In Theory, People Are Not Stupid. I Said In Theory.

In Theory - Stanko TiborIn Theory Only

Dad once told me many years ago to live by one rule: “People are stupid.” Hmmm, an interesting if cynical theory, but it has proven exceptionally accurate. And that was several decades before there was a sub-mental Trump in office, or a cadre of sub-human scum denying Sandyhook and the Holocaust, or before a shitty excuse for recumbent DNA murdered people in a Pittsburgh synagogue. (It’s been a tough week.)

I thought way back then, very briefly, like I’m talking 30 or 40 seconds, “Now that is no way to tar and feather all of humanity. What about the benefit of the doubt?”

Artificial Lack of Intelligence

Not long ago, the IT geeks who dominate the planet decided that artificial intelligence would save us all. Human ingenuity and the sharpest minds on the planet would teach computers how to “learn” and make unbiased decisions. But as has been shown time and time again, humans and their biases — mostly stupid, stupid, stupid biases — screw things up.

Just look at how Amazon couldn’t fix the AI in their hiring software that clearly discriminated against female job applicants. You know, for having breasts and other heinous crimes. The uber-geniuses at Amazon, who sell you everything from aglets (look it up) to Zymox (see previous parentheses for guidance) and can figure out how to predict the next thing you NEED to buy, could not fix the problem after years of trying and throwing big brains and money at it. The built-in human biases were just too deep. So they canned it.

Yet with all the AI and computer power we have today, we still have biases, even when so called ‘neutral’ systems try to recognize human faces. Built-in bias and racism galore. Is this flaw even fixable? Or are we as a species a few pairs of chromosomes shy of a full deck to get past this?

Too Dumb For Words

Are humans — in theory — teachable so they can actually not be consistently and criminally stupid? Do humans have the capacity to actually not devolve into hatred underlined by fact-less idiocy? I’m having my doubts. And not just because it’s legal to purchase a  Smokehouse Bacon Triple Cheese Big Mouth Burger with Jalapeno Ranch Dressing. Sadly, I betray my inherent stupidity because there’s a part of me that says “Bacon? Yummy! Gotta have it!” I know better, I am keenly aware of the catastrophic arterial damage that would ensue if I just stared at that burger for more than 5 seconds. But there’s bacon in it!

Winning Combinations

Now the optimists among us (read: frequent cannabis abusers) feel this is merely a step on the road to a better future. We just need more data, more experiences to learn from and teach the machine. We need more lateral thought, more contact and more cross-cultural, cross-geographic, cross-linguistic and cross-chocolate danish experiences. (I could be wrong about the ‘danish‘ thing.) Is this cross-disciplinary combination the way forward?

Who knows.  And what about the not-so-stupid humans, all 7 of them (if you count that socially awkward kid with the glasses and limp that can figure out the Rubik’s cube in less than a minute)? Can they be trusted to not screw things up any worse than they are now? Do we have the seeds of hope germinating in the fertile minds of current and future bi-pedal bags of sentient and usually hairy flesh?

If my dad’s theory is anything to go by — and it’s 99.99999999999999999999999% accuracy — call your doctor and/or pharmacist and make a Costco-sized order for medical marijuana and watch re-runs of the Simpsons while eating gooey danish.

Lovingly addicted to the Internet,
Sascha ‘The Lion Cub’ Druker

Do These 3 Things and You Win!

Stanko & Tibor - 3 Things and Win3 Things

It’s clear to me that life no longer makes sense. Things are getting mighty weird out there. Not that it made a lot of sense before this past week, but things that used to make sense just plain don’t. Things that once could be counted upon for stability an sanity fail us now. Oddly, I am not referring the Trumpian dystopia, which is unfortunately the subject of way too much news.

No, I am referring to the genuinely absurd things in this world, like sedating lobsters with marijuana prior to cooking (true!), or football mascots who shoot themselves in the groin with a t-shirt canon. Or let’s not forget the scientists who gave several octopuses ecstasy (MDMA) for “research purposes” a.k.a. “for shits and giggles.”

Weird Things vs Weird Ideas

What can we do to combat these bizarre things that appear in our news feeds and newspapers? (That ‘paper’ reference is for the older generation who still clings to physical shredded and reconstituted tree pulp, while the rest of develop retinal damage and physiotherapy-inducing hunches from looking at smart phones and other screens for 27 hours per day.)

