Running For Congress

Dear Old Phart,

I’m  tired of the ineptitude of Congress. I’m sure I can do a better job than that group of incompetents.  Instead of sitting on the sidelines, I think I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and run for office.

Can you help?

Foghorn Leghorn

Dear Foghornn Leg,

Yes I can help. To prepare you for running for office, I’ve developed a series of exercises to brace you for the journey ahead.

First, stick your head in the toilet and flush. Now do it again. This will give you a sense of how you will feel both on the campaign trail and if you become a Congressman. It will be more realistic if the toilet bowl contains some leftovers when you first flush. Then on the second flush you will actually feel as if you accomplished something.

Next, collect campaign contributions from your friends and family. Now take the money and stick it in a blender. Add prune juice. Set to purée and blend for 3 minutes. Take the contents of the blender and give yourself an enema. Soon you will poop out all the money you collected and the promises you made to your friends and family. You may not have cleaned up Washington but at least you cleaned out your colon.

Your next exercise is to lock yourself in a closet for 5 hours with only a bag of peanuts, 5 ounces of soda and a piss bucket. This will simulate what you have to do if you get elected and have to fly home every weekend to meet with constituents. When you get out of the closet after 5 hours, kiss your spouse goodbye and head out the door.

Drive to the nearest American Legion Post and thank the veterans for their service and promise to clean up the VA. Now, share a bowl of really greasy chili with them but do not, under any circumstances, go to the bathroom. Politicians can never be seen going potty–it’s a sign of weakness.

Get back into your car and look for the closest fast food restaurant to do your duty before the chili turns into military grade ordinance.  Look there’s a McDonald’s!  Nope can’t go there.  Might actually be someone in there who votes. Look for a Jack-In-The-Box in a bad area of town or, better yet, a Del Taco–definitely no voters there.

Now head over to a senior citizen’s facility. Tell them you promise never to touch their social security–even if it means their grandchildren will never receive social security or even a decent education. Let those whipper snappers eat beans out of a can as long as the old pharts can  afford their yearly vacation to Boca–and again, don’t worry about the grandkids, Boca will be underwater by the time they get old!

Finally, head home, kiss your spouse goodbye and head back into the closet for the flight home. Better yet, live out of the closet for the next week as that will simulate the living space you will have in D.C. as that is all you will be able to afford. Unless of course you are on the take, in which case, why did you run for office in the first place?

Old Phart

 

 

 

 

 

Raffi

Dear Old Phart,

I am a former singer of children’s songs who made millions of dollars singing to youngsters. At one time I was known as the most popular children’s singer in the English world. But that was not where my heart was; I wanted to sing folk tunes to adults. So I switched to adult folk singing and went from producing gold records to albums no one listened to.  I know I can’t go back to what I used to be but the new me is a flop. What should I do?

The Artist Formerly Known As Raffi*

Dear The Artist Formerly Known As Raffi,

My heart goes out to you. You follow your heart and find only disappointment. It is soul crushing. It must feel like “An elephant sat on Raffi!” — to borrow a lyric from one of your children’s song.

Raffi baby, don’t follow your heart, follow your wallet. Millions of parents like me played your songs endlessly to our children, nieces, nephews, children’s friends, etc. We couldn’t take a trip to the store, let alone a trip across country, without playing your songs to soothe the savage beasts in the back seat.

Now with grandchildren I will have to play those same songs again and again and again. I feel that if I have to play “Baby Beluga” one more time I’m going to have to go “down by the bay where the watermelons grow” and drown myself.

We need new material! But it is true you can’t go back. So this is what you are going to do. You’re going to dress up in a dress and pretend you are a woman. Change your name from Raffi to Taffi. And start producing new songs for the next generation of munchkins to be anesthetized by.

And why should you do this? “Because the more we get together, the happier we’ll be.” Now start plucking your chin hairs!

Old Phart

*p.s. This letter isn’t really from the artist formerly known as Raffi. I made it up. I just had to “shake my sillies out.”

Taking A Knee

Dear Old Phart,

What’s all this controversy about football players kneeling during the national anthem? Whatever happened to respecting the flag? Do you love our country or are you one of those hippie communist nut jobs?

Which Side Are You On?

