Murder on the Opioid Express

The first vial has only a little powder. The second one is virtually empty. Both are lethal doses. Vile indeed.

By all accounts the opioid crisis is intensifying and the country’s failure to address it has less to do with its lethality and everything to do with the weird optics of the word opioid. Who can relate to an opioid that sounds more like the kid on The Andy Griffith Show than a serious public health issue? If 4 of the first 5 letters weren’t vowels we might not be ankle deep in overdoses and the opioid crisis may have gone the way of smallpox, polio and disco. Instead this deadly wave has become a tsunami and all because the public at large can’t warm-up to the word opioid. The same thing happened with the word Hillary in the last election. Read the rest of this entry »

Amazon’s Worst-Selling Books

  1. Thank You for Your Service: A Shout Out to Crash Test Dummies
  2. “I Didn’t Sign Up for This”: Complaints by People Who Signed-up for Things They No Longer Like
  3. The Politicization of Baloney: The Right Claims It, But Isn’t it Really a Left-Wing Meat?
  4. Are Toadstools and Frogchairs the Same Thing?
  5. Coping with Coping Saws
  6. Not in My Backyard: A Short History of Above Ground Pools
  7. Too Many Colons::::: A Tubular History of Diacritical Marks
  8. “Absolutely no one in my entourage may ever take drugs.” “Hello, Offshore Pharmacy, send me 1000 vials of Fentanyl.” The Hypocrisy of Prince in a Book Title that Doesn’t Even Fit on the Book Cover
  9. Dan Quayle: Not Looking So Bad These Days
  10. George W Bush: Oh How We Miss Thee
  11. Joseph Stalin: No, He Still Sucks
  12. Old School: A Misplaced Appreciation of When Things Were Even Stupider
  13. Having Said That: Things that People Have Already Said
  14. “No, not quite. The cheese itself isn’t grilled. The bread surrounding the cheese is.”: The Genesis of the Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  15. Harvey Weinstein’s Prison Experience: “OK. Enough. I get it! Can I please leave?”
  16. How Grover Cleveland Got His Groove Back and Other Stories of Presidential Redemption
  17. Subway Franchisees: They’re Not All From India
  18. “No, not Cool-aid, but Kool-Aid.” How an Intentional Misspelling Made Kraft a Fortune
  19. Google to Partner with Titleist to Research Self-driving Golf Balls (Really a headline and not a book. So sue me.)
  20. “Can I pay someone to do yoga for me?” and Other Questions from the Wealthy

Breaking News: Letters of the Alphabet Vote to Unionize

It can’t happen here. A nation held hostage by its alphabetic benefactors? Not if we improve our ways.

Nation Held Spellbound as Letters Threaten to Strike 

Here’s What We Know So Far:

  • Letters, apparently enraged over polluted public discourse demand a return to civility
  • Alphabetic job action threatens to rearrange pre-existing letters of all written material unless hostility is curbed and honesty restored
  • In a muscular display of alphabetic resolve, the alphabet has collectively agreed to alter the letters of 2 well-known items to demonstrate their resoluteness. Henceforth the letters on the box cover of the game Chutes-n-Ladders will read Shoots-n-Cleavage. And shampoo instructions now direct you to: lather, rinse, defibrillate. What’s next? STOP signs reading GO.
  • Cursive, Calligraphic and Cyrillic Letters have voted to join their block-letter brothers in seeking better working conditions
  • Arabic letters vow to support any job action, providing the curvier letters are draped in black
  • Hieroglyphs, graffiti and most other symbols follow suit. In Egypt, the pictographs in the tomb of Ramses II have joined the cause and morphed into several Peanuts comic strips.
  • No word yet from Emojis. In fact, none expected. After all, they’re emojis. They did however send a 😀 .
  • Hebrew alphabet, under pressure from the Right to Left Party, remains a holdout  
  • “@” symbol agrees to remain in the public domain so people can still get email
  • Early languages (Sanskrit, Latin and Greek) side with museum curators and refuse to participate in the job action in order to preserve integrity of ancient scrolls
  • Strike seen as a threat to all written material except doctor’s prescriptions which no one can read anyway
  • Seeds of discontent sowed early on in the Primordial Alphabet Soup of Life
  • President tweets “Those Sons of Bitch letters better get back in line or they’re fired. JOBS.” But all 140 letters take a knee and the tweet appears as, “Life with Melania is one long celibation! SOBS.”
  • Authors have come out against the strike calling the job action “Censorship.” The alphabet calls their action “Repositioning.”
  • Read the entire story below on how it all happened

Read the rest of this entry »

Newly Hacked: 1st Draft of Harvey Weinstein’s Resignation Letter

Harvey Weinstein is so ugly that when he was born they slapped his mother.

