This is getting frustrating. I'll bet most of you knew today was Sunday... which means you knew yesterday was Saturday, and I was supposed to write a column. Which I didn't. Who knew yesterday was Saturday? Nobody tells me anything. So I've come to a decision: As the intrepid reporter, I'll decide what today is, and you can ignore me or send $10 in the mail to thank me for clearing up your acne.
Dateline: Altoona, January 2x, 200x: Today — whatever it is — we have a special mystery guest who has provided us with the first three important news stories I'd only find by rooting through the garbage bins behind U Fong's Chinese Theater and Restaurant and Take-Out. Thank God we've got a real journalist for whom the word embarrassment simply doesn't exist.
- The Credibility Files files: Credibility. That essential je ne sais quoi without which celebrities would find themselves on thin ice that actually cracks, and they fall in. The lower the credibility, the less the chance there'll be a rescue team — or even a dog with a quick hit of hooch — nearby. Poor Britney Spears. Our fearless guest reporter, through rigorous research at a mall near his house, where he talked to four young girls before the security people threw him out — where was I? Oh yeah, he discovered that "one of Britney Spears’ most popular fan sites is ditching the Britster, making it clear that even her most ardent fans have lost faith in the superstar. WorldofBritney.com recently announced that it was closing shop due to the fact that Britney had lost credibility amongst her fans." There was something about her crotch, but all the rest had been crossed out. And he didn't get any good pictures. But Spears, whoever she is, better get off the damn ice and quickly. Thus the value of fans brave enough support this intrepid reporter, who wouldn't have found that story if someone had cut it up and paste it together and attached it to my toilet paper. God bless you, D'oh.
- The Right Before Your Eyes files: Americans are so complacent about the Internet. Finders keepers, and all that. I mean it's ours forever since an American invented it — thank you, Al Gore. But there are those who don't agree, and our star guest conductor has unearthed a plot that was right before our eyes. It turns out that those Chinese people are about to take over the Internet, Al Gore be damned. Chinese Internet use has risen 30% in the lasts year to 132 million (in a country with a population of five billion and growing so fast the guy in charge of counting them just gave up). The U.S. has 200 million people online. So, for now, we're winning, but with a total population of 300 million, the Chinese may overtake us on January 3, 2007. Talk about news you can use! One option is to ask Canada if they wouldn't mind if we took them over. They don't have that many people, but they're very nice and obedient. I'd suggest asking Mexico, but why bother asking for what we're already getting?
- If It Looks Like a Steak, and Tastes Like Steak, It Might be a Rutabaga files: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just made the least controversial decision (at least from a scientific point of view) in the history of decision making — that cloned food is okay to eat. One Portland resident (that's in Oregon) told someone, "I don't want to eat that. We have plenty of food right now that comes from the real deal. It might be safe, but I am not going to eat it." Your intrepid reporter used to say that about lots of food — even sweetbreads — but his palate has matured to the point where he'll eat anything — mudpies even. Let us ask the Lord for guidance: Lord, we need guidance... anything? Nah, me neither. Oh well, look at it this way. Pick a cow, any cow, then wave your magic twanger, froggie, and viola, two cows — genetically identical. If you mix them up, not even Donald Trump could tell them apart. Such a fuss.
- She's Gotta Have It — So Does He files: You have to give those people at Pew Research credit; I mean, these people will survey anything. And a darn good thing too, because the soft underbelly of America is only found by looking at the rather large, bulging underbellies we've developed, and most pollsters don't have the stomach for that. In mid-December, they released a poll that not only this intrepid reporter, but all the unintrepid reporters refused to cover. Simply put, "As Americans navigate increasingly crowded lives, the number of things they say they can't live without has multiplied in the past decade." Some, such as home computers, are recent innovations that have rapidly become necessities. But even the plebian items — such as microwave ovens, dishwashers, air conditioning for the home and car, and clothes dryers — have risen from luxury to necessity status. How many cars does Jay Leno need? How many more transplants should Uncle Donald endure? Why do I ask? Because here, boys and girls, is the truth about "trickle down" economics. What trickles down is the aberrant, compulsive need for things people shrugged about just five or ten minutes ago. Conspiracy? You be the judge.
So, we come to the dawn of another day drilling for dullness in the deep depressions of... I hate trying to do this alliteration shit. You could spend a lifetime at it, and I have mountains to climb before I sleep. But before I leave you, remember...