Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sympathy for the Devil

August 29, 2010

New York

Fox News announced today that they will be moving their headquarters to Harlem out of respect for the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11. They issued a press release explaining their decision:

                    Given the fact that Saudi Prince, Al-Waleed bin Talal, is the second largest
                    shareholder in our parent company, News Corporation, we have made the
                    difficult decision to move our headquarters further away from Ground Zero.
                    We have come to this decision after much soul searching. While it is true that
                    there has been no public outrage about the Prince's ownership stake (because we have
                    not reported it and have not whipped our viewers into a frenzy over it), we cannot ignore
                    his comments that the United States, "must address some of the issues that led to
                    such a criminal attack," and "re-examine its policies in the Middle East."  In whipping
                    our viewers into a frenzy over the Ground Zero Mosque, our commentators
                    argued that similar comments by the man who would be the Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf,  
                    made him a terrorist sympathizer. Then we argued that it would naturally be
                    disrespectful to the memory of 9/11 to have a terrorist sympathizer so close to
                    Ground Zero. So, since our boss is a terrorist sympathizer, we are forced to move,
                    out of respect. Loading vans have already begun moving equipment to Harlem, from
                    where we will begin broadcasting soon. Fox News viewers can expect to find the same
                    dedication to truth and unbiased reporting that they have come to expect from Fox News.

The moves came as a surprise to Keith Olbermann, a frequent critic of Fox News and its' commentators.  "I applaud their decision," Olbermann said when reached at his office on Friday, "This is the first time, ever I think, that they have acted in a manner consistent with that which they demand of people with whom they disagree. I don't agree that those comments make someone a terrorist sympathizer, but I know they do, or at least they claim to, so this would seem to be the only reasonable course of action for them to take. Now, why are they acting reasonably? I have no idea." 

Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal was at Euro Disney with friend of the Saudi Royal Family, former President George W. Bush, and was unable to be reached for comment for this article.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Get a Job

A couple days ago, I was killing time in the big city. It was hot and humid; some would say sultry. When I began my walk I looked pretty good- for me anyway. My clothes were clean, my hair neat, my face sporting only a couple days growth of a beard. An hour into my walk, though, I looked shabby. My baby had thrown up on me, my shirt was soaked and hanging like, well, like a wet shirt. And I was beginning to tremble and feel dizzy, a result of low blood sugar. I was unprepared for that, and began to panic that I was not going to find sugar soon enough to avoid calamity. Then I remembered that I was around the corner from a Jamba Juice (or something like it). I arrived to find a long line and a crowded store. I decided to park the baby stroller outside. I waited, panicking and shaking, for my turn. I came very near to begging my way to the front of the line but, even in that state, found I was unable to. When I finally made it, and placed my order, I discovered that I had no way to pay- the store did not accept credit cards and had no ATM, and I was out of cash. Probably I could have stated my case to the clerk, and she would have allowed me to drink my juice and return with payment. But I was not thinking clearly, so instead I turned to the man behind me and asked if he could cover my drink (friends will know how desperate I was at this point). I already knew that he was a jerk. Earlier I had overheard him on his phone, abusing someone I guessed was a telemarketer, "This is a fucking cell phone.  Don't ever call this number again!"  He glared at me for a few seconds after my request, before finally saying, "Get a job or drink water."  His glare had forewarned me that his answer was not going to be pleasant but his anger still surprised me.  A boost of adrenaline gave me the strength to respond, "You know what? I will. I'm going to get a job as a telemarketer. Talk to you later."  I turned around and was about to tell the clerk my problem when a kind soul came up next to me and paid for my juice. She even added a tip.  I thanked her, took my juice outside, and began to recover.

Thought of the Day

Sleeping babies and cool breezes are the anitdote for bullshit.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dear Smitty

ed. note: The following is an actual letter from a reader.

