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Posts Tagged ‘culture’

Here in the offices of The Curmudgeon, the big boss (that’s me) doesn’t tolerate lawsuits against Crusty Curmudgeon Enterprises, hereinafter referred to as The Company.  As an example, when an employee stormed into my office claiming his stapler was faulty, which caused a puncture wound to the alleged victim, hereinafter referred to as “azzole,” and he threatened to sue The Company, I took the alleged faulty stapler from him and stapled his tongue to the alleged roof of his mouth.  Primarily because he was way stupid.

Now, in Dover, N.H., a high-school student named Dubois, probably the unfortunate offspring of the aforementioned “azzhole,” attached a clamp to one nipple while a second student attached a clamp to the other nipple, and a third student plugged it in.  The shock was so severe his heart stopped and Dubois now claims he suffered permanent brain damage.  I contend he demonstrated he already had brain damage.

Now he – and his money-grubbing parents – are suing the teacher, the school, and the city of Dover.  I had never imagined a lawsuit arising from a Three Stooges routine.  While people named Dubois have famously “always depended on the kindness of strangers,” this branch of the family is depending on everyone else to make them rich.

Their claim is that the teacher failed to warn the stupids…er…students…about the dangers of electricity. What’s next, teachers will have to warn all students about the dangers of jamming pencils into their eyeballs?  Besides,  aren’t the dangers of electricity something parents are supposed to teach their kids from the time they are babies?  But I guess it wouldn’t pay to sue themselves.  They have ruined that teacher’s life and they should be ashamed (plus the whole family should have clamps attached to their nipples and plugged in, but that only happens in Crusty’s world.)

Of course, there’s an attorney who agreed to this farce and that’s why lawyers are so often despised.  Fact is, there are some good lawyers out there, and when you need one, well…I hope you get one.

If there’s a God in heaven, or a decent judge on the bench, this case will be thrown out of court and the family and attorney given a stiff fine for filing a frivolous lawsuit.

Now that would be shocking.

(Information for the story came from WTOP.com and AP.)

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By jltabak on Photo Bucket

Here in the touchy-feely offices of The Crusty Curmudgeon, we are huggers all.  I suppose this is because my erstwhile crack staff takes their cue from me.  I am a touchy-feely guy, due to my upbringing and young adulthood in show business.  Us performers are huggers, and are quick to touch a woman’s hand or shoulder, or offer a hug, at least to a pretty woman.  That must be a burden for the lady, guys compelled to touch or hug her constantly, but maybe she shouldn’t be so attractive?  Okay, that’s not fare, but C’est la vie.  It is different with two Males however.

There was an art to two males hugging.  First, you must make sure that the other male is also a touchy-feely guy.  If he’s not, best not to do it.  There are times and people with whom it is appropriate with or not.  In addition, the male hug, unless you’re very good friend, requires what I call “The Barrier Handshake.”  That is first shaking hands, keeping that grip, and then the brief hug while your hands and arms are in between you, to prevent too close of contact.

So that’s the history of my hugging experience in my time.  What intrigues me about the current fad among teenagers, is the frequency of hugging, the frequent hugging of males, and these massive group hugs.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with it, and probably quite the opposite, representing a non-sexual closeness that has been lacking in our society in the past.  Oh, perhaps it happens with too much frequency and casualness, which thereby lessons its meaning and intent, but harmless nevertheless.  What is really surprising to me is the majority of adults freaking out over the new hugging trend.

What’s their problem?  For starters, they don’t understand it.  They haven’t any experience in this area (unlike yours truly) and therefore view it suspiciously.  After all, if they don’t get it, then something evil – or at least dirty – is afoot.  This fear in ignorant adults (the true meaning of the word ignorant being applied here: Showing or arising from a lack of education or knowledge.  It doesn’t mean they’re stupid; they just are uneducated on this subject.) but these misconceptions  have actually caused some schools to ban hugging.  As though surely there are orgies going on in secret from which this hugging epidemic springs.

Perhaps a little compromise is in order here.  Do it less during school, and less publicly.  You know, sometimes compromise can work greatly in your favor. The adults will chill out a little, and you may actually gain more freedom.

Rest assured though that Crusty is on your side, especially on this matter.  Sure, sometimes I may tell you things you don’t want to hear, but I truly believe I am speaking the truth, but my only regret in the hugging craze is I can’t get in there for a hug or two.

