Friday, September 23, 2011

The Nose Knows

It was that damn Time Magazine cover that set me off.  The shocking one with the pretty Muslim girl on it.  Her nose brutally cut off.  I know it's been months later, but it still haunts me.
     "Somebody should do something," I said recently to my loving wife.
     "What about you?" my wife answered back.
     "Me?  I can't even get myself published in the El Paso Times without writing a column about the editor and three of his reporters.  What can I do?"
     Her challenge, however, stuck in my mind tighter than Rosie O'Donnell in an airplane seat.  What about me?  What could I do?  And what's up with these italics?
     I decided to get on the phone and confront Ms. Terry O'Neill, current president of NOW, the National Organization of Women.  I hadn't seen her since we attended the wedding of Ellen DeGeneres to Portia de Rossi.  We were both admiring an ice sculpture reproduction of a Georgia O'Keefe flower painting.
     "Are you from Tennessee?" she asked me, rather flirtatiously.
     "No, why?"
     "Because you're the only ten I see."
     I'm happily married to my fifth wife, and I told her so.  Ellen saw what was going on, and promptly ordered me to leave.
     "Nobody's switching teams on my watch," she said.  "We've already lost Anne Heche."
     And then Ellen whispered "call me" so that only I would hear.  But I digress...
     Terry was surprised to hear from me after such a long time.  I got right to the point.
     "What's NOW doing about the suffering of Muslim women?" I asked her point blank.
     She pretended not to know what I was talking about.  I continued.
     "For example, there was that woman who was recently accused of adultery and stoned to death.  Another woman was whipped because she accidentally showed a glimpse of her ankle.  Still another girl was beaten because she didn't take off some nail polish after her wedding.  And do you really want me to bring up female circumcision?"
     "There's nothing I can do about it.  None of them were denied their God-given right to have an abortion."
     "But Ms. O'Neill," I said, trying to keep it civil, "Muslim women aren't even allowed to laugh in public.  Muslim women are starving because the Taliban doesn't believe a female should be allowed to leave her home unaccompanied by a male family member.  There was one woman who was shot in the head in a public execution for the simple crime of reading a book."
     "Sorry, but we have bigger fish to fry."
     "Like what?"
     "Like a woman's right to her own body.  Her right to an abortion."
     "I don't understand.  I thought NOW was about women's rights."
     "It is."
     "Then what about those poor little schoogirls who had acid thrown on their faces as they were walking down the street?
     "Were they on their way to an abortion clinic?"
     "No, they were on their way to school!"
     "Then we're not interested."

