Saturday, May 31, 2014

A David'Z RantZ "Short Shorts" Post from 4/6/08

1)  The other morning, I went out for breakfast and had, among other things, a "Country Fried Steak." In case you don't know what that is, it's a steak -- kinda/sorta -- that's breaded -- again, kinda/sorta -- like southern fried chicken and cooked Lord-knows-how (I never ask -- and no, "fried" isn't specific enough in this case). And this time, I wondered how and why "country fried steak" ever came about.

Think about it. Meat prices being what they are (and have been for years), I know of a lot of people who "settle" for chicken far too often, when they'd rather have a nice steak!

So, why on earth would someone who can afford a steak want it to be prepared like cheap chicken?

I guess it originated down South -- I'm only assuming that because of the whole Southern-fried aspect, and not relying on any regional prejudices -- when some guy walked into a diner and said something to the effect of, "Hey, Bob, I just made a killin' sellin' off my crops this year! And I'm gonna treat myself to a nice, juicy steak dinner for a change!" And the counterman/cook leaned forward almost conspiratorially and said, "Sure thing, Billy, but you better let me do it up like the fried chicken you usually get, just so's it won't be too much of a shock to your system."

2) Why the hell do most radio stations insist on having so-called "morning shows?" I listen to my car radio so I can hear music, not a bunch of pointless talk. There are stations officially designated as "talk radio," y'know, so if you really want to hear a bunch of jibber-jabber on your way to work -- or on your way home from wherever you passed out last night -- feel free to listen to one of them. Let me have my music, okay?

If I want to put up with an endless supply of words before getting down to the actual entertainment, I'll... I'll...

I'll read my own blog, that's what I'll do!

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Tone It Down, Cha-Cha"

(Oh, my title? Something like what Dennis Miller would have said... back when he was still funny.)

So. I've been poring through various rantz from my David'Z RantZ days, reprinting those I deem deserving of a second go-round... and I've noticed something.

Either I totally immersed myself in my "character," my ranting persona back in 2008, OR... I was a much angrier person when I wrote them.

Quite a few insults spewed out. Quite a few profanities, "softened" by asterisks. (As if no one knows what "s**t" means, for example.)

Here's an example, talking about organizing one's album collection:

"The Beatles?" Easy. File under "B." (Anyone who files groups like that -- or book titles, or song titles, whatever! -- under "T" for "The" should be shot and hung on a meat hook for public display like they did to Mussolini.)

I'm wondering if reprinting this kinda stuff will scare off some of my newer readers.

So, fellow babies, I'm wondering now whether I should edit the old entries to be a little less angry, because...

Well... because I'm a little less angry.

When I started my David'Z RantZ blog on Blogger -- there was an earlier, seldom-updated version on a site called Diaryland -- I had just left a pain-in-the-butt day job which had consigned me to eight years of next-to-no creative energy. In the space of eight years, that job had started as a really good job and morphed into THE worst job I ever had.

I suppose my vituperative RantZ were a reflection of that. (And that's the closest you'll ever get to autobiographical soul-searching on this blog, so enjoy it while you have it!) I had a lot of anger to burn off after having left my Crappy Day Job.

But there's no reason to make you suffer for it after the fact, is there?

I know, I know, I'm over-analyzing again...

Thanks for your time.

Monday, May 26, 2014

For Memorial Day

WWII Veteran and Bronze Star Recipient Edwin L. Lynch

My dad.

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

oh sh*t

Thoughts on Superman ~~ A "Comical Wednesday" Post Combining Two David'Z RantZ Posts from 2008!

Since two of my early David'Z RantZ posts were Superman-themed, I figured that I could probably get away with combining them. Plus, it gave me the excuse to add the above photo of Lucy Pinder.

* * * * *

Truth, Justice, and... Name That Tune?!?

During the 1960s, I grew up with Curt Swan's version of Superman, so it's
Curt's version (shown above) that will forevermore be "my" Superman!

Ever see a little kid pretending to be Superman? Chances are, he (It's almost always a "he," since a little girl would probably pretend to be Supergirl.) will be charging back and forth across a backyard, or a living room, or down a hallway, etc., with one fist in the air and a towel (or another, similar rectangular piece of fabric) attached at the neck, singing one word:

"Supe - er - maaannnnn!"

