Obama challenges Romney to a duel

The Voice (U.S. TV series)

Following a savage rhetorical beating at the hands of his opponent, President Obama has taken the campaign battle to the Romney team with a daring, new challenge.  A one-night only singing competition between the candidates on “The Voice.”  Obama’s handlers laid out their strategy this way:  “If we can’t use actual sidearms, a free-market musical skirmish has got to be the next best way to settle this thing.”

English: Christina Aguilera sings "Can't ...

Deprived of his usual trick-bag of rhetorical traps, President Obama will have to rely on a silky falsetto and, to nudge the army of unmotivated millennial white kids, a knit beanie. With voting constituencies of challenger and incumbent hardened before the actual election day showdown, both candidates are confident a singing competition will connect them to the undecided portion of the electorate.  (Political demographers have analyzed and parsed this group into two subgroups:  1) People committed to their indecision.  2) The Re-undecided.)

English: Cee Lo

Hoping his hard luck story will resonate with the judges. Romney laid out his plan.  “I can’t imitate Al Green like Obama but I surely can make “Let’s Stay Together” my own by transforming it into a marching band piece.  It’s amazing how you can improve rhythm & blues by muffling the rhythm  with a high-velocity mixture of styrofoam and other petroleum-based products.”

Now, Mixmaster Mitt has to dig deep to find a song about deregulation that will make the chairs of Adam, Christina, and Blake spin in his direction. Until Cee-Lo Green supplies a picture I.D. and an electric bill, a Denver Boot will be clamped around his chair.

English: Blake Shelton at the 45th Annual Acad...

This will be one campaign event with no stump speechifying, debate zingers, scripted answers, or gotcha questions.  All that will matter to the judges are vocals that preserve their sense of hearing.   During the musical duel, expect to see dramatic cutaways to the campaign teams in the green room jumping up and down and imploring Blake Shelton to press his red button.  Others will simply implore Christina Aguilera to jump up and down.


Me and Etta James and Yom Kippur

Français : La chanteuse américaine de blues Et...

Twenty years or so ago, I phoned R & B legend, Johnny Otis, to ask if it was okay for a Jewish kid to drop in at the Sunday church service he conducted inside his West Adams district mansion.  He said, “Sure!  After all, we got the same hero.”  I’m sure he meant Jesus.  I was thinking Ray Charles.

The actual draw for me was Etta James appearance in Johnny’s choir.  Ketty Lester and Shuggie Otis, Johnny’s guitar-prodigy son performed too, but I was there to watch and feel Etta.  And when she stepped out of the choir and stood five feet from me, she transformed Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful” into an acappella “God Is So Beautiful” that rocked every soul in the room.

Johnny Otis

I still nourish my spiritual connection, perhaps imperfectly, by presenting the Almighty with a daily list of wishes and grievances.  On occasion, I’ll even drop into Sabbath services at my local temple.  But Judaism 2.0 has made worship a whole new deal.  Now, during the High Holidays, I can save the trip and tune into that temple’s video webcast or as it’s known on the website, the Sanctuary Cam.

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, was about to arrive.  Elevating the importance of this holiest day would be the performance of my friend, Julie, in the role of guitar-strumming itinerant Cantor.   I rushed to beat the sunset deadline for the start of the ritual fast by shoveling a fistful of wavy potato chips into my gullet.   My sofa became hideous, one more sacrilege from which I’d have to avert my eyes, one more thing for which I’d have to atone.  On the plus side, I didn’t have to wear pants.

I conjured up the Sanctuary Cam on my laptop.  The voice that rose from Julie’s image was lush and lovely, but what moved me most was the effortlessness of her moonwalk. Why don’t cantors do that anymore? I have no doubt that Jews would return to the flock by the thousands if visual signs of devotion like James Brown-style knee drops were restored to the cantor’s repertoire.

When the service ended, I decompressed by working my way through my Netflix queue, this time watching a movie called “The Boy In The Striped Pajamas.”  It was thoroughly mind-blowing, the rare Holocaust themed movie that understates it all and maybe because of that, hits with more emotional power.

English: High priest offering a sacrifice of a...

