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Holiday Schnapps…

Santa Pledges to Modify Guilt Trips in 2020

In closing up shop for yet another Yuletide, the jolly old elf reflected on Christmases gone by and those yet to come. Overwhelmed with emotion he bid a tearful goodbye to several retiring reindeer and elves and promised to make Christmas 2020 the best ever!

“One category that needs help is the persistent guilt related to the naughty or nice restrictions that have been firmly in place since the turn of the last century.

“These Victorian principles of trust and honor have no place in out modern world of baggy boxers, aging baby boomers, Boneland Security and video game massacres,” said Santa. “If we are going to keep pace with this whirlwind world we must adjust our parameters and see that our traditions continue to reflect a meaningful experience for all. Within this framework we must never revert or retreat from our stated goal – which is happy children all over the world!”

In closing Santa reiterated his views adding that he will simply leave the guilt trips up to the churches, television and government, three failing institutions that create fear within the population.

“These entities are performing quite crisply and do not need any help from our sector at this time,” he said. “Negative is contagious. Most people are guilty enough and afraid of a bundle of superficial bugaboos. Anyone laying guilt trips on my elves or reindeer will be cut off from the gifts parade, if you get my drift.”

– Tommy Middlefinger


Team Up With Toothless

(Sun City) Candy canes are not politically correct and discriminate against seniors says the American Association of Retired Persons. The powerful lobby group has petitioned Congress to outlaw the striped Christmas treat.

“Not only do these evil candies depict an immobile crew of elders but they focus on the shortcomings of the handicapped as well,” said an effervescent Jodie Twitte, a 22-year-old press secretary for the group. “In short, we don’t want children playing with the necessary tools of the aged. We don’t want them viewing their grandparents as reliant on canes to get around.”

Twitte added that the red and white colors are offensive to some older Americans who have grown bald and no longer need to go to the barber.

“What about people who don’t have teeth and can’t enjoy the candy? Who will speak up for them?” she plinked.

The AARP, recently criticized for reminding quinquagenarians of their inevitable aging, has pledged to get the canes off the market. They have already threatened to go to quart with the makers of Viagra and several RV manufacturers if they don’t get their way.

“Isn’t this a lot like throwing out the baby with the bath water,” asked fifth wheel cliché giant Melvin Toole, always a bridesmaid but never a bride. “I don’t know what that means but I love to throw metaphors around in the age of senior citizen discounts and the demise of sociable security.”

– H.L. Menoken

“They were the champs, work wasn’t for them, they lived off the rest. They emptied their glasses, and now they were ready to wiggle their asses.”

– from The Green House by Mario Vargas Llosa.


(Denver) Representatives from the four major Denver television news teams remain lost at press time after failing to discover the entrance to the Black Canyon National Park.

Squads of geography specialists, sent to rescue the company of explorers, reportedly caught up to the first wave Friday near Parlin. Rather than brave the premature darkness and unprovoked wild animal attacks the revived entourage circled their minivans and secured their minicams, bivouacking in the shadows of Quartz Creek for the night.

“We’re not concerned,” said one West Slope tourism expert. “The real people from the Confront Range who visit our parks won’t have any trouble finding our national park,” said Al Kahaulik, a Club Zero spokesman. “Most notice road signs.”

According to eyewitnesses irrigating near the shores of Cedar Creek the broadcasters were busy looking at their hair in the rearview mirror  and missed the turn-off. Then, the second wave did the same. Circling around toward the North Rim of the canyon they once again became distracted with the state of their make-up and went right by that entrance too. An estimated 45% of the original contingent is now said to be in Utah.

“It’s really funny to see troupes of cellulose scribes driving back and forth not realizing that their best sides are not even on camera. They’ve already reached pseudo-star status so why not rely on celestial navigation to get them to their destination.”

Local authorities say it’s all the better that the TV news teams missed the signs since they’d probably fall off the edge anyway.

“Although many of these types think they can fly, the laws of gravity can be harsh,” said one undersheriff. “Most aren’t competent enough to stroll leisurely along the chasm while simultaneously primping for the camera.

– Fred Zeppelin

Now you can vote at Wal-Mart

(Montrose) Registered voters wishing to do their duty in next year’s election can simply cast their stones at the local Wal-Mart rather than wasting precious shopping time at the polls. Along with voting, citizens are reminded that they can open credit accounts, get married, have children, pay taxes and be buried here too.

