Dear U.S. Olympic Ski Team:
Congratulations on an outstanding Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. And hey, that 18 year-old Mikaela Shiffrin was impressive on the giant slalom. Well done. I just have one minor complaint to register: Why did you leave me off the team? I contacted you last summer, telling you I wanted to try out for the men’s freestyle aerials or half pipe or any alpine event you guys thought might attract babes. But nobody ever replied to my text message – which by the way I typed in ALL CAPS to get your attention.
I have to say, as qualified as the team members you selected may have been, your decision to leave me off the roster is confounding. I demand an explanation. When I attempted to get on the team plane for Sochi, one of your staffers refused to let me board. I must say he was very discourteous, even after I flashed him 100 rubles to let me get past.
I demand to know why you refused to let me compete with the rest of the skiers. Was it because I’m 59 years old, and the next oldest competitor was 37? News flash: I checked, and age discrimination is totally against the law. Besides, I may be almost 60, but sometimes I use Grecian Formula (dark brown), making me look closer to 52.
Was it because you learned I was married to a Canadian and you questioned my loyalties? Or were you worried my wife would get into a cat fight with the American women’s hockey players? Or maybe you learned about my humor blog and worried I might write a sophomoric column which would spark an international incident. I doubt I’d do that (although I confess I’ve never met a Russian figure skating judge I trusted).
Recently two states legalized the recreational use of marijuana: Colorado and my state, Washington. And as a result, their football teams (Seattle and Denver) are headed to the Super Bowl. That’s why I enthusiastically voted for passage of this law. And I want to apologize for my decision. I had no idea that legalizing weed would unleash a tidal wave of chaos, lawlessness and nonstop ESPN clips of Richard Sherman ranting that he is the best corner back in the history of the universe.
For years, my parents, my minister and my 7th grade science teacher, Mr. Curtis, warned me about the dangers of marijuana. The critically acclaimed 1936 documentary film Reefer Madness proved conclusively that even a single puff of marijuana could lead to a life of heroin addiction, crime and attempting to French kiss nuns during mass.
The evidence is overwhelming that prolonged marijuana use can interfere with one’s ability to concentrate and inhibit one’s motivation. In a 1987 study of rhesus monkeys, researchers found that those monkeys who had routinely inhaled marijuana over a six-month period displayed no motivation to accomplish anything constructive, instead opting to lie around and pick fleas out of their fur. Critics of the study’s findings argued: “What did you expect? Were you waiting for them to draw engineering plans for the next space shuttle? They’re rhesus monkeys, for fuck’s sake.” Critics of legitimate scientific studies often use very coarse language.
Whew! That was that a close call. There was a point earlier this week when I thought I might never see my kids again. Worse yet, I feared that my final blog post might be last week’s lame rant about Sarah Palin. How humiliating. I live in Seattle, and for the past ten days, the entire city has been hunkered down in the grips of an arctic blast so bone-chillingly cold that most of us wondered if we’d ever again be able to venture outdoors in December in flip flops and shorts.
You see, normally the high temperature in Seattle is required by law never to dip below 45 degrees any day from November through May. That’s because of the nearly permanent cloud cover that acts like a thermal blanket to keep us from ever needing to put on gloves or a scarf – which we still do anyway because we Seattleites are extremely fashion-conscious. Oh sure, we might have the occasional fleeting cold front that dips the high temp to 43. But we are a hardy stock. We’ve been known to weather conditions as low as 41 with only mild bouts of panic.
All of that changed last week when suddenly, freakishly, the clouds mysteriously parted. Temperatures plummeted to the low 30s by day and – I kid you not – into the teens at night. It was excruciating. It was chaos. And the only way to survive the brutal blast of frigid air was to put on, say, a Burberry overcoat and matching scarf, and perhaps a pair of J. Crew cashmere-lined suede leather gloves, accented by some Uggs. Now that I think of it, staying indoors might have worked too.
Christmas Day is just around the corner, a time of peace and love and harmony, unless you’re Jewish. But this year, our Christian values of tolerance and forgiveness are being overwhelmed by a cataclysmic war on a scale the world has never seen. The images we see on television are heartbreaking. When will this senseless war stop?
No, I’m not talking about the twelve-year war in Afghanistan, nor the civil war tearing apart Syria. I’m not even talking about the brutal Mattress Price Wars, although the televised images of those retailers viciously slashing prices before my very eyes is enough to make me cry. No, I am, of course, talking about something far more pernicious and deadly: The War on Christmas.
In her lovingly written new book, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas, distinguished author and former Alaskan beauty pageant winner Sarah Palin launches into a heartwarming tirade in defense of Christian values against the onslaught of political correctness, the secularization of Christmas, and the abominations of atheists and liberals (which two groups are, of course, essentially the same). And I for one could not agree with her views more, even if I understood what she was talking about.
The 113th Congress is on track to become the least productive Congress since the time our nation’s ruler wore a crown and lived in a large castle with a drawbridge. Due to the increasingly partisan and ideological tone of the current Congress, the two parties seem dead set on preventing anything the other side proposes from getting passed into law.
The record for fewest pieces of legislation ever passed by a session of Congress was 88, in 1995. Through August, Congress has passed only 15 pieces of legislation. That’s five fewer laws than the number of parental edicts I have proclaimed in the past year (my most controversial one being “no more TIVO-ing Duck Dynasty marathons. I am a tough but fair ruler).
