Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Stage Fright and Other Horrible Situations

A few years ago, some budding researchers did a questionnaire asking young university women to rank and label hypothetical horrible situations that might be encountered in everyday settings.  Nothing Earth-shattering horrible, just situations you wished had never come up.

Here are these hypothetical situations:

Naturally, the usual disclaimers should be made: these results are based on an age-limited sample, probably geographically overrepresented, and respondents being highly prone to worry about how they are perceived. Actually, most of the respondents make the assumption that other people are paying strong attention to their doings, which is usually not the case. In fact, people can pass relatively unnoticed if they don't act flustered, make rapid movements, or give themselves away. Inconspicuousness is your friend in those circumstances.

So, fart proudly. Don't feel self-conscious during the Walk of Shame. No one is really looking. Unless you look obviously disheveled. Then fake it!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Gifts for the Postman

The Postman Charlie was making his rounds on the last day before his retirement after 35 years on the job.

He had just delivered the mail at the Smith house, the last one on his route, and turned around to go back to the post office when he heard the door open and a voice say:

"Charlie, wait a minute."

He turned around and saw Sally Smith in the doorway. She was wearing a flimsy robe.

"Yes, Mrs. Smith?" Charlie said.

"Please ... call me Sally. Okay?" she said.


"I heard that you're retiring."

"Yep. Today's my last day."

"Wait there, Charlie. I have some things for you."

She went into the house and came back with a cake.

"It's a chocolate marble cake. If I'm right, you told me once that it was your favorite."

"It is, Sally. Thanks."

"I also have something else for you," Sally said and gave him an envelope.

He opened it and found a card wishing him well during his retirement and a $20 bill.

"Thanks for all the gifts," he said.

"Charlie ... I have one more gift for you."

She opened her robe and revealed to Charlie that she was naked underneath it. She put her arms around him, gave him a big French kiss, and began to grind against him.

She then took him by the hand and led him upstairs to her bedroom, where for the rest of the afternoon it was:


When they were through, Charlie said to Sally, "I appreciate the cake and the card and the $20, and that great sex we had, but ... I wonder why you went through all that for me?"

Sally said, "Last week I was talking to my husband about what to give you for your retirement. He said, 'Screw the postman. Give him a card with some money in it.'"

She paused, then added:

"But the cake was my idea."

Monday, May 22, 2017

Paid Sex Leave for Government Workers?

Recently a Swedish politician in northern Sweden, Per-Erik Muskos, proposed that local government employees receive an hour of paid sex leave per week.  This was promptly shot down by other members of the 31-member government council. Per-Erik's proposal was that this paid leave for sex would help counter Sweden's falling birth rate. When you consider that Overtornea, Sweden, the community in question, is located on the Arctic Circle, you would think that they already had reason enough for sex. Anyway, nice try, Per-Erik!

A lot of things come to mind with the practicality of this proposal being adapted by some American cities or counties. 

Obviously, one issue whether this hour of paid sex leave actually be used in copulatory activities; or will some irresponsible government workers actually spend the time drinking coffee, watching television, gardening, hiking, or eating Swedish meatballs? Will the government require some form of documentation: a signed affidavit, swearing under oath that they had sex, physical evidence, or so forth. Seriously, will this require something like testing or some other intrusive indignity? Will they be asked whether they experienced the big O or not?

Then, there is how government might define sex. Don't laugh. Will some Clintonian criterion define sex only in terms of actual intercourse; or would minor benefits* forms of sexual relations also count? If the justification for this fringe benefit is to increase the birth rate, then certainly this could be for this kind of restriction. Also, some diligent governmental statisticians will have to crunch, or at least massage, the data!

Given that a significant number of workers are unmarried, then a paid sex leave benefit could be seen by some as encouraging premarital sex! That would offend a number of people because of  moralistic issues! Indeed, some states decided to require that government workers get married before this benefit would be available to them. Or, if pregnancy resulted, can you say governmental-elicited shotgun weddings?

Anyway, the two major political parties had a lot to work out with this idea. Democrats were in favor of paid sex leave; but wanted to extend it to all workers, not just government employees. Capitalists were not keen on this, especially for fast food workers, who had to find other means of their employees getting screwed. Bible-Belt Republicans who officially adopted a moralistic stance were opposed; however, a number of them were won over when it was pointed out that they too were government employees and that there's nothing like a little roll in the hay to ease tensions after a long afternoon of sessions or committee meetings!  Also, a telling argument was that government employees canoodling were causing less mischief then as opposed to doing government work. Now that's a concept that anti-big government people can easily grasp!

But a significant attraction for most Democrats and those Republicans was that more government bureaucrats could be hired to deal with paperwork generated by this new governmental benefit. In triplicate, of course. And have the compensated employees give all the gory details! This is to ensure that no one given the paid leave was doing other things, like texting or reading comic books, instead of what they were paid to do!

Nothing more refreshing than a little sex on the taxpayer's dime!

*From the expression, friends with minor benefits.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Irony in Print and an Irritating Expresson

Ever since Alanis Morrissette invented irony, it has been an attitudinal expression of choice among people of a broad range of ages, especially on the internet. Maybe it's a Millennial or Gen-X thing especially, or maybe it's part of a widespread shtick used by late-night comedians that became mainstream. I don't know.

