti-flag burning amendment...

Although I consider myself an enlightened, tolerant person, I must admit that I fear certain forms of diversity arising in my children.

I mean, I have nothing against... er, "them," and I'd learn to accept a child of mine becoming one of "them," but I must admit that a large part of me really, really hopes that my children don't turn out as one of "them."

I just so look forward to celebrating the holidays in all the traditional ways, looking forward to all those things that most parents look forward to in their children's future lives.

What? You're calling me a "homophobe"? I don't care if my kids become gay--I just hope to God they don't go vegetarian!...

Some of these "save sex until marriage" folks--mostly the religious ones--have a sinister plot, envisioning a world in which nobody really has much sex at all.

Consider this: No sex until marriage. Then, you're married and... Again, no sex!...

By the way, it's easy for folks like Osama bin Laden to be all "sex is just for children!" when Osama has enough resources to knock up a dozen wives left and right...

And now for an episode of Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

A classified ad was taken out for one Mr. Hyancinthus Turnipseed.

A real ad... Or just a plant?

***

MIKE'S ACCURSED VERSE 3/9/2003:

A SPECIAL SUNDAY EXTRA SECTION

(IN BLAZING COLOR... IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT JUST RIGHT)

BY MIKE "BOOM" CHMIELECKI

TODAY'S POEM: Lifting Meadow Dirt

The man, greyed by his years,

lifted his clean shovel

from its chalk-lined place

within the low workshed.

His breath was smoke to-day

without cigarette.

His hands as icing statues

within cotton gloves.

The shovel was a timeline.

The blade of it notched up

by years of trenches dug

to keep the rain in place.

He would feel a sorrow

whenever sharp stone bit

and broke a shovel tooth

across its cold tongue.

He would sense the handle

smoothing with each strike,

digging through the earth,

hacking mountain roots.

Some stones, big as plates,

would balance on the blade

and fall apart as hard-packed dirt

as they hit the ground.

Roots as strange as hands

twisting through the loam.

Exposing husk-like digits

in brown veins made of wood.

He would create standing pools

through the sheer force of his work.

He was glad to know he could

make the rain fill empty eyes.

To-day the blade would suit

a different purpose in the meadow.

Working through the autumn hours

he would level out the soil.

He would break up rotting roots

of a tree too old and near

the line of his straight trenches.

If they dammed the rain's quick way

the meadow would flood over

with the storms of spring and summer.

He would have to wake with towels,

sweep out water through his door.

He missed her most when sun's first light

pricked its way across his eyelids.

To stay this warm these days took layers

when once it took only her presence.

He stumbled on the path,

used the shovel as a cane.

Jabbing lines into the earth

to help sustain his weight.

When he got back from his work

he would clean the shovel free

of mud and dirt and scars and sun,

and the dust's fragility.

[If you'd like to physically thank or berate the poet, e-mail him at b_squirrel@hotmail.com. He will bite.]

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/10/2003:

Thank "Chicago"--the new thing is stockings--

one fashion trend I won't be mocking.

If not hose, these can boast

turn-on where it counts most:

as a perk to a glorious cocking!

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/10/2003:

I read today that, following some ammunition testing or something by British forces, a bunch of Iraqi soldiers came running to surrender.

However, the Brits told the Iraqis that they weren't invading.

And they sent the Iraqi soldiers back.

A bit like taking the convict to the hospital and saving his life before the lethal injection, no?

Oh, that's right! We're still trying to avoid war with Iraq...

There's yet another study out claiming to prove that watching violence on TV makes you violent. Or at least aggressive, in this case. This was supposed to be one of the most comprehensive ones yet. They kept up with people about my age and, when they were younger, monitored how much "Starsky and Hutch" and stuff they watched. The results stem from what these people are like today.

This type of thing could lead to helpful tips for parents and all but, considering the existence of politicians, it frightens me more than anything.

But I have a couple of questions for these researchers and others like them.

First, did they monitor TV watching overall--or just of violent programming? Because my general theory--which, you could say, is bolstered by the "research" of experience--holds that people who watch a whole lot of TV tend to be more troubled than those who don't. This is especially true of people who watched tons of TV during their formative years.

Secondly, do they not do these studies over "sexy" programming because, well, they don't want to send folks like John Ashcroft's little worlds tumbling down? In general, we're far more concerned with children seeing a little nipple or--horror of horrors!--people engaging in acts of pleasure than we are with people killing one another.

It's quite a task to get an NC-17 rating based on violence alone...

I read today about some crazy guy in Florida who keeps pretending he is choking, getting some stranger to "save" him, over and over again. And I guess there's no crime they can charge him with, although many people are disturbed by this.

And it got me to wondering about a local, friendly, neighborhood nutball.

If you've ever hung out anywhere regularly--coffee house, bar, on a poetry scene, etc.--you've probably met a local, friendly, neighborhood nutball, and gotten to know him or her to some degree. I have some sort of magnet, myself, and I've known scores of them better than most.

This guy we dubbed Scraggles J. Spillmeister. Largely because he was (I'm using past tense, but I think he's still around, somewhere--perhaps now in Florida) scraggly haired and, when he first came into this coffee house I hung out at and later worked it, he would get coffee and spill a trail to his seat every time.

I concocted a story about Scraggles. That he was a gay serial killer who would take his soon-to-be victims to the Turkish baths (in Chicago on Division Street), share cheese fries with them and then choke them to death. I tried to convince this one kid who hung in the coffee house, whom we called "Turk," to go on a "date" with Scraggles. I explained that we'd "wire" Turk, monitoring the events in a surveillance van (which we didn't have) and burst into the Turkish baths at the first sign of danger--and in the process, bust a dangerous serial killer.

It was to be "Operation Turkish Bath." But Turk would have no part of this.

I had virtually no evidence to back up my elaborate "background" on Scraggles. But strange things started to happen.

Once, Scraggles struck up a conversation once with me--and I swear he was hitting on me. He showed little regard for women and girls, I began to notice. (Through multiple sightings over the years, his gaiety was confirmed--and also, when he showed up to read at a poetry open mike, we found out his name was "Jay.")

One day, Scraggles struck up a conversation with Turk. He asked all sorts of weird questions about what Turk liked to do with himself and subtly invited Turk on some sort of excursion--which Turk, to our dismay, declined. He somehow mentioned something to Turk about being "choked" years ago.

