My Worst First Date – A Play-by-Play Highlight Reel

My Worst First Date – A Play-by-Play Highlight Reel

[Author’s note: The following story of my youth is completely true. It is the saga of my first – and worst – date ever. No exaggerations are needed to convey my humiliation. Perhaps this play-by-play highlight reel will help you appreciate the magnitude of my fiasco. TEJ]

This is a play-by-play look at my very first – and worst – date ever. I was only 16 and had no clue of first date protocol. I actually tried this suave move. Epic fail!

This is a play-by-play look at my very first – and worst – date ever. I was only 16 and had no clue of first date protocol. I actually tried this suave move. Epic fail!

Brad Braykizharte: Welcome to another episode of WORST FIRST DATES. I’m your host, Brad Braykizharte, along with my co-host, Craig Krashenberne.

This week on WFD, we take a trip in the Way Back Machine to May 1971, to witness the cringe-worthy first-date-astrophy of Tim Jones. Our hero’s maiden voyage into dating was akin to the sinking of the Titanic. Many experts consider Tim’s shipwreck one of the most traumatic close encounters of the worst kind in the annals of teenage dating.

Craig Krashenberne: That’s right, Brad. This one truly belongs in the WFD Hall of Fame.

Brad: I’d say Hall of LAME, eh, Craig?

Craig: Touché, pal. Tonight’s episode is titled The Strike Out King. Where should we begin, Brad?

Brad: Let’s start by painting the picture of how deeply infatuated our protagonist, young Tim (age 16), was with the attractive and alluring Suzie. He was besotted, over the moon, gaga, smitten…. You get the picture?

Craig: Indeed, I do.

Brad: In fact, unsuspecting Suzie lived right across the street, so Tim would gaze upon her house through his bedroom window, dreaming of holding her hand.

Craig: Sounds like a creeper, if you ask me.

Brad: Our hero was painfully shy and had no clue how to talk to girls, let alone how to ask one out. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he attended a private all-boys’ military academy where Dating 101 was not part of the curriculum.

Craig: To top it off, the boy had absolutely no fashion sense! For his first date with Suzie, the bonehead wore lavender corduroy bell-bottoms held up with a shiny white belt, and a lime green polyester shirt. Strike One! Are we sure he wasn’t gay?

Brad: Jury’s still out on that one. But enough about his fashion blunder. Let’s talk about the chauffer service he enlists to drive them to the movies.

Craig: Pretty classy move – except for one minor detail: the driver is his older brother. Because Tim doesn’t have his driver’s license yet.

Brad: True. Strike Two! And he hasn’t even left the driveway! Let’s deduct 30 coolness points right there.

Craig: Yeah, not a good start for his first romantic outing. But I’m sure he makes up for his initial faux pas by choosing a hilarious comedy, right?

Brad: That’s a big Negatory, Craig-O-Matic. He takes her to see WILLARD! 

Craig: Wait, Willard?? The creepy horror film about a young psycho dude who gets bullied, then trains hundreds of rats to kill people in revenge? Talk about bringing the plane down for a hard crash landing! The kid is going down in flames! Were there any survivors?

Me, circa 1971. What lass could resist the charms of this lad? Answer: All of them. I possessed the animal magnetism of a monkfish. Which is fitting, since I attended an all-boys’ school.

Me, circa 1971. What lass could resist the charms of this lad? Answer: All of them. I possessed the animal magnetism of a monkfish. Which is fitting, since I attended an all-boys’ school.

Brad: Barely. But let’s take a gander at Tim’s next Casanova move, shall we?

Craig: No, no, no. I can’t bear to look.

Brad: He does the “stretch maneuver” – reaching his hand out, extending it around Suzie’s back and landing his arm on her shoulder.

Craig: Oh, no, he didn’t! I thought they outlawed that first date move back in 1964.

Brad: Tim wasn’t much of a student of history. Apparently, he saw an episode of Bonanza where Little Joe put his arm around a woman he’d rescued from a burning house, and she swooned in his embrace.

Craig: Bonanza, eh? A great how-to manual for wooing – if the year was 1867. So, how does our little buddy’s daring maneuver work out?

