Monday, February 15, 2010

Things That Chap My Ass About Presidents Day

This arrived yesterday.


Butt Paste*. 

Apparently for my chapped ass.

Good timing, considering that I’m finding this day particularly ass chapping.


First, my computer is running glacially slow.  It’s because Microsoft wants to install updates on my machine and I won’t let it.  After a couple of days of being denied, the update process begins stealing clock cycles in an effort to force you to reboot by slowing your machine down to a crawl. THIS PISSES ME OFF. Fuck you, Microsoft, I’ll reboot my computer when I’m damned good and ready and until then you can jam your updates right up your collective colons.  In fact, if you keep pestering me, I will never reboot. Because I’m like that.  I just killed the update process via the task manager and you know what? I’m not going to do the updates for another week, maybe two. Suck on that, Bill.

Second, as you might have noticed, I blew up that beautiful spalted birch bowl this morning in the shop.  I was trying a technique advocated by a “professional” wood turner. You know what?  Screw him. I’ll continue to do it my way, thanks.  My way doesn’t blow up bowls.

Third, it’s raining.  In February. In Alaska. It’s 37 degrees out and raining.  Walking from the shop to the house is worth your life.  I just know I’m going to slip and land on my bad shoulder.  This is making my ass more chapped than usual – if that’s possible.

Fourth, the idiot motorhead who lives at the bottom of the hill behind me has the day off too.  You know what that means, despite the fact that the snow is melting off because it’s raining, it’s snowmobile tune up day! Rev rev rev rev REV FUCKING REV! All goddamned day long.  I swear to God, if he doesn’t stop soon I’m going to get out my old 1000 watt tube amp and start blasting ABBA down the hill – and don’t think I won’t.  I’ve got a set of powered bullhorn speakers used for public announcing at outdoor venues, hooked up to the amp they’ll peel flesh off bone, and turn the remaining bones to jelly, at a thousand yards – with Dancing Queen blasting through them, they’ll induce mass suicide for a two mile radius, and frankly, I don’t really like my neighbors very much anyway.

Fifth, Presidents Day.  Is this a stupid holiday or what? 

Presidents Day. Seriously?

We should call it what it is, Federal Employee Paid Day Off Day or maybe Excuse For A Sale At Wal-Mart Day or Just Another Reason To Close the Post Office Day.

Presidents Day.  How stupid. What are the Presidents Day traditions?  Do we deep fry a turkey? Put up colored lights? Paint eggs? Shoot guns into the air and light off firecrackers? Nail some guy to a cross?  Burn witches?  Is there corned beef involved? What? I’m a little vague on what this day is supposed to be about.  Originally, we celebrated George Washington’s birthday.  I guess I can dig that.  George was the father of the United States, he threw a silver dollar across the Mississippi, wrestled a polar bear when he was only three wearing nothing but a coonskin cap, and fought off the Nazi’s after they bombed Pearl Harbor – or something.  OK, I’m not sure exactly what George did, but he’s Sarah Palin’s hero and that’s good enough for me. 

But that wasn’t good enough for everybody else, oh no. 

Pretty soon, people wanted the day off for their favorite President too.

So then we had Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday. That was fun, people dressed up in stovepipe hats and went to see a play… 

But pretty soon people were talking about taking the day off for Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday. And then there was Benjamin Franklin’s birthday - he was never the President, but he’s on the money and that confused a lot of people and besides he discovered electricity and that ought to be worth a couple days of drinking and tailgating and some kind of bowl game.  Pretty soon folks were talking about taking Grover Cleveland’s wedding anniversary off and going up to Big Bear for a four day weekend.

Then somebody came up with the idea of Vice President’s day, and Speaker of the House Day, and Take Your Press Secretary To Lunch Day, and Spend A Night In The Motel 6 With Your Congressional Page Day.

By the end of the 1960’s, things were just totally out of hand – there were so many holidays that the 60’s seemed like one long party. That’s where hippies came from, it wasn’t a cultural revolution, it’s just that everybody had been basically drunk for a decade (which also explains the hygiene issues).

So around about 1971, Congress sobered up long enough to create Presidents Day. Technically, it’s supposed to be Washington’s Birthday but saying that out loud started the whole “what about my president!” thing all over again.  So we just call it Presidents Day. Or President’s Day. Or Presidents’ Day – nobody is really sure what to do about the apostrophe. 

The problem with “Presidents Day” is that it is supposed to be a day we all take off and ruminate on the greatness of our leaders here in the US.  And sure, that sounds terrific in principle, but in reality there were some real duds in the ol’ Presidential line up. 