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Here in the callipygian offices of The Curmudgeon, we are appreciative of the female form, all shapes and sizes, and not limited to only desiring one body type. There is much beauty to be seen, if you’d only look with an open mind.

Sumlee Anderson: You've got to admit, that looks mighty interesting!

There are some men however that have a predictilation toward a large posterior, which is fine with me, whatever makes your thermometer rise. But there is now another dangerous trend just now developing. The trend I speak of is Booty Pop Underwear. This is panties that make women appear to have a larger behind than they actually have. The purpose of said panties is arguably to attract men, just like the miracle bra before them.

This is blatant false advertising. Should you find yourselves in a romantic situation, the thing that attracted the man to you in the first place turns out to be an illusion. This can be compared to a man who stuffs his underwear with a pair of socks. The woman think he has a big deli dill pickle and he turns out to have nothing more than a little sweet gherkin. You would not be pleased at the hocus pocus, would you ladies? I think not, so why do you insist on doing the same to men (or maybe to make other women jealous.) I don’t even want to get started on breast enlargements, but at least they’re actually there, real or not. Your new big bottom won’t be, in the same way that your miracle bra’d chest isn’t really there.

Of course the bottom line (Ha! I said bottom) is I don’t really care. It’s kind of funny, both men’s desire for an extra-large bottom and the women that pretend to have them. It wasn’t all that long ago that a big bottom was an object of ridicule. I don’t mind them either. Sometime, I rather like them. There’s just more, you know, and more is a good thing.

I like big butts and I cannot lie,

A big butt can make me cry,

You can do push up and sit ups,

But please don’t loose that butt

Or something like that.

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"Vampire Girl" by lovelessbloodyrose

Here in the sensible offices of The Crusty Curmudgeon, we do not engage in dangerous activities, so far as I know.  We have heard of a recent fad by teenagers that has, frankly, troubled us.  Teenagers will invent fads, things their parents never thought of.  They will push the envelope, and are, to their own minds, indestructible.  So it was for me and it was for you too, so let us not preach to the teenagers today, but try instead to understand their warped little mind.

That being said, sometimes our knowledge and experience is often actually valuable, but the difficulty lies in convincing teenagers of this fact, which doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.  We should, but tread gently.  The disturbing phenomenon I speak of is the new affectation adopted by teenagers of biting and bloodsucking to demonstrate love.  Most teenage behavior is influenced  by movies, television, music, and pop culture.  So it is with biting.  The vampire craze is responsible.  In our day, the preferred method was the hickey, which was the sucking on skin until a red welt was left marking the spot, and the person, the object of our love and desire, and in a very real way, designated our ownership of the person.

But hickeys weren’t dangerous, just annoying.  The swallowing and exchanging of blood is downright dangerous behavior.  It’s risky business.  This is making the swallower at high risk for Hepatitis, Syphilis, and God forbid, HIV.  Without preaching, are you prepared to die for this demonstration of love?  I’m sorry to tell you you aren’t invincible, as we weren’t before you, even though we too thought we were.  That is why we can’t preach at you.  We can’t tell you what to do, you’ll just do it anyway to spite us.  All we can do is try to make you understand what we have learned and hope it makes an impact on you.

Unfortunately, the dangers do not end there.  The mouth contains 10 to 15 billion bacteria. It is a very simple matter to infect the bitee with a general blood infection, for which the standard treatment is tetanus shots.

So teenagers, what are the pros and cons of biting?  Do you feel the cons outweigh the pros, or vice versa?  We can’t make up your mind for you, but hopefully you will consider all your options and make the best choice.  I am sorry to say, the right choice is it’s not worth the risk.  But only you can decide.  Think about it, please.

Very carefully.

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The Amityville House on which the book, then the movie was based.

Here in the impetuous offices of The Crusty Curmudgeon, we are often shooting off of figurative mouths about the latest PETA absurdity, with this caveat: we are pro-animal rights.  I do not want any more forests to be taken for wood, or the rainforest clear-cut so someone can try to grow potatoes, or any species should face extinction, etcetera, etcetera, but PETA is beyond the bounds of crazy behavior.

Much have I written about them, including their Florida billboards with pictures of fat humans and the slogan, “SAVE THE WHALES; Lose the Blubber – Go Vegetarian.”  Or their recent outrage over a destructive squirrel who was caught in a trap on a home’s roof and spent a little too long in the hot sun, or their supposed outrage over Puxatawney Phil, the famous shadow seeing ground hog. They thought Phil was abused performing for the cameras like that, and suggested an animatronic groundhog instead.

