The Last Word

Issue #487

April 2015

How cool people spend $30
If you had $30 just pooping a hole in your pocket, how
would you spend it?
Would you put it towards a groovy electronic gadget
that would grace you with years of practical—potentially lifesaving—use? Or would you immediately fritter away your $30
at a fancy restaurant frequented primarily by a Republican
I know which option cool people would take—being a
coolster myself. Why, I’d spend it at the fancy restaurant, of
course! Just joking! Actually, I’d take the electronics. Surprise,
Recently, my mom asked me if I wanted to go to a
dinner outing at an upscale restaurant. This wasn’t a place that
was so upmarket that you’d wear a suit and tie, but it was still
quite fancy, with $30 dinners and whatnot. I literally burst out
laughing when I was invited. You see, not only am I cool person,
but I’m a poor cool person. Not only that, but a left-wing
populist. A so-called “limousine liberal” (who is anything but
liberal) might seek to indulge themselves—but that’s not me.
I’m a downmarket progressive. I walk the talk.
I’d feel a little out of my element at such a luxuriant
eatery. And $30 for supper—not including the bevs to chase it
down—is a little preposterous. I’d be more satisfied if my $30
just kept on pooping.
If this dinner was to celebrate a really major occasion—
I’m talking something earth-shattering, such as a revolution—
I’d probably go and maybe order a $15 appetizer. That wouldn’t
make the idea of me patronizing this restaurant much less silly.
Eating at this restaurant is one of these things that might not
appear out of place if a person of a higher economic station did
it, but would seem ridiculous if I did it.
Why are members of my family suddenly so interested
in that establishment? It’s not like my folks are made of money.
They’re gonna have to mortgage their car, their TV, and their
record player to pay for this meal. This is like if we’d gone on a
family vacation just to try to join a country club. But that’s not
as far-fetched as it sounds, considering what happened when we
went to Myrtle Beach when I was 8 years old. While we were
there, we drove past a very fancy restaurant, and my mom said we should have packed dress clothes so we could
eat there. So here we were in a city with a great public beach (which cost nothing to use) and fine weather, and my
mom wanted us to spend our vacation dressing up and hobnobbing with socialites?
Why should I act rich when I’m poor? Should we really be that preoccupied with trying to impress people
by making them think we’re rolling in dough? Are we supposed to be self-conscious about not being outrageously
affluent? I remember some kid in school who was always bragging about how much money his family had—but it
turned out they weren’t much richer than I was. Are we supposed to be like my former classmate? The right-wing
fucks who dominate talk radio, cable “news” channels, and online media have—out of sheer meanness—built an
entire industry of trying to make people feel ashamed just for being poor. What we need to do is bring back the
shame and stigma of being part of the idle rich.
And if somebody handed me a million dollars without me having to work for it, what in the Wide, Wide
World Of Sports would I do with all that money? Bubble with it? No, because it isn’t gum. I’d have more use for

it if it was. I can’t even conceive of how I might spend a million smackeroos.
Plus, the restaurant I was recently invited to has received very bad reviews on the Intertubes, despite its
supposed elegance. I don’t have money to blow on food that might turn out to be mediocre. This is such an overthe-top expense that I can’t possibly work it into my lean budget.
But I’m a cool person, so I won’t.

Now that you know that I buyed
a totally nifto electronic gadget, can you
guess what it was?
Why, it’s a handheld GPS
receiver, of course! A simple one, no
doubt. And when I say simp, do I mean
simp! In fact, this model seems to be
from circa 2002. I almost expected it to
use the Chicago font that the Power
Mac that I got when I was in college
I wanted a simple one, because
one with too many features would have
set me back many costly dollars. But I
didn’t want one that was full of bugs,
which this is. It was so bad that I almost
took it back the day I got it. Then I
decided to work around these errors
until the Internet could fix them for me
—which will happen, am I right?
Some people have no patience
for those who dare to critique a buggy
device. One reviewer on Amazon gave
this GPS device a somewhat poor
review, but mostly for different reasons
from why I would. My main battle with
this GPS is its refusal to load all 5 free
maps I painstakingly downloaded onto
it. It’s the simplest thing in the world to
do, and it can’t do. That, plus the fact
that I can’t enter addresses at all,
because the GPS doesn’t know the
states. This reviewer lamented that
downloaded maps can’t be transferred
to other devices. This review did not sit
well with a strange peep who then
attacked the reviewer like so...
“Maps ARE tranfable if you purchase them on the small digital cards ... You really should
know and be familiar with all the fetatures [sic] of YOUR model (that you’ve purchased) - as well
as the features that don't come with your model. You should then become familiar with its ‘use’
in order to properly evaluate it. ...
“Your ‘review’ only goes to show that there are people out there, rating products, who are
clearly NOT qualified to do so.
“This review is useless...”
That’s a funny one! But it’s just the latest example of some proctopod on Amazon needlessly lashing out
at a reviewer who didn’t think a product was worthy of unadulterated praise. Not only that, but they make up their
own words that I can’t even pronounce! What’s “tranfable”? I can’t even contort my mouth into a position to say
these words that have “nf” in them—sort of like the place name Banff.
Authors are attacked on Amazon too. In 2012, a man dared to protest Chick-fil-A’s support of antigay hate
groups. Because of his stance against Chick-fil-A, his workplace was targeted by bomb threats, and he was

