ARCHIVE

  • Last modified 1195 days ago (Aug. 13, 2015)

MORE

Through the muck...

Did you ever notice that the only people who never seem to go on vacation are the folks who send you bills?

———

We think everyone should be charging the way utilities do. Instead of a hot dog costing $4, it would cost only 17 cents — but with a meat franchise fee of 84 cents, a pickle availability charge of 27 cents, a mustard facility cost of 42 cents, a ketchup depletion allowance of 38 cents, a cooking fuel escalator of 79 cents, a bun market adjustment of 74 cents, state sales tax of 6.5 percent, county sales tax of 1.5 percent, city sales tax of 0.75 percent, and a non-taxable bill itemization fee of 8 cents.

———

You can even do the math if you want to, but heaven help us all if you’d happen to want kraut with that, even if you came down with a delayed case of World War II political correctness and referred to it as “liberty lettuce” — a term that proves there’s hope for all of us. Someone, after all, probably got paid big bucks to come up with that term way back when.

———

Speaking of the old days, too bad one was French and both are dead. Marcel Marceau and Harpo Marx could have formed a great political ticket these days. At least we wouldn’t have to endure hours of boob tube tongue-wagging about their latest insipid comments.

———

It’s absolutely untrue, by the way, that the city has received a $18.6 million grant to pay for 90 percent of the cost of 1,000 tons of cow manure. At a final cost to the city of just $2.06 million, a you-know-what load of cow dung would have been a real bargain. And heaven knows politicians can never have too much of it to spread around.

———

Our governor’s proclivity for keeping most of his conversations about policy secret — probably to avoid them withering, as they should, in the light of day — seems to be infectious. Local politicians having been telling us that select colleagues on public bodies have begun resorting to scheming via private emails, which are immune to the scrutiny of public inspection under the state’s antiquated sunshine laws. It’s hard to believe they could be saying even stupider things in private than they say in public.

———

Our public commentary last week about roads and taxes may have been misinterpreted, especially behind closed doors. We see nothing wrong with raising taxes if it’s necessary to meet pressing needs, but only after a fair amount of the whale blubber that surrounds most government spending has been excised. The sad truth is, whenever government tries to shed a few pounds, we always seem to be the ones who end up as the biggest losers.

———

Alas, feeding time is soon to get a bit more solitary — birds and squirrels only, no felines — at my home away from home. Her extensive training in how to properly pour morning milk and adequately dangle pieces of cheese from her fingers now almost complete, Friend Mother will soon be bidding adieu to grand-kitten Agate, who over the summer has at least managed to improve her reading habits. Happy to curl up and purr loudly atop the pages of this paper, she prefers scratching and clawing to try to get anything of value out of other, mainly ad-filled publications that, like mosquitoes and chiggers, seems to arrive whether you want them or not.

———

Trombiculid mites — the scientific name for chiggers. Now that you know that, we’ve imparted sufficient useless knowledge so that you won’t have to turn on PBS, NPR, or one of those cable science channels for at least a week. Did you know that they are largely unheard of in places like northern Illinois and Wisconsin. Take it from someone who’s lived there and tried to explain them to people who already had sufficient reason to question his sanity.

———

And that, dear readers, is not entirely malarkey. Alas, it’s about as close as we can come.

— ERIC MEYER

Last modified Aug. 13, 2015

Quantcast