Dear Which Side Are You On?,

This is one of those controversies I really don’t get worked up about. My biggest concern right now is whether I can finish this in time to take a nap.

Just so you know, I would never kneel during the national anthem. My knees hurt when I kneel and at my age I’m not sure if I would be able to get up afterwards.

But enough about me. You don’t like football players kneeling during the national anthem? That’s easy enough to fix. Use your brain; try aversion therapy on the NFL.

Start a social media campaign calling out football players who kneel during the national anthem. Call them wimps. Say real men don’t kneel during the national anthem. Tell them if they were real men then they would kneel when it would actually take courage to get down on one knee…like in the locker room shower after the game!

Oh yeah. The first time one of those players takes a knee in the shower and finds themselves at eye level with Gronkowski’s schlong, it’ll be game over. Or perhaps they’ll find themselves staring at some tight end’s beefy behind. Such a vision will be burnt into their brain so brightly that they’ll never kneel any place anytime soon for fear of remembering that sight.

And I don’t think the other players will take too kindly with a teammate being eyes to eye with their privates. Don’t be surprised if this results in unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct in the locker room.

So, problem solved.  See all you have to do is use your brain to address any dilemma. I’m so good. Maybe next time I’ll tackle something a little more challenging…like cutting toe nails when you’re old and your stomach gets  too big.

Old Phart

 

 

 

Opioids

Dear Old Phart,

A few months ago I was in a car accident. While healing, I was in intense pain so the doctor prescribed opioids. Well now I’m hooked on them and my prescription is running out. My choices are few: find a new doctor who will write a script, buy the drugs on the black market or switch to the cheapest option…heroin.

I don’t know what to do. I need the drugs to exist; it’s the only thing I crave anymore.

Can you help me?

Desperate

p.s. I’m not Rush Limbaugh

Dear Desperate:

When I was a child I used to crave certain television shows. One of my favorites was “Andy of Mayberry.” This show starred Sheriff Andy Taylor and his son Opie. What does Opie have to do with Opiods? Nothing! Opie never did drugs, which is why he is one of the few childhood stars who became a successful adult and is now an Academy Award winning movie director.

You on the other hand are a crackhead junkie. The road you are going down has no good ending. If you don’t kick the habit you will lose everything and everyone you care about.

Usually in a situation like this, I would recommend counseling and give some wise advice on how to stop addiction. But not with you. I want nothing else to do with a disgusting human being like you.

How dare you try to bribe me by including a fentanyl pill in your letter! You are a dirty disgusting dingus. I don’t do drugs and I can’t be bribed you low-life scumball.

You disgust me. If I were half a man I’d beat your sorry ass. Try to bribe me? Sheesh…

Well ok, maybe I’m being a little too harsh and, as a decent human being, I  should show some empathy for someone who has a debilitating addiction. Lord knows I’m not perfect. Ok Old Phart, take a deep breath…calmer now. Sorry for the rant….hmm… Maybe I’d be doing a service to my readers if I did take the pill you sent, tried drugs just once, to see what it is like to be in your shoes.

Ok. Just once. Here goes. (gulp)…

 

 

 

 

 

 

old PhaRt^

Oh Gawd God!

Dear God,

I have prayed to you my whole life. I deeply believe in you and your greatness. I am overawed by your majesty. However sometimes I wonder what you are thinking when bad things happen. Are you just testing us?

True Believer

 

Dear True Believer:

First, I am not God. Your letter must have gotten mixed-up at the post office.

Second, unlike God, you can see me, feel me, touch me, and when I don’t change my socks, you can smell me too.

Third, I do not have God’s current address…he keeps moving. The last address I had for him was Salt Lake City but he left when Mitt Romney lost the Presidency. Rumor has it that he is now sharing an address with the Devil in Trump Tower but I understand through well-placed sources that this address might not be good for long. So instead of relying on the post office to deliver your letter to the right recipient (I don’t want the Devil  to get it by mistake), I will try and answer your question.

There is an ancient Hebrew prayer called the Shema. The English translation of the prayer is:”Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” The question is, the Lord is One what?

Is the Lord One Great Guy as miracles do happen?

Is the Lord One Big Shmuck as tragedies do occur?

Is the Lord One Ton A Mera? (He’s Hispanic!)