blacklisted from a teaching position at the University of Arizona. Recently, he released a popular book about the
ordeal. After the book was issued, the Far Right began gangstalking the author. (Sound familiar?) One of the
reviews on Amazon called the writer “a closeted, frustrated homosexual who is broke and on welfare.” Another
reviewer said Amazon should remove the book—just because. Censorship much?
The author’s experiences—from the university blackballing to the bomb threats to the abuse on Amazon
—are another example of the persecution that is routinely visited upon folks who stand up against the Far Right.
When this book comes out in convenient book form—as opposed to Kindle—I plan to buy it. Hopefully I
won’t be expected to eat at any fancy restaurants over the next month, because I’m budgeting for this tome
instead. Reading is good.
(Also, it’s not cool how Amazon has decided to retroactively publicize reviewers’ past “verified
purchases” without asking consent. So much for privacy! Why is it anyone’s business where people shop unless
they volunteer this information themselves? I am very displeased.)

Who else is bored to tears with hearing about college basketball?
Not I, since I’ve had the good sense to hardly watch any TV at all in recent months. The only things I’ve
viewed on TV lately are court shows, old police dramas, and The Simpsons. Even The Simpsons hasn’t been
preempted by basketball in years—despite Channel 19’s sordid history of doing so just because they can. One of
the last times this happened was when a Bearcats game was moved to a Sunday because the team refused to play
because it was snowing outside (even though the game was indoors). You know about this, because I’m pretty
sure I wrote a whole article about it when it happened, and because you’re a cool person, you read it.
I can’t tell you the last time I watched anything on CBS. CBS was losing money hand over foot on its
heavy college basketball coverage, but network brass renewed their contract with the NCAA anyway. So they’re
gonna lose more money, which is kinda uproarious, considering that their news coverage these days is about on
par with Fox News Channel.
There was a time—maybe 10 or 15 years ago—when I hated “Selection Sunday” with a passion. I still do.
I hate it because there were 3 consecutive years when we had an important family gathering and the TV was
blaring CBS’s “Selection Sunday”
announcement show. This program
announced the basketball tournament
placements. The placements weren’t
based on any rhyme or reason. The
entire endeavor was as boring and as
hyped as you might imagine.
Some say my view is
apostasy. But I say my view is cool.
The more things change, the
more CBS changes for the worse.

Boulevard of broken
happened with OpenStreetMap a few
years back, but I’ve kept quiet about it
until now—to keep it from getting
prematurely “corrected.”
OpenStreetMap is a website
that features a street map of the entire
world that you—the bespectacled,
befaced reader of this fanzine of
freedom—can edit. You may have
heard of it.
affiliated with the far-right Bishop
Brossart High School in Alexandria,
Kentucky, had taken it upon

theirselves to edit OpenStreetMap by labeling the school’s driveway as Avenue of Champions. Stupidly, Google
Maps copied it for their map. But the driveway isn’t really called that. I can’t find any official municipal
proclamation calling it that. As best as I can tell, Bro$$art decided to just start calling it that one day with the
expectation that this would make it official. In the Brossart fantasy world where up is down, the school’s word is
After this occurred, OpenStreetMap was edited again. Hilariously, Avenue of Champions was changed to
Avenue of Losers. The funniest thing about it is that it was like this for 5 years! It took 5 years for anyone to
change it back!
What Brossart calls Avenue of Champions is actually a road to ruin.

A person pooed on a plane and
stunk it up
It’s a fact that somebody on a British Airways
plane took a dump that was so powerful that it stunk up
the entire aircraft and forced it to turn around and go back
to the airport.
A few weeks ago, the flight from London to
Dubai was plagued by someone releasing an unusually
fetid mound of diarrhea in the restroom. The incident
occurred a half-hour into what was supposed to be a 7-hour flight. The aroma created by the event meant the 747400 was “essentially rendered useless”, and it had to fly back to London.
A British politician happened to be on the flight, and he sent out a Twitter text blast declaring in part,
“Insane! Our BA flight to Dubai returned back to Heathrow because of a smelly poo in the toilet!” The pilot
reportedly announced to the passengers, “You may have noticed there’s a quite pungent smell coming from one of
the toilets.” The pilot said it was “liquid fecal excrement.”
That’s poo. Of the diarrhea variety.

