Friday, April 12, 2024

Snifftoss and the Reluctant Guest

A sort of short short story
Image by tenario1 from Pixabay

This weekly column consists of letters written to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise 'em now and haunt them after I'm deleted.

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC-65: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   



Featuring {Dana}Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device

"Deep breaths are very helpful at shallow parties." -Barbra Walters  

Dear Stickies (and gentlereaders),

Your humble correspondent has written a sort of short short story (short, short story? short short-story? a short... never mind). 

The speaker (mentally) executes a sniff and a toss of their head to one side. 

While the guest, technically speaking, can't hear the sniff or see the speaker's hair being tossed with thinly disguised contempt, the speaker's attitude is crystal clear.

The reluctant guest, a reasonably well-adjusted man of a certain age, comfortable with his introverted nature and whose social anxieties have declined in power with each passing year, had made the mistake of initiating the encounter in the first place, 

He was reluctantly attending a social function that he would've much preferred to avoid but there were more reasons to be there there than there were to stay home. Finding himself caught in a situation with the head-tossing dismissive sniffer that required small talk had led to him commenting on a television show currently enjoying quite a bit of favorable notoriety. 

Given that, nowadays idiot boxes are ubiquitous and range in size from square inches to square feet with thousands of entertainment choices on offer if you're willing/able to subscribe to enough content providers...

And that, he was old enough to remember that when there were only a handful of choices (available on a handful of devices that were fairly limited in both size, choice, and functionality) which made it possible to find common ground for discussion...  

He thought, he was on secure ground since even if the speaker thought the show in question was stupid they would have something to discuss. In fact, Snifftoss might even enjoy pointing out exactly why no H. sapin in their right mind would waste their time on such a cultural travesty. 

He thought, he was safe because he rarely watched anything that included commercials and was very picky about what he did watch, which were usually shows offered by one streaming service or another that he thought was of higher quality than the average rubbish on the menu. 

However, being smart enough, and having lived long enough to realize what he thought was a quality show would be considered rubbish by no shortage of other people had taught him to be both cautious and diplomatic about such things. To avoid hurting people's feelings when possible, but to hold his ground when it wasn't. 

Most importantly, he had learned to try and avoid feeding his ego by demonstrating his superiority to anyone, about anything. He had been paying attention long enough to have learned that it was possible to do this accidentally, that many of his fellow H. sapiens psyches, as well as his own, were veritable emotional minefields sown with an easily triggered this or that or even that other thing.

"Well, personally, I find it watchable. And obviously, they dot all the Is and cross all the Ts, but there's just no there, there" said Snifftoss. 


The guest, instantly grasping that Snifftoss was eager, and would be delighted, to explain themselves politely (but cautiously) replied, "Oh yeah?" 

"People of color? Check."

"LGBT plus? Check." 

"Powerful, non-stereotypical characters presenting as females? Check."

"But what's the point? It's yet another drama that hits all the typical high points that've been around forever. Love, sex, angst, adventure, sex, violence, revenge, God and/or the gods, more sex, occasional humor for a pallet cleanser, good guys v. bad guys, etc, etc, etc."

As I said, what's the point?"

At this point, Snifftoss stops and is obviously waiting for a reply. The guest was still on high alert, but only because he was slightly worried that escaping from this encounter could get ugly. Who was this guy anyway? Crap rolls downhill. What if he was in a position to somehow take it out on the listener's host, a personal friend of the reluctant guest, if he felt he had been slighted?

"Um..., well I suppose it's possible the point is just decent entertainment. In fact, I've wondered about this sort of thing for years. Why do we like stories so much, point or no point, beyond the fact we find a given story to just be a damn good story, well told? 

He was hoping to change the direction of the subject, fearing where he thought Snifftoss was headed, but he wasn't optimistic. 

"I see where you're going," replied Snifftoss, "I guess I'm just jaded. And after all, the postmodernists have freed us from the need for meaning and/or narrative."

The guest swallowed a groan and wondered if it showed on his face. He hoped that Snifftoss would next unknowingly contradict himself and start spinning meanings and/or narratives, which might prove to be interesting.

However, he thought it more likely that he would take the trail to Nihilismberg, oblivious to the fact that this was also a narrative — a dull, dark, boring one with a dead end. Inspiration dawned and he thought he'd try cutting 'em off at the pass and lay a didactic booby trap.   

"I've settled on the notion that all meaningful fiction is a form of distilled reality that contains fundamental lessons each new generation needs to learn, just packaged in a more palatable way than say religion, philosophy, or the like. Not an original idea on my part obviously, but it works for me, and my grandkids confirm it as far as I'm concerned" he replied. 

But I think I've learned all those sorts of lessons, so I don't understand why I still enjoy good stories so much. I must admit I'm also a bit jaded but I'm hoping to live long enough to meet a great-grandkid or two, that'll help get me through to the end. In the meantime, I'm trying to learn how to play the harmonica.

