From the Wall Street Journal:

McDonald’s Plans to Add More Than 1,000 Restaurants in China


Considering China’s growth rate

and how they will eat (and have ate)

Big Macs by the score

there isn’t a floor

that won’t buckle with their great weight. 


Guns and Roses (and Seniors)


From the Wall Street Journal:  “The National Rifle Association says 22,739 people over 65 took basic firearm training courses from NRA-certified instructors in 2015, four times the number five years earlier.”


Lookout all you crooks and thieves, you scum who threaten geezers.

After we get through with you, they’ll pick you up with tweezers!

We’re packing heat and have no fear of you and your designs;

we’re walkin’, talkin’, shootin’, shakin’ seasoned porcupines!

We seniors have a right to arms, it’s in the Constitution;

even when they put us in a nursing institution!

The gun dealers, they love us, for we never purchase schlock;

but always buy good imports like Sig Sauer or a Glock.

Invade our homes, is that your plan? You think we are so frail?

(My god, I shot the mailman! I sure hope I can get bail . . . )

On the Streets of Manhattan


From the Wall Street Journal:  “Little-known fact: You can earn $45 an hour distributing fliers on the streets of Manhattan.”

On the streets of Manhattan the fliers are handed

by actors and models who clearly are stranded;

their artistic tempers demand a perfection

that makes them for this job the perfect selection.

They may try some Hamlet or dance to a salsa;

perhaps they will carve puppets made out of balsa.

Passing out fliers might seem a tough job,

when you’re in Manhattan with such a rude mob.

But artists and models do not know of fear

(not when it comes to their burgers and beer).

Would I take a flier from one of these types

who likely are playing so loud on bagpipes?

Perhaps if they’re pretty, and give me a smile.

(Heck, for a kiss I would take the whole pile!)



The Song of the Jolly Temp Worker


I am the jolly temp worker; no cares or frets have I.

I wander as the work dies out, starving by and by.

I sometimes work construction and I sometimes work at night,

and I sometimes work in offices at keyboards shining bright.

How I love to wander o’er the land to find a gig

that hasn’t any benefits and treats me like a pig.

Freer than an eagle soaring high above the valley,

I can land just where I please (including bowling alley).

Oh, won’t you come and join me in my ramble to find work?

Together at a Gas-n-Go we’ll restock shelves and clerk!

Jubilate Abdicate

"Crazy as a bedpan"
“Crazy as a bedpan”

From the New York Times:

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — “The sun was sublime, the flour-soft sand could scarcely have been more tempting and the D.J. music thumped loudly enough to jiggle the beer cups resting on nearby tables. All that was missing were the throngs of booze-soaked, sunburned spring breakers who usually swarm this beach town during March.

The scarcity of the party-hard population was no accident. Last year . . .  local officials clamped down. They passed more than 20 ordinances to curb the debauchery, drinking and violence that they had concluded was marring the town’s image. In response, students sprinted to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, quickly spreading the news — using the hashtag #RIPPCB (Rest in Peace Panama City Beach) — that the party here was over.”

When young people cannot have sex,

their sense of fair play it does vex.

If the booze and karaoke

become way too pokey

they find someplace else to bounce checks.

Atlantic City

ghost town

From the Wall Street Journal:  “Cash-strapped Atlantic City will shut down all nonessential services starting April 8 unless it receives a financial bailout from New Jersey, the mayor said Monday.”

Atlantic City is the place to go for your vacation;

for peace and quiet, solitude, it is the right location.

No officious city clerks, no traffic tickets given;

no lifeguards on the fabled beach — no fire engines driven.

The place is so deserted and in isolation now

that you can hear a mobster drop (or shoot a sacred cow).

A cemetery has more action than the Boardwalk here,

while politicians treat the place like any buccaneer.





The French Have a Way of Doing Things . . .

From the New York Times:  France’s strict legal separation of religious and civic life — a legacy of the French Revolution known as laïcité — formally discourages, and in some situations expressly bans, public religious expression.”

O, those French! Not only do they have the best food on the face of the planet, but they also know the best way to make your job a pleasant, quiet experience.

Just think – no evangelists holding prayer meetings in the conference room; no human sacrifices during lunch (if you happen to have some ancient Aztecs as co-workers); and, best of all, no steady clicking of rosaries that could drive a wooden post to scream in agony.

Aren’t you tired of the miasma of creed and cult that is today’s American workplace? I sure am! You can hardly throw a rock when at work without hitting a Jehovah’s Witness or a devotee to Thugee. I get so many religious tracts placed on my desk at night by pious janitors that I’ve gotten a hernia carrying them all to the waste basket in the morning.

 And all those angels and demons jockeying for my soul while I am trying to finish the fourth quarter report. Oy vey!

So I’m hoping Obama will unleash the secular security team prior to leaving office – let those babies range around the country stamping out  faith, hope and charity in the factory and at the office.

Americans deserve nothing less . . .



Should you wear a crucifix or hajib on the job

You’re likely to be strung up by a scandalized French mob.

Do not spin a prayer wheel  where the boss can see you clearly,

Otherwise you’ll pay the price of joblessness quite dearly.

Have you Buddhist texts tattooed upon your brawny arms?

Nothing whatsoever will prevent severe alarms.

To read the Book of Mormon while you are taking a small break

Will cause HR to tie you up and burn you at the stake.

