A Day Without Scatological References is a Day Without Sunshine, and Selected Sophomoric Observations

assholeinground

As long as we have this clear.

There is a classic scene from one of my favorite, and timeless movies, The Jerk, where Navin Johnson’s Dad explains to him the difference between shit and Shinola.  For those who may not be aware, Shinola was a waxy shoe polish that was popular in the beginning of the 20th century.   I know that sometimes I have a sophomoric obsession with things scatological, but it seems that many people in this world are having a hard time telling the difference.

I can go on and on about entropy and devolution- especially after perusing the illegitimate president’s mostly plagiarized speech (lots of tidbits lifted from the State of the Union address given by President G.W. Bush, 2007) and realizing that this despot is hell-bent on ruling by executive fiat, but there isn’t much I can do about that.  Obama is pretty much beyond rationality, and the only course for rational people is to do what they can to mitigate his nonsense and attempt to block his unconstitutional actions for the next three years.   Nothing productive or positive will get done in government as long as the Imperial BO is still squatting in the Oval Office, but hopefully by the grace of God (and a gridlocked Congress) some of the potential damage can be thwarted.

king obama

Let’s just say I wasn’t surprised by the last blast of hot air to come from Washington.  Obama makes me want to puke.

Sometimes I think that if there is such a thing as parallel universes and/or if there is a universe for every possible combination of actions and decisions, that I got dropped in one of the more insane sets of possibilities. There are physicists who say that everything boils down to one big long complex equation.  It probably does.  Just don’t ask me to explain it.

Standard_Model_Equation

I was doing good to pass high school algebra.

The really scary thing that I’ve come to realize is that the “powers that be” who have all sorts of high faluting expensive pieces of paper from supposedly prestigious institutions of learning, are proving themselves to be rank imbeciles.  Maybe I’m just cynical, (and largely self-educated,) but I think these supposedly prestigious institutions care about two things: the money, and where the money’s coming from.

Maybe I’m being negative and fatalistic, but I am beginning to believe that higher education has been hijacked, and that the “powers that be” are presiding over a continual dumbing down of the populace.  Sadly, such a theory makes sense.  If you want to remain in power, and acquire more power, it might be in your best interests to keep your subjects stupid.  That was the mindset behind the Romans’ free bread and circuses.  Keep the people fat and sassy and uninformed, and they won’t care if you strip them of their rights.

bread and circuses

Americans don’t even need the Olympics to be distracted.  The Kardashians and Honey Boo Boo are enough.

honey-boo-boo-

See what I mean?

There isn’t much that I can do.  I can try to find the humor in popular culture, but even that is a sort of bittersweet adventure.  Some things are funny and some things are just plain sad.  Why do the media care about people who dress up little girls to look like street walkers- and why do they follow around adult women who already look like street walkers who have nothing better to do than spend money on stupid things and cavort around with gangsta rappers? Are we obsessed with such bizarre families and weird behavior because the circus freak shows of days gone by have become politically incorrect?  Instead of “Let’s go to the carnival to see the bearded lady, ” it’s “Let’s watch Mama June?”

Plus ςa change, plus c’est la même chose.

I enjoy perusing ads for Victorian patent medicines and other nostrums that were popular in the mid-to late 19th century.  You just want to believe they would work even though most of the “medicines” were comprised of heroin, alcohol or a healthy combination of both.

parkers tonic

You might not be “cured,” but you’ll be too stoned to care.

I also find humor in some of the 19th century euphemisms for ED (which is itself, a euphemism, but it’s just not nice to say “he has a limp dick.”)

self abuse

Certain parts of the body enlarged…hmm?  And exactly what is a tansy?

Now if I could get my hands on this and if it actually worked, I would be a most delighted old bitty.

save the drunkard

I thought that was what that “Anabuse” pill was for – to make you puke every time you take a drink.

Victorian Ephemera, Patent Medicine and Today’s Mollycoddled Offspring

ChildrensElastic-1975-F-208

Here’s a Victorian-era product that probably wouldn’t go over too well today.  Except maybe to NAMBLA members.

I know that knee pads are available for kids today – as well as shin guards, mouth guards and bike helmets- but these I think were designed more to preserve expensive clothing rather than to prevent injury.  One need only examine some Victorian-era playthings to understand that safety wasn’t first. Or fifth.  From the looks of some of that stuff, safety couldn’t have really been considered at all.

I can only imagine the geek factor involved for kids whose mothers required them to wear these, but then again, boys of the Victorian era typically wore those awful little man-capris with knee high socks.  Knee protectors couldn’t make that dreadful fashion too much worse.

rocks and a mace

Screw the pellet gun- let’s just give them rocks and a mace!

