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Archive for August, 2009

What factors led to the end of our marriage and/or the end of health care reform legislation in Congress?

–*We failed to articulate our goals to each other.

–*We kept fighting over money.

–*There was a lot of mutual suspicion about what the other side wanted.

–*We turned to outsiders for help and they turned out to have their own selfish interests.

–*One side didn’t know how to think for him or herself unless Glenn Beck told him or her first.

–*…or Oprah.

–*We weren’t sure how to handle the necessary abortion issue.

–*Every time we tried to talk about things reasonably it deteriorated into shouting matches.

–*Each of us accused the other of patronizing and sabotaging the other in public.

–*There was a lot of increasingly nonsensical, paranoid and loony right-wing talk coming from one side.

–*”I don’t need another mother.”

–*”I don’t need another father.”

–*Turns out one of us was a racist.

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This week saw the passing of Edward M. Kennedy, patriarch of the legendary Kennedy political dynasty and the third-longest serving senator in U.S. history. Why is Kennedy’s death such a poignant moment in U.S. history?

–*Because it was like he was one of us.

–*Because he was not one of us. He was better.

–*Because he was going to give us universal health care.

–*Because he was such a good kisser.

–*Because he was mainly a funny drunk and not so much a mean-spirited drunk.

–*Because sex with a powerful political figure feels that much more powerful, and because he offered that gift so freely to so many.

–*Because he was able to overcome partisanship and seek compromise, and to play the game of politics shrewdly enough that it sometimes fomented progress, prosperity and equality for all.

–*… doing so with a lot of alcohol lubrication and sexual intercourse along the way–just as much as human progress demanded it of his poor, oversexed body.

–*Because a man who can pass civil rights legislation one minute and then the next be widely photographed having sex on a motorboat for the delectation of European paparazzi is just too damn fun to live without.

–*Because his fiery rhetorical style hearkened back to a less cynical time when politicians could still be heroes.

–*… back when we still bought into that kind of thing.

–*Because he got the COBRA Act passed, something that often went unnoticed when so much of the talk was about his trouser snake.

–*Because his greatness was curtailed by his deep human flaws, and that reminded us of our own fragile humanity.

–*… or just made the stupider among us feel superior.

–*… which, you gotta admit, is one of the less-heralded and more necessary talents of great leaders, given how many stupid people there actually are and how many guns they own.

–*Because he was the only one among his brothers to grow old, the designated mourner for their age of idealism, elegance, sophistication and daring.

–*And because, in the end, for all that, you don’t even get a lousy t-shirt.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (API) Nurse Claire Simonton, an RN at local Hazelton Hospital, has seen many types of patients in varying conditions cross the threshold of her emergency room over the past four years. She’s dealt with overdoses, gunshot wounds, toys swallowed by children, etc. But nothing prepared her for the frankly sickening sight last Friday night when Dr. Saul Jacobs wheeled out an EKG machine for a 15-year-old girl who’d come in with a broken arm, witnesses said.

“Wait a minute,” said Simonton. “That’s an EKG.”

“Yeah,” said Jacobs. “Do you have a problem with that?”

“An EKG?” repeated Simonton, her jaw practically lying on the floor at the utterly flagrant use of an unnecessary procedure meant to overcharge the insurance company. “Really? an EKG.”

“You know, we just want to be sure the girl’s OK.”

“With a broken arm? You’re worried about her having a heart attack? Am I on crack? Am I going blind? Or am I actually watching you bring in an electrocardiogram for this girl?”

Simonton and Jacobs sat picking over this mordant rhetorical question for several minutes while the patient, Nancy Wallis, sat in confused silence holding the broken arm, an injury she’d sustained in a Friday night fender bender.

