Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Apologies

The House of Representatives today finally issued an apology to African Americans for slavery and Jim Crow laws 140 years after slavery was abolished. I say it is too little too late. This is an important and meaningless gesture that all involved hope leads to continued racial harmony and world peace and butterflies landing on lollypops in green fields of stuff (but without reparations, of course).

In fact, I think we should carry our penitence a little bit further. I personally would like to also apologize to not only the African Americans but to the Native Americans since neither I nor anybody I am associated with had anything to do with their mistreatment and since their great-great-grandchildren have to live on government -subsidized casino resorts. That obviously is working well for everybody. They ought to have that alcoholism and unemployment problem licked any day now. We could at least apologize.

Since we are apologizing, let's not forget the Irish Americans and the Italian Americans who came over to this country just hoping to make a better life for their families and all we did was enable their work habits. We are enablers in this country and we should apologize for it immediately. Who knows where those poor people would have been if not for us Americans (you know, me and my family)? Why, they might have been able to, oh, I don't know, starve in Ireland or Italy? I am so sorry.

It is also time to make known our remorse publicly to the Midget Americans who came over in their tiny boats The Miniflower, The Nino, The Pint-Sized and the Santa Clauses Lap just to make a little life for themselves and have had to endure more than a little bit of cruelty in word and deed by me and my friends ever since. An apology is just what they need to make up for all of the jokes and Dwarf-tossing and misproportioned bodies that we have caused. Midget Americans across the land should stand up (oh, they are already standing) and accept my apology.

This non-rush to apologize should also include some of the most ill-fated citizens of this country, the Mustachioed Americans. For hundreds of years Americans with mustaches have been denied the American dream because of their choice of facial hair. Employers regularly deny employment to anyone sporting a Mutton chop even today and the opportunities for women with handlebar mustaches in this country lag far behind more apologetic countries in Eastern Europe. Let's save the world and spend precious resources apologizing to all who wear the FuManchu or Dripdown or Goatee or soul patch. Well, never mind the soul patch. That just looks gay.

Did I miss anybody?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I hate it when my prayers are stolen!

Having been to the Western Wall in Jerusalem many years ago, I know what a holy place it is to the Jewish people. Even as a Christian, I recognized the importance and the aura of sacredness that surrounded the wall. When I was there the crowd was intense and kept me from getting close enough to touch it. I was surrounded by fervently praying believers dressed in a way that was foreign to me and seemed to come from another time far removed from my own. At the same time, I justifiably felt that I was the one dressed inappropriately and had barged into an era that I did not belong. Their devotion was impressive to say the least.

As you know, the custom is to approach the wall and place a written prayer in the cracks between the stones of the wall as Barack Obama did recently on his rock 'n roll world tour. With cameras blazing and fans drooling, the crowd parted for Obama like the Red Sea did for Moses and he placed this note, written on his hotel stationery, in the wall:

"Lord, protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins. Help me guard against pride and despair. Give me wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will."

We know this is what was written because someone stole it from the wall minutes after Obama left and promptly turned it over to a local newspaper which of course stopped the presses and published it. This story is just this side of tragic. What kind of person would steal a prayer which is a personal and private communication to the Creator of the Universe? What sort of National Enquirer wanna-be newspaper would dare print the thing? It is a disgrace and makes me embarrassed and ashamed for both parties. The only thing to make this tale more tragic would be if Obama had expected or even planned for his prayer to be stolen and therefore wrote the beautiful imploration with that in mind. Surely that is not the case. Surely not.
I don't often reply to a comment to any of my posts but I had to respond to the first comment by Mr. Anonymous about Obama giving his prayer to the newspaper. I have not heard or read anything about this at all and I would appreciate commenters giving their sources if they have any but for now, let's assume this is correct. Let's assume that Obama gave his permission for people to read his prayer. Does that not prove my point capitally? What an arrogant jerk! If it is true then why put on the show? Why not come clean? Obama never denied that the prayer had been stolen. An Obama Presidency would be the real tragedy. Also, whether or not a person is Jewish makes no difference to the expectation of privacy at the Western Wall or before the Creator.

Monday, July 28, 2008

What's in a name?

