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

I Think I Need a Haircut

I Think I Need a Haircut

With the Coronavirus pandemic, I’ve been doing my best to shelter in place. I sure wish I could get a haircut, though. It’s starting to get a tad out of control.

With the Coronavirus pandemic, I’ve been doing my best to shelter in place. I sure wish I could get a haircut, though. It’s starting to get a tad out of control.

Throughout my life, I’ve never had what you would call “long hair.” I’ve always sported that clean-cut, All-American look – the kind when I was young that endeared me to any dad and got me a free pass to date his “little girl.”

Why, you ask, as a child of the 60s, was I not a long-haired-hippy-freak? For starters, I attended an all-boys military school that had a strict dress code. “A cadet’s locks shall not exceed two inches nor touch the top of his ears”, lest he incur the wrath of the Headmaster and receive two demerits for hating America and disrespecting God.

You’ve probably guessed that my parents were of the conservative bent, who believed that any teenage lad with long hair was either plotting to bomb an Army recruitment center or become a ganja-fueled roadie for Bob Marley and the Wailers, both equally unacceptable.

Don’t get me wrong. Despite my restrictive, cloistered upbringing, when I got to college, I tried shaking things up with my appearance. Like the time I bought a pair lavender corduroy striped bell-bottoms. (What were you thinking, Tim?) I was thinking it would be groovy to sew a large Smiley Face patch on the pant leg. (Seriously, dude, have you no sense of fashion?) The answer would be a resounding “No” – not then or even now, according to my wife.

During graduate school, I finally broke out of my squeaky clean Pat Boone persona by growing a beard. Just my luck, it came out white and orange. I resembled a walking creamsicle. Speaking of ice cream (my favorite dinner time staple) donning a beard made eating a deeply unpleasant culinary experience. Dribbles of Rocky Road would drip off my whiskers or get encrusted in the tangle of my mustache. Something had to go – and it wasn’t going to be my Rocky Road! After only two months, I was squeaky-clean-shaven once again – much to my father’s approval.

The bottom line is, I can’t pull off long hair (or a beard, for that matter). Now that I’m in my sixties, if I go for three days without shaving or grooming (trying for the trendy grunge style), I look like I woke up from a bad bender – which sucks because I don’t even drink

And now I find myself, like everybody else, stuck in the middle of a pandemic with orders to shelter in place. It’s been over three months since my state’s governor first issued a mandate to stay at home as much as possible. Oh, sure, conditions in my area have been slightly loosened in recent weeks. We can now go to the hardware store, so long as we wear a mask, maintain a safe social distance, and are completely encased in bubble wrap.

I don’t mean to sound like my problems are worse than anyone else’s. After all, I have Amazon Prime and Netflix, so, technically I could hole up in my man cave, eating frozen pizza for several more years. But it sure would be nice to get a trim. It’s been five months since my last one. If I have to wait much longer, my daughter will start braiding my hair and I’ll qualify to be the backup drummer for Metallica. I know I shouldn’t complain. After all, my three older brothers went bald decades ago – a fact I enjoy pointing out whenever we get together.

Even my cats are tired of my shaggy, messy guise, unless they suspect a mouse is hiding within. I lack the cool factor to pull it off. That’s why, back in March, thinking ahead, I bought a Nose / Hair Trimmer on eBay.

This is me circa 1977, with the longest hair I’ve ever had – until now. Man, I was such a radical back then.

This is me circa 1977, with the longest hair I’ve ever had – until now. Man, I was such a radical back then.

It finally arrived this week, after a mere three-month wait. I missed the fine print that stated it was being shipped from China, via Pony Express. Unfortunately, what I thought was a Nose AND Hair Trimmer turned out to be a Nose Hair Trimmer. So, every day, my mane continues to look increasingly like an Old English Sheep Dog. On the plus side, my nasal follicles have never been more perfectly coiffed.

