Announcing the Pandemic’s Most Annoying Person

Announcing the Pandemic’s Most Annoying Person

Meet the world’s MOST ANNOYING PERSON, Brad Buttons. While you were spending the past year in COVID lockdown sitting on the couch, eating ice cream, and binge-watching Emily in Paris, Brad was being productive – annoyingly so.

Meet the world’s MOST ANNOYING PERSON, Brad Buttons. While you were spending the past year in COVID lockdown sitting on the couch, eating ice cream, and binge-watching Emily in Paris, Brad was being productive – annoyingly so.

(Atlanta) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today that in a unanimous vote, they have awarded the title of “Pandemic’s Most Annoying Person” to a uniquely deserving individual: Brad Buttons of Kenosha, Wisconsin. This is the first – and the CDC hopes last – time this honor will ever be bestowed.

When asked why Brad was selected to be this year’s recipient, a CDC spokesperson explained, “Frankly, we really had no choice. The more we learned about this exasperating fellow, the more obvious our decision became.”  When pressed for details, the spokesperson went on, “Ever since the pandemic was announced in March 2020, and people were asked to socially distance and wear masks, Mr. Buttons has stayed home, in his one-bedroom apartment, and maintained a rigid self-imposed quarantine.”

Asking why this qualified him to be selected as the pandemic’s “Most Annoying Person”, the spokesperson added, “Well, it’s just that he’s always taking on an endless number of projects to learn new things and make the world a better place. He’s like a machine. To be honest, if you spend even just a few minutes around him, it’s impossible not to become irritated. We’re only human.”

In issuing its 15-page press release explaining its decision, the CDC listed dozens of feats Brad has achieved in the past year to alienate normal people. For starters, during the pandemic, Brad has read the entirety of Wikipedia, learned three foreign languages (plus Klingon), and written two science fiction novels. “Who does that?”, the spokesman asked, clearly perturbed.

When reached for comment, Brad was putting the finishing touches on his handmade full-scale replica of Michelangelo’s David, using nothing but seashells he found on the shores of Lake Michigan. “I’m thrilled about this prestigious recognition by the CDC, but I really don’t feel deserving,” Brad humbly responded. He then returned to his garage to resume work  building an authentic 1967 Austin Healey 3000 SL which he learned to assemble just by watching YouTube instructional videos. “I didn’t have most of the tools I needed, so I scrounged up some scrap metal and built a blast furnace. Check out this lathe I made.” 

When asked how he has had time to do all of these things, Brad replied, “It helps that I have no friends. When the pandemic hit, I decided to read the ancient Hindu holy text, the Rigveda – in the original ancient Sanskrit. I thought it would be more of a challenge that way.” A tour of Brad’s apartment revealed an extensive collection of Star Wars action figures, as well as what looked to be replicas of famous artwork.

When asked where he purchased his reproductions of paintings by the masters, including Da Vinci, Monet and Van Gogh, Brad explained, “Oh, no, I didn’t buy them. I painted them. I learned by watching old Bob Ross videos. I have to say, getting down Da Vinci’s Sfumato painting technique for softening the transition between colors took me a few tries to master.”

In the past year, while most people have hunkered down on the couch in their pajamas, eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream by the carton, Brad has been keeping busy. Disturbingly busy. Brad penned an Italian opera (because doing it in English was not enough of a challenge, he said). He also invented a machine that turns urine into potable drinking water.

In his spare time, Brad built replicas of WW 2 German fighter planes, like this Messerschmitt Bf 109. But Brad felt prouder about the incredibly detailed one-tenth scale replica of the Titanic he built using used lawnmower parts. It’s currently on loan to the Smithsonian – because he can’t fit it in his apartment.

In his spare time, Brad built replicas of WW 2 German fighter planes, like this Messerschmitt Bf 109. But Brad felt prouder about the incredibly detailed one-tenth scale replica of the Titanic he built using used lawnmower parts. It’s currently on loan to the Smithsonian – because he can’t fit it in his apartment.

Prior to the pandemic, Brad’s diet consisted mostly of drive-through fast foods. But in the past year, he’s dropped 230 pounds (he’s now a lean 155 pounds with six-pack abs). He’s even self-published his own cookbook, The Pandemic Chef, and has put out a series of 25 one-hour home fitness videos based on an exercise program he created in his spare time.

In the CDC press release citing Brad’s exhausting list of discoveries, publications, and inventions, it accidentally failed to mention that he also patented a fuel converter contraption that converts water into a non-polluting fuel able to power any car, plane, or deep space probe. “Actually, all you need is urine. Want me to show you how I do it?” Brad added.

