Sunday, June 29, 2008


If there's anything of trivial importance, it's the almost worthless penny. And yet, next year in 2009, the U.S. Mint in their wisdom will launch a new penny with a new design of Lincoln on the tails side. Whoop-de-fucking-doo!

Right now the Mint Men are trying to decide what kind of log cabin to show for Abe Lincoln's early years.

They're also considering displaying his formative years in Indiana, his life and times in Illinois, or possibly his presidential years during the Civil War, which sure as hell was anything but civil.

When the surface of a penny is only a few millimeters, what difference will it make? Who looks at pennies? Who even stoops to pick one up when it's dropped on the floor?

Nobody is the correct answer!

And why do we still have pennies when they cost 2 cents to make? What kind of investment is that? Sorry Abe, but pennies piss me off!


Friday, June 27, 2008


"Thank you, Mr. Thistle, for banking with us all these years. Because we value your business, we have arranged to provide you with $1,000 worth of accidental death and dismemberment insurance."

This was my bank's way of thanking me. Why are these bleeping mouth breathers so freaking grim? Would it kill these ninny pods to offer me dinner for four at an expensive New York City restaurant?

I think when somebody thanks you for being a loyal customer, it should be a celebration of life rather than a somber reminder that I might be chopped to bits by a dysfunctional threshing machine. Or lose a limb while felling a tree with my Black & Decker chainsaw.

Needless to say, I have not yet taken them up on their ghoulish offer.

I'm holding out for the sterling silver urn for my ashes. Although I haven't ruled out the monogrammed oak coffin.


Monday, June 23, 2008


Today, instead of complaining about my life and the people who inhabit it, I will share 21 Thistle-isms for making the best of a hopeless and wretched existence.

1. When life gives you lemons, learn to make a sour face.

2. Should opportunity knock, ask for identification.

3. Into each life some rain must fall continually and in buckets.

4. Life is a hemorrhoid without the ointment.

5. What goes around comes around and bites you in the ass.

6. Take pleasure in your triumphs, meaningless and trivial as they may be.

7. To protect yourself against the pain of inevitable disgrace, just say no to self-esteem.

8. Dreams are made to be broken, then trampled on with big boots.

9. I'm not okay, you're not okay.

10. Embrace the fact that you're a mess and nothing can be done about it.

11. Anyone whose glass is half full just doesn't get it.

12. Life is a sham and a hoax pretending that it's not.

13. Always look on the bright side of doom, dogma, and political poppycock.

14. Try not to laugh. It causes wrinkles and you can't afford to look any worse.

15. If you can't get up on the wrong side of the bed, why get up at all.

16. To add some interest to your bleak life, fix people up that you think will destroy each other.

17. Ridicule anyone who tosses coins into a fountain or a wishing well.

18. Be aware that bankers and insurance agents have the scruples of jackals with none of the charm.

19. At least once a day try to dampen someone's enthusiasm.

20. When there's a piano to be moved, quickly reach for the stool.

21. Unless you let them, no one can make you feel bad about being on the bottom rung of society.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008


At the risk of offending the pious, I don't get why in God's name they put bibles in the drawers of hotel rooms.

We all know that the bible is the most widely read book in the English-speaking world. It's easy to see why. The story of Adam and Eve--for those of you who haven't yet read it-- is a rousing tale of love, lust, murder and betrayal.

And who could fail to be enthralled by Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, as proof of his faith. Or Salome asking King Herod for the head of John the Baptist on a plate, and then getting it.

Riveting stuff.

But why is the bible the book of choice for tired travelers? Are hotels secretly in cahoots with some religious organization? Will we someday be checking into hotels like Saint Hyatt or Our Lady of Hilton?

Perhaps they're trying to impress us with their goodness, figuring we'll think twice before stealing their crummy towels.

If my soul needed saving (and it might), I doubt that one or two nights in a hotel room with a Gideon Bible is going to get me through the Pearly Gates.


Thursday, June 12, 2008


Who decides who the top ten felons are?

Do they pick the ones who've been committing crimes the longest? Do they make their choices based on the total number of crimes committed? Or does it depend on how shocking and gory the crimes are?

For example, would the number of times a victim was stabbed be a factor? I don't know why it's essential we put a number on this kind of thing. But it's a stat the freaking news media seems keen on sharing.

By the way, who is in charge of counting icky stab wounds and what's the job title? I kind of like Stab Tabulator.

And what the hell do I do if I spot one of these creepy psychopaths? Make a citizen's arrest?

"It's all over, Killer! I've got you trapped down here in the subway, and I'm blocking the exit door with my wiry, 135-pound body until the cops come."

I'm hoping situations like this never arise since I've never been good with criminal confrontation.


Sunday, June 8, 2008


This is kind of like "military intelligence" and "jumbo shrimp." We're talking oxymoron here, where the words contradict one another. But I guess, in all fairness, there has to be some truths somewhere in advertising.

Maybe there's a touch of truth hidden in those advertising disclaimers, which are really denials of responsibility to avoid lawsuits and usually written in tiny type so it's hard to read and figure out what's really going on.

Probably the most honesty I see displayed in advertising occurs in pharmaceutical commercials. That's where you see somebody being helped by a product with a name that sounds like it's been created by a nerdy lab technician.

Following a breezy commercial with people who now have something to live for… you're socked with a litany of cautions.

RELAXOFT may cause road rage, nose bleeds, baldness, memory loss, swollen ankles, facial boils, excessive earwax, uncontrollable cursing, an urge to play in the mud, snoring while awake, lying under oath, atheism, and a desire to spit at small pets.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Once upon a time books were actually written by journalists and poets and essayists and satirists and others trained and drenched in literary skills.

Today many books are written by celebrities, felons, liars, murderers, convicted sex offenders, crooked mayors, whistle blowers, plus friends and relatives of all of the above.

I just read a story about a woman from Alabama who had a rotten upbringing and wanted people to know about it. She was illiterate, couldn't even sign her name. But it didn't stand in the way of getting her book published.

My advice to all those yearning to be writers is the following.

Do not get bogged down with style, theme, character development, pacing, originality, tone, coherence, craft, plot, viewpoint, description, entertainment, opening sentences, endings, and all the other crap that stands in the way of getting recognition, royalties, and long lines of people waiting at Barnes & Noble for your book signing.

Simply figure out a way to get your picture in the papers. Front and back page is ideal. Landing on Page 6 of the Post would be outstanding. You might even try stalking a celebrity for months.

Of course, if you get TV or tabloid coverage in a sensational rape or murder case – especially one involving missing body parts -- your career will skyrocket and the best-seller list is yours for at least 30 weeks.