A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Summer Education

My local newspaper recently published their research of the newest and best summer reading will be this year. We all know what type of book they’re talking about: something light to pass the time while many of us lounge at the shore, occasionally glance up at the crashing waves, and blithely tune out the acres of human flesh that is either baking to a nice, golden brown or all the way to cancerous black. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

My summer reading is neither light, nor conducive to dragging along to a sandy environment. Here are the titles on my summer reading list: Quick and Easy Medical Terminology (429 pages); Medical Insurance – An Integrated Claims Process Approach (700+ pages); 2011 CPT – Professional Edition (794 pages); 2011 Step-By-Step Medical Coding (1058 pages); and the mother of all medical coding textbooks, ICD – 9 for Hospitals Volumes 1, 2 and 3 (so many pages they forgot to number them all)! Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

If these sound like reference books or, more appropriately, college textbooks, it’s because they are college textbooks. Yes, it’s true, I’m back in school! This time, it’s not for a full degree, but for a job designation that might affect my potential earnings within the next few years. Fortunately I gave up going to the beach sometime during the last century, so I won’t know the pleasure or misery of dragging those mothers to such far-flung destinations like the Jersey Shore.

The subject is medical coding, an established career opportunity that enables medical practices and hospitals to bill for their services that is both correct and financially advantageous to their bottom lines. Naturally, the main payer for these services is the health insurance industry, who has worked hand-in-hand with the medical community over the years to create these standards of medical service. Their efforts have created a whole subsection of medical billing - another pillar in the health care financial kingdom - one that is predicted to grow within a few years due to the health care reform laws passed and signed last year.

During an early session of my coding class, we were all asked to introduce ourselves and briefly explain why we were taking this class. The reasons varied from person to person, but at least one theme could be found in everyone’s explanation. The knowledge we gained here could help improve our financial health.

Or as one smart aleck class member eloquently put it, “On the advice of my former employer, I decided to change my career.” Okay, I’ll admit it: I was the smart aleck! I was not too surprised to find there were at least four others in my same situation.

My classmates are a wide assortment of ages and types. There are a few college age adults who are giving up weekends on the beach for the promise of a new career on the horizon. There are a few single mothers hoping to land a better job in the near future.

Most of the rest of us are middle-aged folk who, for one reason or another, want to or have to do something else with their lives. Several are still working in medical offices and crave something different for their careers. A handful of us are disillusioned refugees of the recession either from the health care or the health care insurance field. And yes, as a matter of fact, we’re also giving up our weekends temporarily to improve our lot in our lives.

When I was going for my master’s degree — also in the last century — I attended classes side-by-side with adults who had long passed their bachelor degree years. They ranged from their 30s through middle-age with established careers. Sometimes I wondered why they should want for more.

I never imagined that I might be back in school when I reached their age. Yet, here I am in the same position. Like me, they were either unemployed or underemployed and found what had been state of the art training ten years before was now woefully obsolete for the demands of the current economy.

Sometimes karma is a bitch!

So between the new job and the weekend coding class, I’ll be busy, busy, busy until well into the fall. A month or so after that, there will be a test for all of us to become certified. Perhaps by that time the economy will have finally improved to the point that all of us will find our newly acquired knowledge in demand and highly desirable to prospective employers. Now that sounds like fun.

(Thank you for reading. Please remember it’s never too late to learn more.)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Steven’s Medical Adventure

The big event at our house this week was that one of our cats, Steven, underwent dental surgery. Steven is this blog’s mascot; that’s his picture at the top left.

This procedure was long overdue. We first noticed the tell-tale signs of gum disease - perpetual bad breath that resembles the aroma of day old tuna — over a year ago. His vet examined him in-house — yes, a veterinarian that makes house calls — and asked us to watch for him rubbing his jaw.

Flash forward to earlier this year when we noticed a few other problems. He wasn’t rubbing our hands as vigorously as he used to. There were also more incidents of diarrhea and vomiting whole pieces of dry food, which we can only surmise led to the loss of a few pounds. His once velvety fur had become rougher and matted. We realized he was suffering and that something had to be done.

