Monday, December 31, 2007

My Perfect 2008-

At this time of year everyone tries to predict what's going to happen in the coming year. Quite frankly, when I looked around at the state of the world today I found that excercise pretty depressing. So instead of predicing what I think will happen, I am going to predict what I'd like to have happen in 2008. So, without further ado, I present-

My Predictions for a Perfect 2008:

Mitt Romney is found to actually be an illegal alien named Miguel Ramirez, and immediately deports himself.

The New England Patriots stun the sports world by winning not only the Super Bowl, but also the NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup, the World Series, the Indy 500, and the World Lawn Bowling Championship.

Warren Buffet stages a leveraged buy-out of Iraq and immediately flips the country to China. All US troops come home and peace breaks out as every Iraqi finds a good job making cheap American flags and Christmas lights.

Republican Presidential candidate Fred Thompson causes turmoil at the Republican Convention when, after being officially declared the nominee, he gets up and says, "Gee, thanks, but, uh, on second thought, I don't really want to be President. Um, sorry."

Britney Spears replaces Katie Couric as the anchor of the CBS Evening News, and finally realizes how annoying it is to hear about herself on the news all the time.

The first thing rising sea-levels from Global Warming innundate is George Bush's Texas ranch.

A video is released on You-Tube showing Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and Hillary Clinton in a lesbian love tryst, and they move to Vermont where they begin new careers producing organic, free-range goat cheese.

Amy Winehouse and Carrot Top don't do anything, say anything, or get photographed going anywhere.

Bill O'Reilly admits that it's all an act.

Dick Cheney resigns after he is discovered in a Times Square bus station men's room dressed in nothing but a red bra, lacy panties, thigh boots, and carrying a whip.

Donald Trump's "hair" is revealed to be a live chihuahua.

After a tumultuous three-way Presidential race between Rudi Giuliani, Dennis Kucinich and independent Michael Bloomberg in which each candidates receives less than 15% of the vote, a national convention elects Jimmy Buffet as the new President.

During a live interview on Oprah, Condaleeza Rice breaks down in tears and sobs "Oh my God, Oh my God, what have we done to America?!?!?"

Martha Stewart is invited to decorate the White House for the Bush's last Christmas there, spray paints George with gold glitter and then glues him to the top of the White House Christmas tree.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

44th and 6th

I wrote this about 15 years ago after a trip to New York City. I fear it still may apply-

44th and Sixth

The old man stands like a shadow in some deep South shanty,
beer-swilling, Main-Street town,
as he covers his head for the New York cabbies and bus drivers
who pass him every day on his corner as he stands and waits.

He stands on the corner of 44th and 6th,
stands their every day,
to greet the bank manager and his help
as they rush to work.

Go away old man,
take your stubble-face,
and your hunger-stumble walk,
and your booze-sour breath,
and go away.
We don't want you here.
You're not our fault.

A man in a three-piece Italian suit hurries by
and the old man stumbles across the sidewalk,
a smile on his blank, glassy face;
Hey, old man,
don't stare at me from your corner of the street;
I am not your solution,
and you are not my problem..
I have problems of my own.
My BMW is always in the shop;
my club is admitting Jews and blacks;
my accountant is screwing my accounts,
and my wife too, every Thursday;
so get out of my way, old man,
I'm in a hurry.
I need a good stiff drink.
And don't stare at me, old man.
I am not you.

A passerby gives the old man a dollar
and the last half of an uneaten sandwich from the local deli,
and the banker glares at him through his glass wall,
as the old man stumbles away to eat the sandwich,
and to use the dollar to buy some respite
from his reality.

But he'll be back.
In a day, or a week, or a month,
as you pass there again,
scarf tight against the slicing November wind,
the old man still stands,
head bowed,
like a shadow in some deep-south,
pickup-truck, Main Street town,
lost and at large in his reality,
as the cabbies grind by,
and the buses miss him by inches,
and the banker sits behind his glass wall,
because its not his fault.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

"Aim Rocket at the Enemy"

The Season of Peace and Brotherhood and Shopping has ended for another year, and Congress celebrated by giving The Decider another 70 Billion dollars to spend on his war. Since The Decider refuses to listen to good advice, somebody assembled a list of good advice for the troops he's sent into harm's way overseas. So, in the Spirit of the Season we stole the list and present-

Useful Military Warnings

"Aim towards the Enemy." - Instruction printed on U.S. Rocket Launcher

"When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend." - U.S. Army

"Cluster bombing from B-52s is very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground." - U.S.A.F. Ammo Troop

"If the enemy is in range, so are you." - Infantry Journal

"A slipping gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular in what's left of your unit." - Army's magazine of preventive maintenance

"It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed." - U.S. Air Force Manual

"Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo." - Infantry Journal

"Tracers work both ways." - U.S. Army Ordnance

"Five-second fuses only last three seconds." - Infantry Journal

"Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid." - Col. David Hackworth

"If your attack is going too well, you're probably walking into an ambush." - Infantry Journal

"Any ship can be a minesweeper .. once." - Anonymous

"Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do." - Unknown Army Recruit

"Don't draw fire; it irritates the people around you." - Your Buddies

(And lastly)

"If you see a bomb technician running, try to keep up with him." - U.S. Ammo Troop

The World Has Gone Insane-

May, 1953 - December 27, 2007

I had always found it ironic that a male-oriented country like Pakistan would elect a woman as their leader before America would, but now they've evened their slate by blowing her up. But before we in the ever-so-advanced United States get up on our high horses about "backwards" societies, remember that our current Presidential election is still featuring serious discussion about whether Americans even would elect a woman as President.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Wrap-up...

Well, it was an eventful Christmas here at Foggygates. We had the annual Hatfield Luminarium on Sunday night the 23rd, and had some friends and neighbors over afterwards for a very nice French dinner of Beef Bourguignon which Amy spent all day preparing. It rained this year so I didn't get any pics, but a good time was had by all. Then on Christmas we had some friends and relatives from Vermont and New Hamphire here for a dinner of locally-smoked ham, potato & mushroom au gratin, and peas & onions, with home-made lemon tart for desert.

