Redneck Tanning Solutions

While Amy and I were driving to Costco to get flowers, I said I wanted to live half the year in the US and half in the UK. She asked why. I said so I could tan both of my arms evenly while I drive.

My chest is so white that if I take my shirt off outside, whatever neighborhood I’m standing in automatically gets the carbon footprint reduction seal of approval, no longer needing to paint their roofs white to reflect the evils of free energy.

The only way I tan is by association with something else I’m doing. Since I’ve considered arm size and food enjoyment more important than leanness and culinary austerity, my waist has increased in circumference these last couple years, meaning shirtless running is out.

It’s not that I think I’m fat. My mid-section is like a tall, thin barrel fresh from the coopers, not one sitting in the backwoods of Kentucky storing 200-year-old moonshine and a dead body. Still, I’ve done some widening of the freeway.

While this may be good for diaphragmatic wall-checking of whoever got into the Starbucks line in front of me and, speaking through three layers of mask and face shield and holding an NFL-worthy stiff-arm pose to either side of her body, has just remembered she spent 20 years in a convent taking a vow of silence and cannot speak louder than the mites killed from the gush of hot water into her cup, it does nothing for believing I can fit through a turnstile without expelling enough air to disrupt the vacuum of space.

Thus, it also does nothing for my uneven tan, so back to my original thesis statement. Who has ever said they want to travel internationally because they want an even redneck farmer’s tan? I may be the first.

I think I’ve hit on something: Redneck Tanning Solutions (RTS), where the only rules are listen up and wear a short-sleeved shirt.

Women, listen to me. Has your man ever come in from yard work complaining of neck pain? If so, he was probably holding the trimmer handle with his left hand and pulling the trigger with his right. Or if he was a lefty, the opposite configuration.

This also means he was standing at a constant angle to the sun, baking the lower part of one arm to a fine apple fritter crisp. This stiff head and neck mean reduced or no swiveling, and a head that doesn’t swivel means a wife that doesn’t giggle.

RTS to the rescue.

A trained RTS specialist will stand in your yard, verbally chastise you, and make rude gestures, if necessary, to remind you to switch hand positions, alter your orientation to the sun, leave you with no neck pain, and ensure your head swivels as easily as an oiled barstool.

Have you ever been afraid to go on the Ferris wheel? Per RTS, did you know that if you sit on the far right of a seat, then the far left, and alternate this every day throughout the summer, you’ll cure your fear? Totally true. Seriously. Look it up. … No, seriously. I’d like to see the research.

Do you have a fear of flying? Follow the same RTS rubric. Pick a seat on the right side of the plane, then the left. Oh, and make sure it’s a sunny day whenever you fly, and pull up the window shade and stick your arm right up against the plexiglass. Your fear will be as ancient as Nany Pelosi is a comedienne.

Finally, are you xenophobic? Do you understand why you feel this way? If not, and if you’d like to be cured of this illogical, inorganic, life-leeching condition, make sure you listen to RTS and take your right-side and left-side planes to the UK and drive along the Thames. Then take your right-side and left-side planes back to the US and drive along the Mississippi.

During all four preceding activities, what have I not mentioned? Tanning. I’ve just given you the keys to an amazing neck swivel with infinite fun-time applications, the cure to fear of heights on carny death traps, the cure to fear of flying, and the cure to a life devoid of enriching world culture.

Oh, and a kick-ass tan.

From the elbows down.

Machete Mike’s Mowing

I see the grass, and it sees me. Today will be the challenge of challenges. Shoots will attempt to break free from uniformity, to diverge from inclusion in a level, collective cut. They will blame gorge winds. They will blame exhaust gusts. They will blame worm farts.

But their deflections will stop short of action because I have the blade of bombasticity. I have the knife of numbskull ne’er-do-well narcissism. I slice deeply with the cut of conformity.