Yowza.

Enter Will the Legendary Alcoholic. A friend of mine who has left me with many tales. We only knew Will for about half a year before he moved back home, out of state, but he was a real dilettante. Had plenty of money, always, but didn't do much. Talked about getting into graduate school and stuff. One day, we were discussing Scraggles, not thinking Will knew much about Scraggles, not being from around our parts, and Will piped in.

"Jay? I partied with him once. Weird guy. He was obsessed with being choked... Huh? I don't know, I guess he was choked real bad back in the '80s or something by somebody."

I still wonder if we might've prevented some serial killings. We could've borrowed a van...

I try to live life by the moment. Or at least by the period I happen to be in.

Meaning that, while I'm really hoping to land a decent column gig or syndication or what-have-you--in other words, a period of stability, where I can relax and say, "All the hard work DID pay off, like "they" always said it would--I try to remind myself to enjoy what I have NOW. I occasionally look back at times in my past when, if I'd glimpsed the future and some of the things I have today, I'd have been very happy with what the future held. (In fact, concerning some things I've accomplished, I would have called you a "shithead," or something, if you'd predicted I'd now have them.)  And I want to kick myself--"Why didn't you enjoy those times more! You must learn to enjoy what you have in the hear and now, as it's only guaranteed to come around once!"

I've been thinking about this in a seasonal way lately. Many of us live our lives anticipating the next thing coming. Now, we're tired of winter and can't wait for spring. In spring, we may get sick of the rain and long for summer. By mid to late summer, we'll be sick of the heat, sick of mowing lawns or the extra family plans that come with summer, and we'll be thinking, "can't wait for fall!" Fall will come, we'll be sick of raking leaves, a little pissed off that we have to put our coats back on and we'll think, "I can't wait for the holidays! It's cold and all, but the holidays are special!" During the holidays, some of us get pissed off about the extra family obligations again, or the toll it takes on our pocket books, and we can't wait 'til the holidays are over. The holidays end and, well, we're back where we started from.

Etcetera.

A little deep for S&Y, I know. So I guess I'm trying to learn to enjoy the big dark spots on the calendar: January, February, July and August...

I am amid a battle with Daily Limerick.

You see, while I'm sure I'll be doing this forever, for the sheer love of it and the uncensored creative outlet, etc., I also, well, have to make a living and stuff.

I do have hopes that DL will bring... Something someday. Perhaps attract attention when it's a halfway decent Web site. Perhaps it'll grow into much more. Whatever. And I need to work to beef this hunk of crap up and all but... Well, I'll sometimes spend too much time on it.

Longtime readers may note the overall inconsistency of entries. I've went through periods of very short entries, but I think the overall length is growing with time. Strike that--I KNOW the length is growing because I print hard copies of each month!

In a way, it's like an addiction. Oh, I manage to get my other work done and stuff but... I don't even know why I'm telling you this.

I guess all that affects you is: You may or may not see shorter entries as a rule in the near future. And I may or may not completely alienate myself from the concept of "free time"...

And now... Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Real name: Sherwin Footlik.

Another: Frances M. Lickus.

Jest at will.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/11/2003:

A toe-suckin' fiend named Alfredo

'twas best sandwich chef in Laredo.

His number one treasure

combined the two pleasures:

the Bacon, Fetish and Tomato.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/11/2003:

I recently pointed out that the Segway is an invention that represents the pinnacle of modern moronity. I wondered to myself, and (somewhat) in this space, just which individuals or businesses would either a) have the money to waste on such a thing or b) not really have the money to waste on such a thing but be so flamingly moronic as to purchase a device that's very existence casts a dark cloud over all of human accomplishment.

The front page of my newspaper today answered my question.

This "business" in question had me waiting in line for a half an hour yesterday. Guess they don't have the money to hire more help, because the wait was not uncommon. This "business" is also mumbling about raising its rates in the near future--and its last rate increase came just this year.

It could be the birth of the Axis of Moronity: My newspaper bore a photo of a postal service employee delivering mail on a Segway...

A new study "finds" that those "payday loan" companies--legal loan sharking--targets blacks unfairly by promulgating in black neighborhoods.

Now, if I were to engage in a payday loan business venture, who would I be wise to target? Poor people. Middle and upper class people do their loan sharking through MasterCard and Visa. And, in case you haven't noticed, minority groups bear the brunt of the poverty burden.

So, I don't think the payday loan people engaged in secret meetings with their boards, declaring, "We're engaging in a business that, quite frankly, will help ruin people financially--and as long as we're doing that, I say we go after the darkies!"

Another study just providing fuel to the drooling bigots who say, "They claim EVERYTHING discriminates against blacks"...

I spend a lot of time bashing TV. And I'm guilty of shooting at easy targets with that one.

But I rarely take time to mention shows I DO like, so here are two: "Frasier" and "Life With Bonnie." (Although I will admit that "Frasier" has seen better days.)

I in viewing tonight's TV grid that "Life With Bonnie," a newer show, is up against, "Frasier."

I can just hear the network execs: "Damn! They've got one of those shows that makes an effort at creativity, originality and ACTUAL HUMOR on at 8! Do we have anything for that pesky 'I'm not watching something simply because it's on' crowd? Damn that 'Frasier'--less-than-brain dead viewers don't please the advertisers!"

***

LETTERS TO THE IDIOT 3/11/2003:

>Well, I appreciate the time you put into these things, especially today's

>(yesterday's, now). We can't all be on the ball 100 percent of the time.

>Witness Mike's Accursed Verse. :)

>

>BoomChmielecki

In you know anybody, by the way, who is "on the ball 100 percent of the time," give her my number.

Try the veal!

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/12/2003:

Madonna does think she's a writer.

This time, children's tales do delight her.

With this, we're shocked more

than "Sex" from before

'bout all that has been up inside her.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/12/2003:

It should come as no surprise that medical students do pelvic exams on female subjects.

Likewise, it should come as no surprise that they do them quite frequently. Nor that they do them while the subjects are unconscious.

But it may surprise you that these exams are done without consent of the subjects.

Interesting "perks" with that med school...

Speaking of things that may surprise you, perhaps this one shouldn't:

Illinois' governor gave the State of the State Address today.

