* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we readily confess we have always been Marxists -- of the Groucho, Harpo and Chico variety. Hey, we even like Zeppo! Listen in as Jon Sindell imagines a dialectical conversation that we can only wish would take place.

The Duck Soup Manifesto

By:
jsind@sbcglobal.net
jonsindell.com

Join us on the set as Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Karl Marx rehearse their lines…

Groucho (in lovelorn fashion to corpulent, wealthy dowager): I can see you now, bending over a hot stove when I come home from work. But I can’t see the stove!

Dowager (batting eyelashes and smiling demurely): Do you really mean to suggest, Professor, that you wish to marry me?

Karl (enraged): Of course he would like to marry you, decadent capitalist pig! He has been indoctrinated by his overlords of the ruling class to believe in the decrepit bourgeois institution known as marriage as part of their cynical scheme to keep the masses from dedicating themselves to the collective good!

Harpo: (honks horn at Karl, goofily grinning)

Karl (to Harpo): And you, half-witted stooge of the ruling class, make light of the deprivations of the proletariat by affecting ragged attire to achieve a puerile comic effect!

Harpo: (flutters eyelids and leans lovingly into Karl)

Karl: Get off me, you stinking bum!

Harpo suddenly recalls that he has a smelly fish in his overcoat. He produces the fish by the tail, screws up his nose in disgust, tosses it aside, and places a clothespin on Karl’s nose.

Karl: Idiot! Are you too dense to comprehend that the proletariat can scarcely afford fish because the exploitation of the fisherman’s labor, which the capitalists call “profit,” renders the price of fish exorbitant? That’s an obscenely expensive sturgeon!

Chico: Atsa right. I hadda remove my whatchamacallit (points to abdomen), but the sturgeon was too expensive.

Karl (strikes his forehead with the flat of his hand): You ignoramus. Don’t you realize that the capitalists deliberately keep you uneducated so that you will remain unequipped to comprehend and overthrow the injustice of capitalism?

Chico: Well I dunno. The nun, she say I’m pretty good with my catechism.

Karl (red in the face): Capitalism, not catechism! Cap! Cap!

Harpo nods eagerly and sets a baseball cap on Karl’s head.

Karl (throwing the cap on the ground in disgust): I shall not wear a hat associated with a sport with which the American ruling class keep the proletariat diverted from their true purpose of uniting to overthrow the capitalist system.

Harpo allows the point to sink in, brightens, and sets a top hat on Karl’s head.

Karl (furiously removing top hat): Nor shall I don the ostentatious headwear of the plutocrats!

Groucho (musing): Well, I don’t know. At least it distracts from that baboon on your chin.

Karl: Baboon! I’ll have you know, dummkopf, that this beard was my constant companion as I toiled through the years in the British Museum Reading Room, formulating the labor theory of value. It sustained me through many a long, lonely, weary and, yes, hungry hour!

Harpo, using sleight of hand, extracts a hunk of cheese from Karl’s beard.

Karl: Keep your grubby paws to yourself, peasant! (turns to Groucho) This long beard, sir, is the sign of a superior intellect, of a man of great learning!

Groucho: You could’ve fooled me — I thought it was the sign of Rabbi Pinsk. Do you know Rabbi Pinsk, from Minsk?

Karl: Certainly not! Organized religion is the opiate of the masses!

Chico (shaking finger, smiling): Naw, you no fool me. Mass is for Catholics.

Harpo seizes Karl’s muffler and wraps it around his head like a nun’s headdress.

Karl: Thief! That’s my property!

Groucho (thoughtfully stroking chin): “Property is theft, property is theft.” Now where have I heard that line?

Karl (snatches muffler from Harpo): That does it! I’m through! Namesakes or not, you bourgeois boobs are nothing more than ignorant stooges of the ruling class, in mindless thrall to your capitalist masters! I leave you to chafe in your unseen chains! (Karl storms off the set)

Groucho (to his brothers): I thought he’d never leave. Where shall we eat, boys? The Brown Derby?

Harpo nods eagerly, and the three sons of poor immigrants race to the studio lot, where they enter their late-model American luxury cars and drive off to enjoy a gourmet meal of grilled sturgeon with a mushroom and thyme reduction.

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, which is often cruising for a bruising, but right now is simply cruising for a cruise, courtesy of our good friend Dan Fiorella.

#Live Tweeting My Cruise

By:
daf118@aol.com
danfiorella.com

Going on my first cruise. I can’t believe it’s here! #excited #BonVoyage

I was going to post that the food here is amazing. Turns out it was just a hot dog guy outside the port. I wasn’t on the ship yet. Fingers crossed. #HotDog

I think the cruise director used to be with Menudo.

