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.

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© 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

Teens, When Lying to Your Parents, You Need to Up Your Game

Teens, When Lying to Your Parents, You Need to Up Your Game

[The following true story is based on a time when a good friend of mine’s then 16-year-old daughter tried to wriggle out of several lies she told her parents about a “sleepover” at a friend’s house, which in actuality was a party with several boys and alcohol, while her friend’s parents were out of town for the evening, unaware of what was taking place at their house.]

Hey, teenagers, don’t you hate it when you make up a perfectly good lie to get out of trouble, and your parents refuse to believe you? Well, this just means you need to work on your prevarication skills. Either that, or you could try telling your parents the truth for once. Nah, forget it. That would never work.

Hey, teenagers, don’t you hate it when you make up a perfectly good lie to get out of trouble, and your parents refuse to believe you? Well, this just means you need to work on your prevarication skills. Either that, or you could try telling your parents the truth for once. Nah, forget it. That would never work.

Hey, girl. Wazzup? Sorry to hear your parents busted you over your harmless shindig last weekend at Monica’s house. I can’t believe they completely lost it just because you girls had a few boys join you for your sleepover while her parents were out of town.

You did absolutely nothing wrong – if you overlook the minor fact that you failed to mention that the get-together would include boys… and alcohol… and weed… and cops. It was all just an unfortunate misunderstanding. It could have happened to anybody.

Parents are so lame, right? With all their Nazi rules about showing them respect and cleaning your room and telling you to get off your phone even though you’ve only been on it for an hour and a half, and not letting you do sleepover parties with boys, beer pong, and weed. So unfair, I agree.

Hey, next time you plan to make up a fiction to conceal your plans for an epic underage beer bash, perhaps you should invest a little more time on your fake backstory to avoid getting caught. Let’s go over what happened, and just maybe, we can piece together where your deception went off the rails.

Before you headed out on your weekend of teenage debauchery, I liked the way you chose to compliment your parents, even though they probably found it a bit odd, given it was the first time you had said anything nice to them in ten months. But when you said, “Mom, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you look so pretty,” it might have come off sounding a tad bit more credible had you not told her this while she still had her hair in curlers and her face slathered in Noxzema skin cream. Just saying.

Then, when you were at Monica’s house, remember how your mom texted you, asking for her parents’ names and phone number in case of emergency? I applaud your fast thinking, given that Monica’s parents were in Chicago, 1,800 miles away, with no idea of the party you girls were instigating. But perhaps you shouldn’t have panicked and given your mom the phone number of your friend Chad, who was also at the party.

Who could have possibly foreseen that your mom might then call that very same phone number to ask Monica’s parents if they’d like her to bring a homemade dessert for the sleepover. Imagine your mom’s confusion when Chad, doing his best middle-aged dad impersonation, lowered his voice an octave and replied, “Nah, thanks, girl. But we’re chill. The girls are having a crazy’ lit’ time. Later, gator.”

Then, do you remember what happened when your mom asked Monica’s dad if there would be any alcohol served at this sleepover? Drawing a blank? Let me refresh your memory. Dad, er Chad, explained, “No way, mom. I made sure to lock up all the good stuff in the fridge.” Can you see how that might have elevated your mom’s anxiety ever so slightly?

Do you notice anything missing from this photo of a party of teenagers? If you guessed, “Where are the parents?”, you’re a winner. These underage kids are having a fun time chillaxing with 45 of their closest friends. If you ask me, they’re just having good clean fun – and perhaps just a little too much tequila.

Do you notice anything missing from this photo of a party of teenagers? If you guessed, “Where are the parents?”, you’re a winner. These underage kids are having a fun time chillaxing with 45 of their closest friends. If you ask me, they’re just having good clean fun – and perhaps just a little too much tequila.

Then barely twenty seconds after she got off the phone from Dad/Chad, she called you, remember? She asked you, “How old is Monica’s dad? He sounds rather young.” Then your brain misfired, and you blurted out, “Monica’s dad can’t talk now. He had to go to work.” 

If I have my notes correct, it was around 10:45pm when your mom shocked you by showing up at Monica’s house, because you had forgotten your sleeping bag. Imagine her dismay when she learned that apparently both parents had to leave the house suddenly for work emergencies – and would not, according to you, be home for another two hours.

If you ask me, it is entirely plausible that there might be a work emergency at 10:45pm on a Saturday night – especially for Monica’s dad, who is an accountant, not to mention for her stay-at-home mom. Like you, I would have been furious at your mom for not believing your lies. The fact that she feels she can’t trust you is totally her fault.

That’s about the time when your mom, walking through the front door, noticed that there were six boys on the premises. I think you almost had her convinced when you made up that narrative about how the entire group of them had just stopped by moments before, asking for help with their geometry homework. Too bad your mom could not hear your very believable explanation over the six 16-year-olds boys singing and dancing along to K-pop songs by BTS blaring on the karaoke machine at 160 decibels.

