I Had a Dream

I Had a Dream

[Author’s Note: I had the most wonderful dream last night, which I’m going to tell you all about below. It felt so real. I woke up positively gleeful, feeling hopeful for the first time in four years. It may have been the after-effects of anesthesia from my recent knee replacement surgery, but I’d like to think it was prophetic. A guy can dream, can’t he? Below is the news story I dreamed I read. – TEJ] 

JOE BIDEN BECOMES 46th PRESIDENT

YEARS OF NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT FINALLY OVER

[January 20, 2021 – Washington, D.C.]  On an extraordinary day in American history that many thought might never happen, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. An inaugural crowd in excess of three million cheered wildly, tears pouring down the faces of men, women, children, and dogs. FOX NEWS reported the occasion as “A day that will go down in infamy,” and reminded its 6,000 remaining viewers that 23 million citizens had attended Donald Trump’s 2016 inauguration (even though historians agree it was closer to 350,000, most of whom were hired actors).

Biden’s induction closes the book on the most contentious election in modern times, marred by widespread disinformation campaigns and accusations of voter fraud on both sides. While no evidence of such fraud has been found involving our new president’s campaign, authenticated videos have surfaced of Trump and Vladimir Putin naked in a sauna at Mar-a-Lago drawing up plans to rig the voting in 29 states. Granted, the documents are difficult to decipher since the crayon markings were in Russian and they mostly melted in the steam, but many of the stick figures clearly show Russian spies replacing voting booths with slot machines in Democratic-leaning districts.

This bombshell story was covered in detail by every major media outlet, except Fox News, which counter-programmed with wall-to-wall coverage of Hillary’s emails and Obamagate. Despite Trump and Putin’s conniving, in the end, the result wasn’t even close. Biden carried 49 states, though he narrowly lost in Mississippi, thanks to a recently enacted provision in their state constitution making it illegal to vote for a Democrat.

Nevertheless, Trump insisted his opponent unfairly won the election with 27 million fake votes from illegal Mexican immigrants, ISIS terrorists and black people, all of whom “don’t count”, he tweeted. In an unprecedented move, the outgoing president declined to attend the inauguration ceremony, choosing instead to chain himself to the American flag in the Oval Office. As staff scurried from the White House, they could hear their former Commander-in-Chief screaming, “Go blow, Joe! This is MY house!”

As the new First Couple drove to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Secret Service agents stormed the Oval Office, tackled the flailing Trump, and restrained him in a straitjacket, taking pains to make sure the flag never touched the ground. Having narrowly averted an awkward confrontation with the incoming president, the Secret Service turned their prisoner over to a heavily armed unit of Navy Seals, Randy Rainbow fans and Black Lives Matter activists chanting, “Lock Him Up” as they escorted him off the premises. It was difficult to make out exactly what Trump was ranting since, for the first time ever, he was forced to wear a mask, for the protection of everyone around him.

Trump’s attorneys filed a last-minute petition to the US Supreme Court, asking them to invalidate the election and give their client four more years in office. They cited an untested legal principle, “My opponent is a loser.”  Their 11th hour appeal was rejected in a 9-0 decision. Justice Ginsberg tweeted the Court’s decision, stating:

The Court finds no legal basis to intervene in the outcome of the election. Besides, Mr. Trump is just being a total douche. To teach him to not waste the Court’s time, we’re releasing all his tax returns. Have a nice day.”

Speaking of Justice Ginsberg, after posting the verdict, she issued a press release announcing she is 100% cancer-free and plans to stay on the court for the next 10 years – mainly just to piss off Mitch McConnell.

Now that the Democrats have won back the White House, expanded their control of the House and taken back the Senate, experts anticipate Biden will announce several bold initiatives in the areas of climate change, healthcare, and gun control. His proposed Executive Order that employers greet employees with a hug and a shoulder rub may, however, meet with some resistance.

With Vice President Oprah Winfrey at his side, the 46th president apologized for the previous administration’s offensive actions to the WHO, NATO, blacks, Hispanics, women, and people who value proper spelling. He went on to reinstate diplomatic relations with the exhaustive list of former allies whom Trump had alienated. In a gesture of goodwill, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau formally reversed course and decided to scrap his country’s plans to build a southern border wall.

Speaking of border walls, in his first address as president, Biden declared that all work on a Mexican border wall would be permanently halted, and the construction teams would be redirected to build an impenetrable wall around the former president. When asked whether he would consider pardoning Trump for all the state and federal charges piling up against him, Biden added, “Absolutely not. Do I look like Gerald Ford?

