The Art of Alarmism

When I was a kid, one of my favourite celebrities was a comedian named Don Rickles.

Something about the in-your-face insult versus the insinuated/subtle insult attracted me to the likes of MAD Magazine’s “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions” series as well as Don Rickles and the occasional show that roasted another person in the limelight.

Not that Don Rickles is very appealing.  In fact, my mother once said she was cleaning the garbage disposal and the gunk at the bottom was more attractive to her than Don in his best years.

Which says a lot about his comedy that fungus would even slightly remind my mother of Rickles.

I told her about this scene and she corrected me.  It wasn’t the gunk at the bottom, per se, that jarred her memories of Don.  It was the sharp teeth of the disposal that cut my mother’s finger and sent chills up her spine of nightmares she used to have, sitting on a big throne and having insult after insult thrown at her by Rickles and his roast club.

You see, that’s the thing about selling space travel or drilling to the top of a subglacial lake in the Antarctic.

Where’s the fun if you can’t make a little fun, subtle or over the top, about what really happens in special scenarios.

For instance, the real reason that the Russians took so long to get to the top of Lake Vostok was that they kept drinking all the vodka they were supposed to use to keep the drill from freezing up.

And do you know how difficult it is for FedEx or UPS to make an overnight delivery of alcohol to the South Pole?

Why, even Santa Claus won’t bother with the continent, which means the little, tuxedoed penguins aren’t exactly fans of the big fellow who only works one day of the year.

I’m talking about the penguin’s dislike of Don Rickles, not Santa Claus, you fools.  After all, what’re they gonna do with Christmas gifts — store ’em next to their precious eggs or babies under their tushes?

Which reminds me… I had a private discussion with Ahmadinejad last night about all this controversy surrounding nuclear development.  I mean, he and I both know that Allah is not a friend of nuclear armament in the hands of infidels or his followers.  Ahmadinejad assured me that the only reason he’s paying scientists and technicians to make radioactive fuel is to heat the subterranean Roman baths that his family uses to stay out of the public eye.

I’m willing to believe anything.  Up to a point.

Ahmadinejad, my friend, you have more oil reserves at your fingertips than Elizabeth Taylor had husbands, Queen Elizabeth has power or Elizabeth Hurley has acting skills.

Then he opened up and told me that his wife has an addiction problem.  She can’t stop adopting orphans, especially deposed dictators and their children.

He showed me his family “tree” and it looks more like a forest, with roots and branches stretching all over the globe.  That, he says, is why he’s afraid to tap the limited oil reserves to heat the baths and would rather use the unlimited power of nuclear energy.

Put it like that and I’m all teary-eyed…with laughter.  Ahmadinejad can’t see the real problem.  Why does his family need to take so many baths?

Cut down on the obsession with cleanliness and we could have peace in the Middle East in our lifetimes, dude.

Look at Don Rickles.  He never takes a bath and doesn’t have any problems with his friends as a result.  [The fact that he doesn’t have any friends is irrelevant.]  Do you see him causing an international energy crisis?  No.

Therefore, let Don be an example to all of us.  A little less soap, a little less hot water, a lot more body odour and we’d be a peaceful species — at arm’s length (or at least out of range of each other’s noses), perhaps, but less dangerous, because of our energy-efficiency, if not our good looks, personality and charm.

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