Granted, Steve-o had toys, ranging from the innocuous to the deadly.  He had Legos, Thomas the Tank Engine, Power Rangers, those annoying little finger skateboards, a BB gun (I’m still picking BBs out of the walls) and a Zippo (not to be confused with a flashlight.)

He had the latest video games, and a lot of other electronic toys too, but I didn’t want him to simply sit on his ass and watch as it grew huge, so I did allow skateboarding and in-line skating, which were responsible for both times he broke his right arm, once at age 6 and then again at age 11.   I should have stopped at the BMX bike, but even the BMX bike proved quasi-deadly.  Some little ass-pilot at his school decided to jam the rear wheel so the bike wouldn’t move when he went to take off on it. Unfortunately the little ass-pilot behind the engineering of that prank didn’t have much understanding of physics.  Steve-o went to take off on the BMX and as the rear wheel was jammed all 160# of his 14 year old body went over the handlebars and landed square on his mouth- blasting his two front teeth to smithereens, though by some miracle of God sparing his skull.

$3800 (that insurance didn’t cover,) three root canals, and two crowns later, Steve-o was redeemed from a lifetime of Billy-Bob mouth.  I was redeemed from $3800.  I guess the love of money is the root of all evil.  The only thing is, I’ve never been able to hang on to money long enough to fall in love with it, so I’ve not gotten to test the theory.

cat wash

Wrong on many levels, but still cute.

Patent medicines have always fascinated me.  They would have been awesome if they actually worked.  One of my favorites is the wash-the-fat-away soap.  If only one could scrub away the bingo wings and thunder thighs.

wash away fat

Wash away the lard- and eliminate the ravages of time.  What’s in this shit?  Acid?  Flesh eating worms?

Even better are the adjectives used in patent medicine ads to describe overweight people- “corpulent,” “stout,” “too much flesh,” and just plain “fat. “

fat people

Hey!  You!  Lard Ass!  Try this shizzle.  It’ll CURE your fatness!  Or should I say “corpulency” and “stoutness?”

Maybe the fat reducing ideas of the Victorian era were more effective than the potions and fads we try today, but then I would wager there were fewer fat people back then because everything one ate or drank had a good probability of giving one Montezuma’s revenge.  You got to crap your way thin whether you wanted to or not.

constipation wretched

Then again…

Perhaps if you lived on salt pork and corn cobs, constipation may just be an issue.  I have to say that using a bird (presumably that’s a crow) to hawk (pun intended) a constipation remedy is brilliant.  None of nature’s creatures craps more often or in more quantity for its size than birds.  The subliminal is right here: Take these pills and you’ll shit like a bird!

I Don’t Seek Approval, Party Like It’s 1899, and Things that Don’t Suck

2013I usually don’t succumb to the lure of corny party kitsch, but the light up necklace was cute.

I’ve said before I don’t deal much in the currency of optimism, so I don’t see this year being much of an improvement over last.  In fact, I started today out rather depressed.  Today’s been one of those days where I’m actually trolling for things to cheer me up a bit.  I’m actively fighting against the urge to just concede to the Dark Funk and give up.  I guess the fact that I’m fighting the temptation to just give into hopelessness is either a good sign, or it’s just an unwillingness to face the reality that my life is pretty much hopeless.

The best way to give myself a reality check, I’ve discovered is to make three lists- Things that Suck that I Can’t Change, Things that Suck that I Can Change, and Things that Don’t Suck.

Things that Suck that I Can’t Change:

Obama.  ‘Nuff said.

Personal poverty/ not being financially independent

Being stuck in Ohio, especially in the winter

Health issues* (can mitigate but not eliminate- bad heredity and effects from past diseases/injuries suck)

Jerry – especially when he gets into his “bitch about everything and blame everything on me” mode

Things that Suck that I Can (*theoretically anyway) Change

My own reaction to things that suck

My neglect of friends that I should make an effort to see and communicate with more often

I already turn off the “mainstream” TV news (can’t handle the constant Obama worship) and I already avoid following garbage on TV such as anything Honey Boo Boo or the Kardashians are doing.  Admittedly I probably get into true crime shows (TruTV, Discovery ID, etc.) and the Military Channel way too much.  I should probably cut down on “World’s Dumbest” and “1000 Ways to Die” and get back into reading a lot more than I do now (although I read a lot by any standard) and maybe get into something a bit more uplifting than unsolved murders, people earning their Darwin Awards, and 20th century history.  I mean, how much is left unturned regarding WWII and Adolf Hitler?

