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Category Archives: TIME OUT

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Donald Trump is “The Don”, or is he “a don”?

Posted in COMMENTARY-Passing parade, TIME OUT

I check the meaning of the word “don” in the online free dictionary, and am told it means either “A person of great importance (arch.)” or “The head of a Mafia family”. The latter sounds like more fun, so let’s pursue it. But wait, a lady from St. Louis, Missouri, has already done soScreen Shot 2017-06-09 at 4.42.17 PM, as I found from reading the Toronto based Globe & Mail newspaper. Her name is Sarah Kendzior. Let’s see what she wrote just as she wrote it:

In May, Americans learned that under its new seemingly autocratic administration, the subject of an investigation can fire the investigator. One month later, that fired investigator, former FBI head James Comey, appeared before the hearing to describe an executive branch that operates less like a democratic institution and more like a cross between a Mafia shakedown and an audition for The Apprentice. Transparency, checks and balances, and due process have been replaced by secret dinners, loyalty oaths and casual declarations of obstruction of justice.

Fortunately, James Comey took notes.

On Wednesday, Mr. Comey released a copy of his opening statement describing his private meetings with President Donald Trump, culled from memos he wrote immediately after their encounters. They would make a great crime novel, if the crime weren’t the desecration of democracy and we didn’t have to live in it.

According to Thursday’s testimony, Mr. Trump – like a Mafia don – demanded unquestioning loyalty from Mr. Comey. And like a good public servant, Mr. Comey said he could only offer honesty. The President bargained that down to “honest loyalty,” which can be interpreted as a demand that Mr. Comey sacrifice his professional integrity for blind devotion to Mr. Trump. “We had that thing you know,” the President said, a phrase the former FBI director claimed he did not understand but which evokes Cosa Nostra a bit too well.

Screen Shot 2017-06-09 at 4.51.17 PMThen, of course, Mr. Trump fired him.

Since taking office, the President has run the U.S. more and more like a kleptocracy – a predictable move given his shady international ties and the corrupt nature of many of his past business ventures. But while Mr. Trump evokes foreign autocrats, his management style resembles that of an American mafioso. He views NATO as akin to a protection racket, public officials as personal minions, and the GOP as bound to a vow of Omerta. Refuse to comply, like Mr. Comey did, and face consequences.

His hearing was an important alternative to the obfuscation and propaganda of the Trump administration. Unlike most U.S. pundits and politicians, Mr. Comey called a lie a lie. He noted that for the first time in his tenure, he felt obligated to document his meetings with the President because he assumed that the President may be dishonest about their encounter. He said he needed his own records to defend not only himself, but the FBI.

This is a horrifying revelation on several levels. Mr. Comey confirmed that the President could not be trusted to look out for anyone’s interest but his own, and that threats to national sovereignty were of lesser concern to him than whether he and his cronies are implicated. In other words, the person tasked with protecting the American people is a person from whom the American people need to be protected. Mr. Comey strongly affirmed that the U.S. had been attacked by Russia, and gave no indication that in their interactions, Mr. Trump found this situation undesirable.

Mr. Comey kept a diary as democracy was dying – his own job among its casualties. By recording the meetings as they occurred, Mr. Comey’s records are legally admissible, bypassing the hearsay rule. But will his efforts matter? The hearings gave no indication that the GOP is willing to act on the evidence not only of collusion, but of flagrant obstruction of justice.

Republicans who once called for a non-partisan investigation of Russian interference now seem frightened into complicity. Former staunch Kremlin critic Marco Rubio – who had dinner with President Trump a few days ago, seemingly with a side order of a loyalty oath – treated Mr. Comey like a hostile witness. John McCain, who initially led the investigation charge, was barely coherent, confusing Mr. Comey with Mr. Trump and implying Hillary Clinton’s e-mails were somehow behind it all.

Mr. Comey’s firing showed how casually the Trump administration will violate norms, and the President’s open admission that he did so in order to get Mr. Comey off his back showed how casually he will disregard laws. This disregard is based on confidence that there will be no repercussions, and the cowed performance of the GOP makes his assumption seem reasonable. Even if the investigation is carried out, and crimes are confirmed, who will act on the findings?

Likely not Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, who as Mr. Comey noted, participated in his firing despite the fact that he is supposed to have recused himself from an investigation in which he, too, is implicated. The rot of the Trump administration runs deep, and extends beyond the U.S. borders. In a heartbreaking hearing, James Comey pledged allegiance to a version of the United States that is slipping away.

“A republic, if you can keep it,” Ben Franklin famously said. Mr. Comey tried.”

