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President Obama was in a quandary -- where oh where would he deliver his 2016 State of the Union Address? Congress had forbidden him access to the Capitol Building the year before and he couldn't do it from the White House because Republican House members had voted to confiscate his desk, his Presidential podium and all Presidential Seals, not to mention his teleprompter and his furniture. He certainly couldn't sit on the floor and deliver it. Or could he?

Air Force One? No. Congress had sold it to American Airlines and replaced it with a biplane from the Smithsonian.

Sasha suggested he give the annual speech at her school auditorium but would it be safe? Funding for his Secret Service detail had been drastically slashed and his only protection was a seventy-year-old former junkyard security guard who suffered from glaucoma and was the only person in the country who could
not get a gun license,

And how would he get there? The Presidential limo was gone and his gas allowance had been cut, which left him two choices -- he could either walk or take a cab.

He missed the Oval Office but he had been good-natured about working from the White House basement. Sure, it was chilly, since Congress had eliminated funds for heating and he couldn't get a space heater because the electricity had been cut off.

He decided that taking a cab was a bad idea. He could not afford the fare because his salary had been drastically reduced to $3.00 an hour with no overtime. Perhaps he should call Uber.

But walking was healthy (even though it was sixteen miles) and he could grab a Cheeseburger at Burger King on the way. He missed the White House Chef but he had grown used to eating pizza crust leftovers, which he stored in a mini-fridge in his official residence at Motel 6. Sometimes Michelle cooked spaghetti on their battery-operated hot plate. Congress had pawned the White House china but the Obamas had gotten accustomed to eating off paper plates.

His last state dinner had been a disaster. Olive Garden could barely accommodate his guests. Merkel had to sit on a barstool; Putin said his Chicken Diablo was undercooked; the British Prime Minister was unhappy about the service. Thankfully, Netanyahu had picked up the check.

The impeachment proceedings were not going well for him either. This was partly because the attorney that Congress had assigned to his case was a stuttering agoraphobe who had recently graduated from an Internet law school.

But impeachment was not on his mind at the moment. It was his Constitutional duty to deliver the State of the Union Address and if he defied the Constitution, Congress would sue him again and he couldn't afford the court costs, certainly not after spending all of his savings on the last twelve lawsuits.

Suddenly, President Obama had a brilliant idea. There was a karaoke bar a mile from his motel. It was open mic. The lyric screen could be his teleprompter! He would deliver it there!

After all, there was nothing in the Constitution that said he couldn't sing the speech.


President Cruz was a busy man. Dismantling the government was a little harder than he had bargained for–- all that annoying legislation -- but it had only been two weeks since his inauguration and he had already made remarkable progress.

Fortunately, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had abolished the filibuster rule on Day One and since Republicans held majorities in both houses of Congress, every bill had sailed through. Gone were the EPA, the Department of Education, science, Food Stamps, unemployment insurance, Obamacare, and the White House portrait of FDR, but there was still much to do.

So far, Scott Walker had been a wonderful Secretary of Labor. It had only taken him three days to make it a federal crime to join a labor union. But President Cruz had to give some of the credit to his two trusted Chiefs of Staff, David and Charles Koch, both of whom had proved invaluable, although Cruz suspected they were pilfering White House flatware as there never seemed to be enough butter knives.

Secretary of Immigration, Jan Brewer, was making solid progress with the detention camps (which would hold over two million illegal aliens and those who kinda looked like aliens) and Congress had approved funds to hire 200,000 heavily armed, mentally unstable citizen soldiers to patrol the southwestern borders under the leadership of Major General Wayne LaPierre.

But the advice he had received from Attorney General Bachmann troubled him a bit. No President had ever fired a Supreme Court Justice before, let alone four, but Cruz was intrigued with the idea of setting Constitutional precedents and there wouldn’t be any opposition other than some ineffectual whining from the Democrats, so why the hell not?

Thank Goodness Congress had just passed the Constitutional Ratification Act, which mandated that only six random Republican Senators or their wives would be required to ratify any alterations to the Constitution. So at least it would be legal.

Could he really just abolish the Democratic Party outright or should he follow the advice of Secretary of Disenfranchisement, Rick Scott, and require registered Democrats to produce twelve identification documents and a urine sample in order to vote? He would have to think about that. After all, he had to maintain the world’s belief that the United States was still a democracy. Or did he? Now that Secretary of State Bolton had relocated the United Nations to Guantanamo, how would any damn foreigners find out?

