Alphabet Soup

Alphabet Soup

 by Mel O’Drama

March 24, 2008

(orig. publishing date)

Three friends are having lunch at a local diner. All three order a sandwich and soup. The soup of the day is alphabet. All have their soup first. On his second spoonful, Carl notices the letters have formed the word ‘Strom’. He says, “This must be an omen”. He has been working for the last three weeks on getting Strom Industrials as a client. He gets a call on his cell phone. It’s from the office. The contract has just be finalized.

 Leo dips into his soup, and the letters for the word ‘winner’ is displayed on his spoon. Leo always buys lotto tickets. He pulls out his tickets from his wallet. John grabs the morning “Sentinel” He hands Leo the lotto listing. Going through the numbers, one ticket has 4 correct number, worth close to a thousand bucks.

All being excited now, they anxiously wait for John’s message. He dips into the soup and comes up with his word. Carl looks at it, and quietly says, “Bummer”. The word is ….. ‘death’. All heave a sigh of depression. John dumps the word back into the bowl. He stirs up the soup, and scoops up another spoonful. This time the word is ….. ‘soon’.

Within five seconds, a man burst into the diner, brandishing a snub nosed gun. He aims at the man sitting next to John, while saying, “You’ve screwed me for the last time”. The targeted man lunges off his stool at the gunman. The gunman fires, missing his target, but hitting John in the chest. John clutches his chest while collapsing to the floor. His dying words were, “I’ll never order alphabet soup again”.

© 2008 by James M. Britvich All Rights Reserved 



The Alexander Family

The Alexander Family

     by Waldo Historia

     February 18, 2008

    (orig. publishing date)

The Alexander family of Macedonia was made up of very diverse personalities.  See, diversity isn’t such a new thing.  We all know the exploits of Alexander the Great.  How he conquered the known world of his time while still in his twenties; and other boring stuff like that.  Did you know some of the other members of his family tree?  I didn’t think so.

There’s Alexander the Puny.  He accomplished absolutely nothing during his lifetime.  He’s not even mentioned by historians. If I hadn’t just told you about him, you would never had known that he existed.

A more down-to-earth and interesting story concerns a distant relative of Alex the Great.  He was a third cousin …. or, maybe a fourth cousin.  They were born only a few days apart. Historians scorned his extraordinary accomplishments.  They gave him the nickname of Alexander the Mediocre.  This story is about him. 

Alex the Great was constantly nagged by both sides of his family to hire on Alex the Med, and find some useful duties he could perform to bolster his flagging self-esteem.  (He was once a flagman on road construction for a short time.)  The “Big A” finally relented and hired  his woeful cousin to do road maintenance. He was given several duties during the campaigns.  His primary job was to keep the mountain trails from becoming too slippery for travel, by shoveling the elephant dung over the cliffs.  That’s not the main reason for his history-making achievements; but a real close second.

Alexander the Great made many treks through mountains, deserts, swamps, and occasionally, a real nice town.  They would be roadies for several months to a year or more, at a time.  Since portable timepieces hadn’t been invented yet, the only way of telling the length of their journey was by counting the seasons.  Alex the Great was a perfectionist.  He thought, “There must be a means of  more accurate measurements of time-lapse”. He bestowed that responsibility onto his wretched cousin, Alexander the Mediocre.

So, the Med analyzed the options.  Toting a calendar would be a nuisance.  Even a pocket one was a bother.  With spearholes and bloodstains, they were hard to read after a couple of battles.  If dropped to the ground, mud and elephant footprints made them impossible to read by the trip’s end.  No, there had to be a better and more reliable way to tell time.

 In their travels, the Med had observed with acute accuracy, (at least it wasn’t ugly), the relationship between the time of the journey, and the condition of the soldiers’ clothing. By noting the degree of their weathered garbs, he deduced the time of absence to within several weeks.

He perfected his observation technique.  Using different types of material, he had the men wrap strips of cloth around their wrists.  By observing their discoloration and weathered state, he was able to decipher the time on the road to within days.

