Saturday, January 28, 2012

All American X-men Rejects

I go to the same bar every Tuesday to partake in what can sometimes be labeled as a “karaoke extravaganza.” Last Tuesday was one of those nights.  Not due to it being extremely crowded or because of any specific karaoke performance.  It was because of a small group of unrelated attendees that all seemed to fall into one category.  I labeled them the “All American X-Men Rejects.”  This is how they gained that moniker.

I’m not sure if these particular quasi-mutants had been there every other week, but that night they were unable able to escape the spotlight due to a lack of other raucous goings on.  With such a sparse crowd, they were positioned front and center. 

First, there was the guy in the wheelchair whose head was haphazardly cocked sideways and slightly toward the ceiling.  Even though his gaze was rarely pointed at anyone in particular, he was constantly issuing a serious 50 yard stare.  I had seen him in the bar before, but I had never noticed his stare or his affinity for rolling back and forth in a rhythmic fashion.  I remember him, because he is a handicapped fellow with an interesting taste in the songs he “sings” at karaoke.  I’m not sure if he has a truly dark sense of humor, is completely oblivious to his song choices, or is just a really big fan of George Strait’s classic country song, “The Chair.”  His song choice, however, was not the reason why he made it onto the X-men Rejects team.  No, it was his icy gaze.  As he rolled from point-to-point throughout the bar, people just seemed to sense his presence and they exhibited an almost hypnotic reaction as he wheeled toward them.  He parted the sparse crowd without uttering a word or lifting a finger.  It was either paraplegic mind control, or common human decency.  Based on my experience in this bar, it had to be the former.

The next near-mutant was an awkward man, who stood no taller than 5’6”, and had a bit of hunch just below the nape. He continuously scurried back and forth across the dance floor and karaoke stage with reckless abandon.  His lady-friend was a mammoth in comparison to him, and seemed to rumble about whilst constantly bumping into anything that came across her path.  He was a speed-freak who contained an endless amount of energy and gusto, and she was a lady mammoth that contained an endless amount of cholesterol.  Together they cleared out about 200 square feet of space for themselves near the entrance.  All those who entered the bar that night, did so at their own risk.

It was the 4th and final man who snuck his way into the group toward the end of the evening.  He had been incognito most of the night, never revealing his semi-mutant power until much later.  To describe him as indescribable would be unnecessary and misleading.  It wasn’t that words could not be formed into a sentence that would fall short of a true portrayal.  Nope, it was that there was nothing to note about him whatsoever.  I think he was wearing a t-shirt.

Either way, T-Shirt Guy (or TSG) made a decision to order a Flaming Dr. Pepper shot for himself.  He did not have a lady, a friend or even a lady friend with whom he could share the wonderful buy two shots, get one free special.  Nope, it was just for him.  Keith the bartender expertly poured the amaretto liqueur and 151-proof rum into a shot glass, and walked away thinking his job was done.  It was not.  He was going to be needed again very shortly.  TSG decided he wanted to test the heat and flame’s authenticity by sticking his index finger into the shot glass.  The shot glass was filled to the rim with a tasty alcoholic concoction, so there was no room for anything else in the glass container.  TSG dipped his digit into the liquid nonetheless, and the density of his finger displaced the flaming liquid out of the shot glass and onto the surface of the bar.  Just as Archimedes did in the 3rd century BC, I screamed “Eureka!”  Not because I am such a fan of fluid displacement (although, I am), but rather because of what TSG did next. 

The liquid that was spilled onto the bar was quickly extinguished by Keith the bartender (see, I told you he’d be back), but the flaming finger of TSG had yet to be remedied.  His first reaction was to raise his hand above his head and bring it downward in a swift motion.  This sent a tiny fireball crashing onto the floor, where it would soon run out of fuel, and fade away.  His finger still contained enough 151-proof rum to stay lit, so TSG shook it back and forth, sending tiny flecks of fire this way and that.  It was at that point that I realized I wasn’t surrounded by a group of X-men rejects.  I was standing right in the middle of their self realizations of true power.

They needed someone to lead them, and to teach them how they could use their powers for good instead of evil and general disarray.  It should have been me.  I think I would be up for that job.  I could show the two-wheeled mind controller how to focus his skills on convincing bar tenders to give me free drinks or to get girls to unwittingly give their phone numbers to my friends Zuke and Chris.  Speed Freak would channel his endless energy to keeping our co-favorite watering hole clean and tidy.  I’m sure he could have just as much fun with a broom and mop as he was having walking and swaying aimlessly that evening.  Lady-Mammoth could serve her purpose as well.  My friend Bobby usually worked as a bouncer most nights at McCabes, and I assume he will need to take a vacation someday.  She could fill in for him, or perhaps work alongside him should the attendance at McCabes rise in response to the notoriety of the All American X-men Rejects.  Finally, TSG would make a great sideshow and daily draw to any local drinking establishment.  That is, unless he burns himself alive whilst honing his skills.  I’d pay to see that though.  I really would, don’t judge me.

