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Coloradoin’ is Coloradobelievin’
In September, a trip to Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado got totally goed, and it was quite a spectacle indeed. Celebrity look-alikes were sighted, and flatulence wafted. We visited 13 states—Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. And I got the poop on the Power Line, so let me clue you in. I was gone from September 14 to 22, and the event got off to a flying start as we zipped through Kentucky. At the Pilot gas station in Glendale, Kentucky, the restroom smelled like bubble gum, and there was urine all over the toilet seat. At least the restroom didn’t smell like urine and have bubble gum all over the toilet seat! Later in the trip, I saw this slogan on a sign in front of an animal hospital in Durango, Colorado: “If you love something, pee on it.” If that maxim is true, there must be lots of people out there who want to marry a toilet seat or a bathroom floor! Many—if not most—of the public restrooms I saw on this outing sported piddle on the floor or the seat. We stopped at a restaurant near Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, where the electricity went out. Plus, the bathroom there caused a slight delay, for it was being monopolized by a procession of punctilious imps. Speaking of meals, keep in mind that I’m on a spartan budget, and my gallbladder plague of 2011 forces me to eat with care. At restaurants where some would order a $15 steak or shrimp meal, I might devour a $4 plate of mozzarella sticks or just a soda. I’m an industrious man, and I don’t care to spend the remainder of each day laying on my back waiting for all the gas bubbles that taste like vomit to crawl their way up my esophagus. Plus, considering the lean budget I allocate for each meal, you can cool it with the complaints about how I got Free St00f by eating something that cost more than convenience store snacks or dried grass. When we refueled at a Shell station in Forrest City, Arkansas, we noticed that not only did the restroom have the obligatory allotment of pee on the floor, but this gas station also had one other amusement: A couple was getting ready to have sex while standing right in front of the gas pump. But life isn’t all just dirty lavatories and people having sex in public. No sirree! The celebrity look-alike paparazzi was out in full force too, and the Applebee’s in Mount Pleasant, Texas, was the site of 3—count ‘em, 3 —celeb doubles. At this restaurant, look-alikes for famous people included zillion-term senator Robert Byrd, football legend Don Meredith, and singer Avril Lavigne. For the first night of the trip, we lodged at a motel in Greenville, Texas. Our room at this inn had numerous bugs—dead and alive—on the floor. The following morn, the shower handle broke off. There was also a booger on the wall and a dangerous staple embedded in the carpet. But people weren’t done peeing on toilet seats yet! Later that day, I found another mess at a Dairy Queen in Seymour, Texas. That was also the day I participated in Occupy King County. King County, Texas, is reputed to be the most right-wing county in America—it was 96% for Tea Party blunderbuss Mitt Romney in 2012—so I dropped by the courthouse and displayed my Occupy O—actually a roll of duct tape I use as a makeshift O. (Note for future reference that I had duct tape with me. It’ll come in handy later in the trip.) Later that evening, we faced a minor obstacle when we pulled up to our hotel in Amarillo, for a motorcycle was blocking the driveway. The bike was nearly flattened for being in our way. Amarillo is also the home of the Big Texan Steak Ranch, a restaurant where we saw yet another celebrity look-alike: Denver Pyle, who was best known for playing Uncle Jesse on The Dukes Of Hazzard. The guy looked just like him! Although a 0% chance of rain was predicted, I was kept awake all night by the thunderstorms. The whole vacation was ruined. Just kidding! Also at this inn, the refrigerator didn’t work, which conjured a memory from
my 2011 Big Bend trip that I’d forgotten about: At a hotel on the way home on that trip, we placed what was left of the mustard we used at the campsite in the fridge in the room. When we woke up, we discovered the refrigerator was broken, which caused our mustard to spoil—so we left the mustard behind to stink up the place. Der nifto, huh? On day 3 of last month’s Colorado trip, we ended up behind a pickup truck whose occupants kept opening the door and throwing garbage out on the highway near Etter, Texas. They appeared to be huffing paint, as they threw out a metal paint can that we almost ran over. Here’s a picture of the truck at a traffic light, as they prepare to step up their litterbug ways...
