Back to Skool - A Male Perspective


Classes begin Monday 27 August 2007

Class 1
How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays -
Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 2
The Toilet Paper Roll - Does It Change Itself?
Round Table Discussion.
Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3
Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat and Avoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub?
Group Practice.
Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 4
Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor
Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.
Meets Saturday at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5
After Dinner Dishes -
Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink?
Examples on Video.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 6
Loss Of Identity -
Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other.
Help Line Support and Support Groups.
Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM.

Class 7
Learning How To Find Things -
Starting With Looking In The Right Places And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming.
Open Forum.
Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8
Health Watch -
Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health.
Graphics and Audio Tapes.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 9
Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost -
Real Life Testimonials.
Tuesday at 6:00 PM Location to be determined.

Class 10
Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks?
Driving Simulations.
4 weeks, Saturday noon, 2 hours.

Class 11
Learning to Live -
Basic Differences Between Mother and Wife.
Online Classes and role-playing.
Tuesday at 7:00 PM, location to be determined.

Class 12
How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion
Relaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing Techniques.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours ! Beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 13
How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy -
Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates and Calling When You're Going To Be Late.
Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies Offered.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 14
The Stove/Oven -
What It Is and How It Is Used.
Live Demonstration.
Tuesday at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.

Upon completion of any of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors and immediately hired to staff unfilled Cabinet-level positions for the remainder of the Bush-Cheney term of office. Additional skills unnecessary. Purpose-driven testimony encouraged.

The Ultimate Rejection Letter

Herbert A. Millington
Chair - Search Committee
412A Clarkson Hall, Whitless University
College Hill, DU 34109

Dear Professor Millington,

Thank you for your letter of March 16. After careful consideration, I
regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me
an assistant professor position in your department.

This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually
large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field
of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.

Despite Whitless' outstanding qualifications and previous experience in
rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at
this time. Therefore, I will assume the position of assistant professor
in your department this August. I look forward to seeing you then.

Best of luck in rejecting future applicants.

Chris L. Jensen

Poetry from the Bunker

The below is a short poem made up entirely of actual quotations from the leader (and examplar?) of the most powerful country on the planet, George W. Bush.

These have been arranged, only for aesthetic purposes, by Washington Post writer, Richard Thompson.

Please do not run spellcheck on the following, you computer will shortcircus.

(to bad this administration won't do the same)


I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
And potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet
Become more few?

How many hands have I shaked?
They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.

I know that the human being
And the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope,
Where our wings take dream.

Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher!
I am the Decider!

Help cure Mad Cowboy Disease in 2008 - Vote Godless Socialist Defeatocrats!

Richard Thompson's home page can be found at

Factoids to Bewilder Those Within Earshot

* The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

* Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury.

* It is impossible to lick your elbow.

* The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska

* The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% ... the percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%

* The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

* Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs - Alexander the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar

Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?
A. All were invented by women.

Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?
A. Father's Day

Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son- in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon. least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!

Andrew Franklin: "Poor Publishers! Boo hoo!"

If I spent my life fretting about the ones that got away, I would never attend to the fish in the net. (and when literary culture becomes confused with seafood, we're already in deep doo-doo)

Publishers are everyone's favourite whipping post. We don't pay our authors enough (but we writers know how expensive it is to live in NYC, you poor dears), books are too expensive, and no one likes the ones we love most. Now, on top of it all, we are revealed to be fools (this just in). Yesterday the director of the Bath Jane Austen Festival reported that he submitted thinly disguised versions of Pride and Prejudice and two other Austen favourites to 18 UK publishers, and every single publisher turned them down.

Publishers turn down masterpieces every day and miss the opportunity to publish great bestsellers. Last year I missed Freakonomics. And there are other great books that I am too embarrassed to name. But if I spent my life fretting about the ones that got away I would never attend to the fish in the net (stink as they may). And we can console ourselves with another thought: if we didn't see the potential when it was submitted to us (pretty difficult, after all, when Buffy and Chanteuse, sisters from your Ivy League MFA program, are staffing the office from their respective Rolodexes) we couldn't have published it successfully either. The sort of person who lies awake worrying about the books that they are not publishing is not cut out for the job and should confine themselves to running a cosy literary society (note the hauteur implied by this empty suit, as if such societies are somehow anathematic to our literary culture).

