Hey, Hey, Hey

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Work has begun on the Ark, and Mulva is doing an inventory of the animals here at TackyToo in case the rain continues. I guess I’m trying to make a joke of a very serious condition for a lot of folks here in Georgia. Flooding is a serious problem in some of our counties, and the rain continues, apparently without regard to what Channel 11’s Whiz O Meter has to say. I’m about to lose my sense of humor with those folks.

Speaking of losing our sense of humor, what the heck is going on with all of this Bill Cosby business? Before we break out into factions, male versus female, he said, she said, I’d like to drop the discussion down a notch. Bill Cosby is one of the two black people who helped me see that all of us are just “accidents of birth”. Now, what I mean by that is that absolutely none of us, from Donald Trump to Charlie Manson, determined our birth situations. Trump was born to a millionaire, Manson an unwed sixteen year old. I’m sure if Manson had his druthers, he would have picked The Donald’s situation. The point is, we don’t have a choice, it is a cosmic accident. If we’re lucky enough to not be turned psychotic by the time we’re in grade school, there’s a chance that some of the “accident” can be ameliorated. Maybe a teacher or some other person will intervene until cognition takes hold and we figure out we’re going to have to dig out of this hole on our own. Lots of ifs.

Some of us were born to parents that, while not criminal, were still harmful. As I’ve outlined before, I learned racism from my Mom. Mom didn’t want me to be Klan, but she was comfortable with me carrying hate in my heart for people who had no more to do with their skin color than I had to do with my hair color. It’s illogical as all get out, but that’s the way it was, and still is in places. Folks latch onto something we have absolutely no control over, the accident of birth, and then brand us for life. It was tough being a “ginger”, I can’t imagine how tough it would have been to grow up black.

That’s where I was, until about 1965, when a friend invited me over to listen to some albums. He queued up a comedy album called,”Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow, Right!” I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything as funny before. We howled, we laughed until we cried, we rolled on the floor. It wasn’t ribald humor, it wasn’t even risque, it was more along the lines of Jean Shepherd’s childhood recollections. Cosby set up these wonderful scenarios about his family life, and made them universal. The universal appeal of the story fired a spark in my dinosaur like brain. If Bill Cosby was the funniest guy I’d ever heard, and Bill Cosby was black, might there be other black people out there worthy of my attention? Turns out there was, but we’ll leave that for another time.

What I took from the experience was there were non-athlete, non-musician black people out there that were worthy of my consideration. I now felt comfortable saying I could live next door to Jim Brown, or Bill Cosby. A big leap in growth for me. While the “times” were changing, it’s important to remember how the “times” were, to have a frame of reference for the troubles Mr. Cosby finds himself in today.

During the ’60’s, ’70’s, and maybe still, it was the male that procured drugs for the evening festivities. The females quid pro quo generally speaking, was sexual favors. Broad generalizations here, but go watch the movie “Woodstock” and tell me what you think was going on. At the same time, and maybe still, there was a “star system” in place. The star system was the backdrop for the famous “casting couch”. Females wanted help with their careers and traded sexual favors for the help. Not right, just how it was, or maybe still is.

It’s in that context that I think we should view the allegations made against Mr. Cosby. I think the assertion that many women came to Cosby’s room to, “discuss their careers” and were “surprised” when Mr. Cosby made advances, is on very shaky ground. To my knowledge, there are no reports where anyone was physically held against their will. No bruises, no black eyes, no ligature marks. No toxicology reports where the “victim” could prove that a substance was in their system. Just vague, “I think I was drugged” comments.

Is it possible by today’s standards, where college students are signing consent waivers before engaging in sex, that Mr. Cosby stepped over the line? Maybe, only the participants know for sure. I just feel we can’t go back and layover today’s morality on the events of forty years ago, particularly when the claims are tied to a financial reward. Maybe if the “victims” sued for justice, and not for money, I’d be a little more sympathetic to their cause. I’ll keep watching to see if that happens. Until then, Fat Albert says, “Hey, Hey, Hey!”


The Cure For Affluenza

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Well, I thought we were drying out. Like so many times before, I jumped to conclusions based on facts not in evidence. I guess I should have watched the Channel 11 Whizz O Meter closer. When I saw that they were forecasting days later this week as “10’s”, when the temperature was only going to 50, I thought I could get a better weather forecast by looking at the window. Live and learn. 

