Monday, May 10, 2010

Everything You Need to Know About Life

Everything you need about life is right here: How to take your turn. How to listen to others and dig what they do best. And how to all come together at the end.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pretzels: Timing is Everything

Where I work, people put snacks by the mailboxes, which is in a central location. I sit nearby. I can hear people walking by, slowing their pace, swooping their hands into crinkly bags with chips, cookies and candy.

It's amazing. Even at the height of swine flu anxiety, with hand sanitizer dispensers suddenly appearing everywhere like state highway patrol cars on New Year's Eve, we will still jam our hands into bags of free food.

Yesterday, I opened a fresh bag of pretzels--no germs--took a deep whiff of the crispy aromatic freshness. Added bonus: This was fresh! Those dots of white in the bag were pure salt, not the accumulation of skin flakes from the hands of two dozen co-workers.

The first bite of the first pretzel was perfect, like I was eating the first pretzel on earth, and like God in Genesis, declared it good. And on the seventh pretzel, I rested.


Some say pretzels originated as treats for kids during Lent, when many centuries ago, it was forbidden to make leavened bread. The three holes represnted the Christian trinity and the twisted strip of baked dough represented the folded arms of a praying monk. If Christians use bread and wine in church celebration, then there's an argument (or a Budweiser ad campaign) to be made that pretzels and beer is sacramental, especially during these troubles times when we turn to faith for comfort.

Fresh pretzels remind me of my late father. For over twenty years he worked in a Dan-Dee factory that produced pretzels and potato chips. I'd visit him in the plant. He'd let me watch the conveyer belt carry along strips of dough that a machine would fold into the shape of a pretzel. It was mesmerizing as watching a crackling fireplace.

Often my father would come home, place freshly made pretzels and chips on the kitchen counter. I wanted to dive in, but my mother wouldn't permit us to "ruin our appetite" by snacking just before dinnertime. So while he washed the flour off his hands, the still-warm chips and pretzels steamed up the bag. Many times our chips and pretzels would go soggy.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

"Help, I've Got a Job Interview for a Death Panel and I Don't Know What to Wear!"

With a  Death Panel in every town, there will be jobs-jobs-jobs! But watch out – the competition’s fierce – and only those who put their best foot forward will be able to seize the opportunity. Your first step must be a good first impression.

Wearing all black might be great if you want to the Venetian Las Vegas…

You don’t have to be a criminally insane to work here, but it helps. Sorry, no dogs in the office. But if you're thinking 'uniform,' you're on the right trail.

…Don’t wear your Death Panel casual Friday apparel either.

Whoa! Showing enthusiasm is important, but don’t jump the gun. Wearing the actual uniform to your interview is presumptuous.

So instead, just wear something plain, formal and the proven outfit for the group that has proven its ability to kill...if only ideas and buzzes.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Health Insurance Reform Must Pass Under One Condition

...Everyone who believed in the irresponsible right wing myths about insurance reforms must wait an additional ten minutes before receiving treatment.

That's about how long it takes to read the facts about the issue, which also answers the question, will Glenn Beck be denied coverage for his preexisting condition of paranoid schizophrenia?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Town Hall Breaking News: Nazis Protest the Protesters

As we have just spent August watching town hall meetings erupt in protests, describing Democratic or Obama health care initiatives as “Nazi.”

In response, real Nazis issued this rebuttal:

“We protest the protesters. Contrary to popular perception, Naziism does not provide for universal health coverage. The press should do its homework before reporting this bile and nonsense. If the press would only read our manifesto, The Final Solution 2.0, they would find out that the only thing we have in common with Obamacare is Death Panels, and we are certain that ours would be less costly and more effective.”

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Obama Need Not Waste His Breath

It has become apparent that the Republicans will not support a health insurance reform bill this year -- or even engage in honest discussion about the issue.

Don't waste your breath, Obama supporters urged him, they're not listening anyway. No matter how urgent and necessary reform is, they want you to fail and they want this failure to be your Waterloo.

Obama can find the perfect statement to make to the loyal opposition whose contributions to the national conversation are disruption and distortions. It's in his inaugural speech and there's no need to even tweak it because it applies to extremists of all stripes who refuse to communicate and cooperate like civil human beings:

"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history. We will extend a hand if you're willing to unclench your fist."

Only then can they accept a slice at the pizza party.