Shine, Perishing Republic: Da-da's Pre-President's Day Fable

Like Rowdy Roddy Piper said: "I am here to chew bubblegum, and kick ass.'"

Da-da was in DC last week, searching for an honest politician (a futile hobby), when he decided to take a break at the Library of Congress... but Da-da could barely get in, even with his VIP-LOC badge: the LOC was lousy with writers.

Omnipresent were folks from media-majoris and -minoris outlets and bloggicity, scribbling, exhausted, blearing peerily into dusty tomes and glowing screens, their red eyes and bloated faces mirroring those few insensate and unplugged members of Congress also present. For whatever reason, many were checking out all available copies of, Catcher in the Rye (uh oh), and, The TORPOMETRONOMICON (comedy relief). But what were these folks writing about? Their President’s Day columns and speeches, o'course.

Da-da peeked over a few shoulders and stopped, quickly divining that the Republic is doomed. It always was, despite surviving for 236 years. According to those hallowed (hollowed?) brains in attendance, we’re all: going to hell; going to war with extraterrestrials; going to war with Discorporate America; going to war with ourselves (“The Next Civil War”); too much in love with social media; not enough in love with social media; going to be destroyed by social media, etc. Da-da fled the LOC before anyone could recognize him. (“Yeah, who is Da-da, anyway?”)

He schlepped to the Lincoln Memorial. There’s always a motley crowd at the Lincoln Memorial; throngs of pre-teens and tourists in ORANGE PANTS (orange pants?) and conspiracy whackos are forever milling around poor Abe. Though this time the mob was augmented by MORE writers clustered about Abe’s huge feet, looking up at him, forlorn and stuck for a story angle, eyes droopy and goupy and snoopy. Some openly wept. Others played video games. Some were even TALKING to Abe.

“Abe, what’s wrong with America??” one journalist-wannabe goof in a pork-pie hat asked, stroking Abe's leg. Da-da kicked him in the pants. Someone had to. Of course, Abe only talks to Da-da.

“Hey, Abe.”

“Hi, Da-da. How are Bronko and Nagurski and the missus?”

“The feds finally have them cornered. Jeez, sorry about all the whining worshippers.”

The writers stared at us, in awe of Abe’s big ol’ rumbly voice.

“By the way, you know that shovel thing, Abe? Where you were supposed to have done your homework on the back of a coal shovel? That really happen?”

“Nah. Made up by some PR person.”

More scribbling from the unwashed reporting masses.

Some conservative hipster (he was wielding a bible, a BIG one) stepped forward. “President Lincoln, what's wrong with the Presidency?”

“Yeah, and what are next week’s lottery numbers?” someone else quipped.

Abe rolled his eyes and remained silent, but Da-da wasn’t letting him off that easy.

“OK, Abe. What's on your mind?”

To the surprise of those bearing witness, ol' Abe GOT UP from off his huge chair, all 18 feet of him. Trying not to hit his head on anything, he answered in a deep and mellifluous Abe-Lincoln tone.

“There's nothing wrong with the Presidency, per se. Sure, the Office has grown more powerful and misguided under division-minded powergrubbers of the last decade, but what else is new? No one really deserves to be President who WANTS the job. First offered to Ben Franklin, then Ambassador to France, Ben said, 'Ha! No way.' Only then did they ask George Washington to step up, and he wasn't keen on it, either. Today there are too many career politicians, folks who've made politics their main priority, sucking at the public and corporate teats, if you will. Alas, too many corporations simply buy the influence their execs think they deserve; it’s corporate Manifest Destiny. The White House is the brass ring, or it used to be. These days, who knows? Many seem to forget that the President's main job is foreign policy, not domestic matters; it's Congress that watches the store, though these days that's debatable.”

Abe leaned forward and pointed a huge finger in the direction of the Washington Monument.

“Remember that cool scaffolding they built over the Washington Monument a while back? In order to restore it to its former glory? We need to do the same thing with ALL these damn buildings -- and the out-of-touch people inside 'em. Politics," he snorted, "the obfuscation of the struggle between good and evil with words.” Abe slumped back into his monumental chair.

“Sorry… when it comes to my own Presidency, don't forget that I was pretty much hated by most Americans… until I was murdered. After that, everyone loved me! Go figure.” He shook his head. “You might want to talk to Jefferson. He's probably in a better mood. I'm just sickened by all this bickering and shameless moneygrubbing and fingerpointing, stealing the American people blind to pay bankers.” He raised his voice: “You can all bite me!” Abe started to withdraw back into his marmoreal self.

Da-da tried to keep him engaged. “Ok. Hold on, Abe. Tell us what we're missing.”