As this new administration begins its journey to Make America Respectable Again, there is breaking news regarding the COVID pandemic. Just hours after Biden took the oath of office, scientists from five countries gathered to announce a vaccine that has been shown to be 99.99999% effective – and that all Americans can get it for free. When asked how they developed a vaccine so quickly, Anthony Fauci, former Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (fired by Trump), explained, “While Trump was spreading lies to vilify his opponent, Biden was personally funding our research. We figured out a vaccine a couple months ago, but no way were we letting Trump take the credit.”

Speculation abounds about the former president’s future plans. Will he start Trump News Network to keep his base energized and loyal? Now that his marriage with Melania is in tatters, will he finally wed the love of his life (other than himself, that is), namely, his daughter Ivanka? Or will he pitch Putin on a new reality show, Moscow Celebrity Apprentice? Trump has been surprisingly mum about his next chapter (11), partly because he’s been banned for life by Twitter and Facebook. Also, the psychiatric hospital currently detaining him for observation doesn’t allow phone privileges.

In other news, the Seattle Seahawks beat the New Orleans Saints 37-20 before a sold-out stadium of 60,000 screaming Hawks fans, to advance to the Super Bowl. (Like I said, a guy can dream.)

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 2020

A Letter to My Future Son-In-Law

A Letter to My Future Son-In-Law

So you want to marry my daughter? Have you totally thought this through? Let me tell you what you’re in for. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

So you want to marry my daughter? Have you totally thought this through? Let me tell you what you’re in for. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

[Author’s note: My daughter is in her mid-twenties and has a boyfriend. The days of “Will he ask me to the prom?” have evolved to “Will he ask me to marry him?” I thought I should prepare for that frightening eventuality by jotting down some notes for what I might want to say to her future husband when that important day approaches. This is just a first draft. Suggestions welcome. – TEJ]

Dear Possible-Future Son-in-Law,

So you want to marry my daughter? What on God’s green earth gives you the right to stomp on my heart and steal my little girl, you hateful, wretched son-of-a-b*tch? Have you met my close friend, Mr. Smith and his buddy, Mr. Wesson? If you think for one minute you’re going to swoop in out of nowhere and take my place after all I’ve done to raise her right, well, you’ll have to come through me. Ya’ hear me, fella?

(Okay, I’m feeling a little cranky. I haven’t eaten in hours, so that opening was a little hangry. Sorry. Let me try this again.)

Son, my daughter has informed me that you would like to marry her. How exciting! I could not be happier for you both. This is a very important decision, so, I hope you’ve thoroughly thought it through.

My daughter is a very special young woman. In the remote chance you’re not quite as familiar with her charming quirks as I have come to be, perhaps I might share a few words of counsel, to help ensure smooth sailing as you embark on your new life together.

You may have noticed by now that my precious little angel is rather, um, strong-willed. She’s been that way forever. When she turned two, she insisted on baking her birthday cake all by herself, proclaiming, “I DO IT MYSELF, DADDY!” I still can recall the proud look on her face as she diligently mixed the cake batter, added the rainbow sprinkles, Frosted Flakes, and bananas, and then poured the entire concoction into what she called “the blender,” but which we adults usually refer to as “the toilet.” The plumber and I sure had a hearty laugh about that, up until the moment he presented me with his $575 bill.

I also hope you’re not terribly concerned with a particularly tidy home. My little Entropy Engine, as I like to call her, is more of a free spirit in that regard. As far back as I can remember, her room always has looked like a Category 5 hurricane had just swept through. I wouldn’t waste your breath asking her to load the dishwasher, or make the bed, or clean up after herself. She’ll no doubt remind you: that’s what maids are for. Hope you earn a good paycheck, young man.

Oh, and a word about pets: DON’T – unless you like getting up at 3am to let the dog out. Because there’s no way you’ll be able to nudge her out of bed. After all, she needs her nightly uninterrupted ten-hour beauty rest. No, when it comes to pets, her job is to cuddle them. Don’t get me wrong. My daughter loves animals – or more accurately, YouTube videos of them, especially fuzzy hedgehogs and baby penguins. If you’re really serious about pets, might I suggest starting with baby steps, say, a bowl of fish? On second thought, scratch that suggestion. It might end badly.

You’ve probably noticed by now that my daughter is remarkably independent. We raised her to be that way. And you may notice she has a slightly elevated need to be right a fair amount of the time – but only when she’s conscious. She will be quick to point out when you’re wrong about say, your taste in men’s fashion or perhaps the latest Star Wars film or where you both should go out to dinner tonight. But she will overrule you with the cutest expression on her face, so you won’t even notice. My Little Miss Sunshine is absolutely willing to listen to your point of view on a wide variety of issues – just so long as your point of view happens to be the same as hers. Just practice saying, “That’s a great idea, dear.” You’ll do just fine.

