MODERN WISDOM NUMBER 219 JANUARY 2017

MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE

NUMBER 219

JANUARY 2017

Copyright 2017 Francis DiMenno
dimenno@gmail.com
http://www.dimenno.wordpress.com

  1. IF I COULD TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

I would have told Lincoln the play was a downer and to stay at home.
I would have told Archduke Ferdinand that Sarajevo is not a happenin’ place.
Would have convinced Lenin that Stalin kinda sucks.
Would have told the Count to shove the bomb closer to Hitler.
Would have told Hirohito that Truman wasn’t kidding about Fat Man and
Little Boy.
Would have told JFK to use a body double in Dallas.
Would have told Gore to call for a recount for all of Florida.

  1. EDITORIAL: THE HOBO MENACE

THE HOBO MUST GO!

I fail to see why we continue to support these loafers. Hoboes are a menace. They stink. Literally. They are all a pack of greasy, bean-gobbling, bacon-eating layabouts. They steal pies from windowsills, beg for old rags at back doors, and kidnap children to make them into sturdy beggars. The revenues that the railroads lose from these freeloaders would save them from their operating deficits, and many times over. I recently actually saw a hobo–who was teaching his dog to beg! IT’S A FRANCHISE!

The fact is, these filthy toothless beggars roam our city streets, frightening horses and old maids with their gaunt forms and croaking voices as they beg for bread money they have every intention of spending instead on bay rum and sterno. Their filthy shantytowns smell like cheap rotgut; they’re forever sniping mostly-smoked cigars from the gutter; and they dress in suits that were last in fashion back in my grandfather’s day Maybe some “hepcat” characters find that sort of behavior attractive; I, for one, do not. Do you know what I say?

I SAID IT BEFORE.  LET ME SAY IT AGAIN: THE HOBO MUST GO! 

Because, friends, let’s face it. What does it say about our fair community when visitors are treated to the sight of a loathsome bindle-stiff scuffling for his dinner with arthritic claws from a trash-heap teeming with vermin? Do we want to improve Noxtown? The solution is simple: NO MORE HOBOES!

And another thing–whenever you talk to one of these down-and-outers, they’re always rasping in their froggy and thousand-mile voices about the perils of “cinder dicks” and “railroad bulls”. I say this: Maybe if you cleaned yourself up and got a job mucking sewers or whatever it is you ragamuffins do to earn your pelf, then maybe the good John Law wouldn’t feel constrained to clap the darbies on your infamous kind for breaking into boxcars and stealing potatoes or whatever it is you chaw between your rotting choppers. No, I’m afraid the era of soft-heartedness is long gone, my footloose friend. So let the word go out both far and wide: 

HOBO, YOU’RE NOT WELCOME HERE!

But…what is to be done? Maybe we might consider adopting the sensible remedies resorted to by the Germans and the Russians. Those boys didn’t fool around when it came to dealing with these rag-picking, flea-harboring, tubercular urban parasites. They relocated them. We should do the very same. And post-haste.  And then Noxtown would once again bloom with flowers whose perfume will for once be unsullied by the stale beer reek of these itinerant nomads.

My friends, let us not be deluded by the soft-hearted but mush-minded talk of the goo-goos and sky pilots who moan about Christian charity. Christ was all to the well and good, but let’s be REALISTIC. These Hobo malcontents would crush us if they could, so perhaps it would be best for all concerned were they to simply…vanish.

I see, stretching before me, like an illimitable horizon, a world that is all but Hobo-free.

Women would fearlessly ride my street-cars without the horrendous likelihood of some drunken freight-hopper stinking up the atmosphere with his creosote stench.

Small boys could fish and skinny-dip down by my granite quarry without encountering some “Weary Willie”-type character filling their heads with airy nonsense dreams of travel and adventure.

Merchants could proudly display their wares without some shuffling malcontent lingering in the back of the fruit-stand and free-loading rotten and bruised comestibles.

Restaurants could operate with every expectation that their ketchup and sugar packets would remain unmolested by freebooting bands of roving jungle buzzards.

