Saturday, May 2, 2015


A Meeting of the Constitutional Freedoms And Rights Taskforce.

Chairman: All right if everyone has a beer now, I would like to call this meeting of the Constitutional Freedoms and Rights Taskforce to order. (Banging gavel) First order of business I guess would be what kind of antics are we planning for the next meeting of the Zoning Board?
Arnie: Objection! I object to the word “antics” and demand it be stricken from the record.
Crazy Dave: We don’t have a record Arnie, and if we did it would be you taking it, seeing as how you’re the Secretary. So strike away, old fellow.
Arnie: What? What’s Dave talking about? When did I get to be the Secretary?
Chairman: You… were unanimously voted Secretary at the last meeting.
Arnie: But I wasn’t at the last meeting!
Crazy Dave: Well Mr. Secretary, that’s why you should attend the meetings.
Professor Pete: Point of Order, Mr. Chairman. Robert’s Rules dictate that each speaker be recognized in turn by the Chair.  And might I suggest we confine our comments to those pertinent to the agenda?
Chairman: OK Pete, duly noted. Let’s take turns talkin’ and please try to confine your comments. Remember what happened at the last meeting.
Crazy Dave: I do not.
Chairman: I don’t doubt that, Dave. Which is why we are going to try to stick to the two beer limit tonight. Yes, Arnie?
Arnie: I refuse to raise my hand for recognition by a Chairman, or any other pseudodictatorial ---
Chairman: Arnie you just raised your hand to say that you refuse to raise your hand.
Arnie: It’s demeaning. I refuse to show my supplication by demonstrating that I am unarmed and helpless with my open palm.
Chair: Well Arnie is there an alternate form of signaling that you would find less oppressive?
Crazy Dave: We could just nod.
Chair: Would that be OK Arnie? Could we all nod like equals? Seeing you are nodding I’ll take that as a yes. All in favor of nodding signify by nodding…Pete you aren’t nodding…
Professor Pete: I would prefer to continue to raise my hand.
Chair: All right all in favor of either nodding or raising your hand signify by nodding or raising your hand. Ok, everyone? Great. Really getting somewhere now.
Crazy Dave: It’s already much better than the last meeting.
Chair: So let’s go on to, let’s call it, “ways we can get our message across” at the next meeting of the zoning board.
Arnie: We should fly the Libertarian Flag. It’s the ultimate symbol of our Constitutional freedom to be free from governmental overreach.
Crazy Dave: What does it look like?
Arnie: It is completely blank, symbolizing our total disdain for pagan symbols, which the government uses to control us, and take away our rights.
Crazy Dave: And our guns.
Arnie: And our guns.
Chair: So… it’s completely white?
Arnie: Yes. It is without the stain of branding or allegiance to any special interests.
Professor Pete: Are you suggesting we arrive carrying a white flag?
Dave: Yeah, that might kind of send the wrong signal.
Pete: Studies show that nothing works better than a simple placard with a sharply worded synopsis of one’s position.
Crazy Dave: A what?
Chair: A sign, Dave.
Crazy Dave: Oh that’s a great idea! I saw one the other day that had a snake holding a shotgun and it said (In deep voice) “Don’t Tread On Me”. We should get one of those.
Arnie: No, our signs should just say End Government Overreach. In red letters.
Crazy Dave: With a snake?
Arnie: No, Dave, not with a snake. That doesn’t make sense. End Government Overreach and then a picture of a snake? It doesn’t make sense.
Crazy Dave: Which is why it has to say: “Don’t Tread On Me”. Everyone knows that means stay away from my constitutionally guaranteed Rights and Freedoms.
Pete: Actually those would both be subject to considerable subjective interpretation. I suggest a slogan that makes reference to the octopus like encroachment of the Military Industrial Complex on the regulations and institutions that govern our everyday lives, and the ever increasing surveillance of American Citizens and other encroachments on our rights and privacies, alongside the inevitable police state that ensures our unwitting compliance to our own enslavement.
Arnie: Oh yeah, that’s pretty snappy.
Crazy Dave: Let me see you fit that on a T shirt.
Arnie: It has to be something short and angry.
Crazy Dave: Like “Don’t Tread On Me”.
Arnie: Nobody says “Tread” anymore.
Crazy Dave: What about a tire tread, dude?
Arnie: That’s totally different. Your Tread means “step”.
Crazy Dave: Yeah, well that’s where the car steps, man.
Pete: Point of Order Mr. Chairman, I think this is a good example of the discussion running away from the Agenda.
Chair: Yeah, OK  I have an idea. Everyone just make his own sign. In fact keep your signs secret until the night of the meeting. Ok? Everyone nodding or raising his hand? Great. Next order of business is, in fact, T shirts. Um here is the box. We just got them from the print shop today. Now we couldn’t fit the entire name on the T shirt, Constitutional Freedom and Rights Task Force is a little long, so we used the acronym. We are the… C-F…A-R-T.
Crazy Dave: C Fart?
Arnie: Oh boy.
Pete: Ill considered acronyms are often a mortal blow to an incipient organization.
Chair: I just have to refer back to the two beer rule here.
Crazy Dave: C-Fart?
Arnie: Why did we use the A for “and”? At least then it would be C-F-R-T. You never give “And” a letter! It’s an insignificant word! You don’t give a letter to “Of” or “The” or..or..”Or”!
Crazy Dave: Or, or, or? I think you’re turning into a seal over there, Arnie.
Arnie: I’m going to seal your lips.
Crazy Dave: Maybe you “otter” consider your words more carefully.
Arnie: So help me, Dave I have Mindy’s number on speed dial and I will have her down here so fast…
Crazy Dave: Hey! Not cool! The bro code, man.
Pete: Point of Order, Mr. Chairman…
Chair: You know we could just run with this thing. How about C-FART: Silent But Deadly?
Crazy Dave: But we aren’t silent.
Pete: Perhaps Invisible Yet Potent?
Arnie: Are we seriously trying to spin this? Well I’m out of here. I have to go back to work and punch out anyway. Here, give me one of those shirts. I’ll see you losers at the Zoning meeting.
Chair: OK, good meeting, good meeting. All in favor of making Arnie the Chairman for the next meeting nod or raise your hand… unanimous? OK, and this meeting is adjourned.