We justified that all of this was due to his ever more painful jaw. Okay, the diarrhea I can’t explain away, but obviously the pain made chewing on the crunchy dry food impossible. He would swallow the food whole, and naturally his digestive system couldn’t handle that. At this point, the colorful array of cutely shaped cereal-like food would make a U-turn and back up through the mouth.

Normally I would apologize for writing such graphic depictions of kitty regurgitation, especially if you’re reading this while you’re eating. There will be no apology this time! I’m eating a pepperoni stromboli and a salad while I’m writing this. So suck it up!

His unkempt appearance could also be traced to his gum disease. Once again it must have gotten too painful for Steven to clean his fur.

So the vet was summoned again. Blood was taken for lab work - which was traumatic enough for him and me. Anne Marie bravely left the room while the deed was done. The lab work came back normal and a date for the surgery was set.

The vet came early on the appointed day, and as per her suggestion, we isolated Steven on our sun porch. I helped her lower him into a cat carrier amidst more loud meowing and finally sounds of what I would describe as cries of terror. We tried to reassure him as he was carried out. Once he was gone, the pressure to keep up a stiff upper lip was gone. I broke down and cried like John Boehner.

I thought about him all day. We assumed the vet would be removing the more decayed portions of his mouth, and Anne Marie also asked the vet to clip his nails. Beyond this, we didn’t know what they might find. Needless to say, my imagination ran wild!

I have no reason to question the vet’s sense of professionalism. Still, she and her assistant might have gotten a bit playful while Steven was anesthetized. They could have relieved the tedium of the day by putting a red clown nose on his snout just long enough to snap his picture and transmit it over the internet. Or they could have carved a tattoo on his belly. Perhaps a colorful drawing of roses intertwined with catnip, or something simpler and more traditional like the words “Bird Lives”. Or...who knows?

Fortunately, nothing like this happened. Steven returned that night minus his two vampire fangs. His fur was cleaned at no extra charge, and no sign of a tattoo. Best of all, we have yet to hear about any embarrassing photos of him on the Internet.

Steven is back home with us, restricted to a diet of soft food for a few days. His appetite has come roaring back as if he’s trying to make up for the lost time and weight. I don’t mind going through a few more cans of cat food per day, just so long as he’s healthy again. I’ll miss his vampire fangs, but at least his appetite is back. Still, the tuna breath persists...

(Thank you for reading. Please remember to hug your children, furry or otherwise!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Yo, Taiwan! Crap This!

My hometown of Philadelphia is reeling from another public relations dishonor. It seems that some type of anime website based in Taiwan took it upon themselves to produce a video rating American cities. Based on actual research of various facets of life (education, environmental factors, overall quality of life, etc.), the website awarded different distinctions to each city.

Some of the awards were expected: New York was rated “rudest city”, while Hollywood was rated as “shallowest”. New Orleans was named “dirtiest” city, but Philadelphia was given the rather vague title of “crappiest” city.

Perhaps this was intended as a satirical exercise in stereotyping, but many of us aren’t so sure. We all recognize that there is always a small grain of truth in stereotyping, and these ratings uphold that theory. New York City is definitely the rudest; sorry, but from personal experience at my job this week, I must say that New Yorkers need to work on their phone etiquette. Period!

The Hollywood is shallow accusation has been around for years, but what else should we expect. The town was founded on the manufacturing and marketing of imagery, and, frankly, many times their product is merely a reflection of the society at large.

As for Nawlin’s being dirty: aw, come on, give the Big Easy a break! They were nearly wiped out by a hurricane six years ago. Give the city some points for trying to come back.

The clip makes its case — no, tries to make its case — by arguing that one of our local delicacies is not fit for human consumption, and one, solo, solitary, unfortunate incident involving Santa Claus. Let us now skillfully deconstruct their arguments with lots of malice and hold the charity.

