Monday, May 30, 2005

Why I Should be in the NBA

I really want to play in the NBA. I have no skills, I'm past my prime (a prime that, sadly, included no skills either), and I don't have the time to work out in an attempt to develop some skills; still,I really want to play in the NBA. Isn't that good enough?

Is it outrageous that in spite of my total lack of apptitude I am not able to play the sport I love? I bet Modesto, California's Karen Cox would be on my side--she might even vote me onto the all-star team.

How do I know? Well, Karen wrote a letter to The Modesto Bee in support of 8th graders who fail their U.S. Constitution test. It seems that failing said test--a requirement for graduation--bars one from "walking the stage." These kids are not special ed, but do have some learning disabilities that make it difficult for them to pass the test. According to Karen, there needs to be "respect for individual differences" and an end to discrimination in Modesto City Schools.

Here, here! I've got some "individual differences" that separate me from the typical NBA player: I'm only 6-feet tall, can't dribble, can't shoot, and certainly can't jump. What kind of country do we live in where somebody with little or no talent is systematically denied the same opportunities as elite world-class athletes? I am ashamed to be an American!

I want to come out 100% behind Karen's proposal to give non-graduates the same benefits as graduates; after all, we're all different and different is good, it's just that we all deserve the right to use our differences to be considered the same. See you in the NBA!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Wendy's Chili tale just tip of finger, er, iceberg.

As most of blog-reading America chokes on the sordid tidbit about the finger for hire, the ever-growing mental and moral underclass of this country undoubtedly chortles its approval at the near success of the dirty trick that took more than a few digits off of Wendy's sales totals for two months.

In our whatever-you-can-get-away-with culture, Anna Anaya and her family are the modern equivalent of a band of gypsies, playing us all for every ill-gotten cent they can. The Las Vegas woman's near-miss screwing of Wendy's would be as funny as it is disgusting if these people were an aberration, but even "decent" folks these days are unabashedly "working the system" any way they can.

Even people who have neither seen nor heard of shows like Jackass and Viva La Bam have experienced the trickle down immorality and disrespect that is infecting this nation. The Springer-ization of our culture flashes big when we learn about the lady giving the finger to Wendy's, but millions of other people do the same thing every day without any headlines.

You only have to work retail for a short time to see just how dishonest and low people can be in their everyday dealings. We're not talking out-and-out thiefs--though there is plenty of that--but supposedly upstanding citizens who think nothing of socking it to the retailer with their lies and deception.

There's the nicely-dressed couple who very clearly and deliberately order new windows "with grids" at Home Depot, only to insist later that they didn't want grids; later, they complain and scream enough that they get them for half price. On the off chance that screaming and yelling doesn't get them what they want, they just refuse the windows and purchase them at a fraction of the real cost when they appear later in the clearance bin.

Or how about the nice old lady who orders a whole new kitchen of cabinets and decides later that she doesn't like the grain in the natural maple that she picked out. After ordering new drawer and cabinet fronts three times to find a bunch that met her liking, she finally demands and receives her $10,000 back.

And here's one: A customer gets a whole new hardwood floor installed at the store's expense because he insisted that the installer put in the original floor in a manner contrary to the manufacturer's recommendation. The installer and the store told him it wouldn't work, he pitched a fit and demanded they do it anyway, he signed a disclaimer putting the responsibility squarely on him, then pitched another fit to get a new floor when it turned out the store and the installer were right.

I could go on! (Help me out, do you have some more examples?) Suffice it to say, customers are lying dogs. You can tell that they are lying when they open their mouths. So just because you don't know anyone who used a finger to try to extort some cash, don't assume that the general public is any different.