Just as there’s an Amber Alert for missing kids and Silver Alerts for missing elderly, pirates have their own alert system
The problem was naming the thing.
The Jolly Roger has only two colors on it: White and Black.
And let’s face it: announcing White and Black Alerts is a bit awkward in the 21st Century.
Pirates like Gold, but people might mistake a Gold Alert as some kind of warning to sell their Gold.
Pirates also like Silver, but there’s already a Silver Alert for the elderly.
Which isn’t a problem if the missing pirate happens to be elderly.
A few photographs hung from the string of lights. She couldn’t remember them. Who was this guy? Where was this photo taken? Her gaze floated from photo to photo, her perplexity increasing.
But then she stopped. The beach. The pebbles. She remembered that.
She looked at the stranger standing beside her.
The stranger nodded.
“You’re my son,” she said, smiling.
The stranger teared up. “Yes, Mom, I’m your son. We used to go to this beach when I was a kid.”
“And you used to pile up the pebbles and say Look, Mom. You were so proud of yourself!”
After I read the DaVinci Code, (admit it, you read it too, even though you make out it’s crap), I thought I’d research the Illuminati a little bit more.
So I looked them up on Wikipedia. (Yes, that’s what counts as ‘research’ these days!), and apparently, they were formed as a secret society to oppose superstition and obscurantism, (new word for me there!)
Doesn’t that strike you as a bit ironic and hypocritical?
A notoriously secretive, obscure and superstitious organisation formed expressly to combat exactly those same traits in society?
That’s like a politician using Twitter to, erm… condemn Twitter!
I don’t want to leave you in the dark concerning your fate. That would be most unfair and put you at a huge disadvantage.
I run an ethical operation here, and I’m all in favour of informed consent, although of course, we’ll have to consider your consent to be ‘implied’, since the bindings, blindfold and gag make any sort of communication difficult.
So, let me whisper in your ear, exactly how I intend to torment you… Cast a light on what to expect, and illuminate the path we’ll be following.
And finally, when it’s all over…
Walk towards the light!
Let There Be Light
Jimmy boy genius was putting the finish touches on his grade school science project. The gym was full of the standard kid projects. More than the average number of mock volcanoes. Jack the janitor was watching closely as Jimmy pull out a vampire tap and slammed it in the main power line. The lights dimmed inside, the lights dimmed outside. Then across the state. Jimmy flick the on switch. Light of a 1000s sun vaporizes every living soul in the gym. Next day the fed hauled away Jimmy’s illuminator. Its currently on the US Space Station pointed at Moscow.
“It sucks to be in seventh grade,” Billbert said, sitting on his bed. The only light illuminating his room came from the streetlight outside the second story window.
He thought he’d made a friend at this new school, maybe even a girlfriend. She’d just hung up on him in the middle of a conversation.
He nearly jumped out of his skin when there was a frantic pounding at his window. Billbert ran to the window and opened it to find Linoliamnda perched on the eaves.
“How’d you get up here?” he asked.
She frowned. “Well, I didn’t fly. That’s obvious.”
It’s a bright and sunny day.
Isn’t it beautiful?
They say that sunlight is the best disinfectant, but that’s really just a metaphor.
It represents the press exposing the dirty secrets of corruption and graft that infects the powerful and elite of our world.
The truest disinfectants for other applications are heat and bleach.
So, if you find a powerful elite individual engaging in graft and corruption, be sure to pour bleach into their mouths and then set them on fire.
They may not scream “Thank you for disinfecting my corruption!” but I promise you, they’re thinking it.
OCT 4 money
OCT 11 boxer
OCT 18 kitten
OCT 25 PICK TWO: piano, mongoose, tower, cartoon, evil, serve
NOV 1 revolution
NOV 8 plump
NOV 15 chainsaw
NOV 22 cluster
NOV 29 PICK TWO: reward, puppet, global, gear, shop, pit stop
DEC 6 still
DEC 13 pick one
DEC 20 fruitcake
DEC 27 PICK TWO: the hand that feeds you, scope, dresser, pit stop, quip, knave
Why is mother crying?
Get a life!
How does that grab you?
Behind a bush
Remember only this…
When will it stop raining?
Don’t press the button!
Hand Who took the sunshine?
What’s that on the horizon?
So many questions
Can you help me?
The noise is driving me mad!
If I had a nickle for every time
Where do I begin?
Where did they go?
Some might say…
Over to you…
The heat of the moment
We shipped thirty units to Chicago.
And twenty units to New York.
Five units are in the stockroom, waiting to be picked up so they can head to Phoenix.
We’re still putting together an order of seven units that will end up in Miami.
I hear we’ve got a lead on a customer who wants ten units in Tokyo.
And then there’s the guy in London who wants three units.
No, I have no idea what these units are. Really.
But we’re sure getting a lot of orders in for them.
So, how many can I put you down for?
I keep two investment accounts at the brokerage.
One is a managed investment account, and the other is an unmanaged investment account.
I challenge myself to pick stocks and funds in the unmanaged account.
And every year, it has outperformed the managed account.
“Why do I bother paying you?” I tell the broker.
That’s when the market went down. Really far down.
All of my picks went into the toilet, and the margins got called in.
The managed account, on the other hand, only took a small dip, and then bounced back with the market.
“That’s why,” said the broker.
Doctor Odd pondered what it would take to tip society over the precipice and into barbarism and oblivion.
