Friday, April 28, 2006

It's The War, Stupid!

Without a doubt, you've seen countless news reports about rising gasoline prices.

CNN's Miles O'Brien was one of many talking heads in furious spin mode this morning, attempting to exculpate the republicans who run the United States from blame. As I ironed my shirt, I could feel that little vein popping up on my temple...

Take a moment and reflect upon every inane, vapid report you've witnessed in the media about rising gas prices...Did any of them even mention Iraq?

Since the United States invaded Iraq, Oil production in the world's third-largest oil producing country has slipped to 1.4 million barrels in 2005 from 3.5 in 1990.

Gee, do you suppose the law of supply and demand might apply here?

Remember: This is an administration that promised us gas prices would go down if we invaded Iraq. That's why you bought the Yukon, remember?

Why does it cost you 80 dollars to fill your tank? It's the war, stupid!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I Understand Women: Part Five

Back in school, my friend Faust was known for his focus and intensity. His salient characteristic as a scholar was his ability to shut out all distractions--a handy trait for a triple major in math, physics, and philosophy. When Faust was parked in front of his computer hammering out a thesis, anything short of actually grabbing him by the shoulder couldn't pull him out of his esoteric reverie.

Now that he's a married man, I have to wonder how well this trait is serving him.

I'm sorry to say that the ability to focus on one thing in particular comes at the expense of being able to take in many different things that are happening concurrently.

Like Faust, I also have an uncanny ability to focus intently on a particular task-- such as reading the newspaper or napping, for example.

Much to my dismay, this gift isn't considered evidence of scholastic brilliance, but rather "selective hearing"; a trait that is apparently common to many men in the midst of long-term relationships.

You see, it turns out that we live in a world where many things actually do occur concurrently, and modern men are supposed to ride the crest of the present moment; taking note of every eddy and ripple, each undertow and riptide. We need to be attuned, in control, and above all, aware.

To be unaware, to forget, to not hear: these are all sins of omission; signs of a lack of attentiveness and caring. It doesn't matter what you were doing--you weren't paying attention to what she said.

The only recourse, should you find yourself in this situation, is the truth, and when I say the truth, I mean truthiness.

Without giving the matter too much thought, repeat back, in question form, what you thought you heard her say. If you can make her laugh, so much the better:

"Your hovercraft is full of eels?"

"No! I wish you knew how bad this feels! I think you need to get your hearing checked, honey."

Within the context of most relationships, there isn't much of a difference between not hearing and not listening, but you're better off playing the "not hearing" card for all you're worth.
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