Strange scenes in the alley 2

A couple of nights ago, there was a car parked in front of my garage containing a young couple engaged in amorous relations.  My garage doors open almost directly into the alley, leaving not so much a driveway, but a small, car-width sliver of space between the garage and the alley.  Of all the thousands of discreet places in the city, it was in this space that the pair of youngsters, overcome by passion and desire, decided to dock their mid-size sedan to permit the male occupant the opportunity to dock something else.  

Inside the house, I was totally oblivious to the strange vehicle and the illicit love making going on outside.  That is until my wife came home and asked who was parked back by the garage.  Needing to take out the trash anyway, I decided to walk back there and investigate.  As I drew closer to the garage, I could tell that the car was running.  Although it was dark, I figured the driver would see me approaching and tear off into the night.  I rattled the trash cans a bit, hoping to get the driver’s attention, but still there was no discernible activity coming from the car.  In retrospect, if the car had been rockin, I might not have bothered knockin.  But I couldn’t see anyone sitting in the front seat, so I moved in closer to take a look.  It was dark, but I could just make out a figure laying down in the backseat.  I wondered if perhaps this was some homeless person who had pulled into this spot to take a nap.  Almost every conceivable explanation flashed through my brain as I knocked on the window. But it never occurred to me that the car’s occupants were making the beast with two backs until two figures popped up, startled at my tap, tap, tapping on their Chevy Malibu door.  The young man hurriedly hopped out the door on the opposite side of the car, struggling to pull up his pants.  

For my part, I was a little shocked at the scene I had stumbled upon and immediately began to flip out.  “What the fuck are you doing!?  This is private fucking parking!  You can’t do that shit here!  We run a clean damn family neighborhood around here!”  My wife later told me that from inside the house she could hear every word I shouted, which means my daughter and most of the neighbors could probably hear me as well.  Listening to myself cursing at this young man, I paused, collected my thoughts and began to calm down.  “Listen, son,” I said.  “We’ve all been in your situation before, but parking in someone’s drive is a real amateur move.  Any homeowner that sees a strange vehicle parked on their property is going to investigate.  You’re lucky it’s me and that I’m cool.  My wife wanted to call the cops.  Just go find a deserted parking lot, or park behind one of the bars downtown.  Nobody down there will give a second glance to a couple of lovebirds copulating in the backseat of a car.  Probably happens every night.  Now scram, you horny devil.”

As I stood there, proud of myself for reining in my irritation and using the situation as a teachable moment to impart some of my accumulated wisdom on the younger generation, the impassioned couple tore off down the alley and into the night, flipping me the bird and yelling “Fuck you old man” as their taillights disappeared into the darkness.  I just shook my head and smiled.  They may not realize it yet, but one day when they’re coupling in solitude, they’ll appreciate the wise advice that grouchy old man gave them.

Trump wins ‘free and fair’ golf club championship at Trump International

Former President Donald Trump claimed yet another club championship victory Sunday at Trump International Golf Club.  While it is impossible to know exactly how many titles the former president holds, Trump himself puts the number at more than 20.

Trump took to Truth Social on Sunday to humbly accept his club’s honor as this year’s champion.   “A great honor to have won the Senior Club Championship at Trump International Golf Club…. Competed against many fine golfers, and was hitting the ball long and straight. The reason that I announce this on fabulous TRUTH is that, in a very real way, it serves as a physical exam, only MUCH tougher. You need strength and stamina to WIN, & I have strength & stamina – most others don’t. You also need strength & stamina to GOVERN!”

Tournament officials claim this year’s championship to be one the cleanest and fairset club championships in the history of the tournament with few irregularities reported.  This fact did not go unnoticed by Trump.  “Golf is a gentleman’s game, played by men of honor and integrity.  It is comforting to know that there is still an arena where the lying Democrats can’t steal victory out from under you.” 

However, there were some competitors and patrons at this year’s tournament who claim to have noticed some irregularities in the way the competition was conducted.  One aspect of the tournament that seemed out of the ordinary was that former President Trump did not play in the first round of the two round competition.  Trump was absent from the tournament on Saturday, attending the memorial service of Lynette “Diamond” Hardaway.  Officials report Trump was permitted to count a round he played earlier in the week as his first round score.  

Onlookers also report witnessing strange Secret Service men in suits and dark glasses lurking behind trees and bushes near where Trump’s shots came to rest.  The final resting place of his shots often seemed inconsistent with the path and trajectory of the ball’s flight as witnessed from where the shot was struck.  “He sure got a lot of lucky bounces,” said one onlooker.

Biden administration seeks ban on 4-slice toasters

Days after backing away from a pledge to pull every gas stove from every kitchen in America, Biden administration regulators have now set their sights on four slice toasters, which they maintain are wasteful and contribute to a culture of needless gluttony and excess.