Fifty Shades of Funny

It's, Uh, Downtown

Since Rick Perry, our own state Governor and future President of the United States of America, has erroneous impressions of Downtown El Paso, it's no surprise that El Pasoans also have misperceptions.
     A summary of a report, titled El Paso Downtown Perceptions 2011 Survey, was presented at the Downtown Management District board of directors meeting.  They were all in agreement that the survey "Sure did have a lot of words," and "Do we really have to read it?"
     Before it becomes available to the public, it will first be presented to City Council, just as soon as they're done persecuting Pastor Tom Brown.
     Like our elected officials, I don't need to read the report to have an opinion about it.  I have my own bad impressions of Downtown El Paso (I swear, I thought that girl was just asking me for a ride.  I didn't know she was an undercover police officer.  Honest.), so I went there myself to talk to the common person and get their perspective.
     "Why don't you come Downtown?" I asked a lady, outside of what used to be the White House Department Store.
     "Uh, I am Downtown," she answered.
     Okay, bad example.  I walked over to the Palace Theater, only to discover that it closed years ago.  What happened to that beautiful, old movie theater where they used to show classic adult movies?  Why am I always the last to know?
     Well, no point in hanging around here anymore, so I went to where the majority of El Pasoans usually go.  The mall.  You know why I went to the mall?
     Free parking.
     "So, why don't you shop Downtown?" I asked a high school girl.
     "We have a Downtown?" she squeeled.  "Where is it?"
     "It's, uh, Downtown."
     The next person I asked was a little more knowledgeable.
     "I don't go Downtown," he told me, "because it's a pit.  The traffic's bad.  The parking's worse.  The only thing worse than the roads are the drivers on the roads.  And don't get me started on El Paso drivers.  The only thing worse than an El Paso driver is an El Paso driver driving Downtown.  To be honest, I wouldn't go Downtown at all, except I work there."
     "Thanks, Mayor Cook."
     "My pleasure."
     After an afternoon of questioning people, I can safely say that older people tend to avoid Downtown El Paso because they want to continue living.  Younger shoppers, well, they avoid it because shopping there seems too much like work.  Besides, they'd rather overpay for clothing that turns them into walking advertisements for brand names.
     What was really surprising were the misconceptions El Pasoans had about Downtown.  One young man I spoke with believed Downtown was a part of Mexico.  Funny, but I've always thought so, too.  Another young man thought if you came too close to Downtown the gravitational pull is so great that you'd be sucked into a Brown Hole and spat out in Segunado Barrio.  Then again, maybe he was talking about the Old Plantation, El Paso's premiere gay nightclub.  And still another young man thought that's where the chupacabra lived.
     "No," I told him, "those are just the shoppers."
     A girl I spoke with said she hated to go Downtown because "only poor guys go there."
     "That's not true," I told her.  "Downtown is full of businessmen, lawyers, and those unfortunate enough to be called for jury duty."
     "Do they have money?"
     "I'm sure some of them do."
     She thought awhile.  "Then I would love to go Downtown."

Fifty Shades of Funny

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sister Cities

El Paso gets a bad rap.
     I read in a recent poll that Casey Anthony comes out ahead of our great city in likeability.  It may be our proximity to one of the most dangerous cities in the world.  It may be a misunderstanding of who we are as a community.  It may be that we get mistaken for Snooki from The Jersey Shore on MTV.
     Who knows?
     That's why, I suppose, our city officials sent out 4,100 copies of a survey to local businesses.  That's a nice round number.  They would have sent more, but they ran out of paper.  They sent them to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, REDCo, and The Red Parrot Topless Bar. 
     I got my hands on a copy of the survey.  Well, actually my ten year-old daughter did.  She was selling lemonade in front of our house when Deputy City Manager Debbie Hamlyn handed her a copy. 
     "Do you want any lemonade?" my young daughter asked, sweetly.  "It's an awfully hot day."
     Apparently, enhancing El Paso's image doesn't mean enhancing it to fellow El Pasoans.  I took the survey from my daughter and looked at it.  In all, it was a total of ten questions.
     My daughter gave the Deputy City Manager her brightest smile.  "Are you sure?"
     "Well, okay," Ms. Hamlyn finally relented.  Heck, she even smiled herself.  "But you're going to have to bill the city for it."
     What the heck, I thought.  I'll fill it out.


     1)  Should El Paso take the first step toward ending its "sister city" relationship with Juarez?  I answered:  El Paso has had "sister city" ties with Juarez for 33 years.  I don't think we should act hastily in severing those ties.

     2)  Maybe you misunderstood the question.  Since El Paso is trying to improve its image, should we do away with all symbolic ties with Juarez?  I would say no.  I believe there's a way to improve our image without throwing Juarez under the bus to do it.

     3)  You still don't get it.  Juarez is one of the most dangerous cities in the world!  Do you want to be associated with that?  I just don't feel that the violence has anything to do with the citizenry of Juarez.  For the most part, the people of Juarez are good, decent people.

     4)  Let me put it another way:  Drug Wars.  Kidnappings.  Robberies.  Extortion.  And I'm just talking about the local political and law-enforcement agencies.  Should El Paso be painted unfairly because we just happen to sit across the border from such a corrupt city?  The problem is, you see the perpetrators, and I see the victims.  Juarez is a good city.  It just happens to have more than its share of problems right now.  But if El Paso works together with Juarez, I'm sure we can solve those problems.