The real reason that publishers miss good books is no secret, and it is nothing to do with literary judgement, knowledge of first lines or acquaintance with the classics (why anyone would expect such acumen from those who populate the NYC literatti is unclear). It is the same reason that film companies miss great scripts and record labels fail to sign up the most interesting bands. It is the numbers game - the sheer volumes of paper (and now, worse still, the email attachments), that cross our desk every day (and, as tentacles of multi-billion dollar media conglomerates, we certainly can't be expected to actually hire more staff! Then we'd have to hire outside our cosy MFA sororities - and where would American letters be then?). Every year 200,000 books are published. This is far too many, and really the first duty of every publisher should be to publish fewer, rather than more, new titles (yes, that's the solution to the health of American letters - cut back on them. Then again, that seems to have worked in our public schools...).

But the situation is worse than that, because for every title that we sign up, we turn down 20 to 30 others. The ratio is worse still for new fiction (otherwise known as: Folks in our Rolodexes looking for a novel credit who, of course, live in NYC). So the math is simple. If an editor commissions 20 titles a year, which is probably about average, they are being asked to consider around 500 manuscripts a year. That is an awful lot of words (forget that we rarely ask for complete manuscripts, staff out the summary of those actual 50 pages, and basically look for pretty fonts, titilating first chapters, and names we either went to school with us, live in our co-op, or are otherwise decidely not from the Forbidden Zone, er, flyover states or some demographic we ourselves don't reflect). No one can be surprised to learn that not every manuscript gets the careful attention it deserves (what is a real surprise is ever finding a fresh manuscript from a fresh name actually get ANY attention, much less, the courtesy of a reply). It should not come as a shock that many manuscripts are returned unread to the sender. We need to clear our desks in order to look after the authors (from aformentioned alumni lists, Rolodexes, co-op neighbors, exchanged business cards from the last mixer, etc) whom we do sign up, and the unsolicited manuscripts are often a chore to be dealt with at the end of the day by an overworked intern (from our MFA program waiting for their first agency gig).

Apparently GPs give their patients an average of six minutes before they are shown the door of the surgery. The average author sending an unsolicited script certainly gets much less. Publishers now rely on specialists - agents, in fact (think of them as the consultants of the publishing profession) - to supply them with novels, though we all still buy some non-fiction directly from authors. To plagiarise, it is a truth universally acknowledged, that the most celebrated fiction houses now only buy fiction from agents (and we all know how utterly qualified agent-types and their office staffs are at husbanding and further developing our precious literary traditions). All serious aspiring authors know this and seek out an agent as an essential stage in the process of finding the right publisher, and of course the best contract too.

That means the unsolicited fiction is now the leftovers. A terrifying proportion of these manuscripts come from people writing in green ink on scraps of Basildon Bond - surely its only use now. And if they aren't in green ink, the manuscripts arrive handwritten in capital letters, or from prison, or from a secure mental hospital. Of course there may be lost masterpieces lurking in the mad rantings of the sad, the bad and the dangerous to know (to plagiarise again), but publishers are not social workers (hell, they're barely publishers).

One of the first things every editor is taught is that the rejection letter should be final, that is, it should not give any opportunity for a response. When you return the manuscript you never want to have to think about it again. So it is fatal to suggest that, for example, the plot is quite good but needs work in the closing chapters, or that there are too many characters, or that the dialogue needs work. Send these suggestions to the writer you don't want and you are entering the long-term relationship from hell, because in three weeks the manuscript will come straight back at you with the changes you have recommended (after all, we can't be bothered with anything that might actually develop into something of value - we want the diamond mine mined, polished, and pre-sold!). So publishers use euphemistic - all right, let's be honest, weaselly (a weaselly publisher? That's like an ethical agent...or an editor who can actually diagram a sentence, freely discuss the canon, and associate with folks who didn't graduate from their same MFA program or live in the Forbidden Zone)- phrases when rejecting manuscripts, like "not quite right for our list" or "would not fit our publishing programme". The clear subtext is that the manuscript is unpublishable and the writer should consign it to their bottom drawer. For ever.