Brad: You don’t want to know.

Craig: Well, now you gotta tell me.

Brad: Let’s just say, his grave is pretty well dug by then. Little Miss Suzie stiffens up like a cement pillar, her eyes glued to the screen. Apparently staring at ravenous rats devouring human flesh was less upsetting than having to make eye contact with Tim. After 20 minutes, Tim’s arm starts cramping up badly, but he feels stuck and leaves it there the rest of the show. He was committed.

Brad: You mean he should have been committed, for such an ill-conceived lame move. But you know, as awkward as that was, that isn’t the worst part – not by a long shot. Remember?

Craig: How can I forget? As the movie ends, Tim asks Suzie if she’d like to go out for ice cream, to which she tersely replies –

Brad: “I’d love to”? 

Craig: Not exactly. She said –

Brad: Oh, I remember: “Can you take me home pleeeeze – now?” Boom! DOWN GOES FRAZIER! The ref should have stopped it right then and there. And Tim doesn’t have a car, remember? So, he calls his brother on his cell phone, right?

Craig: No, dude. It’s 1971. His choice is calling up his brother on a pay phone – either that or hitchhiking. Only one small problem – Tim has no change and the concession stand is now closed. So, he asks Suzie for a quarter, but she didn’t bring a purse.

Brad: So, you’re saying they hitchhiked home?

Craig: Not quite. He literally goes panhandling, begging complete strangers for money to place the call.

Brad: Strike Four! Are you allowed four strikes on a first date?

Craig: Buddy, it ain’t over. Tim ultimately hits up eight people before one of them gives him 25 cents. By this time, the theater is closed. They’re forced to stand and wait outside – just the two of them, until Tim’s brother arrives. By now, Suzie is shivering, from the cold night air – or from the horrors of Willard – or perhaps from the traumatic memory of Tim’s arm around her shoulder. Of course, Tim didn’t wear a jacket, so no chivalry points there. 45 minutes later, the getaway car finally shows up.

Above: How I imagined my very first date might end. Below: A rough approximation of how it actually went. Her favorite part of our evening? When it was finally over.

Above: How I imagined my very first date might end. Below: A rough approximation of how it actually went. Her favorite part of our evening? When it was finally over.

Brad: Speaking of cars, this has turned into a five-car pile-up. But next comes my favorite part. Tim gallantly opens the car door to let his date into the back seat. Remember?

Craig: Oh yeah. That’s when Suzie speaks for only the second time that evening. As Tim endeavors also to sit in the back seat, she whispers, “Would you mind sitting in the front?” 

Brad: No way! She didn’t!

Craig: As God is my witness.

Brad: Strike… um… how many strikes is he up to? The kid is dying out there. Quick, get a medic. I’m not sure we can resuscitate the boy.

Craig: Suzie never says a word the entire way home.

Brad: Awkward.

Craig: But the final nail in the coffin is when they pull into her driveway. Tim’s father had taught him, “A gentleman always walks the young lady to her door.” Kind of hard to do when your date is literally sprinting to her front door and shouts, “Thank you, bye.” without even a glance back at the bewildered Tim.

Brad: Wow, that’s brutal. Those passengers on the Hindenburg suffered a less harrowing outing! At least for them, their agony was over quickly.

Craig: And here’s the amazing twist. Tim and Suzie went out for two years, and she totally fell for him.

Brad: Really? Did not see that coming.

Craig: No, you idiot. They never went out again.

Brad: Yeah, that makes more sense.

Craig: Experts say it’s a wonder this debacle didn’t cause him to re-evaluate his sexual orientation.

Brad: That’s all the time we have for WORST FIRST DATES. Stay tuned next week, when we’ll dissect the worst first date of Bill Gates, king of the nerds.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2021

Red States Introduce Bills to Protect Women

Red States Introduce Bills to Protect Women

[Author’s note: The following is political satire. Anyone who can’t figure this out is clearly not a woman and should not be allowed to marry one.  – TEJ]

Republican-controlled state legislatures are following Texas’ lead as they introduce new statutes to empower women. In West Virginia, the Statehouse is expected to pass a bill to ensure a woman’s right to serve a fresh home-cooked meal, without any interference from the man of the house, when he arrives home from a tiring day at the office. This bill will protect motherhood.