Okay, now. I just wrote that. I certainly didn't sing it for you, right? Right.

But I'll still bet that you "heard" the tune that kids always sing whenever they sing the word "Superman."

I've been reading comic books (and comic strips) since I was about three or four years old. That's more than half a century, folks. I've collected comics as well. I've bought them new, off the rack. I've bought countless back issues that were even older than I am. (They still are. Funny how that works, innit?) I've bought and sold comics as a business (variously employed by others, or self-employed). I've done extensive reading -- one could really say research -- on the subject. I've met quite a few comic book writers and artists. I've even written quite a few comic book scripts myself, some of them eventually published.

In other words, while my knowledge of and familiarity with the subject is not comprehensive by any means, I can safely say that I know a hell of a lot more about comic books and their history than the average person would ever care to.

This includes my having sat through movies, tv shows, documentaries, a reality show -- thanks, Stan Lee! -- and even one freakin' musical about the subject.

That musical, by the way, was about Superman. So were some of the aforementioned movies and tv shows, and more damned comic books than I could ever count.

And you wanna know something?

I have absolutely no freakin' idea where the hell that sung version of "Supe - er - maaannnn" comes from.

Do you?

If you do, please tell me. Just be damned sure of what you're talking about before you gushingly offer an answer, such as "Oh, it must be from the old George Reeves television series. That had a great theme song!"

Well, yeah, it certainly did. But that theme song was comprised of dramatic -- dare I say inspiring? -- music played in the background, sans lyrics, while announcer Bill Kennedy practically went nuts extolling the virtues of the man comic readers in that Mort Weisinger era were used to thinking of as "Clark (Superman) Kent." Nobody sang the word "Supe - er - maaannnnn."

I've given this a lot of thought, obviously. (Characteristically, maybe enough thought to make some of you worry.) And the closest answer I've been able to come up with doesn't involve Superman.

It involves Hercules.

As in "The Mighty Hercules," an animated cartoon series produced in 1962, and broadcast from 1963-1966. (And just for a reference point here, I turned six years old near the end of 1962, placing the airing of "The Mighty Hercules" right smack in the middle of my so-called formative years.)

Its dynamic theme song was sung by Johnny Nash, who may or may not be the same Johnny Nash who had several Top 40 hits in the 1970s, depending on which internet source you believe.

And the way Nash opens the song is by singing "Hercules" in that
"Supe - er - maaannnnn" style. Note for note. See -- well, "hear" -- for yourself.

So, is it possible? Did some nameless kid -- approximately my age -- appropriate the opening bars of the theme from "The Mighty Hercules" and apply it instead to DC Comics' Man of Steel as a soundtrack for his playtime? And did it somehow catch on and spread, to the point where it ultimately became universal?

I hope it's true. Stranger things have happened in terms of how something is absorbed into our culture. There are a lot of people out there who, when receiving change from a cashier, say "Just like McDonald's," but these same people are far too young to have ever seen the commercial that inspired that line.

I've never actually asked anyone my age or younger if he or she knew where the "Supe - er - maaannnnn" thing originated. Nor, more importantly, have I ever asked anyone older than I if he knew. So I don't even know if it goes back to the 1940s or 1950s...

Which would kinda/sorta suck, in a way, because it'd blow the crap out of my own hypothesis if I were to discover that:

1) The "Supe - er - maaannnnn" musical sound bite did originate back in the 1940s or 1950s, and....

2) The producers of "The Mighty Hercules" ripped it off for their theme song!

Thanks for your time.

* * * * *

Up, Up, and... Oh, Sh*t...!

In a New Yorker article written by Michael Chabon, he tells of a "religious-school teacher," Mr. Spector, who told "a fine story about a boy who loved Superman so much that he tied a red towel around his neck, climbed up to the roof of his house, and, with a cry of 'Up, up, and away,' leaped to his death. There was known to have been such a boy, Mr. Spector informed us—at least one verifiable boy, so enraptured and so betrayed by the false dream of Superman that it killed him."

