by Joe Buonfiglio
So being April 15th and all, I wanted to write unto this installment of Potpourri of the Damned something witty and urbane about it being the last day to file your taxes. However, after a couple of less-than well received tweets on the subject (read: nothing but the lonesome serenade of imaginary crickets), I quickly came to realize that there is nothing funny about turning your hard-earned cash over to a completely dysfunctional government so that they can do a bunch of shit on which you’d rather they just not spend your aforementioned hard-earned cash. I threw that idea into trash and moved on … but to what?
I got nuthin’. I was kind of banking on my muse whisking me away into some deliciously dark humor about the US Tax Code.
You see my problem here, right?
So, I do what I always do when confronted with pushing it WAY too close to deadline whilst getting shat upon by last-minute writer’s block. In utter denial, I just start fucking around with friends on Facebook.
Admittedly, this is an exasperatingly deliberate strategy of “imagination stimulation through unfettered procrastination.” Thus, instead of preparing to post to this blog, I’ve been engaged for most of the day in a really inane online debate as to whether there ever was such a thing as a Brontosaurus, or if that is just what we call an Apatosaurus after being brainwashed by childhoods saturated in Saturday morning cartoons such as The Flintstones. (Yes, I’m showing my age here. Fuck you and the SpongeBob you rode in on.)
But thanks to this riveting and intellectual debate on social media — and the realization that not posting on a reliable schedule is the kiss of death for a blog — I began to give some serious consideration as to whether or not I am also a dinosaur, metaphorically speaking.
Because, as we all stumble forward into the not-so brave new world in the not-so distant future, there are things I will truly miss about the “good old days.”
For example, I will miss NEWSPAPERS. Getting my news online or, God forbid, from television news (and I use the term loosely) just isn’t the same. Trained in journalism at the University of Florida (GO GATORS!) and having worked as a freelance reporter, commentator and columnist in Tampa Bay, I have always had a love affair with newspapers. It’s just not the news unless you have newsprint ink on your hands when you’re done. Besides, pressing Silly Putty down on a TV screen or your cellphone just isn’t as enjoyable or fruitful as with the comics section of your Sunday newspaper. (That is why they still run Beetle Bailey, right?)
Do they still make Silly Putty? Anyway…
Newspapers give you a wealth of information, and then YOU decide what you see as the truth. Today’s TV and online news tends to feed you a load of punditry under the guise of news. It’s mostly propaganda designed to play to your fears and prejudices, and reinforce what you already believe. It is not designed to give you information to make an informed decision and — dare I say it — possibly change your mind.
Even so, while I’ll miss them terribly, newspapers are on the way out. Let’s face it; by the time you read it in the newspaper, it has been worked over a thousand times with a thousand different angles online and on TV. The lack of immediacy is what will kill the newspaper. Too bad, though. That time to think and consider before you react isn’t a bad thing for journalism, in my opinion, or for the public, either.
Of course, the real problem is that when newspapers finally go the way of the dinosaur, my parrot will have nothing to shit on. I tried putting tablets and smartphones in the bottom of his cage, but that gets expensive after a while.
BOOKS. I’m going to miss books: real, hardcover, made-from-trees books. I know. They’re an environmental disaster. But face it, reading a book on a digital device is bullshit. Cuddling up by the fire in my jim-jams with my blankie and a nice cup of hot cocoa, but then reading by the glow of my fucking e-reader is like playing the annual Thanksgiving Day Family-n-Friends Football Game with a Nerf ball instead of one made of actual pigskin-and-laces. Why fucking bother?
“Daaaaaad! Uncle Bob is sticking the Nerf down his pants!”
“Whatever. If he starts pissing in the beer again, we’ll kick his ass; but he can shove the goddamn Nerf up his ass, for all I care. It’s not like it’s a real football.”
I’m really, really going to miss SUGARY BREAKFAST CEREALS, too. Frosted Flakes, Count Chocula, Cap’n Crunch, Froot Loops, Sugar Pops and other promoters of childhood diabetes and tooth decay out there will bring a sorrowful tear to my eye as they exit the nutritional stage. Hey, I get it. They have to go. Hell, fuck the sugar; they should all be banned just for the carbohydrate content alone! Now manufacture with and coat them in the refined goodness of cane or beets, and you can kiss your waistline goodbye as it expands into the stratosphere.
Doesn’t mean I won’t miss them once they’re banned, though. What other meal of the day welcomes you with the promise of being “magically delicious,” huh? Answer me that, you food-Nazi prick! Fuck you! “They’re Gr-r-reat!” and you know it.
No! Wait! Can’t we talk about this? Give me back that breakfast bowl! It has the favorite cartoon from my childhood on it. No! Stop! NOOOOOOOOoooooo………..
Oh well, thank God I’ll still have my glazed doughnuts.
Exercise? Of course, I exercise. You don’t think I’d eat all those damn doughnuts without exercising, do you?
Uh, “Runs On Dunkin'” counts for my workout, right?
I’m also gonna miss FAST FOOD. Sorry to have to admit that. I know you now have an even lesser opinion of me than before. (Is that possible?) Nevertheless, I just am. When the Food and Drug Administration finally realizes that the crap the food industry is pumping into us as a collective society is as insidious as what smoking did to us, Mickey Dee’s and its ilk will go the way of Phillip Morris when it comes to what products it can inflict upon us and how they’re promoted.
So goodbye BoJo chicken-n-biscuits. White meat? Dark meat? Who gives a fried fuck when it’s all sitting next to fluffy-baked goodness smothered in sausage gravy.
So long, Big Mac. I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass even if you were to announce that your “special sauce” is actually cat vomit. You’re just. That. Good.
Five Guys. Five Fuckin’ Guys. A double-stack burger without even asking? A “regular” fry order in a huge brown bag stuffed with oily delight? I know I’m going to have a heart attack right there in the store halfway through my meal and I just don’t care. The planet’s ozone can be completely depleted thanks to the methane in cow farts and I’ll cheer “Bring it on!” as Global Climate Change wipes coastal Miami off the face of the Earth; just keep those mouthwatering burgers grillin’ and all is forgiven … including the excessive bovine flatulence.
Sadly, this staple of morbidly obese American society is under attack. We will eventually bid even this last vestige of personal vice adieu as we enter the New Age of Enlightenment my son’s generation seems intent on thrusting upon me in spite of myself.
Is that … a tear?
No. My bad. I’m just oozing liquefied fat out of my tear duct.
THE HUMAN RACE. I’m going to miss you, too, communal asylum known as Humanity. I am a dinosaur and fully expect to go out the same way when the fireball of progress chokes out my metaphoric oxygen and leaves me as a footnote in evolution. But the human race, the future of all the obscene progeny we’ve dumped into the world and said, “Fuck you. I’ll be dead. You figure it out!” deserves better. I will miss the hope that a new generation could have—
Wait. Did I say “The Human Race”? I meant ICE CREAM. I’m on a diet; the rum-raisin heavenly manna has got to go.
Hey. I wonder if I can deduct ice cream as an expense on my taxes.
© 2015 Joseph P. Buonfiglio All Rights Reserved.