Sunday, February 26, 2012


The Clown Car is slowing to a halt. No longer is it filled to the bursting with its notorious cargo of floppy-shoed, face-painted, bulbous-nosed clowns. Where once there were as many as nine clowns in the circus, the count has fallen now to an anemic four.

Somewhere along the line the calliope fell silent, and nobody called for the band to play “Parade of the Clowns” when the half-empty Clown Car rolled into town. It was as if the crowd had grown weary of the same calcified clown expressions painted on their dour, droopy faces.

Gone is the “Yeah, I’m that dumb!” smile of Governor Rick Perry. Our loss is the State of Texas’ gain, and they’re welcome to it! Gone, too, is the pinch-ass black Pizza Man who couldn’t keep his hands off the anchovies. And quickly forgotten, too, is his suggested 10% flat tax proposal, which always sounded suspiciously like a “three pizzas for the price of two” Super Bowl Special. And thankfully gone is everyone’s Foster Mom of The Year, and her vacuous smile and unctuous genuflection to those buzz-killing Tea Party Crazies who, if the government was a wooden ship would set it ablaze, instantly complaining it was no longer seaworthy!

And so the pack has thinned and we are left with four Gladiator Clowns who will fight each other to the death. That fellow at the wheel with the double-sided smile is Richie Rich. Far and away the wealthiest and most good-looking of the pack, Richie is known for his skills as a shape-shifter. `

Sitting in the passenger seat is “Grumpy” who enjoys the longest tenure in the Republican Primary Circus, his libertarian views so antiquated you need a quill pen to copy them down. And in the back seat are the two roadblocks to what was always seen as Richie Rich’s cakewalk to the nomination—Rick Sanctorum and Newt The Snoot. Newt, by the way, also a skillful chameleon who, after traumatizing the nation as Speaker of the House wants a second chance as President.

So now we have to listen to these four Clowns through the spring, traveling from state to state, venting a toxic discharge of venom, fear and censorious harangues against the poor, the sick, the elderly, the unemployed and the President of the United States, all of whom are strangely disliked by the wealthiest human beings in our country whose views and interests these clowns really represent, and for whose millions they fastidiously shake their flirtatious butts.

What does it say about the crowds to whom the clowns make their appeal that such selfish and mean-spirited principles hold sway? That gays should once again have to prove their equality, that rather than tax the wealthy we can no longer afford to care for each other? On top of that, each clown except for Grumpy, would reflexively build up the army so in a few short years we’d have to find another war to fight.

I can only hope the people for whom these clowns have fashioned their show will prove to be a small segment of the population. In their zeal to protect their guns, the Constitution and their tax dollars, they have transformed themselves into Roman Citizens of Old who, I imagine, once sated with their circuses and gladiatorial entertainments, would hie away to eat their bread in silence.

That would be nice.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Me And The Boys

Me And The Boys were sitting around the Capital talking about you girls. Finding out why you had to have such special treatment when it came to rape and birth control. Just thought I’d tell you some of what we decided, so you hear it from me and not just read about it in the newspapers.

First off, we took a look at a newly-proposed law in Virginia. The one where a raped woman would have to undergo an invasive, rape-like ultra-sound procedure before she could have an abortion…? Know the one I mean?

Well, Me And The Boys had us a good laugh about that one. A real three alarm guffaw!

Me And The Boys—and all the men we interviewed for our committee—think the Virginia law might actually encourage lewd behavior amongst the more adventurous of you licentious ladies. What a laugh to think how that medical probe could prove a real attraction!

Y'see, Me And The Boys know all about you ladies! Know what's best for you, too.

Good thing you have a congressional committee to watch over your reproductive rights, a committee mostly made up of Me And The Boys, to tell you what to do with your bodies and the best ways to stay healthy. Otherwise, just imagine all the foolishness you might get into.

FYI: During his testimony, his Eminence Bernard Cardinal Lawness, spoke praisingly of the Rhythm Method and promised to host "Rhythm Parties" if there were enough interested Catholic boys. Something you might keep in mind.

This aint easy to say, but Me And The Boys think that things would be a whole lot better if you didn’t let yourself get raped, if you know what I mean. Then you wouldn’t need to get grilled, groped and digitally penetrated by the blue meanies. Nor have to worry about them videotaping the whole thing, then laughing when they play the video at department meetings.

We don’t wish to tell you what to do with your bodies, ladies, we just want to tell you what NOT to do. Me And The Boys never wear condoms when we lay down our pecker tracks, so why should you girls use anything? Learning about contraception, or how to make good decisions for your life, if it comes to that, isn’t a God-given right. Who says your health plan has to help you stay healthy if you work for a church affiliated institution?

