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.”
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: 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.
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.
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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
[For a look back at my 2010 predictions for the year 2011, click here. You will be amazed at the accuracy of some of my prognostications.]
Every January, since this humor blog launched back in 1975, I take time out to gaze into my crystal ball (that’s my wife playing around with it at left – I hate it when she does that; she almost broke it in 2007) and make my forecast for the year ahead. Often people are stunned by the incredible [lack of] accuracy of my forecasts.
Hopefully very few of you will go rummaging around in the archives for my predictions from last year. In retrospect, I have to admit I erred in a few of my prognostications.
Here are some of my PREDICTIONS FROM LAST YEAR that did not turn out quite as I had predicted (Note to self: Make a note to upgrade to Crystal Ball Version 3.0 before next year):
You heard it here first: The ‘bromance’ film The Hangover will nudge out Jack Ass 3D for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and Mike Tyson will win Best Supporting Actor, for his portrayal of, well, Mike Tyson. Avatar will be a total commercial flop at the box office and be completely shut out come Oscar time.
Goldman Sachs, having earned record-breaking profits only two years after the financial meltdown it helped cause, will make amends to the nation and singlehandedly solve the nation’s debt crisis by offering to pay down the entire US federal debt – and still have enough left over to pay each of its executives their annual $1 million year-end bonus. (Well, I got the $1 million bonuses part right at least.)
President Obama will surprise his critics by selecting Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report (right) to be the USA’s next ambassador to the United Nations. Colbert’s first U.N. resolution, a condemnation of North Korean ruler King Jong Il’s hairstyle (on human rights grounds), is unanimously adopted by the U.N. General Assembly.
In a period of unprecedented political bipartisanship, the leaders of both major political parties will sign a “peace accord” to end all their partisan bickering and name calling once and for all and will come together to sign the wildly popular healthcare reform bill.
After three years of trying to make sense of the phenomenon, the American public will finally figure out what the heck is the point of Twitter.
Sarah Palin, having had her 15 minutes of fame, will fade into obscurity and never be heard from again.
Okay, I admit it. 2010 was not one of my better years for prognosticating. Let’s face it, I probably won’t do any better for 2011. So this year, for a change, I thought I would gaze further into the future – 30 years out – to the year 2041. Why so far out, you ask? Because, according to my doctor, the odds are 7 to 2 that I won’t be around by then. So I really won’t care how far off the mark I was. Let’s get started.
The World: The war in Afghanistan, now in its 40th year, will show signs of winding down, due in part to the fact that there are only 167 people still living in Afghanistan.
Hopes for a permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace accord will rise when the Israeli Prime Minister extends an olive branch, offering to let Palestinians claim full control over Jerusalem as their undivided Capitol. Hopes will fade once more when it becomes clear he was referring to Jerusalem, Ohio.
Politics: The United States of America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the People’s Republic of China since 2026, will elect its first non-human as president, when the Sony QRIO-400, Sony USA’s fourth generation robot with artificial intelligence exceeding that of any human being, will win the election. Sony QRIO-400 will narrowly defeat the 55-year-old former rock legend, Senator Gaga, from the state of Key West (the 53rd state), in the closest presidential election since New York Governor Alex Rodriguez narrowly edged out New Jersey Congresswoman Snooki in the 2028 election.
Mark Zuckerberg, Prime Minister of the breakaway Republic of Facebookistan, will announce a truce in his longstanding cyber war with the nation of Googleonia over the two nations’ longtime territorial dispute over the region formerly known as northern California.
The Economy: Thanks to new discoveries of massive oil and natural gas deposits in the Arizona region known as Texaco Cliffs (formerly known as Grand Canyon National Park), it will be another record-breaking year for oil companies. Those consumers who still drive gasoline-powered antique automobiles will benefit too, as the price of gasoline plummets to under $220 a gallon.
The employment situation will improve for the third year in a row, for robots and droids. For humans, unemployment remains flat at around 87%, thanks in part due to the fact that the only jobs currently available to humans are coffee drive-through barista, circus lion tamer and NFL cheer leader. No, wait. My bad. Just lion tamer and cheer leader. Sorry, people. The robots will have taken all the barista jobs too.
Science & Technology: 2041 will see the final demise of the Internet after decades of being plagued by viruses and slow performance. The last known Internet user – an 87-year old Inuit fisherman from Baffin Island, Canada – will pull the plug and throw his computer modem out onto the Arctic pack ice. (Correction: The Arctic pack ice will actually have disappeared permanently several years earlier, in 2026.)
The successor to the Internet, the Skin-Implanted Connectivity Chip (or SICC) will have been successfully implanted in more than 72% of humans, giving them instant 24/7 3D virtual connectivity anywhere in the world – except for a six- block section of downtown Manhattan, where reception is still rather spotty.
Transportation: New improvements in aviatic autoliners (otherwise known as flying cars) will take another step forward, now that the auto port re-fueling stations are finally open for business on the Moon (three years behind schedule). In a related story, Starbucks will announce plans to build 7,500 coffee bistros on the Moon by the year 2045.
Speaking of cars, China, the leader in auto manufacturing, will announce that the next generation of H2O-powered vehicles will get better fuel economy than previous water-fueled models. Leading the way, the new Hummer Hydrate, at an impressive 450 miles per gallon, which is easily re-fueled by means of Hummer’s patented custom-fitted garden hose (hose sold separately for $11,999). In a related story, BP will announce plans to purchase glacier-covered Greenland from Denmark, ensuring enough fuel to keep American motorists driving for at least 5 more years.