This is the 1st draft of embattled producer Harvey Weinstein’s resignation letter. “Embattled” meaning he’s guilty of whatever it is he’s battling. Mr. Weinstein’s letter was obtained before his female defense lawyer had an opportunity to sanitize it for public consumption. Loutish schmucks like Weinstein always hire a female lawyer to perfume their transgressions with a sense of “this will never happen again and see, even a girl supports me.” And many of these lady lawyers are happy to turn the tables on these serial schemers by becoming the fig leaf for their ill deeds at $1700 an hour plus expenses. It’s poetic justice really; whereby the guy who took coercive advantage of women is now being similarly taken advantage of by a woman. Through the Freedom of Information Act I obtained Mr. Weinstein’s 1st draft (alright I got it from Igor my Russian IT hacker) and disclose it here in the hopes readers will marvel at its’ self-centered obliviousness.

 

Dearest Friends, Colleagues and that tattletale Gwyneth Paltrow,

On this somber occasion when I’ve been caught with my pants down and my robe open, it pains me to announce my resignation from Weinstein Productions (a division Casting Couch Industries). You can imagine my disappointment in having to step down from such a carefully crafted female trap that took me decades to perfect. It wasn’t easy forging a foolproof method where an inflated, hairy ogre like myself was able to take advantage of some of Hollywood’s most vulnerable beauties – before they had any leverage in the business. People should know that for every woman who rebuffed my “offers of love” another 3 quietly submitted to them. So in my mind I’m batting like .750. Those are Hall of Fame numbers – not bad for a graceless toad from Queens who women wouldn’t bother with if, instead of being a powerful Hollywood mogul, I was a pinsetter at an Amish bowling alley. But for now it’s all over and it’s back to escort services and massage parlors for me while I pretend to get the help I don’t want.   Read the rest of this entry »

Way Too Much Information about Celebrity White Noise Marketing

Soothing White Noise” It’s what’s for dinner bedtime.

Celebrities trade on their famousness. It’s a commodity of recognition easily monetized courtesy of the endorsement market and the underlying calculus often plays out like this: “Me like that person. If me imitate, me become like them. Then happy.”

 

Now, let’s cut to the idea of where Ambien’s magic ends, and white noise sleep-inducing sounds begin. At the intersection of sleep aids and insomnia is where celebrities’ agents (who get 10% of their client spoils) see an opportunity to interpose their client’s good name between the desperate need for sleep and white background noises designed to promote glorious slumber. So an unlikely marketing scheme is hatched: White Background Noises created by celebrities for their adoring civilian fans. It’s a match made in Tinsel Town heaven. It’s a kind of fan fiction for the fatuous.

 

However well-intentioned this scam was, clinical sleep studies with zealous fans proved that not all celebrity white noises were found to be soporific. Far from the sleep-inducing mantras hoped for, some of these narcotizing sound bites, bit back and inadvertently activated the arousal response in sleepy males test subjects – especially when they heard a loop of sultry-voiced Angelina Jolie cooing “What are you wearing.” After this unintentional “ear porn” the sleep-deprived males perked right up and snoozing somehow didn’t seem so important. This and other streams of counterproductive white background noises were excluded from the app, but they can be heard on bootleg versions of the app found on YouTube.

 

So even though it’s 4 in the morning (in Darwin, Australia, not here in Reno where I am), I’m pleased to present:   

 

 

Top 10 Rejected White Noise Sleep Sounds created by celebrities for sleepless fans:

 

  1. A loop of Tom Petty admitting to the people of Syria, “Well, maybe you do have to live like a refugee”

 

  1. Misty morning rain…bouncing off Tatum Channing’s abs or was it Channing Tatum’s pecs. Or maybe it was Carol Channing’s cheeks or Tatum O’Neal’s teeth. The point is it involved rain, a celebrity body part and it was rejected.

 

  1. An endless loop of Steve Perry just singing the “Don’t Stop” part

 

  1. The continuous sound of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s boots knocking (with some panting in background)

 

  1. The repeated tooting of an “aah-oo-ga” horn…as blown by Monica Lewinsky

 

  1. Morgan Freeman intoning, “My, my, my.” (Apparently the dissonance of a black man making white noise caused subjects to grow bewildered instead of sleepy.)

