Friday, February 16, 2018

My Pillow Equals My ZZZZZZZZ

     I can always tell when it's a cold winter night in New Hampshire.  My old pal The Skipper, with the wife out of town and perhaps over served, goes off on an extended email rant that is far more entertaining than anything I can find on TV.  I enjoy and applaud most of his insightful observations on everything from his days at sea to our national debt, the sorry state of politics, the uselessness of the Voice of America and Public Television to the dearth of critical thinking and the decline of morals in our nation.  He's like Bluto, of Animal House fame, I never want to stop him when he's on a roll.

However, last night, in a very smooth transition from what a crapload network television has become, he veered off on a tangent about Mike Lindell and his multi-million dollar My Pillow empire.  He wrote, "I listened to the My Pillow ad from that clown in Minnesota after being totally saturated by those ads and I bought one.  The radio guys said how great it was and I took it hook, line and sinker.  I have neck issues and it was major BS.  (editor's note: that's the beauty of radio.  You don't have to dress up and you can lie your ass off.)  If you did not get My Pillow, save yourself some money.  As Hitler's Nazi propaganda minister Goebbels said, 'say it enough and they believe it.'  He was totally right."

The Skipper went on to say that the My Pillow did nothing for him and that sleeping on it was like sleeping with your head on a bag of marbles.  I was stunned.  I'll admit that I was late to the My Pillow party but after hearing my wife rave about hers for over a year I broke down and ordered one about four years ago.  I was prepared to hate it and anticipated delivering up a big old "I told you so" upon demonstrating its inadequacy to my wife.  I can still remember putting my head down that first night. The scene went something like this:  "Man this is the most uncomfortable pilllllllZZZZZZZZZZZZ.  I was out in less than a minute.  I still don't know how it works but can't quarrel with the fact that the damn thing seems to do the trick for me.  Perhaps Mr. Lindell is loading up his product with crack?  (He was an admitted addict at one time.)  For whatever reason, it appears to work for me, though I know there must be others out there in The Skipper's camp.

Keep making those fine pillows Mr. Lindell!  Just do me one favor.  Stay the hell out of your commercials.  You have the acting chops of a Minnesota picnic table.  (Sorry picnic tables.)  I don't know what you're stuffing in those tickets to dreamsville, (chloroform?) just keep 'em coming.  I'll urge the Old Skip to reconsider his probably hasty decision to abandon your fine product.  Perhaps a few freebies sent his way?

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's nap time.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Oh Canada! The Threat From The North...

As long as we're building walls, may I suggest we begin by slapping some concrete between us and those pain in the ass Canadians.  The nation of sled dog drivers to our north seems to this reporter to be far more menacing than the denizens of the sleepy maƱana land of tacos and margaritas ensconced on our nether border. Sure Canada has some decent beer and whiskey but, face it, the fun zone of Mexico has more to offer.  Tequila and churros anyone?

I think it was Robin Williams who once referred to Canada as the loft apartment above a raging good party.  Canadians don't have much going for them other than a smug superior conviction that they are a far better country than their rowdy neighbors to the south.  (They also think that beavers can talk and moose poop is candy.)  Lately, because their hatred of Trump is boundless,  Canadians have begun to forgo winter vacations in warm weather U.S. ports for getaways in turd world countries like Cuba.  After all, their beloved premier, the ever so sensitive Justin Trudeau is rumored to be the love child of good old Fidel Castro and the perpetually skanky and "in the bag" Margret Trudeau, the former first lady of the Great White North.

Justin is the current Canuckle Head in charge of Snow Plow Land who now famously corrected a woman for using the perfectly legitimate term mankind instead of the more mawkishly and mealy-mouthed, but very Canadian, all inclusive "people kind".  Who knew a Canadian premier was required to put his male genitalia in Ottawa escrow upon taking office?

I say build the wall and build it tall!  We cannot underestimate the real danger of Canadian wimps with tennis rackets on their feet breaking into our great country and teaching our children and grandchildren to eat smoked meat and seal blubber sandwiches, celebrate Thanksgiving on the wrong day every year, and actually pretend to give a crap about the Queen.  Any one of the aforementioned could lead to hockey appreciation and dependency and we all know that the only kind of hockey real Americans enjoy is tonsil hockey.

It's time for all loyal Americans to take a stand against pernicious Canadian Passive Aggression!  The wall, or at least a snow fence, is a must if we are to prevent a snow zombie apocalypse.  Until that becomes a reality, the next time you find yourself on our northern border and some clown in a smokey bear hat asks if you have anything to declare, simply say "YES, WAR!!"

