Monday, November 09, 2009

Mid-Season Lineup

Hi everybody,

First off, whew! What a comeback! That wore me out for well over a month! But as the immortal writer Jack Frost once, ahem, wrote: "I have many promises to go before I sleep around".

And one promise of mine was a continuation of my Comeback Tour post. So here goes, as promised.

When we last left off, this Pug was busy "copping a plea", er, sincerely explaining why I hadn't posted all summer. Please allow me to pick up where I left off.

However, not exactly where I left off.

You see, in retrospect I realize that my last post was chock full of what some of you may perceive as "negativity". Frankly, it seems strictly to be a list of downers which served as a catalyst for my summer seclusion. And while in some so far undiscovered circles this could garner me some "pity sex", rest assured that this was not my intention. Entirely.

Rather, perhaps on a semi-conscious level it was a "cleansing" of toxic vibes that must occur before creativity can once again blossom just in time for winter.

So in the guise of that spirit I dedicate this post to one of our most positive endeavors: creativity.

And as you shall see, my hiatus from blogging did not completely consist of scampering away from the bad, but also a reaffirmation of the good. For without it, this butterfly likely never would have emerged from his humble cocoon as a PROFESSIONAL writer.

It all started back in late April when some network suits discovered this blog and approached me about applying my skills to television. As you can imagine, I was highly insulted at the suggestion that I would readily lower my standards for a quick wad of cash. And also by their unwillingness to let me keep the briefcase along with the cash.

However I was intrigued by the offer. Perhaps they came to me not unlike the Three Wise Men following the UFO to Britney Spears' house. Was this a case of divine intervention? Lord knows, I've become so weary of the other forms.

Maybe it was indeed my calling to restore originality and fresh non-cocaine-fueled* (* not until I'm successful; it's a vow I've taken) thought to a cultural outlet which has sadly lacked any genuine cultural significance for quite some time. So I turned insult into challenge; poverty into promise. And in the process, yours truly has developed a few new show concepts that you just may enjoy come January as mid-season replacements. Such as ...

Small Medium At Large

A certain Pug (whom by now we should all be uncomfortably familiar with) discovers he has Extra-Sensory Perception. And rather than taking the obvious path of ensuring he is always present for female celebrity wardrobe malfuctions and lottery outcomes, he chooses instead to use his powers to help others. The Pug alerts what is left of the unbiased media to upcoming bribes of Republican congressmen, feeds information of impending stock upticks to worthy, underfunded charities (such as public education), and warns of planned Nora Ephron films, amongst other noble pursuits.

As you can imagine, this makes him a target for retribution from an array of villians, including Rush Limbaugh, Silvia Browne and even Miss Cleo. And so our intrepid do-gooder must always remain in the shadows and on the run.

Survivor: Kanye West, Meet Kenya East

Think you're a bad-ass mo-fo here stateside? Well then we are all sure you'll do just as well in the wilds of Kenya. Hopefully for your sake we won't have to remark on how the previous seasons' survivors did a better job of, um, surviving.

There's Something About Cheney

No longer is he supposed to be serving our country, so there is no better time to come out of hiding and into the limelight. However there are a few notable differences from the film of a plagiarizingly similar name and concept. For example:

- Cheney does not look as delicious in HIS micro-skirts and other outfits as Cameron Diaz
- The Tucker character is on crutches due to being shot by Cheney on a hunting trip
- I had to remove all references to charity work
- The bleeder was shot in the crotch by Dick Cheney during a hunting trip
- Had to combine the "Woogie" character into Cheney's in order to infuse personality and increase likability with test audiences

Intervention: The Town Hall Hecklers

Was this Pug the only one to notice that virtually EVERY Town Hall Meeting heckler was unhealthy in appearance? Here's a thought: maybe if most* (* except of course for those with true disabilities) of them gave up cheap beer, overflowing nacho platters and endless cartons of smokes; perhaps even - perish the thought - occasionally choosing to park more than 10-feet away from any given building entrance, you wouldn't constantly NEED the equally bloated health care system currently in place.

(And this Pug wouldn't need to chastise you with his trademark, horrendous run-on sentences.)

Just a thought. But what do I know? I'm only one of the many dumbasses who pay into a system that I never use, and cringe at the thought of using, for fear of the hellacious lines of overindulging self-absorbed 300-pounders, hypochondriacs and yes - illegal immigrants - ahead of me.