Well, there you have it. I don’t necessarily agree, mind you, but mark the “necessarily”. Thank you for this, Sarah Kendzior.

 

 

Brit Week and a Jolly Good Time

Posted in COMMENTARY-Passing parade, TIME OUT

We Brits sure know how to have fun! Last night as the sun was settling down behind the mountains on the western horizon, in the gardens of Santa Monica’s very stylish Fairmont Miramar Hotel overlooking the beach, there was a promotion and celebration of all things British as it exists in the fair city of Los Angeles, California.

It was a kind of fancy dress party, inspired and themed by some members of the DOWNTON ABBEY cast who were present and being honored. This is Hollywood, after all. So we “expats” were invited to attend dressed up, if possible, in something suggesting the flapper era of England, circa 1920.

Since the story begins around the time of the S.S.Titanic sinking, and progresses on up into the twenties, there was scope for a wide choice of costume. The only other fancy dress ball I ever attended was as a child when my parents sent me as a choir boy and I won first prize. So I decided to be a man of the cloth, dressed in a cheap RC priest outfit (their robes don’t change an inch), and for good measure took a young friend who came dressed as a prostitute picked up on the way in, and whom I’d brought with me to convert. She was bursting out here and there, torn slip, retro French knickers, suspenders, seamed stockings and all. There we were, arm in arm, and quite a few heads turned.

And so the evening began, with Tin Pan Alley entertainment, tapdancing exhibitions, a lively banjo-led band, and touchy feely dancing. And we know how to enjoy being silly and sexy, as well as serious.

An Irish tourist came running up, fell to his knees, and begged me to hear his confession. He wanted to know where my church was. He was quite serious, if a little drunk on the great spiked Ginger Beer coolers. I told him I was a traveling priest, used a kind of modest curtained pope-mobile, and could come his way on prior notice. He scribbled me his motel address. It was only when I told him to bring his Master Card or cash, that he figured out that I was maybe not what he thought I was. Then I saw a couple of very attractive women sitting in a corner. I asked who they were, and they rather sheepishly confessed they were on the organizing committee, and were — Americans!

I found again many of my old and dear friends, and we duly swapped cards, past attitudes forgotten and forgiven. Attached to my business card is my California Notary card, designed unsubtly to let people know that I am able to 1. tell the truth, 2. keep secrets, and 3. uphold the law. This is Hollywood.

Famous British companies are well represented, Boots, Jaguar, Cunard and all, and I look forward to wandering around this week in search of having a good time while learning more of the business side of it, which in this economy gets to be the point. But as of this week, with the stock market at all time highs and employment improving, there is hope and a renewing spring-like step in the air. Entrepreneurship is budding.

Newly Discovered Monkey

Posted in TIME OUT

The Lesula monkey, above, hidden away in the jungles of the Congo, was previously unknown to scientists.

Does he (or she) know something that we don’t?

Let’s take time out, and marvel at the stunning mysteries still waiting to be discovered, and shared, on our amazing planet.

Goodbye Noel

Posted in Noel's Corner

March 20, 2010

Dear old Noel.  After a series of health problems, including heart bypass surgery, strokes and cancers, he finally succumbed to prostate cancer today around noon.

He was a quite a character.  From Dorset, England, he emigrated to the States many years ago, and never lost his Dorset accent.

I first met him at Elysium, Topanga Canyon’s much-missed nudist retreat, where he lived in a little cabin by the pool, and where we had many a long chat, mostly about our sailoring days in the British merchant navy. He drew my logo up above, "Showbiz Meets the Law".

His many friends will miss him, his stories, his writing, his sketching talents, and his skewering caricatures.

This says it better than I can.

Posted in Noel's Corner

You see, there is an advantage to age, especially when trying to make a flight.
Noel cartoon.jpg
My old pal Noel is looking for a paying outlet for his cartoons. Any takers? Contact me, or him. See his corner.

A Political Message from John Cleese

Posted in TIME OUT

TO ALL U.S. CITIZENS
In light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence.
Effective immediately, Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, Commonwealths, and territories excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy.
Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.
Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
01. You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.
02. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour’. Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ‘ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘ise’.
03. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up “vocabulary”).
Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.
04. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of – ize.
05. You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save the Queen. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
06. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not adult enough to be independent.
Guns should only be handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun.
07. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
08. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German and Japanese cars, you will understand what we mean.
09. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric without the benefit of conversion tables.
Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
10. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline), roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.
11. You will learn to make real chips.
Those things you call French Fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as Beer. European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager.
American brands will be referred to as “Near-Frozen” Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
13. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters.
Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue In Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.
14. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football: you call it soccer.
Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds, or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
15. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your Borders, your error is understandable.
16. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.
17. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (this option backdated to 1776).
Thank you for your co-operation.
John Cleese.

