What’s up with Catch Phrases?

We all, most of us anyway, love our catch phrases. They can liven up an otherwise dull conversation. They can elicit forgotten memories. They can bring a smile or even a laugh.

The best become wildly popular and in some cases can even help to unify groups of like-minded people. Often politically-motivated groups will use one as part of their “brand”.

But where do they come from? They just don’t randomly appear by happenstance. It’s kind of stupid to think that they just pop up. The very little-known fact is that 85% of them are generated by a single source: Darryl Zince of Running Falls, Illinois. 88 year-old Mr. Zince and his wife, Marie, live a quiet, unassuming life and few people know who he is or what he does. He has supplied catch-phrases to television, motion pictures and even to wealthy individuals.

Surprisingly, he has been at it since the end of WWII when television became popular. He’s enjoyed great success through the decades and had made a small fortune along the way. Mr. Zince is independently contracted by a myriad of television and movie studios using a very unique and mutually agreeable payment schedule.

Here are just of few examples of his most popular work throughout the years.

Yada, yada, yada

May the Force be with you

Beam me up, Scotty

Dyn-o-mite!

The devil made me do it!

KnoWhutImean?

Sorry, Charlie

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt!

Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Willis

What a revoltin’ development this is!

I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse…

Well, isn’t that SPE-CIAL?!

and…

Yeah! That’s the ticket!

Of course, there’s more. Lots more. But by no stretch are all of Mr. Zince’s creations purchased. Let’s look at a few just as some examples:

My, but that’s a funny hat.

It’s been eliminated.

Let’s go for a stroll.

If it’s soap you want, it’s soap you’ll get.

That’s some nasty cough, huh?

Sloppy? You bet!

You must be the ref.

Well tickle me sideways

and,

A wax museum is fun too.

Mr. Zince has been preparing his youngest child, Renee, to carry on his work and hopes that she gets the same opportunities that he had as a young man. She won’t however, be pushed to generate and produce immediately upon his passing. He’s accumulated a wealth of phrases that have yet to see the light of day.

“Renee’s been trying to talk me into putting all of my work on the computer, but i don’t trust them. What if it gets a germ, or a cold, or virus or whatever… What if it crashes and breaks. Nope. I have them all written on pieces of paper, stashed away so’s they’re safe… KnoWhutImean?”

Renee has been working along with her father for the last 15 years and feels confident that she’ll be ready to take his place when the time comes. Although it’s quite a small niche, there is still some competition, but Zince just laughs and says that competition is for sissies. Renee isn’t sure, she says, but thinks that might be one of his yet-to-be-used phrases. It’s one reason why she says she ready to go. “I just know that I’ll be finding them on little slips of paper all over the house. They’ll be everywhere. In fact, I hate to even mention it, but he did a lot of work while on the throne.”

Her only concern is successfully transitioning some of his work to Social Media in particular and the 21st century in general. “Dad doesn’t really have a good grasp of this current century… Like, one of his favorite creations is one he dreamed up just last year: ‘Is that a tweet in your facebook, or are you just happy to instagram me?’ Not one of his contractors has picked it up and he’s just a little depressed about that.”

Well, excuuuusssseeee meeeeeeee!

Woman Locates Missing Socks

(Frackville, PA)  Shelley Hoax, 74 and a life-long resident of Frackville, PA, unexpectedly discovered “every damn sock” that she believed she had lost for the past 50 years. She came across the find Saturday morning completely by surprise. “Ain’t that always the way? You lose something and you look and search every-fucking-where, fretting and fuming and — nothing,” said Mrs. Hoax. “Then when you’re not even looking for them -bang- there it is. If my husband were still alive, he’d probably have a heart attack, or a stroke. Too bad he weren’t around for this one.”