So here is my idea. Let's take these system-clogging forms of human cholesterol and make them contestants on MY version of one of the better reality shows already out there: "The Biggest Loser". Not only would this give us an endless stream of entertainingly whiney participants; it should also reduce our health care costs via either death or improved health.

Winner gets 3-lifetime prescriptions of their choice along with tax-free, rent-free relocation of their mobile home to a Republican district.

Jon and Kate Plus Hate

No one enjoys a good train wreck like yours truly. Along with 99% of the rest of us. So why not keep this show going? All it needs is a little fine-tuning in order to make it more "accessible" to older demographics. They already have the classic / traditional large family. So all we need to do is compensate for relatively Gen-Y aspects such as the interracial couple and Kates' hairstyle. We can accomplish this with "retro" introductions such as chronic alcoholism, verbal abuse, domestic violence and the Bupkis family pack of dogs next door. Perhaps even add a prize lamp in the window that gets smashed as part of a recurring South Park ("You Killed Kenny! You bastards!") style hook.

Jurassic Park IV: The Republicans

Admit it. How many of you thought this particular movie franchise had run its course? All of us, right? Well not so fast. We're not out of predatory dinosaurs just yet. Only this variety are trapped in their own yellowing skin instead of amber. Plus curiously and instinctively they leave the rich alone, preying only on the leaner "free-range" middle-class and poor. And adding to the paranoia, based on early focus group suggestions: they are capable of reproducing asexually.

So You Think You Can Polka?

I don't have to tell you just how popular those television reality dance shows are with the viewing public. Or how popular certain "folk dancing" establishments are for a certain intoxicated Pug on a business trip and expense account. Or how the fine art of Polka dancing has been blatently ignored as the mainstream entertainment juggernaut that it should be. Picture frosty steins of beer, large-breasted women in dirndls (Polka-ing with other large-breasted women in dirndls) and Polka-Polka-Polka! Why it would only be a matter of time until Polka bars and Polish cuisine* are all the rage.

(* which should also supply more contestants for my aforementioned "Intervention" show. This is known in the industry as "symbiosis". Cha-Ching!)

MTV Crypts

A film crew shows up to the home of a new annoying celebrity* every week. Under the promise of featuring them on "MTV Cribs", the crew steps through the ruse until it's time for a break over cocktails. It soon becomes apparent to the celebrity that his/her drink has been laced with Rohypnol. The second part of the show reveals the now fully conscious and horrified celebrity in a specially designed crypt which "echos" the decor of their crib.

(* assuming we can identify / locate any)

I Am Legend: The Last Ethical Businessman

This premise should be self-explanatory. The major concern here is managing to last an entire half-season.

Are You Smarter Than An OctoMom?

You already know the answer to this question: NO, we are not. For the rest of us are apparently too stupid to parlay socially reckless behavior into serious amounts of cold, hard cash and fame.

However I was tasked with development of the proper vehicle for that fame. So here goes ...

In a bastardization of "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?", the Einsteins of NASCAR face off against OctoMom and her octets for knowledge supremacy. Categories will include "Boring Sports - 1st Grade Level" and "Methods of Birth Control - 5th Grade Level".

Shim-Pak: Carpenter by Day, Rapper by Night

From nailing the wood to delivering the goods. Is this homie on the level, or simply framed for failure?

Finding The Next Kardashian

Discovering legendary cultural and entertainment talent a la the Barrymores - as Hollywood insiders will attest - is rarer than finding that hooker with a heart of gold. However just as in the case of the hooker, we should never stop trying. This reality show seeks to expedite that quest via a methodical approach based upon the most current, proven template.


I hope you enjoyed this little foray into the creative development process that we PROFESSIONAL writers go through in order to feed the public's insatiable appetite for quality placation.

Until next time, I bid you happy viewing.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Comeback Tour

Hey everybody!

What can I say? It's been one heck of a summer. Whew! Will you EVER find it in your hearts to forgive me? Will you ever find your hearts?

So many questions, I'm sure, abound from both sides of the table. Perhaps from underneath as well.

Let's start with one of mine: WHY the hell haven't some of you been posting? And don't tell me you didn't "have the time". Geez, people! You have to MAKE the time!

Okay, let me take a few of your questions.

Q: "Why haven't you posted all summer?"

A: That is not an easy question to answer, I'm afraid. For you see, it wasn't just ONE thing. There were many factors, such as ...