Republican-controlled state legislatures are following Texas’ lead as they introduce new statutes to empower women. In West Virginia, the Statehouse is expected to pass a bill to ensure a woman’s right to serve a fresh home-cooked meal, without any interference from the man of the house, when he arrives home from a tiring day at the office. This bill will protect motherhood.

In an unprecedented effort to protect women (from themselves, apparently), the Republican-controlled Texas state legislature passed a historic piece of legislation to make the lives of women in the Lone Star State better than ever (unless, of course, you happen to ask any woman currently residing in the Lone Star State). They made sure that from now on no female Texan will ever have to worry about having access to a legal abortion – because abortions have been effectively outlawed. Well done, Texas state legislature.

Here’s what happened. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a self-proclaimed women’s rights advocate, signed into law the most comprehensive abortion ban in the nation. The statute, which the U.S. Supreme Court opted to let stand, outlaws all abortions, including for rape and incest, after six weeks (a date by which most pregnant women are not yet even aware they might be pregnant).

The ban allows any private citizen to sue any person who has helped a woman obtain a forbidden abortion by awarding them a $10,000 verdict (plus legal fees). This means people can sue anyone who might have assisted a woman attempting to get an abortion after the six-week mark – the doctor, the clinic receptionist, even the taxi driver who drove her to the clinic. This bold new measure was passed by a legislative chamber – now this next part may surprise you – composed overwhelmingly of white men.

The likely outcome of this forward-thinking law will be to create a chilling effect on abortion clinics and medical professionals throughout the state, fearful of being financially ruined by the threat of an onslaught of lawsuits filed by caring individuals deeply concerned about women’s health and not in any way motivated by the chance to make a fast $10,000 bounty.

Proponents of the new statute have hailed this law as a giant step forward in establishing the rights of men who know what’s best for women’s physical and emotional well-being. Inspired by Texas’ forward-thinking measures to protect women from making decisions about their own bodies, several other Republican-controlled state legislatures are following Texas’ lead in introducing new statutes intended to protect the fairer sex. Here are some examples:

Mississippi: Citing the fact that women can get overly emotional – particularly at certain “times of the month” – the state assembly has proposed giving women the option of not voting, if it is deemed by one or more male relatives that being forced to choose between competing candidates could cause undue emotional stress – especially if they were contemplating errantly voting for the Democrat in the race.

“This law would in no way limit a woman’s right to vote,” clarified Mississippi state representative Beauregard Wymenheytor. “It simply gives her the option to sit out any election for which the pressure of having to make up her mind might be too taxing for her frail emotional makeup – as indicated by thoughts of recklessly considering voting blue.”

In Tennessee, the state legislature has introduced a bill to require women to cover their arms and legs at all times, to protect their delicate soft skin from the cruel threat of skin cancer. Seen here, an artist’s rendering of recommended empowering attire. Très chic.

In Tennessee, the state legislature has introduced a bill to require women to cover their arms and legs at all times, to protect their delicate soft skin from the cruel threat of skin cancer. Seen here, an artist’s rendering of recommended empowering attire. Très chic.

South Carolina: Several Palmetto State residents have expressed deep concerns about terrorist threats posed by the potential of thousands of Afghan refugees invading their shores in the aftermath of the Taliban takeover. As a result, Republican Representative Colt McBigotte has introduced a bill allowing women to open carry handguns without a license or any firearms safety training.

When asked whether he was concerned that this might encourage a Wild West culture in which it becomes too easy for people to access dangerous weapons, Rep. McBigotte countered, “Not a problem. Under this bill, women will need permission from their husbands in order to have access to bullets. God knows what a pissed off lady with a loaded gun could do. Can you imagine?”

Florida: It is widely known that President Biden’s COVID response has been an utter failure, due primarily to all those vaccines he has peddled, which endanger people’s freedom.