The release went on: “Taken together, it is almost unfathomable that any single individual could accomplish all of this and still find time to find a cure for cancer, but this man did it. That’s why the CDC unanimously concluded that Mr. Buttons is far and away the most annoying person we’ve encountered since the pandemic began.”

The CDC’s decision was applauded by millions of Americans – and Brad’s own immediate family, who have unfriended him on Facebook because they are sick of reading about his achievements. 

The overall sentiment of most Americans who remain trapped in their homes binge-watching Netflix crime documentaries and past seasons of Schitt’s Creek was perhaps best summed up by David Wilkinson, a bartender from Brooklyn, who protested, “Dude, just stop!. You’re making the rest of us look bad. Here’s an idea: How about you invent a spaceship and become the first person ever to fly solo to Mars. Then plant a flag and NEVER COME BACK!” 

Upon hearing that he’d won the award, Brad was said to be so excited he began an awkward victory dance. (Dancing is one activity Brad failed to learn – badly.) In the process, he tripped over his just-finished replica of an 18th century tall-masted ship in a bottle, fell, and broke his ankle and the ship in a bottle. Not salvageable.

Due to his unfortunate injury, it appears Brad will be laid up, unable to work on any more projects, for at least three months. Millions of Americans greeted this news with celebratory dances of their own.

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 Five-Day Accu-Weather Solar System Forecast

The Five-Day Accu-Weather Solar System Forecast

The five-day accu-weather forecast calls for sunny and seasonably hot weather – on the surface of the sun. Temps are forecast to be somewhat cooler as you head further away from the sun. Going to Neptune? Bring a winter coat.

The five-day accu-weather forecast calls for sunny and seasonably hot weather – on the surface of the sun. Temps are forecast to be somewhat cooler as you head further away from the sun. Going to Neptune? Bring a winter coat.

And now for the latest five-day Accu-Weather Solar System Forecast, we turn to our Cosmological Prognosticator, Venus-Ann Mars. Venus, I hope you have another sunny forecast in store for us.

Thanks, Brad. A lot happening in this portion of the Milky Way galaxy for a Thursday. So let’s get started.

Today’s weather on Mercury – I use the word “weather” loosely, since technically Mercury has no atmosphere – calls for intense radiation and scattered plasma tornadoes. Lows will be – 275 F with an expected high topping out around + 840 degrees. That may be a bit toasty for fans of planet Earth, but for Mercury, that’s actually quite seasonal for wintertime.

Mercury’s two sunset times today are expected to be somewhat later than yesterday, but at this time of year, expect the retrograde motion of the Sun between them to remain the same. And sunset on Mercury is incredible, with the sun appearing two and a half times larger in the sky than seen on Earth. But if you want to catch both sunsets, be patient, as the Mercurian day lasts 58.6 earth days.

As is typical for this portion of its orbital journey, Venus maintains its consistent and perpetual cloud cover with a somewhat uncomfortable high of 870 degrees F and a low of, well, 870 F. And for the next 24 hours, if you’re anywhere near Venus’ equator, I suggest staying indoors unless you absolutely have to go out. That’s because there’s a storm watch for this evening calling for scattered showers of sulfuric acid. Atmospheric pressure stands at 1,350 psi – so, be sure your Venetian vacation venue is adequately pressurized, to avoid being pulverized within seconds from the bone-splitting pressure.

Another reason you might not want to venture outdoors this week on the Venetian surface is due to another expected spike in greenhouse emissions caused by larger than normal levels of CO2 trapped in the planet’s thick atmosphere. And thanks to global temperatures consistently in excess of 800 degrees F, it looks like any remaining liquid on the oceans will be completely boiled off again – for the 4 billionth year in a row. So, if you were looking for oceanfront property on the “Morning Star” planet, my advice is to hold off for another millennium or two.

Turning our telescope to Mars, I’m calling for equatorial highs to reach an unseasonably comfortable 80 F tomorrow. But before you start packing your bathing suit, I should warn you, the lows on the red planet will drop to – 200 F degrees. So, also pack a few layers of yak skin fur coats, just to be safe. And, if you suffer from asthma, you might want to stay indoors because there is a planetary dust storm watch in effect as well.

Looking at the big guy in our solar system, Jupiter once again is experiencing back-to-back hurricanes. A level 9.9 lightning alert has been issued by NASA. Be sure to avoid lower elevations, by which I mean anything near the core of this gaseous giant, as temps are expected to reach 43,000 F degrees. Intense radio emissions will continue at northern latitudes. In fact, radiation in general this time of year is 1,800 times that of the Earth, so, before you head out on a day trip exploring the Jovian planet, you might want to pack some extra Jupiter Screen. I recommend a protection level of 500 or greater.

