“Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” – Mark Twain

That quote is often attributed to another bygone American wise guy, Will Rogers, but whoever actually said it, it’s wrong. Recent reports out of Hawaii show that that state has grown approximately five acres bigger just this past August thanks to the Kilauea volcano that has been popping off more than usual lately. This would seem to be unfair to the non volcanic states which have to stay the same size, but even if Mt. Washington started erupting, there isn’t any nearby ocean like they have in Hawaii, so it would just make McArdle roadway a little steeper, and those fancy restaurants couldn’t let you dine al fresco any more. Plus you might have to get the valet parking guy some first-helper greens to go bring your car back, what’s left of it.

Idler 190 B

Pennsylvania’s actually too big as it is. In fact, we should probably approach New Jersey by casually leaning against the toll booth and cracking our knuckles. Then, when they say, “What the #$%@ you lookin’ at?”, which is a common form of greeting among New Jerseyites, we can answer, “Nothin’, cause there’s nothin’ to see over there. Yinz ain’t even got a pro football team!” To which they’ll probably reply, “Yo, back up there, Mr. Rogers, what about the Giants who play in East Rutherford?” And we can say, “Nice try, Jerky Shore, but the last time I looked they were calling themselves the New York Giants, hello?” We should probably sort of wiggle our collective head a little while we say that “hello?” to make it sassier. They would probably try to change the subject at this point with some blather about how great the Rutgers tomatoes were this year, but we could get them back on Main Street by saying, “Tell you what. We have two pro football teams here in the keystone state, which gives us one to spare. You seem like nice fellows so here’s the deal: If you guys can spell Philadelphia, you can have it, and the Eagles too.” If we give them ten tries, they should be able to get it by the eighth or ninth. But if they don’t, we can just say, “Fugghedaboutit!” which is how you say, “You win” among other things in the Garden State. If necessary, we can throw in Scranton to sweeten the deal. Anyway, boom, we unloaded Philly.

Meanwhile, back in Hawaii, you’ll never guess what they’ve been up to on the big island. That’s the one actually called “Hawaii” but also the one that doesn’t have any cities or anything. It does, however, have two volcanoes on it, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. They’re also the two tallest mountains in the state. One way to remember which is which is to say that Mauna Loa is lower – by about 100 feet – than Mauna Kea. This is what is known as a mnemonic, which we can’t pronounce either.

Anyway, until just the other day NASA had six scientists parked on Mauna Loa simulating life on Mars. The barren landscape around the temporarily dormant volcano is thought to resemble Martian terrain. They’d been living in a dome shaped structure, completely cut off from the outside world, for a year. When they left the dome to roam around the barren landscape they had to wear space suits. We personally would like to volunteer for this project the next time they try it. But it would be nice if we could modify the rules a bit first. We have no problem being cut off from the news and weather reports since the weather in Hawaii is either typhoon or sensational, and all we’d probably miss about the former is electioneering. Hey, if you don’t know by now that Hillary is a crook, Donald is a lunatic and McGinty and Toomey are Wall Street shills, you must already be on Mars. (By the way, what are the odds that Toomey’s childhood nickname was “Socket”?) But would it kill them to give us some sports? If NASA is going to go hardline, how about we at least get playoff games? With the Bucs, that’s likely to be one at most. Hard to tell with the Steelers. Their season may continue to go up in smoke. Naturally we’ll need to see the Pens defense of the Cup. Also, do you think they could get us a spacesuit with a beer spout? Maybe President-elect Gary Johnson can have one flown in. We don’t think we can wait til the inauguration.

Comments – DickVerbo@hotmail.com  Also, Like “The Idler” on Facebook

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