Friday, December 30, 2016

Fifty Shades of Grey Hair #50

This has been a sad year for us.
     So many people we have known and loved have gone the way of the Dodo. That's the problem with living to an elderly age. Friends and family go, as the Munchkins are fond of saying, where the goblins go.
     I say all that because the pastor of our church has recently gone to his great reward, so we must find a new church to go to. This is not as easily done as said, you know. There was one church in particular we were interested in joining, but...
     "We have a special requirement for new parishioners," the pastor informed us. "You must abstain from having sex for two weeks."
     Heck, we're old, so we agreed.
     "It shouldn't be too hard," I told Christian.
     "That's what she said," Christian told me back, so we left and came back at the end of two weeks.
     "Well," the pastor asked us, "were you able to abstain from sex for the two weeks?"
     "No Pastor," Christian replied sadly, "we were not able to go without sex for the two weeks."
     The pastor was shocked.
     "What happened?" he wanted to know.
     You know, for a pastor he sure does concern himself with the sex lives of others a lot.
     "You see," Christian explained, "as my wife Ana was reaching for something from the top shelf, she dropped it. And when she bent over to pick it up, well, two weeks is two weeks. I was so overcome with lust I took her the way Grant took Richmond right then and there."
     The pastor shook his head in disbelief.
     "You understand, of course, that this means you will not be welcome in our church," he told us.
     "Yeah, well," I admitted, "we're not welcome at the grocery store anymore either."
American Chimpanzee

Monday, December 26, 2016

It's A Wonderful Legacy

Somewhere... in the cosmos...
"You sent for me, sir?
"Yes, Clarence. A man down on Earth needs our help."
"Splendid! Maybe then, sir, maybe then I'll get my wings?"

     It was Christmas Eve and President Obama was sitting in the Oval Office brooding. Come the new year, he would be out and a new president would be sworn in, but there was so much left to do.
     So much left to do.
     Like every president who served before him, he worried about his legacy these last few days in public office. Was he too hard on Israel? Too easy on radical Islam? Should he have secured the border and fixed the ailing economy? Was it wise to bring potential terrorists possibly disguised as political refugees into the country?
     Well, it was too late now. History would judge him by the results of his efforts, not by the nobility of his intentions.
     "Oh, my," a voice said. "Aren't we sad."
     Obama jumped.
     "Who are you?" he yelped. "How did you get in here?"
     Obama knew his words were weak, but they were all he had.
     "I'm Clarence," the little man said. "Your guardian angel."
     "Oh..." Obama said, getting his self-assurance back, "my guardian angel. Why didn't you say so? HELP! HELP! SECURITY!"
     "Your secret service cannot hear you."
     "Are they frozen in time?"
     "No, they're busy watching Little Lupe videos. She reminds them of the good times they used to have at the Hotel Caribe in Cartegena, Columbia."
     Obama shrugged in defeat. He knew it was true.
     "Well, what do you want? What do you want from the most powerful man in the world?"
     "Just a few moments of your time. Come," the rumpled man said. "Come with me to the future."
      Obama thought for a second, remembering a conservation he once had with string-theory physicist Dr. Michio Kaku, and then asked, "Is it really our future or just one of many possible futures?"
     Clarence closed his eyes, and then spoke sagely.
     "Always in motion, is the future," he said. "Difficult to see."
     Obama lifted a skeptical eyebrow.
     "You're quoting Yoda?"
     "Quote Star Wars, I must. Ye-esss, hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee."