Take Marty Van Buren:


Give this guy a red rubber nose and we’re talking Bozo the Clown here.  And that’s how a lot of people felt about him.  In the 1830’s there was basically no federal banking regulation and so banks just did whatever they pleased – including handing out huge loans to people who couldn’t pay them back, ever.  A massive financial crisis resulted.  Marty was a rich elitest and liked to live the highlife, you can imagine what the average voter thought of him by the end of his first term.  Fortunately, thanks to the Fed nothing like that can happen these days.


Or how about John Tyler:


Tyler ended up in the White House by default.  President William Henry Harrison gave the longest inaugural speech in history – in the pouring rain, in freezing temperatures, without a coat or a hat – and as a result had the shortest presidency of all time when he died from pneumonia less than a month later.   Tyler, who was Vice President, was sworn in as Harrison’s replacement.  Tyler was so widely hated that he is often confused for George W. Bush by historians.  His entire cabinet resigned in protest of his policies. The House tried to impeach him and he was voted off the island by his own party.  After he was unceremoniously evicted from the Oval Office, he joined the Confederacy and died during the Civil War as a Representative of the CSA House.  Personally, I think the guy missed his calling, he could have made a killing as the “before” picture for any number of laxative manufacturers.


Do we really want to celebrate James Buchanan?


It’s creepy uncle Fester! This guy basically caused the Civil War. Be sure to raise a couple of brewskies in his memory, won’t you?


Rutherford B. Hayes:


The only President with a more sissified first name than Millard Fillmore (seriously, Millard? Were his parents just trying to get him beat up every single day of his life?). This guy lost the popular vote, but won the Presidency in court – thank God that kind of shit doesn’t go on any more.  His inauguration was actually held in secret, for fear that he’d be assassinated if he appeared in public for his swearing in.  His wife as known as Lemonade Lucy because she banned alcohol from the White House – funny, but you’d think she’d drink pretty much continuously if she had to sleep with this guy. C’mon, Lucy, give The Beard some sugar!


Then there’s Warren Harding:


Widely regarded as “The Lost Munster,” Harding is considered by most American historians as probably the only US president who can’t look at George W. Bush and say, “Well, at least I didn’t suck as much as that guy.” He was easily corrupted, an adulterer, a horrible leader, a worse public speaker, and the cause behind the Teapot Dome scandal. He died in office and the only reason anybody noticed was because shit started getting better.


How about this guy?


Actually, I’m sort of in favor of celebrating William Jefferson Clinton on Presidents Day – with a beer and a cigar and by (wink) not having sex with that woman.


And finally, how about this pudknocker?


If you call it Presidents Day, then you have to celebrate all of the presidents.

Looks like I’m going to need a bigger tube of that butt paste.


Go on, name the guy you think was the least worthy to be honored on Presidents Day.



Happy George Washington’s Birthday, folks.

Hope yours is better than mine.




* It’s Zinc Oxide, for diaper rash.  It says “Pleasant Scent.”  Seriously? Hey, Honey come over here and smell the baby’s lemony fresh ass!


  1. Well we have "family day" in Alberta so we're hanging out at home being a family. I kind of like the idea of Louis Riel Day like MB chose.

    ephro = afro on a brit.

  2. How I spent President's Day: working much harder and for longer hours than if I'd had to go to the office. Yesterday too. And the day before. Oh wait, that's the whole three-day weekend.

    Stupid fucking deadline.

    And nobody bought me chocolate either.

    What? Aren't you familiar with the tradition of giving chocolate to Federal employees on President's Day. Hmph. Sorry state of the country.

    porperf: didn't we have a few presidents like that?

  3. Ouch - I'm guessing that 'technique' involves some weird angle or pull direction that not even Gumby could recreate while playing Twister. Sucks - there are some nice lines in that piece. I hope there weren't any bruises or puntures involved. :|

    Why is it always paint that goes on sale for Prez Day? I don't remember a President Glidden...

    unisen - SenSen for everyone.

  4. What are the Presidents Day traditions?

    Furniture is sold at half price.



    didome: soccer stadium named after the late former Princess of Wales.

  5. No holiday here on the left coast - at least not an official one but that didn't seem to stop the banks from closing for the day, probably just out of spite.

    We just did Olympics instead.

    noodio - Jim's workshop with extra pasta.

  6. Presidents Day traditions? Why, dressing up as your favorite president to go to school, 'natch. (points for those of you who get the allusion)

    And Jim, nobody deserves "Dancing Queen" and skin peeling amplifications. Just shoot them. Have some kindness after all.

    prowe - what you say when you get hit with the front of the ship.

  7. Steve, I think you missed the part where I fucking hate Motorhead Guy. If it takes turning my neighbors' intestines to slurry with 1000W ABBA waves, that's a price I'm willing to pay for some peace and quiet.

    Afterward I will dance naked around the burning carcasses his 2 stroke irritants, laughing a loud maniacal laugh and shaking my little fist at the sky in triumph.

    Not that I have fantasies about this or anything.

