The Peanuts aren’t the first major mascots to be fired by business

When comic strip characters meet with HR.

Metlife, one of the world’s largest insurers, announced the end of its 30 year run of using the Peanuts gang as its pitch characters, with Snoopy the star of the show.  The company cited a new branding campaign and the withdrawal from retail life insurance as principal reasons for terminating the use of the iconic comic strip cast.  While the casting off of the little comic strip stars is one of the most radical advertising moves in recent memory, it is hardly uncommon.

Taco Bell’s chihuahua was iconic but also controversial.

Taco Bell makes the dog walk

In 1994, a little chihuahua named “Gidget” graced the stage of American advertising for the first time and spoke the legendary phrase, “Yo quiero Taco Bell.”  The fast food Tex-Mex chain, attempting to capitalize on Super Bowl ad kitsch, staked its claim to this slice of advertising genius and the rest was history.  Over the near 15 years, the “Taco Bell Dog” was in a variety of commercials for the chain, some of them featuring a “girlfriend” dog, others in silly scenarios such as the “Drop the Chalupa” ads.  Other ad gimmicks included the pitchdog donning a Castro-style uniform for the “Viva Gordita” campaign, while one memorable ad tied, in to the Godzilla movie hype, featured the dog with a box-and-stick trap featuring Taco Bell food as “bait,” leading the dog to say the non-infamous line “uh oh, I think I need a bigger box.”

The dog was not without controversy.  Immigration activists decried the campaign as racially insensitive and accused the chain of stereotyping Mexicans.  The campaign itself came to an end in 2009 shortly after a federal court ruled Taco Bell had to pay the creators of the advertising gimmick nearly $50 million for breach of contract.  Shortly after, the Taco Bell dog was never heard from again.

Domino’s Noid, shown here, was an icon of 1980s advertising.


Domino’s Pizza struck advertising gold in the mid-1980s when it unveiled The Evil Noid, a red-suited, rabbit-eared advertising anti-hero which looked like a cross between a Claymation character and Stretch Armstrong.  Taking a page from the animation craze of the day which made the California Raisins cartoon famous, the Noid’s evil schemes encouraged customers to look at Domino’s delivery window promise as a value-added services.  Their slogan of “Avoid the Noid,” featured the Noid in a variety of plots to ruin pizza orders for hungry patrons.  The gambit worked, with the Noid putting Domino’s Pizza on the map nationally.  Soon, Noid merchandise was made available through Domino’s franchises, some of which is still available on Ebay.

Despite being what Fastco Design described as  one of “the most inexplicably popular mascots in corporate history,” the Noid himself could not defeat real-life foolishness, and Domino’s retired the mascot after a mentally-ill Kenneth Lamar Noid robbed a Dominos’ Pizza in Atlanta, Georgia.  While in prison, the real live Mr. Noid stated his belief that the company  created the mascot to “persecute” him.

Despite being the mascot of the world’s biggest sporting stage, Izzy didn’t get much face time during the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Izzy-is or Izzy-aint?

Few mascots flamed out faster – pardon the pun – than the one devised for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, named “Izzy.”  Critics branded the mascot “Dizzy,” for its Olympic Rings-themed design, which left both opponents and enthusiasts dazed and confused.  According to officials for the Atlanta Olympic Committee, Izzy was actually devised to help promote the games to kids and tourists coming to Georgia from outside the United States.  The little blue bugger appeared at a variety of promotional events and groundbreaking ceremonies, and made an appearance at the Opening Ceremonies in Atlanta.

Sadly, Izzy never really gained traction as a viable advertising mascot.  Unlike its cousin from the 1992 Barcelona Games, which resembled a cartoon cat (but really wasn’t), Izzy’s fortunes were doomed by poor design, as well as some religious fanatics who actually claimed the mascot, whose powder blue color scheme closely resembled the United Nations flag, was the “Mark of the Beast” of the biblical antichrist.  On a humorous note, when a college newspaper in Georgia did a poll of what students thought the mascot looked like, one international student called it “a big hairy monster.”  It quietly vanished after the opening ceremonies and was never heard from again.

Spuds MacKenzie in his natural element.