These anime geeks had the audacity to criticize our beloved cheesesteak sandwich. Any real Philadelphian will tell you what a wonderful slice of heaven this sandwich on an Italian roll truly is! You have wit (meaning smothered in sautéed onions) or you have witout (nothing at all)! Many of us will have pizza style with sauce, or perhaps Heinz ketchup. I’ll bet true cheesesteak aficionados will hold all condiments so they can savor the feeling of the beef juice running over their wax paper, down their chin and finally down their arm. Yes, this is truly heaven!

So, Taiwan, with what delicacy can you tempt us? Frosted grasshoppers or chocolate ant clusters? Please, spare me!

Then there is the Santa Claus incident, a truly terrible thing which many Philadelphians have tried to live down over the years. Of course, I’m referring to the time when the jolly bearded one was pummeled with snowballs at a Philadelphia Eagles game. The event — which, if I may point out, happened decades ago — shamed Philadelphia sports fans for years.

I hate to split hairs, but actually it is not a mark which should be held against Philadelphia’s baseball, basketball, or hockey fans. I for one will dare anyone to find any documentation that Santa was assaulted with snowballs at a Philadelphia Phillies game! I rest my case!

Eagles fans will probably argue that they were just testing Santa’s love for us by being mean to him. On this point, their argument has some merit. Santa still comes to Philly every year, so obviously he doesn’t hold the incident against us.

A more likely argument as to why it happened is a fact that is little known outside the city limits. We all know that Philadelphia sports fans are a tough crowd; I will admit that Phillies fans can be abusive. Still, it doesn’t compare to Philadelphia football fans. I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret here in the City of Brotherly Love. Between you, me, and the 29 million other bloggers on the internet, I’ll tell you that Eagles fans are total psychos. Shhh! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

So let’s turn our attention to Taiwan, who came to exist as the result of a group of democratic revolutionaries exiled by the Chinese communists. At the same time this was happening, a huge propaganda campaign was going on in the United States against communism. In the media, communists were portrayed as loathsome, foul, and filthy. In government, a few narrow-minded individuals spearheaded efforts to root out the red menace once and for all. Those who grew up with these ideas are now approaching retirement age, but the indoctrination they underwent all those years ago is as strong as ever. Witness the many cries of socialism lobbed at the progressive policies now known as Obamacare.

My point in dredging up this bit of history, Taiwan, is this: if Philadelphia is so crappy, then how come you’re a country full of people that not even the dreaded communists wanted?


(Thanks for reading. Any similarities between statements in this blog and those which could lead to a war with Taiwan, are purely coincidental.)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sympathy for the Bunny Keeper

I feel compelled today to take a break from a world full of strife and conflict. We must turn away from the stories about a resigning Congressman who was unwise enough to send lewd pictures of himself to unsuspecting female political groupies, and look away from two timing regimes that are persecuting the people who led us to Osama Bin Laden. We must close our eyes to mean old Congresspeople who turn their backs on the nutritional needs of the nation’s children, but still allow their agricultural constituents to gorge themselves at the taxpayer subsidized trough of the corporate welfare system. No, today we will distract ourselves on a noble mission of consolation for this country’s oldest connoisseur of female beauty.

Hef, our thoughts are with you today.

This weekend was to be a happy time for our favorite octogenarian playboy. He had planned a wonderful June wedding for himself and his blonde (naturally) love-of-his-life Matilda, or is it Lillian, or is it Patricia, or...just what was her name again? Honestly, Hef, how do you keep them all straight? Do you brand them with tattoos under one of their bountiful mammaries...

Sorry, that was not called for. Let me start again.

Poor Hef! Here is a man who has dedicated nearly sixty years to promoting a certain ideal of female beauty for mankind. Of course, that certain ideal involves firm, nicely shaped breasts (natural or not), long slender legs, very light colored hair, lively expressive eyes, voluptuous full lips, trim waists, well proportioned buttocks, and breeders hips...

Hey, I have to admit something here: I enjoyed writing that last paragraph a little too much for my own good...if you know what I mean. Let’s start again.

Poor Hef! The eternal bon vivant and man about town who has generously shared his discoveries of female pulchritude (a term I first encountered in a Paul McCartney song) with men all over the world. Although he surrounded himself with many fine examples of womanly charm he found and collected over the years, we must wonder if – deep down — Hugh Hefner is a true romantic.

