Tips on salvaging 2015

David Chartrand

David Chartrand

A new year is upon us but this is no time for fatuous wishes about peace on Earth and goodwill to others. It’s time to tabulate the lessons of the past year, file them in triplicate, and try to forget the whole thing. Unless we want to consider citizenship in Norway or something.

There’s still time to salvage 2015, however. It will require bold, swift action and a deep national resolve to reduce our intake of Diet Dr Pepper. A few other suggestions come to mind:

• Lands’ End should launch a catalogue line of designer body armor, preferably something that doesn’t make me look fat.

• Local police departments need to show a little more creativity when attempting to control agitated mobs. Before tossing tear gas canisters, for example, riot cops would walk through the crowds passing out free pizza and samples of pre-looted Walgreens merchandise.

• U.S. automakers should announce low-interest financing incentives for American homeowners who want to lease armored vehicles, from a no-frills model to the high-end packages with sunroofs, power windows, and trunk-mounted assault rifles.

• Major League Baseball must impose harsh fines against baseball players who repeatedly step out of the batter’s box to loosen, then retighten, the straps on their batting gloves. Members of the San Francisco Giants do this after Every…Single…Pitch.

• TV networks need to plant tiny microphones inside the webbing of baseball mitts so we can all hear what’s being said during “glove talk” meetings at the pitcher’s mound. I began watching televised baseball in the 1960s and I never once saw Tim McCarver walk to the mound and speak to Bob Gibson through the web of a catcher’s mitt. Now that you mention it, however, how I wish that …

• Delegates to presidential conventions — even keynote speakers — should be required to cover their faces with giant leather gloves when addressing the convention or even one another. Voters could, at last, elect candidates without listening to them or seeing their faces.

• Congress should pass a law giving ordinary citizens authority to issue subpoenas. Trying to coax the remodeling contractor to come back and finish the deck? Frustrated that the school board president won’t return your phone calls? An official court summons should get everyone’s attention. And if we’re really lucky during 2015 ….

• Parents need be allowed to convene private grand juries. Your kids won’t ‘fess up about who used the last roll of toilet paper or who dented dad’s new Camry? Watch your sons and daughters quake when the questions are posed by a jury of sequestered voters.

• American workers need to receive an extra day off each month, with pay, in order to scour their laptops and cell phones for any documents that the North Korean government may not find humorous.

• Department stores need to offer extra large (Humongous XL) tee shirts that can accommodate longer, more meaningful proclamations in days following police shootings of unarmed citizens. Such shirts will have ample room for all-purpose rants such as, “PLEASE DON’T SHOOT ME BECAUSE AS YOU CAN SEE BOTH OF MY HANDS ARE IN THE AIR WHICH MAKES IT DIFFICULT FOR ME TO LOOSEN THIS CHOKE-HOLD AROUND MY NECK AND EVEN IF I COULD BREATHE RIGHT IT WOULD BE VERY DIFFICULT TO CREATE TERROR IN THE MINDS OF ALL THESE STERN-FACED PEOPLE CURRENTLY POINTING GRENADE LAUNCHERS AT MY CHEST GIVEN THAT I AM DEFENDING MYSELF WITH A PLASTIC WATER PISTOL.”

• There needs to be more effective police crime scene tape. You may have noticed in 2014 year that rowdy mobs apparently do not read the “Do Not Cross” ribbons currently used by local police to protect their parking spots while gathering evidence. More effective crime scene tape would bear warnings like, “Look Both Ways Before Crossing” or “This Tape Was Not Here Yesterday.” For those occasions when a dead body is left in the middle of the street for four hours with nothing police-like happening we recommend yellow tape imprinted with crossword puzzles or the entire text of the Sunday New York Times.

• Hoover or Eureka should produce a home vacuum with a setting called “deep cleaning” for those of us who have no idea what the hell it means. Perhaps my personal grand jury could help.

• The 2015 American Comedy Awards “Standup Comic of the Year” needs to be a rising star who creates hilarious routines that don’t require 1,465 uses of the f-word.

• The world needs to be spared another film about the history of Apple Computer. I like to think nobody cares, which would make the whole thing much clearer. In the event we are too late on this wish, let’s pray that Sony Pictures will continue to demonstrate public valor in the face of terrorist threats and stand by its bold decision to cast Angeline Jolie as Steve Jobs.

• Courts should permit live television coverage of any sexual abuse trial against comedy legend Bill Cosby. We’d hate miss the hearing during which defense counsel calls a list of character witnesses beginning with Fat Albert.

• The international health community should turn its attention from the Ebola virus to Internet sales of “Satan’s Blood,” manufactured by Sauce Crafters Inc. of Riviera Beach, Fl., and considered the hottest chili sauce in the world, the recipe for which we should all hope to God does not fall into the hands of the North Koreans.

• Dictionary publishers need to locate historical roots for the expression, “Hell’s Bells.” My mother said it all the time. Her exasperations would begin with “Hell’s bells!” and end with, “For crying in the bucket!” Just before she passed away last year I intended to ask what bucket she was talking about but I was too creeped out thinking about bells in hell. I wish you could have known my mother.






© 2015, David Chartrand

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