Alas, there is no time in my schedule for such things.  I couldn't give them the expert tutelage they needed to truly reach their full potential.  They will have to settle for being X-men rejects, and the source of my weekly entertainment.  I think they would be okay with that.  That is, if someone told them about my vision of their grandeur.  Come to think of it, don’t tell them.  I like them they way they are.  McCabes Pub of Bradenton’s All American X-Men Rejects.

Frodo can not be trusted

If you don't know why he's untrustworthy.  You've never read Real Women Create Friction.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Canadian Tarzans

The battle between proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline and the environmental protestors rages on.  The issue at hand is whether or not to build a pipeline from Canada across the border and through Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.  The process of converting the oil rich sands into usable fuel is said to require more energy than conventional crude oil processes.  That being said, I really don’t care about all that.  Daryl Hannah cares enough for the both of us (Thanks Daryl!).
What I care about is what pictures come to mind when I hear people on the news saying “Canadian tar sands.”  Say it out loud, and then continue reading when your audible giggles and/or guffaws have subsided (feel free to LOL as well; if that’s your thing).
I spent the better part of 45 minutes on my drive in to work listening to the debate about this extremely important and politically charged environmental issue.  Unfortunately, my mind was filled with the zany antics of a Canadian Ape-man clad in a Maple leaf loincloth and donning some serious hockey-hair (a.k.a. a Mullet).  He would be seen swinging in between buildings in Toronto like a Canadian Spiderman, and occasionally would drop in on unsuspecting Hosers, only to steal a banana and then scurry off with his knuckles nearly dragging on the pavement. 
What else would a Canadian Tarzan do?  I guess he could become a superhero of sorts.  Perhaps he would fight for justice and the Canadian way!  Over the next couple of days, I continued to do more research on the subject of the Keystone XL pipeline and the political squabble that was bleeding across borders and around the world.  It was only after I came across an article in Friday’s issue of the Canada Free Press that I realized what my amalgamation of reality and oronym would be crusading against (I also learned the definition of the word “oronym”).
Well, Canadian Tarzan would most certainly hear through the tree-vine that Chiquita Brands International, Inc had announced their intention to halt the use of Canadian oil in any of their ground trucking transportation. This has caused an uproar across Canada and beyond.  So much so, that Chiquita would be the target for many a malicious retort.  The skeletons in their closet would be taken out and pasted on headlines.  Up to and including their guilty plea to one count of making payments to a designated terrorist organization in Columbia (just to clarify; those are guerillas, not gorillas). 
Once someone was able to convey the weight of that message to Canadian Tarzan through a series of grunts and hand signals, he would take direct offense to it.  His action would be swift and simple.  Knowing full well the powerful journalists at Canada Free Press were providing the scoop and the members of Canadian Parliament were dishing out the strong rhetoric (e.g. “C’mon, eh?), Canadian Tarzan could make a difference more directly.
He would join forces with his trusty Chimp-sidekick Cheetah to roam the North American countryside throwing feces at any 18-wheeled vehicle he suspected could contain Chiquita brand bananas.  The irony of throwing feces predominantly made up of digested bananas would be lost on both of them.  The symbolism of their weapon of choice being a locally produced and naturally polluted form of something that was easily obtained from an evil foreign entity would be lost on me (until now).  Irony and symbolism aside, the duo would not stop until they brought Chiquita down to their knees, and forced them see the error of their ways. They would do so, one handful of high-potassium feces at a time.
It would take over 15 months to win their crusade against Chiquita, and would ultimately end in the corporation issuing a public statement that explained their stance on Canadian oil.  The press release would clarify that Chiquita was not boycotting or banning Canadian oil, but they were maintain their course to find ways to be more environmentally responsible and reduce their carbon footprint.  The words flowed eloquently from the page, but would not be fully comprehended by Canadian Tarzan or Cheetah. Luckily, they had found their way into Texas on their southward journey, and were now just as informed on the issue of the Canadian oil industry and the Keystone XL pipeline as most of the people it was going to directly effect if the application was eventually approved. 
If that was ever to change, someone would need to bail Daryl Hannah out of jail, and fly her down to Texas. She would be the perfect person to go down there and help explain it in terms they would all understand.  She could use her old Clan of the Cave Bear skills to draw pictures and perform a series of grunts.  You know, the kind of communication that any feral human or Texan could appreciate.  If her efforts were to prove successful, they may even offer to make her an honorary Texan, and give her the key to the city of Dallas.  I’m sure she would politely decline, attempt to make a swift exit, and subsequently be shot in the face by a grunting mob. But that is a whole different story… and the working title for it would be “Daryl Hannah Messed with Texas.”