Things that Don’t Suck

God

The dogs and cats

The vacuum cleaner when it gets clogged up with Tipsy McNumbNuts’ cigarette pack cellophanes (the irony of which is that it sucks when the vacuum cleaner doesn’t…)

vacuumThere is no vacuum cleaner made that I don’t have to unclog, tear apart and otherwise rework every time I use the damned thing.

2013 pic

Somehow the deer in the headlights look is a little too typical for me.

Now that I’ve determined that God and the dogs and cats don’t suck, then it should probably follow that I should spend my time in the company of Entities that Don’t Suck as much as I can.

not dead yetSince for now I do appear to be vertical and sucking up valuable oxygen, let’s be creative and try to enjoy it!

I rather enjoy Victorian ephemera- especially patent medicines and other creepy stuff from that era.  I’m surprised anyone survived being treated with the stuff they used as medicine back then, since most of it included either alcohol or opium or various poisons like arsenic, but even today there’s some pretty questionable stuff being used as medicine.

pain killer axe woundImagine the same scenario today, only the rednecks have chainsaws, and the little girl has a bottle of moonshine.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

That’s actually one of the few French phrases I remember from high school French class (Why in the hell did I take French?  Did I think I was going to be deported to Quebec?) and it means, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”  Yes, they do, and not always in a good way.

Mugwump VDI didn’t think Harry Potter had to worry about VD.  Or was that “mugworts?” That sounds like VD anyway.  Something like that.

I’m thinking “Bad Hump” would be a better name for a VD cure-all.  “Take this stuff for last week’s bad hump.”  Or you could just leave it to Dr. Butts:

butts_dispensaryI want to be cured via the US Postal Service.   By Dr. Butts. Yeah.

It’s really kind of scary considering that there really were no cures for VD in Victorian times, and if you got the syph or the clap it could kill you.   Sort of like AIDS today, and heaven only knows whatever other deadly STDs are lurking out there that nobody knows about yet.  Forced chastity might bite in a lot of ways, but I’m old enough to know that 1.) no man is worth a deadly disease, and 2.) there are such things as “meat substitutes” if you get my drift.  The advantage of the “meat substitute” is you don’t have to fix it dinner or unclog its cigarette pack cellophanes from the vacuum cleaner.   I only wish I’d figured that out 20 years ago. Just don’t run out of batteries.

piles-cure01va

Piles: Old time word for “hemorrhoid” – just an FYI

Why is it that back in the day being German cast some sort of legitimacy upon medical quackery?  And I find it hard to believe that a medical doctor would spend most of his life on a hemorrhoid cure, but then everyone needs a purpose.  I’ve still not figured out exactly why I’m still sucking up valuable oxygen, so I’m the last one to talk.

valium_bigThe 20th century wasn’t much better, but at least you could get a good night’s rest, forget about your hemorrhoids AND forget about your pathetic lack of self-esteem!

Snot, Snot, Everywhere, Interesting to Visit, and Sadness vs. Euphoria

Interesting to visit, but I don’t want to stay.

The Haunted Prison experience was awesome.  I’ve been to some really good haunted houses, haunted hayrides, etc. but this one takes the prize.  The bad thing is that you can’t take pics inside the prison- I took this one from the road outside, but we had to leave the cameras and the cell phones in the car.  I will say that I was a bit taken aback when I noticed the tickets include a warning that the management is not responsible for anyone losing control of his/her bladder and/or bowels.  I remained continent, which is saying a lot probably considering that I was one of the oldest people there, but I am really glad I used the ladies’ before I got in line.

The fact that the Mansfield Reformatory was a working prison for about 100 years adds to the creep factor quite a bit.  It’s a huge facility, but only a very small portion of it is used for the haunted prison excursion, and most of those areas are in the oldest parts of the prison. Some of the cell blocks are five stories high.  As the building aged, certain parts of it were left to decay while newer additions were built on.  I don’t see how it would have been feasible to heat the cell blocks with the five story high ceilings- let alone to work out some sort of plumbing arrangement.  Ohio winters can be deathly cold- and summers can be deadly hot as well.   Suffice to say without decent HVAC provisions this part of the world is unlivable even if you’re in prison. Some of the cells we saw had toilets while others didn’t, but then it was hard to tell which parts of the prison were shut down when.  The whole place was decommissioned in 1981, so all of it’s been sitting around rotting for over 30 years anyway.

As one who is cursed with the respiratory funk anyway, a bloody head cold really sucks.