Beware all of those who use fossil fuels to do the work of the ancients, for I am Machete Mike, and I will bring a straight swipe of flashing edge across your uneven reaches above the line of the mean. I will bring cultivated curation. I will cut you for your own good.

* * *

Pivoting from overwrought openers, we were on our way back from the North Portland Costco, and we saw a guy on the side of the road trimming the grass around his roadside stand with a machete. You read right. He was at times down on his hands and knees, other times scooting around on his ass, painstakingly trimming each section like a barber using a straight razor. What prompted his dedication to hand-crafted lawn care?

Let’s ask Machete Mike.

* * *

TFF: Hello, Sir. We see you have an interesting technique for trimming the foliage around your stand. Care to tell us how you came across this method?

Machete Mike: I see you have an errant follicle on your face. *a huge machete sings out of a scabbard with a SKRRRIIING*

TFF: I’m traditional in that regard, so I think I’ll stick with my Schick and foam shaving cream, thanks.

Machete Mike: *brandishes the machete for a moment, swiveling it to catch his and our reflection on its blade like a revolving door that can’t decide if it wants to go clockwise or counterclockwise* You’ll regret that choice, letting the growth go where it will, but I’m willing to let you learn.

TFF: Back to our question.

Machete Mike: Question?

TFF: About how you came to use a machete to trim the growth around your stand?

Machete Mike: I was chosen, plucked from my bed as a boy, carried across the ocean, and set down in an ashram atop mountains in the Far East. From there, I started my training.

TFF: This sounds a lot like the early plot of Batman Begins.

Machete Mike: Ah, so you know the life story stealer Christopher Nolan’s work, yes?

TFF: You’re saying Christopher Nolan stole your life story?

Machete Mike: As the blade flies.

TFF: And used it to create a new chapter in the Batman franchise?

Machete Mike: The sword will swoosh.

TFF: A franchise that’s been around since the 1930s?

Machete Mike: The hilt also seeks to bury.

TFF: If I may offer you a compliment, you don’t look any older than your early 40s.

Machete Mike: The scallions know not the end game of sautéing when the cleaver sets to its dicing.

TFF: Two things: 1) unless you’re a time-traveler or you have a fantastic skin care regimen, you wouldn’t have been born for another 40-some-odd years after the creation of Batman, making it impossible for Christopher Nolan, or any other writer who ever added a chapter to the franchise, to steal your life story; 2) I must remind you: you haven’t answered my original question.

Machete Mike: Lawns are the drapes that have fallen over the earth, their spines curving and fitting themselves with amoral topographical adhesion.

TFF: Topographical what?!

Machete Mike: It means grass and weeds and flowers grow wherever the fuck they want. They have basic instincts. They commit original sins of wandering without permission. Thus, they deserve a trimming using an original weapon: the machete. I don’t just do the ground around my stand; I also do lawns—about one per month. It takes that long for my back to recover.

TFF: Machete Mike’s Mowing?

Machete Mike: How did you know?

TFF: Lucky guess. … Rolling back a beat, your last answer made a weird kind of sense, but one last follow-up question: if it takes you a month to cut one lawn, how can you achieve uniformity? Wouldn’t the earliest cut blades have regrown by the time you got to the end?

Machete Mike: That’s two questions, but I will indulge. I first developed my ability to scare followers of the chlorophyll cult when I watched mountain goats in the Far East tearing the shit out of mountainside foliage.

TFF: Oh, for Christ’s sake. You’re saying grass and weeds and wildflowers have feelings? Feelings you can manipulate?

Machete Mike: Anthropomorphism spawns in sun eaters.

TFF: *cutting gesture to camera crew* We’re done here. This guy’s bats.

Machete Mike: Anarchists are full up in the sea anemones.

TFF: *turns back as walking away from interview set* That’s a carnivorous sea animal, dumbass.

Machete Mike: That feeds off the sun. Thus, it is fated to the same end as its green counterparts on land.

