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ARE YOU YOUR BROTHER’S KEEPER—YOU BET YOUR SORRY ASS, YOU ARE!

Cartoon used by permission: Mask mandate by Bruce Plante, Tulsa World

My pandemic body and mind are messing with my dreams.  In most of my dreams, I’m trying to escape from a frighteningly amorphous “unidentifiable something,” but at other times I have alternate-world movie-dreams that are crystal clear in which I wish would come true (like I’m 30 years old, look like Halle Berry, have the voice of Audra McDonald, and can eat anything I want).  I think these dreams or nightmares have a lot to do with the news I’ve consumed during the day mixed with what I’ve eaten for dinner and how soon I fall asleep after said consumption.

Last night I made the most amazing Keto lasagna sans pasta with extra, extra cheese (keep in mind that I’m lactose intolerant), hot Italian sausage, eggplant slices, and the perfect marinara sauce.  It was the kind of ooey-gooey pleasure that you just know will create demons of indigestion exploding from your butt at the pitch and rhythm of Army taps while setting your esophagus on fire straight up from your tummy to your hair follicles, as visions of cheese balls dance in your head.

I went to bed much too early following my sumptuous repast, but a massive thunderstorm (keep in mind that I am deathly afraid of thunderstorms) settled over my house and rather than pace the floor in terror like a traumatized puppy, I plugged in my sound machine and my iPod featuring endless Barbra Streisand songs, and promptly fell asleep. So it was that I dreamt of a land where the MAGA Christians suddenly woke up as if from a nightmare and all simultaneously burned their red hats in massive bonfires across the land in exchange for bracelets that bore the initials WWJD: What Would Jesus Do?

Cartoon used by permission: 240874  Masks a miracle cure by Dave Whamond Canada PoliticalCartoons com

“Ooh, ooh, ooh, I know,” said one very White Evangelical Christian. “Jesus would wear a mask during these times, even as he preached, and be a leader who set an example of the right thing to do for the good of all the people. After all, it was Jesus who said: ‘The second most important command is this: Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself.’”

Another White Evangelical WWJD bracelet wearer chimed in with a Bible verse of love that she seemed to have learned long ago but had forgotten until her head was set free from the tyranny of the MAGA hat—”I am positive that Jesus would wear a mask at all times and encourage all his followers to do so because he said: ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for me.'”

“Jiminy-Crickets, why don’t we show America how it should be done?” said a White Evangelical grandma.  “Sugar, we should all wear masks to protect our fellow human beings—our neighbors—our countrymen because wasn’t it Jesus who said: ‘So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.’”

The dream was so sweet and hopeful. Just when I was feeling all kumbaya in my alternate world, a thunder clap woke me at 3:00 a.m. and slammed me back into the real world. It sounded as if the Earth split in half.  Unable to get back to my happy place dream, I got out of bed, made myself a cup of tea, and checked the news feed on my phone:

“The one area where white evangelicals fall far behind? Mask wearing. A white evangelical under the age of 35 is 13 percentage points less likely to wear a mask in public than the same age group in the general population (58.7% vs. 71.8%).”—Christianity Today.

“…in America, not wearing a mask has become a political statement — and it’s a statement increasingly being made by avowedly devout Christians.”—Anthea Butler/Think

Cartoon used by permission: 241088 Maskless Bob by Monte Wolverton Battle Ground WA

Unable to go back to sleep, I googled what MAGA folks (80% of them Evangelical Christians) were doing to save the most vulnerable among us. Maybe my dream was prophetic.  Maybe they would ignore their toddler king and do the right thing—once and for all.  But what I found of their reported actions was not WWJD but WWSD: What Would Satan Do?

“I got every fuckin’ right to not wear a mask,” said a Costco customer who was asked to leave the store for not obeying their rule of “no entry without a face mask.”

Security guard (father of eight) at a Michigan Dollar Store was killed after he asked a woman to leave the store for not wearing a mask.  She left and then returned with her husband and her son and shot him dead.

Old man in a Dollar Store rubbed his snotty nose and rheumy face on the shirt of a store employee just for spite after she asked him to put on a face mask.

The Utah County Commission postponed a meeting on masks after scores of protesters packed the room—wall to wall—without wearing masks as a massive human “FU” to the commission’s mere discussion of wearing masks to protect their neighbors (isn’t this Mormon country?).

A female clerk was punched in the face three times when she told a male customer she couldn’t sell him cigarettes unless he put on a mask.

Georgia governor (anti-mask Trump sycophant) started a mask war against Atlanta’s mayor (pro-mask wearing Covid-19 survivor) by suing the mayor and the city council when the mayor requested all citizens of Atlanta wear masks to protect their family, friends, and neighbors.