He probably has shared the same vision of romance that many of us have. Hef probably longed to settle down with a pretty, down-to-earth member of the opposite sex. He may have envisioned a life of coming home from the office everyday to a sweet, young girl that dear old Dad would marry, waiting for him at the garden gate. Aw, but the problem is that while dear old Dad may have had a girl at the garden gate, he didn’t have a blonde in every bedroom, brunettes lounging throughout the living areas, and 50 or so assorted females relaxing in the grotto.

Come to think of it, dear old Dad never had a grotto. Maybe that explains why he only ever had one woman. Oh, wait, this is about Hef.

Let’s face reality, Hef! We could tally up all of the women with whom you have had encounters for the last 50 or so years, and we might see a number that make the rest of us males envious, and make the late Wilt Chamberlain (no slouch in the bedroom himself) blush. Dude, you’re a champion for many males! Unfortunately, champions and other geniuses who excel in some aspect of life beyond the feeble accomplishments of us mere mortals, have to sacrifice some part of life for the sake of hyper-achievement.

Your sacrifice is that you may never know the satisfaction that a long term committed relationship can bring. I realize you have had several marriages in your history, but the reality is that they are in your past and not in your present. I also know that this is no consolation. You must realize that there are many others in your situation, and you do have many friends surrounding you that can get you through this heartbreaking crisis. And by friends, I’m not necessarily referring to the harem hanging out in your grotto. You may want to keep company with other guys for the time being to console you.

After a few months, when you feel the time is right, you may want to start dating again. Here’s a suggestion: give older women a chance. They have a lot to offer and they might be able to relate to some of the other values with which your generation grew up. The young chicks have let you down time and time again. Get yourself a cougar, Hef, or perhaps a lion!

What about Betty White? Have you tried calling her up? She’s closer to your age than the vapid, blowsy twenty-somethings bouncing around in your mansion. (I know the vapid characterization hurt, but it’s true. Sorry!) Perhaps Ms. White has been waiting for your phone call. Who knows? Maybe a date with Hugh Hefner is on her bucket list, if she has a bucket list. Go ahead, call and make this old girl’s dream come true!

Good luck Hef! You have devoted a lifetime casting a discerning eye on the finer things this life has to offer - sex, fashion, cars, food — in short, any and everything to which modern man can avail himself. You also displayed an aptitude to discovering and developing the dreams and ambitions of the most beautiful women in the world. This is truly a remarkable talent you have.

Okay, maybe not as remarkable as finding a word that rhymes with pulchritude, but that’s Paul McCartney’s department. You can have the rest.

(Thank you for, the articles of course!)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Gift for the GOP

The talk among the old men in my cardiac rehab session this week is about the special treatment one particular Democrat is getting. The Democrat to whom they are referring is an obviously vain fellow by the name of Weiner. The cry I overheard by several of the fellows was along the lines of “Well, if a Republican did something like he did, he would’ve been out after one day.”

Of course, they say this forgetting about such Republican members of Congress like Larry “Wide Stance” Craig and Mark “Get Naked” Foley, but I digress.

I had hoped that the few words I devoted to Anthony Weiner’s serious lapse in judgment last week would suffice.* Unfortunately, these aspersions that my friends — and, despite their right wing leanings, I do consider them my friends — are casting on the whole of the Democrat Party cannot go unchallenged. Besides, there is a whole other dimension that the tsk-tskers of the GOP are failing to realize.

The point has been made many times over the years that each party has their own distinct monopoly when it comes to scandals. When Republicans are caught misbehaving, it is usually due to their lust for power satisfied by their sometimes unethical accumulation of cash. When Democrats are caught being bad, it usually involves the sometimes immoral pursuit of the opposite sex.

To paraphrase a hair shampoo ad campaign from the 1960’s, “Democrats have more fun!” That’s tradition, but this new trend of photographing body parts for transmission over public media has me stumped. I can’t see what the big attraction is; the old guys in my rehab session don’t get it; and mystery writer and part-time humor columnist Lisa Scottoline weighed in with the female point of view. Her verdict: many women can’t grasp the idea either.

