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

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Monday, December 29, 2014

Year End Satire Clearance

Time once again for the annual cleaning of the satire closet. It has to be done. After awhile, the puns pile up in a corner on top of the boxes of tried and true vaudeville routines (coated with dust of course!), and after awhile there is just so much junk jokes piled on top of double entendres, and it’s a mess. So we’ll haul out the material that didn’t make the cut for earlier blog entries and dust it off for display before consigning it to the Fibber McGee junk closet shop.

Material like this:

Question: How many Kim Jong Un’s does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Answer:  A light bulb? In power grid challenged North Korea? Surely you jest!

Okay, admittedly that was a trick question!


News item: Pope Francis takes the priests working inside the Vatican to task for doing such un-priestly things like gossiping.  Oh, to be a fly on those walls…

First Priest: Did you see the Bishops Nativity display?

Second Priest:  Yes, it’s the most pathetic crèche I’ve ever seen. 

First Priest: Where did he get it? Walgreeni’s? 

Second Priest: As a matter of fact, he did! He rushed right out after midnight mass on Christmas Eve!


First Priest: I haven’t seen Monsignor Joseph around lately…

Second Priest: He’s on “retreat.”

First Priest: Oh no, not again!

Second Priest: Yes, caught looking at NAMBLA literature in the confessional again!


(Thank you for reading! And don’t call me Surely! Ba dum ching!)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

So the day has arrived. No cold whiteness on the ground to supplement our collective Christmas ideal, but that’s okay. So far, all is quiet; and with three cats in the house, there better not be a mouse!

Warrior Queen has checked out all of the boyfriend blogs, and they’ve have been quite chatty this morning. So far, all seems well with them.

This will be Gigi’s and Oreo’s first Christmas with us. Santa Cat has brought Oreo a replacement scratching pad, and all cats will get a fresh selection of toy mice to bat and toss in the air.

As for ourselves, the gifts have not been exchanged yet. The Christmas Eve celebration was quiet. A toast of eggnog and a couple of holiday specials on DVD over a plate of nachos (my first time trying it at home as a meal) filled the evening nicely. The nachos are not a traditional Christmas Eve delicacy, but it was a great way to use up a leftover jar of queso, some sloppy joes from earlier in the week, and a cherry pepper.

Later today we will have a lunch at either a local Indian or Japanese seafood buffet, perhaps followed by a movie if we feel real ambitious. Or we will retire to our abode and contend ourselves with our annual viewing of Scrooge (the 1951 version).

In the spirit of the day, I will spare my usual targets the stings of my satiric barbs…well, save for one. American retailers: I hope you had a great holiday season. Now quit your bitchin' that Black Friday sales were off! Of course they were off! Because we, the American consumers, jumped at the chance to blow our wad on the Thanksgiving night sales. So shut up and be thankful for the business you got!

Merry Christmas and otherwise Happy Holidays to All!

(Thank you for reading!)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Holiday Season – Part Deux

Submitted for your approval…

Imagine you’re surfing your programming guide on your television and you happen upon a channel listing these titles:

A Very _______Christmas

Christmas with ________

Christmas in __________

Christmas and ________Christmas

________  _________  _________ Christmas

Christmas, Christmas, and Christmas _______  ________

The Man Who _______ Liberty Christmas

Lobster thermidor aux crevettes with a Mornay sauce, garnished with truffle pate, brandy and a fried egg on top, and spam. (Admittedly, this does not have much Christmas in it.)*

You wonder where you are on the digital dial. Obviously, you’ve stumbled into (cue thunder sounds and lightning effect) The Hallmark Channel.

I thought I was safe from the Hallmark Channel this year. My local cable company had deleted the channel from my subscription offerings earlier in the year. As I cruised past TCM, AMC, and Paid Programming, I would click to the next channel and see a notice telling me “You have not subscribed to the Hallmark Channel” and I would surf on, secure in the knowledge that I was safe from family dramas and boy-meets-girl romcom epics.

Little did I know that my cable operator had other, more devious designs in store for my viewing pleasure. Sometime around Thanksgiving, the Hallmark Channel re-appeared as a basic channel offering on my cable subscription. It happened as if by magic…dark magic!
What, I wondered, had I done to deserve this? Why, oh great Patron Saint of Television, Saint Ernie of Kovacs, why have you forsaken me?