Clancy, the good old cop on the beat, might be able to catch a little shut-eye instead of being forced to roust sleepy-eyed moochers from their offal-ridden roosts. Park benches, abandoned buildings, and highway underpasses would finally be free of the “tramp” menace.

No red-nosed, pink-eyed, Rum Dum malcontents would congregate in our fair parks and wooded areas, befouling the air with the rancid aromas of their “mulligan” stews.

In short, Noxtown would be even more of a veritable paradise–if only we could induce the hobo to clear out.

But what are we going to do about it?

WHAT?

Now, certain weak-minded sob-sisters and muddle-headed solons have argued, quite implausibly, that hoboes were victimized by the great financial downturns of decades past.

Now, I’m no ivory-tower economist, my head so full of soaring abstractions that I ain’t even got the sense to pound sand in a rat-hole, but here’s what I figger.

No less an eminento than the beloved Calvin Coolidge had something like this to say:

“Four-fifths of all our troubles would disappear, if we would only TRACK EVERY FILTHY HOBO TO THEIR LAIR AND DESTROY THEM ALL.”

I am not a partisan in this matter, but, when faced with such stunning common sense, I have no recourse but to wholeheartedly agree.

DESTROY ALL HOBOES. DESTROY THEM NOW.

NOW!

BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

Do not mistake my intentions.

I am not a heartless man.

There was even a time, a time in the not-too-distant past, when I might give a starving man a crust of bread before administering a well-deserved kick and sending him out into the snow.

But no more.

Truly, in the case of the hobo, IT IS CRUEL TO BE KIND.

CRUEL!

Where these men truly belong is not the poor-house, but the Penitentiary, where they can ruminate to their heart’s content over their misbegotten ways, in-between stints of basket-weaving, ditch-digging, and making little ones out of big ones.

Was it not the great Captain John Smith who sagely observed that “They who do not work shall not eat”?

How far we have strayed from the admonitory precepts of that wise old statesman!

And to what cost?

WE ARE OVERRUN WITH HOBOES!

OVER-RUN!

To maintain otherwise is socialism, plain and simple, and I say “To hell with it.”

(Pardon my language, but there stand I, and I can do no other.)

FROM NOW ON, LET THIS BE OUR TOWN MOTTO:

DEATH TO HOBOES!

All good people agree with me.

Even the good hoboes agree, because even they, in their sterno-and-rotgut-addled way, know that a town with no hoboes is a grand thing.

And so I say to you–mistake me not–if we shall deal softly with the Hobo in our midst, then verily, we shall be made a magnet for every starving vagabond within a thousand miles.

We shall open the toothless maws of itinerant and peripatetic madmen and nomads to speak of our city beautiful as merely a soft haven for erysipelatous scroungers, and they shall swarm our borders ’til they consume the good land we nourished with our very life’s blood.

In sum, I ask the town to rally ’round my standard.

Are you with me?

Or are you a filthy tramp-lover?

If the latter, then stay far, far away.

If the former, then heed my call:

DESTROY THE HOBO FREAKS! LEAVE NOT ONE STICK OF THEIR PATHETIC HOVELS STANDING!

AND WE WILL BUILD A NEW JERUSALEM!

AND WE WILL SEE THE VERY FACE OF GOD!!!!!

  1. MERRY XMAS (WAR IS OVER)

Yoko is off-key.

In fact, the whole message is off-key.

“Join the non-conformist army of peace, and wear these dog tags–OR ELSE!”

And besides, Phil Ochs started the whole “War is over if you want it” campaign back in 1968.

 