Speaking of living and learning, I learned that the word affluenza was not just a made up term by a really smart defense attorney. Turns out the term started being used back as far as 1954, but really got validation with a PBS documentary called “Affluenza”. The documentary was so successful that it even spawned a sequel called Escape from Affluenza” . Who knew? The folks at PBS define affluenza thusly:

Af-flu-en-za n. 1. The bloated, sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses. 2. An epidemic of stress, overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by dogged pursuit of the American Dream. 3. An unsustainable addiction to economic growth. 4. A television program that could change your life.

Obviously, the 4th definition is a joke, but the other three describe a condition that could be used by a psychologist, or a really smart defense lawyer, to give credence to a mental  condition that could effect one’s behavior. Now, I’m perfectly happy with the first definition. Every husband on the planet knows the pressure of trying to keep up with the Joneses. The pressure comes from family and friends, mostly in subtle ways, but the pressure to provide yours with everything their little hearts desire, is always there. Based off of the PBS defintion, everybody in America that is out there working their butts off trying to provide the American Dream for their family, has affluenza. Imagine my surprise when I heard that a lawyer used affluenza to defend his sixteen year old client. The defendant, who looks like he never hit a lick at a snake, is a mismatch of DNA that clearly has never worked a day in his life. 

Now, I’m all for smart lawyers, I wish I could afford them. I don’t know what Ethan Couch’s attorney charges, but I’m guessing upwards of five hundred dollars per hour. My guess is that the retainer to take the case was $50,000 or more. Clearly this little inbred cretin’s parents could afford to get the best for him. In some sort of Bizarro World court proceeding, Ethan Couch’s lawyer used the fact that the twerp’s parents could afford a really high priced lawyer, as a defense for the little snot killing four people.

If you’re not familiar with the case, Ethan Couch was driving drunk when he hit multiple cars and killed four people. Friends of Couch’s that were riding in Couch’s truck were thrown out of the truck. One of them will never be able to move or talk again because of brain injuries. How drunk was Couch, you ask? Because, in his defense, we all know sometimes accidents are just accidents, right? The prosecutors related that three hours after the crash, Couch’s blood alcohol level was 0.24, which is over three times the legal limit in Texas.

Due to the fact that Couch had always been given everything on a silver spoon all of his life, and his parents could afford a really good attorney, Couch received ten years probation. NO JAIL TIME, NO JUVIE TIME, just go on home and chill. It appears that “chilling” happens to be Couch’s one life skill. Couch was filmed “chilling” with his homies playing beer pong, and when the video went viral, Couch went to Mexico. Strangely, the court persuaded by an “affluenza” defense, did see leaving the court’s jurisdiction as a parole violation. Couch and his Momma are being drug back to Texas, kicking and screaming I’m sure. “Oh, the indignity and unfairness of it all.”

This case is a very fine example of how broken our justice system is. A wealthy white boy kills four people with his car and receives probation. Probation, not even house arrest or wearing a monitor. Free to walk about. On the flip side, you have a Hispanic in Texas that killed his victim while being chased by police for resisting arrest. The Hispanic was executed on 08/12/2015.  It appears that the Texas courts do have one cure for “affluenza” at their disposal. They just appear to be loathe to use it on the “affluent”. As an opponent of the death penalty, I can’t call for Couch’s head, but, I do pray to God he is not allowed to procreate.

I see a more fitting cure for Couch’s affluenza in the movie “Cool Hand Luke”. Maybe what we have here, is a failure to communicate. I’m thinking a little “road work” might help Couch get over his bout of affluenza.


Common Sense Isn’t So Common

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Now that we’re drying out a bit, I feel like it’s getting safe enough to call in a tree service to begin the challenge of taking down this sixty foot pine tree. My worst nightmare is having the tree snap off and crush a trailer like a can of sardines. Not that any of my tenants could be described as sardines, I’m just saying can of sardines in a metaphorical way. I need to weigh my prudence for sending workers with chain saws up into wet, slippery trees against the knowledge that eventually gravity will win. That tree will come to Earth, the question is whether it will be a controlled landing.