At noon.

That's today. On a Wednesday.

Did I mention it was at noon?

Not exactly prime time--but perhaps he's courting the Rikki Lake crowd...

Just read yesterday that Gary, Indiana has the best man/woman ratio (as far as single guys are concerned) of any city with a population more than 100,000: a mere 85 males to every 100 females.

Go Midwest, young man!

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/13/2003:

New science lets you cremate your wife--

place her ash, to honor her strife

in diamond, to linger--

wear her 'round her finger

(something you could not swing in life!).

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/13/2003:

The U.K.'s Sovereign Foot Guards--you know, those guys who aren't supposed to flinch while they stand and guard the gates--are under fire from PETA.

And the most frightening thing is that government is listening.

Those tall, bushy hats they wear? Bearskin.

So now, folks are trying to develop a synthetic version.

Soon, every inch of the world will be politically correct...

Having driven the smokers outside--and, in some cases, a specified number of feet away from building entranceways--people have taken to bitching about scents in the workplace. Usually, this involves somebody's overuse of cologne or perfume.

Now, some companies have taken to enacting policies on fragrance levels. And, as ridiculous as this may sound, I wouldn't be completely shocked if legislation is in our future (probably West Hollywood or New York, for starters). Somewhere, of course, a lawyer is already grinning.

I missed the thing in the Constitution--you know, the line about "Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the right to never be annoyed by anything however trivial it may be..."

I try to come up with original insults. Ninety-nine percent of these remain in my head or in Slappin' and Yappin'. Some examples include, "nutslap," "knuckleheaded chuckler," "dickcheese," and "slip diddler."

Today, I came up with a new one that's actually, by accident, a compliment.

Let's just say that, if I'm ever in a position to comment on my sexual prowess, I'll have to say, "If I must say so myself, I'm a real cocksmith."

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/14/2003:

It's dubbed the "Mother of All Bombs."

We've shown it off with much aplomb.

But I'd advise seeking

a therapist's tweaking

if THAT thing reminds you of mom!

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/14/2003:

I gotta say, I just don't like the Smart family.

I know, they've been through a tragedy and all. Now they have their daughter back and that's all good, quite delightful but... I just don't like 'em. One bit.

They're all smiley and weird. And they're thanking God far too much. Tossin' around the word "miracle" far too often. And I think they have a right to show a little more anger toward that drifter mo' fo'. Yeah, yeah yeah--forgiveness is divine, or however that cliche goes. But something's wrong with someone who doesn't show intense anger over that chowderplop takin' his daughter.

Again. They have their daughter back and all that jazz--congrats. Now, please, just go away. I don't like you Smarts...

Why do people feel there has to be ONE reason for everything?

I think it stems from the moronic, black-and-white, liberal-and-conservative, pro-and-anti-, Republican-and-Democrat nature of our society.

As I mentioned last week, the Chicago Reader published a story called, "War: What It's Good For," in seeming contrast to its general "liberal" nature (whatever THAT means)--a story pointing out that, weapons of mass destruction and the U.N. aside, Saddam Hussein has been killing and torturing his own people for decades.

Well, OF COURSE this story generated letters for this week's edition. One letter writer blathered about how we're not gearing up to attack Iraq because of the humanitarian reasons and so... So what?

As far as I'm concerned, if we decided in the '40s to attack Hitler merely because he had a bad mustache... Well, would it really matter? We would've still helped save Europe, and perhaps the world--and put a stop to that Holocaust thing.

But getting back to my original "point," if you can call it that: Who says we have to operate under ONE reason--for this or anything. The way I see it, Saddam's treatment of his people is part of the reason behind the war. If Iraq had open elections and all sorts of smiling, non-brainwashed, happy citizens, I don't think this would be happening.

Of course, humanitarian reasons aren't the only ones here. If this regime were off in, oh, a poor African nation somewhere, or at least not in as volatile a region, we'd probably let it go. And there's the oil, of course. Although you can also argue that, because of that oil, other resources exist, including weapons of mass destruction (as the hipsters are calling them these days) which, of course, aren't such an issue in, say, Rwanda.

If this one-reason-demanding letter writer waxed a tad more wishy-washy, I wouldn't be calling him/her a stumpmuffin.

Oh? I didn't call him/her a stumpmuffin?

Stumpmuffin!...

P.S. My spell-checker suggests "Sadism's" for "Saddam's."

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/15/2003:

A case with bad leads and false starts

kept Liz and her fam'ly apart.

She's back--it's a blessing--

but still I'm confessing

I don't think those folks have much Smarts.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/15/2003:

A couple of tales to make you think twice when assuming, in hearing that somebody "got religion," that it's a good thing:

A Saudi Arabian official went off on a huge rant when it was suggested that Saudi Arabia allow churches in the country.

Although Mohammed himself allowed churches in Arabia, this cat figures Christians can "worship privately in their own homes" and that anybody suggesting churches in Saudi Arabia should be "ashamed."

No word on whether the cursing of anyone's mustache was involved...

Just found out that a major mosque in Iraq has a nice serene, humble name. "Mother of All Battles Mosque."

Kinda makes you wonder what its "bingo nights" are like.

******

SUNDAY DAILY LIMERICK 3/16/2003:

Hollywood actors are givin'

their thoughts on Iraq--and not kiddin'!

As if tough decisions

need help from the visions

of those who pretend for a living!

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/16/2003:

I stumbled across an interesting "Help Wanted" ad today. It begins:

"Organizers. Anti-war activists..." Hmm.

So, we're so apathetic now that we need to PAY people to protest?...

Came across another disturbing nugget in briefing my Sunday "TV Week" supplement.

Paul Sorvino is identified as, among other things, a "poet."

We really need to license that title...

The word "classic" has been subject to abuse ever since, oh, "Classic Coke"--and probably well before that, too, so this shouldn't disturb me as much as it does but... Well, it does.

I'm a little unclear of all the facts here, but there are a number of cable channels that show older, "classic" TV. Last night, one channel was left running in the living room and my wife who--to my utter chagrin--often turns on the TV when going to sleep for the night, had a different one on in bedroom. (I believe the channels involved here were "Nick at Nite" and "TV Land.")