(And I'll bet my bottom dollar that, as he plummeted downward, the poor kid was singing that unofficial "Supe - er - maaannnnn!" tune I wrote about above at the top of his lungs, in case that could provide the power of flight which the makeshift cape hadn't.)

Ah, yes, the towel-necked kid who jumps off the roof... I've always put that particular urban legend one notch above that damned Walt Disney story.

So. I interrupted my reading of Chabon's article and took a brief time-out to check, the internet's best urban legend debunker (at least, it is in my opinion, which, as you may have noticed, is pretty much the only one that counts here), to see if they could shed any light upon the old "kids-dies-trying-to-fly-like-Superman" tale. Nothing.

There is this, however, taken from a short article in the September 11, 1939 issue of TIME Magazine : "[Y]oungsters have taken to wearing Superman capes and carrying shields. In Milwaukee one enthusiastic young Superman fan jumped off the roof of his house and survived."

(Aside: "Shields?" WTF? These kids couldn't have been confusing Superman with, say, Captain America, because the Captain wasn't created until two years after the TIME article! But I digress.)

Okay, so TIME says the kid didn't actually die. Small consolation, I suppose. But the article doesn't offer any actual substantiation for the story, either. Hell, even Wikipedia doesn't let people get away totally unscathed for that!

But even as I sat there wondering if anyone ever could or would prove the roof-jumper story true or untrue, another thought came to mind: Long before the modern days of political correctness and the tendency to childproof everything in sight, this planet and the people on it operated under the "survival of the fittest" principle. Cars didn't have seat belts. Nobody wore crash helmets just to ride a freakin' bicycle. Anybody who could pull open the door to the cabinet under the sink would have access to ammonia, and bleach, and Pine-Sol, and all sorts of cool stuff! And if somebody wanted to smoke a cigarette, he or she would just light up anywhere and you were pretty much required to suck in the smoky air just like the rest of us! (Possibly the true origin of the phrase, "sucks to be you." Just a thought.)

Anyway, I'm enough of a comic fan not to want to step on anybody's wanting to indulge in a little bit of fantasy, especially a child's, but... It does occur to me that even if you could truly acquire the power of flight by attaching a freakin' towel to your neck, you still needn't jump off a roof to fly. You could either simply jump upwards from a starting spot on the ground, or get a running start and then leap... and with or without that shout of "Up, up, and away!" you'd be... well... up and away. Wouldn't you? I wouldn't climb up on a freakin' roof to try it unless I was... oh... 101% sure it'd work! I mean, were these legendary kids that stupid?

Look, even I'm not so cruel as to actually suggest that the little roof-leapers -- who probably never really existed, anyway -- deserved whatever they got, but... well... come on.

Thanks for your time.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Help Yourself (A David'Z RantZ Post from 4/4/08)

The other day, I was at the supermarket, standing in the check-out line with only five or six items

One of the clerks walked over to me and said, "Sir? We have an express lane over there." My gaze followed the direction in which he was pointing. It was one of those "do it yourself" check-out lanes that many stores have now.

"Do I get a discount?" I asked.

"Sir?" said the clerk. It was clear that I'd confused him.

"A discount. Do I get a discount for doing all the work myself?"

"No... "

"Well, I realize that this isn't the 1800s, when you could walk into the grocery store and tell Cora that you needed a pound of sugar, whereupon she'd weigh it out for you, and so on... But the whole self-service aspect has gotten out of hand. I mean, I don't think I've seen a stockboy help an old lady to her car with her carriage full of items since the Reagan years... " (Total look of disorientation on the teenage clerk's face.) "He was a US. president," I explained semi-patronizingly and sotto voce. "Don't worry about it, kid, he's dead anyway." I continued. "Anyway, as far as ringing these items up for myself goes, if I'm going to be doing that much of your work, Price Chopper should give me a discount."

It was then that the clerk and I realized that everyone in my line -- as well as in the two lines on either side of us -- was listening to our conversation. Someone muttered "He's right," to someone else.