Managing those two pesky wars was proceeding well because Secretary of War, John McCain, was an able military strategist, although, much to the chagrin of Chevron, the Canadians were putting up a pretty good defense. At least the annexation of Mexico (Exxon’s idea) had been a stroll in the park. President Cruz was, however, a bit mystified when McCain repeatedly showed up in the Situation Room wearing a saber and why did he keep droning on about ordering a nuclear strike on somebody called Barbara Ann? Fortunately, President Cruz had followed Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Cheney’s advice and increased the war budget by sixteen trillion dollars, half of which, according to Cheney, would go to a charity called Halliburton to reupholster office furniture.

On the domestic front things were proceeding nicely too. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Donald Trump, had teamed up with Secretary of the Interior, Sheldon Adelson, to oversee the construction of gambling casinos in all national parks and allow oil companies to frack in peoples’ living rooms.

Not only had Secretary of the Treasury, Paul Ryan, accomplished 75% of his agenda in a week, he had also hired a hairstylist to shave off his widow’s peak. So far, Ryan’s most brilliant plan had been to raise the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security to ninety, with Medicare deductibles set at $80,000.

Moreover, Ryan’s plan to lower the minimum wage to $0.35 an hour would do wonders for the economy -- businessmen would make higher profits, which would trickle down to the middle class and make the economy boom just like Saint Reagan had ordained. After all, according to Surgeon General Palin, the Constitution says, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses who yearn to work for free.”


When I was a little kid, I had a lot of faith in you guys. Maybe I watched too many Star Trek episodes, but I figured by now –- fifty-years later -- you’d have invented some miracle laser-like gizmo that could cure everything. The patient would lie down on a diagnostic bio-bed. Then the doctor would wave the gizmo over the illness-ridden body and –- presto! -- the affliction would magically vanish.

Where’s the gizmo, guys? We want the gizmo. Okay, forget the gizmo. I’ll settle for a Miracle Pill that does the same thing.

For decades we’ve been throwing money at you and, I hate to say it, I was kind of hoping for something more by now. Okay, I’m an impatient patient. Sue me.

That’s not to say you haven’t made some amazing advances. You’ve given us meds for cholesterol, ED, depression, AIDS, blood pressure and a host of other ailments; there are bionic hands, heart transplants, new vaccines, nerve regrowth, facial reconstruction, MRI’s, laparoscopy and a whole lot more.

But, to cite a few examples, you still can’t cure Alzheimer’s; cancer, in all it’s many delightful forms, still mystifies you; you haven’t put the kibosh on multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, diabetes or heart disease; hell, you haven’t even rid the planet of hemorrhoids yet.

Guys, we don’t want to go through all that suffering anymore. We’re sick of getting sick. It’s the 21st Century. Stem cells were discovered in 1978. You promised us limitless possibilities, yet here we are, thirty-six years later, still twiddling our thumbs.

Here’s how primitive we still are: Kidney patients still have to be hooked up to washing machines; basal cell carcinomas still have to be dug out by hand; skulls still have to be drilled to get to brain tumors; casts are still used for broken limbs; we still repair wounds with thread or staples; tooth extractions still require a set of pliers; amputations still involve saws; hoses explore our digestive systems; we still use catheters (the last major improvement was the flexible catheter, invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1752, hello.)

Let’s take cancer. If you are unlucky enough to get pancreatic, ovarian or lung cancer, you can pretty much put a down payment on a tombstone. After decades of research, here’s what we have in the arsenal: surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

Not very impressive guys. Surgery is still horrible no matter how you… um… cut it; radiation is... well… radiation. Then there’s the wonder of chemotherapy (invented in the 1940s.) Good job there, fellas. Poison the victim and hope that the cancer succumbs and the patient survives. What a breakthrough. Remember the old medical practice of bleeding patients to cure them of just about everything? Today, we ridicule that boneheaded procedure. Ha ha. Guess what? A hundred years from now, scientists will get a huge guffaw out of chemo.

Where are the Pasteurs, Flemings and Salks of yesteryear? If it had taken the estimable Dr. Salk as long as it takes you, half the world’s population would still think the iron lung was a marvel of ingenuity.

Here’s what really bothers me: Everyday we read about your latest earthshattering breakthroughs. “Scientists Build Liver Out of Stem Cells!” “Scientists Solve Mystery of Aging!” “Researchers Discover New Drug that Shrinks Tumors!”  Wow, I say excitedly. Finally.

Then what happens? Nothing.  It seems as if none of these exciting new medical miracles ever make it from the lab to the hospital. They just seem to… disappear. We never hear about them again. What happened? Was it all just optimism? Is there a need to publish something to justify the investment? Is the FDA dragging its feet? Is Big Pharma quashing them? Are the rats faking it? What?