Cartoon used by permission: 239371 Face Masks by Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

“What a world!  What a world! What a world!” I groaned.  Before I knew it, the sun had risen and my husband strolled into the kitchen for breakfast.  After kissing me good morning, he asked, “So how’s your ass?”

“What? How’s my ass? That’s a weird question,” I replied. 

“No, it isn’t.  I’ve been awake since 3:00 a.m. because you let off the loudest fart I’ve ever heard.  Not only was it loud but it seemed endless. (Don’t even get me started on the smell.)  In fact, I didn’t know that such a powerful sound could come out of a human being’s butt. Isn’t your a-hole in excruciating pain? I am amazed you’re able to sit on your bottom.”

“That was not a fart at 3:00 a.m., that was a massive thunder clap from the heavens,” I said.

“It was a massive thunder clap all right—straight out of your ass. It woke me up.  I half expected to look up and see you floating at the top of the bedroom ceiling.  If that had been the case, I have no idea how I would have gotten you down.  You know it was that double-cheese, veggie Keto lasagna, in case anyone is in doubt, Ms. Lactose-intolerant Lady.  So for the sake of your ass and your fellow-man (a.k.a. your husband), you might want to put that recipe on the trash heap marked: ‘The end of ET’s love affair with cheese.’  After all, what did Jesus say: ‘So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them…’  Time to give up the cheese, Babe!”

Cartoon used by permission: 240662 The End Is Near by Rick McKee CagleCartoons com

“At long last, we have made a truly game-changing scientific breakthrough in preventing the spread of COVID-19.  We have found a disease-control tool that, when used properly, can reduce transmission by somewhere between 50% and 85%.  The tool is cheap and remarkably low-tech.  You can even make one at home.” —The Power of Masks by Gavin Yamey/Time magazine

Cartoon used by permission: 239295 Mask Hamlet by Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune MN

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a humorist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival: “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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THANKSGIVING DÉTENTE GUIDELINES IN THE AGE OF TRUMP AND IMPEACHMENT

Cartoon used by permission: 231883 Thanksgiving food fight by John Darkow, Columbia Missourian

I hate to say this folks (and I sure hope I’m wrong), but I’m pretty convinced that this Thanksgiving is the calm before the storm—the last big non-religious, national family feast day—before the outbreak of the civil war next November between the MAGA nation and the Americans who value truth.  According to AAA, 55 million of us will be traveling to visit family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday.  That’s a whole lot of turkey eating and at least a solid chance for 90% of us to strangle, stab, shoot, pummel, or disinherit at least one or two very close relatives.  (That murder rate drops significantly if one belongs to a family of clones who think alike, look alike, vote alike, dress alike, and basically don’t say more than two words to each other the entire Thanksgiving meal.)  You and I are not one of them.  We know we’re headed for a civil war, put in motion by a mad king, and we think this may be the last family gathering where we can knock some sense into our Fox News watching, Donald Trump loving, science denying family.  May I make a suggestion?  Let’s call a détente (the easing of hostility or strained relations) until Monday, December 2nd.  Let’s pretend that we are one big happy national family, and our biggest problem is that we forgot to pack our stretchy pants with the elastic waistband.

Cartoon used by permission: 232153 Thanksgiving Jeopardy with Relatives by Dave Whamond Canada, PoliticalCartoon.com

THANKSGIVING DÉTENTE GUIDELINES

#1.  To make this détente function at its best, we will have to establish some ground rules, of course.  First of all, if you are hosting, it would be best to warn your guests in advance that your home will be a politic-free zone.  Those who can’t adhere to this rule need to know that the penalty will be immediate banishment.  (Even if you are all of the same political persuasion, talk about art, love, travel—anything but Trump…our hearts and minds need a freakin’ break from the Mad King.)

Thanksgiving warning, welcome to the family feast, cut out, political discussion
Cartoon used by permission: 232315 Thanksgiving Warning by Bruce Plante Tulsa World

#2. Send out homework before Thanksgiving Day to make sure your family and friends know what is at stake for their souls and the survival of your family unit if they break the détente and slip into political rancor with your T-Day guests.  Close family quarters, alcohol, turkey carving knives, and guns (would suggest you tell your guests that your home will be a gun-free zone) are a recipe for disaster when political arguments start to go down in the age of Trump.  Given the state of the scary craziness Trump has driven our nation to, it is best to know what types of family murders can occur if a mention of him and/or his antics are allowed under the Thanksgiving détente tent and tempers are not kept in check (have your guests memorize them before arrival):