 This became the most popular way of telling time for many centuries, until the invention of clocks, watches and egg-timers.  This method isn’t used much anymore, except in the most primitive places on earth.  Like Cleveland.  But where it is, it is still affectionately known as Alexander’s ragtime band.

 © 2008  by  James M. Britvich    All Rights Reserved.

Boston Tea Party

Boston Tea Party

     by Waldo Historia

     October 01, 2007

    (orig. publishing date)

In the mid-1700s, King George III and his pals back in England, saw the colonists in America as a cash cow.   They heaped lots of taxes on the colonists.  Most were on tools, clothing and anything else shipped in from China; which was almost everything in retail stores including tea.

King George exempted the East Indian Company from all taxes and duties, included tea, because it was ready to go into Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It could now sell it’s tea cheaper than what the colonists could. This didn’t sit well with the Americans.  They wouldn’t stand for it either.

Since the Stamp Act of 1765, the Americans were getting more disgruntled with paying taxes without proper representation in Parliament.  Kinda like what we  have in Congress now.  When news got back to Great Britain, Georgie got all upset with the snibblers.  He told his current courtesan about  their reaction to the tax. 

 “They’re threathing to boycott drinking tea!”

 Marie Antonette Smythe, snobbishly said, “Sooo…. What’s the big deal?…. Let them drink coffee.”

 This getting upset stuff was contagious.  When this got back to the colonists, they were really, really upset.  “Who’s this ‘ho’ telling us to drink coffee.”  While the two sides are engaging in snarling and gnashing of teeth, another group of Americans was quietly looking to take advantage of the situation.

 Indians had already been drinking coffee for years.  These he-men drank out of mugs though; not those dainty teacups, dangling their pinkie in the air. Two problems.  Decaf wasn’t invented yet.  This caused them to be continuously wired-up. Hence, the term ‘like a pack of wild Indians’. This was before they even discovered firewater.   The second problem amused them.  Indians were about the only ones in America drinking coffee.  This small market made the price of coffee and shipping very expensive.    If the snibblers thought a couple of pennies was worth getting upset about,  they should know the cost of buying and shipping coffee from Brazil.  Some of the local Indians thought that by creating a bigger demand for coffee, a big drop in price would ensue.  Some of the more enterprising Mohawk bucks had a meeting with the Chief.  One suggested opening up a franchise of coffee shops.  “We call them ‘Moonbucks'”.  Chief thought that a catchy name.  He preferred ‘Starchiefs’…. but it was their idea.  “That’ll take many moons to set up, though. Any other ideas?” 

 The Medicine Man came up with a brilliant plan.  “Three ships due to unload whole bunch of tea this week.  Since local whitemen and redcoats don’t get along, we get the two sides fuming even more.  We dress up as colonists; board ships and dump all tea in bay.”  Everyone liked that idea.  “Can’t rent costumes here in Boston though”, said the Chief.  “Have to  go upstate.” They found a small trading post ten miles up the road.  Being real close to Christmas, the store had several racks of fancy party duds. “Where you get all these from?”  One of the bucks casually looked at labels of wigs, jackets and shoes.  ‘Made in China’.  ‘What they make next?,’ asked the buck, sarcastically to the owner, bow and arrows?   Tepees with lead-painted abstracts on them?”  Store owner said, “Soon, real soon; check with me next month.”

 Chief said we need 150 of these.  “You got those fancy white socks? Oh, oh, we want those white curlicue wigs, too.  Make you look old and distinguished.”  They were some really happy campers, traveling back to Boston.  Some of the sillier bucks were waking up the neighbors whooping it up with their drums while wearing their feather bands on backwards.

 On Thursday night, December 16, 1773, some 150 Mohawks were fully decked out in their fancy coats, white knee-high socks and those spiffy wigs. They boarded the three ships in port and dumped almost 350 crates of tea into the bay.  Not without some hitches though. Mohawk-style hairdos aren’t very wig-friendly.  Quite a few got knocked off while throwing the crates overboard.  After all the tea was in the bay, some of the Indians had to swim around the ships to pick up the wigs.  The wigs and all their clothes were  brown and green with tea-stains.  Chief said, “Post owner going to be plennnnty mad.  Will have to do some sweet-talking to get our deposit back.  We’ll need that deposit for our next business project.”