“I just want to make sure I understand this correctly,” said Simonton, laying on the ironic sing-song rhythms, Jacobs thought, a little bit thick and with a great deal of sanctimony, “That girl has a simple broken arm, and probably just needs a splint. But we’re going to give her an EKG. How about doing an echo-cardiogram as well? Or how about a PET scan on her brain? Or why don’t we do extensive blood work and a stand-up MRI?”

“Well it can never hurt.”

Really?”

“I wish you’d stop saying it like that.”

Simonton and Jacobs traded such barbs for several minutes using lots of patronizing rhetorical flourishes and sneers in the five minute conversation, their icy exchange playing out against the backdrop of the most farcical aspects of American health care, specifically doctors’ declining fees for service, an economic fiasco that has them scrambling to overbill insurers and rip them off however possible through procedure miscoding, double billing and other kinds of accounting shenanigans.

“Gee,” said Simonton looking over the girl. “You don’t seem like you’re about to die of a heart attack at all. How strange. And here I thought you were 80 years old. I guess nobody can really be sure about anything these days unless we’ve first checked it with outrageously expensive modern medical equipment. Why as far as I know, you might have a heart like an 60-year-old obese smoker on steroids.”

“I’m not sure what’s going on,” said the patient. “I just busted up my arm a little. You guys are freaking me out.”

As they wheeled the EKG over to the girl and began performing the expensive procedure, Nurse Simonton continued her stream of wry badinage.

“Oooooh!” said Nurse Simonton. “Her heart looks good. In fact, it looks like any heart you’d find in any 15-year-old girl. How’d that happen, I wonder?”

After 30 minutes the exchange ended when Jacobs went home for the night, first delivering a parting shot.

“You really ought to watch your mouth in front of the patients,” he said.

“Take it up with my union rep, asshole,” answered Simonton.

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You’re never able to enjoy your own wedding because you’re so busy. But luckily our good friend Mr. Shumanio made this video of us trading our vows.

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Washington, D.C. (API) A growing number of citizens and lawmakers have grown restive as the Congress fails to take up important legislation this year calling for a large-scale war against the anti-Christ.

“I’m not sure why this effort has been sitting in committee,” says Michelle Olaf, a Republican Congresswoman from North Carolina. “America has long needed strong legislation to defeat the anti-Christ, and the fact that we haven’t shows that we just don’t have the moral resolve to fight evil.

“Even as we speak, poor innocent children are being victimized, buggered and tongue-kissed by evil every second, and blue flames of hell are searing their pristine pink flesh. How can we let this happen in America? These are our children!”

Olaf has held several conference calls on the legislation with parent groups, teachers, community organizers and Fox News. She says the law would strengthen the ability of law enforcement, the FBI, the CIA, the ATF and the clergy, to stamp out evil wherever it resides, whereas now they are hampered by “antiquated laws” like habeas corpus and the Sixth Amendment. It would also give federal authorities more room to pursue investigations against the antichrist that local authorities choose not to. And it would give millions in funding to local authorities to purchase the equipment to find evil and remove it root and branch.

“You can see the pernicious influence of the Beast everywhere in our country,” says Olaf. “He is particularly fond of promising power and redistribution of wealth, most significantly through promises of free health care and childhood welfare programs and other self-aggrandizing measures. He is a self-exalting king. It says quite clearly in the Bible that he will be a sophisticated gentleman and a name dropper.”

Olaf then got on the floor and began praying while speaking in tongues.

“Bozzle bozzle bozzle.”

Among the new items listed in the bill, H.R. 999, are the legalizing of certain forensic testing for seeking out the anti-Christ in all his forms, whether it be through finger-printing, black lighting, DNA testing or a “Sulfur Alert.” Likenesses of the antichrist would show up in every U.S. post office as Jesus depicted him in Chapter 13 of Revelations: a creature likely having seven heads and ten horns, each with a crown.

A special coordinated effort between law enforcement, seminarians and cryptozoologists would furthermore be deployed around the country to seek out any hybrid creatures such as bears with lion feet and dragon heads. Also, anybody who questions that Jesus was God made flesh is likely to be under suspicion of having antichrist-like qualities.