     5)  Okay, I'm giving you one last chance.  More than 8,600 killed since 2008!  What do you think about that?  I fell sorry for the common people of Juarez.  Maybe one day the people responsible will see the harm that they're doing, and that it's in their best interest to build the city up, rather than tear it down.

     6)  Are you kidding me?  Juarez bad!  El Paso good!  Aren't we only as good as what we do?

     7)  Hey, I'm asking the questions here.  This survey is part of an initiative to determine what message El Paso conveys to businesses thinking of coming or staying here.  Then I would suggest we find a way to promote ourselves as the great city we are, rather than try to make ourselves look good by making Juarez look bad.

     8)  You're driving me nuts!  Good.

     9)  What are you?  Stupid?  I don't have to take that.  Do you have a final question for me, or not?

     10)  Yes.  Does this survey make me look fat?  No...  your fat makes you look fat.

Fifty Shades of Funny

I Thank, Therefore I Am

I can't believe it.  I'm still full.  I got four days off for this past Thanksgiving holiday, and I've spent the entire time digesting.  So (since I'm just sitting here, unable to move) I think this is the perfect time for me to reflect on the things I'm thankful for.
     First, I'm thankful to have been born and raised right here in El Paso, Texas.  Early in my life I suffered from an ailment that most El Pasoans seem to have.  It's a mental condition where you think that any other place is better than this place, so I chose to go to college out of state in Mobile, Alabama.  I had a great time and thought that I might continue living there after I graduated.  That is, until Hurricane Frederick dropped a tree on top of my truck.  It was then I decided that moving back to El Paso was better than dying.  Sandstorms were annoying, but they wouldn't kill me.
     I'm thankful for the water shortage we have in this part of the country, and the water resrictions we live under as a result.  Hydration is over-rated.  Who needs a green lawn?
     I'm thankful for the same politicians we keep electing into office time after time.  Same old politicians.  Same old problems.  Same old complaints from a public that doesn't think it's important to get out there and vote.  Not even for something that benefits them.  (I'm looking at you, gay community.)  I'm thankful for those politicians, because I'm tired of working to support myself.  That's society's job.  Who the government is going to tax for revenue once everybody decides not to work and to live off the public dole is not my problem. 
     Speaking of taxes, I'm thankful for the upcoming higher taxes and double-digit inflation.  It will give me an opportunity to be frugal with my money.  Just because the government spends more than it has, that doesn't mean that I have to.  I've seen homeless people eating out of the dumpsters behind Chico's Tacos.  I love Chico's Tacos!  How bad can it be?
     I'm also thankful for all the drivers who go ten to twenty miles under the speed limit.  On the freeway.  In the passing lane.  It teaches me patience.  They add a little excitement to my life and make me a better driver in the process.
     A special thanks to my wife and kids.  They've widened my horizons, introduced me to things I never would have discovered on my own, and have somehow turned my dark brown hair gray in the process.  I've never known such love, and I've never known such sorrow.  It's turned a good life into a great life, and I wouldn't have missed it for all the turkey and stuffing in the world.  And lastly, I'm thankful to my wife's ex-husband.
     Next to him I look pretty good.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cheney. Dick Cheney.

(The following is an excerpt.)

