A Dark and Stormy Night in the Kiddie Pool
It’s a highlight of my year—sinking into a Victorian wingback with a frosty beverage and basking in the brilliant badness of the winning entries in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, named after Edward “It was a dark and stormy night” Bulwar-Lytton as “a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.” The Class of 2021 has been unveiled by the English department at San Jose State University. Here’s a few:
Victor Frankenstein admired his masterpiece stretched out on the lab slab; it was almost human, OK, no conscience or social awareness, and not too bright, but a little plastic surgery to hide the scars and bolts, maybe a spray tan and a hairdo, and this guy could run for President!
—D. Hynes, Sweden (Grand Panjandrum’s Special Award)
One time at the hoagie shop the actress Ms. O’Hara asked what the tiny pimiento-stuffed thing in my cheddar-bread sandwich was and I had to respond: “Wee olive in a yellow sub, Maureen.”
—J. Kopacek, Iowa (Vile Puns)
It was a dark and stormy . . . morning, Gotcha! — this is just the first of innumerable twists and turns that you, dear Reader, will struggle to keep abreast of as I unfold my tale of adventure as second plumber aboard the hapless SS Hotdog during that fateful summer of 1974.
—L. Taylor, France (Dark & Stormy)
“Ding dong, the witch is dead, ding dong, the witch is dead, ding . . . “ before I could tenor the next “dong” the black cat that had been sitting on the unmarked grave fixated me with a strange look and a sudden burst of sparkles came over me and changed me from a villager to a green frog, and now I spend my days sitting on the edge of the duck pond in which we drowned the witch, all alone and afraid a Frenchman would come along and fancy my little legs.
—F. Nys, Belgium (Children & Young Adult Literature)
Neanderthal parents Hru-Vak and Chee were none too happy when their oldest girl Fa-al brought home one of those recently arrived Homo sapien boys but after a while they grew accustomed to his non-protruding brow ridge, upright posture, and problem-solving abilities.
—G. Homer, Costa Rica (Historical Fiction)
He figured a little tongue-flirting in the afternoon might open the door to some serious sandy acrobatics in the evening, but he was wrong, because his wife, like all two-banded Duck Head Lizards, only enjoyed love in the hot noontime sun.
—D. Nelson, Virginia (Romance)
You can read the full list, including the grand prize winner, right here. Preferably while a dog barks in the distance.
And now, our feature presentation…
Cheers and Jeers for Friday, September 3, 2021
Note: Just a heads-up—there will be no C&J on Labor Day, so you’ll have to cobble your own together out of Spam, discarded cloth masks, and tinfoil. Please submit complaints to the proper authorities. Or just think them in your head and the NSA will transmit them to the proper authorities free of charge. —Mgt.
By the Numbers:
Days ’til International Bacon Day: 1
Days ’til the Utah State Fair in Salt Lake City: 6
Percent of U.S. business travelers polled by Morning Consult who say they’re scaling back travel plans amid rising COVID-19 cases: 67%
Number of unvaccinated Americans who should travel over the Labor Day weekend, according to the CDC: 0
Factor by which unvaccinated NFL players have been infected with Covid-19 versus vaccinated players (who were asymptomatic or only had mild symptoms) during the first three weeks of training: 7x
First-time jobless claims this week, the lowest level since March 2020: 340,000
Number of journalists who work at The New York Times: 1,700
Puppy Pic of the Day: Weekend plans…
JEERS to flying blind. A couple years back, Triple A announced that they were disappearing a cherished Labor Day weekend tradition: their holiday travel predictions, alerts and advisories: How many people will be traveling by plane? By car? By train? By jetpack? By pterodactyl? Where will the bottlenecks be? When will traffic be heaviest? Lightest? Mediumest? And how can you protect you and your family from random pterodactyl attacks on our highways and byways? Sorry, folks, but Labor Day has fallen in AAA’s esteem, so all we get now are general guidelines. So—[Splot]—here ya go:
As summer comes to a close, travel volumes around Labor Day are expected to remain high. Though, with a resurgence of COVID-19 cases attributed to the delta variant, some travelers are wondering if they should take that last summer trip – or continue with their future travel plans. AAA reminds travelers it’s important to remain informed and be flexible as policies and guidelines continue to evolve.
Helpful Travel Tip: If you see this in your rear-view mirror, give it a wide berth.
The CDC recently updated its guidance on mask-wearing, advising people in areas with high COVID-19 transmission to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. You will be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Additionally, some states and cities have updated their mask and other travel requirements.
If you’re planning an end-of-summer excursion to the beach, the mountains or a secluded cabin in an enchanted forest, please drive with care and flip people off responsibly. And if you die of starvation and/or dehydration in a traffic jam because Triple-A refused to provide you with the crucial data that could’ve spared your life, can I have your sweater vests?
CHEERS to cool sssssssssscience. Look, I know we’re all getting hit in the head with frying pans left and right: the Texas abortion law, wildfires threatening Tahoe, the unfathomable fallout from Ida, a bad August jobs report, Joe Manchin hosting more Republicans on his yacht, a new Kanye album…for starters. But, hey. Here’s some good news that’ll have a near-forgotten sector of American society preparing for a renaissance:
Brazilian scientists have discovered that a native viper’s venom can be used as a drug to help combat COVID-19, Reuters reported.