Any thoughts?" 

He smiled and politely waited for a response.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Friday, April 5, 2024

I Repeat, Let's Invade Mexico

Image by Pandanna Imagen from Pixabay

This weekly column consists of letters written to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise 'em now and haunt them after I'm deleted.

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC-65: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   



Featuring {Dana}Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device

"Mexico has strict gun control. You cannot own a gun in Mexico." 
                                                                                           -Jesse Ventura 

{Well, technically you can, but...} 

Dear Stickies (and gentlereaders),  

I've written before about invading Mexico, setting its more or less enslaved population free, taking out the cartels, and gaining a much smaller and easier-to-control border at the bottom of Mexico. 

I've also written before about sanctioning China in some form or fashion till they stop shipping the precursor drugs to the cartels who use them to manufacture meth and fentanyl and then ship the drugs, enslaved women, a likely terrorist or two, and God knows what all else, across a border everyone knows is out of control, including our alleged president.

And Canada? Canada is a mess. Thinking about suicide? The doctor will see you now. Thinking about protesting Canada's embrace of the reverse quarantine movement (locking down everybody)? Have a problem with crippling the economy and kid's lives by shutting down all the schools?

Better think twice dude, the government may confiscate your money. And be careful what you say online, eh? There's a bill pending called the Online Harms Act. You can find the details here. Hint: Are you familiar with the movie Minority Report

I haven't written about invading Canada — it serves as a good example of a bad example (like The Popples Republic of California), it's too damn cold, and at the moment at least the government is no threat to us, just to its own people.

{Fascinating. Um... will you be favoring us with your point at some point?}

Well of course. I always get there eventually, Dana, and in fact, here I am.

We've taken to second-guessing/blowing off allies like Israel and Ukraine to whom we previously made commitments. While we continue to debate, obfuscate, and dissemble, which will keep Mexico and the rest of the world distracted, we could plan the invasion, getting our ducks (tanks) in a row, so to speak.

An invasion will simultaneously make hooge dents in four problems: border control, fentanyl and meth addiction/overdoses, human trafficking, and bloodthirsty cartels.

Win/win/win and win. 

AMLO has finally come clean and declared that the cartels aren't his problem, they're ours, and while he's willing to keep helping us out he could provide much better service  — if the price was right.  

{What's an AMLO?}

He's a who, not a what, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the president of Mexico. A world-class weasel and a pretend populist.

{Lots of that sort of thing going around these days.}

Recently, in a 60 Minutes interview (tick-tick-tick) he laid his cards on the table and unambiguously named his price. 

$20,000,000,000 a year funneled to poor countries in Latin America, lift sanctions on Venezuela and end the Cuban embargo (currently run by a couple of his dicktater buddies), and legalize the millions of Mexicans who have already somehow made it across our buttoned-up Southern border. 

Otherwise, the huddled masses will continue to pour in. Nice little country you got here, it'd be a shame if God knows who was to kick in the back door and have at it.

{That's blackmail! Everybody knows that most of that money would wind up in the pockets of the people who run those countries and who are the reason that...}

I think extortion is a more accurate word, but AMLO says no-no-no, he's just speaking plainly, it's what populist leaders do don'tcha know. As he said, he'll continue to do what he can. After all, Mexico's our biggest trading partner, they make a lot of our stuff there. If we were to close the border prices on all sorts of things would immediately rise dramatically. Nobody wants that, right?

Like China, attempting to drag Mexico into the modern era seemed like a good idea at the time. Unfortunately, like gravity, the law of unintended consequences is always in effect.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) passed in 1994 but I'm not going to come down on one side or the other in that never-ending debate. Suffice it to say the cat's out of the bag/the horse is out of the barn etc. 

Technically speaking, we could've opted to be a more or less self-sufficient country as America is blessed to be one of few countries on the planet Earth that could pull it off, and more or less did till relatively recently.

However, the level of wealth we enjoy and take for granted, unimaginable to my parents (I'm a Boomer), would simply not be possible without trading with the devil(s). But since this column isn't about that, or the fact despite our prosperity many of us are miserable and at each other's throats, I won't bring it up. 

What I will bring up is that in Mexico, a country that has a long history of embracing, how shall I put this...


Mexico is a country that historically suffers from many of the um... troublesome aspects of some of the countries that are considered part of the "global South."

{Not bad. Have you ever been a corporate/government spokesperson?}

And NAFTA more or less coincided with the rise to power of the infamous cartels that seem to be well on their way to having as much or more power in Mexico as the government. 

AMLO's $20,000,000,000 middlemanperson fee is instructive. Despite NAFTA, the powers that be in Mexico continue to think and act like what used to be called third-world thugs.

{Do we call 'em developing world thugs now?} 

The poor souls fleeing Mexico (and points south) are fleeing economic hardship as much or more than human rights suppression/torture by various and sundry...