“Common sense for starters,” he said. “But we're gonna have to start calling it something else. 'Uncommon sense,' perhaps. It's not common anymore.”

“Is that it?”

“Is that it!?” he roared. “You can't TEACH common sense! You're either born with it or you're not. Perhaps it's not a survival trait anymore. Look at everyone texting and not looking where they're going, staring at those little screens all the time, being hit by cars, hitting other people with their own cars.” He paused to kick a teenager texting near Abe's size 40 boot. “Text this, Skippy.”

“They're not all like that, Abe. Is there anything else?”

“You know Bobby Knight, the basketball coach? He was on ESPN Classic the other night...”

“You watch ESPN?”

“Of course. Your tax dollars in action. Anyway, Bobby was asked what the difference was between the players he coached 30 years ago and players he coached before he retired. He said that kids coming into his program at the end of his tenure had no discipline, no work ethic. He suggested that parents and schools aren't as hard on kids as they used to be. This has ostensibly become one of the most coddled, medicated, mentally and spiritually segregated societies in history.” The big head shook from side to side. “Immediate gratification. No sacrifice. NO COMPROMISE. Me me me, mine mine mine; get all you can while the getting is good.”

Da-da looked around. The crowd had tripled, but few were comprehending what they were seeing and hearing. “So, what can we do?” someone asked.

“Look. I've been sitting here watching you folks a long time. Most of you don't realize what you're here for. Half the time you're self-medicating with all manners of pleasures and distractions so you don't have to deal with the pain of existence. The other half of the time, you're working jobs you hate in order to pay for the first half. But you're not here to buy things. You're here to learn, and grow.”

“What else?”

“Let bygones be bygones. Forgive. Overlook. We're all the same, all part of the same enormous non-local spirit-being having a local experience, as innocent as the day you were born, all connected to the Source. So stop worshipping money and technology and... I dunno... go meditate or something. Sounds trite, but the best thing you can do is live your life and be the best person you can be and learn as much as you can and follow love, not fear. We're all brothers. Be nice to one another. You might see better if you took some time away from the endless streams of useless information."

"Like Da-da's blog," Da-da muttered.

"No, I like your blog. People need to laugh. Anyway... try to unplug once in a while. Reflect. No one reflects, anymore. It's as important as breathing.” Abe stopped as a woman with feathers in her hair stepped forward.

"President Lincoln, why was the Universe created?"

"So you could have a place to hide. Ah, that's enough for now. I better go before someone starts worshipping me. DO THAT AND I"M GONNA GET MAD! Sorry. Next time don't ask a marble statue questions: they tend to ramble.” He grinned, weakly. “Happy President's Day, Da-da.”

“You too, sir. Later.”

Abe returned to stone and people shuffled off to ponder his words and their meaning.

“Dude, what did he say?” someone in the back asked.

“He said we all be BROTHERS and sh*t.”

“Right on.”

"Seven score and seven years ago, your forefathers would've thought you people were nutjobs."

Kung Fu Da-da's Deadly Redundant Parenting Moves of Deadly Redundant Parenting

The deadly quotidian, "Parenthood Reaction" technique.


Overheard at Chez Da-da

4YO Nagurski: "Da-da! I need a napkin for my rock!"

6YO Bronko (dancing): "Do you wanna pinch my booty?"


Baby Makes Three (Minutes to Live)

"Baby Sleep Positions" by Angie Macneil in Montreal.

Da-da's Psychotronic Catalog of Extreme Mental and Physical States of Parental Vagabondage

Ex. 26b. Parental Denial (LEVEL EIGHT) about why you did this to yourself.

Taco Friday in the Super Camper

When Da-da was a tot -- back when mastodons roamed freely and you could secure a complete meal for under $1 -- both his parents worked, so he was occasionally watched by a nice older lady Da-da will call Mrs. Wilson, a retired nurse who also took care of a bunch of other kids. Fridays were especially memorable as both Da-da's parents worked late at Myrna's Discount Crematorium and House-O-Donut Love (there were always more bodies at the end of the week and people clamoring for donuts, hence the later hours). Anyway, since Young Master Da-da was the only kid left past 4:00 pm on Fridays, he was granted the rare solo privilege of taco take-out in the Wilson family super camper -- because Friday was always taco night in the super camper.

