"Humor Me" says Robert S. "Bob" Wieder

Monday, October 23, 2006


Reading USA Today today, I ran into a half-page of survey results on the topic which has become the Sutter's Mill of the polling industry, Iraq. And of course there were the specific questions regarding how soon the US should (A) cut and run, (B) withdraw our troops, (C) disengage militarily, or (D) strategically redeploy personnel, depending on your favorite euphemism for "get the hell out."

They polled both Americans and Iraqis, which seems thoughtful of them. 48 percent of us here in the states think we should pull out immediately or within a year, while 43 percent say we should "Withdraw but take as many years as needed," and if that makes any sense to you, then you're better at finding sense in self-cancelling statements than I am. Also, 9 percent of us think the situation would be improved by the presence of more Americans carrying guns.

As for the Iraqis, they're surprisingly far from unanimity on this subject, although, come to think of it, they seem to be characterized by an aversion to unanimity on most subjects. In any case, 37 percent want us out in six months, 34 percent within a year, 20 percent within two years, and again, there's a quirky 9 percent, which in this case wants us to stay until the "security situation is settled," which will be about the time my mother gets a gang tattoo.

The fact is, George Bush is not going to withdraw American troops to any significant degree as long as Saddam Hussein is alive. There were no WMDs. There's no democracy. No cheering crowds throwing flowers. No increase in homeland security. The deaths of some 2,800 US troops has accomplished only one item on the neocons' To Do list: they took out Saddam.

The hideous reality for the Bush Administration is that the minute our troops are gone, there will be nothing to stop the Iraqis or their ramshackle government, left to their own devices and desperate to salvage their country, from brokering some deal which would include Saddam not being executed. And to the White House, a live Saddam is an unthinkable Saddam. Even, in the worst-case-screaming-nightmare sense, a potential resurgent and triumphant Saddam. There would be then absolutely no aspect of Bush's Iraq war which was not a total failure. He would go, in history, from failed president to laughingstock. As long as Saddam lives on, so does our large-scale military presence.

As a corollary to this premise, here's a prediction: If Saddam has not been found guilty and executed by the time Bush's term of office is up, he will die--of natural causes, or choking on a pretzel, or spontaneous combustion--in custody.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Mrs. Lois Denominator or Your Town, Ill. writes to ask, "What will it take for the A's to finally get to a World Series?"
Dear Lois: I'm guessing the bright lights, exhilarating pace and intoxicating ambiance of Fremont.

Mr. Roynton L'Hommediueu of Fiddle City, Nevada writes to ask, "How goddamn dumb can you be?"
Dear brother L'Hommediueu: What the hell kind of name is that? As for how dumb I can be, during this year's draft for my fantasy pro skateboarding league, I spent $6.95 for Franklin D. Roosevelt. I think that probably says a lot.

Dr. Seusschef of Boing, Idaho writes to ask, "With a mind as twisted and pessimistic as yours, I'm sure you've come up with some hellish and catastrophic vision of how this whole Iraq business turns out."
Dear Doctor: Yes, I have.

Dr. Seusschef of Boing, Idaho writes back to ask, "Well, ASSHOLE? What is it? Your vision of the Iraq thing, I mean. Jesus."
Dear Doctor: The Iraqis hate and resent and have spent several years increasingly devoted to the enthusiastic killing of one another, along the three major lines of Shiite, Sunni and Kurd. The Americans will leave, because at some point we will, as a nation, wake up, rub our eyes, take a look at what we are in bed with, cringe and shudder horribly, stealthily dress and put on our shoes and get the hell out of there. When that happens, the people left in Iraq will have two choices: actually literally kill every member of the other two lines, which would be not only disastrous and long-term self-destructive, but exhausting beyond belief, especially if you've ever spent a summer over there. Or: regroup together, putting aside their deeply entrenched feuds and desire for revenge, drawn together by a common enemy that they can feel free to despise without retaliation and that they also have a legitimate gripe against. Which would be us. The Iraqis must perforce reunite as something, if not a nation at least a confederation or alliance or glee club or whatever, and in order to do that, they must find some external source of blame for all the shit they have waded through and visited upon one another. Again, us. It wasn't their own mutual detestation of one another dating back 14 centuries that caused all this bad blood, it was the stinking Yankee infidels. So we will wind up with this Muslim country whose only cultural unifying element is its hatred for us, right in the heart of the Mideast. Up to its ass in excess weaponry that we took over there and then left behind in our rush to get back to McAmerica. Does that meet your criteria for hellish and catastrophic, Doctor?

Dr. Seusschef of Boing, Idaho replies, "What? Hmm? I'm sorry, I guess I must have nodded off. That's a nice theory, though, Yes, very clever. Where's the bathroom?"

Anne Ecdote of Gnkwqcbrt, Wales writes to ask, "This "letters to the writer" premise is hardly novel, original, or even entertaining. Aren't you just the least bit ashamed?"
Dear Anne: "Is it just me, or have you put on a few pounds?"

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Just to clear this up, there is absolutely no, repeat, NO truth to the distasteful rumor that distraught and/or disgruntled New York Yankee fans have taken up a collection to buy flying lessons for Alex Rodriquez.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006



From: Dead Horse Productions

For: Creative services: one-liners

Billed To: The Late Show with Conan O'Brian
For: Material for opening monologue, 10/13/06
Item: "I understand he's already working on his autobiography. Yeah, it's a tell-all book...and they say it's going to be a real page-turner."
Fee: $250

Billed To: Robin Williams
For: Concept for upcoming HBO Special
Item: Setup: "It's not just a scandal, it's a genre! They've already
asked me to do a sequel: La Cage au Foleys!"
Fee: $500

Billed To: Saturday Night Live
For: Concept and material for cold opening, "Republican Cock-Us"
Item: Recurring line, "Paging Congressman Foley!"
Fee: $250

Billed To: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
For: Skit re. Pope and Congressional Page sex, 10/15/06
Item: "I therefore order that you be exfoliated..."
Fee: $12.50

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Ignore that headline. It is vaguely relevent, but really just a self-indulgent and pointless play on words. But, down to business:

Apologies for posting the same Foley blahblahblah two days in a row, but from my end, it didn't come up on the page either day after posting, and I reacted precipitously, as is my wont and predeliction and oh shit I dropped the thesaurus.

Anyway, it's posted now, and for your patience, I offer this observation:

I mentioned recently to Gloria the rather extravagant and even breathless reviews that the new Dylan release has been getting, and how I hadn't bought a new Dylan recording since "Live At Budokan" back in the early 80s, and so she bought his latest when we were recently up for a frolic in Mendocino, and I have to say that if you are heading out from Mendo of a sunny morning southward on Highway 1, you would be challenged to put a better piece of music on the CD player than "Modern Times," which is the name of the Dylan newbie.

But this is all intro to my central point. Which is, and I'm amazed that nobody else has noted this...

Bob Dylan sounds exactly...EXACTLY the way Keith Richards looks.

Thank you, thank you...I'll be here all this week.