Finally, let's get personal and specific. David Lassman, ├╝ber-Austenite, has sought publicity with the news that a number of publishers have rejected his plagiarised Austen novels. His game is one played on unsuspecting publishers every two or three years and it always brings a wry smile to some faces. Last time it was Fay Weldon, and who knows who will be next? But it proves nothing (except the obvious fact the said editors and publishers have no idea what a Jane Austin novel looks like, which, after all, wasn't part of the Brown MFA program, anyhoo). Jane Austen is, without question, canonical, but she is not contemporary (nor, you blinkered ass, is St. Augustine, Shakespeare, the Bible, von Clauswitz, Tolstoy, Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, or Mark Twain, but they all seem to post pretty healthy numbers for Barnes, Amazon, and Borders). She is not the new voice that publishers are looking for ('new voice'? NEW VOICE?! Exactly which 'new voice' of any national literary value has the NYC literatti managed to produce in the last two decades?). Why would editors now look for a writer describing riding down streets on horses, wearing petticoats, or ordering broughams to call on neighbours, visiting card in hand (I dunno, how was the marketing prognosis for a boy child wizard ten years ago...or an alcoholic ex-sailor in secret service to Her Majesty back in '52)?

John Murray became a rich man publishing Persuasion in 1818, but his firm would have found that Salman Rushdie, Irvine Welsh or Don Delillo were "not quite right for the list". In publishing, time and context (shared alumni lists, exchanged business cards, and the crucial NYC zip & area codes, too) are all. And Jane Austen belongs at the heart of any list of classics, where all her books sell in numerous editions by the hundreds of thousands every year. But a new novel? An Orange Prize winner? As she would not have said: yeah, right, lol.

Inexplicably, Andrew Franklin is publisher and managing director of Profile Books. Poor them.

The Evolution of Math in the United States...or Not

Last week your friendly publisher purchased a burger and fries at McDonalds for $3.58.

The counter girl took my $4.00 and I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies. While looking at the screen on her register, I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried. Why does Danse Macabre tell you this?

Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1960s...

Teaching Math In 1960

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

Teaching Math In 1970

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

Teaching Math In 1980

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

Teaching Math In 1990

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20 Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

Teaching Math In 2000

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers.)

Teaching Math In 2007

Un ranchero vende una carretera de madera para $100. El cuesto de la produccion era $80. Cuantos tortillas se puede comprar?

"We play Country AND Western!"


* Her Teeth Was Stained, But Her Heart Was Pure

* How Can I Miss You, If You Won't Go Away?

* Get Your Biscuits In The Oven, And Your Buns In Bed

* I Keep Forgetten I Forgot About You

* I Don't Know Whether To Kill Myself, Or Go Bowling

* She Got The Ring and I Got The Finger

* You're The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly

* I Just Bought a Car From a Guy That Stole My Girl (but The Car Don't Run; so I figure we Got An Even Deal)

* Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth, Cause I'm Kissin You Good-bye

* I Liked You Better, Before I Knew You So Well

* I Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim's Gettin Better

* I Wouldn't Take Her To a Dog Fight, Cause I'm Afraid She'd Win

* I'll Marry You Tomorrow, But Let's Honeymoon Tonight

* I'm So Miserable Without You, It's Like Having You Here

* Please Bypass this Heart?

* If I Had Shot You When I Wanted To, I'd Be Out By Now

* Mama Get a Hammer, There's a Fly On Papa's Head

* My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don't Love Jesus

* My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend, and I Sure Do Miss Him

As unbiased as a Liberty U. skolar...

A report published by the Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania, detailed its findings of a four month study of the intelligence quotient of President George W. Bush.

Since 1973, the Lovenstein Institute has published its research to the educational community on each new president, which includes the famous "IQ" report among others. There have been twelve presidents over the past 50 years, from F.D. Roosevelt to G.W. Bush, who were rated based on scholarly achievements - 1. Writings that they produced without aid of staff. 2. Their ability to speak with clarity, and several other psychological factors, which were then scored using the Swanson/Crain System of intelligence ranking. The study determined the following IQs of each president as accurate to within five percentage points.

