At the Body Shop

PROLOGUE

Before I jump into the actual blog-story, I wanted to quickly say that I will soon return to my ongoing series on A New U.S. Constitution. Do not worry. Those of you awaiting Part 3 won’t be overly discouraged or disappointed that I might have forgotten. Because I knew you were. 😉 I’ve been wanting to post this quick musing for many months now and thought NOW would be just as good a time as any. Therefore, let’s jump right in… or as they say in football/soccer, “Get stuck in!

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The other day I was having a half-serious, half-joking discussion with a friend. She had asked how life was going for me. I replied to her with a question, as I often do, so as not to waste anyone’s time. I asked, “Do you want the prim-n-proper, standard, social answer, or do you want the brute truth?” She asked for the unadulterated truth. I appreciated that greatly, as I always do with people like her, that she wanted nothing diluted, nothing sugar-coated. And as she desired, here was my answer.

I told her that I was sick-n-tired of having to shave, trim, cleanup, and remove body-hair and whiskers at least every 6-8 days from anatomical places I’m convinced were NEVER meant to have primate-hairs growing out of them! At least, not on my metro-sexual body! No, no, and NO! It is all so damn annoying! I think hall of fame comedian Billy Crystal talked frequently about body hair in places it was not meant to be, ever! I told my laughing friend, I want to overhaul my ears, just replace them with new ones or relocate all the damn jungle-hair growing profusely out of my ears and side of my skull, and move it all to the top of my head and shrinking hairline on my forehead! I mean, I’m dead SERIOUS now!

Then I took a slightly different tack. I explained to her that I want to just go down to the local auto “body parts” store and purchase everything I desperately need replacing on me! “Um, yes. Do you have any hairless ears in stock?” She pointed in that direction to show me. “Oh really!? What about full hairline replacements? You’re probably all sold out on those, right?” As we walked, she informed me that they might have exactly what I’m looking for. I began to get really excited about this NEW Body Parts store! But then the most riddling thing happened.

We walked through the Men’s Intelligence & Brain aisle.

Now, I want to preface this next bit. Please remember that I live in a highly charged, super Red (Republican), Conservative, ultra-religiously bigoted part of the nation: Texas. That right there should give you adequate context to the remainder of my story. ☺️

As we moved further into the store, the shelves we came upon were crammed full of all sorts of gifted brains, from floor to near the ceiling! It was incredible. Every where you gazed you saw discounted, clearance sale prices on overstocked men’s brains. Hundreds and hundreds of highly intelligent brains everywhere! There were even Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, Mark Twain, and many other famous replica brains marked down super cheap! The store-clerk told me that they’ve been TRYING to move these men’s brains for 5-10 years, but we just can’t sell them, not even one. Astounded, I couldn’t imagine why these men’s brains were not flying off the shelves!

Then we entered the next section of the store.

On either side of the aisle were empty shelves. Dust, then more dust on these shelves. It was as if there had been a crazed rush of Black Friday shoppers had cleared out all stock of whatever was in this section. I asked the kind, helpful store clerk… “Why are these shelves utterly empty?” She replied matter-of-factly…

Oh, this is the men’s giant penis, or jumbo-dick section. We can NEVER keep this section stocked for barely even half a day.

I said to myself, Pffft. Yep, that’s about right in Texas and the Deep South.

Live Well – Love Much – Laugh Often – Learn Always

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Gone For… World Cup 2022!

And gone for several lunches too I’m sure! 😉

This is a WPPSA for all my blog-followers and any visitors stopping by here between Nov. 20th thru Dec. 18th, 2022. What is a WPPSA you ask? Well, it is a WordPress Public Service Announcement, of course! And it is telling all of you that I will be very unavailable here during all the FIFA World Cup games for the next 4-plus weeks. Most of the televised games here in the U.S. are between 4am to 4pm CST until the Round of 16 then later in the day with the quarter-finals beginning Dec. 3rd.

Khalifa International Stadium – Doha, Qatar

Real quickly, here are the U.S.A.’s first three games, Central Standard Time (UTC offset: -6 hours)…

  • USA vs Wales — 1:00pm CST, Nov. 21
  • England vs USA — 1:00pm CST, Nov. 25
  • Iran vs USA — 1:00PM CST, Nov. 29

Best of luck to your nation or favorite national team, if your native country didn’t qualify this year. My second country, my home away from home in world football/soccer, or futebol as it’s called in Brasil, is… well, you guessed it: Brasil. I will be cheering passionately for both teams! Meanwhile, for a teaser-appetizer of the planet’s most greatest sporting spectacle only every four-years when about 7/8th’s of the planet’s population watch obsessively every match, here are some of the Top 35 Goals of all World Cups since 1958. Enjoy.