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MARRIAGE

Posted in TIME OUT

Old aunts come up to you at weddings, poke you in the ribs,
and say, “You’re next.” (They will stop if you do the same to them at funerals.)
The last wedding I attended, a much-married man came up to me with the following observations:
“A smart man and a smart woman = romance
A smart man and a dumb woman = affair
but
A dumb man and a dumb woman = pregnancy
A dumb man and a smart woman = marriage”
And things to think about, like
“A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.”
“A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.”
“A man will pay $20 for a $10 item he needs.
A woman will pay $10 for a $20 item that she doesn’t need.”
“A woman marries a man expecting he will change (but he doesn’t).
A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change (and she does).”
“A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.”
I liked the last one best.
“To be truly happy with a man, she must understand him a lot and love him a little.
To be truly happy with a woman, he must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.”
Sooner or later you will probably make the leap. And so it goes.

Calling Heaven

Posted in TIME OUT

(John Cleese talking)
Most of us have now learned to live with voice mail as a necessary part of our lives. Have you ever wondered what it would be like if God decided to install voice mail? Imagine praying and hearing the following:
Thank you for calling heaven.
For English, press 1
For Mandarin, press 2
For all other languages, press 3
Please select one of the following options:
Press 1 for a request
Press 2 for thanksgiving
Press 3 for complaints
Press 4 for all others
I am sorry, all our Angels and Saints are busy helping other sinners right now. However, your prayer is important to us and we will answer it in the order it was received. Please stay on the line.
If you would like to speak to:
God, press 1
Jesus, press 2
Holy spirit, press 3
Frequently asked questions:
To find a loved one that has been assigned to heaven press 5, then enter his/her social security number, followed by the (pound) sign, followed by #. If you should receive a negative response, please hang up and dial area code 666.
For reservations to heaven, please enter JOHN followed by the numbers: 3:16.
For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, life and other planets, please wait until you arrive in heaven for the specifics.
Our computers show that you have already been prayed for today, please hang up and call again tomorrow.
Office hours:
The office is now closed for the weekend to observe a religious holiday. If you are calling after hours and need emergency assistance, please contact your local pastor.
Thank you, and have a heavenly day.

KNOW YOUR BIBLE

Posted in TIME OUT

What follows are the actual answers to a religious test administered to a class of children at a Catholic elementary school concerning the Old and New Testaments, (spelling preserved.)
1. IN THE FIRST BOOK OF THE BIBLE, GUINESSIS. GOD GOT TIRED OF CREATING THE WORLD SO HE TOOK THE SABBATH OFF.
2. ADAM AND EVE WERE CREATED FROM AN APPLE TREE. NOAH’S WIFE WAS JOAN OF ARK. NOAH BUILT AND ARK AND THE ANIMALS CAME ON IN PEARS.
3. LOTS WIFE WAS A PILLAR OF SALT DURING THE DAY, BUT A BALL OF FIRE DURING THE NIGHT.
4. THE JEWS WERE A PROUD PEOPLE AND THROUGHOUT HISTORY THEY HAD TROUBLE WITH UNSYMPATHETIC GENITALS.
5. SAMPSON WAS A STRONGMAN WHO LET HIMSELF BE LED ASTRAY BY A JEZEBEL LIKE DELILAH.
6. SAMSON SLAYED THE PHILISTINES WITH THE AXE OF THE APOSTLES.
7. MOSES LED THE JEWS TO THE RED SEA WHERE THEY MADE UNLEAVENED BREAD WHICH IS BREAD WITHOUT ANY INGREDIENTS.
8, THE EGYPTIANS WERE ALL DROWNED IN THE DESSERT. AFTERWARDS, MOSES WENT UP TO MOUNT CYANIDE TO GET THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
9. THE FIRST COMMANDMENTS WAS WHEN EVE TOLD ADAM TO EAT THE APPLE.
10. THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT IS THOU SHALT NOT ADMIT ADULTERY.
11. MOSES DIED BEFORE HE EVER REACHED CANADA. THEN JOSHUA LED THE HEBREWS IN THE BATTLE OF GERITOL.
12. THE GREATEST MIRICLE IN THE BIBLE IS WHEN JOSHUA TOLD HIS SON TO STAND STILL AND HE OBEYED HIM.
13. DAVID WAS A HEBREW KING WHO WAS SKILLED AT PLAYING THE LIAR. HE FOUGHT THE FINKELSTEINS, A RACE OF PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN BIBLICAL TIMES.
14. SOLOMON, ONE OF DAVIDS SONS, HAD 300 WIVES AND 700 PORCUPINES.
15. WHEN MARY HEARD SHE WAS THE MOTHER OF JESUS, SHE SANG THE MAGNA CARTA.
16.. WHEN THE THREE WISE GUYS FROM THE EAST SIDE ARRIVED THEY FOUND JESUS IN THE MANAGER.
17. JESUS WAS BORN BECAUSE MARY HAD AN IMMACULATE CONTRAPTION.
18. ST. JOHN THE BLACKSMITH DUMPED WATER ON HIS HEAD.
19. JESUS ENUNCIATED THE GOLDEN RULE, WHICH SAYS TO DO UNTO OTHERS BEFORE THEY DO ONE TO YOU. HE ALSO EXPLAINED A MAN DOTH NOT LIVE BY SWEAT ALONE.
20. IT WAS A MIRICLE WHEN JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD AND MANAGED TO GET THE TOMBSTONE OFF THE ENTRANCE.
21. THE PEOPLE WHO FOLLOWED THE LORD WERE CALLED THE 12 DECIBELS.
22. THE EPISTELS WERE THE WIVES OF THE APOSTLES.
23. ONE OF THE OPPOSSUMS WAS ST. MATTHEW WHO WAS ALSO A TAXIMAN.
24. ST. PAUL CAVORTED TO CHRISTIANITY, HE PREACHED HOLY ACRIMONY WHICH IS ANOTHER NAME FOR MARRAIGE.
25. CHRISTIANS HAVE ONLY ONE SPOUSE. THIS IS CALLED MONOTONY.