At that point, the cashier asked the lady in front of me -- who was now being waited on -- if she would swipe her debit or credit card through the machine. "No," said the woman, smirking a bit while handing the card to the cashier, "I think that you should run it through. That is what they pay you for, isn't it?"

And most of us laughed. Someone, somewhere, even cheered.

And later that night, I received a congratulatory telephone call from Governor Deval Patrick.


Okay, okay, okay! Not buying the bulls**t, huh?

I confess. I made up everything that came after "Do I get a discount for doing all the work myself?" But that, I did say. And at some point soon after that while you were reading, I'm sure you started wondering, "Hey, did all of this really happen?"

But until that point, I'll bet you were rooting for me, and the rest of the supermarket customers. Weren't you?

Thanks for your time.

Friday, May 16, 2014

"No Mercy, No Quota" (A David'Z RantZ Post from 3/30/08)

(Anybody who can tell me exactly what the title of today's post is referencing will win... Well, actually, you won't win anything. But I'll sure be impressed!)

By and large, I have a great deal of respect for policemen, state troopers, and others in the law enforcement field. It's pretty much a thankless job. And before you start sputtering "But... But... !" let me point out that I am fully aware that the profession has its share of outright jerks, as well as those who abuse the power granted to them by their occupation. But so does any job, if you think about it... or has every boss, manager, or supervisor for whom you've ever worked been a peachy-keen, dandy, upright individual?

I also do realize that someone with as much power as the police have over the regular citizenry becomes so much worse than the above-mentioned managers and supervisors when the power granted to him or her is abused.

I must also point out that most (accent on "most") of the people who mistrust or even hate policemen in toto aren't those who've been wronged by said abuses; most of them seem to be people with rightfully-guilty consciences, or outright criminals.

I don't envy anyone in their field. It must really suck to be a member of a profession which (for the most part) attempts "to serve and protect," as the saying goes, knowing that so many people inherently dislike you, distrust you, disparage you, and/or -- oh, just add any other "dis" word which you can think of, including the word "dis" itself -- simply because of what you do for a living.

It's kind of like being a child pornographer. Or a drug dealer. 

Or a person who works for the local cable company.

However, having said all of that...

For almost as long as I've been aware of what a policeman's role is in society, I have heard rumors of the dreaded "quota system." For the uninitiated among you, what this means is that each month, those employed by both the local and the state police are expected -- if not required -- to make a certain number of arrests, or give out a certain number of citations, etc., in order to "prove" that he or she is doing his or her job. I've known several people over the years who actually feel more comfortable committing the most minor of legal infractions (such as "sliding" through a red light, or jaywalking, or being slightly drunk and somewhat obnoxious as opposed to being all-out drunk and disorderly, etc.) toward the beginning of the month, rather than toward the end of the month, when the pressure to "perform" is on any officer who hasn't yet met this fabled "quota." (Talk about performance anxiety!)

And every policeman whom I've ever heard about or read about being (pardon the expression) quoted on the subject of quotas has vehemently denied the existence of this "quota system."




Shortly after I'd left work today, I turned my car from a side street onto Main Street, and within seconds, a police cruiser was behind me, his lights flashing, pulling me over. I wondered what I'd done. My registration and inspection sticker were both valid. I was wearing my seat belt, mandatory in Massachusetts. I'd used my directional (that's "blinker" to you colloquialists) when making the turn. I didn't even have time to increase my speed to one above the posted limit. Did I have a tail-light out, or had my rear license plate been stolen, or... ? Damnit, why'd he stop me?!?

He asked for my license and registration, of course. The usual procedure after receiving both items is for the officer or trooper to take them back to his cruiser and run a "check" on them, to see if I had any outstanding arrest warrants, etc. However, he didn't move more than a foot or two from my driver's side window. He leaned over my windshield slightly, checking to see if my inspection sticker was up-to-date. He asked why I was in that particular town (which is, as is apparent from the address listed on my license, not the town in which I reside), and I truthfully replied that I had just left work. He asked where I worked; I told him.

When he handed my license and registration back, he said that I had to take down the air freshener which was hanging from my rear-view mirror. Although I fully realized that technically, that's a law, I resisted the urge to say, "You stopped me for that? Are you stopping everyone who's got a graduation tassel, or a CD (I've never understood the significance of hanging a freakin' CD from your rear-view mirror, by the way. Anyone care to enlighten me?), or a dream-catcher hanging there?"