Thankfully, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has valiantly halted the pandemic in its tracks (with the small exception of record levels of hospitalizations and deaths) with his resolute policy of fighting for the rights of patriotic anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers to endanger their own children and other schoolkids.

Thanks to DeSantis’ courageous leadership, Florida’s statehouse has introduced a statute that will require women to stay at home, to avoid getting exposed to COVID. They will be granted weekly passes to any grocery store, so they’ll be able to continue to make meals for their family, as women love to do. They will also be permitted to go to restaurants in the company of a male companion (for their protection, of course) – with the exception of any restaurant that imposes a mask requirement, as those restaurants clearly hate America.

Louisiana: For too many years, women have complained that they routinely are paid 20% to 50% less for the same job as their male counterparts. To rectify this problem, lawmakers will no longer force (or allow) women and men to do the same jobs – to avoid any complaints about unequal pay.

Men will continue to be allowed to do jobs like CEOs, doctors, congressmen, and investment bankers. Women, on the other hand, will be allowed to continue doing many of the fulfilling jobs they’ve long performed so skillfully, including barista, flight attendant, dental hygienist, and handmaid.

Look at these diverse photos of the men of the Utah state legislature. Who’d know more about women’s issues and concerns than these guys? That’s why they’ve introduced a bill to allow women to opt out of voting, say, if they’re not in the mood or are feeling bloated.

Look at these diverse photos of the men of the Utah state legislature. Who’d know more about women’s issues and concerns than these guys? That’s why they’ve introduced a bill to allow women to opt out of voting, say, if they’re not in the mood or are feeling bloated.

Alabama: With so many commercials on TV telling women how they can look even sexier, the Alabama state assembly is finally doing something gallant to take the pressure off of women trying to keep up with the latest fashion trends. If this bill passes, women will no longer have to spend hours and hours in front of the mirror deciding what to wear. These decisions will now be made by men.

Pants on women will be outlawed to avoid any gender confusion. Similarly, men will be banned from wearing bikinis or strapless gowns. State representative Butch Misoginick further mansplained. “Ladies waste valuable time every day trying to decide what to wear – time that could be better spent making their man a hearty meal or folding laundry. Now they don’t have to worry their pretty little heads about what to wear. Problem solved.”

Critics of the bill likened it to the Taliban requiring women to be covered in a burqa, but Misoginick was quick to debunk that claim. “Here in Alabama, we oppose masks of any kind. Always have. Always will – with the lone exception of our KKK brethren, that is.”

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2021

The Secret to Writing a Successful Humor Column….

The Secret to Writing a Successful Humor Column….

… is something I know nothing about. Nevertheless, I can’t count the number of times people come up to me on the street, at the unemployment office or in the women’s locker room at my gym and ask me about my column. Why just last week, there must have been almost two people who approached me. Now that I think about it, he was holding a cardboard sign and seemed more interested in a cash donation than my column.

My point is that people ask me all the time about my column and how I accomplished all my success. In full disclosure the two most frequently asked questions are “How did you get my email address?” and “Will you please take me off your distribution list?” But a close third is “Tim, how do you write your weekly humor column?” In retrospect, I think the majority of them were not asking “how” I write my humor column so much as “why.”

Why do I write this column? As most of you know, I’ve been cranking out this crap, I mean column, since the mid-1980’s – about 12 years before Al Gore invented the Internet. Back then I just made photocopies of my column and taped them onto people’s computer monitors. It was hard work, particularly when the person got annoyed with me because, say, they were in the middle of inputting their quarterly report numbers into a spread sheet.

Of course, the main reason I do it is for the love of writing and only secondarily for the money. As some of you may have forgotten, when you first clicked on the link in your email pointing you to my latest column, my blogging software surreptitiously inserts a tiny piece of code – hardly worth mentioning – onto your computer which links my article directly to your online checking account. Each time a reader clicks on the link to read my weekly post, fifty cents is discreetly deducted from their bank account. A small price to pay for the gift of laughter, if you ask me. And I never deduct this fee more than once per week, even if you read my column multiple times, as that would be unethical.