Thankfully, our governor announced this week that Phase Two has begun. This means hair salons can resume business. The place I usually go to has an app by which you can check in remotely and it tells you what time to show up. After three hours, they even called me to tell me I was third in line for a haircut. So, I headed over to my local hair styling establishment and announced my arrival. The receptionist could not find me in their system. It turns out my reservation somehow got re-routed to a sister salon located in Oregon. Did I mention I live in Washington state? I figured I’d probably be late for my appointment.

“When can you get me in today?”, I asked my local salon. That elicited a hearty laugh from the receptionist. “Oh, there’s no way we could possibly get you in today. Try back next week.” Since then, every time I have checked, the wait time has been four hours or longer. I guess I’ll have to continue doing my Rod Stewart circa 1973 impression a little while longer.

In the meantime, I need to find my nose hair trimmer. I think my nostrils are due for another trim.

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

Zoom for Seniors

Zoom for Seniors

Dear Senior Citizen, Welcome to the exciting world of Zoom. If you’ve never had a Zoom video call, don’t worry. It’s easier than beating Betty Smith at BINGO, even when she plays with 10 boards.

Dear Senior Citizen, Welcome to the exciting world of Zoom. If you’ve never had a Zoom video call, don’t worry. It’s easier than beating Betty Smith at BINGO, even when she plays with 10 boards.

Welcome to today’s lesson: Zoom for Seniors. If you’re 65+ and would like to learn how to turn your computer into a videophone, this will be an exciting adventure. However, if you thought you had signed up for Zoomba for Seniors, you’re in the wrong class. And it’s spelled Zumba. You might want to consider our Spelling for Seniors class, as well.

What exactly is Zoom? If you ask my 24-year-old tech-savvy daughter, she’ll tell you it’s a video-telephony and online chat service using a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform for teleconferencing, telecommuting and social relations. My daughter is a geek. In case her explanation is a tad too technical, let me simplify: with Zoom, you can see and talk to your friends on your computer.

Everybody’s doing Zoom, even Zumba fans. This is thanks in large part to the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent shelter in place mandates. If you’re not familiar with the “Coronavirus,” may I suggest our introductory lecture series, What’s Been Happening Since You Crawled Under a Rock. Employers use Zoom to conduct team meetings, professors to deliver classes to their students, and the rest of us to complain to our friends that there’s nothing to do – all without wearing pants.

Zoom is surprisingly easy to use. Let’s first talk about system requirements. I’m not talking about your digestive system, though you could talk to your doctor via Zoom about your acid reflux. I’m talking about required devices: a smart phone, an iPad, or a computer with a web cam. No, a web cam is not for detecting spiders in your house, though I can envision a market for that. A common question I hear from seniors is, “How do I attach my rotary phone’s twisty cord to my Zenith TV’s rabbit ears?”

I now realize there should be some pre-requisites for this course, such as a rudimentary knowledge of life and technology in the 21st century. In short, no, you can’t use a rotary phone. You need one that can connect to the Internet. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “Internet,” how exactly did you find the website for this class?

If you are still using a phone like this and planning to place a Zoom call, let me just say, you’re adorable. However, may I suggest upgrading to a phone that was not in use when Ozzie and Harriet were still the rage on TV.

If you are still using a phone like this and planning to place a Zoom call, let me just say, you’re adorable. However, may I suggest upgrading to a phone that was not in use when Ozzie and Harriet were still the rage on TV.

Next, you will need a Zoom meeting invitation. Anticipating your next question, no, it won’t be delivered by the USPS or UPS or even the USPCA. It will come in an email. The invite will give you a link that you simply click on to join the video call at the appointed time.

What’s so great about Zoom? For starters, you can actually see the person you’re talking to! And the call is free – even if the other person is across the country, across the world, or in your garage, borrowing your power tools without asking. That’s because you are talking over the Internet. I know, it’s almost as amazing as the Ronco Pocket Fisherman you bought your wife for her birthday in 1984.

Another cool aspect is that several people can be on the call at the same time! So if you and your Elks cronies – all 67 of them – want to have a virtual hangout, you can with Zoom. That is, assuming you all have email and a Wi-Fi or broadband connection. Clueless about the terms “Wi-Fi” and “broadband”? Might I suggest you switch to a bird watching class instead?

