389. Bermuda High

Joel is off to Bermuda with the annual Veiled Bankers’ United Trust Fund Exchequer Diddlification Conference. VBUTFEDC abbreviated. Some just call it BUTFED; either way it needs to be deloused.  You have likely never heard of these tweedy, greedy money minders from small towns and medium size cities.  Once a year they meet secretly off shore to set mortgage and credit card rates at extortionist levels for poor schmucks like you and me and Bernie Sanders behind a tree to pay.

Sometimes called the Presbyterian Mafia by those in the know, these guys and gals have a lot of pull. Their weapon of choice is paper overloaded with obfuscation. They like to call it gravitas. I call it Enlarged Buttocks Syndrome. In German it’s pronounce BeegAhhhss, with a strong accent on the second syllable.

This year Elton John is going to be entertaining the money stormtroopers with his greatest, greatest hits… rumored to be getting $100,000 per song. He will perform from the deck of his yacht, anchored in international waters. He’s scheduled to sing a set of 15, under the assumed name of John Elton so that he can’t be taxed anywhere. (Don’t tell anyone, okay?) Encores are $150,000 each, according to my sources. Expect “Crocodile Rock” and “Saturday Night’s Alright” to bring the inebriated bankers off their BEEGAHHHSSES onto their etherized BEEGFEETS. Such an epic event must be held in international waters due to liability and corporate secrecy concerns also. If anyone ever found out how much money these carpetbaggers abscond with, the guillotine would be reinstituted and heads would roll like… well, like never. Still, I think a pocket sized guillotine could be great for trimming nails and sharpening pencils. Or a cheese stick cutter trinket that says, “I cut the Gouda in Bermuda”.

I am not envious, not much anyway. Okay, a little. I did call in a favor from my buddies at Andrews Air Force Base to scramble a couple of F 16s to shoot down any plane resembling VBUTFEDC’s charter, but I was a week premature in the catastrophication intercept. Captain Carl Wilco reported that his men sent a Fed Ex cargo jet into the Bermuda Triangle graveyard in flames. Pity. I have no more favors to use. Call it research without a riscence.

Reminds me of one of Elton’s songs, “Daniel” about a blind guy flying to Spain. (I don’t think he was the pilot.) His younger brother is the dramatic voice singing the song. I don’t think Elton will sing that one to the bankers. Too somber. You don’t want salty tears diluting your mojito gravitas. However, if you recall the love affair between Joel and Sheila the mule from the Grand Canyon post, I offer the following mash up with Sheila at the microphone… dim lights, heavy rouge and dark lipstick, sultry sway…

“Joel is travelling tonight at high altituda
I can see the red tail lights heading for Bermuda
Oh and I can see Joel, he’s waving goodbye
God it looks like Joel, must be the clouds in my eyes
They say Bermuda’s pretty though I’ve never been
Well Joel says it’s the best place that he’s ever seen
Oh and he should know, he’s been there enough
Lord I miss Joel, oh I miss him so much”
[Braying desperately, one hoof held against her forehead, three stomping in pain]
“Joel my muleboy you are older than me
Do you still feel the pain of the saddlesores that won’t heal
You hide your eyes, but you see more than I
Joel, you’re a star in the face of the sky”
[mule shuffle conga line with Cinco de Mayo sombreros bouncing]
 
“Joel is travelling at high altituda
I can see the red tail lights heading for Bermuda
Oh and I can see Joel waving goodbye
God it looks like Joel, must be the clouds in my eyes”
I do expect a VBUTFEDC endorsed version of “Bennie and the Jets” with Joel gassing out a lover’s reply to Sheila with Elton at the mic, substituting Sheila for Bennie and Steps for Jets. Something like this…
“Hey kids, shake it loose together
The spotlight’s hitting something
That’s been known to change the weather
We’ll kill the fatted calf tonight
So stick around
You’re gonna hear electric music
Solid walls of sound
Say, Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
Uh but they’re so spaced out, Sh- She- Sheila and the Steps
Oh but they’re weird and they’re wonderful
Oh Sheila she’s really keen
She’s got electric boots a mulehair suit
You know I read it in a magazine
Sh-Sh- Sheila and the Steps
Hey kids, plug into the faithless
Maybe they’re blinded
But Sheila makes them ageless
We shall survive, let us pour ourselves a long….
Where we fight our clients out in the streets
To find who’s right and who’s wrong
Oh Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
Uh but they’re so spaced out, Sh- Sh- Sheila and the Steps…”
Yep, I wish I could be there rockin’ the crocodile rock around the clock with Mr. Spock. But I’m back in Turtle Town drinking coffee, big shock, on a treadmill dock of routine with only one sock. See what I mean? If only I could roll like Senor Joel, Mr. Jellyroll. Holy Moly. Sholy he is the King of Whackamoley. I’d quit my dream of Olympic goalie, get totally married to Angelina Jolie. Never need to call the police on me.
But I digress. I need to  close with another Elton song for Trinitarian balance. Hmmm, wait, could it be? No. Is it Sheila bursting out of the waves, professing her undying love of her pale, faithless rider?
“I can’t light no more of your darkness
All my pictures seem to fade to black and white
I’m growing tired and time stands still before me
Frozen here on the ladder of my life
“Too late to save myself from falling
I took a chance and changed your way of life
But you misread my meaning when I met you
Closed the door and left me blinded by the light
“Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
But losing everything is like the sun going down on me
“I can’t find the right romantic line
But see me once and see the way I feel
Don’t discard me just because you think I mean you harm
But these cuts I have they need love to help them heal”
And now it’s time to say goodbye to Joel and all his friends, frolicking free on a joyous junket, where the party never ends.
 Hakuna matata, my friend.
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210. Lost