          As if what she found wasn’t strange enough, Mrs. Hoax’s version of the story is even more bizarre. She alleges that as she was dusting on Saturday morning, she heard a tiny giggle coming from behind the old tv-record player combo in her bedroom. She paid little attention and continued. Moments later, she heard a sneeze, which was a little harder to ignore. “First, I hears this laugh-like sound and i didn’t think much of it. Then there’s this sneezing sound, and it reminded me of my Henry’s sneeze. I never heard Henry giggle or laugh, so i can’t speak on that. I can say that I was getting the heebee-jeebees”.
          She told this reporter that her curiosity forced her to investigate. She pushed the unit away from the wall and immediately heard a quick gasp. “It was like i surprised someone, except the voice was so small… I just couldn’t figure it.” Then  she said she looked down toward the base of the wall and saw a hole. She bent down to take a peek and as she did she heard a chorus of laughter and more giggles emitting from the opening. “All of a sudden, all these cartoon-mice come marching out through this goddamn hole, all smiling and tipping their little mouse-hats at me, and some silly cartoon music was coming from somewhere. I don’t know where. There had to be like 6 or 7 of them. They was all wearing those hats and some vests. One mouse was real tall and skinny, there was another that was all short and kind of fat… Everything  got crazy then. They were all marching back and forth. Then one of them… the fat one… gave me a drink. I got really dizzy then and the next thing i know, I’m talking to these mice and i can understand what they’re saying. I’m on the other side of that hole i was talking about. I’m inside the fucking wall of my own bedroom surrounded by those cartoon rats. I mentioned something about Walt Disney and they all really laughed. I was getting a little tired of all that laughing.
          Then one of them pulls back a curtain and there in front of me are hundreds and hundreds of socks. Not a one matched any other, i was sure of that. I remember saying something like ‘Holy shit them is all my socks!’ One of them, this one had a disfigured face. He had a patch over one eye… he told me that after they finished making Cinderella, they were out on the street. Disney wanted nothing more to do with them. Patchy — i call him Patchy– told me that ‘W.D.’ was a real dick and told us he’d make sure that we’d never work in show biz again, just because he knew he could. Long story short, we were passing through Frackville on our way up to Ashland and stopped at your place for the night. We really liked it here and decided to stay. We survived pretty well. We were eating your food, drinking your water and Henry’s beer. We even found a way to open the refrigerator door that involved using our tails and well, anyway here we are all these many years later.” I asked him about the socks. “And what about all my socks?” One of the others said that there was no special reason for taking the socks. “We were just fucking with your head, is all. The faces you made and the words you used every time another sock disappeared… we just couldn’t stop, you were such a riot!”
          Another drink and moments later, Mrs. Hoax awoke back on her side of the wall. The hole was gone. Knowing that no one would believe her story, she brought two men in.from her church and asked them to chop through the wall. Inside were the socks exactly as she had described above. Her cartoon mice were gone.
Upon further investigation by local authorities, also found were animated hats, matching vests and an eye-patch.

Occupy Movement Hits Long Beach Island, NJ.

(Tom’s River, NJ )– Long Beach Island, NJ is a perennial popular summer resort\island just a few miles north of Atlantic City.  Every season, vacationers from all points make the trek to enjoy the sun, the surf, the cooling ocean breezes and the shopping that such a place offers. Folks leave their cares on the mainland as they cross the only bridge on and off of the island. And this summer is no different from those past. Shop owners and restaurateurs are enjoying one of the best seasons in recent memory.

So when OccupyLBI unexpectedly converged at the North Beach Haven Township building, it took everyone by surprise. Tens of protesters marched to the beach badge booth adjacent to the building and stood together in solidarity as some purchased several day passes. Shouts of “Occupy LBI” were met with opposing shouts from angry vacationing families, and without the quick actions of the local law enforcement, might have very possibly spun out of control.

“It was touch and go for a few minutes there”, said a township official who preferred to remain anonymous. “Some of the protester were standing in the street, just off the side walk. It wasn’t a big deal at the time, but laws are laws. So we beeped at them with our car horns to make them get back onto the side walk.” When asked if the OccupyLBI people had acquired a permit, he said that he thinks they did, but that he would have to check his desk drawer.

On The Other Hand…

lefty

There are many aberrations in nature that are well known as aberrations. Calves with two heads. Shell-less turtles. Dwarf anythings. Journalists. Guidance Counselors. The list goes on. But there is one that, strangely, oddly, has slowly, imperceptibly gained acceptance in almost every society in the modern world. We’ve all most likely come in contact with at least one in our lives. Maybe some of us have one working among us. Or even living and eating with us in our own homes. Yes, I refer to the Left-handed person, or, more commonly, the Lefthander.

