November Letters: Elections and the hot water

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Top illustration by Tim Forkes

Happy November. If you are reading this, the election has not wrapped up yet. Trump is still putting the finishing touches on his victory parade. Well, at least that is what he is going to call it after he sends in armed troops, Hawaiian shirt clad thugs, the KKK, and all the blonde haired, blue eyed boot stompers he can rouse to clean up the protests that will break out after the fake media announces he claims to have won despite results that show otherwise.

If you are not reading this, it is because A) you have never heard of me or this column; B) my editor forgot to run it; C) your internet service has been cut off by Trump as part of his national lockdown to prevent the spread of a virus known as Democracy; or D) all of the above.

It is that time of the month again where for a week, LAPX punishes its fans with a reminder that not everyone who writes for them is worth their weight in White House Christmas decorations.  Fear not, this will pass, and you will be given a nice reprieve until next month’s visit from me.

Now, let’s read some fan mail.

Dear Jim,
Now that the election is almost over, can you please tell me what is actually wrong with this nation? Why is it we can’t seem to join the 21st century? Are we a nation spinning its wheels in the mud or are we accomplishing something good?
Thanks. Just Wondering

Dear JW,

I think our problems can be summed up in hot water heaters.  Let me explain.

This past month, my wife and I had an eight-dollar part go bad on our seven-year-old hot water heater. Unfortunately, no one carries that eight-dollar part by itself. Instead, for seventy bucks, I could purchase the larger unit it was a part of, but it meant going two weeks without a hot water heater while we waited for delivery. However, I could purchase a brand-new hot water heater and have it installed the same day for roughly 100 times the cost of the eight-dollar part.

If I was poor, I would wait the two weeks and hope nothing more important like food demands the seventy bucks for the unit that has the part I need. If I was rich, I would buy a new hot water heater and don’t give it a thought. However, if you are somewhere in between like me, you see how many days you can get by taking a sponge bath using hot water from your Keurig before breaking down and buying a new hot water heater.

Consumer based societies like ours do not reward people who replace an eight-dollar part on a hot water heater that still has years of life left in it (the same is true about old people in our country). It demands to be fed on a constant basis and punishes you when you do not deliver by laying off workers or worse, making you feel bad about not stimulating the economy because you are too cheap or too poor to do so.

My race, my politics, my religion, or my gender were not factors in my hot water heater going on the blink. You might even be able to argue hot water is a right and not a luxury and all people should have access to affordable hot water heaters and their spare parts. But we don’t. We just care about feeding the beast and that beast does not care whether it delivers what you need nearly as much as it cares about taking as much from you as it can.

Dear Jim,
Election day is almost here. Won’t it be great to wake up Wednesday morning knowing who is in charge for the next four years?
Can’t Wait

Dear CW,

Prepare to wait. First, several states will not declare a winner until absentee ballots are counted. Next, the loser will have to contest the election primarily because either Trump will be looking to save face or Biden will not like the autocratic tactics Trump relies on to claim victory. Then come all the court battles, appeals and eventually the Supreme Court. This does not include the demonstrations, counter demonstrations, and riot police called in to dispel protesters. It also assumes the Supreme Court will come to a decision that the president likes, the military will support El Presidente’, or if there will even be enough people left alive to govern after COVID runs through our communities.

Dear Jim,
Are the polls accurate this time? Do you have any polls you rely on more than the others? It seems Biden is a sure thing. What are your thoughts?
An Anxious Voter

Dear AV,

There are too many polls to know which ones are accurate and which are not. However, looking at common results from polls conducted in different ways will yield more accurate predicted outcomes. As for me, I prefer to cut out multiple photos of the two candidates, place them on our floors throughout the house and then count which ones my five dogs pee and poop on. Peeing is a yes vote for that candidate while pooping is a no vote for him.

This year’s results show our orange faced president looking mighty brown. Biden in a landslide.

Dear Jim,
You were wrong about basketball and baseball. Both sports completed their seasons despite the coronavirus. Have you changed your mind about football, or do you still believe COVID-19 will ruin their season?
Big Sports Fan

Dear Big,

Dodgers Third Baseman Justin Turner
(Claudia Gestro)

First off, the NBA and MLB did not have complete seasons. The NBA took a few months off to see how COVID played out and to make sure Lebron James had time to rest up for the playoffs. When the season resumed, the NBA told several teams they are not invited because they are worse than most local YMCA champions. All the NBA did was hold a tournament with the goal of getting Lebron another title and to honor the memory of Kobe Bryant. Mission accomplished. I have no doubt next season will be interrupted enough to where if it resumes, another bubble tournament will be held.

As for MLB, they finally did what I have been calling for: A 60 game season is all that is needed. Their playoffs went off without a hitch until the second inning of game six of the World Series. This is when the league learned Justin Turner tested positive for COVID. It’s also when we learned it takes the league five more innings to figure out the phone number to the Dodgers dugout so they can tell Dave Roberts to pull the hairiest ginger on the planet.

What happens if the Rays won game six and the Dodgers have a dozen guys test positive thanks to Justin’s inability to socially distance himself?  Does game seven become an old timers game with Orel Hershiser taking the mound and Tommy Lasorda cussing up a storm in an empty stadium?

Sorry, but the moment MLB knew of the positive test, the fix was in for the Rays. Baseball was not about to deal with a game seven decided by a medical test.

Dear Jim,
I’m not sure if you have been asked this before, but would you mind telling me which horror film character you find the scariest? Given that Halloween just passed, I thought it might be nice for you to comment.
Thanks.Film Buff

Dear FB,

I suppose you are referring to the likes of Freddy, Jason, Chuckie, It’s a difficult question for me to answer primarily because I do not watch horror films. I think the last one I watched was when I was 15 and it was something I found funny, The Exorcist. Apparently, it is not polite to laugh during a film that scares the crap out of everyone else. Sorry, but I found Linda Blair to be funny. Whoever the Exorcist was, he was scarier. Imagine parents inviting a dude like him into your home to straighten up your teenage problem child? It didn’t work when my parents did it to me and it didn’t turn out well in the film.

I have never been one to trust crows ever since seeing Hitchcock’s The Birds. Those feathered bastards are more of a nuisance, however, than something to fear. A good BB gun is all you need to keep them at bay.

When you think about it, Pee Wee Herman was not someone to trifle with. Neither was Wilson, the volleyball from Castaway, or the preacher from Footloose.

Still, they all pale in comparison to the horror trio known as The Three Assholes of the GOP, Donny, Mike, and Mitch. You see, with these three, you do not have to do anything stupid like hide in a garage, walk down into a basement, or seek shelter inside a phone booth for them to kill you. You just need to be born and if they do not like your skin color, religion, sexual preference, or politics, they will go to any length to hunt you down and destroy your life and the lives of your loved ones.

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And there you have it, another monthly visit from a guy you wish would stop showing up. I hope all of you vote, twice if possible because who doesn’t love gaming the system?  I will be busy this month. I already have plans for my new hot water heater going on the fritz, finding enough SPAM I can use to make look like a Thanksgiving turkey, and finding a nice set of ear plugs so I don’t hear my dogs bark when Trump’s peace keeping forces knock down my front door (Hey, Don, if you give me a date and eight-hour window for when you will show up, I will leave the door unlocked).