I hate snot.  I hate drowning in it.  I hate hawking it up all over the place.  Green snot, brown snot, yellow snot, clear snot, I would love to go for a day without choking on it.  Even when I’m not suffering from any acute contagion of the respiratory system, the snot drainage down the back of my throat is constant, and I choke on it unless I sleep with my head elevated at a 45° angle.  When I am suffering from an acute contagion of the respiratory system, I am a veritable snot Niagara Falls. Elevation does not help, unless I am sitting straight up.  Vast quantities of anti-snot medications are required to keep me breathing at all- in between hacking up huge snot balls.  Think the Ghostbusters movies and you have it.

 No, I am not exaggerating.  I wish I were.

Of course I take three days off trying to escape the rat race and all that mess, only to spend those three days (and the weekend too) swilling Nyquil and spewing forth gallons of disgusting, slimy multicolored snot.  Today’s a lot better than the past few days, although I’ve got the Dayquil and the anti-snot pills handy should I need them.  The snots did have one good side effect though.  Jerry pretty much kept his distance and his whining was at a minimum.  As I get better that will probably change.  I did get some quiet time in between being heavily medicated and hawking up infinitely foul goo to watch some of my favorite movies and chill out with the dogs, so it wasn’t a total loss.  I do remember- as if I needed a reminder- why I am almost OCD about being around those with contagions though.  The bad part is that no matter how paranoid you are about hygiene and handwashing and all that noise, eventually you will get down and something will get to you.  Admittedly in the past few weeks I’ve been pretty stressed out and doing too much and getting run down so I think it was inevitable no matter how much Lysol I spray or zinc lozenges I take.  At least today I see marked improvement, which sort of figures, since I have a Dr.’s appointment Friday.  Either I will be completely cleared up or one step in the grave by then.   I never seem to be able to get in when I’m actually sick.  Go figure.  Personally as far as the various respiratory funks go, I think modern science hasn’t progressed much more than the patent medicine hawkers (man, I am using the word “hawk” a lot in this post) of the 19th century.  I’d probably done just as well and paid less for this:

Of course most patent medicines were either opium or alcohol or both.

Billy Joel wrote a song many years ago called “Summer at Highland Falls.”  I sort of wonder if Billy Joel might be bi-polar because the refrain of the song is, “it’s either sadness or euphoria.”  I can’t say I can ever remember being euphoric, but then I’m not bi-polar.  Living with a bi-polar person did give me future reference on how to deal with unpredictable coke head bosses I would encounter later in life.  Mom was never a coke head (thank God) but untreated bi-polar people and coke heads act remarkably similar.  I know the sadness end of the equation all too well, but most of the time my emotional state can be described as a quiet, bland sort of melancholy.  Unless of course I’m watching Beavis deep fry a dead rat as he’s toiling away at Burger World, or listening to Butthead point out every possible bit of double entendre he hears.  I don’t know why I find such puerile comedy so hilarious, but I do.  Euphoria, not so much, but I’ll take what amusement I can get.

The pisser is, as I found out right after having all four wisdom teeth chiselled out, I’m highly allergic to codeine, which is a natural opiate…no good drugs for me 😦

I did have a rather fortuitous encounter- actually two of them- as I was returning from the campground.  I was stopped in traffic coming back from Lancaster only to get a glimpse of the Romney tour bus. (I got a pic- though somewhat crappy since it was moving- that time.)  Then as I was coming home from Kroger’s later on Friday I’m stopped about a block from my house only to discover that Romney and his retinue are chowing at the City Barbeque next door.  That was rather cool.  I didn’t get pics that time but I did get to talk with one of the Franklin County Republicans who got to chow with Romney and company, so that was somewhat cool.  I hope that it’s a portent of things to come.  I’d been pissed if I’d had to wait in traffic for Obama and his minions, and even more pissed to think he was chowing next door to my house.  Both candidates have been spending a lot of time in Ohio.  My condolences- as I’m sure that they’re both used to much more exciting places- but maybe you’ll both see how us ‘po folk live and have a little empathy for us, eh?

You Might Turn Blue and Die (or Not,) Pharmaceutical Fun, and Science?

Today’s science is tomorrow’s quackery.  Case in point- the “medicated” cigarettes shown above are in a museum.  I don’t know of any Dr. who would recommend smoking anything for the “temporary relief of the paroxysms of asthma.”  I don’t know of any Dr.s who would use the word “paroxysm,” even though it’s a pretty cool word.  Here’s the definition according to Merriam-Webster:

paroxysm: (n)
1: a fit, attack, or sudden increase or recurrence of symptoms (as of a disease) : convulsion <a paroxysm of coughing>
2: a sudden violent emotion or action : outburst <a paroxysm of rage>
 
In my world, synonyms for “fit” are always welcomed, if for no other reason than to keep me from sounding as if I am repeating myself incessantly.
 
