All Posts Tagged With: "funny"
Following arguably the most embarrassing political scandal in the history of Illinois, and that takes some doing, Governor Rod Blagojevich has chosen a curious path. It seems that almost anyone would resign, or at a minimum apologize to the people or offer some sort of statement of regret. Hot Rod Blagojevich, it seems, is using the “Act Like Nothing Happened Defense.” Absurd! Read more…
H/t to Why We Need Obama:
The great Eric Zorn posted a link to a series of six short, funny videos illustrating Hillary Clinton’s logic in the primary campaign. Zorn tells us the videos are by Chicago filmmaker Steve Delahoyd and Schadenfreude.
Al Kamen of the Washington Post wrote a delightful piece called “The Face of DHS Looks a Little Pale.” Take a look for a great example of Congressional showmanship, and a good laugh. Here’s a brief recap:
Homeland Security Secretary Cherthoff attended a House hearing questioning his Department’s diversity practices. Who did he bring with him to this hearing? Ten aides, all of whom were white males.
Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) took notice, and asked all of Chertoff’s aides to stand up. Watt says to Cherthoff: “You brought 10 staff people with you…all white males. . . . But I hope you’ve got more diversity in your staff than is reflected here. Please reassure me that is the case.” Cherthoff responds: “I think that is definitely the case.” So far, not good, but not completely humiliating.
Watt was about to move on when Cherthoff chimes in, “I wouldn’t assume that the ethnic background of everybody behind me is self-evident.” Watt responds: “I wouldn’t assume the ethnic background of everybody behind you is self-evident, but I think I know an African American when I see one. . . . If anyone wants to stand up and volunteer and tell me they are an African American, I hope they will do that right now.” Of course, no one stood.
At this point people started laughing. Watt kept pouring it on: “If anybody is a female that’s sitting back there and wants to stand up and volunteer to tell me that . . . I hope they will do that right now. And I want the record to show clearly that nobody stood up to volunteer in either one of those categories.”
To round out the pwnage, Watt chided Cherthoff: “So if you want to make that point and be cute about it . . . let me be explicit about it. . . . If we are going to do law enforcement in this country . . . we need to understand that there is an element of diversity in our country that is not represented here.”
Taking ten white guys to a hearing on diversity — he deserves it.
First an announcement:
Billy and I are excited to announce that former Daily Illini Editor in Chief, outstanding political commentator/blogmaster, journalist extraordinaire, fierce political operative, and all around badass Kiyoshi Martinez will be joining us blogging at Urbanagora.
Yoshi, Welcome to the Agora!
A few more blogs worth checking out:
First, my buddy Mike sent me a link to a pro-Obama blog with a fairly comprehensive post on why Democrats should support Senator Obama, and not Senator Clinton. It’s biased, sure, but the author is up front about it. Check back to the main page for updates.
Second, Mandasaurus, who used to post occasionally at America vs. the World, has started her own blog. Mandasaurus is a friend of the Agora and a veteran of the Daily Illini. I’ve invited her to consider blogging with us here.
A few other links that may be of interest:
Last night Billy sent me this “Had a Bad Day video.” It has probably been around for a while, but it’s hilarious. Billy and I are both advocates of the occasional disproportionate response, a great example takes place starting around 3:10 into the video. Billy’s favorite part is the treatment of the smoker in the men’s room.
I like Chris Matthews, but he is an impossible host to watch, cutting off his viewers every 4 or 5 words. It’s great to see him get roughed up a little. Enjoy.
Farm cats are not the kind of fluffy, playful creatures that most associate with the feline species. They’re strictly blue-collar, the miners and factory-workers of the breed. A broken-eared, stub-tailed female resembles the pampered Persians and Siamese of high society as closely as a Wal-Mart associate resembles Paris Hilton or a runway model.
This is not to say that they’re not respected. On our farm, they served as self-replicating guardians of the grain, chasing the voles, mice, and rats (often in quite entertaining ways) and minimizing the amount of waste when the crib corn was dry, shelled and sent to market. In return, they were given leftovers on the cistern top behind the house and cow’s milk in the barn, if they wished it.
Taking into account our familiarity, therefore, with the species, it was even more surprising when my brother came running into our milking parlor from the attached haybarn one evening, breathless. “There’s a bobcat up there!” he panted, brushing bits of hay from his pants.
My father, who knew quite well that bobcats were much too shy to ever be found in a working barn, figured that it was a ploy by my brother to avoid tossing bales of hay down for the cows. He finished removing the milking machine from the udder of the last Holstein of the night’s milking and dumped its contents into the bucket that I was to carry in to the milkhouse and pour into the bulk tank. He turned his cap backwards, hitched up his pants a notch, and headed into the haybarn to investigate whatever had terrorized my brother. I watched gleefully, hoping against hope that the little brat would be caught in a lie and berated creatively.
A few moments later, there was a sound of rustling, some swearing that would have done George Patton proud, and my father came sliding out of the haybarn. His cap flew from his head and landed at the feet of the largest feral cat that I had ever seen. This was not a tomcat, per se, but the Platonic ideal of a tomcat, a Hercules or Alexander the Great of a tomcat, ready to clean our stables or conquer LaSalle County for the Macedonians.
This creature was at least 25 pounds, with no sign of the battlescars normally visible on ferals. Jet black, with glowing yellow eyes, he seemed a creature of campfire fiction, although the Halloween stories normally told about such were still six months distant. He sniffed the green John Deere cap, perhaps commenting internally on my father’s hygiene, batted the cap down the slope into the parlor and strode confidentially back into the hayloft.
