Author Archive

The Drawing Board: Health Insurance

If there’s one thing people love to talk about, it’s health insurance. Go to any coffee shop in America and you’re bound to find at least one person who has health insurance. But what the insurance companies don’t want you to know is that, in all likelihood, many more than one person there has health insurance. And while it’s true that people don’t really like talking about health insurance, you can bet that someone you know has it, and has it bad.

If you’re perfectly healthy like me, you obviously don’t want health insurance because what’s the point? Who wears a raincoat when the forecast says clear skies, other than actors like in The Perfect Storm? No one. Plus for most people, umbrellas would be way more useful—but not in that storm they wouldn’t! What a movie. But you know what? Everyone died at the end of that movie, so are we really supposed to believe that it’s a true story? But I’m not here to take The Perfect Storm to the drawing board, or even spoilers for that matter—sorry about that—because the truth is that, for most of us, health insurance poses a far greater danger than some type of perfect storm. Even the so-called perfect storm isn’t that dangerous—just stay inland. Same with Jaws. If you stay on land, the worse that can happen is Twister, but I’m not really scared because that movie was lame.

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The Drawing Board: Astrology

The idea that someone can tell you something about yourself or somehow predict your future just by looking at the movements of the stars is ridiculous. But the idea that I could do that is an interesting one, and it’s an idea I happened to have several weeks ago after I saw a full moon and then correctly predicted the attacks of September 11th. If that’s not enough to convince you, find your horoscope below (listed in the traditional order) and see for yourself if it comes true…

Aries (Mar 21-Apr 19):
You are a person who thinks of others. Not always, just sometimes. Nobody can think about other people all the time, so in a way we’re not so different, you and I. In your job, if you have one, there will be some type of transaction in the near future.

Taurus (Apr 20-May 20):
You often stand out among others as a person whose sign is Taurus. You eat food on a fairly regular basis, but often in different locations, as you tend to move about during the day. Beware of holidays—you never know what could happen. Yes, that’s true all the time, I’m just saying don’t forget about holidays. Continue reading

The Drawing Board: Corn Dogs

Why aren’t there more corn dogs? It’s a question scientists have been neglecting for years. It’s well known that we have an ample supply of corn, and you can make hot dogs out of just about anything, so what’s the hold up? I mean, sure, I’m not making any corn dogs, but then again I’m not the one complaining.

The history of corn dogs is a brief and uninteresting one. Basically, in around 1927, a guy invented them. How? Well, obviously he took a hot dog and figured out how to put corn around it. Then he got a little ahead of himself and tried it with other stuff: Continue reading

This Day in Revisionist History

February 2:

“Clearly I have some more work to do…” – a rather embarrassed Leonarde Keeler to his sophomoric colleagues during a test of the first ever polygraph machine, after the wavering needle cast doubt on Keeler’s insistence that he did not, in fact, enjoy making out with other dudes.

Life is already hard when your name is Leonarde. It’s even harder when you have to live in the shadow of a father like Charles Keeler. And that’s why it was particularly irksome for Leonarde Keeler when his own invention, which would later win him fame, fortune, and a place in history, would so quickly malfunction in so juvenile a context. Continue reading

The Drawing Board: The Death Penalty

There’s a new fad sweeping the nation, and for once I’m ahead of the curve. It’s called the death penalty, and it’s the reason you woke up this morning with your face intact. Where at one time an escaped serial killer would more than likely have murdered you in gruesome fashion while you slept, you’re now probably going to live, so you can finally relax. No more revising your last will and testament every night. No more questioning why you’re setting your alarm when you’ll probably be long dead by the time it goes off. No more putting on your best-looking clothes before bed so you’ll look nice in case you die and an attractive stranger finds your body. And who can we thank for these lifted burdens? Well, there’s some debate as to who created the death penalty, but it’s probably safe to say they got the idea from YouTube.

But what is the death penalty? Well, here’s how the whole thing works: A guy kills somebody, the government kills him, and now the guy can’t kill anybody else, see? Sure, the government keeps killing, but they stop once all the killers are gone, except for themselves. So it’s not a perfect system, but it reduces the number of killers in the world from millions of disparate, elusive individuals to a single, unstoppable nationwide entity with utter legal supremacy. Get it? Continue reading

This Day in Revisionist History

January 26:

“You know, putting aside for a moment the atrocities of battle, you have to admit we live in a pretty hilarious time!” – Lieutenant William Gilliam, as he led his troops against the Walla-Walla, at the Battle of Seattle.

