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Hyperion February 21, 2003
The Hyperion Chronicles
“I hate Henry David Holier-Than-Thou Thoreau!”

#99 Potpourri, Volume XIII

Warning: It’s been a long week, I’m exhausted, and getting a bit giddy. Watch out for bunching panties.

One more Terror Alert Public Service Announcement

I suggested recently that the color-coded system for our Terror Alerts, which range from Sepia to Wisteria, was quite stupid. I got a bit of flack for this. Several people told me to get a life. Of course, what to call them taking the time to write and chide me over wasting time…but I digress. One reader even suggested that where the color system went wrong was not following the old high school science standby ROY-G-BIV (and if you don’t know that, ask someone educated, like a 10th grader). Anyway, in an effort to be further constructive, and take up a paragraph, I’ve come up with an alternative method; one I think you’ll find much more rewarding. I think we should have our Alerts increase in magnitude by Bad Guys. This would be so cool! A low level of threat would be something like CODE: BLUTO. A little bit higher and we’d move into CODE: WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST (If necessary, they could have the option of adding the flying monkeys). A bit higher and we’d be into CODE: DARTH VADER territory. And of course we’d all head to the bomb shelters at CODE: STREISAND.

Oh the joke I could make with the name Rhett Butler

I don’t know if this is a sign of the Apocalypse or what, but my friend Spike just returned from Japan, and reports going into a Chinese restaurant (in Japan), and seeing a huge Gone With The Wind display, complete with movie posters and little action figurines. What possessed him to go to a Chinese restaurant in Japan, and what possessed them to pay tribute to Scarlet is beyond me.

A nice place to visit, but…

Now, people, I don’t want to be a traitor to my generation, but the whole ménage a trois thing is just not a viable option. For those of you over 50 or with a sense of decency, a ménage a trois is a, um, union, between three people (rather than the usual two or for Stark Trek fans, one). It sounds great, especially for guys: there you are, Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez beside you. (Or Martha Stewart and Oprah; whatever you prefer) But it doesn’t work that way in real life. Performance anxiety can creep in, awkwardness is the rule of the day, and jealousy will rear its ugly head. You may think it will be all that and a bucket of chicken, but it won’t. In fact, if I were going to recommend it, I would only do so as a one-time thing, and definitely not with a significant other. As I strive to make my grandmother proud of me, of course I don’t recommend it at all. Bottom Line: Ménage a Trois is a bit like Communism. It sounds like a great idea, but when there are people involved, it usually goes sour.

5th would have to be Milli, or maybe Vanilli, I forget

Okay, this seems a bit morbid, but some friends and I were talking the other day about who would be the most mourned deaths in the world. This first occurred to me several years ago when I was fascinated to see that half of America got up in the middle of the night to watch the funeral of Lady Diana, who wasn’t even a royal anymore, for another country. That always baffled me, but I guess people loved her. I think right now it would be the Pope, followed closely by Michael Jackson. He may be a punch line here on talk shows (although if I ever catch anyone disrespecting the King of Pop, it’s on), but around the world Jackson is a beloved icon. Then I think would be Muhammad Ali, and fourth would be Cookie Monster. I love that guy.

The War of the Idiot Roses Theory

Speaking of Diana, has anyone ever figured out exactly why the Brits still have Royals? I have quite a few English readers, and feel free to enlighten me. My theory, though, is that the Royalty is there for Entertainment. Most of Britain’s acting stars are in the theatre, not something that’s accessible to large numbers of people. The movie actors usually go straight to Hollywood. Now the members of the Royal Family have been inbreeding for close to 1200 years, and the poor souls, are almost to a man, genetically dumb as a sack of hair. I read once that Charles has an 85 IQ, and he’s considered the smartest in generations! I really think the reason these people are kept around and paid an absurd amount of money (for duties that basically consist of waving and having affairs) is that so the British people can have something to be entertained about. Am I wrong in this?

Bumper Sticker Material

Overheard: “We don’t go to hell for the things we do. We go to hell for the things we don’t do.”

2 Steps forward…

For the most part, I’m very happy with progress. Losing the remote control is like Armageddon for me. (For a more complete look at that issue, see my column on Greatest Inventions; coming soon) However, I do have limits, or maybe a better way to put it would be fond memories for an era gone by, where the phone was a simpler device. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m totally in favor of call waiting, and *69 and Caller ID are good things too. But they do take away some options. Gone are crank calls. Not that they are great things, but if you ask a kid today if their refrigerator is running, or if they have Prince Albert in a can, they won’t know what you’re talking about (for that matter, what kid even knows what Prince Albert is?).

Could this pass the Legislature?

Someone brilliant (okay it was me) had a thought the other day while following a woman on the highway who was driving with the apparent skill of a smurf. She was at least 400 years old, and would have needed several phone books to see over the dash. Now, I have nothing against old people driving, as long as they are competent. But, they only have to get tested every 4 years, and if you’ve ever been around old folks you know they can go bad faster than milk left out on the porch in July. That’s why I am proposing the initiative that old people (and hell, let’s throw idiots in there too) should have to pass the driving test every time they get in the car. This could easily be accomplished, via some sort of scan test in the visor, and the streets would be safer for it. Now if we can only tackle the makeup people…

Saving the world, one banana seat at a time

Have you ever seen the commercials for the AIDS bike rides? The announcer begins “If you want to take a bold step in the fight against AIDS…” and then proceeds to tell us about bike rides all across the US and Canada. If this is the new weapon to fight AIDS, we’re all in trouble. Even if this is just a lure for fundraising, I can beat this all hollow: If you want to be the one to cure cancer, now you can with the bold new program called “Sitting on your couch and watching TV.” And if you’re really committed, you can order pizza!

We’ve all been there

I was talking to my friend Pebbles the other day, and she was frustrated. She has two small kids who were refusing to get ready to go somewhere. Her oldest—a three year old—was reportedly standing there in only a shirt calmly eating a sandwich. Pebbles finally groused, “God, give me the strength not to beat my kids and tie them outside by their ears. Now I want to stress she was joking, but you can appreciate the feeling.

Useless fact of the day

Mark Twain once said, “Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.” Ah, Mark, we hardly knew ye. I found something similar the other day I wanted to pass on. I’m not sure what to make of it, but maybe you will be. Man is the only animal that can hold its breath on purpose. Can anybody do anything with that information?

I need to get in a Television 12-Step program

It’s always strange to me to watch something I don’t know a lot about. Case in point: Women’s Billiards. For starters, I’m not sure why men and women don’t play together, other than maybe tradition. I mean, logically women could be just as good as men. Maybe it’s because men have been playing longer. More than that, though, is the game itself. I’m fairly adept at seeing the shot the player is playing next, but the announcers are always oohing and ahhing over a shot that will come up four balls from now. The point is to not only make the shot, but also have the cue ball position itself for the next shot, and the next. I understand this, as chess, and Checkers, and many card games work this way. But I don’t know much about pool, so it’s always tough for me to visualize what they’re talking about. Luckily, several of the women are hot, so I make allowances for my ignorance.


Finally, I was playing trivia the other night when the question came up which state had the fewest mountains. This question irked me, because there are quite a few ways to classify a mountain. For example, I have it on good authority that the highest point in Ohio is the Lazarus Building in downtown Columbus, but they call it a mountain. I was complaining bitterly, repeating again and again, “What’s a mountain? What’s a mountain?” Spike, my fellow team member, finally looked at me and said, “More than a C-Cup.”

And since I can’t top that, I’m outta here.

February 21, 2003

Thanks to Spike for inspiration
Thanks to Pebbles for inspiration


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