– Bumper sticker of the week: The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

– Quotes of the week: "Faith is not making religious-sounding noises in the daytime. It is asking your innermost self questions at night – and then getting up and going to work. " Mary Jean Irion

"Aim for the chopping block. If you aim for the wood, you will have nothing. Aim past the wood, aim through the wood; aim for the chopping block. " Annie Dillard

– I’m taking all bets that we still find the original A-bomb in Iraq. I’m thinking about the time Bush’s approval rating hits 40 percent. It’s already down to 53 percent. There it will be, hiding in one of those horrible tractor trailers. Mobile weapons factories, you know?

– There definitely must be some kind of correlation between stardom and stupidity. Enter Kobe Bryant. Why not just hire a prostitute if your dancing dew worm isn’t getting enough business at night. At least a prostitute wouldn’t have you arrested for trying to screw her. Although she could be an undercover cop. Still, it would probably only be a $50 fine.

– The ten best places in the United States to live:

1. Madison, Wisconsin. Although there are way too many liberals. Not near enough people to argue with.

2. Pensacola Beach, Florida. A haven for o ld hippies. And I saw Jesus there. In fact, I saw two of Him, which was a bit perplexing.

3. Columbus, Indiana. Everything Galesburg is not.

4. Austin, Texas. The only place in Texas that isn’t like Texas.

5. Mt. Shasta, California. The place is like a dream, minus the nightmare.

6. Cancun, Mexico. Should be the 5lst state. Much more accessible than Hawaii.

7. Vancouver, British Columbia. A beautiful place with a highly diverse population, making it unlikely there would be any right-winged Christians living there. And yes, I realize it’s not in the states, but it’s close.

8. Seattle (Whidbey Island), Washington. A quaint little paradise with a lot of people who are creative, most in a charming, con-man kind of way.

9. Traverse City, Michigan. This is a summer kind of place. It resembles hell in the winter.

10. Oquawka, Illinois. A place where most outsiders can feel normal. For that matter, most mentally ill people would feel normal. And the best smoked carp this side of the Mississippi.

– How to make the most out of a bad situation:

• If you get caught with your pants down, blame it on your tailor. If you don’t have one, get one, quick.

• If someone fingers you while you’re driving, blow them some kisses, in a happy, gay kind of way.

• If you get diarrhea, consider doing a stain removal commercial.

• If you get in the wrong line at the funeral home, tell the relatives of the deceased you’re that long-lost cousin from Kentucky.

• If you’re being held up, ask for a receipt. You can report it as a gambling loss. You took a chance on mankind.

• If your preacher’s giving you hell for sinning, ask him why the choir director’s kid looks just like him.

• If all else fails, join the military. Travel to new places. Meet new people. Kill them.

– It’s hard to picture 12 year old kids working 14 hours a day in some rot-gut infested building in Bangladesh or Thailand when I’m staring at some lacy, Victoria’s Secret panties. In fact, that’s what the fancy marketers hope. They don’t want the product in any way to have a history. It wasn’t so many years ago that’s exactly why we would buy something. We knew the craftsman, the artist, the worker who made the product. Not any more. Today you don’t meet the thin, Vietnamese child sewing together your Nike shoes. You meet Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods. It’s much more bearable that way.