If my precious jewel has decided that you’re Mr. Right, that says a lot about you. You are clearly a wonderful young man, hardworking, smart, sensitive and a devoted companion, who has compiled at least a six-figure 401K by now. Well done. Oh, on that last point, I’m not saying that my daughter just wants you for your money. Let me be clear. I just want you for your money.

Your future mother-in-law and I plan to move in with you guys when our retirement nest egg runs out. Not to worry. That won’t be for at least another three years. Be sure to buy a large enough house so we can have plenty of privacy – and a view of the ocean and a very large en suite… with a Jacuzzi and a 65” flat screen TV. You’re going to make such a good son.

I hope this will help you feel more comfortable as you contemplate spending the rest of your life married to this incredible young woman, who for the first 18 years of her life I affectionately called my Prima Donna Angel Monster Princess. Welcome to the family.

Remember, in the long run, you needn’t worry about us. Worry about yourself – um, perhaps I phrased that poorly. I mean, life is short. In the end, all that matters is your and my baby girl’s happiness (albeit not necessarily in that order). Make a point to laugh together, love and support each other, and never forget what’s really important in the life you create together: Grandchildren. I really don’t feel I should have to explain this to you. Don’t disappoint me, son.

Signed,

Your soon-to-be “Dad”

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 2020

Discovering My Incredible Genetic History

Discovering My Incredible Genetic History

[The following article contains no factual information of any kind. Not a scintilla of truth. We felt a journalistic responsibility to thus inform our readers. We fear Mr. Jones is starting to lose it. – The Staff at VFTB]

This is a map of the areas of the world where, according to my DNA report, I may have had distant ancestors. Pay particular attention to that island off the east coast of Africa, Madagascar – the one spot with which I appear to have no connection.

This is a map of the areas of the world where, according to my DNA report, I may have had distant ancestors. Pay particular attention to that island off the east coast of Africa, Madagascar – the one spot with which I appear to have no connection.

If you are inclined to research your genealogy, be forewarned. There’s a lot of misinformation and hype out there. Learn from my mistakes. Not long ago I signed up for a service called Ancestree.com. The report came back concluding that my roots trace back to a ficus. Turns out the company was a rip-off luring bad spellers who were looking for Ancestry.com. I’ll never make that misteak agian.

That’s why I decided to sign up with 22andMe. I know what you’re thinking: Don’t you mean 23andMe? Turns out I’m also bad at math. Anyway, 22andMe offered results in less than a week, for half the cost of the more reputable service.

On the plus side, unlike the more well-known genealogy outfits, which typically require a saliva sample, this company did not ask for any of that fuss. I only had to send in a toenail clipping, a 16-ounce urine sample, fifteen strands of hair, and a photo of me dressed like a pirate. In retrospect, that probably should have been a tip-off.

When I received my results, they were somewhat disappointing. Not quite the kind of information I was hoping for. The analysis said I’m 99.995% Caucasian (what a shocker) and fit the profile of an under-achiever with self-esteem issues around my career choices. (I have to give them points for accuracy there.) They also concluded that I have a proclivity towards making impulsive online purchases about my ancestral background without doing adequate research. Perhaps most surprisingly, it also evaluated, “You’re not as funny a writer as you think you are.” I found that oddly critical for a DNA report.

The data indicated that my lineage originated from one of the following very narrow regions: Northern Africa, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, South America, North America and Tonga. So I know once and for all that none of my distant relatives originated in Antarctica. That is such a relief to know.

My DNA profile indicates that my most direct relative from the Middle Ages was probably this guy in the hoodie, second from the right, plowing a field. He could neither read nor write. Thus began a succession of low achievers.

My DNA profile indicates that my most direct relative from the Middle Ages was probably this guy in the hoodie, second from the right, plowing a field. He could neither read nor write. Thus began a succession of low achievers.

The summary went on to say – and I know this may astound you – that many of my forebearers had extensive facial hair, although slightly more so on the males’ side. Even more precisely, the report determined that my mother had always hoped I would become a doctor and my father never really loved me. Wow, this DNA stuff can get incredibly specific.

I had hoped for a bit more illumination about my actual genetic history. Fortunately, I learned that for an additional investment of a mere $250 – accompanied by a nose hair sample plus a photo of me in drag – 22andMe could furnish a much more in-depth DNA analysis. The hardest part was explaining to my wife why I needed to borrow her sun dress.