Spuds MacKenzie

The mid-1980s were famous for advertising mascots, and the beer industry did its part when Anheuser Busch brought out a bull terrier named “Spuds.”  Dubbed “The Original Party Animal,” the pooch was featured in countless advertisements for the Budweiser and Bud Light, often alongside scantily clad college aged women.  While the Spuds campaign was short-lived, his impact on beer advertising and American culture could not be understated.  Two decades later, Target rolled out “Target Dog,” another canine mascot bearing a very suspicious resemblance to the beer pitchcanine.

An direct joking reference was made about Spuds in the Futurama episode “Fry and Slurm Factory.”  A spoof of Willy Wonka and Chocolate Factory, this episode features Philip Fry, the main character, getting to spend an entire day on the planet Wormulon with Slurms McKenzie, the “Original Party Worm,” and pitch slug for the futuristic, and highly addictive soft drink Slurm.

The legendary Chris Berman of ESPN, shown above, gets into act handling the “highlights” of Bud Bowl III.

The Bud Bowl/Budweiser Frogs

Anheuser Busch again jumped on the silly advertising bandwagon in the late 1980s with the Bud Bowl concept, featuring animated beer bottles duking it out on a fictional gridiron.  Team Budweiser and Team Bud Light annually battled it out for title of America’s Favorite Beer. The brewer put a Super Bowl III style twist on the ad spectacle during Super Bowl XXV when it rolled out the character of “Bud Dry,” a “franchise quarterback beer,” along with a series of advertisement jokes including extending of a short-neck bottle to a longneck to catch a ball, and the “Freezer,” an oversized can of beer designed to play off the nickname of William “The Refrigerator” Perry.  The ads were a hit for several years but, as usual, the brewer rolled another gimmick, the Frogs.

The Budweiser Frogs, the successor to Spuds MacKenzie and the full-length Bud Bowl.

In the mid 1990s, Anheuser Busch debuted a trio of bullfrogs blurting out the now-immortal “Bud”, “Wiiise”, “Eeeerrr.”  The frogs were a hit for a year or two, then the beer giant added two vindictive ignuanas and dopey ferret to try to dethrone the frogs from their pads.  Creators of the ads reveled at how, in one episode of The Simpsons, the frogs were eaten by an alligator which groaned “Cooooooors.”  After several years, the shtick wore off, and Budweiser abandoned the swamp characters in favor of the more traditional advertising featuring their signature Clydesdale horses.

Metlife’s decision to move on from the Peanuts is not necessarily a slap in the face of customers, but an acknowledge of corporate advertising realities.  As the insurance giant departs the retail life insurance arena, the need for its signature branding is greatly reduced.  The Peanuts gang’s primary role was that of selling life insurance products to prospective and current customers.  Rather being faced with litigation or public relations gaffes, Metlife simply did was Anheuser Busch did with its advertising; it recognized a changing market, adjusted accordingly, and will now roll out new branding.  It is highly unlikely this is the last we’ve seen on the Peanuts gang in advertising; their timeless, cross-cultural appeal will make them the most valuable free-agent advertising property in the world.

Five symptoms of a dying small town

Nothing illustrates the current divide in America better than that between small towns and large cities.  Many towns with populations under 30,000 are finding it more difficult than ever to retain, let alone attract, new residents.  These burgs dot America like distant stars in the sky and, while many are finding ways to reinvent themselves into something new and attractive, many more are dying, fading into night through a combination of factors.  Many of these are beyond the control of both residents and officials, but there are some major factors which create the “dead city,” and these factors can be remedied.

A word of warning to those reading this who are living in towns they suspect are dying – it’s time to get real.

Loyalton, California suffers from a very low population (700) of mostly retirees and a high debt bill for pensions.

Small towns need to face a stark fact; elected officials, by and large, are unconcerned about the well being of a town unless the voters there can organize in such large numbers to threaten them at the polls.  It is a common axiom a politician is concerned about how a town fares only as far as it allows them to stay in office.  Most, if not all, elected officials are averse to changing the status quo because they don’t want risk making voters and, specifically, longtime wealthy residents (a.k.a. “old money”) angry at them.  For many of these elected officials across America, the small-town positions they hold are the highest office they will likely ever achieve.  While many officials in these communities are true servants, many others have become quite comfortable in their jobs and, as a result, the colloquialisms of being “fat and sassy” and “drunk with power” have taken root.