     The rumpled man hobbled over to one section of the office and opened the false wall, a hidden exit in case of emergencies. Obama thought he was the only one who knew about its existence, but apparently not. Beyond the opening it was blurry, hazy. A mist billowed off the ground about three feet. Obama wasn't sure if he should go any further.
     "Barry!" came a barking at the door proper. It was his wife, Michelle. "I know you're in there, Barry! Quit crying and come to bed!"
     "Hey! Wait for me!" Clarence cried out, as the president ran past him into the unknown.
     Obama stood there, on the other side. On the other side of what? he thought to himself. Obama looked around. All he could see were shifting images, moving past and melding into each other. It was a visual whirlpool of displaced perceptions, all of it swirling around him. He was at a focal point, but a focal point of what, exactly?
     "Of time," Clarence explained, finally catching up. "Einstein once said that time was created so everything wouldn't happen at once. Well, this is where everything happens at once."
     "I understand," Obama said, not understanding.
     "Follow me," the little man said, walking in one direction.
     "Okay," Obama agreed, walking in the other.
     "NO! This way!"
     "I am going that way."
     "No, you're not."
     "Yes, I am."
     Frustrated, Clarence followed the president. Ultimately, it led them to one of their destinations. It could have been one of the bombed out European cities during World War Two, or it could have been Ground Zero on 9-11, but it was Israel of the future. Crumbling buildings. rubble on the streets, the smell of death and sewage in the air.
     "Where are we?" Obama wanted to know.
     "Tel Aviv," Clarence told him. "The Palestinians were finally true to Iran's President Amanindajon's vow to destroy Israel."
     "It can't be," the president said, on the verge of an actual emotion.
     "But it is," Clarence told him. "Follow me."
     "Okay," Obama said, and again moved in the opposite direction.
     Clarence sighed, and then ran to catch up. they found themselves in another bombed-out husk of a building. The dead littered the floor. The living cried and screamed for help.
     "Where are we now?" Obama asked, but deep down he didn't really want to know.
     "Do you really want to know?" Clarence asked, as if reading his mind.
     "Not really," Obama told him. "Didn't you read the previous paragraph?"
     "Besides," Clarence continued, "I believe in your heart you know where we are. Still, I'll tell you anyway. It's America. One of your sanctuary cities. with your lax immigration policies, open borders, and influx of tens of thousands of refugees from countries sworn to destroy America, this is the result. You can't embrace a belief system that wants to kill you. Now, please, follow me."
     This time Obama followed, and he saw an America with doctors on street corners holding up "Will Heal For Food" signs. There were Planned Parenthood offices advertising, "Abortions! Two For The Price Of One!" Hospitals were forced to perform free gender-reassignment surgeries.
     He saw a vast global government running the world, their IRS agents dressed like Nazi OSS officers, and our American soldiers reduced to sweeping the streets of foreign cities, chanting, "A clean street is a safe street."
     Cities were in bankruptcy from supporting the homeless, the jobless, the American citizenship-less. Walmarts were closed, churches shuttered, and unemployment and welfare offices full. It was a society where only the bodyguards of politicians and celebrities were allowed to have guns. Obama saw people lined up to become Democrats, because without the "mark" of the liberal they couldn't conduct business.
     "There, Mr. President," Obama's guardian angel spoke, "there's your future. What do you think of your legacy now?"
     Obama wiped away a tear.
     "It's wonderful," he said.

American Chimpanzee
as published in Desert Exposure Magazine

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Fifty Shades of Grey Hair: Merry Christmas!

Well, how rude!
     I was in the mood to cook my dear husband an authentic Christmas dinner from scratch, just like in the early days of our marriage, so I went to the butcher shop to pick a fresh Christmas goose.
     "Howdy, ma'am," the butcher greeted me. "Happy holidays."
     "And a happy holiday to you, too," I answered holidayedly. "Are your geese fresh?"
     "You bet they are," the butcher assured me, and pointed me in their direction.
     I made my way over to them, but, wanting to make sure I got the freshest one, I lifted the drumstick of the first bird I came to and took a good sniff.
     "Pee-yew!" I said, holding my nose. No wonder they're called "fowl."
     Well, that might have just been a bad first choice, so I lifted the drumstick of the second goose in line and once again took a good sniff.
     "Pee-yew!" I said.
     "Hey, lady!" the butcher interrupted. "Do you think you could pass that test?"
American Chimpanzee