Yes, the Hallmark Channel, that last bastion of clean, family entertainment where very few four letter words are uttered. Think about this: when was the last time you saw Gone with the Wind scheduled for broadcast on The Hallmark Channel!

The Hallmark Channel, that gave great old character actors like Ernest Borgnine and Peter Falk their final acting credits before they went to that great Hallmark Channel in the sky. Now there’s a scary thought! The Hallmark Channel in the afterlife! What kind of hell is that?

Yet there are times when I can be seduced by the waves of sentiment crashing over my psyche. Towards the end of each little drama, everyone’s conflict is resolved, everyone’s adverse emotions are in check, and the story is all tied up with a pretty red bow. Yes, I’ll admit that when these moments happen I feel a little warmth in my heart.

Then I know it’s time to find a violent video game…or watch the first 30 minutes of Saving Private Ryan…or Fox and Friends…anything to raise the darkness out of my soul and bring me back to reality.

Reality…not found on the Hallmark Channel!

*Don’t know how that got in there. Okay, I’ll fess up: it is a cheap reference to Monty Python. 

Thank you for reading! Is that a Hallmark card in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Christmas Day Dinner Invitation

The management of this blog would like to extend a warm invitation to two very special gentlemen on the forthcoming Christmas holiday.

We graciously extend the hospitality of Chez Gunther to

                                                Mr. Richard Cheney
                                                Mr. Karl Rove

To dine with us at a mid-day meal on Christmas Day.

Yes, gentlemen, please come and share a nice glass of egg nog, a sumptuous feast of wild turkey with all the trimmings, capped by a serving of figgy pudding, and of course a convivial atmosphere where all points of view - no matter how partisan or heinous - will be discussed and encouraged.

So, gentlemen, please join us at noon on Christmas Day when you will honor us with your presence at our dinner table.

We will then ask you  to give the blessing for the season.

We will then ask you to drop your pants and bend over.

                                                Dinner is served!

(Thank you for reading! That cranberry sauce has been where? No thank you!)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Vinyl Strikes Back

I was at the mall a few weeks ago and wandered into a store called The Rock Shop. I browsed the store's offerings, which by the way did not include anything which could be classified as igneous or sedimentary. No, this store has something called vinyl records on which is imprinted grooves; which when placed on a turntable and with the application of a system comprising a needle, an amplifier, and speakers enables one to hear sounds. 

I was amazed at this technology. As I marveled at the selection of discs - the size of dinner plates - I also saw thin little plastic boxes about the size of a three-by-five card that contained a thin tape which when inserted in a specific slot could also yield sounds. The tape was wound around a wheel so that the sounds could be heard for minutes on end.

What marvelous devices we now have to listen to pre-recorded sounds! What a wonderful…wait a minute! Vinyl, needle, amplifiers, speakers, tape…all this sounds very familiar and yet…

Arrrggggh! Vinyl records are back, and with a vengeance! Records that I bought years ago for $7.99 are now ticketed with tags showing $19.99 to $25.99! The records, mostly produced by independent producers, have seen sales increase over the past year. One estimate put total sales at 8 million units!

This is nice for the record industry, but not good for me.

Back about 25-30 years ago when music technology was changing from vinyl platters and cassette tapes to smaller laser type technology, I began a record collection in earnest. I was seduced by the allure of the old recordings which surrounded me in my childhood, and then overwhelmed by nostalgia for the early rock and roll albums, even though rock and roll as a genre was peaking at the time.  

I attended record shows every few months when I lived with Warrior Queen in Northern Virginia and I would come home with an armful of albums ranging from Ray Charles to Nancy Sinatra. I had excess disposable income at that time (key words here: at that time) because Warrior Queen paid the mortgage. Some I bought to complete my collection of a certain artist, some I bought so I could actually listen to them. Mostly I bought them as an investment to fund a comfortable retirement. In those days, the thinking was that vinyl records - as they became scarcer and rare in the marketplace - would increase in value from 10 to 20%. Now, since vinyl is making a comeback, they are no longer scarce, and the value of the old albums has bottomed out and…my retirement dreams are now SHIT!