There are few things in history cooler than a sloop-of-war, and in the mid-nineteenth century, when it came to sloops, few were as “of war” as the Decatur, which on this particular day in 1856 was anchored in Elliott Bay. However, what could have been simply a “cool” battle turned into one of history’s most absurd stories. (Note: I’m not making any of these names up. Seriously.)

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The Drawing Board: Sarah Palin

What is everybody’s problem with this lady? I’m not saying I like her, but she’s kinda hot so I definitely don’t hate her. I mean, hey, if she’s been living in Alaska, no wonder we have global warming because she is hot! (Hot things raise the ambient temperature, which is symptomatic of global warming, if you follow me.) Now all you girls reading this, don’t give me that “Oh my God, ew, Sarah Palin is not hot!” First of all, I said kinda hot. Second of all, relative to her position in life, yes, Sarah Palin is quite hot and probably hotter than you’ll be at that age. Do you really want to take that wager? Because I will follow through on it and call you out in front of your FIVE kids. Okay then, shut up about me calling her “kinda hot”.*

*This point is purely academic as there are no girls who read this column. Continue reading

This Day in Revisionist History

January 19:

“Wait, are you telling me you actually sent that? For God’s sake, woman—it was a joke!” – a hysterical Arthur Zimmermann to his secretary Gretchen, after learning that she had just sent a real telegram on its way to Mexico proposing an allied attack on the United States at the height of World War I.

Gretchen Ziegler certainly was a sweetheart. Whatever else may have been uttered about her in the years that would follow that historic morning, she really was an absolute peach. In an attempt to contribute to the war effort, the shapely university student worked part-time for Foreign Secretary of the German Empire Arthur Zimmermann, who was a friend of her father. It was widely agreed that her charming demeanor, calm blue eyes, and silky voice made her especially suited to sit at the desk of so busy and esteemed a man as Zimmermann. And indeed, naïve though she was, Gretchen was not without intelligence, having earned excellent marks in school. Thus it came almost as a complete surprise when, on the morning of January 19, she committed a grave error that would severely alter the course of modern history.

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The Drawing Board: UFOs

Let me set the scene for you: It’s a clear, balmy night in the small town of Roswell, N.M., and the stars are shining as brightly and crisply as I’ve ever seen them—and no, it’s not the first time I’ve ever looked. I’ve made the decision to spend the night here as I make my way to Phoenix. As of this moment, it’s been an ordinary night quite like any other, only for some reason I feel like it’s not taking as long for me to sober up, and I’m not happy about it.

A screaming comes across the sky.

As is always the case when I travel, I’ve got my copy of Gravity’s Rainbow, and I’ve cracked it open for a little reading before bedtime. Strange as it may sound, I’ve never made it past that first sentence, usually due to drunkenness, but as I’ve said, I’m not feeling so drunk tonight. And again I will fail to read on, for as I make my way toward that elusive second sentence I’m suddenly interrupted. An eerie light floods the clouded window pane of the cheap motel room I booked on expedia.com. The light draws closer, and I tremble as the rational part of me recedes as quickly as what little shadow persists beneath the window sill. Continue reading

This Day in Revisionist History

January 12:

“You know she’s in her fifties though, right?” – Sen. Arthur Vandenberg to an overly optimistic Sen. Edwin Broussard, as the two discussed the arrival of the newly elected Hattie Caraway, the country’s first female senator.

Edwin S. Broussard had been involved in politics since he was a boy, where he participated enthusiastically in school government for the same reason anyone does: to meet and impress girls. In his day, as in ours, the so-called student leaders were simply powerless overachievers looking to pass off weak social lives as a passion for “extracurricular activities.” And true to form, Broussard met his female counterpart, a pretty but rather prudish young woman named Marie Patout, and married her at the age of 29. However, being the overachiever that he was, the handsome Broussard continued to engage in widespread “gerrymandering” with a variety of young ladies about the spirited town of New Orleans. So it was for several years until his philandering came to a brief halt when, in 1930, the charismatic son of Louisiana was elected in a special vote to finish the term of his departed brother Robert. After being sworn in, the surprisingly naïve Broussard discovered, much to his chagrin, that there were no women in the Senate. “They’ve had the vote for ten years…what the hell are they doing with it?” he wrote in his journal, which has remained largely unpublished by his heirs due to the lascivious accounts of the Senator’s extensive “pork barreling.” Continue reading