The answer is simple. When things get too weird, you have to meet them head on and get weirder. It takes some effort, something most of don’t like, but the results are worth it:

  1. Tell people you’ve joined the Flat Earth Society. This has many social benefits. Most people will look at you like you’re absolutely nuts and leave you the heck alone. The advantage of being left alone is that your co-workers won’t sit with you at lunch or ever invite you out for a drink or any other activity. You’ll be left to your own (de)vices and won’t have to suffer hearing their crackpot ideas about superfoods, keto diets, yoga and meditation, why we should embrace the idea of a benevolent dictatorship, or how Martians are really among us on Earth. Social isolation has its benefits.
  2. Tell everyone you’re trying out foods with quinoa instead of wheat. Except for my sister’s excellent quinoa salad, that grain is pretty much inedible. Yet, it’s all the rage because it somehow is better for you than smoked sausages or poutine or fried chicken with French toast. I beg to differ. Correction – I don’t beg. I differ. But if you tell everyone that you’ve introduced quinoa into your diet, they will think you’re wise and give you  passing respect for having abandoned wheat, when really you’re scarfing down croissants and danishes on the weekend with a colossal smile on your face. Also remember to tell everyone your bodily functions have improved since you started eating quinoa. That will scare them away as much the Flat Earth Society thing.
  3. Mention to people casually that you want to get a tattoo on your forehead and covering your left eye. Something like a giant snake because you belong to that Pentecostal snake-handling religion, or an image of an iguana playing drums. Also carry around a sketch of what it would look like. See what kind of reaction you get from your friends and family and colleagues. Or just random passers-by. You’ll be left alone in no time, thus exempting you from family affairs, after-work gatherings and most other social events. But you may receive calls from the police and social workers if you take it too far. Trust me.

There you have it. Act weird, people leave you alone and you can win back your sanity.

Dutifully yours, (and not somebody else’s unless they pay me more),

Hugo ‘the Orangutan’ Druker

Which Way Is Up?

STanko & Tibor - Absurdity for AllWhich Way Is Up?

Troubled by a world gone crazy around you? Not sure which way is up?  Tired of the world’s major and minor religions, but also turned off by atheism’s dogmatic approach to facial hair? Are you angry at vegans because you know they’ll outlive you AND they act like the moral high ground, but you’re not quite angry enough to spike their food with meat juices and melted butter?

I couldn’t care less. But not because I don’t care — I really do. Just not now. I am just really tired. I don’t know which way is up. Or down. Or left or right. And don’t get me started on anything that’s diagonal or perpendicular.

But I do know I need some quality sleep.

Absurdity Is Up, Sleep is Down

A very large tranche of absurdity has been served to us this past year or so, and we all know the source – Trump’s America. It’s a bad place right now, but having just come back from a vacation overseas to Europe, where people are equally displeased although more demure about it, it did give some distance to think about it a lot less. Maybe it’s European indifference or snobbery. Or the heat. My goodness, the heat! It was as if the Earth has moved 2 miles closer to the sun.

Since it seems the world is on its head now and will stay that way for a long while, maybe it’s time to admit that up is down, and fat is slim. Maybe this summer’s global warming has finally fried our collective global brains. Maybe it’s a time for change. Which is usually a good thing, except in this case where the right and the left hate each other, the people in the middle are seen as weak for wanting — of all things — rational compromise! Scum. Filthy, filthy scum.

So what are we to do about these “divisionary” politics that drive us apart, cause tempers to flare just as the ever necessary moral air conditioning craps out?

How should I know? I am still really tired and I still can’t tell which way is up or down or whatever direction. I need ice cream, and some MAJOR distraction in the form of comics, or morally ambiguous Japanese anime.

Derisively derelict in my duties
Master Sargent Blake Druker

Conquer Performance Anxiety

Stanko & Tibor: Performance Anxiety Performance Anxiety – The Reality

In my last post — that a total of three people read (two are in hospital because the content and drawing caused them to vomit, while the other one was already deemed criminally insane for shouting at and harassing fruit in supermarkets) —  I said that people with tattoos should wear them more proudly, on their faces, specifically.

I was extra-wrong.

Performance

While on the metro the other evening, a woman was standing at the door some 10 feet away from me. In addition to her arms, legs, torso and feet being covered in tattoos, her face was also inked all over the place.  Some dark green pattern that could have been a snake eating a mongoose. Or a saxophone and a tuba. Whatever. Talk about a hideous performance.

