Wee js b da Dlts n da mddl

Is it the challenge to overcome my fears or my passion for dark humor that keeps me reading and watching the news day by day as I trudge this road to happy destiny? I'm beginning to suspect some strange collusions and hand-holdings are afoot that make me the shill. The ever entrepreneurial Coca-Cola Company wants to provide a grant to a dental group. Huh? What does that do to my teeth? It makes them an escrow withdrawal account of some sort, I thimk. I spend my hard earned dollahs on a can of caramel sugar fizz cause I was so influenced by the snazzy ads and then I slather it across my only existing set of canines and incisors and molars in hopes it will magically bring to me the hot car, friends, camaraderie, and bon-vivant joie de vie they showed in the pictures. But...what's this? All it does is bring me to a dental group who has to scrape the stuff off and fill in the holes. So the cola folks took my money to wreck my teeth and the dental folk took even more bucks to fix 'em back up. I was js da Dlt n da mddl. It's no small wonder that the two bookends wanted to hook up, so they could research how to keep their money supply (our teeth) in fairly stable condition whilst they wiled their wheys.

I think there may be other such collusions that keep us puppets dancing in the middle. Does anyone else think that MickyD might be courting Jenny Craig? He puts it on she takes it off and we just go along for the ride. Of course there are the synergistic interlopers like Ephedra and personal trainers. The net effect on your wallet is still the same, a double ended emptying one. I suppose I could think of a few more of these double-entendre oxymorons. How about the Winston-Salem Heart and Lung Association? Would enjoying a tinkling dollop of aspartame in your coffee five minutes before you sipped your Metamucil give you a nice Stop and Go effect later in the morning? Who was it that said we get what we pay for...or was it what we deserve? Be right back, I gotta go brush my teeth.

Your e-prayers are so strong, they are infecting my computer? I still, in this modern day and age, have people that think I need their prayers so much that they email them with these gawd-offal cc lists attached and an ominous threat that if I don't pass the unsolicited and usually unneeded good news onto someone else real quick I will be smote, or cursed. What's more, these prayers usually come with some kinky virus attached...what kind of cruel deity and followers are we dealing with here anyway? Leave me alone. I'm 56 years old now...I can ruin my own day. Okay...to the crux. I wear one of those cheapo Casio calculator watches...have been for years now. I like to know by just how much I am being taken for the proverbial ride. It could be the reason my dating life has been so weird, I mean, c'mon, a guy wearing a calculator watch and driving a used car...but that aside it is great for working out a quick ratio in the supermarket. I usually shop in a store where they claim they are never going to stop surprising me. Pretty strong words. This is a competitive age, after all...and you really gotta be tough to handle a group of hard thinking sheep like us humanoids. Well, dammit, they ain't a'even started to surprise me yet. In fact, I'm bored with them, and here's why: I think it was back in late-aught '99 when, armed with my fully functioning semi-automatic Casio and a cold steel shopping cart that I casually strolled downed the BARGAIN/BULK aisle of this particular supermarket, an aisle where I usually hunt for bargains ,when I came across these really nice and big, kinda almost bulk packages that say I can save beaucoup by buying them that way. Fair enough. The gauntlet has been thrown down. Being a good sheep, I duly commit the unit price of a laundry detergent brand I use to memory (The government has taught me to always compare unit prices to know when I am having it tucked to me, which in reality, turns out to be quite often and in which sheep these days don't often compare because they seem to have excessive amounts of disposable money and are strongly influence by the mesmerizing effects of those commercials they are watching between the gaps in those tender, ever so true-to-life reality shows in which a tarantula and scorpion are chained onto someone's knee caps as electrical wires are being connected to their belly-button piercing stud and the tattoo on their buttocks that depicts the sun over Kilimanjaro being covered in an acid laden Vaseline mixture which will ignite if they don't eat their marinated rhino gromblie meats within 30 seconds etc ad nauseum ex post facto, cut back to commercial). Unit price still in mind, I meander to the aisle where the normal, more expensive standard size of said aforementioned detergent is stocked, and guess what...the "quote" bargain "unquote" aisle stuff cost 17% more than the regular everyday price I might have gotten tricked into buying had not my shrewdness gotten the best of me and had I not had my Casio on that day. I think this is how they had planned to surprise me. I think what my market needs instead of a catchy gimmick that makes people sick of hearing anyway is one of those double-entendre oxymoron counterparts like a land fill partnership. MickyD and Jenny are taking care of the food end of things already, so maybe we can partner the grocery store with trash hauler of some sort to take care of all the unnecessary packaging, although that could possibly cause a conflict with the toy companies and those in the already burgeoning bubble-pac consortium. Oh well, I'm just a sheep, I'll let them work it out...baaaaaaa!

J. Jules Vitali is a sculptor, columnist and poet who resides in Freeport, Maine. Keep an eye out for his art form, Styrogami (delicate yet philosophically powerfulsculptures made from the disdainable Styrofoam cup). He can be reached by email at styrogami@gwi.net or visit his website at www.styrogami.com