A special advisory has been issued for Jupiter’s moon Europa. It appears that water geysers have been detected in its southern hemisphere. Divers are advised to remain 500 miles away from these zones, as the tumultuous currents could result in being ejected into deep space. That would be a horrible way to end your European vacation, eh, Brad?

If your travel plans call for a trip to the Ringed Planet, a reminder to avoid attempting to go for a stroll while visiting Saturn. If you tried to walk on its gaseous surface, you’d literally begin a long, perilous descent into the planet, experiencing unpleasantly lethal high temperatures and body-compacting pressures until you were crushed to the size of a walnut as you approached the planet’s core.

If you have a hankering to explore the outer boundaries of our solar system, Uranus or Neptune, be sure to take along a few books because travel time to Uranus, given current space travel technology, is estimated at three years. And during your stop-over on Neptune, eliminate its Great Dark Spot from your tour itinerary. That’s because the Great Dark Spot, which is the size of Earth, is expecting wind gusts topping out at over 700 mph by Thursday. That would be a new wind speed record for planets in our solar system. Good luck holding onto your hat – or surviving.

Here’s a quick look at our forecast for Venus. Same old, same old. Hot and very humid with a chance of late afternoon lava showers.

Here’s a quick look at our forecast for Venus. Same old, same old. Hot and very humid with a chance of late afternoon lava showers.

And if you’re one of those people who still believes Pluto is a planet, I’m pleased to report that spring should arrive on the dwarf planet in just under 60 years, which should give you plenty of time to work out your travel arrangements and update your will.

For you adventure seekers, just a friendly reminder that the methane lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan offer a unique choice for boaters, if you don’t mind the devastatingly toxic fumes. Don’t forget to pack your chemical safety goggles, face shield and CM-7M Military Grade gas mask, before you leave shore.

Just a few other weather reminders. The view of the Sun on Neptune’s moon Triton is expected to be obscured in southern latitudes by the dust and gas geyser. And if you’re planning a pleasure trip to the Mars’ polar ice caps, remember that radiation suits are now mandatory when you’re not confined to a NASA-approved hermetically sealed facility.

Finally, don’t forget about tomorrow’s lunar eclipse on Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. Should be quite the sight to see – if you happen to be anywhere near the surface of Jupiter. Unfortunately for me, I’ll still be stuck in Seattle traffic, so I’m afraid I’ll miss it.

That’s it for the weather. Now back to planet earth and Lenny Johnson for sports. Hey, Lenny, are my Seattle Mariners going to have a decent bullpen this year?

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

This week’s post was conceived by and co-written with my good friend William Maxwell, a serious astronomy buff who does astronomical photography and writes about celestial phenomena for various publications. You can check out William’s astro images at www.astrobin.com/users/WilliamM.

 

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

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2021.

Undiscovered History: The Secret Jefferson Letters

Undiscovered History: The Secret Jefferson Letters

Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence, third president of the United States, Founder of the University of Virginia, and, unfortunately, the father of a heretofore unknown son named Bradley who’d forever embarrass his dad.

Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence, third president of the United States, Founder of the University of Virginia, and, unfortunately, the father of a heretofore unknown son named Bradley who’d forever embarrass his dad.

[Note: As a nationally respected historian, I am proud to share never-before-seen correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and his rarely mentioned youngest son, Bradley.

These riveting letters were written between 1786 and 1787, when Jefferson was living in Paris, serving as America’s Ambassador to France. They reveal a side of our third president which few people ever knew. – Tim Jones]

———————————————————————-

September 4, 1786

My Dearest Bradley, I miss you, my youngest offspring, more than words can convey. Paris is resplendent. Notwithstanding, I sorely pine for the September leaves of our fair Charlottesville home, Monticello. Know that would that it were up to me, I would be staring upon your youthful countenance at morrow’s dawning. I trust you are faring well as a robust lad of 19 and making the soundest of decisions. Pray tell, how goes thee on this autumnal day?

Your Proud Father, Thomas Jefferson

———————————————————————-

October 27, 1786

Dearest Father,

Hello.

Bradley

———————————————————————-

November 18, 1786

My Fine Issue, I confess to being modestly disconcerted by the brevity of your rejoinder. Hoping was I that there might be some news of your goings on and the state of affairs at our plantation. I miss you painfully, as I miss our dear bloodhound, Bailey. Do reply anon with an account of your affairs.

Your Humble Father, Thomas Jefferson

———————————————————————-

December 4, 1786

Dear Father, I miss Bailey, too.