It sets a convenient precedence according to sources within this mass marketing framework and “can only lead to more mindless consumption and greater profits for everyone.

“We want to help the average Joe stay very damn average,” smiled one part-time greeter who does not qualify for company benefits.

The Wal-Mart voting booth will be open for a week prior to Election Day so that citizens are not forced to change their schedules and focus on just one day. Information as to how to vote and who to vote for will be provided at the entrance. Persons who have not as yet registered can do so with their Wal-Mart credit card.

“People can easily forget that it’s Tuesday…election day. We’re doing our part for this great democracy!” whines a repetitive in-store announcement. “And after you vote don’t forget to check out the seasonal items on aisle three.”

Meanwhile down in sunny Arizona corporate militias have succeeded in apprehending some of the last ma and pa operatives in the Phoenix area. At press time there are only a few of the “unaffiliated” holdouts remaining. On the site of what was a great kosher deli is now a chain burger place. It’s the same all over the place. The city without a city has been transformed into chain land. The Phoenix has crash-landed and cannot get up.

Although the status of the former self-employed radicals was not completely clear a police spokesman said they “are being de-programmed and retrained for positions as cashiers at a chain gas stations all over the country. Persons who do not adapt to the master plan are taken to what’s left of the desert and left to fend for themselves. Some of the unlucky ones will end up pushing lead within the government.

“We’re not at liberty to talk about the situation in Arizona,” said a Wal-Mart voice. “We have a strong economy here too and it will continue to boom just as long as everyone cooperates.”

– Melvin Toole

Tom Turkey’s Lament

A Shorter Than Expected History of One November Day

by Lamont Montague III

He was born on August 17 and, all things considered, that’s quite an accomplishment for any bird as stupid as a turkey. It is doubtful whether his father was present at the birth and probable that no one would have cared either way. His mother was a middle-age (by turkey standards) hen who has since disappeared from the barnyard. He was named “Tom,” which has been an appropriate name for turkeys since prehistoric times.

As a young turkey Tom played all the turkey games. He learned to gawk and twist his neck around into the most contorted positions. When the thunder rolled he learned to plea up with all the other birds of his type, usually causing a few of his fellow birds o smother. Life in the barnyard wasn’t exactly what one would call exotic, but it would simply have to do.

“The turkey, while notably the most ignorant bird in the Western Hemisphere, does fill a void in the culture. Take the Pilgrims and the Indians for instance. I dare say if it had not been for the stupidity of the turkey those miserable colonists would have starved to death for sure.”1.

Tom grew quite quickly and, because the owner of the turkey farm had not provided exercising equipment, he grew very fat. Although he had feathers and was in every sense a bird he could not fly. He couldn’t even jump. Despite these handicaps Tom developed mature relationships with some of the female birds. Most of them were as dumb as dirt as well, but a “well-read turkey is no good to anybody.”2.

The summer passed all too quickly. One day Tom and his breast friend Fred were gobbling about the barnyard when it began to rain. Most of the turkeys froze. They were frightened and amused at the water falling from the sky. The men who watched over the turkey farm began to herd the birds into shelter. Unfortunately all the turkeys didn’t make it and drowned while staring up into the clouds. Tom and his friend, Fred, were quite puzzled as to the disappearance of some of their fellow gobblers but they decided not to dwell on these matters.

“In 1778 Benjamin Franklin proposed legislation to the Continental Congress which would have made the Wild Turkey the national bird of the newly formed United States of America. Many of the delegates laughed and others stormed out of the chambers to inform the press of the old gentleman’s demise. As history tells us it was the Bald Eagle not the Wild Turkey which was proclaimed the national symbol and that is precisely why we don’t eat pork chops on Thanksgiving Day.”3.

Many other catastrophes befell the turkeys that fall as a few were wiped out by a fire in the hen house and another by a falling tree limb, but one incident outweighed the others in the fright category. On September 28 a young turkey, who had been born on the same day as Tom, was lost in a pile of falling leaves. No one realized that he was missing and in an attempt to procure nourishment he choked to death on an aspen leaf.

