The Last Word

Issue #483

December 2014

News of my devastating diagnosis
Since The Last Word has become more of a humor zine since its comeback, I’d like to regale you with
the devastating medical news I received a few weeks ago.
I have hypocobalaminemia, which has caused severe, irreversible damage to my central nervous system.
See what a funny zine this is?
Maybe one of these days, I’ll fall because of my
hypocobalaminemia, and you’ll laugh some more. Or
perhaps I’ll slip and accidentally pull down my
bookshelf onto myself, and I’ll mistake actually being
crushed with the crushing feeling that comes with
hypocobalaminemia. Then you can guffaw yourself
That’s what’s in store now that I’ve contracted
hypocobalaminemia. Get it? Get it? Get it? Contracted!
I’m a writer! Like a writing contract! Hahaha!
Now I face a future of pickles tasting vaguely
like board games, but at least now I have a diagnosis
that makes sense. The crushing sensation, the burning in
my feet, the electric shock feeling, the loss of motor
skills—severe and irreversible all, but now properly diagnosed. My hang gliding career is destroyed.
I long ago became accustomed to the idea that—thanks to the Far Right—this is an era and locale of
shattered dreams. We lead lives of hard work and little reward. Will my diagnosis force me to retire all my regular
activities? For most people, it would. But for me, don’t bet on it, because get a job. Bishop Brossart High School
called me lazy to my face—which wasn’t true, but it just shows that I have to push myself much harder than
spoiled rich kids who were held up as models of industriousness, even though no evidence has ever surfaced of
them doing any real work. My pursuit of hard work is ingrained.
As my disorder has progressed, I am now facing the inevitable sunset of my life. I trust that when the sad
day finally comes, others will continue to try to bend the arc of history back to its natural state of progress and
justice, as I have been long committed to doing.

Some spanking new graffiti
In conservaworld, chasing someone into traffic in front of La Ru Bowling Lanes is considered
presidential material, while far less serious offenses are considered the crime of the century.
Once again, someone has posted photos on a local Facebook page documenting graffiti that has afflicted
their property. It’s the worst crime ever to happen in the history of the universe! The response was uproariously
predictable. As is usually the case whenever someone reports some misbehavior like this, somebody replied,
“People need to start spanking their kids again!” You mean everyone stopped?
This is roughly the same response that people have trotted out for 30 years—maybe longer. Now folks
who weren’t even born yet when people started complaining that kids weren’t getting spanked enough are
spreading this opinion. It’s always a barrel of laughs when someone on the Internet who is half my age starts
lecturing me that they got spanked in their day and that it’s a shame that young folks like me apparently weren’t
spanked enough.
But in this wacky oblast we call the real world, the graffiti vandalism was probably committed by some
45-year-old. Today’s tiny tots aren’t interested in anything that doesn’t require fancy handheld electronic gadgets.
Remember the kid in school who used to do things like write “COOL” next to Ronald Reagan on the poster in the
classroom with all the Presidents? That kid is grown now. Our generation thought writing on prohibited surfaces
was neat, and some never developed the maturity to outgrow it. Writing on things bores today’s youth.

I’m actually surprised I haven’t seen some reactionary weirdo
blame President Obama yet for the vandalism—like how they absurdly
blamed him for the boorish behavior exhibited by folks recently at our
local Thanksgiving marathon, at which people wasted food and threw
Right now, there’s probably a middle-aged adult in this area who
has kids in college, who’s getting their hide tanned by their mommy who
lives in a nursing home for all that graffiti they recently did.

I uncovered a scam!
The union I belong to has a groovy webpage where members can
sign up and let people hire them for writing gigs. I signed up for this
hiring hall so peeps can hire me.
But there’s always someone out there trying to take advantage of hard-working folks like me.
A couple weeks ago, I got an e-mail from someone who appeared to be looking to hire a writer to write a
piece on international violence for a seminar. I was looking fiveward to this job. I told him what rate I would
charge, and whether it would be per word or per page. Soon I estimated it would be 6 pages and gave him a perpage rate.
He asked how much the total price would be—as if he was too dumb to figure it out by multiplying my
rate by 6. I thought he was just an idiot who didn’t know how to do math and had accidentally dropped his See
‘N’ Solve calculator in the toilet. I’ve had e-mail exchanges with some real morons over the years. I don’t
necessarily mean imbeciles of the militant right-wing variety like the paid trolls who spam newspaper comment
webpages. I’m talking about folks who try to portray themselves as semiliberal, but I can’t figure out what they
want from me, and they eventually give up, lamenting my pitchfork-waving populism or my alleged
incompetence. The latter complaint is
particularly tenuous, because I’ve been fairly
competent in all of the many projects I’m
known for. Occasionally, I’ve been subjected
to the famous plaint, “But our side doesn’t
stoop to the enemy’s level lololol.” Yes we
do sometimes—if we want our side to gain
any lasting political parity.
Anyhow, back to this writing gig.
After I performed my client’s math
calculation for him and gave him an estimate
of how much the job would cost, he asked to
know my full name and street address. That
raised a red flag. So I replied that I’d need to
know more about the assignment and who I
was dealing with before releasing this info.
He responded, “so tell me what do
you want to know.”
I just told you what I want to know,
I knew right then that this guy was a
scam “artist.” Just to make sure, I looked up
his e-mail address on the Internet, and sure
enough, I saw it listed on a website listing
people who try to defraud writers by stealing
their work.
That was the end of that job offer.
The most seemingly lucrative offer
I’ve had in ages turned out to be an out-and-out fraud. That’s because America today has a crime-based economy.
Remember the Enron scandal? Remember the stock market boom of the ‘90s? If you think Wall Street in the ‘90s
got so rich due to ethical business practices, you’re even more gullible than Fox News thinks. Kind of like the
people who think the Republicans didn’t rig the election.
I’m lucky I didn’t take my chances and write the piece I was hired to write and then not get paid for it—
and become a victim of identity theft too. Authorities won’t even go after the unseemly scoundrels who sent out

