Congress gets recess, kids get spring break — what about US?!?

imageIf you’re a student or educator, you are probably getting excited about the approach of SPRING BREAK! Wee-HOO! For students of all ages it means a week of crazy fun with little or no responsibility, whether you’re a fifth-grader planning a Spongebob Squarepants marathon to Bikini Bottom, or a college student planning a bikini bottom marathon of a different kind. If you’re an educator, it means a student-free week away from grading papers with so much red ink your desk resembles a sacrificial altar. Seriously, are they learning NOTHING between Tweets in class?!?

Even Congress gets what is referred to as “recess.” Let’s be honest: If I performed as poorly at my job as they have, I would get what is referred to as “fired.”

That being said, for the rest of us, spring break holds about as much anticipation as trash day or a release date for “Frozen 3.”

This is particularly true for those of us with teenagers at home, many of whom will openly mock us each day by selfishly sleeping in. Then, in an added display of thoughtlessness, they will still be in their pajamas and deciding on breakfast when we come home for lunch! The audacity! Especially since they misspelled “audacity” on their last quiz! Continue reading

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Loosen up with the help of bio-engineered yogurt

(We’re all familiar with “Deja vu,” and maybe even “Vu daje,” which is a distinct feeling that nothing like this has ever happened before. But today, I’d like to introduce you to “Deja Where-Were-You,” which is a feeling that today’s blog post happened before, but almost no one noticed. That’s what Flashback Sunday is all about! It’s when we go back into the early archives; back when all four of my followers were related; back when my Total Views added up to less than the average weight of a female Olympic gymnast; back when I thought “Freshly Pressed” was an online newsletter for counterfeiters. The blog has come a long way since then, thanks to all of you, and including the tag “Channing Tatum” with all of my posts…)

image It’s that time again when I am faced with the difficult task of sorting through news tips sent in by readers and, after careful consideration, deciding whether to change my mailing address. Based on what I’ve received over the last several weeks, it’s clear that in the wake of events like the economic rollercoaster, the growing momentum of the presidential elections and North Korea’s recurring threat to become a nuclear power “Capable of rivaling the U.S., or at least parts of New Jersey,” there has been one subject on the minds of readers from California to Alberta, Canada. And that subject, as you’ve probably guessed, is “irregularity.”

Thanks to the many sharp-minded readers who send me the kinds of articles that the “bigger,” more “professional” news sources with “computers from this decade” and “ a staff of two or more people,” won’t cover, I have received multiple tips about an important nationwide study sponsored by the Dannon Company, which concluded residents of Orlando, Fla., are — and we’re not pointing fingers here — the most constipated Americans in the country. Continue reading

Laughing at cows can be harmful, especially while playing bingo

Cow Patty bingo As you probably know, national “Be Kind to Animals Week” is almost here. And just when Florida was beginning to re-gain a small measure of respectability by working hard to draw absolutely no attention to itself, it is once again in the national spotlight.

I’m talking, of course, about the controversy surrounding Cow-Patty Bingo.

For those who might not be familiar with this activity for reasons of sanity, we’ll just take a moment to cover the basics.

First, you need a cow.

Second, you need a REALLY BIG bingo card.

OK, not really. But you really do need a cow, preferably one that has just eaten a lot of fiber — like, say, a 55-gallon drum of granola. Next, you need a large field or yard (such as a neighbor’s) that can be divided into numbered grids. Once you have the cow and the grid, it’s time to start selling squares. This requires finding people who think that poop is entertaining. If you know anyone who watched Jersey Shore, that would probably be a good place to start. Continue reading

Loosen up with the help of bio-engineered yogurt

It’s that time again when I am faced with the difficult task of sorting through news tips sent in by readers and, after careful consideration, deciding whether to change my mailing address. Based on what I’ve received over the last several weeks, it’s clear that in the wake of events like the economic rollercoaster, the growing momentum of the presidential elections and North Korea’s recurring threat to become a nuclear power “Capable of rivaling the U.S., or at least parts of New Jersey,” there has been one subject on the minds of readers from California to Alberta, Canada. And that subject, as you’ve probably guessed, is “irregularity.”

Thanks to the many sharp-minded readers who send me the kinds of articles that the “bigger,” more “professional” news sources with “computers from this decade” and “ a staff of two or more people,” won’t cover, I have received multiple tips about an important nationwide study sponsored by the Dannon Company, which concluded residents of Orlando, Fla., are — and we’re not pointing fingers here — the most constipated Americans in the country.

In fairness, some say the study is inconclusive since, in many cases, researchers, who were stationed in fast food restaurants throughout Orlando, were chased out by security before many surveys could be completed. The only thing everyone seems to agree on is that Ex-Lax is kicking itself for not conducting the study first. According to Dannon, the 50-city survey was conducted to promote its floundering Activia yogurt, which is designed to help Jamie Lee Curtis with her irregularity.

Admittedly, I’m no scientist, but I think I can explain how Activia works. Let’s say I’m visiting Orlando. Naturally, I become constipated almost immediately. Following the advice of my hotel maid, an observant woman who has noticed my toilet paper has remained sealed for the last three days, I purchase a tub of Activia yogurt and begin shoveling spoonfuls into my mouth at a rate generally reserved for super-sized meals. Nearing the completion of my yogurt, I read the side panel on my container and discover I have just consumed a product which describes itself as “specially designed to survive passage through the digestive system, arriving into the large intestine as a live bacteria culture.”

It is in this moment — while poised with a mouthful of fruit flavored, bio-engineered bacterium — I can feel Activia working to eliminate my constipation by effectively scaring the — [fecal matter] — out of me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m no organic health food crusader. Truth be told, I have nightmares about the world’s tofu supply becoming self aware. The difference is that tofu’s rise to power will come naturally, based on its own merits, and after the development of what I suspect will be a large curd army.

Man’s fall from the top of the food chain will be through the process of “natural selection,” and not the result of bio-engineering gone wrong within — and I’m speaking purely in metaphoric terms — mankind’s collective large intestine. Unlike tofu proliferation, we have a choice when it comes to ingesting stool softening bacteria.

One solution? Climb a glacier.

According to a study conducted by Alaska epidemiologist Joe McLaughlin, one in three climbers who ascend the Kahiltna Glacier are stricken with diarrhea. Again, like the makers of Ex-Lax, executives at Charmin are kicking themselves.

My point is this: Solving Orlando’s constipation crisis by introducing bio-engineered yogurt, in my opinion, seems a little drastic. Especially when we could take a more “natural” approach by providing Orlandons with an ice pick and sending them up a glacier.

I tried contacting Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer about this. Unfortunately, all the lines were backed up.

(You can write to Ned Hickson at nhickson@thesiuslawnews.com, or at the Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, Ore., 97439)