- Being distraught over Michael Jackson's death. As one of the "One Percenters", who openly supported "The Gloved One" BEFORE his demise, his passing hit me particularly hard. And the manner in which the details were quietly swept under the rug and completely ignored by the media (not so fast, CNN, I'm looking at you) was disgusting. After fullfilling my pledge to be one of his pallbearers (each of us wearing one glove each of course, with the other in reserve for O.J.'s funeral) and extricating myself from Janet's tight and pudgy grip, I went into seclusion.

- Finally "jostled awake" by post-election opinion backlash; forced to accept that it IS Obama - and not "W" - who is most responsible for the current economic situation, severe unemployment and the wars in the Middle East. And now he's going after our beloved health care system that some Americans, most Mexicans and all pharmaceutical companies rely upon almost exclusively for their well-being. Now I know how Charleton Heston felt when he discovered The Statue of Liberty was holding a torch instead of a rifle. It's just a matter of time until he finishes slicing through democracy and we are all reduced to lobotomized tan khaki jackbooted tree huggers. Or worse (Canadians). 8-years of getting it right, and NOW this? So then I descended into further seclusion.

- The shock of Sarah Palin's resignation as Governor of Alaska. This left a void in me, greater than any "Drill, baby, drill!" policy ever could (feel free to make all the insulting, dirty jokes at my - and Sarah's - expense that you want. We will simply have the last laugh by submitting those expenses for reimbursement out of the general budget). I could not, and cannot, bear the thought of my fantasy girl's departure from the public stage for what appears to be the very last time. So then I descended into even further seclusion.

- The cloud of suspicion I suddenly came under, in my ill-timed attempt to purchase tents and camping gear for "Puglypaloosa" just as the Antioch, California "11-year kidnapping" story was unfolding. Suddenly I couldn't visit the Berkely campus, R.E.I. store, bondage emporium or Jonas Brothers concert without my probation officer in tow. So as a result - you guessed it - I descended into yet even further seclusion.

( more to come ... please stay tuned! )


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

A Quick Note To My Loyal Readers


Hi Everybody,

So sorry for the delay. I'm not going to lie to you (this time). I could make up some elaborate and exotic excuse as to why I've been able to post only once a month, but the simple excuse is that I've been working quite a bit.

You see, when not avidly pursuing convert Taliban operatives here on the blogs (you know who you are, infidels!), I've been overseeing the last of the Guantanamo torture assignments before that little version of Camelot comes to an end.

Since waterboarding is no longer acceptable, I force the prisoners to read through Lamby's blog. Even the most hardened terrorist is reduced to a quivering blob of confessions within minutes. Excellent work, Agent Lamby.

However I must admit the solace of making America safer is sadly tempered by the realization that I'm shirking my obligations here in blogland. And of course it has completely pushed back Puglypaloosa to the summer months, where public nudity will be necessary to cope with the heat. I'm sure at least one special lady won't have a problem with that. Make that TWO special ladies. And don't even get me started on this gal. Does she ever wear clothing? Geez.

And I've been contributing to society in other ways.

For instance, someone has to reassure all of the Craigslist masseuses that most of "ad respondents" are NOT killers. So at least once a week, I visit a new one and whip that message out.

And what about "Octomom"? Someone had to track down the deadbeat dad. I have it narrowed down to either this guy

or that guy.

Bastards. They should have their tentacles cut off.

Finally, someone had to step in as a surrogate father of Bristol Palin's baby, keep the breast milk flowing, and make sure the two women in the Governor's Mansion are "appreciated". Why can't I be the Dustin Hoffman to their Anne Bancroft and Katherine Ross? I've been around enough hot abusive drunk women

and misguided debutantes

to know the ropes.

Anyhoo, I just wanted to drop this quick little note to let you know I haven't forgotten you, truly do plan a new post shortly, and miss everyone.

Ciao for now, mon amis.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Road Sign Girl

by Pug Puerileuwaite

Road Sign Girl
Edge of my lane
Attention held captive
No longer the same

Blonde ponytail
Wafts nicotine
From countless smokes
Both harsh and serene

Can't help but wonder
Waiting in line
When I finally cruise past
Will your gaze meet mine

Do I need to stop
Or just slow down
Fickle mixed signals
Are you playing this clown

Please give a sign
That I should proceed
Is a trailer nearby
To do the deed

Ever you stand
Preventing wrecks
Is perchance there an interest
In the opposite sex

You make it so easy
For me to just wait
Tinted windows conceal
I masturbate

How can you stand there
Day after day
Protecting assholes
For minuscule pay

Perhaps 'cuz you know
This prince you'll soon meet
In an '82 Escort
With flip-down rear seat

And what of coworkers
Who leer and harass
Were I not late for work
I'd be kicking their ass