The administration’s Domestic Food Prep Regulatory Task Force has recommended the abolition of four slice toasters be accomplished in four phases. The first phase would scale back to three slices by 2024. The second phase would require all toasters be two slices or less by 2026. If all goes well, regulations would require toasters to accommodate no more than one slice by 2028 and completely eliminate toasters by 2030, the target year for which the United Nations mandates all nations revert to a toastless dystopian hellscape.

Naturally, the plan has elicited outrage from toast lovers all across the fruited plain. Protesters clad only in strategically placed slices of toast were arrested outside the White House Monday, and traffic was disrupted for several hours when a truckload of toast was dumped in the middle of a busy DC interstate.

California has already signaled a willingness to comply with the regulations, promising a complete ban on all toast including French and garlic by 2026.

A piece of toast depicting an image of the Virgin Mary was reported to have wept at the announcement.

When pressed for comment, the president of the American Toast Federation warned, “From my cold dead hands.”

“Hey, brother, can you spare a square?” Business Insider drops explosive Twitter files bathroom bomb

Move over Matt Taibbi.  You’ve just been scooped by the princess of poop.  Business Insider’s Kali Hays today dropped a load so fetid and scandalous it’s sure to create some early P.U.litzer buzz.  

While Taibbi & Co. have been exposing efforts by the FBI and sitting U.S. Congressman to censor Twitter accounts and to have journalists removed from the social media platform, Kali Hays has been combing through troves of Twitter emails and explosive internal Slack messages that reveal a company on the brink of mutiny.

According to Hays’ two sources, Twitter offices in New York and San Francisco are dealing with clogged commodes and may be just days away from running completely out of toilet paper.  Conditions at these locations have become so desperate that employees are standing out on the sidewalk begging passersby to spare a square. 

In response, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has issued a companywide directive requiring all restroom visitors adhere to a strict two square per visit limit with a cap of three restroom visits per day.  This is said to be causing quite a hardship in New York, but sources in San Francisco say it’s not a problem because everybody’s allowed to just shit outdoors on the sidewalk anyway.

Hays also reports that her sources embedded inside the bathrooms at Twitter are noticing that the normally soft and fluffy two-ply toilet paper is being replaced with a coarser single-ply.  The result is that employees are finding it difficult to sit at their terminals for extended periods of time.

In response, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has issued a companywide directive that all employees shall be transitioned to stand-up terminals effective immediately.

Fifty years after Lou Reed took a Walk on the Wild Side

Fifty years after Lou Reed released the album Transformer, his Walk on the Wild Side is looking increasingly like a walk on the mild side.  While it will always be one of the great rock and roll albums, the taboo subjects and subversive themes Reed explored in those days now seem rather tame by present standards, and would probably only elicit yawns from many listeners today.  To be sure, taking a walk on the wild side ain’t what it used to be.    

Take Holly from Miami FLA, for instance.  After plucking her eyebrows, shaving her legs and becoming a she, Holly eagerly sets out to take a walk on the wild side.  Thirsting for adventure, she hits the mean streets of the city ready to give the tiger a whirl.  Instead she’s ushered into the local public library where she reads children’s books to the assembled youngsters for an hour.  Later in the day, she’s invited to participate in a family friendly event where she dances and lip-syncs while moms and dads sip beer, kids geek out on Mountain Dew and they all devour hot wings and french fries.  

Then there’s Candy from out on the Island.  Of course, the back room is no longer her scene.  Candy has an OnlyFans page where she’s assembled quite a following of pathetic rich dudes who are all certain Candy’s heart belongs only to them.  She’s still everybody’s darling, but if you want her to be your darling, you’ll have to register in advance for the special private group event at the OnlyFans Convention in Las Vegas.

Jackie is still speeding away, only now she’s on Adderall to treat her “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.”  Jackie’s job in the tech sector demands that she take on more projects and become more productive.  She’s strutting her stuff on the wild side, logging twenty hour days for a crypto start-up.  While she has no idea who James Dean is, she does sometimes feel like a god and pities all those poor souls who’ve never experienced the pleasures of amphetamines.   

Sometimes it feels like the wild side should’ve stayed in the wild.  There was something secret and thrilling about reading stories or hearing songs from a world that was illicit and underground.  Most likely, the wild side was doomed when Lou Reed penned his songs all those years ago.  Certainly, by the time he did that Honda Scooter commercial, it was curtains for the wild side.

Patriot Girl Dolls flying off the shelves this holiday season

Rocketing to the top of Amazon’s hottest selling Christmas gifts this holiday season is the Patriot Girl Doll.  Popular retailers like Wal-Mart and Target sell out of the sassy little freedom fighters as soon as they hit the shelves.

