It is time for someone to speak up on behalf of meat. Lately, meat has been given a bad rap and is considered the cause of everything from global warming to impending doom. Apparently animals such as cows, tend to fart, as do we all, but their tooters are toxic to the ozone. The only solution for this problem that has been given so far is to get rid of the cows. This is not only stupid and ridiculous, but inhumane as well. Let me explain.

Cows have been around for a very long time and have provided us with the essentials of life. From cows we obtain milk, which can be turned into butter, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and milkshakes. From cows we also obtain leather, which can be turned into shoes, belts, purses, briefcases, and certain kinky restraints. And if that wasn’t enough, cows give us meat which can be turned into hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and t-bones. Cows give us a lot, but now we are supposed to turn our backs on them. I call this a moo-ving violation.

To replace the cows, we’re supposed to turn to substitutes for the items they give us. Things like, almond milk, soy cheese, and sherbet. The anti-cow lobby is trying to get us to eat things like tofu, and fake hamburgers, and wear shoes made of plastic. What has this nation become? 

Even Burger King, the bastion of meat consumption, is selling the “Impossible Burger” made out of vegetables and lego bricks. None of these faux beef byproducts is going to solve the problem, which as we pointed out earlier is cow gas. We need to find a way to contain and use bovine butt blasts, and I have several ideas.

First, has anybody considered giving them Gas-X? It works for Uncle Barney at the bratwurst festival and, if made in bovine strength, it could stop cow farts dead in their stalls. If that doesn’t work I propose a methane collection system. I don’t have the details worked out yet but I envision some sort of balloon device attached to the cow’s exhaust. At the end of each day the balloons would be collected and the gas stored in big tanks to be used as fuel.

The third possibility is the insertion of a miniature pilot light into the cow’s tunnel of darkness and whenever gas comes out, the pilot light would ignite it and turn it into a harmless fireball. The gas burn-off system has been used by manufacturing plants for years to get rid of the toxic gasses they emit, and if it’s good enough for big business, it should be good enough to save my hamburger.

I urge meat haters everywhere to continue eating their tofu-soy-quinoa wraps, but leave the cows alone. They jumped over the moon before we did and don’t deserve to be banished from the earth for having intestinal issues. We need the cows, and the cows need us. And the same goes for bacon.

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Stop Calling Me!

In the president’s State of the Union address, he talked about the problems with drugs, and AIDS, and cancer, but failed to mention the biggest bugaboo in America today, telemarketers!

I get at least 5 calls every day from telemarketers, and they annoy me. Thanks to caller ID, I can pretty much tell if the call is a scam or not. Calls listed as coming from The Philippines, for instance, are probably not those of people I know. Once I am comfortable with expecting the caller on the other end of the line to be a telemarketer, the fun begins.

If I don’t recognize the number, I don’t answer the phone by saying “Hello” I answer it by saying, “Did you get rid of the body?” Sometimes I deepen my voice to sound older and I answer the phone, “Bobby? This is grandpa and here’s that pin number you wanted. Get a pencil.” If the scammer actually says something like, “Go ahead grandpa” you have two options. You can hang up, or you can give out an endless number of 30 or 40 digits until they hang up. Either way, you win.

When you get a live person the phone you can really have fun. Yesterday I got a call and answered the phone by saying, “You’re on the air, go ahead.” The pitchman then started his live spiel but I interrupted him by saying, “You know you’re on the air don’t you?” His response, “Radio? I’m on the radio?” Then called out to his fellow telemarketers in the room, “I’m on the radio.”

He started giving his pitch to a “radio” audience and it was quite fun. At the end I told him, “Thanks for being on the show, and we have a little something for you. Just hang on while our producer gets your name and address.” Then I press “hold” followed by hanging up.

Sometimes you get a recording that becomes a real person if you start talking to it. The message is a recording but if you start accusing it of being a recording, a real person will come on the line. When you will hear a human voice say, “No, I’m a real person.” you know that the fish has taken the bait and you can reel it in or just play with it for a while.

If pulling pranks on pests is a new concept to you, here are some lines to get you started. Answer the telemarketers calls with…

Can you guys get blood out of a carpet?

District 4, Officer Friendly speaking.

You’re the 14th caller. What’s your guess for $1,000?

Call one more time and I’m gonna shoot the dog.

Let me leave you with this tip for dealing with telemarketers. If you know a foreign language, use it when you answer the phone. 

German, French, and Klingon work best.

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Welcome To Curd-Ville

I visited Wisconsin last week and had a delightful experience. The weather for America’s Dairyland was predicted to be 80 degrees and sunny, so I hopped on my motorcycle and set out for the the north woods, about 500 miles away.

Wisconsin is a beautiful state to ride in because you never know what you’ll find around the next corner. Cheese curds are made with a combination of curds and whey, just like Little Miss Muffet used to enjoy. Then, they put them in a machine and knock the whey out of them so all you have left is the curd. It’s a chunky little thing and I figured, “How bad could it be?” 

Cheese curds are not a silent food. They squeak when you eat them. It sounds like you’re eating a mouse. To wash down your curds, you order a beer, and when you combine the squeak of the cheese with the noise provided by the beer you have the makings for a Wisconsin One Man Band.

The goal on this trip was not to chow down on curds, but to have dinner at a remote restaurant in Manitowish Waters. The Little Bohemia Inn was built in 1929 as a restaurant and vacation lodge. In 1934, their most famous patron paid a visit.

John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, and the rest of the gang were looking for a place to catch a little R&R. Robbing banks and going on the lam can really take it out of a gangster and the boys just wanted to rest up. They booked rooms at the lodge through a mutual acquaintance of the owner, but at check in, the owner’s wife recognized Dillinger and freaked out. After a couple of days, she called the FBI and informed them of the location of Public Enemy #1. 

