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

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, October 31, 2015

GOP Candidates Say the Darnedest Things: Waiting in the Green Room

(This maybe the first of an occasional series of reports on the GOP’s efforts to take back the White House. The editorial board at arteejee envisions these reports to be entertaining because, as we all know, GOP Candidates Say the Darndest Things!)

So, anyway, the Republican candidate clown car pulled into Colorado this week for the third of a seemingly endless series of debates. In preparation for the big night, the entourages from the various campaigns toured the debate facility, which included a peek at each candidate’s green room, or that room where they would relax and wait for the show to begin.
For those of us who spent some time in theater - professional or amateur, it doesn’t matter - we know the green room is used as a waiting room. Many network talk shows use this type of room for their guests to relax awhile before they appear on the show. In our college theater, the green room doubled as the costume shop, and (for one show) a place where members of the scenery crew crashed after they worked in to the wee hours of the morning building a set which was supposed to represent an ancient Middle Eastern city.*

In any event, the green room can serve multi-purposes. The RNC decided that rooms originally constructed for a multitude of purposes in a venue could all serve as green rooms for the Republican candidates. The managers of the various campaigns reviewed the inequality of the green rooms and were not smiling.

Until recently, front runner Donald Trump got a spacious - or as he would say HUGE - room complete with flat screen television and plush upholstered seating which could comfortably seat his entourage or ten illegal Mexican rapists. Take your pick…

At the other end of the spectrum, Rand Paul got a two room closet with a toilet. Hey, if that were me, I would trade the flat screen tv for the toilet any day. As you may know, I am a middle-aged man with an enlarged prostate. You do the math…

Marco Rubio and his crew got to cool their heels in a room designed as a movie theater. I wouldn’t complain about that either, but I have to wonder what film his entourage would amuse themselves with while they waited for the debate to begin. I’ll go out on a limb and pick Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. Or maybe The Birdcage?

The lone female in the pack, Carly Fiorina, allegedly had a Jacuzzi in her green room. Surprisingly, she did not cancel her appearance with the ten men on the debate stage despite having this amenity in her waiting room. I would not have blamed her if she had tweeted to the other candidates, “Sorry gentlemen, I won’t make it tonight. I’ve fallen into a Jacuzzi and I can’t get up.”

The dust up between the campaigns and the RNC briefly made headlines the day before the debate, but it was quickly forgotten as the candidates turned on the moderators en masse because (to them) the questions were unbecoming of a respected news organization. It's almost as if the RNC pointed at the moderators and cried, “There! They’re the ones who assigned your green rooms! Get them!”

So, with all of the problems facing our country today - international and domestic terrorism, crumbling infrastructure, wealthy class indifferent to the needs of the workers who serve them, et al - they fight over pre-debate accommodations. You bitch about your rooms, you bitch about the tough questions which reporters are suppose to ask. Seriously, kids? You are the ones who desire to lead the free world? 

Maybe it was not so much that the waiting rooms or the questions were unbecoming. Perhaps it is the human beings themselves who are unbecoming of seeking higher office.

(Thank you for reading. Now, where’s that Jacuzzi?)

*Janey, remember Belshazzar?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

At 56

Confession: ever since childhood, I had the notion that I would most likely suffer a fatal heart attack at the age of 55. Of course back then the double nickel seemed like it was a thousand years away, and I figured I would have plenty of time to live a good life in the meantime.

Just goes to show you how quickly a thousand years can fly by…

In any case, I felt compelled in the last year to tell those closest to me — for example, my oldest friend Janey, and this woman sitting in my living room for the last 23 years for another — about my childhood notion. I had wanted to give those closest to me some sort of warning in case my feelings of mortality came true on time. Well, one thing led to another — called day-to-day living — and it ended up that I never got around to telling anyone.

Just as well, because I didn’t die, although my blog writing has been gasping on life support for several months.

I turned 56 at the beginning of a wonderful long weekend; we don’t do vacations anymore, just long weekends. We spent the weekend with friends in Delaware, walked around Rehoboth Beach despite or just to spite our arthritic backs/knees, and generally broke up our routines with the change in scenery.

I found Rehoboth Beach to be a nice little town on the sea. This weekend was the first long block of time I had spent there. I had passed through it at other times without stopping for a long period beyond a lunch with friends a few years ago.