Bradley

———————————————————————-

December 28, 1786

Dearest Bradley, Your most recent missive – if you can call a four-word tiding a “missive” – left me startled and bereft of joy. Is our faithful Bailey indeed no more? Pray assure me, he is merely on the prowl. Details, my lad. I implore you.

Your Concerned Father, Thomas Jefferson

———————————————————————-

January 19, 1787

Dear Father, I am as mystified as you. When I returned from prison, Bailey was gone.

Bradley

———————————————————————-

One of many drawings and paintings of Jefferson’s beloved home, Monticello. That’s Jefferson on the left, tending to his crops, and Bradley at right, asking his dad if he could lend him $5 until Tuesday.

One of many drawings and paintings of Jefferson’s beloved home, Monticello. That’s Jefferson on the left, tending to his crops, and Bradley at right, asking his dad if he could lend him $5 until Tuesday.

February 10, 1787

Dear Boy, Prison? As in penitentiary? Have my enemies besieged you? What outrageous conspiracy have they spun to detain you thusly? Please delineate, as my fretful state elevates with each passing day.

Your Deeply Troubled Father, Thomas Jefferson

———————————————————————-

March 2, 1787,

Dear Father, Do not grieve, pondering a wrongful charge or that some affront to justice prevailed to deprive me of my liberty. I could not have been more guilty. In retrospect, I discern I should not have taken leave of my senses, imbibing insatiable quantities of spirits. Such dereliction diminished my ability to reflect upon the wisdom of my ways before robbing that bank. Lesson learned, papa.

Bradley

———————————————————————-

March 18, 1787

Bradley, In God’s name, what hath thou embarked upon? I comprehend it not.  A Jefferson plundering the reserves of a bank? More importantly, when did my young son start taking to the drink? I beseech thee, for the love of our Lord, explain to your father what possessed you to ransack a depository institution?

Your Distraught Progenitor, Thomas Jefferson

———————————————————————-

April 8, 1787

Dear Father, I blame myself. I felt my pecuniary options were limited after I sold Monticello to those Egyptian fraudsters, who promised in return we would take ownership of one of the great pyramids. Imagine my chagrin upon learning they had no such title of ownership to grant us said pyramids. I shall never again endeavor to engage in commerce with grifting Egyptians.

Bradley

———————————————————————-

April 22, 1787

Son, Surely ye jest! It cannot be that my cherished Monticello, of which I was the architect and builder, is no longer my place of refuge? How could you permit this? Are you daft?

Your Father – for the moment at least, TJ

———————————————————————-

May 6, 1787

Father, I guess I just was not thinking straight, ever since Mother passed.

Bradley 

———————————————————————-

May 19, 1787

Frivolous Boy, What in a French Harlot’s name (forgive my foul discourse) are you declaring now? That your mother, the love of my life, is with God? How came this to be? Answers! Now! Answers!

TJ

———————————————————————-

Jefferson loved his dogs, especially his pride bloodhound, Bailey, shown here. Jefferson, while a genius in many ways, made several mistakes in life – most notably entrusting Bailey to his son, Bradley.

Jefferson loved his dogs, especially his pride bloodhound, Bailey, shown here. Jefferson, while a genius in many ways, made several mistakes in life – most notably entrusting Bailey to his son, Bradley.

June 3, 1787

Father, I did not want to bother you with trivialities. I know you’ve a full plate, feasting with French Kings and Viscounts. Be assured, Mother suffered no pain, as she was sound asleep when her rowboat careened over Niagara Falls. I am comforted knowing she no doubt met her Maker in an instant.

Bradley

———————————————————————-

June 22, 1787

Muttonheaded Moron, I almost pause in dread, pondering the sagacity of imploring you for an elucidation of your mother’s passage on a rowboat destined for such treacherous waters. Withal, I can hold back no longer. What possible circumstance emboldened her to embark on such an ill-fated terminal voyage?

Jefferson

———————————————————————-

July 4, 1787

Father, I can merely speculate as to her motive for taking that ill-omened journey. But were I to hazard a divination, I might posit that she was ill-suited to a life of homelessness and prostitution.

Bradley

PS: Happy 4th of July, father!

———————————————————————-

July 20, 1787,

F*ck 4th of July!, Homelessness? Prostitution?! We have countless properties suitable for dwelling, though not of the magnitude of Monticello. I am befuddled with consternation.

Jefferson

———————————————————————-

August 3, 1787

Dad, I was low on funds. Gambling is a surprisingly tricky business.

Bradley

———————————————————————-

August 22, 1787

Son, Bradley, Gambling? You dimwitted toad! Just how much of my assets did you squander?