As I drove away, I smirked and thought, "Hmm. Almost the last day of the month. I wonder if he really has a quota to live up to?" But it was not merely the fact that I had been stopped for something that seemed (to me) to be so petty that sparked my curiosity... 

Nope. That came a bit later.

I didn't really take the whole thing seriously until later that night, as I ran several errands in the nearest "big city." In the course of three hours' worth of driving all over said city, I saw more flashing blue lights than one would see on any six Christmas trees in December. It made me wish I knew how many of those pulled-over cars had truly done anything deserving of a policeman's wrath.

Almost the last day of the month. Almost the last day of the month.

Total coincidence? I think not.

I wrote the bulk of this little RantZ entry but then decided to hold off on posting it in its entirety until I'd had a chance to question an ex-policeman whom I know about quotas. He said they definitely weren't an issue for patrolmen, detectives, etc., who deal with arrests and the like. He fell short of actually admitting that there was any kind of monthly quota for those officers and troopers who mostly drive around during their shifts. He did go so far as to say that any cop on traffic duty who returned to the station at shift's end with no citations to show for it would be asked "Then what the hell did you do all night?"

So. No end-of-the-month-type quotas, strictly speaking.

And I want to believe him. As the Cowardly Lion said in "The Wizard of Oz," "I do I do I do" want to believe him.

But... I just don't.

All I'm sure of at this point is that I'll feel a lot more relaxed as I drive my car during the first... ohhh... three weeks or so of next month?

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

There's No Need to Fear! (A David'Z RantZ & Comical Wednesday Post from 3/13/08)

Hey, does anyone besides myself remember the old Dennis Miller line about the
Underdog balloon "hump[ing] the Kremlin into submission?" No? Didn't think so...

The "Underdog" theme song. Arguably one of the greatest cartoon themes ever. One of my five personal favorites, along with the "Jonny Quest" theme, the "Top Cat" theme, the theme from "The Mighty Hercules," and that catchy Vince Guaraldi piano composition played in countless "Peanuts" specials (which is officially titled "Linus & Lucy").

I'm sure you recall the "Underdog" theme, if you ever saw the show:
When criminals in this world appear
And break the laws that they should fear
And frighten all who see or hear
The cry goes up both far and near
For Underdog! (Underdog!) Underdog! (Underdog!)
Speed of lightning, roar of thunder
Fighting all who rob or plunder
Underdog. Underdog!

Classic, huh? Of course, you also probably know the second verse, usually heard during the ending credits:

When in this world the headlines read
Of those whose hearts are filled with greed
Who rob and steal from those who need
To right this wrong with blinding speed
Goes Underdog! (Underdog!) Underdog! (Underdog!)
Speed of lightning, roar of thunder
Fighting all who rob or plunder
Underdog. Underdog!

Yup. Classic, indeed. But I remembered hearing a third verse, seldom used, but occasionally played during those ending credits. I could recall nothing about the actual lyrics, however, just that another verse existed. So I did an internet search, and quickly found this:

And when our woeful monologue
Is how by evil we've been flogged
Then breaking through the clouds and fog
Not plane, nor bird, nor even frog
Comes Underdog! (Underdog!) Underdog! (Underdog!)
Now unleash the Dog of Wonder
Tearing evil's bonds asunder
Underdog. Underdog!

As I've said before, ya gotta love the internet! Now I finally knew all the verses, after about forty years!

All of them, do you hear?!? All... of...

Oh, s**t.

Another freakin' verse popped up. Could it be true?

When Polly Purebread starts to fall
From buildings 20 stories tall
She knows the hero she can call
His ears prick up when Polly hollers
Underdog! (Underdog!) Underdog! (Underdog!)
There's no need to fear or quaver
Underdog is here to save her
Underdog. Underdog!

Are/were there really four verses? And are there more? Is someone writing them to this day, leaking them to those of us who are still... ummm... panting... for more?

I mean, geez, how many verses did this son of a bitch have?