that computer virus a few years ago that made people pay them to keep using their own computer—even though
we know who did it. And credit card companies are in on that scam, since they won’t reverse the charges. So what
makes you think they’ll bust some greedy fartpipe trying to steal from union writers? It’s a damn good thing we
have the union, because think how little recourse we’d have if we were nonunion.
Needless to say, it isn’t only fly-by-night criminals who are ripping us off. It’s the big publishing houses
too. One writer reports that she was asked by an unspecified publication to write a 1,500-word article for only
$50. Ironically, the topic of the paper was...labor exploitation. Plus, Google AdSense still owes me the money
they cheated me out of years ago.
Conservaworld means productive people are seldom properly compensated—while corporations and
assorted loudmouths and hacks rake in the real dough. For example, Rush Limbaugh signed an 8-year contract
worth $400 million, which works out to $50 million a year—while the average person in my town was making a
paltry $17,000 a year. Meritocracy is a dirty word in BushAmerica.

When dairy was scary
“Michael, we’re not gonna fight about this, OK?”
“Paul, I think I told you, the milk is warm!”
To keep a lack of vitamin B12 from worsening my hypocobalaminemia, I’m buying milk again, and it’s
I’ve always felt guilty about criticizing milk, because in my day, milk kept milk on the table. For years,
milk did a number (5) on my digestive tract, thanks to lactose intolerance—but the pros of milk outweigh the
cons. Eventually, however, I stopped buying milk, because it was often spoiled. I first noticed this right after
Reagan seized power, and the problem kept getting worse and worse over the years. Eventually, odds became
greater than 50/50 that if you purchased mill-mill at the store, it would be sour and undrinkable—even if it was
well within the expiration date.
I think it was in the early ‘90s, when I still lived at home, that it passed the 50/50 threshold. It didn’t help
that once during that era, we buyed a jug of milk on which somebody at the store had already written, “Bad.
Stale.” One day, we got a carton of milk that was so rancid that I took a marker and wrote on it, “Tastes like cow
Plus, our refrigerator didn’t work properly, so even if our mill-mill was fresh when we buyed it, it became
warm and risked spoilage. I would warn the rest of my family about it by singing, “The milk is warm...The
doggone milk is warm,” to the tune of the Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney song “The Girl Is Mine.”
The only times in recent years I’ve purchased milk is when family members who know best insisted on it.
But I’ve noticed over the past 5 or 6 years that one particular
store chain no longer seems to deal in spoiled milk. Be still
my beating heart, it’s all fresh! I’m not going to name this
store, because I don’t want to give out free advertising, and I
don’t want them to take notice and start peeing in their milk
just to play mind games with me. The fact that they stopped
selling spoiled milk proves they know what was causing it
to spoil—so now there’s no excuse for anyone to sell rotten
Another factor in my decision to buy milk again was
the fact that the store now carries whole chocolate milk
again, like they used to decades ago before America’s skim
milk fetish ruined everything. Skim milk is more like skim
water. Even Andy Rooney did a piece complaining about
The all-knowing Wikipedia exposes the sad truth of
skim milk. A 2007 University of Hawaii study says lowfat
milk carries an increased risk of prostate cancer—while
whole milk decreases the risk. This of course was never
reported by The Media. The Wikipedia entry on skim milk
also says that British whole milk is a lot wholer than
American whole milk—4% versus 3.25%. In fact, until a
few years ago, European Union countries did not allow 1%
“milk” to even be labeled as milk—but corporate lobbying
(for which the EU was tailor-made) changed that. It’s 1% for

the 1%! Plus, when I was in college, I had a professor who was from Colombia, and she said that in her
homeland, all milk is whole milk.
All that said, the only milk I’m ever buying again will be whole milk. If I wanted lowfat, I’d mix milk
with water. Most American school cafeterias haven’t distributed whole milk in 20 years, so you can bet your
bizcream that today’s children will suffer an increased risk of vitamin deficiencies.

30 years, still no justice
December 13 will mark the 30 th anniversary of My Very First Suspension, and—despite the humorous
manner that people have expected me to tell the story year after year—the lack of punishment for the real culprits
is no laughing matter. If the worst thing that came of it for me was missing the field trip to Cincinnati Milacron, I
could live it down by now, but nope.
Thirty years is a mighty long time to wait for justice. I remember early in this zine’s history writing about
how it had been 10 years, but 30 is absolutely ridiculous. Time passes, but the thirst for justice rightly remains.
I’m modest about my volumes I published through Lulu. I don’t mention them even to folks on my
Facebook list or people I meet in person. But let’s put it this way: The green book got back at the assholes. Big
time. Probably cost 2 school administrators their jobs.
That’s been my high water mark so far, but it’s not enough. There needs to be criminal prosecutions.
Racketeering seems like the most fitting charge.
“Elected” officials in Campbell County should resign or face arrest unless they support prosecution for
these crimes. Plus, if they don’t favor prosecution, these officials also have to own that these are their standards of
conduct. By not supporting criminal charges, they are supporting organized violence. My Very First Suspension
was really just one of the first significant rounds in the years of repeated right-wing assaults lobbed against me.
Punish the perps, or I will.
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