Still Greyhound after all these years
As my trip to Madison, Wisconsin, still lurks, Greyhound’s damn near ruinment of last spring’s St. Louis
roadmeet continues to bask in opprobrium.
But—according to Internet accounts—the Dog of Doom hasn’t improved! Why, just a couple weeks ago,
the bus line reportedly pulled a stunt that dwarfs that which I suffered last year.
It seems Greyhound offers an express route from New York to Boston. It was supposed to leave New
York at 4 PM on the day in question and arrive in Boston at 8:20. But Greyhound’s antics caused this 4-hour route
to arrive almost 4 hours late.
The bus left New York on time. (Wow!) Then the driver crossed the Hudson River back and forth to New
Jersey 3 times within an hour—the opposite direction from where the bus was supposed to go. He then declared
that he actually forgot the bus was supposed to be going to Boston. After another hour of the driver behaving
incoherently and driving around aimlessly, a passenger called the police using their cell phone. Many passengers
feared the driver was actually a hijacker.
Cops eventually pulled the bus over. Police discovered that the driver was too tired to drive and shouldn’t
have even been on the road. After a half-hour of questioning, the driver finally provided the Greyhound
dispatcher’s number, so a different driver could be summoned.
The replacement driver finally arrived around 7:40. The bus was now almost 4 hours behind schedule—
meaning it wouldn’t get to Boston until midnight. Meanwhile, some passengers had given up and had left the bus
One is reminded of the episode of The Simpsons in which Krusty the Klown flew his plane around like a
maniac—or George Voinovich’s similar temper tantrum of that era.

Where personal responsibility is a dirty word
I plead, I beg, I implore: When I’m within a few days of a major event, strict quarantine measures must be
I’ve explained this to family members a trillion times. They don’t listen.
I have a long and noble history of catching severe respiratory infections just by leaving the house.

Granted, it’s happened only rarely after Brossart, but the memories remain fresh, and I must remain vigilant in the
extreme. I don’t know of any specific threat that would sideline me from the Wisconsin roadmeet, but I can
imagine how such a threat might play out. I can just see a family member insisting on bringing me some item that
I don’t even want or need 2 days before I leave, denying that they have any sort of airborne virus, and coughing
and hacking all over my building when they bring it. (Needless to say, I work at home, rather than an office where
colleagues sit at their cubicle and blow snot bubbles with their nose and wipe them on the knee of their pants.)
I try to prevent catching these things by putting hydrogen peroxide in my ears, and I believe this works,
but what if it doesn’t? Then no Wisconsin. Whose fault will that be for spreading such a malady, and will they
accept responsibility? It’s a hideous thing, respiratory illness is.
Personal responsibility. When people don’t accept it, why? Where do people learn not to accept it?
One place where personal responsibility
was a four-letter word was school. This was
certainly true at Brossart, but maybe you’ve had
similar experiences at other schools. Recently I
was thinking about the absolute beedledickery of
how Brossart acted when my textbooks got stolen
or ruined. My books were regularly destroyed or
lost because someone hacked the lock off my
locker and the school wouldn’t replace the lock.
That alone would be bad enough. But
guess who was fined for the cost of the books at
the end of each year? I had to pay to replace the
books because—according to the school—I “let”
them get lost or damaged. I guess the school
expected me to stand guard at my locker 24/7 after
they wouldn’t provide a new lock. They must have
thought I “let” the lock get stolen too.
(This doesn’t include the books that didn’t
exist in the first place but for which I was fined for
losing. That’s a whole other facet of the scam
Brossart was running.)
Then there was the time I was punished
because I was late for history class because some
upperclassmen blocked the hallway.
Me: “But they blocked the hall.”
Brossart: “You need to learn to take
responsibility blah blah blah...”
Always my fault, isn’t it? Nobody ever
took responsibility for anything at that school.
It wasn’t only Brossart. The nun-run
corporate empire of St. Joseph’s Elementary in
Cold Spring was almost as bad. One day in 8 th
grade, we were required to have a red pen. I made
a special effort to procure one. But guess what? Someone stole my brand new pen on the very first day I took it to
Guess who was punished for not having a red pen?
What do these incidents say about personal responsibility? I attended schools that screamed loudly about
personal responsibility—but wouldn’t practice it. What does it teach when people like me who actually practice it
are punished?
If a burglar breaks into someone’s house because it was unlocked, police are supposed to bust the burglar
—not the victim. But in the case of the lost books at Brossart, my locker was only unlocked because the school
wouldn’t provide a lock. At St. Joe’s, we didn’t even have lockers. We had to leave everything in our desks
unguarded. I wouldn’t want my former school administrators in charge of public policing, after seeing how they
blamed me when my things got stolen even after I did all I was permitted to do to prevent it. Imagine if they acted
this way in Judge Judy’s courtroom.
The more things change, the more things stay ridiculous.
Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved.