Posts Tagged George McGovern

American Burlesque or I Just Flew In From Vaudeville and Boy Are My Arms Tired

Last Christmas, my wife bought me one of those human cloning machines that they sell on TV for 129.99.  At first, I didn’t have much of a use for it and it stayed in the back of my closet.  However, I started getting some wacky ideas in June and began sending away for samples of the DNA of famous Borscht Belt comedians.  I got an excellent mixture of Milton Berle, Shecky Greene, Mort Sahl, Buddy Hackett, Henny Youngman (his even came in a small violin case!) and a dash of Rodney Dangerfield.  At a local DNA shop in downtown St. Paul, I purchased the DNA of several 1960s radicals like Huey P Newton, Abbie Hoffman and George McGovern.

Two days ago, I took all the DNA, threw it into the machine and, as per instruction, simmered for 12 hours. I just wanted to see what the combination would create.  I wanted no trouble.  What came out of the machine yesterday morning was beyond my worst nightmares.  It was around 7 feet tall, had a cheap looking tuxedo and a blown out afro.  It looked like a bizarre cross between Strom Thurmond and Julius Erving.  It told me that it must find a club and do stand up comedy.  I tried to stop it, but it tossed me aside and ran out the door.  Minutes later, this creature burst into the VFW Hall located down the street from our home and began doing its routine for the 15 or so semi-drunken patrons.   I was able to get there in time for the second half of the act.  The following is a transcription of what took place.

Creature:   What’s the difference between an American and a gorilla?

The gorilla won’t tell you it’s proud to be a gorilla.

 Thanks, I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.

Woman in the Audience:  YOU SUCK!!!!

Creature:  Thanks, you’re a dear.  I wish I had my hunting license.

Man in the Audience:  Get OFF THE STAGE, Idiot!

Creature:  All right, all right!  What has 600 million legs, over 1 million guns and an IQ under 70?

The American Public

Bartender:  Shut UP!  Please!!!  I’ll call the police if you don’t get off of the stage!!!!!

Creature:  How do you get 200 million Americans to vote?

Turn on American Idol

Thanks!  Tip your servers!!!

Woman in the Audience:  YOU SUCK!!!

Audience:  BOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Creature:  Yeah, George W Bush, George W Bush…..The other day I asked Bush where’s the 20 dollars I loaned him.  He said in the other room under the weapons of mass destruction.  He went to get it and I never saw him again.  But, hey, you re-elected him!!!!  I LOVE THIS CROWD!!!!

Audience:  BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!  (bottle smashes behind The Creature’s head)

Creature:  What’s the best part of voting in Florida?

Knowing it won’t count

Take My Wife, Please!

Man in the audience:  Come back when you’re funny!

Creature: Hey, I forgot you were all Americans.  Do you want me to repeat any of these slowly?

Audience:  BOO!!!!!  (three more bottles smashed against the wall behind The Creature)

Creature:  What do you call an American who works 60 hours a week in order to pay off 25,000 dollars in credit card debt?

Free!  Ya get it!  Free!  You guys are the best crowd I’ve had in months!

Man in the Audience: (over a chorus of boos and bottles smashing) SHUT UP!  We’ll tear your eyes out!!!!!

Creature:  Ahhhhhh….what are you going to do?  Invade Iraq again!

A mob of angry patrons began to storm the stage.  I ran up and grabbed The Creature by the arm and pulled it out of the bar.  A group of three raging men ran after us as we sprinted down the street.  After a few blocks, they stopped chasing us.  We were both exhausted and safe….for now.

I realized later that night that this creature simply couldn’t exist in our world.  It was too jaded, too unwilling to accept compromise, too hateful, too cynical.  I had created a monster that did not belong in today’s America.  It was just going to cause trouble and incite riots wherever it went.  I knew what I had to do.   I crept into the room where The Creature was sleeping and pushed a pillow over its face.  It struggled and screamed, but after a minute or two, it stopped thrashing around.  I went back to my room, turned on the television and fell asleep.  The problem had been solved.