Amy was in charge of all the food- the way we do food here is that I cook during the week, but if anything calls for planning or expertise, she does it. So it was real bummer when she got up with a stiff neck Christmas morning, and then came up from the basement at 9:04 a.m. saying "I dropped the butter and when I bent down to pick it up, my neck went out".

Ouch. I mean, I never had a neck go out, but I've had my back go out in spasms, and it's not fun.

She was barely able to walk, but insisted on presiding over the kitchen all day and, with much help from our friend Anne from Vermont, dinner made it on, and was enjoyed by all.

It wasn't until around 5 pm that Amy suggested we might want to go to the emergency room, as she could not actually move without 10th-level pain.

They prescribed some very nice drugs, and she had a half-nights sleep last night and is feeling somewhat better today- though I went and did the farmer-thang and watered the six horse at the barn. Got horse shit all over my pants and gloves and rembered how it feels to care for outdoor animals in winter, back when I had ducks. You know, it's good feeling, no matter how much ice-encrusted shit you have on you when you get home. Ice is ice, and you live in New England and you expect something else than to wade in horse shit? Fuck it- haul the damn water out in wheel-barrows over the ice to the horses. That's life.

I dunno, maybe it's just what you were raised to...

We're covered in frozen horse-shit, but all is happy here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The True Meaning of Christmas-

Santa was not having a good Christmas. It was snowing hard and Rudolph was hitting the bottle again, but the rest of the reindeer were refusing to fly without him; the elves were staging a work slowdown and Mrs. Claus had told him to go make his own @^&*%#! dinner because she was fed up with him working every Christmas Eve. Santa was wiping reindeer vomit off the floor when the littlest angel barged through the door, dragging the huge North Pole Christmas tree behind him.

"Yo, Fat Boy!" he yelled. "Where do you want me to stick this?"

And so began the beloved Christmas tradition of an angel perched atop our Christmas tree.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Santa Inc.'s Dirty Little Secret-

Questions have always been raised about how Santa funds his extravagent toy give-away, not to mention the pension fund for the elves. Our reporters at MMB have been working on this story for several months, and have finally uncovered evidence of the bitter truth. This is how Santa funds his workshop-

Santa May be a Little Late-

We're all hoping the reserve chute works...

Good News!

The police called- Santa made bail!

Now, after a little fortification, he'll be back on the road.

Santa Spotted!

The kiddies across the world can rest easy this Christmas Eve- the MMB Santa Alert Team has spotted Santa, and he appears to be sober alive and well!

Our photo surveillance team snapped this pic of Santa as he emerged from negotiations with the mortgage broker who sold him the adjustable, balloon-payment mortgage on the North Pole last year-

Stay tuned for updates!

Santa Tracker-

One thing the staff here at MMB Central has learned over the years is that all those centuries of isolation at the North Pole have left Santa a a sick, twisted old bastard a bit eccentric. So we will be tracking Santa all day ("stalking" being a word the court used, be we don't). So keep checking back for updates as we stalk track the jolly man to make sure he makes it to the bar kid's houses sober on time, and doesn't do anything any of us will get sent to Gitmo for regret.

Seasonal Sing-Along-

OK, everyone, it's Christmas Eve here, and that means it's already Christmas somewhere!

So let's get into the Spirit of the Season (I said "Spirit", not "spirits", get out of the liquor-cabinet, T-Bird!) and sing a few Carols-

Good King Sauerkraut looked out,
on his feets uneven,
while the girls gamboled about,
tanned and firm and cleavaged...

- -

"Hark!" the C-E-O's all siiiing,
"Glory to our Golden Wings!
We have Golden Parachutes,"
to help us keep our filthy loot!

Come and all ye poor schmucks rise,
you'll never cut us down to size!
When the Bush-Man does proclaim,
Money's good, and greed's no shame,
Cash! don't call it dirt or graft,
We all got ours; you got the shaft!"

- -

Chuck's nuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost ripping off your nose
Yuletime Carol being done by the choir
And folks out dissin' eskimoes...

Everybody knows
that Holly is a friggin' ho,
and Ronny killed her kids last night,
Fucking cops, if your husband don't know,
Can make you sleep so deep, tonight...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

My Holiday Wish to You All-

I am picking up on a theme amongst my fellow bloggers, and that is one of dissing the Holidays. I find that sad- surely one can ignore the rampant commercialism and all the other crap and still enjoy the holiday season?

I love this time of year. Well, I hate the weather, because I am a beach and outdoor guy at heart, and I loathe being cold, but I love the dramatic snowstorms, the good cheer and the feeling of renewal and hope. I love the parties, and the cameraderie that people who are not knocking each other over the head to buy crap at Wal*Burp seem to feel this time of year.

You do not have to believe in Jesus, or anything else, to take part. It's just a special time of year. One of renewal, perhaps, or being grateful for what we have, and we, as Westerners, tend to have a lot. Perhaps you may just want to light a candle for somebody or something that means something to you.

May you all be happy now, and in the coming year!

PS- this ins't my last post before Xymas- we're home this year, so expect a few more, but I wanted to post this tonight.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Getting Real with Reality

Ever since 'Survivor' first splatted across American televisions like a rotten egg on a windshield (remember how none of us could believe the premise could be real when we first heard about it?) "reality" shows have become weirder and weirder, and whenever I think the lowest point has been reached, some other network tops it. But as low as they've gone, there are still a few depths the network producers haven't plumbed yet, so here at MMB we thought we would.

We proudly present-

A Preview of Next Season's Top New Reality Shows-

"Divorce, Pam Anderson Style" Each week the buxom blonde star marries a new contestant who attempts to stay married to her for the entire episode.