Zoom has some handy features including “chat,” which lets you type messages to other people on the call. But remember when you type a chat message to Charlie about how Archie cheats at golf, Archie will be able to read your message, too – unless he left his glasses in your garage when he borrowed your power tools.

Some pointers about using Zoom. First, you want to adjust your camera so the other person can see you. As interesting as your ceiling may be – or your boxer shorts – most people prefer looking at your face – and by your face, I mean your entire face, not the top of your receding hairline.

Second, be sure the microphones are ON, unless you all are versed in lip-reading.

Third, know how and when to turn OFF your video. Just as you can see your grandkids or your buddies or your boss on Zoom, they too can see you. So, if you feel the need to pick your nose or get up to grab a beer, wearing nothing below the waist but a pair of black socks and Crocs, consider pausing the video first.

Which brings me to Zoom etiquette. Newbies tend to talk over each other, especially if there are a bunch of you on the call. It’s best to wait until the other person has stopped talking before you begin your diatribe on the demise of the nation at the hands of our youth (your grandkids excepted). Also, you might want to shave. The grunge look doesn’t work for seniors.

For the adventurous Senior, try a group Zoom call. Together you can discuss fascinating topics like, “Anyone having trouble with their dentures?” and “Whatever happened to Carl? He was here a minute ago.”

For the adventurous Senior, try a group Zoom call. Together you can discuss fascinating topics like, “Anyone having trouble with their dentures?” and “Whatever happened to Carl? He was here a minute ago.”

Don’t worry if your first Zoom experience is a bit bumpy. That’s normal. It’s daunting to figure out any new technology, like Zoom or a plasma TV or your 10 ft. inflatable snow globe. That’s why I recommend recruiting your seven-year-old grandson. He can ensure your maiden voyage goes smoothly, helping you log into the session, testing your audio, and reminding you to put on pants.

Finally, just remember, if you’re struggling to navigate a Zoom call with your old pal Benny, you’re not alone. He’s every bit the technology rookie that you are. Benny too is confused why he can’t hear you and wondering whose forehead he’s seeing on his computer screen (um, that would actually be Benny’s). He’ll get the hang of it, and you will too – before the next century, or your money back.

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

Staying Safe is as Simple as Washing and Wiping

Staying Safe is as Simple as Washing and Wiping

The most important thing you can do to stay safe from Covid-19 is wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Don’t forget to do under your fingernails. You’ll know you’re done when your hands start to bleed.

The most important thing you can do to stay safe from Covid-19 is wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Don’t forget to do under your fingernails. You’ll know you’re done when your hands start to bleed.

I come bearing good news: According to Harvard scientists (and Harvard scientists are never wrong), the Coronavirus pandemic should largely subside by the end of next year, or possibly early 2022. Plus, a 63% effective vaccine is less than 18 months away.

Okay, maybe not so good news. But on the positive side, the Seattle Mariners will likely finally end 15 consecutive losing seasons since Major League Baseball plans to cancel the current season.

The Coronavirus is affecting our lives in countless ways. Schools are cancelled, people are working from home, and “My Corona” is the #1 song on the pop charts.

If you’re like most of us, you’re probably anxious about proper Social Distancing in the midst of this plague – unless you’re a complete idiot – or the Governor of Georgia (but I repeat myself). Exactly how far apart should people be? Six feet? Ten? My daughter says it’s roughly the distance I can throw a baseball, so 15 feet. Some experts recommend at least one zip code of separation, just to be on the safe side, and wearing an extra layer of bubble wrap whenever you leave the house.

Then there’s the mandate to wear a mask. But where? At the grocery store? Walking your cat around the block? What about in your backyard? Or while doing yoga in your bedroom, naked? And what constitutes an adequate mask, or for that matter, “naked?”

Let me ease your mind. Nobody is telling you to shelter in place 24/7 (with the exception of mayors, governors, and those annoying Harvard scientists). You needn’t be sequestered in your man cave for the next six months, binging on The Real Housewives of New Jersey (although, I must admit, Season 3 exceeded my expectations). Furthermore, you’re free to wear a bandana, dark glasses, and a hoodie when out in public (just use caution when entering a bank). And for God’s sake: DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE! (Admit it. You just scratched your nose, didn’t you? You’re hopeless.)

