Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Letters from a deranged mind, or my take on last year's election (Part 2 - Hillary Clinton)

CanStock Photos
(This post is an excerpt from my book, Laughing All the Way to the White House. It's a crazy look at the presidential candidates, penned by an inmate locked away in a fictional insane asylum. Coincidentally, he has the same name as mine.)

Dear Hillary:

So, I read an article that said you hadn't driven a car since 1996.

I know this may sound petty, but—that does make it seem as if you’re out of touch with the typical guy or gal on the street. I mean everyone else in America either has to drive their car, or hop the bus, or train to get to work. We have to make car payments, pay for repairs, and did I mention—gas! It’s relatively cheap now, but where were you when everyone else was paying $4.00 per gallon? Oh! That’s right; you were being chauffeured around in a limousine escorted by secret service agents, and flying around the world on a private jet, or on Air Force One.

It doesn’t seem fair.

When was the last time you cooked your own meal, scrubbed a toilet, or picked up dog shit in the backyard?

Far be it from me to question your lifestyle, but how can you represent America, if you don’t know what it’s like to be an American?

Just saying—with all this coddling it’s very likely you’ve lost touch with reality.

If you want to earn my vote, get a customer service job for six months. If you don’t wind up in a mental institution, you’ve got my vote.

Your friend,

Nick

Monday, February 6, 2017

Letters from a deranged mind, or my take on last year's election (Part 1 - Donald Trump)

CanStock Photos
(This post is an excerpt from my book, Laughing All the Way to the White House. It's a crazy look at the presidential candidates, penned by an inmate locked away in a fictional insane asylum. Coincidentally, he has the same name as mine.)

Dear Mr. Trump:

Just wanted to let you know, I haven’t laughed so hard since watching the Watergate hearings on TV in the early seventies. It’s about time we had a candidate who’s not afraid to speak his mind.

Building a wall along the Mexican border sounds a little out there, but it should put hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work, not to mention—it has all the makings of a great archaeological dig two thousand years into the future. Unless of course, the apes actually take over—then all bets are off.

What amazes me is your lack of creativity. You’ve overlooked a major selling point for the wall. Let me toss this idea out there, and see what you think.

What if we sold naming rights?

The Mexicans are footing the bill for the entire project—right? If that’s the case naming rights are a no brainer. It’s one hundred percent pure profit. When you need more money, you just raise the rates or offer another sponsorship.

Cities and Sports teams do this all the time with stadiums. As a businessman, I think you, if anyone, should recognize the moneymaking potential of selling naming rights. You could do it by city—state—region—the sky is the limit.

And, have you ever thought of offering inscribed bricks or paving stones?

People buy bricks all the time for waterfront and downtown revitalization projects. Why wouldn’t they want to be part of a wall that encompasses the entire Mexican / American border?

Not only is it a patriotic move. It could be a major step forward in revitalizing the American economy.

Dare I suggest, anyone who doesn’t buy a brick should be booted south of the wall? Why settle for just deporting the Mexicans, when you can eliminate cheap ass bastards, welfare dregs, and other scum who refuse to pay their fair share.

Your friend,

Nick

Did I ever tell you about that time I met David Morrell, Walt Howerton, Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, Gus Hall, and that other guy

David Morrell
(photo by Phil Konstantin)
Looking back on it, TV might have played too big of a part in my childhood. Every memory I have revolves around some sixties or seventies TV series.

I turned five in 1963. The Beatles made their debut on the Ed Sullivan Show. Later that year we watched JFK get his brains blown out on live TV. For years after that, I remember watching reruns of his horse-drawn casket pulled down Pennsylvania Avenue.

By the mid-sixties, we were riveted to the TV set as “Uncle Walter” Cronkite brought us the war live from Vietnam. War correspondents droned on about guerilla fighting; I read a comic book that showed oversized gorillas carrying machine guns and bazookas through the jungles. Dumbass that I was, I thought they were real fricking monkeys slugging it out over there.

1966 brought us the Monkees. Adam West debuted as Batman. He danced the Batusi, had a way cool ride – the Bat Mobile, and whenever he laid hands on the bad guys, they flashed those really cool signs—Bam! Ka-Pow! Owie!

In 1969 Neal Armstrong walked on the moon. That’s “one small step for man, one large step for mankind.” We traveled halfway across the country in the back of a station wagon, visiting Vegas and California. All I remember is we didn’t have air conditioning. When you rolled down the windows in the Painted Desert hot air lapped your face like a sick dog.

 In 1970 a friend of mine swallowed a strange purple pill. Jughead jumped out of an Archie comic book and talked to him. What the f*#k!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

What Blazing Saddles taught me about life, racism, liberty, justice, and all that other stuff


On a scale of one to ten, I’d give Blazing Saddles an eleven. Mel Brooks is the funniest son-of-a-bitch I've never met.

Who can forget Sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little) delivering a "Candygram for Mongo?" Or, Madeline Khan! Name one woman sexier than Madeline Khan when she sang "I'm so tired."

It can't be done.

Underlying the whole show you can feel the tug of racism—“Niggers,” “Jews,” “Irish,” “Chinks.” Brooks didn’t miss a single group. The movie’s a comedy, but it’s all about racism, politics, and people coming together to change their own little world.


At the beginning of the movie, the railroad foreman encouraged the work crew to sing a good negro song. "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" or "Camp Town Lady." The boys didn’t know any of those songs. Instead, they sang "I get no kick from Champagne.”

The foreman tried to get them started by singing a few bars. In no time, his men were singing and dancing around trying to show the blacks, Chinese, and Irish what they wanted. Just as they were getting into it, Slim Pickens, the head honcho rode in and screamed: "about them jumping around and looking like a gang of Kansas City faggots.”

Do you ever wonder where people pick up crazy ideas?


Astronomer Percival Lowell
(Public domain image circa 1908)
You know what I’m talking about - the man on the moon, the canals of Mars, and little green men from outer space.

Back in the late 1890’s to early 1900’s, there was an amateur astronomer named Percival Lowell. He read the works of Camille Flammarion and Giovanni Schiaparelli and became convinced there was life on Mars. Most guys would’ve read a book or two on the subject and let it go at that. Lowell had some extra money jingling around in his pocket and built a full-fledged astronomical observatory to support his obsession.

He searched out the perfect location for it which just happened to be on a hill outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. He named the spot Mars Hill, and over time it developed into the world’s largest private observatory.

Over the years, Lowell penned three books: Mars, 1895; Mars and Its Canals, 1906; and Mars as the Abode of Life, 1908. He mapped out a whole series of canals crisscrossing the planet. Not satisfied with that Lowell developed a theory about an entire civilization forced to the point of extinction on their dying planet.

He rushed to get his observatory completed before 1894. That was when the two planets would draw closest together, and he expected to enjoy a front row seat for the upcoming Martian invasion.

Why I wear a Packer's hoodie, and what it says about me, you, and the guy next door

How I ruined three companies, lost a small fortune, and initiated a life long curse for my future employers