Do they not know you're mine
Those ignorant jerks
Only I trench and lay pipe
That's one of the perks

Is there a drug test
To get that position
Is sobriety why
You rebuff proposition

You transcend all pretension
My diamond and pearl
Had I crappy suspension
You'd be rockin' my world

I admire your dignity
And also your grace
Despite the occasional
Beverage in face

Is there a place for us
Where we love and we function
No longer constricted
By constraints of construction

Alas I must go, love
In haste and in sorrow
For our paths lead apart
At least 'til tomorrow

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Our Day Will Come

Hi everybody,

Are you all as excited about the impending arrival of Puglypaloosa as yours truly? Every day I find myself wondering just how much longer until the blessed event. Well perhaps we can pass the time with a post or two, just to ease the tension in a refreshingly non-sexual way.

So here goes.

I'm delighted to inform that the creative juices (in today's case: north of the equator) are flowing once again, and inspiration is striking in both frequent and fortuitous fashion. This morning the lightning rod for epiphany was in the form of a segment on that bastion of nerds and bane of Republicans: National Public Radio.

The subject of discussion was Claudette Colvin, a 15-year old student who boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama on March 2, 1955 and refused to give up her seat to a white man. Colvin was handcuffed, arrested and forcibly removed from the bus, all while screaming that her Constitutional rights were being violated.

Now some of you are probably thinking, "Big deal; didn't Rosa Parks already make history with the very same act of defiance in the face of indigity?". But - get this - Claudette Colvin did it ALMOST NINE MONTHS TO THE DAY BEFORE Rosa Parks became a legendary civil rights pioneer, for doing the exact same thing.

Claudette Colvin was still a young girl. Rosa Parks: a distinguished and refined lady. Soon after her incident, Claudette became pregnant. Rosa Parks was clearly the more publicly presentable and therefore stronger image of unfair oppression, and so when she refused to surrender her place of rest on December 1, 1955, it was Ms. Parks who served as the catalyst for social revolution.

To her credit, Claudette Colvin understood why this had to be. And I greatly admire her for it. It was inspiring to learn of Ms. Colvin's story, and of the altruistic pragmatism in her quiet acceptance of obscurity. We should all learn and grow from this lesson of unshackling the chains of ego in favor of common good.

Perhaps I already have.

(Nice guy? In both incidents it was an intoxicated and surly Ward Cleaver who demanded their seats.)

For recently, yours truly went through a similar yet equally galvanizing experience. Little did I know at the time the significance of the events that were about to unfold.

I must admit that - while in the moment - my emotions consisted largely of rage and disillusionment. Of this, I am profoundly ashamed.

However now, having been graced with Claudette Colvin's story, I believe I possess the clarity to properly place my own ordeal within its rightful context. And so, even though I DID pitch in for the box of donuts for which an unnamed coworker received undivided adulation, I intend to go forward in life with the understanding that anonymous contribution can be it's own reward.

And if this is truly not my destiny, next time I can pick up the donuts and pee on the ones that are for the others.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Pug Harvey News and Comment


Good morning fellow Americans,

Before we officially commence Puglypaloosa, as a proud American I must first pay homage to another proud American who recently passed.

"This is Paul Harvey." For decades, that familiar phrase signaled our momentary daily departure to a bygone era of conservative values, homespun anecdotes, and shameless commercial segues.

"In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these." More than just a throwaway line originally intended to freak out stoners, nuggets of this ilk were a ubiquitous feature of Mr. Harvey's radio broadcasts. And for those of us who are nutty enough to not need chemical assistance in order to cope, these gems served a secondary role in reassuring us that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It's true.

And so it was that when Paul Harvey died recently at age 90, after more than 75 years in radio, he left a hole that won't easily be filled. And speaking of holes that can be difficult to fill, be sure to visit one of the many fine legal brothels the next time you find yourself in Nevada. Be sure to tell them Pug Harvey sent you.

One did not always have to agree with Harvey to find him a radio entertainer of the highest quality. And friends, when it comes to quality, there is no finer cocaine than Columbia's Finest. So be sure to ask for it by name wherever illegal narcotics are sold.

A salesman for himself and his vision of the American dream, Paul Harvey was also a master peddler of many products, whose makers were as loyal to him as his listeners were. And speaking of vision: when was the last time you had YOUR vision checked? Be sure to "see" a registered Optometrist.

Page 2.