All I know is that my internist did not offer me a new liver the last time I saw him, not that I need one. Yet.


Ladies, ladies, ladies, what's it going to take for you to stop bashing yourself in the face with a meat mallet every Election Day? Does the twisted, sanctimonious GOP state senator you voted for have to propose legislation making it legal for you to be sold into white slavery because… well… just because? Does the whacko Tea Party congressman you supported have to craft a bill saying that you should be stoned in the street (no, not the good kind of stoned) for wearing a halter-top in public? Do the nutjobs you repeatedly, repeatedly vote for have to repeal the 19th Amendment (you know, the one that enfranchises women), before you finally decide to vote for a sane person? (Oops, sorry, too late, you won’t be able to vote for a sane person. Or a crazy one either. Or anybody.)

Seriously, ladies, to what absurd level of fracking-depth lunacy do these bottom-feeding misogynists (is that redundant?) have to sink before you perceive, in your Limbaugh-inspired wisdom, that perhaps, just perhaps, your beloved Republican Party doesn’t have your best interests in mind?

Ladies, in case you haven’t noticed, the Republican geniuses you robotically vote for have saddled their horses for a Holy Crusade and guess who the infidels are? They’ve already suggested that you should show a little more enthusiasm about getting raped because it’s all part of The Almighty’s glorious plan; that men should be allowed, allowed to rape you if abortion is legal; that your privates should be probed for no legitimate reason; that hospitals should allow you to die rather than perform life-saving abortions.

If that doesn’t piss you off even a teeny-weeny bit, some of your GOP buddies have also opined that you should stay home with the kids instead of working; that perhaps you should not be allowed to vote anymore; that you should get a judge’s permission to date or have sex if you’re going through a divorce.

Not convinced yet? The same guys you helped to elect are also against lowering interest rates on your kid’s college loan and think your wages should be lower than a man’s. If you’re out of work and need an extension on your unemployment insurance, forget it -- that’s oil subsidy money. How many times does a tornado have to decimate your house before you consider the possibility that your beloved party just might be mistaken about climate change? Oh, and how’s that $7.25 minimum wage working out for you?

Ladies, your kids aren’t safe anymore because it’s okay with the GOP if the mentally unstable loner up the block -- the one with a taxidermist’s rendering of his deceased mother chillaxing, albeit a little stiffly, on his Barcalounger -- owns thirty automatic weapons so he can open fire in a schoolyard because he couldn’t get a prom date. Here’s the punch line—you support background checks but the arrogant simpleton you voted into office doesn’t care what you and the majority of his constituency think.

And now there’s the Hobby Lobby decision, a stunning work of 15th Century jurisprudence produced by…take a wild guess... five men, one of whom is a ventriloquist’s dummy. The good news is that if you work at Hobby Lobby, you can buy a do-it-yourself birdhouse building kit for 20% off. The bad news is that you’ll have to spend a month’s salary on contraceptives.

What’s next, ladies? No mammograms because your boss belongs to a recently-invented-by-him religion which preaches that breasts are an evil temptation wrought by Satan to lure men. (Hello?) Or the Holy Cervical Church, created by another lunatic who thinks cervical cancer is God’s way of punishing you for promiscuity and… well… good luck.

Common sense dictates that it’s not a brilliant strategy for a political party to deliberately piss off the majority of the electorate, that majority being you. Face it, your Republican pals simply don’t care about your demographic -- they figure you’ll vote for them anyway.

And they’re probably right. But why ladies, why? Is it because your parents were diehard Republicans and it’s some sort of stupidity legacy? Because your husband might not react too peacefully if he finds out you switched parties? (Don’t worry, they’re okay with that in some states.) Because Republicans are better at national security? (They’re not.) Because the GOP always lowers the deficit? (They don’t.) Because they cut taxes? (Nope, not even Saint Ronald.) Because one day, when you’re really rich (you won’t be, thanks to them) you sure as heck don’t want to pay taxes on all that gosh darn loot?

Or is it because of the biggest myth of all -- that Republicans believe that government should be smaller so it won’t… um… probe into peoples’ private lives? (Just ignore the stone-faced guy in the dark suit and sunglasses standing watch 24/7 in your bedroom.)

The alarm clock is ringing, ladies. Wake the hell up.

John Blumenthal is the author of the novel "Three and a Half Virgins."