  8. Actually, Dr. Boudreaux's buttpaste smells kinda spicy. The reason they say it smells nice is it doesn't smell like Desitin, which smells like fish, but knocks the hell out of diaper rash. Both work well, but Desitin is for the really bad stuff. Dr. Boudreaux's should do fine on your chapped ass. I've tested it throughly on my son's little butt.

    As for president's day, my friend Debbie and I revived our discussion of what designers the presidents would wear if they were cross dressers. This conversation started because of a painting in Mad Magazine called "Washington Cross-Dressing the Delaware". In it he was wearing the sweetest pink frock and pearls. Debbie and I are convinced that Washington would go for classic Dior. G.W.Bush would be in Oscar De La Renta because that's what all the woman in his family wear. Clinton and Jefferson being man whores would be Versace. Kennedy being a slightly classier man whore would be in Armani. Adams, Truman, Johnson, and Carter would buy off the rack because they really didn't care about clothes. I'll spare you further details. To the horror of our husbands these discussions can go on for hours.

    And my favorite president rarely makes any lists. As far as I know, I'm the only person who really loves James K. Polk.

  9. Ah, Harding. Apparently a second cousin twice removed or some such nonsense. A great aunt hated him because he drank in the White House. Probably should've drunken more. Rumors are still afloat that he was poisoned.

    Was nominated and elected in part because he was considered handsome and it was thought that the newly franchised women would vote for the prettier candidate. Hell, that's more governance than just saying "NO" all the time.

    Dr. Phil

    rhyslgu -- rhysglu for dyslexics. Okay, so it's a slow week for Capchas.

  10. At least the British very pragmatically call their day off in August (just because they want a day off in August) Summer Bank Holiday. No bullshit to pretend to honor the kings and queens or prime ministers or whatever.

  11. Just had to add this @Dr. Phil: "Was nominated and elected in part because he was considered handsome and it was thought that the newly franchised women would vote for the prettier candidate."

    Thank goodness today we vote entirely based on issues and not on which candidate we'd like to ... well, you know.

  12. I kept trying to call the Federal Courthouse and couldn't figure out at first why these people were not answering their phones!

    I forgot completely that is was a Federal get-out-of-work day. So I quit rushing around like a maniac trying to get things ready to go out in the mail.

    And just think...Tuesday we have Fat Tueaday & Mardi Gras!!!
    Now that they should make a national holiday!!

  13. Sigh. I'm a state employee, and would just as soon give President's Day back. Of course, this was a four-day weekend for me, last Friday being an unpaid furlough day.

    My current favorite state holiday is Cesar Chavez' birthday- properly celebrated by picking grapes.

    herye- "Herye, herye, President's Day is now officially cancelled!"

  14. That is hilarious. Thanks for the laugh.

  15. And Jim...on the ignoring the Microhell updates by telling them to go away - if you ignore them they DO NOT go away. I'd been doing that for awhile and at some point it seems they loaded themselves and I got a continious restart message.

    I was not happy with them.

    It's the same crap with Outlook archiving and removing unused desktop icons. If I wanted it done I'd do it myself.

  16. HMMMM this is a good question sir, for me it has to be Taft, he shat all over all the goodness braught on by Teddy Roosevelt (my favorite President of all time) and becaause of his selfish bullheadedness allowed Woodro Wilson (my canidate for stupidst name for a president)

    and before it's stated i know Teddy tried to kill my Marine Corps but seeing as that was one of few failures he had i can forgive it for now.

  17. Ahh... Windows is so very peaceful if you don't allow it access to the internet at all. No popups of any kind, ever. :)

    *pets the new Acer, purchased for the sole purpose of running one single-player game*

  18. By the way, will that bowl be recycled- perhaps into an extra-large birdhouse? [Who, me? Hinting?]

  19. Coming late to the party, but consider Franklin Pierce, doughface, alcoholic, doormat and the one president so bad they brought in Buchanan to clean up his mess. How bad is that?

  20. I'm playing "catch up" and Things that Chap your Ass seemed like a good place to start.

    The great city of Charlottesville, Virginia, and the esteemed county of Albemarle grant their employees April 13 as a day off. It is God's ... I mean Thomas Jefferson's ... birthday, and since he invented the area's largest employer (aka UVA, and it's offspring UVA Medical Center), I suppose this is a good thing. When I was a city employee several years ago, April 13 fell on Good Friday one year, so there was a nice long Easter Weekend. It's much less fun when April 13 falls on a Wednesday.

    1. I am also from Philadelphia and we never had Ben Franklin's birthday off. We should have probably had his death day off so we could visit his grave and throw pennies on it. (Really a thing, at least it used to be.)

      I would support Vice President's day only if it consisted of posting Dick Cheney's picture on a dart board, and we all get to shoot it with whatever we want.


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