Oh, patron saint of recorded music, St. Thomas of Edison, why have you forsaken us?

Double arrrggh!!!!

My collection now stands at several thousand and most of these are “cut-outs” - overstock which had perforations made into the covers (hence the name) to decrease their value and were bought at bargain bin prices. A perusal of record collecting websites advised me that records that are rare have the highest value on auction websites. Overstock albums are not rare and therefore not valuable and therefore not capable of buying me a lunch at Wendy’s when I’m 64!

Triple arrrghhh!!!!

Of course, those over a certain age (I’ll go out on a limb and set it at 40) are familiar with my explanations of the old technology. I mainly described it to entertain those members of the millennial generation. I blame you millennials for sabotaging my retirement aspirations! How dare you get misty eyed about the 70s! What are you thinking?

Abandon the vinyl while you can! Go back to your iPods and your downloads! That’s where “the action is”.

I can only hope that you’ll spend thousands of your hard earned disposable income on discs and the market will cycle around again.

I look forward to the day when your grandchildren make compact discs the next wave of recorded sound!

(Thank you for reading! BTW: I asked the clerk at The Rock Shop where they keep the 8 track tapes. She shook her head and said they had to draw the line somewhere. Thank you, St. Thomas of Edison; there is a god after all!)

Monday, December 08, 2014

The Holiday Season (So Far)

The holiday season is happening again and engulfing us in good cheer whether we want it or not. We’re surviving nicely, and, as the cliché goes, so far, so good. Well, it’s not all candy canes and holly.

Our gift shopping is mostly done, but I’m a bit slow in mailing my Christmas cards and Warrior Queen has barely started decorating. The faux Christmas tree is out of its box, but the decorations are still in the big plastic bin which resembles a blue, polystyrene sarcophagus. 
This year the anniversary of significant historical events are actually falling on the original days when they happened. This year, December 7th, the date “which will live in infamy” actually fell on a Sunday. We lost John Lennon on this day and date in 1980. And, oh yes, Merry Christmas!

I know these are horrible things to bring up in the Christmas season, but I can’t help it. I’m a historian at heart, so deal with it!

I have my annual infusion of sickening sweet sentimentality behind me when I watched It’s A Wonderful Life on network tv. I’ve watched it by myself for years: Warrior Queen can’t get past the scene when George Bailey melts down in front of his family, but every year I’m struck by a new aspect of the drama. This year’s epiphany: George Bailey goes from suicidal to gaily skipping (yes, you read that right, gaily skipping) down the snow covered streets of Bedford Falls all the while shouting/praising the virtue of small town American values in a matter of cinematic seconds.

My question: has anyone written a doctoral dissertation on George Bailey’s obvious bi-polar tendencies? Someone must have written it by now...

The spirit of the season is coming over me ever so slowly despite my infusion of holiday tradition. My mood is tempered by my normally dark personality anyway, so I’m not too concerned. I do have one health issue to deal with. My back still aches from time to time, and occasionally - to paraphrase Mr. D.P. Gumby - “My eyeball hurts!”

I had a vision appointment last week, expecting to get an update prescription for my eye glasses. The verdict: my present prescription is fine; it’s the eyes that are going downhill. My examining doctor gave me a referral to a surgeon who specializes in laser surgery.

It appears that I will need to put cataract surgery on my 2015 to do list. Yayyy!!! And here I was so worried that I won’t have any fun next year! Silly me!

My initial consult is late January and I hope they can schedule the surgery before my current benefit year expires. The procedure - which I hope is covered by my medical insurance - will most likely eat up the remainder of my insanely high deductible, provided it can be done before the end of February.

I’m not looking forward to incurring more healthcare debt, but, if the timing is right, then my insurer may have to give a little of their own skin this year to assist me in meeting my expenses.

That’s right, Independence Blue Cross! If I go down financially this year then I’m taking you with me! Mooo-ha-ha-ha-ha…or however you care to spell the sound of diabolical laughter.

So, no excessive seasonal joy yet, but we have still have a few weeks to go.

(Thank you for reading. Happy Christmas and give peace a chance!)