 The next day, Indian village squaws tried to get the tea stains out of the clothes by pounding them with rocks down by the river.  All they succeeded in doing, was busting up some buttons.  Chief says, “Enough. We take ’em back as is.”

* * * *

“We back for deposit,” Chief beamed, acting oblivious to the stains. 

 “What the hell happened here?” (Referring to the stains, of course.) 

 “Thought we’d make you some camouflaged uniforms, for your impending war with the redcoats.  Notice how the brown and green coloring blends in with the forest.  Throw on some twigs and leaves, and the troops will be ready to fight in a minute, as moving trees.  Hey, you can call them minutemen.  Nice catchy phrase.   No extra  charge for that. Start making more of these, and get in on the ground floor in the war-supply business.” 

 “Hey, I like that idea!  The wigs will have to go though.  Maybe some animal pelts can be made into caps like beavers.” 

 “Yeah, yeah.” said Chief.  “One of the British ships was named ‘Beaver’.  Should’ve checked it out for beaver caps.” 

 The post owner was so pleased with the thought of his new business venture, he gave the Indians their full deposit back all 26 dollars worth of beads.

 © 2007  by James M. Britvich    All Rights Reserved

I Hate Sports

I Hate Sports

     by Britt Michaels

    December 17, 2007

   (orig. publishing date)

Now, I really hate sports. Cream rises to the top; so does scum. While we have good role-model players in the public eye, we have too many scumbags in most major sports.  I am quickly losing interest in them. Reading the sports pages, including standings is going to be a thing of the past. The Mitchell Report on Baseball’s Steroid and Drug Use closes the door on sports for me.  Though the conclusions aren’t final, enough has surfaced to show drug use is rampant in baseball  which we already knew. (As well as in football and track and field.) Will the whipping posts come out for public flogging?  Hell, no. George Mitchell suggested players not be punished.  Hoping the commissioner, Bud Selig, will think and act differently.

I’m glad I’m not a child or teenager in today’s world.  When I was young, we had lots of sports heroes in baseball (and other sports).  Ted Williams, Stan ‘the Man’ Musial, Warren Spahn, Willie Mays, Micky Mantle, and many, many more.  Name one players of today for every five in the old days, having the  high-caliber of professionalism, on and off the field.  Most teens would say, ‘who cares’, and go back to their video games or read about squirrelly entertainers in the news du jour.

I haven’t checked “Wheaties” in a while, to see who they put on their boxes nowadays.  I would think they’d be hard pressed finding any of our current ‘heroes’ (including those in the entertainment field) not decked out in prison orange uniforms.

Many deny drug use allegations.  Some cowards, like Roger Clemens, use someone to speak for them. Some are assertive of their innocence. Then, when confronted with conclusive evidence of the allegations, they put on their pre-made hair shirt, and have a news conference. Also last week, Marion Jones, the darling of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, finally fessed up to her misdeeds, (while Johnny Ray’s “Cry Me a River” is wailing in the background).  So, athletes of both sexes are culprits.  They don’t cry. 

I’m sick of these bastards lying to us.  Especially to the children and young adults (teens).  How are they to become pillars of society, when supposedly adult role-models around them crumble to dust with drug use, killings, thievery, cheating, drunken driving habits ….. One cause: sports figures and entertainers make way too much money. I do not advocate a limit on their income. It just seems the more money most of  them make, the sleazier they become. That’s my observation.  Maybe it’s just me.

© 2007  by James M. Britvich  All Rights Reserved

The Mexican Invasion

The Mexican Invasion

by Britt Michaels

November 12, 2007

(orig. publishing date)

On May 5, 1961, the first American astronaut (Alan Shepard) entered space. Three weeks later, on May 25th, President Kennedy, in a public speech to a joint session of Congress, announced a goal for America. To land a man on the moon by the end of the decade. What a bold plan!

Many many problems had to be overcome: rocketry technology, handling weightlessness, lunar crafts, communications, heat transfer and a zillion other things; all with little experience of former projects to use as a guide. We also had a very unsophisticated computer system compared to what we have now. The fire on January 27, 1967 on Apollo I, killing all three astronauts, was a real setback. Not until October 11, 1968, did we send up astronauts back into space. Did we have the will and fortitude to persevere in overcoming all these obstacles?