Left-handed history is a bittersweet one. Early on, Left-handed infants met a similar fate of all aberrations. Once identified, they were immediately destroyed. Even early science recognized that, although somewhat cruel, eradication was the only way to keep the human race from deteriorating, spiralling into a future of darkness for all mankind. But, in the thirteenth century, the Chinese, hungry for attention and very short, opted to spare the lives of their left-handers in order to sell them to foreign traders as ottomens, step stools and lawn sprinklers. This opened the gates, of course, and over the following centuries, “southpaws” have pathetically grovelled and clawed their way to their present position in our world. Make no mistake; that they have attained their current status in no way changes their reality.

Twenty-first century society has even begun to cater to the needs of those that “think on the other side of their brain”. Sports, especially baseball, has found a place for them on their fields of play. Similar, in some respects, to the place that the little monkey has as the organ grinder’s assistant, serving as a curiosity and comic relief. Industries keyed to the left-hander have exploded in the past 50 years. To wit: the left-handed monkey wrench industry; left-handed golf clubs; even left-handed silverware – although I’ve yet to meet a “lefty” that was capable of using or even understanding of how silverware might be used.

Well, the damage that began with the short-sighted Chinese has been done and may never be reversed. The Lefty has by this time inspired many phrases that are used in every day conversation. “The left-handed compliment”. “Out in left field”. “Left out”. “Hey, you butthead, you left the water running”. As you can see, none are very positive in nature.

By now I suspect the damage is done. We have our left-handed burden to deal with. I don’t expect that will ever change. But let’s not ignore the facts. Let’s not pretend that it’s ok, simply because they happen live among us due to the greed and bad judgement of past societies. Resist the temptation to accept, simply because we lack an alternative. And, please, for the sake of future mankind, let us never ever allow them to breed.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

Of all the expressions that fill the languages of the world, “Loose Lips Sink Ships” is probably my favorite. I know what it means; i really don’t have much reason to use it. Hardly any. Pop phrases like this are many times proceeded by “Well, you know what they say..” Examples: “Well, you know what they say…
– A fool and his money are soon parted.
– You’re just beating a dead horse.
– Curiosity killed the cat.
– Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
– Every cloud has a silver lining.

You catch my drift? See there’s one right there. Where the hell did that come from? I know what a drift is , but i don’t get how anyone catches a drift. Anyway, we use them far more than we even know. They’re used to juice our language. They add some color; they spice things up. It’s like, who wants an egg salad sandwich without pepper, mayo and catchup? Who wants a car without an FM radio, GPS and brakes? It’s like Rock and Roll without the riffs. (This is where you add your own analogies.)

We all have our favorites, right? And there are ones that i absolutely will not use. “Yada yada yada”. That’s one. That’s what people use when they are telling another that what that person is saying is not listen-worthy.  It’s a phrase that’s many times used to “run someone down”. (Another one…) I guess it could also be used to describe someone else’s article.

Try a little experiment with yourself. No. Not that kind. Spend a day listening to what others say in their normal conversations with you. Keep a mental count of how many times you hear people use “pop” phrases. Alternately, you can keep that count either by writing it down or just saying the number out loud as they are spoken. You’ll be surprised at two things. First, the amazing count you’ll have at the end of the day, and second, the really strange looks you get from people as you say numbers as they speak. It’s really a good experiment. I made it up myself.

Here’s another. Try going a day engaging in normal conversation without using any popular phrases at all. Good luck with that. I bet you won’t get through the first 15 minutes successfully.  Additionally, you’ll bore your listener even more than normal. Tell your friends about it; have them blow one of those loud whistles every time you use a pop phrase. You’ll be deaf within a half-hour. I’m telling you, it’s like having an egg salad sandwich without… well; you know.

Different generations have their own. My folks’ had theirs, just like mine and my kids have. Dad’s favorite, for example, was “go to hell!”. You already know what mine is. And one of my kid’s favorites is “go to hell!”. (Some are timeless). If you want to waste a little time, imagine what your grandkids’ generation will come up with. Write them down, put them in an envelope and give them to your kids with strict instructions that the envelopes aren’t to be opened until their kids’ 21st birthday.  21 years from now, your grandchildren will want to know if “Pops” ever used drugs.

If you find yourself really getting into this whole “pop” phrase thing, begin investigating what phrases are popular in different cultures around the world. It could be interesting. I haven’t done it, mostly because i’m not moved to do so.