Perhaps I radiate an aura –- an invisible cloud of dog-friendly saintliness that only canines can sense -- or perhaps I emit a kibble-like odor, but whatever the reason, dogs have always taken to me.  My first dog (cleverly named Blackie by my parents because he was black) wagged his tail like a metronome set for the "Minute Waltz" whenever he saw me but ignored the rest of my family. My second dog (cleverly named Snowy by my kids because she was white) followed me everywhere.

But my third dog (I will call her Fido K__ so she doesn’t sue me for libel) despises me. She often growls at me for no apparent reason; she’s bitten me twice; whenever I approach her, she runs off; on walks, she regularly pulls me face first into trees; she pees on my shoes. I have tried bribing her with treats but she will not take them out of my hand –- I have to put them in her bowl and disappear.

Worst of all, when she lies on the couch across from me in the living room, she stares at me with an expression that is clearly the doggie equivalent of stink eye.

A friend suggested a dog whisperer so I called one. Her name was Lydia Greyhound (I kid you not) and she was as thin as a whippet and graced with the curly hair of a schnoodle. The first thing she did was scowl at me because the dog food I provided for Fido K__ was not gluten-free. I promised to change brands.

Our session began. Lydia observed my dog in action for about half an hour,  
then started communicating with the little mutt. “Do you watch MSNBC a lot?” she asked me. “You must because your dog doesn’t like Rachel Maddow. She thinks she’s too liberal and insanely obsessed with Bridgegate.” I was stunned.  “Wait, what?” I said. “Are you saying Fido K__ has a political party affiliation? My dog is a… Republican?” Lydia looked at me. “Actually, she’s an Independent, but leans libertarian,” she informed me. “Socially conservative and a fiscal hawk. Maybe you should watch Sean Hannity sometimes. Kind of balance it out.”

Idiotic as that sounded, I reluctantly assured her that I would put on Hannity for at least an hour a day and vomit secretly in the bathroom while Fido K__ absorbed fairy tales about Benghazi.  

The session continued. “She senses that you’re a Jungian,” she told me. “Your dog strongly disagrees with Jung. She thinks Jung was an idiot.” I told Lydia that I was not a Jungian, a Freudian or a Kantian. Lydia shook head. “You want your dog to love you?” she asked. “Start reading Jung. Make sure she sees you tear the book up and throw it in the fireplace.”

“Schopenhauer is a problem too,” my dog whisperer said. “She prefers Spinoza’s general philosophy. If you want her to respond to you, I suggest you alter your basic philosophy of life. You can’t expect a lousy treat to change your dog’s mind about the basic purpose of life.” I nodded. “Done and done,” I said.

“Also, she’s a strict Keynesian,” Lydia continued.  “You might want to address that as well.”

As the session continued, I learned a lot about Fido K_. Apparently, my dog was upset that I was not more enthusiastic about French cuisine; she was angry because I had not finished “Finnegan’s Wake” in college; she was a devout Lutheran and had problems with my atheistic outlook.

Over the last few months, I have radically changed my life so that Fido K_ would love me –- I’ve read all of James Joyce, stuffed my face with pate de foie gras and coq au vin, wildly insulted Jung, gotten aboard the Keynesian bus, converted to Lutheranism and embraced Spinoza. So far it hasn’t helped but I attribute that to the fact that, try as I might, I simply cannot bear to watch Sean Hannity.

John Blumenthal is the author of the novel, "Three and a Half Virgins."


Mon May 05, 2014 at 11:04 AM PDT

Enough Already with the Dumb Quizzes

by johnblu

Those annoying Buzzfeed, Quizilla and Quizfarm et al quizzes have been clogging my Facebook news feed for months at a rate that now surpasses the petition requests, memes and revolting photos of the disgusting gourmet slop people had for dinner (food photography is an art form folks, not a subject for your iPhone camera) with the accompanying map which is useless because I don't expect to travel all the way to Phoenix to sample a spicy cactus taco on a gluten-free tortilla pancake any time soon.

If you actually think these quizzes are even remotely scientific, you should be scoring "idiot" on the idiot quiz although, given the element of quiz stupidity, you'll probably end up with "genius". In fact, the quiz-makers seem intent on being as random (not to mention inanely cute) as possible. I mean, if Bora Bora is my vacation choice in the "Which Jane Austen Heroine Are You?" quiz, how does that make me Elizabeth Bennet?

Or if I decide to bring a Swiss army knife to a deserted island, how does that mean my ideal profession should be Pope?

