The Last Word

Issue #482

November 2014

Go southwest, Last Word!

I was hoping for some mischief during October’s fact-finding mission. I was hoping to discover that
people peed on stuff. I was hoping to detect the uproarious presence of bunker blasts in public places. I was
hoping to witness the aftermath of a plopping.
All these hopes were realized—even if only marginally—but trust me, they were! My road trip from
October 4 to 12 that featured the Roads Scholar Summit in Tulsa and took us to Guadalupe Mountains National
Park in Texas featured all of the above and more, and you’re gonna peep it all!
For starts, on the way there, I noticed that someone had urinated all over the bathroom floor at a Pilot gas
station in Marengo, Indiana. Someone had done the same at a Phillips 66 in Cuba, Missouri. At a QT station in
Tulsa, I found that there was peed-on toilet paper on the floor next to the toilet.
The mischief rating went up as it should when we broke an electrical socket in a hotel room in El Reno,
Oklahoma. Corporate America loses again! At a Dairy Queen in Seymour, Texas, I noticed that someone had
released a small morsel of


onto the floor in front of the urinal. The restroom at a Denny’s restaurant in Big Spring, Texas, had pee
everywhere and smelled disastrous.
Some of the most illustrious happenings of this trip surrounded our meals at Guadalupe Mountains. We
camped out there for 2 nights, and for dinner, we had brung along Flanders hamburger patties that we buyed at a
Lowe’s supermarket in Kermit, Texas. (Our mandatory Sesame Street reference!) These burgers were disgusting.
On Monday, our enjoyment of these truly nauseating hamburgers was dampened when the wind blew the seal
from our mustard bottle onto the ground and one of our crew licked the mustard off the dirty seal afterward—even
after I made it perfectly clear the seal had been on the ground. Now there’s a way to pick up germs! Right before
supper on Tuesday, we found out the sad truth about our hamburger patties: The expiration date was October 2013
—a full year earlier! Yes, the Lowe’s in Kermit had sold us year-old spoiled meat—and we ate it! Upon
discovering this, I immediately said, “Pitch ‘em.” We discarded what was left of the rotten burgers and subsisted
on only baked beans for din-din.
It’s not as if I had much faith in those hamburgers anyway, even if they were within the expiration date.
We were forced to buy this brand during our Big Bend trip of 2011, and they were vastly inferior then too.
Reviewers on websites say the same thing about this brand’s inferiority, so tough toilets, Flanders. One reviewer
even called the strangely gray, corrugated Flanders patties “the worst pieces of crap I have ever tasted” and
another said that no member of their family of 6 “was able to get past the first bite.” Another speculated that it
contained “ground up anus.”
Did I also mention that one of the Mountain Dews that Lowe’s sold us was also past its expiration date?

The truth hurts, Lowe’s.
The bathroom at our campsite featured what has become a standard: the now-familiar sign telling people
not to put garbage in the toilet (the funny garbage can)...

A close-up of the sign...

(Also, isn’t it weird that the toilet is the funny garbage can, while the garbage can is the funny toilet?)
We got moving again on Wednesday. At a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Moriarty, New Mexico, I detected
the unambiguous audio of a loud-and-proud air biscuit. There was also a minor plopping: I noticed someone had
wadded up a bunch of store receipts and thrown them in the urinal. It was also in Moriarty that our motel had

