Monday, March 31, 2014

Procrastination Not Covered Under Affordable Care Act

Shirley Blessfield has been putting off getting an insurance policy under the Affordable Care Act (or ACA). She claims that she had every intention of getting a policy as soon as they were put on the market, but because of circumstances beyond her control, time is now quickly running out.

"First I got the flu," she said. "Then my husband and kids got the flu, and well, it was one thing after another," she said apologetically. Shirley blames her procrastination on her thinking for so many years that health insurance just wasn't affordable, even though she has heard from friends, as well as her co-workers and her church pastor that wasn't the case.

"Oh, I've got a million and one reasons why I haven't yet gotten the 'insurance thingie' taken care of," she said, and then wondered out loud "Hmmm, wonder if procrastination is covered under the ACA," hoping that might just buy her some more time.

Unfortunately, it isn't, and it won't, Shirley. According to most psychologists, the underlying causes of procrastination are largely mental, and as such, are not covered under most major medical insurance or even standard health insurance policies. Unless, of course, you can prove that the procrastination caused a stress-related illness, such as a severe case of hives or even a nervous tic.

This was something Shirley had not considered, as she ran to the mirror to take a look at her left eye.

"There, can you see it?" she said pointing to the outer corner of her left eyebrow.

"Just thinking about getting my family signed up for insurance before midnight tonight, has that sucker going a mile a minute," she said excitedly.

Sure enough, Shirley Blessfield's eye was going cattywompus (not a recognized medical term), and was causing her to twist her head sideways in order to see herself properly in the mirror.

Unfortunately, for Shirley, it was a catch-22. She has the condition that may very well be covered under a plan, but for the fact that she hasn't signed up for a plan, which has caused the condition, well, it's like a mirror, facing a mirror, facing a mirror which made this reporter's head hurt so badly that she barely made it to press in time for this story to print on the very last day to sign up for insurance, which coincidentally could very well have been written a week, even months in advance, had it not been for one small detail...procrastination.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

British Man Vibrates at High Frequency; Flies into Crowd, Injuring 4

David McKenney, of Huntingdon, England, is in hospital today, when, for no explicable reason, he started shaking violently, lifted off the ground, and slammed into a crowd of people, injuring dozens. Four other people were injured badly enough to warrant a ride to the hospital as well.

McKenney was attending the 20th annual Cambridge Science Festival with his wife and three children when he began to feel a trembling in his shoulders. Within 20 seconds, his entire body  began to vibrate, sending him upwards and outwards into the crowd with little warning.

"I didn't know what to think," said Shirley Tremborne-Davis of Peterborough. "Damndest thing I ever saw.

"One minute, we were at the Hands-On Physics exhibit, watching a student mathematician plot the equation of a thin blue line, when all of a sudden, this man, out of nowhere just flies into the people in front of me. Thank goodness I was agile enough to jump out of the way before he hit," said Tremborne-Davis, who escaped with only a few minor scrapes.

McKenney, whose approximate weight is around 132 kg or 290 lbs, landed on two people who, along with two other people who were injured while trying to dive out of McKenney's way, were transported to hospital with various injuries.

At this time, all injured, including the human projectile, McKenney himself, were said to be in stable condition. Several others in the crowd were treated on the scene with various minor injuries including contusions, cuts and scrapes.

Several of the physicists on hand were asked if they had any idea how this man could have possibly attained such a level of vibration as to actually become airborne. One had a theory he was eager to share.

Dwayne "Donny" Brentson, the student physicist working on the thin blue line equation, said he had a theory that he was working on, and he was amazed that it could have possibly worked on Mr. McKenney.

"It's called the bobble-head theory," said Brentson.

"Mr. McKenney is a large man, and his head is abnormally large in comparison to his body. My theory is that someone possibly nudged McKenney in order to slide in front of him to get a closer look at my experiment, and this set off a small tremor in McKenney's body. This most likely caused his head to bobble side to side. The shudder became a vibration, upsetting the equilibrium in McKenney's body, and, instead of slowly equalizing itself, the vibrations became more violent, sending McKenney upward and into the crowd."

 The other physicists agreed this was the most logical explanation for the occurrence. They also said that, while rare, there have been more and more incidents of this nature lately. While they cannot say what is causing this shift in equilibrium, they were all in agreement that it could possibly have something to do with the fast food industry.