Factually, EVERY NIGHT is taco night, as it should be, but Friday tacos are somehow made more special by the memory of either a Taco Tia or an El Taco parking lot (both founded by Glen Bell, who also founded Taco Bell), Da-da seated at that funky oval camper table, the door and windows open to that special, dry air of a Southern California dusk, which has a magical redolence Da-da can't describe (made all the more incredible by orange groves), the three of us chomping happily on yellow wax paper-wrapped ground beef gringo tacos (yes, this was way before those stupid styrofoam containers), each taco consisting of a crisp, hot yellow taco shell filled with the perfect balance of taco meat, crisp green lettuce, shredded cheddar and a slice of tomato, and a little drizzled hot sauce, the sublime gestalt offering itself up in those suburban polyester camper surroundings and MAN is Da-da hungry right now. And YES, like Da-da said, these were indeed GRINGO tacos, but you always want whatever they gave you as a kid, probably because things always taste better to a fresh palate, especially when someone else is paying.

Da-da is invariably scarred by this experience. SCARRED. The Wilsons not only burned an indelible memory, they placed a TACO MONKEY ON DA-DA'S BACK. The damn thing wakes up every Friday. That's it, to hell with you people, DA-DA NEEDS A TACO. Anyone got a camper Da-da can borrow?

Tacos are best inside a super camper, Da-da swears.


This is Your Brain on Parenthood

And children are responsible for taking things out.

This is Your Brain on Parenthood

Well, to be exact, this is in fact a look of pre- and POST-parenthood.

This is Your Brain on Parenthood

Since parenthood often invokes mind-altering states of consciousness, Da-da thought the faithful might like this if you haven't seen it. Follow the instructions and dust the backs of your eyes. Oh, and don't do this while driving, Young Mister Orange Pants. Why do you wear orange pants, anyway? STOP WEARING ORANGE PANTS.
1. Stare at the red dot on the girl’s nose for 30 seconds.
2. Turn your eyes to a plain surface (your ceiling or blank wall).
3. Blink repeatedly and quickly.
4. Whoa.   (via one+infinity)



Da-da's Native American Nomenclatura (or, YOUR "INDIAN" NAME HERE)

Da-da's Native American name used to be, "Materializes-in-Green-Laundromat-Chair."

It's very important for families to both determine and then firmly embrace Native American nomenclature -- or as politically incorrect, coonskinned kids in the '50s called it, "yer Indian name." (They're all running Congress, now.) This naming ritual is easier than you think, and is SO important. Why is it SO important? Come on, Da-da can't answer every one of Life's Mysteries for you. If he did that, you'd just materialize in and out of laundromats all day and all night in dispair of KNOWING EVERYTHING IN THE UNIVERSE. How dull.

Anyway, sans further ado, here is Da-da's Awesome Native American nomenclatura for his own awesome family:
Da-da's Awesome Native American Family Nomenclatura

4YO Bronko is now, "Loud Bear"
6YO Nagurski is, "Many-Places-at-Once"
32YO Ma-ma is, "Big-Hair-in-Charge"

And of course...

89YO Da-da is, "Stands-With-No-Brain."

See? Case closed.



Is this the kind of future you want for your kids? Staring at this attorney all day?
And if you stare at an attorney forever, is that an attornity?

CLICK here to sign the petition

You know, if you look closely at the above image, you can tell that:
1. the actress is actually kinda cute, and
2. she's trying not to laugh.

Beware the Grade Ninja

                                                                                                                                                         [via SuperPunch]


Parenting Horror 101: That Vincent Price Moment

What did you say, Timmy?

All parents have that Vincent Price moment of abject parental horror, that quick notion that occurs during endless tantrummage where even sane parents contemplate throwing their adorable rabid wolverine tot into that vat of acid, or that cauldron of molten wax -- or if you're a modernist, out the airlock. Da-da has mentally chucked his children out the airlock more times than you've had hot dinners. Like any sane and sober Rotarian robot parent, Da-da never actually does this (not that you know of), but it does occur to Da-da about a thousand times a day. And yes, Da-da does pass for SANE, at least on TV. Of course, instead of acting on this terrible impulse, Da-da writes about it, makes fun of it, keeps detailed notes about it for his trial, etc. All parents feel like launching one or all of their progeny into the sun on occasion. It's normal. But wearing a dracula costume all day and singing, "THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUUUUSICCC..." is not normal -- IT'S MANDATORY. Jeez, the neighbors are so judgmental.

Da-da doesn't always wear the cape. Or remember all the lyrics.


That Penultimate Look of Parenthood

Upon reaching this level of parenting madness, you are invariably found half-naked in an enormous
bowl of cornflakes, loudly channeling Capt. John Luc Picard from an imaginary bridge while doing
pointillistic drawings of farm animals and IRS agents on the inside of your eyelids.

Doppelganger Monday (KIR ROYALE EDITION)

Queen Elizabeth clearly LOVES kir royales. Can you spot the clue?