Two weeks later, I received a more exhaustive assessment – I mean, it went on and on! It provided a fascinating portrait of my primogenitors. It appears they are 42% less likely to have sweaty feet; 39% more likely to have a craving for sweets; 53% more likely to have owned a cat; and 85% more likely to make poorly timed investments in the stock market.

My distant relatives more than likely included Celts, Germans, Slovaks, and people who were afraid of the moon. They were at least 70% likely to have had one or more black acquaintances. Among my Scottish lineage, they were 75% likely to have had the snot beaten out of them by Vikings. (I know what you’re thinking: Did the report actually say, “snot beaten out of them by Vikings?” Yes, it did. I would never make up something so personal – because I’m a professional humor writer.)

The findings went on to disclose that a closer review of my genealogical bloodline indicates I may have been related to European royalty, like a past King of France or a Danish prince. In fact, and I found this part particularly intriguing, it appears that some pretty famous and powerful people, including Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, King Richard the Lionheart, Queen Victoria, Leonardo da Vinci and even Cleopatra were all people who my ancestors were perhaps marginally aware of.

If you go back far enough in my genealogical history, I’m related to this dude. Now that I look more closely, I totally think I have his eyes. Handsome critter.

If you go back far enough in my genealogical history, I’m related to this dude. Now that I look more closely, I totally think I have his eyes. Handsome critter.

This narrative also listed the last names of people who were likely to be my second, third, fourth and even fifth cousins – who, for an extra fee, 22andMe will invite to connect with me and exchange our genealogical profiles. I was intrigued to see unusual names from countries all over the world, such as Latvia, Spain, New Zealand, and, surprisingly, Tonga.

In retrospect, I’m still not sure this was worth the expense, not to mention the hassle my wife gave me for cutting up her dress so it would fit me. I don’t think I acquired many insights into my heritage, although I feel painfully more aware of my genetic baggage.

I just received another email from 22andMe. In this offer, they claim that for just another $500 – along with a copy of the deed to our house – they’ll provide an even more detailed report. Maybe with these findings, once and for all, I will be able to relocate my long lost relatives from Tonga. I miss them so much.

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 2020

You Have the Right to Remain Silent – My Recent Run-in with the Law

You Have the Right to Remain Silent – My Recent Run-in with the Law

[The following is an approximate re-telling of a recent traffic stop I had with local law enforcement for a moving violation. The events of my run-in all happened exactly as described below. Well, almost exactly.]

traffic-stop-speed-limit-signIt was 7:22 am on a Wednesday. I was driving northbound on Main Highway like I always did this time of week. But this time, there was a problem. I was running late for my regular Wednesday meet-up with a buddy of mine. Let’s call him Terry, because, well, that’s his name. Terry was waiting for me at our regular rendezvous, a place called Terry’s Corner (honest). My buddy Terry is a big deal in this small town. But Terry was going to have to wait. Because, like I said, I was running late.

I knew I shouldn’t have downed half a six-pack of Mountain Dew Live Wire first thing in the morning. My heart rate was through the roof as I raced down the highway in my silver Toyota minivan, desperately trying to make up time. I saw the speed limit sign. It read 50 mph, just like it always read this time of day. Some things never change. I looked in my rear view mirror. Drivers were climbing up on my tail. Maybe I was just imagining things, but it looked like the guy behind me wanted to run me over. My heart started pounding. My palms got clammy. I could barely hold onto the steering wheel.

My mind buzzed with all the things I had to do today. Little did I know that my agenda was about to take a major U-turn – because just as I was writing the previous sentence, I zoomed past a parked trooper. In that instant, the cop pulled onto the highway, flashed his lights, and started in hot pursuit.

Continue reading “You Have the Right to Remain Silent – My Recent Run-in with the Law” »

My Address to the Graduating Seniors – Coronavirus Edition

My Address to the Graduating Seniors – Coronavirus Edition

[Author’s note: Since 1997, it’s been my tradition to give a graduation commencement speech – whether I’ve been invited to or not. This year, in light of the Coronavirus quarantines, I gave my speech remotely. Below are excerpts from this year’s stirring oratory. You might want to have a Kleenex nearby. – TEJ]

“Dear students, faculty, staff, and mascot of this great institution. It is indeed an honor to almost be here with you for this video commencement address. Thanks for attending – I know you’d rather be playing Call of Duty.“

“Dear students, faculty, staff, and mascot of this great institution. It is indeed an honor to almost be here with you for this video commencement address. Thanks for attending – I know you’d rather be playing Call of Duty.“

Congratulations, Class of 2020. I am deeply honored to be your commencement speaker. Due to the current health crisis, I almost had to bail and ask my close personal friend Barack Obama to fill in. Luckily, I am virtually here for you via Zoom, though I long to be strolling on the hallowed grounds of your renowned university, checking out the Tri Delts.