From my own experiences, I can truthfully say that a beautiful woman has slinked up to me begging to see my privates nearly...oh, nearly once. However, in the dark corners of my repressed subconscious, it’s happened nearly...oh, but I digress.

So why is it done? Obviously, many people on both sides of the gender aisle have voyeuristic tendencies. Many times the offender is publicly embarrassed (usually on Facebook) and at worst may lose educational or job opportunities. This time, the offending party is a public servant, chosen by the people to represent their interests in the wicked, wicked cauldron known as “inside the Beltway”.

So why is this public servant still in office a full week after publicly disclosing that he did indeed photograph and transmit his genitals to various women around the country? Why indeed? Weiner has offered to enter rehab — the celebrated way to say, “Oops, I know I did something wrong, but I’m going to get rehabilitated and be a better person for it.” — but not resign. In other words, he hasn’t offered to fall on his sword, but just lean on it a bit until his hand grows numb. Many people do not believe that this offer is good enough.

Surprisingly, Weiner did not get much sympathy from his fellow Democrats: party leaders were calling for his resignation within a few days. Even President Obama is calling for him to step down. Also surprisingly, I haven’t heard much condemnation from the Republicans — you know, the guys and gals that are the majority in the House. Okay, so John Boehner made a few snide comments over the weekend, but otherwise there have been (to my knowledge) no calls for censure or public rebuke. Yes, pressure has been growing on Weiner to give up his seat, but when you’re arrogant and narcissistic, why should you care what others want?

So why hasn’t the Republican leadership been more demanding in their calls for his resignation? Because they know a gift when they see it!

The Republican leaders and their fellow travelers can utter his name every chance they get in the halls of Congress, on the television news shows (especially Fox News), on the conservative radio talk shows, and conservative blog sites as an example of how degenerate the Democrats are! They will talk about him every chance they get, keeping his name and his lurid story on everyone’s minds because surely he is a shining example of how truly evil and depraved the Democratic Party is.

Even better, Weiner will become a great fund raising tool! As long as the GOP believes they can use Weiner to milk their constituencies to build up their campaign war chests for 2012, they will make sure his name is on the lips and minds of every American voter. I realize that this is a cheap shot accusation to level at a major political party, but honestly I couldn’t resist the temptation to use the words “weiner” and “milk” in the same sentence.

Yes, my fellow Americans, we have not heard the last of this scandal, nor will we hear the last of it for a long time to come! You say you’re tired of hearing about this story? You say you’re so disgusted by all of the allegations that you just want this story to go away? That’s too bad!

Keep in mind 2012 is still six months away...and many of us are sick of it already! Do everyone a favor, Weiner! Resign...NOW!

*Snort Notes – June 2011

(Thank you for reading, and watch where you’re pointing that iphone!)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Snort Notes – June 2011


This celebrity sex scandal of the week could force Weiner from office. I’m sure that hurts enough. Knowing he may have damaged his relationship with his recently revealed to be pregnant wife probably adds to his pain. Still, neither of these events can compare to the humiliation he must have felt when he apologized to conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart for calling him a liar. Breitbart was the one who broke the story and, oops, by accident, released the offending photos to the Internet.

Wow, that cuts real deep!

No one believed Weiner’s previous explanation that his e-mail site had been hacked and, Lord only knows, he had no idea how those photos got sent to the women. First of all, what did he expect would happen after he shoved his camera down his crotch? Doesn’t he know by now that there’s no such thing as an honor system when it comes to keeping potentially embarrassing images and/or statements off the Internet? Speaking of embarrassing statements on the Internet...


The presumptive Republican presidential candidate has had more missteps in his campaign in just 3 weeks than George W. Bush (remember him) had in 8 years as President. The departing staff members cited differences in what direction the campaign wanted to take. Apparently the campaign staffers wanted to work for a winning candidate, not one who regularly embarrasses himself just by opening his mouth.

