Monday, January 23, 2006

"This is the LAST STICK!!!"
...yet another ode to our deteriorating culture...

I read once about a thing called the "Peter Principle", which postulates that some time ago, the human race "peaked" in terms of efficiency and overall awareness, and that basically, it's all downhill from here. You may have heard of the '80s group, "Devo"; that group's philosophy was that we have "evolved" all we're gonna, and now, we're "de-volving"; in short, we're fast becoming a nation of idiots and imbeciles. Well, I saw something on TV today that pretty much confirms that...

I was watching "Millionaire" today; the show where you're asked a bunch of questions, starting out with simple things, and as you work your way towards a million dollars, the questions get tougher. But, the questions at the beginning of each "game" are "softballs"; such questions as "who's buried in Grant's tomb?", for example. Each contestant gets these interrogative "softballs" up through about the $5,000 dollar level, then the questions begin to get pretty rough! To get to a million dollars, you have to answer questions like, "what was the 23rd scientific principle put forth, concerning NASA's utilization of the theory of relativity?" or some such thing.

On "millionaire" today, one of the guests was a young yuppie lawyer from Portland, Oregon. He and his wife, who is also a lawyer, took a year off to see the world. One of his goals was to go on "millionaire" and get some cash to replace the dough they'd spent on their worldwide trek. The first question he had to answer was: "What is a way of saying 'I'VE HAD ENOUGH'?" Included among the four possible answers, was the right answer, which of course is, "This is the LAST STRAW!". A true "softball" question which everyone knows, rrrright? The yuppie lawyer looked over all the choices, and he said "FINAL ANSWER", after he had chosen the phrase, "This is the last STICK"!!!

This picture is dedicated to that wet-behind-the-ears, earnest, but hopelessly dumb yuppie lawyer who basically BLEW IT BIG-TIME in front of a nationwide TV audience of zillions of people. I sure wouldn't want to be in his shoes when he has to go back to Portland and face his co-workers who saw the show. I'm not sure I'd wanna be him and face his WIFE, either. I can just hear her now: "Honey, I love you, but you are such a #@$%$@&**$#%!!!" Honestly, I just about fell off my chair when I heard he chose the wrong answer to a question that EVERYBODY KNOWS! Remind me not to retain his lawyering services if I ever get in trouble!


Proof that we ARE INDEED devolving dept.: I saw a TV commercial last night that literally shocked me; there I was, sitting in front of the boob tube with my slack jaw wide open like a blithering idiot. (I now consider myself ready for the "Millionaire" show, by the way.) The commercial that rendered me in this state of abject SHOCK, was for a new product, being made by the jam manufacturer, "Smuckers". With a name like that, it has to be good, right? Well, it seems that Smuckers is now making READY-MADE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICHES, without the crust.

Evidently, you buy a box of 'em (they're in the frozen goods section); you take 'em home, put 'em in the freezer, and then microwave one of 'em when you get the hungries. I must ask, "HUH? WHAT? WE'RE TOO LAZY TO MAKE OUR OWN PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICHES OR CUT AWAY THE CRUST ANYMORE? ARE WE BECOMING A NATION OF INCURABLE SLOBS, OR WHAT???" Have you ever heard that song, "In The Year 2525", which speaks of automation taking the place of ALL human functions? It's happening, people. The dumbing-down process is in PROGRESS!

I had an embarrassing "gas attack" today dept.: Yep, 'twas time to get gas today. I held out long as I could, but the tank was almost empty. The last time I bought gas? $1.99 a gallon. (I don't get around much!) Today's price at the same gas station? $2.16, at A&D mini-mart. I looked across the way at the burned-out mall where 7-11 used to be; their old $2.00 a gallon gas price is still posted above the pumps. I asked someone today, "is there some kind of crisis that's driving up gas prices?", and he told me, "yep, the George W. Bush administration is in power." Makes sense to me!

Speaking of embarrassing "gas attacks" dept.": Evidently one of them new-fangled diet pills is about to become an over-the-counter "med", namely, "Xenical". It is supposed to block the body's absorption of fats. It theoretically filters out all them ugly fat calories and sends 'em thru your digestive plumbing system. There's the rub, for, I heard on the "radio network news" this afternoon, that this pill can cause "embarrassing intestinal situations". So, if you decide you decide to take this pill...don't eat a can of Crisco Shortening anytime soon, or you'll be "indisposed" for the next month!

Further proof that Rod Stewart is a sell-out dept.: Today, whilst having coffee, I heard that really nice Rod Stewart tune, "Mandolin Wind"; replete with acoustic guitars and mandolins for the first half of the song, after which the entire band breaks in and sends the song to its conclusion. To me, it's a 5-minute masterpiece. Rod himself wrote the words AND melody to this 1971 song, which was on his landmark album "Every Picture Tells A Story". Back then, he was a true original. Now, he's immersed in singing old torch songs, catering to a public that's too burned out to rock, or doesn't remember how good he USED to be. Make that money, Rod!!!

I resemble that cartoon dept.: In the "Non-sequitur" comic (in today's Spokesman-Review, by the way), a man walks by an apartment building and stops to read a sidewalk sign posted in front of a basement apartment. As he does so, he is observed by the resident of that basement apartment who is peering out his window, which is located at sidewalk level. The sign in front of that basement apartment says, "Meet The Blogger, 1am-3am." Well, I don't have a basement, but otherwise, that comic is ME, I tell ya! Although (hopefully) I'll be done with this blog entry by midnight, at least. (It is 6:31pm as I type this)

I caught a fish T-H-I-I-I-S B-I-G (Or, "the one that didn't get away") dept.: One of the stereotypes of the typical fisherman is that, when he tells others of his exploits, basically he catches a fish the size of a guppie, and then stretches his arms out to indicate the size of the fish he caught as he tells how ferocious of a battle it was to snag the monster that bit the hook. Well, pictured below is ONE North Idaho fisherman who didn't hafta exaggerate:

Here's a guy who, in 1947, caught a "world-champion sized" Kamloops trout, one Roger Hamlet, who hailed from right here in good ol' Coeur d'Alene. I look at that creature, and I'm thinkin' to myself, "wow, I wonder how many fishwiches that there fish contains?" That fish must have been a thrill to catch! (I'm assuming it was caught in Coeur d'Alene Lake, but I'm not sure.)

I haven't fished since the 1970's, and don't plan to anytime soon, but here's my fishing story: Our family went out to Sportsmans' Park, at the North End of Hayden Lake one summer, and I was fishing off the dock. I caught mostly Perch, and I'd snagged a bunch of 'em. After catching another one, I cast my line back in the water.

"OOOF!!!", I felt a really strong pull on my fishing pole. I actually had to fight the fish for about 10 minutes, and when I landed it, I found out it was definitely NOT a Perch; in fact, it was a Cutthroat Trout, and a pretty big one. (Not nearly as big as the Kamloops in the photo, by the way). Later on, we had fish for dinner, and I got to eat my Cutthroat Trout. A small event in the course of a lifetime, but at the time, what a thrill that was!


Keeping up the illusion of humanity dept.: Once in a while I have to make a mistake. The pressure of being perfect is just too much to handle. So here, I'm correcting an error, that was, I said WAS, in a post below this one. The A & E network is showing a movie called "Flight 93", NEXT Monday nite, January 30th. Not the 23rd as I'd said. THE 30TH. It's the story about the "9/11"-hijacked plane that crashed into that Pennsylvania field. Should be a very compelling movie. There; hope I fixed that one okay. I suppose I'll make 2 or 3 more mistakes the rest of the year. I'm only human, after all.


Well, other than Kobe Bryant's 81 points in an NBA game last night (which works out to 1.35 points per minute), or the fact that so far, the Seattle Seahawks are 4-point underdogs in the upcoming Super Bowl, there's not a lot to post. I'll be watching the Super Bowl, however. It'll be interesting to see the Rolling Stones at halftime. Will Mick Jagger Break a hip during "Jumping Jack Flash"? Will Keith Richard be able to actually play his guitar while standing up? Should be interesting!


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