But if you show up drunk to work, well that is really fine

(as long as you’ve been drinking a good solid red French wine).

And if you spend your office time asleep at your computer

You likely will be offered better pay by a recruiter.

So heed this warning well if you a Gallic job possess –

Keep your god at home to gain remarkable success.


Coulrophobia: Fear of Clowns (?)

book of clowns

I grew up in the 1950’s, when the great clowns were still alive and stirring in the American psyche; Chaplin gave use his movie tribute to clowns, Limelight; Buster Keaton was still actively pratfalling on live television; the Three Stooges were still cranking out their slapstick sonatas; and professional circus clowns were hilariously abundant, whether at Ringling Brothers or with the many Shrine circuses that crisscrossed the land. As a child I reveled in their unprincipled and undignified shenanigans, and, by a series of fortuitous events, I actually grew up to become a clown with Ringling Brothers Circus, attending their prestigious (if that’s the right word for it!) Clown College in Venice, Florida, in 1971.
In my professional career as a clown I would occasionally run across a child who was initially frightened by my grotesque makeup and costume, and I learned to approach such children very carefully and respectfully, telling them in a reassuring voice that it was okay to be shy, and asking their permission to come closer to shake their hand. In most cases, after a few minutes of this strategy, the child would allow me to make contact, and I felt proud to have made a new friend for the art of clowning.
After many years in the business I changed careers, leaving my red nose and baggy pants behind. I had been a respected member of a great fraternity of buffoons, and remembered fondly all the laughter and affection I had received from audiences all over the world.
Imagine my surprise and chagrin, then, when, just a few years ago, I briefly went back to my old trade – only to discover that nearly HALF of the people I interacted with said they were afraid of clowns, and wanted nothing to do with me!
What in the world had happened to change people’s minds, I wondered. I’m still not sure I have a complete answer to that vexing question. But I can make some reasonable surmises.
First of all, I blame the rise in amateur clown organizations across the country. Many circuses today have cut corners by not hiring professional clowns, but instead contacting local clown clubs to provide the comedy. These amateur clowns often have terrible makeups and no training in physical comedy; when they approach the audience for some fun it’s no wonder the children, and maybe the adults, feel threatened, rather than amused! I myself can recall as a child the amateur clowns that infested a local Fourth of July picnic I went to; how they tickled me until I wet myself. Many of them reeked of whisky. No child should ever be subjected to that kind of abusive clowning.
Secondly, I blame the author Stephen King’s book It. The book was published in 1986, and later made into a blockbuster horror film. The book introduces the character of Pennywise the Clown, a shape-shifting monster that preys on children. It is not a pleasant read, nor is it a pleasant movie to watch.
Since then there have been other “monster” clowns; in fact, if you Google “clown” under ‘images’ you will get mostly gruesome fiends in whiteface, not the funny fellows we all used to chuckle at. One of the most popular costumes this coming Halloween, as it has been for the past fifteen years, is the monster clown outfit, complete with fanged mask and blood-soaked ruffles.
So, in a broader sense, I guess I’d better blame Hollywood and the whole entertainment industry for promoting and marketing scary clowns for profit. Mere laughter is not enough – now our clowns have to be dangerous as well! I do not think this bodes well for American society.
In Europe, Africa and Asia the clown is still a traditional figure of fun – allowed license to satirize the foibles and failings of kings and rulers, and of peasants and plebeians. He, or she, is a gentle creature, full of music and whimsy, and children flock to circuses and shows featuring clowns, with complete trust and delight. The way children used to here in the United States.
But America has grown so cynical and sophisticated that we see nothing wrong with taking the innocent zany that gave us so much laughter and pleasure over the years and turning him into an icon of horror, like Dracula or Frankenstein’s Monster.
A pie in the face to all such demonizers of a great American comedy tradition!

Despedida, mi trabajo!

Adios, my lifelong pal — the rat race I have left

now that from my paying job I have become bereft.

The levers that I pulled and the conveyor belt I tended

are on their way to Mexico (instructions are appended).

I hope whoever gets my job down there in Guadalupe

will join the union so they can constantly accrue pay.

They say there’s money for retraining — much good may it do

to a guy who’s sixty and is slow as Elmer’s Glue.

I’ve had my run of good times; now the Rust Belt welcomes me

into some darkened tavern where I drink and watch TV.

I guess I need a hobby so on boredom I won’t champ;

anybody know what club I join to be a tramp?

In the Soccer World Cup for Not-Quite Countries, Get Ready for Northern Cyprus vs. Somaliland


From the Wall Street Journal:   “Abkhazia doesn’t hold a seat in the United Nations. Its athletes can’t compete under their flag in the Olympics. But the post-Soviet separatist region is determined to get on the map as host of a world cup for would-be countries that, by most people’s reckoning, don’t exist.”


Abkhazia is welcoming the lands of make believe

to their world cup soccer game (and maybe basket weave).

Ankh-Morpork’s in the running, and they’ve got a team from Oz.

And Narnia is fielding players sure to bring applause.

Of course there is Atlantis, which prefers all water sports —

and dread Mordor has got a team of orcs (of varied sorts).

Elbonia and Erewhon are deadly rivals, since

they tied a soccer match to win the Loompa Golden Blintz.

But San Lorenzo is the odds-on favorite to win;

unless the Shangri-La crew starts to kick a little shin!