There are sites that specifically present a myriad of such phrases and what they mean, where they come from, how old they are, and how they evolved. Try this one: http://www.knowyourphrase.com/. It loads you up with of tons of information. You can spend oodles of time in there. For instance, let’s look one up together: “The Plot Thickens”. Most people have a handle on this one, but almost no one knows its origin. I do. I just looked it up here: http://www.knowyourphrase.com/phrase-meanings/Plot-Thickens.html.

You know what sucks? I just noticed that “Loose Lips Sink Ships” isn’t even listed on this particular site. That really blows. But guess what… i found it here on this other site: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/237250.html Here’s the origins of this phrase… “This phrase was coined as a slogan during WWII as part of the US Office of War Information’s attempt to limit the possibility of people inadvertently giving useful information to enemy spies. The slogan was actually ‘Loose Lips Might Sink Ships. This was one of several similar slogans which all came under the campaigns basic message – ‘Careless Talk Costs Lives’”… See how much fun this is? Like i said, oodles of time. If you’ve gotten this far, you’re probably “hooked”. Hello? Are you still here??

Interview with the Invisible Man

I apologize in advance to those of you who might of thought there was something of worth in this posting. I understand that the title could be misleading in that it could be used to introduce a political subject in a somewhat unique manner. But no chance of that here. This is just fluff.

__________________________________________________________

I didn’t set out to actually interview the Invisible Man.

My plan was to just go to the post office and pick up a load of stuff people can’t e-mail. I didn’t realize it at first, but there he was, just standing there in front of me in line. The Invisible Man. Who’d have ever thought that he got mail. I mean, who knows his address. Where does he live, anyway? To be fair, I wouldn’t have even known he was there, except for the coughing and hacking. I couldn’t see him, but I could sure hear him.

I caught his attention and we engaged in a short conversation, during which he agreed to a short interview. We left together and wound up at a place where people couldn’t see me asking questions to a wall.

Following is my short Q-and-A with the Invisible Man.

Q: If you don’t mind, we can touch on your public side in a minute. First, I know that people are going to ask me, which do you prefer? The Invisible Man or just Invisible Man?

A: Actually, you know… I never thought about it too much. Either way is fine. But I guess in this acronym-obsessed world, you can just call me TIM, ok?

Q: Ok, thanks.

So do you have any hobbies? I mean, what does TIM like to do?

A: Well, I wear many hats.

Q: Meaning?

A: Hats. I like to wear hats.

Q: Any other hobbies?

A: No. Not really. I’m really quite boring.

Q: Do you have any pets?

A: Yes. I have a rabbit.

Q: I’m guessing he’s six feet tall and his name is Harvey.                          Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

A: Well actually, he’s just shy of 5 feet, but you know this town. But his name is Harvey. How did you know? You know, I was up for that role in the movie. The audition was just stupid. No lines, no actions. I walked out in the middle of it. I didn’t want it. Do you know who their pick was? The rocket scientists there finally realized that they didn’t actually need anyone for the part. They just had Jimmy act like he had a 6-foot talking rabbit. He had to have his eyes look like they were focusing on a six-foot tall rabbit. He had to hang his arm around just right. Take after take after take… It was a shame what they put him through.

Q: Your film, “The Invisible Man” was a phenomenal hit some years back. There were different versions made. Would it be correct to say that they were basically based on your life?

A: For the most part, yes. Hollywood, as you know, always feels the need to embellish…

Q: Care to share some examples?

A: For one, that whole “nude” scene was bogus. It never happened. Hell, I’m always naked. I’m naked right now. So big deal, right? I bet you weren’t ready for that…

For another, I never, ever wrapped my face with bandages or whatever. And no sunglasses. Ever. Why would i do that?

FYI, I was in some other films that you might have heard of.

Q: Interesting. What would some of those be?

A: “Angels in the Outfield”, “Flubber” and “House on Haunted Hill” to name a few.

Q: How do you present yourself to others? I mean, If you actually wanted someone, like me, to follow your movements?

A: I wear earrings. Or lipstick. Or both. I know it sounds strange, but hey, I AM the Invisible Man.

Q: So if I happened to dump a bucket of paint on you right now, you’d become visible to me. I’d be able to see your form, correct?