Travel & Leisure: Thanks to the long-awaited mass commercialization of time travel in 2037, time travel virtual vacations to exotic destinations will have become routine by now. Complications will emerge when 32,000 South Florida retirees travel back to the year 2000, change their butterfly ballot vote to Gore. Nice try, but Bush still wins the election the second time around.
Celebrity News: Lindsay Lohan will celebrate her 55th birthday this year by completing her latest rehab stint, proclaiming she has finally overcome her addiction to Diet Snapple Ice Tea. In her press conference leaving the Whitney Houston Clinic, Lohan hints that her next addiction will involve some type of breakfast cereal. My crystal ball’s hazy but it looks like it could be Captain Crunch.
The nation will mourn the shocking death of former President Mark Wahlberg in a fishing accident off the Pacific coast of Utah. President Wahlberg will probably best be remembered for his annual State of the Union addresses, in which he always delivered his speech without wearing a shirt.
Health & Fitness: After a 15-year longitudinal study, scientists will conclude that a rigorous program of daily weight training, yoga, and aerobic activity poses serious health hazards to middle-aged people over the age of 110.
The Surgeon General will reveal what has long been suspected: A diet of low-fat, high fiber foods, low in sodium and sugar, poses dangerous health risks and recommends a diet rich in red meat, processed starch, and ice cream products. In a related story, the tobacco industry will cheer the results of new research from the American Medical & Tobacco Association that proves once and for all that a daily regimen of nicotine and carcinogens can add several years to your life.
Well, those are my predictions for 2041. Be sure to put a note in your 2041 virtual calendar to check back to this blog and see how well I did. In the remote chance in 2041, my body has become a hologram or has been stashed away in some deep freeze storage pod while scientists work on a way to bring people back to life, no worries. Just rent yourself a time machine, go back in time to January 2011, track me down, and let me know how I did. Many thanks.
That’s the view of the future – as seen from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2010 – 2011
[To view Part I of the Year in Review – January – June, click here.]
Welcome back. What took you so long? We continue now with Part II of The Year in Review for 2010 (July – December), as seen from the Bleachers. Now where were we? Oh yes……
July: The world (and by “world” I mean every single country on the planet besides the USA) is riveted to the exciting FIFA World Cup of Soccer in South Africa. A new craze is born as people from Tokyo to Paris to Sydney are getting hooked on the endearing monotone droning sound of the buzzing vuvuzela horn (as first reported here in VFTB).
Soon these colorful one-note plastic horns are popping up everywhere – at baseball games, political rallies, shareholders’ meetings, birthday parties, weddings, and, most recently, at my friends’ Bernie and Gwen Weinberger’s baby boy’s circumcision ceremony. Perhaps I should have asked permission first. My bad.
Also in the news, American television raises the bar for highbrow entertainment even higher with the explosive popularity of the hip reality series Jersey Shore. Colorful characters like Snooki and “The Situation” become well-tanned, breast-implanted role models for our kids. Every week is a new life lesson, like this one from episode 17, when cast member Snooki reminds us: “I’m not trashy. Unless I drink too much” or when Pauley cautions impressionable young viewers: “One minute you got three girls in the Jacuzzi, the next minute somebody’s in jail.” Sure beats the pointless tripe they try to fob off on us from the BBC or the National Geographic Channel, if you ask this reporter.
Continue reading “2010 – The Year in Review – As seen from the Bleachers – Part II: July – December” »
As a professional journalist, it is my job to stay informed about important news stories and trends, so you don’t have to. This week, as I have done every year since this blog’s inception in 1975, I take stock in the people and events that shaped our world over the past 365 days.
[Editor’s note: For those of you following the Jewish calendar, look for my special Rosh Hashanah “You won’t believe what the Goyim world did to our people this past year” Edition, to be published at sundown on September 28, 2011, the start of the Jewish New Year. – TEJ]
Consider this my Holiday gift to you – a week late, sorry. Blame it on the Post Office. Here is the annual View from the Bleachers’ Year in Review – 2010 Edition, or as I like to call it VFTBYIR-2010E, for short.
Oh, just one thing: Pay no attention to the subtle and repeated placement of gratuitous links to previous VFTB articles scattered throughout this week’s post. My tech person told me search engines like that sort of stuff. Hope you don’t mind. Let’s get started, shall we?
January: Avatar smashes box office records as the biggest grossing movie of all time (not to be confused with Cannibal Holocaust, which gets VFTB’s vote for grossest movie of all time). Thanks to Avatar’s amazing 3D effects and unprecedented profits, Hollywood begins unleashing a tidal wave of 3D films for 2010, including Alice in Wonderland, Toy Story 3, Rocky XXXVII and Oscar-buzz, early odds-on favorite for Best Picture, Jack Ass 3D (right).
Continue reading “2010 – The Year in Review – As seen from the Bleachers – Part I: January – June” »
I’ll admit it. There are many mysteries in this world I will never be able to grasp. Like, when did time begin? How big is the universe? Is there life after death? Why does a loving God let good people suffer? How can I get the flashing “12:00” on my VCR set to the correct time?
And this week I find myself confronted with yet another unfathomable enigma: Why does the entire state of Montana hate me?
That’s right. I am convinced Montana hates me. And I have absolutely no idea what I have done to offend it. You see, I periodically check Google Analytics to see where traffic to my web site comes from. I have had visitors from every continent (except Antarctica).
I have had web site visitors from Tanzania, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Belarus, China, South Korea, Ghana, and just about every nation in Europe. I’ve had visitors come all over – from Maui to Moscow, from Singapore to Sao Paolo. In the past year I have had at least one visitor from every single state in the USA…. except for… you guessed it – Montana. Not one visit from anyone in Montana in 12 months – nada –– zippo – zilch – bupkes.
Continue reading “Why does Montana hate me?” »