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

America's The Problem

In a world where the Taliban throws acid in the faces of young girls and women to keep them from going to school or getting an education, it's refreshing to read a newspaper article about Muslim women in the United States learning how to defend themselves against Americans.
     When a press-hog like the then-15-year-old Muslim schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai grabs all the headlines for having the good fortune of being shot in the head (for being an education advocate in the Muslim country of Pakistan), let's all remember she survived what should have been a fatal gunshot. Besides, she didn't choose to be shot. In fact, given the choice, I'm sure she would have chosen not to have been shot.
     What kind of hero is that?
     Even the Nobel Prize committee, while nominating her for their Peace Prize, didn't feel she deserved to win. Instead they gave it to President Obama for... for...
     Well, I really don't know what for, but whatever it was, I'm sure he deserved it.
     Here's an excerpt of that newspaper article by Max Nesterak of Minnesota Public Radio (with additional commentary added by me).
     ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA--With the number of hate crimes targeting Muslims on the rise in the U.S., some Muslim-Americans are responding by taking self-defense courses.

Cemse Allak was a pregnant 35-year-old Muslim woman in Turkey. She was stoned to death by her brother and 4 other relatives. She remained semi-conscious for 7 months with her skull crushed, but her unborn baby died 6 weeks after the attack. It was alleged that she committed adultery, but it was more likely that she was raped.
Her brother said it didn't matter either way.
     Nausheena Hussain organized a self-defense class last weekend in Findley, Minnesota, because she wanted her fell0w Muslim women to be prepared for the worst.
In the country of Turkey, 16-year-old Naile Erdas was shot to death by a group consisting of her father, mother, brother, and two uncles all because she had the bad judgement to get pregnant after being raped.
     "Given the sort of negative national rhetoric around Muslims we've been seeing across the nation...
In the country of Syria, 16-year-old Zahra al-Azzo was stabbed 5 times in the head and back for lacking the foresight to not get kidnapped and raped. This punish-the-rape-victim thing in Muslim countries sure does seem to be a recurring theme, doesn't it?
...we wanted to make sure we could prepare the women just in case something were to happen," said Hussain, executive director of RISE (Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment.).
In Iraq, two female teens were doused with boiling water and shot to death by their father, all because he suspected they were having sex.
Well, as it turned out this Iraqi Sherlock bin Laden was wrong. A medical examination that was conducted before they were buried showed that they were still both virgins.
Oh, well. Mistakes happen.
     The Saturday class at Al-Amal School class was taught by Brooklyn Park police Sgt. Toni Weinbeck,
An eloping. Saira Bano, 19, was shot to death by her brother. Apparently, he didn't care for the fact that she had married a non-Muslim.
In the Muslim countries, when you say, "till death do you part," it means "till death do you part."
Especially if you're a woman.
who demonstrated basic self-defense strategies like punching, elbowing and kicking.
Shawbo Abdul-Razaq, 20, who was shot to death by her father for talking on the phone to someone who may or may not have been a boy.
The father couldn't say for sure.
She described simple safety precautions like being aware of your surroundings and staying in well-lit areas.
In Libya, three girls--15, 17, and 18--had their throats slit by their father because they brought dishonor to their family by being raped by Gaddafi loyalists.
Somehow, I get the idea that in Muslim countries they've got it backward when it comes to who's the victim and who's the guilty party when it comes to rape.
Many of the group of about 20 women who attended the class
In Pakistan, Anvushah, a 15-year-old girl, was beaten and had acid poured over her face and body by her mother and father for talking to an unknown boy.
I guess her parents must have split the torturing/murdering duties, with the father probably beating his daughter, and her mother in charge of helping him pour the acid on her.

said they have already had experiences that make them feel unsafe.
A video in 2012 made the rounds on the internet of a girl in Afghanistan sitting alone on a hillside, wearing a gray shawl, and patiently waiting to be executed by men with guns standing around her.
Hussain says she plans to organize more self-defense trainings because
In Egypt, 10-year-old Jessica Boulous was shot while she was leaving her Bible Study. She was murdered for being Christian.
so many women showed interest in the class.
In Pakistan when a mother and her two daughters--15 and 16--were shot to death by their stepson/stepbrother and his four friends, because of a family video that showed the two young girls enjoying the rain on the lawn in the privacy of their bungalow.
     Oh, sure, Max... AMERICA's the problem.