Weiner should take notes from Gingrich’s style: ole Newt doesn’t need to shove cameras at his private parts to experience public humiliation.

Another seeming sore spot in the Gingrich camp is his abandonment of the campaign trail to go on a cruise to Greece with Wife #3. I can understand how Newt wouldn’t want to lose a vacation deposit had he kept his campaign on track, but still someone in his household screwed up. What were they thinking when they planned this vacation? Didn’t anyone think to pencil in the words “Running for President today” on their kitchen calendar? This is how he manages his private life? And he wants us to elect him to a position where he would tell us what to do with our lives?

What’s wrong with Newt’s picture, other than the fact it doesn’t involve stiff members clad in tightie whities?


Oh goody! Now in addition to the male strip tease in ring one, the clueless clown overdosing on chutzpah in ring two, we have a prospective fight between two mama grizzlies to complete our political three ring circus! This promises to be a fun-filled season for political wonks!

Both "ladies" have shown they know how to manipulate the media (Was Palin’s bus trip an actual issue raising event, or just a ploy to make money for her PAC?), but their intelligence in other areas is open to debate. Tea Party darling Bachmann lacks geography skills with her speech earlier this year that placed the beginning of the American Revolution in New Hampshire, not Massachusetts. Meanwhile, former Tea Party matriarch Palin displayed questionable knowledge about American history earlier this week when she insisted that Paul Revere warned the British that they were coming (I think they already knew that, Sarah) with bells clanging and guns ablazing.

One has to wonder with all these distractions if anything relating to policy will ever get accomplished in this country. Yoo hoo, politicos, over here! Yeah, remember us? We the people? You know, the ones experiencing high unemployment rates, high gas prices, and anxiety over your ability to solve the problems of the modern world? Oh well, they may not get the job done, but they sure as hell are entertaining.

(Thank you for reading. One lady whose intelligence I never questioned was Mary Kenny Badami. I may not raise a bottle of Heineken to her memory this weekend, but I will remember fondly her friendship and words of encouragement. I miss you, Mary!)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Paul Revere Who?

Listen my children and you shall hear,
About the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
Or maybe not!

What was once accepted historical legend
Is now nothing more than stupefying hyperbole
That bends with the political wind!

It started with a bus tour by a woman named Sarah
Who once ruled a cold northern land; so barren
From the Aleutians to Point Barrow!

Now she’s found a larger stage saying things outrageous
Which won’t help her win political races
But just the same makes her sound so courageous!

Never mind the facts, she might cry,
A good story to tea party brethren should be a good story to all,
Only those with half a brain can see through the lie!

Thus, with a bus stop in Boston, she recounted the story of Paul Revere’s ride
Forget one if by land, scoff at two if by sea,
And create her own version with gaps in the truth that is Alaska-size wide!

Scores and scores of years ago, Longfellow spelled out the incident in rhyme,
His take could have been as questionable as a woman named Palin,
But school children believed his words; only historians could be heard wailin’!

So now we ask which is right?
Did Revere ride through the countryside,
Screaming and peeling bells through the night?

Sarah believes this version is true
How Revere warned the Redcoats,
And not the colonists clad in blue!

So arguments ensue in barrooms and blog rooms throughout the land
Who to believe — the actual events, or a children’s poet?
When it comes to America’s story, maybe we really don’t know it!

It doesn’t matter; Sarah’s work is done!
She has accomplished her goal to leave her name on everyone’s lips,
While she confounds those who want her to run!

So, proud of the confusion she leaves in her wake, Sarah rides into the sunset!
Her followers think, “So wonderful this woman, gallant and true!”
While her critics sigh, “My God! How much longer will we put up with this nut?”

(Thank you for reading! Now “dash away, dash away, dash away all!”)

Friday, June 03, 2011

Stupid Republican Tricks: The Saga Continues

Well, once again we have another example of Stupid Republican Tricks, our ongoing continuing series of stories highlighting incidents that make members of the GOP look like stupid sacks of crap. As I embark on this theme again, I ask myself why. Why do these stories captivate the general public so much? Why should I, a lowly humble writer toiling away in the outer reaches of the blogosphere devote so much paragraph space to such idiotic events in our political world?