The life of every average child is filled with good times and bad. Sometimes as a youth I felt like everybody was picking on me. I'm sure most young people have times when they feel that way. Maybe one is too fat or has large ears or has clothes that are less than the latest and greatest but almost everybody is made fun of as a child by other children. Children are especially good at making fun of names when there is not necessarily anything else to make fun of. You might think that with a name like mine I would be exempt. Not much rhymes with Todd except maybe "odd" or "pod", neither of which take up much space in a child's vocabulary. It was "Toddy Waddy Potty" that was the vicious slander for me. It's just not fair! How could my parents be so cruel as to stick me with such a horrible name as Todd?

As cruel as kids can be, though, do you think if a child has a really distasteful name that a judge should be able to legally change the name against the will of the parents? How bad of a name would it have to be before one could justify such intrusion by the government? I think this name qualifies with ease: Talula Does The Hula in Hawaii. That's the poor 9 year old girls name in New Zealand. Too bad her name was changed she could have hung out with her friends, "Violence" and the twins, "Benson and Hedges" or the blond "Sex Fruit" over at the house of "Number 16 Bus Shelter". They would have heck of a time coming up with a name for their band.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

No what?

I bet my amimals can spell better than you!

I heart Babes

No, not that kind of babes! Babe's Chicken Dinner House. I'm in Granbury today for work and stopped to have some of the best fried chicken and fixin's anywhere. They also have a place in Burleson. The food is family style and I ate enough to feed a family but half way through the meal all of the young waitresses got up to dance. You might think that would be entertaining but you would be wrong today. I enjoy the "Hokey-Pokey" as much as the next man (insert eye roll here) but every time I do the "Hokey-Pokey" I try to add as much feeling into it as is reasonable. These girls mutilated a perfectly good annoying child's song with particular unemphasis on the putting in and taking out of their elbows. They also only partly shook the various body parts, not one of them shaking anything "all about".

When that song was mercifully over, the girl who was my waitress got the microphone and launched into a dreadful version of "Crazy" by Patsy Cline and went around the restaurant singing into the eyes of male customers even holding their chin with her hand as she sang. I looked up from my chicken and noticed how most of the patrons in the place were politeley averting their eyes from this wanna-be budding young star but the girl was looking at and coming toward me! I'm not easily embarrassed but one of us needed to be and so I just smiled as she softly touched my shoulder and sang about how crazy she was for me just like she just did for some fat trucker in the other booth. I love fried chicken but I don't know if I can handle the collateral damage to my psyche from eating at Babe's any more!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The better to hear you with!

And then a little girl fell in this ear and we had to call the fire department to get her out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bush Breath

Then I found out why they call him "Putin" and I had to hold my breath like this!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Coulda been worse

The announcement at church brought back bad memories of one of many embarrassing days in High School. Our Sunday School classes were to compete in a softball game at the Youth Ballpark in Arlington and all I could think of was the last time I played softball in High School and not only struck out but struck out and fell down in front of everybody in the school. Surely, things would turn out better this time.

The mood was festive. People were laughing. Birds were singing and the self-expectation and confidence were high. The bottom half of the inning was spent in the field where luckily nothing was hit my way and I hardly moved. Fine with me. Three up and three down and we headed to the dugout. Several people on our team batted and some did better than others. No pressure if you are a child. No pressure for the women. Pressure for a full grown man.

I hid the shock of my name being called to bat and ran toward the bats hanging on the fence. I grabbed one like I knew what I was doing and jogged confidently towards home plate. I dug my feet into the dirt next to the plate and took some practice swings. Crowd cheers. Pitcher rocks back and lobs. No fancy stuff. Not too fast. Right toward the plate and a swing! I was surprised to not hear the crack of the bat hitting the ball but instead...silence. Strike one.

I vaguely heard the gasps of the crowd and with all of the confidence I could muster I dug in a little deeper in the dirt and took another powerful practice swing. No problem, I just needed to see one. This next one is going downtown! I think I heard my wife holler something. Was that my daughter laughing? Concentrate. Watch the ball. Here's the wind up and a lob straight toward the plate. Big swing! Swish. Strike two.

Two strikes and my head is swimming. This couldn't be that hard but it seems like things are moving too fast and the repressed High School memories are making concentration difficult. I stepped out of the batter's box and batted at my shoes a couple of times like I had seen real players do. Ouch! That was a little too hard. Now I have two strikes and a sore foot and I'm watching the taillights of my confidence fading fast. I step back to the plate and looked at the pitcher. He's old. Maybe he'll have a heart attack on the mound and I won't have to face another pitch. No such luck. The wind up...the pitch...I ain't swinging. Should have. Strike three.

But I didn't fall down! At least I didn't fall down. Right? Right?