unusable wi-fi—much to the chagrin of those who are younger than 3 and don’t remember when nobody had wifi. Or any kind of fi.
At a Conoco station in Tatum, New Mexico, I noticed the urinal was broken and was covered by a huge
plastic trash bag. But someone had peed all over the trash bag and overflowed the urinal. I also saw a Judge Mills
Lane look-alike at a Hoffbrau restaurant in Amarillo, Texas. Also in Amarillo, some girl who was about 9 or 10
farted audibly in the hotel lobby.
At a Valero station in Dumas, Texas, the toilet had overflowed and coated some toilet paper that was on
the floor. The situation was even worse at a rest area near Salina, Kansas.
The second celebrity look-alike of the trip was sighted at an Arby’s in Junction City, Kansas. That’s where
we saw a Madeline Kahn look-alike. Also, at a Conoco station in Columbia, Missouri, I noticed the toilet was
hopelessly clogged and was in the process of overflowing.
As we left our motel in Pontoon Beach, Illinois, on the final day of the trip, more humor ensued. A man
was seen loudly arguing with the clerk in the lobby over allegedly being overcharged.
That’s the story of our Guadalupe Mountains trip that we paid for!

When American Airlines ruined a vacation

Keek! Ruin!
I’m a planes, trains, and autos kind of guy, even though I’ve never been on a commercial plane, never
used an intercity train, and don’t own an auto. That’s because I’m a poor planes, trains, and autos kind of guy.
In our April issue, I told you about how Delta Airlines pulverized a couple’s New York vacation and
caused them to miss a Rockettes show. Well, American Airlines did something very similar last year—according
to a review website. And the reviewer did use the magic word: The review is titled “American Airlines ruined our
vacation.” Ruin!!!
Apparently, the trip was from Florida to Jamaica. The traveler tried to print out her boarding passes from
American Airlines’ website, but when the website didn’t work, she called the airline. It was then—the day before
she was supposed to depart—that she discovered that the airline had somehow lost her reservation. This occurred
because the airline agent had failed to submit it. She didn’t know about this beforehand, because the reservation
actually showed up in her account on the airline’s website before this discovery.
Because of this, the customer was unable to go on her trip at all—and she had to pay cancellation fees to
the resort. Plus, she lost the money she had paid in advance for some events on the trip. As a result, she demanded
that American Airlines reimburse her.
But American Airlines didn’t just ruin a vacation last year. It ruined two vacations—maybe more!
In another story from last year, a couple planned to fly from Salt Lake City to Miami. That trip was to
include a cruise around the Bahamas. Granted, this was a costly endeavor. You’d be hard-pressed to find a guy
like me being able to afford a trip like this, but the point still stands. I’d favor financially secure people over a
financially secure corporation. I’ll take the 1% over the 0% any day.
The trip was scheduled so the flight would leave for Miami 29 hours before the cruise left from there.
That’s a big enough cushion to make up for any airline delays, right? Wrong!
First, American Airlines canceled the flight because of bad weather in Dallas and rescheduled it so they’d
get to Miami too late to go on the cruise. So the couple had to find a different flight—which backtracked via Los
Angeles. Then that flight was delayed 2 hours, which would have gotten them to L.A. too late to catch the
connecting flight. So then they had to find another flight—via New York. After they boarded the plane, the
aircraft sat on the tarmac for 1½ hours, causing them to miss their connection in New York. So they had to catch a
different plane when they got to New York. They boarded that plane, and it sat on the tarmac for 2 hours—before
they were switched to yet another plane.
There were so many delays that they missed the cruise leaving from Miami—even with the 29-hour
cushion. They tried to join the cruise in progress by taking another flight to Nassau and waiting 2 days for the
cruise ship to get there. But that flight was delayed too!
The woman whose trip was destroyed notified American Airlines and asked for compensation for parts of
the trip “that you were responsible for ruining.” The magic word again! She wrote about the experience in more

detail here...
Capitalism strikes again!

When United ruined a vacation
It isn’t just Delta and American Airlines that are in the vacation-ruining biz. United Airlines has gotten in
on the act too.
In 2012, an Arizona TV station reported that United decimated a family’s once-in-a-lifetime trip. They
planned to fly from Phoenix to Vancouver to catch an Alaska cruise. There were 11 people on this trip, and it was
to celebrate the dad’s 70 th birthday. They got to the airport plumb early. But United up and sold all their seats to
other folks anyway. This after all their bags were checked. The luggage went on the plane—but the people who
the luggage belonged to weren’t able to get on the plane with it.
As a result, the entire trip had to be canceled at the last minute.
Capitalism strikes again and again!