 

  1. Yoko Ono imitating an air raid siren

 

  1. The soothing and secretive “hiss” of Tom Brady deflating a football

 

  1. The sound of Tina Turner privately dancing

 

  1. Marcel Marceau miming the words to “The Sound of Silence”

 

 

 

Oh, We’re Not Done Yet

 

And, in keeping with growing the $20 billion sleep deprivation relief market, Apple has announced:

 

A New White Noise Sleep App for Weirdos:

Background White noises designed to promote deep & restful sleep in the Loosely Wrapped. These unusual noises seem counterintuitive to facilitating sleep, but they’ve been proven to work in clinical studies (if you’re a little damaged).

 

  1. Endless loop of Oktoberfest Burping

 

  1. A soothing recording of a woman continuously saying, “The Sandman will see you now.”

 

  1. Repeated sound of a cat scrambling to get out of a bathtub with 2” of water in it

 

  1. The piercing “zip” of duct tape being unfurled from its roll.

 

  1. For the Zen sleeper: The sound of one hand clapping

 

  1. Doppler-shifted instructions of a flight attendant screaming, “In the unlikely event of a water landing…”

 

  1. A cacophony of very moist chewing

 

  1. A succession of watermelons dropped from 7 stories

 

  1. A succession of 7 stories dropped from a library

 

  1. Cute kid mispronouncing the word library as “libary” – puts you right out (if you’re weird)

 

  1. Ugly guy mispronouncing February as “Febuary”; and no I don’t know how you’d know he was ugly if it’s just an audio recording. I don’t even know whether or not he’s transgendered. This is just a stupid list I made up before bed, so give me a break before you get all judgey.

 

  1. A guy saying over and over, “Y’know the app sucks, but the list is kinda funny.”

 

Good night everyone. Everybody everywhere. Sleep tight, but not too tight.

 

Apple Announces New White Noise Sleep App for Weirdos

Background White noises designed to promote deep & restful sleep in the Loosely Wrapped

  1. Endless loop of Oktoberfest Burping
  2. A soothing recording of a woman continuously saying, “The Sandman will see you now.”
  3. Repeated sound of a cat scrambling to get out of a bathtub with 2” of water in it
  4. For the Zen sleeper: The sound of one hand clapping
  5. Doppler-shifted instructions of a flight attendant screaming, “In the unlikely event of a water landing…”
  6. A cacophony of very moist chewing
  7. A succession of watermelons dropped from 7 stories
  8. A succession of 7 stories dropped from a library
  9. Cute kid mispronouncing the word library as “libary” – puts you right out (if you’re weird)
  10. Ugly guy mispronouncing February as “Febuary”; and no I don’t know how you’d know he was ugly if it’s just an audio recording. I don’t even know whether or not he’s transgendered. This is just a stupid list I made up before bed, so give me a break before you get all judgey.
  11. A guy saying over and over, “Y’know the app sucks, but the list is kinda funny.”

Good night everyone. Sleep tight, but not too tight.

“Houston, We’ve Got a Problem.” And it’s Hurricane Harvey

From the “Too Soon” Dept.

Nothing but Big Prayers, Big Sponges and a little humor for our inundated Texas brethren

 

          <<<< FNI: Fake News International presents >>>>
10 Abominations for which Texas is incurring the torrential wrath of God in the form of Hurricane Harvey

1. 9 lb. belt buckles

2. Having a city named Texarkana. Not to mention: Texlahoma, New Texico and Louisiexcess.

3. Ignoring little Harvey’s symptoms when he was just a manageable Tropical Depression and allowing him to develop into a full-blown Category 5 Psychotic Event. “The only place he’s calm is in his one good eye,” says Harvey’s mother Katrina.

4. Rampant heterosexuality: Whether it’s in the Garden of Eden or performed bareback on a mechanical bull, sin is sin and will not be tolerated.

5. Not letting us forget the Alamo. Alright we get it! We remember the Alamo although we don’t know why anymore.

6. Having a panhandle. What self-respecting state allows its citizens to live in a panhandle? Where are we – in the housewares department of a Wal*Mart, or in the bad ass state of Texas?

7. Making diners try to eat a 72 oz. steak in an hour (technically not Texas’s fault, but they never should have offered in the first place).

8. Selling 10-gallon hats that only holds 8 gallons of my 10-gallon piranha tank (learned that the hard way).

9. Letting Austin have all the fun

10. A bad job of keeping undesirables from crossing the border. Should’ve started by not allowing Lee “Harvey” Oswald back into Texas when the Soviet Union kicked him out in 1962.

 

HST (Having Said That), Hurricane Harvey’s landfall could’ve been a mistake. Maybe this rain of Biblical proportion was meant for Flint, Michigan. Their water system could use a good flushing.