When shopping, only buy the absolutely necessities – like 12 cases of Nutella. If someone has nabbed them first, don your surgical gloves, shove that shopper to the ground, grab the jars, and run. Piece of cake (that’s in aisle 3).

When shopping, only buy the absolutely necessities – like 12 cases of Nutella. If someone has nabbed them first, don your surgical gloves, shove that shopper to the ground, grab the jars, and run. Piece of cake (that’s in aisle 3).

I offer you a solution to this madness. Simply do what I do: Wash and Wipe.

The Coronavirus germ can hang around for an exhaustingly long time, perhaps even weeks – much like my freeloading brother-in-law, Ralph.

You can try to wait out the contagion, scarfing down tubs of Chunky Monkey, slowly giving up on all your hopes and dreams. Or you can neutralize that pesky peril by washing and wiping.

The general rule of thumb is this: Wash your hands any time you touch something potentially infectious, like a shopping cart or a doorknob or a tiger. (Dobermans, however, are perfectly safe.) Better yet, wipe down the shopping cart, doorknob, and tiger before you touch them.

Let me explain how this works. Imagine it’s time for your monthly Costco run. You decide it would be fun to take the kids, but you’re running late for the special early bird Senior shopping hours. So instead of giving 6-year-old Sarah and 4-year-old Tony their baths, you teach them how to sponge themselves with Lysol wipes.

Everyone is buckled in when you realize you forgot to wash the seats. You improvise by spraying the interior with the garden hose, explaining to your giggling cherubs that it’s raining inside. You arrive at Costco and find the parking lot already swarming with vehicles beating you to an open space and your chance of getting the last remaining toilet paper just got flushed down the toilet. So, you hunt for a spot in the overflow area four football fields away. Sarah jumps out and climbs into a shopping cart, dragging Tony in after. “STOP!” you scream, but it’s too late. You take one of the fourteen jars of sanitizing wipes you keep in the trunk and wash the urchins and the entire cart.

Inside this mega-store, Sarah plays fetch with Tony, throwing him boxes of Cocoa Puffs and paper towels and everything else she can get her hands on. You intercept the paper towels, praising Sarah for the good find, and you load up with enough peanut butter, cereal, paper towels, dental floss, and Purell to last through the next nuclear winter.

Back at Scooby Doo lot N, you finally locate your car and immediately start wiping down the bags, as well as the kids, before piling all into the car. You use another jar of towelettes to disinfectant the steering wheel, dashboard, and every surface your hooligans touched while fighting in the back seat.

Finally home, you send S & T to wash their mitts raw. You unload the groceries, including the 60” flat screen TV you bought on impulse (your wife will eventually forgive you) and restock the pantry. Mission accomplished? Um, not quite. Ask yourself: Who else might have pawed these containers of peanut butter, cereal, and dental floss? Perhaps a band of Coronavirus-positive terrorists infiltrated Costco and spat on everything – and now, their infected germs are in your house.

What’s more, all the tainted groceries are nestled in with other items in your cupboards. Breathing deeply, you remove every bag and box, and the shelves and cabinet doors, and give them all a meticulous scrub. Don’t forget the counter. I bet you grabbed the wipes after you touched the contaminated stuff. Rooky mistake. Use another wipe to clean the wipes.

This man is risking serious infection. Oh, no, not from holding the TV remote. He’s watching one of Trump’s daily press briefings. Highly toxic. Be safe and turn off your TV whenever the President is talking.

This man is risking serious infection. Oh, no, not from holding the TV remote. He’s watching one of Trump’s daily press briefings. Highly toxic. Be safe and turn off your TV whenever the President is talking.

Remember how you told Sarah and Tony to wash their hands until they bled? Were you aware they first played hide ‘n seek? Since it’s impossible to know precisely which chairs, tables, and pets they touched, waste no time in cordoning off those rooms and animals before further harm is done.