The only news story on any network is the missing Malaysian plane with 239 human beings on board and the mysteries involved thereto. Could it be terrorism or mechanical failure or a kidnapping by…well, who knows? Or could it be the beginning of a new reality t.v. show? Where are the creators of Lost and Survivor? J.J. Abrams and Mark Burnett.  Where are they and have they been interrogated, or, God forbid, kidnapped and forced to write scripts that real life perpetrators are orchestrating in real time? And what about Gilligan’s Island? Instead of a boat, we now have a plane. Still there’s a captain and a first mate. Likely there was at least one millionaire and his wife on board. A professor? Sure. A movie star?  My burritospecial sources are checking. And Mary Ann. Not there yet. Anderson Cooper has his staff researching this as well as Asian equivalents of Mary Ann and Maryanne and Marianne. I do hope that these folks come home, though it seems quite unlikely after a week has passed. This is not about the victims, may they rest in peace. Rather, I’m struck by the media frenzy and what has become the endless perseverating on hot topics in the 24 hour news era.

I don’t remember when it all started, the endless looping of video with dramatic voice overs. I’m thinking the Challenger disaster was an early example in 1986. Everyone over age 20 has the 9/11 imagery burned into their brains now. We were remotely traumatized.  Since then there was the tsunami, the Haitian earthquake, Katrina, Stormageddon, the Arab spring, the Boston bombers, and on and on and on it drones. Newsworthy? Sure, but worthy of being forever tattooed on millions of brains against our wills? No.

In the 19th century Karl Marx claimed that religion was the opiate of the masses. Karl, news flash:  It’s the news junkies who are the opiates of the masses nowadays. Each talking head seems to be strung out on speculation heroin that just isn’t strong enough to get that old 9/11 or Iraq War buzz. So they jack up both dosage and frequency, further and further dramatizing fairly simple news stories….

“Anderson, I’m talking with the bus driver who might remember picking up the bombers about six or seven years ago in Watertown on their way to middle school. Walter Hunsecker of Waltham is the driver’s name. Here’s what he said yesterday.”

[“Yeah, I’m sure it was them. They had the same backpacks on. I’m sure of it.”]

“But Anderson, later when the police interviewed Mr. Hunsecker, he identified an age reduced photo of Amelia Earhart as the older brother and in another photo gallery picked out Steven Tyler of Aerosmith in his high school yearbook picture as the younger brother, leading some to speculate that it was a cleverly perpetrated ruse by Islamic separatists in Chechneya trying to throw the Boston police off the scent. Mr. Hunsecker also claimed to be the Boston Strangler before he was taken to Brigham and Women’s Hospital for a mental exam.”

“Uh, uh, thank you, Trudy Warped, for that incredibly disturbing and possibly crucial puzzle piece in this ginormous mystery unfolding between commercials. We’ve got it covered, across the country and around the globe here at CNN. Um, where’s that James Earl Jones voice over? I miss that.

Off camera(“THIS IS CNN” in God’s voice.)

Thanks, guys. I love that bass. It’s right up there with Barry White. Uh, so, when we come back after a break, I will be interviewing Bill Murray, who as you might recall was one of the original Ghostbusters, about his insights into that green blob on Malaysian radar screens. Some say it’s a cloud, but we’ll drill down on this conundrum with one of last century’s iconic comic geniuses who has not molested any children yet, after this.”

{COMMERCIALS…5 minutes of COMMERCIALS because we have to pay for the endless stream of nauseating guests in panels of four and five, their make up and hair, their expenses, and their books, which all seem to be hawking, and the on site reporting from Micronesia to the Antarctic.}

“So, Bill, um, it seems eerily similar to the original Ghostbusters plot that some green protoplasm just suddenly shows up on Malaysian radar screens and then a fully loaded Boeing 777 goes missing without a trace.”

“Anderson, it’s sad. But if you recall in Caddyshack–‘

“I’m sorry, Bill, we have breaking news coming in from Kuala Lumpur… it’s Wolf Blitzer. Wolf, what’s it like on the ground there? I hear all sorts of popping and crackling. What’s going on? Is this some sort of Malaysian Islamic uprising?”

“Anderson, no, we are all safe. A big shout out to Bill Murray. Bill, as you know, I’m a big fan of your work, especially What About Bob? I thought you nailed that character.”

“Thanks, Wolf. I have always appreciated your keen assessment of both foreign crises and domestic talent.”

“Anderson, this entire scenario of multiple scenarios is reminiscent of Bill’s Groundhog Day.”

“Yeah, Wolf, I’m seeing the parallels all over the place. Do you think I can get any royalties, cuz this is life imitating art, so to speak. If you recall, I was a disheartened t.v. weatherman stuck in an endless time loop where every day was a repeat of itself… until I learned my exit strategy and swallowed the wisdom pill as my last resort, as Phil Connors, that is.”

“Yes, Bill, brilliant analysis as usual. And, Bill, if I might add– though I’m one of the few news junkies who is not a former attorney, I think you have a good case for royalties here. Also, I think it’s uncanny how we have repeated the same news loop for seven freakin’ days now. Remember in the movie Speed, where the authorities looped the bus video to fool the hijacker?”

“Yes, that was Sandra Bullock’s breakout movie, where she was forced to drive the bus? Wolf, are you suggesting another tie in here?  Or should I say Thai inn? Like Bangkok, yuk, yuk.”

“Bill, you’ve still got it.”

“Well, fellas, it’s time for another break before we break for more breaking news. Right back atcha! I’ll be talking with Jimmy Fallon about his thoughts on Bill Murray’s theories about Flight 370.”