I could write a rant about some truly ridiculous things I read on Facebook and watched on YouTube yesterday. I decided not to today, because that would take a lot of time and energy, and I spent most of the morning writing today’s travel blog post about our trip to Armenia. I may not be doing anything particularly heavy hitting on this blog until I’m done with that series. I want to do a good job with it, because Armenia is a very meaningful place to me.
Still, I did want to put something up on this blog today, so I decided today, it would be a music post. This afternoon, I decided to record the REM song, “Everybody Hurts.” I did so because yesterday, while I was practicing guitar, I happened upon that song and found that it wasn’t that hard to play. It’s also a great song for practicing fingerpicking, which I really suck at.
As I was playing it on my guitar yesterday, I realized that “Everybody Hurts” is very meaningful to me. In my life, I have suffered a lot from depression and anxiety. There have been times when it’s consumed my thoughts and made me behave in ways that were distressing, embarrassing, humiliating, and demoralizing. There have been many times when I’ve wondered why I’m here. I’ve thought I was worthless, and no one would miss me if I just gave up and slipped away somewhere. I know… to many people, listening to that kind of thinking is very tiresome, frustrating, and shitty. I have a friend from college who referred to that kind of self-pity as “brently”. I’ve written the story behind “brently” in my blog, and if you are the slightest bit curious, you can click here to read it.
Even though sometimes I get a little “brently”, I know it comes from depression… “stinkin’ thinkin'” that never leads to anywhere productive or positive. It used to be much worse, though. I was clinically depressed for many years before I finally did something about it, back in the late summer of 1998. It took a few months, but my psychiatrist found the right antidepressant for me, and it changed everything. I still get kind of blue and depressed sometimes, but not like I used to. I haven’t truly felt suicidal in many years. But, because I have experience with clinical depression, I understand where “Everybody Hurts” comes from. I also love the way The Corrs covered it. The key is nice for me, and their Celtic arrangement is lovely. I happened to have a backing track of their version of the song, so I decided to try it.
But there’s a different, much funnier reason why I decided to record this song today. It has to do with Armenia. Back in the summer of 1995, I was in Peace Corps training with 31 other people, many of whom were about my age. It was just a few years after REM’s album, Automatic For The People came out. Most of us were familiar with their work, and we were all pretty fed up with training.
Peace Corps training was 12 weeks long, and it was very grueling on many levels. It was extremely hot outside, and we had no air conditioning, because we usually had no power. We were doing our work on the ninth floor of a Soviet era building. We usually had to climb the stairs to get to our training sessions. The classrooms were uncomfortably warm and stuffy, and one person enjoyed removing their shoes during our afternoon sessions… It was one inspiration for learning how to say something “stinks” in Armenian.
One day during a training session, someone got a little snippy and cranky and snapped at someone else… I don’t even think it was me, although I definitely have a tendency to get snippy and cranky when the mood strikes. And one of my cohorts, a hilarious woman named Laurel quipped, “It’s the ninth week of training and ‘Everybody Hurts’.” That was all I needed to pull me out of the afternoon funk that often struck during those days in newly post Soviet Yerevan.
So, since I’ve been writing about Armenia this week, I decided today would be a good day to try “Everybody Hurts” and put the results on YouTube. I suspect it could be one of my more successful uploads. I’m not even much of an REM fan. I do like a lot of their songs, but I never worshiped them like some of my fellow Gen Xers did (and maybe still do). I think “Everybody Hurts” is a very consoling song, though… and there’s something moving about the vulnerable yet masculine way Michael Stipe sings it. However, I also love The Corrs’ more feminine styled version, and it probably suits me better than Stipe’s. So that’s the one I did…
It’s Monday again, and Bill and I are hanging out in our deserted hotel. I mentioned in the previous post that there isn’t enough staff to run the hotel, so they closed it until tomorrow (which is a holiday in Germany, anyway). Because we rented an “apartment” (which actually looks more like a former suite with a kitchenette), we were allowed to stay and self-cater. The lobby is closed, but we can come and go through the garage and a side door with a chip activated key.