Friday, February 2, 2018

Ready For Some Football??

I should have known.  It's never a good idea to stop at Costco on a Friday before the Super Bowl.  Having paid little attention to the NFL this year because of the players' dopey "take a knee" protest, I am late and half-heartedly into Super Bowl frenzy.  It doesn't help that those of us who dwell west of the Mississippi have little rooting interest in teams representing old elitist stuck up cities like Boston and Philadelphia.  (Perhaps I've said too much?)

So, being in the vicinity and in need of snack replenishment, I sidled into a parking slot within a mile or two of the local Costco.  (I refuse to be one of those lazy lard ass slugs who circle the lot for hours looking for a spot close to the entrance. You know who you are!)  As I reached the front door I knew it had been a mistake of Dunkirk like proportions to storm Costco beach.  It was raining (natch!) and soaking wet customers were in abundance.  Undeterred, I grabbed a cart.  Oh the humanity!!!  Super Bowl snack material was stacked high in nearly every aisle and flannel shirted behemoths, male and female alike, were in full tilt bozo mode wheeling carts maniacally as they plowed through the demonstrations touting the wholesome goodness and gluten free wonderfulness of selected guacamole's, bean dips, salsas, chips, ice cream sandwiches, potato chips and countless other jumbo calorie laden treats necessary to sustain hours of TV watching.  Face it, we'd all starve watching the Super Bowl if it weren't for the chuck wagon sized craptacular  party snacking material.

It didn't take long for my intentions regarding the need to lose the five pounds slathered on to my carcass over the holidays to be forgotten.  As I entered the intersection of smoked meats and cheeses I was in full rationalization mode.  "Gee, I don't look as fat as that guy", was my mantra as I joined the adipose big top parade and began to load up the cart.  Who cares?  Let's all eat like we're going to "the chair"!  After all, I did buy a pair of aspirational pants (see "too small") as hard core incentive to really shape up after the big game.

Now, with snacks at the ready, I am prepared to give you the winner of this year's Super Bowl.  The Eagles will win it handily.  I just know it.  Of course the last time I was this sure of anything was in January of 1986 when I "knew" the Patriots would beat the Bears.  Unfortunately I lived in Las Vegas at the time and helped to keep the bookies at the Golden Nugget solvent.  (Bears 46-10 over the Patriots is forever etched on my frontal lobe.)

At last look the Patriots were favored by four points.  Tell you what, I'll take those points and the Eagles.  You can have the pants.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Where Dumb Ideas Go To Be Funded

Party central!
"Giving money to congress is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."  P.J. O'Rourke coined that little beauty in his book, Parliament of Whores, a few years ago and I'm sure he has no sense of urgency to revise it.  Our elected idiots are still spending ALL of our tax dollars plus imaginary money concocted  by our nation's treasury in an attempt to buy the votes of the myriad of constituencies willing to stuff the rest of us into the wood chipper just to keep their snouts at the trough.  The business of politicians is to get re-elected and it's business as usual in this new year. "Let's keep this party going!"  The only difference between our congressional bozos and an out of control Shriner's convention?    The answer of course is those cool little cars and maybe a fez or two.

The recent dust up  regarding keeping our government funded with money we don't have but can print from here until hell blows up or we run out of ink offers a real opportunity to consider exactly how seriously we are being stiffed .  The fact that our debt has grown from $11 trillion five years ago to almost $17 trillion today is apparently of no concern to either party.  Our fiscal due diligence  appears to fall somewhere to the left of "Whoopee!"

If these congressional rodeo clowns (sorry rodeo clowns!) need some help with the budget, I have a few suggestions.  Here are some cuts for you boys and girls of the Congress to consider:

1.  Every four years the government spends about $100 million bucks to subsidize parties at the political conventions.  Let them buy their own balloons! (booze and hookers too!)

2. Last year, $120 million was paid to dead federal employees.  Obviously one of them is still handling the books.

3. A total of $146 million was paid for federal employees to upgrade their flights to business class. WTF??!!

4. Our (as in U.S.) government spent $2.6 million to encourage Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly.

5.  The Department of Health and Human Services spent $800,000 (a bargain!) to subsidize the building of an I Hop in Washington, D.C.  What?  The residents of that burg weren't already fat enough?

6.  Women's Hospital in Boston was given $1.5 million to study why three-quarters of lesbians in the U.S. are overweight and why most gay males are not.  (Can't wait to read that report.)