So, I go from one room, where the ingenious sounds of the original "Newhart" are wafting through the air, and enter another room to here, "Well, Balki (SIC?)..." Ahhh!

"Perfect Strangers"? And while I'm on this topic, folks at Nick at Nite, "Coach" is not a blast from the past worth re-blasting either...

The other day, while walking down the street, I spied my Pakistani friend, Mohammed, and my Indian friend, Sanjay, fighting over a sweater. And it wasn't a "nice" fight, or a male-bonding kinda thing. They were really going at each other.

I said to them, "Man! Knock it off! What's your problem? It's just a SWEATER!"

At the same time, they both turned to me and said, "Yeah. But it's CASHMERE"...

And please, direct some well-wishing, prayers and/or bad poetry to Mr. Mike "Boom" Chmielecki--the man behind our very own "Mike's Accursed Verse." He's had some medical difficulties as of late. His e-mail address follows his feature. As if you morons can take the extra 30 seconds to fire an e-mail off to ANYTHING associated with DL...

***

MIKE'S ACCURSED VERSE 3/16/2003:

A SPECIAL SUNDAY EXTRA SECTION

(IN BLAZING COLOR... IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT JUST RIGHT)

BY MIKE "BOOM" CHMIELECKI

TODAY'S POEM: The last few words

The words speak buried pain

like poems writing poems.

Smoke halos around the sun.

Circles and circles and circles.

[If you'd like to physically thank or berate the poet, e-mail him at b_squirrel@hotmail.com. He will bite.]

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/17/2003:

A big limerick day we're now on--

DL 'twas bit by leprechaun.

What lit DL's fire-ish?

He's not even Irish!

(The lep. looked like Charlize Theron.)

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/17/2003:

Here's a "Horned-Up Homer Simpson-esque" comment on today's limerick to kick things off:

Mmmm.... Charlize Theron...

I briefed over the story on that Utah nut who kidnapped the Smart girl--enough to learn that he had penned a "manifesto" in support of polygamy.

You know, I used to like the word "manifesto"--and the idea of penning one. But ever since the Unabomber, the connotation's less than savory...

But I must admit, after viewing some of the Smart family: Those Mormon chicks are hot!

Nutty, but hot.

Which, although I don't have time to go into now, isn't a bad combination, on some fronts...

I was reading today about Illinois' new quest to close some sex discrimination loopholes in federal law.

It seems that, although equal pay for equal work--regardless of one's bearing boobs or lacking boobs--is federally mandated, businesses with less than a certain number of employees, or those operating under a certain overall budget cutoff, are exempted.

So, if you're the little guy, screw all that civil rights crap!

I know that, in some cases, smaller businesses are given breaks to keep certain costs in line, but I'm kinda boggled over the reasoning here...

Idiot Protester Watch:

A sign at this weekend's anti-war demonstration in Chicago read: "Bush, Cheney and Rumsfield--the REAL Axis of Evil."

Now, many intelligent arguments can be made against this war. But painting "us" as the bad guys... Well, okay, you can even argue somewhat that we're "bad guys," er... Perhaps it's more correct to say "unintentional bad guys" because, well, you can label the Bush gang stupid, and again have intelligent arguments, but I think their intentions are good and... Aw, hell.

If these guys are "evil," then Saddam is... what?...

Some new poll--keep in mind that polls really only provide an accurate reading of people who, for whatever reason, actually participate in polls--find that 49 percent of Americans think the First Amendment grants us TOO MUCH freedom.

So, on an unintended front, the terrorists really ARE winning...

Was taken slightly aback today in learning that NCAA basketball actually has a "Mideast conference."

Don't follow sports closely--and flat-out refuse to follow college sports, if and when I do--but I can't help but wonder if this conference is de-stabilizing the league in any way...

Had a funny idea for a TV station: Al Jizz-era.

For the finest in Arab porn...

Now that skin is making a showing after a long winter, I found myself wondering today, "Why do women of color look so damn good in white heels?"...

I received a new computer. As an early birthday present from my wife. A Mac Powerbook.

In a couple of months, I may actually be using it.

This was, as you may have guessed, a surprise. And, financially, a mistake. But I won't go into that.

You see, I can't just turn-on a new computer and Voila! Everything on my old computer needs to be transferred. My old computer is too old to make that transfer easily. I need a variety of chords. Possibly have to call about all the software--likely in vain, as many of the versions I'm running are probably not around anymore, much less on CD.

I'll need chords, a new kinda Zip-thingy, probably new software... Not to mention my personal "system." That is, I need to get way ahead in projects to be able to devote time to figuring out and integrating to a new computer.

And, contrary to popular belief, working part-time and freelancing for the rest of your income does not leave one with buttloads of free time. If anything, it's far worse than the average full-time job.

You see, I have to do things in this "weird" way. I tried to do it otherwise, a little.

My wife, of course, and everybody else, it seems, makes fun of me for not hopping right onto this new computer and getting going. And I started to look into the new model last night, thinking, "Hmm--maybe I CAN just chisel away at it!"

And all sorts of little tasks popped up. I took care of a couple and... Well, now not only am I behind on my freelance schedule, but in barely tinkering with the new baby, I have to fight off this nagging urge to stop what I SHOULD be doing right now and focus on the new computer.

Don't know why I'm telling you all this. Just hoping somebody feels my pain...

And now for Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Read of a (former?) high school basketball player named Tony Smedley.

He hee.

Don't share my mirth? Well, I remember hearing the name "Schmedley" is some cartoon or another. We bandied it about as a funny name as kids.

Well, I'm amused. And that's the whole point of this.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/18/2003:

The wild and the Irish do say

St. Pat's should be a holiday.

But it's March Eighteen

when most who "got green"

could best use the paid time away.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/18/2003:

Okay, Saddam Hussein can't be planning good things for the future and all but... Well, I read something about "compromise" UN ideas, giving him another month or so and, well... Why can't Dubya wait? Would 28 days be enough time for some REAL weapons of mass destruction? Are there bomb warranties that are about to run out?...

On the other side of coin, in some bizarre, killed-at-the-last-second Saturday Night Live sketch come to life (but, I'll admit, an especially insightful and well-written one, at that) Libya is the new chair of the UN Human Rights Commission.