4

THINGS PEOPLE PROFESS TO LIKE, EVEN THOUGH THEY DON’T, REALLY

Sea salt
Bristishisms such as “Cor, blimey”.
Wal-Mart.
December 26th sales.
Service warranties.
Bonsai.
Supermarionation.
Ventriloquists.
Parrots.
Child actors.
The Old Testament.
The Atlantic Monthly.
Any folk music sung by toothless hillbillies.
Any folk music not sung by toothless hillbillies.
The Kama Sutra.
Yoga.
Jazzercise.
Gatorade.
Brainstorming.
Zinc lozenges.
Editorial cartoons.
Novels with false and lying narrators.
Orson Welles as genius.
Detectives with exotic handicaps.
Informal staff meetings
Presidential Pardons.
Presidential Libraries.
Tribute albums.
Ceremonial occasions.
Indian reservations.
G.E.D.s.
Hillbillies.
Coal miners.
Edward Norton.
Model U.N.s.
Debate societies.
Scrapbooks.
Mobiles.
Art made with construction paper.
Fingerpainting.
Precocious children.
Arthurian legend.
Mort Sahl.
Holocaust memoirs.
Dennis Miller.
Unpretentious, salt-of-the-earth Working-class Joes who will “give
you a piece of their mind” and “tell it like it is” with “the bark off”.
Very Special Episodes.
The idea of a Palestinian State.
Iraqi Democracy.
Carp.
Jazz.
Harvey Pekar.
The Four Seasons.
The 12 Apostles.
Ringo’s solo albums.
Post 1971 George Harrison.
Post 1972 John Lennon.
Post 1973 Paul McCartney.
Post 1976 Bob Dylan.
Post 1981 Rolling Stones.
Post 1977 Who.
Sherry.
The invariable scenery chewing of Al Pacino.
The now-classic slow burn signalling incipient violence of Joe Pesci.
British comedians who have achieved worldwide fame.
Political conventions.
Bilingual signage (in the United states).
The lack of bilingual signage (in foreign countries).
Jell-o and other gelatin desserts.
Boiled peanuts.
Diet colas.
Zoos.
Intelligent dolphins that bark and beg for fish.
American philosophers.
Bidis.
Brechtian alienation.
The plays of Eugene O’Neill.
The theatre of the absurd.
Dogme 95.
Surrealism.
Fran Drescher.
The NSC.
Reduced-fat muffins.
Carob.
Don DeLillo.
Giuliani as possible Republican nominee.
Aquaman.
Jai Alai.
Chinese Checkers.
Dachshunds.
Aloe Vera.
Cynara.
Trout Mask Replica.
Canned salmon.
Lesbian smooching.
Rainbow afros.
PVCs.
Vinyl Siding.
Microfiche.
Beards.
Bears.
Diversity.
Freedom.
Reggae.
Frank Zappa.
Cape Cod.

5.

SIGNS THAT A MAN HAS GIVEN UP ON LIFE

Ramen noodles.
Perpetually bloodshot eyes.
Parroting Rush Limbaugh, etc.
Buying booze in bottles with plastic handles
Paying for sex
Getting a post office box (without owning a business)
Shaved head with a hoop earring.
Eating breakfast and lunch off a “roach coach” every day
Smoking BASIC cigarettes
Drinking Fleischman’s anything
Growing a moustache
Wearing pants that accentuate their gunt/gock
Having a gunt/gock
Letting their lawns grow out of control
Plates of food under the couch and bed.
The dumpster behind a fast food joint gets cleaned out more than their car.
They wear hats that say things like “#1 Grandad” or “I love to fart”
Wearing sweatpants in public
Empty fast food wrappers obscure floor of the car…usually passenger front side.
Disney character/Warner Bros character/Native American mirror art clothing
Elastic waist jeans
Wearing a batman/highlander 2 (I’ve seen both) letterman’s jacket or some other such oddity that screams ‘Savers’ or goodwill in a non-ironic manner.
Black high top sneakers
Any high top sneakers
Waiting for the bar to open, standing outside smoking butts…on a
weekday…you don’t work there…
Buying more than $5 worth of scratch tickets per week (or month..)
Always, ALWAYS knowing what the powerball jackpot is up to.
Sleeping all day
Being on disability with an ailment of a dubious nature (ie ‘pawtucket
syndrome’P
Old plates of food under your bed or in your room
Posting a personal ad on craigslist (unless it’s for arranging
business trip/vacation away game etc)
Bare mattress with only a bedspread; no sheets
3 liter bottles of generic cola or other sodas in your fridge
Filthy home especially bathroom
Jorts
Beards
Claim they “hate people” in a general fashion
Garfield/Looney Tunes clothes
Crocs
Searching through trash cans for already-scratched scratch tickets
Breakfast at Burger King.
Mandals.
Having more pets than people in your life.
Blame their lack of decent paycheck on the fact that they are white
and not connected enough.
Swanson Boneless Pork TV dinner for lunch
Not cleaning up the cat puke right away because they’re hoping maybe the cat’ll change its mind and re-eat it, saving them from having toclean up.
People who only have one story. Generally involving how they were the guy who put salt in the ocean.