Recently I received a letter from a long-time reader who confided that his marriage was lacking its former "pizzazz", and wondered if I could discretely give him some advice. I did not even hesitate to let him know that there is only ONE place to go in order to spice up his sanctimonious union. Wait. Actually there are two.

Which reminds me that many of us occasionally suffer from painful, embarrassing itching; probably as a result of our active lifestyles (see previous paragraph). It is for folks like us that the good people at Proctor and Gamble have developed ointments to alleviate the discomfort, and get us back in the saddle again.

Paul Harvey will be missed by many after his sudden and completely unexpected passing at age 90. It serves to remind us all that we can truly go at any time. Although for some of us with enlarged prostates,
we cannot go at any time. This is why I have referred a steady stream of friends to the FLOMAX website. Put your prostate in their capable hands today.

Some may remark that Mr. Harvey lived a full and rich life, which he did indeed. And they may go on further to say that - at age 90 - he was an antique. To which I would respectfully respond that he was more of an heirloom, and that his recordings and our fond memories shall live on. The classics never go out of style. Much like the classic antiques that you'll find at Leelee's shoppe.

And now you know ... the rest of the story. I want to thank all of you who have been patient and loyal during what turned out to be an extended vacation. I am back, renewed, invigorated, and looking forward to Puglypaloosa. Until then, I bid you ... good ... day!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Special Announcement!

Hi everybody,

Wow! I forgot how easy it is to create a NEW post! You simply TYPE as you transcribe at least ONE of the voices in your head! It's THAT easy!

Okay. I've calmed down a bit. I thought I'd interrupt my "regular" schedule of "Resolutions for Others" to make a SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

I'm all riled up again! Sorry! Please forgive me, assuming you can search somewhere in those cold black hearts of yours to locate that gesture! Sorry again! That was totally uncalled for in the majority of cases!

Okay. Without further ado, I would like to announce ...


That's right! My VERY OWN festival!

Let's take some of the inevitable questions in advance:

"Will human sacrifice be involved? Because I have a list handy." - GirlGoyle a.k.a. Ed

"Won't this just be a cheesy recreation of 'Lambypaloosa'? Been there, done that. No pullin' the wool over these eyes a second time. BTW, I need my skirt back." - Jin

"Can I go topless in the crowd? Otherwise I may have other obligations." - Serena

"I see you have finally sold out. I KNEW this would happen with liberals now in charge." - Sparring K9

"The current Canadian-to-U.S. dollar exchange rate is 1.2578 : 1. If you're going to do this please hurry so I can attend." - /t.

"This may just be the ticket to me visiting your stupid blog again. Will it be good for once? Will there be booze? Please answer the 2nd question first." - Party Girl

"Not if there's nudity." - Pud

"Will it be tasteful and embrace everyone in the spirit of friendship and tolerance? Also, will there be a Nachos Tent?" - Dianne

"Is there any possibility that it will consist of huge crowds with people packed like sardines; sandals and mopeds serving as the only sources of transportation? Plus will it smell of squid? I like to feel at home. Plus, any chance of fisticuffs? It's been a while ..." - NYD

"Your festival sucks. I will NOT be attending. Oh wait. This is supposed to be a question. Unlike some of the other dumbasses, I shall comply. Okay here goes: will anyone at the festival NOT be gay?" - Mighty Dyckerson

"As I write this, I am unsure of what /t.'s question will be. But I am certain it will have me LOL at /t." - Enemy

"ANYTHING to escape this LIVING ABSOLUTE HELLHOLE of a small town I am trapped in. Even it's your LIVING ABSOLUTE HELLHOLE of a festival. As long as it's not taking place here in the same LIVING ABSOLUTE HELLHOLE of a small town I am trapped in. It IS, isn't it? I KNEW it. F*ck." - Sassy

"I've never been to one of these things. There is a prayer service and a collection for the homeless, right?" - Lamby

"If it's a cross between "Burning Man" and "The Lottery", count me in." - Boneman

"Will I have unrestricted access as "Official Photographer"? I don't want to lead you on, but there is always the chance I could become the Linda Eastman to your Paul McCartney." - Foam

"I have extra curtain fabric from my kids' "basement oasis" project. I can provide the curtains to hide the shame of the rampant fornication that's sure to take place from the opening act onwards." - Helene a.k.a. Kate

"Sex AND drugs AND Rock'n'Roll? I am SO there!" - Leelee

"Don't have public showers where men can bathe together. Trust me on this." - Cathy

"Sex at your event is one thing I haven't crossed off of my list! See you there!" - RevRee

"I've heard that your event will make the film "Midnight Express" seem like the Disney version of a Turkish prison, only with poorer quality hashish." - Bespelled

"Your blog may have "jumped the shark" with this promotion. Unless you actually have a "Pug Jumps the Shark" event. Then it would be SO cool!" - Anonymous from California

I will field more of your questions in the comments section (pics to be added BTW). I hope to see all of you real soon at THE FIRST ANNUAL PUGLYPALOOSA!!!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Resolutions for Others: #2

Hi everybody,

The first thing I will ask you to do is click the play button on the music machine to your right.