Yesterday was an amazing day. I described it briefly in my travel blog. We visited a different type of cave– one that is only opened on the first Sunday of the warm months– and we visited another cave site and had lunch. We didn’t go into the other cave, as we’ve seen it before. Instead, we just people watched and enjoyed beautiful weather and scenery. We also met another couple, who were curious as to what we were doing there. Caves don’t usually attract Americans, I guess.
Today, we’ll go into Stuttgart and have some lunch, then see our dentist. I’m sure the dentist will be shocked by the big hole in Bill’s mouth. He lost a tooth in August and had to have it extracted by a different dentist, since our regular one was on vacation. After that, we’ll head back for our last night in this beautiful old college town, then head out on our fall vacation to Czechia. I’m sure there will be lots of conversation, as there was a couple of days ago.
Saturday morning, as we were heading down here, I was talking about how I spent last week, while Bill was in Bavaria. I mentioned that I got really bored one day and ended up watching a really disgusting, but apparently legal, porn video. Bill looked amused as I explained. I said, “Well, it was a really dull afternoon, and I was missing you…”
So I started to describe the video to Bill, who was nodding his head and saying, “Uh huh, uh huh… Yeah, I know.”
And I laughed and said, “Oh, so you’ve seen that one?”
That made him bust out laughing. “No!” he protested, “I haven’t seen it, but I’ve seen enough of those types of videos to know where this description is going.”
I didn’t even watch the whole video because it was just too gross for me. If the truth be told, I don’t like watching those kinds of videos because they’re either boring or disturbing. I don’t enjoy watching graphic sex scenes, especially when they’re kind of violent, as that one was. So I only lasted about two or three minutes before I moved on to something less obscene. I’d much rather read something or even write something stimulating myself, than watch a video that is poorly acted, full of nothing but mechanics or acrobatics, or liable to give me nightmares.
I did think it was funny, though, that Bill and I could have an honest conversation about that video and end up laughing. We really are good friends, as much as we are husband and wife. And we always somehow manage to have a good time together, no matter what. Like, for instance, yesterday’s excursion… which ended up consisting of visiting a much less physically challenging cave, seeing some beautiful natural settings in gorgeous fall weather, meeting new people, and watching a huge flock of sheep being driven to a new pasture. It was kind of magic… and amazing that we could share it together. I’m grateful for the time I have with Bill. He is a wonderful partner– the perfect partner for me.
I’m ready to get back on the road tomorrow. I’ve been looking forward to visiting the Czech Republic again. It’s an amazing country, with a lot to see, neat people, good food and beer, and lots of art to buy. Or, at least there was the last time we visited. I want to buy some new stuff to put on our walls.
I don’t look forward to seeing the dentist today, but once it’s over, we can focus on having a lot of fun. I’ve been missing fun lately. And these kinds of trips are what really keep us over her, anyway. I love doing deep dives into Europe, and visiting places where most Americans never have a chance to go. Best yet, these trips keep me busy, so I don’t end up watching videos that Bill can describe without having seen them.
He did say he couldn’t wait to tell his therapist about that conversation. I’m sure the guy will get a huge kick out of it. He told Bill that I probably represent the most stable relationship he’s ever had in his life. I could probably say the same thing about Bill. He loves and accepts me for who I am. In fact, he actually prefers me to be who I am, even if I do sometimes venture onto questionable Web sites when I get bored. Anyway… at least I’m still interested in sex, right?
Featured photo was taken yesterday near the Nebelhohle (Mist Cave). I miss living near a lush forest. Especially at this time of year.
Here’s another repost. I wrote this for the original Blogspot version of OH on October 28, 2015. I’m leaving it as/is, and sharing it again because I think it’s a hilarious story! The featured photo is one of me, taken January 22, 2022, while wearing my Mister Rogers middle finger ballcap. That was one of my more entertaining Amazon.de purchases.