You bet! In a little more than eight years, on July 20th 1969, we watched on our TV sets, the Lunar landings by Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin. (Michael Collins stayed on board Columbia, fending off attacking Martians.)

We now have another alien to fend off. A real and far more insidious one. The Mexican Invasion. The Liberals and the Bush administration have cutesy names for them: temporary workers, undocumented ‘citizens’, guest worker program and any other euphemisms du jour. Let’s call them what they really are: illegal aliens, unlawful trespassers, border hijackers, or just plain law-breakers.

Illegal immigration. Define the problems: Irresponsible actions by congress over the years has led to the influx of too many Mexican law-breaking immigrants. Too porous border securities of our borders, both north and south. Newborns born on our side of the border become automatic citizens. The adults get rewarded by gifts for breaking our immigration laws: free medical care, “illegal driver’s licenses”, free education including higher education. If the stakes keep rising to get their vote, eventually we’ll give them free housing, (if we haven’t already), eventually getting coupons for free burritos and on and on into infinity.

Why are business and politicians catering to these law-breakers? Cheap labor and expensive votes. Whose paying for all this? American citizens. That’s why they’re expensive votes.

Both major parties have their primary reasons for not attacking the problem. The Republicans want the cheap labor for many of their constituents. Democrats want the votes by loading up on give-a-way programs; even to use unlawful tactics of letting these non-citizens vote.

Watch out! Keep alert of the tactics they’ll try in this year’s general election (November presidential).

We really don’t need this cheap (illegal) imported labor. We have enough here in America, if we just use it. Free-loading welfare recipients. Let’s enact laws that force them to work for their crust. Politicians will cry ‘racism’, lack of compassion and inconsiderate. Let ’em. They don’t shout those terms over law-breaking Mexicans cheap labor. One other benefit of using our own citizens. They speak English!

When Mexican law-breakers cost us more than what we earn from them, they become a millstone around Uncle Sam’s neck. The renegade Mexicans take more than they give. Mexican leaders demand compassion from us. Let them clean up their actions on their southern border before admonishing us.

What can we do to solve this massive problem? There’s a lot less barriers to this situation than there was to the space program of the ’60s. We, as citizens, must demand a quick solution to this situation.

Declaring amnesty isn’t one of them.

What can Congress do? First, discourage those here from staying. All monetary gifts are to be rescinded immediately. This includes welfare, free medical treatment (except emergency treatment in ER from shotgun and knife wounds, usually suffered while committing a felony), all forms of free education, and other ‘income’ we don’t know exists to them. No driver’s licenses to these border outlaws. Without these privileges that many American citizens don’t get, they’ll get the hint that they’re not welcome here. Immediately, like today, pass a law that prevents a birth to an illegal, from becoming a citizen automatically. Word will get back to friends and relatives back in Mexico, that we’re not an easy touch anymore. Notice that all the border-bandits are from the lowest class of their society?

As far as building “The Fence”, let’s find some ‘can-do’ guys out there in the business world who relish real challenges, and solve massive problems. Henry J. Kaiser, developing new techniques for mass production, built the ‘Liberty’ cargo ships in WWII. Though the normal time to construct was 30 days, some were done in about 10 days. One was finished and ‘out the door’ in less than five days.

The massive fires of the Kuwaiti oil fields during the Gulf War in 1991, were estimated to take up to two years to extinguish. All were extinguished within eight months after Hussein’s retreating army set them off. The primary fireman was Paul “Red” Adair of Houston, and his crew.

Don’t say it can’t be done it can. When there’s a will, there’s a way.

© 2008 by James M. Britvich All Rights Reserved

A Ghost of a Chance

A Ghost of a Chance

by "Mr. Wishy-Washy"

(Mo) February 11, 2008

(orig. publishing date)

How many times have you prayed to the Lord for something mundane, like lots of money in one swoop, only to be, apparently ignored. Admit it now. Lots of times. It probably has greatly dampened your belief in God. You ask for a handout, and you expect one — you deserve it! We have a human organization, called the federal government, that does give out handouts, like candy at Halloween.

