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

Monday, February 27, 2006


According to the news, the face of Jesus, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof--reasonable to the certifiably faithful, anyway--has now popped up in the form of an oil stain on a piece of sheet metal that was found by one Thomas Haley, a good, God-fearing Christian in Connecticut, who was so seized by the spirituality of the phenomenon that it took him over 30 minutes to decide to put the blessed metal up for sale on eBay. Which it now is.

But the failure of religious devotion to withstand the sheer moral force of a tidy profit is not our premise today. We're not nearly that thoughtful, lofty, or clever. Today's setup is, rather, the number of assorted and often unlikely objects and items upon which the visage of Our Lord The Redeemer has appeared. I haven't had the foresight to start keeping an ongoing log of these quirky news items, and I increasingly wish I had. Although, in all probability, you could find a thoroughly comprehensive list at some web address on the order of Shitthatjesus'sfacehasappearedon.com (or maybe .org, which would make it easier to hustle grant money). But I do specifically recall claims of Jesus's depiction on a number of baked goods, including at least one tortilla, as well as the window of a skyscraper somewhere, and more than one tree. (Although, to be painfully honest, I may be lumping likenesses of the Virgin Mary in there.)

In any case, the point I wish to raise today is that as a Lutheran born and reared, it is my belief that Jesus, if he is Lord at all, is Lord to all. Which means that each and every one of us, from the grandest to the least, should be able to expect that the King of Kings will be made manifest to him or her at some time in some medium. And it occurs to me that, given the rate that images of Jesus have been popping up of late, we could soon find ourselves totally out of stuff that the Nazarene has not yet appeared on. What I'm saying is that if you believe, I mean really believe, you had better stake your claim to some Jesus-apparition-venue right now, before they're all gone. Accordingly, as part of my endless and self-sacrificial crusade to bring goodness and enlightenment to all, I humbly offer a few items which you could officially lay claim to be the first person upon which to have viewed the incarnation of the Son of God.

A manhole cover.
An Eskimo Pie.
The Goodyear blimp.
A kitty litter box.
A satellite dish.
A Twinkie.
A Delco battery.
A shotgun shell.
A mosque.
A horse.
A horse pie.
A baseball card.
The Saint Louis Arch.
Jennifer Lopez's ass.
The Indianapolis 500 pace car.
The cover of Playboy.
The Afflack duck.
A toilet seat.
A freshly removed appendix.
Richard Simmons.
A catcher's mitt.
A Thighmaster.
The carpeting under a Thighmaster.
Gorbachov's forehead.
A condom.
A pawn ticket.
A butt plug.

There you go. Whoever you are, I'm sure there's one that will work very nicely for you. Enjoy your 15 minutes of media visibility. Via con Dios.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I'm not even going to try to contrive a clever premise for the following. I blame it on Chronicle columnist Leah Garchik, who asked readers to submit satirical takeoffs on the Brokeback Mountain scenario. Throw me a setup like that, and I am simply too morally weak to resist. The result is not so much wit as gag-line calisthenics. See for yourself:

Two people fall in love while mailing in rebate coupons in Buckback Mountain.

A pair of feuding drama critics nonetheless become mutually enamored in Brickbat Mountain.

Two Victorian romance writers become entangled in a hopelessly doomed affair in Bleakbook Mountain.

A couple of injured woodpeckers get it on in the vet's waiting room in Brokebeak Mountain.

Michael Jackson suddenly finds himself so financially destitute that he must take up with men his own age in Brokeblack Mountain.

Two lovers engage in a marathon bout of passion in a tanning salon with painful results in Bakedback Mountin.

There, I think I've gotten it out of my system.

Friday, February 10, 2006


As an update on my recent comments to the effect that it's hard to take seriously an allegedly strict fundamentalist Islamic group whose name is just a shade (indeed, just an s) short of being HamAss, I offer the name of the Afghani Taliban commander who issued a fatwa against Danish cartoonists who had drawn depictions of Mohammed, and who offered a bounty of 100 kilos of gold to anyone who assassinated said cartoonist(s): Mullah Dadullah. Really. So help me. Once again, life imitates Sesame Street, or perhaps Shel Silverstein.

Meanwhile, in an effort to nail down the gold medal in the Preposterous Bureaucratic Nomenclature event for the US, we learn that the Department of Homeland Security has undertaken a massive data sweep of the entire Internet, blogs and e-mail included, for suspicious entries or activities, and that the official name of this covert program is Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight, and Semantic Enhancement, or in acronymic terms, ADVISE. Again, absolutely true. It's painfully forced and clumsy, of course, but then, SPECTRE and UNCLE were already taken.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


I know there are many far more important issues on people's minds today, such as Iran's headlong rush to pitch the earth into global nuclear hell, and whether Humuhumunakalakawapalama, or whatever the hell his name is, will be able to start on defense for the Steelers, but my mind is still caught like a sweater on a nail on something that struck me during Bush's latest State of Disunion address.

It's the usual question that occurs to all concerned Americans at that time, which is: "I wonder which member of the Cabinet is sitting out the speech somewhere safe in case evildoers take out all in attendance at tonight's truthroast?" That person automatically becomes President of the country or whatever remains of it, and I gather this role has sort of rotated over the years: Defense secretary one year, Treasury topkick the next, then the HUD head, etc.

I used to think that this was a stupid protocol to follow, because in the event of such a sudden and massive disruption of the federal government, and the almost inevitable epidemic of panic and instability nationwide, you would want the guy running Defense to be your hole card, since the national threat level would go right off the color chart, and there would most likely be a need to put troops into action one way or another, either to encourage calm or to contain disorder. My point here is that in such a crisis situation, what the hell good is the Secretary of Commerce or Education or the Interior going to be? What's the Labor Secretary going to do, respond to the terrorists with a sitdown strike?

I still think the choice of the odd man out should be deliberate and prioritized and not random, but I've changed my mind about who it should be. Defense would now be my second choice. My first pick, of course, would be the head of the Department of Homeland Security. Primarily because, if somebody took out the entire leadership of the country in its own most secure haven, it would be very explicitly HIS PROBLEM. Whoever was in charge of preventing exactly such an occurance would have rather a lot to answer for, and personally, I would want to make sure the sonofabitch was still around to face the questions.

But that's just me.