Getagripday, Jesterary 8, 40 A.B.

"The Lights Before Christmas  display continues
through Sunday at the Toledo Zoo...."

- Item in yesterday's newspaper


    Geez - is everyone in Ohio trapped in some kind of time warp which prevents all us residents from escaping the '90s??
    Well, thank goodness I at least finally escaped today.  Here's how it can be done: You get a tape of the CBS Evening News and you watch it repeatedly until current events eclipse all those nasty memories of the last 10 years.
    Of course this leads to other problems, but hey - variety is the spice of life, right?

    'Twas last night's CBS Evening News that I watched again and again, simply because it was the most recent available.  Now, instead of being haunted by River Phoenix, writeable CDs, navel rings, and "Yadda yadda yadda" I have 11 new stories and 17 commercials burned into my brain.
    Forgive me for burning them in even deeper now, but I really really REALLY don't want to relive all those problems with the Mir space station.

    First Story:  Danish researchers say mammograms are worthless.

    Well, actually, no.  Only about ten seconds was devoted to that claim.  The next several minutes were then devoted to lambasting these silly researchers for saying any such thing.
    In other words, CBS only aired this claim so that it could urge me to ignore it.
    "Don't think of a white bear."
    Umm, see the problem?  You know, guys, I'd never have heard of the story in the first place if you hadn't brought it up.  I don't read the medical journal the claim appeared in.  If you really wanted me to ignore the claim, you never should have brought it up.  Now my brain - being a simple human brain and all - is uneasy.  Psychological tests prove that when we're asked to negate a belief, we first have to form the belief - and quite often that formation endures.  It's why headlines like "John Doe Never Murdered Anyone" tend to leave us less likely to go on camping trips with John than if we'd never seen his name in print.
    Thank goodness most mammogram machines are too big to share a sleeping bag with, that's all I can say.

    Second Story:  Unemployment at 4.1% - a 30-year low.  Dow hits record 11,522.  Lucent down 30% for week.  Amazon down 22%.

    So, can I expect better gifts for my birthday this year or not?

    Third Story:  Y2K bug causing some credit card users to be billed repeatedly for each charge and purchase.

    Maybe that's why the Dow soared, eh?  Businesses have finally discovered a way of making an endless stream of money off a single sale!  On the other hand, CBS says only about 8000 people have been mis-billed.  Given the millions and millions of credit cards out there, this is probably a lower error rate than usual.  Leave it to the network news people to always look on the dark side.

    Fourth Story:  Price Waterhouse Coopers' auditors and accountants found to be illegal owners of stock in companies they are auditing.

    You mean the Oscars might not have always gone to those movies which a completely objective person would consider to be the best from an artistic standpoint?  I'm shocked!  Shocked! 

    Thank goodness ads for Pontiac's Bonneville, Corcidin cold medicine, SeaBond dental adhesive, and Mylanta at this point gave me a few minutes to gather my wits.

    Fifth Story:  U.S. vulnerable to cyber terrorism and cyber war!  Clinton urges formation of cyber corps to combat the threats!

    I'm sorry - say that again?  I'm afraid I was busy pulling out my teeth just so I too can enjoy the wonder of SeaBond....

    Sixth Story:  Israel-Syria peace talks drag on inconclusively in West Virginia.

    Well, duh!  Exactly what did you expect from the land of the Hatfields and the McCoys?  When you feel like getting serious, come to Ohio like the Bosnians did and get your own Dayton-brand peace accord.

    More commercials at this point pre-empted further philosophical speculations about the precise relationship between the outcome of negotiations and the area they're held in.  Seems Bayer aspirin can prevent heart attacks in men driven to humiliate their sons in games of basketball.  The American Plastics Council wants you to know that without plastics, you'd be ravaged by infections every time you enter a hospital or even catch a glimpse of Chicago Hope.  Scalpicin can relieve scalp itch if massaged all over your scalp while a TV camera is present.  Mitsubishi thinks it's God's gift to those people who believe driving the right car can redeem their worthless little lives.  Quaker Oats can lower your cholesterol level despite what Jefferson said about the need for a wall of separation between church and breakfast.
    At least that's what I think they said as I tried to read lips after pressing the mute button on my remote.