A: Probably, I guess. But i wouldn’t advise it. You’d only get away with it once. Most people in town, we have an understanding.

Q: So who portrayed you in the most recent version. I don’t recall… Would we recognize his name?

A: No. I doubt that. I don’t run anyone down, but he seriously is a nobody. He’s supposed to be a new talent. Not to be snarky, but I really believe that you won’t be seeing much of him going forward. Get it? “Seeing” much of him… Get it?

Q: I get it. Any regrets?

A: I feel bad about kids getting blamed for things I’ve done back home. You know the deal. Mom shows up and sees the bedroom window shattered, which I did, incidentally. She drags the boys into the house and asks them who did it. They tell her they don’t know anything about it. So she says, “Oh, I suppose the Invisible Man did it!” Then they usually get wacked with their dad gets home.

Yeah. I feel kind of bad about that. It’s happened more than once. Plenty of times.

Q: Were you always invisible?

A: No. It was the horrible result of a highly sensitive military experiment gone terribly awry!

Man, you watch too many movies. No seriously, I was born this way. It took awhile for my parents to come to grips. At first, Dad was accusing Mom of cheating on him. But it wasn’t too long before this one doctor reassured him that there was no reason at all for him to think that. I’m not quite sure why…

Q: Is there anything personal that you’d be willing to share with our audience?

A: Yes. I have some issues, which shouldn’t be surprising. Like relationships. There’s no hope of a long-term meaningful relationship. Sure, I sneak into random bedrooms from time to time, usually at night. You get my drift. It always winds up with a lot of screaming and not the good kind. It’s kind of depressing knowing that you’ll always be alone with no one to really share your invisible life with. I take pills for it.

Anyway, my career in Hollywood wasn’t all sunshine and roses. I spent some time as a special effects technician for several television shows. I often was tapped to physically move the lips for several animals. You’d be most familiar with the 60′s show, “Mister Ed”. The horse’s real name was Sean. He was one nasty Palamino. When he began biting, he thought is was fun, and he just wouldn’t stop. I did some bitching and told them that either Sean stops, or I split. I quit after the studio caved to Sean’s agent. The show ended that very season. Oh, I also worked with Francis the Talking Mule. Now he was a pleasure to work with. We got along well. I’ll never forget his goofy laugh, y’know.

After those gigs dried up, things went downhill fast. No one really trusted someone they couldn’t see. It’s kind of like the federal government. That’s a good analogy. No one can see it, so who in the world trusts it. Comparing myself to the US government: now I’m creeping me out.

The studios were all the same. All of them It was great as long as I was making money for them. I was their freak-buddy. They loved to show me off. Even then, though, I was never ever invited to any of their big fancy parties or their award dinners or programs. That doesn’t say that I never attended any of them, and I’m not saying I did. And I’m certainly not saying that I had a good time, or that I helped others to have fun.

One nice thing. I could live wherever I liked. With a little care, I could spend months…hell, even years, at a single place at a time. I won’t name names, obviously, but I enjoyed a year or so at the home of some of the biggest stars in town. How do you think those gossip rags get their big “scoops”? Do you think they just walked out the back door and down to those offices, tapped a “journalist” on the shoulder and handed them to him? Well, that’s just ridiculous. Why the back door? And what’s with tapping anyone on the shoulder?

I’m sorry. I’m rambling.

Q: That’s ok. It’s been an enlightening chat. Is there anything else you’d like to say before we end this interview?

A: I suppose I could continue rambling, but I’ve said enough. I’m pretty sure that once this piece is released, there’ll be a pile of lawsuits just waiting for me. It’s like me being naked. It’s just not a big deal.

I should go. Thanks for the chance to talk. It feels good once in a while. I’ve enjoyed our time and, earlier, your roast beef sandwich. See how this all works? Ok, you don’t need to walk me to the door. I’ll see myself out. LOL. Yep. I know the lingo.

Mrs. Strauss Makes the Paper

Everyone who’s ever read a newspaper, i mean a local or regional one, has run across fun little snippets like this one:

“When Linda Strauss of Harrisburg, PA reached down in between the Bark-o-lounger and the magazine rack, what she found wasn’t her earring, but an ancient map of upstate Pennsylvania. Upon study, experts noted that it was most likely used as a navigational tool; all roads, large and small, were named and tagged using different colors. Further, major bridges, mountain ranges, lakes and rivers were identified, most likely to be used as reference points. Cartographers date the find at 40 years, and in perfectly creased condition.

