Thursday, December 25, 2008

December 25, 2008

Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dear Santa: How's that 401-K looking?

A little late this year my little bunny adherents but what is Christmas if you can't sit bolt upright at three am remembering young Adam, John, Janie or Ethel who will be by the house on Christmas day with their parents, your second cousins twice-removed from Irvington NJ. Haven't seen them since the kid was born (the cousin, not the offspring) so a gift for the little urchin is about as foremost in your mind as when is the next trash pickup after the 25th.

Nonetheless, they're on their way and you're going to be able to water the African violets with the well of tears the kid will come up with if you don't summarily come up with some brightly colored bundle of marketing savvy that he or she can lord over anyone else attending under the emotional age of eight which, at this time of the year, is all of us.

So never mind that your 401-K is more like a 201-K, the national debt and your home loan to equity ratio are about the same and the grocery store club card has revoked you as being uncreditworthy. Jump in the car now, sideswipe an SUV or two and get to your local toy emporium to check out:

Bunny's Top Ten Toys of 2008

1) Elmo Live: Really an ordinary Elmo, but you supply the abnormal brain and hang him off the second floor balcony in a lightning storm. If it all works, he'll be alive, alive I tell you and you can only hope that he'll give the little girl back the flower and drown himself in the well.

2) Kota, My Triceratops Dinosaur: This is not to be confused with Kyoto, my dinosaur treaty or Barney, my dinosaur congressional representative. No this toy is huge (sort of like Barney), interactive (not like Barney) and roars at your child when he or she talks to him. In other words, this toy ideally prepares your kid for their first parent in law.

3) Kid Tough Waterproof Digital Camera: Shoots delightful high resolution full color digital photos. What's more its rugged and waterproof which is what you wish you could say about your Canon Rebel at Lake Winnepesaukee, you loser!

4) Live Butterfly Garden: What other way to introduce your kids to the amazing process by which gypsy moths start as lawn eating larvae, morph to tree decimating caterpillars and then in a miracle of nature become live moths destined to die and clot most everyone's outdoor post lamp.

5) Eyeclops Night Vision: Clip this on, see everything out there on a moonless night and never be afraid of the dark again. However, when four year old Annie looks out her window and sees you, blazing single red eye clumping around the backyard bushes in the dark, you've guaranteed her years of therapy.

6) Fur Real Friends Biscuit: Looks like a dog, barks like a dog, walks like a dog, loves you like a dog. But at five a.m. when its time for a walk and a crap and a brush and a feeding, its just another battery-operated toy. Yee-hah! Battery operated fleas not included.

7) Wild Planet Hyper Dash: Exciting game where the object is to get to the finish line before we run out of everything.

8) Playskool Busy Ball Popper: Boys only, this ensures they get "fixed" young and you never have to worry about them hanging with trashy girls in their teens. Imagine your four year old ready for marriage and corporate America.

9) Nerf and Strike Vulcan: Shit, even I can't come up with anything for this. How bizarre is that?

10) Pleo the Robotic Dinosaur: Still a popular toy, it moves organically (as opposed to chemically induced, in my case) explores its environment (hey look, beer and chips!) interacts with you and expresses emotions based on life experiences. In other words, this this is like what you expected in an ex-wife (in the former) and what you eventually got in an ex-wife (in the latter.)

Not to be too cynical on the latter but really guys, do you want a toy that learns? No no no no no no no no. In my youth, you could chuck GI Joe off into a corner and he'd just kind of hang, scar and straight eyed until you came back from checking out Daddy's "secret magazine" library. Uh huh, I thought not.

Best wishes of the season, or to paraphrase;

And I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight, "Goddam it Vixen, would you bear to the right?"

Merry Christmas.

Bunny on.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa

Yo Yo's Still Represent an Outstanding Investment

5.40 am: In overnight trading, Asian markets took a four percent loss when rumors of a Ahi Tuna shortage at Lou Takahashi's in Tokyo's financial district spread on the trading floor. Hong Kong shares dropped significantly when a Wal-Mart in Redding, California did not issue rain checks on sale merchandise for the first time in its history. South Korean shares nose-dived just to piss off the north.

6:30 am: European shares are mixed with France's Kakk up on rumors of a new mistress for French president Sarkozy. Paper futures are particularly high as tabloids scramble for extra editions to capture his elaborate facial denials while soft pornography books surely have a nude photo of her somehow, somewhere.