Yes. That's L-I-B-Y-A. I didn't mistype--there's no nation of "Yabli" you haven't heard of chairing the commission.

No organization functions perfectly. And there are occasional fuck-ups with every body.

This, however, may be the Mother of All Fuck-Ups...

It wasn't too long ago that we "lost" Robert DeNiro. (P.S. If you want to see a textbook example of how Hollywood ruins decent stories, find a copy of the original "Meet the Parents" and compare it to the Tinseltowned version.)

Now, Jack Nicholson is appearing in a flick with Adam Sandler.

The Career Reaper rests for no man...

It seems that every time I read about Pamela Anderson--at least in the less conservative/formal sources I peruse--she's identified as "busty."

And it never sits quite right with me. Bustiness would seem to be more of a natural occurrence. "Enhanced" might work better with her.

Or at least add an adverb. "Cartoonishly Busty" might do...

I'm the type of guy who rolls up the toothpaste tube as I go along. As you should very well know, there are two types of people in this world. The other type doesn't care about the State of the Tube.

Anyway, while rollin' the tube today (say--not a bad slang term for...something else) I thought to myself, "You know. I've never been in a relationship with a woman who's a Tube Roller."

Perhaps Tube Rollers and Non-Tube Rollers are simply incompatible.

I oughta start a dating service with this knowledge!...

How the hell does one get the nickname "Corky?"...

How can "Real Sex" be on both HBO and on Cinemax? I don't get Cinemax--is it a different show altogether? Perhaps one that doesn't focus on fat, aging hippies in group sex scenarios half the time?...

And now for Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

James "Big Jim" Kummins. He hee.

There's also a famous one: Irina Slutskaya.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/19/2003:

Bomb shelters are hot once again

for panic's a honkin' new trend.

The Y2K turkeys

with tons of beef jerky

can unload some now on their friends!

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/19/2003:

We need to rise up and fight a horrible action which is about to take place!

Huh? War... What? No! Tomorrow is schedule to be the All American Meatout! PETA folk, Health Nazis and others from the Axis of Annoyance are urging people to give up meat for the day!

We need to counteract this frightening trend!

I'm personally gonna go out and get some meat. Perhaps a ham. Maybe a ham, some pork ribs, a steak and a few lamb chops! I'm not sure exactly what kind of meat(s) yet. Maybe veal--no, even I'm a little put-off by that.

Can you get a good, grilled Spotted Owl anywhere these days?...

Speaking of fruitcakes, I understand that Tobey MacGuire has backed out the next "Spiderman"--Lord knows we need more sequels out of Hollywood--because of a bad back and other physical problems.

Tobey is a vegetarian. I think this is relevant.

Girlyman, Girlyman, friendly neighborhood Girlyman...

A tobacco farmer, pissed off that political correctness is helping to put him out of business, drove his tractor into a lake and somehow disrupted D.C. traffic as a protest.

Some have labeled him "terrorist."

You know, this may actually have some of the Anti-Smoking Zig Heil!ers simmering down. Screw peaceful, intelligent discourse--it's only nutball activity that gets action in this country!

Did you ever hear much disconcertion over bullying before the nutrod kids--themselves victims of bullies--shot up Columbine High?

The times, they are a'changin', folks! "I have a dream"?--Pfft! Nobody's listenin', pal! "I have a gun"?--How can we help you, sir?...

The Tonys ceremony is being extended an hour for this year's event. One reason: To allow more time for the "thank you" speeches.

Nothing ego-masturbatory about the Tonys, no sir...

A quote from the always erudite Saddam Hussein:

"When Saddam Hussein says he has no weapons of mass destruction, he means what he says."

This could be a big scandal here, folks. Saddam Hussein...taking public speaking tips from Bob Dole?...

I have two rules for spotting a movie that's completely devoid of reasons to see. All it takes is a look at its commercial and/or trailer:

The first I've mentioned before: If a "joke" entails having buck-white folks doing "black" things. (Was funny in the 1970s--and a bit tired by the end of the '70s, too.)

And I'm adding another, which occurred to me while seeing an ad for that...whatever-the-hell flick with Gwyneth Paltrow and Mike Meyers (a recipe for disaster by itself): If a "joke" entails chicks dancing "funny"--usually making excessive open-mouth, funny faces in the process...

Last night, I thought I heard a promo for the following television show:

"Dahmer & Greg."

As far as I'm concerned, that would beat the ACTUAL show.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/20/2003:

A movement, of sorts, has the vision

that we should stop all circumcision.

May seem a bit much-y

but some folks are touchy

about from whence they do their jizzin'.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/20/2003:

A NATION FREAKS...

GUFF IN THE GULF...

"TERROR" IS ONE LETTER AWAY FROM "ERROR"...

IT'S CABLE NEWS HEAVEN-ON-EARTH...

(Sorry--just trying to come up with one of those flashy titles for war coverage like the Big Boys due. I'll keep working on it...)

I was relieved this morning to turn on the TV--something I don't do in the mornings, unless there's a war or something--and see Saddam Hussein in a beret.

I saw a picture of him the other day wearing a black, derby-like hat that.. Well, looked uncomfortably like my signature hat.

Couple that with the fact that he's been smoking cigars on TV a lot lately, I was starting to feel like a guy with a Charlie Chaplin Mustache back when Hitler came into notoriety.

Hey, don't get me wrong--I'd love to start a trend. But I didn't want it to start with him...

It's all water takin' out the damn now but... I've long been a little disturbed with the anti-Iraq-war argument that war would "spur further terrorist attacks."

The question is, or was, whether it was a "just" war or not. Its effect on nutballs has nothing to do with the issue. Otherwise, we really oughta knock off this First Amendment crap. That REALLY pisses the terrorists off...

Perhaps THAT explains John Ashcroft's agenda...

By the way, where's this "New Vietnam" that pre-Afghan war protesters were warning us about?...

And journalists, please, knock off the headline puns on "War--What Is It Good For"...

And, while I'm at it, can folks shut up about Bush "stealing" the election? The electoral college issue aside, with all the post-election analyses taken into account, Florida is still hard to call. The Supreme Court did some shady stuff, sure but... My point is that the election was close enough that, if you recounted every ballot in the country--well, it was like two cars racing from New York to Los Angeles and the winner finishing just a couple miles ahead of the loser...