Last night, just before drifting off to sleep, I read a funny news story about a woman who managed to ward off Planned Parenthood protesters with a funny chant. Sunday of last weekend, 29 year old Mary Numair was working a shift at Purrington’s Cat Lounge in Portland, Oregon when she noticed some people with signs standing outside. One of the women was holding a sign that read “Abortion kills children.”
Being the type of person who helps others, Numair went outside to tell the protesters that they were at the wrong address. When one of the women insisted that she and her fellow protesters were in the right spot, Numair decided to launch a counter protest. Using cardboard and rudimentary art skills, she made a big sign that read “Dear PP, Thanks for helping me with my yeast infections!” She drew a stick figure of a woman with big boobs and a smiley clitoris. Then she went outside and joined the protesters.
A few years earlier, Numair had chronic yeast infections that were not cleared up by the over the counter medications available at stores. She had no health insurance, so she went to Planned Parenthood for help. They helped her and she stopped suffering. No more itching, burning, or weeping “down there”. I’m sure it was a big relief AND she didn’t go broke getting a cure.
The protesters called Numair a whore within thirty seconds of her arrival, but she simply held up her sign and started chanting “Yeast infections!” She bent down and asked one of the kids if he or she knew about yeast infections. Then she did cheerleader style high kicks. The protesters were horrified and offended, even though one of them had called Numair a whore. But I guess the idea of someone’s recalcitrant yeast infections being cured by Planned Parenthood’s medical providers was too much for them to stomach. Within a half an hour, they got the hell out of Dodge.
Reading about Numair’s impromptu counter protest made me think that I need to pay a visit to Portland, Oregon sometime soon. I love that there are people in that city that aren’t afraid to chant about yeast infections to get obnoxious pro-lifers to move on. I also love that they have a “cat lounge” there and that Numair could feel free to counter protest without fear of being fired. Thinking about it further, I think it’s very appropriate that the protesters made a mistake and set up their picketing in front of a business that specializes in pussies…
On another note, I noticed that on a link to a different version of this story, a man named Frank wrote…
And you can go to any drug store and buy the cream instead of a billion dollar waste of government money!!!!
So I wrote, Her infections didn’t respond to the creams. She needed a prescription and was not insured. May you experience something similar.
And he wrote…There are prescription strength ones that are now OTC… And I buy my own W/O the gov.. I have experienced it! Shove it!
So I wrote,
She wasn’t able to use those medications when she had her yeast infections. She needed the ones that aren’t available OTC. If something is “prescription strength”, it can’t be sold OTC. That’s what “prescription strength” means. And if you have experienced vaginal yeast infections, I’m sure that’s a part of your life that should remain private. So…
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t bother to comment to guys like Frank… who is clearly an asshole with the intelligence of buttcrud. But I just made the above Mr. Rogers meme yesterday and felt the need to share it with more than a few people. And may I just say that I hope Frank does get a stubborn yeast infection in a place where the sun and Monistat don’t shine.
Regular readers may have noticed that yesterday, just before I wrote about Bill’s needless alarm over Friday’s phone call, I reposted my review of Alyssa Milano’s embarrassing 1988 era exercise video, Teen Steam. I reposted that review because I originally wrote it for the now defunct review site, Epinions.com, and had reposted it on my dying music blog, Dungeon of the Past. Some of my most faithful readers are folks I “met” (in person in a few cases) on that site. I like to preserve my old Epinions reviews whenever I can. As I’m getting close to the $100 in ad revenue I need to cash out on AdSense, I’m thinking about discontinuing my music blog. If I end up doing that, it might mean some of the most popular and personally amusing posts will get rehomed on this blog. I do like writing about music, but I don’t have the desire to update that blog often enough to keep it going. Plus, I simply don’t like writing on Blogger anymore.