The three of us conferred, and it became obvious that the grass in the pasture was probably long enough by now for the cows to go outside and graze for the night, and that no hay would be necessary, after all. We opened the cows’ stanchions and drove them outside, dumped the milk into the bulktank, cleaned the equipment and headed for the house, buzzing with excitement.
Mother, when she finally got us to slow down enough to understand our story, was at first incredulous, but, as time passed, realized that we were not exaggerating (much.) My father and I began to quickly regret, however, that we had told her when we realized that we had seen that look in her eyes before: My mother was beginning to see this as a challenge.
Mother was quite a hand with animals. She claimed that she had never met one that didn’t like her, and this was proven to me the day that I watched her feed a Lorna Doone to a raccoon that had wandered up from the woods that were behind the houses. She began to search the refrigerator for something with which she could tame this ravening beast. She settled on a bit of hamburger that had been left over from lunch earlier that day and put it on a small Blue Willow plate. She turned the lights on in the haybarn and walked in, holding the offering before her like an Egyptian priestess bringing beer for Bastet.
The rest of us peered around the corner of the door, keeping a route of escape open in case the diplomacy (or worship) failed to placate the tomcat. He was still there, prowling and marking his new territory while vibrating a tail the size of a Polish sausage. Mother sang to him, “Hello, Big Guy, sweet Big Guy, come and eat this food, Big Guy.” She set the plate on the hay, then slowly backed towards our door, nearly knocking us over as she stepped out without taking her eyes from the cat and the plate. Big Guy, as he had evidently just been named, sniffed the plate for only a moment before accepting her offering and devouring a stack of ground beef that would have been a quarter pound after cooking.
In the days that followed, Big Guy would move to the far side of the haybarn and allow us to take the bales necessary for the cows. Each evening, my mother would bring him a treat, placing the plate five feet closer to the house. Within a month, he had come up to the cistern-top and was eating with the other cats. He would tolerate them for the most part, as long as they did not come too close while he had food on his special plate or show any affection towards my mother. If either of those things happened, retribution was swift. A huge paw would strike the offender, and the poor creature would find itself rolling, head over tail, down the slope in the general direction of the corncrib.
By midsummer, Big Guy would follow mother into the house. My father, at first, protested, then quickly withdrew his objection when he realized that he really didn’t have any way to stop him from entering. He would roam the rooms, always being a perfect gentleman and respecting our need for him to restrain his territorial urges. He gave the three of us fellows a wide berth, but would follow mother around the kitchen constantly rubbing against her ankles nearly hard enough to trip her.
One very hot July day, he leapt onto the table while we were eating ice cream and began devouring mother’s bowl. After he had done this once, he became obsessed with the substance and would watch carefully for any sign of the freezer opening, at which point he would begin doing a dance complex enough to perhaps teach other cats its location. My brother made the mistake one afternoon of bringing an ice cream cone into the house, at which point Big Guy stood up on his hind legs like a prairie dog (reaching perhaps three feet into the air) and began batting at the cone. My brother handed him the cone, partly for amusement and partly out of fear, and he held the cone in his paws and proceeded to lick it like a small child.
Having a giant feral cat in the house did present some problems, however. Eventually, no matter how much you liked him, you had to put the cat out. Since none of the rest of us were really safe in close proximity to him, mother would sing, “time to go out, Big Guy, see the world, Big Guy,” and he would hiss and snarl and exit through the back door. Woe, though, awaited any creature unlucky enough to be nearby when this happened. He would walk around the house like a black-hatted gunfighter in a Saturday afternoon movie, slugging each and every cat that found itself within reach. After ten minutes or so, he would calm down and find a spot to wait until he could return to what had rightfully become his territory.
All of this led up to one of the more interesting things that I have seen in my life. We were all in the house one Sunday afternoon that August when my uncle and aunt from Chicago arrived. My uncle was an unlikable sort–a crooked dentist who had made a great deal of money selling false teeth without the necessary license to do so. He was ostentatious to a fault, and was tolerated for the sake of his wife, my father’s oldest sister, who was a much-loved, if constantly tipsy, character.
Uncle Hank had a toy poodle that was as annoying as he was, unfortunately. He found it amusing beyond words to release it from his car and allow it to run amok across the farmstead, yipping shrilly at the cats and kittens and forcing them up the trees behind the house.
This time, however, was a bit different. Mother had exiled Big Guy from the house right after seeing their Cadillac enter the driveway. He was, therefore, in a Olympian-grade snit as he began his gauntlet of victims. Just as he reached the corner of the house, my uncle released the poodle, expecting his usual barrel of laughs at the expense of our animals.
The poodle rounded the corner of the house and ran smack into a creature that must have appeared to it as being straight from the Pit. The canine stopped short, raising a small cloud of dust and sat on its haunches, silent. Big guy suddenly appeared to increase in size by at least fifty percent and smote the dog across the nose with both paws like Muhammed Ali on a good night. The dog shrieked as if disembowelled and headed back for the car, which was locked by this time. It ran back and forth at a high rate of speed, since the cat behind it no longer resembled a creature of flesh and blood, but could be described more accurately as a black streak. Finally, the hapless pup noticed that the bark of the burr oak in front of the house might present it with some purchase.
So there, I will leave this pleasant memory, with the poodle desperately hanging by its front paws seven feet above the ground on a limb while Big Guy leaps at its dangling tail over and over and over again….
There aren’t too many things I’ve seen since that were funnier.