Then, at the Express Lane gas station in Dalhart, Texas, I noticed there was pee all over both the bathroom floor and the toilet seat! A customer was then seen entering the stall, coming back out with a scowl, grabbing some paper towels, and reentering. That’s nothing compared to the uproarity that ensued at the rest area on I-25 near Raton, New Mexico. There I went into the lavatory to find one of the urinals filled with poo water. It had apparently overflowed onto the floor. Then I saw the maintenance man enter the restroom with a plunger. He began angrily plunging the pooped-in urinal with all his might, as more dirty water sluiced onto the flinty floor. Continuing near Walsenburg, Colorado, we got caught in another heavy downpour. A bloke in front of us in a red convertible continued driving through the blinding rain—with the top of his car down. To be sure, the insides of his car were getting drenched. So the hapless beezweezer coasted to a halt as he approached an underpass—but he overshot the underpass, forcing him to go into reverse on the Interstate to arrive at this needed shelter. Here he is in the right lane...
Later that day, as we ascended the mountains west of there, an unexpected life destroyer occurred. I had brung along a bag of barbecued potato chips in case we needed a snack. The bag had never been opened. As our counterculture caravan pibbed westward, I heard a loud pop. It sounded like we either got a flat tire or someone threw a rock at the car. The source of the bang could not be determined—until a couple minutes later when we started smelling barbecued chips. I looked into the back seat and discovered the potato chip bag had ruptured due to the high altitude. Apparently, the local Cincinnati brands of potato chips don’t design their bags to withstand Colorado heights. But no bother! Remember that roll of duct tape that I brang along to use as an Occupy O? I simply used that to tape the bag shut! Occupy saved the day! Day 4 beginned with more laughs, as I noticed there was a booger on the ceiling at our motel room in Alamosa, Colorado. Later that day, when we stopped at the johndola near Blue Mesa Reservoir, I noticed there was a sign over the toilet...
Let me expand the sign so you can read it...
But toilets are receptacles! Notice also that the toilet has a cool shape. That restroom was sighted shortly before a construction tie-up on U.S. 50 delayed us. We wasted 45 minutes stopped in traffic with the bees that tried to get in our car. That night was spent camping out at Mesa Verde National Park. When we got to our campsite, I kept hearing loud-and-proud bunker blasts emanating from a neighboring site. The flatulence continued overnight—though what really kept me awake was the thunderstorm. Also, when I got up in the middle of the night to use the restroom down the road, I noticed there was a man sleeping in the stall. The air biscuits continued on the fifth day of this trip. While we were touring the ruins of an ancient pithouse at Mesa Verde, an old man cracked another loud-and-proud. But the rest of the day was spoiled by the unending rain. I cowered in my tent during a hailstorm. Another hailstorm afflicted the region late that night when I was trying to sleep. All this despite the 0% chance of rain that was predicted. Is The Media gonna keep denying climate change? The morning after that, a Dustin Hoffman look-alike was sighted at the campground. We headed home, and later that night, at a restaurant in Centennial, Colorado, we saw a guy who looked just like failed 1964 Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. Colorado was full of traffic delays on this trip. On day 7, we encountered another on I-25 heading into Colorado Springs—but not before we saw a truck dropping cardboard boxes all over the freeway. Later, at the Subway in Florence, Colorado, we faced another delay because somebody was hogging the restroom. I also partook in Occupy Cheyenne County—where the Occupy O was again pressed into service. I chose that Colorado bailiwick because it’s part of an effort by the oil and gas industries to carve out a 51 st state—where only their ideology would be honored. That evening, at a Montana Mike’s restaurant in Colby, Kansas, I saw a Leslie Nielsen look-alike. That was the funniest celebrity look-alike of the whole trip, by far! I could barely even finish my meal because I was laughing so hard! A series of rude shocks awaited us at our hotel in Oakley, Kansas. First, they lost our reservation that we had made well in advance. Plus, a nearby feedlot stank up our entire room. The bathroom window had no curtains, so people could see right in from outside. The following morning, I noticed there was a wisp of feces smeared on the wall behind the toilet. But we had to dust ourselves off and get back on the road again! When we stopped at a Casey’s General Store in Hebron, Nebraska, they tried accusing me of stealing gasoline. Apparently there had just been a gas drive-off while I was inside using the dumper. The cashier interrogated me about whether I was the one who just filled their car with $21.03 in fuel—even as I tried leaving the store. Tough toilets, Casey’s. You got the wrong guy.