Father TJ

———————————————————————-

September 3, 1787

Dearest Dad, If you count your landholdings, farmsteads, and stock, along with the gold coins and other financial instruments, plus the horses and cattle, not to mention the slaves, well … all of it. However, nothing could part me from the quill pen with which you signed the Declaration of Independence. That will be worth thousands someday.

Bradley

———————————————————————-

September 30, 1787

You Treacherous, Capricious, Malevolent Cad, I will be on the first ship bound for Baltimore. When next I gaze upon you, my reckless, foolhardy former heir, I assure you, I will seize that quill pen from your wretched hand and deposit it where no light shineth. You are no son of mine.

Thomas Jefferson

———————————————————————-

That was the final correspondence between father and son. Interestingly, little is known about Bradley Jefferson’s life after that last communique. Some historians point to a report of a dead body found at the base of Niagara Falls, with a quill pen and a copy of the Declaration of Independence stuck up his posterior. Could that have been Bradley? We may never know.

On a positive note, they eventually found Jefferson’s dog, Bailey. So the story has a happy ending.

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

[Postscript: Because once in a while there is a reader who can’t tell fact from fiction, let me set the record straight. Jefferson never had a bloodhound named Bailey, nor a son named Bradley. I also made up the character named Thomas Jefferson. No such person ever existed.]

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

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2021. Edited by Betsy Jones.

NFL Rules Changes in Light of COVID

NFL Rules Changes in Light of COVID

For the upcoming NFL season, the Commissioner and team owners are leaving NOTHING to chance to protect players, coaches and staff – except for the minor suggestion from the CDC that the NFL shut down completely until a vaccine is available, which suggestion they duly ignored.

For the upcoming NFL season, the Commissioner and team owners are leaving NOTHING to chance to protect players, coaches and staff – except for the minor suggestion from the CDC that the NFL shut down completely
until a vaccine is available, which suggestion they duly ignored.

I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore! This Coronavirus has gone too far! First it closed down the stores and I’ve been forced to shop on Etsy. Then the schools close and kids are climbing the walls. Next it’s “social distancing so I can’t even snuggle with my cats. I thought we’d hit rock bottom with “No Mask – No Entry.” I was wrong.

Every Autumn, the National Football League gears up for its regular season. But this year, there won’t be very much that’s “regular” about it. Starting with the elimination of all pre-season games, the NFL has decided to implement some unsettling, even draconian procedural changes to ensure the protection of players, coaches, and attractive female sideline reporters. Here are just a few changes you’ll be seeing this year, thanks to COVID:

Safe Social Distancing

Following the distancing guidelines of the CDC and the World Health Organization, all NFL players will be required to maintain at least six feet of separation at all times during practices and games. On the downside,  as a practical matter, all blocking and tackling will, of necessity, be prohibited.

On the upside, fans may witness some of the highest scoring games in NFL history. ESPN commentators contend that the record for most points racked up in a single season (606 by the 2013 Denver Broncos) is in jeopardy of being shattered. Some predict Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes alone could eclipse that lofty milestone by halftime in his team’s season opener.

Accidental Contact

Replacing the traditional penalty for unnecessary roughness will be a new yellow flag for unnecessary contact. If a player is caught making contact of any kind, even incidental, with any other player, this violation will result in a 15-yard penalty. In addition, both players will be required to remain in quarantine for 14 days. Some worry this could also have a chilling effect on high-fives and chest bumps after touchdowns.

Honor System for Tackling

Defensive players who feel they would, under normal circumstances, have been able to tackle an offensive player but for the social distancing policy, will be permitted to submit a written appeal to the referee within five minutes from the conclusion of the previous play. At that point, game officials will then have up to 15 additional minutes to review play footage from fifteen different angles to determine whether such a tackle would have been more likely than not. If the defender wins his challenge, the ball will be returned to the spot of the otherwise probable tackle – and the defender will be permitted to issue a profanity-laced tirade of smack talk about his opponent’s athletic failings and the ref’s incompetence (while maintaining a safe social distance).

Protective Field Shield

Borrowing an ingenious solution from grocery store checkout counters, the NFL has announced that as an added level of safety, officials will lower a giant 10-feet tall plexiglass screen onto the line of scrimmage before every play. This impenetrable partition, running the entire width of the field, will ensure no players run the risk of exposure to an opposing team player, not to mention virtually eliminating all offsides infractions.

Ball Replacement

After every play, footballs will be incinerated, replaced by a new ball delivered in a hermetically-sealed wrapper. For added safety, runners and wide receivers who come in contact with the pigskin will be required to report to the team’s medical tent until they have been cleared by a team physician with a negative COVID test result.

