Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A New Kind of Airline

Air passengers can take heart: Slut Airlines is now providing service between Washington or New York and the West Coast.  Instead of first class seating, it provides sleepers for those tiring transcontinental flights.  For those intrepid passengers, the airline offers an overnight stopover in Las Vegas with the complete package!  

Already it is rated highest for the 18 - 34 tear-old male demographic.  Unlike the no-frills Virgin Airlines, this new carrier really has customer satisfaction in hand in its operations and gives passengers a really great flight!

Let Slut Airlines fly you to where you really want to go, including selected west coast cities!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dead Peasants' Insurance

The term 'dead peasants' insurance' is a derisory way of referring to company owned life insurance: a policy or group of policies in which the employer company is the beneficiary on a life insurance policy that is taken on an employee, sometimes without the employee's knowledge or consent.  In usual practice, this kind of policy is taken on key employees whose untimely death may cause a financial loss to the company.  



But not always.  Some employees may take out policies on lower-level employees such as sales associates and janitors.  This raises some ticklish issues.  For one it seems ghoulish in concept.  And it is similar to the story told by Nikolai Gogol in Dead Souls.  And what if the company holding the policy needed to rapidly increase its operating capital?  Might it be tempted to make redundant those extra employees with extreme prejudice?

Here's a possible scenario.  East Coast Polytechnic Institute took out employer's owned life insurance policies on its professors; and for a nominal fee, also took out policies on the grad students.  However, the professors were not recycling at a satisfying rate; and many were too valuable to meet with untimely "accidents."  Anyway, being a professor is not exactly a hazardous job, unlike being a police officer or fire person or mental hospital worker.  But grad students came cheap; or at least it was the conclusion that the Comptroller had: after all, they were bought cheaply.

So the Comptroller got in touch with some heavies from New Jersey, and made a deal to cull out the herd, so to speak.  The capo sent Guido over to the Poly and that evening he made his first hit.  It was Karin, wearing a lace overlay peasant corset to surprise her sugar daddy who was coming over for a relaxing evening and expected the serf to be up!

Sugar Daddy got an unexpected surprise!  The local police could not account for the rise in seemingly professional hits that seemed to be targeting seekers of advanced degrees.  Previously, they simply had ulcer problems.

When the police investigated, they concluded that the hapless grad student was a working girl who was the victim of some sex maniac!

On another occasion, Guido revisited to kill off some chemistry lab technician.  In his case, he seeded the site with drug paraphernalia and the means to concoct more.  The innocent student was besmirched and that this set up his being viewed as a gang-related killing.

It was hard to account for the homicides of teaching assistants and junior professors.  This was attributed to anger over low grades; and D- and F- students were looked into.

And so on.  Guido was extremely creative with the others; and this crime wave was viewed as the local campus being located in an increasingly dangerous zone.

[I made up this story.  However, some 215 companies did have policies on lower-level employees.  There was even a case where a policy owner on an employee contracted someone to kill that person to collect on the dead peasant policy.


Young woman wearing a cute peasant dress.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Defining Tacky in Law

It eventually had to happen:  The influx of Yankees and the gentrification of Balsam Ridge led to some changes.  The flatlanders who had moved in systematically passed some laws requiring property owners to spruce up their places and keep them tidy.  Goodness knows, the place had gotten into a state; and a little improvement would not have hurt, no how!

One of those ordinances is that lawn must be grassy; no weeds or substances that is not bona fide lawn stuff.  Two of the local residents, Marge and Buford, now were in legal arrears.  Marge, it seems, planted her front lawn in sweet basil and rosemary.  The nearby neighbors had no problem with that.  Marge would given them clippings and their cats smelled damned fine when they returned home in the morning.  As for Buford, he was plumb lazy; and replaced his grass with carpet from old miniature golf courses!  He had daffodils grow in the holes in the carpet!

So as to make it crystal clear and in local language, the City Council passed an ordinance against "tacky lawn decorations."  Now tacky, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.  But when the local constable started issuing citations, folk began to get to questions about definitions.

What is tacky, after all?  Are pink flamingos tacky?  How about lawn gnomes?  What about toilets as lawn decorations?  What about that 1978 Ford Fairlane on concrete blocks?  Or any streetworthy Chevy?  And, very importantly, is it tacky to have indoor furniture on your front porch?  In order to address this matter, the puzzled citizenry consulted two Big Dude Philosophers from the State University.  In a childlike innocence, they sought enlightenment.