See you all here after Dec. 18th and the Final. GO USA!!! Then Brasil!!!

Live Well – Love Much – Laugh Often – Learn Always

Fecal Pushers

In July of 2013 I published this post. Given all that has happened in the U.S. and the world since then, especially the last 3-5 years politically, I thought this would be so very apropos to repost today. 😁 I hope you enjoy it (again?) as much as I did; good for a chuckle or two.

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After many years of practice, there are certain types who have mastered the art of shit-pushing and some who have not.  A quick menagerie of the art…


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One of my favorite caught-in-the-act corrections:  I wasn’t kissing your wife Sir.  I was whispering in her mouth!  Then find the nearest exit.

Two industries that most everyone would agree shovel out “pretty” bullshit on a regular basis have to be financial investment companies and sales personnel.  Hello Ma’am, you will be amazed by this latest iPhone…a must have!  Just $299 or $39 for 48 months for FAST 4G speeds and a ba-jillion apps you’ll probably never use!  Or Sir, you are going to be blown away by our new-fangled Hedge-that-Risk-Away fund with a simple monthly direct-debit from your checking account, plus initiation fees, handling, commission, and risk-management fees!

Sound familiar?

I could never be an aggressive sales rep and survive, unless I was selling donated organs to terminally ill patients and their families.  But there are some who can make the stinkiest bullshit smell like a rose garden.  And then there are those whose art is necessary, beneficial yet tragic.

The Clean-up Crew

Imagine living in a community that has no trash pickup and disposal, running indoor water/plumbing, no dishwashers, and no washing machines.  Would you cleanup after yourself, in every manner?  Would you cleanup after others, in every way?

Clean-up crew hard at work
Clean-up crew hard at work

Next time you are served a meal you cringe over, think twice about it because there are insects that would have a feast on your waste.  Actually, they do feast…and not just after humans.  Wherever there is fecal waste, there are most likely dung beetles.  They are life’s natural cleanup crew and they are remarkably resourceful.  They are tumblers, they are spelunkers, and they are dwellers.  They make the most of human or animal waste.

Dung beetles are a critical part of nature’s biocycle.  By eating and burying feces, dung beetles recycle vital nutrients into the soil and bury waste that otherwise attracts disease-carrying pests such as flies.  They also help new trees grow.  For example, in the rain forest, monkeys eat fruit where seeds are sometimes undigested.  When the dung beetle arrives at the aftermath, it packs up the feces into a ball, seeds and all, rolls it away and buries it.  Soon after up sprouts a new tree!  On a given night, one dung beetle can roll and bury up to 250 times its own weight in shit!  Imagine that workout.

But these hardworking necessary beetles don’t have it easy.

Shit-pushing Is No Walk in the Park

Every morning as part of my workout, I briskly walk 2-miles; one mile down, one mile up.  The hilltop I live on has about a 23-degree steep grade up or down for about 70-80 yards.  As I’m heading down the hill one morning, I notice in the middle of the drive a dung beetle perilously rolling his dung-ball across the cement.  Every so often he struggled to keep his dung-ball from turning down the steep hill.  Watching this beetle toil for his hard-earned shit, I couldn’t help but sympathize with his adversity.  I watched in amazement and suspense.  What would come of this beetle’s precarious effort?  Would he succeed and beat the odds?  Or would I be witness to horrific shit and beetle carnage?  The cliff-hanger moment was building with every revolution of his dung-ball.

The hill of dung carnage; blood & beetle parts edited out to protect the weak-stomachs.
The hill of dung carnage; blood & beetle parts blacked out to protect the weak-stomachs.

He crossed the midway point of the drive still pumping those hind-legs over his neatly packed shit.  Five more feet to go.  Can he do it?  Four feet.  I find myself cheering him on.  Three and a half.  Then he and his shit-ball hit a bump.  Should I intervene like the hand-of-God, showing mercy and compassion for the shit this beetle has put up with?  NO FRICKING WAY!  And then as my questions of shit-miracle-ing lingered, everything went south….literally.  I began laughing my ass off.  Everything was out of control.  The “wheels came off” but the rolling kept going, and going, and going!  If Herbert Morrison of the Hindenburg disaster had been there he would have screamed Oh the Bee-manity!