THE ATTACK THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN ON 9/14

On 9/14 I was sleeping upstairs at my aunt’s house, and at 9am my
cousin called from the living room downstairs telling me to come down quick–the news was reporting that terrorists had done nothing.

Trauma specialists are standing by–to explain to the children what
will have had happened.

The nonexistent victims will need to be compensated.

I plan to give until it will have hurt.

We never will be able to have gone back to the innocence this country
experienced on 9/13.

I will remember it like it was today.

It is a day that will live in famy.

Everything will have had changed that day.

I even wrote a special song:

It’s the greatest disaster we’ve never seen
The things that didn’t happen on 9/14
747s flew away from the tower
No utilities lost their power
The price of gas continued to fall
It deeply failed to touch us all.

COUNTRY AND WESTERN CIVILIZATION

Rural colleges are offering a new interdisciplinary study titled
“Country and Western Civilization” which explains the origins of
present-day United States hegemony by means of the philosophy found in country songs.

*George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq “For mah mommy and mah daddy.”

*Woodrow Wilson devised the fourteen points because he was a “no-good drunk.”

*Stalin occupied much of eastern Europe and started the Cold War
because “My wife left me — and took the house, the kids, the dog and the truck.”

*LBJ was determined to go to war in Vietnam because, when he was a boy, “my daddy sold my dog.”

*Significantly, the course also instructs that everything that’s in
the Bible can be explicated by a deck of cards.

  1. THE HEADLINES

PARENTAL GROUP DECRIES SEX AND VIOLENCE IN MEDIA

POLICE CONCERNED REGARDING TEEN DRINKING

ELDERLY MAN TURNS TO GOD

LOCAL YOUTH WINS AREA SPELLING BEE

POLL: VOTERS TIRED OF NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN ADS

FANS SHOW TEAM COLORS

RESTAURANT GIVEAWAY SEES LINES AROUND BLOCK

SURVIVORS MOURN ON ANNIVERSARY OF TRAGEDY

AREA MAN HARVESTS RECORD-BREAKING PUMPKIN

ICEBERGS A THREAT TO MERCHANT MARINE

 

  1. THE REAL HEADLINES


MASSES LIVE IN FEAR OF UNDEFINED FOES

GANG MEMBERS DIE DEFENDING WORTHLESS TURF

PRO-GOVERNMENT PROPAGANDA PERVADES TELEVISED MEDIA

SPORTS: STUPEFYING PALLIATIVE FOR BUM ECONOMY

TALK-RADIO SHOWS PREACH TO THE CONVERTED

MISFITS AND CRANKS EXCHANGE MEANINGLESS BANTER IN TAVERNS

BITTER KOOKS AND RECLUSES FIND SATISFACTION IN CURSING MINORITIES

VIOLENCE SEEN AS CURE-ALL BY DRUNKS AND LOUTS

SPY AND SPACE OPERAS KOWTOW TO MILITARY SOLUTIONS

ACTORS, H’WOOD PRODUCERS IN THRALL TO MILITARY-CIA

MEDIA GLORIFIES DEAD-END ‘GANGSTA’ SCRIPT

CONDENSED TV NEWS DISTORTS REALITY

HEIROPHANTS GIVE PEOPLE ‘WHAT THEY WANT’: DOMINATION

MEDICAL LOBBY IN 70-YEAR FIGHT TO IMPEDE UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE

NOTHING PRINTED IN OTHER NEWSPAPERS IS TRUE

 

10. WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?

He was compelled to do so by those who determine production, commerce, distribution, thought, social policy, foreign policy,
everything–highly concentrated private power acting as part of a
system of tyranny unaccountable to the public.–Noam Chomsky [In other words, the chicken represents the infinitely disposable worker toiling ceaselessly under the putatively irrefragable constraints of the Capitalist system as represented by “The Road”.]

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