Those elected officials who are both responsible and responsive – not the same thing – are able to recognize these symptoms for what they are, and find ways to help prevent their communities from spiraling into the throes of civic death.  When a city or town has reached this point, the stench of economic and political failure has often permeated so deep into the fabric of the community, businesses and organizations which could come in and revitalize these places often bypass them in favor of locales which possess the necessary ideas, plans and – most important – community and political will to make the hard choices necessary to perform such a turnaround.  It’s time to take a very real look at five key factors which kill small towns.

Lopsided Demographics

Many “dead towns” have one major thing in common; a low population which is unevenly distributed between young, middle, and old.  Cities which are mostly made up of retirees suffer from massive issues with budget deficits and debt, destroying the ability to maintain basic services and causing massive political infighting.  Also within these demographics are income issues; too many folks getting paid too little or, worse still, living in poverty, which create many of the issues in many small cities across America.  It could be Kansas, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio or Florida; too many people with too much money in too few hands, combined with an increase in those approaching an age where working is no longer feasible, is a prescription for fiscal disaster.

A perfect example of this can be found in a New York Times report about the city of Loyalton, California.  This tiny city of 700, once on the front lines of the gold rush, now faces a bill of $1.6 million, more than its entire operating budget, for its share of pension liabilities.  If the bill is not paid, its retired city employees could see their once-guaranteed benefits cut.  When cities don’t attract new residents and businesses, vicious cycles such as these begin.  Poor demographics are the core of the problem, but they lead to a lot of other issues, and many civic leaders refuse to see this one issue as the underlying threat.

Demolished Education Systems

Americus, Georgia is home to two extremes:  one of Georgia’s best teacher training universities, and one of the state’s worst- performing public high schools.

Sumter County, Georgia is home to Georgia Southwestern State University, considered one of the state’s top public schools for teacher training.  So why was Americus-Sumter County High School ranked near the bottom of the barrel in Georgia in 2015?  Many factors account for this, from political meddling to low teacher pay.  In fact, according to Salary Genius, teachers in Sumter County get paid an average of $10,000 less than their counterparts in Cobb County, Georgia.  As for politics, Sumter County’s Board of Education was, several years back, the subject of state investigations into misappropriation of funds and other violations, leading to a complete overhaul of the Board of Education’s membership.

Problems such as these are just the tip of a political iceberg which has left the entire educational system in Sumter County in shambles.  This is a terrible reality for a county which claims former President Jimmy Carter as its native son.   When an area’s school system is as in such bad a shape as Sumter’s, companies which could bring jobs to an area often pass those cities and counties by in favor of areas with better schools.  In addition, low paying teacher salaries and political meddling have caused many local university grads to seek work elsewhere, causing a “brain drain” which has further hampered the city’s growth.

Endemic Corruption

Unfortunately, for the Peach State, Americus isn’t the only city dealing with what seems like a diagnosis of terminal civic cancer.  Eastman, Georgia is a city which continues to suffer from an image brought to it by an election bribery scandal in 1998, which was documented in George magazine.  Today, this tiny town of just over 5,000 continues to experience high unemployment and poverty and, while the scandals of the late 1990s are a distant memory, the corruption of the past continues to haunt it to this day.

Small towns which suffered from this level of corruption are often paralyzed by a culture of apathy, complacency and fear.  “What can anyone do to us” is the attitude of many who benefit from a combination of overt and covert corruption.  Whether it is no-bid contracts, kickbacks to local officials, or blatant nepotism leading to unqualified individuals given important positions simply based on their political allegiance, such corruption is more than just onerous, it’s bad for business.  No company or organization wants to deal with a city which makes business expensive simply because the right palms aren’t greased.  It’s far easier to set up shop in an area with minimal regulation or, if the city is attractive, a place where leaders will work with businesses, rather than trying to bleed them dry in name of their own personal coffers.  Corruption kills cities; it is a cancer which, without radical surgery in the form of a successful “throw the bums out” movement, is a terminal diagnosis.

