Did I Miss a Contest?

It’s John’s fault.  Not long after we started dating, John got me hooked on contests when he won one.  A free, all expenses paid trip for two to the UK in 1986!  Seriously!  It was right after the Lockerby bombing, and nobody was going to England.  So British Airways held a contest to give away all tickets to London on one day in June.  And John won.

I didn’t win.

I never win.

I always enter, though. No matter what the contest. As soon as I find out about a raffle, a sweepstakes, a lottery, I’m in.  Take my money.  Please.

So I must admit that I was a little bit miffed when I logged on to one of my favorite news websites — Talking Points Memo today.  Because apparently there is a contest I missed.

A contest to see who can be the biggest asshole.

Did you see some of the things that were done to “celebrate” Independence Day?

There was the editorial in the WestView News — a New York newspaper (WTF? — New York?)

Charming.  Even if it was meant ironically.  Photo credit, West View News.  Assholes

Charming. Even if it was meant ironically. Photo credit, West View News. Assholes


Then, there was that parade in Nebraska.  Now tell me, what parade is complete without honoring our president:

Nope.  No racism here.  No disrespect meant, I'm sure.  Assholes.

Nope. No racism here. No disrespect meant, I’m sure. Assholes.


But to me, at least for today, the folks who win the contest for the biggest asshole in the country are these guys:  the “Coal Rollers.”  Assholes who modify the emission controls on their diesel vehicles to spew huge clouds of exhaust — ON PURPOSE!  As it says in one of the articles I read on TPM,

Truckers essentially trick their vehicles into thinking they need to use more gas than it actually needs. The more fuel that’s used up, the more exhaust comes out thus the big plumes of dark emissions from a “rolling coal truck.”  According to Daily Digest News, turning a truck into a rolling coal truck can cost as much as $5,000.

Just how much money would you be willing to spend to show just how big an asshole you can be?

They direct their exhaust towards Prius drivers, bicyclists, well, really towards anybody who might not be burning quite as much fossil fuel and/or emitting quite so much CO2 as they are.  They’re doing it because they hate Obama and want to demonstrate just how much.

Yup.  Today, Coal Rollers win the prize.  They are the biggest assholes.

And they’ve cured me of my fascination with contests.  Because I’m never going to top these assholes.



Filed under Adult Traumas, Awards, Climate Change, Conspicuous consumption, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Global Warming, GOP, Huh?, Hypocrisy

67 responses to “Did I Miss a Contest?

  1. I saw this on one of “fake” new shows & was appalled! This is outrageous & people should shove bananas in their tailpipes!


  2. Julie

    wait, why were they driving on the wrong side of the road??


  3. Personally, I think you are being much to kind in describing these contestants. I’ve never heard of “coal rollers” and can’t imagine how they are even legal. You are right, though, you will never win this contest and I’m glad of it.


    • As soon as the piece came out, the EPA announced that they are, in fact, illegal. My son said folks have been. Doing it for a while, though. Who knew?


    • Oh, and you couldn’t win this one, either!

      (My iPad could, though, as it seized up and wouldn’t let me continue my comment!


  4. “coal rollers?” Now I’ve heard everything. Some people have too much time and money on their hands, and not enough brains.


  5. I’m ashamed to be an American even more now than ever…


  6. When did Americans get so ugly? What happened to respect? You can certainly disagree without trashing someone.


    • I sometimes look back at George W’s time in office. I had no respect for him, believed him to be a dope, that he didn’t get elected etc. etc. I did email jokes about him. But violence? No. Although I do think he should have been impeached for lying us into the war in Iraq.

      I guess I’m not helping clean this stuff up, am I?


  7. Oy…You know, I’m not Obama’s biggest fan, but this shit is just ludicrous. The stupidity of the far-right never ceases to astound or infuriate me.


    • IT’s OK to not be a fan. It’s OK to not like him an iota. But it is not OK for these folks to incite violence, to suck on the racism and the disrespect like mother’s milk. And the stupidity of the right is, as you point out, astounding.

      The one that gets me is Obamacare — IT WAS A REPUBLICAN PLAN FOR GOD SAKES!

      OK, I’ll stop now.


  8. Just sad. I’d reverse the order a bit, Elyse and put the parade float at the top of the list. That is the most degrading, disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen and to think that the parade organizers allowed it…


    • You’re probably right about that. the story I read said that the organizers claimed it got everybody in a happy mood … I imagine lynching did too to the right audience.

      So reprehensible. So stupid.


  9. I read this last night and was so appalled I had to take a breather. This morning I have nothing to add to the comments – your readers have expressed so well my thoughts and feelings: sputtering incoherently, exploding heads, moving to another universe… all there. Including the wish that I skipped the post. But then I wouldn’t be doing my job of bearing witness and praying for… for… for what? A miracle, I suppose, if anything is to change in my lifetime.