I actually believed it could be a nice place to live someday, but then I realized that I was seeing it in the off season. This is a beach town after all, and their livelihood depends on the in-season tourist traffic. No, my blood pressure would most likely not withstand the stress of the tourist scene.

So this landmark birthday was celebrated at Dos Locos in Rehoboth Beach with a pitcher of sangria shared with Warrior Queen, and capped with a nice free dessert, a sombrero on my head and a chorus of Happy Birthday from members of the Dos Locos wait staff. Obviously, someone (Mark, I'm looking at you!) blabbed about my birth date to the restaurant management. 
In past years, I would try to keep my celebration a secret whenever I dined out on my birthday. I would see this display of congratulations showered on other diners and I imagined that I would die of embarrassment if it ever happened to me. Good news: I didn’t die of embarrassment when it finally happened and it was all over before I realized it. Besides, the dessert — a few scoops of ice cream and chocolate sauce in a tortilla shell - was very good. 
My 23rd anniversary with Warrior Queen happened in the middle of this weekend. I gave her a gift card for her favorite nail salon and a gag gift: a bell which she could ring to hasten the delivery of her morning “happy juice” (i.e., coffee). I intended it to be a gag, but alas, the joke has been on me. Warrior Queen has used it every day since she got it and every day her coffee magically appears. It appears instantly through my pre-planning, starting the coffee maker, and preparing her cup with the proper amount of artificial sweetener and non-dairy creamer. 
This might not sound like much, but making coffee for someone else can be a lot of work when you’re still trying to wake up yourself. But in the end it is a labor of love.

So I am waking up again at 56. My past 55 years was one side of my life. This side of my life will mean going back to the routines of the old life: daily coffee making,   exercise on the stationary bicycle (interrupted weeks ago by the pain of arthritis in the knees), and of course earning a living. The long weekend is over and it’s now time to get back to everyday living which I hope to keep doing for many years to come.  

(Thank you for reading and…oh, there’s that bell again. Coming, dear!)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Columbus Day Hangover

Ah, another Columbus Day (or more accurately Italian-American Pride Day*) is now history. I have reviewed the Arteejee archives and determined that I have never written on the subject of this holiday. Well, let’s rectify that today!

On this day, school children are taught that the fearless, courageous Christopher Columbus defied the common wisdom of the 15th century and dared to sail the “ocean blue in 1492” (or so the song goes). His objective was to discover a new world, bulging with resources begging to be plundered…


Of course school children are never taught this about Columbus on Columbus Day because THEY’RE NOT IN SCHOOL ON COLUMBUS DAY! It is an American holiday on the verge of becoming as relevant as, say, Arbor Day or Flag Day.


Governments, banks and many businesses with union employees get the day off, which is fine with me. In many respects, Americans are the hardest-working citizens in the world and, frankly, we need as much time off to rest as we can get.

Still, it occurred to me this year that, although it creates an excuse for our educational system to very briefly note how we came to be here in the first place, the holiday is not celebrated in an appropriate manner. In recent years, it has become another excuse to sell cars, appliances, and anything else you can jam on your credit card.

We need to rethink this. After all, what did Columbus actually do on Columbus Day? Did he plant the Spanish flag and immediately look around for a used car lot? No. Did he make a beeline for Best Buy® and try to buy a new dishwasher for Mrs. Columbus? No; if he did, school children have never sung about that part of his trip.


We’re not celebrating Columbus Day in the true spirit of what actually happened. In recent years, there has been a movement to celebrate Native American culture in place of honoring Columbus’ achievement. I don’t know how far this will go, but it is a good thing to promote cultural sensitivity.

Ah, but we are talking about Columbus Day, so cultural sensitivity be damned!


May I suggest that the following events should be re-enacted for a faithful celebration of Columbus Day: seduce a member of the Spanish monarchy; conquer a far away land;   subjugate its native citizens; decimate their culture; convert them to an extremely militant organized religion…


…introduce STD’S…yee-haa! Pillage and plunder, everyone, pillage and plunder!* Nothing against Italians, great culture, wonderful food, and hey, how can you beat the Renaissance? However, you could probably do better to hitch your point of pride to someone other than Columbus. Just saying…

(Thank you for reading! The preceding was a lampoon of political incorrectness and cultural insensitivity, but you knew that, right?)