It’s not easy sticking to the discipline of writing a weekly humor column. Every week I have to start from scratch and think up an entirely new way to embarrass my wife. Where do I get my ideas? Well, mainly from old newspaper columns written in the early 1960s which I calculate most of my readers have never read or long ago forgotten. I simply update their article by dropping in current references to things like Kanye West, COVID 19, and Tik Tok, so people won’t notice that it was actually written by Art Buchwald back in 1971. But every once in a while I have an original thought. Fortunately, it usually it passes in a few minutes, and I stick with the stuff that works – updating something Erma Bombeck penned in 1975.

Cynics have advised me that, since most people just skim and don’t actually read columns anymore, I should just write an opening paragraph and then insert Latin boilerplate for the rest of the piece. “Nobody will know the difference,” they tell me. Personally, I find that notion insulting and offensive. In fact, if you ask me, lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, consequat more than I ever could have imagined.

Sometimes, I take short cuts. I’m not proud of it. Like the time, in 1992 when I titled my post for the week “My Thoughts on the Civil War” and then copied and pasted the entire Gettysburg Address as my commentary. Many people graciously posted that it was my best humor writing they’d read in years.

Still, the more time I spend writing, the more I realize there actually is a system to my creative madness. It mainly involves staring blankly at my computer screen … for long stretches of time. Writer’s block is a common challenge for almost any gifted writer – not to mention writers like me. I sometimes find myself spending hours of my employer’s time sitting idly at my desk waiting for inspiration to strike.  Usually it never arrives, and the result is the weekly humor column you have become familiar with. But every once in awhile, an idea comes to me that I find brilliant and hysterical – but then I decide  “nah!” since I really don’t want to be sued by the Stephen Colbert for stealing his writers’ great material.

Much of my time involves taking an original idea I came up with, pounding out a rough first draft, massaging it repeatedly, editing exhaustively, re-writing it a third or even fourth time, before arriving at the most important step in my creative process: realizing the idea is totally lame and starting over. I often read my rough drafts to my kids as punishment when they misbehave.

Below is a detailed breakdown of the critical tasks I take on whenever I begin work on a new article:

Writing a humor column is also a great way to get my laundry done, mow my lawn, work out, pay bills, or organize my sock drawer as a way of effectively avoiding the bleak reality that nothing even vaguely funny can be located within a 5-mile radius of my cranium. If you’ve read one of my articles that you felt was particularly weak, chances are the storage shelves in my garage were very well organized that week.

Creative humor writing demands a sustained mental focus and inspiration – the kind I get by watching You Tube videos of drunk people slamming into the diving board, checking out my Face Book feed, and playing with my Giant Purple Magic Happy Fun Ball (see photo).

You might ask, “Has it all been worth it?” When I first started this column back in the late 1960’s, I had very few readers – particularly since there was no such thing back then as desk top computers – or humor. But over the years, my readership steadily grew (and by “grew” I mainly mean “grew taller,” because they were growing up – something I have yet to accomplish). Below is a chart comparing the readership growth over the years compared to the readership growth I had forecast for this column:

Pretty impressive, eh? Especially the grey section.

Writing a weekly humor column can be a gut-wrenching, soul-searching experience – riddled with agonizing mental blocks and tortuous dead-ends where sometimes my only escape is a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream and a vintage Wallace and Gromit video. But it’s the feedback from thousands of imaginary readers like you that keeps me writing week after week.

How long will I continue doing this? Hard to say. I guess it depends on how long before people start noticing those weekly fifty cent deductions I’ve been funneling from their checking accounts. To me, it’s been worth it. Hopefully, those of you who are bad at balancing your checkbook feel the same way.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2021.

In Defense of Anti-Maskers

In Defense of Anti-Maskers

Millions of Americans are infuriated with each other. On one hand are people who believe COVID is a serious health threat and have chosen to get vaccinated and wear a mask to prevent others from getting infected. On the other hand (how can I put this as objectively and dispassionately as possible?) are IDIOTS.