Democrats in Congress gave a measured response.

“What the fuck is this fucking woman ranting about?” asked Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank. “Shouldn’t she be wearing a crash helmet or something? Am I actually having a debate about this with grown-ups? Are you people just an Angel Dust fantasy I’m having? What the fuck?”

Olaf said, “We’re wasting our time in Congress on things like the health care bill, TARP money to shore up the financial system and the Matthew Shepard Act. Nobody has any real priorities here. It’s just a lot of heedless self-interest confounding the efforts of good people to fight evil. Bozzle bozzle bozzle….”

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What are some of the lyrics often misheard on the radio?

Purple Haze
By Jimi Hendrix
Actual lyric: “Scuse me while I kiss the sky.”
Misheard: “Scuse me while I kiss this guy.”

The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight
by REM
Actual lyric: “Call me when you try to wake her up.”
Misheard: “Call me in Talladega”

Bohemian Rhapsody
by Queen
Actual lyrics: “Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me.”
Misheard lyric: “The algebra, the devil and a side of beef”

Jumpin’ Jack Flash
By The Rolling Stones
Actual lyric, “I fell down to my feet and I saw they bled.”
Misheard Lyric: “I fell down on Herve Villechaize.”

Life in the Fast Lane
by The Eagles
Actual Lyric: “Life in the fast lane, surely make you lose your mind.”
Misheard Lyric: “Life in fat lane, surely make you lose your pie.”

Girls Just Want To Have Fun
By Cyndi Lauper
Actual lyric: “When the working day is done, girls just want to have fun.”
Misheard lyric: “At the end of the day, all girls just want to be lesbians.”

Relax
By Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Actual lyric: “Relax, don’t do it, when you want to come.”
Misheard Lyric: “Relax! Have a good time with your best buddy.”

Oops! I Did It Again
By Britney Spears
Actual lyric: “I’m not that innocent.”
Misheard lyric: “If you try to have sex with me, technically it’s statutory rape.”

Yesterday
By The Beatles
Actual lyric: “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away.”
Misheard lyric: “Lead the black man to violent overthrow, Charlie! You, Charlie Manson, We’re talking to you!”

Get The Party Started
By Pink
Actual lyric: “I’m coming up so you better get this party started.”
Misheard lyric: “I have no accountability to anybody and you can all kiss my ass.”

Jesus Take The Wheel
By Carrie Underwood
Actual lyric: “Jesus take the wheel, take it from my hands, cause I can’t do this on my own.”
Misheard lyric: “The Democratic Party wants to kill your special needs baby.”

Beer For My Horses
By Toby Keith
Actual lyric: “You got to draw a hard line.”
Misheard lyric: “The Geneva Convention does not apply to enemy combatants.”

Clouds
By Joni Mitchell
Actual lyric: “I really don’t know clouds at all.”
Misheard lyric: “Obama is the anti-Christ.”

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–*Finishing the roof

–*Waxing the car

–*Getting a bikini wax

–*This really great pop song written for our favorite Ukrainian restaurant in Greenwich Village, Veselka.

–*How we just can’t enjoy this sexual act when the United States is going to socialist hell.

–*How for a minute there during foreplay we thought we had almost grasped Kurt Godel’s incompleteness theorem of formal mathematics.

–*Wittgenstein’s concept of language games

–*Your mother-in-law’s concept of language games

–*Chang and Eng and how weird their sex must have been

–*Why does our cat get upset when we do oral?

–*The perfect ending to our 1,000 page novel.

–*Shit! I forgot to get a baby shower present!

–*Shit! I forgot to brush my teeth!

–*Shit! I forgot to scrub with Purell.

–*Angelina Jolie

–*Brad Pitt

–*Obama Girl

–*Obama

–*”I wonder if Sigmund and the Sea Monsters is on DVD?”

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