TFF: *shouting from the street* They eat crabs, dumbshit, not sun!

Machete Mike: Crabs of the sun walk sideways to bow to the glowing orb.

TFF: *on phone* Yeah, are you the guys in white coats? Good. We’ve got one of yours down here on NE Sandy Boulevard. *listening* Yep, yep, he’s raving mad and he has a machete. *listening* You’ve got ninja swords? Do you, too, subjugate plants? *listening* Just hedges? Makes total sense.

* * *

Scaring your lawn into submission with the righteous blade of a machete avenging Christopher Nolan’s theft of your origin story—the latest in yard maintenance techniques.

Cockadoodlescream

We rented a cabin in Days Creek, Oregon for a long weekend. The owners run a working farm on the property: Pachamama Farms.

Among the animals roaming about are chickens; roosters; geese; red meat pigs (this is a thing); a snow white Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog names Zeus, demeanor indicating he seems okay with having been left out of Dogs Playing Poker; two English Bullmastiffs named Apollo and Athena, coloring like worn baseball gloves, expressions indicating they are still sore about having been left out of Dogs Playing Poker, demeanors as sweet as candy; and finally a bird of unknown species whose call I can only describe as being goosed (sorry, actual geese).

Sitting on the porch outside our cabin in the morning, blue sky overhead, temperature in the 50s, gazing across the gravel drive, past the weathered wood of the towers on either side of the wrought iron gate inlaid with a wagon wheel design, down an embankment populated with pigs and lichen-covered trees not quite camouflaging the odd powerline, toward a creek lined with mint leaves, the smell clearing my sinuses, listening to alternating cockadoodledoos and EEEYAAAWs, I wonder what the rooster and goosed bird are conversing about.

These seem likely candidates:

* * *

On breakfast food:

Rooster: Do you think the guests will figure out the sausages made from Oinky and Squealy were fashioned after the Fat Man bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki in 1945?

Goosed: Why should that MATTER? They are DELICIOUS. A SKINNY sausage link isn’t a REAL sausage link.

On the storm door:

Rooster: When the storm door closes, it sounds like a firework exploding.

Goosed: That’s what you GET when you replace GLASS with metal MESH.

Rooster: Makes sense. But don’t you wish sometimes the owners would use normal building materials instead of trying to customize everything?

Goosed: NO. I don’t know much about GLASS, but I’ve heard being UNDER it is a BAD thing, so being BEHIND it can’t be much better.

On dead trees:

Rooster: What are your thoughts on the dead trees lying about on the property?

Goosed: I THINK it’s great the owners have BROUGHT in the guy with the portable SAWmill to make USE of the wood.

Rooster: Blades spook me.

Goosed: Why? What DO those have to DO with us?

Rooster: Agh, forget it. Just rumors.

On uneven roads:

Rooster: Most of the roads in this county are in good condition, but some of them need work.

Goosed: Agreed. Some of them RIPPLE up and down in PERPETUAL humps, the SOLID white line INDICATING the SIDE of the lane terminus LOOKING like a ribbon SET into wrist-trilled MOTION.

Rooster: Wow, Goosed, that was poetic.

Goosed: Thanks, ROOSTER, but the WORD you’re looking for isn’t POETIC; it’s LITERARY.

Rooster: [sarcastic voice] Gee, thanks for correcting me in the middle of receiving a compliment.

Goosed: AnyTIME. AnyTHING I can DO to help.

On banded light and dark lines from shadows on the road:

Rooster: What do you think it means when you’re driving on a road; it’s about midday; you’ve just come from Plaikni Falls out by Crater Lake; and you see those lines of light reaching through the trees and bending over the road, and stacked on top of these are shadow lines, and this pattern continues for miles down the straight road all the way to the volcanic ash Pinnacles?

Goosed: If you HAD an MFA in CREATIVE writing, I would say it MEANT you were EXERCISING your craft.

Rooster: And if I don’t have an MFA.