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The Burning Man Franchise: A Hot Property or a Study in Clichés

An open letter to the Burning People that run Burning Man,

Some see a magical place of infinite possibilities. I see a vast untapped demographic.

As I formulate this letter on further merchandising Burning Man, my concerns are twofold: 1. Can I properly convey my business plan to expand the Burning Man franchise? And 2. Can I do so without it being a study in clichés? The answer is a resounding Yes (on the business plan) and a definite No (on the cliché avoidance plan).

Burning Man is a very popular anarchical event of infinite self-expression. Its counterculture ethos speaks to the spiritual vagabond in all of us and despite its subversively-tinged sensibility, it has become an ever present fixture in the Mystical-Astrological Complex. And I believe we should tap into that vast reservoir of new-age good-will to decant a new demographic. Not only do we want to grow our natural constituency, i.e., those who dance like no one’s watching. But we also want to target market those who dance like there’s a stick up their ass? Read the rest of this entry »

What Distinguishes Man from Beast? – It’s Laughter.

~ Sharing laughter with someone can be a very intimate experience, but with benefits. The benefit being you don’t have to call them the next day. It’s only laughter. You shared a joke, not a membrane. ~

~Robin Williams~

 

Who needs words? I’ve got laughter.

I had gone to the pool simply to enjoy the gravity-defying magic of our buoyant friend water. I anticipated my usual routine: swim for a bit then imagine the pool drained of water while I floated in space, insensible to the gravity of my situation. I hoped to make this body of water not so much a sensory deprivation tank as a sensory augmentation tank. In other words I was crafting an out-of-body experience on the cheap. You see, it’s still fun to play make-believe – even at 56.

 

An Unbidden Epiphany

While I pursued this ersatz meditative experience, little did I expect the epiphany that would soon visit me. No one expects an epiphany. You can’t. That’s why they’re epiphanies. They’re designed to materialize without warning – kind of like my Uncle Leo. Epiphanies are unscheduled wormholes to understanding that don’t telegraph their presence – they shower it on you like a coach’s Gatorade bath. And it is this aforementioned unexpected insight which prompts this essay.

 

The Epiphany

I began my watery meditation ritual by laying out my towel on the chaise and trying to put my iPhone down so I could read my book which, in 3 weeks of lugging it to the pool, I managed to get past the Table of Contents and deep into the Introduction. As I finished my 4th game of online solitaire, a young couple with a baby entered the pool area and took up residence at the far end amidst a menagerie of water wings, beach towels and mini-coolers. They settled in, set up shop and the daddy lovingly introduced his baby girl to the wonders of liquid water. As the attentive father began dipping the legs of daddy’s little chicken pot pie (his words not mine) into the water, the tiny girl squealed in sheer delight. Each dip was a little deeper and more revelatory than the previous. And each squeal was now followed-up by cloud bursts of thunderous little baby giggles. She was experiencing indescribable joy.

 

I would’ve gladly traded places with her if only society didn’t frown on a 56-year old man squealing in delight while being dipped in the water by a guy half his age sporting an Eminem tattoo. As I bore witness to the little chicken pot pie’s celebratory peals of laughter, I experienced an epiphany: that this humorous faculty the baby girl so uninhibitedly demonstrated is what separates us from the animals. We’re the only specie that laughs. Read the rest of this entry »

“Memory Foam” Mattress Memorizes More than Contours

Memory Foam always makes a great first impression, but sometimes it absorbs a little more than you bargained for.  

I always knew my memory foam mattress would have a memory; what I didn’t realize is that it would have a consciousness too.

It was time for a new mattress. The old one had taken on the characteristics of its owner and had also begun to sag in the middle. It was spent from being flipped and rotated 9 ways from Sunday – the mattress and not the owner. The battered cushion had accumulated a decade’s worth of stains making it look like a bad tattoo that was slowly dissolving. So, the wife unit and I (wife unit being an old British colonial measurement of a female helpmate) visited The Illusion of a Bargain mattress store conveniently located at www.HappyMattress.com. Happy Mattress was a Chinese conglomerate affiliated with Sparkle Cleaners and Tasty Restaurant. BTW, be prepared for images unrelated to mattresses if you Google “happy” and “mattress.”

 

Because we didn’t care much for soft mattresses, we opted for a firm California King instead of a forgiving Martin Luther King. And because our bed was delivered during National Mattress Awareness Month (another Hallmark holiday I guess), they threw in some contour sheets and shams. I was beginning to believe the entire transaction was a sham until I laid down on the mattress. Holy Back-to-the-Womb Batman: it was like mother nature was caressing me in her arms.  Read the rest of this entry »