The McDonald’s in Fairbury, Nebraska, provided the most uproarious sight of the whole trip. Often, when you use a public restroom, you try to see if there’s a pair of feet in the stall so you don’t barge in on someone. Well, at this Ron McDon location, there wasn’t a pair of feet in the stall. There were two pairs of feet in the stall! And there was an empty condom wrapper on top of the urinal outside the stall. In other words, somebody was gettin’ it on in the stall! At a McDonald’s, of all places! The ninth and final day of the trip was the most ruified of all. We headed home from Ottumwa, Iowa, and I felt like I’d been run over by a stadium. We stopped for lunch at a T.G.I. Friday’s in Champaign, Illinois, and I detected the scent of a silent-but-deadly bunker blast. I suspected the perpetrator was the guy in the Packers shirt who bopped into the restaurant’s bar area expecting to see a nice, carefree Green Bay game on the TV screen, but who apparently was disappointed to find that the network was obsessed with showing the Cowboys instead. I believe that he vented his frustration by cracking a silent salute. If your favorite team couldn’t be seen, wouldn’t you do the same? I was dehydrated by then and downed several Dr Peppers at lunch. But the refreshments failed to transform themselves into fuel for the bod, and I ended up peeing up a storm for the rest of the trip home. For a while, we had to stop once every few minutes. In the restroom at the Phillips 66 in Oakwood, Illinois, I noticed somebody had thrown a plastic water bottle (for bottled water) in the toilet. And in the bathroom at the Pilot station in Shelbyville, Indiana, I noticed somebody had carved “IMPEAH [sic] OBAMA” into the toilet paper dispenser—once again proving the Tea Party’s lack of mastery of both spelling and civics. And the rest as they say is hilarity. It’s a shame the final day was demolished by a medical condition. For days afterward, I suspected everything from mononucleosis to E. coli to shingles to a bladder infection, and the dirty motel in Oakley was the prime culprit. Now I think it was severe dehydration caused by hemorrhoid-induced blood loss—which was going on since even before the trip. This fact-finding mission was so incredible that it’ll be tough to top!
People got yelled at in Big Bend
In my recent rehash of my 2011 trip to Big Bend National Park in Texas, I forgot one guffaw-causing detail: People got skeeped at by park rangers. Indeed they did. Right after we set up our camp at the campgrounds there, we pept the nose of a National Park Service vehicle through the trees. Then we overheard the judicious baritone of a ranger speaking to two men who were camping nearby. It quickly became clear he was lecturing them about using the campsite without paying. I began snickering as the warning heightened. Maybe the campers thought the Tea Party had already succeeded at shutting down the government, so they figured there was no place to pay the fee.
In the decades since this publication beginned, we’ve been known for having our own language. For a while in the mid-’90s, we collected our made-up words and phrases into brief dictionary-like installments. And the New Language is still growing. In very recent times, we’ve come up with potential new entries, like the admonition, “Tough toilets.” Another recent addition is “doing a Wright brothers”, whose meaning is identical to the phrase Bazookacidal tendencies in the old Sniglets books. It means to reach over and pop a person’s gum bubble. I call it this because of a Care-Free gum commercial in the ‘70s featuring actors portraying Orville and Wilbur Wright doing this very thing to an unnamed character. Here’s another new one: burpoo. It’s pronounced “bur-poo”, as you may educatedly surmise. The word burpoo is a noun that was coined on the spur of a moment, when somebody needed a word to denote a belch that tastes like feces. It is a portmanteau of the words burp and poo.