"What is interesting," said John Fittlesworth, a physics student at Cambridge, "is that not only are people's bodies getting larger due to an increased appetite for cheap, fast food, but in some, it is also causing an increase in the circumference of the head."

While the students showed concern for the injured, they were outwardly enthused at the prospect of re-creating this spectacle again in controlled experiments for next year's Science Festival.

Fittlesworth says their excitement stems from the fact that they could very well be on the threshold of finally explaining Einstein's Theory of Gravity as a distortion in the shape of space-time.

"Mr. McKenney could very well have experienced a shift into the fourth dimension," said Fittlesworth, "and we can't wait to see what else this man is capable of."

No exhibits were cancelled at the Science Festival, and it is hopeful that it will wind up Sunday without further incident.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

American Lightweight Drinkers Amuse Irish Pub Owners on St. Patrick's Day

Another St. Patrick's Day has come and gone, and with its passing comes some great tales from Irish expatriates who have taken up residence in America to live their lifelong dream of opening their own authentic Irish pub.

"If anyone knows drinkin' and pubs, it's us," said Paddy O'Malley, owner of Paddy's Fine Irish Spirits in Topeka, Kansas.

"I know, what the hell is an Irish Pub doing in one of the most American neighborhoods in America, you might be asking?" said O'Malley with a characteristic Irish grin.

"Me mum's second aunt lives here, and she's generously offered me room in 'er basement till I can get me Irish pub business off the ground," he answered himself.

O'Malley says he and a group of friends he's made on a Facebook page called "Luck 'O the Irish Pub Club" were recently discussing this past St. Patrick's Day and in particular, the difference between an American drinker and an Irish drinker.

"Oh we had a wee bit o' craic over that one, we did," said O'Malley.

"Do ya honestly think we spent every last dime in our pocket to move over here to just break even in the pub business?" asked O'Malley.

"No, it weren't that, I can assure you," he again answered himself.

"We Irish are known for finding various ways to make ourselves laugh, so we don't ever lose our ranking as being one of the happiest people on earth," he said.

"Here in the Irish pub business, we don't plan on being rich, but we do plan on having the best time of our lives every Friday and Saturday nights, and that includes watching American lightweight drinkers get stumbling drunk and make right asses of themselves," he said.

"I can tell you this, I've not laughed this much since I owned my original bar in Dublin and watched the Englishmen beat each other up, get thrown out, and then stagger back in and ask for more of the same," he said.

"With Americans, it's not as ribald as a real fist fight, as most Americans have been sissied up a bit with too many creature comforts," he said, referring to every foreigner's assumption that Americans are (1) filthy rich; and (2) can afford to have all the modern conveniences in order to free them up to drink and act like asses.

O'Malley finished his pint of Guinness, poured another, and continued.

"Watching them get in a fight with each other and trying to slap each other senseless is, in my humble opinion, almost better than watching a bare-knuckled fight back in Ireland," he chuckled.

"Why, I'd go so far as to say it's even better than watching two girls go at it, except, of course, if it's Mike Tyson fighting," he said.

"Most Irishmen think Tyson fights like a girl anyway," said O'Malley, referring to Tyson's resorting to biting the ear off former world champion, Evander Holyfield's face back in 1997."

When asked if he knew that, coincidentally, Evander Holyfield, at age 51, is hoping to be given a temporary licence by the British Boxing Board of Control to fight Scotland's Highland boxer, Gary Cornish, in the very near future, O'Malley said he had not, but that he would definitely put in Sky cable to make sure the match is shown in his pub.

It should be right fun watching them try and slap each other to the finish," and added, "Holyfield has God himself to thank for not having to go up against a bare-fisted Irishman."

Getting back to the difference between American drinkers and Irish drinkers on St. Patrick's Day, O'Malley said simply, "I thought we been through all that. We both drink more than we should. The difference," he said, "is that when an Irishman has gone over his limit, he usually just finds a corner to go sleep it off in.

"An American, well, he'll keep going till someone knocks him out."

Finally, when asked if he had to choose between drinking and laughing, which would he choose, O'Malley grabbed his heart in one hand and his Guinness in the other and cried "Easy, man! Are ye tryin' to give me a heart attack?"