“To Catch an Illegal Immigrant” -Contestants race each other through a mall in Texas trying to identify and capture illegal immigrant workers. Points are deducted for apprehending U.S. Citizens. In Week 1 former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales befuddles the contestants when he guest stars, dressed as a mall janitor.

“Who’s Knocked Up?” -Newly-married couples (hey, this is on Fox, the “Family-Values” network) race each other to get pregnant. Hosted by Britney Spears.

“Dress Like a Ho” -Paris Hilton hosts this new Bravo show which features top models, wearing no underwear, who compete to see how low they can go with their necklines and how high they can hem their skirts without showing “anything”. Contestants flashing nipples or coochie are eliminated, and their photos posted on blogs around the world.

"Who's Mitt Romney Today?" The fun-loving Mormon Presidential candidate takes a variety of stands on popular hot-button issues of the day, as contestants try to figure out what he actually believes.

"American Burger" A table full of hamburgers bought at Wal*Mart contains one burger contaminated with e-coli, but which one? Contestants vie to be the last one not-hospitalized.

Following up on the success of its’ hit show “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”, ABC will allow losing contestants in that show to appear on their new offering, “Well Then, Are You at Least Smarter Than President Bush?”

All right, any additions, anyone?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


NEWS ALERT: Washington. Firefighters searching through the Eisenhower Federal Building in the wake of this morning's fire have found Vice President Dick Cheney's Sense of Decency, bound tightly with duct tape and locked in a trunk in the closet of a remote basement storage room.

At the Vice President's office, spokeswoman Ima Obfuscator immediately denied that the Sense of Deceny belonged to the Vice President, and challenged reporters to offer any evidence that the Vice President had ever had a Sense of Decency.

In related news, earlier reports that fire investigators had found Condaleeza Rice's Sense of Humor, and President George Bush's Sense of Reality, locked in the same basement closet, appear to have been incorrect.

We now return to our regular programming.

Our Cat Has a Schedule-

My wife and I may be the human-types in the family, but our cat Freckles is the one with the daily schedule. She spends the night on the bed with us, but every morning at 6:30 she is up, and waiting for me to go downstairs. She will wait patiently until 6:45 or so, and then she starts pacing, mewping, and sitting and staring. Freckles has a stare that will burn holes right through the back of your skull.

Why does she need to go downstairs? Not for breakfast, which she and her sister Pyewackett do not get until 8 (we having long ago realized that feeding the cats the moment we got up simply resulted in them getting us up earlier and earlier each morning). No, Freckles needs to go downstairs so she can jump up on the breadbox on the counter and stare at the birds in the evergreen tree outside the kitchen window. Why does she need me to go downstairs for her to do that?

I dunno, she just does. Don't ask stupid questions.

After 5 minutes of bird watching she goes right back upstairs until breakfast. This all may seem trivial to you, but it's quite important to her, and if I lounge in bed until, oh, 7:05 or so she'll sit on my chest and paw at my face.

She's pretty laid-back for the bulk of the day- she has her post-breakfast nap, her mid-morning nap, her pre-lunch nap, her post-lunch nap, her mid-afternoon nap, and her late-mid-afternoon nap. Often she saves some energy by combining these naps together.

By late afternoon she is up and starting to worry about dinner (that's her dinner), which is at 7. Between 5:30 and 7 she will sit on either my desk or Amy's desk and stare at us. And after dinner (our dinner, usually around 8) we all (Amy, Freckles and I) go upstairs and sit on the couch and read or watch a little tubey. If we do not go upstairs directly after dinner she will sit on the stairs and wait for us. If we are too much later she will come back down and start to pace.

If we do something really cold and unfeeling and cruel, like actually go out somewhere, she will pace the house, yowling, until we come home. She will be waiting as we come in the door, stalk over and give us the most annoyed kitty "murrrrmph!" you've ever heard. No cat can "harrumph" with quite the same tone of total annoyance that Freckles can.

So that's her daily schedule. We fiddle with it at our peril. Her sister Pyewackett is not nearly as regimented. Give her a box and she's happy for days...

Monday, December 17, 2007

What's in a Word?

Collective Nouns are a fun part of the English language. You know what I mean- a pack of wolves, a colony of badgers, a murder of crows, a troop of kangaroos, a pride of lions, and so on.

But here at MMB we are never ones to stop short at the edge of reality- we jump right over the wall and figure that there's no good idea that's not worth beating into the ground with a piledriver. So we are poud to offer an Absurdity of New Collective Nouns, all dealing with current events-

An Arrogance of Neocons.

A Beffudlement of Democrats.

An Obstruction of Republicans.

An Ineptitude of Congressmen.

A Blather of Political Analysts.

A Distortion of Fox News Anchors.

A Spluttering of Conservative Columnists.

An Hysteria of Bush Supporters.

An Obfuscation of White House Spokesmen.

A Quibble of Lawyers.

An Outrage of Islamic Fundamentalists.

A Rapture of Christian Fundamentalists.

An Embezzlement of Televangelists.

A Pander of Presidential Candidates.

A Snit of Guiliani Supporters.

A Presumption of Clinton Supporters.

A Snooze of Thompson Supporters.

A Futility of Kucinich Supporters.

A Righteousness of McCain Supporters.

A Flipflop of Romney Supporters.

C'mon everyone, add your own!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Deck the Cats with Tinsel, It's Christmas!

This is Pyewackett, one of our two cats.
She is sitting on top of my computer monitor as I type this...

Phoebe has tagged me for a new Christmas Meme. The rules for the game include:

1) Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2) Share Christmas facts about yourself.
3) something about tagging other people, which I'm going to ignore. But if you want to play along, feel free.

The Christmas Meme-

1. Wrapping or gift bags? Wrapping. I am not a Tape Nazi like my wife, who comes from the "3 pieces only" school, but I do have a thing about folds and creases. People say I'm obsessive, but I'm not obsessive- I'm just very, very, very precise, dammit!