Dear Smitty,

I want to tell you about an experience I had with an old boss. I think you have just the expertise to tell me if I am just being overly sensitive, or if the guy was an actual pervert.... (I'm thinking of the saying "it takes one, to know one.") (Hope that doesn't offend you, Smitty)

I went to work for a major psych clinic. The owner, a male in his 50's, was my boss. When he did an orientation with me, he kept staring at my chest, I took it that he liked the necklace I was wearing. A lot of people compliment me when I wear it, so I didn't think too much of it. In hindsight, though, I wonder if it was a warning of things to come...

He would ask me to sit next to him during clinicals, the chair scooted close enough that our arms kept bumping. As we'd walk the halls, he'd stick close to my side, again our arms would bump, or he'd touch my arm on purpose. One time he laid his hand on my thigh under the premise of showing me how to assess for a client's ability to have boundaries. He liked to talk about sexual intimacy in the elderly - as a clinical issue. Why, I'm not sure, we were usually working with run of the mill psych issues and dementia stuff. There was some other stuff, it's a long story... The final awkward straw came when, walking too closely for my comfort, his hand grazed down my boob. Gulp. I said nothing. I didn't want to freak out on him if he did it by accident -- after all, wouldn't he be embarrassed enough? He said nothing -- no apologies. I don't know what I expected him to do, or myself to do. It wasn't like we were at a bar and I could backhand him or throw my drink on him, knowing for sure he was a sleaze.

I told my husband, first asking him, did he usually touch the females at his workplace? Was it normal, this touchy feely stuff and I was just a prude? I often hugged my female co-workers where I used to work. Or we'd hold hands, but...

Anyway, I ultimately quit and moved on.

All this made me feel -- funny. Am I a prude with too big of a personal bubble, or was this guy a piece of work?


Don't touch me again mother-fucker or I'll chop your dick off and shove it up your -- whoa, got carried away there.
Dear Don't Touch Me, blah, blah, blah,
Okay...I'm going to make an official announcement: KEEP YOUR LETTERS SHORT PEOPLE. I've got shit to do, you know. Still, I am glad you wrote me, and I don't take offence.  But I want to set you straight on something:  Smitty is not a pervert. Sure I do some things that some find objectionable, but it is always between consenting adults. Which brings me to your letter. I should add:  I have been to many mandatory trainings on this subject so I am something of an expert on sexual harassment. The workplace can be a very tough place to work, if you catch my drift. I've never brushed a boob or anything else, though. Frankly, I've never had to. But I wouldn't. You are right to feel uncomfortable about this. That guy is a creep. If you have to resort to that shit, you are lower than scum.  And "sexual intimacy in the elderly"? Are you fucking kidding me?  I am working very hard to keep from throwing up.  Here's the thing:  Any one of those things (except the elder-sex talk, which is just not right) could happen on accident, or, I hope (and here I'm thinking about the looking at a woman's chest part) be forgivable. But taken as a whole, they are disgusting. They make even me think for a second about how hard it is to be a woman sometimes. And, worst of all, they make it much harder for those of us trying to do the hard work of pretending we care about what you're talking about so we can get in your pants.  
p.s. I couldn't do it. I threw up. I once saw a picture of a woman having sex with a horse and that didn't bother me. But the thought of grandmas and grandpas screwing was just too much.

Someone Has a Case of the Mondays

When people ask if I like being a stay-at-home dad, I say, "It is the best job I've ever had. But I still hate Mondays." Apparently Maegan and Shannon feel the same way.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


My brother is a libertarian. I am a liberal. You would be right if you guessed that there is much about which we disagree (in another forum we are debating whether a free market can exist at all without government intervention). But we agree on some things, too, and our disagreements are respectful. This may be because we are related by blood, but I think it's because each of us knows that the other arrived at his beliefs after much thought and honest contemplation of the facts. I'll admit that I have a litmus test that I administer when I am debating politics with someone. If you can't tell me why you dislike/disagree with Barak Obama without using the words "Muslim" (he isn't), "Not a citizen" (he is), "Socialist" (he isn't), "Hitler" (C'mon), "Wall Street Bailout" (he agreed with it, but it was not his idea. It began under President Bush and was widely believed to be necessary) then I am not interested in that "debate".  My brother would, rightly, feel the same way if someone couldn't articulate why they liked Obama.  Debating is fun and healthy; reminding someone that they used to hate Obama because they hated his long-time Christian pastor, directing them to where they can find his birth certificate, showing them where they can find the definition of "socialism", and reminding them that neither the Wall Street bailouts nor deficit spending were invented by Obama is not.