And I'm not even going to mention "What Infectious Disease Are You?" or "Which Sex Toy Are You?" or "What Kind of Bathroom Guest Are You?" (Yes, those really exist.)

They're just supposed to be fun, possibly even parodies, but I have to wonder how many people actually believe this shit. Like the guy who takes Buzzfeed's "Which Job Is Right for Me?" quiz and ends up thinking he should be a novelist. Or pity the poor dimwit who, after finding out he should live in Paris rather than a trailer park outside of Little Rock, actually decides to move to the City of Light? Or the guy who ends up with "Bambi" after taking "Which Disney Movie is Most Like Your Life?" And what if they're the same guy? Is he now animated grass-eating Parisian literary trailer trash?

What if the same schmuck takes's "Which Dictator Are/Were You?" quiz and suddenly thinks it's okay to interrogate his family under harsh lights, stage a coup at work or invade his neighbor's garden with an imaginary panzer division?

In other words, if you believe them, these quizzes can be dangerous.

So, just as an experiment, I decided to take every one of these boneheaded quizzes I could find. Here's what I learned about myself:

I'm Attila the Hun (aka a hot pink vibrating butt plug) with the personality of a seventy-year-old cupcake and the intellect of a beaver, although I should put off having kids for three years and if I go to the toilet at a friend's house I am considered a "nasty dumper. "


I'm a douchebag masquerading as a character from "Sex and the City" and I should live in Paraguay, although I'm a neurotic nonviolent Mr. Darcy-type who resembles George Clooney because I'm a martini.


I'm gonorrhea, a paranoid schizophrenic muscle-bound tomato with a hidden talent for ballet, yet I am also a sexy sushi roll whose life resembles the movie "Sleeping Beauty," and my soul mate is Shia La Boeuf.


I'm a bi-polar parakeet named Kermit the Frog who gets stoned with Abraham Lincoln. I am mentally only twelve and I should be a rock star although I'm a conceited purple French tickler (aka Albert Einstein).

How did they know I was a nasty dumper? Amazing.

John Blumenthal is the author of the novel “Three and a Half Virgins”


Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:19 AM PDT

Cougars Versus Dirty Old Men. Not Fair

by johnblu

Let's say it's a warm summer day and you're sitting at an outdoor café sipping a Prosecco and watching the people parade. A 55-year-old guy who looks his age (in spite of the dyed hair and sucked-in paunch) strolls by with his arm around a sexy, scantily clad woman who looks to be about 30, perhaps younger. You're not the judgmental type, but you can't help but leap to several conclusions. You're thinking that the woman is a trophy wife, a Bulgarian mail order bride, a spoiled sugar baby or his rob-the-cradle girlfriend.

If it's any one of those possibilities, you will probably decide that the guy is a dirty old man. You're not being judgmental -- you don't really care, live and let live etc. -- but you can't help but feel some revulsion for the guy and some pity for his date. If May-December Guy has a daughter, she might be his date's age. Ugh. Disgusting. Clearly, he's a creep. Feh.

Okay, so let's try that again only this time the genders are reversed. It's a 55-year-old woman and a 30-year-old stud in tight jeans and the standard tattoo of a meaningless Chinese symbol on his muscular bicep. From a distance, the woman looks younger than she really is. But as she gets closer, you can tell she's at least 20 years older than her date. Maybe she's had some work done; maybe she just has good skin. Botox. Whatever. Clearly, she's old enough to be his mother. Are you disgusted? Is she a dirty old lady? A creepette? Not really.

She's just a cougar.

Of course, a lot of people would have no opinion whatsoever about either of these scenarios. Some older men might just be envious of the May-December Guy, just as some older women might envy the cougar. But that's not the point.

Here's the point: Why are guys labeled dirty old men and women cougars when they're doing exactly the same thing? Men are pathetic creeps but cougars are thought of as naughty and roguish. Her proclivity for younger men is just a form of impish mischief. Wink, wink -- she's a cougar.

Sure, cougars in the wild are predatory but so are most animals. Cougars are sleek, feline creatures. The image when applied to women oozes a sense of exciting jungle adventure. Me Jane, you Tarzan. Most people don't find cougars that objectionable. Even the press seems to treat the subject with a certain comical curiosity, a far cry from derision or shock, more of a nudge, nudge sort of attitude. Hell, the cougar phenomenon has even sparked a sitcom, a reality show and a big screen comedy.

Then there are the terms "creep" and "dirty old man." There is no way to make those names sound even remotely appetizing. "Sugar Daddy" isn't that appealing either.

In other words, May-December Guy is not a sleek, feline-like creature. He's a poisonous, slithery snake.