Red Buttons 1919-2006

Posted in TIME OUT

July 13, 2006
Now there’s an all-round showbiz icon in my book that one can truly respect. Actor, composer, songwriter, singer, hoofer, and of course his standup routine – there seemed to be nothing he couldn’t do. 5 Broadway plays, appearing with Uta Hagen in 1942, 29 movies, which included Sayonara with Marlon Brando, which earned him an Academy Award, and innumerable television appearances. In 1945, as a performer with an army unit in Europe, he served as master of ceremonies in a presentation for President Harry Truman, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet dictator Josef Stalin at the Potsdam Conference. This diminutive man’s career spanned 70 years, and he certainly had his ups and downs with periods when he couldn’t get arrested. I think most people around here ran into this fun-loving man at different times, and it would always be a positive experience.
I last saw him at a lunch of the Pacific Pioneers Broadcasters, and he rewarded us with his “Some of the most famous people in history never got a dinner” routine, for which he will probably be best remembered.
“Never got a dinner . . .Venus de Milo, whose mother once said, I never hear from you. What’s the matter? Can’t pick up a phone?” Or “Alexander the Great, who said on his wedding night, Hey, it’s only a nickname!”
The last thing I heard him say: “Ninety isn’t old. You’re old when your doctor doesn’t X-ray you any more – he just holds you up to the light!”
Such memories he had.

President Bush goes to school

Posted in TIME OUT

President Bush was making one of his PR trips to an elementary school, to read the kids some stories.
After he got through, he put down the book, and asked the class if they had any questions.
A little boy put up his hand.
“And what is your name?” asked the president.
“Stanley”, he replied.
“And what is your question?”
“Well, acshully, I’ve got three” he said.
“Go ahead.”
“First, Mr. President, how come you’re president when the other man got more votes?
“Second, why are we fighting in Iraq because of weapons of mass destrucshun, when we can’t find any?
“Third, how come you can’t catch Osama Bin Laden?”
Just then, the bell went for the milk and cookie break.
After they came back, President Bush asked if there were any more questions before he left.
Another little boy put up his hand.
“And what is your name?” asked the president.
“Timothy”, said the little boy.
“OK, Timothy, let me have your question.”
“Well, acshully I’ve got five”, said Timothy.
“And what are they?”
“First, how come you are president when the other man got more votes?
“Second, why are we fighting in Iraq because of weapons of mass destrucshun, when there aren’t any?
“Third, how come you can’t catch Osama Bin Laden?”
“Four, how come the bell for our break went off 20 minutes early?
“And five, where the hell is Stanley?”

