Make Good Use of Your Sidebar

I may eventually put something worthwhile here. Then again, perhaps I won't.


Grabby hands

The cashier scanned my handful of groceries: a half-dozen apples, some yogurts, and a box of cookies for balance. I wanted to speed things along, as the line behind me was substantial, so I grabbed a plastic bag and loaded the scanned items. "That'll be 5 cents for the bag."

"Say what?"

"The county charges a nickel for each plastic bag used to reduce waste."

"I'm new here. I used to live somewhere civilized. But have it your way." I took one apple in each hand and walked them to the car. On my third trip, the other customers looked ready for murder. The cashier grabbed a bag, loaded the remaining items, and shoved the bag at me. Me: 1, government 0.



If I only had a tank

Commuting in the DC metro area is a game with no good moves. Public transportation is a joke and driving any distance is both scary and an exercise in frustration. Oh, and parking in DC itself is eye-wateringly expensive.

If I only had a tank, the commute would improve. I'm sure of it. No one would cut me off on the highway - well, not more than once as the .50 caliber machine gun would remove the offender from the road. Once on the surface streets, I wouldn't be the one worried about scrapes and dings. And you know where you park a tank? That's right, anywhere you want to. Who cares if it burns 50 gallons of fuel each way and costs more than $8 million? We'll be traveling in style!



The new academia

Tell them they're all special. Make sure there are quotas for those who would otherwise not make the grade. Ensure they can take humanities classes - never mind exposing them to science - and the eliminate the traditional Western history and literature courses because they foster the "patriarchy." Add Black Studies, Feminist Studies, Queer Studies, insisting that life is nothing but identity politics. Emphasize fantasty concepts such as "queer math," or 72 genders. Provide safe spaces so students never have to come into contact with a countervailing idea. Tell them that they can change the world, then let them loose into it. Watch society go up in flames.

Why not? What could possibly go wrong?




Aviv's webcam was discretely located in a corner of his bedroom, hidden by stuffed animals. Those who spotted the camera assumed Aviv enjoyed recording his amorous encounters. Aviv was a minor celebrity, known mainly from advertisements. He would have no trouble inviting women to his place.

Susan, a former conquest, who had noticed the webcam too late, hired a burglar to steal the footage. She didn’t want her sighs and moans made public, and thought the opportunity for blackmail too good to pass up. When the thief turned over a thumb drive, Susan was surprised. Aviv did indeed have a fetish. Again and again the camera showed Aviv dressing in a suit and tie, arranging several stuffed animals around a child-sized table, enjoying tea with the animals. All except for the tiger, who didn’t care for tea and sat contemplating a glass of milk while Aviv chattered away.




Amazon's first efforts to use the Internet of Things to drive sales involved the big buttons: punch the Tide button, Tide pods show up. Their big leap forward was internet-enabled Smarty Pants™️. Sensors transmitted information back to Big Brother. Dirty pants? Tide pods and stain remov arrived like magic. Ate too much at Christmas? Jeff Bezos knows you need a larger belt and sends one.

The downside to the pants was that sensors occasionally stuck in awkward places. Guys with infrequent erections didn't appreciate the Viagra that arrived, while wives were often suspicious when boxes of Trojans showed up if their husbands were easily excited. Men generally ditched Smarty Pants™️ for Walmart's lower-tech version, Discreet Pants™️, which had the right number of sensors: zero.