7.  $505,000 of your tax dollars were spent to promote specialty hair and beauty products for cats and dogs.

8.  The $592,527 spent on studying why chimpanzees throw poop was certainly a bargain.

9.   Not this year, but in 2012, the government gave $350,000 to Purdue University to fund a study that discovered that if golfers imagine that a hole is bigger it will help them with their putting.  I want our money back!  (If you need me, I'll be on the putting green.)

10.  In the past 15 years, a total of approximately $5.25 million of your dollars was spent on hair care services for the U.S. Senate.  Talk about a failed beautification project!!!  Lindsey Graham anyone?

We're just scratching the surface here.  You may want to consider this the next time a government shutdown in threatened.  "Go ahead, make my day", springs to mind.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Dear Abby, But Just For A Day...

I know you youngsters will find it hilarious that reading a couple of daily newspapers is a habit I've indulged since I was a third or fourth grader.  No day of mine is officially underway until my ink stained digits have danced through the Wall Street Journal and at least one local rag.  Granted most metropolitan dailies tilt so far to the left these days that my blood pressure medicine is barely sufficient to stave off an aneurysm.  Nonetheless, I plow on if for no other reason than to laugh out loud at the latest batch of crapola offered up by newly minted journalism school graduates.  Objectivity, punctuation, spelling and syntax are apparently no longer required for picking up a degree.  

The comic pages and features such as Your Horoscope and advice columns like Dear Abby were initially used  by publishers to lure and hook young readers when I was a sprout.  News was secondary to entertainment programing on television in the early days of that medium and radio was never more than a headline service designed to deliver mostly five minute summaries instead of in depth reporting.  Newspapers were the go to for bigger stories in the 1950's and '60's and most Americans read at least one a day.  Dear Abby and her sister, Ann Landers, were always a must read for many adults and children.  Though both are now dead their columns continue to be maintained by their daughters and other ghost writers.  Out of habit I still read them.  Often the queries are mundane but from time to time there are requests for advice that are jaw droppers.

This letter ran in the January 16, 2018 Dear Abby:

Dear Abby, 
My husband has a long, bushy beard, and although I don't like it, I realize he's entitled to wear his facial hair any way he likes it.  The problem is, when he eats, his beard gets into his plate and the food, which I find nauseating.

Abby, in her infinite wisdom, suggested that the woman tell her husband to sit up straight and consider holding on to his beard while he eats.  She also, wisely, asked readers for suggestions that might be better.  

I do believe I am up to the task!

Dear Too Much Hair in Texas,
What the hell is the matter with you??!!  Where did you find this knuckle dragging hillbilly?!  I mean in life pain is mandatory but suffering an idiot like this is OPTIONAL.  Get rid of him!!  Save yourself!  Why the ridiculous beard?  Is he playing Pappy Yokum in a road company revival of "Lil' Abner"?  Maybe he's in a ZZ Top cover band?  What's the deal?  Are you that hard up for a man that you'll put up with this loser?  Get rid of this guy!  Between you, me and a bottle of bourbon I know you can do better!  I mean this clown obviously put the funk in dysfunctional.  Unless you are a land mass in a pantsuit, strangle this goober with his own chin whiskers, put on your party dress and get yourself to town.  It's time to find a new mister who is fixed for blades and knows how to use them.

Your Pal Mr. Copper

P.S.  Next time enclose a picture of yourself in a nightgown, I may have somebody for you.  I also want to make sure it looks fireproof.
Maybe he's in this turkey?
Does ANY woman dig this look??

Friday, January 12, 2018

Still Marvelous At 90!

     In 1965, with a passion found only in seventeen year-old boys, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for a living. The idea of being on the radio burned in me with a blinding intensity and, like all kids certain of their destiny, I concentrated on little else.  School?  Who needs it?!  I would graduate from the prison that was high school the following year glad to be forever free of parents, teachers and all other roadblocks to my dreams.  Broadcasting beckoned.  Radio would put me through college and, with the exception of time out for Army service, would be the work that sustained me for the rest  of my professional life.

In addition to working as a carry out boy for Oscar Swanson, the "Watermelon King", at Swanson's Super Store on the "Miracle Mile" I had conned my way into a part-time gofer job at the local radio station located on the north side of the windswept cow town of Spencer, Iowa.  I waxed floors, changed tapes on the automation system and ran errands for the air staff.  It was the first punch on my ticket to radio nirvana.  The station was a plodding small town operation that nobody under 40 listened to for anything other than weather reports and occasional school closings when the snow was ass deep .  It was a spectacularly un-hip operation but to my unsophisticated eyes it was the gateway to big cities and the great radio stations of my dreams.