As I was reposting that review, I watched bits of Alyssa’s godawful Teen Steam video again. I hadn’t seen it in a long time. Indeed, I initially wrote that review in 2009, and while I probably looked at the video again when I reposted it on Dungeon of the Past, I had forgotten how absolutely and shamelessly rotten it is. It’s an exercise video directed at teenaged or prepubescent girls, put out at a time when Alyssa Milano was starring on Who’s the Boss with Judith Light and Tony Danza. Besides being in movies and starring on TV shows, Alyssa Milano also had a burgeoning pop music career in Japan. Obviously, she was striking while the iron was hot, as when she was a teenager, Alyssa Milano was absolutely beautiful. Or, at least I think so… and I say that as an objective, heterosexual female who doesn’t have aspirations of having sexual relations with other females.
I took a fresh look at the Amazon reviews for Teen Steam, and I quickly noticed some of the comments were not coming from the video’s intended audience. I distinctly remember back in 2009, when I originally wrote the Epinions review, there were a lot of men commenting about how watching Alyssa’s workout caused them to be sexually aroused. They might have also enjoyed watching Alyssa’s two hired actress friends, who used the premise of being upset with their parents as a reason to let off “teen steam”. For them, it was “teen steamy” indeed.
Back in the 80s, things were different than they are now. In those days, kids were pretty much allowed to run wild, especially compared to today. There was a lot less concern about child welfare back then, although laws were starting to be made about what children could, or could not, do… and some parents had enough common sense to know what they shouldn’t be doing and actually prevent them from doing those things. I’m sure in the 80s, Alyssa Milano’s workout tape seemed very innocent and cute. I think society, as a whole, was blissfully less aware of the bad stuff in the world.
As Bill and I were listening to music and drinking beer last night, I read aloud one of the Amazon reviews that was posted about this video:
Does anyone else find it creepy that the top of the “What similar items do customers ultimately buy after viewing this item?” is a movie called Jailbait? I guess if you’re not creeped out by the other reviews, that shouldn’t add much.
Bill had just taken a big sip of beer right before I read that actual Amazon review to him. He thought I was joking and almost spewed beer out of his mouth as he choked back laughter. Then he said, “I should be careful drinking beer when you’re making a joke.”
Except I wasn’t joking. That was a literal review on Amazon. We both started cracking up over that. But seriously… below is another honest to God Amazon review of this video:
This is the beautiful girl, turning into a woman right before you’re [sic] very eyes, through each stretch and musical number! Guys who buy this may have to buy another later, so don’t use that still frame button and slow motion button so much!
The music is terrible. The Fashion is horrible. The dancing is awful. The workouts are laughable. But it’s badness is the genius of its greatness. A must for any Alyssa Milano fan because you won’t be able to take your eyes off of her.
What can I say about this rare, late 80’s gem? I had to have this, I just had to. I remember “who’s the Boss” as an interesting if silly family show, if a little strange because it had a single parent who was a somewhat befuddled dad, most single parent families, by far, have a mom and no dad, but I guess they wanted to be different. Lets [sic] start with the star of this show, Alyssa Milano. She is as close to perfect as the good lord makes girls her age, her face is flawless and her well toned body is unparalleled. She is also barely 16. I am not 16. I have not been 16 for a long, long, long time. Shame on me. But wait…I didn’t produce this, I didn’t set up the exercises or tell this young nubile to do stretching exercises in a sports bra and nothing else on top. It wasn’t my idea, why should I be ashamed? I just am. Alyssa Milano is a fascinating individual, like an onion one peels and peels and still there is more. She had a colossal career in Japan, lots of Americans did, but not Like Ms. Milano. She had 4 or 5 albums, albums which must be heard to be believed, I confess to downloading some of the songs, shame on me again. If you can listen to one of her songs all the way through, you are stronger then I am. She sings the theme, the lyrics stick in ones [sic] mind like a chicken bone in a dogs throat, “My parents want an angel, my teachers want a brain, my friends all want to party and it’s driving my insane” Oh the horror, the horror. It is painfully obvious that no teenage girl penned these lyrics but some older male, as was much of her stuff in those days. She wears outfits selected for her to please someone else, she poses for hundreds of photo’s [sic], (check out her fan sites) some of which would make Nabrikov [sic] blush, whatever she did it was top quality, done with true heart and spirit and always a little creepy. Who was the audience for this? Young girls? maybe, but many other demographic groups would enjoy her stretching and bending, and squatting and lunging and squatting some more, and leg lifts…….shame on me. She poses in a nighty for a grown women, she is barely 13, time and time again Alyssa Milano puts the “pro” in “age inappropriate”, but is she to blame? or credit? I just don’t have an answer.What I will say is she takes her exercise very seriously, as do the camera men who constantly leer over her teenage body, and her friends too, what to say? The dance number is done very well, the credit list goes on to name many professionals who worked really hard on this, yet like any of her stuff it is horribly dated, her hair and music scream 1988 and no other year, sadly that was a long time ago, and it shows. I, and many other’s [sic] will always think of Alyssa Milano as our adorable if annoying little sister, or the neighbor girl who we see walking down the street, who we should not be looking at….then we take our camcorder and…..shame on me.
