Just a tiny warrior battling the dragon of ignorance and modern
day lunacy ...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

"You Even Need a License to Catch a Fish, But They Let Any(body) Be a Father."

I just read the recipe for a successful family. It was there in black & white in the classified section of my local newspaper: "A beautiful home, loving attorney, nurturing fulltime mom, and holidays with extended family await your baby." It's so simple! If only I had known!

I've been stumbling through this parenting, family-building thing for a few years now. Sometimes it seems to work; often it's messy and unsatisfying. I mostly figured out the "holidays" and "beautiful home" bits, but there are moments when something is clearly lacking.

An attorney.

A loving attorney. This means that the attorney loves ... the kids? the law? himself? Hard to discern from the brief ad, but strong emotion and a license from the state bar association are obvious prerequisites to parenthood.

I see some clear benefits to this in-house attorney business. Discussions over curfews, bedtimes, responsibilities, and vegetables could be brokered by a professional mediator. It's pure poetry. No more fussing about cluttered rooms, unfinished homework, temper tantrums, or sodden towels. All matters are now handled by the loving attorney. Contracts are devised, ratified, and binding. Breach of contract will result in civil action. Settlements are non-negotiable.

The docket in my house would quickly fill. This would necessitate a loving judge and eventually an empaneled loving jury. Perhaps a loving bailiff and loving court reporter should follow. Of course, not all matters are resolved in the first round, and a loving appellate court is never a bad idea.

Wait a minute!

A proxy already exists! I remember now. My word is law and it's irrevocable.
Cancel the loving attorney, and re-write the ad. "Sporadically clean home, caring yet flawed parents, unvarnished truth about life await ..."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Joaquin Phoenix and I Are Both Retiring From Film ...

Joaquin has made his announcement and now it's time to make mine.

I am officially retiring from the movie industry.

Don't despair, my loyal fans. You'll always have my music videos, books, scandals, screenplays, and recipes to anticipate. I'm not dropping out of the public eye altogether, it's just that I must harness my boundless talent and focus it in areas that amuse me most. Let's not think of this as Good - Bye, but rather as ... until we meet again.

As I have your attention, I would also like to announce the launch of my new fragrance. It's called DELUSION, a senuous blend of sandalwood, lavender, and epoxy. The eau de parfum retails for $150 an ounce, and I can assure you that it will provide you with the immediate allure of a retired movie star and MacArthur award aspirant.

I must further publicize that I have withdrawn my name from consideration in the Food Network's cherry pie bake-off. This should immediately dispel the rumor that I have already accepted the cash prize and a guest spot on the The View. I regret that I cannot appear.

Friends and loyal fans will quickly notice that I have altered my appearance to make myself inconspicuous to the onslaught of paparazzi. No longer will I appear in faded blue jeans. From this point forward, I will favor the dark, un-pre-washed variety. For full anonymity, I will begin to part my hair on the left, not the right. In this manner, I can preserve my identity as a private citizen.

I will also donate my Jiffy Lube preferred customer card to a local charity. With only two additional visits, the recipient will be entitled to a free oil change. The stunning generosity of this is apparent, but I must embrace the adage that reminds: To whom much is given, much is expected.

Please, please, I beg you to accept what you cannot change. Joaquin and I must follow our hearts. The sweet siren of the movie industry can hold no more sway over us. I retire gracefully and completely.

Look for me no further than ... the other side of the camera. I would like to announce that I have reinvented myself as a director!

Help! My Mall is Disappearing!

I'm not much of a shopper. In fact, I sorta hate it. Most of my holiday or birthday shopping is accomplished online, and only the most dire, personal needs will force me into the local mall. Obviously, I don't visit enough because when I went yesterday, the mall was gone. More precisely, the buildings were still there. Same brightly colored entrances, same neatly groomed exterior landscaping, but the interior was populated by changelings. Stepping inside, I felt like Alice through the Looking Glass. It still looked like the mall, but ... it was like the anti-mall. Gone were the familiar signs above Foot Locker, Bath and Bodyworks, the Disney Store, Bailey, Banks, and Biddle, and others. Mysterious names jumped out at me. What happened? Where were the national chain, name brand stores?

Passing a once familiar spot, I was riveted by the display. Crammed into every corner were large volumes of merchandise. Every square inch of what was once the Bombay Company was filled with heavily shellacked, sleek, "international" furniture. Blinding reflective surfaces bounced light around the space. The front display boasted enormous, ceramic, cream and gilt water fountains of nudes that would have made a pimp blush. Where was the Bombay Company? Didn't I buy a lamp here once? OK. OK. Maybe it was 15 years ago, but I still have the lamp. Wasn't my purchase enough to keep them in business? Hey, I'm back ... maybe I'll buy a mirror this time. Hello? Anyone?

Considering the other shopping options around me, I felt doomed. Glumly I shuffled along the unfamiliar landscape. Other shoppers appeared merry. Bags rustled. Credit cards were swiped. Smiling customers gloated over purchases. I swam solo through the sea of weekend consumers like a trout making its way upstream. Attempting to reorient myself, I focused more consciously on the store names. Something about them seemed slightly, vaguely, nearly familiar. I paused in front of Magic Health Plus! (exclamation point obviously an official part of the name). World Wide Gifts? International Furniture and Luggage? Take a Journeys? DTLR? An epiphany flashed - The store names read like SPAM SUBJECT LINES!

Clever manufacturers have eliminated the glossy corporate American-themed middle man and are shilling directly to the consumer!

Maybe this is a good thing. The mirrors at International Furniture and Gifts are cheaper than the ones sold by the Bombay Company. World Wide Gifts and Luggage sells ... you guessed it - luggage and wallets, and these are cheaper than the pricey leather store it replaced. Magic Health Plus! offers on-site massage and reflexology services, a boon for weary shoppers.

Of course, there might be a downside to all this direct marketing. Faithful patrons parked outside of the once popular Coffee Bean seemed oblivious to its new moniker - The Jumbo Cafe.

As for me, I retreat back to my shell. I wait until the next shopping emergency pushes me into the local shrine to capitalism. The Magic Turbo Aqua Spa and Frying Pan Emporium await!