I also have to applaud your quick cerebration when your mom saw the beer keg on the back patio. I’m not sure I would have been as imaginative as you to come up with your almost convincing fabrication that Monica’s dad had bought it for a neighborhood block party later that week. I think your mom would have fallen for it, had it not been for your idiot friend Troy, who unwittingly approached her and said, and I quote, “Hey, you must be Monica’s mom. I thought you were in Chicago. Welcome back. Care for a brewski? Or are you more of a Tequila mom?” I understand now why Troy had to repeat 9th grade.

Where are the parents, you ask? On a weekend visit to Chicago. But don’t worry. Their 16-year-old daughter Monica promised them she’d just have a quiet sleepover with a couple friends. She’ll even vacuum the house. Such a responsible girl.

Where are the parents, you ask? On a weekend visit to Chicago. But don’t worry. Their 16-year-old daughter Monica promised them she’d just have a quiet sleepover with a couple friends. She’ll even vacuum the house. Such a responsible girl.

Still, I bet this would have all blown over, had it not been for the two cop cars that pulled up in response to a neighbor’s complaint about the ruckus. Who knew that police dogs could detect the smell of pot so quickly? Impressive. Too bad your mom didn’t buy your next anecdote about how you had no idea what it was and thought it was some sort of seasoning to add flavor to your salad. A valiant Hail Mary try, girl.

I’m relieved to hear the cops let all of you off with just a warning. But I’m sorry your parents have grounded you for two months. I guess that means you’ll miss the secret rave party at Jessica’s house next weekend – I mean, the all-nighter where just girls will all be working on that science fair team project. I hope your mom changes her mind. You might start by complimenting her on her cooking. Good luck.

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

Welcome to Orca Falls

Welcome to Orca Falls

Welcome to Orca Falls (formerly Stanwood), the happiest town in America. Come for our incredible natural beauty. And if you’re lucky, you just might catch a rare sighting of one of our orcas swimming up our waterfalls, as they do during mating season.

Welcome to Orca Falls (formerly Stanwood), the happiest town in America. Come for our incredible natural beauty. And if you’re lucky, you just might catch a rare sighting of one of our orcas swimming up our waterfalls, as they do during mating season.

I live on Camano Island in Washington state. There are no towns on the island and very few stores. To find a Starbucks, beauty salon, or tattoo parlor, you need to leave the island and head into Stanwood, the closest town. Like so many other small towns, Stanwood has been hit hard by the economic downturn caused by the COVID pandemic.

At the risk of offending the fine people of Stanwood, let’s face it. The town is not exactly a tourist mecca. It’s a hardscrabble, working-class community, whose stores are for the most part utilitarian and uninspiring. “Inviting” is not a word that comes to mind when you think of this place – unless you count Jimmy’s Pizza, which is always inviting – and full. When you think of a struggling small town like Stanwood, what comes to mind? Answer: Boring strip malls, a paucity of nice restaurants, and an unsettling number of “out of business” signs on boarded-up storefronts.

As my several million weekly readers will attest, I’m a humble man who is loath to boast about my impressive achievements. Heck, I never bring up my Nobel Prize unless you forget to ask. But it’s no secret I’m a nationally respected marketing / PR maven (because it says these words right on my business card). So, when Stanwood’s town council recently approached me for advice on how to turn around their flagging economy, I accepted my civic duty to save their town from disaster.

Now for some context. In the first half of the 20th century, there was a town called Leavenworth, nestled in the heart of Washington state’s Cascade Mountains. It was a thriving community with an economy based on logging. But by the 1950’s, the main railway had stopped serving Leavenworth, the logging industry collapsed, and the town came perilously close to bankruptcy. To avoid imminent financial ruin, the town reinvented itself into a Bavarian village, and all retail storefronts adopted a Bavarian theme.

Today it’s a bustling, highly sought-after tourist destination, annually drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors who apparently can’t tell the difference between an authentic Bavarian village and an IHOP restaurant dolled up with a lame Bavarian knock-off façade.

My point is this: What’s good for Leavenworth is great for Stanwood. When I think of the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, two things come to mind: breaching orca (“killer”) whales and craggy snow-capped mountains teeming with waterfalls. Admittedly, you might not think of these two things together, but just go with me, okay?

Ladies and gentlemen, WELCOME TO ORCA FALLS (formerly known as Stanwood). Doesn’t that sound charming? Of course it does. Forget about the Stanwood you thought you knew. It’s time to bring your family – and your credit card – to this heavenly, undiscovered Cascadian paradise we’ve rebranded to avoid foreclosure.

First-time visitors will receive $500 in ORCA BUCKS, which they can redeem at any participating store – sure to be a big hit! [Disclaimer: One Orca Buck = 1/100th of a penny.]