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Westboro Baptist Church Congregation Scheduled to Picket Fred Phelp's Funeral

Photo Credit: The
TOPEKA, Kansas - Fred Phelps, founder and past pastor of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, is dead. His family states he died from natural causes. However, according to his own beliefs, he most likely died as a result of "an abomination unto the Lord."

It is for this reason, the family plans to picket Phelps' funeral with signs such as "We're Pretty Sure Pastor Phelps Is Not Gay But We Aren't Taking Any Chances," and "Phred is Dead." For good measure, the family plans on using other signs used at previous protests, including "God Hates Fags," as a fond remembrance of their fallen pastor, and to cover all the bases.

Phelps is best known for picketing the funerals of veterans who died while serving their country. He believed them to be evil fornicators or something to that effect. At any rate, Pastor Phelps based his belief system on hate. He was considered the best of his kind. A true hater's hater.

Ironically, the fire and brimstone he preached about in his sermons is the very same he is now facing in the afterlife, or so it is believed by many who have been on the receiving end of Fred Phelp's fury.

His congregation, made up mostly of family and friends, are so busy organizing a picket for his funeral, that it is causing a problem for the funeral arranger. At present, the funeral director at Leavem-Stiff Funeral Home and Crematorium is not sure how the family wants the remains disposed of, err laid to rest.

"So far, we've received dozens of calls telling us what we can do with the body," said Josiah Leavem. "However, most of them are not fit to print."

The picket will be held at the Westboro Baptist Church Cemetery in Topeka, Kansas on Saturday, weather permitting. If the weather doesn't permit, then Phelps will be laid to rest quietly and presumptively without any going-away festivities afterward arranged by his deranged and estranged family.

Ed Note: Really, what can you say? When someone like this dies, it's best to just do what satirists do and that is bring to light the irony of a man so consumed with hate that all you can do is hope his teachings died with him.

And we'll end this with the following musical tribute:

Makes one wonder if Curtis Mayfield was psychic.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pot Shop Sells Dragon-Shaped Cheese Puffs as "Stoner" Food

After reading a story on his favorite satire site about cheese puffs that resemble tiny dinosaurs, Mark Munchhausen came up with what he believes to be the next new stoner* food--Puff the Magic Dragon Cheesy Cheese Puffs.

Munchhausen sees no reason to patent his idea or even produce the snacks himself, since his favorite snack company has already perfected a system whereby cheese puff snacks can be randomly formed in the shape of dinosaurs (or dragons if you will). All he has to do is re-package the snacks and sell them in his marijuana shop in Denver, Colorado.

The Cannabis King, as he likes to be called, shared how he came up with the idea for the snacks.

"I couldn't decide on what to call them at first," said CK, after discovering for himself the almost perfect-shaped dinosaurs in his package of cheese puffs.

 "They look more like tiny brontosauruses than they do dragons," he said. "And, well, at first I thought of Dino the dinosaur on the Flintstones. You know, they are making billions off those little vitamins.

"But then, I lit up a joint, took a few puffs, and waited for the inspiration to strike. That's when it hit me--Puff the Magic Dragon lives by the sea! I am puffing on the magic, man, and, well, I don't live by the sea, but I've always wanted to, and voila! Puff the Magic Dragon Cheesy Cheese Puffs was born."

"I admit," said Muchhausen, "that packaging the puffs takes valuable time away from growing pot, and I usually net only about a 50% yield of dragon-shaped puffs from a bag of cheesy corn puffs."

However, the enterprising pothead claims that since he can get the puffs for $2 a bag and make approximately 6 or 7 baggies out of it, he's definitely making good money off the puffs.

"I can sell them for $4 a bag easy, so I'm definitely getting my money back, man. It's a convenience thing, you know. I'm like 7-Eleven for my customers--a one-stop-shop so to speak.

"Plus," said Muchhausen, "I get my baggies in bulk, so using some to re-package the snacks is a no-brainer."

Asked if he is worried about having a lawsuit filed against him from either the owners of the song or the giant food company for copyright infringement, Muchhausen said "Nah, man. They should be thanking me. Do you know how many people are going to be buying these things and getting that song worm stuck in their heads?