Sorry.  I should be more compassionate.  I should pay homage to this epic dung-beetle’s demise.  Let us bow our heads.

He was a brave shit artist.  The bravest I had ever seen.  He hung on to his shit-ball for five, maybe six revolutions down that hill-of-no-return!  Finally, the cruel speed and momentum….perhaps a killer, dizzying headache too, separated this warrior from his meal.  He tumbled two or three times behind that ball before coming to a most abrupt end.  In his never-say-die attitude, he scrambled to gain his senses, and immediately went searching for his runaway shit-ball.  But it was too late.  I watched that ball roll down the hill…way down the hill about 50 yards – two state lines in beetle distance I think – before bouncing off the drive into the ditch and disappearing in the grass.  It was gone.  Done.  This dung-expert had lost his shit.

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As utterly hilarious as I found this dung-beetle carnage to be, I had to find the teaching moment:  what is the moral of this story?

No matter how good or pretty smelling it is…don’t push your shit up hill.  You might lose it and it will come rolling back on you.

What moral of the story can you apply?  Let me hear them all, again.

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Footnote – on a cool entomological note, it has been recently discovered that these dung-beetles navigate their dung-balls by the stars in the Milky Way galaxy; their GPS if you will.  Click here.

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A Bright Future for Our USMNT

For my handful of fellow footballing/soccer enthusiasts on WordPress like Ark (South Africa & England) of A Tale Unfolds, John Z (Australia & Brazil) of The Superstitious Naked Ape, Brian (England) of Butterflies to Dragsters, Hariod (England) at Contentedness who has unfortunately been absent for some time now, Swarn (Canadian) of Cloak Unfurled also absent from here quite awhile, and any others who are passionate about the world’s Most Beautiful Game, I wanted to post a precursor of U.S. Men’s footballing hopes leading up to the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Africa, this November. Also, to start a bit of chatter and fun banter back-n-forth of our various national teams and favorite players.

USA vs N. Ireland – March 2021 – L to R back row: Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson, Matt Miazga, Aaron Long, Theoson Siebatcheu, Zack Steffan; front row L to R: Yunus Musah, Kellyn Acosta, Sergiño Dest, Christian Pulisic, Giovanni Reyna

If the U.S.A. starting lineup can remain healthy between now and Nov. 20th when the Cup begins and during their individual club seasons, the Yanks can show very well. Plus, the U.S. is in a decent Group B and should advance to the next round either as the runner-up team of the Group or possibly the winner, if… and this is a huge ask, IF we can beat Iran and Wales, and perhaps draw with England to move on to the Round of 16.

But I must reiterate, if our first-team starters can stay injury-free between now and Nov. 3rd or 4th, then we have a decent-to-good chance of doing well in the Round of 16 and possibly advancing to the Quarter-finals! The Quarters are the farthest the USMNT has ever advanced in recent modern times. The last time we went that far was with our historically best national team roster ever: the FIFA WC 2002 in Japan/S. Korea. We lost to Germany by a score of 0 — 1, but competed pretty well.

Why do we American fans have much to be excited about? Because we have at least seven (7) great starters by any world-footballing measurements. From exceptional-to-very-good, in my professional opinion, best to last, here are our top 7, Tier One U.S. players:

  1. Christian Pulisic (23y/o) – Forward, Chelsea FC
  2. Weston McKennie (23y/o) – Midfielder, Juventus
  3. Giovanni Reyna (19y/o) – Forward, Borussia Dortmund
  4. Zack Steffen (27y/o) – Goalkeeper, now Middlesbrough FC
  5. Sergiño Dest (21y/o) – Defender, AC Milan
  6. Tim Weah (22y/o) – Forward, Lille
  7. Tyler Adams (23y/o) – Midfielder, Leeds United
  8. Brenden Aaronson (21y/o) – Forward, Leeds United

One of our brightest upcoming stars on the world stage of football is by far and away Gio Reyna. Giovanni has recently endured an injury-prone last 12-14 months with a nagging hamstring. But once he is fully healthy and back to full-strength, watch out! Enjoy these highlights of our 19-y/o phenom:

For us to have a good chance of advancing out of the Group stage and out of the Round of 16, these seven players must remain healthy and playing their A-game. Without our big three—Pulisic, Reyna, and McKennie—we stand no chance of going deep into the tournament. If they fall, we could be or will be coming home early. World Cup fans, keep your eyes on these U.S. players. Because if they perform at their very best and link-up, then the U.S. will be a threat for any national team in the tournament.