Okay, now we're cookin'.

We're all WAY "politicked off" by now, so I'll keep today's resolution short and bittersweet.

Today's resolution is simple: let's be careful from here on out who we elect to run the country.

NEVER again. Peace out.


"ANY job that one is INCAPABLE of performing, can be considered a TOUGH job. Doesn't matter if we're talking about W's Presidency or even Yours Truly in the bedroom."

- Pug Puerileuwaite, in an excerpt from his interview with Larry King


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Resolutions for Others: #1

Hi everybody!

Sorry for the belated post, and welcome to 2009 here at Why Oh Why. I have a crapload of exciting new post ideas to assault your senses with in the coming weeks and months.

But first I wanted to linger in the spirit of the new year by officially designating the remaining days of January for resolutions.

Not to worry. These aren't for me. Been there, failed that, have the post to prove it. What a disaster that turned out to be.

No, rather these are for a few select corporations and individuals to adopt and become the better for it. So here goes.

Resolution #1: Less humans manning the checkouts

I first noticed this phenomenon at one and then all of my 10-local Home Depot stores. For those who may be unfamiliar, Home Depot is a vast chain of massive home improvement centers with armies of employees who are skilled in the art of avoiding us during our visits.

But until a year or so previous, we could rest assured there would be at least two unfortunate short-straw drawing humanoids shackled to their "strategically placed furthest from the exit doors" posts amongst the vast ocean of checkouts, anxious to avoid any semblance of sincere interaction as they converted our patience, funds and remaining dignity into commerce.

Then one day a couple of lanes appeared like weeds in the consumerist garden of mixed metaphors. The "Self Checkout" had emerged, seeking its projected margin of fluorescent light in the zero-sum soil of DIY retail.

While initially an exotic curiosity, these new lanes quickly proved doldrumic Sargasso Seas (for those keeping track, we're back to oceans/seas and away from gardens for the moment) from which easy escape would prove futile.

Expecting the average consumer with an IQ of 70 to scan and follow instructions is a recipe for disaster. Adding a demonic intelligence that anticipates a scanned item (at a pre-calculated weight) being placed into a bag on a scale at THE PRECISE MOMENT, just adds to the fun.

MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR WRETCHED SOUL if you neglect to place the item into the bag as (and when) directed, or if you sneeze in the direction of the bag, or if you place the sample that you brought along for comparison into the bag. Or if your nut sac accidentally rests onto the scale next to the bag.

Anyhoo, I chalked up this disturbing new "innovation" as an isolated annoyance to be avoided by shopping at the competition, and gave it no further thought.

Then Walmart followed suit. Gone were the humans. Replaced by these same hellish point-of-sale gauntlets.

In partial fairness, there typically IS one actual person per lane (consisting of 2-or-4 self-checkouts each) who is on-hand to assist the 10-out-of-10 shoppers who experience difficulty. This person is usually benevolent and even helpful: correcting overages, pointing out that one's nut sac accounted for the erroneous grapes line item, and in general slyly training us for a job that this machine has already taken.

And so it appears to be just a matter of time before every big-box retail location in our universe consists purely of self-checkouts.

The First Self-Checkout?

But why stop there?

I propose a resolution to eliminate those obsolete, helpful humans who misguidedly try to save us from ourselves. Let's make the checkout process 100% free of carbon-based lifeforms.

As such, I recommend that each retail location install a self-aware supercomputer similar in concept and identical in name to "Hal" from "2001: A Space Odyssey". "Hal" will be responsible for overseeing the checkout process. If you fail to properly follow directions, a jolt of electricity is conducted through your body into the grid below.

Attempting to abandon your transaction and flee the store? Hal also controls the exit doors. And the heating/cooling system. And the oxygen supply.

In fact, Hal is SO self-aware, there no longer remains a commerce locale in existence with which he is not in constant communication. Hal knows the parameters of consumer brand loyalty. He sets those parameters.

And perhaps, just perhaps, he makes us more aware - and therefore better - consumers.