Now they’re at it again.  This time, they want to lease the Amityville house of horror (Currently up for sale for 1.15 million).  They want to turn it into a meat-eaters house of horror.  PETA vice-president Tracy Reiman wrote to the present owners, “In our horror house, the sound of slaughterhouse blades whirring while animals scream for their lives would play over loudspeakers.” And the letter went on: “Visitors would be able to see animatronic hens struggling for space inside tiny battery cages and lifelike “fish” gasping for air as they slowly suffocate on the deck of a fishing boat.”

You didn’t think the wackos would stop there, did you?  Oh no, not by a long shot.  Visitors would be subjected, er…treated to a smorgasbord of tasty visual delights, like branding irons and an electrified cow prod and the opportunity to be locked in a small pig crate.  And don’t leave without a special souvenir.  I suggest a doll that resembles a crazed,  knife-wielding Ronald MacDonald.  No kidding.

And you can’t leave without dining in the zero star Cruelty-Free Cafe, featuring delicious, mouth watering vegan food, such as protein-packed mock chicken and faux ribs.  See the irony of that?  Their so-called delicious food tries to resemble meat.  Why not just serve the vegetables instead of trying to pass it off as meat? Is it because meat is delicious and that’s what people like to eat?

Sounds like a lovely afternoon, and I’m booking my tickets as soon as it’s official.  My main beef is I love me some meat.  Steaks, chops, chicken, ribs, and fish, broiled, smoked, braised, baked, grilled, and roasted.  Don’t get in my way, PETA, I’m warning you.  I’ll mess you up, because your game is easy to play.
Of course, the neighbors are thrilled with the prospect of PETA moving into the home, which is best summed up by a neighbor way back in 1999, when he told the N.Y. Daily News that the movie “…screwed up the whole neighborhood.”  Well, just wait until PETA moves in.

Talk about screwed up.

(Information for this story came from the N.Y.Daily News.)

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Dog with halo

Pic from gabrielsangels.com

Here in the dog lovin’ offices of The Curmudgeon, writing about dogs is not uncommon.  We’ve written about hero dogs, abused dogs, well, lots of stuff about man’s best friend.  So we were tummy-tickled when the following news item came over the wire:  In Danvers, Mass, Calvary Episcopal Church will begin offering a mass for dogs.

It’s about time.  Now your heathen dog can be saved.  In fact, that’s the whole point.  The “Perfect Pet Paws Ministry” will give canine critters and their owners improved odds of getting into heaven.  That’s good, cause if my dog ain’t goin’, I ain’t showin’.  Reminds me of the “Do Dogs Get Into Heaven” church sign debate   I proved in that article that the whole thing was faked, but so darn funny it was worth publishing.  Now the Episcopalians have put it their two cents:  Dogs can go to heaven, but they gotta pray first.

The mass will offer communion for the humans, and doggie treats for the pooches.  Even the misbehaving dogs who for disciplinary purposes won’t be allowed in the mass can have their owners submit a paper requesting a special prayer to be said for their soul.  Owners can request prayers for any type of pet, so even evil cats have a chance at salvation.  And the dogs will actually have a say in the mass, since barking won’t be banned.  So, if the dogs really get into it, they can shout out things like, “Praise the Lord!” and “Amen!”  Though presumably they’ll cry out in doggie language.

My guess is the dog mass will be packed, because it will be hysterical, and the people will come. The church will rake in the holy dough in their collections baskets.  Heck, it could even get me back into a church, at least a couple of times, to view the spectacle.

I have just one question about the whole affair:

When the collection basket is being passed, what will the dogs leave as an offering?

(Information from: The Salem News http://www.salemnews.com/ )

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Photo by Dave-F/flickr/Fair Use Rights/

Here in the natural habitat of The Curmudgeon, I guess we’re what you call animal lovers.  I’m personally not militant about it, but I think animals are cool and we should probably keep them around, and when I hear about “vanishing species” and animal abuse, it really gets my goat.  So I was tickled to hear that Switzerland is considering giving animals the right to legal representation.  This could really happen.  Orwell’s Animal Farm come to life: “Four legs good; two legs bad.”