    • I don’t know the answer — maybe as a society we all just need to take a deep breath, count to 10 and walk around the block before saying anything more than “good morning” to another person.

      And of course, I am adding fuel to the fire. 1. 2. 3. 4….


  10. There are idiots everywhere, seriously. We’ve just had a weekend of the Orange Order parading the streets, in celebration of an event that took place hundreds of years ago, while some members and spectators fell down drunkenly, slurring, ‘God Save the Queen’ and ‘F*** the Pope’. Yes, truly. And it’s allowed. There is a petition afoot, however, to ban these sorts of sectarian, inflammatory marches but I’ll believe that when I see it happen. The only consolation is that the morons are collected in one place and prove no need to find fossils to confirm the Darwinian theory that there was indeed a missing link.


    • Wait — there are idiots even in Scotland? (I love Scotland. My husband went to the University of Edinburgh and we go as often as we can. That’s where he proposed to me, in fact!)

      I may have to reassess my love of Scotland!

      People really are out of control these days, though, aren’t they? I mean I had nothing but contempt for George W Bush and yet — an outhouse? Being against everything that he was for? Ummmm, no. People need to use their brains. But then, I’m not sure missing links do that.


  11. How sad that the parade float was even allowed!


  12. I kind of wish I’d skipped over this post. This sort of thing really spoils my morning. I get much, much angrier than I should. I mean, really, what can I do about these people? I’m powerless, just like everyone else. I’ll grumble about this until noon.

    I won an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas once. Luxury hotel. Set of leather luggage from Kenneth Cole. Spa treatments. Fancy meals. The works. It was nice! But that’s about it.


    • Oh no, Mark. Sorry. And here I didn’t have a chance to respond to your comment until past noon. I hope that it won’t get you grumbling again.

      I’ve actually been too overwhelmed in the last months to do any political pieces. Just too much BS goin’ down. It really is important to point out the venality of these folks. The press shows them as folks with a different point of view. But that’s nt the truth. The truth is they spew hate along with the diesel fumes …

      You should go on for the rest of the day thinking of that cool trip you won …


  13. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    A contest for the biggest asshole ….. did I miss it? Thank god I didn’t miss this post!


  14. This is absolutely great! I found you through a fellow a fellow blogger … This I have to share!!


  15. Try having a link to the horrors you’ve shared show up in my email on the day after I had the pleasure of being inundated with pleas that I join the state of Texas in wishing George Dubyah a very happy birthday yesterday. They worship him around these parts, and it’s enough to make a free-thinking person want to vomit. How did this great nation morph into this pathetic version of “freedom” that allows such a wide range of atrocities to pass as freedom of speech? I used to placate myself into believing that some day that generation would be dead and gone, and we could return to some sort of intelligent life again, but now I see new generations cropping up with new and inventive ways to demonstrate their hate and vitriol, much less their total indifference to the health of our planet.

    I don’t want to move to another country.
    I want to live in a different Universe.

    Then I try to take a deep breath, and
    shake my head in sorrow, and go on.


  16. I try to avoid doing these posts because once I start I can’t stop…


  17. Coal Rollers? Incredible! Incredibly stupid, that is.

    I also used to be a sweepstaker, Elyse! I won a ton of stuff over the years — but then I discovered bloggers and blogging — and I had to choose since there are only 24 hours in a day.


  18. Eva

    I… nevermind.


  19. I’ll just be over here in the corner, sputtering incoherently.


  20. Perfectly stated! I think we missed the contest, this is one though none of us should want to win


  21. No one wins contests like that.


  22. Awesome post! High five!


  23. I saw two women today with signs near my mother’s local Dunkin’ Donuts. One with a sign that said, “Impeach Obama” (is this something real that I’ve missed??) and the other “Down with The English Empire.” Er…..ok then. They’re everywhere. It’s kind of scary, Elyse.


    • It is a crazy scary world, isn’t it? And I know what a surprise it was when I was overseas (when the vitriol was aimed at Bill Clinton) — coming home was odd. When did America go collectively nuts?

      If we didn’t impeach George W for lying us into a war, then Obama should be safe.


      • Yes, I had forgotten about the global laughing at Clinton way back then. My husband and I were in Europe at the time, and all over the TV (mostly CNN International), the reporters kept harping about his “troubles.” He was a laughing stock, as it were.


  24. Unbelievable! I think all of the contestants and winners should be awarded huge mirrors, so when they start spewing their insanity about “who” and “what” are ruining this country they have their answer … Assholes!


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