Like all youngsters Tom and Fred dreamed of running away to sea or of hopping a freight to California. Their dreams never got off the launch pad, though, as the dumb birds had enough trouble just finding their way to dinner. By the first week of October they were gaining two pounds per week and the turkey ranchers smiled as the two young turkeys paraded around their roost. That’s when they first met Spike.

Spike was likable enough, as roosters go. He had an arrogant stroll and a threatening glance for anyone who even looked like he might cross him. He looked on the turkey as one might look on an English Ivy plant.

“Hey, you dumb birds, get away from my fence,” shouted Spike one day as Tom and Fred stumbled around the barnyard. They just stared back at the large rooster, afraid to take another step. Spike was surprised and mistook their stupidity for courage.

“Well, I’ll be,” mused Spike. “Maybe you guys are different from all the rest. Come on over here,” he gestured. “Share some of my dinner.”

Tom and Fred gobbled over to where Spike was standing and cautiously began pecking at his healthy serving. They ate attentively for a few moments until Spike asked them how they liked the meal.

“Why, it’s delicious,” said Fred.

“Yes, delicious,” echoed Tom in agreement. “And there is such quantity.”

“Would you like to eat like this all the time?” asked Spike

Both the turkeys nodded excitedly.

“Well, you can. All you have to do is act important like I do. Be somebody. Quit gawking and gobbling and slouching. Stand up straight!”

The two birds stiffened on command.

“If you don’t wake up this could be your last Thanksgiving, boys,” smiled the rooster.

The turkeys looked at each other. Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving? What is Thanksgiving? It sounds pleasant enough but by the tone of Spike’s voice they couldn’t help but feel that there was a missing link. They thought about asking Spike but were afraid that they would blow their favorable status with the influential rooster. So they just smiled in agreement and attempted to strut like a rooster looking even more awkward than before. However, Spike’s words continued to haunt them all day and late that night the two turkeys discussed their recent experience.

“Do you think that Spike character is on the level? asked Fred.

“Why sure,” said Tom. “Look at how he lives. He’s free to roam the entire barnyard. And just look at the food he eats!”

“Well, what do you think he meant when he said this could be our last Thanksgiving?” Fred was trembling, but he wasn’t cold.

“Oh, he was probably just pulling our leg,” replied Tom trying to shrug it off.

The two continued a circular discussion trying to decide what this “Thanksgiving” thing might be. Soon they were fast asleep; thinking is a big drain on a turkey.

“Whenever you have more than two turkeys discussing anything more technical than a bowl of pea soup you have the potential of a full scale disaster. The only hope is that they are free spenders.”4.

As the first snow fell on their miniature world Tom and Fred wound their gawky way through a multitude of fellow turkeys still at odds about this thing called “Thanksgiving.” At first they were very worried about what Spike had said, but as the days wore on and nothing became of it, they soon put it out of their tiny minds.

“The memory of a turkey is in direct proportion to the size of their brain. The storage capacity approaches zero as the amount of data to be stored increases. In other words, their brain goes on the blitz. That’s how they can remain so carefree.5.

They came across Spike one day sitting happily on a water trough near the entrance to a hen house.

“How are you boys doin’ this afternoon,” he asked sharply.

“Oh, doin’ fine,” snapped Tom.

“It’s gettin’ on toward Thanksgiving you know. Maybe it’s time you boys made a break for it.

There it was. That word again. Spike laughed knowingly as the two turkeys stood completely still in apprehension of the rooster’s next enlightening bit of information.

“I can get you out of here before you’re somebody’s main course,” offered Spike.

“Main course?” asked Fred. “What do you mean?”

“A ‘Thanksgiving Turkey,’ you turkey!” Spike was beginning to realize that the two were as dumb as the rest.

“You mean……oh no. You couldn’t mean that. You mean…..they’d……eat us?! quivered Tom.

“You got it,” yawned Spike.

Well, as one might imagine, a turkey has little chance of making a decision of any kind, much less of this magnitude. Tom and Fred were very upset by this revelation but decided that a breakout was not the answer.

“I’ve never even been outside these gates,” said Fred, “in all my life.”

“What would we do on the outside without the rancher to herd us in and watch out for us? Who would show us where the food is? We had better take our chances here. Besides, nothing has happened to us yet, maybe you don’t know what you are talking about.”

This was quite a bit of reasoning for a turkey and a bit bold, too. When Spike began to get ruffled Tom and Fred retired to a nice, warm sunny spot for a quick nap before dinner.