Mrs. Strauss, 77, told her hairdresser that she hadn’t even touched her husband’s lounger after he died 12 years earlier. “It gave me the creeps to even go near it. Ernest told me to keep my (damn) hands off it, and i did. But this one time i decided to poke around. I had lost one of my mother’s earrings a year before he died and forgot about it until now. When i found that folded up paper there in my one hand, i knew it wasn’t an earring. I knew i was holding something special.  Also, i’m sorry for what i did to Ernest.”

As the news spread of her find, antique dealers, collectors and people who needed a map began contacting her. All of them offered Mrs. Strauss startling amounts of cash, but she declined to sell, saying that she decided to donate it to the local historical society.

She plans to transport the “map” as locals have begun to call it, to present it to the society herself. Ironically, she’s unsure of how to get there. Anyone knowing of reliable road directions from her home to that destination, please contact her via email: lindastrauss@lindastrauss.str between 9 am and 7 pm Monday through Friday.” 

This is the kind of thing that makes reading a newspaper (or a kindle, too, I suppose) so much fun. You just don’t know what’s happening to other people unless you read these locals. Even to people that you might know. You read stories like the one above, and you find yourself thinking that “maybe something like that could happen to me”. Maybe someday your story will hit the papers. You know, the one where you win the $48M Lottery! In the twinkling of an eye, those bastards stick it in the paper; actually, all the papers. They splash the story at the bottom on page 1 of the financial section, with your name as the headline in big, bold Franklin Gothic Heavy font. All caps. Red Ink.

And BANG! just like that, your life has changed forever. Changed in ways that you could never imagine. This is when you truly learn what the phrase “out of the woodwork” means. Family (including relatives that never even show up at the reunions), friends, used-to-be-friends, neighbors and even strangers who just happen to be passing by. You can add lawyers, financial advisors and psychics to the mix, too. Strangely, people want to buy things for you. They want to stop by and give you gifts. You have to shake your head at that one. There’s always one or two who beseech you for money needed to cover the cost of surgery for their kid. Of course, with just a little research, you find that not only do they not have any kids, they’re not allowed to be around kids.

They call. They knock on your door. They somehow find your address and e-mail you, text you, “google” you on the net. You might even find one or two sitting in your car, knowing that you’ll have to go somewhere sometime soon. This all happens at any time of the day or night. Eventually they’ll even figure a way to somehow show up in your dreams at night.

People smile at you as you pass them on the street. Their smiles are just a little more pronounced and their eyes lay on you just a little longer than normal. Things become a little bizarre: are you now paranoid or are people actually training their dogs to seek you out and beg…

Ok. Relax. Don’t worry about any of this. You’ll read 1,000 stories like the one about Linda Strauss and her map and never have to worry about reading anything about you hitting any Lottery. Really. Just kick back, have a cup of coffee and smile at the one about Frank Barnes and his son winning the State Father-and-Son Sack Race 4 years running. I mean, 4 years in a row.

Beauty…

The phrase goes “Beauty is only skin deep”. Of course this came from of some whiny piss-ant guy who was bar-snubbed on a Saturday night by a drunk, hot-looking broad. It’s always that way. It’s always the guy who gets the cold shoulder. “Cold shoulder”. That’s a phrase your Grandpop used. It meant that someone wasn’t going to get laid that night.

It is a whiny phrase… the Beauty-goes-skin-deep one, i mean. But it’s basically true. Peel the skin back off anyone and what’s underneath is universally pretty ugly stuff. Ok; there’s some surgeons, EMTs, and  psychopaths who might feel differently. But they’re a different kind of people. Especially the EMTs. Spooky.

