October Letters to Jim: It Really Is Spooky

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Any time a month passes where you do not end up as a lunchable for a crocodile is always a good thing. With the arrival of October, we can also take some time to marvel at the fall colors before our attention is turned to all the Black Friday sales that will begin before our Halloween pumpkins rot on our front porches.

Dear Jim,
I was wondering, if your life were a reality show, which one would it be and why?
Real Curious

Dear RC,

I know I am guilty of having watched my share of reality television over the years, but I can only think of two off the top of my head.  One is Survivor. It often feels like I am that guy who gets sent to live by himself while the world plots to take me down only to claw my way back just to get sent back to live alone again.

The other show is along the same lines, Naked and Afraid. While this show centers around two strangers who must live in the wild together buck naked for a set amount of time, in my life version, the other person drops out after a day and leaves me alone to navigate the jungles in all my glory.

While being alone will wear on a person, it also has its perks. No one complains whenever I fart. No one second guesses my decisions, and all my jokes are funny. However, both require you to learn to like who you are, which makes navigating the cruelties of the real world easier in the long run.

Dear Jim,
The numbers keep looking worse for your man Biden. There must be a plan in place for him to step down now that more Americans think he is not fit for the job of president. What would you tell voters to convince them to vote for Biden over Trump?
Getting Worried

Dear GW,

You have to understand I have a visceral hatred for Trump the human being that predates Trump the politician. I understand not everyone feels that way. I also understand American voters are not always the deepest thinkers and tend to let their wallets decide who to vote for. It took Trump only four years to feel emboldened to try and overthrow our system of government. If he wins next year, it will take him about four minutes. If you have any appreciation for the history of this nation and the work our Founding Fathers did to create a system of checks and balances, you will never consider voting for Trump.

Now, is there a plan in place that allows Biden to step down and Democrats to keep the White House? If so, I am not sure what it is.

Kamala Harris will serve as a lightning rod for anyone who still feels a woman is not up for the task of POTUS, let alone a woman of color. If you feel this way, you are also not likely to want to see Pete Buttigieg as POTUS with his husband as the first person. I am sorry, but if Joe is too old, so is Bernie. Who’s left?

Unless there is a plan in place that keeps all the different factions of the Democratic Party united while encouraging fence sitters to vote Democrat, Biden is still the best bet. That said, if Biden doesn’t run, the real question might be would it be better for him to step down now and have Harris become our president before next fall, giving her time to partner with a new VP?

Personally, I think Biden is deliberately laying low. As the election draws closer, he will demand more coverage while Trump is consumed more with trials than the actual election.

Dear Jim,
Who stands to benefit the most if Trump wins next year? It will determine whether I vote for him.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Dear NTK,
This could take a while to answer but let me toss out some obvious groups. First, and foremost is Trump. Anything and everything Trump does is for his benefit before others. Trump will issue pardons to anyone, and everyone involved in the events of January 6th as well as attempting to change the election results.
Christian Conservatives, not to be confused with actual Christians, will see more of their agenda forced onto the American people. Then there is a guy named Vladimir Putin who knows the only way for Russia to win their war with Ukraine is by Trump getting elected and pulling out ALL our support of Ukraine and NATO.
Women will no longer have a say over their bodies, the LGBTQ community will see their gains evaporate, and hate groups will have carte blanche to do Trump’s dirtiest work. Finally, individual states will have to decide once and for all whether to hold on to the ideals this nation was built on or to scrap them and form a separate country.

Dear Jim,
Help! I have three teenage kids and they have all said the only thing they want for Christmas is a new iPhone 15. If I oblige them, they will feel disappointed they did not get any other gifts. However, if I ignore their wish and stick to the usual gift giving, they will tell me how they would have preferred to just get a new phone. Is there another option?
Dreading Christmas

Dear Dreading,

Place the three names of your teens into a hat and then mix them up really good. Then draw out the first name and announce they are going to receive a new phone for Christmas. Next, select the secons name and announce they are receiving the usual assortment of gifts for Christmas. Finally, the last name. Let that person know they will receive next year’s new iPhone for Christmas, but nothing for this Christmas. Then on Christmas morning, tell the kids you forgot who won what, so you decided to give each a gift card. Once the dust settles, open up a gift from Santa to you and show off your new iPhone 15.