Anyway, a message containing irony or its coarser brother, sarcasm, can be indicated as such by tone, pitch, or facial expression when heard and seen, This is not so easy when the medium is strictly print. Consider a simple sentence: "Good work, men." This can imply a simple praising of a group or (less often) a snide comment, like when a collective effort fails due to incompetence or overlooking something. In speech the hearer can gain a sense of the message; but in print no such reservations are communicated. This is the problem.

On the internet there is the convention that the use of capital letters is the equivalent of shouting, as: "READ THE MANUAL BEFORE USE" as opposed to the more subdued "Read the manual before use." We also need a way to communicate irony or sarcasm as well. Perhaps using something like italics, or boldface, or maybe different colored type would do. Or, we can just admit that irony or sarcasm doesn't easily fly well in written form when used by the unskilled. Jonathan Swift and Voltaire did manage well, though.


And there's that unnecessary phrase, "Just sayin'."  Where did this irritating expression come from?  And what does this mean? Is this an attempt to say something snide or serious without assuming responsibility for ownership? Or is it just a means of filling space with sound? Recently, President Trump seems to use this expression a lot. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Typeface Confession

Many years ago, I joined three MSN Groups back when MSN did that groups sort of thing. They were Losers, Odd People, and the Brotherhood of Dorks. As you might guess, I was a tween then. I found those groups to be more civil than the old spontaneous chat rooms on AOL.* You could post something under your own pseudonym. (I chose eViL pOp TaRt!) And your own type color. I chose pink, but redder than this one. And Comic Sans MS. He is a sample of it that I had used in this blog. Like a lipstick color I used to use.

Now for some reason or other, Comic Sans is considered disreputable.

I think that it is a good time to rehabilitate Comic Sans. Strike off the chains of convention! Let's have Comic Sans Typeface Liberation! Open up to the possibility of variety.

Down with oppressive rules regarding typeface! We have nothing to lose but our chains! And we should have a more festive typeface if we want to! And more variety! I don't want to be in an all-Times New Roman world.

*Talk about going where I shouldn't!!! Parental controls did have a place back then when I was that age.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Hollywood Thinking

Now that we seem to be in a continuous cycle of politics all over the place, an unusual phenomenon has arisen: A- and B-list Hollywood actors and actresses endorse statewide political candidates and advocate specific interests for candidates who are not in their states or districts. This has been going on on the National level but now this mania for partisan politicians has crept into the more local levels as well. For example, several of these luminaries have been supporting a Democratic candidate for Congress in Georgia.

Is there not a certain amount of chutzpah in doing this sort of thing? But we're not talking about a humble class of people, on the whole.

Presently, this is largely centered around Congressional candidates. I can hope that this would not also work for state offices. I assume that the maintenance of the streets of Sore Toe, GA or a Georgia State Severance Tax on Hominy* or a bond issue for schools in Whittlemore County is best judged by the people who are going to be most affected. And these are probably not topics for cocktail party conversation in Beverly Hills! Indeed, do these stars ever go back to the states or communities that they recently tried to influence? I doubt whether Alyssa Milano eats hominy; nor would she be personally affected by it being taxed.

Suppose Georgians were to reciprocate election-wise? Would anyone find it strange if Atlanta lap dancers, or Dublin pest control people, or Valdosta peanut farmers were to go to Hollywood to affect elections there? Would they wear Atlanta Braves hats?

Indeed, do those Hollywood types even know what they're talking about?  Do they get their expertise as part of their contracts? Any has anyone considered that their coming from outside to impact an election might earn resentment?

This is particularly true in the South, where they might be viewed as carpetbaggers.

Well, I will end this tirade with a story, in the approved Southern tradition. Back in 1994, Hollywood, Alabama (pop. about 1000) and ten other little Hollywoods successfully fought off Hollywood, CA's attempt to trademark its name and force the little Hollywoods to pay royalties to use the name also.** In fact, Hollywood, Alabama's founding antedated Hollywood, California's!

*Hominy is mined in Georgia. The Great Georgia Hominy Rush occurred in the 1830's.

**This is simply bullying by a big bucks city on the municipal playground.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Remember "Clippy" or "Clippit"?

I would like to discourse on a genre of "art" that I know none of you, gentle readers, peruses. This is truly weird erotica. No, not something that might have sprung from some sick 19th century Austrian who wound up being a name in vintage Krafft-Ebing books or anime hentai: this is the truly weird.

I won't gross you out with too many specifics. For this, you need to take an abnormal psychology course or at least consult a textbook of that subject. 

Still, I post this as a salute to human imagination and depravity.

Remember Clippy? 

Darn! I forgot most people would rather not. It was an early Windows office assistant; and it was unloved when it was around.

Still, since I brought the little pest up, I just want to report that he made his devious way into specialized erotica.

Here is proof:

I have no idea what this literary depravity is about and do not plan to read it. Goodreads will give you a little more information:

And maybe someone will find a way to save that innocent redhead. If the reader is above age 17.