- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 1, 2009

January is over? Already?!

Why is time going by so fast? Is it double-parked somewhere?

I haven’t gotten used to writing “2009” on my checks yet!

I can’t find where they’ve moved all my favorite TV shows!

I’m still eating Thanksgiving turkey! It isn’t good, but I’m still eating it.

•••


Warner Bros. — which owns the Bugs Bunny cartoons — is being forced to cut its staffing by 10 percent because of the economic downturn.

Now don’t worry. Warner Bros. isn’t going to lay off Bugs — or Daffy Duck, for that matter. They are top earners.

But some of those “underperformers” should be worried.

I mean, Foghorn Leghorn talks a big game, but what has he done lately?

The Tasmanian Devil hasn’t been himself since anger management. And working as a florist? Please!

The “cute” factor will keep Tweety Bird’s job safe, but how long can Sylvester the Cat work in customer service with that lisp?

Elmer Fudd can always fall back on his first job — teaching English as a second language. But Porky Pig had better beware: He’s just breakfast on the hoof.

•••


Today is the Big Game.

I say “Big Game” because you’re not allowed to say “Super Bowl” without the express written consent of the National Football League. Just check out any football-themed commercial, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s like advertising for the Stealth Bowl.

I don’t think you can even say which teams are playing. So I just say “that professional football team from Arizona and that professional football team from Pennsylvania. No, not that one. The other one. Without the bird.”

•••


Scientific findings show that people are wallflowers or social butterflies mostly because of their genes.

A study on more than 1,000 pairs of teenage twins found that identical twins were much more likely to have the same social status than fraternal twins, who do not share the same DNA.

I’m not so sure about the study’s findings. The testing was done on teenagers, and they might outgrow that “identical” thing.

Nonetheless, this study is forming the basis for a new line of self-help books — “Improve Your Life By Improving Your Genes” and “Do-It-Yourself Genetic Mutation (In 258 Easy Steps).”

So if you’re a wallflower, this is one more thing you can blame on your parents. Why couldn’t they give you the “popular” genes?

•••


My 17-year-old son is on a divine mission — to eat every scrap of food in our home before I can get a whiff of it.

Case in point: I brought home a dozen doughnuts the other day, and my son met me in the kitchen before I could set the bag down.

“Look,” I said, “these doughnuts are not just for breakfast tomorrow, but you can’t eat them all before then.”

He looked at me serenely with a half-smile. “No promises, Dad. No promises.”

•••


Congress is thinking about freezing its pay because President Obama has frozen salaries of top White House officials. (That’s what Congress calls “leadership,” boys and girls.)

Still, a congressional pay freeze isn’t a done deal.

Junior members say that a $174,000 annual salary is enough — generous, even. But some senior members say they incur higher expenses because they have to keep second homes in the Washington area. They also cite congressional restrictions on earning outside income.

I’m guessing that a congressional pay freeze means that Congress’ automatic pay raise, which went into effect Jan. 1, would no longer be automatic. So they would have to start voting themselves pay raises again? That’ll work.

When Congress received its automatic 2.8 percent pay increase (about $4,700), there was very little opposition on Capitol Hill. So it looks like not making more money is the “in” thing now. A lot of people I know say it is the “in” thing — unfortunately.

In arguing for more money, some senior members of Congress say that higher pay can stave off corruption. Well, that’s a convincing argument: We TAXPAYERS wouldn’t want to do anything to corrupt our PUBLIC SERVANTS, who knew what the job pays when they CAMPAIGNED for it. What were we thinking?

•••


They really should change the name of urinal cakes, just to avoid any more confusion.

•••


I read a report that Michael Jackson is planning to stage a Broadway musical based on his 1982 album “Thriller.”

The musical will use songs from “Thriller” and his 1979 album “Off the Wall,” and Mr. Jackson will be involved in the creative aspects of the production.

You know, Michael Jackson has been promising a comeback for quite a while now, but most people thought it would be as a pop singer — or as the host of a children’s TV show.

A Broadway producer said the plot of “Thriller” is “girl meets boy, they fall in love, boy has a big secret.” Yeah, tell that to Michael’s first wife — Lisa Marie Presley.

I’m trying to imagine “Thriller” on Broadway. I think it would kinda be like “Cats,” just not as scary.

•••


I just realized something: In the jungle that is journalism, among all of the lions and tigers and cheetahs and jaguars, I am the three-legged wildebeest with whooping cough and a lazy eye.

Read Carleton Bryant’s daily humor blog at www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/out-context.

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