For a brief moment I said to myself “Self, would I have the courage, or dare I say temerity, to exit the home, in broad daylight, no mask,  with my face scarred with color for all to see – especially at work?” I felt the anxiety build in my chest just thinking about it.

Simply, the answer is no.

But it does teach us a lesson about these painted people. If you’re willing to maul your face with permanent pigment, I guess you can handle the stress of just about anything. You’re a performer, not afraid of the slings and arrows (and maybe bullets) that a shallow society will heap on you, especially when you’re crossing the border to the USA. You show no fear, no worry, no anxiety.

Genuine Anxiety

On a tangentially unrelated note, with the impending Summit of the Criminals in Helsinki between Putin and Trump, I’d be concerned if I were Don Don. If you’re about to go see your boss, who is let’s say a pathological murderer AND the head of nation of alcoholics, and you’re up for your performance review, wouldn’t you have just the slightest tinge of anxiety?

What will Donald do before he kisses Putin’s ruble? Does Donnie have to fill out a performance review document and get it reviewed by HR by the time he reaches Helsinki? Does Putin even use modern HR software to log his comments regarding the mediocre performance of his most prominent lackey?

After all, it was Trump’s top goal to remove sanctions on Russia. The crushing democracy and sewing racism and hatred weren’t really stretch goals. They were gimmes. But the sanctions, they are worse than before! What do you think Vlady is going to say to that?

Tin Man to Straw Man

So it’s a man with no heart trying to explain to a man with no brain how to improve his performance. This may prove to be a problem unless visual aids and vodka are employed.

I can only imagine that if President Putin doesn’t get his top employee to get things going, Vlad may just have Melania Trump reprogrammed and sent back to the Olde Country to reverse the sex change operation, leaving Trump with yet another divorce bill.

Oh, think of the boat load of anxiety poor Donald is going through. Poor fellow.

Primordially yours,
Gronk Ungh Druker of Cave 11

Tattoos and Small Talk

Small Talk & Tattoos Small Talk And Tattoos – Both Suck

While watching Planet Earth II, I had way too much time to think — the cerebral version of small talk — and I came to many conclusions, most of them faulty and derived from excessive medicines taken to deal with this persistently painful kidney stone.  Somehow from the plight of African Sahara tiger pack hunting a giraffe due to desperation, I managed to get to why tattoos have become the new version of small talk, and elitism among animals. Let me explain.

You can barely be in any conversation nowadays that doesn’t move from small talk to a full-on argument of some kind, be it about politics, sports, arts, carbonated beverages, baked goods, or knitting (the English vs Continental practices are much more violent than you’d think).

Since the explosion of the tattoo as yet another stupid means of self-expression (it’s called a t-shirt people!), we have had to endure way too many shows about tattoo artists and people who think they are somehow even more expressive of their inner-selves by having someone jab a filthy needle beneath their skin, repeatedly, that is filled with pigments and solvents – and pay a lot of money for it. (That used to be called a heroin addict.)

I’ve seen people compare tattoos, compare who suffered more while getting the tattoo, explaining ad nauseum how it represents something meaningful to them — yet keep it hidden beneath clothing. If you’re truly proud of your corporal  decor then get a tattoo on your forehead. Or your cheeks. Show me you care to go the extra mile. That’ll generate some small talk in the office. Especially at job interviews and pick-up time at the children’s daycare.

Animal Small Talk

As the second half of the Planet Earth episode moved along, I realized that a lot of animals are dumb. Let’s take the African Ibex. They may well be the male fashion model of the animal world. Handsome but short on IQ. They get chased and killed by lions, face drought all the time, and can’t wear hats due to those giant horns.

If I were an African Ibex, which would NEVER happen because there is no chocolate or cinnamon danish in the desert, I would have probably said to myself after year one: “Ok, time to move to the city, get an apartment with air conditioning, be within walking distance of a cafe and a bakery, and get some kind of cushy office job. Something with computers, especially if I can figure out the hoof-on-keyboard issue.”

What do you think the discussion around the waterhole is every other day when the Ibex come to gather? Probably something like this:

Ibex 1 (Steve): “Hey, it’s pretty hot out there. Bet you could fry an egg out there.”

Ibex 2 (Juan): “Did you guys see Lenny get mauled by that lion yesterday? Brutal.”