Cartoon used by permission: 218351 Let’s Talk Turkey .PLEASE. by Jeff Koterba, Omaha World Herald NE

THIS IS WHAT IS AT STAKE SHOULD POLITICS HOLD SWAY ON T-DAY AT OUR FAMILY GATHERINGS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER):

Mariticide = the act of killing one’s husband or romantic partner

Patricide = the act of killing one’s father

Fratricide = the act of killing one’s brother

Sororicide = the act of killing one’s sister

Uxoricide = the act of killing one’s wife

Avunculicide = the act of killing one’s uncle

Matricide = the act of killing one’s mother

Nepoticide = the act of killing one’s nephew

Amicicide = the act of killing a friend

Vaticide = the act of killing a prophet (you never know when one of these may drop by)

Blockacide = the act of killing a Facebook friend connection

At the bottom of the pre-celebration homework page, I suggest the following quote by George Bernard Shaw be listed as a pre-dinner meditation:  “The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it.” 

Cartoon used by permission: 232294 Turkey Day by Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune MN

#3.  Upon arrival for T-Day celebration, I suggest the host or hostess prominently display a sign at the front door that says: “Abandon all cell phones, MAGA hats, Pink Pussy hats, and political T-shirts here, and park all egos out back by the garbage cans.  Only humility and grace need enter.”

Cartoon used by permission: 232308 Choosing Sides at the Holidays by Jeff Koterba Omaha World Herald NE

#4.  Consider providing party favors in the form of colorful elastic snap bands with James 1:19 inscribed upon them: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.”  Guests should be encouraged to utilize the bands whenever they feel like pummeling one of their family members by “snapping” the bands against their wrists to bring them back to their senses should they start to jeopardize the Thanksgiving détente. Finally, if you have really, really hard-headed friends and relatives, you might need to bring out the big guns with a very blatant banner draped above the dining area to help keep everyone focused:  KINDNESS AND COURTEOUSNESS TO ONE ANOTHER ARE NOT SIGNS OF WEAKNESS!

Cartoon used by permission: 218364 Thanksgiving and politics by Bruce Plante Tulsa World

I know it sounds like a bit of a cliché, but having everyone who is present say one thing they are grateful for in their own lives and about each family member to their left and right might just keep the détente going after Thanksgiving and prevent a civil war that is fast approaching on the heels of the presidential election in 2020.  After all, long after the spell that President Cheeto has cast upon our nation has been broken, and Trump is gone and forgotten, we’ll still need the love and strength of our families to pick up the pieces and rebuild a nation.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, MY PEEPS! MAY IT BE FULL OF LOVE, LAUGHTER, JOY, AND GRACE!

ENJOY MY FAVORITE VINTAGE THANKSGIVING CARTOON BY CARTOONIST RICK MCKEE

Cartoon used by permission: 140746 Thanksgiving 2013 COLOR by Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a humorist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival:  “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

Cartoon used by permission: 232313 Chosen One by Pat Bagley The Salt Lake Tribune UT

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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OH MY GOD: DONALD TRUMP SENT ME AN EASTER PRESENT!

ESSAY ON EASTER AND MINDFULNESS

I take back everything I’ve ever said about Donald Trump not knowing what he’s doing for the people of the United States and the image of Christ.  He’s an evil genius!  Also, I take back every disdainful thought I’ve ever had against the MAGA hats that put Trump in office and are keeping him there. Because of them, I’ve found a new lease on life, a calmer demeanor, and a deeper trust in God this Easter.  (Thank you, oh Crazy Orange One and your MAGA hat minions for my Easter present!)


Cartoon used by permission: Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune, UT , Cagle

My non-believing sisters and brothers, do you know what Lent is?  According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is “the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Easter observed by the Roman Catholic, Eastern, and some Protestant churches as a period of penitence and fasting,” which is to draw one closer to God by the time Easter rolls around because the resurrection of Christ from the dead is so awesome that it is every Christian’s hope that if Christ can conquer death, he can conquer every other type of evil plaguing our lives. The reason we give up things at Lent that have some control over our appetites is because we hope it will be easier to scrub off the veneer of fear and hopelessness that blinds us to the power of Christ’s resurrection help in other areas of our lives.

Well, Eureka!  The Holy Ghost gave me a revelation.  The messianic imposter in the White House had caused me to momentarily think he was indestructible, invincible, and made of Teflon (none of his sins were ever going to stick to him and bring him down), and there was absolutely nothing I could personally do about his reign and damage done to our country.  (If his Evangelical supporters are to be believed, I am not operating in God’s will by opposing the Orange One—in fact, I am a sinful little snot who will burn in Hell.)  I was full of fear (not of going to Hell, but of Trump getting away with murder, which seems so much worse than living in Hell), and that led to chronic anxiety which led to eating a gluttonous amount of chocolate-covered bon-bons washed down with buckets of mojitos (not really, but you get my point).  

