There are some things — and lots of people — who just shouldn’t talk. We’re getting used to things like car navigation systems talking to us, saying things like, “Turn left now or you’re doomed!” And there are new safety systems that sometimes warn, “Fasten that seat belt, fatso!” Home alarm systems talk to us, our computers and smart phones and other things like that do, too.
But, some things should simply remain mute. I’m goin’ out on a limb here and guessing you know what a urinal deodorant cake looks like, okay? And a few of you may have even seen them in the urinal of a bar, perhaps. Just my opinion, mind you, but I think urinal cakes should never talk to you — NEVER!
Wizmark, a Maryland-based company, has developed and is marketing talking urinal cakes. No kidding. We’re told the cakes also deodorize urinals, but their big selling point is that upon activation by their built-in motion sensors, they will play recorded messages. Now what on earth could a urinal cake have to say to you? The Michigan State Police came up with an answer to that, and bought 400 of them. They’re being placed in the men’s restrooms at bars, where they will suggest to patrons that they should consider calling for a cab if they’re intoxicated — and of course, remind them to wash their hands.
Personally, if I’m in a bar and the whiz-biscuit in the urinal talks to me, I’m going to assume I’m too drunk to be walkin’, much less driving! As a final note, I hope you approve of talking urinal cakes, because you paid $10,000 for ’em. They were purchased with federal grant funds — your money.
Like Hiding A Bomb In A Bazooka
Just a word of advice: Never try to hide contraband inside other contraband. It tends to attract the wrong kind of attention, kinda like hiding heroin inside a bag of cocaine.
This time it was some idiot who tried to smuggle a knife aboard a flight from Kennedy Airport to Mexico City. He stuck it into a full tub of mayonnaise, which he stuffed into his carry-on baggage. Can we all say “Well, duh”?
The instant a TSA screener spotted that jar of mayo the bells went off, sirens screamed (in certain heads, anyway) and the doofus was surrounded by blue polyester-blend uniforms. As anybody with an IQ over nine might have surmised, TSA considers mayo a “liquid or gel,” which cannot be transported in carry-on luggage in a container of 3.4 ounces or larger. This dreadful jar of whipped emulsion of oil, egg yolk and vinegar probably weighed 32 ounces, almost 10 times the WMD mayo level!
Anyway, in the process of examining, analyzing and impounding the offending jar, and perhaps taking into account the passenger’s sheer panic at having his tub of mayo taken away — I mean, who gets petrified over the seizure of a jug of mayo? — they found his real secret: the knife.
I can’t help wondering if he planned to do something nasty and anti-social with that knife aboard the aircraft. If that was the case, it would be a dangerously slippery shank, and he probably would have cut himself.
What would you think if you were on that plane and some dude suddenly appeared in the aisle with a knife drippin’ gobbets of mayonnaise? Hold out your roast beef sandwich, open it up and say, “Yes, please”? That’s ridiculous. TSA would never allow a roast beef sandwich on a commercial flight. Who knows what horrid effects that might have on national security?
They kept his knife and mayo, but let him catch his flight to Mexico. Good! At least he’s out of the country and we’re not paying for his upkeep — or his mayo.
Just Call It “Forgetfulness Fees”
More hints to suggest the federal government might be just a teensy-tiny bit too big. A Pentagon official recently admitted the taxpayers had to pony up $610 million in “late fees” for not returning leased shipping containers on time. Apparently they were forgotten.
Then a Government Accountability Office report covered expenses on 14,000 offices and buildings owned by the federal government which have been sitting vacant for years, and additionally costing us around $190 million per year to maintain. There are no plans to ever use the buildings, but there’s no process or office charged with selling them, or really ever turning a buck on ’em. They’re just there. One of the highlights of the report covered a big building in Georgetown in D.C., perhaps the most valuable real estate in the district. It has been empty, quietly decaying for over 10 years.
Another Candidate For Public Enemy Number One
Police in Fairbanks, Alaska were called to respond to a drunk driving incident in the parking lot of a grocery store, and told to make it fast, because several people couldn’t pull the suspect out of his vehicle. He had tried to run pedestrians down and was extremely violent. They arrived and found a grocery clerk hanging onto the handlebars of a motorized shopping cart for dear life, while 63-year-old Merrill K. Moses kept trying to burn rubber and make his getaway.
Moses had come to the store manager’s attention that day when customers reported ol’ Moses was tearing around the lot, forcing cars to take dangerous evasive action and generally cussin’ out the world. They also suspected he had, as usual, purloined some items from the store. When employees tried to stop him, all heck broke loose. Yeah, “heck,” because his behavior, while noxious and irritating, doesn’t seem to qualify for that other H-word.
Store employees said he was always creating problems, and always drunk. We think it must be a positive comment on crime in Fairbanks that this incident made it to the news as a Really Big Deal.
Anyway, since it is a violation to operate any kind of motorized vehicle while intoxicated, police arrested Moses. A preliminary breath-alcohol check pegged his blood reading at 0.31 percent, just shy of four times the legal threshold for DUI. He didn’t appear to be disabled, but he couldn’t stand up unassisted. Then a search discovered stolen items including some chocolate chip cookies and a box of Betty Crocker cake mix — just the kind of loot you’d expect a notorious gangster to have — and a charge of shoplifting was added.
Moses might not be big-time, but he’s consistent. Police noted his lengthy criminal history, which revolves almost exclusively around getting drunk, careening around in motorized shopping carts while drunk, trespassing while drunk, drinking while drunk, possessing an open container of an alcoholic beverage while drunk, and eating chocolate chip cookies. Sounds like a solid retirement plan to me.
Keep On Crunchin’ Crime, Mighty Mayor Bloomberg
You can breathe a little easier, folks, knowing that New York’s own mighty (meddling, moronic) Mayor Bloomberg has once again saved you from — something gun-related. Loosely related, but related, like your idiot third-cousin twice-removed. His inspectors have saved you from the horrible violence which might have been wrought by a dozen 3-inch butane lighters resembling handguns.
This time the arch-criminal was Fred Shayes, owner of U.S. Camera & Computer, near Penn Station. Aside from cameras and computers, Fred offered small novelty gift items, among them, the teensy butane lighters, which retail for 10 bucks each. A city inspector discovered them and cited Shayes, advising him he had violated a Bloomberg-pushed law forbidding any manner of “toy gun” to be sold in his jurisdiction unless it is colored bright green, red, blue or “a neon color.” Fred’s novelty lighters were colored silver and bronze with red “muzzles.”
Fred says he quickly took them off his shelf, returned them to the distributor and showed the paperwork to a city official. Too late, Fred. He was fined $5,000 each for the lighters; total $60,000. He says the fine may bankrupt his business. Since the law came into effect seven years ago, the city has seized 7,200 illegal gun-like objects and collected fines totaling $2.4 million.
Don’t ask Bloomie to comment on it. He’ll tell you how he has prevented waves of wild west-type gunfights and rivers of blood flowing in the streets.
By Commander Gilmore
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