Saturday, November 26, 2011

Merry Christmas To All, Especially All Those Polite.

Black Friday. Recent acts of violence while shopping may cause us to look at Christmas in a new way, especially those whom have fallen victim of pepper spray. There is an answer to this dilemma. Shoppers who have been sprayed will need to tap into their inner eye of faith where no spice can blind it. The eye of faith can lead to perfect parking spots, 75% off linens, 40% off on Oscar de la Renta Sweaters and don’t forget to pick up a pair of Macy’s Rampage Boots for $19.99, they will come in handy for next year’s Black Friday, unless the world ends on December 21st, in which case none of this will matter.

What if the overall faith in Christmas has been seriously compromised? We could choose to remember that even though it may be a holiday intended to bring families and friends together with seasonal food and drink, dancing, games, and a festive generosity of spirit or we may just need to heed the warning and prepare ourselves for those must-have items.

If you insist on using pepper spray to eliminate the competition, be sure it is organic. Halogenated hydrocarbons can cause severe allergic reactions. Asthmatics suffer more and exposure can cause a violent, allergic, life-threatening reaction known as anaphylactic shock. So, for God’s sake, if you are asthmatic and insist on carrying pepper spray, you may want to consider a formulation that doesn’t contain oleoresin capsicum and avoid possible blowback. A normal reaction to pepper spray is a horrific burning sensation, nerve irritation, runny nose, coughing and temporary blindness. The debilitating effects last for more than 30 minutes, and lessen over several hours.

I would like to offer a few Black Friday safety and self-defense tips for the future:

If you are sprayed with pepper spray, DO NOT RUB the contaminated area! When you touch a contaminated area you aid the pepper spray in opening up the capillaries.

Do your best to grope your way to the nearest grocery store dairy section. Applying whole milk to the affected area should help to take the burn away.

If someone blocks your efforts to obtain milk, apply a common wrestling technique such as the El Kabong which simply involves breaking a guitar over an opponent’s head.

Next, you will need to mix a solution of 25% Dawn dishwashing liquid and 75% water in a large bowl. Plunge your face into the bowl for 10-15 seconds at a time. Recovery time depends on your skin type. It can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes before symptoms subside.

You may again face opposition in the kitchen/bathroom aisle. The best maneuver here would be Rolling Thunder. It requires the action of a forward roll towards your opponent using the complete rotation to spring up onto your feet and into the air to perform the attack. I guarantee that when they see a grunting, red-eyed, salivating, crazed person leaping at them, surprise will be their first reaction. When you drop to your knees and raise your arm up between the opponent’s legs, striking the groin with the inside of your elbow joint, be sure to scream out, “Cheap shot!” This will not only create unimaginable pain but they will believe you have out shopped them. Success!

I hope these activities haven’t spoiled the Thanksgiving holiday, which is meant to bring families together and to develop an attitude of gratitude which was wisely expressed by, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, England’s best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century.

“You say, ‘If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.’ You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled.”

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Culture Shock

I went to my doctor last week to be treated for a chronic sore throat. She said she would need a specimen which by the way was obtained by sticking a three foot long Q-tip into my mouth and swiping the back wall of my throat. Yeacck! My gag reflex was in good working order.

She said she would have to grow a culture and let me know what was found in order to prescribe the proper antibiotic. As I left her office, I imagined a glob of fuzzy throat bacteria growing in a petri dish, dining off some gelatin-like protein substance. Eew.

She called me yesterday, and I found that this was not the case at all. She began describing a fascinating abundance of cultural features that had emerged from my test.

The uppermost region of the dish offered everything you might think of for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation. Sunshine, white beaches, clear water and warm climate. Just adjacent to that was a colony that offered cheap handmade articles such as crochet works, knitwear, pottery, wood-carvings and paintings. A little further down were imperial palaces, gardens and temples. A river flowed through it which led to magnificent views of rock formations and forests and into a teeming metropolis with exceptional architecture and pulsating with life. The crowning glory of the dish was a gigantic metropolis chock full of activity, tall buildings and an endless sea of lights.

I was speechless. To think, all this was taking place from a minuscule daub of my phlegm placed in a petrie dish just a few days ago.

“This is miraculous!”, I said. “Who can we report this to? World Magazine? Newsweek? Time? Maybe U.S. News and World Report?”

There was a long silence before she answered. “We can’t report it to anyone.”

“Why not?” I whined. “I’ll bet the Enquirer would pay thousands for a story like this.”

“Well,” she began. “I offered the dish a stimulus package to encourage growth but inflation accelerated above comfort levels. This caused residents to pass laws regarding global food prices and create policies on subsidies and price caps. This in turn contributed to about ten percent of unemployment.”

“What does that mean?” I huffed. “You’re beginning to sound like CNN”.

“I can only do so much”, her voice filled with impatience. “Bailouts and grants were limited and I had to take into consideration the lack of side lanes, paved shoulders and uncontrolled development of roadsides causing low travel speeds, poor level of service and less long-distance traveling. Without transport services, the culture was doomed.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about dish collapse! Financial crisis! Debt! Predatory Lending! Conflict! Collapse of the housing bubble! Famine! Systemic Crisis! Flood! Destruction!

“What does it all mean?” I was trembling with fear.

“It means I am calling your pharmacy to order you 500mg of Amoxicillin three times a day for ten days. Isn’t it nice to have a doctor with such a great sense of humor?”