To be prudent, I recommend setting a controlled blaze to the affected rooms and rebuilding that wing of the house using state-of-the-art sterile hospital cleanroom construction materials. Or perhaps just sell your home now before the market tanks.

Finally, wash your hands every 30 minutes. A timer will help. (You can scale back to once an hour during your REM sleep cycle.)

That’s it. Easy-peasy. Follow these simple steps and you’ll sleep rest easy, assuming you remembered to wipe down your phone, remote, keyboard, gerbil, outlets, and well, you get the idea. You’ll be fine. Just DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE!

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

It’s a Wonderful World, Says Mother Nature

It’s a Wonderful World, Says Mother Nature

A VFTB Interview with Mother Nature

In an exclusive VFTB interview, Mother Nature reveals that her job has never been easier, thanks to the Coronavirus. “Nature and wildlife are thriving. The only ones complaining are humans,” she said. “They can be such whiners.”

In an exclusive VFTB interview, Mother Nature reveals that her job has never been easier, thanks to the Coronavirus. “Nature and wildlife are thriving. The only ones complaining are humans,” she said. “They can be such whiners.”

The following are excerpts from an exclusive interview with celebrated environmentalist, Mother Nature.

View from the Bleachers: Thank you for agreeing to meet today, Mother Nature. I’m sure you’re tremendously busy.

Mother Nature: Just call me Mama N. I’m pretty informal.

VFTB: Okay, um, Mama N.

Mother Nature: I just finished dropping a blizzard on Newfoundland. Then it’s back to work repairing the Great Barrier Reef. Which reminds me, What did the ocean say to the beach?

VFTB: Um, I have no idea. What did the ocean say to the beach?

Mother Nature: Nothing. It just waved. Get it? A dolphin told me that one. They’re hilarious.

VFTB: I did not know that. Mother Nature, I mean Mama N, I understand the past century has been a notably challenging period for you. Is that true?

Mother Nature: Totally. It’s been my worst century since the last Ice Age – and that was 12,000 years ago. Not a fun epoch, especially if you were a crocodile. The last hundred years have been particularly brutal for all my flora and fauna, what with global warming, widespread floods, droughts and raging forest fires.

Mind you, none of this mayhem was my idea. Sure, I might stir up an occasional hurricane just to make a point. But nothing like what you humans have achieved since the invention of the automobile. Who knew those contraptions would multiply like rabbits! They’re everywhere! And factories – don’t get me started.

VFTB: It must be a hard job protecting our planet.

Mother Nature: Well, the hardest part is protecting it from your lot: mankind. That was not in the job description. Still, it’s been a good gig – up to the last century. Actually, ever since the Industrial Revolution, I can’t seem to catch a break.

VFTB: Sounds exhausting.

Mother Nature: You’re telling me. Until lately, that is.

VFTB: Oh? Has something changed?

Mother Nature: Absolutely. In the past month, it’s like I’m on vacation. Fog and smog are clearing. In northern India you can see the Himalayas for the first time in over 30 years.

VFTB: Incredible. Why do you think that is?

Mother Nature: Isn’t it obvious? It’s the Coronavirus. It’s got everybody shuttered indoors. Nobody’s going anywhere. Which means cars are off the road, planes are grounded, factories have slowed production. We can breathe again!

VFTB: Have you been following the news and social media about social distancing?

Mother Nature: Not really. I don’t have cable and I’m not on Facebook. What I do know is that this pandemic has been the best thing to happen to my planet since they took the Giant Panda off the Endangered Species List.

VFTB: So, you think the Coronavirus is a GOOD thing?

Mother Nature points out that thanks to the wonderful news about the Coronavirus, goats are now roaming around this town in Wales, where they’ve not been seen in ages. “Primroses are quite tasty,” say the goats.

Mother Nature points out that thanks to the wonderful news about the Coronavirus, goats are now roaming around this town in Wales, where they’ve not been seen in ages. “Primroses are quite tasty,” say the goats.

Mother Nature: Let’s say it’s been a blessing in disguise! Ask any animal, with the possible exception of Homo sapiens – it’s like paradise now! The only critter at risk of extinction lately is roadkill!