Goosed: You’re a POSER.

Rooster: [speaking into a radio] Yes, farmer, the sightlines are good. Take the shot.

* * *

On that metal mesh storm door, I look around quickly whenever it closes, suspicious that the neighborhood demolitions amateurs from back home in Portland—who feel the need to test the explosive capabilities of their fireworks cache throughout the year (Yup, this one works. Yup, this one works. …)—have followed us into the Southern Oregon back country, seeking a canyon with better reverberation properties than found in suburbia.

Then I realize it’s another example of a minor sound interrupting silence. Even the canine Greek gods observe vows of it. The canyon’s mission is to promote silence and reflection.

Rooster and Goosed—they’ve got some stuff to work out.

As for me, I’m at PEACE.

Higher Thievery

An article from the QC Times described a thief who had been arrested for robbing the Dollar Tree. If you’re going to rob a store, why the Dollar Tree?

Your resale value for Dollar Tree stolen merchandise is crap. If all the merchandise had been sold, and the proceeds were sitting in one register, you still wouldn’t have enough to buy a decent used car.

We think this thief (Bobby 7, previously seen in our June 29, 2019 column Little Meth Lab on the Back 40) needed to aspire to higher thievery, but let’s hear from Bobby 7.

Exclusively from the Scott County Jail:

* * *

TFF: When we last spoke, you were getting your meth business off the ground. Now you’ve been arrested for petty theft. What happened?

Bobby 7: I still don’t think of m’self as the pohlitical tahp, but when that meth legalization bill come down from that there legeeslayuture, I knewd I had to i’volve m’self. But, u’forchoonately, so did all m’ cohmpatriots, m’ buddies. Well, they were’d m’ buddies. Ah gees wud ‘m trying t’ say is, we done flooded the markeet, so we’d had to think of other ways to make money.

TFF: And those other ways didn’t involve getting a job in a legitimate business? Maybe a retail worker or fast food?

Bobby 7: Y’seen how much sugar they put in them there cuhandy bars? Y’seen how much sugar they put in them there ahce cuhream bars? Y’seen how much sugar they put in them there sohdee pops, and evun in the brayd and buns of the sandweeches at them there fast food stohres? Call me a criminal. It’s criminal what thay’re doing. Too much sugar. Rot yer face way faster than meth. So t’ answer y’r queshun, I don’t feel raht allying m’self with them there corpohrate cohrupters. Bobby 7 got to remain induhpendent.

TFF: We can understand wanting to remain independent. This is why we exist as a humor magazine—to find different ways of approaching topics, hyperbolically so, if necessary, turning them inside out, and finding humor in unusual places. However, there’s something called risk versus reward that we honor.

Bobby 7: Ah see. Yer sayin’ I ain’t put enuf thought into m’ actions. I went off, what’s the phuhrase? Half-cocked. You know, I’d always thought that meant I ‘adn’t uhchieved a full eerekshun, and ah disuhpouted my lady friend.

TFF: Actually, the phrase means you’ve insufficiently primed a weapon, like a handgun, for firing, so when you try to use it, it misfires.

Bobby 7: Ah dohn’t see the difference. Same result: yuh load don’t blowd, and yer mad o’ sad o’ both. Anyway, you wohnted to knowd why I payked the Dollar Tree. I payked it b’cause nobahdy aylse had payked it. Wid all o’ m’ buddies saturaytin’ the meth market, even wid it bein’ legal, the price done pluhmeeted, so I fig’red, prices o’ cheap itums would be on the rise raht quick. U’forchoonately, it dayn’t ‘appen that way. Guess I needs to take me suhm ecohnahmics claysses.

TFF: Just want to make sure I’m hearing this correctly. Because of the meth legalization bill, you found an excessive number of your buddies entering the legal market, yes?

Bobby 7: Thay’d be cohrect.

TFF: And this excessive number of entrants produced a market saturation of product, an oversupply situation, which caused a marked drop in prices, yes?