By the way, in case you're wondering why I'm so hard on protesters and such lately, it's because I expect so much more. It's like the 2000 election--I sincerely hated the prospect of Ashcroftian folks returning to power, but with the Dems being the "alternative," I didn't like the message that would be sent in electing the dangerously-borderline-censorship-talking Bush-Lieberman ticket--that the "left" could continue to grow more and more like the right and, no matter what, "progressives" would have to vote for them because they are the "alternative."

And if I were a young man during the whole Vietnam thing and Civil Rights explosion, you can bet I would've been raising some hell. In fact, I was kinda disappointed to be part of such an apathetic generation growing up in the '80s.

But all protests are not created equal...

By the way, I could really go for a Fresca right about now...

And here's an installment of Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Read today of a singer named Kathleen Edwards Failer.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/21/2003:

Iraq-ward, news stations have flew

top journalists--anchors to crews.

Why have the life riskers

be News Culture fixtures?

Let's start with the cast of "The View"!

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/21/2003:

WARRIN' AND WHORIN'...

(Still working on a catchy name for war-related news...)

I was reading today about how Tony Blair helped convince President Bush to wait a while before going after Iraq--just after Sept. 11, 2001.

First of all, I'm compelled to send out an "I told you so!"--since I proclaimed, right after the events, that Bush had his sights on Saddam.

More disturbing though, was a revelation about how Bush, in publicly speaking about going to the UN about the Iraq situation, accidentally said "resolutions" (plural) instead of "resolution," and this somehow contributed to the French idea of two resolutions.

I'm not sure I follow exactly what happened. But the point is this: It all happened over a TelePrompTer error.

Reminding folks again: At one point, presidents actually spoke, and arrived at decisions through the use of, their own minds. The Gettysburg Address required no focus groups...

A headline from today's Chicago Sun-Times:

Chirac Ignores World Atrocities in Power Pursuit

Defiant UN Stance Has Nothing to do With Making the World Better

"So what?" you say? "Looks like a regular entry on any commentary page," you say?

It's in the "news" section of the paper. Not labeled "analysis" or anything, either.

Oh, and it happens to be written by one John Cruikshank. The v.p. of editorial for the Sun-Times.

Just found it interesting...

Thinking about moving somewhere to break the monotony of your life?

Try South Carolina! I didn't know this until today, but South Carolina evidently has put a stop to all crime, fixed the public school problem--why, it's a veritable Utopia!

How else would the legislature have time to pass a resolution condemning the Dixie Chicks for dissin' President Bush?...

It was even more surprising personally, being a Chicago resident, to find that Illinois is actually a Utopia as well.

An Einsteinian state legislator introduced a bill to raise the legal age for buying tobacco to 19.

Evidently, he thinks the fact that an 18-year-old can be prosecuted as an adult and die for his/her country but cannot have a stiff drink does not contribute to a significant enough level of societal silliness.

Or is he among the growing number of busybodies who, capitalizing on the raging success of our War on Drugs, feels its time to inch toward prohibition on already legal drugs?

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/22/2003:

A hot girlie, quite butch but svelte

like the dames--for guys, nothin' was felt.

She'd bring toys that vibrate

on each seeming hot date

packing them in her apt named, "tool belt."

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/22/2003:

This chincey Saturday edition is even chincier than average (is that how you spell "chincey"--rhyming with "Quincy"?)

You see, I lost my notebook. This has happened before--and affected Slappin' and Yappin' before--as well. In this approximately mac-n-cheese-box-sized notebook, I keep everything from grocery lists to phone numbers to "funny" ideas to... Well, MY LIFE is in there!

So I'm not paralyzed! Well, not quite, but seriously addled! More addled than usual!

It's like... My Kryptonite!

'Cept, well... Little things. For instance, I don't have x-ray vision, even WITH the notebook.

But if I did... Whoah!

Screw the whole flyin' thing! I want x-ray vision!

And my notebook back.

Actually, I know where it is. I left it somewhere. But I'm temporarily without it.

I'm thus raising my addled-level to "orange."

******

SUNDAY DAILY LIMERICK 3/23/2003:

"Selective ho'in'" was the plan-a

of nymph ice cream shoppe worker Anna.

Patrons to her liking--

most tall dark and striking--

would get a splits o'er their banana.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/23/2003:

BATTLE PRATTLE...

(Still trying to come up with a running package title for war news, like the Big Boys have...)

As a note to Sunday-only readers: This is an admittedly paltry edition, but earlier this week I "lost" my notebook and, while I plan to get it back, it has all my S&Y notes and... In short, my life, so I'm a little discombobulated but should be back to normal soon...

There's a sentiment being expressed lately that I can't allow to go unchallenged.

Some are saying--recent protesters included--that, now that a war has started, people should shut up, quit their protesting and support the war effort.

Now, I've made more than my share of fun at the protesters' expense, but this is one of the most Bill of Rights-stupid arguments I have heard.

Did Vietnam protesters stop simply because, "Oh well. It's already happening"? I think we all can agree that Vietnam was a mistake. And I think it's safe to assume that the backlash back home was at least partly responsible for us getting out sooner than later. So simply from the fact that we COULD find ourselves in a "new Vietnam"--not that I think Iraq is, or perhaps it's too early to tell--if you were protesting beforehand, you should continue to do so--unless, of course, the unwinding events really do get you to change your mind.

What a moron argument. Did the inventor of the Segway have anything to do with starting it?...

The other day, some bad '80s song was in my head--that may be redundant--and something curious entered the Mental Soundtrack.

The word, "snowball."

Nobody I talk to remembers this--maybe it was just a rural, Northern Illinois thing--but during school dances, we had a thing called (duh!) "snowball." Two people would start dancing and every time the DJ said, "snowball," dancing couples would split and each pick somebody from the crowd, so that the dance floor would slowly fill with a "snowball effect.

I'm sure you find this fascinating. Well, I do. Always learning new things about my Mental Soundtrack...

Had a funny thought the other day:

Mother Of All Blondes.

I hope I can work that into my Porn On Ice idea--which, by the way, I'm still seeking backers for.

