Just another manic Monday

You may have seen the story out of Boston over the weekend where a man who went by the legal name of “Lord Jesus Christ” was struck and hurt by a motorist.            

Police said his injuries weren’t life-threatening, not because the accident wasn’t serious but because — c’mon — he’s the indestructible Savior of Man! He survived crucifixion; you think a little a little tap from the bumper of a 2005 Chevrolet sedan is going to slow Him down? For Christ’s sake, it was a Chevrolet.            

Christ, a 50-year-old resident of suburban Belchertown (also a real name), was hit in a crosswalk in the downtown area of Northampton. He was transported to Cooley Dickinson Hospital where he was treated for injuries to his face, mouth and legs, and was released. (The beard and halo were, fortunately, unscathed.) The driver, Brittany Cantarella, 20, of Pittsfield, was issued one citation for a crosswalk violation and another for almost wiping out Christendom’s hope for eternal salvation.            

The Boston Globe tried to obtain an interview with the man, “but the hospital said no one named Christ was a patient there today. Efforts to find a home phone number for Christ were unsuccessful.”            

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I had to do sexual harassment training at work last week. Technically, I guess it was training on how to avoid sexual harassment.            

Our company requires all employees to do this on-line education once a year, primarily so we know there’s a line which we must not cross in our relationships with co-workers, but also so the lawyers are satisfied. If an individual is ever accused of misconduct, the corporation then has documentation that we were specifically told not to grope or fondle each other. “Not only was he told,” they can say, “but he also scored an 89% on an assessment of his understanding of the rules. That’s a high ‘B’, you know.”            

You’re supposed to read some material, then take a test on what you just read, as you progress through the hour-long course. However, most of the answers are so obvious that people skip right to the exam. Here’s one example:            

“John tells his employee Sue: ‘I will protect your job and not select you to be in the next workforce reduction if you sleep with me.'”            

“Is this sexually harassing behavior? Yes or no?”            

You’d have to be a U.S. senator to be dimwitted enough to get this stuff wrong.            

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Burger King is introducing its new “Whiplash Burger” as a promotional tie-in with the movie “Iron Man 2”. “Whiplash” is the evil nemesis of Robert Downey Jr.’s ferrous super-hero, and is played by the carelessly groomed Mickey Rourke.            

I’m not sure what’s officially on the burger, but the poster outside the restaurant near my house shows some brown, tangled tendrils between the burger and the lettuce that I’m guessing are onion rings.            

I have to admit they are reminiscent of Rourke’s straggled hair, though I don’t necessarily consider that an appetizing feature.            

Better as an evil villain than a hamburger topping

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Does it seem to anyone else watching American Idol this season that the contestants are being used in such a way that you’d be tempted to call the Humane Society if they were dogs?          

The singing hopefuls are treated like dress-up dolls by producers with the maturity of a 12-year-old girl. One week, they’re slathered with vampire makeup, made to wear fangs, and told to romp in the woods and hiss at each other. The next, they’re dressed like Frank Sinatra, if he had dreadlocks, piercings and a beard. Then they’re told to dance frantically around a Ford Focus, which no ones does in real life unless it’s headed directly toward you.         

Can’t they just let the poor kids sing? My younger sister used to put clothes on our poodle Muffin and make him dance around to Monkees songs. She gave this up, however, when she got a job as a banker. Will the Fox execs ever mature in a similar fashion, without the banking?         

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Cavalia has come to Charlotte! I’m told by the advertising campaign that I’m supposed to be excited by this development, which hopefully explains the exclamation points!         

Cavalia is a troupe that presents large-scale equestrian productions involving trick riding and Cirque du Soleil-like performances. The tour uses 62 horses and 20 acrobats, all performing under the largest tent in North America.       

The horses are only asked to practice one hour each day, and get two hours each day for play. They only perform for 5–10 minutes per show, 7-8 times each week, and the horses are trained to understudy for each other so different horses can be given the day off. The humans are also treated well, though you don’t see the horses cleaning up their droppings.      

I’d consider attending the show in person, but my concern is this: Like other Cirque du Soleil shows, are the horses latched into harnesses, suspended from wires, and then swung wildly over the audience? Because, if they are, I can foresee a problem.     

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 I had the honor and privilege of attending my niece’s college graduation on Saturday. I came away with several observations:  

• The invocation, with all the head bowing and eye closing, is a great time to check your text messages.  

• Endowed professorships have gone the way of college bowl games during these hard economic times, in that the naming privileges aren’t always given to the most respected outfits. This commencement honored the “Pee Dee Federal Savings Bank Professor of English.”  

• Switching the tassel from one side of the cap to the other to signify official graduation seems like an odd academic custom. Since when are clothing adjustments infused with such deep meaning? I hesitated to adjust my shorts during the proceedings, lest I inadvertently fund a scholarship in my name. (Or in the name of my shorts).

• Shouting cheers at individual graduates as the troop across the stage was not forbidden in this commencement. The high schools in my hometown have been known to order the arrest of over-enthusiastic family members in their quest for decorum. I didn’t think the uproar was that bad, except for that time the lady behind me YELLED RIGHT IN MY EAR!  

• During the boring parts of the ceremony, you can always make fun of some of the student names listed in the program. Among my favorites at this event were Phillip Austin Mozingo, Jonathan Al Poon, Yeolonda Snipes, Brent Alan Gooch, Whitney Sarah Obsession Fraser, Kevin Edidiong Inyagetor, Nadiyah Khadijah Batiste and Furnisha Lashelle Davis.  

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I’m proud to say my household is prepared for the apocalypse. My wife and I are pack-rats by nature, not yet good enough to qualify as clinically obsessed but well beyond the common collector.  

Among our proudest display is a collection of disposable cutlery. Virtually every plastic knife, fork and spoon we’ve been given by take-out restaurants over the last 15 years is standing ready and willing help us transport food to our mouths should silverware become irretrivably irradiated by a nuclear attack.  

The enemies of America will NEVER turn us into uncivilized animals forced to paw through contaminated garbage looking for survival-level sustenance. While everyone else is face down and chomping through the ooze and muck, we’ll be the ones using carefully wrapped plastic cutlery, thank you very much.  

You can have my spork when you pry it from my cold, dead hands

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