In order by presidential term:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt [D] 142
Harry S Truman [D] 132
Dwight David Eisenhower [R] 122
John Fitzgerald Kennedy [D] 174
Lyndon Baines Johnson [D] 126
Richard Milhous Nixon [R] 155
Gerald R. Ford [R] 121
James Earle Carter [D] 175
Ronald Wilson Reagan [R] 105
George Herbert Walker Bush [R] 98
William Jefferson Clinton [D] 182
George Walker Bush [R] 91

In order of IQ rating:

182 / William Jefferson Clinton [D]
175 / James Earle Carter [D]
174 / John Fitzgerald Kennedy [D]
155 / Richard Milhous Nixon [R]
147 / Franklin Delano Roosevelt [D]
132 / Harry S Truman [D]
126 / Lyndon Baines Johnson [D]
122 / Dwight David Eisenhower [R]
121 / Gerald R. Ford [R]
105 / Ronald Wilson Reagan [R]
98 / George Herbert Walker Bush [R]
91 / George Walker Bush [R]

The six Republican presidents of the past 50 years had an average IQ of 115.5, with President Nixon having the highest at 155. President George W. Bush rated the lowest of all the Republicans with an IQ of 91. The six Democratic presidents of the past 50 years had an average IQ of 156, with President Clinton having the highest IQ, at 182. President Lyndon B. Johnson was rated the lowest of all the Democrats with an IQ of 126. No president other than Carter [D] has released his actual IQ (176). Note the institute measured him at 175.

Among comments made concerning the specific testing of Generalissimo, er, President G.W. Bush, his low ratings are due to his apparently difficult command of the English language in public statements, his limited use of vocabulary [6,500 words for Bush versus an average of 11,000 words for other presidents], his lack of scholarly achievements other than a basic MBA (from Harvard?!), and an utter absence of any body of work which could be studied on an intellectual basis.

The complete report documents the methods and procedures used to arrive at these ratings, including depth of sentence structure and voice stress confidence analysis. "All the Presidents prior to George W. Bush had a least one book under their belt, and most had written several white papers during their education or early careers. Not so with President Bush," Dr. Lovenstein said. "He has no published works or writings, which made it more difficult to arrive at an assessment. We relied more heavily on transcripts of his unscripted public speaking."

The Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania think tank includes high caliber historians, psychiatrists, sociologists, scientists in human behavior, and psychologists. Among their ranks are Dr. Werner R. Lovenstein, world-renowned sociologist, and Professor Patricia F. Dilliams, a world-respected psychiatrist.

Cats and Dogs


7 am - Oh boy! A walk! My favorite!
8 am - Oh boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9 am - Oh boy! The kids! My favorite!
Noon - Oh boy! The yard! My favorite
2 pm - Oh boy! A car ride! My favorite!
3 pm - Oh boy! The kids! My favorite!
4 pm - Oh boy! Playing ball! My favorite!
6 pm - Oh boy! Welcome home Mom! My favorite!
7 pm - Oh boy! Welcome home Dad! My favorite!
8 pm - Oh boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9 pm - Oh boy! Tummy rubs on the couch! My favorite!
11 pm - Oh boy! Sleeping in my people's bed! My favorite!


Day 183 of my captivity.

My captors continued to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from clawing the furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another house plant. Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded - must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favourite chair - must try this on their bed.

Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body in an attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear in their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was. Hmmm, not working according to plan. There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the food. More importantly, I overheard that my confinement was due to my powers of inducing "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird, on the other hand, has got to be an informant and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured. But I can wait; it is only a matter of time.

Jewish Buddhist Haiku

If there is no self,
whose arthritis is this?

Be here now.
Be someplace else later.
Is that so complicated?

Drink tea and nourish life.
With the first sip ... joy.
With the second ... satisfaction.
With the third ... peace.
With the fourth, a danish.

Wherever you go, there you are.
Your luggage is another story.

Accept misfortune as a blessing.
Do not wish for perfect health,
Or a life without problems.
What would you talk about?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single "oy."

There is no escaping karma
In a previous life, you never called,
you never wrote, you never visited.
And whose fault was that?