Another new term to add to this ever-growing incunabulum: Snuffleupagus moment. A Snuffleupagus moment is when you find proof something exists after everybody else has denied it for years. This is different from a Kenny Rogers moment. A Kenny Rogers moment is when someone who always gave up under the slightest pressure for years finally starts fighting back. I call it this because of the song “Coward Of The County.” For example, the Democrats had a Kenny Rogers moment when they stood firm and decided not to negotiate with the Tea Party over the government shutdown. One brand new term is the interjection ohhh!, pronounced like a drawn-out letter O. This sound often accompanies the mention of a county courthouse, and is inspired by my recent activity of Occupying courthouses by holding an O out front. Some New Language entries are classics. To this day, I still refer to an inedible, stringy piece of banana as an eppy. But other New Language entries did not age well—at all. To bring them up now would be like if an all-’90s radio station played “My Love Is A Fire” 15 times a day. Bring them up, and I’ll cry bitter tears.
Free like pee!
I tried. Many of you know that The Last Word for the past 3 months was available only to paying readers. Why? Because Making Money makes me important. It must be true that money makes people important, because some right-wing gasbag on AM radio said so. That, plus AdSense and the rest of the Internet ad industry blacklisted me, so I couldn’t make a living through ads like I used to. In all seriousness, we’re very touchy about being labeled as idle. My industriousness was unfairly attacked by my high school. I remember a priest at Brossart giving the class an angry lecture because we were “too damn lazy.” So I just figured that the more money I made, the more I would be insulated from public humiliation. It didn’t matter whether I actually did work harder, because I knew I busted my ass in high school and still flunked sophomore year (because I didn’t have the money or the athletic interest that other kids had). As long as I made money, it would be assumed by others that I was a hard worker. But the people spoke. Gobs of readers told me they felt The Last Word should be free like it was for the 20 years before. Quite frankly, I was hardly making any money from selling it anyway. I guess that proves it’s never a good idea to sell your work when your target audience is people who have a negative balance in their bank account. I was hoping against all hope that some pretentious intellectual type could fund my work as a philanthropic endeavor, but that never happened. This proves another lesson: “Limousine liberals” ain’t so damn liberal. I guess they’re happy to just sip their lattes as the rabble around them starves. Never count on elites to be the saviors for proletariat populism. The Last Word is now once again offered free...of...charge! My biggest worry now is the reaction by the few people who actually paid to read it who now wish they had waited. Such is life. Parents who purchased a Speak & Spell for their kids in 1979 didn’t get a refund because they didn’t wait 5 years for the price to drop by $10. I’ve now set up a WePay donation button on The Online Lunchpail and some of my other websites so people can pay me what they see fit for my work. If this fails, that’s just further proof of what a colossal loser capitalism is. Let’s look on the bright side. Begging with WePay beats the bejeepers out of the nonunion fast food jobs that make up almost the entirety of the local job market. And I’ll probably make more money too. But you can only imagine what lost opportunities will occur when any prospective “superiors” discover that it isn’t making me a billionaire. On the other hand, I’m through giving a shit what people think about me all because I don’t have money like they do.
Phantom Pooper goes to Yale
Did the Phantom Pooper decide to go Ivy League?