"See? I'll even bet you are now humming the song. I told you, man. This idea is golden."

*stoner - One who regularly gets stoned on marijuana (not to be confused with stoner - one who throws stones at people until they are dead, as in "hey, look at that stoner over there. We hate stoners. Let's stone him to death."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Goodnight Rose Ann

Not a satirical piece, this. It is a link to a song I wrote and a good friend of mine, Gerry Martin Connolly, from Armagh, Ireland, produced and recorded. I thought I'd share it here on my Blog, and show the more serious side of P. Beckert. Enjoy.

Goodnight Rose Ann

Miley Cyrus Quotes 'Then' and 'Now'

My, oh my, have times changed. Just a scant three years ago, Miley Cyrus quit the Disney Channel, and her role as Hannah Montana, to become America's most-watched sex kitten. Talk about your quick-change artists.

We thought it would be fun to look back at some of Miley's quotes, many made during her Hannah Montana years, and update them to give you a peep show of what the all-grown-up child star is up to these days.

MC ThenMy mom is always telling me it takes a long time to get to the top, but a short time to get to the bottom.

MC Now: Well, I've been on the bottom, and I've been on the top, and I gotta tell you, I definitely like being on top better.

MC ThenI've got high standards when it comes to boys. As my dad says, all girls should! I'm from the South - Tennessee, to be exact - and down there, we're all about southern hospitality. I know that if I like a guy, he better be nice, and above all, my dad has to approve of him!

MC Now: I still have high standards. I get high as often as I can.

MC ThenI don't want to be perfect, but I do want to be a role model. My mom always tells me that imperfections equal beauty. All of us are imperfect.

MC Now: Do you realize how many 13-year olds are twerking to my songs right now?

MC ThenI need more friends. It's kind of like my quest right now just to have more true friends.

MC Now: My quest now is to get rid of the people who passed themselves off as true friends while stabbing me in the back. Hateful bitches. Where's Paris Hilton when you need her?

MC ThenThere are so many people that have come up to me during our shows and tell me: 'The hour that we are watching your show is the hour that my kids are happiest and are smiling, they are laughing,' and that is what I long to do.

MC Now: There are so many married women that have come up to me during my show and tell me: "See that big, fat balding guy over there? He's my husband and you're turning him on. Stop it!"

MC ThenI always say the minute I stop making mistakes is the minute I stop learning and I've definitely learned a lot.

MC Now:  I've learned that pot mellows me out, and ecstasy makes me horny. Life is one big learning curve.

MC Then: The only people that you really have, that I learned, are your family, because they love you no matter what.

MC Now: Except maybe Aunt Martha and Uncle Don. They haven't been around to see mommy and daddy and me since I started touching myself in public.

MC Then: I'm kind of bipolar in my acting choices because I just want to do a little bit of everything.

MC Now: I'm kind of bi-sexual, and want to do a little bit of everyone.

MC ThenIf I could get any animal it would be a dolphin. I want one so bad. Me and my mom went swimming with dolphins and I was like, 'How do we get one of those?' and she was like, 'You can't get a dolphin. What are you gonna do, like, put it in your pool?'

MC Now: Hey mom, like, I think Flipper needs a bigger pool.

MC ThenI love to sleep. I'd sleep all day if I could.

MC Now: I finally figured out what sleep means, and I still love to do it all day. Doesn't matter. Boy girl, girl boy, boy, boy, girl, girl, boy, girl, inanimate objects shaped like wieners...

MC ThenI told my mom, 'I'm not buying another magazine until I can get past this thought of looking like the girl on the cover'. She said, "Miley, you are the girl on the cover,' and I was, like, 'I know, but I don't feel like that girl every day.' You can't always feel perfect.

MC Now: Look mom! I'm on the cover of Hustler!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Giant Sinkhole Draining Gulf of Mexico

NAPLES, FL - Despite warnings of rising coastal waters around the globe, scientists, in late 2012, found that the coastal waters abutting the Gulf of Mexico were actually declining at a rate of .001 (1/1000) inches per month. While in and of itself, this seems like an insignificant amount of change, over the course of the past year or so, the coastal shores have grown by more than that amount, or roughly .07 inches (7/100) or more.

