Generally Speaking Redux

Maybe I’ve mentioned once or twice that my brother, Fred, was a wonderful big brother.  I really don’t exaggerate.  If  you could have made up the perfect big brother, it would have been Fred.  But you probably would have given him a better name.

Fred is 3 years older than me.  And he played with me all the time.  He didn’t beat me up.  He wasn’t mean.  He let me tag along wherever he went.

He actually seemed to enjoy my company, too.  Or at least, it never occurred to me that he might not be enjoying it.  Perhaps I was late in picking up some social clues.  Anyway, I can honestly not remember Fred ever hurting me, or setting me up to fail, or doing any mean big brother things to me.

He was my hero.  When we tucked towels into our jammies and jumped off the back of the couch, I was not just pretending Fred was Superman.  He was Superman.  Of course I also thought that our dog, Tip, was SuperDog when we called him “Kripto,” tucked a dishtowel into his collar and pushed him off the back of the couch.

It was during the late 1950s and early 60s; we saw Westerns on TV and in the movies — The Lone Ranger, Branded, How the West Was Won, and more.  There were a lot of shoot outs at our house, too, because that’s what we played most of the time.   Fred invented great games for us.  Cowboys and Indians, gun fights, sheriff and posse.

Fred was always the hero.  Me?

I was the bad guy who got outgunned and had to keel over and die.

I was the outlaw brought to justice by the handsome sheriff.

I was the squaw who had to skin and cook the deer.

I always lost.

I felt good that at least I had a better part than Tip.  Tip was the deer, and Fred and I would chase him around pretending to shoot him with arrows.  Fred and his friends once caught Tip and tied him onto our broom and carried him Indian-style, to roast over our pretend fire.  Tip escaped and didn’t want to play Indian for a week or so.  We did not eat him.

Tip was much less cooperative for some reason. (Google Image)

Tip was much less cooperative for some reason. (Google Image)

Losing wasn’t a condition for Fred to play with me, but it was reality.  Fred always won.  He was always first, fastest, bravest.  He was always the hero.

Fred’s pretend horse, Thunder, was faster than my horse, Lightning, even after Fred discovered that in real life lightning comes first.  Fred showed me pictures of lightning in “the big dictionary” – a huge reference book we loved to look at.  It had the coolest pictures and lots of words we couldn’t read.  If something was in the big dictionary, it was fact.  Period.  “In real life,” Fred said, pointing to a picture of a scary bolt in a stormy sky, “Lightning is faster than thunder.  But not with horses.”

I really didn’t mind.  If Fred’s horse was slightly faster than mine, that was OK.  We were a team.

But one day when Fred wanted to play Cowboys and Indians, I’d had enough of losing.  Maybe I was growing up.

“I wanna be the cowboy,” I insisted.  “You always get to be the cowboy.  I always get shot.”

“OK,” Fred said.  He didn’t argue or try to convince me to be the Indian.  I should have been suspicious.  But I’ve always trusted Fred completely.  I knew he would never be mean to me.

“OK,” said Fred, again, thinking up a new game.  “You can be a General!  I’ll be an Indian, ummmm, I’ll be called Crazy Horse.”

“OK!” I said, excitedly.  A General!  I wasn’t just cowboy.  I was gonna be a general!

I blew my bugle, called my troops to arms.  My imaginary troops and I rode off on our stallions to fight the Injuns.

I blew my bugle again and my (pretend) troops surrounded me.  We heard Indian war whoops from Fred and his Indian braves.  Fred/Crazy Horse and his braves came at me, surrounding me and my men on all sides.  But I wasn’t worried.  I was a general.  And even at that age, I knew that the cowboys always win.

And then Fred shot me.

I did not flinch.  I did not fall.  I did not succumb to my wounds.  I screamed bloody murder:

“I’m the cowboy!  You can’t shoot me!

I’M THE GENERAL!

Fred calmed me down and took me by the hand over to the big dictionary.  He turned the pages and showed me a picture of a general in a cowboy hat with blond curls.  He looked just like me.  Except for the mustache (mine grew in many years later).

Thanks a lot, Google

Thanks a lot, Google

George Armstrong Custer.