The 2006 Darwin Award Winners:

Posted in TIME OUT

Darwin Awards go to people, usually men, who actually performed the following human acts:
WINNER
1. When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California, would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked…..
HONORABLE MENTIONS
2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and, after a little hopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence, sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and lost a finger. The chef’s claim was approved.
3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his Vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.
4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn’t discovered for 3 days.
5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.
6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer was $15. (If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?)
7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he’d just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.
8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. She called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, “Yes, officer, that’s her. That is the lady I stole the purse from.”
9. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at 5 a.m., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn’t open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast. The man, frustrated and furious, walked away.
CONSOLATION PRIZE
10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up and vomiting, on the ground next to the vehicle. A police spokesman said that the man admitted trying to steal gasoline. He had plugged his siphon hose into what he thought was the gas tank, and began sucking to create a vacuum before transferring it to his car. Only problem was, he’d put the hose into the motor home’s sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he’d ever had.

The Lawyer and the Farmer

Posted in TIME OUT

A big city trial lawyer went duck hunting in rural Tennessee. He bagged a bird, but it fell into a farmer’s field.
As he started to climb over the fence to retrieve it, an old farmer drove up in his tractor, and asked him what he thought he was doing. The attorney responded, “I shot a duck and it came down in this field, and I’m retrieving it.”
“I don’t think so” the farmer replied, “Don’t you know this is my property? I won’t let you come over here.”
The indignant lawyer stayed outside, and said, “Look here, I’m one of the best trial attorneys in this country and I assure you, if you don’t let me get my duck, I’ll sue you and take everything you own.
The farmer thought about this for a moment and then said, “Don’t you know how we settle disputes in Tennessee? Hereabouts we fix small disagreements like this with our “Three Kick Rule.”
“And what exactly is that?” asked the lawyer, and he replied, “Well, because the dispute occurs on my land, I get to first kick you three times and then it’s your turn, you kick me three times, and so on, back and forth, until someone gives up and loses.”
The attorney quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take on the old codger, and at the same time teach him a lesson, so he agreed to abide by the local custom, and stood waiting in the middle of the road.
The old farmer slowly climbed down from his tractor, clambered over
the fence, and walked up to the attorney. He placed his first kick with the steel toe of his heavy work boot into the lawyer’s crotch and dropped him to his knees. His second kick to the midriff sent the lawyer’s lunch gushing from his mouth, and when he was on all fours, crossed behind, administering the third kick to his rear, which sent the lawyer face-first into a pile of fresh cow manure.
The lawyer climbed slowly to his feet, and summoned every bit of his willpower, self esteem, self control, and professionalism.
“O.K.” he said finally, brushing himself off and wiping his face with his sleeve “My friend, now it’s my turn.”
The old farmer walked back to his fence, and started to climb back over. Then he turned and smiled.
“Naw, I give up, gentleman, sir, you can have it. I’ll throw you the duck.”

PARABLE

Posted in TIME OUT

A wealthy farmer had a chicken coop that a fox would unpredictably raid, grab a chicken, and disappear into the woods. The farmer tried to catch the fox, but it was too wily. The chickens always squawked at each other when they thought the fox was nearby, and the fox would always fake his entrance to fool the chickens. He would patiently wait until the farmer and chickens could not predict his moves. The cunning of the fox exasperated the farmer, so he devised a plan. He told the chickens to stop their squawking and be quiet. Also, they were to always congregate together, so when the fox entered the coop,the fox would be disorientated by their silence, and they could all pounce on the fox to ferociously peck at him.
The following morning, the chickens told the farmer that the fox had been successfully repelled the previous night by following his instructions. However, the next day, the farmer was surprised to discover that all of his chickens were gone. The farmer asked his horse for an explanation.
The horse explained that the chickens had become wiser by stopping their squawking and working together. They had learned how to escape the chicken coop through the fox’s entrance and be free in the woods. The horse pointed out that the core issue was not the fox, but how to escape being roasted and put on the farmers dinner table.
Moral? Think fox=smart opponent, farmer= smart lawyer, coop=Family Court, chickens=GUESS WHO.
Me? I’m the horse.

Who Is Noel?

Posted in Noel's Corner

Noel’s a good friend of mine. I met him many years ago at Topanga’s famous nudist camp where he lived, the much missed Elysium.
He draws caricatures and politically incorrect cartoons for a living, which abruptly came to a halt when he had a stroke last November, followed by a quadruple heart bypass. He’s just getting back in form by retraining his drawing hand, and is as spry and sly as ever.
Being English bred like me, he has a wicked sense of humor, which my expat friends may appreciate. He drew the cartoon at the top which identifies my site, (and my webmaster removed a nipple!).
Actually, my humor tends more towards dark satire. If I had his talent, I wouldn’t be past drawing a few cartoons/caricatures depicting scary looking men/women in suits and funny traditional black hats standing outside Los Angeles Family Court, stuffing their pockets with my greenbacks, but then I’m half Danish.
Noel works for hire, to supplement his pension. I hope my readers will take notice, survey his work, and press his button.
Hire Noel