Friday, May 1, 2015


1.       Brainstar
Man: (Whistling happily against a faint background of motor noises) Aw look at that sunshine! It’s a perfect day! I am enjoying a perfect cup of coffee… (Slurps) and my first day drivin’ to work in my new car. The car I’ve waited for my whole life. Every bell or whistle known to man. Heated leather bucket seats with adjustable lumbar support, that’s my favorite.  So comfortable. And look at this dashboard. Looks like a 747 in here. In fact I’m not even sure how to turn the radio on…
Brainstar: (In a flat voice) Which channel would you like sir?
Man: Holy Moley the car’s talkin’ to me! Who is that? Who’s there?
Brainstar: I am Brainstar sir, your onboard computer. Might I suggest Channel 105.1? I have selected it judging from your whistling and speech patterns. (Music begins to play in the background)With your permission I will begin your preprogrammed Shiatsu massage. (A low rumble is heard) Also your left front tire is slightly low on air. I am adjusting it now. (Air noise)
Man: Well thank you Brainstar, that’s real nice. Oh man, this is so cool. A car computer! I’m drivin the dang Starship Enterprise here! I’ve gotta to text Roger about this. Let’s see, um, Contacts, no uh Favorites, uh Message…
Brainstar: Sir might I point out the telephone pole in our direct pathway?
Man: Hang on just a second Brainiac. (Screeching tires and yelling)Okay, here we go. Hey. Roger. Guess. What.
Brainstar: Sir, a catastrophic collision is imminent.
Man: I. Got. A. Car. Computer. (He sounds out the last word slowly as he spells it)
Brainstar: Activating discretionary steering adjustment capability. Avoiding hazard. (Screeching tires)
Man: What the…well, Brainstar did you just keep me from crashin’? That is so cool. I gotta text Roger about this. Hey. Roger. Guess. What.
Brainstar: Sir it is expressly illegal to text while driving in this State. Perhaps I should alert the authorities?
Man: Hang on there Brainy! Don’t drop a dime on a fella! I’m puttin’ it away. I’m putting it away! Gotta pull into the drive through right here anyhow. Gonna get me a nice Eggabacon samwich. Ohhhh  yeah. With a nice greasy fried oval hashbrown and extra large extra caffeinated cola. It’s the true breakfast of champions. I’ll just pull right in here…hey what’s wrong with the wheel?
Brainstar: Activating discretionary steering adjustment capability. Avoiding hazard. (Screeching tires)
Man: Hey Braintree, what’s up? I need me some Eggabacon, man!
Brainstar: Sir weight sensors located in your heated leather bucket seat indicate that you do not require a meal package featuring starches, sugars and partially hydrogenated oils.
Man: Awww you sound just like my wife. (Ringing) Aw gee that’s her calling now. Why do women call when they know you’re driving?
Brainstar: Sir I can connect you through my Bluetooth system for a hands free conversation.
Man: Uh, no that’s OK Brainy. Gotta keep my attention on the road you know. Concentrate on my drivin’.
Brainstar: I am sorry sir. Perhaps you would prefer to text her.
Man: Hey there…
Brainstar: Connecting now.
Man: Wait…
Mindy: Hello? David? Hello? Are you driving to work?
Man: Yes Mindy I’m driving. You always call when I’m driving. Speaking of which I think there’s something wrong with this car. It wouldn’t let me have an eggabacon sammich just now.
Mindy: Oooo that’s wonderful! I programmed all the defaults and protocols last night while you watched Judge Judy.
Man: She is tough but fair.
Mindy: The car must be following its healthy living protocols. It should also refuse to pull into bars and Borough Assembly meetings.
Man: What? Who’s driving this car anyway? Who’s in charge here?
Mindy: I am.  And you should probably also know that I am tracking your position on a pop up screen on my computer right now.
Man: You are what? My position is being constantly tracked by my wife?
Brainstar: Yes. And the National Security Administration.
Man: And the wait what?
Brainstar: Certain patterns in your user profile required me to flag you as a mid level potential security risk.
Man: But I don’t remember filling out a user profile.
Mindy: Oh I filled that out for you, David. You know how you hate to do those things.
Man: Yes and this is why!
Mindy: And you never answer the questions honestly, David. You have to be honest when you fill out your user profile.
Man: No you don’t. You really don’t.
Mindy: Anyway, maybe now you won’t stop at that brewery place after work.
Man: I had no intention of stopping there tonight.
Brainstar: Sir, lie detector sensors located in your heated leather seat indicate otherwise. Perhaps I should update your user profile to indicate a generally untrustworthy nature.
Mindy: Oh you should, Brainstar, you really should. He lies to everybody. He even lies to himself.
Man: Now hang on a minute you two…
Brainstar: If you wish I could run a standard reprogramming program during morning drive time. It is positive, patriotic and NSA approved.
Mindy: Oh that sounds nice.
Man: No that’s OK Braindrain. Just put that 105.1 radio station back on.
Brainstar: All my drivers find the reprogramming program quite inspirational. It is hosted by The Rock and Kermit the Frog. (The Muppets “Get Along Song” begins to play)
Man: No, no…
Mindy: Alrighty David I’ll see you right after work!
Man: Noooo…(The Muppets play out and fade)