The Under-Performing Bat

I have been tolerating a bat who has lived, over the course of the summer, in each of the four shutters on my front porch. I have never seen the bat, but its tell-tale droppings litter the porch under the shutters. My toleration can be explained thusly:  I didn't exactly know how to get rid of the bat and I understood that bat's eat bugs.  Yesterday I was using a hose to water plants on the patio when a bug bit my leg. I bent down to slap away the bug and saw guano. I looked at the hose in my left hand and the dead bug in my right. The bat is now in a small box in my garbage can, waiting to be hauled to his/her final resting place.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dear Smitty

ed. note: The following is an actual letter. This may be the end of Dear Smitty

Dear Smitty,

For about a month, my wife had been nagging me to visit the blog of this wonderful writer "friend" of hers. I was promised to find it entertaining, humorous and well worth my time. Tired of being pestered I finally gave in and decided to check this blog out. Well, after reading numerous mind-numbing entries, lacking any flair or offering even a hint of humor, I'd decided I had enough of this tomfoolery. I have since reached the conclusion that my wife is either having an affair with this Lyttonous fellow or he has some real dirt on her and is blackmailing her into promoting his blog. So, do you think my wife is having a romantic relationship with this hack or is she in need of rescue from his threatening ways. Whatever your answer, I know I will need to beat the living #@!&*$ out of him.

-Suspicious Mind
Dear Suspicious Mind,
You have put Smitty in an awkward position here. When I read your letter, my first impression was that you were talking about me. And if you were, I would have to admit that it is possible, and even probable, that I have had sex with your wife.  And to be honest, Smitty is not a fighter, so that wouldn't have ended well for me. But then I read your letter again and was relieved to find that you had found the blog you were reading, "mind-numbing..., lacking any flair or offering even a hint of humor." Dear Smitty is nothing if not mind-blowing and full of flair. Still, I think I know the fellow whose blog you were not a fan of. I am no great fan either. And I promise you this:  He is full of shit.  There is no way he is sleeping with your wife. He is ugly, fat and completly lacking in the charm one would need to overcome those glaring handicaps. So it is blackmail, there can be no other explanation. Take it easy on him.
p.s. Thank you for your letter, which was better than anything I or Tom have written in a long time.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dear Smitty

Dear Smitty,

I am a stay-at-home mom with three young girls. The other day I was at the library and, as you may find out yourself someday, all hell was breaking loose. Each girl had an armload of books, and so did I. I was in a hurry and didn't want to fight with the kids over who was going to run the self-checkout machine, so I went to the check-out counter. The librarian ignored me for a couple seconds before finally asking, "Can I help you?" I replied that I needed to check these books out. She asked if I knew how to use the self-checkout machine! I replied, "Yes, but my hands are full and I didn't feel up to it." She said, in that librarian way, "Well you are always going to be redirected there if you come to this desk. But I'll help you this time." My question is this:  Why are all librarians bitches?"



Dear Cow,

First of all, what is up with that name? I'm not sure if you know this, but that is not usually something a woman wants to be called. Next, I have to think you don't know me very well. I will never find out what it's like to haul a gaggle of screeching ankle-biters to a library. Period. Nevertheless, I feel your pain with regards to librarians. But I have to correct you. They cannot ALL be bitches. Some of them must be sluts. 


p.s.  Seriously dude-ette. You need a new nickname. Unbelievable.