I greet you from my couch in my man cave, draped in formal commencement speaker garb – cap, gown and fuzzy bunny slippers – filled with pride for what you have achieved – well, most of you, anyway. Accompanying me is my trusty feline, Bonkers. Wave to the camera, Bonkers.

First a point of business. While a cap and gown are optional for this unique graduation ceremony, a dress code of boxers and bras is a tad too informal. So, for those of you with your video cameras on (Bonkers has counted 67 so far), I would thank you to please don a bathrobe.

Our nation is living through a nightmare unlike any in living memory – more upsetting even than the 2011 breakup of The White Stripes. I have faith that we will survive, providing we stick together (albeit six feet apart) and remember to WIPE and WEAR. Wipe down everything you touch and wear a mask. Oh, and remain in your parents’ basement until a vaccine is found – which according to my doctor’s latest estimate looks like October 2023.

Speaking of parents, join me in acknowledging all the sacrifices they’ve made over the past two to three decades, preparing you for this moment. From teaching you to ride a bike to helping you erupt that volcano in 4th grade (let’s face it, your mom did most of the work), to chewing out your English teacher for not giving their angel a B+, your parents were always there to support you. And they will continue to do so, for God knows how much longer. Let’s give these heroic folks an enthusiastic round of applause – by clicking on the clapping hands icon at the top of your screen.

Today we reflect on the past four years – or seven in the case of you accounting majors who flunked statistics, changed your major to astronomy, bailed on that and committed to astrology, only to discover there have been no job openings for astrologists since…, well, since ever.

Whether you pursued a degree in engineering, psychology or Medieval French Poetry, there is one thing you all have in common: a future with limitless opportunities in exhilarating enterprises, such as delivering groceries or restocking the cleaning products in Costco – both of which are booming these days.

Disappointment abounds. No hanging out at the mall, no concerts or bar hopping. Such a bummer that the final frat party blowout was cancelled. Nice try with your good pitch citing the germ-killing benefits of ingesting massive quantities of beer. Consider celebrating with your mates via Zoom. On the positive side, you won’t need a designated driver to get home.

Thanks to the economic collapse (and your impressive 2.3 GPA), that dream job you were hoping for in Silicon Valley has evaporated, like a puff of smoke, carried off by the wind, elusive, never to be found…. I apologize. I was thinking of my book deal that just got canned. Even worse, your graduation trip to Italy had to be scrapped because of the pandemic. My advice: Don’t underestimate the pleasures of a hometown staycation. I hear some pubs and parks may reopen later this month. And Frisbee golf is making a comeback.

It’s entirely normal to have pangs of dread about what is to come, given your lack of any discernible skills and a college debt that exceeds the GNP of Cameroon. Add to that the looming beef shortage, threats of nuclear attack from North Korea, the alienation of our NATO allies, and the specter of Trump’s re-election, it’s no wonder you’re a tad on edge. However, I say, “Have hope. Think of your glass as half full” – okay, maybe 10% full is more accurate.

Though your situation may appear bleak, there are plenty of reasons to feel hopeful about the world today – if you happen to be wildlife. It’s an incredible time to be a peacock or mountain goat. They can roam almost anywhere they like lately.

As you embark on this next exciting chapter of life, I countenance you to go out and make a change. And by “go out”, I mean, go outside to your backyard and get some fresh air. And by “make a change” I mean your clothes. You’ve been wearing the same T-shirt and sweatpants for three weeks. Take a shower, while you’re at it. I can smell you from here.

Eventually you will change the world. But for the moment, just change your expectations instead. I hear Amazon is hiring forklift operators.

Graduates, I encourage you to remain positive – unless we are talking about COVID-19, then by all means, I pray you’ll remain negative. Don’t forget to wash your hands, use Purell, and practice safe social distancing. And think of all the rent you’ll save by living in your parents’ basement for the next 24 – 36 months.

In closing, my advice as you stare into the abyss that is your future, is … um … uh … Sorry. I got nothing. Nada. I’m just glad I’m not graduating this year. That would totally suck. So, good luck. There’s a 57% chance things will get better … someday.

Now please take a second to click on the RATE ME button. If I earn 4.5 stars, the university will email me a $100 Target gift card.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020! Go make yourself useful. You can start by emptying the dishwasher. It’s not going to empty itself.  [CLICK. The speaker has left the meeting.]

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 2020