When toilets aren’t as tough as nails
Plop Day—November 18—is lurking just behind the corner to slime us all. Why not commemorate it by
talking about a plopping splurge that recently took place in Eagan, Minnesota?
A 38-year-old man was busted for criminal damaging
after he allegedly kept flushing nails down the toilets at
numerous businesses. A Subway restaurant notified police
because the man reportedly deposited 2 pounds of nails in the
toilet—on 3 separate occasions. After one such incident, a
plumber had to fix the johnnypot, incurring charges of $1,000.
But the alleged plopster denied it all.
Around the same time, police were called to a nearby
transit station on a report that a man had flushed 3 pounds of
nails down the toilet and clogged the entire sewer system. In
addition to nails, workers also found mail that was addressed
to the alleged Subway plopper.
The same thing happened at a Starbucks! What is this
world coming to?! This time, the ploppage overflowed the
toilet and caused the coffee shop to close for hours. After
Starbucks called police, they found the man in the restroom of
a nearby business. They heard the sound of metal clanking
against porcelain, followed by the donicker flushing. Then the
man emerged carrying a bag full of nails. It turned out that the
damage at Starbucks was so severe that the plumber had to
cut a hole in the wall to fix it.
The penalty for all this hilarity? The plopper may face up to 5 years in the paholkey if convicted. And the
toilets there are metal, so he better smuggle in some strong nails!

Code ridiculous
For a brief period in my childhood, I was thoroughly possessed with police and fire department shows,
and I remember when a program titled Code Red became part of my Sunday night TV-watching ritual.
Code Red was an ABC drama that starred the late Lorne Greene as a grumpy old fire chief, Adam Rich as
his adopted son, and other luminaries. At the time, Mr. Greene also did commercials for dog food and for one of
those “If you’re over 65” life insurance programs. I almost expected to turn on the TV sometime and see a
commercial with Greene saying, “If your dog is over 65, bury him.” (I’ve been waiting over 30 years to use that
Although Code Red was one of my favorite shows for the few milliseconds that it was around, some
things on that show just didn’t make any sense. For example, the story of how the fire chief and his wife adopted
the boy. I might be thoroughly mistaken about this, but I remember watching the series premiere, and if I recall

correctly, they adopted him after they caught him trying to burn down a building. Who would adopt a 12-year-old
I don’t remember the youngster’s origin ever being explained on the show. The chief and his wife just
found him and adopted him instantly. They didn’t try to find out where he came from. It’s as if they just waved
their hands and said some magic words to make the adoption official.
Code Red was a family show. It wasn’t like CHiPs where Erik Estrada slipped jokes about “69” past the
censors. So—to meet the network requirements for family programming—many Code Red episodes concluded
with a brief lesson about fire safety or first aid delivered by one of the characters.
In our home, Code Red should have been called Code Green. Remember, it debuted in 1981, when our
only TV set was the one in the living room that barely worked. People and other objects on the screen would
frequently turn green, and you’d have to stomp your feet on the floor with all your might to fix it. Oftentimes, I’d
be in my bedroom while someone else was watching TV in the living room, and I’d hear them stomping their feet.
Sometime later, my parents sold the TV to some people they knew. They said the TV worked beautifully
If your TV set is over 65, bury it!

