Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, December 04, 2005

What's Funnier than Shit?

I like funny. Life is too short to take very seriously―or too long, I can't seem to put a finger on it. Now and then in the course of this exercise I get the notion that the tone is too serious. It's tough, what with all the torture and killing and destruction of the planet and such, but every now and then I need to get myself back some of that good old joy of being alive.

Of course, I could use some some help with this. I wasn't expecting much this morning as, mindful of the wind, I ventured in my slippers and robe onto the snowy drive on the first wintry morn of the season for the latest Sunday version of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. (having spent most of my life in other burgs, I'm not sure why they haven't decided what the name of their newspaper really is)

Having stripped the reverse double wrap our greatest paper route person in the world applied before she pulled far enough up our short 30' drive to deposit this treasured media within 4' of my garage door I knew that indeed this day had funny potential, for there on the upper right corner was a leader for an article by Dave Barry, whose retirement earlier this year was a rude shock from which my Sunday mornings haven't fully recovered.

Apparently in confusion after the long Thanksgiving weekend Mr. Barry accidentally sat down to work, ending up chiming in with a special list of gifts for the Holiday Season.

People often ask me what I'd like to be when I grow up. Or maybe they just ask me to grow up, I really don't listen all that well. Regardless, I respond that my second most favorite job would be professional golfer. Take a nice aerobic walk through the park, then eat and sleep in the most fabulous resorts in the world, not too shabby. But numero uno, my favorite thing to be, would be the next Dave Barry. Get up, scratch your balls, then sit down at the keyboard and crank out 1/5th of a column that you know is going to make men across America laugh out loud in the can.

Email the sucker out on Thursday in time to hit the senior special on the links. Tits.

Well, I did laugh out loud, twice. Once when he was making the point that we never, ever, when getting an urge while sitting in front of our favorite Sunday game, call Celery Hut for a big delivery bunch of celery (an inside joke around here).

The other was this about the new Titanic toy:
...Tragically, it does not come with a tiny non-floating replica of Leonardo DiCaprio.
If you've made it all the way through The Aviator, as I have just last night, you would understand.

I'm not a big fan of scatological humor, but any port in a storm, I say. Dave had some funny stuff about the dancing contents with eyeballs inside the musical toy toilet, though I thought the spray that freezes real dog poop to make it easier to clean up was a pretty good idea.

As it turns out, however, this was all just the dessert. Sure, Dave Barry is funny business, but is anything funnier really than the source? Dave is the confectioner who gathers (gathered) the sweet ingredients of humor and whips them up into pieces de resistance for us to greedily consume on the run. Long before I got to Lifestyle came the really funny stuff.

The tittering begin as I scanned this headline near the bottom of the second section:
Big farm, big feud: Giant dairy's manure angers neighbors
I started chuckling when I realized that in Milwaukee this was a lead story in Metro. "Hopefully this problem can be confined to a few of Milwaukee's more effluent suburbs," I thought immediately. You might think the reporter, Lee Berquist, would be less than thrilled at the assignment, but there is no sign of our guy slopping through it as he writes:
...It also has provoked confrontations, lawsuits, and a regulatory record that stands three feet high...
Is this a more subtle version of something like "paperwork so deep you need a shovel"? Is Berquist coyly suggesting a comparison of lawyers' byproducts (their principal products being billings) and cows'? Seriously (right), we're talking a lot of manure. The farm in question has 3,500 dairy cows on 5,000 acres. As I turned to the continuation of the story―running alongside the immensely informative Snow makes roads slick for drivers―I tried to keep a straight face at:
...Manure―with all its odor and potential to pollute―is frequently a source of tension in rural Wisconsin...
I always thought that crinkly look was just because they were too cheap to buy sunglasses! The owner of this cow pile, Tod Lieteritz, is getting a little steamed at the enviros and their lawyers. He states for the article:
"We're just like anyone else―we're trying to make a living"
Well, yeah, except for the stinking up 25 square miles part. Besides these problems, some of Lieteritz's neighbors are raising a stink of their own. There's been vandalism. His lawyer has contacted the FBI as, in the reporter's words:
...he says some of it smacks of "eco-terrorism"...(emphasis mine)
"Doesn't that leave a bad taste in your mouth?" I'm thinking, giggling all the way to pouring a second cup of coffee!

I'm sure that if they all pitch in they can dig their way out this mess. Lieteritz is pooh poohing his neighbor's stance that further expansion in this business is a slippery slope. There is some doubt of the outcome, and liquidation is a distinct possibility. There is a lot of pasturing going on right now, but for all parties, the most important matter is the end result.

I'm just about dung, now.


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