Ibex 3 (Trent): “Man, it’d be great if there was more food and water like in the city. We could really use a Starbucks or even a McDonald’s out here. Hey Steve, how do my horns look today? Pretty sharp, I bet.”

Animal Elitists

Giraffes on the other hand, they are the elitists of the animal world. Ever see that extra long neck and those colorful tattoos? They get to eat off the top of the tree, ad don’t have to share their leafy wealth with the commoners (a.k.a. the lions), and they have colors those dirt grubbing lions don’t. They only engage in small talk way up high where no one but the other giraffes can hear them, looking down on the others. Sheer animal elitism, I tell you.

Where does all this  digital small talk leave us? Are we any the wiser for knowing that Ibex are shallow and dumb? Are we richer knowing that tattoos should now be printed/scribed/subcutaneously jabbed on the face and worn proudly for all to see? Is anyone still reading this really long rant as the pain in my left side increases from a 3 to a 7.5 on the wince scale? I am most certainly not. I think I checked out mentally at least 15 minutes ago.

Boy, I really want some chocolate danish.

Lots of love,
Gilgamesh of the North Druker

Toilet Paper and Tariffs

Toliet Tariffs Are UnfairToilet Paper Tariffs

After having ignored the latest Internet dust-up about the Ambien-slurping racist Roseanne, I stumbled upon the list of items to have tariffs applied to them since President Jerkbag decided to engage in a trade war with the rest of the world. And guess what? Not only will steel and aluminum in multiple forms be slapped with mindless duties, taxes and fees, not only will orange juice, ballpoint pens, soy sauce, ketchup and mustard be subject to consumer-crushing tariffs, but the most crucial paper product in the home will be subject to tariffs. Yes, toilet paper is a victim in this irrational war of  words.

I could easily devolve into thematically-related insults and name-calling in the direction of Trump and his administration (some very low-hanging fruit would be ‘butt-wipe POTUS’, ‘butt-kissing cronies’, and ‘human farts in suits’). But that wouldn’t bring the discussion anywhere, except deeper into the toilet.

But it must be said — tariffs on toilet paper is pretty low. It’s below the belt. It’s dirty pool. Now it’s personal.

You’re probably asking yourself — well, I am asking myself, actually, since I have been in a state of sleep deprivation for the better part of a year now and I have a very tenuous grip on reality as well as my bank account — how can toilet paper tariffs be personal? It’s not like they’re taxing meats of a smoked and carcinogenic nature, something dangerously close to my heart. Or, perish the thought, chocolate and/or cinnamon danish, the two food groups associated with Olympic strength and endurance. But it is personal.

Rare is the occurrence that I sit on the porcelain throne, toilet paper at the ready, without a filthy, juvenile, sophomoric, toilet inspired-level joke crossing my mind. And with that, the inevitable follow-on thought What would my recently departed uncle Phil, a genuine colorectal surgeon hero, have thought? If there was some kind of butt- or toilet-related humor, I made sure he caught wind of it. Figuratively, of course.

He, one of the very few fans of this comic with a full complement of 23 pairs of chromosomes, sadly left this earthly plane not long ago. Talk about a guy who knew his shit. He even brought to my attention, and to thousands of others, the existence of the Colossal Colon. If you’ve ever had the desire to crawl through a colon, he was the guy to talk to.

Which brings us to the end of today’s sermon. It is soon time for ye all to go to bed, and hold precious the rolls of low-priced toilet paper tissue you already own, and be prepared for the expensive onslaught of tariff-plagued TP the next time you’re on the commode. Or of Trump.

Lovingly misunderstood,
Jon “Not that Crapper” Dribbler

Love and Ugliness

Stanko & Tibor - Love and Ugliness


Love and Ugliness

People* often** ask me why I don’t like to take pictures of myself when confronted with the opportunity to take a “selfie.” I won’t go into the narcissistic, socially-destructive, morally corrupt value of the “selfie” here, as this isn’t what this post or comic is about. There are more practical reasons why I don’t “love” myself enough to take a photo of, uh, myself.

Having recently been nominated in the Oscars category of “Most likely to repulse a member of the opposite or same sex if seen naked,  partially clothed, or even with a bathing suit on”, I decided that I’d be kind to the greater bulk of non-visually impaired humanity and not take any photos of myself that could have potentially caused retinal damage if they were to be spread across the Internet for others to witness.

