Reductio ad Absurdum

As of 11/26/2019, the Newport High School Volleyball team was ranked 138th in the state of Washington and 6205th in the nation. They edged out West De Pere Wisconsin (6206) and are right on the heels of Texas School of the Deaf Austin (6204). Newport is 9-9 and just won a King County Sportsmanship Team of the Year award. I am fascinated by modern technology’s ability to crunch all the data points like strength of schedule to derive information so precise and meaningless. I wallow in statistics (which explains how I unearthed this information) but even I know this is an example of reducing something to the absurd.



When we spatchcock the turkey, our family always says we butterflied it. It just sounds better. Either way, the meat cooks more evenly and the skin is crisper. After Thanksgiving almost anything sounds better than saying the turkey died. The turkey passed away. The turkey is in a better place. The turkey met his maker. If we want to fire the turkey, we say we are letting him go. Or we impeach him. We are not unemployed when we are between jobs. We are not broke when we have a negative cash flow. Prison camps become relocation centers. I prefer the term “intellectually challenged” to most of the common words used to describe me. Just one day turns a Thanksgiving Feast into Leftovers.

Organic Food

Over the last seven years we have have cooked Organic Thanksgiving turkeys at the request of our Polish daughter-in-law even though she is a vegetarian and eats no meat ever. As a seven year old, she was forced to eat sardines for a month after she dumped the family meat supply out the window for the pigs. To this very day she remains unrepentant and sardines are the only fish she will eat. However her children are allowed chicken, turkey, and salmon as long as it comes from Oregon. I have enjoyed all this Organic food but it does tend to be more expensive. Now I see a scandal brewing. I have been studying labels and I think I can prove that not all of this Organic food is actually coming from Oregon.

The Planet Ukraine

The November 25th Borowitz Report features Rudy Giuliani’s claim that he has evidence linking Biden to Obama. This is a good example of why I am so confused. I can no longer tell the difference between Saturday Night Live and CNN. Is Stephen Colbert doing the news and Fox News doing satire skits? I would not be so worried except at my age, the daily sanity checks become more important. An 1898 photo from the University of Washington Archives has sparked a theory that teen climate activist Greta Thunberg is a time traveler here to save us. I am thinking the University of Washington is real, the photograph is real, and that Greta Thunberg is real. But is that really Greta in the picture and is climate change real? Or is climate change real but the University of Washington is a mirage created by Chinese mobster Quid Pro Quo to legitimize the Washington Husky football program. I think Colbert should subpoena Giuliani and maybe we can get to the bottom of the allegations about my sanity.


This past Sunday, I participated in my first Friendsgiving. The event has become increasingly popular over the last decade. One of the guests flew in that day from Rome. When I realized that I would never be invited to a Friendsgiving until I acquired some friends, I asked my wife to cultivate some and it paid off. I went to BuzzFeed to learn the 17 Rules of Friendsgiving so I would not blow my opportunity by participating in the controversial disruptions required at family Thanksgivings. Rule 6 advises that the most reliable guest should be assigned to bring “snacky hors d’oeuvres” because that dish needs to come with someone arriving on time. Although I consider myself reliable, perhaps the hostess was worried about allergies when she declined my proposal to bring Cool Ranch Doritos topped with peanut butter. I was assigned cranberry relish because I did not disclose the ingredients which included Doritos and peanut butter. Rule 15 stipulates that guests who arrive with ingredients they expect to cook or assemble in the host kitchen “might get slapped.” So I ground up the Doritos and stirred in the peanut butter on the host’s front lawn. Friendsgiving turned out to be better than Thanksgiving because friends can be chosen based on their ongoing performance. Family is genetically stuck with me and my toxic reaction to their unfounded allegations about my seventy years of past behavior.

Taste Buds

About 20% of the population are super-tasters. They have more taste buds than medium-tasters (50%) and non-tasters (30%). According to nutritionist Clare Collins, super-tasters are overly sensitive to bitter compounds even at low concentrations. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts taste disgusting to them for scientific reasons involving naturally occurring mustard oils, glucosinolate, and sulphur molecules. I feel bad for kids around the world who have been tortured with vegetables when their resistance is merely a normal genetic reaction. I have always loved vegetables. By the time I grew up, I even realized I did not need the butter and salt my Mother added to make them more palatable. So I received health advantages throughout life and my Mom gave me undeserved credit just because I was born missing some taste buds. I do not feel guilty because I was also born missing many coordination and kindness buds.


Last month my eight year old granddaughter told me she was being bullied at school. This was surprising because she is very popular and I know all her friends and many of her classmates. She identified one of her very best friends as the bully. What did she do? She slapped you? Why? You were playing and she was trying to be funny? The slap was too hard this time and you did not like it? She has done it before? But so have you? What happened next? You both headed to the Vice Principal’s office? She told you both not to do it again? How are you and your friend getting along now? You are best friends? I may be missing some facts and I am glad students are getting comfortable reporting bullying. But times have changed or maybe girls operate a little differently. I had no daughters. I do not recall my brothers or my three sons voluntarily seeking out a Vice Principal about any playground incidents. And there were plenty. Around seventh grade, a classmate slapped me because I was running pass routes while he was quarterback in a tag football game. Apparently I confused him because technically I was not chosen as a player by either team captain. Neither of us headed for the Vice Principal. We both felt that nothing good ever happens there.

Tribal Teachings

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow. Discount the future. These are three teachings of the Heaven Debunker Tribe. The Believer Tribe has responded by adding a third bird and a second egg in the bush. They also lit forest fires outside the bush. The Narcissist Tribe promotes hoarding as many birds, eggs, and hens by whatever means one can acquire them. More importantly, they want Empathy Tribe members to suffer now and forever in the fire set by the Believer Tribe. This is as far as I have gotten on my screenplay. I have not figured out an ending yet.


At Church on Sunday, the homily focused on a familiar reading about the apocalyptic events that forecast the end of the world. I did not listen closely as I began to muse about where we are in the process. I think famine, pestilence, anti-Christs, destruction, death, fire, and geological disasters are all part of the scary formula. Two thousand years ago, people apparently thought the end was imminent and it probably was if you consider a couple of centuries a blink in eternity time. I was trying to figure out if Hitler was part of the apocalypse or if he preceded it. In fact, we have had a continuous stream of all the disasters since the predictive warnings were first given. So apparently a worse magnitude of horror beyond our current capability to imagine is yet to come. And is this apocalypse coming whether or not we heeded warnings to do better? If so, we cannot worry too much. We should just try to avoid doing anything that would disqualify us from going wherever good people go in the end.


Many early sports died out because losers were killed. This kept sports to a manageable number. Now they spring up like weeds in my garden. Canicross competitions began about twenty years ago in the United Kingdom using Huskies and Malamutes. Runners compete harnessed to one or two dogs. All types of dogs are now used and the sport has spread around the world. Related sports include Bikejoring, Skijoring, and Dog Scootering. As I get older I should be getting closer to knowing everything but I am clearly becoming more ignorant. The body of knowledge is increasing exponentially and I am losing brain cells. Yesterday I fled to the internet to remember how to use “greater than” and “lesser than” mathematical signs just to help with second grade homework. My granddaughter now suspects my stories about being a lawyer and executive at a major corporation are chapters between Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy in the Book of Fables.