Bobby 7: Yays. Them market forsays be suhm powerfool forsays.

TFF: Got it. Finally, you thought that since formerly high prices were dropping, that portended a precipitous rise in formerly low prices, yes?

Bobby 7: What’s “portaynded”? Like you was givin’ money to the poor? Tendin’ to ‘em?

TFF: Sorry. Poor word choice. We meant you thought high prices dropping meant low prices would soon rise, yes?

Bobby 7: Ah see. Yays. That’s what I thawd right then, but it dohn’ work that way, uh gayss.

TFF: Thank you, Bobby 7. Insightful as always.

Bobby 7: For shore. If ah may?

TFF: Please.

Bobby 7: Ah would lahk to uhspire t’ higher thievuhree, lahk with bags o’ dimuhnds ‘n’ stuff, but the econahmics is hard. I gots me some stuff t’ lahrn.

* * *

Higher learning for higher thievery.

Bobby 7 has a growth mindset.

Covid Couture

Levi Strauss sales are down 62%, according to The Economist. Watch out, New York runways. The flannel phalanx of baggy couture is coming.

How do we know this? We sat down with a leading fashion house in New York City and another in Paris (airline tickets being uber cheap these days. So nice to stretch out, walk around, sit wherever you want) and asked them about their level of preparedness to deal with the Covid-induced shifting of fashion preferences.

* * *

TFF: We were watching online commencement speeches, and we’ve seen a growing number of people from high academia wearing pleated flannel pants, blazers made from sweatpants material, and ties that are multi-purpose and doubling as a windbreaker, or tripling as a personal hazmat tent, should too many people gather on stage at one time, or quadrupling as a Self-Contained on-Land Breathing Apparatus (SCOLBA).

NYC Fashion House: Do you have a question?

TFF: It seems these trends of people of influence moving away from high fashion and toward low fashion, but flaunted in a respectable way, could spell doom for your haute couture business line. What say you?

NYC Fashion House: We believe a PhD wearing a flannel and sweatpants material outfit, as you say, is a symptom of the disease, not a defense against it. We believe that once a suitable vaccine is discovered, those society members who wore our line will recover their senses and wear our line.

TFF: But what if their fashion choices today are not symptoms of Covid-19? What if this is a permanent shift in preferences?

NYC Fashion House: Not possible.

TFF: Why not?

NYC Fashion House: [hushed voice] Because we’re not ready to admit you can buy last year’s line by visiting two or three Goodwill stores.

TFF: That brings up an interesting point about the true value of your goods. I think we— Say, what are you doing with that torch?

NYC Fashion House: This? It’s nothing. Just a new cigarette lighter.

TFF: Seems like overkill.

NYC Fashion House: You want the clothing to go up instantly and quickly spread to the building’s structure.

TFF: By “clothing” and “building,” we assume this is a metaphor for your cigarette, and not an actual arson plan to burn down Goodwill stores that may be proving the real value of your clothing?

NYC Fashion House: Yeah, metaphor. Let’s go with that.

* * *

TFF: With so many working from home these days, we noticed, based on an extensive review of YouTube videos, people are more concerned with comfort than with showing off the curves of their glutes and the tone of their quads. You market skin-tight jeans to millennials and wannabe millennials in their 30s and 40s. What do you think this means for the long-term viability of your product line?

Paris Fashion House: Rather than look at this as a blow to our bottom line, we see this as an opportunity.

TFF: How so?

Paris Fashion House: Right now, yes, people are lounging in pajama pants. They’re reclining in breakaways. They’re lying around in zip-ups. But this will not last. Like all humans, they desire to be noticed. They desire to be different. If everyone around is enmeshed in a state of low-thread-count, fuzzy relaxation, this will become the new baseline, meaning no one will be able to call him or herself elite—unless.

TFF: Unless?