I am seventy years old and counting—I cannot afford to waste any more of my days on fear and loathing.

So I had a Lenten revelation:  I need to give up Donald J. Trump, not just for Lent, but for the end of time. He is like an obnoxious, spoiled toddler who is only happy if he is absorbing all our attention every second of the day.  I no longer give him the attention he is demanding.  I have replaced thoughts about Trump with gratitude and mindfulness via meditation, and I’m letting the God of the universe fight the things I cannot control—including kicking Trump’s ass. 

I have become a mindfulness aficionado (more about this in the weeks to come).

Carrie on Pinterest

Every morning when I wake up (before I get out of bed), I thank God for what I have—not what I’ve lost. (At this age, one starts losing things, people, and memories on a daily basis as if they were pennies in a pocket full of holes.  Trust me, getting old is not for the cowardly.)  In other words, if I can still breathe, walk, see, hear, talk, and learn…it’s a good day!

Then I mediate, and the sole script of that meditation is a prayer to the God of Easter:

“I have no plans today for my life—only sketches.

Reveal to me your path—where I should go, who I should meet, what I should do.

May I be slow to anger, quick to listen, and slow to speak.

Grant me courage, wisdom, grace, mercy, and above all love for those I encounter along the way.”

It has been amazing!  No more stress, no more anxiety, and no more anger at Trump or anything else—I am as cool as an iced cucumber and I’m no longer in search of bon-bons.  (I fully believe he’s going to be flushed down the toilet of life, but I’m not worried about the if, when, how, or by whom, anymore.)  Consequently, I’ve had the most amazing encounters during the Lent season.  As you might expect, I met a Tin Man who needed a heart, a Scarecrow who needed a brain (actually this was a woman), and just recently, a Lion who needed courage.

Let me tell you about the most significant traveler I met along the way since the beginning of my new mindfulness journey.  The Lion.  He was a driver for a car service in New York City.  He was Asian, young, handsome, and spoke fairly good English. On his dashboard was a miniature picture of the Dalai Lama.  Our driver had shoulder-length black hair which sported a cocky backwards baseball cap that displayed the slogan:  “Let’s get fucked tonight!”  Since I had no intentions of doing anything that day but get to the airport on time and try to return home in one piece, I said, “Delta Terminal C, please,” and proceeded to get lost in conversation with my husband about our magnificent grandson and daughter who we had just spent a wonderful weekend with.  The driver seemed lost in thought but said nothing except an explosive “sigh” every minute or so which was very disruptive—each sigh was like the percussive sound of a steam engine.   (It was so unnerving that I almost yelled at him and said, “What the fuck is wrong with you?  Turn on some music if this is the best you can do for conversation!”  But this is the new and improved, mindfulness Eleanor, so I was not “quick to anger,” nor was I “quick to speak,” (plus, if the truth be told, I didn’t want my Uber rating to take a hit—it’s bad enough as it is!).

I thought the driver was frustrated with the traffic, and I made a mental note to give him a one-star rating where it says, “Driver was a good conversationalist” on the ratings form at the end of our destination.  After a long twenty minutes and about thirty Eeyore sighs later, we finally pulled up in front of our designated terminal.  As soon as I unbuckled my seat belt and hastily reached for the door, the driver turned around and said:  “If you had a friend whose wife was having an affair with his best friend, would you forgive her and try to make the marriage work for the sake of the kids (he has the kids), or would you take the kids and run?”  In the midst of a traffic jam with horns blaring, in front of an airport terminal, trying not to be late to catch a flight, my husband and I gave a broken-hearted lion a few minutes of counseling that I can only hope gave him the courage to let love win and try to save his marriage. (I’d like to think there was something about our mindfulness that encouraged him to open his Dalai Lama-loving heart to us…)

But one thing I’m certain of, ever since I let go of Trump and let God take over my mind and heart, I am encountering the most amazing human beings and having the most outlandish conversations.  I shall keep you posted.  In the meantime, if all the mess of Donald Trump and his minions gets you down or your life is one that makes you mourn and sigh, remember the God of Easter and his amazing resurrection life makes all good things possible, and in the words of one of my favorite authors:

“Everything will be all right in the end.

If it’s not all right, it is not yet the end.”

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, Middletown CT, Cagle

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

***


Cartoon used by permission: Dave Granlund, Minnesota, Cagle

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


 
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Posted by on April 18, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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