Time was, my Daddy, Bocephus, or “Bo” Lite would come up with a witticism that fit a situation. He might say my current situation put me, “between a rock and a hard place”. I might describe the situation to him as just being “common sense”, whereupon he would inevitably tell me that “common sense isn’t very common”.

After watching the events of the Tamir Rice shooting unfold on TV, I have to say Daddy was right. Common sense seems to have no place in the events, or in the aftermath of the police shooting of a twelve year old black boy. In case you are unfamiliar with the story, Tamir Rice was playing with a BB gun outside of a recreation center in Cleveland, Ohio. Possibly he was pointing the gun at passers by and going “pppeewww, pppeewww”, simulating the sounds of bullets. Possibly he was just pointing the gun at folks, or maybe he didn’t point the gun at anyone. In any event, someone dialed 911 and called the police on this black boy who had scared them. In the 911 call, the caller even mentioned they thought that the gun was a toy, but that fact didn’t strike the common sense part of the responding officer’s brain. Within three second of arriving on the scene, Tamir Rice was shot dead. As improbable as it sounds, it was death by firing squad, without arrest or trial. Click here to see the video, the shooting occurs at about the 1:03 mark, by 1:07, Tamir is dead. Continue to watch the video to its end and see if you see the officers trying to offer assistance to the child they had just gunned down. If these two officers are an example of Cleveland, Ohio’s “finest”, well, what can I say?

Common sense tells me the police involved in the shooting didn’t use standard procedure in this case. If this is police policy, then all of the folks that I’ve been describing as wackey-doodle for gathering up arms to oppose the impending “government takeover”, may be right. If police policy is for police to receive a 911 call describing a child with, “what could be a toy gun”, and to roll up in their car ten feet from the suspect with guns drawn, and immediately shoot the suspect, then I’d say we have reason to fear a “police state”, and, common sense has left town for good. 

Now that the grand jury has decided that the police men involved acted reasonably, and decided to not indict the officers for murder, I’d say common sense has left Cleveland, Ohio forever. Imagine how all of the parents and grandparents who gave their kids the latest look a like weapon for Christmas must feel now that they know their children are fair game for the police.

Common sense says that if the police are overreacting because of a fear brought on by the proliferation of weapons in our society, we need to fix the proliferation, not shoot the children. Common sense says when you find out that you’ve got two officers so out of control from fear, or prejudice, that they’re shooting first and not even bothering to ask questions, that you need to prune those branches from the tree. Common sense tells us that the city will save money by firing bad officers rather than paying out awards in wrongful death suits. Common sense in Cleveland, Ohio is clearly different than what goes for common sense in Cleveland, Georgia.

Like Bocephus said, “common sense isn’t very common”, but my common sense says this child should still be walking among us.



How Great Thou Art

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Well, I’m still keeping a close watch on the half-fallen pine tree. I’ve got my vantage point here in front of the big screen in the Rec room at TackyToo. In a rare moment of conformity and tolerance, the other hangers on have allowed me to watch this week’s service of The Full Gospel Original Church of God on the big screen. It must be a sign of the season, or maybe some folks just wanted to satisfy their curiosity. My only promise was to turn the channel when the Fox NFL Sunday pregame show came on. It seemed like a good compromise, since it was probably what I wanted to do anyway.

Now, I do say that with some reservation. If the Reverend Helen Handbasket was wrapped in a twelve foot boa constrictor and couldn’t get loose, or if the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread was being called in front of the congregation for a public shaming, I’d have to invoke my rights to DVR “Terry and Howie” for later viewing. There are some things that happen on live TV that you want to be a part of, and there’s no way I could explain to Mulva that I had missed the Reverend Helen Handbasket being choked out by a giant snake. I mean, I am supposed to be taking a much bigger interest in the day to day operation of the church now that I am officially the webmaster.

That sounds completely crazy, right? Learn a  little HTML, and modify your behavior to be a little less anti-social, and the next thing you know you’re part of the mission. If you had mentioned to me a year ago, that before 2015 was up that I’d be involved in carrying the dogma of The Full Gospel Original Church of God to the masses, I’d have asked for a cup of whatever you were drinking. And now, here I am, watching the Reverend Helen Handbasket in full high def glory capturing the serpents and the souls all at the same time. Some would call it a miracle, Mulva for example. I prefer to call it a sequence of events with an improbable outcome. As an improbable an outcome as this is, it’s no raising up of Lazarus.