That night, I dreamt feverishly.  Vivid images of the temple’s website flashed against the inside of my skull.  Rather than a view of the chapel, the sanctuary cam showed a promotional video for the temple.  A dozen Nazi soldiers from “The Boy In The Striped Pajamas” did a skillfully choreographed motorcycle dance to the music of Regina Spector.    I swear.

Your demagoguery is more demagogic than my demagoguery

“The first man who hurled an insult instead of a rock founded civilization.”                                                                                                                                                                               –Sigmund Freud

 “Say that one more time and I’ll bury my foot up your ass.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                      –You

Last Thanksgiving, during one of those philosophical chats for which you never give thanks, I kidded my mother about her absolute devotion to the pro-choice cause.  Within seconds, she phoned her gynecologist and had me removed from her condo with a forceps.

On the other side of the political divide, folks are just as humorless.  When I suggested that God, like any good creator, agonizes over his handiwork and thinks the theory of intelligent design is a load of crap, some Christians prayed for my demise.

What’s my point? We’re becoming a bunch of extremists.  By “we,” I mean you.  And by “you,” I mean your political selves–a unique form of frenzied personality disorder–and not necessarily your actual selves.

So, dear extremist, I couldn’t help but notice that your guiding philosophy, whether left or right, is Resentment.

Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Obs...

The great fear growing in the conservative breast, is the coming day when the government makes you share a bedroom with an LGBT caucus member.  And watch out for a world where you liberals need Rush Limbaugh’s permission to untangle the ultrasound from your thongs.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t disagree with your political opponents.  Have at it.  Change the channel when you see Bill Maher or Aaron Sorkin or Patricia Heaton or Sean Hannity.    Jesus, if I made my viewing choices based on who I agreed with philosophically, I’d be reduced to watching the steam-driven colonics channel.

Have fun with all the pre-election hyperbole but–whether you’re a Wall Street apologist or an Entitlement pimp–just restrain your impulse to silence the other guy.  Remember, it was only a few months ago when liberals with digital pitchforks tried to have Rush Limbaugh thrown off the air.  Conservatives play the game just as shamelessly by creating Kafka-esque bureaucracies to exclude minority voters.

Maybe this is the time to remind you that we’re having an election, not a bar fight.  Let’s not turn into Rwanda or Pakistan–though I’m sure both places are  chock full of wonderfulness.

So when the returns come in and your bet pays off, will you meet your opponent in the parking lot, shake hands and collect your winnings with grace?  Or  force him into the trunk of his car and make him disappear?

I hear voices

Pill tablet

My local PBS station recently aired a Charlie Rose episode, one of his continuing investigations of the brain.  This one explored Schizophrenia.  When Charlie’s all-star team of shrinks and brain researchers went into detail about how the disease expressed itself, I felt a swell of nostalgia.

You see, I’m afflicted with the most obvious symptom.  I hear voices.  Actually I perceive only one voice and what it tells me most often is, “Hey asshole.  Take your medication.”

Ridiculous.  I don’t even take medication.

So who speaks to me?  Is it God?  Would the Almighty trouble himself with such minutia?  So by process of elimination, I’ve identified the source of the voice as the Lord’s unacknowledged prophet, Baron Hulgosz, a Hungarian noble who breathed his last in the mid 19th Century.

Sometimes the voice says, “Smoke a joint.  Have a cocktail.”  When I tell him to take a hike, he threatens to kill me.  “With what?” I answer.  “A verb?  A run-on sentence?”  That shut the dumb Magyar’s mouth or whatever he uses to generate the chatter that floats around inside my skull.

This appears fairly innocuous and harmless, doesn’t it?   If only it were so.  It cost me my psychiatric practice.

You see, I often applied Baron Hulgosz’s advice and analysis when counseling my patients.  His insights, including his hypercritical comments—“If I see her in that goddamned outfit again, I’m going to hang myself.  Again.”—were invariably spot on.

My professional trouble didn’t begin until I submitted an article about the therapeutic value of auditory hallucinations.  I would not admit to imagining voices myself, yet I was happy to give Baron Hulgosz credit as the co-author of what became a controversial paper.