First, the bad news. A sinkhole, the size of Nebraska is reportedly to blame for the lower water levels throughout the Gulf coast areas. No one in the scientific community was more surprised than Henrich Gottsmar, who discovered the anomaly.

"Vat ve haf here ees a complete and total deviation from ze norm," wrote Gottsmar, in a report he submitted to the Swiss Journal of Geosciences. A distinguished oceanographer from Switzerland, Gottsmar was hired by the Gulf Coast city of Naples, Florida to study the dwindling population of loggerhead sea turtles last May.

"Ve haf to assume zat ze primary reason ze number of zees turtles are dwindling is because ze ocean ees further out, and zees turtles haf to travel over a wider area of beach to reach zair nesting grounds. Ze small hatchlings, it appears, zen haf to travel a wider area of beach to again reach ze water, giving area predators, such as ze eagles and ospreys, more time to dine on ze delectable little turtles."

Gottsmar's findings were reported to area scientists from NOAA, and after rigorously decoding Gottsmar's report, they then did their own studies and found Gottsmar's conclusions about dwindling water around the coastal areas to be an undeniable fact. More bad news indicates that this trend will continue until scientists determine the best approach in fixing the leak.

As if this bad news wasn't bad enough, even more bad news broke Monday, when it was determined that the leak was a direct result of the Horizon Deepwater oil spill back in 2006. If you will remember, it took many, many months to get BP to own up to the spill, and many, many years to clean up the mess.

Scientists have already met with stubborn resistance from BP officials in trying to get them to find ways to stop the underground sinkhole from widening and threatening to turn the Gulf of Mexico into a second grand canyon.

"Let me put it in a context readers will understand," said Lee Wesley, chief meteorology professor at the University of Tulane.

"It's Saturday night. The husband is off with his buddies for a night out. The kids are both at sleepovers, and you are a mother who finds herself in need of some 'me' time. What better way to spend it than in the bathtub with candles, bubbles, and a nice bottle of chardonnay? Paints a lovely picture, does it not?

"But then, for some inexplicable reason, the stopper in the drain malfunctions and slowly, without your even noticing, the water starts to drain from the tub. Within ten minutes or so, you are sitting in about three inches of cooling water and 7 inches of bubbles. Fantasy land has come to a screeching halt," said Dr. Wesley, who admits to moonlighting as a creative writing professor to make ends meet.

"Bottom line," he said, "is that the great bathtub that holds the waters of the Gulf of Mexico is draining, and draining fast, and if we don't do something quick, all we'll have is an easier way to extract oil from the sea bed."

One has to wonder if this is not the plan of BP to begin with.

Now the good news. Tourists and ex-pats headed to warmer climes in the Central American countries of Costa Rica, Panama, and Beliz can look forward to that much more shoreline soon to build their dream waterfront homes. The cost, while expected to be astronomical, will be well worth the extra beachfront this lowering of the water tables will produce in the area.

Interestingly, BP executives have been spotted at area Costa Rican real estate offices inquiring about available or soon-to-be available beachfront properties in the area closest to the Gulf of Mexico.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

American Babies Now 'Made in China'

Nowadays, Americans would be hard-pressed to find an item for sale that doesn't have the 'Made in China' stamp on it. Go to any box store and chances are whatever you are buying was either manufactured, processed, assembled, or designed in China.

And now, believe it or not, you can also get a newborn baby, gender of your choice, made in China. The babies, guaranteed to be of 100% American mixed blood (what child in America today is 100% anything?), and they come in a variety of skin tones, from freckled to brown, tan to olive.

The company, New Life Newborns®, assures us that their product is not only 100% legal, but the children are guaranteed to be genetically superior to any babies born in the United States.

How can they do this? They will not tell us, as they claim the process of producing and selling these babies is patented and so simple that if they were to divulge their secret, there would be too many "knock-off" companies selling cheaper and inferior babies.

In addition, the agency fears that babies produced in China, if not strictly monitored, could end up in the wrong hands. That is why they take every precaution to assure that the babies are sold to families who have gone through a strict vetting process, including a complete FBI background check.

If interested, prospective parents can contact New Life Newborns® through their local county, state or federal adoption agency.

And if you are wondering if these babies have the "Made in China" stamp on them, the answer is yes. The mark is tattooed on the bottom of the left foot of every baby manufactured, er born.