Blowing Away the Smokescreens
by Mad Dog
the atmosphere is getting pumped full of nitrous oxide theres going to be a day when
well not only have to walk around stark naked just to keep cool but will be laughing
ourselves silly all the while. So where, exactly, is the problem?
|| A lot of things
just arent what they seem to be. Take global warming, for example. What at first
glance is a very serious subjectwell, for those who dont like the idea of
bathing in SPF 372 every morning before going out into the sunnow turns out to be a
This is because of
catalytic converters. You remember them, theyre the empty metal thingies on your car
engine which allow the mechanic to nod his head, inform you that you failed the smog test,
and call his wife to tell her to extend their vacation in Fiji by another week.
Years ago when the carmakers in Detroit
(municipal motto: "We used to be a city too!") first started installing these on
cars everyone rejoiced because finally there was a way to break down the nitrogen-oxygen
compounds that spewed out of car exhaust before it combined with hydrocarbons and was
cooked by sunlight to become secret sauce for Big Macs. Just kidding. Actually what that
does is create smog.
You know smog. Thats the stuff that
obliterates the Hollywood sign during the summer, makes the Grand Canyon appear not to
have another side, and makes pilots think Mexico City has vanished like some bad episode
of the X-Files. Or maybe thats a good episode.
Either way, now it turns out that the same
catalytic converters which scientists thought were helping eliminate smog are actually
generating nitrous oxide, a gas which warms the atmosphere at an amazing rate, adding
toyou guessed itglobal warming.
Of course you know nitrous oxide better as
laughing gas, the anesthetic the dentist gives you so you wont feel anything when he
tacks all those zeros on the end of your bill. But what these scientistswho still
think calling each other a fungi is a hilarious jokeare neglecting to take into
account is the fact that if the atmosphere is getting pumped full of nitrous oxide, which
is causing the planet to warm up, theres going to be a day when well not only
have to walk around stark naked just to keep cool but will be laughing ourselves silly all
the while. So where, exactly, is the problem?
On the other hand, the smell of cherries, mens colognes, and charcoal grilled meat
all reduced female sexual arousal. There goes sex after the cookout Sunday.
|| Theres been
a streak of other things recently that arent what they seem to be. In Indiana (state
motto: "Even we cant find ourselves on a map.") Representative Dan Burton
found himself running against a Democrat named Bobby Kern who isnt only a
politician, hes a convicted felon and occasional female impersonator. Really. Of
course the only thing that separates him from most politicians is that hes been
convicted. Well, that and he can play the part of his own intern in a pinch.
Then we have Viagra, the wonder drug that millions
of men are finding it hard to beat, which was supposed to help peoples sex lives by
curing impotence. Instead it turns out its a marriage wrecker. Well, at least
according to Roberta Bernardo, who was the first on her block to file a lawsuit claiming
that it did such a good job on her 70-year-old husband that he left her for greener
Apparently Bernardo seems to think Viagra
is an aphrodisiac, which we all know is ridiculous. Good & Plenty, now theres an
aphrodisiac. Before you laugh yourself to deathwhich is probably the result of an
incorrectly adjusted catalytic converter shooting too much nitrous oxide into your
carlet me point out that a study by the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research
Foundation (corporate motto: "Our business is nothing to sniff at.") discovered
that women who smelled Good & Plenty experienced a 13 percent increase in blood flow
to their sex organs. If thats true then those 22-pound boxes of Good & Plenty
they sell in the movie theater may do more for your sex life than all the Viagra in the
But Good & Plenty wasnt the only
erotic odor they uncovered. It turns out that baby powder, lavender, and pumpkin pie all
have a similar effect on women. On the other hand, the smell of cherries, mens
colognes, and charcoal grilled meat all reduced female sexual arousal. There goes sex
after the cookout Sunday.
A psychiatrist claimed that because a patient had 120 separate personalities it was proper
for him to bill the insurer for group therapy. After all, he was counseling more than one
personality at a time.
|| Its also
turning out that company dress codes may not be such a good thing. Even though many
companies have instituted casual Fridays as a way to let workers dress down and relax,
some people are taking advantage of it, and as your third grade teacher used to tell you,
the whole class may suffer. Not long ago a mechanic who worked for Northwest Airlines was
fired because he dressed a little too casually for workhe wore a clown outfit.
Vince Bazzachini, the president of the International
Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 1833 (union motto: "Were
out there so astronauts can be out there") defended the mechanics fashion statement
saying its not uncommon for union members to dress outlandishly to show their
frustration with management. Maybe theyre just a little ahead of their time. Give it
a few more years and the nitrous oxide levels in the atmosphere will be high enough that
even the most staid corporate manager will laugh his ass off at this kind of protest.
And finally theres the question of
medical bills, which arent what they seem at all. To a doctor they seem reasonable.
To us, they can seem rather high. To a medical insurance company they seem like a reason
to raise our rates every year. Thats why it was good to hear that Blue Cross &
Blue Shield United of Wisconsin (corporate motto: "Well give you something to
be blue about.") took a psychiatrist to court over an invoice he submitted for one of
his patients claiming that because she had 120 separate personalities it was proper for
him to bill the insurer for group therapy. After all, he was counseling more than one
personality at a time.
Someone better go check his catalytic
©1998 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. They
are what they seem to be.