In My Time
by Dick Cheney

September 11, 2001

Prologue:  Special Agent Jimmy Scott burst through the door.  "Mr. Vice President, we've got to leave now," he told me.  My body stiffened at his words.
     Nobody tells Dick Cheney what to do. 
     Before I could reply he moved behind my desk, put one hand on my belt, another on my shoulder, and tried to propel me out of my office toward the "PEOC," the Presidential Emergency Operations Center.  I put my hand over the one he had on my shoulder.  In a fatherly way.  In one quick move I grabbed his index finger and gave it a vicious twist.  I felt a satisfying "snap!"
     Nobody touches Dick Cheney.
     Just then President Bush ran into my office, a Glock in each hand.
     "Dick," he said, forcefully, "the United Sates has just been attacked.  I'm either going to kick ass or chew bubble-gum.  And I'm all out of bubble-gum."
     "Okay, Mr. President," I told him.  I could see the determination in those smart, steely eyes of his.  I put a hand on his shoulder.  In a fatherly way.  "What are your orders?"
     Before he could answer I applied just the smallest amount of pressure.  It was the Vulcan Nerve Pinch.  A trick I learned from...  well, let's just say from some out of town "guests" during my time in Roswell, NM and, after that, Area 51.  Bush fell faster than Obama's approval ratings.
     "Take him someplace safe," I told Scott.  He was still whimpering over his injured hand.  These young pups.  Worthless, all of them.
     He did as he was ordered, and it was just in the nick of time.  Running down the hall at me were Muslim terrorists, and the worst kind, too:  Ninja terrorists!  The White House had been breeched!  Using the skills I learned in mixed martial arts as an Ultimate Fighting Champion, I quickly dispatched them.  I looked up from the dead enemies of America.  Condoleezza Rice stood in front of me.
     "Dick, Dick," she gasped.  "Thank God it's you!"
     She fell into my arms.  I could feel her body underneath that manly suit she wore.  It felt soft.  Warm.  If she were an Almond Joy, then all of her almonds were in the right place.
     "Time to show you a trick I learned in a Vietnamese whorehouse," I told her, eyeing that sexy gap between her teeth.
     Afterward, as we tumbled out of a stall in the men's bathroom, she pressed her dark, full lips close to my ear.  I could feel them brush lightly against the wiry tangle of gray hair growing out of them.
     "Call me," she whispered, seductively.
     "Get lost," I told her, bluntly.  She ran from my arms.  Crying.
     I heard grunting from behind me.  I turned.  It was Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld huddling over the dead bodies.  The smell of blood had attracted him like the mad dog he was.  I could see a vicious glint in his eyes.  And then I saw what he was doing.  He was taking their scalps.  That man was a heathen, but, goddam, he gave as good as he got.
     I went into my office.  My heart was beating fast.  Too fast.  I had to regulate my heartbeat, or else I'd be good to nobody.  I grabbed my portable defibrillator just as my heart gave out.
     "Clear!" I yelled out, and then laughed at my own morbid joke.  I gave myself a jolt of electricity that would have killed any normal man.  Was it painful?  What do you know about pain?  All that mattered was that I was rejuvenated.
     "That felt good," I said to no one in particular, and willed myself to believe it.
     That's when I heard whimpering coming from beneath my desk.  It was Secretary of State Colin Powell.  Hiding like a scared child.  Hurriedly trying to change into a burka.  For a disguise?  Who knows?  I don't want to get into his private proclivities.  I spat on the floor in front of him.  Just like I always do.  He disgusted me.
     I opened the secret door to my private arsenal.  I grabbed my favorite shotgun.  I call her "The Lawyerkiller."  I smiled as I held it in my cold, dead hands.  Remembering the time I used it on attorney Harry Whittington just for looking at me cross-eyed.
     "Don't worry, I'm still your friend," he told me.
     "You'd better be," I told him.
     Down the hall I heard an explosion.  It broke me out of my reverie.  There was gun fire.  And then more gun fire.  My loyal Secret Service Agents were being killed. 
     Nobody kills Dick Cheney's Secret Service Agents.  Well, the terrorist scum had their fun...
     Now it was my turn to play.
(Want More?  Then go buy the book, you bastard!  --DC)
Fifty Shades of Funny