Seriously, is that fair?

Let's put it this way. Don't expect to see a sitcom called "Dirty Old Men" any time soon.

It's pretty obvious why men and women seek the affections of the young -- in most cases, it's because they're getting on in years and they yearn to feel young and desirable before they turn wizened and decrepit. There's nothing wrong with that. It's human, although a trifle narcissistic.

Sure, there are predatory men out there who do evil things, but we're not talking about them. We're talking about consenting adults whose motivations are in no way disrespectful or aggressive. They might be a little insecure, but who isn't? Or it might be a midlife thing, Doesn't matter.

Some urban dictionaries claim that the male equivalent of a cougar is a "manther." Manther? Really? This is clearly not a term that has caught on and even if it ever does (doubtful), it's meaningless. A male panther? By that logic, a cougar should be a wougar, which is also idiotic.

As long as we're in the cat category, maybe we should call May-December Guys lions. Kings of the jungle. Manly and proud. Dignified and stately. How about tigers? Cheetahs? (No, that sounds too much like they're cheating on their wives.) Leopard? Wildcat?

Hmm. Wildcat's not bad. Has a sort of rowdy, untamed, rakish, ex-frat boy ring to it. Cougars and wildcats.

Meow, meow.


I wonder what kind of panties Lawyer Lady is wearing. Black lace? V-kini? Gulp... thong? More importantly, is she even wearing a bra? If I asked her a question -- which would shock everybody in the room, not to mention the media -- that's what I would ask. Technically it's not a legal question but does it always have to be about the law?

OMG. Now Kagan is asking the questions. That woman could cure insomnia. I'll be here all day. I mean, who wants to listen to all this endless chatter about whatnot all the time?

Oh no, I feel like I have to fart. Dammit! If I cut one under the robe, will anybody smell it? Maybe I can contain the odor in the fabric. Should I chance it? All these damn decisions! Maybe I should cough just as I'm about to fart so nobody will hear it. Or I could fart and then look at Breyer so everybody will think it was him. I shouldn't have had those damn Brussels sprouts for dinner last night. And I left my Beano in my office again. Grrr.

I wonder if Breyer likes ice cream.

Now it's Scalia's turn to showboat. Why does he even bother? We both know how we're going to vote. Do me a favor, Anontin, please shut the hell up so I can have lunch. Hm. Should I have a burger today or a salad? I've been putting on a few extra pounds so maybe a salad is the way to go. But I hate salads. I could compromise and have fish. Salmon or trout? Decisions, decisions. Oh the hell with it -- I'll have a pizza. Pepperoni or sausage? Green peppers or onions? These are complex questions to grapple with. I'll consult Scalia. He always makes these tough decisions for me.

Did Alito just catch me ogling Lawyer Lady's legs? Ugh. But who can resist? I can tell she works out. Probably goes to a tanning salon too. Her blouse is kind of conservative but she's showing just a teeny tiny bit of cleavage. Bet she looks amazing in Spandex. Should I wink at her? Better not. Might be misinterpreted.

I shouldn't have worn wool pants. My ass itches. I wonder if anybody would be pissed it I wore my pajama bottoms to these hearings? And those comfy slippers Kennedy got me for Christmas. I mean, nobody can see my legs from here, right? Hell, I could go commando under this robe. No, that's a bad idea. But it sure would be nice to let junior have some space to move around.

Oh Christ, now Kennedy is starting to talk. What a jerk. He thinks he's hot shit because everybody says he's a swing vote. Swing vote my ass. He always votes with us. I wonder if he watches Internet porn. Dumb question. Every guy watches Internet porn. Hell, I'd like to watch some right now -- just a five-minute video on my iPhone. Keep the volume real low. Nah. Sotomayor would make a huge fuss if she saw me. She's such a prude.

Just remembered -- I have to call the Koch brothers. They're late with their check this month. Again. It sure would be nice if I could just text them from here but noooo, I can't do anything fun in this place!

I am sooooo bored. If I fall asleep again will Roberts hear me snore? Good question. If he does, I just know he'll make a federal case out of it.


“Moby Dick”
Herman Melville

“Call me  the whale guy   a hansom cab   Steve   Ishmael.”

“The Old Man and the Sea”
Ernest Hemingway

“He was an old man who   smelled like garlic   played the harmonica   fished alone in a  bathtub    dinner jacket   skiff in the Gulfstream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a   nap   bath   dump   fish.”  (Note to self: My agent will hate this. The hell with him. He’s a wimp)

Joyce Kilmer

“I think that I shall never see/ A   sandwich    rhyming bunch of words  poem as lovely as a  woman’s breasts   bush  ficus   pea  flea  tree.”  (Note to self: Do I really want to write about a tree? Why not a duck? What rhymes with duck?)