Millions of Americans are infuriated with each other. On one hand are people who believe COVID is a serious health threat and have chosen to get vaccinated and wear a mask to prevent others from getting infected. On the other hand (how can I put this as objectively and dispassionately as possible?) are IDIOTS.

Hello, Anti-Vaxxer person. Doctor Tim here, nationally recognized immunology expert, second cousin of Dr. Anthony Fauci, and author of the best-selling book about the pandemic called FREEDOM: How to Ignore Modern Medical Science and Die Painfully Like a Feudal Serf.

It’s a fascinating read, but, as an Anti-Vaxxer, you’ll probably want to skip it, seeing as it is neither a comic book nor a coloring book. Besides, it contains many complicated words and phrases like “pandemic” and “immunocompromised” and “if you’re still refusing to get vaccinated, you’re a selfish idiot.”

I can’t tell you how much I admire your stubborn conviction in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. How you have managed to survive this long in your magical thinking bubble is remarkable. Words fail me when I see how, no matter what facts are presented, you steadfastly refuse to be bullied into getting vaccinated or wearing a mask for the safety of others. So what if others call you a moron? To me you’re a hero.

You have the unwavering internal compass to resist the counsel of thousands of medical experts, immunology researchers, the CDC, and your own daughter who is a nurse, who all keep telling you, YOU NEED TO GET VACCINATED!!  Don’t listen to the experts. Remember when experts predicted TV would just be a fad? (Okay, so you’re not quite that old. I apologize.)

Oh sure, these quack medical doctors in their fancy white jackets with stethoscopes will tell viewers on CNN that the vaccine is safe and that the only people dying or getting hospitalized lately are the unvaccinated. But who knows more about your own health and safety – a bunch of government-funded scientists with PhD’s in infectious diseases, or your favorite Facebook Group (run by Russian trolls), whose latest post claims “Biden’s Vaccine Will Make You a Pedophile”? And how do you know it won’t? Better to be safe and avoid it.

Listen to your heart – and the latest QAnon conspiracy theory. Don’t you let them insert that microchip, which your FB group says will let Bill Gates control your thoughts and turn you into a Democrat. No, you’re the kind of independent thinker who won’t let pesky facts and statistics cloud your superior judgment.

You would never let the Surgeon General’s dire warnings about the Delta variant interfere with your freedom to defy bureaucratic government terrorists constantly harassing you about masking up indoors. Bravo to you, my fine vaccine-hesitant patriot. If you don’t stand up to the tyranny of government mandated vaccinations, what’s next? Forcing our innocent children to get vaccinated for polio, tetanus, measles, chicken pox, and mumps? Oh wait, they already did that. Never mind.

The government doesn’t tell you about the dark side of all these vaccinations. Did you know that when the smallpox vaccine was first introduced, every single recipient died? (Admittedly, the smallpox vaccine was introduced in 1800, and most of the deaths took place decades later, primarily caused by old age.) My point is, every single person forced to get vaccinated when that vaccine was first administered in 1800 ultimately died. Such a senseless tragedy.

There is tons of misinformation about the COVID vaccine. Take this anti-vax poster of Bill Gates. Just not believable. Gates would never wear a pink V-neck sweater. He’s much more of a grey crewneck kind of guy. So much fake news.

There is tons of misinformation about the COVID vaccine. Take this anti-vax poster of Bill Gates. Just not believable. Gates would never wear a pink V-neck sweater. He’s much more of a grey crewneck kind of guy. So much fake news.

I want to thank all you freedom-loving Anti-Vaxxers for sending Doctor Tim your questions and complaints. I don’t have time to respond to all of your agitated curse-word-infused rants, but I’ll try to take a stab at a few of the less profane letters here.

“Doctor Tim, I was at the hardware store minding my own f**king business, when a nasty g**d*** clerk came up to me and asked me to put on a mask. I told him it’s a free country, and he can’t make me. He threatened to ask me to leave. Do I have the right under the Second Amendment to shoot him in self-defense?” – Armed in Amarillo 

Dear Armed, the Second Amendment absolutely gives you the right to shoot when you reasonably feel your personal safety is at imminent risk. And who wouldn’t feel threatened when a store clerk politely asks you to put on a mask? But you might be on the hook for some substantial prison time, nonetheless. Personally, I’d opt against shooting him and instead search for another hardware store that loves people like you. They should be easy to find. Just look for a store with a Confederate flag out front. 