Students at Yale have awoken lately to the doings of the Yale Poopertrator. The Poopertrator is an unknown individual who has been urinating and throwing human feces and food into washing machines and dryers with other folks’ clean clothes. Now ol’ Poops has hung up a laundry line full of shit-smeared t-shirts on campus, and has sent an anonymous e-mail to students boasting about it. This has been going on for a month. It came to the attention of school officials when a student went to a campus laundry room to pick up her clothes after washing them after somebody had urinated on them in the laundry earlier. Then she found they were coated in poo-poo. “I simultaneously wanted to throw up, cry, and punch someone,” she said. Another student said, “It’s ruining people’s quality of life.” (The magic word!) One school official sent a memo to students declaring, “This must stop immediately.” Or else they’ll say, “This must stop immediately,” again. But some members of the Yale community are taking the events in stride. One commenter called the Poopertrators activities “a work of art” and “an act of the avant-garde.” Meanwhile, photos of the laundry line full of poo-covered garments have cropped up on a website... http://yaledailynews.com/crosscampus/2013/10/04/soiled-clothes
Remember Dungeons & Dragons? I was never an advanced D&D player, but I always thought there was something utterly fi about this classic role-playing game. I guess I was 9 the first time I saw Dungeons & Dragons in use. It was all pretty harmless, of course. One day, shortly after I first saw D&D, I kept calling it “Dumbgeons & Dragons” just to try to provoke an angry sibling reaction. That was just me being a bratty kid—for the game was anything but dumb. Before long, after being subjected to D&D regularly, I became pretty familiar with some aspects of D&D gameplay. When there weren’t enough players around, people made up characters like Rothgar (the fighter everyone loves) and Kras (who kept upstaging everyone else’s efforts). Some of the monsters were interesting too. There were drawings of many of the monsters in the D&D books. One of them was a tiger who wore a fancy robe and smoked a pipe. This fiend was reportedly inspired by a demon in Eastern mythology, but D&D tried making him look like Hugh Hefner! Despite the harmless nature of D&D, local Falwellians disdained it. Children’s Psychiatric Hospital of Northern Kentucky—a brutal concentration camp where kids were sent if they looked at someone funny or disagreed with a Republican—confiscated D&D equipment from inmates. CPH officials considered the game “satanic.” Like the Taliban, staffers reportedly burned game equipment that they seized. TSR—which once published D&D—caved to right-wing pressure. According to the omniscient, omnipotent, omnivorous Wikipedia, the 1989 edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons deleted all monsters
based on demons or devils. But these creatures were later reinstated. And why did things in D&D have such weird names? Where did they get the idea to have a character class called magic-user? Why not use the word sorcerer or wizard? Magic-user sounds like something you’d come up with if you’re just learning English. It’s like when George H.W. Bush referred to a drug addict as a “narcotics wrapped-up guy.” Speaking of character classes, my earliest D&D exposure was when the Supertramp song “It’s Raining Again” was popular. I actually thought the line, “Come on, you little fighter,” had something to do with the D&D character class. The height of D&D hilarity may have been a brief passage in one of the books on how to deal with argumentative players. The piece talked about players “using the books as a defense” or something similar. At the time, I got the image of an unruly player wearing a wizard hat and fake beard, holding one of the D&D books in front of his face as another player takes a swing at him. But I think the article actually referred to the disorderly player twisting the rules to meet their ends. I actually invented my own role-playing game before I ever heard of D&D. Holiday Inn Conquering—a pastime in which I went through the official Holiday Inn directory and pretended to lay siege to each hotel and barbecue the innkeeper—was in essence a roleplaying game. But it’s unclear how many hit points innkeepers have or what their armor class or treasure type is. To me, life feels like a real-life role-playing game—only with real consequences. For a vast majority of people, life is a series of events, but for me, it’s a series of projects. But most things are designed for event people. Nobody appreciates us project people. On that note, we’ve got some D&D to play! It’s the “game” we call life! In the meantime, I’ve found a hilarious commersh on YouTube for a book about D&D. In this ad, a couple credits D&D with saving their shattered marriage... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgT33Z4M4W4 Funniest line in that commercial: “Have you ever wanted to play Dungeons & Dragons but were too intimidated to try?” Eek! D&D! Run for your life! May you slay many sea monsters, and may you defeat many level-draining wraiths (so Kras doesn’t get all the credit)!