The FBI decided to raid the lodge and finally nab Dillinger. They rode up the narrow drive when another car approached for the other direction. The feds blasted away at it and shot three people who just had dinner. 

The shots alerted Dillinger and the gang, and a massive gunfight ensued. Sin


ce the thought never occurred to the FBI to surround the building, the gang escaped out the back and eluded capture once again.

Today, the lodge is only open as a restaurant, but they preserved Dillinger’s room along with the bullet holes in the walls and windows. It was also featured in the 2009 Johnny Depp film, ”Public Enemy”

On my way back to Chicago, I passed by one of only four unique places on the planet. In the small town of Poniatowski, sits the center of the northern hemisphere and the western hemisphere. It is know as a 45-90 mark, being 45 degrees latitude from the north pole and the equator, and 90 degrees longitude from Greenwich to the International Date Line. The other three 45-90 spots are in China, the Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean so I figured I had better stop to see this one.

I walked down a path through a soybean field to a large orientation marker at the exact spot. I stood on that spot and waited for a divine message from the universe. I waited and waited and then it came to me. I felt my life change. I had a craving for cheese curds.

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Mice are cute little creatures when they come in the form of Mickey, Minnie, or Mighty, but in reality, they are disgusting germ carrying rodents that occasionally find a way into
your house. Whether you live in an urban, suburban, or rural setting, you will eventually get mice in your abode. And if you get two mice, you will soon have 100, and the only way to stop them is by extermination. Usually, you can rid yourself of mice by setting traps and generally, one or two traps are sufficient to take care of any mouse problem unless my wife sees one.

She was in the kitchen the other night when she espied a furry pest scurrying across the floor. The mouse disappeared down the basement steps but it was clear that war had been declared. I told her it was her fault for not letting me have a pet boa constrictor. You could just put the boa in the kitchen at night and your mouse problem would be gone by morning. She wasn’t listening to me and went to the hardware store to stock up on weapons.

When I was young, I heard the axiom, “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” I never did this because the mousetrap I used seemed to function well, and quite honestly, I don’t want a beaten path full of strangers showing up at my door. But this sage advice was heard by many others and those people have come up with numerous ways to catch mice. My wife bought them all.

In addition to the traditional spring traps that catch mice and break fingers, she got little mouse houses that the mice enter, expecting a meal, and wind up getting sealed inside. She also returned with glue boards which are very sticky surfaces that mice walk onto and can’t get off. And we got some new and improved snap trap that doesn’t require any mouse touching for disposal. 

She then set her traps in any place a mouse might go. Many were set in the basement and on every step leading to the kitchen. She also placed them all over the kitchen in case the vermin made it up the stairs. Then she turned out the lights and waited. 

The next day she had a mouse in the mouse house trap, but the trap was gone. This is just great and I’m sure we’ll find him just like we find the one egg nobody can find at Easter. It will make itself known.

The next day she caught two that didn’t get away, and two more in the garage on day three. Since then, not a mouse has been sighted and not a trap has been tripped, but the traps remain in place, all over, just in case.

Have you ever gotten up in the middle of the night in need of a beverage or a quick nibble. Sure you have. And since you know your way to the kitchen, there’s no need for lights. You open the fridge door, pour yourself a glass of juice, close the door, and step back, onto a glue board! You half hop, half hobble back to the bedroom, spilling your juice along the way. The words that followed were not fun words, but then there is no f-u-n in mouse. 

Most of the traps have been removed but the war is not over, and at least I’m eligible for the Purple Foot award.

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I am a big fan of food and I know what I like. I am by no means a foodie in that I like
normal food. I have never had quail eggs poached in Hungarian spring water, served with shaved kale sprouts and crushed monkey nuts, and I don’t want to.

I prefer food that I recognize, like steaks, chicken legs, and Coco Puffs. In fact, I will eat almost anything that I recognize with a few exceptions. For instance, I recognize the existence of beets but I opt to stay as far away from them as I can. My mother loved beets and made them quite often. I tried them once and threw up red. Never again. The Russians make a cold soup out of beets called borscht, which I believe they invented to feed to prisoners in the gulags.

I also steer clear of sardines. I know they are seafood – which I enjoy – but they taste more like the bait used to catch real seafood. I also don’t eat avocados. They are quite delicious, especially when transformed into guacamole, but if I eat any, it’s off to the emergency room to deal with a sever allergic reaction. It’s the green food that actually turns me green.

Poi, the Hawaiian side dish is off my personal menu. I’ve tried it in Hawaii and found it to be very aptly named because after the first taste, you spit it out and go “Poi.”

I am not fond of lamb. I don’t care for the taste no matter how much mint jelly you use to disguise it. I confine my feelings about lamb to the lovely wool they produce but I wouldn’t want to eat that either.

Perhaps the worst array of barely edible foods of which I want no part are offals. Offals – which taste awful – is the name given to otherwise unrecognizable internal organs of animals. This includes things like the liver, kidneys, spleen, bladder, stomach, appendix, and pituitary gland. Once, while visiting Germany, I ordered offals off a menu written in German and wound up with fried cow teat. There was not enough beer in the country to get rid of that taste.

I have often mused about what I would have for my last meal on death row, if I were ever wrongly convicted, like The Fugitive. It is said that a prisoner on death row is allowed to order anything they want as a last meal. If that was the case, I would order a filet, ribs, lobster, french fries, a few burgers and a 5 gallon bucket of tapioca pudding. I probably wouldn’t finish it all but I would eat until the point where I was so full that I would grasp my sides and yell, “Just kill me.”

Coincidentally, Just Kill Me is the name of my new podcast. subscribe for free on iTunes.

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