December 16th, 2008

Writer's Block: Small Economies

The news is full of stories about people cutting back on their spending. What thrifty measures have you taken since the end of the economy as we know it?

I've cut down on caviar, cocaine and white truffles and only use my private jet every other day. Plus, I'm working with my shrink to eliminate my fetish for buying diamonds and then throwing them in the river.


In the Doonesbury comic strip, the President and Vice President are always represented by a symbol instead of a drawing of his face.

For example, Dan Quayle was a feather. George W. Bush was initially an asterisk and then a Roman Military Helmet. Clinton during his first term was a waffle.

He has yet to depict Obama.

What do you think he should use as a symbol?

I'm thinking a penny - because it's both "change" and has a picture of Lincoln on it, but I bet you guys can come up with even better ideas.

Moving On

"I'm tired," I told my shrink today, "of having dreams where either my step mother is beating me up or I'm yelling at her or both."

"Tell me about the latest dream," she said.

"There was a gathering at the New Hampshire estate and there were lots of family members and friends of the family I never met. I was getting along with them and making new friends. Then, my step mother came up and started saying awful things to me. Calling me a 'loser' and 'a faggot' and telling me she was sorry I was ever born. We were all in a room that was getting set up for a poker match, but as she continued to berate me the room emptied out. I was convinced that I had lost all of my new friends because of her words. Then, I grabbed her by the collar and told her that I wasn't going to take it anymore. That she couldn't be a small minded asshole who treated me like a bitch. I told her I'd hurt her. Then, I slapped her and then I woke up. I was crying."

"Don't you think it's good that this stuff is happening in your dreams," my shrink said. "Anger doesn't just go away like magic. You have to work through it. Just because she's not abusing you now doesn't mean you can make it all go away."

"Yeah, but I want to be grown up and put it behind me," I said. "I want distance from it and to grow beyond it."

"Why," she said. "Do you think you moved to France?"

Dog Island

I'm sure that the Dog Island site is satire, but man is it sweet dark humor.

The premise of the site is that the owners of Dog Island are rabid animal rights people who think that it's awful that people own dogs. Therefore, they want people to give up their pooches so they can live on "Dog Island" where "Separated from the anxieties of urban life, dogs on Dog Island are healthy dogs who live a natural, healthy and happy life, free from the stress and hardship associated with daily live among humans."

It has the greatest FAQ section I've ever seen:

Q.My dog is very high strung and often gets into fights with other dogs. I can control this now, but what happens when fights break out on the island?

A. Fights break out occasionally, but this is not a real issue, because eventually, the dogs learn to get along. Every now and then some dogs gang up and kill and then eat another dog, but this is just natural, and it's okay for it to happen now and then, but normally this is not the case.

Q. If I visit the Island, how can I be sure to see my dog?

A. You can't be sure. Your dog is now free, a part of the natural system of life and the world. Many people do see their dogs, and others just instinctively know that their dog is there, happy and free.