Kneel Before Sod!

I'm as proud of my creation as he is of his creator.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Republican Candidates: Jesus is Not on the Ballot

I was driving to work earlier this week, and I was listening to NPR as I always do, and I heard the most wonderful quote from Brian Fisher, the director of issue analysis at the American Family Association (a.k.a. AFA, a.k.a. kinda creepy right-wing religious group). He was speaking about the current crop of GOP presidential hopefuls. He started off with a rather simple statement, saying, “There is no perfect candidate.” And had he left it at that, most of us would have agreed, and then been on our merry ways to work, or the unemployment line, or to Occupy Wall Street. But no, Mr. Fisher followed it up with, “Jesus Christ is not on the ballot.”

You're right Bry-Bry, he's not. The remaining figures are a Mormon businessman, a Pudgy former Speaker of the House, Ross Perot on (legalized) crack, and then a few other lackeys that haven't quite realized that the jig is up. Jesus is surely missing, but what if he wasn't? That got me to thinking.

What if Jesus wanted to run for President? Well, first off, he couldn't. Jesus was born outside of the United States. Alexander Hamilton had to settle for Secretary of the Treasury, so why should Jesus be any different? But his dad is all knowing and all seeing, so I'm sure he could get that part of the Constitution changed without much effort. Hell, people were clamoring to change it to let Governor Schwarzenegger take a shot at it. How could not they let the son of God have a go?

Actual legal roadblocks aside, the thought of it was so interesting that I had to pursue the line of reasoning. Besides, when have the Republicans ever let the Constitution dictate their actions. Oh, I also think I skipped the part where Jesus is obviously a Republican. Not because they are a party of righteous individuals, or even the most devout (they are). No, it is only because he could never win in the Democratic Party. They have their Messiah, and he is that big-eared guy with the funny name, who is already in the White House. He shouted from the podium, “Yes, we can!” and “Change we can believe in.” His flock shouted loud and proud then, and pride is a tough thing to swallow in four years time. If Yahweh Jr. wanted his way, he'd have to do it through the GOP.

Now, there are also a few other roadblocks that Jesus would encounter during his campaign, and most of it would come from his opponents. No matter how great a candidate really is, his opponents (and their Super PACs) will find some way to try and knock him off his pedestal. Here is a short list of targets his GOP rivals would have in their neatly parted crosshairs.

  1. Jesus was a Jew: there has never been a Jewish President before, and only the Mormon would let that detail slide.
  2. Jesus was kind of a hippie: Love thy neighbor? Even if that neighbor wants to just walk over your unprotected border, steal the job your not willing to do, and pay the taxes your not willing to pay. I don't think so, Jesus!
  3. He's kind of preachy: Not Falwell preachy, but pretty God damn preachy.

There are also a slew of reasons why he would be a great President, but those would get washed away in the tidal wave of negative campaign ads. They are still worth noting.

  1. Jesus was the son of a carpenter: Not Richard or Karen Carpenter, but a good old-fashioned blue tunic-ed carpenter. Kind of like Joe the plumber, but with a more powerful father.
  2. Jesus was a man of the people: Although the people in his day would follow just about anyone who had a good enough story to back up their crazy talk, his rhetoric was Biblical! Kind of like Ron Paul's.
  3. Who else could quote scripture in 1st person? Nobody, that's who. The evangelicals would eat that shit up.

Unfortunately, Jesus could never be President of the United States, or even Governor of any state. He is far too controversial, and a polarizing figure. Those people never get elected. No, it is always some white-washed candidate who is just palatable enough to the independents to get enough votes outside of their already fervent and devoted base that gets elected. Jesus would have about as much chance to change the world in his time as, well, Jesus V1.0. Do you remember the first time he tried to speak out and get people to follow him? Yeah, how did that work out? At least after he washed out of the GOP primary, he could get a book deal or tour the world giving lectures at $25,000 an appearance. That is much better than baking in the sun for nine hours or so, and then coming back to life only to be replaced by a giant candy-delivering bunny.