***

MIKE'S ACCURSED VERSE 3/23/2003:

A SPECIAL SUNDAY EXTRA SECTION

(IN BLAZING COLOR... IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT JUST RIGHT)

BY MIKE "BOOM" CHMIELECKI

TODAY'S POEM: Beneath the Winter Sky

Colors

flow and filter

upon white, unread books

of weathered waste and winter sky.

Authorship unknown.

But -- we hope -- well-read.

Within snowy, rose-paled pages,

frozen rain covers trees.

Wind awaits leaves.

Colors.

[If you'd like to physically thank or berate the poet, e-mail him at b_squirrel@hotmail.com. He will bite.]

***

LETTERS TO THE IDIOT 3/23/2003:

>Your addled mind really subtracted from yesterday's Slappin' and Yappin'.

I won't stand for this divisive behavior.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/24/2003:

Though prom court decked out in their sharpest

I don't watch the Oscars--why carp it?

Don't care 'bout Nic Kidman's

"Best Actress" decision--

I'd watch if she'd show her "red carpet."

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/24/2003:

KNUCKLEHEADED WITHOUT MY NOTEBOOK...

That may or may not be my standing, Big-Boy-Newspaper-esque "graphic" until my handy notebook is returned...

It could also be a good name for a romantic comedy. Maybe not...

SURGIN' BY THE PERSIAN (SEA)...

(Another pathetic attempt at a war news "graphic," only I have no war-related topics today...)

Here's an example of a Misread that Tells a Truth:

In reading a photo caption from the sports pages today, my first take was:

"...[M]oving him to fifth place in NCAA history for career arrests."

The last word was, of course, "assists." But maybe THAT was a misprint...

I feel obligated to apologize for slighting college sports.

Personally, I don't make time for pro sports--thus, the disparaging comments about college sports. But I watched some of a March Madness game at a friends and realized that it was much more exciting than any NBA game I've seen. My friend also filled me in on some facts, including that most of the games seem to be decided by only a few points.

So I apologize. But I'm still not going out of my way to watch college sports...

Read today that the London Hilton now has an "all women" floor.

As of yet, however, the gender equality protesters makin' a fuss over Augusta National haven't said a peep about it.

I'll keep you posted.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/25/2003:

The sayin' 'bout March ain't no sham

but you can sub one phrase for "lamb"--

to see flesh, we're dyin'

so's "in like a lion

and out...with more slammin' of ham."

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/25/2003:

TRENCHES AND WENCHES...

(Still trying to come up with a news "graphic" for war coverage--although, again, there is no war-related S&Y today...)

THE GLORIOUS RETURN...

(My news "graphic"--just for today--heralding the fact that my notebook has been returned!...)

Let's all sing-a-long:

War... (War!)... What is it good for? GivingtheOscarstheirlowestratingpossiblyofalltime--sing it again--good God y'all... War...

Gloria Steinem turned 69 today. Which should mean something.

Feminist leader... 69... All I can come up with is a year-long festival of oral sex. Women, grab your man and get hummin'!

I'm sure Gloria would support this. Hey, men will reciprocate! No double standard here, no ma'am. But the whole "not enough sex in the world" problem really has little to do with the male sex drive, so, well, get started on this one, ladies...

(I'm a little late with this, but losing a notebook will do that:) Karla Knafel, Michael Jordan's illicit link to the world of male blondeing, issued a statement about the whole legal mess and indicated that her and MJ should still be "friends."

Now, I knew one oddball who somehow managed to remain friends with many ex-girlfriends--and, when I last saw him, there was still considerable speculation on his true sexuality--but, in general, we can assign a high level of ridiculosity to the whole idea. Unless she means it in the same way that 99.9 percent of former lovers do, in which "friends" translates as, "If, by happenstance, we happen to ever run into each other again, we'll maintain an outward appearance of civility."

And in any event, when such a tremendous feat as remaining friends with an ex is possible, as soon as you're in another relationship... Well, put it this way:

Juanita Jordan wouldn't take kindly to Michael occasionally going bowling with Karla, or inviting her over for a friendly barbecue...

I saw a thong today!

On a woman, you knucklehead!

On a strange woman, you chowderslap!

O! Lovely day!

She bent over in low rider jeans and... Well, it's the little things, you know...

And now for Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

There is a military analyst named Francois Boo.

Ahhh!

Whew! Scared me there. But that's his name. "Boo."

Ahhh!

Ahem.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/26/2003:

Our season names fit after all!

When warmth fuels the "show some skin" call

you'll feel quite a "spring"

down there in your thing--

and when coats return, thing does "fall."

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/26/2003:

BULLETS, BOMBS, BAGHDAD AND BOOM MIKES...

(Another pathetic attempt at a war news "graphic"--although there's actually some war "news" here today!)...

The New York Stock Exchange banned representatives from Al-Jazeera from its floor after Al-Jazeera violated the Geneva Convention by broadcasting images of U.S. prisoners of war.

Okay. This violation is subject to debate. It's a gray area.

There's evidently no better way to celebrate American Freedom than to deny the freedom to others...

As part of the media's constant quest to generate more war news, even when there's nothing truly new to say, the media are now brimming with stories about the harmful psychological effects of taking in too much war news. Which, ironically, will generate viewer- and readership from people thinking, "You know? I AM wallowing in too much war coverage! I must read on about this coverage of how I'm taking in too much coverage!"

This "news" story focuses primarily on broadcast news, I'm guessing, because you can pick and choose what you want to read in a newspaper, magazine or on the Web.

Hmm.

Of course, you can also choose what to watch. But don't tell that to most of America.

The truth is, we'd watch grass growing if it were on every channel. (Don't believe it? There's a third installment of "The Bachelor" on tonight. 'Nuff said.) Ever hear an exchange like this? "Why in the hell are you watching SUDDENLY SUSAN?"--"Well, it sucks, but there's nothing else on." Implying, of course, that there is nothing else one could possibly do with his or her time than watch TV.

I even noticed a disturbing term today--we're being "force-fed" all this war stuff.

It's there--so we can't help ourselves. The New American Way blames the Media for the fact that we're watching it.

Sound familiar?

It should.

As somewhere a lawyer ponders the term "force-fed," wrings his hands, and is overtaken with a sinister smile...

Too much war coverage?