So, he created pocket universes to model society, and he ran a series of scenarios through his simulations.
The collapses were easy: nuclear war, global epidemics, natural disasters, religious fundamentalism.
When Doctor Odd finished his experiments, he found one universe that turned into an enlightened Nirvana of peace.
“WELL DONE!” shouted a voice.
It was the real Doctor Odd, who had made the pocket universe in which his duplicate ran the simulations.
He collapsed the pocket universe and went out for lunch.
Back in high school, we’d road-rally around Columbus.
We’d start at Northland Mall, drive to Eastland, Southland, and Westland Malls, and the first one back to Northland won.
To prove that we’d been to each mall, we’d buy a burger at the McDonalds or Wendy’s at each mall and get a receipt.
Once, I cheated by having friends buy burgers at the Eastland and Southland Malls at predetermined times,
while I drove to the Westland Mall, bought my burger, and met up with the others back at Northland to get the receipts.
I lost the cheap plastic trophy years ago.
Sometimes, it takes a while for a medicine to get federal approval.
So, people sign up for clinical trials.
When the clinical trials are full, the desperate go overseas for medical treatment.
When Doctor Odd came down with a terminal illness he couldn’t cure himself, he got desperate and went to an alternate dimension for medical treatment.
After several hops across the dimensions, Doctor Odd met Shaman Odd, who brewed a magical potion to cure Doctor Odd’s condition.
Doctor Odd brought the potion back with him, studied it carefully in his lab, and patented the cure.
The profits were astronomical.
Some Irish bakers add a little to their dough before they make their pies.
If you bite into a ring, marriage is in your future.
But if you bite into the bean, no marriage for you.
The coin represents wealth, while the piece of cloth predicts the lack of it.
Vinny isn’t Irish. He’s Sicilian.
He sent out the pies in special tins.
C4 charges with miniature detanators.
By the time the cops figured out where the pies came from, Vinny was back home.
Baking pies for the family.
No C4. No detanators.
Just blackberries, the freshest he could find.
I found the page of a book in the forest. I read it. It didn’t make much sense. Then, I found another page, and another. I continued down the path and found more pages. I sat down and ordered them. Damn… No page one… I wandered about, trying to find it, until I reached a cabin. Page one was right there. I picked it up and was about to leave when a voice, coming from inside, said “I was expecting you”. I’ve read many pages since, and Old Patrick, the voice, always closes his eyes and smiles while I read.
So this is supposed to make me feel empowered, is it?
I looked from the fourteen black plastic bags full of the miscellanea of my past life to the, now bare, walls, shelves and cupboards of my apartment.
Now, was apparently a turning point in my life: The creation of a fresh, blank canvas, upon which I could paint a new destiny.
And all I had to do was take those black plastic bags, full of their memories, heartaches, successes and failures of a life that owed more to mediocrity than to satisfaction, and throw them all away.
All my life I fought to be heard. I struggled to be noticed, begged to be appreciated – and never once did I succeed.
Pushed down, ignored and scorned, I was told I would never amount to anything, that I lacked presence and was incapable of achieving anything.
For a while I believed them, but today will change all that.
Today, the gun I hold in my hand empowers me.
And, for one brief moment, all the power in the world rests in my index finger.
So, go on… wave to the crowds, Mr President.
And let’s see who’s helpless now!
100,000 Dead in the Halls of America
I’ve always been suspect when I hear someone say we don’t hand-hold: we empower. It hangs out with terms like, team-player and leadership. It often come out the mouth of someone in the highest level of on org chart. Yup by folk who love org charts. The only way to help someone up is to get down next to them. Hands on the same shovel, hands on the same piece of paper, working the same funkn algebra problem, working any problem from the floor-up. So to all you three ring binder consultants. Empower this and the horse you rode in on.
Billbert didn’t know how to respond. Was this the only reason Linoliamanda liked him, because he could fly? His twelve year old mind tried to put two and two together. Was she just using him for her entertainment and excitement?
Empowered and emboldened by his indignation, he asked, “Is that all you care about? Would you still like me if I couldn’t fly?”
Linoliamanda gasped, there was a moment of silence, and she hung up on him.
This was not the response he had expected. Denial or an argument, maybe. He didn’t think she would just hang up on him.
Our corporate mission statement was up for review. “We empower people–”
“Stop right there!” said Eannmbaighe. “Divisive language, ‘us’ against the othered ‘them’. And ‘people’ erases their individuality!”
“How dare you ignore the biggest issue of all?” Empathy answered. “Giving someone power foregrounds your power over them. Empowerment is disempowerment! Power is only taken!”
“Taking power implies you already have power,” I suggested. They both glared at me incredulously and shouted “No!” And “Yes!” simultaneously. Then they turned on each other.
Great! We’d spend all day and decide nothing. That’s the idea, keep the clowns out of the actual business.
When you’re rich, you can do anything.
Just ask Michael Jackson.
Well, you could ask him, if he were alive.
But he’s not.
Because he made others very rich.
His managers, his brothers and sisters, his mother and father.
And so many executives and lawyers.
They wanted to get richer.
Keep him alive, and he’ll make more music and perform more shows?
And make more… mistakes, is that what his business manager called it?
Lots of royalties and deals coming in.
Don’t want them held up by lawsuits.
Is he having trouble sleeping?
We’d better put him to sleep. Permanently.