2. Real or artificial tree? Yes. A real one in the living room, a fake one in the dining room. I always used to get a fake one, reasoning that it was odd to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace and Brotherhood by going out and killing a tree. But Amy has always had real ones, and I've gotten used to the idea now. We even name them. This year we have Nicky. She was a beautifully shaped balsam fir, proud and in the prime of life until we came along and chainsawed her down in cold sap and dragged her dead, cold carcass back to our living room. OK, maybe I'm not quite used to the idea yet.

3. When do you put up the tree? Mid December. As a matter of fact, we just went to the tree farm yesterday. It was 10 degrees, and dusk. There was a foot of fresh snow on the ground and all the damned trees were covered with snow. I think the one we ended up cutting down was actually part of the neighbor's hedge.

4. When do you take the tree down? This varies, but always before we have to mow the lawn in the Spring. No, seriously.

5. Do you like eggnog? I love eggnog, but only my own special recipe- hold the eggs, hold the nog, double up on the rum. Delicious!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A toy pool table, when I was 6. This was in the days they still sold candy cigarettes, as well. With a root beer, a pack of candy cigs and a pool cue, lemme tell you, I was really something that year.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? We used to. GI Joe invaded one day, cut off Joseph's head and did something unfortunate to Mary.

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I'm blanking on this one- I must have repressed it.

9. Mail or email Christmas cards? People e-mail Christmas cards? Ick. It's far more personal to send real ones, and some year we are actually going to do it again.

10. Favorite Christmas Movie? A tie between the original "Miracle on 34th Street" and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation". Both Maureen O'Hara and Beverly D'Angelo are yummy like Christmas sugar cookies.

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I shop all year round. It's a great system- I see something that I think somebody will like, buy it, put it away somewhere safe, and then find it again three years later, in time for Xmas.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Beverly D'Angelo.

13. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Large colored lights and small clear ones. One year we did a "Victorian Christmas" with real candles. If you ever think of trying this remember- there's a damn good reason the Victorians are now extinct.

14. Favorite Christmas song? "The Holly and the Ivy", followed closely by "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer".

15. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Either. I normally like to stay at home, but we've done Christmas in Manhattan with Amy's aunt and uncle which is a lot of fun. Some year I'd like to spend Christmas in Bethlehem, once they don't have, you know, a war going on, and terror bombers and shootings and stuff. And once they get a beach, a good hotel and a jazz bar. I think it would be very spiritual.

16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Well, there's Dasher and Dancer, and Prancer and Nixon, Ajax and Stupid, and Don Ho and Wolf Blitzer.

17. Angel on the tree top or a star? A bid red peacock. What?? It's fuckin' cute!

18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning? Christmas morning; Christmas Eve we're usually too donged on my special eggnogg recipe to open presents.

19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Car ads on tv which show some husband surprising his wife with a new SUV with this big red ribbon around it. I mean wtf?? If you can afford to buy her an SUV for Christmas you should be able to afford to wrap it.

20. Do you decorate your tree in any specific theme or color? Our tree decorating style is to cram as much on as we can. The one thing I dislike are those cutesy wooden folk-toy type ornaments. Like your average politician or cocker spaniel, I'm attracted to bright shiny objects.

21. What do you leave for Santa? Empty promises.

22. Least favorite holiday song? "The Little Drummer Boy" (except Joan Jett's version, which rocks).

23. Favorite ornament? The red peacock on top of the tree. I still hear you laughing out there- hey, we're gonna start a trend!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Not Your Father's Cartoon Network-

A few days ago we reported that Paddington Bear will be questioned by British immigration authorities regarding his legal status. That news has caused so much comment among our readers that we decided to bring you an extended report on other Cartoon Characters in the News.

I'm afraid it's not pretty, people...

Rudolph "The Red" Reindeer is currently wanted by Federal authorities on a wide variety of terrorism-related charges. A Homeland Security spokesman reports that "Red Rudy" Reindeer is known to have violated restricted military airspace on a number of occasions and to have been in contact with "Yukon Cornelius", a/k/a Mohammed Bin-Yaken. He is considered horned and dangerous.

Snoopy was sentenced to 3 years in a Federal Minimum Security Prison yesterday, following his conviction last month on 47 counts of Insider Trading in Dog-Bone Futures. He is expected to be eligible for parole in time for next year's Peanuts' Halloween special.

The Grinch remains at large despite a nation-wide manhunt. He is wanted for questioning in connection with the disappearance of Cindy-Lou Who, who was last seen on the way to the bathroom for a cup water on the night of Christmas Eve. Authorities refuse to say whether the Grinch is a suspect in the disappearance, and refer to him as a "person of interest, with cobwebs in his soul".

Arizona Prosecutors have announced that they have arrested The Roadrunner in a Phoenix motel room with 3 suitcases stuffed full of amphetamines. Well, nobody wanted to say anything at the time, but, well- I guess we always suspected, didn't we?

Superman was named today as the central cartoon character involved in the Cartoon Steroid Abuse Scandal. According to the long-awaited Snitchell Report, the Man of Steel supplied illegal body-building drugs to at least 20 fellow cartoon characters, including Popeye, Spiderman, Batman, and Flash Gordon. Superman tried to avoid reporters on a New York street this afternoon by ducking into a phone booth, but couldn't find one.

Cartoon Officials are still investigating the deaths of J. Peterson "Porky" Pig and his girlfriend Petunia Pig in a tragic accident at the Hormel plant last Tuesday. Services for "Porky" and Petunia will be held at the Warner Brothers Studio on Friday afternoon, to be followed immediately by the studio's Annual Staff Christmas Party, where Porky and Petunia will be featured on the buffet table, in all their honey-baked glory.

T-t-t-t-hat's All, Folks!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Now That's the Way to Move the Product...

It's a jungle out there in the marketplace, and it takes a lot to make your product stand out and get noticed these days. This is especially true if your product is something that few people spend a lot of time thinking about buying, like, oh... a coffin.

