Funny Times, February 2010

Bruce Cameron tackles that hardy perennial of comedy, English cookery.  His funniest line: “Or how about my friend’s bottle of ‘brown sauce’?  Only the Brits would think ‘brown’ was a flavor.”  Suggests a whole nation of synesthesiacs

Jon Winokur’s “Curmudgeon” collects remarks about the afterlife.  A. Whitney Brown (someday he hopes to be the Whitney Brown) has said that “At an early age I decided that living a life of pious misery in the hope of going to heaven when it’s over is a lot like keeping your eyes shut all through a movie in the hopes of getting your money back at the end.”  Susan Ertz noted that “Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.”  Heinrich Heine must have enjoyed his life immensely; his view was that “It must require an inordinate share of vanity and presumption, too, after enjoying so much that is good and beautiful here on earth, to ask the Lord for immortality in addition to it all.” 

Andy Borowitz seems to be unhappy with the direction the health-care debate in the US Congress is taking.  He tells us that, under “CompromiseCare,” “people with no coverage will be allowed to keep their current plan”; “Medicare will be extended to 55 year olds as soon as they turn 65”; “A patient will be considered ‘pre-existing’ if he or she exists”; and “Patients will have access to natural remedies, such as death.”     

Lenore Skenazy ran a contest for updated nursery rhymes; of the entries she prints here, my favorite is from Patty Vespereny of Saint Louis, Missouri:

Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey.

Along came a spider and sat down beside her and discussed his lactose intolerance all day.


  1. cymast

     /  February 1, 2010

    Health-care debate- Every time I visit my in-laws, my MIL tells me about her Aunt Marie in a long-term care facility in Canada: Aunt Marie is 500 pounds for lack of diuretics. One Tylenol per night is all the medication she gets. Four times a year the facility administration sends a “clothing bill” to her estate holder for hundreds of dollars (Marie herself was declared legally incompetent). The latest bill included the expense of a $400 pair of shoes. She can’t even walk anymore, why the heck does she need a $400 pair of shoes all of a sudden?! Plus she recently broke her hip falling out of bed but they won’t authorize an operation because she’s too fat. I get all worked up and tell my MIL the facility administration is robbing her aunt. I say, “Why can’t someone simply mail her some over-the-counter diuretics, for crying out loud?! What’s the address, I’ll do it!” She answers, “It doesn’t work that way.”

  2. acilius

     /  February 1, 2010

    Things just like that happen in the USA too, all the time. Judging by what Canadians and Americans say about their respective health-care systems, I’d say you’re probably likelier to get very bad care in the USA than in Canada. Anyway, the Canadian single-payer model isn’t on the table in the USA, any more than the US system of health insurance as a shelter from corporate income tax is in Canada.

  3. cymast

     /  February 1, 2010

    Yeah, I’m not illustrating what is and what isn’t on the table in any particular county. I’m illustrating poor health care.

    I leave it to health-care insurance experts to debate the pros and cons of the various health-care systems. The whole thing is too exasperating for my taste. I suspect the debates are mostly political posturings anyway.

  4. cymast

     /  February 1, 2010

    I just now read the cover cartoon- PERFECT!

    Standing ovation.

    The mister’s relatives are very Fox Newsy and are quite fond of telling me Fox News is the only news program that gives unbiased reports. They also insist global warming (or as I prefer to call it- “catastrophic global climate change”) is a hoax. I will send this cartoon to them.

  5. acilius

     /  February 2, 2010

    I agree with you about the health care debate. Our current system is a consequence of the way the federal tax system is structured; if Mr O and the rest of them were for real, they’d start by proposing radical tax reform, probably abolishing the corporate income tax and FICA and replacing them with a Border Adjusted Value Added Tax and somewhat higher taxes on capital gains and the upper brackets of personal income. As it is, they never mention tax reform at all. So the whole discussion strikes me as bogus.

    Fox News, crazy stuff. During Milosevic’s time, pro-Western types in Belgrade referred to the news on Yugoslav state broadcasting as “the parallel universe.” That’s what Faux News always seems like to me, broadcasts leaking into our universe from a parallel one.

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