“Godzilla is outside and ready to destroy New Venerable Hall,” Professor Plum said as he entered the mail room. “But I’ll save you!”

He read the mail…. (More)

Chef looked out the window. “There are some tiny anoles flicking about, but I don’t see any radiation-mutant, fire-breathing giant lizards.”

Professor Plum beamed. “I told you I’d save you!”

He then left with Ms. Scarlet 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”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor groaned as he looked at a pair of black Kings and merely called the big blind. The Squirrel put in a small raise and Chef offered a pot-sized reraise. The Professor of Astrology looked at his remaining chips, shrugged, and said: “I guess I’m all-in.”

The Squirrel quickly folded and Chef flashed a pair of Tens. “I’m pretty sure your cards aren’t as bleak as you’re pretending,” she said before tossing her cards in the muck. “Nice hand.”

The Professor of Astrology Janitor scooped in the small-ish pot and began his plaintive mewling. Chef went to the kitchen to make Surprisingly Healthful Fruit Crunch Burritos, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

January 20th, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before.

At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction, that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public.

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

Donald in the White House

Dear God-King,

We note that your Apotheosis Address reminds us of a classic scene from the film The Shipping News, with Gorden Pinsent as Billy and Kevin Spacey as Quoyle:

BILLY: It’s finding the center of your story, the beating heart of it, that’s what makes a reporter. You have to start by making up some headlines. You know: short, punchy, dramatic headlines. Now, have a look, what do you see?

[Points at dark clouds at the horizon]

BILLY: Tell me the headline.

QUOYLE: Horizon Fills With Dark Clouds?

BILLY: Imminent Storm Threatens Village.

QUOYLE: But what if no storm comes?

BILLY: Village Spared From Deadly Storm.

That is, there is almost nothing true in your apocalyptic vision of the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports our current unemployment rate at 4.7%, which economists say is very near full employment, and the Census Bureau reports that median incomes are rising while poverty is falling. The U.S. still has the world’s largest economy, and we rank sixth in median household income behind only Norway, Sweden, Luxembourg, Denmark, and Finland – all ‘socialist’ Scandinavian countries – and second behind only China in manufacturing output. Our primary and secondary schools rank 14th in the world, again behind mostly Scandinavian countries, and 15 of the world’s top 20 universities are here in the U.S. Finally, both the overall and violent crime rates have been falling for decades, despite statistically predictable annual blips in certain cities.

Thus, we begrudgingly congratulate you on a brilliant con: hyping non-existent threats (“Imminent Storm Threatens Village!”) which you can then claim to have vanquished (“Village Spared From Deadly Storm!”) … even if your administration’s policies have no positive impact whatever.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Uggh. I hadn’t thought of it that way. Now I’ve almost lost my appetite.

But only almost, because I heard Chef’s breakfast recipe for today is something I could eat. So how do I make Surprisingly Healthful Fruit Crunch Burritos?

Yeah Fine It’s Me The Squirrel in Blogistan

P.S.: Shouldn’t it be “Surprisingly Healthy?”

Dear Squirrel,

Chef notes that you could indeed have a small serving of today’s breakfast. To make it, spread peanut butter on a whole-grain tortilla, sprinkle with sliced almonds, add a dollop of canned pumpkin puree, a few apple slices, and a handful of raisins, then sprinkle with cinnamon and tuck-and-roll into a burrito. Bon appétit!

P.S.: It could be “Surprisingly Healthy,” because healthy had largely replaced the more accurate healthful in common usage. But U.S. and Canadian health writers are returning to healthful to describe something that is good for your health, while healthy describes the state of someone or something’s health. The wheat, peanut plants, almond trees, pumpkins, grape vines, and cinnamon trees were probably healthy at some point. But the parts of them in this dish are no longer alive … not healthy for the parts, but still healthful for you.


Photo Credit: Michael Ngan (AFP/Getty Images)

God-King; scene from the film The Shipping News; Bureau of Labor Statistics current unemployment rate; Census Bureau median incomes while poverty is falling; world’s largest economy; sixth in median household income; second behind only China in manufacturing output; primary and secondary schools rank 14th in the world; 15 of the world’s top 20 universities are here in the U.S.; overall and violent crime rates have been falling for decades.

Surprisingly Healthful Fruit Crunch Burritos.

Healthful vs. Healthy.


Happy Sunday!