Side note. Alyssa was probably 15, not barely 13, when she made this video. She and I were born the same year, and she was a December baby. This was released in 1988, meaning that her 16th birthday would have been in December 1988. But yeah, I did notice how incredibly and naturally beautiful she was back then. She’s still beautiful today, too, and I have read that, yes, of course she cringes today when she remembers making this video. It apparently sold well, though, and she and her parents probably made some bank with her version of an exercise video. They were all the rage back in the 80s, thanks to Jane Fonda.
What does Teen Steam have to do with National Lampoon’s European Vacation? Bill and I share a lot of private, inside jokes. One of our most enduring private jokes involves the scene in European Vacation when Rusty Griswold is watching a newlywed couple making out at breakfast. While Clark and Ellen Griswold are talking to their daughter, Audrey, Rusty suddenly blurts out, “Dad, I think he’s gonna pork her!”
Clark responds, “He’s not gonna pork her, Russ.”
“I think he is, Dad”, Rusty says, raising his eyebrows and smiling admiringly.
Sometimes, when Bill says something that strikes me as funny, I’ll say, a la Rusty Griswold, “I think he is, Dad.”
And I think our exchange regarding the scandalous, yet cheesy, 80s era teen video, Teen Steam, is going to end up being another one of our private, inside jokes. I’ve mentioned before that we’re about to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, and it really does my heart good to know that we still have a lot to talk and laugh about privately. It makes me feel good that we’re still such good friends, and we not only love each other, but we also really like each other. We laugh over the craziest, dumbest, and most obscure things. I think that Teen Steam Amazon review is going to go down in history as one of our many private guffaws. I’m delighted that we still have them… because God knows, if we don’t laugh, we’re probably going to cry over the state of the world today…
Last night, I read a frightening New York Times article about a San Francisco dad named Mark whose life has been upended over photos he took of his naked toddler son. I know that on the surface, it sounds like Mark’s life should have been upended. Nobody should be taking naked kid pics, right?
But what if it was in the middle of a pandemic? What if the photos were necessary for a doctor to see what was wrong with the boy, whose penis was swollen and hurting him? That’s the situation Mark was in, back in February 2021, when the COVID pandemic was routinely killing people apace. That was when people were being encouraged not to congregate indoors if it wasn’t absolutely necessary. When Mark’s son needed help, it was also a Friday night. His wife had called a nurse’s advice line to schedule an emergency telemedicine consult for the next morning. The nurse had told her to take photos of the infection and send them to the physician for review.
As requested, Mark’s wife took the pictures on Mark’s phone, then sent them to her iPhone, so she could upload them to the doctor’s messaging system. Under those circumstances, she didn’t realize that the photos might be seen by anyone other than the healthcare professionals who were entrusted to take care of her toddler’s very real medical problem.
The pediatrician received the photos, examined them, diagnosed the child’s medical problem, and prescribed antibiotics. The toddler quickly recovered without further incident. Unfortunately, that’s not where the story ends. The naked toddler’s photos tripped Google’s screening system and were flagged by “an algorithmic net designed to snare people exchanging child sexual abuse material.” The end result is that Mark lost over a decade of contacts, emails and photos. He also became the target of a police investigation.