Frankfurt's DAX stayed down on the news but shares retained most of their value as the exchange realized that the rest of the world wasn't having any fun either.

6:36 am: France tanks on speculation that the girlfriend is German. Frankfurt plunges at the thought of a wry smile. English gold stays bright and shiny.

8:10 am: Dow futures point up when Bernanke points out that Greenspan has in fact been hiding behind his commode for the last month. With a majority of mortgages under water resulting from houses having been pushed into a lake to hide from the bank, individual hedge funds are now fleeing towards quality and investing in Bernie Mac. The bottom falls out when the actor is remembered to have been dead for months. Nasdaq futures tank when fond reminiscences of seventies television is misunderstood and "Fonzie" is interpreted as "Ponzi."

8:45 am: European shares recover slightly when Gordon Brown finds some old carnival money in a biscuit jar at 10 Downing. Range Rover's cash flow for November is assured. The Euro stabilizes when it is announced that while Italy must have an exchange somewhere, no one really knows nor cares.

9:15 am: Dow futures plunge when Rick Wagoner announces the "Roger and Me" into the Saturn product line. Alan Greenspan emerging from behind his commode further depresses the trading outlook. He is reported to be irrationally exuberant.

9:55 am: The first trade of the day is a rookie Roger Clemens Fleer card for a Topps "Oil Can" Boyd. The market stays at negative forty seven.

10:36 am: The anticipated Federal Reserve short term rate cut of 1/2 percent is announced to be a full basis point. The interbank lending rate is four turnips and a cup of broth. Markets rally and the Dow is up 678 points.

10:42 am: The Dow gives back the rally and eighty seven basis points just because Christmas is coming and you know what they say about giving and receiving. Index stands at 8108 which is a nice number in a lot of people's eyes.

11:45 am: Rumors of a Bank of America collapse prompt Congress to pump an additional 10 billionjillion into the financial sector out of what they can wring out of TARP08. Rumors lead to the reality that the collapse was just an over-reporting of a square of shingles falling off a branch in Macon Georgia that was being laid over. B of A announces a thousand layoffs to squelch reports.

12:07 pm: Tuna on rye proclaimed delicious by Robin Mertz, floor trader, Dow up 142.

1:32 pm: Warren Buffett believed to have been seen driving by in a taxicab, Dow rallies 12,000 plus points. An individual investor is quoted by Barron's to have said "I've lost some but I'm waiting this out until good times return." is proclaimed the son of God by some.

2:15 pm: Dow plummets to its lowest point since they first carved their initials into the buttonwood tree on reports of the taxi having gone to the airport. "Remember the day traders!" resounds on the floor of the exchange as seatholders launch a brave but vain campaign for the exits.

3:55 pm: Dow still in negative territory when early reports of a federal bailout of the auto industry are confirmed to only be a positive test drive experience in a Chrysler by an under-under secretary of agriculture.

4:15 pm: Dow up slightly on rumors of Greenspan back behind commode. Bernanke wonders out loud why he didn't become an orthodontist like his mother wished he would. Credit markets continue to remain tight and playing "Buddy can you spare a dime" remains contigent on scores in the 700's. Rhode Island sells Rhode Island to make up its budget shortfall and oil drops below a handful of camel dung on the world market.

4:45 pm: At the close a late day rally pushes the Dow above where it stood this same day in 1995 on speculation of a new Starbuck's opening just down the street. Asian futures are down as they got their last cup at Dunkin' Donuts because the milk and sugar is already put in for them.

Bunny on.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Perils of Chlorine

The old man got the idea of a backyard swimming pool into his head back in 1975. Why, I have no idea. After all, this was the old man; he who darkens the house through basic electrical work, thinks two acres, a ton of crushed stone and a shovel and wheelbarrow are fine ingredients for a memorable summer vacation.

I still believed in him back then and allowed myself to get excited about the idea of a pool, albeit a 24 foot above-ground, but a pool nonetheless just six feet outside of my bedroom window.

Pools came either professionally installed back then, or in a series of big cardboard boxes and a Gutenberg Bible instruction manual for the handy do-it-yourselfer. Like the old man imagined himself to be. Of course we were going to do it ourselves, what other way was there? The first thing to do was to get a 12 foot string, find the center of the pool site and draw the circle that would eventually be filled with several thousand gallons of glorious pool. We did that dutifully and I grabbed the next shovel and started to dig like I had the worst craving for Chinese food the western world had ever seen. Stop! Ordered the old man and of course I was surprised because I was only trying to help. But I had committed the unthinkable and caused the needle of the funometer to move ever so slightly. Can't have that. People might smile now and again.

