Quote of the week: ''By any objective standard of measurement, there is no better profession than humor columnist. That is why so many people want my job. It looks so easy! In fact, as you read the columns in this book, you may find yourself thinking: 'Hey, I could do this. Any random person could do this!' That is where you are wrong, my friend. lt takes a very special kind of random person to be a humor columnist. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people try their hand at this demanding profession. After a few months, almost all of them have given up and gone back to the ninth grade.'' Dave Barry, Is Not Taking This Sitting Down!
In dealing with elected officials, it is a wonder there are not more random shootings than there are. You ask an official a question and they never answer, or worse yet, they answer with another question. For instance, ''How did you vote on the burning issue? might be answered, ''What burning issue?'' ''Where do you think we should build a new firehouse?'' might elicit the reply, ''Is that the burning issue you were talking about?'' As you move from city to county to state to federal government, the answers become increasingly sophisticated. On the county level, a question such as ''Should the county operate a nursing home?'' might result in the question, ''We're all going to grow old, aren't we?'' I once asked a state representative what the difference is between modern livestock farming and industry? The answer, ''How can you unionize livestock?'' And by the time you get to the feds, things can get as slippery as snot. A question like, ''Do you think every citizen should have the right to own a handgun?'' can come back at you faster than a speeding bullet, ''I suppose you think that's funny?''
I'm about to start franchising executive washrooms. Our largest competitor will be state owned rest-stops, but I don't see this as a major problem. Executive washrooms will appeal to a higher class clientèle. We will not be marketing to truck drivers or vans full of illegal immigrants. Executive washrooms will be splashy, with plenty of neon signs and the latest in high-tech gadgetry. Each stall, actually a private relaxation nook, equipped with a Buddy Butler, automated to not respond negatively to any stink that may develop, and will not comment if anything unusual takes place. His hand will come down automatically to hold your coat. It may be possible to use this hand to wipe yourself, but this would require a certain level of dexterity and trust, which will limit participation with this option and hold down our liability. For golf enthusiasts, we will have a Potty Putting Range. You would naturally be sitting down, so when you putt your balls, you will need to be careful. Probably we will have to supply custom length putters. There may be a prize if you make like 4 out of 5, we haven't settled on that yet. Other amenities will include scented toilet paper from around the world, various perfumes that you can have applied to your underside by Buddy Butler, and Buddy will polish your shoes while you're sitting there. And we guarantee that the toilet will flush down any foreign objects with only one flush, a phenomena you hardly see anymore today. In the end, or in spite of it, you will have enjoyed your experience at our executive washrooms, or we will refund your admission price, which is yet to be determined but is likely to be more than a quarter. We were thinking of selling cheap hamburgers, but we don't want to confuse anyone on what end we specialize in. For more information, call 1-Easy-Does-It, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. But hurry, there are only 264,321 franchises left.
President George gives some sound advice to parents: Love your kids. The thought is short enough to at least not get him too confused. However, in his next sentence, he reneges on his only environmental campaign promise, which was to regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide coming from power plants, the culprits most responsible for global warming. I would suggest, if he loves his kids, he should take global warming and the environment a bit more seriously.