You know what this means?  There’s gonna be more lawyers. Packs of them. Whenever there’s a new addition to the legal system, specialized lawyers spring up from nowhere and everywhere.  They’ll come out of the woodwork.  Entire litters of pre-law students will shift their classes to animal law.  You couldn’t make more lawyers if you started a vigorous repopulation program.  Have them mate in captivity then return them to the wild, just like they’re doing with the wood rat in Key Largo.

And it could spread around the world with an unstoppable momentum.  There will be animal lawyers everywhere and it will be fabulous.  Milk cows can sue for “cruel and unusual punishment,” and Pigs will give a teary, heartfelt speech from the witness stand, “He forces me to live in squalid conditions.  It’s like…a sty, you know?  Just mud.  And I’m supposed to wallow in it?  I don’t think so.

Oh, the possibilities are endless.  And eventually legal rights will be extended to lower species.  Before you know it rights will be extended to crustaceans…then to worms.  Yes, even two-headed hermaphroditic invertebrates will have a voice.  And what of plants?  Aren’t they living things?  Don’t they have feelings?  You bet they do.  And they feel it when we pull them out of the ground and eat them without mercy.  Free the turnips, I say!

Well, I for one hope this all comes to pass.  I think I might have a new career here.  I’ll get cases, even if I have to chase the city’s “dog catcher” trucks.  My phone number will be 1-800-274-8837.  That’s
1-800-CRITTER.  I’ll have a slogan in my advertising to attract new animal clients.  I’ve written the slogan already:

“Hoof & Mouth. Your Hoof, My Mouth.”

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Battle Scene by Unknown Artist. Photo by CharlesFred on flickr

Here in the fantasy offices of The Curmudgeon, we like to dream about our new world headquarters.  I say “dream,” because we can never actually afford to build it, but then we don’t have the American taxpayers to foot the bill.  Not so for the U.S. Government, who can build a $1 Billion embassy with your money and they don’t need your permission.

The move is desirable to the people who live near the current embassy, hassled by new security measures adopted since 9/1/1.  More than 100 citizens took out a full-page ad opposing the new security measures, not to mention the ₤32 million in congestion charges and fines, which the U.S. refuses to pay, saying they are exempt.  This caused the then mayor of London to call the then Ambassador “a chiseling little crook.”  I would have thought he would say “scoundrel” or “cur” or something Dickensian.

In defense of the U.S. on the traffic fines issue, living in Manhattan shows you how the Diplomats from the United Nations scoff at the law, parking wherever they damn well please and even committing crimes of a much greater import, and they are immune to any retribution.  Nothing but a bunch of sofflaws.  So the same should apply to us when we are guests in a foreign country.

Proposed 1 Billion U.S. London embassy.

And so the embassy will move and build a giant ice-cube for $1 Billion, and that’s not counting the 17.5% VAT tax, which the U.S. also refuses to pay.  It will have a power plant, the aforementioned moat 100 feet wide, and rolling parkland that will separate the building from the main road, protecting it from would-be bombers.

A new embassy is understandable, but a moat?  What?  They are expecting maybe an attack from the Visigoths?  Riding their sturdy stallions in full fighting armor?  “Sound the alarm!  Lower the draw bridge!  Man your posts!  Prepare the boiling oil!”

Chances are if you have ever been inside of a U.S. Embassy it was on some unpleasant business.  Perhaps you lost your passport, or worse, were in some sort of trouble.  Did an Ambassador ever say to you, “Well, Mr. Smith, if you have no place to stay, perhaps you can stay in one of our visiting dignitary suites, and your attendance at the Embassy Ball is requested.  Perhaps some kayaking in the moat?  After all, you own the joint, Mr. Smith.”  No, no, I think not.  More than likely, you were treated like trash that must be tolerated.

No, the only way to go is to be an Ambassador yourself.  But where would you go?  I’ve perused the possibilities.  Definitely keep away from places like Rowanda. You could always choose a major country like Ireland, Scotland or France, but you’d actually have to work so that’s no good.  One interesting choice would be the Maldives, but as usually the case, you have to know somebody or have scratched someone’s back.  The ambassador to the Bahamas, for example, is the daughter of a Motown record executive, and she was chairwoman of Obama’s Campaign fund on the west coast.  Obama himself appointed her.

But I’ve made my choice, and coincidentally, it is the only current vacant post:  Granada.  It’s stable.  Its small.  It’s beautiful.  It’s Caribbean.  Perfect.