Creature of habit
Woo-hoo, it’s another Dungeons & Dragons memory! Imagine that!
I don’t have time these days to play Dungeons & Dragons constantly like I want to. I have no time to
admire the amazing craftsmanship of the game’s oddly-shaped dice, revel in the game’s workings, frolic in a
medieval fantasy world, map out beautiful dungeons on graph paper, or laugh uncontrollably whenever someone
says they’re casting a stinking cloud spell and cracks a big fart. These days, I’m all business. I’m not even a
mullet: I’m business in the front and the back.
But I plan to dredge up some of my old dungeons I designed and print them here if I can ever find them.
I’ve talked before about the hours of fun that was provided by the random dungeon generation tables that lurked
in the appendix of one of the D&D books. If you were in a really creative mood, there was a part called “Dungeon
One “Dungeon Dressing” table appeared to list random items that could be strewn about the room of a
dungeon. One of these items was a habit—much like the black veil worn by nuns. A nun once told me that this
veil was called a habit because they had a habit of wearing them.
So in a room in one of my dungeons, I included a habit. Just laying there on the floor...

Of course it didn’t make sense! But D&D wasn’t real! Get a grip! The only way it made sense was if there
was some deranged monster going around eating nuns. What use did our D&D campaign have for a habit
Then I was told that the items on the “Dungeon Dressing” chart actually referred to what a monster in the
dungeon was wearing. This evoked an even sillier image...

That’s because Dungeons & Dragons is just so cool and is played by cool people like me.
In my day, there was nothing like playing a game set in medieval times while listening to the radio in the
den like people in medieval times did. (Memories of “Alive And Kicking” and “Digging Your Scene” are rushing
back.) Now that’s a creature of habit!

Home unimprovement
Since lately we’ve been on the topic of TV shows getting “dirty” things past the censors, I’ve found
another scene that I think qualifies.
Television isn’t always the vast wasteland of filth that some people think. Over-the-air TV has always
been very touchy about what gets aired. Although the urban legend about Elvis Presley being shown only from the
waist up on The Ed Sullivan Show is untrue, Sullivan did express some concern about the singer being on his
show. He complained that Elvis “got some kind of device hanging down below the crotch of his pants—so when
he moves his legs back and forth you can see the outline of his cock. ... I think it’s a Coke bottle.”
Ed Sullivan talking about Elvis’s “cock” was hilarious enough, but he didn’t say it on TV. However, the
‘90s sitcom Home Improvement seems to have gotten an under-the-breath vulgarity by the censors.
The 1992 episode in question appears on YouTube...
At 13 minutes into that clip, one of the bratty kids on the show appears to be angrily muttering to Tim
Allen’s character, “Why don’t you just go suck a dick.” To me, it’s pretty unambiguous—because what else could
he possibly be saying?—but I guess it wasn’t clear enough for the censors to notice.
In any event, the ensuing temper tantrum where the kid throws the trash bag in the air is hilarious!
Maybe someday, Phil Robertson will talk about pissing and shitting.

Fox News Channel Day (a blast from the past)
The civic arsonists of the Republican Right are on the warpath, thanks to a nosebleed-deserving media
that is almost singularly dedicated to advancing their extremism and bigotry. The Republican lie factory is the
most successful propaganda effort in recorded history—bar none.
Perhaps the biggest organ of media fascism is Fox News Channel. The output of the Far Right is sliding
down their thirsty throats as we speak. So it shouldn’t be surprising that Massachusetts’s onetime Gov. Mitt
Romney—a Tea Party favorite—officially proclaimed September 19, 2006, to be Fox News Channel Day. The
event was to celebrate Fox News Channel’s 10th birthday.
It wasn’t a paid holiday. Of course. It was just so Romney could wave his weiner around and yell out,
“Go GOP, hawr hawr hawr!”

When Gov. Michael Dukakis—an earlier leader of that state—declared a New Kids On The Block Day, I
was a bit disappointed. One of my favorite political figures of the era was devoting an entire day to a band that—
despite extensive ridicule—had somehow writhed its way onto pop radio and helped squeeze some of my favorite
music acts like the Bee Gees off the air. But even New Kids On The Block had some redeeming value, since they
apparently supported an environmental organization. By contrast, Fox News Channel has no redeeming value
We’re rough...rough...rough!
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