Now you're all pretty smart- if you were a coffin-maker, and let's say you were preparing a promotional 2008 calendar, what angle would you take to, um, "move the lumber", as it were?

Uh huh, that's what I thought...

C'mon Carmen, let's sell that baby!!

yeah, that's more like it.

My profuse thanks to Gods for pointing this site out to me. You can see more here. And I know what a few of you are saying- is this really real? I swear to God- this Italian firm really makes coffins. Look, here's one of their coffin carvers from their website-

Monday, December 10, 2007

Infamous Illegal Alien Caught!

All I can say is it's about time they caught up with that furry little bastard, who's been taking work from good old native bears like Yogi the Bear and Winnie-the-Pooh for decades!

Police Set To Question Paddington Bear
Press Association
Saturday December 8, 2007 11:08 AM

Paddington Bear will be arrested by police and interrogated over his immigration status in a book marking his 50th birthday, it has emerged.

The novel, to be published next June on the anniversary of his debut in A Bear Called Paddington, will see the stowaway from Peru interviewed about his right to remain in England.

The appeal of Michael Bond's Paddington books, which have sold more than 30 million copies and been translated into 30 languages, remains undiminished after half a century. But Mr Bond, 83, was said to be reluctant at the prospect of writing his first novel about him for 29 years - unless he had a strong contemporary storyline.

The new book is again set around their home at 32 Windsor Gardens, Notting Hill, and revisits the stalls in Portobello Road where Paddington shared cocoa and buns with another immigrant, Mr Gruber, the Hungarian antiques dealer.

After being arrested, Paddington has no papers proving his identity because his Aunt Lucy had arranged for him to hide on a ship's lifeboat from Peru after she went to live in the Home for Retired Bears in Lima.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


It's getting so Christmasy around Hatfield even the birds at our feeders are shitting season's greetings. Being full of the Christmas (and other assorted) spirits, last night Amy and I went to Northampton to see the world premier of a new play you will see much more of in the coming years-

"Santacide" was co-written by Northampton's own Hilary Price, creator of 'Rhymes with Orange' (2006 winner of the "Best Cartoon" award by the National Cartoonists Society). The idea for "Santacide" first popped up in a 'Rhymes with Orange' cartoon panel a few years ago, and Ms. Price teamed up with local actress/radio announcer Kelsey Flynn to write the play. Amy and I were first in line, and snagged front row seats. So, did it fill us with the Christmas spirit?

You bet. "Santacide" is a complete hoot, and will hopefully become an annual Christmas favorite. The premise is simple: when Santa is found murdered in his office on Christmas Eve with a three foot-long candy cane protruding from his back, whodunit?? Was it mini-skirted, slightly-sauced Mrs. Clause? The Head Elf with the nefarious, Keebler-related, past? The smarmy seasonal assistant who's having an affair with Mrs. Claus? The North Pole Postmaster who seems to still think he's in the Marine Corps? A mother-son detective team must find out!

The story plays out along the lines of a classic Agatha Christie drawing-room comedy as rewritten by the Monty Python troupe. It's funny, witty and wise, and the actors and actresses were obviously having a good time. I know very few of you are actually in the Northampton, Massachusetts area, but if you find yourself here during the next two days, the play runs again tonight at 8 and Sunday at 2 pm. And I hope that that's not the last you hear of it!

Speaking of seasonal stuff, earlier this week Sara Sue posted the audio to Tom Lehrer's wonderful song "Smut"; well, a few years ago I re-wrote another of Mr. Lehrer's songs for the Christmas season. "The Hunting Song" was originally released in 1959 on his "Tom Leher Revisited" album, and the first verse went like this-

I always will remember,
'Twas a year ago November,
I went out to hunt some deer
On a morning bright and clear.
I went and shot the maximum
the game laws would allow:

Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow.

So, after too many egg-nogs a few years ago, I took pen to paper and spindled and mutilated that fine song into this, which I offer for your seasonal entertainment-

A Seasonal Hunting Song

(with apologies to Tom Lehrer)

I always will remember,
'Twas a year ago December,
I went out to hunt some deer,
On a morning bright and clear.
I went and shot the maximum
the game laws gave myself:
Two bell ringers, seven reindeer, and an elf.

I was in no mood to trifle,
I took down my trusty rifle
And went out to stalk my prey.
What a haul I made that day!
I tied them to my fender,
and I drove them home myself:
Two bell ringers, seven reindeer, and an elf.

The law was very firm, it
Took away my permit,
The worst punishment
it could manage to propose.
It turned out there was a reason,
it seems elves were out of season
-And one of the reindeer had bright-red, glowing nose.

People ask me how I do it,
And I say "There's nothin' to it,
You just stand there lookin' cute,
And when something moves, you shoot!"
So there's ten stuffed heads sitting
on my maple trophy shelf:
Two bell ringers, seven reindeer, and a big fat Christmas elf!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Be Afraid-

FRIDAY UPDATE: Here's an interesting juxtaposition of quotes from Mitt's speech yesterday (emphasis added by me)-

"Each religion has its own unique doctrines and history. These are not bases for criticism but rather a test of our tolerance. Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle indeed if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree...We cherish these sacred rights, and secure them in our Constitutional order. Foremost do we protect religious liberty, not as a matter of policy but as a matter of right. There will be no established church, and we are guaranteed the free exercise of our religion.

But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning...Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It's as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America — the religion of secularism. They are wrong.

This is far from the first time a right-winger has defined "secularism" as a "religion" -they do it all the time, but obviously the Irony Fairy was working overtime yesterday.

Earth paging Mitt... Earth paging Mitt... Come in, Mitt... if you really think that "secularism" is indeed a religion, then what are you doing declaring it "wrong"? Didn't you just say we should respect "all" other religions?

Of course they respect your freedom- as long as you agree with them.