League officials have a backup plan if too many players get infected: Hamster Ball football. Healthcare experts claim it’s an ideal way to keep players safe. Some are skeptical, arguing it might cause increased difficulty throwing or catching the ball.

League officials have a backup plan if too many players get infected: Hamster Ball football. Healthcare experts claim it’s an ideal way to keep players safe. Some are skeptical, arguing it might cause increased difficulty throwing or catching the ball.

Hand Sanitization

Players will be required to wash their hands after each down. To facilitate this and avoid delay of game penalties, all players will be provided with fanny packs pre-loaded with Purell dispensers and hand wipes.

Facemasking Penalty

This penalty has been redefined for the upcoming 2020-21 season. Henceforth, players will receive a facemasking penalty if they are found standing in the huddle – or on the sidelines – or in the locker room – or on the team flight home – without wearing an N95-approved facemask. This will be a league-imposed sanction requiring players to continue wearing an N95 facemask until the following game.

Sudden Death Overtime

If two teams are tied at the end of regulation, overtime will be handled differently this season. In order to reduce the risk of extended player-to-player exposure, the league will direct the coaches from both teams to compete at midfield in a head-to-head X-Box match-up of Madden NFL 20. The first video team to score will be declared the winner of that day’s contest, with the winning coach permitted to select one X-Box game player from the opposing team for their fantasy football league.

Locker Room Sterilization Measures

Locker rooms are super spreader environments for germs and bacteria. Therefore, as a precaution, all locker rooms will be permanently sealed up. This year, players will take turns standing naked on the artificial turf, as teammates spray them down with a garden hose and disinfectant.

Determining the League Champion

This season, league officials have decided to forego the Super Bowl for the first time in its history. Taking its place, the league champion will be determined by which team has the greatest number of uninfected players remaining at the end of the 16-game season – that is, assuming any team makes it that far.

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

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2020. Edited by Betsy Jones.

Other Masks We Need

Other Masks We Need

Now that it’s widely accepted that wearing masks can stop the spread of COVID, researchers are exploring new applications of mask technology. Take this DAD mask – designed to prevent the transmission of embarrassing comments from suburban dads who think they are way cooler than they are.

Now that it’s widely accepted that wearing masks can stop the spread of COVID, researchers are exploring new applications of mask technology. Take this DAD mask – designed to prevent the transmission of embarrassing comments from suburban dads who think they are way cooler than they are.

The widespread use of face masks has helped to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus around the world. Properly fitted N-95 and surgical masks catch microbes which people expel in a plume of air and droplets when we cough, sneeze, talk, or simply breathe. By wearing masks, we protect others from potentially dangerous infection.

The successful use of face masks against the pandemic has inspired scientists and public health professionals to look at further applications of mask technology to prevent the spread of other dangerous human expulsions across a wide array of personal interactions. Here are just a few of the exciting new applications currently under development.

Dad masks

These specially engineered masks have been designed to prevent the expulsion of embarrassing comments by fathers in the presence of their teenage children. In tests at the University of Maryland, these masks proved up to 75 percent effective in reducing the audibility of such cringe-worthy comments as, “So, what is this TikTok thing I’ve been hearing about? Is it a smart watch?” or “Hey, that band K-Pop is really awesome!” or “I finally learned the moves to the Macarena. Check this out.”

Wife masks

Infused with an amnesia agent, when properly worn by a nagging spouse, this mask causes total memory blockage of all of hubby’s flaws. No more tirades of “Get off the damn couch and do your chores!” or “Who cares about the Seahawks anyways?!”  The agent wears off within 30 minutes after wives return to normalcy. Comes with an optional extender that covers the eyes, making it nearly impossible to detect exasperated eye rolls. Potential side effects include increased anxiety about the wearer’s weight and an inability to decide which earrings to wear. 

Trump Shock masks

We wear masks not only to protect ourselves but also to protect others – in this case, misguided Trump fanatics. No longer will they have to endure the daily outbursts of shock and outrage by liberals over the latest inflammatory tweets by our not-so-esteemed President. With this mask, exclamations such as “Oh my God, did you hear what he said about Muslims!?” come out like “Ermgrd drdurrr wresrrd abr mrzms!?” thereby saving the feelings of white supremacists and the lives of liberals.

MAGA SUPPORTER mask – worn exactly how the 45th president recommends it be worn. (Not recommended for rational adults with the ability to think logically or spell complex words like “cat.”)

MAGA SUPPORTER mask – worn exactly how the 45th president recommends it be worn. (Not recommended for rational adults with the ability to think logically or spell complex words like “cat.”)