VFTB: But aren’t you worried about the hundreds of thousands of people getting sick day after day?

Mother Nature: I hear President Trump has that all under control. As for me, I have plenty on my plate taking care of the polar bears, platypuses, and tigers. Speaking of tigers, who the heck is this Tiger King? He sounds seriously messed up.

VFTB: Yeah, he’s a bit of an odd duck.

Mother Nature: Oh, so he’s a duck? I never knew a duck that hung with tigers. He sounds like a quack! Ha! Ha! Get it?

VFTB: You could say that. But seriously, aren’t you concerned about everything that’s happening all over the world right now?

Mother Nature: Look around you. Everything is great. Air, water, even noise pollution are way down. In fact, did you know that Los Angeles has the cleanest air of any major American city at the moment?

VFTB: No way!

Mother Nature: Way! All because people are staying home. I heard tell that peacocks are strolling through the streets of Mumbai for the first time in like forever now that nobody’s driving. So, yeah, I’m pretty stoked. If we keep going at the current trend, global warming will be solved by Labor Day. Pretty awesome, eh?

VFTB: Well, that’s encouraging. But I haven’t left my house in a month.

Mother Nature: And now the animals are looking in at the humans trapped in their cages. Kind of ironic, don’t you think? Meanwhile, I get to catch my breath and kick off my heels –

VFTB: You wear heels?

Mother Nature: More like Birkenstocks. Anyway, it’s nice to see my beloved planet making a remarkable comeback. Just the other day, a family of beavers told me their stream is the clearest they’ve ever seen it. And you should check out Venice. It’s become so clean you can almost drink out of the canals. But don’t. I’m not a miracle worker.

VFTB: Do you have any advice for the humans at this critical time?

With an empty Brazilian beach (due to the Coronavirus), newly hatched sea turtles are making a comeback. Just one of the many things to be thankful for while you’re stuck indoors binge-watching old episodes of Game of Thrones.

With an empty Brazilian beach (due to the Coronavirus), newly hatched sea turtles are making a comeback. Just one of the many things to be thankful for while you’re stuck indoors binge-watching old episodes of Game of Thrones.

Mother Nature: For starters, enough with all the annoying Coronavirus song parodies. They’re really getting repetitive. I know, “wash your hands” and “social distance”.  Blah, blah, blah.

VFTB: I thought you said you don’t do Facebook. 

Mother Nature: I lied. Second, what’s with your addiction to fossil fuels? Now that you folks have discovered walking, maybe you can make a habit of it. It might help you lose that spare tire. And what’s with your obsession with red meat? All those cow farts create an insane amount of methane, which is heating up the atmosphere. Try a carrot for a change. It won’t kill you, I promise.

VFTB: Thank you, Mama N. I hope you get to enjoy a little more time off.

Mother Nature: From the looks of how your federal government is handling the Coronavirus pandemic, I think it’s going to stick around for a while. So, all my lakes and streams and critters want to send a big THANK YOU shout out. Hey, I’ve got to go. There is a hailstorm in Manitoba I need to check on. Never a dull moment. Later.

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

Important Coronavirus Safety Update from View from the Bleachers

Important Coronavirus Safety Update from View from the Bleachers

At View from the Bleachers, we take the safety of our readers very seriously. Read the extreme measures we’ve implemented to ensure every VFTB article is 100% safe and guaranteed never to inflict contagious laughter.

At View from the Bleachers, we take the safety of our readers very seriously. Read the extreme measures we’ve implemented to ensure every VFTB article is 100% safe and guaranteed never to inflict contagious laughter.

Dear valued View from the Bleachers reader,

It has just come to my attention this morning that there is widespread alarm, anxiety and fear throughout the country. No, I’m not talking about the fact that the universally panned film Cats is now available for home rental.

If you’ve not heard the news, let me be the first to inform you. There is this thing called the Coronavirus, also known by medical experts like me as the COVID-19 pandemic. This contagion is dramatically impacting how we all live, work, and in the case of millennials, engage in unprotected sex.