, , , , , , , ,

4 Comments

If I Never Hear It Again It Will Be Soon Enough: Clichés that Push Me Over the Edge

I've Got An Idea...Why Don't I Put An Attention Catching Photo That Has Nothing to Do With The Article On Top

“The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot.” –Salvador Dali

There are simply too many clichés in the world.   The language is filled with them.  It is hard to get through a conversation without hearing one or saying one.  Most of them started out as colorful ways to describe an experience and have, through years of endless repetition, become mildly annoying, harmless platitudes that move conversation along.  For some strange reason certain clichés make me extremely angry.  Most float through my mental filters without much of a struggle, but every once and a while there is one that disturbs me.  Since the chances of me actually getting legislation past to outlaw these incipit expressions are remote at best I have decided to address them in a constructive way, instead of quietly fuming about them day after day.  I have been compiling a list over the past few months of these along with descriptions of why they bother me in the hopes of understanding the pain that they cause me and hopefully inflicting this pain on others.  I have also included helpful sarcastic responses to confuse the cliché user and possibly prevent the offending expression from being used again.   So, as they say, away we go….

Cliché:  “Throwing the Baby Out With The Bathwater”

What kind of sick freak thought this one up?  As a parent of two small children, I find the idea that I might actually forget one of them and toss them into the river with dirt-ridden water to be entirely preposterous.  I get that the creator of this one is trying to make the point that whatever the person is doing is a really ridiculous thing, but what sort of lunatic would toss a baby out with bathwater?!?!  They are certainly tiny, but not nearly small enough to accidentally thrown away.  Maybe the person is an evil, malicious hater of babies, but this is far from the most efficient way of getting rid of them.

Appropriate Response:  Look down at your shoes shaking your head for one dramatic moment, then look up and shout “Well, it’s better than shooting it!”  Turn and walk off.

Cliché:  “I wear many hats”

AGHHGGHHHH!!!  I can’t even think about this one without seething.  Yes, I know it means doing more one role, but the metaphor confuses me.  Do they mean at the same time?  What kind of fool would wear 3 or 4 hats at once?  It would be stupid looking.  There have been a lot of asinine fashion trends throughout history, but I cannot recall a single fad that had anything to do with the person wearing a lot of hats at once.  Is the point that the person has multiple heads?  Am I meant to imagine the person in front of me morphing into a giant hydra like beast wearing a prefaded Red Sox cap, a turban and a Michael Coreleone style fedora?  More than likely, the person who said it wants me to see them as a beaming icon of capitalism and industry, efficiently moving from task to task, a vaunted leader one moment, a regular lunch pail working stiff the next, a person who can be all things to all people, a technocratic “renaissance man”, a proud beacon of all that can be achieved in a 24 hour day with a little know-how and a fist full of gumption.  I think I’d prefer the hydra.

Appropriate Response:  Vomiting on the persons shoes

Cliché:  “Give it 110 percent”

I am well aware that the test scores of American students in math and science have declined over the last 30 years, but the fact that Americans have no qualms about repeatedly asking each other to violate common sense and mathematical reason in this way is alarming.  As if this wasn’t troubling enough, the cliché inflation that has taken place is now taking place is insane.  During the 2010 baseball season, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said that pitcher Gavin Floyd would only pitch if he were at “200 percent”. 1972 Democratic Presidential Candidate George McGovern, the Godfather of Cliché Inflation, started this madness when he said he was “1000 percent behind” his Vice Presidential Candidate Thomas Eagleton seconds before he tossed him kicking and screaming off of the Presidential ticket.  Of course, none of this compares to the all-time Cliché Inflation champion Atlanta Attorney George Lawson who asserted that he was “a million percent certain” that his client, Auburn Quarterback Cam Newton, did not take money.  Where does it end?

Appropriate Response:  Give an overly loud, awkward pretend laugh, and then shout, “If I ever see you again, I’ll break both of your legs!” Turn and walk off.

Cliché:  “Too many Indians, Not Enough Chiefs

This one has started to fade into cliché obscurity for everyone except people who write those grotesque books that quote Vince Lombardi a lot and compare great managers to Ghandi and Napoleon.  It doesn’t get play in the real world anymore mostly because “too many indigenous peoples and not enough chiefs” really doesn’t have a great ring.  Here’s the larger problem…Chiefs ARE Indians.

Appropriate Response:  Look deeply offended and reply, “Are you trying to say that there are too many Indians?  What kind of idiot racist would make a claim like that!”?

I’ve got a ton more of these but I’ll save them for a rainy day.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

17 Comments

%d bloggers like this: