“Y’know what the world needs more of?” Professor Plum asked as he walked into the mail room. “The world needs more of whatever I’m selling.”

He read the mail. (More)

He and Ms. Scarlet then left to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”). Meanwhile, the Professor of Astrology Janitor made a final bet with his Jack and Ten of Hearts, despite Chef having called his opening, and his bet after the Ace and Six of Clubs fell with the Nine of Diamonds on the flop, and again when the Eight of Spades came on the turn. The Four of Clubs at the river denied his straight, and he tried to bluff his way out of a futile hand by representing a Club flush. When Chef promptly raised, he knew the jig was up and slid his cards into the muck. She showed him her Eight and Nine of Clubs, and he began his plaintive mewling. Chef left for the kitchen to make her Oatmeal Cranberry Breakfast Bake, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters. People that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons, that no sane person can ever possibly comprehend them. They walk among us every single day, and does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn’t planning his attack on a school, he’s already identified at this very moment?

How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame from a national media machine that rewards them with wall-to-wall attention and a sense of identity that they crave, while provoking others to try to make their mark. A dozen more killers, a hundred more? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill? The fact is this: That wouldn’t even begin to address the much larger, more lethal criminal class – killers, robbers, rapists, gang members who have spread like cancer in every community across our nation. Add another hurricane, terrorist attack, or some other natural of manmade disaster, and you’ve got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimization.

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away or from a minute away? And the National Rifle Association, as America’s preeminent trainer of law enforcement and security personnel for the past 50 years is ready, willing and uniquely qualified to help. Our training programs are the most advanced in the world. That expertise must be brought to bear to protect our schools and our children now.

Wayne in VA

Dear Wayne,

We must applaud your marketing chutzpah in using the senseless slaughter in Newtown as an opportunity to hawk your wares and those of the gun industry you represent. You employed a time-tested technique known as “selling the need,” saying little or nothing about your or the gun industry’s products, but instead trying to terrify your audience with the specter of “monsters” roaming their children’s schools or bursting into their homes. You then offer what you claim is the only solution to this society-gone-mad – “a good guy with a gun” – and even offer to be the prime contractor in any government effort to ensure every “good guy” is armed and ready to battle the “cancer” and stave off the “national nightmare of violence and victimization.”

Never mind that an armed security officer could not stop the carnage at Columbine High School, that an armed campus police force did not deter the Virginia Tech shooter, or that the entire 89th Military Police Brigade, stationed at Fort Hood, did not give that killer pause. Never mind that the grocery store parking lot in Tuscon was not a “gun free zone,” or that the armed civilian who began to intervene almost shot the unarmed civilian who had already tackled the shooter. Never mind that most “bad guys with guns” on murderous rampages are not stopped by “a good guy with a gun,” but by their own suicides. Never mind that research shows communities respond to disasters not with violent rampages but by reaching out to care for each other, the so-called “disaster utopias” that were repeated in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Never mind those facts because those facts would not sell the need for guns and ammunition and juicy government contracts for NRA training programs. You say you want to protect our children and our schools, but we find your paranoid ravings prove the opposite. You want our children, our schools, and our entire society to feel terrified and vulnerable, so they will buy your products and those of your gun industry clients. Your appearance was not a “press conference” but an informercial where the main product was fear.

We recall the words of President Franklin Roosevelt’s first Inaugural Address – “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” – and call on our nation to reject your organization, your gun industry clients … and the fear you seek to turn into profit.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

May I have Chef’s Oatmeal Cranberry Breakfast Bake recipe, please?

Courteously Hungry in Blogistan

Dear Courteously Hungry,

Chef is delighted to share the recipe. First combine 3 cups of old-fashioned oats, 1 cup of dried cranberries, ¾ cup of packed brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together 4 egg whites, 3 cups of low-fat milk, ¼ cup of canola oil, and 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract. Stir the liquid into the oat mixture until moistened, then pour the batter into a greased 13×9″ baking dish and bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes, until the oats are tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Cut into bars and serve. Bon appétit!



Wayne in VA; selling the need; armed security officer at Columbine; campus police at Virginia Tech; 89th Military Police Brigade at Fort Hood; Tuscon shooting; mass murder suicides; disaster utopias; FDR’s first Inaugural Address.


Happy Sunday!