Is the Lord One Toke Over The Line? (He’s a stoner!)

Is the Lord One Mother Mary who comes to me? If so…let it be, let it be.

So here’s the rub. Religion tries to tell you who God is. In reality, God is whoever you want Him/Her to be.

You won’t believe it but I just finished talking to God. He’s a middle age American male who works a 40 hour week, makes $58,000 a year and gets a pension after 30 years. Yup, he’s the postman who delivered your letter to me. 🙂

Old Phart

Homework Help

Dear Old Phart,

I am a high school student. Next week we are going to have a test on “How A Bill Becomes A Law.”  I don’t understand it; it seems so complex. Can you explain it to me in a simple way? I can’t afford to fail this test.

Sophmoric Sophmore

Dear Sophmoric Sophomore,

I can help you with this. In another life I worked in government so I have a good idea how the process works.

In federal government, the way a bill becomes law is simple–it doesn’t. Because of filibusters, incompetent political leaders, ideological Congressmen, the right wing media (FoxNews) the left wing media (MSNBC) and the media no one listens to (Wolf Blitzer), nothing ever gets passed.

In state government, it is a little more complicated as each state is different. But while the process varies by state, the principles are remarkably similar.

First a well-funded special interest group comes up with an idea for a bill. Then the special interest group spins a story how such a bill would be good for everyone in the state, even though the bill’s real purpose is to make a lot of money fot a select group of greedy bastards.

Next the special interest group contacts a state legislator it has bought off, uh, I mean, to whom it has given a lot of campaign contributions. This legislator sponsors the bill.

The state legislator then finds other legislators who receive campaign contributions from the special interest group, or would like to, and calls them co-conspirators, uh I mean, co-sponsors.

Then the process gets a lot more complex with committee meetings and votes interspersed with lobbyists buying lavish meals and mixed drinks for hardworking public officials. And yes, if lucky, some gruesome legislator who is uglier than the cattle he raises, gets to have some moo time with a winsome corporate lobbyist who has earned her reputation by learning how to give some to win some.

Eventually the legislation makes it to the Governor’s desk to sign into law. After signing the bill the Governor gives the signing pen to the leader of the special interest group in exchange for thousands of dollars worth of independent campaign  expenditures. (Proving that indeed the pen is mightier than the sword!)

In summary:

How does a bill becomes a law in the federal government?  “It doesn’t.”

How does a bill becomes a law in state government? “Money.”

The above summary is all you need to know for your test. If the teacher has a problem with it, hack her social media account and tell her you are thinking of forwarding her drunk party pictures to the school  board.

You’ll ace your test and, who knows,  you might have a bright future in politics!

Old Phart

Life’s a Beach

Dear Old Phart,

I love my wife but she has this thing about beach vendors. Recently we went on a trip to Mexico and before she had taken six steps onto the beach she was surrounded by vendors.

She spoke to them all, bought from almost all of them and promised the rest she would be back. She did “bargain” with them but I bet the final price was not a bargain and the “real” silver jewelry was anything but.

What should I do? I think she’s a beach shopaholic!

Save My Retirement

Dear Save My Retirement,

You can’t fool me. This is not a letter from a random reader. This is from my Appalachian-born, Vietnam vet-bred, mojo-loco brother-in-law who is trying to get me in trouble with my wife!

Yes my brother-in-law Geno is a walking contradiction. He is one of the most talented, conflicted persons of character I have ever known. But Geno you’re not going to use your special ops mind techniques to force me into saying anything negative about my beach shopaholic wife….oops she’s not a beach shopaholic…she’s a wonderful caring careful shopper…who…stop it Geno…I am not going to talk smack about how much my wife spent buying beach jewelry and then forgetting all of it in the hotel when she packed…damn  you Gene!

Stop messing with me. Go back to watching “Finding Bigfoot” on the Animal Channel.

Geno…Ouch, stop twisting my nipples! What’s wrong with you? Wait what, that’s not you? Then who is it?

Oh oh….

Got to go.

Old Phart

Perennial Millennial

Dear Old Phart,

I am a 27 year old Millenial. I am sick and tired of you Boomers brushing us off like some imaginary spec of dust on Jay-Z’s shoulder.