Speaking of the raising up of Lazarus, Hugh Morris was so spirit filled this week that he was moved to leave his pew in the amen section and began to dance in the area reserved for the altar call. I may have mentioned before that Mr. Morris is older than dirt, and his movements in church to this point have been confined to entering and exiting. I don’t know what struck his inner Chi, but something got him up on his toes. His dance took on elements of the Charleston and the Lindy Hop with overtures of the Watusi. Mr. Morris spun like a dervish all the way through all five choruses of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. He didn’t stop dancing until the last “hallelujah!”, whereupon he dropped in a heap to sit cross legged in front of the altar. Based off of the reaction of my tenants watching in the Rec room with me, the live show must have been electric. If we’d changed the channel to Fox we would have missed the “Mr. Morris marvel” for a guy with bad hair, and a guy with no hair. I tell you, you just can’t beat live TV.

Anyway, I’m keeping a close eye on Mr. Morris from my safe spot here in the Rec room, in case Old Ben hadn’t snuck back in to his old hangout and given Mr. Morris a little nip. Fortunately, the spaces are so confined in the little church that about any camera shot of the altar from any angle is going to include Mr. Morris. He seems to be ok, catching his breath, but grinning like he just walked into the girl’s shower by accident. Oddly, there is also somewhat of a beatific look on the face of the Reverend Helen Handbasket. I feel for the folks that aren’t watching this in high def.

With events as spectacular as this, I better double my efforts towards finishing up the webpage. At this rate we’re liable to have some ascensions in the coming year. I sure want to chronicle that.


Football Potpouri

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. My morning crisis is a huge sixty foot pine tree that has tipped over due to the recent winds and rain. Although it is dead, the pine beetles have done their worst, it still has enough weight to it to crush a trailer like a tin can. A tree leaning against a tree is beyond the scope of my lumberjack abilities and I’m going to have to find a professional willing to work on the holiday weekend. Fortunately, I can keep watch on the tree from the Rec room while I’m catching up on some football. That’s just me, I’m always looking for the silver lining.

Speaking of silver linings, I’m seeing ads for a new movie called “Concussion” that looks like it’s going to cost the NFL a few dollars to make go away. From the plot they’ve given away, a doctor who was performing an autopsy on Mike Webster, the former Pittsburgh Steeler All Pro center, discovered that Webster had severe brain damage. It was the kind of brain damage brought on by repeated blows to the head, which a center is going to get. Now, I remember Webster, he was about as tough a nut as you’ve ever seen, and apparently his willingness to play hurt, as you’re expected to do, led him to compound his injuries. Webster was not given enough time to heal from one concussion before he received the next one. Webster died at age 50, from dementia. He was living in his pickup truck at the time. I hope the movie is a box office success and is successful in changing the culture in the NFL.

Switching over to the college game, we’ve had a few fun bowl games this week while we get warmed up for the extravaganza next week. I’ve already mentioned Georgia State’s good showing in their first bowl game ever. Not to be overlooked, Georgia Southern trounced Bowling Green in the GoDaddy Bowl, 58-27. It does my heart good to see the Southern boys acquit themselves so well on national TV. Erk would be proud.

Speaking of “Southern” boys doing well, did you catch the Duke game? I gave up on the game with about ten minutes left to go when Indiana went up by two scores. Mulva had made turkey hash and I didn’t think there was any way the Blue Devils could come back, so I went on to supper. Boy, was I wrong. The Dukies took the Hoosiers to Over Time and then Duke hit their field goal and Indiana didn’t. There seems to be some controversy as to whether Indiana’s kick was good or not, but the striped shirts called it a miss, and that’s how it will go down in the record books, 44-41.

Another barn burner was Virginia Tech and Tulsa. The Hokies outlasted the ‘Canes from Tulsa in a true defensive struggle, 55-52. (Ha Ha). The Hokies gave immortal coach Frank Beamer a victory in his last game, a fitting send off to a beloved coach.

