Chicken: The Original White Meat

Upset for years at the Pork Council’s use of the slogan, "The Other White Meat," the Chicken Council recently pecked back at them with their new campaign:

Chicken: The Original White Meat. Except for the dark meat.
Council leaders feel very positive about the move. "Make no bones about it," clucked Earl Fenster, co-Rooster, "we’re back. We’ve been winged by a fowl shot from those dirty swine, but we’re ready. We’ll see who has egg on their face this time."

The council has other slogans ready to keep the campaign in flight:

  • "From our range to yours"
  • "Pork fat’s bad for you. Chicken fat, maybe not so much"
  • "What’s your beef with chicken, anyway?"
There are also several new chicken products in the pipeline, such as:

  • "Chicken Beakon: Mouth-watering and crunchy, too"
  • "Chicken Nuggets: No bones about it"
Finally, they’re introducing a new song that they hope will capture the hearts and imaginations of chicken lovers everywhere:
Chickens, chickens, chickens –
They’re really good to eat.
Eat ‘em, eat ‘em, eat ‘em,
From beaks to skinny feet.

Frying, frying, frying –
On grills or in hot oil.
Cooking, cooking, cooking,
In soups upon the boil.

Cut them, cut them, cut them,
With knife and dinner fork.
Healthy, healthy, healthi-
-er than big fat pork.


Award to the Wise

Here’s an award speech I’d like to see:

"First of all, I’d like to thank the academy, because it’s in my contract.

Secondly, I want to thank my parents. I’m sure they didn’t mean to leave me at that rest stop in Ohio when I was a small boy. But it was because of that chance abandonment that I was forced to seek refuge in the local forest and live on berries and small sticks, eventually being adopted and raised by a family of squirrels. It was that experience that gave me the courage, confidence, and strength of character that made me the vapid, shallow person you see before you. Mom and Dad, wherever you are, know that I will never forget you like you forgot me.

I also want to thank my adoptive family, the squirrels. I only wish they could have been here tonight to be with me. But sadly, they are no longer with us. It was a cold, hard winter one year and I had to eat them.

I want to thank the guy that used to mow my lawn. It was watching him work, week after week, cutting the grass, blowing the leaves, pruning the fence posts, that convinced me that I never wanted to really work for a living. And here I am.

Of course I’d like to thank the director, the producer, and the writers, all of whom worked tirelessly to make my character more important than all of the other characters in the film. Without those efforts, I would have just been another actor in the film instead of the guy standing up here.

I’d also like to thank the other actors, but I forget their names and never liked them anyway.

And finally, I want to thank you. Without an audience, I would just be a guy standing up in front of a camera, waving to an empty room. As Shakespeare once said, according to my speechwriter, “All the world’s a stage.” But if you weren’t out there on your audience stage, I couldn’t be up here on my stage stage, and it would be a boring play indeed, especially for me.

Thank you!"


When I am King: Bamboozled

When I am King...

There shall be no more bamboo.

I’ve just spent the last while (surely no more than two lifetimes) cutting back a small thicket of bamboo. I pined for the first time for my own Death Star - I think that eradicating an entire planet is probably the only way to get rid of the awful plant. In fact, it seems likely to me that that’s actually what the Empire was up to when it torched those planets. They weren’t test-driving their new gadget or playing hardball in negotiations; they were just trying to cut back on their landscaping costs.

But even if you did manage to destroy a planet in order to kill some bamboo (a worthy cause, all things considered), I’m certain the evil stalks would survive. It might spend years, centuries, millennia out in space, drifting along in the cosmos, but it would eventually end up on some poor, unsuspecting planet and quickly take root and take over.

Bamboo is what crabgrass wants to be when it grows up. It’s a virus with roots. It’s gang violence with leaves. It’s a photosynthesizing serial killer with thousands of clones very close by.

When I am King, there will be no bamboo on our land. Sure, it’s beautiful in the movies. And there it shall stay. People that otherwise would have spent fruitless lives just trying to keep bamboo in check can spend it on other activities instead, like weeding crabgrass or watching movies with beautiful bamboo backdrops.


When I am King: Reconnections

When I am King...

Renewing old acquaintances will be much more efficient.

Through the wonders of social networking sites like FaceBook and LinkedIn, we now reconnect with old friends in a way that was never before possible. Previously, if you wanted to find someone you used to know, you would have to do real work, like making a phone call or, even worse, writing a letter. Now, a plethora of opportunities to reconnect come unbidden through the portals of our lives.