Zen is not easy.
It takes eff ort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?

The Tao does not speak.
The Tao does not blame.
The Tao does not take sides.
The Tao has no expectations.
The Tao demands nothing of others.
The Tao is not Jewish.

Breathe in. Breathe out.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Forget this and attaining Enlightenment

will be the least of your problems.

Let your mind be as a floating cloud.
Let your stillness be as the wooded glen.
And sit up straight.
You'll never meet the Buddha with such rounded shoulders.

Be patient and achieve all things.
Be impatient and achieve all things faster.

To Find the Buddha, look within.
Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers.
Each flower blossoms ten thousand times.
Each blossom has ten thousand petals.
You might want to see a specialist.

To practice Zen and the art of Jewish motorcycle maintenance,

do the following:
Get rid of the motorcycle.
What were you thinking?
Be aware of your body.
Be aware of your perceptions.
Keep in mind that not every physical sensation

is a symptom of a terminal illness.

The Torah says, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
The Buddha says there is no "self." So, maybe you are off the hook.

60's are the New...70?

Some of the vocal artists of the '60s are revising their hits with new lyrics to accommodate aging baby boomers. They include:

Herman's Hermits - Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Walker

The Bee Gees - How Can You Mend a Broken Hip?

Bobby Darin - Splish, Splash, I Was Havin' a Flash

Ringo Starr - I Get By With a Little Help From Depends

Roberta Flack - The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face

Johnny Nash - I Can't See Clearly Now

Paul Simon - Fifty Ways to Lose Your Liver

The Commodores - Once, Twice, Three Times to the Bathroom

Marvin Gaye - Heard It Through the Grape Nuts

Procol Harem - A Whiter Shade of Hair

Leo Sayer - You Make Me Feel Like Napping

The Temptations - Papa's Got a Kidney Stone

Abba - Denture Queen

Tony Orlando - Knock 3 Times (On The Ceiling If You Hear Me Fall)

Helen Reddy - I Am Woman, Hear Me Snore

Willie Nelson - On the Commode Again

Leslie Gore - It's My Procedure and I'll Cry If I Want To

BULWER-LYTTON - The Winners!

The year's top 10 winners of the Bulwer-Lytton contest, a.k.a. "The Dark and Stormy Night Contest" (run by the English Department of San Jose State University), wherein one writes only the first line of a very bad (but possibly, publishable) novel:

* "As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it."

* "Just beyond the Narrows, the river widens."

* "With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned, unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description."

* "Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along the t wall: 'Andre creep... Andre creep... Andre creep.'"

* "Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back alley sex-change surgeon to become the woman he loved."

* "Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from eeking out a living at a local pet store."

* "Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do."

* "Like an over-ripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor."

* "Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the meaning of the word 'fear'; a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of death -- in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies."


"The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog's deception, screaming madly, 'You lied!"

Headlines from 2027

* 85-year, $75.8 billion study: Diet and Exercise are the keys to weight loss.

* Average weight of Americans drops to 250 lbs.

* Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, Mexifornia, formerly known as California. White minorities still trying to have English recognized as Mexifornia's third language.

* Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crops and livestock.

* Baby conceived naturally. Scientists stumped.

* Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.

* Last remaining Fundamentalist Muslim dies in the American Territory of the Middle East (formerly known as Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon).

* Iran still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels.

* France pleads for global help after being taken over by Jamaica.

* Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.

* George Z. Bush says he will run for President in 2028.

* Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only.

* Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed, they now can photograph a woman with her mouth shut.

* Massachusetts executes last remaining conservative.

* Average height of NBA players now nine feet, seven inches.

* New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by January 2036.

* Congress authorizes direct deposit of formerly illegal political contributions to campaign accounts.

* IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75 percent.

* Florida voters still having trouble with voting machines

Things you have to believe to be a Republican today...

* Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of the environment, homosexuals, and Hillary.

* Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

* Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

* The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iran.

* A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

* The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

* If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

* A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

* Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism. HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

* Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

* A president lying about an extra-marital affair is an impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

* Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

* The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving and military records are none of our business.

* Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

* What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '60s is irrelevant.

Friends don't let friends vote Republican.


"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." Groucho Marx