Hey. Hey! Calm down, you! I did not just profane the name of a cherished cartoon icon! He's a male dog, right? So he really is the "son" of a "bitch." I was just being literal.

So. Bark... I mean, back... off.

Thanks for your time.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Minor Brainstorm?

Hi, fellow babies.

'Fess up time for Yours Truly.

With the exception of a couple of current projects I won't discuss unless and until they get finished, I've had severe writer's block for a while now.

Those of you who counted yourselves as regular readers before April's A-Z Challenge knew all too well that there had been nothing for you to... uhhh... regularly read. Or read regularly. Or something.

But... I came up with a "sort-of" solution, sneaky buzzard that I am.

Before this blog started, I had another blog called David'Z RantZ. (That's why I use the "David'Z RantZ" subtitle for this blog's newer rants, since that other blog is retired.) Most of my current Foxyblog readers never read it, even those who've been reading this blog since its early days.

Well, guess what? As of this month, I've begun reprinting old David'Z RantZ posts here on a somewhat regular basis (hence the dates in the titles of some of my recent blogs), and will continue doing so for at least as long as it takes for me to come up with the motivation to write anything new. If any of you have noticed that you've been reading reruns, you've been nice enough not to complain.

Even once I do get inspired to create new posts, I may keep the recycled stuff coming anyway.

Lucky you. Ha.

Hope you like them. And just remember, any post you haven't seen before is a new post!

Thanks for your time.

Friday, May 9, 2014

One of the Oldest Urban Legends (A David'Z RantZ Post from 2/27/08)

This morning, around sunrise, I was seated at the counter of a diner located one town away from my current residence. Good coffee, huge portions -- and if you finish all the food they give you, they'll give you more, no charge -- and you get to overhear just about the kinds of conversations you'd expect to overhear coming from the average working man.

I was a bit surprised, however, when one of these "average working men" asserted that all the heads of state across the world.... kings, presidents, prime ministers, whatever... are frozen when they die so they can be brought back later if and when the technology exists for someone to do so. That was a new one, at least to me. And he said that not only as if it were a fact, but also as if everyone who'd heard him say it knew it was a fact.

And without turning to face him or his buddies, I set my coffee cup on the counter and waited for the other shoe to drop. And I wasn't disappointed.

"Well," began one of them, "you know Walt Disney is still frozen..."

That again. That particular urban legend has been around as long as Uncle Walt's been dead, and that happened nearly fifty years ago! My God, people still believe that?

Why do people believe that?

And... umm... Do you believe that?

If so... why? Where's your proof?

Maybe you're sitting there smugly saying, "I don't need proof. Everybody knows it."

Oh, everybody does, huh?

On the subject of "everybody," try this one on: There was a rather well-known studio head during Hollywood's golden era. He had a lot of innovative ideas. He also had a few nay-sayers in the company who would tell him during creative meetings that these proposed innovations simply couldn't be done. When faced with this pessimism, the studio head would ask, "Who says it can't be done?" and the reply was generally to the effect of, "Well... everybody says it can't be done." And the studio head's retort to "everybody says" was, "Name two."

Funny thing. That studio head was Walt Disney.

Now, how many of you saw that coming?




Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dick Ayers, 1924-2014, R.I.P. -- A "Comical Wednesday" Post

(For those of you new to my blog, a "Comical Wednesday" post is a post that is about comic books, in one way or another. It does not mean that the post itself is comical, as in humorous! This one clearly is not.)

Famed comic book artist Dick Ayers has died at the age of 90.

Trying to sum up a career as long as Dick's is difficult at best. He began his comic book career in the late 1940s. He co-created a Western horror character called the Ghost Rider in the 1950s for publisher Magazine Enterprises. He was working at Marvel Comics during the 1960s and 1970s. As either a penciller or inker, Dick's art graced probably every superhero in the early Marvel Universe. He also drew plenty of Western comics for them (including an unauthorized Ghost Rider revival), but he is probably best known for his long-time service on Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. He went on to DC Comics, then other publishers. An abbreviated biography of Dick Ayers is here, if you care to learn beyond what I've given you.