First-time visitors will receive $500 in ORCA BUCKS, which they can redeem at any participating store – sure to be a big hit! [Disclaimer: One Orca Buck = 1/100th of a penny.]

Are there really orca whales in Orca Falls? Technically no, but we’re working on it – just as soon as we can find a way to import 50 trillion tons of salt water – and a few dozen pods of orcas. And what about the towering waterfalls, you ask? Almost. We’re installing them as fast as we can. You’ll just have to visit to see for yourself.

As soon as the town council signs off on my modest $2.5 billion business development plan, before long, people will be flocking here like snow geese. Here are just a few of my brilliant plans for Orca Falls, which I am confident will win approval:

ORCA WORLD:  The largest – and only – amusement park for hundreds of miles, featuring the exhilarating Thunder Falls roller coaster ride and It’s a Small World. (I read that Disneyland is looking for a buyer for that ride). And we haven’t forgotten the kids. Make sure your youngsters get here early to beat the crowds waiting to ride on the backs of playful baby orcas – just be sure they jump off before the whale submerges. We’d hate to see them drown in such a magical setting.

For added fun, park visitors will enjoy imagining the sensation of being a salmon as they attempt to steer a rowboat upstream in the Ragin’ River Rapids ride. They will compete with other guests as they try to avoid being eaten by one of the park’s five adorably rambunctious grizzly bears. Don’t worry, our grizzlies are well-fed and wouldn’t hurt a soul – so long as you don’t make direct eye contact – or smell like salmon.

KILLER WHALE WAY: The town’s main street will be renamed and re-imagined with a fanciful whale theme. Store owners choose which whale image to carve into their storefront – orca, grey, humpback – or for a larger store, I’d go with a blue whale motif (it’s the largest animal on earth). Other storefront façade options include “Shipwrecked”, “Mutiny on the Bounty” and “Captain Crunch.”

Audiophiles will thrill to the soothing recorded sounds of whale clicks, whistles, and mating moans blasted at 150 decibels, sure to make you feel like you’re in the splash zone at Sea World (before they shut down the whale attraction on animal cruelty charges).

Visitors will thrill to the rides and shows at Orca World, where you will see our whales do things you never thought imaginable. [Park opening delayed indefinitely. Check back in summer 2031.]

Visitors will thrill to the rides and shows at Orca World, where you will see our whales do things you never thought imaginable. [Park opening delayed indefinitely. Check back in summer 2031.]

BUBBLES’ BATH: There’ll be no shortage of fun at Orca Falls’ giant public indoor – outdoor wave pool “where kids will have a WHALE of a time!” (I just made that up – that’s called marketing.) Visitors will delight to the hourly “Free Willy” playtime, as killer whales are let loose to mingle joyfully among the unsuspecting swimmers.

I’m confident my scheme will turn the town formerly known as Stanwood into a world class destination – right up there with Monte Carlo or Scranton, PA (another one of my success stories). But in the unlikely event the town council’s members aren’t quite the visionaries that I am, I have a fallback rebranding plan:

Welcome to Eagle Canyon. Come for the Eagles. Stay for our world-famous Eagle Pot Pie.

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

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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2021

My Cat Zippy’s Tell-All Book

My Cat Zippy’s Tell-All Book

This is my first tell-all book. Spoiler alert: My owner, Tim Jones, is cruel. He never shares his ice cream or caviar with me. And he adopted a mangy cat off the streets without consulting me. He calls him Buddy, yeah, like we’d ever be friends.

This is my first tell-all book. Spoiler alert: My owner, Tim Jones, is cruel. He never shares his ice cream or caviar with me. And he adopted a mangy cat off the streets without consulting me. He calls him Buddy, yeah, like we’d ever be friends.

In these contentious times, it seems like every week there’s another tell-all book promising to reveal shocking secrets of sordid behavior by a politician or celebrity. Being neither a politician nor celebrity, I was taken aback when my cat Zippy jumped on the bandwagon with his own muckraking treatise – all about me! Out of a warped sense of courtesy, his publisher, Random Mouse, sent me an advance copy. It’s full of lies and half-truths. I doubt Zippy penned it himself, given his lack of opposable thumbs. But then, I have noticed him often lurking by my keyboard.

At the risk of letting the cat out of the bag, here are a few startling passages from this disturbing publication. The full title is CATastrophe – An Unflinching Look at the Horrible Cruelty I’ve Had to Endure for Years at the Merciless Paws of My Evil, Heartless Owner, Tim Jones, Who Lives on Camano Island, WA and Who Could Stand to Lose 25 Pounds. If you ask me, that title is overly lengthy. He should have hired a better editor.