And last thing—Me And The Boys like it when you ladies—especially you curvaceous beauties—wear your blouses half unbuttoned at committee hearings! And a suggestion, if you don’t think it too crude…did you ever see that movie with the Sharon Stone interrogation scene…?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I, Betty Crocker

I was born at the age of 42.

Some of you might regard that as a handicap, but at the time I assumed everyone was born fully grown in a corporate test kitchen. In fact, I still think of it as an advantage; like being born with a silver spoon in my hand.

My parents were industrious and successful advertising icons themselves. Mom was the housewife on the Crispy Cornpads cereal boxes, Dad the cartoon character in the Gillette Safety Razor commercials who always stroked his chin and declared, "Feels smoother, too!"

My parents were proud of me from the start and encouraged me to think of myself as more than a mere advertising symbol. Knowing from their own experience how difficult life could be for someone who never had a childhood, adolescence or early adulthood, they arranged for me to play with other celebrities like myself. Thus, I led a very active social life, and still fondly recall those days when the Gerber Baby, the Morton Salt Girl (what a klutz!), the Ivory Snow Mother and myself would stay up till all hours of the night exchanging recipes and baby care advice.

It's easy to judge one's parents by today's standards, but in truth it was a far different world back then. So, it's not surprising that my parents wouldn't allow me to play with Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, or that my father threatened to lock me up in the kitchen if I so much as glanced in the Marlboro Man's direction.

Ah, the Marlboro Man! There was a fellow who could turn the head of any woman who spent most of her days on cake mix boxes. But like most things in life, the dream was far more interesting than the reality. Later on, when I had the chance to date Mr. Marlboro, I found him to be dull, insipid and totally lost without his horse. Not only that, there was an aura of stale smoke always hovering around him and fouling his breath. It was all you could do to let your nostrils open for even the smallest intake of smelly, cigarette-reeking air.

I laugh now to think of my father's Victorian attitudes, but having worked in men's magazines his entire career, he had seen too many unsuspecting females whose advertising careers were ruined by associating with the wrong type of commercial characters. So, except for a brief relationship with that boy who kept getting sand kicked in his face in Charles Atlas ads, I was never allowed to go out on dates until the start of the Second World War.

The war years, with their food shortages and rationing, were lonely years for me, and I recall staring down long empty supermarket aisles waiting for a chance to wave at the Gorton's Fisherman or Tony the Tiger as they went by. By then, I had developed a line of hot breakfast cereals that put me on the shelf next to the one real love of my life.

Modesty forbids me to reveal the intimate details of my relationship with the Quaker Oats Quaker -- or 'Quaky' as we used to call him -- but you'll most likely remember from the fan magazines that we were seen at all the "in" places, dancing till dawn, burying ourselves in confetti, drinking champagne from Buster Brown slippers.

Sad to say, it was an affair fated for an unhappy ending. Inevitably, gossip about our relationship reached into the corporate headquarters of both our companies, and rulings came down from both mountaintops forbidding fraternization between competing brands. Quaky went into brief seclusion while I was given the first of my "new looks" by my personal illustrator, a total revamp that not only changed my look but my entire personality as well.

To be honest, with my new personality I suddenly discovered new appetites rising up within me, so that stuffy old icons like Quaky began to have about as much appeal as cold oatmeal. Shocking to say, I began seriously looking around for the kind of relationships my father had always worried about.

And so, girls, I began to experiment with more exotic spices.

NEXT: "No Kitchen Could Hold Me," Betty's honest look back at her "lost years" and her torrid, love-hate relationship with the Pillsbury Doughboy.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


The Catholic Church, ratcheting up its attack on President Obama, under the guise of fighting for "Religious Liberty", has virtually leaped into the fray with an alacrity that would have seemed appropriate for protecting the safety of its children, but has been reserved all these years for just such a time as this, when government regulations to protect the welfare of women and reduce unwanted pregnancies are threatening the church’s essential core freedoms.

Which freedoms are those? The freedom to prevent church or diocese employees from enjoying the same access to contraceptives and family planning that the rest of society takes for granted. The freedom to ensure that families trapped in crushing poverty by unwanted and unsupportable births will never escape their destitution. The freedom to thwart birth control for many women and thus encourage their desperate recourse to abortions. The freedom for the bishops to take federal and state funds for their social programs without ever having to answer to anybody or any governmental institution about anything.