As the month of November crept onward Tom and Fred became almost catatonic. They stopped eating altogether and avoided the pompous Spike who had returned to making fun of their confusion.

Tom woke up on November 15, which happened to be a cold, foggy sort of day. After a thorough search of the yard Tom noticed that Fred was gone. Tom didn’t know if Fred had taken Spike’s advice or if he was in preparation for the first phase of dinner. Spike was no help at all. He simply laughed at the troubled turkey, who gawked and gaped and stumbled and gobbled all over the barnyard in search of his friend.

Tom spent much of the next week in a complete void. Fred was gone – that was for certain. Spike was still strutting his stuff and all the other turkeys continued their gobbling opera.

One morning Spike startled Tom by speaking to him.

“Come over here, boy,” whispered the rooster.

“Well I see that you made it through Thanksgiving. That must be pretty embarrassing.”

“What?” asked Tom,” You mean it’s over. I’m not going to be dinner after all?!”

“Well, not now, anyway,” sneered Spike. “That reminds me….have you ever heard of Christmas?”

1 From Thanksgiving – The Revenge of the Tourist State by Montague Lament III, pp.67-68. Dog’s Nose Publishing House, 1981.

2 From Cranberry Sauces I Have Known by Montague Lament, Jr., pp. 39-41. Mashed Potatoes Publishing Inc., 1973.

3 From The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Montague Lament, pgs 3-5, Pumpkin Pie Press, 1945.

4 From Mincemeat Fever by Lamont Montague, Esq., pg 6, Ronald McDonald Publishers, 1966.

5 From Turkey Brains and other Appetizers by Montague Lamont, pp. 1106-1198, Julie Childs Publishing Co., 1984.

Man Cleared of Uranium Trafficking

(Nucla) A local furniture auctioneer has been released from custody this morning after being found not guilty of selling weapons-grade uranium to Naturita. The jury, composed entirely of out-of-work cherry pickers, deliberated for two days before communications broke down.

“They didn’t speak much English and we don’t speak much Spanish,” said quart recorder Muriel Etchabarren, “so we had to pull in a bi-linguist from the county seat.”

In a matter of minutes the jury acquitted Melvin Toole, 98, of Pea Green. Now they are seeking another courtroom drama, contending that serving the court system as jurors is far better than agricultural labor.

According to Toole he was attempting to wrestle with a butcher’s block table and some assorted wicker ware when a small metal box crashed to the ground, frightening the crowd and breaking open to expose a chunky bowling ball of what was clearly uranium 235. Encased by the mineral, pitchblende, the element was quickly identified as high quality by West End experts.

“They may not know everything around these parts but they damn sure know what comes out of the ground,” said Toole, explaining the proceedings. “The possession of uranium is illegal and it showed up at my auction. I was caught with my gavel down.”

The uranium was confiscated and Toole placed in protective custody until federal interrogators from Utah could get a bus from Green River. His bail was set at $100. He was not able to raise the sum and has spent almost two weeks in jail. A three-time loser, Toole was indicted for sneaking into the drive-in theater in 1963 and spitting tobacco on the local shuffleboard court some 20 years later.

This uranium caper is his third offense and carries with it mandatory non-beer diet and three hours a day on the much feared Uravan Treadmill.

“The hold-up was forming a jury in such a high-profile case,” said defense attorney Ralston Morstern, who is handling the case gratuitously.

“How can we expect to find anyone who has not already formed and opinion on this kind of case? After a week we finally found this nice family of migrant workers who had no prior opinion of uranium, Toole or buses schedules from Utah. None had watched the nightly news or read a paper since arriving here from Chihuahua in May. If it weren’t for the language barrier my client would have been free in a matter of minutes.”

Although the source and the present whereabouts of the uranium remain a mystery, Toole is free to continue his auctioning. He has promised to be on the lookout for further contraband that might be tucked away in dresser drawers, footlockers or taped to the insides of lampshades.

Naturita is allegedly building a nuclear facility designed to kick out biodegradable uranium heirlooms and fissionable radioactive pellets for sale to phantom cruise passengers in the non-existent local bazaars and kiosks which do not dot the riverbank there.

“The mining days are over but we still have a lot of visitors with an interest in nuclear weapons,” said Toole. “We want to keep that up.”

-Small Mouth Bess