Moving on to our good potential Tier Two squad players to watch, they are as follows:

  1. Paul Arriola (27y/o) – Forward, FC Dallas
  2. Matt Turner (28y/o) – Goalkeeper, Arsenal
  3. Christian Roldan (27y/o) – Midfielder, Seattle Sounders
  4. Walker Zimmerman (29y/o) – Defender, Nashville SC
  5. Jesus Ferreira (21y/o) – Forward, FC Dallas
  6. Antonee Robinson (25y/o) – Defender, Fulham FC
  7. Luca de la Torre (24y/o) – Midfielder, Celta de Vigo
  8. Yunus Musah (19y/o) – Midfielder, Valencia
  9. Kellyn Acosta (27y/o) – Midfielder, L.A. FC

And finally our Tier Three squad players:

  1. DeAndre Yedlin (29y/o) – Defender, Inter Miami
  2. Reggie Cannon (24y/o) – Defender, Boavista
  3. Ricardo Pepi (19y/o) – Forward, FC Augsburg
  4. Sean Johnson (33y/o) – Goalkeeper, NYC FC
  5. Ethan Horvath (27y/o) – Goalkeeper, Luton Town FC
  6. John Brooks (29y/o) – Defender, Hertha BSC
  7. Cameron Carter-Vickers (24y/o) – Defender, Celtic
  8. Haji Wright (24y/o) – Forward, Antalyaspor
  9. Djordje Mihailovic (23y/o) – Midfielder, CF Montréal
  10. Aaron Long (29y/o) – Defender, NY Red Bulls
  11. George Bello (20y/o) – Defender, Arminia Bielefeld
  12. Chris Richards (22y/o) – Defender, Crystal Palace FC
  13. Malik Tillman (20y/o) – Midfielder, Rangers/Bayern Munich

As you may have noticed, as of this date the USMNT is noticeably weakest in defense, particularly center defense with the exception of Zimmerman. Walker is reliably consistent, but he is not prolific with his pace or ball-technique. He is fairly strong in the air. And Sergiño Dest (Left Back) is our best attacking wing-fullback followed by Antonee Robinson (Right Back). However, Antonee is known to be inconsistent with his attacking decisions and he sometimes is too direct and shows reckless abandon with the ball in those moments. This recklessness gets him into yellow-card trouble.

USMNT – Champions of 2021 CONCACAF Nations League, 3 – 2 over Mexico

Our older veterans in the squad, such as Steffen, Yedlin and Brooks, do offer good European footballing intelligence in very competitive European leagues, however, with perhaps the exception of Steffen, none of them are of Tier One quality to impact games significantly.

Despite our rather shallow bench of little elite European experience, I am personally super thrilled about our likely USMNT potential in Qatar this World Cup, as well as our future eight years. So Ark, John Z, Brian, and any other chatty footballing fanatics, what do your Pep Guardiola, Carlo Ancelotti minds think? Tell me about your national teams and favorite players. What are your expectations for the sporting world’s biggest spectacle on Earth since 1930? Any predictions on who will be in the Final?

Live Well – Love Much – Laugh Often – Play Football!

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A New Pledge of Allegiance

“I pledge allegiance to Lord Trump
of the United Republicans of America,
and to the MAGA for which He leads,
one horde, under Trump, indivisible or death,
in captivity or banishment,
and mob-justice for all.”

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Now the previous Pledge of Allegiance, changed in 1954 by Republican President Eisenhower to include under God, is the pledge most of us Americans are familiar with today and memorized all through our elementary and middle school grades. Many may not know, however, that the Pledge of Allegiance went through another change in 1923 from the original pledge written by socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931).

After watching sworn testimony today by loyal, Conservative, life-long(?) Republicans who finally remembered late, late in tRump’s four-year term—too late really—their sworn oaths they vowed to uphold which includes the Constitution and its Laws, its legal, checked-and-rechecked and hence accurate elections representing our democracy in action, the eerie thought crossed my mind that the 68-year old Pledge of Allegiance might already be changed by and within the deluded tRump allies and supporters!

Admittedly, I have no proof of this claim as many loyal tRump-lawyers are testifying to the same in the seven (or more) January 6 Select Committee Hearings. Furthermore, with this blog-post I hope you found the humor in my political satire. 😁

Or in the bigger picture is it political satire? 🥺

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