A couple of days after the photos were taken, Mark’s phone made strange noises. It was then that he realized that Google had flagged his account because of “‘harmful content’ that was ‘a severe violation of Google’s policies and might be illegal.’ A ‘learn more’ link led to a list of possible reasons, including ‘child sexual abuse & exploitation.'” Mark was surprised and confused, but then remembered the photos of his son’s genitals. Realizing that Google’s screening system probably flagged the photos and labeled them as abusive, Mark thought that eventually a human being would review them and let him off the hook.
Still, being flagged by Google wasn’t a small inconvenience. Mark’s whole online life, including his cell phone plan, was through the company. He filled out a form requesting that Google review the decision. He explained that his son had an infection, and he had only taken those photos so that the doctor could diagnose him properly. But because Google had shut down his cell phone plan, Mark had to get a new phone number from another carrier. And then, because he couldn’t access his old phone number or email address, he couldn’t get the security codes that would let him access his other accounts.
A few days after Mark asked Google to reconsider their decision, he received a flat denial from them, with no further explanation. The company had also flagged a video Mark made and sent everything to the San Francisco Police Department. He was already under investigation by the police and didn’t even know it. In December 2021, Mark received a letter from the San Francisco Police Department informing him that he had been under investigation. The envelope included copies of search warrants, as well as other documentation generated by the investigation. The investigator’s name was included, so Mark called him. The investigator, whose name was Nicholas Hillard, told Mark that he’d tried to get in touch with him. But… his phone number and email address didn’t work. Go figure!
Fortunately, Mr. Hillard told Mark that the case against him was closed. He had looked at the evidence Google sent him and determined that no crime had taken place. The police did not consider the photos and video abusive or exploitative. So, at least Mark would not be arrested… but, when he asked Mr. Hillard to tell Google he wasn’t a criminal, Mr. Hillard said that there was nothing he could do to help Mark get his online life back from Google.
So Mark appealed to Google again, this time sending them the police report that exonerated him. But Google still wouldn’t budge. In fact, they sent him a message letting him know that his account was being permanently deleted. Mark contacted a lawyer to ask about suing Google, but when he was told it would cost at least $7000, Mark decided the lawsuit wasn’t worth the money. And even though it’s been proven that the photos and the video were not abusive or exploitative, Google refuses to reconsider.
The article included a story about another man who was wrongly accused of sexually abusing a child due to intimate photos on his phone that were taken out of context by Google’s AI system. The other man faced similar repercussions, and basically lost his online life because of artificial intelligence that flagged photos that weren’t taken for abusive or exploitative purposes. For some reason, the HUMANS at Google are incapable of discernment, and fail to see that while the technology they use is very valuable for preventing child abuse, it also poses serious privacy issues and potentially ruins innocent people’s lives.
Mark says that the police department has his information on a thumb drive, and he’s hoping they will give a copy to him. The police department says they are “eager to help him”, which sounds like good news. But according to the article, it’s “easier” for Google to just deny people in Mark’s situation access to their services, rather than exercise discernment. In other words, too bad, so sad. I hope Mark changes his mind and sues. Maybe he and the other guy, both victimized and treated unfairly by Google, can team up and sue. What happened to them isn’t right.
And now, a loosely connected rant…
Naturally, a lot of people had comments about this situation. Many of the comments came from people chiming in, even though they hadn’t read the article and simply reacted to the headline. As my regular readers know, this is one of my pet peeves. Especially when they also complain about paywalls, and make a statement like “I think journalism should be freely open to everyone.”
That sounds good in theory, doesn’t it? Until you realize that newspapers are in business, and the people who provide the news have to eat, too. Most people can’t and don’t want to work for free. This was an excellent investigative article by reporter, Kashmir Hill, for The New York Times. Below is a screenshot of Hill’s information page on the newspaper’s Web site.