2.       Secret Service Job Interview
Man: Good Morning Mr. Jeffcoat and thank you for your interest in the United States Secret Service. Please have a seat. This will be your preliminary interview. As you know, we have had a few, well, embarrassing incidents lately, and as a result we have some positions to fill. So we have begun to look at prospects from other government agencies. I see you have served with distinction with the United States Postal Service for oh let’s see, twenty four years now.
Jeffcoat: You saying I’m crazy?
Man: Um. No. No of course not.
Jeffcoat: Because I’m not.
Man: (laughing nervously) OK. Writing that down. Not. Crazy. Heh heh. Because that is one of our requirements. Right. Anyhow, can you briefly describe your duties at…
Jeffcoat: You been talking to Lefty? He got to you did he? What he say? It’s lies. Lies. And let me tell you something about Lefty. Every time he puts in his thumb he pulls out a plum. Every time. You know what I’m saying? You hear what I’m saying?
Man: Aaaaall right. So could you please briefly…
Jeffcoat: Thumb wrestle.
Man: Excuse me?
Jeffcoat: Thumb wrestle me right now. If I win, I get the job. If I lose you let me live, but I walk out of here and you never see me again.
Man: That’s not at all how the hiring process works. We have to carefully…
Jeffcoat: Afraid, huh? Well I don’t blame you. Not with the delicate bone structure of those hands. Kind of willowy. Not very manly. I’d probably snap your thumb in half.
Man: It’s not that…
Jeffcoat: Too many years behind this desk, I suppose. Drains the essential fluids. Maybe you were a man once, before you started here. In the Postal we work outside. We face down sleet and duel with Dobermans. You probably don’t even sharpen your own pencil, do you kid? Probably got one of those electrical ones that whirs around and grinds down your pencil just like this job has whittled you down until you’re nothing but a nubbin of a man!
Man: (After a pause) Dad, why do you even want this job?
Jeffcoat: I don’t Sonny. It’s my lunchtime and I just thought I would stop by.
Man: Well thanks for that.
Jeffcoat: Went all the way through security you know. Guess I could have just jumped the fence.
Man: OK Dad. Could you sent in the next person?
Jeffcoat: Will do, Sonny. I think he came by gyrocopter. Landed on the lawn out front. Carryin’ a black flag and a backpack.
Man: OK Dad. See you at dinner on Saturday.
Jeffcoat:See you then.  Just don’t bring any hookers.
Man: OK Dad.
Jeffcoat: And don’t get drunk and run your car into the…
Man: That’s It! Thumb wrestle right now, old man!
Both: One two three four I declare a thumb war! (Grunting as we fade out)