And what exactly are these bishops protecting? Who decided that a drop of semen or an unfertilized egg is so precious to the Divinity that no action must be allowed or countenanced—under threat of political damnation—to keep these two from conjugating?

Who asked these beacons of moral authority to take time out from cleaning up the mess brought about by the church’s wholesale sacrifice of hundreds—in some cases thousands—of childhoods to the sexual appetites of its
priests, so they can lecture the President on their rights and religious liberties? Where was their vigilance when the innocence of children was at stake? Where was their outrage when children’s welfare and safety was put at risk repeatedly under the liberty they took to protect the church’s reputation as a defender of the poor and the weak?

As we listen to the shrill complaints of the bishops, we should ask ourselves which would concern Jesus more, the plight of the poor or the preservation of doctrines that cement their poverty and suffering?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Romney Changes Party, Religion, Blood-Type

Salt Lake City, UT—Mitt Romney today made the boldest moves yet of his political life, changing both his religion and blood-type after a dismal showing in recent Republican primary contests. You'll recall, as reported earlier on these pages, that Mr. Romney had switched his party allegiance from Republican to Democrat after a similarly dismal showing in the South Carolina primary.

When asked if this wasn't more proof of his pandering to the opinions and prejudices of an extreme, narrow-minded electorate, Romney said, "Heck, Anne and I have been thinking of becoming Seventh Day Adventists for years, so our conversion had nothing to do with unfavorable poll numbers for the Mormon religion. And the plain honest truth about this business of changing blood types is that I'm fed up with people telling me how cold-blooded and distant they think I am. Researchers on my personal medical team have advised that I can heat things up with a different blood type, something you might find more prevalent amongst hispanic populations.

"Is it expensive to change blood types?" Romney rhetorically asked. "You bet it is! But, gosh darn, it's so critically important that we defeat Obama, I would make any sacrifice.

When asked if we could anticipate any future changes, Romney smiled and replied, "Hey guys, what you see today isn't always what you'll get tomorrow. I'm a servant of the people and I have to follow their lead wherever it may bring me. I'll take no change options off the table. Except of course for my name. I'm not changing from Romney, no matter what anyone says.

"Besides, it's far too difficult changing names on a Swiss bank account!"

Friday, February 3, 2012

Church Declares Life Begins With ‘First Tingle’

Vatican City—The Catholic Church, ratcheting up its attack on President Obama, under the guise of fighting for "Religious Liberty", today announced its newest doctrine on the sanctity of human life. Declaring that human life no long begins at the moment of conception, as has been promulgated for decades, but rather at the moment of ‘inspiration’ or 'the first tingle', the church declared war on a long litany of activities, books, cocktails and popular entertainers it considered unduly stimulating to humankind’s baser instincts. In essence, the church was reasserting its god-given authority over the Obama administration and anyone else who would curtail the church's right to define morality and appropriate sexual behavior for Americans

“We’ve taken the act of creation—truly an act of God—to its primal stage, the exact moment the idea of fornication first rises in the mind of a man or a woman,” said, Bernard Cardinal Law, the church’s newly appointed Cardinal of Rectitude and Moral Sincerity, as the Vatican released a three-mile-long list of films, books and popular songs it considered “life-creating trash”. Under threat of excommunication, those prurient materials have been decreed officially off bounds for millions of Roman Catholic devotees around the globe because, as Cardinal Law explained, “they invariably lead to genital stimulation, which is a clear sign that an individual has been divinely inspired to create life.”

Some of the more surprising entries on the church’s list include Anne of Green Gables, Lassie Come Home, I Love Lucy and The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. When asked specifically why Anne of Green Gables was banned and Portnoy’s Complaint wasn’t, Cardinal Law reminded his interviewer that redheaded women were often regarded as objects of desire for their hair color alone, while masturbation or self-abuse was considered by the fathers of the church to be the last acceptable “spilling of the Lord’s seed.”

When asked how the church could possibly enforce such a wide-ranging ban on what were previously thought to be acceptable forms of interaction and mental stimulation, Cardinal Law promised there would be a priest in every bar, every rave, every singles dance, every whorehouse and every bedroom in the Christian world.

Within minutes of the church’s announcement, three of the four politicians vying for the Republican presidential nomination hailed the church’s newest doctrine for its potential to create thousands of new jobs for priests and censors.

Mitt Romney, avowed-but-shaky Republican front runner, questioned, “Why can’t President Obama come up with a jobs bill even half as creative as this.” Adding with an impish smile, “Or should I say pro-creative!”