Mean time, we all await the latest news from Athens. Every time we turn around it seems that we’re losing a favored staff member and replacing them with an unfamiliar name. It appears that the bowl game will be coached by assistant coaches, and maybe the drum major from the Dixie Redcoat Band. I don’t ever remember this much disarray, and I’m an old man. My fervent hope is that the upheaval we’re seeing now will result in a much more stable environment in the future. I’m kind of likening it to a bad storm that hits New Orleans that does no structural damage, but washes the streets clean. I’m hoping this house cleaning gets rid of all of the rot, and black mold, and catapults our program to new heights. Right now it looks like the chaos theory in practice, but hopefully Coach Smart lives up to his name.


A Christmas Story

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Well Mother Nature wasn’t finished “raining on our parade”, so’s to speak, and it’s coming down in sheets now while I write. Folks over in Fannin county have had some severe flooding issues, and so I guess I shouldn’t whine too much. Our only issue is an abundance of ground water with the ground already soaked. I’m doing my part by keeping the drains clean so the water doesn’t back up and cause a lake. Lake TackyToo has a nice ring to it, though. I’d just like the lake to be an amenity and not a Corp of Engineers project.

Well, as previously detailed, we were blessed to have the whole Lite family come by for Christmas and with a little coaxing we got the kids to stick around for our date night movie. I chose a Christmas Story, a “new” classic. I guess like everything else, each generation picks the movie that they think best represents their memories of growing up, their home life, and maybe even how their family celebrated Christmas. In truth, as much as I enjoyed “White Christmas” and “It’s A Wonderful Life”, they didn’t speak to me as well as they did to my parents.

I think my generation was kind of lost for our own Christmas movie. If someone wants to correct my recollection, please do, Mulva does it all of the time. It’s just that I don’t remember any “just Christmas” movies released in the ’50’s and ’60’s. There was the classic, “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” in 1964, but everything else seems to have been cartoon movies made for TV. Things started to open up a little bit in the ’70’s, with a remake of “A Christmas Carol” leading the way, but animation was still the key. It wasn’t until the ’80’s that Hollywood decided they could get the whole family into the theaters by making movies with people and not cartoons. I love Magoo as much as the next guy, but he’s no match for a Gremlin.

In fact, a look at the Christmas movies released in the ’80’s include: A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas, Scrooged, Gremlins, Die Hard, Trading Places, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, and Ernest Saves Christmas. There’s a great remake of a Christmas Carol starring George C. Scott and a ton of slasher movies set around a Christmas theme. I have no idea why Hollywood decided to start using people rather than cartoons again, but I’m sure the residuals from playing these movies year after year has paid off. I guess people relate to people better than a cartoon. I know for a fact that I relate totally to the character of Ralphie in a “Christmas Story”.

A “Christmas Story” is set in a Midwestern city in the 1940’s which had the feel of Blairsville in the 1950’s. From the very get go, I was caught up with Ralphie’s burning desire to have Santa Claus bring him a BB gun for Christmas. I experienced Ralphie’s crushing disappointment every time he was told that the BB gun was not an option because he would “put his eye out”. All of the other interactions are classic and timeless. From the tag a long little brother to the neighborhood bully, each of the characters is drawn from a memory that could have been pulled from my own. It’s like Jean Shepherd did a Vulcan mind meld with me and pulled all of my childhood memories into his tale. I don’t know if everyone else feels that way, but the movie is accepted as the definitive Christmas movie by the Lite family.

As an interesting factoid, I came across Jean Shepherd’s work in a un-Christmassy fashion. Jean Shepherd wrote regularly for Playboy back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The adventures of Scut Farkus were well know to me before the movie was released. I’m just so happy that Ralphie’s adventures have translated so well to the next generation. The movie has been critically acclaimed and financially very successful. In 2012, the movie was selected for recognition by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

The movie stars, Melinda Dillon as the mom, Peter Billingsley as Ralphie, and Darren McGavin as the Dad. The Dad and the chorus girl leg lamp brought a tear to my eye. Bocephus lives on. Merry Christmas to all!


So This Is Christmas

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Well, what a surprise Mother Nature had in store for us this Christmas. If it was forty degrees cooler, which this time of year it should have been, we’d be under about three and a half feet of snow. I think the ratio is one inch of snow to thirteen inches of snow, and we’ve had about four and a half inches of rain the last twenty four hours. I guess we’re lucky that we reached an all time high temp yesterday. My sweat glands don’t feel so lucky though. The heat and humidity combined to make it a very unpleasant day, temperature wise.