Thought of the Day

Tomorrow is our late-summer trip to the big city salon.  Gotta start practicing my strut.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dear Smitty

Dear Smitty,

When I was a sophomore in high school I took a wildlife biology class. I hated it from the first day. Biology never really did hold my attention in those days, and the teacher was terribly boring. A couple weeks into the class I entered the room to find the tables that lined two of the classroom's walls covered with small samples of animal pelts, skins, teeth, bones and the like. The teacher informed us that we were going to be free to go around the room and check out all the samples. We would be allowed to touch them. But then he became obnoxiously condescending. He told us that many of the samples were from his personal collection and that we should be very thankful that he had brought them in. And moreover, because they were his personal property, we should not steal them. Now I doubt that anyone had planned to take a gopher tooth home that day; I know I hadn't. But when he began going on and on about how important these things were because they were his, I pretty much knew I would be stealing something. I hated being talked to like a child even then. And I was offended by the notion that he would have apparently been fine with us stealing whatever we wanted had it been the property of the school.  Eventually he stopped talking and we began our examinations. I was looking at a turtle shell when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw what looked like a patch of pubic hair. I dropped the shell and made haste for the fur. The closer I got, the more sure I was that it was pubic hair. It could hardly be anything else. When I got there, I was thrilled to find myself alone with the patch. It was a dense mat of fur measuring maybe 3 inches x 3 inches. I couldn't see the label which identified what I was holding, so I turned it over. And there, written on the animal hide in red ink, was the word: Beaver.

To my credit, I composed myself quickly and looked around the room. No one was watching me so I quickly slipped the beaver into my pocket. I displayed it prominently in my bedroom for many years. Even now, 20 years later, it is still with me, in the one box of random stuff from my youth that I allow myself to keep.  My question is this:  Should I feel bad about stealing from my teacher? I don't.



Dear Tom,

What can I say dude? You did the right thing when you took it, there is no doubt about that. That teacher was either an idiot or Teacher of the Year! If he was an idiot, he didn't deserve such a treasure and if he was in on the joke, he wanted to pass it on to the next generation. I am most proud of you for keeping it all these years. Right next to your prom date's garter belt, I bet. You old sonofabitch!


p.s. If you write me again get to the point quicker. That letter was longer than it needed to be.

Dear Smitty's Mailbag

It's going to be an exciting couple days for Smitty. His to-do list includes responding to a high school sophomore with a guilty conscience over a stolen beaver pelt, a college kid with a vulva story, and slutty librarians.  If the kids he is watching would STOP CRYING he could get something done.


Websters defines patriotism as "love for or devotion to one's country."  The United States is defined as both a geographic area and a population of people with a common political system- a "federal republic". So, to be a patriotic American is to love the land, water and air that unites us and the people and system of government that make us who we are. Which of these things are people who are fond of calling themselves "patriots" famous for loving? Our federal government? Laws that we enact to keep our land, water and air safe? I would never say that to be a patriot one must love every American. But I would argue that one must, at the very least, begin with a certain amount of respect. No one loves everyone in his/her extended family, but most of us respect them until they give us reason not to. Could "patriots" say that?

Thinking people are above debating whether the Muslim community center should be built several blocks away from Ground Zero. I can't imagine a better opportunity to prove one's patriotism, especially if it offends your sensibilities ( Here I must say that likening the community center to a Hitler statue by a concentration camp, or a Japanese shrine at Pearl Harbor is preposterous- Hitler and the Japanese were the actual perpetrators of the bad deeds. The people who want to build the community center are not. We would not allow Al-Qaeda to build a community center. That is the appropriate analogy). The people who want to build the community center have not harmed America- they ARE America. And what you do unto them, you do unto our country.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Thought of the Day

Remember that I wrote, "I do not need to be thanked" by my kids for doing my job? I meant it. But does that mean that I do not get goosebumps when my daughter comes up to me, gives me a hug, and says, "Thank you for being my daddy, daddy"? It does not.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

They Have (Primative) Feelings, Too.