Now, who do I know?

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pavelm, flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/pavelm/538471634/

Photo by pavelm on flickr. Adapted by Christopher Reilly

Here in the open offices of The Curmudgeon, employees are free to go and come at their convenience, though I’m sure they feel incarcerated due to my strict adherence to deadlines.  I don’t know what they have to complain about.  Even when they are locked in their offices working furiously, they are still allowed to fiddle around on Facebook and Twitter like little bored birdies.  The same is true of an underworld Godfather (as in criminal; as in Marlin Brando) incarcerated in the U.K.

Colin Gunn continues to run his criminal empire from prison, thanks to prison official’s permission (he says; they deny) to use the site to communicate with family and friends, of which he has 565.  I can see his friend requests now; “I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse…friend me or say goodbye.

The appropriately named Gunn is one bad dude known for ordering the murder or beatings of anyone who crossed him…or their relatives.  During his reign in Nottingham, it was known as “Assassination City.”  Gunn’s postings were often threatening.  In one post he said, “I will be home one day and I can’t wait to look into certain people’s eyes and see the fear of me being there.”

In another message he wrote: “It’s good to have an outlet to let you know how I am, some of you will be in for a good slagging, some have let me down badly, and will be named and shamed, F$&%!#@ rats.”  (It is not known whether Gunn used the symbols to represent letters or the letters themselves, but ever since his momma friended him he’s been watching his language.)  He was apparently able to update his info on a daily basis, so it’s not surprising that the updates and messages largely consisted of threats.  I mean, how many times can you write, “Chipped beef again!  Uggg.”

Naturally, when London’s The Sunday Times exposed the site, it was shut down, another example of the press doing what they are supposed to be doing.  As for Facebook, I think they should sue for prisoners rights to use the social network.  It could be great for business.  Look at all the free publicity it would generate.

And then they can dump that stupid slogan:  “Facebook is a social utility that connects you with the people around you”  How boring is that?  Put a little zip into it.

Facebook.  Keeps You in the Game of Life…or Not.

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Phil being petted by females. I wonder if PETA would let me have Phil's job?

Here in the affable offices of The Curmudgeon, we enjoy an amusing anecdote, a charming custom, and all things homespun.  We are in fact, highly agreeable co-workers – as far as co-workers go – and yet there are some employees I would like to change for animatronics, since they appear to be slightly mechanical anyway.  I think PETA would agree with me, probably because of the cruelty and suffering I force upon them, like actually working for their pay.

In fact, PETA has many things they would like to substitute animatronics for, but this time they’ve really gone off their rocker.  Gemma Vaughn, PETA’s Animal Entertainment Specialist, fired off a letter to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club asking them to retire the two groundhogs, Punxsutawney Phil and his understudy, Staten Island Chuck, and replace them with animatronics.  Oh, PETA, now you’ve gone too far.  I would love to be in a PETA staff meeting:  “Who should we go after now?”  “I know.  Ant farms!”

In their own words, PETA said the treatment of the groundhogs was “cruel,”  and pointed out that Phil was “forced to be on display year round at the local library and is denied the ability to prepare for and enter yearly hibernation.”  Um…yeah, but they don’t have to hibernate, instead living in forced opulence and comfort.  PETA added that “Tradition is no excuse for cruelty.”  Yeah.  I’ll think about that the next time I have to go to a wedding.

Not accustomed to dealing with controversy, Punxsutawney Groundhog Club called the request “crazy,” and blundered the following statement:  “Phil is probably treated better than the average child in Pennsylvania.  He’s got air conditioning in the summer, his pen is heated in winter … He has everything but a TV in there. What more do you want?”  Holy Moley!  Are you saying the average child in Pennsylvania doesn’t have air conditioning, heat, or perhaps the biggest cruelty of all, television?  Okay, I’m sure he didn’t mean that.  They at least have television, right?

But perhaps the groundhogs agree with PETA.   Last year, Phil made several escape attempts from his home at the Punxsutawney Library, and Staten Island Chuck bit N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg during a Groundhog Day celebration.  Bloomberg wasn’t hurt, but he did refer to Chuck as a terrorist rodent.  But these episodes aren’t that big of a deal.  The average child in Pennsylvania also makes several escape attempts every year, and over of the kids bite their parents.

I have made my own prediction.  I walked out of my house today and saw my shadow.

I predict 6 more weeks of this particular PETA nonsense.

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