Patriot Girl Dolls come outfitted in a red, white and blue camouflage patterned jumpsuit, an adorable little tactical vest and an AR-15 rifle right out the box.  Optional accessories include NRA membership card, PG Drone of Freedom and limited edition Patriot Girl Hummer H3.  Also, for a limited time, retailers are offering a Patriot Girl pocket Bill of Rights with every purchase.

On the flipside, retailers are having a devil of a time interesting the public in Patty the Activist Girl Doll.  Standard with every Patty Doll is a revolution backpack filled with a mouthwatering assortment of vegan snacks.  Also, each Patty Doll comes with an audio chip ready to record your target for cancellation.  Just tell Patty the name of whoever makes your blood boil and listen to her chant, “Hey, hey, ho, ho (Justice Thomas) has got to go.”

The holiday’s biggest bust would have to be the Sam Bankman-Fried Doll.  Several shipping containers full of the disgraced former FTX CEO are sitting in the Port of Long Beach after plans to retail the dolls were put on hold following the collapse of FTX.  Currently, the SBF dollmaker is pursuing plans to repurpose the doll by dying its hair red, applying funny make-up and marketing it as Sammy the Crypto Clown.

Cash strapped dad tells daughter no American Girl Doll this Christmas. Suggests Hoosier Sally Doll instead.

This Christmas season, inflationary pressures have forced dads like me to have difficult conversations with their offspring.  A recent comment from my daughter asserting that one could buy almost anything for a hundred dollars prompted an overdue conversation about the value of money.  Putting on my wise old dad hat, I informed her that there are actually a lot of things you can’t buy for a hundred dollars.  She promptly came back at me with the American Girl Doll.  At this suggestion, I confidently assured her that a hundred dollars could easily cover the cost of a silly little doll, only to start hyperventilating when I discovered that American Girl Dolls start at around $119 retail. 

Immediately I pivoted to other options, hoping to get her interested in something a little less expensive.  “Hey, how about we check out some of these other dolls?” I suggested, frantically scrolling as American Girl Doll prices escalated to levels rivaling the price of an ounce of gold.  After a while, I came across some more reasonably priced knockoffs that, while cheaper, were also a bit strange and disconcerting.  I quickly moved past the Downtown Lisa doll, trying to momentarily divert my daughter’s attention until we found something a little more wholesome.  

Next we stumbled upon Patriot Girl Doll.  “Look at this one, sweetie.  Patriot Girl comes with a cute red, white and blue camouflage outfit, an adorable little tactical vest and an AR-15.  Okay, maybe that one’s not for us.  Hey, check out Moscow Maria.  She’s a hard bitten Muscovite who dreams of marrying an oligarch when she grows up.”  Neither of these options seemed to deliver quite the same magic and fascination as the American Girl Doll.  

Sensing a vibe of rapidly growing disappointment coming from my daughter, I hurriedly searched until I came across a doll that I hoped would be the clincher.  “Look, sweetie, here’s one that’s right up our alley.  This little darling goes by the name Hoosier Sally.  She lives in a late model luxury trailer home just like we do!  Sally lives there with her mother, her brother and 14 cats.  Oh, and here’s the best part, Hoosier Sally Dolls retail for a very reasonable $39.99.” 

Once again, dad’s pragmatism failed to glide in for a successful landing and a hint of disappointment began to reveal itself on my daughter’s face.  To her credit, she shook it off and sauntered away to watch some cartoons.  Looks like Santa’s going to save the day again and come through with that American Girl Doll this Christmas.

Slow explosions

I’m standing in my backyard while a torrent of orange and yellow leaves drift down all around me and pile up at my feet.  The scene is reminiscent of that moment at the end of a political convention when the nominee accepts their party’s nomination and a gusher of confetti and balloons is loosed from the hall’s rafters while the crowd goes nuts and Fleetwood Mac sings “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.”  Only no one’s cheering and I’m not pretending to point at people in the crowd and act surprised to see them.  Actually, I do point at a squirrel and give him a thumbs up.  

A wise man named Tomberg once described an acorn as a “constructive atomic bomb.”  The oak itself is “the result of the slow explosion or the blossoming out of this ‘bomb.’”  If that’s the case, then I’m standing beneath a mushroom cloud.  This particular explosion came not from an acorn, but one of those helicopter seedlings that flew its mission generations ago, and detonated in this spot where the “slow explosion” of this mighty maple tree has been ongoing for, most likely, in excess of a century.  