Each time we reconnect with someone, we send them a note to catch up. And every time we do this, we give roughly the same information: we ask them what they’re up to, tell them how we’re doing, enumerate the number of children and pets we have, and tactfully skirt the issue of jail time.

Consider the countless seconds, nay, minutes we waste writing the same information to all of these people. With that extra time in our lives, we could be sending or responding to friend requests of other people we no longer know, or staring mindlessly at the visual noise on these social sites about everyone else we’ve already connected with.

When I am King, reconnections will be much more efficient, saving time and social energy. People will be more productive, more connections will be made, and everyone will have the dirt on everyone else, making it a more interconnected and paranoid society overall.

We will achieve this goal through the use of simple templates which fill in most of the pertinent details, leaving you to just select some choices and personalize the note before sending it off. This approach has worked well elsewhere and it should succeed for the social networking arena as well. Here is a sample:
[Their name]!

Great to hear from you! What have you been up to the past, oh, [Number] ["decades", "years", "minutes"]? We haven't seen each other since [personal reference, for example: "you said you never wanted to see me again", "you hit me", "I filed that injunction", "Tuesday"]!

I’m in [Location] now, [working at CompanyX, crashing with Mom & Dad again, living out of a shopping cart]. It keeps me busy, that’s for sure! In the meantime, I’ve had [Number] [kids, fish, nervous breakdowns], which is a lot, believe me! How about you?

Hey, I always wondered, did you ever [personal reference, for example: "get out of jail", "get that leg sewn back on", "solve that acne problem"]? And do you still [personal reference, for example: "play the tuba", "hum Barry Manilow tunes through your nose", "hate me"]?

Hey, it was great catching up with you. Keep in touch!

[Your name]

Little Joke for Friday

I wonder:

If your stalker harasses you, is it an idol threat?


When I am King: Mutterhood

When I am King...

Dogs will train parents.

People pondering parenthood will often get a dog first as part of easing into eventually having kids. Through raising a dog they can learn how to care for another living being, get used to the responsibility of feeding someone regularly, and adjust to not forgetting about them when they go on vacation.

There is merit in this approach, but dog ownership doesn’t go far enough. We need to add some critical elements to owning a dog to make it begin to cover the territory.

When I am King, everyone would be required to own dogs, with these additional requirements:

Own several dogs: Even if you plan to have only one child, things happen and pretty soon there are several running around in the house. Or even if you do only have one, they tend to attract other kids like flies on meat. You’ll need to make sure your system can handle the chaos of more than one running around in the house constantly.

Train your dog: Most owners put their dogs through obedience school, but once/week for 2 months doesn’t begin to cover the education responsibility of a parent. You should enroll your dog in enough classes so that they are in school several hours each day. Do this for at least twelve years or their entire lives, whichever comes first.

Use diapers: With countless hours in obedience class, your dog will be house-trained and won’t need the diapers. But you will. Dealing with messy diapers is one of the joys of parenthood and should be a part of any parent training regimen. Some children wear diapers for several years, but feel free to limit your dog-diaper training period to just 2 years; pretend your dog-child is advanced.

Take pictures: Wear our your camera and video camera taking pictures and movies of your dog. And most importantly, send updated pictures to relatives constantly. Kids change in interesting ways as they grow up, and you must pretend your dog does too and that your friends and relatives care.

Tend to the sick: Several nights a year, spend a sleepless night caring for your sick dog: take his temperature (you’ll want to use the rectal thermometer to avoid his teeth), give him medicine, and comfort him. Of course, he won’t actually be sick, because dogs generally aren’t. But remember, this is your surrogate child. Pretend.

Enroll them in activities: Playing in the yard and sleeping in the house is not enough for your dog; if that’s all our children did, we would be a lazy and complacent society. No, you must enroll your dog in several activities: sports, music, art, dance, and anything else that’s available. Preferably you should have them in at least two activities at a time, so that you are in constant conflict over performance times (“How do I get him to the recital at 3 when his soccer game doesn’t end until 3:30?”). It is also key to tell people that you don’t want to overschedule your dog, that it’s so important that he be given the opportunity to simply play … and then go ahead and overschedule him because that’s what everyone else is doing. Ideally, many of the activities will involve travel on the weekends, so that your family can enjoy the experience of spending weekends driving the dog around to games that they won’t win and won’t remember.

Kick them out: When a dog is 21, or 3 in dog years, lock them out of the house with kind words like, “Get a job!” It is natural for a parent to expect their children to care for themselves at this age.

Let them back in: Of course, it is also natural to be completely wrong, so you should let your dog back in after a few minutes and resign yourself to taking care of the mutt forever.