Friday, March 26, 2010


I think P. G. Wodehouse has provided me with a wonderful way to describe how I feel about living in Utah County, a place dominated by Republicans, Libertarians, and Constitutionalists, and also a few people not nearly so liberal.

Understand, it's not that I've necessarily identified myself with the Left-of-Centers, either. I don't really think of myself as a liberal. But that being said, I have to also say I'm tired of the arrogant, self-important, know-it all conservatives that run Utah, or at least try to. I would throw every one of the bums out, if I could and if I thought there weren't three more lined up behind each one of them just as bad.

OK, done with that rant. And now for my wonderful quote. If you are not familiar with P. G. Wodehouse, well, you're missing out. In the Jeeves and Wooster books, there is a character named Roderick Spode, loosely fashioned after Sir Oswald Mosely, the leader of the British Union of Fascists. Spode's followers wear black shorts instead of black shirts, and his political policies are laid out thusly:

Our policies are: one, the right, nay the duty of every freeborn Englishman to grow his own potatoes; two, an immediate ban on the import of foreign root vegetables into the United Kingdom; and three, the compulsory scientific measurement of all adult male knees! Nothing stands between us, and our victory, except defeat! Tomorrow is a new day, the future lies ahead!

Roderick Spode, the Earl of Sidcup

Spode spends a lot of his time blustering, and threatening, and throwing his weight around, not unlike the Utah Legislature. At one point in the novel The Code of the Woosters, our hero Bertie Wooster has the temporary upper hand over Spode, and gives the following little speech:

"The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you're someone. You hear them shouting "Heil, Spode!" and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: 'Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?'

Couldn't have said it better myself, Bertie. You're my new hero.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Well, That's Yer Trouble, Right There

Question: How many times can a man's basement flood because of a broken hose bib?

Answer: Shut up. I don't want to talk about it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sweet Talkin' Guy

A wise man knows how to please a woman. And Dex has caught on really quickly. Some young suitors might waste time on flowers or perfume, writing poetry or serenading their young lady as she stood on her balcony. (OK we don't have a balcony, but big deal. Why won't you people ever give me a break?)

Not Dex. He knows. This is what he brought Em the other day when he came to visit:

No, not the quarter; stay focused here, people. The one-foot-long rusty hunk of solid metal from an old fire hydrant. He probably dodged traffic to get it. Em was delighted. Eventually, it will end up on her bedroom wall. Which will eventually fall over, but that's another story.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Sometimes I'm amazed at the degree to which my children respond to my generation's culture and music. My youngest playing CCR or Clapton on the guitar. My son enjoying the Beatles. My daughter responding to Beluchi's Samurai. It's kind of fun.

But then they go and spoil it all by doing something stupid (sorry, Frank) like staring at me blankly when I make a perfectly reasonable cultural reference. Take last night for example. My wife was walking down the stairs and asked me, "Do you have a hammer?" I had to say "No, but if I had a hammer. . . . ," and at this point I looked at my two daughters. Expectantly. Invitingly. They stared back at me.

"I'd hammer in the morning," I said. Nothing.

"I'd hammer in the evening," I went on. Silence. They looked at me as if I had broccoli growing out of my ears.

"All over this land!" I finished.

"Oh!" my daughter said, "it's a song!" It was clear that she didn't actually know the song. She had never really heard it, or anything. But she finally figured out that I must be saying the words to one of "my songs."

"Ohhhh!" the other daughter said, also catching on. "You are so weird, Dad."

But I will get even with them. Someday, I will be a grandpa. I'll be a grandpa with some money. Not a lot, you understand. Just enough to bribe my grandchildren. I will have them come over to my house a lot. Every day, if possible.

"Aw, c'mon, Grandpa, can't we play with the Wiiiiiiiii yet?" (That will be the name of the 4th generation Wii I will have bought to lure the little rascals over to my house.)

"Not until you've learned today's song," I'll say. "All right, let's try it one more time: Jeremiah was a bullfrog. . . . "