Stuck in the Past

Nobody wants to live in a city where nothing ever changes, no matter how small.  Hazleton, Pennsylvania is one city which suffers from severe image issues of this sort.  Hazleton has been struggling with a combination of issues since the coal industry collapse of the 1960s, and its population has yet to recover to its 1980s peak.  While an influx of Latino immigrants has helped fuel a minor economic renewal, Hazleton continues to suffer from an image of being a rust belt city stuck in the past, and low property values combined with high crime and unemployment doesn’t help.  Despite being labelled a poster child for Hispanic urban revitalization by CNN, many longtime residents still feel nothing has changed, and that local politicians have sold them out.  A recent filming of the Fox series “Cops” in Hazleton has residents so worried about how the city is portrayed nationally, the City Council is now being asked to consider halting production.  The primary concern is Hazleton being cast in the light of a backwards town with nothing but problems, and unable to solve them despite revitalization efforts.

Hazleton, Pennsylvania holds the title of “Pennsylvania’s Highest City” as a result of its elevation.  Unfortunately, this as also been associated, derisively with its dubious reputation as a crime-ridden drug distribution hub.

While nostalgia is a multi-billion dollar industry for cities with vibrant historic districts, many of those cities have had to find that vibrancy through combining history with innovation.  Despite being in the metro Atlanta area, Marietta struggled to find its cultural identity until a full revitalization effort in the city’s historic square.  When civic leaders and longtime business owners teamed up to attract younger residents, the result was a vibrant city center which now features full bars and restaurants on weekends, and busy shops and offices on weekdays.  Marietta is now considered one of Georgia’ s most livable cities and, despite a mild bump in crime over the last few years, has enjoyed a healthy rebound in property values and resident income.  Hazleton, by comparison, continues to suffer from low wages and falling property values and this, combined with its image of a city stuck in time with residents afraid to showcase their town to the world, has only prevented it from moving forward.

Resident Apathy

Perhaps the most insidious and deadly symptoms of a “dead city” is an atmosphere of apathy.  By the time most cities have gotten this far, it’s too late.  Residents have largely given up on the hope of any change; those doing well fall into the “I’m alright, Jack” crowd who are comfortable with their living situation and see no need to change, while those who are struggling either financially or in their personal lives are in a “no way out” mentality and can’t see the forest for the trees.  Some residents have truly legitimate reasons to stay, such as family ties, or sick or infirm relatives, or legitimate business interests.  These residents, however, are now prisoner to the “golden handcuff” trap; unable to move because of the attachment to the city, but unable to speak out for fear their opinions would lead to ruination caused by mass shunning; an all-too-common situation.

On the other end of the spectrum, the poor and impoverished in these towns feel disenfranchised but powerless and, thus, unwilling to do anything for fear of retaliation at the hands of law enforcement and the courts.  Once this particular mentality has set in, it is nearly impossible to change without a radical shift in attitudes, which often come in the form of a crisis of some sort.

Reality must be faced

Small towns and cities which are suffering from these issues, be it all or just a couple, must take a very long, difficult look in the mirror.  It’s not enough put a bandage on the problem; many of a city council have bought into the promises of snake-oil salesmen who claim to have the cure to all their city’s ills.  When cities are foundering, precision and care are essential elements in any turnaround.  Simply tearing everything apart won’t do.  No one will be coming in on a white horse to save the day.

Instead, these cities must find the collective will to do the hard work of seeing things for how they are, rather than how they’ve been told they should be by those in power. Changing the fortunes of any small city in distress and in its death throes requires buy-in from residents who can send a collective message to those in power, and that message must be made loud, clear and in no uncertain terms.

Yes, it is time to get real and get to work.

Ten really bad sci-fi/fantasy finales for Game of Thrones to avoid imitating

Game of Thrones will be entering its latest season with fans holding their breath about the fate of Jon Snow and others, and rumors has already begun to swirl about if next season will be the one in which HBO and George R.R. Martin finally decide to put a wrap on the conflicts within Westeros.  While Game of Thrones is a groundbreaking series in many ways, the hope among many fans is that it doesn’t drop the ball in the finale in the way so many other fantasy and sci-fi series have over the years.  In honor of that, here are ten fantasy/science fiction finales which were absolutely awful and Game of Thrones needs to avoid emulating at all costs.