MAGA masks

Healthcare lab techs are developing a mask which will render MAGA believers invisible to normal adults. Still in early stages of R&D, it will feature a cloaking device activated the moment the MAGA mask wearer utters a moronic comment in support of his lord and master, thus sparing the rest of us having to look at the misguided sot. They are also working on an audio cloaking device, so you won’t have to listen to MAGA rants either, such as, “Trump’s the greatest president ever for blacks – better than Lincoln.” Not recommended for kids, as wearing it may make them harder to locate in a crowd. Mask comes with a safety disclaimer: “Please wear responsibly – which we realize may be an oxymoron.”

Zoom masks

The videoconferencing app Zoom has helped friends, family and business colleagues stay in touch during the pandemic while social distancing. However, it has also transformed mores of social propriety. Users have been recorded wearing no pants and proclaiming, “Thanks to this quarantine, I haven’t taken a shower in weeks.” While not actually preventing such divulging of TMI, wearing the Zoom mask acts as a reminder to think before exposing too much of yourself.

Small Children on Long Car Trip masks

While we love our kids, we don’t always love their incessant babbling and bickering on long road trips shouting, “I need to go – NOW!” and “Brittany keeps poking me! Mom, make her stop!” With this mask, these problems disappear completely. An ingenious filter inserted into the lining delivers a child-safe dosage of propofol – just  enough to knock out your little angel for eight whole hours. Kid-friendly designs include Buzz Lightyear, Elsa, and for teens, the popular Hannibal Lecter.

Soccer Player Furious for Getting a Yellow Card masks

The ALIEN FACEHUGGER mask. In addition to preventing the spread of the Coronavirus, it offers the added ability to prevent any intimate contact with the opposite sex.

The ALIEN FACEHUGGER mask. In addition to preventing the spread of the Coronavirus, it offers the added functionality of preventing any intimate contact with the opposite sex.

All too often, professional soccer players get ejected because they mouthed off at the referee after receiving a yellow card. Now they need never fear ejection. That’s because this mask is equipped with a built-in translation microchip that converts their obscenity-laced tirade into soft-spoken compliments. The next time Manchester United’s left midfielder gets yellow carded for tripping and shouts, “Hey, ref! Sod off, you bloody dim-witted arse! Get your fuckin’ eyes checked, you rat bastard”, what the referee hears instead is, “Mr. Ref, sir, you made the right call. I will mend my ways henceforth. Keep up the great job.” Available in Cockney, Scot, Italian and Bronx accents.

Comic-Con masks

Comic-Con is the biggest event of the year for people who have never dated. It’s where thousands of comic book fans converge to swap memorabilia and listen to celebrities tell them to please, for the love of God, get a life. This mask doesn’t really have a purpose – much like the Comic Con fanatics who wear them. But it comes in a variety of Superhero versions, including The Hulk, Captain America, and Ant Man (available only in XXXXXX Small).

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

This week’s post was written in collaboration with my longtime friend and fellow humor writer, Steve Fisher. Steve lives in Prague, Czech Republic, where he has been an actor and writer for the past 28 years. He has published three collections of his satirical stories which appeared from 2012-2016 as a regular column in the weekly Czech magazine Reflex under the banner “Američan v Praze” (“An American in Prague”).

 

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. Edited by Betsy Jones

Announcing a New, Politically Correct Name for the Washington Redskins

Announcing a New, Politically Correct Name for the Washington Redskins

This helmet has been at the center of a heated controversy for years. Many people feel the name “Redskins” is an offensive stereotype for millions of Native Americans. There have been many calls for a less offensive team name. One suggestion which I suspect might not get the nod: The “Washington Negroes.”

This helmet has been at the center of a heated controversy for years. Many people feel the name “Redskins” is an offensive stereotype for millions of Native Americans. There have been many calls for a less offensive team name. One suggestion which I suspect might not get the nod: The “Washington Negroes.”

Thanks in part to the Black Lives Matter protests, media attention has recently turned to the controversial name of the NFL football franchise in our nation’s capital: The Washington Redskins.

A tiny fringe group of a few million annoyingly sensitive Americans, including 35 Native American tribes and more than 50 organizations that represent various groups of Native Americans, seem to think the term “redskin” is an offensive stereotype that stirs images of primitive, angry, bloodthirsty savages screaming menacingly and wishing to annihilate their enemy – in other words, acting like typical Washington Redskins fans. And they are demanding that billionaire team owner Daniel Snyder change the team name to something less offensive – say, the Washington Camel Jockeys.

The list of suggested alternative names grows by the day. Some names that have been proposed include: The Washington Gryffindors, the Washington Slytherins, the Washington Hufflepuffs,… well, pretty much anything you can think of from Harry Potter. Also, the Washington Redhawks (which personally I would find highly offensive if I were a Chicago Blackhawks fan), the Washington Skins (not sure how our nation’s nudists would feel about this one) or the Washington Pigskins (which I would object to if I were a pot-bellied pig).