Lake Okoboji, a few miles to the north of Spencer, was and still is a major vacation and recreation destination for much of the upper Midwest.  As a consequence there were several nice hotels and restaurants around the lake that would sometimes book major talent during the summer months.  The summer of '65 saw major rock n' roll acts like Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, Herman's Hermits and others play the Roof Garden in Arnolds Park, a major youth attraction on the lake.  Venues that catered to an older more sophisticated crowd booked mostly unheard of acts that generally stayed out of the way of the headliner: STEAK and POTATOES.  The exception was The New Inn, at that time the newest and nicest resort on the lake.  That summer a story in the local paper said that they had booked the very talented jazz singer, Marilyn Maye, for an extended engagement.  I couldn't believe it!  She was a terrific talent who had appeared many times on the Tonight Show and was enjoying success on the pop charts as well as being the darling of jazz critics.  She was a favorite of Steve Allen and Johnny Carson and had a fantastic debut album, "Meet Marvelous Marilyn Maye",  that was selling very well. 

Like me, my pal, Mike Swanson, Oscar's son, was a Marilyn Maye fan.  While working clean up at the store one evening we wondered if we could possibly fake enough maturity (something I struggle with to this day) to head for the New Inn to see her show.  Figuring as long as we didn't try to order booze there was nothing to prevent us from putting on a coat and tie, buying a ticket to the show,  ordering Shirley Temples and acting like we belonged in a dimly lit lounge.  We decided to do it.  Big time nightclubbers for at least one evening!

Marilyn Maye

That Friday night feeling at least 30 but most likely looking 9 years-old, Mike and I found ourselves ringside for Marilyn's show.  She was superb.  When it came time for her to take a little break I somehow summoned the courage to approach and ask if I might interview her after the show.  I semi-fibbed that I was working in radio and would love to ask her a few questions.  I had no tape recorder with me but did have a pen and a small notebook to pull off the act.  I'm certain she wasn't fooled.  She said that she would be happy to chat with me after the show.  I remember very little about the rest of the performance as I was now a nervous wreck knee deep in wondering how I was going to pretend any degree of professionalism.  Questions? What was I going to ask her?!  "What's your favorite food?"  I needn't have worried.

When the last autograph had been signed and the final fan ushered out of the club Mike and I remained behind.  Marilyn came over to our table and sat down.  She was kind and gracious enough to pretend we were important.  She answered each and every one of my idiotic questions before signing a copy of her new album for me.  To this day it is something I treasure.  She wrote: "Ken, Thanks for spending time with us at the lake.  Love and all that's great to you in your radio career."  Marilyn Maye.  I floated home that evening.  

What prompted this long ago reverie was a story in this week's Wall Street Journal featuring a story by Alexandra Wolfe detailing Marilyn's still active career at the age of 90.  She still plays New York clubs like Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, Feinstein's, 54 Below, the Metropolitan Room, Birdland and just two years ago performed for the first time at Jazz at Lincoln Center's annual gala.  In April she'll celebrate her birthday with a run at 54 Below.  "Even though I'm blessed my voice is still hanging in there," she adds "I don't like to play the age card."

I'm already checking on April flights to New York.  This now nearly 70 year-old going on 17 still appreciates the very classy 90 year-old who didn't play the age card fifty-three years ago this summer.  Marilyn Maye is still Marvelous indeed.


Friday, January 5, 2018

A Winter Respite

     Having spent the past three winters in North Idaho, I thought it would be good to visit my youngest daughter and her family in San Diego for the holidays.  Her older sister lives and works in New York City and the weather there has been, uh, about like Idaho's.  I opted for the sun and beaches.  Maybe next year I'll do the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree thing and the Times Square ball drop on New Year's Eve.  I did get a couple of dandy jackets for Christmas.

   In the spirit of Copper laziness here are a few pictures of my last two weeks...

Son-in-law, Doug at the helm of their sailboat

Katie can handle San Diego Bay too!

Grandson Dan and I watching mom and dad work the sails while we plot how to trick them.

 Cap guns are cool again!

How cool is riding your new scooter in the house?!

A woman I know thinks this outfit is "me".

Ice skating in San Diego??

The next Gordy Howe!