From the from Washington Post Style Invitational. The assignment from the popular weekly contest was to describe a portrayal of somebody based on the title of a popular book, starting with any tome from Johannes Guttenberg until yesterday. The book: A Man Called Horse. The comment: “No, Mr. President, that’s only half of what they call you.” Rim shot.
Neighbors call ‘em as they see and hear ‘em
A rock-band loud pick-up truck roared past a gaggle of neighbors, including Frau and A-E, drowned out the conversation about Frau’s former flowers and left a cumulus of internal-combustion particulates visible on satellite imagery. One neighbor responded “That truck must be a coal burner.” For the record, A-E uses a wood-burning computer with a pollution-control filter available at any wood-burning computer pollution-control filter store.
Why A-E likes the British writing English
Consider this official announcement about the birth of George Alexander Louis: Kate Middleton “was safely delivered of a son.” The pleasingly stuffy phrase makes one forget that the Windsors were the Saxe-Coburg Gothas from Germany until 1916 when the Saxe-Coburg Gothas were fighting the Germans in World War I. A-E knows making fun of this will be a literary lay-up for Anglophobe Correspondent Pat.
We are what we eat
A-E was entertaining an unwilling Frau with the ingredients in his lunch: “thiamin mononitrate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sorbitan monostearate, polysorbate 60, mono- and diglycerides, sodium propionate,” ad naseum. Frau held up her lunch and quietly recited the ingredients: “Piece of chicken.” An embarrassed A-E stopped reading food labels aloud after that lesson.
Surprise: Federal government rushes to spend your tax dollars
Here are examples from the recent past about how Washington, D.C. denizens surprised we taxpayers during the “They bought what?” that ends every federal fiscal year: The Department of Veterans Affairs bought $562,000 worth of artwork the week before the last day of the federal fiscal year. If you read, you know about the VA's tattered reputation. Half a million in artwork should burnish that, right?
Don’t forget the Coast Guard spent $178,000 on “Cubicle Furniture Rehab” the same day. “This string of big-ticket purchases was an unmistakable sign: It was ‘use-it-or- lose-it’ season again in our nation’s capital,” the Washington Post reported. “All week, while Congress fought over next year’s budget, federal workers were immersed in a separate frantic drama. They were trying to spend the rest of the budget before it was too late. The reason for their haste is a system Congress set up that, in many cases, requires agencies to spend all their allotted funds before Federal fiscal year end. If they don’t, the money is gone” from their budgets. Stating the obvious, “There‘s gotta be a better way,” does not make A-E a financial genius.
More taxpayer dollars at work
Federal authorities are investigating three senior Navy intelligence officials as part of a probe into an alleged contracting scheme that charged the military $1.6 million for homemade firearm silencers that cost only $8,000 to manufacture, court records show.
The three civilian officials, who oversee highly classified programs, arranged for a hot-rod auto mechanic in California to build a specially ordered batch of unmarked and untraceable rifle silencers and sell ‘em to the Navy at more than 200 times what they cost to manufacture, according to court documents filed by federal prosecutors.
Politicians forecasting the economy
Some forecasts from presidential pretenders weren’t terribly controversial, although claiming their policies would spur growth was equivalent to roosters believing their crowing causes sunrise. Or, as Pliny the Elder warned us in Latin, "addito salis grano,” add a grain of salt.
Correspondent Pat’s amusing musings
“What’s wrong with letting Texas go its own way. We would lose about half of our Mexican border and could consequently reduce our Border Patrol and Border Wall budgets drastically.
A-E’s columns, written weakly in Canisteo, are cholesterol and gluten free