KEEP THE TOASTER OUT OF THE TUB
by Larry Lieberman
American Reporter Humor Writer
TAMPA, Fla -- Am I the only one who feels like a kernel inside a microwave popcorn bag every time I stroll into the garage?
Summer in Florida is as intolerable as a Pauly Shore movie marathon. Being the portly and comfortable lot of skin that we are in this country, we cope with the heat by working the air conditioner like an Asian Nike sneaker factory janitor. Yet, for some reason, we manage to act surprised when something unforeseen like, say, a major blackout occurs due to load overages, human error paired with load overages or load overages combined with human error AND a splash of Richard Jewel.
Though we know our greed for power was not the sole reason for the big electrical nor'easter our homeland took a few weeks ago, it certainly awakens us to the realization that changes in our behavior and our government's policies are up for some good old-fashioned electro-shock therapy (pun intended).
We may have a patch for nicotine and pregnancy but someone has to unveil the "reality" patch that is long overdue in our myopic society regarding energy and environmental issues. (Although I think President Bush is on to something with his increase the logging/cut down the trees effort to curb wild fires. Sometimes I wonder if someone forgot to run scandisk after improperly shutting him down.)
Allow me to offer, courtesy of my lack of cognition, the following suggestions regarding our energy crisis.
First of all, send the kids outside more often so there are less people requiring frigid air within the confines of the homestead. This may require that you ignore their constant whimpering such as "I'm dizzy and my legs tingle." Any parent worth a darn knows that kids are spoiled with all this running water, indoor plumbing and refrigeration crap of the past few hundred years anyway.
I knew it was time to send the kids to the street when my four-year-old son the other day asked me if I "wanted to get hammered." Momentarily lapsing into visions of my collegiate times and ignoring what he may have been actually communicating, I readily responded "Sure, what the heck?" with a wry smile.
You guessed it. He promptly haymakered me in the head with his plastic hammer. My resulting cranial disfigurement will someday render a phrenologist sporting a master's degree in archaeology speechless as he tries to identify my remains 1,000 years from now.
Upon looking at the "area" in the mirror, I couldn't help but think "Geez, I hope they don't confuse me with the missing link."
Stories like these make high-fiving my neighbor after the kids hop onto the bus the first day of school more easily rationalized. It is also the reason the makers of Xanax announce that they are adjusting their third-quarter forecast due to a "down-turn in domestic sales volume."
My second suggestion? (Yes, you, Mom - the only one reading this drivel since I told the neighbor about dad's "video" collection). Have the President turn the Oval Office thermometer up to 85 degrees when the place is not in use.
Perhaps we should even mandate he take a vacation for 30 days or so during peak summer months and, for goodness sakes, make sure the defibrillator is unplugged when Cheney is not within a mile of the complex. Additionally, while we are on government, relax the rules on aging power plants requiring them to invest in pollution-reduction devices upon upgrading equipment to boost their power generation capacity.
Ooops, never mind; got that one checked off already.
My third suggestion is to bring the Energizer bunny in for questioning. This dude has figured out how to go non-stop like Keith Richards in the evidence room at DEA headquarters. No one has even bothered to ask what brand of latte Mr. Bunny prefers, let alone how he finds the time and energy to crash 75% of the commercials I saw in the mid-'90s. He received more face-time on television than Anita Hill and Joe Biden combined during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings - and he did it all without sinking to the age-old "there's a pubic hair on my coke" shtick.
Finally, we need to drop the NIMBY attitude crystallized by the people of Cape Cod when it comes to renewable and innovative energy solutions. I should be so lucky as to have to deal with the "crisis" of a wind farm on the horizon of my beach. Heck, I should be so fortunate as to have a lawn which is not underwater (we now have sea anemones as lawn ornaments down here).
All Points Bulletin to Cape Cod: When a cruise ship inches along offshore, we all say, "Hey! Check out that boat!" Why should an oversized desk fan miles off your coast not do the same for you? Try this one: "Hey, check out that non-polluting windmill that's providing us with an inexpensive, renewable power source so that our atmosphere becomes less volatile than a crocodile on Viagra and the people of Florida stay above water for the balance of the 21st Century!"
Put down your mimosas and have some perspective, Cape Codders!
Due to spatial constraints, I must put a lid on my suggestions here.
However, I leave you with one caveat. Do not take your medicine during a brown- or blackout lest you be dealt a hand of more trouble than a three-hour tour with Gilligan. Just the other day I accidentally took an anti-histamine instead of my blood pressure pill in my kitchen's darkness and, believe me, chasing around a swarm of bees in an effort to replenish your histamine via their sting is no fun.
It is particularly perilous to do so when your physical state is such that you could turn your toilet seat into a frisbee just by reading the comics.
Send me your suggestions America and I will add the salient ones to a future literary outing - probably in a publication far, far from here after this effort!
Write to Tampa, Fla.-based humorist Larry Lieberman at MoronColumns@Hotmail.com.