Ok, two things. First off, Da-da's ma-ma -- aka Grandma Scotty -- is a living dead-ringer for Queen Elizabeth II. More importantly, there's the issue of exactly why Her Highness is holding a swanky (empty) liter bottle-orb of...

...Chambord?... at Her coronation. (One guess as to Queen Elizabeth's and Grandma Scotty's favorite... er, favourite beverage.) She even totes around that same golden sceptre to whack errant moose -- which surprisingly is the exact same reason Queen Elizabeth weilds her own fancy whackstick. What a strange and wondrous, teeny tiny world we live in... now in 3-D! Kir royales for everyone. Yes, at 10:00 in the morning, Ms. Demeanor. The kids are off from school today, and have been for four days now. Krikey.


The Wrath of Mom

"Uh oh... your mom's put on her Babylonian headdress. You boys had best pack."


Higher Weirdness (or, "Shut Up, Nostradamus")


2012 hasn't even thrown out its new-years packing material and already we have our first set of bizarro anomalies... which are actually continuances of earlier bizarro audio anomalies that Da-da wrote about  HERE back in September. You can heck out the sounds embedded in at the end of that post, or specifically give a isten to this sound clip from that post (the event occurred last August 22, 2011):

Now, here's a similar sound that occurred recently in Costa Rica on January 9, 2012:

But things were already spooky, audio-atmospherically. Here's a bizarro sound from Kiev, August 1, 2011...

...as well as similar sounds in Bucharest in early December, 2011...

...and most recently in Alberta in broad daylight:

Sure, ok. That's all a 9.2 on the Da-da Weirdness Meter. Indeed, it's strange out there in the wide open air... but what else is new? It's always been weird. It's EARTH. But there's probably a reasonable explanation, if you have an open mind, or at least one that makes sense to a part of us. Factually, similar audio sky anomalies were observed in the mid-19th C. and absolutely nothing came of them. So, those who are crying about Trumpets of the Apocalypse should be hoist by their own self-serving petard. As for the later bizarro sounds of wailing in Kiev and Bucharest and Alberta... well, these could be audio fakes created by fundamentalist folks to carry said echatonic agendas. Da-da doubts this, but it's possible. Or it's consceivable that HAARP is causing it, as we have no idea what those idiots are doing (and neither do they). Or perhaps it's high energy particles from the sun striking the earth more violently as sun-earth magnetic fields align. (The proton density of the solar wind was higher than normal in the Bucharest and Alberta events, with some south-facing polarity.) Or perhaps that latter odd noise is the wind howling through the earth's hair as she hurtles along at the edges of the Milky Way, the galaxy itself screaming throguh space-time at a third the speed of light, perhaps encountering a region populated by space-dust pixies in Nostradamus gift shops selling FEAR sno-globes to the natives. No matter. Like they say in France, "Shut up, Nostradamus."

Kung Fu Da-da's Deadly Redundant Parenting Moves of Deadly Redundant Parenting

The dreaded, "Rotating Hallway of Obfuscation" technique.


Kung Fu Da-da's Deadly Redundant Parenting Moves of Deadly Redundant Parenting

Behold an example of Da-da's patented, "You're not going anywhere" technique.

A Sign Unto You

Da-da's Psychotronic Catalog of Extreme Mental and Physical States of Parental Vagabondage

Ex 2b. "Goofy Hand" Syndrome, usu. seen after several hundred consecutive kid tantrums.
Medication (booze) suppresses symptoms, but condition is often chronic. Note: drink with your non-goofy hand.

Pay It Forward: NASA and the Chicken

So many poultry panoplies, so little time.

Grandma Scotty sent his little tidbit. No idea as to original author; story's been floating around for a decade.

Anyway, seems scientists at NASA built a gun, once upon a time, specifically to launch standard four pound dead chickens at the windshields of airliners, military jets and the space shuttle, all traveling at maximum velocity, and often without asking the chickens' permission. The idea was to simulate the frequent incidents of aviation collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of aircraft windshields.

British engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high speed trains. Arrangements were made, and a gun was sent to the British engineers. When the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, blasted through the control console, snapped the engineer's back-rest in two, and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin, like an arrow shot from a bow.

The horrified Brits sent NASA the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield and begged the U.S. scientists for suggestions.

NASA responded with a one-line memo, "Defrost the chicken." (True story)

Defrosting doesn't have to be an ordeal for the chicken.


Da-da's Psychotronic Catalog of Extreme Mental and Physical States of Parental Vagabondage

Ex.9c. Bald midget-rubbing compulsion sets in. This is actually quite common.
(Psst, Your Majesty -- entre nous -- they prefer, "little people.")


