Some People

Some people think I am cool because I wear shorts in Winter. Others think wearing boxer shorts outside in the cold is both dangerous and indecent. Some people think I am daring because I start Wordle games with words like QUACK and VINYL. Unfortunately, the people of Some live entirely in my head while the Others populate the real world. The Some are heavily outnumbered and their bickering inside my head makes me appear insane to the Others. My attempts to appease voices in my mind got me labelled “wishy-washy” in work performance reviews and peer evaluations at work. I was never able to decide whether or not I liked being known as wishy-washy. I admit to being a devil’s advocate but took that job only because everyone deserves a fair trial. Luckily, the devil has never been happy with my performance as I too easily see the other side of any argument. I damn him with faint praise whenever he is my client. He is also the one who insists I use male pronouns when I refer to him.

When I was a young man, I picked a fight with a lawyer whose firm was representing a school district attempting to ban girls from playing on the football team. I was amused that the lawyer had three daughters while I was the father of three sons. The Some convinced me that it made sense to take a position on the spur of the moment to publicly debate an attorney heavily armed with facts, expert opinions, and arguments in preparation for trial. I had only arrogance and intoxication on my side and was anything but wishy-washy. The jury of revelers seemed uncomfortable but I thought I won handily. My wife was Jury Foreman and maintains I lost because we stopped getting invited to parties. That is just as well because the Devil does some of his best work at those events.


Some New Metrics

Age and weight are big in the numbers game. Is Biden too old? Is Trump too fat? Should a 20 year old drink alcohol? Is Nicole Richie too thin? Few people like to be labeled as just a number unless the number is one. But I suggest we define ourselves with more numbers. I am 75, so relatively young to be President. The age qualification is actually 35 and you must be a natural born resident of the United States for the preceding 14 years. I do not know if I was born natural, breech, or Caesarean but I am overqualified for the job anyway. You can procure a Driver’s License as a teenager but you must also pass both a written test (I once failed) and a driving test. Besides being a law school graduate, I had to take a three day Bar Exam twice just to be a lawyer. The second Exam was required partly because I scored only 6 out of 10 on my first crack at the Ethics Essay question. By contrast, Supreme Court Justices are not required to be lawyers, trained in Ethics, or held accountable for outrageous moral breaches.

My medical team already measures my glucose, globulin, and glabella. Hopefully we are on the verge of measuring Greed, Honesty, and Compassion. Forbes published a list of 2540 billionaires and Fortune Magazine could produce an algorithm to define levels of de facto Greed. Potential candidates should be ineligible to run for President until they lower any Obscene Greed score. They could still be criminally rich, just not President. Ancient Greeks seemed befuddled by infinite numbers. Biblical references I could find only went to “one thousand thousands” (one million). Multi million numbers were not as popular as they are today when the ultra wealthy try to squeeze billions of camels through the eye of a needle. Surely we can calculate a number for such Arrogance.

Women are theoretically eligible to be President even if they are poor, in much the same way as I am technically eligible to play professional football. Even with all the genders in existence, apparently only males possess the intangibles that make one fit for the Presidency. We should measure those intangibles. Goodwill can be calculated in the sale of a business. So Honesty and Compassion should be as easy to grade as my disgraceful Ethics score. Minimum levels should be established. What gets measured gets done. We have been over rewarding greed and dishonesty at the highest levels.

I do not pretend to meet any minimum standards myself. When it comes to Commandments and Deadly Sins, I do not score well when the fine print is considered. I was too dumb and lazy to profit excessively from my greed. I could not succumb to temptation when it found me too uninteresting to tempt. Like Jimmy Carter, I confined my lusting to my heart. As an admitted sinner, I feel qualified to propose these new metrics which should be easier to implement than solutions to the epidemic of school killings, mass murders, and arming of idiots.


How to Solve Your Rat Problem Like a New Yorker was posted by Margolit Cutle on The New Yorker website on April 10th. We are a Plagiarism Free site which means we dispense plagiarism for free. But I am not New York fluent and too unsophisticated to understand the satire, let alone steal it. My true story is how to solve your rat problem like a Seattleite. In February, a bicyclist in a pricey neighborhood was throwing birdseed to his feathered friends. Bobin Pseudonym (BP) accosted the bicyclist when his homemade concoction began landing in a neighbor’s yard. BP impersonated his neighbor, telling Ratman Bicyclist that he was actually feeding rats who were invading “his” yard. Ratman and BP exchanged unpleasantries that included obscenities and threats about notifying the authorities. This debate raged between two old geezers in their mid 70’s with too much time on their hands. BP reached for his phone and Ratman asked if he was going to shoot him. But BP merely took his picture and later photographed a rat in the neighbor’s yard. BP made 8×10 photos of Ratman to post around the neighborhood. I swiped a few to display in my suburban neighborhood in case Ratman bikes across the bridge to feed our rats.