One of the philosophers, Manny Kant, opined that since there were intuitive Categories of Thought it would follow that there are some intuitive categories of tackiness.  This in turn is related to kitsch! 

The other one, Georgie Porgie Berkeley, stated that, following the rule esse est percepte, tackiness is in the eye of the beholder.   The City Council, by now well over their heads in elevated thinking, decided to judge specific examples of objects as categories.  Council Member Bill James suggested taking a pragmatic approach.

To go into specifics, those council members mandated that garden gnomes were classy as long as they were not mooning people; but they did not go so far as to require them.  Plastic flamingos were illegal as the city council labelled them as really tacky.  Perching a toilet on one's lawn, or even worse, on one's porch was met with a $1000 fine.  There is an extra fine imposed if it's a working model.  Putting an indoor sofa on the porch was deemed rednecky: only college students were given dispensations for this decorative barbarity.

What about cars?  The City Council, Solomon-like, made it illegal to have more than one car on concrete blocks, whether Ford or Chevy.  Immediately, a contrarian put his Honda Accord on concrete blocks.  Leave it to someone to find a loophole. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Supposedly there was a Supreme Court justice who said of pornography that he could not define it, but he knew it when he saw it.  Now, while that may be legally troublesome, I think we can appreciate his predicament.  Porn is off-putting, it contains a cringe factor.  It's not normally affirming or amusing.

We have something of a dilemma when it comes to an understanding of creepiness or disgust.  Why do some people set off our sense that they're creepy?  In my opinion, there's no common set of stimuli that we all respond to.  No, it's more likely to be the result of individual trial-and-error learning.  Furthermore, there is no "look" to people who are real creeps: you can't reliably distinguish between sex offenders and golf pros.  Unfortunately, people often pride themselves as being good judges of character.  Here's a heads-up, folks:  People who are found to be creepy look like everyone else, unless they do some serious self-handicapping, like the villain in No Country for Old Men.

To give you an example of such self-handicapping, having facial or neck tattoos usually sends a signal, which is not complimentary unless you are trying to look fierce while in maximum security state facilities.   They scream "ex-con" and "loser", very much like an above-the-buttocks tattoo screams "tramp stamp."

No, creeps are reliably known as a result of their acting creepy.  The smooth-talking preacher who peeps in windows, the politician who has an underage woman in tow with him at those good government conventions, or those smarmy people on morning television do it.  However, there are a number of warranted genuine creeps who fly under the radar, so to speak.  

The best strategy is to let the creeps self-identify.  Concoct a slogan, "I'm a creep, and I am proud!"  And sell hats for them to wear.  Most will be proud to do so, given their twistedness:

For the more subtle ones, a Creepometer may be of value, should someone invent this useful gadget:

And, of course, the Stare Test is foolproof.  If he stares at them for more than 10 seconds, he's a creep!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mike Gets an Epic Road Trip

This may be one of the most epic college pranks of all time; unfortunately, LSU was the butt of this  one nearly 65 years ago.

At that time, probably before the LSU - Ole Miss rivalry became primo, LSU had one with Tulane.  Like that little university in New Orleans. 

Anyway, LSU's teams were known as the Tigers since 1896, and they obtained Mike the Tiger as a real live animal mascot back in 1936.  Mike would show up and roar appreciation for his team at home games, and a few away games as well.

It so happened that LSU was playing Tulane on December 2, 1950, and they brought Mike along to New Orleans for the game.  Four Tulane students who had been on a coon hunt (!) happened upon Mike the Tiger in his traveling cage.  They acted on impulse and pulled the cage away even though their car had no trailer hitch.  They did a little carpe diem, you might say; and made off with a 14-year-old, 500-pound Bengal tiger!

Now different accounts have it that the tiger's cage was painted green; and some even say that Mike the Tiger was painted green.  However, the most credible one is that the cage was decorated with green and white crepe paper (Tulane's colors).  No cats were harmed in that escapade. The tigernapped feline was returned before the LSU - Tulane game, with the encouragement of the N.O.P.D.  Perhaps they tracked down the guys who were buying kitty treats by the case!

