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Suburban Worldsick Blues

27 May

by Roger White

 

With a tip of the hat to a master chronicler of the American age, it must be noted that Bob Dylan never lived in a 3/2/2 with central heat/air and two and a half mortgages during a time when, by all appearances, our society is on the verge of utter decay—all viewable with the click of a mouse or touch of a pad.

 

So I give you “Suburban Worldsick Blues.”

 

Perry’s in the Capitol, railin’ against abortion,

I’m lookin’ at my taxes thinkin’ it’s extortion,

The man in the trench coat shootin’ up the school halls

Says he got bullied so everybody must fall.

 

Look out, dad, the economy is bad,

God knows what we did, but the country’s on the skids.

 

You better duck down, turn page, watch out for road rage,

Another mass swhyhooting, another senseless rampage,

Sterling’s on his cell phone reminiscin’ ’bout slavery,

Miley’s twerkin’ onstage, scandalous behavery.

 

Look out, mom, Gotta stay calm,

Soldiers in Kabul dodging roadside bombs.

 

Get sick, get well, they’re laying off again at Dell,

Are we winnin’ whatever war, it’s gettin’ kinda hard to tell,

Presidenidiotst says our healthcare system’s unfit,

All Congress says is where’s your birth certificate?

 

Well, Hormel, GM organizin’ recalls,

Bad meat, bad brakes, pickets down at town hall,

Daughter’s college fees call for medical sedation,

Building border walls to stifle immigration.

 

Look out, pop, no tellin’ where it stops,

Younger daughter’s boyfriend working at a head shop.

 

Mortgage underwater, excess beer consumption,

Viagra wants to help with that erectile dysfunction,

The factonoworkry just made a Chapter 11 declaration,

School board says it’s gonna teach divine creation.

 

Text tweet online, your selfie looking so fine,

Kids in Bosnia steppin’ on old land mines.

Icebergs meltin’, droughts killin’ all the wheat,

Just global warmin’ lies of the liberal elite.

 

Well, get dressed, get stressed, face the day’s traffic mess,

Oops, your job’s just been outsourced to Bangladesh.

Don’t follow leaders, take pills for all the cedars,

Find yourself a new position as a Walmart greeter.

 

Look out, mama, you’re dyin’ from the trauma,

Increase yer Prozac dosage, tune in the dalai lama.

 

Well, jump down a manhole, filibuster gun control,

thebardThink I saw a shadow up there beyond the grassy knoll,

Headin’ to the car, another day in the loony ward,

Shakin’ yer head ’cause the vandals keyed yer new Ford.

 

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.

143a.

 

College Twerk-Study Program? No, Thank You

19 Mar

by Roger White  

Shakespeare nailed it when he said it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Or was that Kipling? Whatever. That’s what it is, all right. Around our house, it’s the best of times because our eldest offspring has been accepted into two top-tier universities. And it’s the worst of times because our eldest offspring has been accepted into two top-tier universities.

As parents, we couldn’t be more proud—or more terrified. If you haven’t window-shopped prices of higher education lately, let me explain it this way: Imagine you are a master chemist and you’ve cooked world-class blue crystal meth for years until you’ve amassed eight barrels of nicely laundered cash. Now, imagine a gang of neo-Nazi thugs meets you in the desert, shoots your DEA agent brother-in-law, and takes seven of your cashcashcashcash barrels, leaving you with only one. OK, never mind. Bad analogy. I’m in no way likening college to a gang of neo-Nazi thugs. In fact, let me state for the record here and now that I am extremely pro-higher education. However, I am also extremely pro-eating food on a daily basis and pro-paying the light bill and pro-not living in the highway median with the nocturnal wildlife and those creepy guys in the wool sweaters who hang out at the stoplight.

Yes, folks, college be expensive. Sticker shock isn’t the term for it. It’s more like sticker electrocution. With two girls nearing high school graduation, the wife and I figure that I can retire around age 146. The good news is I can gear down to a part-time job at about age 125 or so.

greenstampsNeedless to say, we are hunting high and low and medium for any and all forms of financial aid, scholarships, grants, loans, subsidies, handouts, lottery tickets, coupons, cash-back programs, and loose change. We’ll take S&H green stamps if you have them.

This is why I was morbidly curious when I read somewhere that a rapper by the name of Juicy J recently offered a $50,000 college scholarship to “the best chick who can twerk.” If you’ve been cave-dwelling or living in Nebraska of late, twerking is, and I’m quoting here, “a type of dancing in which an individual, usually a female, dances to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrusand a low squatting stance.” Yeah. It’s that highly objectionable derriere-jiggling move that an obviously chemically-altered Miley Cyrus performed on stage last year at the MTV Video Music Awards. Needless to say, I’ll never watch Hannah Montana the same way again. Not that I ever watched Hannah Montana. No, seriously. I only watched a few episodes because my kids were watching it. Actually a cute show, although I thought the guy playing Hannah’s dad just wasn’t believable in that role.

Anyway, no daughter of mine is going to twerk for anybody anywhere, if I have something to say about it. At least not for anything less than a full ride, textbooks, and room and board.

This got me thinking, if a rapper can step up and sponsor this unique, albeit disgusting, higher ed opportunity, why can’t others? How about Apple offering a Texting Tuition Scholarship? I know for a fact my youngest can text and tweet longer and faster than anyone I know. Sprint could perhaps pony up big money for the Best Selfie Student Grant Program. Maybe the automotive industry could get behind a Guess the Next GM Recall Scholarship. Or what about a Dennis Rodman Foreign Policy International Studies Student Loan Program? The potential here is unlimited.

Unfortunately, my retirement account isn’t. Pass the peanut butter and crackers, please.

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visitoldspouse.wordpress.com

An Apology to Central Texas from Ol’ Juniper Jones

16 Jan

by Ol’ Juniper Jones

 

Dear Central Texas Humans,

 

Ol’ Juniper Jones here. First off, let me say that this here letter has been a long time coming. I first pondered on writin’ you folks back in 1958, but I was just a shrub then. Didn’t even have my berries yet. If yer old enough to recollect, you might remember that the rains in ’57 in and around Austin were heavier than a dead preacher. I’m not 134a. Ol' Juniper Jonesrightly sure what that means, but I heard my daddy say it many a time, and he was a wise old tree. Anyhow, if you’ve lived ’round these parts long enough, you know that a soggy, mild fall means that come winter you git great, big clouds of juniper dust—you might know it better as cedar pollen (even though we ain’t cedars, dagnab it). And as I understand it, you human types don’t take too kindly to our reproductive spores. Apparently, what gits our juices a-flowin’ gets yer noses to blowin’. That rhymed, I’ll be dogged.

 

Yep, the rains in ’57 made the pollen count of 1957-58 a real humdinger, but it looks like it ain’t got nothing on this here season. So I decided to take pen in branch and reach out to you humans, seeing as how with regard to my fellow feathery foliage, hiccuppery2014’s been thicker than George W. Bush after three double vodkas. As an elder statesman of the Central Texas Juniperus family tree, I’m here to tell ya outright that I’m plum sorry. I really am. There ain’t no good reason for all the procreative powder all over yer cars and houses and clothes this winter. Sure, it’s been wet recently, but not like ’57 and ’58.

 

Nope, I’ll tell ya what the real dadblame reason is. All these young, oversexed trees of pollen-bearing age have just run amok. Saplings these days wear their tight little bark and throw random spores in the air like it’s a dang California orgy. I just don’t know what it is with the kids nowadays—twerking to Miley Cypress, listening to bad mileycypressinfluences like Amy Pinehouse and Justin Beecher. Some of the things I see the young’uns doing I can’t even understand, like planking, and tweeting, and going treemo. I had to ask my granddaughter, Ashley, about that one. Apparently, the saplings who wear heavy makeup, paint their branches in dark colors and cry and holler a lot are known as treemo. I don’t get it. Hell, everbody’s showin’ off their berries and seed cones like they’re Heather Oaklear or Linda Larchlace or somethin’.

 

Why, in my day, if a male juniper wanted to court a young lady tree, we waited for a nice, quiet evening, put on some respectable music, like Ray Conifer or Birch Bacharach, or Spruce Springsteen even—not this rap trash they listen to today from these no-talent whippersnappers like Shrub Dogg and Spriggie Smalls. Then, after some soft music, if nature took its course, we’d discreetly send a little pollen her way. Not like today, good gosh a mighty. It’s a regular tree for all out there.

 

dontbeatmeSo I reckon you can consider this an apology on behalf of the more mature of us evergreen earthlings. We don’t have nothin’ against you humans, really. Except fer when you beat us with poles and sticks just to watch our spores go a-flyin’. That just ain’t right. Oh, and we do take exception to the whole “cedar fever” thing. We ain’t cedars. We’re junipers. We really hate that.

 

Ol’ Juniper Jones is a 62-year-old member of the juniperus ashei family, otherwise known as the ashe juniper or mountain cedar tree (although you shouldn’t call him a mountain cedar to his face—he really hates that). For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.