Archive for May, 2010

I have prepared this inspirational talk in case I am asked to give the commencement address to the 2010 graduating class of Harvard University…

When I was your age, I thought the world was mine for the taking.

I was going to go forth and seize the day, seize the week, the month, the year. I was going to blaze new trails, scale new heights and live life to its absolute fullest. I was going to to throttle this puny planet.

Then, something remarkable happened. I discovered daytime TV.

I discovered the joys of game shows and sitcom reruns, juicy soaps and incredibly fascinating talk shows. I discovered a universe of entertainment and enjoyment. And for the next 12 years, I sat transfixed by this magical box. My appointment book was TV Guide.

You just can't watch enough television! It can't be done!

From time to time a friend or relative would come by and spray me down with a garden hose to minimize my stench, but for the most part, I was unencumbered by the pressures of the real world. I’d dream of having dream jobs like being deputy to Andy in Mayberry, or living in Hooterville with Arnold Ziffle and Lisa Douglas, or being a brain surgeon on General Hospital, or a brainiac contestant on Jeopardy answering my way to wealth. My life was great and I was unbelievably happy.

Then, unforeseen tragedy struck–– the TV broke and its screen went blank. It took me a week or two before I realized what had happened. At first I thought that the blank screen might just be a new daytime TV concept show, perhaps a minimalist soap with some deep, dark existential message. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. My lifeline had been severed and reality came kicking down the door.

So, I hoisted myself from my couch indentation and took the world’s longest bathroom break. I sheared my knee-length beard, showered with a high pressure garden hose, updated my resume and went looking for a J-O-B.

I got hired, hired, fired, hired, hired, hired, hired, hired, hired, fired, hired, fired and then did my own thing. Eventually I met a couple of other guys and we did our own thing. We’re still doing that thing, along with a lot of other things, with a bunch of other people.

And when I’m deep in the muck, working my way through the mire, doing what needs to be done in a heroic fashion with all the strength and intelligence I can muster, I think one simple thought–– I wonder what’s on TV right now?

So my simple message to you is this: be willing to explore and discover new channels you’ve never seen before. Don’t be afraid to bravely channel surf where you’ve never channel surfed before. Just remember this sage advice: keep a garden hose handy. It’s a good idea.

Class of 2010, this puny planet is yours, ready to be throttled. Enjoy, and thank you.

BP announced today plans to release new BP Fish Sticks in grocery stores. The move, viewed as putting into the practice the saying “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade” has many environmental groups furious.

“It’s absolutely unconscionable for BP to do this,” said Roger Pretpopp, head of the Gulf Coast Environmental Protection League. “The company should have all its efforts focused on the clean-up of its massive oil spill, not product diversification.”

Terrance Fawdalraw, VP of Communications at BP disagrees. “We are doing everything in our power to clean up the unfortunate Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the result of a burst of anger from Mother Nature and not negligence on the company’s part. It is simply coincidental that our product development people discovered a revolutionary way to pre-oil fish so they bake up crispy, flaky and delicious in your oven in minutes.”

When asked if these fish sticks were made from fish that suffered as a result of the spill, Mr. Fawdalraw began patting perspiration from his brow with a monogrammed silk handkerchief. “Of course not,” said the company spokesperson, “that would be opportunistic and somewhat evil. I will say, however, that new BP Fish Sticks offer premium performance and improved mileage in all makes and models. Hence our slogan: New BP Fish Sticks, good in your tank, or your car’s tank!

A proposal for a more civilized feeding time for bankers.

As evil self-serving politicians go on a witch hunt against Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street financial types, I’ve become worried.

What if the dastardly politicos enact regulations that might curb the free marketeers from earning their paltry hundreds of millions of dollars annually?

What if there are no longer billions of bucks for bonuses, paid for by taxpayers, for losing on aggressive bets made?

What if financial lobbyists don’t enjoy unlimited budgets to grease politicians and assist in writing laws ensuring future riches?

In other words, what if stupid laws cap the opportunities for gambling, greed and gouging the little people who don’t even understand how banks make money?

After many sleepless nights, I have come to a simple solution: cut out the middlemen.

Rather than the outdated system we currently have– bankers hiring lobbyists to get politicians in the pocket and help write laws that enable financial fatcats to gamble and win big, or get paid-off by taxpayers if they lose– let’s just cut out the lobbyists and politicians and simply have taxpayers pay Wall Streeters directly.

The market would be much more efficient if we taxpayers simply tithed 5-8% of our income to our banking overlords from the get-go. Why should they have the inconvenience of waiting for our income to be taxed, then passed their way?

With my bold new proposal, these pinstripers wouldn’t even need to trump-up risky gambles or cockamamie financial instruments. They wouldn’t have to hurt their ivy league brains conjuring schemes to screw people– we’d just fork over the dough up front and acknowledge our woeful ignorance. Then the civilized cufflinked crowd could get back to more important matters, like buying estates on the Hamptons or dandruff control.

Why must we continue these pointless charades in Washington? Help save the bankers– write your congressional servants and let’s cut to the chase.

There is a delicious dessert enjoyed while driving on I-85 through South Carolina: The Glorious Gaffney Peach.

This magnificent structure stands as a testament to humanity’s ability to think boldly and imaginatively for the enrichment of all. A water tower as a piece of fruit? Yes, it can be done– no wonder we’re top of the food chain, baby!

Gaffney bills itself as the peach capital of the world, and while I don’t know if that’s true, I do know they have one of the greatest roadside attractions in America. Have a favorite roadside attraction? Please share, tightlips.

For now, come enjoy a drive by on I-85 South past the Glorious Gaffney Peach, a sight that brings tears of joy to my eyes.