- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rubberneckers vex me.

They make my commute longer than it needs to be, and they make me say stuff out of frustration:

• “Don’t slow down! That’s just a cop. With a radar gun. He can’t catch you. Worry about the next cop waiting a half-mile down the road. He’s the one you have slow down for.”

• “That’s nothing to look at. It’s just a hearse that’s flipped over. See? The driver’s OK. And the guy in the back wasn’t in great shape to begin with.”

• “What are you gawking at? You act like you’ve never seen a horse before. So what if it’s running around in a parking lot? It’ll be on YouTube by the time you get to work.”

• “Hey! ‘Parkway’ is just a name, not a directive. Keep it moving!”

•••


The federal government now wants investors to buy “toxic” assets. Sounds good to me. I’m already on the government’s asbestos diet.

•••


Remember Rod Blagojevich?

The former governor of Illinois who was impeached and ousted by the state legislature?

The guy who faces federal corruption charges for allegedly trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama?

The dude who wears a squirrel as a hairdo? Guess what?

He’s got a new job. He’s the host of radio WLS-AM’s morning-drive show in Chicago.

Really. No, really.

All I can say is, welcome back, Rod! The news cycle hasn’t been the same without you.

In his new gig, Blagojevich will be expected to take calls from listeners, talk to guests and tell stories — some of which might actually be true.

Now, America may be known as the land of the second act, but this is ridiculous. Rod Blagojevich still faces federal charges and could go to prison. He’s starting this new gig during intermission.

Back in January, WLS-AM offered Blagojevich his own weekend show if he would resign as governor, but Rod turned them down. I bet he wishes he’d taken that offer now. The morning drive starts so early.

Blagojevich knows there’s a reality game show in his near future. He dreams that it’s “American Idol” and hopes that it’s at least “Survivor.” But he knows it’ll likely be “Deal or No Deal” — without the “Deal.”

•••


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recently said he’s preparing some verbal “artillery” for President Obama when they meet next month at an Americas summit. It seems to me that Chavez is talking out of his arsenal again.

•••


Researchers have discovered a gene that, when turned off, allows mice to eat all the carbs they want without getting fat.

The gene, located in the liver, helps turn excess glucose into fatty acids. Two groups of mice were fed an all-carb, low-fat diet, and the ones with the turned-off gene were 40 percent leaner and less susceptible to heart disease, researchers found.

Hey! Why are the mice getting all the good food research? They figure out how to make a mouse eat all it wants and stay thin, while I gain 10 pounds by looking at a picture of cheesecake.

Due to an accident in the lab, researchers now are trying to find a way to overstimulate the mouse-hunting gene in cats.

Pigs have long set the standard for overeating. If we allow mice to gorge themselves, what will pigs do? They’ll be out of work. One thing we don’t need is a bunch of unemployed pigs.

•••


I’m working on becoming an idiot savant. I’m about halfway there.

•••


Did you see that story about the staff at a Dallas high school who made students settle their differences in bare-knuckle fistfights in a locker room cage?

They even had spectators cheer on the fights, and the principal of South Oak Cliff High School even set up some of the brawls, according to a recent report.

None of the school personnel involved in the brawls has faced criminal charges, and some still work at other local schools.

It sounds like a misguided attempt to meet their physical education requirement. Dodgeball might have been the smarter way to go.

The first rule of Fight Club is don’t talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is don’t do it at school.

Well, at least they didn’t make boxing promoter Don King the school’s principal, because he would have appointed Mike Tyson as the athletic director. He owes Iron Mike a shot at something.

•••


I read an article at LiveScience.com about a new study showing that romantic love lasts longer than previously thought.

A survey of 6,000 people — from new couples to long-married partners — found that 13 percent reported high levels of romantic love.

Researchers said the results were surprisingly high since it has long been thought that romantic love dies over time.

This reminds me of an old joke told by a stand-up comic: “I’ve been in love with the same woman for 42 years. I just hope my wife doesn’t find out.”

For some people, romance is like bipartisanship. They want to believe in it but just can’t bring themselves to do it.

Still, it’s comforting to know that romance isn’t dead. It’s just taking a nap.

You can reach Carleton Bryant at 202/636-3218 and cbryant@washingtontimes.com.

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