Ugliness – Physical and Other Kinds, Too

We put too much focus on the physical ugliness of human features, such as faces, hands, feet, bellies, and other kinds of appendages, and not enough on the metaphysical kind. (Note to reader: I don’t really understand the meaning of the word “metaphysical, even when it was explained to me with puppets, but I’ll use it here anyway.)

There is ugliness that transcends the physical and makes its way to the less tangible parts, like the spleen and the soul of a person. It bubbles its way to the surface in the form of either name-calling, bullying or electing people with inferiority complexes who feel they have to have a comb-over that requires a team of NASA engineers and enough hair product to fill an oil tanker. Sort of like that odious bag of genetic pus, Donald Jerk Trump.

He’s not the only metaphysically ugly person on the planet by a long shot. Putin comes a close second, followed in third place by Wayne LaPierre, but I won’t get into a Top 10 list just now as I recently had a strong coffee with breakfast and I can feel the caffeine stirrings in the lower-intestinal region. Safe to say, people who are ugly on the inside are out there en masse.

Love Thy Self – Just Don’t Overdo It

If there was a way to turn all that ugliness into love, maybe the world would be a better place. Or maybe it would help reduce global warming. Let’s look at this scientifically for a moment.

It takes approximately 461 kilojoules (approximately 437 BTUs) of physical and mental energy to come up with a nasty insult that demeans another person’s religion, race or choice of hair styles. (Less if it’s an indiscriminate insult like calling someone “jerk face” because he just cut you off in traffic while texting and driving.) Multiply that by the number of insults and inflammatory comments, alternative fact-based observations hurled on websites, on TV and in print, and you come out to approximately 14 quadrillion BTUs if you’re only considering the American media. Add in the Chinese, Russian, German, French, Mongolian, Indian, and Luxembourger media outlets, and you’re at close 15 quadrillion BTUs. That’s a lot of heat.

Now let’s look at the energy required for love. One love-making energy unit, scientifically known “a soiree of sweaty debauchery”,  between two (or more) mutually consenting people, usually under the influence of alcohol or other psychotropic substances, requires approximately 208 kilojoules, (197 BTUs) and is usually over after 6 or 7 minutes of heated squealing, including foreplay. That’s less than half the energy needed for spouting ugliness.

Now if people across the world spent much more time committing acts of love than hurling ugliness everywhere, we’d see numerous benefits such as a) people spending less time in front of screens, thus using less of earth’s precious natural resources, b) much more napping due to the aforementioned energy expenditure, and when you’re napping you’re pretty much carbon neutral, and c) an increase in chocolate danish consumption (as a means to replace the love energy you burnt off).

Win-win.

Scientifically and doctrinally yours,

Professor Yengeny Schmutz

* = people in this case are confined to my parole office, my court-mandated psychologist, psychiatrist, shock therapist and the civil servant who sentenced me to 30 years of hard labor in the form of marriage

** often in this case refers to the regularly court-designated sessions with the aforementioned people in order to keep me in check

It’s Coffee Time for the New Year

Stanko & Tibor - Coffee Time


Coffee Time for the New Year Hangover of 2018

As I sip my first coffee of the day, I have time to reflect on the year passing and on the coming New Year.  Yes, it’s soon 2018. Too soon? I doubt it, as 2017 has been a massive disappointment where slimmer bellies and chocolate danish consumption have  moved inversely to the desired directions I had intended when I made those patently false promises to myself back in 2014.

It has been a strange year, one for the history books. Let’s reflect.

It has been a year filled with dumps, rumps and colossal chumps, and of course Trumps.

It has been a year of fats, fat cats, and caffeine.

Killing and shooting hit new heights (or is that lows?). There was so much anger after the election of the Cheetos President that people were frothing at the mouth all over the world in every publication.

Sexual harassment in sanctimonious America finally got the headlines the topic deserves, but nothing really changed. People just acted shocked and then went about their business as they surfed the Interwebs, and watched The Great British Bake Off. (I still don’t understand why people are obsessed with this crapola, but it’s better than having people actually, you know, be active in politics or give their time to charity.)

Knowing that the 3 regular readers of this comic are either under the influence of pain killers, genetically not diverse enough to be considered truly human by reputable biologists,  or incarcerated (ok, it was actually one regular reader with that description), I know my pleas for you to read this infrequently published tome of the obvious and delirious will fall on deaf ears and people with a pupillary distance of less then 10mm (a.k.a. inbreeds).