In the article, I told of my patient, Anna C and her auditory episode.  She regularly walked on the beach to steel herself for her workday routine as a sign spinner outside the local chapter of Al Shabab.  On one of her morning outings she stumbled across a beached whale–still breathing.  Anna immediately grasped her cell phone to call for help when she heard the whale speak with an accent not unlike the late Argentine master-actor, Raul Julia.  Was it a genuine reincarnation or merely an impersonation of uncommon skill?

Humpback Whale

Before Anna pressed send, the whale begged, “Please.  No.  No whale watchers.”

“If you’re not the immortal soul of Raul Julia, are you a divine symbol?”

The whale beseeched her.  “Please, let me just lay the fuck in the sand.”

Anna, not the most confident person even though she still felt the glow of last night’s Costco Gewurtztraminer, wondered aloud, “If it’s privacy you want, wouldn’t a mammal as large as yourself be better served holding its tongue?”

“You think people are the only beings who deserve to unburden themselves?” opined the whale with a damp torpedo of crill for emphasis. “Do you know how goddamned sick I am of eating fish every night?”

Anna C dismissed the complaint, reasoning that a truly intelligent creature would never have beached itself on a stretch of coast exclusively zoned for seafood restaurants.  Nevertheless, out of pity for the poor beast, she reached into her hijab for a protein bar which she gently placed on a tongue no smaller than a boogie-board.

At that, the whale spat the bar with such force it splintered the rotting wood of a nearby lifeguard station.  “That’s why I crawled away from the primordial saline?  That’s how you slake my curiosity about my fellow mammals?”   The beast turned back toward the sea and disappeared.

Soon after, scientists confirmed that a disgusting soup of Omega 3 byproducts offered physical confirmation that a whale had indeed hollowed out that very stretch of shoreline.  More elusive was the slightest proof that this beast was indeed a picky eater.  No one witnessed its stinging verbal rebuke of the menu that Mother Nature prepared for him.

If the creature did speak to Anna C, could it have been a trick?  Or a miracle?  Why did the psychoanalytic priesthood assume it was evidence of pathology or a sign of the rote sexual obsession they ascribed to everything?  I argued that it was no less than a lost opportunity to engage another species in witty banter.

Regrettably, Baron Holgusz wouldn’t confirm my diagnosis out loud.  Not only was I shamed professionally; my license to provide psychotherapy was revoked.

English: Engraving of craniometer from "E...

These days, the Baron remains unapologetic and never shuts up.  The dumb Hunky is seldom far from my side, no small source of unease when, stepping out of my boxer shorts for my morning ablutions, I must endure his taunts.

Nevertheless, I will not deny him public credit for the good things in my life.   His lightning quick counsel made me a thirteen-day Jeopardy champion.  And as always, women find my Hulgosz-inspired patter irresistible.  With the Baron’s helpful barrage of debonair one-liners, the war between me and the fair sex is never a fair fight.   My only complaint?   When seduction inevitably leads to the boudoir, he’s a bit of a backseat driver.

The candidates’ dogs bitch about the presidential campaign.

Irish Setter

Seamus Romney’s campaign notes:

Friends & Enemies

Ever since Barack Obama made gay marriage mandatory on the Left Coast, Hollywood types have been feeling their oatmeal pancakes and joining Harry Reid’s call to see Mitt Romney’s income tax returns.

Harry Reid represents Nevada, home state of Las Vegas which used to mean serious Cosa Nostra shit, but today, stands for little more than acrobats and country singers.   The place is thick with cowboy hats.  Why?  Is anybody expecting a cattle stampede in the Luxor showroom?

Beyond My Understanding

Mitt Romney - Caricature

Mitt Romney – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Reid’s charges sure capped off a rough month for the Mittster.  First came Mitt’s undiplomatic comments about Olympic security in London.   Listen, I’m willing to admit Mitt’s said some dumb shit during the campaign but the London insult?

Do we really want a President who sounds like a stooge for London’s chamber of commerce?  So I’m gonna give the man a pass for that step on the poop bag.  But what creeps me out about the dude is the borderline psycho chuckle that bubbles up from his throat when somebody asks Mitt a tough question.

Foreign Affairs

Whatever bad feelings he’s generated, Mitt made up for it with his trip to Israel which might just lock up the vote of women with back hair.