LSU took a dim view of the whole escapade, Mike the Tiger's unofficial road trip.  The four Tulane culprits were banned from the LSU campus for 50 years!  According to one Georgia newspaper, one of the participants regularly told the story of the tiger heist.  Mike was, fortunately, not worse for wear despite being in New Orleans for a while.  By the way, the game ended in a 14-14 tie.

There were six Mike the Tigers;
this is one of them.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Red-Headed Schoolteacher Gives Advice on Love

Hello, you uns.....I'm Tammy, the red-headed school teacher from Mt. Brushy; and I have some timely advice to make your love life more successful and enjoyable.  You know, guys: a little long-range planning can come in handy, even though most of you are not really into that as a life strategy.  You really, really miss out on a lot of the good feelings that go with mountain courtship by your emphasis on immediate results.  You got to win her over, if you expect any North Carolina lovin', if you know what I mean.  

First of all, if you see someone you fancy, call her for a date a few days before.  Asking on the same day gives a girl the feelin' that she's an afterthought.  

Secondly, take a bath or shower before each date with her, even if it isn't Saturday night.  Use deodorant while you're at it.  Who knows?  You might get lucky.

Thirdly, set the stage for a successful evening by bringing her a bouquet of flowers.  Get them at the supermarket, not from a cemetery! 

 Of course, plan with care the specific activity you are inviting her on.  A sophisticated movie in Asheville and a visit to a coffee shop is fine, as is a nice dinner out.  Don't take her for coffee at the gas station, even if they have those flavored coffees!  

Now here's the hard part: do some serious talking with her.  But be careful: don't talk about your brother getting drunk, your time in jail, old girl friends, sore toes, or NC State football if she's a Tarheel fan!  Of course, if she's a Wolfpack fan, she's no good for you.  Being seen with her will cause your kinfolk no end of shame and embarrassment!

Be respectful of her kinfolks, even the ones who served time in prison. 

If she has a yen to go to church on Sunday, take her.  Or a chick flick.  Of course, if she expresses a desire to see some NASCAR, by all means.  Don't mind her fancy on Jeff Gordon.  He's really hot!

If the one you are trying to woo reads real books, then by all means read some good quality ones yourself.  Pro tip: she's not likely to be impressed that you read Tom Clancy or Lee Childs.

As for attempts at intimacy with her, it's best to move slowly.  Don't try to get her intoxicated.  

And, never, never try doing that with wine that comes in a box!

Answer her texts ASAP; and start some on your own.  But to really impress her, try your hand at a sonnet.  Really, you need to get beyond that "Roses are red, violets are blue ...." formula.

Go all out on Valentine's Day to make her feel special.

Finally, remember you all:  Whatever she wants, she gets, especially if she's a redhead!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ma'am and Other Terms of Endearment

It seems that there's always something to be sensitive about.  Another social landmine is how you address strangers.  Having worked as a barista, I've done my share of this while purveying natural caffeine-based highs to people.  Now I was not so crass as to address people as "dude," even if they were wearing faux western garb; nor do I address a mixed group as "guys." even if they are conspiring to blow up Parliament.  No, Mama brought me up right.  Sorta.

So how do we address people whose name we do not know?  Some people use terms like "honey," "sweetie," or "dear"; but this might open them to criticism, unless they're waitresses who happen to be characters and address everyone in that fashion.  Then there's the old standbys, "Sir" and Ma'am."  Those generally are noncontroversial in the Deep South; but some from other parts find the latter to be offensive due to it being gendered, subservient on the part of the user, or implying that the person being addressed is decrepit.  "No, Ma'am.  You would rate a ma'am even if you were 20!" 

"Wham, bam!  Thank you, Ma'am!"

Therefore, don't get your knickers in a knot when visiting the South and hearing that form of address!  Now here's Angel's rule when it comes to using ma'am or not:  If grits are on the local restaurant menus, it's okay to "ma'am."  If not, then you're on your own.

Now this would not fly outside of Orleans, Jefferson, or St. Bernard Parishes, but addressing people as "podner" or "missy" or "dawlin" is usually taken well there.  Well, maybe not Uptown.  Those uptown women do stand on ceremony.

Finally, one last point.  It's considered bad form and too old-fashioned to call or address letters to boys younger than 8 years as "Master."  It may cause them to assume they're boss, or worse.  Think of Norman Bates!  Could being addressed in that manner have made him self-conscious and affected him later as an adult?