“That’s General Custer,” Fred said.  “Crazy Horse killed him.  Or Sitting Bull did.  Some Indian killed him at the battle of Little Bighorn.  The Sioux Indians surrounded General Custer and his men and killed them.”

I didn't have a chance

I didn’t have a chance

If it was in a book, in the big dictionary, well then,  I had to die.  It was right there in black and white with a color picture.  It was my fate.

We went back over to the battlefield (the front hall) and started the battle again.  Again, I blew my bugle and rallied my troops into a circle around me.  Again, the Indians pressed forward, surrounded us.

Again, General Custer got shot.  And this time he/I was brave.  I clutched my heart, tossed my curls and fell dead.

*     *     *

I owe my devotion to the underdog and my tendency to look everything up to my big brother, who is still wonderful.  Today, I will be visiting my big brother/hero, coincidentally, so I decided to re-run this post.

Because today,  June 25th is the 140th Anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn.

And speaking once more as General Custer, I deserved exactly what I got.

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“A Way Out of No Way”

Breaking news that you may or may not see on the news.

The Democrats, led by Congressman John Lewis, are staging a sit in on the floor of the House of Representatives, demanding action on gun control legislation.

Sometimes old methods work best. Photo from CNN.com

Sometimes old methods work best. Photo from CNN.com

Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary. Sometimes you have to make a way out of no way. We have been too quiet for too long,” the Democratic civil rights leader said. “There comes a time when you have to say something, when you have to make a little noise, when you have to move your feet. This is the time. Now is the time to get in the way. The time to act is now. We will be silent no more.  (CNN.com)

In case you don’t know who Congressman Lewis is, here’s how Wikipedia opens his biography:

Lewis is the only living “Big Six” leader of the Civil Rights Movement, having been the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), playing a key role in the struggle to end legalized racial discrimination and segregation. A member of the Democratic Party, Lewis is a member of the Democratic leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and has served as a Chief Deputy Whip since 1991 and Senior Chief Deputy Whip since 2003. As Senior Chief Deputy Whip he has led other Chief Deputy Whips and serves as the primary assistant to the Democratic Whip.

This 76 year old man is sitting on the floor to force the House of Representatives to take some action.  There are chants of “No Bill, No Break” referring to the upcoming Congressional adjournment/recess, which is extra long this year allowing members to go to their party conventions.  Or, in the case of the GOP, not going to their party conventions.

The cameras that normally broadcast House action are off; they are controlled by House Speaker Paul Ryan who, naturally, won’t let it appear that either (1) he has lost control of what is happening on the floor of the House; or (2) that Democrats are trying to protect the lives of American citizens.

All I can say is:  We Shall Overcome.

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I LOVE this Woman

I have written many posts about my heros.  Political heroes like Adlai Stevenson and RFK.  People who have spoken up and made a difference.  But my current, live version of a hero is Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusets.

 

 

Run Donald run.  And I don’t mean for office.  I mean head for the hills.  I imagine there is some real estate for sale somewhere they allow misogynous white has-beens.

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Vote Out These Cowards

You’ve no doubt heard the news from last night.

The GOP voted down four different measures designed to protect you and me.  Designed to keep folks on the terror watch list from getting assault weapons.  They did this in spite of the fact that:

A new poll from CNN shows 92 percent of Americans support expanded background checks and 85 percent support preventing those on terror watch lists from buying guns. As we’ll explain in the post below, though, none of the below proposals aimed at these things are likely to pass. (Washington Post — https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/06/20/the-senate-will-vote-on-4-gun-control-proposals-monday-heres-everything-you-need-to-know/Emphasis added.

Senator Chris Murphy, who I am proud to say represents my home state of Connecticut in the Senate said the following:

“We’ve got to make this clear, constant case that Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS,” [Senator Chris] Murphy said, using an alternative term for the Islamic State militant group. “That’s what they’ve decided to do. ISIS has decided that the assault weapon is the new airplane, and Republicans, in refusing to close the terror gap, refusing to pass bans on assault weapons, are allowing these weapons to get in the hands of potential lone-wolf attackers. We’ve got to make this connection and make it in very stark terms.” (Daily Kos — http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/6/21/1540914/–ISIS-has-decided-that-the-assault-weapon-is-the-new-airplane).