BP needed a perpetrator name and address to file a complaint with the County, so he organized friends and family to text each other with Ratman sightings. Eventually someone tailed Ratman from Trader Joes to his residence. So the County sent a complaint to Ratman and provided both parties with forms, regulations, and scary details about the Giant Rat of Sumatra. Ratman retaliated by sneaking around the neighbor’s property and was filmed specifically throwing more birdseed over the fence. BP’s attorney warned him that his neighbor might not appreciate this Rat War when Ratman escalates and begins throwing dog excrement and garbage in said neighbor’s yard. Currently BP is planning on printing up tee shirts with Ratman’s picture under the heading Rat on a Rat with a County hotline number. Some of BP’s supporters have bailed but I am hoping BP succeeds in ridding the city of rats. I plan to help by ordering a couple dozen Rat on a Rat tee shirts because I think they will make cool Christmas presents, especially if either or both parties are on the national news or in jail by then.

For Your Own Good

I am going to tell you some things for your own good. It hurts me more than it will hurt you because I am under a self-serving delusion of nobility. You will thank me later no matter how cruel I seem in the moment. Some tough love for you:

Thank your parents for toilet training you. I never thanked mine for what I know must have been a dreadful chore because they never bragged about how quickly I caught on. Yet they often spoke about my skill at walking (10.5 months), talking, and eating (I can still do all three at the same time).

Thank your teachers for schooling you in the 3R’s. I rarely thanked mine for what must have been a tedious and unsatisfying assignment, considering Reading, Riting, and Rithmetic have all been rendered obsolete by Siri, Alexa, chat graphics, and phone calculators.

Thank anyone who bothers to give you constructive criticism. I have never been good at this because I am a carrier of the Kill the Messenger gene. If you have been humiliated when arguing the Affirmative for Cereal is a Soup in a Debate tournament, learn from it. Do not retaliate the next morning by pouring vegetable stock in your opponent’s cereal. Trust me on this.

People who can forgive are a treasure. Be a treasure. Good friends are often better at it than family because kin sometimes need to punish you as part of the forgiveness deal. Thank your significant other for being the better half of your relationship because lying is not always a bad strategy. Cry a river. Build a bridge. Get over it.

Twice Removed

This post was intended for May 6th but WordPress insisted on publishing it this past Thursday. After twice removing it, I have given in since email subscribers have seen it anyway. Today’s regularly scheduled post has been moved to who knows where.

I am a second cousin twice removed from the mystic Edgar Cayce. Before they try to remove me again, I am documenting my gift of premonition passed to me by my Kentucky grandmother Lucille Cayce. My dreams began in high school. As a Junior, I had a premonition about flunking Chemistry. I thought cheating would thwart the prediction but I failed at that too. My Mother’s dream of travelling to Sweden while I accepted a Nobel Prize turned into a nightmare realization that her oldest child was doomed to life as a lawyer. Truth be told (a rarity on this site), my Mom had earlier implemented contingency plans by giving birth to six more children (one at a time) after I was born.

When in college, I had a premonition that my girlfriend since high school was going to dump me. She did so in both my Freshman and Sophomore year, so I was twice removed by two other boyfriends. My Mother thought said girlfriend was making a very big mistake. So Mom and I reconciled and bonded over that truth, forgetting all about the Chemistry experiment that blew up in our faces. I drowned my sorrow on the party circuit and one night discovered an egg salad sandwich buried behind all the beer in the refrigerator. I had a premonition it would make me sick but I had the munchies and poor judgment, so I removed it twice, once from the refrigerator and then again from my stomach.

I grew weary of fighting the premonitions. When I dreamt I would flunk the Bar Exam, I removed myself from the Bar Review course, partied, and flunked. On the second try I was shocked and pleasantly surprised that examiners had removed essays in favor of Multi-State multiple choice questions. My premonitions on answers finally paid off in that Guess for Success environment. One of my recurring premonitions is that I will live to be 100. So far so good. I am 75 but look 85, so I am only fifteen years away and counting on advancements in Chemistry to help bridge that gap.

Garden Party

I found my way home yesterday for the second consecutive time. My memory has improved ever since I began taking ice cream supplements. I knocked on wood to insure that my good luck would hold and asked my wife Mollie to see who was knocking at the door. Nobody was there and she had a long conversation with him. She would not tell me what they talked about because she thinks I cannot keep a secret. Which is ridiculous. The other people I tell are the ones who cannot keep their mouths shut. Doctors are the worst. Every time I confide in them, they send me to specialists who prescribe medicine with horrible side effects. Pretty soon nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and the FedEx guy all know my most embarrassing secrets.

One secret item not found on my resume is a magna cum laude degree I earned from the College of Big Meddling and Criticizing. Big MAC taught me that Nature abhors a vacuum. When I am doing the talking, I am invariably boring people. But if I restrain myself, some other boring person fills the vacuum. That does not mean that I hang with uninteresting people. At a garden party where Stephen Hawking was explaining Einstein’s E=MC squared formula, my eyes glazed over. I interjected that I was working on E=MC cubed but everyone yawned. I gravitated toward the bar and told Jerry Seinfeld that Jane Fonda had a suppository in her left ear. He quickly excused himself to go tell her where her missing hearing aid was.