“The Trial”
Franz Kafka

“Someone must have slandered   Joey Jay Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything  truly embarrassing  wrong, he was handcuffed to a radiator  arrested for mooning a fishmonger.”   (Note: This will never sell.)

“Mrs. Dalloway”
Virginia Woolf

“Mrs. Dalloway said she would   swipe   strip for  buy the  chafing dish  sled   cookies  flowers herself.”

“The Bell Jar”
Sylvia Plath

“It was a clear, sultry summer, the summer they   plugged in  fried  electrocuted the  toaster oven  washer dryer  Rosenbergs and I didn’t know what I was doing in  my kitchen  my tutu   Cleveland  New York.”

“The Great Gatsby”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

“In my younger and more vulnerable years my  dry cleaner father gave me some   crackers   oatmeal   dumb platitudes  advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since   Zelda stopped drinking   my hamster died.”


Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 03:58 PM PST

I Met My Girlfriend on Goodreads

by johnblu

I found Sophie through a "search for friends" on Goodreads. It took awhile but after reading her profile (which was accompanied by a sexy photo of her) I clicked on "compare books" and was delighted to find that our circles merged perfectly, the blue and green orbs becoming one as if the gods of Goodreads had meant for us to meet.

After some preliminary messaging, we decided to meet for lunch.

I chose a clean well-lighted place on the waterfront, far from the madding crowd, in a suburb called Middlesex to see if she had the right stuff. Admittedly, I had great expectations, but ultimately it was Sophie's choice. It was a beautiful day -- the wind in the willows, fragrant leaves of grass, the wampeters, foma and granfaloons were playing in the park and I was overcome by a remembrance of things past because it reminded me of my metropolitan life in Winesburg, Ohio and all the sex in the city I had experienced there.

The forecast had said there was a gathering storm but it was all quiet on the western front. In fact it was so clear, I felt that I could see from here to eternity. The chances of rain were less than zero.

I saw Sophie walk through Mansfield Park, past the fountainhead where she almost bumped into a girl with a pearl earring who was extremely loud and incredibly close. We said hello and she told me that she wasn't that hungry because she'd eaten a breakfast of champions as well as cakes and ale at the hotel New Hampshire and had heartburn so she just ordered a crazy salad.

She had lovely bones and was the object of beauty. I'd brought her a single flower, which I had pulled up from the roots, but I didn't know the name of the rose. There was a lonesome dove without feathers and I saw one fly over the cuckoo's nest.

We talked about a lot of things -- about the importance of being earnest, of time and the river, of mice and men, of the mysteries of Pittsburgh. She was as good as gold and I knew this would be endless love. We decided to meet again the next day and have breakfast at Tiffany's followed by a naked lunch on the beach at the homesick restaurant.

If all went well, she said, we would lie down in darkness and experience the joy of sex.

So I booked a room with a view of the Gulag Archipelago.

I love Goodreads!!


HR 444: The Congressional Relief Accessories Reform Act: Appropriates funds to provide scented toilet tissue in all Congressional lavatories. A special Congressional committee comprised of fifteen senior members will be appointed to investigate and choose between Hawaiian Breeze, Bamboo Rain and Red Honeysuckle Nectar.

HR 056: The Confectionary Standards Amendment Act: Stipulates that the Congressional cafeteria must offer its patrons a wider variety of cookies and cupcakes, and mandates the formation of a Select Committee On Cookies and Cupcakes to decide the precise flavors, degree of deliciousness and dimensions of said cookies and cupcakes. The act supersedes the Mandatory Dessert Control Act of 2012, which limited cookie choices to chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin, and cupcake frosting to chocolate and vanilla.

HR 671: The Robert C. Pendleton Commemorative Coin Act: Allocates funds to create a silver coin commemorating Robert C. Pendleton for his heroic service to America, which was comprised of his choosing the official typeface for the Congressional Record in the face of fierce attacks from a team of graphic artists and calligraphers, resulting in the infamous Battle of the Fonts in 1948. The text of said coin will be written in the exact font for which Mr. Pendleton so gallantly fought.

HR 123:  The Congressional Twitter Expansion Act: Authorizes members of the House of Representatives the exclusive privilege of utilizing 175 characters when engaged in the act of tweeting if said tweeting is conducted on the floor of Congress when the body is in session or during the State of the Union address.