Whenever I write one of my tributes to a celebrity -- an actor or actress, a comic book creator, a singer, etc. -- who has passed on, I feel a sadness that comes from feeling that you know someone simply because their work has touched you.

In Dick Ayers' case, I'd actually met the man (and his wife, Lindy) -- and toured his home studio -- at a time when he and I were collaborating on a comic book project which was eventually unsold. Having a comic book legend illustrate my script was quite the thrill, I must tell you! (The full story of that project can be found here, here, and here! And whether or not you feel like following those links, what follows is Dick's pencilled contribution to the character's origin story. Yep, my words, illustrated by a legend!  The lettering was done by a talented artist named Ken Carson! Three pages of Dick Ayers art which has only seen print on my blog!)

And if that costume-clad super child looks a bit familiar, here's something you've probably seen before:

Dick Ayers will be sorely missed.

Thanks for your time.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cross Talk (A David'Z RantZ Post from 3/2/08)

Sometimes I'm walking, and sometimes I'm driving. Of course, many times, I'm merely walking to or from my car, which strikes me as being the best of both worlds. But having been on both sides of that particular fence, I must say that there is one realization I came to long ago: Pedestrians are, for the most part, an arrogant bunch of S.O.B.s. Or hadn't you noticed?

And any stunt they pull that irks one or more drivers is usually justified with "Well, people have been around longer than cars, you know," like that's supposed to excuse their stupidity somehow. That's almost like if you give me your newborn baby to hold, and I drop it, and follow up by saying, "Oh, well, I can remember before you even had the little diaper-dumper!"

Look, folks, no one alive today is old enough to remember before there were automobiles, so in everyone's mind, cars have "always" been around, just like people. Which blows that "people have been around longer" argument out of the water quite nicely, I think.

My state, Massachusetts, has a law that says that drivers must stop if a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, attempting to cross the street. I assume most other states have this law, and most other countries as well... at least those countries that have enough people and automobiles so that this is even an issue.

However, what about those bothersome little pukes that are not in the crosswalk, but are attempting to cross anywayand pretty much demanding that drivers stop for them, too? I think there should be some kind of "equal time" provision in the law which says that if the pedestrian is not in the crosswalk, the driver is allowed... no, make that required by law... to drive right into that self-important little rectum-head! Not enough to seriously injure, kill, or even maim, I should point out. Even I'm not that vicious... usually... But rather, just enough of a jolt to shake that sucker up a bit, and knock him or her about ten to twelve feet forward. Hell, that'll probably place him smack dab in the middle of the crosswalk he was too lazy to walk over to in the first place.

(And by the way, "Mr. Walker," who the hell do you think you are, raising your hand to stop me as you defiantly walk in front of my vehicle? If my car's brakes can't -- or won't -- stop me, do you really think that waving your pudgy little palm is capable of doing it?)

Okay, okay, maybe I'm going a bit overboard with the vehemence this time around, but perhaps that's the real reason they call it a crosswalk. Ya think?

Thanks for your time.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Count Me Out

When I was a young boy, roughly fifty years ago, some of my friends had parents who were... Well, let's just call them “counters.” If a friend of mine was misbehaving, especially in public, the mom or dad would start counting aloud, as a warning that my buddy had better shape up, pronto.

Some counters counted to three, some five, some ten... You never knew what their cut-off point was, because the counters never counted down –- “Five, four, three...” –- they always counted up. If the little sucker hadn't shaped up by the time the count was finished, though, he'd get a smack! (And I don't mean a kiss.)

(What really sucked was if a kid was with one of those parents that hit other people's kids... and yes, we had them then. Those poor children never knew where the count would end, which effectively shot the “warning” aspect all to hell! “One... two... three...” WHACK! “Hey! My mom always gives me till ten!)

Anyway, now that corporal punishment has fallen out of vogue, I'm curious about one thing: There are still parents out there who count like that when the child's being a brat. The question is, if said child doesn't toe the line by the time the parent's counting limit is reached...

What does the parent do?

By the way, if anybody wants to turn my comment section into a serious forum on the pros and cons of corporal punishment... please don't.

Thanks for your time.
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