If I do no other service in this world, I can only hope to expand someone’s vocabulary.
 
I would love to find a pic of it, but there was an old patent medicine featured on the Science Channel program, Oddities, that was supposed to contain strychnine and testicles- and 18% alcohol, ostensibly to help one forget that he was not only drinking powdered gonads, but was also poisoning himself.  100 years ago, the testicle tonic would be considered modern pharmacopoeia.  Today it would be considered just plain gross and poisonous, but science, like history, has to be taken in context.  100 years ago, cocaine was believed to be therapeutic.  How any of our ancestors lived long enough to procreate is beyond me.
 
I’m sure that some of the pharmaceuticals we use today will be eliminated or phased out due to side effects.  I just read today that benzocaine- a topical anesthetic found in Blistex and cough drops- can make you turn blue and die if you OD on it.  Apparently if you OD on this stuff you can get methemoglobinemia  ,which sounds like a really scary condition in which you turn blue because you can’t get enough oxygen in your blood, so you die.   I wonder if it’s in Carmex, because that’s generally my cracked-lip remedy of choice.  I would hate to begin my trip to the Great Beyond by OD ing on Carmex.
How many of us remember the old style mercury thermometers- or playing with liquid mercury in science class?  Now mercury is considered hazmat.  Apparently you can touch it and die or something. That would have been handy information back in 1980-whatever when we were farking around with the stuff.   Then again, apparently kids who fail to wear a helmet while riding a bike, pedaling a Big Wheel, swimming or (let’s hope the really paranoid people out there don’t jump on this bandwagon) eating a cheese sandwich, risk grievous head injury should they fall and skin a knee. 
 
No wonder kids are fat, if they have to suit up for a moonwalk just to go out and get some bloody exercise.  We got plenty of exercise back in the Dark Ages, and it was bloody at times, but scars add character.  I must have a lot of character as I have plenty of scars from cuts, scrapes, burns, falls, etc.  Even as uncoordinated as I am, I usually managed not to bang my head on stuff.  My arms and legs, not so lucky- but I have managed to go 42 years and still have all my fingers and toes, which given my complete lack of physical prowess- and complete lack of protective battle gear to play in as a child- is pretty impressive.
I can see some advantages in this kind of protective play gear had it been available to me as a child.  I probably would not have gotten nearly as much sunburn.  I also probably wouldn’t have felt as much pain as I was getting my ass kicked either.  However, I do see some distinct potential for dehydration and hyperthermia (overheating) if one were to wear this on a hot day.
 
I think part of the paranoia surrounding one’s offspring comes in part from the fact that people don’t have as many kids.  When you have three or four kids they might seem a bit more expendable than when you only have one.  People also have to spend a lot more money on kids today, so children just playing like normal kids jeopardize your investment . The calamity factor- and the potential for catastrophic expense- rises exponentially when they go out and do stupid and reckless things. 
 
I know the incident when the POMC had to get crowns and multiple root canals after some “buddies” of his sabotaged his bike (something about 160# of fourteen year old boy hitting the pavement mouth first is really not good for his dental health) cost me over three thousand dollars- and that was after the insurance paid. I couldn’t leave him to go through life with a Billy Bob mouth- and the crowns are lovely- but now I see why some mothers strap a helmet on their offspring at birth and don’t remove it until the child is potty trained, literate and no longer on a parental health insurance policy.  The bad thing about that particular incident is that he would have needed a mouth guard to mitigate this injury.
 
Even if he had been wearing a helmet (which I seriously doubt, knowing him) it wouldn’t have done jack to protect his mouth unless he would have had one of those full face motorcycle helmets. I can only imagine the mocking he would have gotten from his posse for wearing a full face motorcycle helmet to ride a BMX bike.

I wonder if it would do me any good to start wearing a helmet now?  Probably not.

Then again, science has advanced from the days of patent medicines with really gross stuff in them, at least I hope.

Pile is an old time euphemism for hemorrhoid. Another fun fact to share with friends and family, best reserved for conversation over the dinner table,at least if you’re looking for shock value.  I have to wonder if the “active ingredient” in the A.J.P. Pile Cure is kerosene.  It wouldn’t surprise me.   If it’s burnin’ it’s workin’!