Nope, the chore was now NOT to actually dig a small indentation in the permafrost for the pool we'd eventually use from the end of June to mid-August. No, it was to cut the lawn, sod and smile when you say that, into identical usuable squares such that this valuable crab grass could be transplanted elsewhere on the postage stamp to ensure uniform, perfect green covering for the six weeks of summer we'd be getting. Which we did, slowing the pool's completion down by several weeks as the old boy went about picking up squares from the site and wandering about the property looking for the perfect place to plop them into place, mound dirt around the edges and water gently until they took. Then repeat. At this rate, I was looking at college junior year before we'd actually have a 24 foot diameter hole back there upon which we could put a freaking pool (above ground).

That was until God smiled upon me and summoned St. Ernie, patron saint of the futile who set forth to visit a pox of grubs upon the front yard. Problem solved, waning faith restored and the rest of the pool patches o' grass found a home in the devastated front yard.

With the pool built and filled I found out right quick how many good friends I had in the neighborhood. We became the social mecca that summer until the next door neighbors had their pool finished at which point the lemming run re-directed itself to their house. That didn't bother me, I got my piece and quiet and ability to swim and snorkel in the cool water until my skin turned the color of the liner and wrinkle like the old man's brow every evening he'd come home to find that I hadn't painted the house, dug a drainage ditch or paved the driveway, all things he did in his summer vacations when he was my age.

The neighbor's pool was in ground, unlike ours. It was a "real" pool, the kind you'd jump into out back of motor lodges in Georgia only to find that there was enough chlorine to blanche your testicles or the thing was really more pisswater than the men's room after the family of thirteen from Ohio had just gotten out. It was delayed in getting built that summer because the concrete wouldn't dry in the four feet of groundwater that kept filling the space or the blue paint was the wrong shade or some such thing. But when it was done everyone went for a swim over there and noted that, while nice, the water was frigid enough to have your previously blanched testicles withdraw back into your body cavity. So far in fact that you thought you could feel them hiding behind your lungs, hoping not to get sent out there again. No matter, it was later in the season and the water would be cool until next year when it would be warmed by the sun for a full season.

And that's pretty much where we left it that year. We closed up the above grounder, they closed up the in grounder, we all raked leaves, went to each other's Christmas parties and waited for spring, which eventually came along the same time my first blush of pubescent hormonal escalation showed up. Also arriving on track three was Mrs. InGround who had turned into a girl sometime over the winter and now thought that a bikini for the rest of the summer would be just a fine and dandy thing to come.

See, this isn't about pools, its about first lust. Actually its about both as I soon found my favorite spot in our pool just by the hedges abutting Mrs. InGround's yard, where I would lurk around laundry day and hope that she would do the sensible thing and hang the wash out in the fresh air.

This was just not fair. Instead of Mrs. InGround living next door, couldn't Mrs. Downthestreet move in? Thinking about her naked would make those weekly exhortations to consider the priesthood as a vocation seem quite sensible and reasonable. Nope, instead I got Mrs. InGround and her bikini and her husband and kids that I would secretly hope get kidnapped by gypsies.

That never happened as did Mrs. InGround never invite me over for a gin and tonic and a quick dip. Not to say I never swam there. As a courtesy since her kids had used our pool the summer before while theirs was under construction and ours was done, so too could I come over once to have a swim. I thought this heinously unfair because of course Mrs. InGround hadn't been a girl last summer, just a neighbor, her kids could continue to use my pool if it freed up their pool for that dip and G and T Mrs. Inground had been planning in my imagination.

But the most unfair, the most unjust part of that whole pool episode came when the same God that I had drawn grub-laced strength from sent St. Horatio, no doubt the patron saint of cooling off because you'll have a lifetime to be an ass in front of women, down to ensure that the inground pool never got above sixty six that entire summer.

The temperature never bothered the kids, the adults really only used the pool as a backdrop for tiki-festooned cocktail parties and it didn't stop Mrs. InGround from sunbathing at its edge. It did however, and here's where I'll cite intervention, divine or otherwise, cause me to lose a whole lot of momentary interest in Mrs. InGround when I took a dip and my nuts headed for the warm spot behind my lungs.

Bunny on.

visited 34 states (68%)