These Are The People In Your Neighborhood. Sorry.

Every year, the Kennedy Center Honors are awarded to venerable artists in the United States for lifetime achievement and impact on American culture.

I check my mailbox once or twice a year in the hopes I’ll be recognized. Truth be told, I really just want a cool rainbow medallion. I could probably save a lot of time and money with a trip to Michael’s, versus all that “honing my generational talent into a marketable craft” crap. Not to mention I could stop checking my mail outright. I never get anything, except Bed Bath & Beyond coupons and angry letters from debt collectors. Exactly how do you propose I catch up on my bills when Bed Bath & Beyond has such great deals AND an extra 20% off? It’s a vicious cycle. Get off my back, Visa.

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To Tell The Truth, I’m Obviously Lying

Plausible deniability is a crucial component of any ongoing violation of laws or norms. If you’re going to intentionally engage in nefarious deeds, you have to have your story straight for when the eventual scrutiny (such as, let’s say, impeachment) comes.

That which you are straightening is indeed a “story” because it is, by definition, not a true reckoning of whatever drug deal you’re up to. It is at best a quasi-believable version of events that counts on the listener giving you the benefit of the doubt. At worst, it’s a thinly veiled lie.

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King Donald

In the past few weeks, we’ve gotten to see first-hand what happens when we replace a political party with a cult of personality. Every standard, once etched into stone in our memories and conscience, becomes malleable to fit the behaviors of the leader.

To paraphrase more intellectual commentators, we’ve discovered that one man in our country can literally do anything he wants and will suffer no consequences…as long as he can retain the support of any 34 members of the United States Senate.

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My Eye! I’m Not Supposed To Get Measles In It!

A fraction of the population believes that vaccines are an insidious part of an Illuminati-style conspiracy. According to these mental heavyweights, vaccines have been foisted upon the masses by profit-motivated pharmaceutical companies with the blessing and assistance of the United States government.

Occam’s Razor suggests that, all things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the right one. The anti-vaccination crowd, unfortunately, has been boycotting Occam’s Razor ever since Gillette made that “anti-men” video.

When they hear hoofbeats in the hallway, they don’t think the sound is coming from zebras. Come on, that would be ridiculous! Zebras? At this time of year? Localized entirely within your hallway? That’s just dumb.

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Donald Trump: A Trojan Jackass

I have a theory. It’s so far-fetched, even I don’t believe it. But if enough people start talking about it, maybe it’ll help our country. Or it’ll hasten our demise. I have no idea, I’m just a blogger, so take everything I write with your daily recommended allowance of salt.

Unless I’m right, and then YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST, FOLKS.

Here goes:

Donald Trump is an agent provocateur, leading a false flag operation on behalf of the Democratic Party.

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Guide Him In The Direction He’s Already Falling

Imagine you’re buying a car. You do some research, learn the range of prices versus features you like, and check your finances. The bus pulls up, and you hop on board to make your way down to the only dealership in town. You apparently live in a crappy, one-dealership-having town.

A large man—maybe 6’3”, 239 pounds, if you had to guess—approaches you as you exit the bus. His Chinese-made suit is ill fitting. His Mexican-made red tie is far too long. He resembles an anthropomorphic raccoon, if that raccoon were a serial sexual predator.

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A Loaded Red Hat

High school boys in 2019 wear “Make America Great Again” hats for the same reason high school boys in 1992 wore Slayer t-shirts: contrarianism and attention seeking. Well, it’s almost the same, except the members of Slayer are actually good at their jobs and worthy of fandom.

It’s the reason we saw University of South Carolina baseball caps around the University of Houston during my tenure. South Carolina is a thousand miles from Houston, and most of us had never been there. But you see, Carolina’s mascot is the gamecock, and their 90’s era hats said “COCKS” across the front. To quote myself and every dude I knew circa 1998 (and 2019, to be fair), “Uh…huh huh…huh huh…he said cocks.” “Cocks” has a much more je ne sais quai than “Cougars,” no?

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Nobody Gets Out Alive

We live in a dangerous country. Would it surprise you to learn that the United States has a whopping 100% mortality rate? And it’s projected to remain the same for the foreseeable future. Sad!

According to anecdotes relayed by the President of the United States on national television this week, the scariest source of our countrymen’s fate is undocumented immigrants. From what I can glean from memes posted by racist senior citizens on “the Facebook,” more Americans are killed by immigrants than by every other cause of death combined.

Okay, that seems unlikely, I’ll admit it. But when has your Aunt Gertrude, an angry 80-year-old woman who hasn’t worked outside the home nor left her Midwestern hometown in the last 20 years, ever steered us wrong? Remember 9/11? Well, Gertie said on 9/12 that she’d “always been suspicious of the Moslems,” and I’ll be damned if she didn’t hit the mark with that shotgun spray of post-hoc accusation.

This just in: Aunt Gertrude never said anything about it at the time, but she never liked that guy you just broke up with, either.

Given our President’s inference that we should fear people from other countries, I decided to investigate all of the ways that people in our country find themselves taking long naps on the underside of the terrain. Imagine my confusion when I discovered that, at best guess, only 456 people per year die at the hands of undocumented immigrants!

Now before you go saying, “any murder is a tragedy, and the murderers shouldn’t have even been here!” keep in mind that the overall number of homicides in the US is about 18,624 per year. In other words, if you’re going to get whacked, you’re 40 times more likely to get whacked by a fellow American. That’s why I avoid each of you at all costs, just to be safe. USA! USA!

I was also shocked to learn how many ways to die are more common than “gittin’ kilt by a got-dang furriner whilst on mah way down to the Piggleh Wiggleh.”

And because I cherry picked the hell out of this list for maximum shock value, you should prepare to be shocked, too!

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Come Join My Wild Pigeon Chase

I own a restaurant in Washington, DC. We’re situated near the Smithsonian museums, the FBI headquarters, and lots of other federal office buildings. As you might imagine, we’ve been a little slower than ideal lately.

Why is it slower than usual?

I told my team that neither their service nor their food was at fault for the slowdown. It’s not competition from other restaurants or food trucks. It can’t be the weather, nearby construction, or the homeless people who ask our customers for money at the front door. While any and all of those issues would be worth an in-depth, intellectual investigation, I told my team that none of those are important.

We’re only slower than normal because of pigeons.

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When In Doubt, Don’t Bark

It’s human nature to categorize things, recognize patterns, and extrapolate missing data. Actually, it might be better described as animal nature.

My dog Lemmy uses process of elimination to determine where I hide the treats. He might do so clumsily, checking the same spot two or three times en route to crossing it off his list. But he’s definitely categorizing and extrapolating, ham-handed (maybe ham-pawed, as it were) or not.

Lemmy utilizes basic cause-and-effect to recognize that giving me “sad puppy dog eyes” will nab him some of whatever I’m eating. Incidentally, both of us have the same favorite cuisine: people food. Maybe he cuts his losses with hard-nosed Mom, and doubles down on Dad. He notices a pattern: Dad is more easily swayed to part with the scraps.

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