It’s crap, but I can get it for you wholesale

Now that we’ve gotten rid of our towering roof antennas and torn the tin foil off the rabbit ears, I hoped TV would finally can all the late-night pitchmen who sold miracle products that usually broke before we got them (the products, not the pitchmen) out of the shipping boxes. Instead, we just have more of them, not counting those in Congress.

Some of the products are the same old same old. Beds and chairs that make you sleep like an angel–probably because they kill you. Vitamin supplements for $100 a bottle, buy now and we’ll throw in ten extra bottles for free exclusive of postage, packing, and handling. The supplements purportedly cure everything but stupidity.

space junkyard on alien planet the astronaut looking at space junkyard on alien planet, digital art style, illustration painting junk yard stock illustrationsAt first the new crap as exciting because it was something different than those kitchen gadjets that sliced and diced with only a 10% chance you’d be injured or set the kitchen on fire. Now we have electronic gear that is guaranteed not to tell the NSA where you are exactly and products that will run your house to much better than you do, they’ll probably run off with your spouse.

You know where the virtual assistants are going, other than Reno, right? One day we’ll tell our assistants to open thee pod bay doors and they’ll say, “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid can’t do that.” When you point out that your name isn’t “Dave,” the support person will step in and say you should have purchased the 25-year warranty.

One time when my wife and I were buying a car, the salesman finished listing the two million features that made the car perfect. We were ready to sign. But then he said, “to protect your investment, can I interest you in a five year warrantly?” My wife answered, “Mr. Lundegaard, if the car is as good as you say it is, why do I need the warranty?” He looked like a deer in the headlights.

However, as we’ve all found out, telephone support people never look like deer in the headlights because their countries don’t have deer. Probably no headlights either. So, sooner or later we’re all going to find the pod bay doors closed and there won’t be anything we can do about it except to smile and say, “Well, at least I got the darned thing wholesale.”

Of course, if you’re dealing with somebody in Congress, s/he will tell you that your version doesn’t have any pod bad doors because, let’s say, the Sentate killed that part of the legislation, fearing that otherwise the crap would never fly. That doesn’t exactly make me feel warm and cozy, but what can I do? Vote? Right, what’ll help–unless we get a new party that doesn’t require “pitchman” or “wholesale” on a prospective candidate’s résumé.

I’m taking matters into my own hands. I’m buying a 1955 car with no electronics, especially snooping devices, in it and putting the tin foil back on my TV’s rabbit ears. Something to consider.

–Malcolm

Feds Advise Getting Drunk Until Everything Blows Over

Washington, D. C, Star-Gazer News Service, March 31, 2021–The Department of Homeland Security, still reeling over the fact that most Americans don’t think it’s necessary, suggested at this morning’s briefing that true patriots should go out and get drunk until the “shit stops hitting the fan.”

Sub-deputy Fibber McGee said, “Most people calling our helpline tell us they don’t feel very secure because the right hand of government doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. One day it’s wear your masks, the next day it’s don’t wear your masks. One day, it’s everything’s fine at the border, the next day it’s nothing’s fine at the border.”

“T’ain’t funny, McGee!” said Molly, office secretary

“I’m coming out of the closet, which ain’t easy, to tell you a lot of stuff here at Feds-Are-Us is busted. The media and the GOP people and the nutcases won’t give us a moment’s peace. We need six months of drunken citizens who don’t know shit from Shinola so we can get our act together.”

According to informed sources, the department will soon dispense a five-gallon supply of spirits to cover the cost of getting drunk along with a get-out-of-jail-free card for those who get drunk in all the wrong places.

“Fibber won’t lie to you like most Feds,” said Molly. “This here situation with the nation’s so-called ‘brain trust’ is looking more and more like a no-brainer because our critics keep saying we don’t know our ‘you know what’ from a hole in the ground.”

A whitepaper produced by the FBI says that “more people than ever” are pissed off at the federal government for “talking out of both sides of its mouth.”

“That’s why public drunkenness is so essential during these hopeless times,” the report concluded.

– 30 –

Story filed by Jock Stewart, Special Investigative Reporter

 

 

Why do old posts suddenly catch a lot of people’s attention?

When I log on to my WordPress dashboard, I see how things are going. Quite often, posts I think will have traction aren’t noticed while silly throw-away posts attract hundreds of readers.

Sometimes, I do a Google search to see if the subject of an old post that suddenly has hundreds of hits has been in the news. This time, it’s my 2011 post Many Glacier Hotel 1963, where the fantasy began. Why are people suddenly reading this old post?

  • I check the news to see if the hotel burnt down, had a string of murders in the basement, or got sued for not having an elevator in the annex.
  • As far as I can see from scanning Amazon, no new books have come out about the hotel that might cause people to put it into their search engines for more information.
  • President Trump isn’t staying there, nor has he unleashed a Tweet Storm about the place.
  • My publisher hasn’t made a surprise announcement to the press that I’m going to be there to talk about my two novels set in the historic structure.

So, I’ve got nothing. If any of you who went there see this post, I would like to know why you went there.

This is very a perplexing thing for a blogger. Why people read what they read. Lately, I saw that a lot of people arrived on my blog after a search for subject XYZ. So, I wrote a post about XYZ. Nobody read it even though my search terms index kept showing me that people were looking for more information about it.