“Doctor Tim, I was on a Delta flight from Biloxi to Tallahassee, and the flight attendant told me I had to put on a mask. Well, I gave her a piece of my $*%+@ing mind. Then she threatened to duct tape me to my seat. Hell, she even told me to put out my cigar – three times! What about MY Freedom! Where are we, Soviet Russia? Would her rudeness constitute Treason?” – Miffed in Mississippi

Dear Miffed, I looked up  the grounds for Treason in our Constitution. And it reads as follows: “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort… or if a Delta Airlines flight attendant is rude to a passenger in coach.” So yes, I think you’re on solid legal footing to sue. Let me know how your lawsuit goes.

“I’m a housecleaner in Florida. I refuse to let that motherf**ker Biden force me to get vaccinated or wear a mask – as is my right. It’s in the Constitution, I believe in Article B, or maybe Article C. But last week, the homeowner asked me to wear a mask or else she would have to let me go. I’m pretty sure my Governor, Ron DeSantis, said it’s illegal for her to make me wear a mask. Can I sue her for $10 million for emotional pain and suffering?” – Suffering in Sarasota

Fun COVID Medical Fact: How can you tell who’s been vaccinated when you’re at a store? The vaccinated people are the ones wearing a mask.

Fun COVID Medical Fact: How can you tell who’s been vaccinated when you’re at a store? The vaccinated people are the ones wearing a mask.

Dear Suffering, you are, of course, 100% in the right. You should just immediately file with the United States Supreme Court, and in your legal brief, tell them Doctor Tim says “Howdy.” (I’m close friends with Justice Gorsuch.) You should easily win a $10 million judgment. For the preceding legal advice, my fee is $1 million. I accept VISA or PayPal.

That’s all the time I have. Be sure to send me your questions and complaints about the unfair vaccination and masking guidelines to DoctorTim@stopwhiningandgetthejab.com.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Subscribe to my View from the Bleachers YouTube Channel and request notifications to see my latest videos.

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2021

The Danger of Storing Your Stuff in the Cloud

The Danger of Storing Your Stuff in the Cloud

Big Tech tells us that we should all be saving all of our important documents to the cloud. It’s efficient, they say. It’s cheap, they say. Do not be fooled. Saving all your stuff to the cloud could lead to disaster. And I know a thing or two about making disastrous decisions. Heck, I went to law school. Now I’m a humor writer. See what I mean?

Big Tech tells us that we should all be saving all of our important documents to the cloud. It’s efficient, they say. It’s cheap, they say. Do not be fooled. Saving all your stuff to the cloud could lead to disaster. And I know a thing or two about making disastrous decisions. Heck, I went to law school. Now I’m a humor writer. See what I mean?

I consider myself a foremost expert on computers, technology, and cyber security – even if both my technophile children might laugh hysterically at that assessment. Compared to my cats, I’m a veritable Einstein.

In fact, over the years, countless people have turned to me for advice on a variety of topics – however, if I’m being honest, rarely on issues involving computers, technology or cyber security. Mostly it’s about “Taste this milk. Does it taste sour to you?” and related expiration date questions.

Admittedly, I was not one of the early tech adaptors. I still have my complete collection of 8-track tapes. I can’t figure out why I don’t have any friends on my My Space page. And I still text using complete sentences and proper punctuation – but in my defense, I mainly do that just to annoy my kids.

I have no idea what my point was. Oh, right. I’m not always on the cutting edge of the latest technology trends. But there comes a point when I feel a need to issue a clarion call of caution. I’m talking about the trend towards storing all our computer files, photos, videos and other important documents “in the cloud.”

Google, Microsoft, and just about every cellular carrier tell us to store everything in the cloud. It’s so convenient. For example, if you lose your phone, don’t worry. All your photos, contacts, even your calendar will be safely backed up in the cloud.