My friend Shannon and I recently had the following e-mail exchange while setting up a play date for our kids. Usually I find that it doesn't matter that I'm a man and most of my friends are women. Such is life for a stay-at-home dad. But occasionally I do run into behavior that would never be condoned in a traditional workplace.

Shannon:  Let me know what works. You all are welcome here, if we are alternating houses. If it's easier for you for us to come over, that's fine, too. I liked the scenery last time I left...below the bluffs, or whatever all that is, there were 3 very cut men out for their run. Not bad...

Me:  Then by all means, you should come this way. And you should definitely stay for lunch. Show up whenever you like. It is true that a pack of steroid using neanderthals runs daily in these parts. People often remark on their shriveled testicles and thick skulls, but I guess if that's your thing... .

Shannon: We'll be over around 10:30 or so. Depends on the level of cooperation I am getting. Do you have a pair of binoculars I could borrow for the drive home? I didn't get that great of a look last time.

Me:  Obviously you did not get a good look. For if you had, you would have noticed that, in these days of ipods that weigh mere ounces, they listen to a clunky old boombox that is so heavy they are forced to push it in a baby stroller. Still, I do not have binoculars you can use for your boorish delight! I cannot in good conscience condone that behavior. Those creatures are not pieces of meat. They are very nearly human!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thought of the Day

I probably wouldn't have been single as long as I was if I had thought of this pick-up line earlier in life:  If you come with me I'll show you The Truth and I promise it will set you free.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

We're in Trouble

Yesterday, a Facebook friend of mine wrote a post urging people to vote. One of his friends commented that he found it disgusting that he could not vote across party lines, though he did add, "Not that I would!"  On his own page, he bleated that this was, "another freedom that [liberals] took away. It's like telling me I can't cross a picket line, or buy a gun, or carry a gun!" And, you know, he is right, despite himself, for not one of those things is a "right" that liberals are trying to take away. Here we have an adult who doesn't know how primary voting works; we can only guess what other "facts" he's basing his opinions on. I'm going to need some methamphetamines.

Monday, August 9, 2010

What People Want

I talked to a few friends about my intention to develop today.  The questions on my mind have been: "Do people know that he's a joke to me, too? Does that matter? Would he be funny if you didn't know that he was supposed to be? Does he go too far?"  (If you care to share your thoughts, I would love to hear them.)  Anyway, Shannon's advice was that people don't want average, they want to be shocked or entertained. I felt better. I love the idea that people want to be entertained and will respond to talent. Even if I end up unable to provide those things, I am proud that humans have such advanced needs and desires.   Later, I fired up the computer and saw that Levi Johnston may get his own reality show. I need some cocaine.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Thought of the Day

When buying a toy for your dog, it is a good idea to imagine what it will look like when the ropes and other attachments have been chewed away. I went out today and discovered what is basically a dildo proudly sunning itself on my front porch.

The Honeymoon is Over

My wife and I succumbed to the door-to-door sales woman selling children's books today. We bought, I think, 26 books, which are supposed to make our kids smarter and more successful than yours. Sorry. And in doing so, we also brought to an end the generous and happy feelings our four-year old had for her baby brother.

"Mama, I want to take my books to my room."

"Well, honey, those aren't your books. They are the whole family's books. Baby brother is going to read them, too, when he gets older."

"I don't want him anymore then. Let's drop him off."

"Where would we drop him off?"


Friday, August 6, 2010

Dear Smitty

Ed. Note: The following is loosely based on actual events.

Dear Smitty,

I will be a senior in college next year. I am currently taking a summer class, and doing so should help me graduate next spring. But my summer class is not going well. It is a Women's Studies class, and of the 11 students, I am the only male. That wouldn't be a problem for me except for the fact that all the women in the class are militantly anti-man. They are all straight, I think, but my god do they hate men! Should I stick out the last couple of weeks, or drop out? Dropping out seems like a huge waste of time at this point.



