Category Archives: Humor

2006 Holiday Event Calendar

–This one was edited heavily prior to publication; probably for the best

We here at Family Values Central couldn’t help but notice a recent influx of events for this April 1 holiday. Venturing to the City sub-basement, we confronted the Junior Correspondent in Charge of Press Releases and Staff Tattoos. (His desk had to be moved after an unpleasant incident last April involving the editor, four ounces of vinegar, and a raccoon.) According to the J.C.C.P.R.S.T., “You’d have to be a fool not to call ahead.” Bearing that in mind, here’s the Family Valued April Fool’s Day Calendar:

Event: Gilli-Con’s Island — film series (featuring the entire run of Gilligan’s Planet), collectibles, costume contest, special appearance by Ed Wade of The Wellingtons, UR River Campus 9-1 a.m. Free.

Special Event: Museum of Science Christmas in April Craft Show — crafts, cookies, hot apple cider, holiday music, Museum of Science, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. $2.98 (exact change appreciated).

Exhibition: Memorial Art Gallery Family Fun Day, 1 p.m.: You Can’t Spell Family Without Me, Michael Jackson | 1:05 p.m. Drown Out the Talk Downstairs, Italian Baroque Organ Recital | 2-4 p.m. Let’s Take Down Some of This Stuff and Play With It, Upper Galleries as the mood takes you. Free, bring your own crayons for coloring on the walls.

Lecture: “Mammoth Cave Echoes Lots and Lots” Infant Spelunkers’ Spring Fling, little Johnny Chilliwack, Not-Quite-Nappytime Series at Nazareth Arts Center, 1:30 p.m. — everybody-go-nappy. Free.

Theater: August & Henrik Spell Fun!, visiting artists Ünd Yør Mūūse Tūū Theatre Køllektief from Stockholm present their interpretation of the works of Ibsen and Strindberg for the entire family, with mimes. One performance only, Geva Nextstage, 2:00 p.m. $39.50.

Benefit: Rochester Area Taxidermy Society Father/Daughter Banquet and Pet Exchange, Riverside Convention Center, 5-8 p.m. $35 and 2 air fresheners.

Film: The March of the Curious Lion and the Shaggy Witches by the Dozen (G): Jim Brown leads an all-star, merry band through a treacherous landscape populated by Vanilla Ice, Reese Witherspoon (with a hand puppet shaped like last year’s Best Actress winner), 9 penguins, and a soy latte. Director Wes Craven captures the whimsy of the acclaimed novel and manages to get an amazing performance out of a herd of gerbils. Movies 10, $2.00 (free chew toy to first 100 children).

Dear Justice Newbie

The Job of a Lifetime

Welcome to the Supreme Court, Justice Alito, the last job that you are likely to have. After this, it’s retirement and death with the latter guaranteed and the former likely to come only with ill health. So, this is as good as it’s going to get. Sure, you could hope to become Chief Justice some day, but only four out of the mere sixteen Chief Justices have ever been elevated from within the Court.

Besides, you’ll be lucky to outlast Roberts unless you want to go all Borgia in the Court cafeteria. That’s unlikely though, since the gravitational pull of the legislature would have attracted you by now if you had any leanings toward mosh pits and switchblades. You got here because you’re a workaholic and you like making decisions for people too overheated to negotiate. Moreover, you think you know stuff and feel clever in small groups. Your horoscope predicts great things every day.

Seriously, you got this position because you managed not to piss off the President when you spent some time together. Other people had already vetted you, so what did the two of you have to discuss? If the law even came up, then I would be surprised. He suspects you won’t damage his popularity too much and might secretly push forward his agenda long after he’s climbed off his mountain bike for good.

Generally speaking, Supreme Court Justices have minds of their own and realize that once sworn in, they can do whatever they want. After all, it’s now your legacy, not some President who screamed across the horizon like a shooting star. No Justice has ever been impeached, let alone removed from office. Be careful though, you are liable to lose your “common touch,” if you ever had one or wanted one. Only eight other people in the country have a similar gig. And all of you went to law school.

Let’s face it, your new post turns out to have very little to do with agendas, at least the kind that generate a lot of press and decades of editorializing. Your daily schedule will involve sitting around chatting with your clerks and thinking deep thoughts. Even so, no one is marching around outside the court waving placards and chanting “Down With Gonzales v. Raich!” It’s still Roe v. Wade and little else. Considering that during the Court’s last session rulings came down on criminal sentencing, environmental law, capital punishment, eminent domain, and marijuana, you would think that people might have moved on. This is the judiciary, not the legislature, as you will constantly have to remind family members over hot dogs and potato salad during the summer break.

Speaking of defending your life, wasn’t that Congressional hearing fun? You probably feel some resentment. Hard to believe every nominee does not become bellicose after that ordeal? Perhaps you could work through your anger by popping wheelies in the parking garage rather than ruling against an endangered species?

Let’s remember, the Court is reactionary (though I’m sure we’ll be talking about this a lot). Someone has to bring the case before it. Justices do not ride around the countryside like medieval knights righting wrongs. The Court exists because people do not get along. The Court exists because reasonable minds disagree. It exists because elected officials can go too far. The Court is not the Supreme Court of U.S. Law Schools. The Court is not the world’s most exclusive club.

You may be there for life, but you still serve at the will of the people. And the people want wisdom, not ideology. Yes, you will be a topic of conversation during the year (Mostly “Alito gave good hearing” not “Alito writes swell opinions.”). In very general terms, ideological pedagogues on the Court often prove wiser than expected. And maybe wisdom does rise from the shadows. Hindsight may be our surest guide, which is why you need to think about the past so much.

So, you and your colleagues will walk the magical giggle path of this session together, prodding each other about the choices that you make. You’ll visit more history than any current doctoral thesis in any U.S. college (remembering that you have become history alongside your famous predecessors and their decisions). Over these months, commentators will attempt to deconstruct the legalese that is thrown around and figure out what you’re really trying to accomplish. You may even take a side trip to legal ethics in the hope of reassuring the populace along with ourselves.

By the by, no disrespect is intended by the “Newbie” nickname. A part of me wanted to conclude this missive with “sucks to be you,” so I do understand that your job is hard enough without hearing “Yo, Newbie” echoing down the halls whenever Scalia wants somebody to run to the cafeteria for a cola. On the other hand, the Supreme Court is the ultimate collection of know-it-all alphas and nobody loves a good nickname quite as much as an alpha male. Best wishes for a safe and wise term.


Holiday Haiku

Holiday Haiku #1

Sledding in the park
Push, rush, hold tight, steer, Steer, STEER
Cold mouthfuls of snow


Holiday array
What is the perfect greeting?
“Have a nice solstice”?


Empty parking lot
Wal-mart employees sent home
With empty pockets


Blinking twinkling lights
Hypnotize the dog and cat
Silent night indeed

Holiday Haiku #5

Awoke in Town Park
Snowy and surrounded by
Manger, menorah


Children rise early
Anxiously hovering near
Their parents’ alarm


Elmo and Patsy
On the radio again
Hand me the hammer


Midnight bells outside
Broken shingles in the snow
Boot stains on the rug

Holiday Haiku #9

Colorful landfill
Tied in bows and jolly wreaths
Who will unwrap you?


Who baked these cookies?
They’re funky, but taste okay
What’s this stuff on top?


Dancing Santa Claus
Flapping Fish, musical bear
Pulsing temple pain


They can stay up late
Give the children chocolate
Maybe they’ll sleep in