Senator Murphy made clear that he will look to November, to make sure that those opposed to gun sanity don’t return to the Senate.  That’s just what I’m going to do.  So here’s where to start:

All Democrats favored the Democratic version of a bill to restrict assault weapons from folks on the no fly list except the following:  Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.  ALL Republicans voted against sensible gun laws except Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)  who backed it; he voted with Democrats on all four measures.

Elections matter.

Vote the bastards who refuse to protect us

OUT OF THE U.S. SENATE

Photo from NBC News

Senator Murphy, talking about Dylan, one of the 20 6 year olds who died in Sandy Hook, CT.  Photo from NBC News

 

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Eat Your Heart Out, Lip-O-suction!

Like many Americans, I’m overweight.  Mostly I’ve accepted what I look like.  At least I do until someone pulls out a camera.  Then I use my handy line:

Do I have time for liposuction?”

Sadly, there’s never enough time for liposuction; they usually take the picture anyway.  And when I see it I wish someone would suck away the extra bits and bobs.

Few things make me laugh harder than the idea of liposuction.  I first learned of it in 1986.  I was in the reception area of one of my then-clients, chatting with his secretary, Cindy, a constant dieter, when she announced:

“Did you know you can vacuum your fat away?” Cindy told me.  “It’s a thing called Lip-O-Suction.  They stick this little gizmo in your fat lumps and vacuum the fat out!”

“Why diet when you can vacuum!” I replied.  Me and Cindy laughed and laughed.  You just can’t tell me it isn’t a hilarious image:  Women lining up in front of the Hoover before a date.

liposuction 2

Eureka!  Or is it Hoover?  Sllluuuppppppp Google Image

Now, though, there is a weight loss gadget that makes even liposuction pale in silliness.  Because folks have been busily inventing even sillier ways to get folks thin.  Or thinner.  Or, to totally disrupt their GI tract.

Introducing The Aspire Assist.  A personal stomach pump.  Yeah, I thought they were making it up, too.

Stomach pump

Photo credit:  Aspirebariatrics.com.  But I found it at the article referenced below

The Aspire Assist helps with weight loss because it empties up to 30% of the contents of your stomach into the toilet.  Before it reaches the inside or the outside of your butt.  Before that cherry pie becomes love handles.  Before those abs look more like a case than a six-pack.

According to this article here’s how it works.

Patients have a tube inserted into their stomachs then threaded out through an incision in the abdomen and capped with a poker chip–sized “Skin Port” valve.[…]  Twenty minutes after eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the patient attaches a handheld device to the Skin Port and empties 30 percent of the contents of his or her stomach into the toilet.

Twenty minutes is enough time for your brain to be convinced that you are full, but not enough time for your stomach to digest the food, the inventors say, and that means 30 percent of the calories from your meal magically disappear.

Sounds too good to be true, ammirite?  You can have all the benefits of bulimia without puking!  Whoo-hoo!

Of course, as a fake medical professional, I have questions:

  • Can the Aspire Assist discriminate?  I mean, can it choose to pull the ice cream out and leave the broccoli to work its way through my GI tract system?
  • Can it pull the pasta but leave the protein and the vitamins?
  • Can it please suck out the wine I drink so that I can be less of a cheap date?

Go ahead.  I dare you to watch this.  (I didn’t.  Ewwwwww.)

I bet you didn’t play that video.  I’ll also wager you’re not gonna get an Aspire Assist.  anybody who has read this far is of above-average intelligence and has a seriously awesome sense of humor.

Some funny things should be enjoyed but definitely not be taken to heart.  Or to stomach.  Or drained into the toilet.

And some are just too weird to believe.

 

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She Speaks for Me (Language NSFW)

Language NSFW

 

 

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How’s THIS for an Idea?

You may not have heard the news that has the media all a flutter this morning.  Donald Trump yesterday banned all reporters from the Washington Post from admission to, and therefore coverage of, all of his events.

How about if all media — newspapers, TV, online — voluntarily stop covering all of his events.

Everyone.  Just. Stop. Mentioning. Him.

Because then there would be a meltdown that we could all enjoy.

And the country would survive.

You’re welcome.

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