Try all you want, BSG, you can’t top the bike-riding cast photo of Babylon 5!

10. Battlestar Galactica (reboot)

When you decide to end a science fiction series with a climactic, winner-take-all battle, it really makes no sense that most of the bad guys are essentially gunned down with actual earth-style bullets on a flagship which is stuck in enemy space.  This show suffered from horrid writing in its latter seasons and the budding romance between President Roslin and Captain Adama was getting more idiotic by the second.  For a series which relied on edge-of-seat-action and what-now suspense as its primary marketing gimmick, the finale of BSG, “Daybreak,” was remarkably predictable, sans one serious twist – the Cylon robots in space were given a pardon and allow to go on their merry way.  Finding Earth was bad enough – we all knew Starbuck was going to dial it up somehow – but Roslin’s death and Adama turning into a hermit, combined with their condescending “let’s help them” attitude towards the proto-humans they discovered, made the show look not cutting-edge, but rather cutting-room.  As though that was not bad enough, the Cylon-humans going off on the “What is God” rant smacked of Star Trek V.   When George R.R. Martin himself bitch-slaps your finale, let’s face it, you sucked.

You got coffee?  No, why?  Be gone!

9.  Star Trek: Voyager

Deep Space Nine had an awesome finale, Next Generation’s was phenomenal, but Voyager suffered from what seemed to be “Stale Trek Syndrome.”  The entire “let’s get home” storyline was nearing the end of the run, everyone was getting tired of the Kazon and Borg, and Kes was gone.  So, what else was there to do except employ the time-honored tradition of Star Trek, time travel.  In “Endgame,” Admiral Janeway, decades in the future, meets her past self in the ultimate example of breaking all temporal rules – even Spock would have Vulcan-slapped her.  Janeway being Janeway, she decides to break just about every Trek canon rule there is – from paradox creating to blowing the transwarp barrier wide open to putting a flag officer in a certain-death situation.  The only thing which would have made it ultimate Voyager would have been her forgetting to have a cup of coffee with her, then dropping a tricorder or phaser on a pre-warp planet in the midst of a nuclear Cold War.  Epic Trek Fail.

I don’t care HOW much of a Trekkie someone is…this is just WRONG!!

8.  Star Trek: Enterprise

This finale wouldn’t have even made the list had it not been for the fact that not only was a rather unkempt, husky William T. Riker in it along with a somewhat more cavalier Troi, but also that they killed off (allegedly) one of the fan favorites.  The series itself could have easily gone for two more seasons, but UPN was merging with WB, and the suits at CBS did not like the ratings numbers.  Enterprise was not attracting the target demographic, and the network was clearly orienting itself away from science fiction and urban comedy and more towards fantasy and teen based series.  Today, Enterprise would likely find a credible home on CBS, but Rick Berman, et al, gave up the ghost with a ghastly ending which featured Captain Archer bringing the Federation to life.  If only we could see Scott Bakula in a cameo in the next Trek movie giving the charter signing speech, at least THAT would make up for this.

This was Al and Gushie’s fault?  Nope, this was ALL NBC!

7.  Quantum Leap

Oh, poor Scott Bakula.  This guy can’t seem to catch a break, can he?  NBC’s science fiction offering had been doing modestly well in the ratings but a series of badly written episodes, along with NBC penny pinching, doomed Don Bellisario’s series to the cancellation scrap heap.  The finale of Quantum Leap, “Mirror Image” was a hastily assembled cobbling of philosophical and metaphysical themes combined in such a way that the plot was stacked like a literary Jenga game – the question was who do we have to blame for the episode falling apart at the end.  Sam Beckett meeting God was another version of the same tired old storyline, but “God” deciding to make Sam his “Maytag Repairman” of space time rang hollow with fans.  The saddest part of the whole series was the final minute, when Sam leapt in as himself, and told Al’s girlfriend he was alive and well and coming home, allowing her to stay faithful and changing history forever, and not at all in Sam’s favor.

You get to pay to park this sucker!