    Seventh Story:  Elian Gonzales continues to serve as a rope substitute for those people determined to play Tug of War.  Congressman says he'll subpoena Elian to get his expert views on American refugee and adoption practices.

    How nice to see so many good Republicans and Democrats come out foursquare against the father-son relationship and foursquare for freedom, democracy, and doing whatever it takes to win the Cuban-American vote in 2000.  That they don't have much, if anything, to say about that boatload of poor Haitians recently sent back to Haiti can only mean they aren't using SeaBond - the wonder dental adhesive that allows one to speak out of both sides of one's mouth without fear of getting one's forked tongue caught on one's wisdom teeth.

    Eighth Story:  Chechnya.

    The Russians say they've stopped bombing because the Chechnyans have chemical weapons.  The Chechnyans say the only chemical weapons around have been dropped by the Russians.
    Hey, it's far away, we ain't got no video - let's cut to a commercial before everyone flips to a Married... With Children rerun.

    Sensodyne for sensitive teeth.  Lysol Daily Shower disinfectant for sensitive feet.  Vioxx for arthritis sufferers.  NicoDerm CQ for smokers who really want to quit.
    See?  You people trapped in Grozny aren't the only ones with problems!  Get over yourselves.

    Ninth Story:  Gore expresses support for campaign manager Donna Brazile after she said Republicans only pull Colin Powell out for show - that they'd rather be shown photographed with black children than feeding them.

    Mmmmmm, come to think of it, Bob Dole didn't become spokesperson for Gerbers when he decided to start making commercials, did he?

    Tenth Story:  Trump and Ventura meet.  Ventura blasts decision limiting presidential debates to those parties and candidates which have the support of at least 15% of the people.  Trump says only death can keep him from running for president.

    My mind drifts...  Visions of Ross Perot and his pointer appear....  "Now just look at this chart.  If Death were running against Bush and Gore, they're be lucky to get 15% of the vote between 'em!"
    Commercials pull me back to reality.  Maybe not real reality, but in these circumstances, I decide to take what I can get.

    Tylenol HouseCall - an ad masquerading as an objective health report.  (Hurts my head.  Coincidence?)  Efferdent Plus.  (I'm feeling more and more left out, thanks to my natural toothiness.  How come Yahoo News never runs banner ads for these products?) - "Because you're a greedy bastard, aren't you?!"  Strong investors.  ("We know what to do with all that money you got from but are too stupid to handle.")

    Finally, the Eleventh and Last Story:  Virginia's quest for a new anthem.

    "Carry Me Back To Old Virginny" has been deemed too full of those charming Southern values that led to the South's getting the crap kicked out of it back in the 1860s.  So they decided to hold open auditions.  People submitted 339 songs.  They selected 8 finalists - including a song by Jimmy Dean, who just happens to run a big sausage operation there and has connections.  I'm led to believe he didn't submit his song anonymously.  If only he had thought to do so!  Or at least given it a half-hearted attempt by signing his entry "The Big Kielbasa" or something.  
    Then again, I submitted my ditty "We're The Ones Without That Silly West Word In Front Of Our Name!" anonymously and it didn't help at all.
    Proving once again that sometimes napping is just the best thing you can do....

    But shoot!  Seems while I've been writing all this in an attempt to keep my mind focused on the present, another newscast has come and gone.
    Once again the past has me firmly in its grip.
    I can only hope that it's encased in plastic 'cause I sure don't want what's been making it so sickly looking.
    On second thought, what I really hope is that it's not using SeaBond....

Embrace The Past If You Dare

Home If You Can Make It

Lick The Future If You Must
But Think Of Me


(©Every Now and Then by Dan BIrtcher)