Subway and elevated trains of the Chicago Transit Authority have this annoying, automated voice calling out all the stops, as they occur and ahead of time. The Voice also chimes in for delays, managing to aggravate you even more by reminding you every minute or so that you are, in fact, delayed, running late, etc.

Occasionally, there are glitches in this system.

Here's a transcript of a recent ride's ear candy:

"Belmont... Belmont... Belmont... Belmont is... Belmont is next."

I don't think Zen touches on this one, but suffice it to say, the Sound of One Computerized Voice (Accidentally) Rapping is not enlightening in any way, shape or form.

***

LETTERS TO THE IDIOT 3/26/2003:

>Your responses make me want to boycott Dixie Chicks records. But then again,

>so does everything. :)

Since I didn't really mention the Dixie Chicks, or the War Thing... I think you're just whistlin' Chixie, pal.

But boycott all you want--no reason necessary, even. And whenever you see them on TV, look away, look away, look away...

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/27/2003:

Emmanuel--nutboy--did start

assembling a harem of tarts.

Thank God with Young Lizzie

he'd not yet got busy

in his sicko game of "Get Smart."

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 3/27/2003:

LIBERATIN' WITH THE "GREAT SATAN"...

(Yup. Another attempt at a war-related news "graphic")...

(P.S. I wrote today's limerick before I knew... Well, the news to the contrary and... There it is anyway, a curious current events nugget...)

According to the media--and, oddly enough, aggravated by the media--people are having second thoughts about this Iraq war because it's evidently not working out as well as people initially expected.

In short, it seems to be taking too long.

Too long? It's been a little over a week!

It's Domino's, folks, that guarantees 30 minutes or less...

Some study-doing group--curiously affiliated with the travel industry--is claiming that 76 percent of Americans won't alter their travel plans because of current events.

That maybe because, well, since 2000 the economy's been in the toilet, a trip to the airport guarantees hours of bullshit and knuckleheads removing your shoes and... I'm no expert, but I speculate that part of this statistic stems from the fact that about 76 percent of us HAD NO FREAKIN' TRAVEL PLANS TO BEGIN WITH!...

Hooray for the NFL!

Let's face it, football is our national pastime--regardless of any claims to the contrary. And why is football so damn popular as compared to other sports?

The NFL just refused a proposal to add more teams to the playoffs.

By the way, the NHL's pre-season, which curiously eliminates a team or two, is finally winding down!...

P.S. My spellchecker recognizes NFL but not NHL.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 3/28/2003:

Some Mormons due take many wives

some might guess the sex smokes and jives.

I'd think the deal makes

for more "got headache"s

and cuts many years from men's lives.

***

DAILY LIMERICK 3/29/2003:

A boy, lacking nerve, named Orestes

dreamed of a protester quite chesty.

Hung at demonstrations

eyed her, in frustration,

but found that he lacked the (pro)testes.

***

SUNDAY DAILY LIMERICK 3/30/2003:

The length of this war paints it bleak--

polls show that we're starting to freak.

The "Want it NOW!" nation

shows spoiled child frustration--

it's still in its mere second week!

***

MIKE'S ACCURSED VERSE 3/30/2003:

A SPECIAL SUNDAY EXTRA SECTION

(IN BLAZING COLOR... IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT JUST RIGHT)

BY MIKE "BOOM" CHMIELECKI

TODAY'S POEM: Orchids Grow Upon This Tank

Orchids grow upon this tank

from some battle long ago.

Ruined chess piece scorched and left.

Leaves sweep stones, the bones of treads.

Insects glide around the web

that drapes the turret in gray dew.

A curtain catching sun and rain,

the buzz of autumn wings.

Rust or blood upon the hatch?

Oak bough shadows wash its stains.

Metal flakes, scarred and cool.

No longer intent.

Did it trudge through broken streets,

buildings bursting at its stare?

Did crowds rally, varied tongues,

to defy its weight?

If I press against its side

will I hear the threat of bombs?

Will I know the rings of cries

turned to gears for this machine?

Orchids grow upon this tank.

Purple mouths taste spreading sky.

The wind blows gently on their leaves.

They brush the tank as I walk by.

[If you'd like to physically thank or berate the poet, e-mail him at b_squirrel@hotmail.com. He will bite.]

***

DAILY LIMERICK 3/31/2003:

A college kid, night 'fore exam,

sat at his computer to cram.

Junk e-mail cried "Porn!";

a new quest was born

(could say it was "Slammin' the Spam").

***

Visit SLOOP CENTRAL: http://home.earthlink.net/~sloop49

***

In July of 1999, one month before the All Limerick Slam at the 1999 National Poetry Slam festivities, I was bitten by a radioactive Leprechaun and the Daily Limerick was born. Suddenly, my path in life became clear. I was born to be a crusader for uncensored truth, justice and Limerick! Actually, I wanted to get an AUDIENCE for the Limerick Slam I'd be hosting, but I was so amazed at the lack of enthusiasm for the project that I thought I'd send a Daily Limerick indefinitely! Plus, I won the Limerick Slam accidentally and wanted to give something back to the Limerick Community! (Not too much, as there was no prize in it for me!) (And what the hell is the "Limerick Community" anyway?) I then committed to at least a year of the limericks--a milestone I've already passed a few times! At this point, I'm not entirely sure why I'm continuing this, but I have no definite plans to stop--so perhaps I'll do this for the rest of my life, if we have enough "subscribers"!

In late 2000, I added the "Slappin' and Yappin'" section of commentary to the endeavor. I've been a humor writer since...well, almost since birth, I had award-winning humor column in high school and college, I write for and interned at MAD Magazine, I've occasionally sold a column or op-ed here or there, but I've had no legitimate home for the things--hence, "Slappin' and Yappin'." Soon, the "Letters to the Idiot" section followed and, in 2002, we decided to beef-up the Sunday edition, just like the Big Boys, by adding outside contributor Mike Chmielecki's poetry with "Mike's Accursed Verse."

We'll probably keep on mutating from here!

By the way, I guarantee QUANTITY in limericks--one a day. I do not guarantee QUALITY in limericks.

***

If you want to be on Sloop Biederman's, e-list for comedy, sketch and/or poetic performances (in Chicago, Los Angeles, miscellaneous street corners or elsewhere), let me know!

***

©1999-2003 John "Sloop" Biederman. All Rights Reserved.

 

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