I see that Ms. Hill is a graduate of two fine private universities. She is based in New York City, which is not a cheap city to live in. She’s a successful and experienced journalist. She probably owes student loans, too. Delivering the news is a very important job, but newspapers are in decline. Why? Because people don’t want to pay for subscriptions and expect that the news ought to be “free”. But you get what you pay for, right? Someone has to pay the bills.
Even if the news is “free” for everyone, someone still has to pay expenses. So– they either get paid for by taxes, which most Americans would prefer to keep as low as possible, or they get paid by wealthy people who have their own agendas to push. That means people like Donald Trump or George Soros… or Jeff Bezos, who already owns The Washington Post, or Bill Gates… or Rupert Murdoch, who owns Fox News and other news publishing outlets. The New York Times is not a cheap publication, but it’s not owned by the likes of Bezos, Murdoch, or Trump. It’s owned by The New York Times Company, which is publicly traded. How would the paper change if it was purchased by a politically affiliated billionaire with an agenda to push?
I have repeatedly stated that I subscribe to several newspapers, ranging from local publications like The Gazette Journal in my Virginia hometown, to The Irish Times. Yes, it costs money, but we can afford to pay, and I am grateful to have access to the news from excellent and reputable sources. The newspapers help me create content for this blog and keep me engaged in the world. I know not everyone wants or needs to pay for newspaper subscriptions, but I also think that if you’re going to comment on something in the news, you should know what you’re writing about. At least take a moment to read comments made by people who did read before spouting off ignorance. And have some respect for the journalists who took the time and spent the money to get trained to deliver the news properly.
Journalists– especially the ones who bravely go into harm’s way and/or cover difficult or challenging topics– help keep us free by reporting the unbiased truth. Isn’t that interesting? Paying for a newspaper subscription and supporting journalism, rather than expecting it for free, will help keep all of us free. Think about that.
And now, for a funny anecdote involving The Irish Times.
I have been a subscriber for a few years. I don’t read The Irish Times as much as I should, even though the journalism is excellent and offers an interesting perspective. The paper covers US news, but naturally, most of it is about Ireland and Irish issues. And sometimes, a reporter will cover a really unique topic. The other day, I read a poignant piece about a man who realized that his power garden tools were killing machines for the creatures who dwelled there. The thought never occurred to him until he noticed a headless frog, accidentally decapitated by his weed whacker. The guy wrote that he immediately decided to buy new tools that weren’t powered in hopes of sparing the wildlife. I don’t think I would have read something like that in a US paper.
Anyway, The Irish Times also has an advice column, and yesterday, I read a letter a young mom wrote to the advice columnist. The troubled woman explained that before she had her baby, her husband regularly wanted to have at least an hour of sex, preceded by showering and shaving. The mom wrote that her baby is very needy, and she simply doesn’t have the time or stamina to give in her husband’s demands for extended sex sessions.
The comments on this were hilarious, but one in particular was hysterical. A man wrote:
My wife and I have an hour long sex session every week by playing doctor and patient. She’s the doctor and makes me wait outside the door for 55 minutes before I can have 5 minutes with her.
At this writing, his comment has 819 likes and laugh reactions. I responded:
I’m an American, but I subscribe to The Irish Times just so I can read Irish witticisms. (62 likes!)
And the guy came back and wrote:
We’re great at taking the piss out of ourselves. That’s not true about my wife. She’s actually an Olympic Performer……….. Once every 4 years!
To which I replied, “In that case, my husband and I are also Olympic contenders.”
See? Besides the news, when you subscribe to a paper, you also get witty comments from other people who read! Of course, the quality of the comments tends to be commensurate to the paper’s readership. I used to be a Wall Street Journal subscriber, but I got rid of it when I realized it was much too conservative for me, and I never used the subscription. And then I had to jump through a bunch of hoops to get rid of the subscription, which I ranted about in this blog some time ago.
Well, I think I’ve prattled on long enough. I need to practice guitar and walk the dogs. I hope you have a good Monday. And if you don’t already subscribe to a newspaper and have the means, please give it some consideration. The papers need your support, and the rest of us don’t want to read your erroneous and misled reactions to headlines.
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