The fallout continues.  Orange and yellow splotches combine with red from another explosion nearby to overwhelm the gray sky.  These are creative explosions.  Through the years, the maple I’m standing beneath has been home to quite a number of squirrels and a few woodpeckers.  It’s like a multi-family high rise.  Earlier this year, I discovered dozens of small bundles of twigs and leaves scattered about beneath the tree.  These were not dead parts that had broken away and fallen to the ground.  Some creature, undoubtedly engaged in a major renovation project, had cut away these leafy twigs to make room high in the canopy for its expanding living space.

Despite the hours of work ahead of me, for which at this moment Fleetwood Mac should be erupting in song and my family should be rhythmically clapping along in appreciation, it’s hard not to become disoriented in the brilliant twisting colors and the gentle murmuring of the wind.  When the moment pulls you away from yourself and surrounds you with its grace and beauty, everything’s ecstatic.  In this instant, I am a slow, silent explosion, imperceptibly unfolding. 

And then the mournful wail of a distant leaf blower breaks in and obliterates the moment.  Cursed leaf blower!  Then it’s just me, my rake, my tarp and quite a mess to clean up.

Environmental activists spend eleven days glued to sculpture when museum patrons and staff mistake them for part of the exhibit

A group of environmental activists are recovering in the hospital today after spending nearly two weeks glued to a sculpture without access to food and water.  

Members of Earth’s Best Friend were rushed to the emergency room suffering from dehydration when it was discovered that they were not actually part of an art installation at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C.  

After gluing themselves to an exhibit entitled Bedtime For Capitalism, protesters set about imploring patrons to question whether wealth was more important than the planet and people.

“I just thought it was part of the installation,” said Arthur Whitfield, a security guard for the museum.  “I mean, they were quite convincing.  They poured motor oil over each other and stuck dollar bills to themselves.  Museum goers were literally taking out their wallets and sticking bills onto the protesters.” 

According to statements from witnesses, even days later when protesters began to beg for help, saying they were dying, instead of offering aid, patrons merely commented on how powerful the exhibit was.  

“People were in tears,” said Whitfield.  “That’s how moving the piece had become for them.”

Apparently, it wasn’t until museum officials contacted Bedtime For Capitalism’s creator to notify her of all the acclaim the piece was receiving that officials learned the protesters were not actually part of the exhibit.

However, contract negotiations are currently underway between the artist and protesters for a satisfactory sum to get the kids back on their feet and back into the exhibit.

New glasses, new problems

Lately, I’ve been receiving signals that I ought to do something about my eyesight.  The menu board at an unfamiliar takeout restaurant can be confusing enough, but if you can’t read the selections, then you’re pretty screwed.  I tried just making up menu items for a while.  I would say, “Just give me a club sandwich, or something.”  Then the order taker would politely inform me of their choices that most closely resemble a club sandwich, which often just included the addition of avocado, and I’d say, “That would be fine,” and we’d go from there.  But, lately, they’ve begun to treat me like I’m illiterate or something, speaking to me slowly and patiently like I’m a child.  Even my own daughter began to shoot me looks that seemed to doubt my literacy.

So, at the urging of my better half, I decided to get new glasses.  Several hundred dollars later, these cheap plastic spectacles seem to have brought about an entirely new set of challenges.  Don’t get me wrong, they’ve also opened up a whole new world of possibilities.  Before, I mostly stuck to driving familiar routes because I had difficulty reading signs and recognizing landmarks.  But now that I can read highway signs, I’m exploring entirely new realms and unfamiliar territory.  Also, it came as a pleasant surprise to see that the speed limit on most highways has been raised from 55 to 70.  This explains why I’d been the recipient of so much hostility from other drivers in recent years.

The challenges invariably arise when I’m indoors.  I seem to have difficulty and lack confidence knowing where to place my feet.  This has caused me to stumble around and bump into doorways at work.  My boss has been looking askance at me like I’m intoxicated or something.  But I assured her I haven’t been drunk or stoned at work for pretty close to ten years now.  Also, going down stairs is like descending into a murky abyss.  Sometimes I just close my eyes and hope for the best.

However, an incident this morning might be the final straw as far as these new glasses are concerned.  I had just gotten a cup of coffee at Starbucks from the friendliest group of young people you’d ever want to meet, when I merrily strode out to the parking lot to get in my car and head to work.  For some reason, however, I had a difficult time unlocking the car door.  The key fob didn’t seem to work and when I tried to manually unlock the door, the key wouldn’t fit in the lock.  After a few moments, a woman came running out of the Starbucks with one of the larger male employees shouting at me to get away from her car and that she’s calling the cops.  Mortified, I noticed that my car was in the next space over, so I hurriedly jumped in it and sped out of there like Vin Diesel.  I made it to work without incident, not knowing whether an a.p.b. had been issued for my capture.  At any rate, I’m probably going to ditch these glasses, but I may wear them for another week as an aid to eluding authorities, or at least until the heat has died down.