American Chimpanzee

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Rudolph the Red-Faced Reindeer

I got home from work last year and saw my little girl watching the holiday classic Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
     TWO days BEFORE Thanksgiving!
     I grimaced.
     I'm not saying that particular Christmas special is bad (which it is), I'm just saying the only thing worse was listening to Miley Cyrus sing Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. And the only thing worse than that is watching her dance to it. Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself on YouTube. Anyway...
     I sat down and watched it with her. Why? Because that's what Dads who love their little girls do. As my mind wandered and my eyes glazed over, once again I was reminded of that time, not so long ago, I met a brave little pig.
     I drove down to a farm on Highway 28, because I had heard farmers tended to have attractive daughters with liberal ideas about hospitality, but, instead of a daughter, this farmer had a pig. The pig was missing three of its legs, one of its two eyes, both ears, its tail, and part of its snout.
     "What happened to your pig, Farmer Brown?" I asked the old coot.
     "Well," the farmer says to me, "one night the pig wakes me and the missus up, 'cause there was a gas leak (and I'm not talkin' 'bout my missus). We barely got out of the house when all that gas exploded, creatin' a fire. 'Oh my god! The baby!' I yelled, and the pig runs into the burning house and saves the baby. From all the excitement, my missus falls to the ground. Heart attack! I don't know what to do, but the pig does. He jumps up high and lands square on her chest. Her poor ol' ticker starts right back up again, good as new. That little pig saved all our lives that night."
     "And his injuries were caused by the fire?" I asked.
     "Nah, that weren't it," Farmer Brown explained. "You see, with a pig that brave... you don't want to eat him all at once."
     I think about that pig every time I hear the Christmas song Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Oh, sure, the song starts out happily enough. There's Rudolph. He has a shiny nose. Big deal, right?
     Well, it is a big deal. Apparently, it's a big deal to all the other reindeers. They laugh at poor Rudolph. They call him names. They shun him. And all Rudolph wants most in the world is to be accepted by his peers and to play their stupid little reindeer games with them.
     That, and maybe some green chile from Hatch.
     And what about the adult reindeers? The ones who should know better? Did they step in and stop the bullying? No, they didn't. They weren't part of the solution, they were part of the problem.
     Even Santa Claus, who, as the fat cat in charge of the whole North Pole operation, decided to ignore the problem. If he didn't acknowledge the bullying by the reindeers--both old and young--then it didn't exist.
     Finally, a greater power interceded. No, I'm not talking about Governor Susana Martinez. I'm talking about a blizzard so huge Kim Kardashian would barely be able to hide it behind her, ahem, talent. Christmas, it seemed, would have to be cancelled.
     Santa, in probably the first kind words he ever spoke to Rudolph, finally acknowledges his "special" reindeer, and asks him to guide his sleigh that night for what is essentially a suicide mission.
     Like a Japanese kamikaze pilot from World War II, Rudolph agrees, and Christmas is saved. Santa collects his bonus, and Rudolph... well, then and only then do all the reindeers love him. You know what I think about that?
     Too little. Too late.
     In the first place, Santa lives in the north Pole. He's been doing this Christmas thing for centuries. You would think he'd have a plan B for what happens when the snow starts to fall, which is EVERY DAY. Secondly, well, there is no secondly. I just wanted to use the phrase "in the first place" to make my point seem more important than it was.
     If I were Rudolph, and Santa Claus came groveling up to me after years of neglect and abuse--POW!--right in the kisser. I would have treated him like the punching-bag he's shaped like. You can take your sleigh and your toys and all your non-glowing-nosed reindeers, fat man, and stick them where the sun don't shine! 
     The song is bad enough. Watching the TV claymation version of it is even worse. An elf is brow-beaten just because his true calling is dentistry? Those elves would rather walk around with rotten teeth and bad breath? And Santa apparently values production on the toy assembly-line over the health and welfare of his loyal workers? Where are the Teamsters when you need them? Plus, I was always bothered by the Misfit Toys. An island filled with irregular, but otherwise perfectly fine toys. Santa couldn't have handed them out to my in-laws? He preferred for them to go to waste?
     No, I've never cared for the song Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and I care for the TV special even less. Especially two days before Thanksgiving.
     My little girl loves it, though.
     Go figure.
American Chimpanzee
  as featured in Desert Exposure Magazine