Paris Fashion House: Unless they buy our skin-tight jeans. Our marketing campaigns will prove our jeans’ ability to, by the very nature of their compression of skin and restriction of blood flow, raise one to a position of social superiority.

TFF: Just by wearing the jeans.

Paris Fashion House: Well, not just wearing the jeans. There’s also the $5,000 price tag per.

TFF: Per what? Pair?

Paris Fashion House: Yes.

TFF: That seems excessive. It seems like your goal is to use the price of your jeans alone as an indicator of their value and ability to raise one’s social status. Will a former-flannel-wearer-turned-fashionista really get 1,000 times more utility from your jeans than, say, a pair they bought from Goodwill?

Paris Fashion House: DO NOT SPEAK THE NAME OF EVIL!!!

* * *

Responding to the Covid threat, fashion houses are resorting to metaphorical arson and gag orders on evil thrift.

We recommend shorting their stock.

Advantage: Humans

During training for my employer’s new integrated workflow management system, I had to view a bunch of pre-recorded videos. These videos navigated through various screens I was likely to encounter, highlighted relevant sections of each screen, and displayed pop-up text to describe what I was seeing and provide context.

The first time I viewed these screens, I was working from home and remoting into my office computer. Because of this connection configuration, I was unable to use the audio and had to quickly read along with the videos before the pop-ups went away.

The next day, I was back in the office, so I thought I would use the audio and let the computer read to me. Why exercise the eyes and collection of rectus muscles when you can sit back and let the dulcet tones of a husky or bass narrator read to you?

Mistake.

Instead of a human, a computer narrator assaulted my ears with accents in the wrong places, pitch inflections at odds with a word’s meaning and placement within a sentence (think Mike Myers in View from the Top after Christina Applegate’s character turned the word “assess” into an obscenity: “You put the wrong emPHAsis on the wrong syLLAble”), and an apathetic intensity that made me think more of Pauly Shore in Biosphere than of James Earl Jones in, well, anything.

The computer read the words correctly, but it blew the performance because it had no consciousness, no soul, no experience from which to draw, no pain to infuse, no happiness to drape across a symphony of words.

Few things are as intimate and as unique as the human voice. It is, in my opinion, the most beautiful, bountiful, and diverse of all instruments. Of all the things technology makes possible, I’ll wager replicating a human voice is one that cannot be achieved, and if it can, if we can somehow devise a measurement system to determine that we’ve achieved algorithmic replication of a human voice, one that would pass a Turing Test, one a real human would trust and in which would find comfort, find love, I say we should not aspire to this. I invoke Dr. Malcolm. The question of should we is as important as can we.

Your voice is the representation of your soul. No matter how close algorithms come to a convincing facsimile, they will only ever approach a limit. They will always lack a soul.

Advantage: humans.

I’m aware that one should not take this to the extreme. One shouldn’t substitute a human for every instance of Alexa in millions of homes around the world. That would be creepy, always having a human listening in on you, although there could be some benefit. A human might fall asleep and miss a few words. Alexa misses nothing.

She chimes in at inappropriate times, such as when you’re trying to say, “Get Alex a hamburger,” and Alexa, circling blue and turquoise light signaling an inopportune entrance into a conversation, says, “Okay, for hamburger, I recommend …” A real buddy would grill me a hamburger, or, better yet, throw a frozen patty in the microwave so I can instantly have my dosage of radiation and beef. A real buddy would say “How good is that?” with no trace of sarcasm.

Alexa is like The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper: she gets sarcasm as well as a cat tolerates a bird on the other side of a screen door.

Advantage: humans.

Have you ever received a mild electric shock? Perhaps you’ve plugged in a frayed lamp cord, tried to plug in a good condition cord in the dark and gotten your fingertips past the base and touching the prongs, been jogging while a downed powerline whipsawed its way back and forth on the road before you like a snake on acid, catching your heel and giving you the extra jolt needed to finish strong.