If mom ain’t happy, nobody else is.

Dear Jim,
The NFL announced that Usher will be the halftime performer at the Super Bowl(LVIII). How well received will he be? Who would you like to see perform?
Usher Fan

Dear UF,

I think a song and dance review by ushers is a nice way to honor those who work at stadiums. Perhaps add a number from the ball boys, along with a tag team caged fight between team mascots and peanut vendors, and you have a nice bit of variety.

Here is what is going to have to happen for me to watch the Super Bowl, let alone the halftime show. I am either going to have to purchase a flatscreen and cable/streaming source or worse, attend a Super Bowl viewing party. One involves spending money and the other requires tolerating people who talk during the game and then pay attention when commercials run.

I might be tempted, if my editor, Tim Forkes, will okay the expenses, to book a room at a hotel and see if I can duplicate the feat of Hunter S. Thompson by kidnapping hotel staff and playing the game in real time inside my room.
Editor’s Note: Whatever the expenses might be, you will have to round up all the trendy chemical amusement aids yourself. If there is a Raul in your life, give him a call.

Katy Perry performing at Super Bowl LVIX (Claudia Gestro)

Dear Jim,
The Writers Guild of America finally settled their strike. Can you tell me what their complaints were and why it took so long for them to settle?
Hollywood Watcher

Dear HW,

Studio execs are as stumped as you when it comes to the sticking points of this strike. Apparently, writers refused to write a list of their wishes, so negotiations got nowhere. Once they wrote a list of demands, Bic pens, post it notes, and legal pads provided by the studios, the strike was settled.

Dear Jim,
Is artificial intelligence something we need to fear? Once it becomes part of the mainstream, what do we invent next to make AI seem obsolete?
AI Worried

Dear AI Worried,

Man seems determined to create alternatives to the real world, in large part, because we can’t be bothered with fixing what we have already destroyed. Most of the world languishes between struggling to keep afloat to desiring everything and everything the wealthy have without having to do all the work.

Perhaps man’s first foray into an alternative world was the creation of inflatable sex dolls and sex toys, presumably to offer a pleasant distraction from our stale lives. Then we realized kids’ lives suck almost as much as sexually frustrated adults, so we invented video games that provided impressionable minds access to worlds never imagined.

At about this same time, we began to see the usefulness of robots on assembly lines which not only put people out of work, but it also created a need for new ways of eking out an existence. Along comes the internet and these sad saps replaced by robots are now learning it is easier and more enjoyable stealing the identities of actual hardworking people, selling bogus ideas online, and dating people who post fake profiles.

Virtual reality then allowed people to walk around wearing sci-fi looking headgear while interacting in a world they could control with their actions.  The fact you had to do this in the musty smelling basement of your parents’ home did not matter, as long as you had enough Doritos and diet soda, you were happy.

While all of this has unfolded, the world has gone to shit. The planet is in disrepair, half the world’s wealth is in the hands of a few very wealthy and powerful people, and man seems to have just given up and handed their futures over to something we call Artificial Intelligence. Man is determined to become known as an Artificial Species. When we cease to be needed, we will become consumed by whatever real species remain.

I have no idea what lies beyond AI. However, if I had to guess, whatever it is will be more artificial than the world we currently inhabit. I just know I can’t be bothered because I am busily trying to create AC, Artificial Caskets. It seems a lot of people do not like the idea of being cremated so why not make caskets that naturally decompose? I’d fill mine up with flower seeds with the hope that when I die, I literally am left pushing up daisies.

Prediction Time: As far as I know, I was not contacted by Melania Trump on a dating site as I predicted I would last month. However, I do believe her son Barron tried contacting me through a fake profile.

For October, I am predicting the GOP replaces Donald Trump at their debates with Deion Sanders. He will walk and talk circles around GOP candidates mainly because he no longer has all of his toes on one foot. Sanders will then rely on the transfer portal to woo disenchanted voters to the GOP nomination before he realizes there is less work and more money in being a college football coach than there is in being POTUS.