Otherwise, it was a great day. The “collective Christmas” went off well with all of the TackyToo children gathered around the tree in the Rec room at 7AM. It just seems like an easier thing to have everyone do their Christmas all together in the Rec room rather than the little ones worry about how Santa Claus is going to deliver their presents. By the time most of the kids are three or so they’ve figured out that trailers don’t have chimneys, and they start worrying their parents about how Santa Claus is going to get their presents to them. We try to keep the magic alive a little longer for the kids by providing the chimney at the Rec room for Santa Claus to “drop ship” for the park. Any presents that the residents don’t want their neighbors to see are handled in private ceremonies. The TackyToo Christmas is a PG rated celebration for the children. 

As in years past, I’ve donned the tired old Santa Claus outfit and tried to spread as much cheer as I can among the little ones. I have to tell you with the heat and humidity this year it was my biggest challenge ever in terms of being cheerful. I think the ten pounds I’ve put on this season from Christmas cookies got sweated right into the boots of my Santa suit. I now have a glorious set of reddish pink underwear that I don’t think any amount of Clorox is going to be able to whiten. Watching the joy on the little faces was well worth it, though. Even if Christmas was invented by Pagans as a harvest ritual, it doesn’t matter to me. The fact that it has evolved into the one time of year that some children get to feel special, is what it’s all about in my estimation. Some children only get to feel that someone cares that one time of year, and I think that’s real important. Even if I do perspire like a lady of questionable virtue in a house of worship to fulfill my duties as Santa Claus.

After the presents are distributed, the adults setup the tables for the potluck lunch. Not everyone attends the lunch, and that’s fine, but we do want to provide the opportunity for everyone in the park to be with folks on Christmas day. I smoked a turkey, a big old twenty four pounder, and a twelve pound pork roast this year. Mulva made the dressing and the gravy, and other folks brought what they could. We have a hard and fast rule about only the TackyToo family being invited, no extended families, if you know what I mean. The Rec room could go from a neighborhood party to Hosea’s Feed the Hungry in a heart beat if we allowed folks to invite their kin. Even Santa Claus has to enforce some rules.

After the lunch clean up, folks retire to their trailers, or at least the general vicinity. The kids try out their toys in the driveways and spaces between the trailers. The kids go and go until they wear out, or the toy breaks, whichever comes first. About 5 PM, the Lites gather together in the Rec room for our own personal celebration. I am happy to report the whole family was in attendance this year. It has been a while, and I am so thankful. Bud Junior was there with his wife Crystal and the apple of my eye, Bud III, or Trey as I call him. Daughter Melody was there with her partner Alex, and they had some news. They’re going to make it official, and tie the knot. We couldn’t be happier and I’ve been grinning like a mule eating briars ever since the news. I’m going to use my new recording device to get this posted right away, I don’t want to forget any of the joy. Merry Christmas, y’all!


Just Disgusting I Tell You

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Well here we are, Christmas Eve, 2015. All of the lights are hung, and thanks be to Amazon, all of the shopping is done. I find I’m much more generous when I don’t have to go to the mall and fight the great unwashed herds for everything from a parking space to two for one mittens with Santa’s elves embroidered on the back. I can get those mittens delivered free to my door with Amazon Prime. Long live Prime.

Speaking of other things that work better than expected, how about those Democrat debates? The small collection of us at the Democrat debate potluck were well served by the polite discourse offered up by the candidates, and the six foot long sub I bought for the occasion. Where there was the opportunity to have a knock down drag out, hair pulling, neck in vein popping donnybrook, the skirmish resolved itself into a mea culpa. A few days before the debate, Bernie had peeked under Hillary’s skirt, so’s to speak, and gotten a look at her potential voter list. What would have played out with hatchets and machettes and screams of “loser” on the Republican dais, went quietly into the night with a, “sorry Hillary”, and a “ok”. I mean geez, where’s the theater in people acting like adults?

With very few opportunities to go full postal on one another, the candidates seemed like a reasoned bunch of folks who seem to be interested in putting forth a platform that would provide the “middle class” in America the opportunity to return back to its former glory. The differences between the candidates were more to the nuances of improving the policy, not throwing the baby and the bath water out the window in the hopes of seeming to be the most “energized” candidate. We all know from watching the Republican debates that it’s a lack of “energy” that will doom a candidate.