HR 325: The Footwear Workers Facility Reform Act. Requires that soft fluffy cushions be added to the uncomfortable leather seats at the Congressional shoeshine parlor in order to preserve and protect the posteriors of Congressional representatives, and mandates that two additional shades of cordovan polish be included in an effort to prevent color discrimination.

HR 658: The Specialty Weapon Defense of Freedom Act. In keeping with the provisions of the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, minors over the age of six years will be permitted to carry squirt guns at day camp. Also stipulates that camp counselors will not be allowed to confiscate said items except in cases of severe leakage and inappropriate indoor usage.

HR 287:  The Congressional Transportation Workers Freedom of Choice Act: Overturns the 1986 law that requires Congressional limousine drivers to wear long ties only while on duty. Drivers will now be permitted the freedom to wear bowties instead, provided they are neatly tied and pass Federal neckwear regulations. Also allocates funds to provide for a staff of sixteen bowtie inspectors responsible for the approval of bowtie straightness, size and color.

HR 888: The Affordable Care Act International Employment Bill: Stipulates that all federally-appointed ACA customer service representatives employed by the Department of Health and Human Services be required to speak in foreign accents and refer to themselves with common American names. The member-appointed Select Committee on Bogus Customer Service Names will choose a list of prospective appellations for said employees, which will be followed by a floor vote.

HB 112:  The Cooking Implement Recognition Proclamation Act:  Designates May 9th of each year as National Spatula, Cheese Grater and Kebab Skewer Day. The legislation supersedes HR 560 of 1976, which formerly designated May 9th as Lost Sock Memorial Day.


Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 11:48 AM PST

How I Screwed Up My First Romance Novel

by johnblu

Inspired by the gazillions of dollars people are making in the romance novel genre, I decided to write one with a friend, Barry Golson. Granted, the genre is dominated by women, but so what? How hard could it be?

Besides, Barry and I weren’t exactly neophytes. Some years ago, we’d cut our teeth on a short romance novella called Love’s Reckless Rash, written under the pen name Rosemary Cartwheel. Granted, it was a spoof but it gave us a feel for the lingo. We knew our way around the territory.

Sort of.

But this time, we vowed to write a straight one. Our heroine would succumb to fiery passion, flaming eroticism, burning desire and lots of other forms of romantic arson.

Sure, there would be challenges. First, we would have to attempt to see things through a female’s perspective, which meant that power tools would not figure prominently in the plot.  Also, we don’t know anything about romance because we’re guys and we don’t understand things like why women like candles so much. We asked our wives for help but they thought the idea of guys – especially us -- writing a romance novel was… well… idiotic.

We decided to ignore them.

Having written Love’s Reckless Rash as a period piece, we felt comfortable with the historical approach. It would take place in Jane Austen’s era. There would be dukes and earls and princes, all of them incredibly horny because in those days first base meant getting beyond the bustle.  

The era’s sexual repression also appealed to us as did the language of the day -– words like “hither” and “hence” and “bodice” (although we had to look up “bodice” in a dictionary.)

So far so good. We mapped out a story. Now, all we had to do was fill the pages. Easy right?


Ten pages into it, we encountered problems. Every time our story required us to describe ball gowns, sensuous fragrances, the intricacies of corsets or most importantly, the mysteries of the female heart, we’d get stuck.

How did we compensate for our ignorance? Simple. We went for laughs. Again. We simply couldn’t write it without cracking up.  Every time we tried to craft a lurid sex scene we couldn’t resist a punch line.

Often, we’d start a sentence with the best of intentions, but end up with this:

“I have never felt my heartstrings pulled so sharply as they are being pulled at this moment. I feel as if they will snap, and my heart will be flung across the garden into yonder lake.”

“’Sir, kindly remove your nose from my bosoms this instant! Bosoms are not places into which one inserts one’s nose. If bosom nosing is a custom in this vile place, it is not one that I care to have performed on my bosoms!!’”

“She knew her One True Love was out there somewhere, practicing cruel expressions in the mirror, opening his shirt just so, and in general posing rakishly, roguishly, and redundantly.”

You get the idea. Eventually, we succumbed to temptation. We expanded our original spoof to novel length, sending our heroine on new adventures to foreign places where she would encounter a variety of slow-witted potential paramours of different nationalities, and upper-class twits, most of who would –- of course -- ardently attempt to unravel her sixteen petticoats. We titled it, Passing Wind of Love.

In other words, we fell back into the ditch.

And we still don’t understand why women like candles so much.

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