We are proud, hard-working civic minded Americans whose goals and ambitions are just as noteworthy as the generations before us.

My question to you Old Phart is, how do I convey this thought to my parents without them threatening to kick me out of the house again? They’re really becoming annoying; why can’t they just leave me alone?

Perennial Millenial

P.S.:  If I post your blog on my social media can you get me a beta version of the next “Call of Duty” video game?

Dear Millennial,

For thousands of years, people have been stinking up the bathroom when they poop.  Then about a decade ago, some baby boomer thought it would be a neat idea to place a little spray bottle of perfumed scent on the back of the toilet to spritz the air after launching a U-Boat into the waters below.

You know what I mean. You take a dump. It smells. You spray the scent to cover your stink. Then you go to the sink to wash your…wait what?!!!

You use the scent spray before you wash your hands? That means you and everyone who has taken a crap before you has touched their poop encrusted hands on that nozzle right after they wipe their bottom but before they wash. Gross!

See the metaphor here? Boomers want everyone to think that their poop doesn’t stink but their hands are just as dirty as all the generations before them!

Don’t let anyone stereotype your generation. Before we were boomers we were pot smoking, sex crazed, commune living, anti-capitalist hippies who were going to tear apart the fabric of American society. Yet our generation produced such captains of industry as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, and we created more wealth inequality than any generation before us!

If you are an underperforming egotistic narcissist it’s because you are an underperforming egotistic narcissist….not because you are a Millennial.

Ah wait, ulp. Dang it, I ate too much creamed corn for dinner. Excuse me… gotta run… let’s hope there’s some scent left in that bottle.

Old Phart

Is History Important?

Dear Old Phart,

My college roommate and I were engaged in a late night discussion on whether history is important. He argued it was and used the old bromide that “those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.” I countered that in this age of “fake facts” and instantaneous communication, words are not worth the paper they used to be written on.

What say you?

Yes We Were Stoned

Dear Yes We Were Stoned,

The short answer to your question is that history is important to history teachers but history teachers do not make history. Neither do history majors– unless they get a job in a field other than their major.

History is only important in a social darwinistic sense; that is, you do something based on what others have done or not done (history) that changes how both you and others act or react (making history).

For instance, let’s say you are not as smart as a history major but you inherit a large sum of money.

With this money you make investments and based upon your family legacy,  people and banks give you more money. Over time people believe that you have a history of successful investment so they start to throw ever larger sums of money at you.

Then you convince people that not only are you smarter than a history major, but you are smarter than those who write the first draft of history–journalists.

When you convince all these people how smart you are, even though you’re not, then you can become President of the United States.   Now that’s making history!

And that’s why you now find yourself living  in the Stoned Age.

Old Phart

Forever Alone?

Dear Old Phart,

I’ve tried it all! Blind dates, set ups, online apps, meeting  guys at bars, at school or at work…. but I still can’t seem to find a “significant other”. What do you think is the best practice? Should I continue dating or just let it come to me? Or give up all together?

Forever Alone

Dear Forever Alone,

From your letter, and the enclosed picture of you sitting on your bed,  I can deduce three things:

  1. you have a substance abuse challenge – as shown by the empty beer bottle on your night stand with the half-smoked doobie balanced on top of it.  A less challenged person would have finished the blunt and left the beer bottle half empty.
  2. you like bad boys–as shown by the poster of the lead singer from the indie band Catastro hanging over your bed.  Stay away from him–he smells like underage teen spirit!
  3. you have a tendency towards sexual promiscuity–as shown by the fact that you are wearing an ASU t-shirt. Go Devils!

But the three character traits named above are not the root cause of your problem. In fact, they remind me of my daughter’s friends character traits–and many of them are happily married; including my daughter.

Your real problem is that you are addicted to emotional turmoil. You love the drama of relationships instead of focusing on the stability they can bring. Sure the short term highs of felt-up, make-up, break-up are exciting but after it’s over you find yourself at the starting gate again.

Change your dating perspective from having a good time to attaining a mate for the long run. Think marathon not the 50 yard dash.

You’ll still need to attend the meet markets, but to change your outcome you’ll need to modify your mating moves so you can meet a companion who merits such a magnificent Miss from Tempe!

Old Phart