This Week In Rats And Prostitutes.

It’s not uncommon for people to be wrong on the internet, but two headlines this week deserve some kind of award.

If you search “gerbil black death” today (March 6th, 2015) you’ll find it reported in many online sources that rats did not carry the black plague into Europe, but instead it was brought by gerbils. This wrong idea came from a study inquiring whether the plague was introduced to Europe once or multiple times. An example is given of how gerbils in Asia spread the disease from a central source multiple times.
THIS WAS IN ASIA. In Europe the rodent bringing the fleas that carried the bacteria were good old rats, just like they told us in grade school. In the article the rats were just referred to as rodents.
Here is the original article. You’ll have to click a little to open the full content.

If you search “ethics Carolina prostitution” today, you’ll find several headlines claiming that North Carolina has legalized prostitutes for politicians. What actually happened is an open letter from the Lobbying Compliance Division of the Secretary of State’s office asked the Ethics Commission if sex between a lobbyist and a legislator was considered a reportable gift. The letter compared the sex to “a ride to the airport”. The answer stated that sex would not have a monetary value and not be reportable. (Ten dollars is the reportable threshold). The answer further stated that a lobbyist gifting a prostitute would be both reportable and illegal. In spite of the extra clarification, several online articles claimed that North Carolina had legalized prostitutes for politicians, often with a titillating photograph.
Both letters are linked to by the Raleigh CBS affiliate.
The CBS affiliate article got it right. But why should the other outlets have to make stuff up? The original letter to the Ethics Committee is bizarre enough.

I am able to fact check these things because I have too much time on my hands these days. So please call me if you need help distinguishing a rat from a gerbil, or maybe if you need a ride to the airport.

—when my chopper was shot down…

A little Brian Williams meme – I’m sure someone beat me to this…But you can fill in the blank to create an excuse for about any situation.
I feel bad that I did this joke now. When I think of the slightness of this fib compared to the huge lies manufactured for us every day I believe maybe I should take on the more important targets. Civil rights and education are being pushed down by those who profit from maintaining an underclass. I should be whack-a-moling those bastards down instead of swinging at this easy t-ball setup.

I’ve been sick

I haven’t posted in a while. Last month I went in for a routine hernia operation which somehow cascaded into being hospitalized four times. I’ve been working on making that story fit the spirit of the blog and I even hope to tell that story in public soon. It might start like this:

Hi folks! I don’t want to become of those old farts that bores the shit out of you by talking about his damn surgeries – but so far this month: I’ve been hospitalized four times, had two ambulance rides, had an additional four trips to the emergency room, and just a few days ago I needed an emergency procedure to save my life. (poignant pause) But the first FUNNY thing that happened …

Mork and Rockford

Wanted to find something with Jim Garner and Robin Williams together. Here is a moment from the 1986 Academy Awards when Robin cracks Jim up. Robin was hosting and Garner was up for best actor in Murphy’s Romance (he lost to William Hurt in Kiss of the Spider Woman). If you find and watch this whole show you’ll be freaked at how young everybody is.

Can’t teach the new dogs—

A couple of nights ago I returned to the Laugh Out Loud in Clayton, NC. I tried my bit about Andy Griffith in space. It killed among the over 50 crowd – the rest of the audience I assured that it was a five minute set and it would all be over soon.


Doomed to repeat it

A very relaxed show at the Laugh Out Loud in Clayton, NC.
The trouble with audio-only is you can’t see how riveted the audience is during their periods of silence. (Once the stage lights refract in  my bifocals I can barely make them out myself. )
I wish I’d mentioned the Archduke and Sophie’s open top limo to paint a better word picture of the parade.
I wish my “Princess Bride” reference hadn’t died on the vine.

Luckily there are lots of venues, so I can tweak my word choices and delivery until I like this bit some day.

Where credit is due:

It’s true.  Paid voice actors the world over are praising Games Afoot: The Lost Games.  Here are some talented impressionists at work. You can click to see more about them.

Voice by Tom Richards, USA.     Photo from wiki commons.

Voice by Rick Whelan, Ireland.       Photo from flickr commons.

Voice by Charlie Hopkinson, England.     Photo from wiki commons.


Voice by Rick Whelan, Ireland.      Photo from flickr commons.     Other photo from flickr commons.