The Week Ahead

The more serious test of Mitt’s judgment is the way the Republican Vice-Presidential dog fight plays out.  Mitt was seriously considering a chick to be his bitch, but after serious thought he realized there was no bikini material there.  My personal choice was Marco Rubio.   After all, he responds to commands in two languages.

But the winner is Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.  He’s an intellectual so the party professionals have their work cut out trying to keep that little nugget secret from their constituency of high school drop-outs.  Uneasy lies the head that wears the cheesehead.

Many of you thought my prediction in last month’s posting of a Romney victory in November meant I was automatically backing the former governor. You’re all wrong.  No matter who’s running, I’m endorsing John McCain because we both know what it’s like to be confined in a cramped space.

Campaign Ads

Mitt is taking some heat about a TV commercial that claims Obama is undermining welfare reform.  It may not be technically true but here’s why it’s important to say it.  Nobody really believes a word Mitt says so we felt taking a stand, even a dishonest one, would keep voters engaged.  So, in a way, our distortion is saving democracy.  I get kind of emotional thinking about it.

Bo Obama’s campaign notes:

Friends & Enemies  

These are the Dog Days in D.C. so the celebrity fundraising parade continues.  Jamie Lee Curtis gave me a delicious scratch on the butt last month but her friendship with Michelle has gone too far.  She never shuts up about that damned Activia.  Nobody ever actually enunciates the word “colon” or “sphincter” but everybody knows what’s on their minds.

Now, West Wing staffers compete for Michelle’s favor by planning events like the 10K against Lactose Intolerance.  The last thing this content-free campaign needs is an event where the President has to run alongside bloated, gaseous cheese addicts.

Beyond My Understanding

English: Yarmulke with Happy Festivus embroide...

The dreaded Yom Kippur holiday is right around the corner.  Holiday? The Obamas make all of us fast in sympathy with our liberal Jewish friends.  Know what that means?  An empty dog food bowl, that’s what.  And a parched water bowl.  I’m praying we don’t repeat last year’s breaking of the fast with a canine colon cleanse.

Foreign Affairs

Am I sounding a tiny bit freaked out?  Who wouldn’t when faced with the prospect of returning to Nairobi in January.  So, I’m calling a big time out to stop and smell the roses and any musky reassurance that’s out there.

The Week Ahead

Monday:  Stop and smell the roses.

Tuesday:  Stop and smell a buttock.

Wednesday:  Do not stop.  Smell the House leadership anyway.

Thursday:  Stop and smell the botox dealers in Georgetown.

Friday:   Sign up for PETA.  Engineer canine overthrow of Western Hemisphere.

Campaign Ads

Our media advisers tell us voters don’t believe political ads, so we warn folks how dangerous it can be to insist on the truth.  It’s a game. Our commercials define Mitt Romney as a heartless douchebag before he has a chance to define himself as the douchebag with a heart.

Vajazzle? Are you kidding me?

cubic zirconia

For those of you wondering when I’m going to get my mind out of the gutter, I regret that it won’t be today.  You see, after last week’s posting in which I discuss an encounter with a  bikini waxer, one reader informed me that I am far behind the puddendal grooming curve.  You see, a related practice, Vajazzling, is gaining friends fast.

Look, I was already horrified to hear that, a few years ago, men and women adopted the string trimmer as a beauty aid for the crotch.

English: Terrell Owens (T.O.) autographing for...

But about this Vajazzling trend.  People in the know tell me it’s a form of bodily decoration that includes adorning your groin with shiny things.  The phenomenon has some well-known practitioners.  The once great wide receiver, Terrell Owens, tells us he began decorating his nut-sack in 2009.  Few things will make a difference in your pass catching stats like running pass patterns with a cubic zirconia slapping against your inner thigh.

But it wasn’t until Jennifer Love Hewitt added Vajazzling to her distinguished body of work that the phenomenon attracted widespread attention.  Her autobiography, “The Day I Shot Cupid..”  goes into the practice in detail.  Following a romantic disappointment, she decided to pay more attention to her…self.  So, she freely discusses how her vagina has come to be home for jewels, moist life savers, found objects, toothpicks, and cereal box prizes.