6.  Earth: Final Conflict

Gene Roddenberry’s post-mortem series, based on a series of notes adapted to the TV screen by his wife the late Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, did well for about two seasons but began to suffer from what all interesting series suffer – creative license due to the creator’s absence.  The series was never intended to be hopeful – malevolent aliens disguising themselves as beings of friendship – the “Companions,” aka Taelons, were mercilessly “shoved aside” in favor of a time honored science-fiction gimmick, energy vampires.  The series was sucked dry (pun intended) by the end of the fifth season, and the series ended with an idiotic farewell episode featuring the Taelon mothership being used by humans to take home the “trustworthy” vampires.

Buffy I wanna stay here with you!  I don’t like Doogie!

5.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer

For a show with serious 90s teen and college-aged street cred for its campiness, Buffy’s swan song, “Chosen” was anything but.  Sarah Michelle Gellar could have really done this show better if she had actually not done the “dynamic duo,” approach and had either been killed off, or gave up her stake.  Instead, we got an episode in which a fan favorite (again) dies, and the series itself shows why it’s been on life support.  To top it all off, there was the bizarre two-for-one of Buffy and her new fellow slayer, and they all killed happily ever after.  If Transformers had this problems, Rodimus and Optimus would’ve been fighting over the matrix.

In the words of Frank Barone, “Holy crap!”

4.  X-Files (original series)

For such a groundbreaking program with network support to die such a needlessly stupid death, X-Files went from being a great TV series felled by on and off camera issues (David Duchovny’s addiction issues, Gillian Anderson’s desire to settle down into family life, Cris Carter and team openly fighting with each other), to becoming a somewhat forgotten series with a massive cult following and two less-than-impressive theatrical releases.  Fight the Future was reasonably better than I Want to Believe, but the Fox reboot of the series in 2015 had a bizarre up/down feel to it, and never really got its legs underneath.  Though Carter, Anderson, et al publicly hope for a continuation of the franchise, there is precious little hope beyond their circle this series will see much more than an occasion mid-season break mini-series.  Of course, its original finale, featuring the death of Cigarette Smoking Man (who was looking very peace-pipey that day,) was one gaffe-laden death after another.  Even Alex Jones likely laughed at how out-there this series was in its final day.

Before Sleepy Hollow was cool, there was Frank Black.

3.  Millenium

You know your finale sucked when it was actually incorporated into the series from which yours spun off.  That’s exactly what Cris Carter was forced to do when Fox cancelled the EndTimes-themed sci-horror series.  Agent Frank Black was brought across the television continuum to X-Files, and the “Millenium” story arc carried over to the parent franchise.  What began as an ultra-dark, and pretty damned scary spinoff of X-Files literally became unbelievable towards the end, but the “finale” featuring Black, Scully and the rest taking down the killer, was reasonably well written.  It makes the list because the finale was part of the X-Files arc, rather than standing alone.

Stargate SG-1
You mean in a lifetime you two couldn’t figure out a way to improve on the cheesesteak?

2.  Stargate SG-1

For a series which was so absolutely awesome at surviving such intense cast changes  but managed to keep to Amanda Tapping, it deserved a far better ending that it got.  Killing off the Asgard was bad enough, but not being able to go toe-to-toe with the Ori despite some really bad ass weapons?  How do you solve it?  How do you solve any science-fiction or fantasy plot which cannot be solved through normal means?  Time-travel or magic.  In this case, SG1 slowed time to less than a crawl, so much so that the crew lived out their entire lives on the ship as the Ori blast nudged closer and closer.  At the end of “Unending,” the team dodges the Ori bullet, is restored to normal time and all was hunky dorey, except its number one ally was extinct.  Sigh, thanks for nothing, SyFy!

And the worst science-fiction/fantasy series finale goes to….

Somewhere in this picture there’s a “World According to Garp” reference, but damned if I can figure out how to work it in.

 Mork and Mindy

Sorry, but you just don’t do the late Robin Williams like that.  You don’t.  This sci-fantasy comedy was stupid-funny but sweet and entertaining.  When it reached the end of the line, everyone who watched it were sadly disappointed to see the duo traveling through time and nobody knowing where they ended up.  This finale was so bad, Moviehole poked fun at it with this zinger of a possible epilogue.  “Rumour is Mork ends up getting a job, under the alias of Adrian Cronauer, at a Vietnamese radio station and Dawber married the dude from ‘The Presidio.”