Wrong Viper, you twits. Somebody remind me to fire my graphics team when we return next week.
In the scientific journal Molecules, scientists shared results from a study on monkey cells showing that a molecule from a Brazilian jararacussu pit viper can inhibit the virus’s ability to multiply by 75 percent. […] Scientists will now evaluate the efficiency of different doses of the molecule, seeking to determine if it can prevent the virus from entering cells, Reuters noted.
The news is manna from Heaven for America’s evangelical snake handlers, who aren’t going to wait for no dumb molecule tests. Line up the sheeple, reverend, and let’s give ’em a real vaccine. (Throw an extra ten bucks into the collection plate and they’ll toss in a few minutes of speaking in tongues to clear up your psoriasis.)
CHEERS to the happiest ending…evuh! On September 3, 1783, our War of Independence ended when a treaty was signed by Great Britain and the United States:
It was signed in Paris by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay.
Actual pen used to sign the treaty.
Under the terms of the treaty, Britain recognized the independent nation of the United States of America.
Britain agreed to remove all of its troops from the new nation. The treaty also set new borders for the United States, including all land from the Great Lakes on the north to Florida on the south, and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. …The United States also agreed not to persecute loyalists still in America and allow those that left America to return.
Afterward, the founding fathers got together in a circle, held hands, and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. And then Jesus rode in on a dinosaur with news he had just finished digging the Grand Canyon. The things you learn on Conservapedia these days…
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
END BRIEF SANITY BREAK
CHEERS to that other city that never sleeps. On September 4, 1781, Los Angeles (Spanish for “Los Angeles” from the Latin root “Los Angeles”) was founded by Spanish settlers. They would’ve settled there a lot sooner but traffic on the 101 was a bitch.
Tonight on Star Trek (H&I Network, 8ET), Kirk gets court-martialed. Join the live-tweeting at #allstartrek.
CHEERS to home vegetation. Now that September is here and Maine is snowed in until next June (18 inches last night), the TV is in complete control of our lives. Unfortunately there’s not much on this weekend, now that the 24-hour Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon has been ripped from the fabric of society like a strip of cheap Velcro. (When I worked at a Saginaw, Michigan radio station in the late 80s, we always volunteered to helm the MDA phones at night, and it was a little eerie doing it in a huge empty mall at 2am. They sprung for some good chow, though. But the zombies were obnoxious.)
The most popular home videos, new and old, are all reviewed here at Rotten Tomatoes. You can check out the WNBA schedule here, while the baseball lineup is here, starring the Boston Red Sox who have won so many World Series that everyone has lost count, believe me.
On 60 Minutes: encore reports on preventing future pandemics, and Jews who escaped Nazi Germany and returned to fight Hitler. Other than that, the TV sphere is a barren wasteland and if you choose to wade into it may god help you.
Now here’s your Sunday morning lineup:
This Week: TBA
CNN’s State of the Union: White House chief of staff Ron Klain; Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) of the bipartisan Jan. 6 Insurrection Committee.
Also: the Vidalia Rhythm Cloggers will dazzle and delight you Sunday morning on “State of the Onion.”
Meet the Press: Govs. Andy Beshear (D-KY) and Larry Hogan (R-MD); former Rep. Barbara Comstock and former Sen. Claire McCaskill weigh in on the Texas “vagina vigilantes” abortion law.
Face the Nation: Doc Fauci; New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D); Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX); Cynthia Lee Sheng, president of NOLA’s Jefferson Parish; Former Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon.
Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Rep. Michael McCaul (CULT-TX)
Ten years ago in C&J: September 3, 2011
JEERS to spoiling the fun. Republicans are so blatant about hating on labor, that you have to wonder why they want to go through the motions of “caring” by marching in, say, the Wausau, Wisconsin Labor Day parade. But the mayor threatened to pull funding for the annual event if they weren’t allowed to participate, so participate they will. They’ll be easy to spot, that’s for sure. While other groups will be tossing candy to the crowd, they’ll be the ones throwing pink slips.
And just one more…
CHEERS to Year 5782. Happy New Year three days early! C&J won’t be here Monday, so tonight we note that Rosh Hashanah starts at Sundown on the 6th (is it me, or is it arriving really early this year?) and C&J wishes all of our Jewish readers a hearty “Shana Tova!” minus the Times Square ball drop:
The only similarity between the Jewish New Year and the secular one is:
It ain’t the years…..it’s the mileage.
Many people use the New Year as a time to make “resolutions.” Likewise, the Jewish New Year is a time to begin looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to be made in the new year. …
Rosh Hashana begins a 10 day period, known as Aseret Ymay Tshuva, (Ten Days of Repentance) or Yomim Nora’im (High Holy days). These ten days that end with Yom Kippur, are a time for Tshuva (repentance), Tefilla (prayer) and Tzedaka (charity).
Even though the C&J household is just a run-‘o-the-mill lapsed-Episcopalian/lapsed-Catholic domicile, we’ll still take a moment to blow a ram’s horn outside our neighbor’s bedroom window at 3am. We figured, why break with our normal routine just because it’s Rosh Hashanah?
Have a great weekend. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.