{Can't help it, can you?}


Let's make 'em all Americans, crush the cartels, and give some thought to the advantages of being a bit more self-sufficient in a world that includes powerful countries like China (dicktater), Russia (dicktater... who would be just another weenie but for his nukes), et al. 

Once the smoke clears we should give some thought to extending our border to the Panama Canal. Just sayin'... 

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Friday, March 29, 2024


An Emperor's work is never done.
Source Unknown 

This weekly column consists of letters written to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise 'em now and haunt them after I'm deleted.

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC-65: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   



Featuring {Dana}Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device

"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." -George Orwell 

Dear Stickies (and gentlereaders),  

Consider the plight of the Chinese historians currently writing, rewriting, and then rewriting, and then...well, you can clearly see where this is going even if the scholars involved can't. 

An article in the Wall Street Journal, China Repackages Its History In Support of Xi's National Vision, is where I discovered that Mr. Xi (aka Emperor Poo Win Nie) has taken it upon himself to oversee the current dynasty's fulfillment of a Chinese tradition, writing the history of the previous dynasty.

{Considering how often, relatively speaking, China changes emperors and direction these days, can the current era even be considered a dynasty and what will it be called?} 

You make a good point, Dana. Perhaps it will be called the Mao dynasty in honor of the psychopath who got the whole "socialism with Chinese characteristics" thing rolling... although he had a radically different set of characteristics in mind than the ones currently in fashion. 

Hmmm...I wonder if his corpse is still on display?

{Say what?}

Hang on, I'll be right back...

Oh yeah, Chairman Mao's corpse is still proudly displayed in a custom-made display case that would make your favorite supermarket's meat department proud, and is housed in a custom-made mausoleum. Various and sundry sources...

{The "columnist" favors us, yet again with a various and sundry.}

Harumph. Various and sundry sources on the Uh-huh! Nuh-uh! net (aka the internet, aka the worldwide web of all knowledge)...

{AI's gonna fix that!} that our still well-fed-looking prince of the downtrodden peasantry...

{I wonder if they stuffed him?} still drawing crowds of tourists. has a detail-packed article that includes fascinating tidbits like "...underneath him is a refrigerator. At night, Mao's body is lowered into it."

If you're in the market for a custom-made/designed mausoleum you might find this article at (ETERNAL MUASALEUMS BY FOREVER LEGACY) useful although ETERNAL MUASALEUMS had nothing to do with Chairman Mao's custom-built display case as far as I can tell.

For purposes of giving credit where credit is due, the article was written by Belinda McCleod, "...Belinda has specialized in writing for the funeral industry. Belinda has written for Cake, a funeral-planning website, nursing homes, mausoleum companies, cremation companies, and funeral homes."

The article is accompanied by a hilarious video that I suspect proves that no one from ETERNAL MUASALEUMS proofread it, or that someone who works there has a sense of humor.

And we're back.  

{I'm impressed, as far as your famous pointless but mildly entertaining meandering digressions go, this may be a personal best.}

Thanks, Dana. Anyways... 

When I first heard about Emperor Poo Win Nie tirelessly taking on yet another task, ensuring that the world understands that what looks like an insatiable appetite for expanding the size of the Middle Kingdom by laying claim to various and sundry countries, islands, and vast swaths of the South China Sea, at least from a barbarian's perspective...

<the writer inhales>

Is actually just China making sure the modern world understands that since they are an ancient country with deep historical roots that's been (often successfully) laying claim to/stealing/or conquering various and sundry countries, islands, and vast swaths of the South China Sea for thousands of years...

There's nothing to see here folks, move along everybody.  

I ordered my research department to look into it and submit a report summarizing the situation via an easily and quickly digestible report.

What landed on my desk not quite three months later, along with an expense report detailing how they had managed to spend $339,933.53 while traveling around the Far East to gather data, was the following report.

The Emperor has personally intervened in a hooge (better than 100 volumes, so far) ongoing, seemingly never-ending project, to write the official history of the previous dynasty, the Qing, which collapsed early in the last century.

It ain't easy to rewrite history to fit modern, often shifting narratives, it's hard out here for a dicktater. As if holding sham elections, having your enemies murdered (semi-plausible deniability route or bring the hammer down?), and inventing rationalizations for conquering your neighbors ain't tough enough. 

Imagine having to make sure that not only the story of the previous dynasty is told in such a way as to justify this, that, or even that other thing but also having to keep an eye on what the minions in the street are saying about the previous 5,000 or so years. 

Now if I was a dick-tater...

{And not just another di...}

I'd steal a half billion or so and get out of Dodge, but I don't think they do it just for the money and the chicks. 

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Scroll down if you wish to share my work or access my golden oldies.   

I post links to my columns (and other stuff) on Facebook so that you can love me, hate me, or lobby to have me publicly flogged.