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Death Of Kim Jong-il

It came as no surprise to Kim Jong-il when the Angel of Death came for him.
     "It's your time," the Angel said, holding out one skeletal hand.
     Kim stood up.  As he got out bed he no longer felt sick.  In fact, he felt pretty good. 
     "I guess you were wrong," he told the Angel.  "I'm feeling better."
     The Angel laughed a low, gutteral laugh.  "Look behind you."
     He did.  "Hey," he chuckled, "there's some goofy-looking guy in my bed."  He then took a closer look.  "Oh...  it's me."
     His doctor entered the room with a nurse.  Kim looked toward the Angel, and said:  "I can see their hearts breaking.  We were very close."  The Angel of Death just nodded its head.
     The nurse turned to the doctor.  "Is he..."
     They both cried out in joy.  They were so happy that they both began dancing an Irish jig, which was odd, since neither of them were Irish. 
     Kim was in shock.  "I don't believe it.  They both love me.  My whole country loves me."
     His personal bodyguard ran into the room--gun raised--to see what the commotion was about.
     "Halt!" he ordered.  "Why do you celebrate?"
     Kim Jong-il nudged the Angel with his elbow.  "Boy, are they in for it now," he laughed, spitefully.
     The doctor looked at the guard in fear.  "Our glorious leader has died," he said, feeling he sudden need to change his underwear. 
     The bodyguard looked at him with steely eyes.  His finger tightening on the trigger of his AK-47.  And then...
     The guard cheered, and began doing the Russian dance where he squatted and kicked out his legs at the knees, which was odd, since he wasn't Russian.
     "I don't believe this," Kim whined to the Angel.  "I thought they loved me.  How could they do this?"
     That was the Angel of Death's cue.  He took the recently deceased high above the Earth.
     "Look," the Angel pointed.  It was night.  As Kim looked he saw the continent of Asia covered in lights, except for one small dark spot, and then he understood.  North Korea was swallowed by darkness because he kept his country primitive.  He may have forced his subjects to say that they loved him, but the truth was that they hated him.  Their hearts were as dark to him as his country was.  They hated him.  They all hated him.
     Kim Jong-il sadly looked at the Angel of Death, its eye-sockets an empty blackness. 
     "Will you let me speak to my son a final time?" he asked, softly.
     The Angel's voice was almost delicate.  "As you wish," it said, and then took Kim to his son, Kim Jong-un, his chosen successor.  Kim the elder gently woke his son, and when he spoke his voice was filled with a lifetime of regrets.
     "Launch the nukes," he said.
Fifty Shades of Funny


Thursday, September 1, 2011

9/11 Heroes... TAKE A HIKE!

When President Obama calls, I jump.  It's the least I can do for the man who once saved my life in 'Nam.  So, when he called me in to do some damage control concerning the upcoming 10th Anniversary Celebration of the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City, I said:  "Yes, Mr. President, I'll take care of it."
     He was, of course, referring to the obvious faux paus of Mayor Bloomberg not inviting the First Responders who heroically risked and gave their lives to save fellow Americans in the cowardly attacks that brought down the Twin Towers.
     "I'd do it myself," he told me, "but I'm in the middle of a round of golf.  As-salaam alaykum."
     "Aleichem sholem."
     So this column is for all you 9/11 heroes--police officers, firemen, and, yeah, you guys in the military, too--complaining that you haven't been invited to the table with the grown ups.  Everybody else can stop reading right here.  You can go see who Jennifer Aniston is being dumped by this week on TMZ.
     That's okay, I'll wait. 
     Everybody gone who should be gone?  Good.
     Now, all you First Responders, listen up.  I only want to say this once, and, when I'm done, I'll deny ever having said it at all.  There's a reason you weren't invited to the party, and that reason is...  we don't care about you.  You guys are nothing but bad news, and a sorrowful reminder of what happened that day.  Oh, sure, we like you to show up when the Shiite hits the fan.  Who else are we going to call?  George Soros?  Bernie Madoff?  Get real.  So just stay home and watch the festivities on TV like the rest of the marks on the midway.  You'll only distract us from the true heroes of 9/11:  the actors, actresses, and politicians who have bravely stood up to the greatest enemy our country has ever faced...  Sarah Palin.
     I guess now that you've gone crying to the media we have to include you, but, really...  take a hint.  We don't want you there.  Except for security.
     You won't be missing much.  The celebration will be hosted by Matt Damon.  He'll give a riveting speech about the selfishness of the American people, and why everybody should be paying more in taxes.  He'll then introduce Miley Cyrus, who will premiere her new video.  Quick cuts to the audience will show Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian nodding approvingly.
     Gloria Steinem will speak about a woman's God-given right to kill her unborn baby--or, as Ms. Steinem likes to call it:  "fluffing pillows"--while it's still in the comfort and safety of its mother's womb.
     "I wish I were young again," she'll proudly declare, "so I, too, could murder my child."
     George Clooney--after sincerely telling us we should all be paying more in taxes--will conduct a moving tribute to the recently deceased Amy Winehouse, a true American hero.  We'll always remember, we'll never forget.  Then he'll get on his private jet and fly back to his Italian villa where his supermodel girlfriend will be waiting for him.
     Then it will be President Obama's turn to shine.  From Martha's Vineyard, and through the miracle of modern technology, he'll tweet everyone in the country that, while we're honoring the brave victims of 9/11, we should never forget who the true enemy of America is:  the Tea Party.  "And why aren't you guys paying higher taxes?"
     The Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will take the stage, and, after being made to give it back, will forgo, once again, mentioning God.  Instead, Al Sharpton will explain how 9/11 is all about him, and, together with Jesse Jackson, they will extort "donations" from the white members of the audience "or you're a racist!"
     The finale will be a mass gay marriage ceremony performed by a subdued Lady Gaga, dressed respectfully as the Twin Towers.  The Gaga is an ordained minister in the Church of Scientology, and it's rumored that even Lord Xenu will make a surprise appearance.  When the thousands of gay and inter-species couples say "I do," she'll explode, leaving only a pile of smoking rubble where she had just been standing.  A little black dog will walk over, sniff the spot, but, of course, she'll already be gone.
     So, you see, 9/11 heroes, you are not necessary.  But don't get me wrong, I'm not telling you not to show up...  I'm telling you to get lost.
     We'll call you if someone breaks a nail.