Many bloggers have been writing about religion over the past few weeks. The nuttiness going on in the world, with Muslim fanatics calling for the beheading of teachers because they dislike the name of their teddy bear, has been all over the news. But there is a fanatical threat much closer to us all- a number of our candidates for President are even more threatening to American freedoms.

A lot of attention has been focused on Mike Huckabee, who famously has declared he does not believe in Evolution, but there are other American Taliban out there. Most of the talk about Mitt Romney has been about the Christian Right's struggles to figure out whether Mormons are Christians or not, but those who value the rights of Americans to be free not only to practice religion, but not to practice it as well, should be very worried by The Mittster, because he is one of the more frightening members of the American Taliban, a group who does not really believe you have a right to be agnostic or aethiest.

Here are some advance excerpts from Mitt's speech on religion in America, to be delivered today (emphasis added by me):

"Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom...Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone... Whether it was the cause of abolition, or civil rights, or the right to life itself, no movement of conscience can succeed in America that cannot speak to the convictions of religious people...in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong. The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square...We should acknowledge the Creator as did the founders – in ceremony and word. He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history...Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests. "

Want a little more reason to be afraid? On October 5, 2006, Mitt said,

"Today there are some people who are trying to establish one religion: the religion of secularism. They not only reject traditional values, they reject the values of our founders and they cast aside the wisdom of the ages. This spreading secular religion — and its substitute values — cannot be allowed to weaken the foundation of the family, or the faith of our fathers who 'more than life, their country loved."

Got that, everyone? Mitt believes that if you are not religious you cannot have true values, and you are an enemy to real American values. Further, he wants judges who will follow religious dictates (and by "religious" he means Christian).

American Taliban, anyone?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Wait a Minute, Who's the Hunter Here???

I was planning something else for today, but that'll have to wait for tomorrow, because I came across one of those quotes in the morning paper which just makes you lean back and laugh. Grizzly bears, on the brink of extinction a few generations ago, are making a comeback in the American west. In fact, they're making a huge comeback, leading some westerners to ask the Federal government to lift the final restrictions on shooting them. As the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commissioner complained-

"We've got grizzly bears eating people who come here to hunt".

Yeah, that Irony Fairy. She can be a real bitch.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A Letter to the 13-Year Old Col-Col

There's a great new meme going around created by Malach, and Mike tagged me with it. Here are the rules:

-Link back to the person who tagged you.
-Send a letter back in time to your 13 year old self.
-Tag 5 more people to do this meme.

Hey, 13-year-old Colonel Colonel, it’s 1975 where you are, you’re in 8th grade in a middle-class Boston-surburban school and having a blast, one of the best years you’ll ever have in school. Well, listen up, because your 45-year old self has a few words of advice for you.

Basically, unbelievably enough, by the time you hit your 40s you'll be in a pretty good place in most ways, but there are a few things you might watch out for-

You’ve been a Red Sox fan since a relative bought you the book "Yaz", at age 6, in 1968. Since then you've listened to Ned Martin's broadcasts of their games every night. This is an obsession you share with your one living grandpa, and you're just coming to terms with the bitter disappointment of the Red Sox losing the 1975 World Series to the Reds. Well, you won't believe what happens in 1978, and you'll probably be better off just skipping 1986 completely, but it’ll all be ok come the new century.

In a few years you’ll be unhappy in high school and decide to graduate in three years and then take a year off before college. That ends up being a good choice, even though you never make it to college. At the moment you think you’re going to end up getting an advanced degree and becoming a biologist or naturalist or ichthyologist or something along that line, but you’re going to fall into another career quite by accident that’s going to be just perfect for you.

Even at the age you are now, you can’t quite envision yourself working for anyone but yourself. Your few attempts to be part of the traditional workforce, with things like bosses and schedules, are going to be short and end badly. To be honest, with your penchant for completely overdoing things, if you become a naturalist you’ll probably just end up getting eaten by a bear or a seal anyway. Trust me- bookselling will be a good choice.

You're about to become a rabid supporter of Mo Udall in the 1976 Presidential Race. He'll lose the nomination to Jimmy Carter. Udall is a Mormon, you didn't know that, did you? That's because it's not considered an interesting or important topic for discussion in the race. We have a Mormon running for President now too, but his religion is a huge topic, which just reflects how much more religion has become entwined with politics in the new century.

When you hit your 20s, try and have a little more fun. You’re too serious at 13, and you’ll be too serious in your 20s. By the time you hit your 40s that’ll all have changed, but you’ll no longer be able to stay awake long enough to enjoy it fully.

Take good care of your back when you’re in your 20s or you'll be sorry later in life. Also in your 20s, stay away from the girl next door- it’s not just an act, she really is nuts, and you can save yourself a few years of pain by just not going anywhere with it.

Spend more time with your grandparents and listen to their stories. You'll miss them when they're gone.

When you are 26 your best friend will jump off a bridge; there's nothing you could have done.

In 1997 you will be raising baby ducklings, and will have put together a backyard enclosure you think is raccoon proof. Do yourself a favor and check it again before night falls. If you don’t you’ll wake up the next morning to one of the most horrific sights you’ll ever see, and it will be burned into your brain for the rest of your life.

In 1998 you’ll have $5000 extra dollars sitting around and you’ll seriously consider putting it into the newly-issued stock of an internet company called Ebay. I know none of that makes sense now, but listen up- just as you are about to do it your Dad dies, and then a week later your girlfriend, with whom you bought a house the month before, dumps you for somebody else. Even though all that happens, this time around DON’T get distracted by all that and DON’T forget to buy the damned stock.

You know, that's about it. After some self-induced unhappiness through your 20s and 30s, you will finally find happiness in your 40s. A few final thoughts would be-

-don't give up the Latin you will learn in 3 years of high school, you damned well will forget it if you don't practice.

-don't be so quick to lose touch with your school friends. They were very smart & cool, & will be hard to find later in life.

