Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pope Francis Is a Blizzard

Hello, and welcome to The Gods Are Bored! Guess what? We are going to have an unprecedented event in the Philadelphia region. We're going to have a crippling blizzard -- like, the blizzard of the century -- the last weekend in September!

I know, I know, that sounds weird. But I'm not kidding you.

What do we know about blizzards?

*They shut down highways.
*They close schools.
*They make travel hazardous, if not impossible.
*They cause disruptions in health care and public safety.
*They make people run out to the store ahead of time for bread, eggs, and milk.

All of that is going to happen in Philadelphia during the final weekend in September.

Pope Francis, he of the "everyman" and "feed the poor" ilk, is coming to the City of Brotherly Love for a fluffy thing called World Meeting of Families. We in the Delaware Valley have already been told that Pope Francis will not be including gay people in his definition of marriage and family. That's to be expected.

What's also to be expected is total chaos in Philly. (I wonder if anyone will be able to tell? It's always partially chaotic in Philly.)

This lunatic pope is going to Independence Hall on Saturday and is giving an open-air Mass at 4:00 Sunday afternoon. Anyone -- I mean anyone -- who wants to go see him is warmly invited to do so.

Not that it will be easy in blizzard conditions.

Let's go back over those blizzard prerequisites:

*Shutting down highways -- Every major highway except Interstate 95 will be closed while the pope is in Philadelphia. All highways coming in from the east. All highways going out to the west. Both major bridges into Philadelphia will be closed. (The Ben Franklin Bridge will be open to foot traffic, but everyone has to go through scanners, like airport security.)

*The pope must be guarded by the FBI, local and state police, the sheriff's department, and Homeland Security. They are already at work on plans to erect a fence around a huge swath of Center City Philadelphia -- including Spare's college.

*My school will be closing at noon on Friday and not opening up again until Tuesday. This is because all major thoroughfares in Camden will be closed to traffic.

*Spare's school in Center City will be closed from Wednesday until the following Tuesday. All students are being strongly urged to go home, if possible.

If it disrupts traffic and requires extra police, and closes the schools, it's a blizzard.

Maybe that's why he wears white.

I had the utter bad fortune to have to spend the day with a devout Roman Catholic colleague. She proudly said that this pope will seek out the poorest neighborhoods in the region to visit. He has a lot of ground to cover, if that's the case. But what I think (and I didn't share this with my colleague) is that this blizzard visit is a colossal case of hubris. This pope is asking for a terrorist attack, he's asking for crowds to crush each other in an effort to get to him, and he's basically giving criminals of all stripes a wonderful chance to rob, pilfer, and scam.

La di dah! This will be a funny adventure for those of us at The Gods Are Bored! We'll lay in our stores of milk and bread. We have plenty of firewood and space for Heir and Spare. Gonna hunker down and ride out this storm, praising and worshiping the Bored Gods!

Stay tuned.

Friday, August 07, 2015

My New Job as a Video Production Assistant

Well, I'm not PAID or anything, but ...

My two readers will recall that my daughter The Spare has decided to do a comedy web series called Speed. She is trying to get a 24-minute pilot episode done so she can shop the concept.

Folks, I've always been impressed with my daughter, but you should see her now.

I've helped her the last two weeks, because inevitably someone (or everyone) in her crew can't make it to the shoot. So I have seen her set up expensive cameras and lights, microphones and test shots. I've seen her direct actors and then jump in to play her own role.

She is working her shapely little butt off for this project. To those of you who donated, your ducats did not fall into an abyss.

At least I hope not.

You see, it's not a solo show. There are eight cast members, none of them being paid. Cross your fingers that everyone hits the mark until Spare can call it a wrap and start editing. It's been dicey so far.

So, you may ask, what is my role in this ambitious project? I'm glad you asked!

*I carry heavy stuff.
*I decorate sets.
*I get water from the Rite Aid when the actors are thirsty.
*I take care of wardrobe malfunctions (a reach for me).
*I run errands.

But wait! There's more! Spare has also enlisted the help of Heir! Yes, Heir has a role in the show, and when she's not acting in it, she helps out too. That's how these things get done, after all. It's a family effort!

The moral of this sermon is, I haven't raised a pair of slackers who spend the day watching other people's YouTubes. I'm right proud of that.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Frank Talk on Shopping for Folding Chairs

This is "The Gods Are Bored," and this is a public service announcement:

If you go to a nude beach, don't sit on someone else's chair.

Free advice! I'll pay you dearly to take it.

Two weeks ago, at the nude beach, a very vile human unfolded my beach chair and deposited his man-parts on it without asking or even looking around to see who might own the chair.

After that I wouldn't take the thing home, partly because it was gross, and partly because the particular person who used it is particularly loathsome. (In a fair and stable world, I would have taken it home and scrubbed it. But not after THAT guy.)

Anyway, the loss of a perfectly good folding chair led me on a quest to find a new one. Have you done this sort of shopping lately, reader? I couldn't believe my eyes.


I know you won't believe me (and maybe it's still season), but the item above costs $40, no matter where you shop. I wouldn't stoop to Wal-Mart, but all the other stores were pretty consistent in their pricing. Since the chair I was trying to replace had been given to me, I hated like Hell to think of spending $40.

So I went to the camping store.


This is what passes for a camping chair these days. Lord love a fruit fly! A cup holder? Are you kidding me? And some of them have little zipper pouches to put your valuables in. Very handy! The thief will know where to look first! If the simple beach chairs were expensive, these were even more so. And they're kind of heavy. At least to my spindly arms.

You know what I've discovered in the prime of life? (Wait for it -- more free advice!)

The best place to look for affordable, traditional merchandise is a mom-and-pop hardware store.

Thank goodness there's still one of those near me! Home Depot has just about decimated the species.

So I went to the mom-and-pop hardware store, and lo and behold:


This is exactly what I wanted! A good, old-fashioned mesh folding chair. Not so great for the environment, but neither are the other ones. And this unit set me back ... yep ... twenty bucks! I can lift it, and in my experience these puppies last a good long while if you don't leave them out in the weather during the winter.

All that remains for me to do at this point is to make a sweet little sign that says:


At least this narrows it down some.