None of these names has generated much support, so naturally, as one of the nation’s leading brand marketers, I have offered to come up with several much better ones. Tell me what you think: The Washington Lobbyists, or how about the Washington Gridlocks? Or maybe just the Washington Swamp? I thought about the Washington Senators – but then I realized I was too late. The Senators had already been bought.

Or how about simply going 180 degrees in the opposite direction of the offensive Redskinned image and calling the team the Washington Palefaces, in honor of our nation’s 234 million proud Caucasian Americans? Still not working for you? Okay, I was saving my best name for last. It’s brilliant, if I do say so myself. Are you ready? Here goes: The Washington Redskins!

My solution to the problem: Don’t change the name. Change the graphic. How could anybody possibly take offense at an image of one of our nation’s most popular agricultural staples, the noble REDSKIN potato! Brilliant, eh? Problem solved.

My solution to the problem: Don’t change the name. Change the graphic. How could anybody possibly take offense at an image of one of our nation’s most popular agricultural staples, the noble REDSKIN potato! Brilliant, eh? Problem solved.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking – doesn’t that sound vaguely close to the name the team currently goes by? But I’m not talking about some emotionally charged racial profiling of our nation’s oppressed Native American population. Not in the least! No, I’m talking about proudly honoring one of our nation’s great agricultural staples from America’s patriotic heartland: The Redskin Potato. Think about it. The team won’t have to invest millions of dollars researching a name change. All they have to do is slap a new logo on the team helmet. See my proposed new logo at right.

Admit it. Who doesn’t love a redskin potato? They go fantastic with roast beef and perhaps just a light sprinkling of cheddar cheese to bring out the flavor. This could totally bring our divided nation back together. After all, I’m fairly sure the Native Americans served redskin potatoes to the Pilgrims back at the very first Thanksgiving. Or was it maize? Doesn’t matter. My point is, this will finally solve all the long-festering problems of race relations between whites and Native Americans over the past 400 years, and all of our Native Americans’ difficulties will magically disappear. No need to thank me, my fellow Native Americans.

And just think of all the fun sports announcers will have with the new brand:

“The Redskins’ offense has stalled. With fourth and long, they’ll have to punt again. Looks like their game plan for today’s contest against the Colts was half-baked.” 

“Ooh, that hit by the Chargers’ safety flattened the Redskins quarterback. Talk about one mashed potato, eh, Brad?” 

“In the second half tonight the Redskins have SPUDDERED. By the fourth quarter, it appeared most of their players were totally fried, wouldn’t you agree, Brad?” 

“Looks like the Redskins nose tackle may have been hurt on the play. I guess that would make him a potato chip, eh, Brad?” 

“What in the hell are you talking about, Fred?” 

“I mean he’s injured – you might say, chipped. Get it? Potato chip?” 

“Shut up, Fred. Just shut the fuck up. Oh, shit. Are we still on the air?” 

The young rookie players could be called tater tots. If a player has a great game, I could see the newspaper headline the next day: “Redskin Quarterback is Hot Potato in Come-From-Behind Victory.”  See what I mean? The sound bite possibilities are endless.

If my redskin potato graphic doesn’t fly, here is my backup proposal. Who doesn’t love Hello Kitty? I know my girls sure did – back when they were five. Go, Kitties! MEOW!! What a purrfect new logo, am I right?

If my redskin potato graphic doesn’t fly, here is my backup proposal. Who doesn’t love Hello Kitty? I know my girls sure did – back when they were five. Go, Kitties! MEOW!! What a purrfect new logo, am I right?

I came up with a great new tag line to boost fan support for the team: “Support your NEW Washington Redskins. This Spud’s for You.”  I can’t imagine any Fortune 500 company possibly being upset over such a fun tag line, can you?

I’m confident that if the Redskins team owner thinks about my idea, he will quickly adopt it – and hopefully give me a modest 5% of all future ticket sales. And once and for all, this sordid Redskin naming controversy will vanish quicker than the Redskins’ chances of making the playoffs.

In the unlikely event Mr. Snyder stuns the world and refuses to adopt my solution, I even came up with a backup plan: The Washington Kittens. Check out the new helmet logo at right. I’m confident this move would bring young girls out to the stadium in droves, especially on Stuffed Animal Day. What can I say? I’m an idea machine.

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

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, post a COMMENT, give it a LIKE and SHARE it on Facebook. You just might win a new car. Probably not. In fact, forget I ever mentioned it.

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