If you ask me, storing your stuff in the cloud doesn’t always work. I have tons of stuff I’d love to store there  because my garage is running out of space. Take my old clothes from my college days. My wife insists I give them away, complaining that all they do is take up closet space. But I just can’t part with my old outfits. Who knows when my old purple corduroy bell-bottom pants will come back in style – and I will lose the 35 pounds I gained since I last wore them in 1975?

I’ve learned that the cloud won’t accept any of my stuff. Not even my old Big Mouth Billy Bass singing fish I re-gifted to my wife for Christmas in 1999. (She would not speak to me for three days after that mistake.)

Despite hours and hours of trying, I can’t figure out a way to upload any of my old outfits to the cloud – not even my 1983 Members Only faux-leather jacket.

Despite hours and hours of trying, I can’t figure out a way to upload any of my old outfits to the cloud – not even my 1983 Members Only faux-leather jacket.

No, it turns out that the only stuff you can store in the cloud is digital stuff, like Word documents, excel spreadsheets, photos, and music, like my priceless collection of the Very Best of Engelbert Humperdinck. (It’s an acquired taste.) Everyday, millions of people upload important files to the cloud. But how can they be sure their files will be safe?

Think about it. Do you even know what’s in the cloud? I’ll tell you: Water vapor – specifically, tiny water droplets that form on tiny particles, like dust, that are floating in the air. Hell, your average cloud isn’t strong enough to hold a floppy disk, let alone 100 million terabyte files. They’ll all just fall right through – and eventually land back on planet earth, leaving a horrible environmental catastrophe. And who’s going to clean up all those corrupted files? Not me, fella.

Let’s just say, for argument’s sake, that the cloud can somehow support all these gazillion files. The security is virtually non-existent. There are no heavy-metal doors with ten-digit security codes or thumb print recognition features required to gain access to your vault. In fact, there are no vaults of any kind. I recently took a Delta flight to New York. (The chicken parmesan dinner tasted like cardboard, but that’s a topic for a future column.)  Our 757 flew right through the clouds for almost an hour. I never saw a single layer of security in any of the cloud formations we passed by, not even the really puffy cumulus ones.

And clouds are often wet – especially when it rains. Think about the damage that could be inflicted on your priceless photos of your daughter’s middle school play (where she performed the starring role of the third pine tree from the right) if they got exposed to the cloud’s moisture. Even worse, what if the region where your files are stored in the cloud goes through a dry spell, with say, five days without rain – and no clouds? If the clouds evaporate, there go all your documents. Hope you won’t miss that hilarious video of your wife falling into the wedding cake that you posted to the cloud, now that the cloud is suddenly gone. Poof.

[Editor’s Note: Mr. Jones, I don’t think you understand how “the cloud” works. When they talk about the cloud, they are not talking literally about clouds in the sky. They’re referring to “cloud computing.” In this context, the cloud is simply the Internet—more specifically, all the things you can access remotely over the Internet. So, when something is “in the cloud.” It just means it’s stored on Internet servers instead of your computer’s hard drive.]

I also don’t get this fanatic Second Amendment demand to fight for the right to arm bears. For God’s sake, they don’t even have opposable thumbs. How will a bear fire an AK-47?

I also don’t get this fanatic Second Amendment demand to fight for the right to arm bears. For God’s sake, they don’t even have opposable thumbs. How will a bear fire an AK-47?

Um, oh, I see. Never mind. That was a lame topic anyway. What I really wanted to discuss is the Second Amendment. What is all the recent brouhaha about, anyway?

In a careful reading of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, I cannot think of any logical reason why the Founding Fathers felt it was important to enshrine the RIGHT TO ARM BEARS! I mean, seriously! Bears are dangerous enough as is, without granting them unfettered access to assault weapons. And without proper training on how to use a firearm, God only knows the havoc a crochety grizzly with a bad temper could wreak.

But when I bring this issue up, I usually get a deer in the headlights reaction. People look at me like I’m crazy. Let’s see who has the last laugh when they get mowed down in a hail of bullets from a pissed-off black bear toting an AR-15. Don’t say you weren’t warned, buddy.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2021