Keep Your Promises

I have been married for over 53 years, so I am always prepared for people to ask: “What is the secret to a long marriage?” No one has asked yet but when we celebrate our 75th Anniversary at age 97, journalists will be legally and ethically required to pose the question. The answer is different for each person and it changes over time. When I was young, I told everyone that my wife Mollie was a free spirit and planned to run off some day and disappear. I hoped this notion would take root in the collective consciousness of family and friends and help me avoid being the primary suspect if she turned up missing. After the dawn of the Century of Constant Surveillance, going missing became more difficult because we have tracking devices embedded in our hands and cameras recording our every movement. We cannot be erased from social media even if we die.

As the years together add up, I have begun considering whether long marriages require two people with rigid belief systems who stubbornly resist change no matter how strong the case is for flexibility. Or perhaps the secret is merely two people who can never admit mistakes or who are too boring and lazy to change old habits. Mollie is inspecting my draft and wondering why I am trying to annoy those who do not have long marriages and insult the ones who do. We make a great team. She keeps our marriage alive by asking provocative questions like that. And I provide the rigidity by ignoring them.

Longevity Tips

I did the first fifty years on my own but have been counting on the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) to get me the second half of the way to 100 years old. Three tips I excerpted from the December/January AARP Magazine:

(1) Tai chi is not a beverage for those who suffer from dyslexia but rather a martial art practiced for defense and health. Tai chi balance exercise: “Stand on one foot for 30 seconds and balance, then switch.” This seems counterintuitive. Seniors are warned that our biggest threat is falling down. And standing on one foot is the fastest way to fall down. I have trouble remaining upright on two feet. If I could balance on one foot for half a minute, I would be in little danger of ever falling down.

(2) One of the ten “subtle signs” that you might have Osteoporosis is “broken bones.” Presumably from doing crazy things like entering Standing on One Foot contests at the Senior Citizen Center. I could write such warnings. One of the subtle signs that you are dead: lack of breathing for over an hour.

(3) One product that “could save your life” just by going to the bathroom: “The Heart Seat by Casana is a toilet seat that measures blood pressure, blood oxygen and heart rate.” The seat shares the data it gathers to a “secure dashboard” which allows primary care physicians and/or cardiologists to monitor your health trends. I may have to opt out of some of these measures and settle for just making it to age 90.

Free Range Parenting

For over five years, I posted every day. Last year I tried every other day, then once a week. I would vow to Blog once a month but my rules always break. Years ago I agreed to babysit my granddaughter Zofia for her working parents on the condition that no playdates would occur in my home. After being maneuvered into a steady stream of playdates, my wife Mollie put my foot down and insisted on at least banning sleepovers for classmates. Exceptions crept in for emergencies like pouting. A couple weeks ago we hosted Zofia and another fifth grader overnight. They set an alarm for 4am “to see the sunrise.” While waiting for the mythical winter sun in Seattle, they took turns zipping each other into our biggest suitcase and pushing it down the stairs. I told them it was not a good idea, so I was shocked when Mollie discovered they kept doing it after I went back to bed. I explained that the girls insulated their torture chamber with a sleeping bag and pillows but Mollie just stared at me with a familiar look that silently screamed (profanity deleted): “I am married to a complete idiot!”

Amazingly, I have been accused of being a helicopter parent and grandparent, although I have always delegated all hovering to Mollie. Last November, I babysat Zofia (and a different classmate) for my daughter-in-law Asia in their 1200 square foot condominium. Asia returned after a few hours but interrupted my walk home with an angry phone call demanding (profanity deleted): “How dare you move my furniture around?” I wondered if she had put tape on the legs of her living room chair to catch me using her desk while passing the time on my phone. So I responded defiantly, “What furniture?” She began ranting at me, yelling that I was playing dumb and gaslighting her. So I returned to the condo and found that two skinny little girls had rearranged all Zofia’s heavy bedroom furniture (bed, bookcase, dresser, and desk). My helicopter has finally crashed into a smoldering pyre of gross negligence. Free babysitters are by definition worth nothing but at least Asia loves the rearranged furniture now that she realizes I had no part in the redecorating.

January 5th

January 5th is a big day in our family because two grandchildren share that birthdate. No Unites States President was born on January 5th, although we cannot be absolutely sure about Barack Obama. Only two Presidents were even born in the first four weeks of January: Millard Fillmore (7th) and Richard Nixon (9th). Calvin Coolidge died on January 5th and one Vice President (Walter Mondale) was born on January 5th. Likewise, famous people and celebrities born on this date are only pedestrian B Lister types you might expect to see on Dancing with the Stars or The Apprentice. So we are excited about the possibility that Sebastian (age 19) and Noemi (age 15) could become preeminent superstars of the January 5th Club. All they need to do is become President, cure cancer, or be the first to walk on Mars. The possibilities are endless. I like to think they are talented enough to pull something big out of the Birthday Hat. Maybe they can wipe out my disappointment at losing (so far) the battle for most prominent person born on August 20th to wimpy President Benjamin Harrison.