Friday, March 03, 2006

Signs of the Apocalypse

This may be very hard to believe, but someone is actually going to pay me money (not in beaver pelts or boxes of salted pork) to write a newspaper column about whatever I want. I’m not lying. You can check for yourself in next month’s Hot Spot Journal. I believe the web address is (I'm on page 18 of the current issue). The editor of said monthly newspaper sat down with me at a local Jack in the Box restaurant recently (she even offered to buy me breakfast, so put that in your pipe and smoke it), and she made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: the chance to reach 12,000 subscribers with my maniacal drivel and get paid to do it. This obviously means that the end of the world will quickly be upon us.
This impending finale of the Big Blue Marble on which we live didn’t just pop up on us suddenly. It’s been creeping up for lo these many years. For your review, I have put together a brief smattering of items/events that were designed to take our eyes off the ball:
1. The Schick Quattro: The goal with shaving, obviously, is to get your face and/or other hirsute body parts feeling like the surface of a baby’s bottom (preferably not after the child in question just consumed a lot of leafy green vegetables). But why the furor over four blades? Since the dawn of time, man (at the insistence of woman) has been quite able to remove the stubble from his face with a single-edged tool of some sort. Has the hair on our bodies become “smarter” over time much in the same way a flu strain builds up a resistance to a particular vaccine?
2. American Idol: Do you think it’s mere coincidence that this show is sponsored by Pop Tarts?
3. The Bill Clinton / Monica Lewinsky Debacle: When he finally admitted to lying to the American people, he was figuratively lifted atop the shoulders of the masses as if he just scored the game-winning goal in the 1980 Olympics. This is the same guy who swore to uphold the ethics of our highest office, and people are high-fiving him for scoring in the Oval Office. For some strange reason, I didn’t see those same people hanging around the court house to congratulate Mary Jo Laterno on sweet talking a younger man into her embrace. O Celebrity, Fickle is thy name!
4. Ronco: This is the company that brings you those can’t-live-without items you see featured on Saturday afternoon infomercials either because you’re too lazy to change the channel or you don’t have cable. Ronco has brought us “Great Looking Hair” Formula Number 9 Hair System, which is basically spray paint for bald spots. (I’m not quite sure what happened to the first eight formulas, but they obviously aren’t as effective as old Number 9.) Of note, too, are the Inside-the-Shell Egg Scrambler for the pathologically lazy omelet lover and the Bagel Cutter for the epileptic epicurean.
5. Oprah: Do I need to elaborate?
6. Bobblehead Dolls: Our affinity for these figurines isn’t borne solely out of a quaint adoration for the real person whom the doll represents but our unconscious acceptance that these people’s heads are, in fact, getting bigger by the day. Take Barry Bonds, for example: measure his proportions from news footage ten years ago and compare them to his dimensions today. They’re obviously askew. Our current gravitational field will quickly be knocked off kilter by these gargantuan noggins.
I’m no seer, but I believe these signs are pretty obvious. You’ll see my wisdom when you turn on the Super Bowl and find a 30-second commercial with Oprah Winfrey giving Bill Clinton the shave of a lifetime with a Schick Quattro while he scrambles eggs and cuts bagels. Obviously, you’ll need the wide screen TV so their heads will fit.

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