-Life is about living in the moment, so enjoy the moment, dammit!!!

That's it. Remember- don't plan a Sox Victory Party in 1986, and don't be so quick to laugh at an obscure Texas ne'er-do-well who gets into politics because his Dad happened to be President. He's slipperier than he looks.

Now, I'm going to tag:

Cissy Strutt
Beach Bum
Ted Velvet
(just because I think it'll be really interesting)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Balloons for SCG-

Yesterday Simply Curious Girl put our 'Bill Belichick for President' image up on her sidebar, and I said I'd give her a balloon for doing it. So this morning I decided to put my brain to work on the problem-

OK, enough brain work. Let's get on our hogs and take a balloon tour!

Wait, wait- anyone have to take one last visit to 'the necessary' before we leave?

All right then, everybody get your party dresses on!

I think that I shall never see,
a balloon shaped just like a tree...

ooops, I was wrong.

For Ted V., I found the new Bill Belichick Victory Tour Balloon-

AArrrgh! Wait! Blow, everybody, BLOW HARDER!!!

well shit.

I guess that's it for today. Anyone got a bicycle pump?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Our Next President-

As I was watching the last Republican whorefest debate and doing a shot every time the word 'Terrorists' was used, just before I passed out (18 minutes in) I got this really retarded great idea.

Screw letting anyone who actually wants to be President have the job- except for Kucinich, they're all either not-quite ready for Prime Time, double-facers, liars, Christian Taliban, psycopaths, comatose, or just really, really nuts.

I say it's time to draft somebody for President who really doesn't even want the job. Hey, I hear you say, that's a stupid wonderful idea!

But who could we find? Well, how about a proven winner? A man who can admit to mistakes? A man who brings people together? A man who doesn't say stupid things every ten seconds? A man who scares his enemies pissless?

The man who coined the phrase "It is what is is"?

Yes, campers, we're going to run Bill Belichick for President!

And all you have to do to jump on the nutwagon bandwagon is lose all contact with Reality make a copy of our new campaign image and post it in your sidebar! You can even link it to our new Belichick for President blog.

I think this is going to be a utter disaster lot of fun!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mainiacs All-

As several folks have now pointed out, the Moose-in-harness pic I posted a few days ago turns out to be a Photoshop fake. Well damn! I really, really wanted to believe that one, if only because it was just such a Maine-like thing to do. My Mom's family all come from Maine for a bunch of generations back. It's a great state, so I'm going to devote today to some fun things about Maine!

George Bush I comes from Maine. Maine apologizes. Liv Tyler was born in Maine. Maine says "You're welcome".

Even though they apparently don't hitch up moose in harness there, Maine has more Moose per mile than any other state. Maine has over 5,000 miles of coastline (more than California). Maine is as big as the other five New England States combined, and one single county (Aroostook) is bigger than the combined size of Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Ever dreamed of traveling to Belfast, Belgrade, Berlin, Calais, China, Corinth, Dallas, Denmark, Detroit, Dresden, Lebanon, Lisbon, Madrid, Mexico, Monticello, Moscow, Mount Vernon, Naples, Norway, Oakland, Paris, Peru, Poland, Rome, Stockholm, Sweden, Verona, and Vienna? You can do that in Maine and never leave the state. For the Biblically-inclined, you can also drive to Canaan, Carthage, Gilead, Jerusalem, and Troy.

Maine has a state summertime drink called the Pine Tree Float. How do you make a Pine Tree Float? Start with an 8-oz glass, fill it with ice-cold water and then stick a (pine) toothpick in it.

ok, maybe you have to come from Maine to find that funny...

The state sayings are "Ayuh" (I can do a mean "Ayuh" -it means "yes") and "You can't get theah from heah".

Natives are called "Maniacs", not "Mainers". Ayuh, that's right.

A man from New York moved to Maine. After he'd been there for three or four years he was talking to the owner of the local general store and he said something about being a native now. "Sorry," the Mainiac replied, "You ain't that, ayuh."

"Well," said the man, "when I've lived here for a decade will I be a native?"

"Nope," replied the Mainiac. "You came heah from the city, you'll nevah be a native".

"All right," the man said. "I see your point. "But my kids were born here, so surely they're considered native Mainiacs!"

"Nope," the Mainiac replied.

"What? Why not?"

"Well," the Mainiac said slowly, "Let me put it like this- if you'ah cat crawled into you'ah oven and had her kittens in theah, would that make them biscuits?"


Amy and I took a short vacation to Spencer Pond, Maine a few years ago, and I posted the pics here. We've got to get back there soon.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Get a Grip-

Uusally I reserve my political rants for my Mulligrubbers blog, but this story was too bizarre not to share with you all. I thank Malach for bringing it to my attention-

(CNN) -- Sudan has arrested a British teacher for insulting faith and religion, the British Foreign Office said Monday. Gillian Gibbons, 54, is being held by police in Sudan's capital, Khartoum. Numerous media reports say Gibbons was arrested after allowing her class of 7-year-olds to name a teddy bear "Mohammed."

That could be seen as an insult to the Prophet Mohammed, the reports said.

Say again???

Gibbons asked the children to pick a name for the bear as part of a lesson on animal habits at Unity High School, the Press Association said. A British Embassy spokesman in Khartoum was quoted as saying the naming of the bear did not cause immediate trouble. "The children chose the name because it is very common here," the spokesman told PA. This happened in September and the parents did not have a problem with it." Unity director Robert Boulos told Reuters news agency that Gibbons was arrested Sunday at her home on school grounds after a number of parents made a complaint to Sudan's Ministry of Education. Boulos told Reuters he had decided to shut the school until January for fear of reprisals.

Well, you name a teddy bear, you gotta take the consequences.

Blasphemy is punishable with 40 lashes under Islamic Sharia law, Britain's Press Association news agency reported. "This is a very sensitive issue," Boulos was quoted as saying on Reuters.com. "We are very worried about her safety," he added. "This was a completely innocent mistake. Miss Gibbons would have never wanted to insult Islam."

