Wednesday, February 20, 42 A.B.

Another Week, Another Holiday...

... another Quick Cross-State Trip to celebrate with a few of my closest relatives.

Turns out that there are 15 stops between my house and theirs.  Five in my town; five in a city we pass through at about the halfway point in our 2-hour drive; and five in their town.  I didn't know this before I counted them this time even though I read the newspaper every day.  Harumph.  NO tip for the paperboy this month!

It happens to be skunk mating season now.  The male skunks, I'm told, are traveling long distances as they search for that one and only female skunk of their dreams.  Apparently the female skunks just sit around, waiting to be found.  Kinda like my family used to just sit around and wait for a taxi to find us before we learned one can use a telephone to call a dispatcher and request a taxi.  Why, you can  shorten your wait time even further by giving them the address!  Apparently skunks have yet to learn this.  One wonders how some species have managed to survive as long as they have....

Anyway, during the two-hour drive up to visit my relatives, we smelled two skunks whose search had probably led them to the tires of a speeding vehicle instead of a mate.  This kinda put a damper on our usual Presidents Day glee....

On the bright side: We saw two horse-drawn Amish buggies on our way back.  The Amish mate fairly young, as I understand it, and the parents help bring them together.  I used to believe that might be for religious reasons, but I now suspect it's because they don't want their males ending up under the tires of a speeding vehicle as they go off in a frantic search for a female.

So maybe the skunks really don't need a taxi service and a phone system and all the rest after all; maybe they just need a little assistance from a man named Ebenezer....

Ebenezer: Hebrew for "stone of help."  That's in stark contrast to Ichabod - "the glory has departed."  If you're a skunk and an Ichabod comes along to help, my advice to you is to just hang it up and wait until next year.  Which is the same advice I used to give to the males passed over on "The Dating Game."  With any luck of all, Ichabod will graciously present you with some jam or a new broom as a parting gift and you can just be on your way with a minimum of residual humiliation.

On a sad note again: The city we pass through halfway between Here and There is one of the ugliest cities in all Ohio.  Going through it is like going through a hospice for old and dying buildings.  The only new building within 50 miles of the place is a state prison - three endless lines of barred windows set in an endless wall of bricks.  And behind each one of those windows: A two-bunk hell of unfathomable depths....

It seems like such a waste - so many old and dying buildings in need of rejuvenation, so much manpower going to waste right next door.  If anyone has ever thought to bring the two together, I'm not aware of it.  Maybe all the taxis in the world these days are just sitting around, waiting to be called because their drivers have heard about what sometimes happen to skunks which go off in pursuit of that which they crave?  Why, I bet if just one taxi driver had the initiative to park it inside a prison yard, he'd soon have more business than he or she knew what to do with!

Which reminds me....  On the way back we passed two of those trucks which haul new cars to dealerships.  And as I stared out the window and contemplated the fact that one truck could haul about 8 SUVs without breaking a sweat, I wondered: Why do they only haul new vehicles?  Why don't they haul anyone willing to pay a fare?  You know - they could operate like car ferries which cross rivers and lakes, only these ferries would haul people in their cars from city to city.  One truck driver could easily do the work of 8 car drivers.  And 8 cars on a two-deck trailer take up far less space than 8 cars jockeying for position on a highway.

If I were the ambitious type, I'd attempt to franchise the idea and make a billion bucks.  Instead, I'll let YOU take the idea and run with it in exchange for a mere 10% cut of whatever you net.


Go ahead - don't feel like you're taking advantage of me.  I'm reserving an even better idea all for myself.


In resealable packages.

One grain per package.

So people will no longer have to lift an entire salt shaker when they only want a single grain.

And so if they change their mind between the time they open the package and the time they sprinkle the grain on their food or toss it over their shoulder, they can just slip it back into the package and save it for another time.

Pretty cool, huh??

Well, the idea is mine - ALL mine.

You make a go of it with a chain of Interstate car ferries across the Midwest, maybe we'll talk.  Until then, please read someone else's journal if you're looking for ideas to steal.  Thanks!

I had more I wanted to say, but...   seems I have a sudden craving for some salt now.

And last time I ignored that craving, my tongue almost worked its way through my cheek and ran into the kitchen in a crazed search for satisfaction.

We can't have that now - can we?  My poor tongue might trip and hurt itself!  And here I'd be, too busy tending a big new hole in my face to comfort it.  My local Department of Tongue Services would probably haul my tongue away and put it in a foster mouth if I ever got THAT neglectful!  Oh, that would not just break my heart - it would also quickly break my bank account by forcing me to hire a temp every time I wanted to write tongue-in-cheek.

And you KNOW how those temps will steal your silver fillings if you don't keep an eye on ‘em!

Ewwww - MY eye on an UNKNOWN TONGUE?!


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(©Now by DJ Birtcher after getting tired of waiting
for the journal ferry to come do it for him)


OK, look - I feel bad about keeping that salt idea all to myself.  To make it up to you, here's another idea we can go 50/50 on - what do you say?  Here it is: Car ferris wheels.  They'll allow people to drive their car onto a flat metal platform that's attached to a standard ferris wheel the way passenger cars usually are and then enjoy a quick whirl without ever having to get out of their vehicle.  These car ferris wheels could be placed at strategic spots so that commuters could take a spin every morning if they wanted and STILL get to work on time.  They could be placed along the roads into Disney World and other amusements parks so that people could pull over and have a bit of fun while waiting to get into the park proper on busy days.  They could even be placed along the routes funeral processions have to take between funeral homes and the cemetery, just to make the experience a bit less gloomy for the little ones.

OK, maybe that last suggestion is a bit much.  But I bet we'd make a ton of money just from the kids anxious to see the look on Dad's face when they tell him what they just did with his new Mercedes.

Have your people call my people.


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