Millions of Americans are outraged at the incessant bickering, stonewalling and filibustering, which have paralyzed our nation’s legislative process. This has resulted in the lowest approval rating for Congress in its history – with 83% of Americans disapproving of the job Congress is doing. In the latest public opinion polls, Congress’s approval rating now trails Anthony Weiner’s popularity by 27 points. On the bright side, their popularity is still ahead of Adolf Hitler and The Black Plague by 6 points and 4 points respectively.
Great news for all of you who have passed the big 50 milestone and are depressed that the best part of life may have passed you by. It has, of course, but be patient. In just 19 years you’ll feel happy again. That’s the findings of a recent study by the London School of Economics. The study determined that 23 and 69 are the two ages at which people are the most satisfied with their lives. And every age in between pretty much sucks.
According to the study’s findings, we experience several up and down periods, peaking at age 23 before dipping in a long, slow decline of satisfaction with our lives by our mid-50s, after which age our happiness rebounds, peaking again just before age 70. After that, for most of us, there really is no point to go on living. So if you’re planning on having a mid-life crisis, the study suggests 55 is the perfect age to plan on having your world shatter into a million meaningless pieces.
Why 23 and 69? Because they’re prime numbers? Good guess but no. (And to those of you who just got out your calculators and figured out that 69 is not a prime number, congratulations.) According to the study, at 23 you are confidently picturing an optimistic future of wealth and career success, probably with an attractive life partner and 2.5 well-behaved kids who get into Princeton on a full-ride merit scholarship. Perhaps you’re already envisioning that second home in the Hamptons or on Cape Cod.
Recently, our nation’s attention was focused on Sanford, Florida, where a mostly white jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of murder or manslaughter in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman claimed he shot the unarmed black youth in self-defense, which it totally was, of course.
Let’s face it, a black youth had no business being in a community of white people, and he came packing heat, and by heat, of course, we mean a bag of Skittles, a candy popular with malevolent juvenile delinquents. And while on one level, Martin’s death is tragic, on the bright side, thanks to the publicity surrounding his death, sales of Skittles are up 25%.
Critics of the verdict shouted racial profiling. Others blamed Florida’s antiquated Stand-Your-Ground law, which apparently permits a white person to kill an unarmed black youth so long as they’re wearing a hoodie, on a sugar high, and the person standing their ground thinks they’re Dirty Harry. The verdict sparked outrage among blacks, who felt it was another case of a white man getting away with murder. White vigilante enthusiasts, on the other hand, are anxiously hopeful Zimmerman may be awarded the next Congressional Medal of Honor.
I believe it’s every American’s duty to do their small part to make our country a better place to live. That’s why I’m calling on President Obama to take immediate executive action to DEPORT MY NEIGHBOR BERT ZABLINSKI NOW! Have you seen his lawn? The last time his grass was less than a foot high, dinosaurs roamed the earth. And don’t get me started about his front yard collection of 47 plastic African garden gnomes or his 14-foot tall sculpture of Elvis giving the finger which he made using only Budweiser cans and Cheez Whiz.
Someone has to take action. Why not the President? I discovered this great web site called We the People, which lets you directly petition the White House. It gets over 300 petitions a day, many from people able to construct nearly complete sentences with nouns and verbs.
The We the People Petition-the-White-House web site was launched in September 2011, and has since received more than 142,000 petitions and 9.2 million signatures. The volume of petitions has spiked since Obama’s re-election in November 2012, mostly from disaffected white southerners furious about Obama’s apparent plans to take away everyone’s guns and require us all to convert to Islam. I must have missed that news story.
It seems no animal is safe to keep as a pet anymore. There was a time when people kept turtles as pets. But no longer, thanks to research which proved turtles often carry the deadly Salmonella bacteria, which can easily be transmitted to people. Then came warnings against frogs and spiders as pets because some turned out to be poisonous. Millions of kids loved to keep bee colonies until two words changed everything: Killer Bees. Now authorities are urging families to take precautions against the latest deadly threat to their kids’ safety: guinea pigs.
When you ask an American what comes to mind when you mention Australia, the first thing they think of is drunken Australians. But the second thing they think of is shark attacks – no wait, actually, second would be the Sydney Opera House. Third would be shark attacks, perhaps tied with Rupert Murdoch, but those are basically the same.
Well, move over, sharks! A newspaper in Newcastle, Australia, the Newcastle Herald, recently reported a rash of terrifying guinea pig attacks throughout New South Wales, Australia (see actual headline below right).
In case you’re just now emerging from a three-month coma or don’t have a television, you may have missed that Michelle Obama seems to be everywhere lately. Ever since she unveiled her brand new, trend-setting bangs in January, you almost can’t turn on the TV without seeing the First Lady. In February, she was on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon where she and Jimmy performed The Evolution of Mom Dancing, which became an overnight You Tube viral sensation. Days later she announced the winner of Best Picture at the Academy Awards. And I’m pretty sure I saw her substituting for Judge Judy last Thursday. (Michelle ruled in favor of the beautician who warned her customer that a rainbow-colored perm… oh, never mind.)
If you can’t get enough of the First Lady, you’re in luck. View from the Bleachers has gained access to her upcoming schedule of appearances. She is one busy lady. Here is an exclusive sneak peak at her travel schedule for the next 30 days:
March 15: Travels to Rome to perform a dance video with newly appointed Pope Francis, grooving to the tune of The Harlem Shake. Zips over to Milan to welcome contestants in The Amazing Race to their next pit stop. (We at VFTB are rooting for the deaf lesbian twins. They’re so nice.)