Thank you for reading my blog.  We are over 250 followers and counting!  Please, keep spreading the delusion and contribute to you local food bank this holiday season!

The Darkest Night of My Soul

Tonight is the darkest of nights

The last safe place I had, violated

Nowhere to run, Nowhere to hide 

That demons haunts me

There is no place for me to go

I am cornered ,Trapped

Like an animal

My heart its  snack

My soul its dinner

It can have me

I care not if the darkness consumes me

It already has it shall forever devour me

My heart no longer beats true

Tis cold, dark and heavy

Like a lump of coal wrapped in tar

My soul is weighed down

Trapped yearning for release

What’s done is done

What’s past is past

I cannot win nor escape nor negotiate

All that waits is fate and darkness

The burial shroud covers me

The last haven I knew now gone

I can no longer hide

All I can do is pray for an outcome

Something anything to bring closure

To what feels eternal. 

The darkness can have me

I give my unconditional surrender.

Flipping off the news, and reality itself

And tonight’s recap:  Universes 1-3 are worth $900, 4-5, $3500 and 6 is worth 50 cents.  Apparently 6 is the soda can universe.  Where we are living is worthless, because we already screwed it up.
Folks, this is one of those days where I just want to kick back and relax and tinker with nature.  I believe I’ve discovered a way to turn my remote control into an alternate-reality transport device, so it’s time to see if this works.  All I have to do is press “swap” to shift realities.

(Flipping on the TV to CNN)

We interrupt this election coverage for a special bulletin….


The United States of America has announced that all cats and dogs will be submitted for random drug screenings.  Apparently, household pets are now being used as drug mules, with the most common narcotic being smuggled…


Out of the universe, using the longest the blast of hydrogen possible.  Once these molecules merged together, they created a completely new set of heavenly bodies.  Some of these coalesced into…


Hillary Clinton’s skin mole, which appears to be changing shape with each passing day.  Doctors confirmed today’s recorded image to closely resemble…


Walker County, Georgia Commissioner Bebe Heiskell.  Commissioner Heiskell is running on the independent ticket, claiming that another term of her government will yield…


Untold destruction and devastation as Russian President Vladimir Putin orders all Russians to bomb shelters designed to withstand just about any weapon NATO could throw at it, but specifically designed to deflect…


Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s attorneys, who relayed their demands for media scrutiny over their alleged robbery in Paris to cease.  The Hollywood Power couple have stated repeatedly the perpetrators were working for…


Operatives of Donald Trump, and are engaged in damage control from the Republican nominee’s latest round of disparaging statements about women, most specifically those who worked while…


Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith repeatedly declared that anyone in the path of Hurricane Matthew would die, especially…


The Board of County Commissioners of Sumter County, Georgia, who have been discussing ways to better improve funding to law enforcement.  Commissioner Randy Howard is believed to be in full support of…


Continued weather reports and traffic updates at the top and bottom of every hour, with breaking news as it happens.  This is Atlanta’s 24 hour news station…


Where you can hear all the latest sports talk, including the latest news about the American League playoffs, where the Cleveland Indians appear to be making a run to the World Series.

(looking around) – Wow, I’m back where I started.  Guess I’ll be putting on another episode of Spongebob and taking a long nap.  Maybe read a little Dave Barry while I’m at it and see just how much of his work this blog ripped off.

Note:  the article is satirical in nature and it completely reflects the views and opinions of the website owner.  If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it.

Hurricane Matthew: Share your stories here

If you are an evacuee from Hurricane Matthew in Florida or Georgia or riding out the storm, I am inviting you to share your accounts about the storm on this page in the comments section.  It doesn’t matter what the story is – it could be a one line tale or heroism or a three paragraph price gouging complaint.  You are welcome here, and hopefully can find some fellowship and camaraderie.ir_enhanced_storm3_1

After the storm clears, I will invite you all to share your experiences and feeling about the hurricane, government responses, charity assistance and whatever ever strikes you.

My memories of the 2004 hurricane season are forever etched in my memory and I will do whatever it takes to help anyone in the path of a hurricane feel a sense of comfort and normalcy.  Please, share this with everyone, and stay safe.  My thoughts and prayers are with you all.


Thanks for entering my head…walk around at your own risk