Beauty does have it’s shelf-life. But it’s different from one person to another. Some lucky shits are just born gorgeous and stay that way (with a little help from time to time) until they are called to the Beautiful Beyond. Others are born average, spend their younger years gawky, uncoordinated and buck-toothed, finally blossoming into a fem fatale (i hate that stupid phrase; why did i even use it?). Like my Aunt Melinda. She was dynamite by the time i was old enough to notice, and i heard stories. Still others are born ugly and unless they undergo major plastic surgery, carry the same cross until the end. Yeah. I was caught looking down gorgeous Aunt Melinda’s DD cleavage from up the balcony when i was 13, and my butt paid the price. But it was worth every strap-slap. She knew i was there; she was teasing me. I knew she knew it. But she was like that. Anyway, it was then i knew for sure that i wasn’t gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

It’s just about here where i need to sadly acknowledge the fact that there are a huge amount of plain, and even less-than-plain, people who are infinitely more worthy of your attention and admiration. What these people lack in physical beauty they make up for in intelligence, compassion, thoughtfulness and a “great personality”. I like the great-personality part. How many times have you heard that one. It’s all true though. Remember the Coasters’ “If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife…” before you decide to walk down the aisle with the prom queen.

What was i talking about. Oh yeah. “Beauty is only skin-deep”. So who gives a shit. Physical beauty is overrated anyway. Consider this… The next time you see a hottie saunter by and you have the urge to embarrass yourself; consider whether pursuing her is worth a knuckle-sandwich. My suggestion is: stick with your own kind. And if one of the “beautiful people” for some strange reason shows an interest, tell her that (name the current day) is your day off. But that she can call you tomorrow.

What if Darrel Issa held a Committee Hearing and Nobody came?

Darrell Edward Issa was born the second of six kids in 1953 in Cleveland, Ohio. Which is why the Buckeye State moved and is currently hiding behind Pennsylvania. Even at an early age, his parents realized that their son was … different. Unique. While his brothers and sisters played together, Darrell was a dark loner. Having no interest in silly sports, games and playing outside with friends, he spent most time in his room poring over law books that he had stolen from local libraries. Law and order became a part of Darrell, and his siblings soon became sick of it.

For instance, as dinner time approached, he prepared for what he enjoyed most of all. One by one, his brothers and sisters would arrive home from their various activities. As they did, Darrell would meet them at the door with a look they had quickly grown to hate. Pretending that he was an important government official with an overwhelming ego, he would commence a hearing that he of course would head. They’d push him aside and knock him down. His sisters would kick him. He’d respond tears in his eyes, demanding that they all be removed from the “proceedings”, levied with a stiff fine.

After a little while, Mom intervened. After a sharp slap to Darrell’s head, she pulled his siblings together and asked them to play along with their brother; this was his time, she said without a smile. Begrudgingly, they all agreed to stop hurting him.

Young Issa realized that Mommy had “fixed” things and happily resumed his daily hearings, free to grill his family members about who they were with that day, what they had done, and why. (This included his parents, by the way.) When they tried to answer his questions, he’d shout them down, bellowing and demanding answers. One at a time, they allowed their older brother to mock and dehumanize them. This would go on for about an hour or so, until dinner was ready.

As he grew, Issa, known in school as “Sir LissaLot”, continued his game with anyone who’d put up with his crap. He held mock hearings on things such as slide-rule thefts, the 5th grade food-fight cover-up, the 8th grade prom porn scandal and who knew what and when did they know it. He gained a reputation as a cold, self-serving belligerent bully, picking on library assistants who he was sure were involved in the Dewey Decimal System scandal.

It was inevitable that he would go on to establish the High School Oversight and District Reform Committee. He would hold his hearings almost daily, whether anyone would attend or not. Often he would have no choice but to turn a mean eye toward the school janitor as he moved through the room emptying trash cans, etc. Issa would bark at him: “What’s in those cans! What’re you trying to hide. I want those items turned over to the committee by 8 am tomorrow!” Most times the janitor would flip him the bird, which of course would wind up with him being held in contempt.

Darrell Issa continued on in such a manner throughout the years: in the military, at church, in the legal division of a local bowling club, etc. He was at this time in his life, charged several times with grand larceny auto. His mom intervened and all charges were eventually dropped. A gun-related arrest dogged him after an unregistered firearm was found in his glove compartment. His defense was that since the car had been stolen, he wasn’t responsible for anything found in the car. He was sentenced to a 6 month probation and fined. To this day Issa believes that the record has been expunged.

He became a politician. He knew what he could get away with as a congressional lawmaker. 10 years after he assumed office as a California Representative, he giddily accepted the position as Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. His very first hearing was to investigate the people responsible for his appointment.