Either way, I will have my next coffee to warm my innermost self, ponder the incoming new year of 2018, and then take a massive, life-prolonging nap. And finish it off with a life-shortening, artery-clogging, grin-inducing dinner and dessert.

Heck, if 2017 didn’t kill me, not much else can.

Pining for a warm bed and free chocolate,

Jonny Claus Druker

Harass Or Be Harassed

Stanko & Tibor - Harass


A Climate of Harassment

So, everyone is getting fired on the male side, politicians, actors, journalists – sadly not any American Presidents, oh the irony  –  and the end is not in sight.  Many men, particularly those with hair, are getting called out for obvious and long-term bad behavior. Harassment galore.  Everyone knows it’s here, it’s not a secret. The cat’s out of the bag. The other shoe has dropped. The chickens have come home to roost. The butcher got his finger in the pickle slicer. No, wait. That last one is from a dirty joke my uncle likes to tell. Skip that.  It all kind of reminds me of the inexorable march of global warming.

You see, sexual harassment and global warming are very much linked in ways you can’t begin to imagine. Only I can, really, especially since the sugar high has just kicked in. Global warming, just like sexual harassment, has many causes, many deniers, and many people saying it’s not their fault. So we are left with the question: How do we slow it down? Or stop it? Or if you’re the racist hypocrite Roy Moore or Donald Trump, or you’re in the fossil fuel business, how do you give less of a shit about it?

Let me answer the global warming angle first because it’s way easier. Sources of rising global temperatures are rife. Anything from too many gas emissions from cattle and sheep grazing in fields in order to satisfy our desire for meat, to coal-fired power plants in China, to gas-guzzling SUVs, to ever increasing consumerism driving up the number of shipments delivered by the UPS/DHL/FedEx folks of the world.

Some say the pace of global warming has even been accelerated by children – by far the least innocent people on the planet – with their devotion to devices with screens that need to be powered with electricity from questionable sources AND the raw crude needed to make the plastic to encase and ship these devices. It’s always the children’s fault. However, another source of heat emissions is staring us in the face every day, and yet we ignore it: It’s bald-headed men.

Regardless of culture or religion or geography, or even shoe size, there are bald men everywhere. The scientific reason why they emit so much heat – and the solution thereto – are patently obvious. Let’s look at the background, shall we? I was informed as a kid that we lose 30% of our body heat from our heads. I had to wear a hat in winter on top of my then existing hair to stay warm. I was responsible for keeping in the heat, and I did, thus sparing the planet somewhat. Therein lies a key answer to slow global warming.

Back in the follicle-rich days, when I’d work out, or dance or chase after something shiny or with breasts, I’d sweat into my hair that would then be trapped in the follicle grease, and drip down the back of my neck and sully my collar. The heat was redistributed from head to neck to clothing, never to be released into the atmosphere.

But as age set in, life began to hurl many indignities upon me, such as heartburn, stress, children, and other worries. As a result, my hair thinned, my pate was exposed for anyone taller than 5 feet and 5 inches (165cm  to you metric types) to see. Since then it has been heat escape on a grand scale. (Note: much hot air used to come overwhelmingly from farts. Still does, but now we have to deal with hot air from the head, too.)

The Solution

Fret not because there is a solution: Solar-powered, air-conditioned toupees. With built-in smart phones. Brilliant, no? You’re probably wondering how I got from global warming to toupees. The answer is simple: my mother cooked with lead pots, poor genetics, mixed medications and a strong propensity for foods with made with industrial sugar. Mix them all together and voilà! But I digress.

Toupees are the answer no one saw coming. In addition to trapping the cranial heat once affixed to a person’s head, and thereby  eliminating a source of global warming, with some keen engineering, we could actually make these super toupees absorb the sun’s heat to then power mini-air conditioners to cool overheated male scalps across the globe. Tack on a smartphone or a similar device with a screen and you’d keep men distracted AND comfortable year round. With a screen in front of them, men wouldn’t have time to play with themselves either. Win-win.

Now some of you in jail are naturally discussing among yourselves ‘Why not just wear wooden caps, pith helmets or baseball hats to cover our masculine heat-emitting heads?’ Because you’d look like a dork if you were wearing a baseball hat at formal occasions, such as weddings, funerals and annual prostate exams. Same goes for pith helmets, although they do possess a level of practicality during the aforementioned prostate exams – you can grab on to the edges of the hat for dear life while the doctor uses his index digit to probe your posterior.