The Aw, Nuts! Humor Blog

I Tax, Therefore I Am

"Mayor Cook!  Is that really you?"
     I just happened to be in Downtown El Paso, happily answering another call to jury duty, when I ran into a familiar looking man strumming his guitar on a bench where the live aligators used to be.
     "Who else would it be?" he answered, putting his guitar down.  "Tell me, what did you think about my State of the City speech?"
     "I can't say I'm too enthused about the idea of having my taxes raised yet again.  Isn't there another way to raise the money we need?"
     "Like what, for example?"
     "Well, how about El Paso becoming more business friendly?  Can't we make our taxes more competitive, so that we encourage businesses to move to El Paso, rather than from El Paso?"
     Mayor Cook put his guitar down.  "You know, this idea that high taxes scares off businesses is really nothing more than an urban legend that's never been proven.  It's a known fact that higher taxes are an invitation for businesses to move into town and become a member of our familia.  The most valued member of any family is the one that you can always hit up for a few bucks.  Google it, if you don't believe me."
     "But doesn't that keep businesses away?"
     "Exactly!  Don't you see, we want to keep businesses away.  It's a known fact that for every one business you discourage from moving into town, you encourage ten local El Pasoans to start their own."
     "Well, how about lowering taxes for the average citizen of El Paso?  The more money we have to spend in the private sector will translate into business growth, jobs, and, ultimately, more money in the city coffers through a larger tax base."
     Mayor Cook chuckled to himself. 
     "That's completely untrue," he said.  "It's a known fact that people with less money in their wallets spend more.  It's one of Newton's Laws of Physics.  'For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.'  In other words, for every dollar you take away from the private sector, you add a dollar to the private sector.  Don't believe me?  Google it."
     It was at this point in our conversation that we noticed two men in white coats walking toward us.
     "Ah," the Mayor said, "I see my security team is finally here.  We'll have to continue this conversation at another time.  If I may, however, might I leave you with one piece of advice?"
     "Of course, Mayor Cook."
     "Leave politics to the politicians."
     With that, his security team helped into a jacket much like the kind Houdini used to escape from and led him away.  I wondered where they were taking him.
     I guess I'll have to Google it.
American Chimpanzee