So, why doesn’t God do so. Even with the much needed help given by televangelists, many of your prayers go unanswered. Ask yourself — Why? I took it on myself to find the answer. I concentrated on the problem. As I raised my arms to the heavens, angelic music fills the air. The solution bounced off my head, dazing me for a minute. I saw stars. That’s logical. The answer came from the heavens.

The evangelists pray to the Lord Jesus Christ. Logical. God the Father doesn’t get many requests, because He is too busy doing the important stuff, like keeping the Universe in order, adjusting the rings of Saturn – stuff like that. The Lord is so overwhelmed with beseeching pleas though, that He just can’t handle them all — and yours are the ones getting ignored.

Here’s where my revelation comes in. Remember the third Person, (if you can call a ghost, a person), in the triad. Everyone prays to the Father or the Son. The Holy Ghost is left out in the cold, given very little attention. He’s the Rodney Dangerfield of the group. Imagine His excitement when He finds all this new attention He’s getting. He’ll gladly give all the attention needed to get your life in order. Be sure you act quickly though. When others, especially those televangelist, catch wind of this, lots of competition for your wants will develop. Good luck to you.

P.S. If the Holy Ghost grants your wish, and you feel compelled to thank me with some, preferably lots, of money, e-mail me, and I’ll tell you where to send the contributions. If you’re related to Scrooge, meaning you’re a cheapskate, at least send me a note of thanks in the ‘comment’ box. Thanks.

© 2008 by James M. Britvich All Rights Reserved


Turtles and NASCAR Drivers

Turtles and NASCAR drivers

by “Mr. Wishy-Washy”

October 01, 2007

(orig. publishing date)

I’ve come to the conclusion that most people are put here on earth just to completely aggravate me. Take driving. There are only two types of drivers on city roads, (besides me, and maybe you).

Turtles. This type take their sweet time tooling down the road usually in the far left lane. They’re hesitant and slow in making decisions. Like changing gears, or lanes; going into a shopping mall or driveway, and of course, making a right hand turn. They invariably are the first ones at a signal light. They don’t start moving on green until it’s the shade they like. This is even more irritating in the left-turn lane. Most seem to think the on-coming traffic has green too. They always wait three or four seconds before starting to turn, just to make sure! Even though the situation of both lights being green at the same time has never happened.

Guess where the Turtles are in the flow of traffic? Always, and I mean always, in front of me. Even when I guess correctly on what they’re up to, and I finally maneuver to pass them, or they finally get off the road, there’s another batch of ’em up the road apiece. The ritual starts all over again.

NASCAR drivers. Always too many cars on the road, or not enough road for them. They get right up to my bumper before changing lanes. I think if I had my tailgate down, they’d climb right into the bed. Some drive in the right-turning lane, then cut into the regular right lane. Just so they don’t have to wait their turn in the normal flow of traffic.

Guess where they are in the flow of traffic? Yup, always behind me. Even when these selfish idiots get ahead of me, there’s another batch of ’em behind them as replacements.

Some of you may be thinking, “Change your schedule.” I’m already ahead of you, (and, I don’t mean on the road though I may be). I’ve thought, maybe if I left the house five minute or so before I normally would, I’ll be ahead of all the lousy drivers at any given point I would have been. Nope. Okay, Let’s try five minutes later! Nope, same results.

My conclusion is that somebody schedules the movements of traffic to screw up my enjoyment to drive; but who?

Who else? Some local government body. Like the county traffic control board. How long have we been hearing about how some local government is going to coordinate the synchronizing of traffic lights to keep the flow of the road at an even pitch. Yeah, like forever; since the days of oxcarts. Maybe they have without us knowing it. Then they started a “Bureau for Keeping Traffic in Chaotic”. There must be coded ads in the newspapers for Turtles and NASCAR drivers. This government agency then hires and schedules them according to the current traffic flow. If it’s running too smoothly = more idiot drivers; too clogged-up = less idiot drivers. See how easy that is?

© James M. Britvich 2007 All Rights Reserved


Next Newer Entries