All I ask of you dear reader, is to think about for just a bit, and then send me money to investigate the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of these environmental life-savers. You know, like $50 a person would be a good start.

Wishfully waiting for wampum,
Jose Jimenez Druker

Birthdays, Brains and Books

Stanko & Tibor - Books vs TV


Birthday Makes Brain Go Bad

While walking with my younger daughter the other day, I was made painfully aware that my brain and most of its attendant functions peaked in terms of performance a number of years ago. Whether that number is in the single or double digits is a matter of speculation for people with mathematical and scientific knowledge. Neither of which I possess anymore since those bits of my brain probably fell out or were destroyed with loud rock ‘n roll music. To say nothing of the intense alcohol and chocolate danish abuse I have subjected my body to. But I digress.

While walking, she asked me a simple question that really only required me dipping into my porous memory for a name of someone I knew was somewhere in there, but I just plain forgot until she reminded me who it was. Which I forgot some 20 seconds after she reminded me.

Her follow-on question was even more perceptive and unintentionally hurtful. Why couldn’t I remember names of people I am supposed to know, not to mention simple things like how to reset that there device in the house? Without hesitation I had an answer for her, since I could explain it, I didn’t have to recall a fact real, imagined or alternative.

I told her that my brain has reached the point of maturity, or fermentation, where my goal is to prevent bits and bytes of info from falling out of my grey matter cells, albeit to little avail. You want me to quote horsepower ratings, the Simpsons, or Young Frankenstein, sure, no problem. However, other recent facts, and even not so recent ones, like my children’s dates of birth, are lost to the dark, detritus-filled chambers and recesses of my brain. Or my brain realized that the hippocampus has probably either hippo-like submerged into murky waters, or the campus part has decamped and left for distant shores.

My goal now at this ripe age of 50 is to desperately remember, without a worried look on my face,  where the hell I put my car keys, wallet and the password to my phone when my fingers are too wet or greasy from cooking for the fingerprint recognition to work. (I have debated getting the new iPhone X with its facial recognition, but I am told it doesn’t recognize hideous troll-like features my loving and pain-killer-addicted sister said I possess in abundance. So much for technology and sibling love.)

I would argue that to continue to be able to function at the Kindergarten level my brain normally does it has adopted the traits of file compression technology. In order to save a little space for name and facial recognition for my long suffering wife, not to mention car key placement memories and remembering which way is the front of my underwear (50/50 proposition at best these days) my brain has gone into disk space saving mode by compressing some data into ever smaller files to be stored and never recalled, like what my parents dressed me during most of the 70’s or why my dad always called me his “other son” at dinner parties. But I digress again.

Conversely my daughter is at an age where not only is she like the proverbial sponge, sucking and retaining information at a furious pace, she’s also using her brain to process and understand stuff. I explained that much of life doesn’t need to be understood — if you can reconcile the fact that, as my father, may he soon receive his medical marijuana prescription and a vape pen and not be scared to share it with my mother who needs it as much as he does, has keenly observed: people are stupid. When you’ve accepted that, you spend less time wondering how Donald Trump got the undeserved title “President” in front of his name.

But she, and her equally diligent and perceptive sister, persist in reading many books in a bid to learn and increase their horizons. While they are addicted to TV programs like all other people on the planet with an Internet connection, they still read a tremendous amount of books. Paper books at that. Not ebooks. They are surrounded by the printed word, and sop up stories and info like there’s no tomorrow. Honestly, the only way I could ingest that amount of info would be to literally suck the ink off the pages and then eat those pages as a shredded garnish on a salad. I can’t see it working with steak. And definitely not with ice cream. But I digress.

I really thought the skill of reading – in particular reading proper books given how it detracts from the time that could be spent in front of a screen that radiates images and most likely testicle-shrinking radiation – had died off. Heaven (or Amazon) knows I am not the most prodigious reader (car magazines notwithstanding), and I am a sucker for an animated show or a sports event (as a pretext for napping, of course). But it appears otherwise.

That’s kind of refreshing to see. Just hope I’ll remember this vomit of typed, incoherent thoughts twenty minutes after I publish it. Unlikely, since I forgot the password to log in to the system whose name I forget that allows me to publish this drivel.

I need coffee and a danish.
Johannes Not-So-Guttenberg Druker

for the terminally unfunny