Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why You Shouldn't Vote

Zombies at the polling places. A lot of your friends are going to tell you that you should go vote today, no matter what your political affiliation or opinion. It's not really true. They are secretly going to video tape you as you try to escape from the zombies at the polling place and then put the video on The Webs in fast forward with Benny Hill music playing in the background. Sure it's funny when you are running around but once it gets to the part where zombies start gnawing on your flesh and slurping up your entrails . . . well  . . . there's only so much a saxophone can do for comedy. God I hate saxophones.

I sure am exhausted from all the political ads. Here in the 21st century, I feel like I am really getting my money's worth out of my land line. It's not just the $30 a month, the various opportunities for credit card upgrades, timeshare options and donation requests from the Fraternal Order of Police (because I believe in the right to exclude the ladies from Greek style law enforcement organizations. Besides, Sororal Order just sounds stupid.) The real value of my land line, even though it is exhausting, is all the phone calls from John McCain and Accountability for America and something called the RNC (which I think is some kind of organization for sexy comic book nurses, just judging by the letters RNC and the content of the calls), to try to convince me to vote for them. I listened to the WHOLE call from John McCain and he sounds totally reasonable. He calls me his friend (which he won't do when other people are around) and tells me how important my vote is and how I shouldn't trust some guy named Carbona or Corona or Michael Crabtree because San Fran is a running team . . . wait that might be my fantasy football. Why am I taking fantasy football advice from John McCain? I don't know. I don't really remember. But my point is, I am all set to agree with McCain. My vote is set in my mind: Vote "Not Carboner" 2012. And then here comes a call FOR this Carnoma guy and they have some really good points and then I start to wonder if John McCain is really my friend and I get all stressed out and lie awake at night trying to remember the Carsonoma guy's name so I don't Flake out and mark my ballot incorrectly . . . holy crap, I just had a thought, do you even realize that ballot and ballet are only one letter apart. Gadzooks. . .  anyway, so you can see with this Qdoba guy example that every time I answer the phone, I am swinging my vote back and forth. I am tired. I am starting to feel a little fickle. I'm a swing voter. My keys are in the bowl and I am going home with the last person to call my land line. It's no way to live. I'm tired. Stressed. And probably in for some kind of mental venereal disease. Doc: "Joel, you have Crabtrees". Joel: "Oh God. I'm not even a starter in most leagues." Doc: "What the hell are you talking about?" Joel: "What the hell are YOU talking about." Don't forget, it's a mental disease.

So anyway, as I am weighing all of this valuable input (I don't know if you've seen any of these, but some of these kind of phone calls are being made into commercials, too), I wonder if maybe I should make up my own mind.

So there's this Branco Bammers guy who has a fun rodeo clown name, but doesn't look much like a rodeo clown. Maybe the ears. Then there's Fifties Sunday School Cartoon Dad. Let's say that your Sunday school teacher gives you a coloring book page with a modern 1950's family and you see that Hominy Cartoon Dad there. What color are you going to use first? Here's another thing I heard about that guy: He's not even going by his real first name! He dropped his first name, Oven, when he got into politics and the slogan, "Without an Oven Mitt, You Will Get Burned.". Just went by the initial. O. Mitt Hominy. He dropped the "O" when people started taking his name off the ballot.

Anyways, both of them make me feel like an unintended panhandler. They keep offering me change. I don't want any change. I like things just the way they are. I just got my first big screen TV and I want to watch at least one superbowl on it before society crumbles just because some politician wants to go and make "change". Like letting all the zombies out of the polling places. Then we suddenly have a zombie apocalypse and there's no more Starbucks or women's lingerie. All the signs of a stable society are out the window. And worse, you just know zombies are going to chase people with big heads first. It's like my neck has a a great big giant heavy target painted on it and I am wearing a button up shirt that says, "Eat Me First."

So because Leslie Knope is not on the ballot, I decided it's not worth it. That way I could avoid the "going to vote" thing like your so called friends are trying to get you to do. I do not belong at a zombie infested polling place with my giant, delicious temptation of a head bobbing around. Maybe some of you small headed people, if you are nimble enough, might be able to get away with it. And you'll get your sticker that says, I didn't get the plaugue today (you don't get a sticker if the zombies get you). But I am staying home with a shotgun in my lap and I am going to protect my new TV. I suggest you do the same. I respect your opinion and your right to choose (I don't really but you're probably going to do what you want anyway), but if you go vote and get eaten by a zombie, you are stupid. Stupid as a Sororal Order of Police.

In conclusion, don't vote. Zombies will eat you and you will get a mental venereal disease and it will look like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zRT-LvJUuQ

Post Script Pun:

Panhandler: "Hey man, can you spare some change?"
Candidate: "No Sir. I am giving all of mine to 'Merica."

Saturday, February 18, 2012

So Roben's teacher wants parents to write a letter to their kid for a family history paper. Well . . . I couldn't lie . . .

Dear Roben,

Because it’s all made up anyway, I might as well just tell you: You were never born.

We made you. Compelled by some irretrievable impulse for having something we made together, we settled on a robot child. A little insight here: I had said, “Can’t we just do a puzzle or something? I mean, with all the misery and suffering in the world, wouldn’t we just be contributing to a shortage of resources?” Your mother, as she always does, had the perfect answer: ”You mean, like your tears are a waste of water? Stop crying and get your keys. We’re going to the robot store.” You come from a long line of strong women: Your aunt was a death row prison guard. Your great great grandmother was an arm wrestling champion and, if the record is accurate, you are related to the only grizzly bear on the Mayflower.

So we gathered parts. Talked of infusing you with family history, whether it would matter and ultimately decided it would happen organically. We are who we are: It would all come down to instinct and the negotiation over who would work on what. Armed with modest salaries and a good old American impulse to own something, we filled our cart full of dreams and discounted hardware. If the receipt can serve as genealogical record, your skeletal structure consists primarily of 300 year old English beechwood and your innards, crafted from fiberglass insulation, were derived from Italian stained glass. And, as you know, bag pipes without the drones and stocks serve as your lungs, providing the basis for your ability to so intuitively imitate a Scottish accent.

The annual rebuilding, where we discarded small and worn parts, taught us the most about you. When I saw a worn knee, I couldn’t help but smile thinking of all the basketball we played over the past year and how paying for a replacement part was totally worth it. And you would learn about me too when I would say, “Well, I’ll just have to replace the leg next year, so I might as well replace the knee and leg this year while I have the thing apart.” When you got over the frustration of having one leg longer than than the other, mostly by discovering the pivot advantage, you could see what a practical man I am. You come from a long line of practical men: Your grandfather saved enough money to actually retire comfortably. Your great great uncle was the first to diagram buffalo meat and convinced Lewis and Clark to eat it. And, if the veterinary log is correct, you are related to the only man aboard the Mayflower who argued against the impracticality of bringing along a grizzly bear.

Being a practical man, or as your mom would say “boring”, I took the time one day to make this calculation about your day to day life:
9 hours of sleep/shutdown/battery charge
7 hours of school
3 hours of homework (your teacher is reading this, right?)
5 hours with Mom and Dad

This data suggests no matter how hard we try, our coding as your “parents” is smaller than the whole program of your life. And each year, as you made friends, got involved in sports and even somehow managed to find girlfriends accepting of your robocity, our coding contribution shrank. This can be hard on your creators, and believe me, your mom put in a lot of labor. I say this not as a lament or guilt trip, but to drive the point you know so well: you made you, too, and have done so exceptionally.

So, if you ever decide, God help you, to make your own child, I will tell you this one thing I have learned: There is no such thing as too much love or too much affection, but there is such a thing as too little, even for a robot.