With the possible exception of the last example, I’ve always found electrocution to be unpleasant. It’s a weird sensation. It seems wrong and foreign to my senses, anathema to my sense of what it means to be wholly human.

I feel a similar sensation when I hear an artificially-generated voice.

These phonetic fakes cannot approach me and you.

Advantage: humans.

Little Meth Lab on the Back 40

I told a colleague that you could buy 12 acres in rural Iowa, plus a private lake, forest, and a decent house for $325K. He mentioned something about using all the extra savings to catch the backwoods economic wave in Iowa and start up a meth lab operation. This colleague has lived his whole life in Oregon. Knows next to nothing about Iowa.

I could get offended. I was born in Iowa. My family still lives in Iowa. Iowa has a huge tech presence in Des Moines. Outsiders who’ve never visited are generally ignorant about how modern Iowa is. But mainstream Iowa doesn’t make the humor ground fertile. So instead of getting offended, I’m going to get funny. Imagine an Iowa in which meth labs are legal to the same extent as, say, marijuana in Oregon. Throw the hyperbole switch.

* * *

Voiceover: Iowa. Fields of Opportunities. Balanced budgets. Happy, affluent urban cores. Near the top of the nation high school graduation rates. If you thought living in Iowa was a sure-fire path to career success, you’d be right. But if you thought school was the only way to make money, you’d be wrong.

Deirdre: I was so happy the day my permit was approved. We’ve had an old RV sitting in our backyard, collecting dust, spiders, and the occasional transient passing through on the Burlington Northern line. They were nice folks, told us all about alternative ways to dispose of urine, the latest in train-hopping techniques, as well as the best way to falsify disability claims if you, you know, ever miss the train jump. But all those stories, nice as they are, don’t pay the bills. Meth does.

Bobby 7: Never thought of myself as the pohlitical type, at least not the type to get ‘volved in an’thing at the state legislature. But when that meth legalization bill come down, I knewd I had to get me involved, and right there quick. … All them sores on peoples’ faces? Ah, hell, they’s got studies out that just prove right quick that them’s the result of excess sugar c’sumption, not meth. Meth’s as safe as milk, but more profitable. Hard to take them there cows on the road witchoo. They stank up that there place right quick. But your meth-mobile (‘nything with four wheels), that can make you profits on the go. … Bobby 7? Oh, why I’m the seventh boy in my family named Bobby. … Was my mother on meth? Well, of course, but she also ate a lot o’ sugar, so we all knows the reason for that there stuck key on the naming cohnvention, don’t we?

Voiceover: If the economists’ reports coming out of the state capital can be trusted, income inequality will soon be on its way out, as the bill to legalize methamphetamine production and distribution, which just passed the legislature today, was deliberately lacking a regulatory framework.

Senator Walter: There’s the traditional path, going through school, degrees, offices, and the like. But not everyone can do that or wants to do that. But everybody can mix chemicals and drive around. Who do you see when you drive around? People. Ready customers. I think we did a great public service here today.

Representative White: Senator Walter said it all, but I’ll add that there’s never been a great economic equalizer like the methamphetamine bill. This will be the highlight of my legacy.

Senator Gus: With more methamphetamine on the street, kids will have a choice between something that gives you real energy and those dastardly sugar products that make you crash 15 minutes later. The meth high goes long.

Representative Fring: Couldn’t agree more with Senator Gus. Candy is hard to eat with only half a face, but meth–huh, ho!–straight in the vein. Maximum delivery options and convenience.

Senator Pinkman: Yeah! Politics, Bitch!

* * *

Ridiculous, right? I hope you can all be good sports and see the humor in this ultra-hyperbole. It’s what we do here at the Family Farce. But it does make me wonder: I ate some bread today. It had gluten in it. How long until the mundane becomes the monstrous? The illicit the indispensable? Time can do weird things to the sensibilities of the populace.

But until that day the states go Breaking Bad, pass the wheat.

Hold the meth.