Da-da 101: How to Motivate Children

Lesson 4: Keeping an open mind (esp. in having covers printed on the back).



Yeah. Martha LOVES Da-da. Really.
Martha Stewart called Da-da yesterday -- the Marthaman SO loves Da-da -- and talked about how she'd been reminiscing about her short-lived prison life. Then it hit her: given the ever-increasing prison populations worldwide, she decided to create a new lifestyle magazine for 2012 (with her favorite nonsensate corporation, AcmeVaporware) for all her felon homies back in cell block D! Advertisers are already lining up for the new monthly publication to be entitled, predictably, Martha Stewart INCARCERATED. Here's the awesome press release:

NEW YORK, NY – January 12, 2012 –  AcmeVaporware and Martha Stewart today announced the formation of a new Martha Stewart print marketing vehicle to be called, Martha Stewart INCARCERATED –- Make Better Time of Your Time. The announcement was made before a good-natured bank holiday crowd of wardens and freshly handcuffed executives trying to keep those TARP-fueled smirks under control.

"Martha Stewart INCARCERATED is for all millionaire and billionaire and high-level execs behind bars -- as well as those soon-to-be-felons -- and really anyone destined for the klink because of misunderstood illegal activities,” said Martha Stewart, clearly having some flashbacks on a dais surrounded by police and media. "Martha Stewart INCARCERATED will bring these misunderstood wretches -- near-honest folks paying their debt to society, or paying it forward -- some combination of luxury and solace, reminding them that they are only 18-240 months away from again living like top-of-the-pyramid Pharaohs. Yes, to these noble felons I dedicate a whole new PLUSH level of prison lifestyle, dedicated to making a better life behind bars."

AcmeVaporware defendant/CEO Dr. John Smallberries displayed the cover of the inaugural first issue: a resplendent sea of pink and salmon in which floated smiling faces of sundry felonious politicians and corporate executives below the feature’s title: "We Wear the Chains We Forged in Life." Below that was an inset photo of Presidential candidates phonetically reading a copy of Dr. Smallberries’ latest book, Prison for Dummies.

Exciting NEW Martha Stewart INCARCERATED Sections

Ask In-mate #34278666 (Martha)
      - "We're all innocent..."

Penitentiary Planner
      - Don't forget the warden’s birthday!

      - Packing contraband in your "can"
      - Avoiding "bedroom eyes" in the shower
      - Bars can also be on the inside
      - Solitary doesn’t have to mean single!

      - Top 10 Prison Escapes
      - Forced Labor: The good ol' days?
      - Stirred, but not shaken

      - Top 10 road-gang trips
      - Using compact mirrors to say, "Hello!"
      - Prison: It's just like camping!

     - Top 10 neatest bunks EVER!
     - Hood Things: Tips from the "pros"
     - Top 10 tips for re-organizing a "tossed cell"
     - Do-it-yourself tattoos don't have to be a pain!

    - Top 10 fashion "do's" for a successful parole
    - New colors for fall: You look FABULOUS in orange & light green!
    - Will the warden let you wear lamé?

    - Top 10 plants that don't need the sun
    - Turning that pesky commode into a springtime-fresh vase
    - Human waste: fertilizer of the gods

Movie "Date" Night
    - Papillon
    - Shawshank Redemption
    - Kiss of the Spider Woman

    - Prison Weddings: Tying the Knot WITHOUT Dropping the Soap!
    - What to do about your new "special friend"   
    - Begging for mercy: It works!

    - Making that perfect shiv
    - Human hair pot holders
    - Paint-by-numbers with blood (And not just your own!)

    - Capone Corner: In-cell welding
    - A Prison Tradition: Baking files into cakes!
    - Fresh fish! Fresh fish!

    - Smokes! De facto moolah
    - Wardens' favorite "rock" candy   
    - Insects you can train!

Of course, K-Mart will be sponsoring a special section inspired by their “Blue Light Specials,” called, “Searchlight Specials,” security/prison guards with Nerf guns, etc. Da-da can't wait to have enough energy to commit some whitecollar crimes. No, really. There are so many insects Da-da wants to train.

"Solitary confinement can often be quite therapeutic."


Da-da 101: How to Motivate Children

Lesson 1. Be inconceivable.

Endless Summer

Da-da doesn't know about where you live, but at Da-da's it's been regularly 10 degrees hotter than the forecasted high nearly every day for the past year, and the weather svs rarely records the actual high temps. Then there's this latest bit of happy news on the Western snowpack. Anyone got Burt Lancaster's number?
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