Rant-Man’s Notebook: Stray Thoughts

Despite the fact that this column (for lack of a better word) is titled “Rant-Man’s Notebook,” there’s no actual notebook involved. I’m far too lazy and disorganized for that. This thing would be a lot easier to write if there actually were a notebook. All through the week, I think of stuff that would make a good column, but then when I sit down to write the bloody thing, all those ideas drop out of my skull like confetti and I’m left staring at a blank screen, grasping like a drowning man at some semblance of an idea, until finally my wife will walk past and say “I thought you were going to write about….” She will then casually toss off the last three or four ideas I mentioned to her.

No such luck this week.

What you’re going to get instead is all the stuff I’ve thought of that’s worth mentioning, but isn’t worth a whole page.

Last week, I wrote about the school principal in San Diego who conducted a thong-check at the school dance. As if to underscore that, I read this week that Abercrombie & Fitch, the current arbiters of all things cool, have introduced a line of sexy thongs for six-year-olds. And that they can’t keep them in stock. The underwear, which has suggestive slogans printed on it, is selling faster than the stores can keep up. What do you want to bet that the parents who were outraged at the school’s thong-check are the very same ones buying thongs for their kindergartners?

Abercrombie & Fitch today announced that they are teaming up with Toys R Us to introduce a new A&F brand line of toys and playsets. First up is the “A&F Li’l Slut Stripper Pole and Dress-up Kit.” What little girl wouldn’t want her own real stripper pole? Made of solid brass, the pole is strong enough to climb and spin around. Other items include the Junior Crack Whore Dress-Up Set.

This week, I had to send a large box to a friend. Naturally, the question of a return address came up, and after a few minutes of thought, I came up with the perfect one. Yesterday, my pal was obliged to go into his apartment building’s office and get the package, and the whole staff was very curious about it. The label? “Lingerie for Him …for the discriminating transvestite.” I got an e-mail from him: “Bastard! You will pay!”

I don’t know about you, but that kind of reaction makes my whole day.

Who IS that blonde woman in the Old Navy ads? The skinny one with the long hair. She bugs me. Back in the olden days, commercial spokespeople had some manners. They’d introduce themselves before they launched into their pitch. “I’m Rula Lenska, for somebody-or-other’s coffee…” Okay, so I had no idea who Rula Lenska or Anna Maria Alberghetti were, but at least I knew that I wasn’t supposed to instantly recognize these strangers.

It’s really irritating to me when some generic bimbo pops up on the screen and starts chatting away as if I’m her bestest pal and she has to share this exciting discovery with me. I find it intrusive. She’s presuming upon a familiarity that doesn’t exist. I feel like I’m supposed to recognize her; what’s the point of an endorsement from somebody nobody knows? That’s the problem; the ads are structured like an endorsement ad, but instead of having Sarah Michelle Gellar and her weird eyebrows, they have this blonde woman projecting a false authority and presuming that her opinion will somehow convince us to run to the nearest Old Navy store and spend all our money on the basis of her good advice.

I can’t be the only one who hates the new prosecutor on Law & Order. Ghaaaaad, is she awful! She’s got the charisma of a dish towel. Somebody please tell her to blow her nose. She sounds like she’s got a cold. She can’t act at all; she recites her lines as if by pavlovian response. The show comes to a grinding shuddering halt whenever she comes into a scene. I assume she’s the producer’s girlfriend or something. Blecch.

Remember a while back when I wrote about my run-in with the Rose Parade people? It’s finally concluded, and there’s a helpful tip for you. My brother-in-law finally went to court, and his public defender boldly decided to bully him into a plea-bargain. The guy really didn’t want to argue the case; it’s too much of a stretch from his usual role of negotiating probation for crack whores. Despite the fact that he had several pages of precedents and legal analysis in hand and a slam-dunk open-and-shut case, the weasel wouldn’t fight. He told Marc (my brother-in-law) that he was going to get one delay and continuance after another and drag the case out as long as possible until Marc gave up and accepted a plea on a lesser charge just to get the thing over with. After considering all the work-time he’d already lost and how much it would cost to stick it out, he said “to hell with it” and pleaded to a disturbing the peace charge. His fine and penalties came out to about $300. Mine was only $100, and I was actually guilty of something.

Let this be a lesson to you. When you go into a courtroom, there is nobody in there (except maybe the judge) who cares at all about truth or justice. The prosecutor’s job is to get convictions. the public defender’s job is to get cases off the calendar and make sure you don’t have any basis for an appeal. Period. The only person looking out for you is you. Prosecutors like plea bargains because it gets them convictions without them having to actually prepare a case. Same for PDs. Even if you are actually innocent, they will both push really hard for you to plead to SOMETHING just to get you through the system. They will also threaten, intimidate, bully, harangue and harass you into taking the plea. If you don’t, they will try to grind you down through delays. If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer, get your ass to the library and prepare your own case. You’re better off arguing in your own defense than putting yourself in the hands of a public defender who refuses to defend you. You can also get through the system a lot faster if your “defender” isn’t trying to impede your case.

It sucks, but it’s true. The court system is utterly dependent upon fear and tedium. Don’t let them grind you down. If you really are innocent, do whatever it takes to get in front of the judge and say so. The public defender will NOT defend you, period. That’s the fact, Jack.

You’ve heard people say “you’re on my shit list.” Years ago, a friend of mine came up with an idea to actually start a Shit List.

It works like a chain letter: when you receive the letter, it will have a list of six people’s names and addresses. Copy the letter, but remove the first person from the top of the list and add somebody you despise to the bottom. DO NOT put your own name anywhere on the list!!! Mail your copies to six of your friends. Now, the important part: grab a half-dozen Zip-Lock sandwich bags and go to a local park where people walk their dogs. Turn a bag inside-out and put it on your hand like a glove. Find a fresh lump of doggy-doo, and pick it up with the bag. Turn the bag right-side-out over the pasture pastry. Put the bag on the ground and gently step on it until it’s squished flat and all the air is out of the bag. Do this carefully to make sure that the poo doesn’t go out past the seal. Seal the bag. Repeat the procedure until all six bags are full. Take the steaming packets of used Alpo home and put each one in a mailing envelope. Mail one to each name on the list.

If everybody who receives a letter does this, the people on the list will each receive hundreds of pounds of stinky-doody in their mailboxes. They will all know conclusively that they are on SOMEBODY’s Shit List.

NOTE: I’m not endorsing or encouraging this practice, and I’m in no way responsible for any consequence that may occur if anybody actually does it. I merely mention the idea for informational purposes.

That’s enough of that. Maybe this week I’ll get a notebook and actually have an idea for an actual rant next time.

Carry on.

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