The answer to the first question would have to encompass the psychology of the masses, a collective primitive need to find fault in others so as to bring them down to our level of perception and/or our basest instinct to topple those from lofty heights down to where they can act like mere mortals such as us. In short, this is definitely master’s thesis territory. As to the second question, my answer is simple: it’s been a short stressful week at work, the antics of these professional politicians are too easy to pass up, and I’m working under a deadline.

Thus, we have the story of Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, finding himself in hot water this week when he used a state police helicopter to fly himself and his wife to their son’s high school championship baseball game. Some witnesses to the helicopter landing and the governor embarking from the craft duly recorded the event for posterity or the Internet, or Tweetdom, or any number of other media outlets that need photos like these to fill the voracious 24/7 news cycle. Of course, Christie’s critics pounced on the story. After all, wasn’t this the man who has been so critical of the teacher’s union, so eager to let the havenots suffer the results of his state budget cuts, and so friendly to his rich buddies in the business world, now using state resources for personal use? The story made the governor appear to be a huge hypocrite.

The key word here is “appear”. Once again, a politician is caught in a situation that is politically embarrassing. It may be perfectly legal, but it may not be 100% ethical. In any event, Christie’s real problem is the perception among his constituents that he possesses a “Do as I say, don’t do as I do” mentality.

Advice to all future politicians and wanna be pundits: people hate this mentality! This whole incident could have been reported several different ways. It could have been written up for the masses with thought-provoking theories of power and abuse thereof. Or we could — in the spirit of the governor’s handling of the teacher's union, assume the role of school yard bully who resorts to name calling people with whom he doesn’t agree (i.e., the state's teacher's union is nothing more than thugs – I’m paraphrasing here) – reduce such a thoughtful examination to a string of raucous epithet shoutings that could devolve into an elementary school brawl.

Since the governor might want to be looked upon as leading by example, we’ll select option two. Besides, it’ll be much more fun than some stuffy discourse about abuse of power.

So anyway, Lord Pudginess is seen alighting from his taxpayer subsidized air ride and into a rented limousine — which itself was possibly written off as a reward from a grateful populace (not!) — where he rides 300 FEET (or 100 YARDS) to the baseball bleachers. WTF! The common rabble (i.e., New Jersey voters) would have made do by walking the last part of the journey with no artificial means of forward mobility. Also, the common rabble would have made the first part of the journey in a fuel-inefficient SUV! No fancy-dancy whirly-gigs for us, no siree, bob!

Just thinking of the gasoline that was used to tow his fat cat politician's girth is mind boggling! Let’s do the math. Let fr designate “fat rump”, multiplied by the upward draft of the motor blades, divided by the product of the mileage of an average helicopter trip, multiplied by the price of gasoline per air mile...and we soon see a formula which many professional mathematicians would determine to be truly unworkable. Okay, let’s forget the math and just revel in the sight of a huge man taking perhaps unfair advantage of his constituents who have seen their children’s educational opportunities savaged by the governor’s budget cuts.

Yes, this is hypocrisy at its finest!

Of course, the governor and the state have offered several explanations as to why the trip was not necessarily an extra expense to the taxpayers. There was the statement released by the state police that the helicopter would have been in the air anyway as part of its usual homeland security mission. Besides, this is a newer helicopter that must have so many hours of test flying before it can be deemed safe for everyday use. These arguments still didn’t sit well with Christie’s critics. Finally, the governor, tired of the controversy after a few days, ordered the state Republican Party to reimburse NJ for the cost of the ride.

So it appears there is a happy ending all around. The taxpayers get their money back, the governor is humbled and may double his efforts to watch his own back, and Christie’s critics in the media get lots of mileage from the story. Who could ask for anything more? Answer: we all will want more accountability from a government (state and federal) that appears to abuse their constituent's trust. Now the governor knows that many are watching his every move for the next stupid trick he pulls.

(Thank you for reading! Remember, when going to a sports event, consider taking public transportation. Christie probably wishes he had...)