Page 13: “I didn’t choose the name ZIPPY. Like most everything else in my life, it was foisted upon me without consultation or consideration of my feline feelings. Why not a dignified moniker such as Buttons or Tigger? But Zippy? What was he thinking? I asked my owner, Tim Jones (if that’s even his real name) why he chose it. Acting like he doesn’t understand Catspeak, he merely gave me a goofy blank stare and patted my belly. I hate it when he does that. I keep telling him to scratch my ears or chin. But no, he always lunges for my ticklish underside. So insidious…”

Page 88: “Then there’s his annoying laser pointer. He’ll move it left and right, up and down, zig-zagging across the room, until I get nauseous. He thinks it’s hilarious to point the red light at a wall and watch me pounce on it. Splat! I’ve repeatedly asked him to cut it out, but he doesn’t utter a word (apparently the cat’s got his tongue). He just grins, like a Cheshire cat, getting some sadistic pleasure from torturing me…” 

Page 147: “Every day, I stare out at the birds hovering around the feeder. There they are, not six feet from me, separated only by a pane of glass. So plump and tasty, especially the chickadees. But Tim refuses me even a feather for a snack. I’ve been drooling for just one tweet – er, treat –  for 35 years (ok, 35 CAT years, but that’s over 1,825 human days!)…” 

Here I am tying my owner’s shoes, using the standard Cat’s Paw knot. Tim gets all hissy when I bite the laces to pull them tight. He just doesn’t appreciate fine craftsmanship.

Here I am tying my owner’s shoes, using the standard Cat’s Paw knot. Tim gets all hissy when I bite the laces to pull them tight. He just doesn’t appreciate fine craftsmanship.

Page 260: “One time when my captor opened the front door, I made a bolt for it. Other cats might be afraid they’d get eaten by a coyote, but not me. I’m no scaredy-cat. Oh to explore the amazing outdoors! My escape would have worked, too, except for one thing: He shook a bag of kitty treats. I am powerless to resist that sound. I froze, turned, and zipped back inside. Hey, maybe that’s where he got my name?  I forfeited my momentary chance at independence for two measly morsels of Friskies bits. In my defense, they were catnip-flavored, so I really had no choice…” 

Page 355: “I don’t understand why my owner never shares his human food. Several times a day, I watch him stuff his pie hole with English Muffins, burgers, ice cream, Cliff bars, you name it. Whatever he wants. But does he offer any of these goodies to man’s best friend? (Sorry dogs, take a number.) Heck no! It’s always the same entrée: dry cat food pellets. What am I, a rabbit? Oh sure, once in awhile he offers me a can of moist food, something called “chicken” or “mariner’s catch”, but I’m pretty sure they’re not serving any of this crap at Benihana’s. Would it kill him to serve me filet mignon once in a while? (Preferably medium rare – I hate when they over-cook it)…” 

Page 499: ”Every few months, Tim does something deeply perverse. He brings home a litter of foster kittens. He claims it’s his mission to socialize them with humans so they will make happier pets for some other family. But I know he has a Machiavellian plan to keep one. Thank God for his wife, who nips that in the derriere. Anyway, while these newborns are nosing in on my turf, guess how much time Tim spends with me. That’s right; Zilch, Nada  – except when, without warning, he hauls me into their room and drops me in the middle of the meowing horde. Next thing you know, five mini furballs are trying to nurse off me. Did I mention I’m a male? But they don’t care. I plan to sue Jones for pain and suffering from all their nasty teeth marks…” 

Page 572: “My owner sometimes forgets that, as a cat, I’m supposed to live life on my terms. I’m related to lions and tigers, so it’s stressful living all my days on couches, beds and windowsills when I’m destined to be free. And then there are all the absurd rules he imposes like, “Don’t eat the flowers” and “Stay out of the washing machine“ and “Stop watching On Demand. That costs me money.” He’s crushing my soul…” 

Here I am with my baby “brother”, Buddy. If I’ve told him once, I’ve told him a thousand times: the salad bowl is mine.

Here I am with my baby “brother”, Buddy. If I’ve told him once, I’ve told him a thousand times: the salad bowl is mine.

Page 691: “For reasons I can’t fathom, he gets a real bug up his butt whenever I pee on the bed. What’s his problem? It’s so demeaning to squat in a pile of sand in the laundry room. I’m pretty sure the ‘wight to wizz wherever I want’ is one of the freedoms specified in the Constitution. I feel so persecuted…”

I’m only about a third of the way through, and apparently it gets worse. I haven’t gotten to the part where he accuses me of profound emotional cruelty for neutering him – or for the time I dressed him up like a ladybug for Halloween. He’s never forgiven me for that.

Zippy never once interviewed me for my take on his lurid accusations. I considered filing a defamation lawsuit, but my attorney said collecting damages from a house cat could be a long shot. So, I just might keep Zippy out of our bedroom for the next two weeks. That will teach him a lesson.

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

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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2021.