In case you hadn’t heard, the federal government recently issued the “Absolutely Latest And Final True Dietary Guidelines Until We Issue New Ones Next Week.” Some things remain the same. Sugar is still bad, so put that doughnut down! Or, better yet, give it to me, since I’ve eaten enough sugar in my life to develop antibodies to fight the stuff. The government must have gotten a nice Christmas bonus from the National We Love Cholesterol Association because they’ve eased up on their warnings about that particular substance, though bad cholesterol is still naughty and should be sent to its room without its (low-cholesterol) supper.

But the big news is that our national nannies now approve of up to five cups a day of coffee! In my brain I have already translated “up to” to “a minimum of” because, well, “Hi, I’m Patrick, and I admit that I am powerless — not to mention shaky and jittery — when it comes to my coffee addiction.”

Since it’s The American Way to blame all our problems on our parents, I’ll blame this one on my mom. Early one Sunday, when I was home from college on vacation, my older brother, who worked as a radio station announcer, was lightly injured in a minor car accident on his way to work . Mom came into my room and started shaking me awake, saying, “Your brother’s been in an accident and you have to drive me to the hospital!” I responded with something intelligent and sensitive like “glub-glub sleep glub-glub go away,” at which point my mother held a mug of steaming liquid under my nose, and said, “Drink this.” Now, my mother made the kind of coffee that, if you didn’t watch it closely. would jump out of the cup and start running around the room. Needless to say, not only did I drive Mom to the hospital, but I made the half-hour drive in about ten minutes.

And thus began my enslavement to the black liquid. (And yes, I drink it black. If I try drinking it with sugar or cream, it literally makes me sick. Thanks, Mom.) Like the Spartans with their shields heading into battle, I would arrive at work each morning bearing my coffee thermos. When Juan Valdez and his donkey — or mule, or whatever — would appear on television I would stand and bow in homage. Prometheus brought fire to the earth, Odin gained the knowledge of the runes, Juan Valdez brings us coffee. One of my favorite inventors is the unknown (to me, anyway) person who invented the thingy that allows you to pull the carafe out of the electronic coffeemaker and pour yourself a cup while the coffeemaker is still brewing. Yay, I don’t have to wait another thirty seconds for it to finish!

I will admit that in recent years I’ve been occasionally lacing the real stuff with some decaf after grudgingly accepting the fact that caffeine affects me more than it used to. Still it’s nice to see the feds finally acknowledge the value of the Magical Brew. Just the other day I received in the mail an invitation to subscribe to some health newsletter. Included in the envelope was a pamphlet titled “51 Healthy Foods You Can Say ‘Yes’ To.”

I immediately checked to see if the pamphlet mentioned coffee. It didn’t. I threw it away.





As you may have heard, the current Powerball lottery is worth about $800 million. According to killjoy statisticians your odds against winning that money are about 292 million to one. But in actuality your odds are even worse, because I’ve already rigged it so that my number will be drawn. Yay, I win!

So how am I going to spend all that money that I’ve won fair and square, just like a government contractor? Here are some thoughts I’ve had, though I’m open to other suggestions:

$5000 for stale fruitcake, to be dropped by drones on the toy soldiers at the Oregon wildlife refuge. If they manage to dodge them they can use them for snacks.

$100,000 for high-grade weed and Doritos, to be sent to North Korean Fearless Leader Kim Jong-un. Seriously. Dude needs to chill.

$200,000 to build a wall around Donald Trump.

$3,000,000 oh what the hell, let’s build walls around all the other Republican presidential candidates as well.

And, just so Hillary, Bernie, and Martin don’t get too smug, $1,000,000 to be held in reserve for possible future walls.

Of course, some of the money should stay here in the local community. Therefore:

$20,000,000 to buy the New Belgium plant and move it into the basement of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce building.

$1,000,000 to refurbish the current site of the New Belgium plant, and turn it into a playground where local developers can take toy blocks and build hotels and office complexes to their hearts’ content. And as soon as they finish building their structures the rest of us can come by and kick them over.

$10,000,000 for a scientific study to determine how I can temporarily suspend gravity in my house when I need to. I’m having one of those days. I keep knocking things over. I’m tired of it.

And finally:

$764,695,000 to Mark Zuckerberg, so he can give away a bunch of money to every single person who shares this blog post. Really! Absolutely true!! This is not a hoax!!!

You’re welcome.




And it came to pass…

…that the Goddess of Blogging appeareth unto me and saith, “Behold, thou shouldst start a blog.” And I saith, “Wherefore shouldst I do this thing? Is not the Internet already consumed with an abundance of blogs? Yea, verily, hath not a mighty flood of blogs — a flood such as has not been seen since the days of Noah — washed over the universe of cyberspace?” And the Goddess of Blogging saith unto me, “I knew not that Noah kept a blog.” “That was not the intended meaning of my words,” saith I. “Behold, I was employing but a figure of speech.” “I now comprehend thy meaning,” saith the Goddess. “But of that magnitude of blogs to which you have made reference, there is not one of which you are the author. Behold, therein lies the difference.” “I find it difficult to refute thy logic,” saith I. “Verily, what the hell, I will attempt this thing which you have suggesteth unto me.” And the Goddess saith, “Behold, thy attitude, while not perfect, is acceptable unto me. What the hell.”

And, upon finishing this saying, the Goddess of Blogging departed from my presence, to no doubt torment some other poor soul.

And it came to pass…