Her book also covers Jennifer’s career disappointments, particularly why director’s haven’t taken her seriously enough to cast her in prestige movie roles.  The answer lies somewhere between horrible luck and a willingness to publicize her vaginal pinata.

Jennifer Love Hewitt #2

Sex with Ms Love-Hewitt, her lovers report, offers a longer than usual gratification delay as her foreplay ritual now adds scouring away the cracker jack bits with super-glue remover.

Trivia buffs have noted that in the last few episodes of the Ghost Whisperer a couple of Lego pieces can be seen poking out of her g-string.

So why would I, of all people, be bothered that people are paying yet more attention to the world below the waist?  As with all things, it’s the way you do it.

Am I being a prude?  Should I have posted a photo of a vajazzled vagina?  Are we approaching the day when vajazzle salons open in Beverly Hills?  Are folks like these too damned self-absorbed?  Will the Vajazzler be Batman’s new nemesis?

Feel free to comment.


Heading south of the border with a Brazilian bikini waxer

Bush Trimming / Horticultural Bikini Wax by Banksy

Bush Trimming / Horticultural Bikini Wax by Banksy (Photo credit: dullhunk)

I haven’t been to many book launches but, if they’re all like the one I checked out the other night, I may have to turn it into a habit.  I was there to support a friend, a man whose work reflects a soul of genuine depth.  While listening to him discuss writing as an act of healing, I heard the word, “Pussy,” spoken by a woman standing less than a body length behind me.  There, she said it again.

She wasn’t questioning anybody’s courage or manhood.   Nor was she using the word to define women as exclusively sexual beings.  She said it, casual as hell, the word rolling free of her lips with an accent that softened it into “Poosie,” real friendly-like.  And that’s how she meant it.

This woman wouldn’t be caught dead discussing “Vaginas” the way most people do, with all the humanity of a police report.  “The individual, my husband, commenced to circle the vaginal area for a marital obligation when the perpetrator’s crucifix became ensnared in the pubic hair of the victim, myself, which has yet to grow back, your honor.”

This fascinating, olive-skinned temptress with a Portuguese accent was just talking Business, the life of a Brazilian bikini waxer, but making it sound like much more than a commercial transaction.  In her skilled hands, the practice became a mix of hygiene, esthetics, erotica, emotional therapy, and friendship.  She warned the women at her table, “You go to a Russian waxer, your poosie, she takes a beating.”

I continued listening, chewing my guacamole-topped turkey dog when I felt a hair latch onto  the middle of my tongue.  My immune system’s powerful front line defenders, thumb and forefinger, encircled it and, no more than two gagging noises later, managed to fish out the clever invader. Brazil took it as a wry comment and flashed me a smile.  A samba began to roll around inside my head.

She was sexy as hell and pretty damned fascinating but her smile was in the wattage range you use to invite new clients more than romantic connections.  And being slow-witted in the romance department anyway, I rarely figure out when a woman’s coming on to me until the moment I tumble out of the bed, the hammock, or the leather mask.  She could drop a roofie into her own drink and I wouldn’t know it.  Still, at the risk of alienating my new friend, I let her know that empowering strangers to rip the hair from my brows, pecs, or scrotum ain’t never gonna be my idea of a party.

Any woman willing to sprinkle pussy into a conversation sure as hell wasn’t going to be put off by a little frankness.  So we had a friendly chat.

English: Different pubic hair styles. The term...

She wrote a book called “Confessions of a Brazilian Bikini Waxer.”  Attesting to her commercial savvy, she’s made it available in several languages including one version–resembling American sign language–where letters and words are not written but shaped into the freshly waxed pudenda of her clientele.  The rainforest should have it so good.

She didn’t invent the bush wax but, by force of personality and patent law, has come to dominate the field.  The Bikini Wax is now her exclusive intellectual property.  She gets a royalty on every hair torn from your genitalia, double on fashioning the letter “O” into your crotch.  And that’s how she’s on track to become the richest woman in South America.  Resettling in the US, she extended her control of the market.  Her legal representatives wrote a mass warning to rogue waxers threatening them with violations of US Copyright law if they removed one pubic hair without her express written consent.  Anyone who does a self wax or inadvertently touches herself below the waist can’t announce it publicly without paying a license fee.

Happy grooming, y’all.