This is Dr. Timothy Jones. I’m Chairman, CEO  and Executive Chef at View from the Bleachers – a non-profit organization (mainly because I suck at business). Perhaps at one time or another you’ve errantly read one of my blog posts. If so, please accept my humblest apology.

I want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time out from reading the 400+ emails you’ve received in the past week from Petco, Walmart, Costco, Kroger, AT&T, the YMCA, and your local parks & recreation department – telling you how committed they are to your safety – so that you can read this  message from View from the Bleachers telling you how committed we are to your safety. Oh, and AT&T belatedly wishes to apologize for their former advertising slogan, Reach out and touch someone. Please don’t follow their advice, okay?

Here at View from the Bleachers, I, along with the dozens of illegal immigrants that work here and mow my lawn, take the health and safety of each reader seriously – all eleven of you. That’s why I wanted to share the extraordinary precautionary measures we’re implementing here at VFTB (as we’re known by the Pulitzer Prize Committee).

First, I’m making sure to get at least 11 hours of sleep a night. Technically, this has nothing to do with the Coronavirus outbreak. I’m just not a morning person.

Second, I’m practicing safe social distancing. In fact, my wife takes this so seriously that she asked me to move into our garage – just to avoid the risk of being exposed to me – or having to talk to me – or make accidental eye contact.

As I write this heartfelt plea for donations, I mean, this update, I’m wearing three pairs of surgical gloves, two pairs of sweatpants, a snorkel mask and ski boots, all out of an abundance of caution. Admittedly, I’m sweating like a pig right now, but that’s the kind of sacrifice I’m willing to make to ensure each post I write is thoroughly devoid of any infectious germs – or humor.

To make sure my readers are protected, I wipe the keyboard with a disposable sanitary wipe after every paragraph. I also made the difficult but selfless decision to switch from my preferred Calibri font to Helvetica – widely believed to be the safest font in use today. I’ve even gone so far as to eliminate the use of filthy words from my posts, to protect my readers from being exposed to potentially pernicious language. If you ask me, that’s a big fucking deal. Oops. Sorry.

As a result of these safety measures, I am pleased to report that there have been absolutely zero known cases of any individuals dying from coming into contact with this humor blog. However, there have been isolated instances of unsuspecting people experiencing mild migraines or nausea from unintended exposure. Fortunately, most symptoms appear to fade once the reader closes their web browser – with the exception of a lingering sensation they’ve wasted valuable time they can never get back.

Finally, before we publish any article, each one goes through a four-step deep-cleaning high-pressure wash and spell-check, to ensure every post contains no residual bacteria or dangling participles. I consider this extreme measure worth it to protect my team of researchers and bail bondsmen.

As a reader, there are some basic steps you can take to protect yourself from possible infection from this website. First, keep at least six feet from your computer when checking your email. If you accidentally open an email that appears to have been sent from View from the Bleacher, press the DELETE key immediately and wash your hands for twenty minutes with soap and a new Brillo pad.

If you accidentally click on a link that takes you directly to a VFTB article like this – say you were drunk and had no idea what you were doing – don’t panic. Simply unplug your computer and quickly dispose of it into the nearest bio-hazard trash receptacle, douse it with lighter fluid and set it ablaze – preferably not in the living room or anywhere near pets.

Several readers (by which I mean my wife) have written to me personally, expressing their fears and offering their sincerest hopes and prayers that this contagion will be over soon. I eventually figured out they were talking about View from the Bleachers – and were worried about their own mental and emotional well-being.

I want to assure all my readers that, while there are no immediate plans to discontinue publication, I promise that none of you will die as a result of reading this column, at least not from laughter.

One final word. I’m doing everything I can to keep you safe. But if you go around like my nephew Nathan doing stupid stuff like licking the handle of your grocery store shopping cart or shaking hands with everybody waiting in line for a refill at the pharmacy, that’s on you. Don’t come whining to me if you end up getting sick – ya’ hear me, Nathan?

Stay safe. And avoid my nephew Nathan.

Tim Jones

Chairman, CEO and Executive Chef, MD, JD, MBA, BFD, IDK, OMG, WTF

View from the Bleachers Enterprises, Inc.

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