Tea Party brews shutdown
I’d planned to publish this ish before the U.S. government shutdown began, but my case of Coloradoitis ruled otherwise. So now I get to educate you of the fact that the power-mad Republican Party—which has essentially coalesced with the fascist Tea Party, also known as Team Tyranny—is 100% to blame for the shutdown. Not just a majority to blame. Not 75% to blame. One hundred percent. The Republicans are the ones who decided to hold the Affordable Care Act hostage and wouldn’t budge. The Democrats shouldn’t have to budge. They won the election. The 2010 health care law had already been passed by Congress, signed by the President, and largely upheld by the Supreme Court. Losers don’t get to hold America hostage and legislate via the budget. The Media has tried to shift blame for the shutdown onto President Obama and the Democrats, but this view is demonstrably bogus. It’s not merely a matter of opinion. It’s an incontrovertible fact the Republicans caused the shitdown, because they’re the ones making demands over a legitimately passed law. So far, the Democrats’ reaction to these sore losers is the best they’ve put up in decades. We’re used to the Democrats caving on everything—and I mean everything. Bill Clinton, for instance, proved he’d rather give speeches demanding right-wing ideas like school uniforms than put up a real fight against the 104 th Reich, the Congress that gave us the shutdowns of 1995-96. Americans elect Democrats so they can oppose Republicans— not so they can weakly mime them. Prior to 1995, there were 9 lesser shutdowns going back to 1981. Like the major shutdowns since 1995, each and every one was the fault of the Republicans. Every fucking one of them. Back in 1990, the Tea Party wasn’t called the Tea Party yet. It was called George Bush. There was a brief shutdown then because dictator Bush vetoed a budgeting bill passed by Congress. But even back then, the
Democrats caved by subsequently adding a provision to the bill to appease Bush so he’d sign it. Reagan presided over 8 minor shutdowns. For example, a 1982 blackout was touched off when Reagan pledged to veto a jobs bill. Shitdowns in 1984 and 1987 occurred when ol’ Rappin’ Ronnie insisted on using U.S. taxpayer money to fund the Contras—right-wing Nicaraguan rebels responsible for numerous human rights violations. Why do we still lend any credibility to the Republicans? After the thuggish violence of the ‘88 campaign, they shouldn’t have had any more second chances—unless they were willing to close the big tent on the party’s fascist elements. Most Americans hold a progressive stance on almost every major issue—and they’re only moving leftward. But the Republicans have stampeded further and further to the right. Now the GOP is at the point where they’ve endorsed a protest led by someone who has seriously claimed that President Obama and Osama bin Laden are the same person. The Democrats not caving at all on the shutdown is actually a major story. Think about this for a minute: A party known for buckling under at the slightest contact (and providing much merriment for opponents) didn’t cave. Is this a dream? Now that the Republicans’ role in the shutdown is clear, the GOP needs to be given no more second chances. The Democrats have had perhaps 2 or 3 second chances in recent years—but the Republicans have had more than anyone can even begin to count. If we had a media that was worth a shit, the shutdown would be the end of the Republican Party. There’s absolutely no mistaking that. But don’t hold your breath. The Media today is almost singularly dedicated to advancing right-wing causes. If The Media was honest, the Tea Party shutdown never would have been allowed to happen in the first place. The real question is: What do people do if the debt ceiling isn’t raised and the government defaults, which causes them to not receive their Social Security? We are at war. We’re at war against Tea Party evil—and those in The Media who prop it up.
Team Tyranny declares EPA illegal
Good heavens, it looks like we’re gonna have bushels of fun with Jamie Comer in ‘15! Work-for-Less Jamie is the Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and The Media’s candidate for governor 2 years from now—since he’s now the only Republican to hold a state constitutional office after the GOP’s humiliation in the Occupy-tinted election of 2011. After Comer squandered taxpayer money on fancy steak dinners and Crowne Plaza stays during an official trip, his cultists continue to make him look like every bit the moron that he is. I stumbled upon Work-for-Less Jamie’s Facebook page and couldn’t help but notice what one of his followers said in a rant against the EPA. This user posted a link to an article that falsely claimed that President Obama’s EPA had declared wood-burning stoves illegal. To accompany this link, this user said in part, “I declare the EPA illegal. Which it actually is.” You declare the EPA illegal? Who elected you the Decider? Imagine if I could just declare things illegal like the Tea Party thinks it can. I don’t like the GrammLeach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act. So I’ll just declare it illegal. I don’t like it when the gas station food mart up the street sells me a box of Chips Ahoy that tastes like cardboard. So I’ll just declare it illegal. I don’t like the fact that there’s not as much free Internet porn as there used to be. So I’ll just declare pay porn illegal. Wait, that’s the Tea Party’s job, since they’re the ones who hoard porn for “important research.” Being part of the Tea Party apparently means you can make up your own laws and expect everybody else to follow them. Because libertea.
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