You reach a point where you truly want to opt out of being aware of your surroundings some weeks. This would be one of them. Work requirements have taken all the brain cycles until now, so I caught up on the News, such as it is.
The favourite is the continuing discovery of severed human feet washing up on the British Columbia shore, occasionally encased in footwear. Five so far, as the last one was a hoax. Which makes me wonder when we’ll see a floating eyebrow, a half a buttock and one shoulder come to land. If one were to ask Dick Cheney, he’d suggest that a gang of terrorists is trying to sneak into Canada, one piece at a time.
Speaking of discoveries, the Mars Phoenix project, the little Meccano Set That Could, has confirmed that there is water ice on Mars, just below the surface of the dirt. The Mars Bartending Rover in 2010 will look for Gin, tonic and small paper umbrellas as further proof that there was, or is, intelligent and civilized life on Mars.
Airlines generally have decided that the end is nigh. With fuel prices through the overhead storage bins, the airlines have no choice but to add bigger fuel surcharges to your ticket. Overheard on the job this week, a family of four travelling to the UK on frequent flyer miles get to pay nearly $2,000 in fuel surcharges, taxes, fees and other pickpocketings added to the ‘free’ frequent flyer tickets.
Why don’t the airlines just give up the pretence and charge the travelling public the actual price it costs for the flight, plus a profit of 3% and be done with it? Yes, that will mean the end of a $150 one-way ticket to London, but so what? Flying is as bad as intercity bus transport used to be, including the stench of the lavatories and the wall-eyed passenger in 11C who talks to himself about the voices in his head.
Which brings up a small story of a United Airlines pilot yesterday. He was overheard engaged in a heated exchange in Salt Lake City with someone on his cell phone. After the flight buttoned up, he came on the PA and announced that he was too upset to fly to Denver on flight 416 and that passengers would be accommodated on other flights. The pilot did what he should: If he’s not up to the high precision task of flying for whatever reason, you step away from the yoke. Good for him. There will be jokes galore, but so what? He did the right thing in not endangering his passengers.
Then we have the entire Midwest US under water, at least according to the news outlets. Which means there will be grain shortages, not enough gas, or ethanol, or soybeans, therefore all prices must go up. Even if everything was just peachy in the Midwest, the news outlets would declare some kind of emergency (Q-Tip shortage in Quincy, Ill. Oil Prices Surge on News!) that will result in footage on the 6:00 of people lining up at gas stations and Wal-Mart stocking up on gas and Q-Tips.
Now that Hilary has jumped out of the plane (She was in seat 11D) we are left with the pundit class examining Barack Obama and John McCain through the wrong end of the telescope. Both candidates are going to agree to a live, broadcast, sigmoidoscopic examination to see exactly who is up their respective asses.
If Obama had a lick of sense he’d wear a Confederate Flag on his lapel while Johnny Mac would be seen diddy-boppin’ oldskool to "Baby Got Back" with white ear buds leading to an iPod in his suit pocket.
Let’s leave the pundits jangled and twitching on the studio floors of CNN, Fox"News" and the three majors as they try to make sense of those particular images from the campaign trail. Perhaps a deuce from the grid will fall on Paul Begala or Ann Coulter, or maybe both at once, if we’re really lucky.
Meanwhile, the tomato crops in the US are filled with shit. Really. The e.coli bacteria comes from fecal matter in the water used to rinse off the produce before shipping. Which explains why I have a very large tomato plant on the balcony, promising me nice, clean, organically grown vine ripened tomatoes in another 50 or so days. I was considering growing some onions, peppers and cilantro too. The objective was to grow my own salsa, but I ran out of time and motivation if the truth be known.
My next career is gong to be the guy who does the chalk outlines of the bodies at crime scenes. You meet quiet people and get to put ‘artist’ on your business card.