Dear Pariah,

First of all, Smitty had to look up what "pariah" meant. Smitty doesn't like that- let's try to keep it simple next time, okay dude?  I don't even know where to start with you. Summer school? Are you fucking kidding me with that? Now, I do have a little sympathy for you when it comes to the class. I enrolled in Women's Studies once, too. But, unlike you, it didn't take me too long to realize my mistake (I looked into studying a broad one summer, too. Don't ever do that! It's actually studying regular shit, but in a foreign country!).

Anyway, here is how you handle these broads: fuck 'em. Seriously dude... you need to have sex with them- as many as you can anyway. Remind them what they're missing. 


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dear Smitty

Dear Smitty,

Can you support a troop, not to mention many troops, with a magnet?



Dear Skeptical,

Dude, you are right to be skeptical. I don't like to brag, but I have taken History 101 four times, so I can speak with some authority on this. Did you know that this was the only time in the history of the United States that taxes have been cut during a time of war?  (I wonder how that affected the deficit?) Listen bro, I am against the war in Iraq, but if we are going to fight, it seems to me we should all pay for it. The troops and their families (and your children and grandchildren. I don't have kids...that I know of) are the only ones paying now. So unless you have a troop in the fight, quit fooling yourself--you will never send enough muffins to make up for the fact that you supported a tax cut more than the troops.  Lose the magnet.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dear Smitty

Dear Smitty,

I see that a federal judge ruled today that Prop 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional.  I was wondering what your thoughts on same-sex marriage are?


Curious, but not bi-curious.

Dear Curious, but not bi-curious,

One thing that has never been clear to me with this issue is why anyone would want to get married. I could not care less about what sex the people are who get married- they're idiots. Seriously. If a dentist told me that I could not get a root canal, I would not spend years in court suing to have one! Unbelievable.


Dear Smitty,

Before my wife and I got married, she was quite a flirt. She even cheated on me once. Now that we are married, she is still a flirt. But, since we're married now, she won't have sex with other men, right?


Hoping the ring stops her from cheating

Dear Hoping my ring stops her from cheating,

I have never seen a ring plug a hole.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Smitty is an Idiot

Smitty has had his fun. I thought I'd take a crack at answering his last letter...

Dear Happily Let off the Hook,

Your friend is half right. You need to talk to your husband about his infidelity, and if he does not change, then you must leave.  It is more than sex. Though it is true that when he has sex with other women behind your back, he is fucking you.  Your kids will figure this out eventually, if they haven't already. Then they will have to deal with a cad father and a mother who respects herself so little that she let it happen to her more than once.

You may need to sue him for support. That's the way it goes. If you don't want to deal with another man, don't. But in five years, you can either still be a shell of a human, or a happy and wise woman. The choice is yours. The flight to space is almost impossibly hard, too, but the view when you get there is , ahem, out-of-this-world.

Good luck,


Dear Smitty's First Actual Letter

Ed. Note:  The following letter was submitted by a reader. I am happy to report that the situation is not real for her, sad to report that it is very real for, apparently, many.

Dear Smitty,

I found out my husband is having an affair. He does not know that I know. The shocking part, is not that he is having the affair, but my feelings surrounding my findings. I am relieved. As an exhausted mother, staying home with our children, I am glad that there is a woman out there catering to his "needs." My life is comfortable, my children have their father in their life regularly, and I'm fine keeping the status quo. My best friend said I need to leave him and sue his ass for child support and go find someone new. I don't want another man, I don't want one more thing that needs my attention.

What do you think?


Happily Let off the Hook
Dear Happily Let off the Hook,
I will not go so far as to say that you are the perfect woman since I have not seen you. But you are damn close, whatever you look like. You have hit upon a very important truth--happiness has many definitions. You are happy. Your husband is happy. I bet your kids are happy. Your friend is a nosy, opinionated bitch. So, it sounds to me like you need new friends and everything will be fine.