Archive for September, 2008

Good News?

September 23, 2008

Since I have been a little busy with the OPEC Diet and what-not I haven’t had time to work up a good rant about anything for the last few days.  So, instead, I will drop a short-short story here.  I should warn you, though, that it won’t seem relevant to non-Americans.



The breeze was just strong enough to kick up some sand but too weak to blow away the smoke.  It had been a long hard campaign and Captain Johansson was looking forward to its end.  The ground was littered with the bodies of both sides.  It would take weeks to separate, identify and bury the dead.

            “Captain!”  Johansson turned to see Sgt. Stone running over to him.  Stone knew better than to salute out in the field; officers were primary targets and a salute was as good as a bull’s-eye painted on his chest. “Sir!  We got him.”

            “Which ‘him’, Sergeant?”

“Husam bin Abdel.”

Johansson’s eyes went wide. “The ‘Sword of Allah’ himself?” Sgt. Stone nodded. “Take him to my tent to await transport.  Have Lt. Tannaka meet me there.”

“The el-tee didn’t survive the last volley, sir.”

Damn, thought Johansson, he was a good soldier and a good man. “Then go take off those stripes and get some ‘butter-bars’ from the Quartermaster.  I’m giving you a field promotion effective immediately.”

Stone nodded and took off at a brisk pace.  Johansson was amazed at the sergeant’s – correction – lieutenant’s energy.  The captain lacked even the strength to weep over the loss of his friend.  He walked to his tent as fast as he could manage.  Before entering he poured some water out of his canteen into a cloth and quickly washed his face and hands, then combed his hair.  He needed to project strength when faced with the enemy leader and a disheveled appearance would undermine that image.  He straightened his posture to parade perfection then entered the tent.  There was Lt. Stone with Husam bin Abdel.

Now how the hell did he get those bars and beat me here with the prisoner, wondered Johansson, he must have anticipated my actions and had the rank insignia in his pocket, already.

“Husam bin Abdel,” said the captain dispassionately. “This is a singular pleasure.”

The ‘Sword of Allah’ glared at the captain. “The pleasure is all yours, infidel.”  Abdel was shackled hand and foot to a metal chair.  Even his face was partially obscured by the cannibal mask that would prevent him from biting his captors. “I will tell you nothing…even if you torture me.  Kill me now and spare us all the wasted time.”

“Torture?”  Johansson feigned shock while Lt. Stone kept his features passive. “We have no intention of torturing you, Hasam ol’ boy.  We don’t need any information from you.  Your followers are all but decimated.  The few that are left won’t be able to find a rat-hole deep enough to keep us from finding them.  And even if they did get away, so what?  Without the head, the body dies.”

“Then shoot me and be done,” snarled Abdel. “I am of no use to you.”

“Actually, that’s not quite true.” Johansson managed a small smile. “We intend to put you on trial.  A very public trial.  All of your war-crimes and atrocities will be trotted out for the world to see.  Your follower’s suicide bombing that killed 157 men, women and children, for example.”

“Ha!” Abdel spit on the sandy floor. “What of the thousands who died in your bombing raids?”

“At least we declared war and tried to hit military targets,” shrugged the captain. “And when we are done, we’ll stick you in a dark hole where you will be locked down for 23 hours a day.  No human contact.  Your 72 houris in the afterlife will have to wait a good long time before you show up.  The world will forget you ever existed after a while.”

“I will rob you of your entertainment,” said Abdel in a low voice.

“I think not,” countered Johansson. “You will be under 24 hour a day suicide watch.  You will be guarded even from yourself night and day.  If you injure yourself we’ll patch you up.  If you stop eating, we’ll strap you down and feed you intravenously.  Your cell will be padded and your blankets will be designed to come apart if you rig a noose.  There will be no shoelaces, metal posts or anything else available to you which would allow you to injure yourself.  If necessary, we will keep you in a straight-jacket 24/7.”

As Abdel listened some of the defiance left his face to be replaced by fear.  If he could not kill the enemy then he needed to kill himself so he could not be used as a pawn for the infidels, but this, too, was denied him.

“We got you right where we want you and you’ll stay got,” said Johansson. “But I do have some good news.”

Abdel looked up in surprise. “What?”

“I just saved a bunch of money by switching my car insurance to Gekko.”

Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!



September 9, 2008
Now, thanx to the OPEC diet I have already lost 25 lbs and have reduced my medication for Type II Diabetes to less than half the original dosage.  Here is how it works:

Every payday, after you have taken care of the bills and mortgage payment, drive to the gas station and fill up the tank.  It is that simple.  After you have paid for the gas you will not be able to afford enough food to gain, or even support your current weight.  The pounds melt off with every gallon of gas you buy! 

But wait!  There’s more:

Because your income is so heavily impacted by the cost of gas you will have to go on long walks to pick up cans and bottles to turn in for the deposits.  This money, ideally for more food, will most likely also end up in the gas tank.  But even if you do manage to buy more food with it, fear not…the additional food you can buy with the deposit money will fail to produce enough calories to offset the amount of calories you will have to expend in walking far enough to collect sufficient returnables with which to buy that food.

There is also the added benefit of meeting new and interesting people while signing up for food stamps and state assistance. And just think, considering all the Ramon noodles you will consume for basic survival and minimal nutrients, the enormous salt intake will be of great value to morticians after you die of malnutrition- you’re already half embalmed!
Forget the gym membership and who needs Jenny Craig?  We have the oil companies doing what Richard Simmons never could…turning fat, overfed Americans into lean, healthy Americans! 
So lets give OPEC a big round of applause!


September 8, 2008

Hello everybody.  I want to tell you about Vonage and how they hosed me.

I signed up with Vonage about 18 months ago after I signed up for high speed wireless Internet.  I thought “Cool, I’ll save lots of money, talk to people anywhere in the US and just generally enjoy the service.”  Wrong!

Almost from the start I had trouble getting a good clear connection.  I got so much snap, crackle and pop I thought Kellogg’s Rice Crispies owned Vonage.  Naturally, I called to complain.  We did this and that, but to no avail.  We went back and forth several times on this issue.  I replaced the modem they sent me, but no difference.  Finally, one of their techs told me that it could be my wireless was unable to support telephone service.  Well, I went the rounds with my ISP, but they couldn’t find any reason for it not to work.  Again I complained to Vonage.  This time they gave me $10 off per month for one year.  Always nice to save a few bucks, unless you are paying for a service that doesn’t work right.  My phone calls were always brief, my friends never called me because they couldn’t handle the snap, crackle and pop on the line, and I couldn’t even get a call in to my doctor to make an appointment because of all the noise.  Finally, I had had enough.  I cancelled the service.

Now, get this.  For 18 months I paid for what had to be the worst phone service since Alexander Graham Bell yelled “Mr. Watson.  Come here. I need you.” into his prototype.  Well, to add insult to significant injury, Vonage actually had the sheer unmitigated gall to charge me $39.95 for the pleasure of disconnecting them!  Me pay them MORE money to get shut of their lousy service!  Now that takes brass!

I have since switched over to MagicJack, which costs $20 a year for internet phone service, and I get much better signal quality.  Let me point out that I am not getting paid by them to tout their product.  My only interest is that you know what you are getting into before signing up with Vonage.  Anybody interested in the MagicJack can go to  And if you want to let Vonage know what you think about how they treat their customers, go to

You better believe this has been a Wolf Rant.