And now one more snippet, from yesterday's New York Times column by Thomas Friedman, abour our "pals" the Saudis-

One of the most talked about stories in the Middle East last week came out of Saudi Arabia, where the government affirmed the sentence of 200 lashes for a 19-year-old Shiite girl who was sitting in a car with a male acquaintance last year when they were attacked by seven men who gang-raped both of them. The Saudi Justice Ministry said the young woman deserved 200 lashes and six months in prison, even though she had been raped, because she was guilty of “illegal mingling” — sitting in a car with a man who was not related to her.

Am I being overly critical, or are these people, um, nuts? I mean, like, nuttier than a Snickers bar. Religion is one thing, and this isn't a knock against the Islamic religion, but against certain people, and entire nations, who have lost all sense of perspective. We certainly have our own Christian nutburgers right here in America, including the Holier-Than-Everyone Fred Phelp'sers, the people who "Thank God for 9-11" because it was His punishment for not stoning all gays to death. The difference is that our nutburgers do not (yet) run the government and write the laws. In Sudan and Saudi Arabia they do.

C'mon folks- either get a grip or go back to your home planet.

Monday, November 26, 2007


It's a gray, freezing-rain-drizzle Monday, so time for some fun. This was sent to me by a Wisconsin friend-

Due to the popularity of the Survivor shows, Wisconsin is planning to do it's own entitled "Survivor - Wisconsin Style"....

The contestants will start in Milwaukee, travel up to Sheboygan and on to Manitowoc and Green Bay. Then they will head over to Wausau and up to Rhinelander and Minocqua. From there they will proceed up to Ashland and Superior. Then back down through Rice Lake, Eau Claire and all the way down to Madison and back over to Milwaukee. Each contestant will be driving a pink Volvo with Illinois license plates and a large bumper sticker that reads: Brett Favre is Gay. I'm a vegetarian. Bratwurst clogs your arteries. The Green Bay Packers suck. Go Bears. Cheese is high in cholesterol. Hillary in 2008. Deer hunting is murder and I'm here to confiscate your guns.

The first one that makes it back to Milwaukee alive WINS! Good luck to all contestants.


And this from a relative in Maine. It's real. The moose bonded to some draft horses as a baby and the farmer eventually broke him to harness. Gotta love my Mainiac forebears-

Friday, November 23, 2007

Special Black Friday Edition!

It's BLACK FRIDAY, the BIGGEST SHOPPING DAY OF THE YEAR!, or so I was imformed by several relatives at Thanksgiving yesterday. I was not familiar with the custom, but who am I to turn my back upon Traditional American Values in Time of War?

So, dear readers, today we at MMB have embarked upon a Great Enterprise, Non-Stop Black Friday Coverage, updated throughout the day! I feel all Patriotic just thinking about it.


7 A.M. Apparently Black Friday begins at 4 a.m., when all the stores open, and if you're not there, in line then, you might as well stay in bed. So, wanting to do it right, we got up at 3, had aquick breakfast, scraped the ice off the car and headed out to the nearest Wal*Mart. I expected it to look something like this-

Imagine my surprise when it looked like this instead-

Ecstatic at our luck at being first there, we made a mad dash into the store, stopping only to kick down the doors (I'd been told this was traditional) and started loading stuff into our carts. The lights weren't on, but we started a bonfire in the Xmas card section, and soon had a dozen carts filled up, which is when the police arrived.

Apparently not all Wal*Marts open at 4 a.m., and not all Wal*Mart store managers have a good sense of humor, at least not when they're gotten up at 5 to mop up the charred remains of their greeting cards display.

Despite this unexpected interruption of our Black Friday activities, we've got a call in to a bail-bondsman and expect to be back on the road shortly. I'll keep you updated!

Um, I need to wash up, anyone got any soap?

11 A.M. Finally out of jail. My cousin's friend Vinny sprung us, free of charge, and he's going to send me on an all-expense paid trip to Turkey as well! All I have to do is pick up a couple of bags of gifts for him at a local motel there and bring them back through customs. Vinny's a champ, and really has the Christmas Spirit!

So, we got back on the road and headed for the next mall. I've got to say, I love the Christmas Shopping Season, it brings back such warm memories. Santa on the street corner smelling of incense and bourbon, bailing my uncle Fred out of jail for drunken driving after his office Xmas party, barfing on Santa's lap after too many Happy Meals, ah, the memories. So when we drove in to the next mall I was ready for a good, All-American Christmas experience. Something like this-

But apparently my relatives were right, and we should have gotten there before 10, because when we went in we found this-

Saddened but not yet discouraged, we decided to take a break and stop at a local roadside etsablishment for some lunchtime "fortification" before journeying on.

I wonder if they serve sherry?

5 P.M.
Oops, sorry, we've been having a fun afternoon at this bar. It's very Christmasy and festive, and there's a woman named Leslie who's giving what she calls "Holiday Quickie Specials" in the bathroom. Santa's even here!

OK, we're gonna get back on the road now. Where the Hell did I leave the car? Did we even drive? What month is it?

HEY, where'd all my credit cards go????

8 P.M. OK, we're bailed out, strung out, vaccinated and back! The third mall we stopped at had some stores with stuff still in them, and we proceeded to go Xymas shopping, and there were some great bargains left, let me tell you!

For almost everyone on my shopping list I got the Ultimate Style-Up-Your-Ass Christmas Gift- monmogrammed toilet paper!!!! Look at the hand-crafted workmanship, and only $3.60 a roll!!!

For a few select friends, I got a bumper sticker that about says it all-

And, for my aunt who worships Martha Stewart as a God and shops nowhere but Macy's, I got the perfect garden ornament-

I think that takes care of my Crispymas shopping! I am honored to have been able to take part in Black Friday, and now I'm heading back to the bar. Gotta find my Santa outfit...