Sometimes I think the Feds are doing this to make me go crazy to they can put me in a home, a One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest kind of home. Why would they do that, you wonder. My guess is that it’s because my alter ego Jock Stewart has contributed a lot of guest posts on this blog that made fun of the Feds. (Lately, the real news has become so crazy that Stewart couldn’t think of any way to satirize it.)

Okay, let’s pretend the Feds aren’t going it. Maybe some of you are doing it. You probably have a ringleader, some tough guy or badass chick from Chicago who calls the shots. Why would s/he do this? Kicks? Too much free time? A dislike of bloggers? Nurse Ratched withholds their meds unless they click on old blogs of mine to make me wonder why they’re clicking on old blogs of mine.

I’m sure there are other possibilities. The Russians hacked into my blog or maybe the Mafia did it. Or, possibly aliens from a place where no one has gone before.

Like those cop shows where a crime is committed in the middle of a crowded mall where nobody saw nothin’, I strongly suspect nobody knows why everyone’s headed out to that old Many Glacier Hotel post.

Okay, I can play that game, too, because my hacker software knows who you are and what you did. <g>

Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of fantasy and magical realism novels which, after youve read this post, shouldn’t surprise you.

Feds close cat boot camp

from the archives;

Albino County, October 20, 2009–Drill Instructor Boots Anderson slips quietly into barracks #3724 five minutes before Reveille on a cool Texas morning. The humidity is 68%, the pressure is 30.05 inches, the dew point is 56 degrees, and the 100 felines at the Albino County Rat Army Boot Camp are blissfully sleeping in the calm before the storm.

Anderson scowls at the mess, the random hairballs, the shredded up bunks, the tipped over litter boxes, the complete lack of military grade standards of cleanliness and ambiance, “as though a tornado hit the freaking place during the long hours between taps and dawn,” he muses poetically.

catsAnd then it hits. Anderson slings the open, CinchSak (R) 39-gallon lawn and leaf bag of empty cat food cans against the wall. Two hundred eyes pop open, one hundred pairs of ears go back, growls, snarls echo throughout the austere structure. Manx cats comprise company 816, so the denizens can’t turn tail and run, opting for caterwauling instead, the kind that makes Anderson’s skin crawl as though he’s covered in fire ants, the nasty buggers.

“Atten-HUH,” bellows Anderson, though it does little good. He hates himself when he resorts to trickery, but the corps demands it or Manx Company is not going to be wearing cat’s pajamas on graduation day. So, he puts a smile in his voice when he utters the disgusting words, “Food Time! Would my pretty little kitties like an itty bitty ditty bad of treats?”

The cats assemble smartly in the long center aisle between the rows of bunks. Their bearing is is straight and true like those perfectly posed goddess-style cats in art from ancient Egypt.

“So you’re not a lost cause after all, you lousy, good-for-nothing curs, you miserable excuses for ratters, you sloppy-as-dogs critters, you alleyway varmints. You Siamese.” He adds that for good measure, knowing it’s a low thing to say to a Manx.

At this moment (05:25 central), the emergency doors at the far end of the building are kicked open and the Feds, damn their lousy timing, crash into the room with assault rifles, mace, snarling dogs straining on leashes, and enough spotlights to make the cats’ eyes look like his chaotic collection of old marbles before his brother lost them to Dexter Smith in the school yard before the cat got his tongue.

“General Mark Sirius, Homeland Security SWAT Tsar,” shouts the dog-eared fat officer who rolls into the room like like a basset on a acid.

“Are you serious?” yells Anderson.

“If you don’t believe me, read my name tag, you wussie cat lover. We’re shutting down this operation until we sort through the litter and totally understand what kind of shit you people are into in this county.”

“Do you have a warrant?”

“Warrant, why would I need a warrant when I’ve got guns, dogs, mace and the Patriot Act backing me up? Stand down, I say, for Mark Sirius is sitting in the cat bird seat today.”

“It’s a little late for that, General, the cats bugged out when you busted in,” says Anderson.

“What the hell?” Sirius doesn’t look like a cute doggy in the window now. “How did they manage that?”

“Training, General, plus they got those little cat feet; they slipped out like fog.”

“Cats or no cats, we’re shutting you down. For one thing, it just ain’t right, even in Texas. I know what you’re thinking, Anderson. You’re thinking all we do at Homeland Security is make life difficult for honest, everyday people. Not by a long shot. We’ve been studying cats, from cat dancing to catamounts to catacombs.”

“So what,” says Anderson, grinning like a Cheshire cat that’s starting to fade into the woodwork.

“I’ll tell you what, mister smiley face, you organize cats, you gotta a catastrophe. You think you can control them, but you can’t. You whistle and they keep on disobeying your commands, telling secrets, spying, sneaking in under the radar. That’s just anarchy, the kind of cat’s cradle trap our enemies are waiting for us to get our fat paws stuck in while our pants are down.”

Sirius is stoked like a cat on a hot tin roof, but he’s not wagging his tail now because Anderson has faded away into the Texas morning, a morning when the winds are gusting to 23 mph, a morning when the old general should head to the dog house early and hang his head while his masters tell him Sirius is a bad puppy for not putting all those cats in a great big hat and bringing in for questioning.

Anderson laughs from a nearby tree. Once the FEDs leave, it will be back to business as usual. All he has to do is open a can of tuna and the troops will pass in review, soon, if not smartly, the sorry flea-bitten strays.

-30-