The one hitch of the night’s proceedings was when they returned back from the break a little early and Hillary wasn’t on the stage. Seems like she had used the commercial break for a bathroom break, just like millions of us do at home, and she had not returned prior to the cameras going live. The fact that the moderators/producers of the show should have handled the issue better was lost by the revelation from The Donald that he found the scene “disgusting”. Honest to Jesus, his exact quote is, “I know where she went, it’s disgusting, I don’t want to talk about it,” he said. “No, it’s too disgusting. Don’t say it, it’s disgusting, let’s not talk, we want to be very, very straight up. But I thought that, wasn’t that a weird deal.” 

Now, until I read that quote, I had no idea of what Trump rich is. I mean, I can imagine yachts, and Learjets, a penthouse at the top of the New York skyline, and crab legs three times a day, but when you’re rich enough to get someone else to do your elimination for you, that’s Trump Rich! How else can you explain The Donald’s quote? Clearly, he is so adverse to the human processes that he finds the fact that Hillary went to the bathroom, enough to stroke out over. The Donald didn’t confine his disgust to his small closet of friends, but broadcast it in a speech in Michigan. So, who actually does The Donald’s bathroom breaks for him? Is it one guy, or are there two? You now, number one and number two. Do the eliminators have to be guys or can girls apply? Speaking of girls, do all of the women in The Donald’s life have personal eliminators, or are they disgusting like he thinks Hillary is?

In an aside to the main point, if you’ve “eliminated” any support from the Hispanic community, the Muslim community, the Asian Community, the physically challenged, and most women, who is left to vote for you? If The Donald alienates all of those of us who don’t have personal eliminators on our staff, I’m guessing The Donald’s turn out is going to be pretty light on election day. Just my observation.


Just Mercy

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Still cold and wet here in Nunsuch. The weather report from the ding-a-lings at Channel 11 have me thinking we’re in for a night of high winds and possible tornado activity. As we all know, if there’s one thing a tornado loves, it’s a trailer park. Fortunately, everyone here at TackyToo is tied down with spikes driven into the hard granite layer under the top soil of the park. Georgia ain’t all red clay you know.

Speaking of things made out of granite, puts me in mind of our legislators throughout this great land of ours. Now the question is, should I apply the granite analogy to their hearts, or their heads, being made of stone? I think I’ll go with both. I just finished reading a book, “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson. Now before everyone falls back in apoplexy at the thought that I might be interested in expanding my horizons, let me say I have more than a passing interest in the topic. The book is about the criminal justice system here in the Land of the Free.

“Just Mercy” details Mr. Stevenson’s work for the last few decades in trying to acquire justice for the disadvantaged, specifically folks on death row. Mr. Stevenson’s conclusion of what we should be doing as a people is right up front in the title. If we, and our elected representatives had a policy of applying just one of “The Beatitudes” in our justice system, we wouldn’t find our selves in this god-awful mess. “The Beatitude” that I’m speaking of is, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”. In the country that has the most people incarcerated of anywhere on Earth, if we can’t be merciful with everyone, can we at least be merciful with our children?

I don’t know where the cart got off the track with juvenile offenders in this country, but we seem to be unique in the world in declaring children as adults to receive punishment. It says a lot about us as a society when we deny children the privileges afforded those who have gained majority, but we punish them like they are adults. I’m talking about privileges like driving, drinking, marrying, voting, making a will, bringing suit, making a contract, keeping their medical history private. It seems like if we can sentence a child to life in prison, or worse yet, death, that they should at least be able to vote against the SOBs making the law.

It took a Supreme Court ruling in 2005 to prevent children who committed their crime while under the age of eighteen from being put to death. At the time of the decision there were 71 people convicted for crimes they committed as children sitting on death row awaiting execution. Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in 2005, children who had committed crimes as young as 10, have been put to death. As proof of our collective bloodlust and need to extract vengeance, between 1976 and 2005, 22 people have been put to death for crimes that they committed while they were under the age of majority.

If the irony is lost on you that a child that lacks the necessary reasoning skills to be able to join our armed forces without their parents consent, can be judged as competent when the state wants to punish them, I just don’t know what to say. There are a multitude of factors that have played into our descent into this abyss, race being the dominant factor. It seems that “all white” juries have no problem writing off a black life in the interest of expediency. Since January of 2000, there have been nine executions of offenders who were children at the time of their crime. Six of the nine executed were black. It’s hard to explain a 66% execution rate for a group of people who comprise about 13% of the population.

Well, for most folks around here, it’s like Granny Waller used to say, “they wouldn’t have been there if they hadn’t done something”. I’m not advocating that those who commit crimes shouldn’t be punished. I’m saying that our punishment should be merciful. Particularly when we are punishing the most fragile members of our society, our children and our mentally challenged. I mean, good God, we already do it for Wall Street, seems like we could extend those practices a little further out into the mainstream.

“Just Mercy”, read it. It will break your heart, and enrage you.


Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Cold and wet here in Nunsuch, Georgia. I can’t think of any better reason for shutting myself off in the office of the Rec room all day and catching up on this season of “Gold Rush”. I’ve been DVR’ing the episodes all season and have been planning on watching them commercial free in one orgiastic sitting. Today was the day. Unfortunately, I miscalculated the season by one.

Now, I know it seems crazy to exclude myself from knowing how the battle between Parker and Todd has been going. It seems even crazier for me having to yell “shush” when two people start talking about an episode, but I have a very good reason. I can not abide the commercials on that show. I don’t know how advertisers buy their ad time, whether they target audience, time slot, or price. Probably a combination of the above. I just don’t get why a rugged, outdoorsy, manly show like “Gold Rush” should show 20 Viagra ads in an hour. Is the message from the advertisers that all watchers of the “Gold Rush” have plumbing problems?

Now, in truth, not all of the ads are for Viagra. Viagra’s competitor, Cialis, gets in there too. Cialis runs an ad that asks the question, “if Viagra has let you down?”. I have to at least give Cialis props for the double entendre. If you don’t get it, I won’t explain it, but it’s pretty clever, all things considered.

Anyway, back when I was growing up, tobacco and beer ads ruled the airwaves. The only drug ads you saw were for Bayer Aspirin, Alka Seltzer and Pepto Bismol. Maybe the occasional ad for Serutan or Geritol, if you were having to watch the Lawrence Welk Show with your grandparents, or, an occasional Goody’s Headache Powder ad, if you were watching local based programming. Other than that, nicotine and alcohol ads took up all of the advertising space on television. After all, they were the drug choices of the masses.

All of our diagnosable illnesses could be cured by a couple of headache, or stomach ache remedies. That is, unless your were “puny” and had tired blood, then you’d need to up your game. A diagnosis of “puny” would get you started on a daily regimen of a tonic that had the consistency of maple syrup and the taste of rusty nails. There was no warning on the label of Geritol that it would cause immediate retching. Which, let’s be real here, retching is a much better side effect than blindness or death.

How did we get to the point that our self diagnosed ailments, our hypochondria, became fodder for a multi-billion dollar advertising onslaught? I just don’t know, if there were studies, I’m sure big Pharma would suppress them. Hypochondria seems to be the one disease they don’t want to cure. I reflect back to my last check up with the esteemed Dr. Vinnie Boomba. I had seen and ad for a hair loss product to be taken orally, called Hadacall. Their commercial claims that Hadacall literally cures baldness in 99 percent of all patients. Not just helps, but cures. 

Me: I don’t want to keep losing any more hair, and I heard about this Hadacall drug on the television.

Dr. Boomba: Let me just look that up on the Internet, and … holy Krishna, this sounds like exactly what you need.

Me: I know, right?

Dr. Boomba: When did this come out? This drug has been designed specifically for someone in your situation, I am shocked. I was so unaware of how to help you and other patients with your situation. I am so embarrassed. I may give up my reserved parking spot as penance.

Me: No worries. When can I get started?

Dr. Boomba: Right away, let me just check the side effects. You’re ok with hair growing on your palms or sudden asphyxiation right?

Obviously my example is false, just like the claims of most of these wonder drugs. I really feel sorry for the doctors that are having to field the claims of the self-diagnosed hypochondriacs that previously would have been cured at home by Speedy Alka Seltzer. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.