I needed an extra towel for some…spillage. When I went to find the steward in the hall, he was talking heatedly with several other stewards. It was a stew of stewards! #LOL

What cruise companies don’t advertise is that any pool can become a wave pool if the seas are rough enough. #RidingTheWaves

The Captain announced the seas were a little choppy because we were sailing into the Gulf Stream. But our waiter at dinner insists it’s because Poseidon is angered by our “landlubber ways.” He says the captain “ought to know better” and that the chicken is “especially good tonight.”

Happy to learn there are no Legionnaires on board, so that’s one less disease to worry about! Now I just have to avoid this malaise the crew keeps muttering about. #Airborne

A big fight broke out at the poolside “Full Moon Party” tonight. It was Electric Sliders vs. Cotton Eye Joes! #TeamMacarena

I’m still upset that the karaoke guy didn’t have the full version of “Lydia the Tattooed Lady.” I’m sure I would have won! And there was a lot more flogging of the waitstaff than I thought necessary. #KaraokeKing @GrouchoMarx

Our shuffleboard game was interrupted by some crew members arguing about the captain’s plan to sail through the Bermuda Triangle to avoid some bad weather ahead. They said it was the “last straw.” I guess I have to switch to drinks with little umbrellas, then.

We had a lifeboat drill today! It wasn’t so bad, even if the crew members kept muttering that “Lifeboats won’t do no good in the Triangle.” #BePrepared

Surprisingly there are only a few fish entrees on the menu in the ship’s fancy restaurant. I thought they would have caught a lot more fish by now. Plus all the knives are gone.

It was Captain’s Night. Got to meet the captain! I asked him “Who’s steering the boat?” Oh, how we laughed. Then his second mate whispered something in his ear and he hurried off. #Iceberg? JK!

I realize now my entire knowledge of cruise ships is based on watching Titanic, The Poseidon Adventure, and the stateroom scene from A Night at the Opera.

Saw an amazing show last night featuring all the understudies from all the biggest Broadway hits! It must be a tricky adjustment for the actors, having to learn stage right and stage left and now stage port and stage starboard. #BroadwayAtSea

Had breakfast in my stateroom this morning. Pancakes, bacon and sausage! Also a cryptic note warning passengers to stay in their rooms tonight. This worries me because it’s 80s Music Trivia Dance Party at the Main Lounge! #Culture Club

Why won’t anyone believe me when I tell them there’s a chocolate fountain over by the dessert station? They’re all just too wrapped up in the mutiny rumors! #TeamChocolateFountain

The stand-up comic wasn’t that good. The crew made him walk the plank. That struck me as harsh.

I am the captain! Though a remarkable series of events I’m now commanding the ship! All because I was doing my Capt. Phillips bit and the mutineers heard me say “Look at me. I am the captain now.” And they just believed me! Crazy, right? @TomHanks 1/3

I’ve called in to work and said I’m extending my vacation for the foreseeable future. We’ll be sailing the high seas. Maybe even spend an extra night in Bermuda! #AhoyMatey 2/3

And the chocolate fountain is now out 24/7! #excited #BonVoyage 3/3

 

 

 

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where our good friend David Martin has a piece that contains no reference whatsoever to current events. After you're done perusing his latst piece of hilarity, click on the link below to check out his humor blog.

George Washington’s Spin Doctor

By:
david.martin@bell.net
http://davespoliticalsatire.blogspot.ca

Herewith the recently discovered transcript of a press conference held in November of 1796 with George Washington’s spin doctor, Bartholomew Lewandowski:

Yes, you over there. First question. “Can I comment on the rumors about Mr. Washington’s extramarital dalliances?”

That’s highly offensive. It should be obvious that the President has been far too busy over the last twenty years defeating the British and running the country to even have time for such activities. Let’s face it: he barely has time to satisfy his conjugal duties with Martha. As the President has frequently stated, he has the utmost respect for all ladies notwithstanding he does not wish them to vote.

Next question? “Did the President ever consider becoming America’s first king?”

Of course not. Why would he want to be king when he has devoted much of his life to defeating the British monarchy? The fact that someone found a few monogrammed sheets and shirts at Mount Vernon with George I embroidered on them proves nothing. That was a simple mistake by the plantation’s seamstress who meant to adorn the items with George W.

Yes, you in the corner. You’re asking if the President has ever misled Congress?

Let me tell you a story about a young George Washington that will put this rumor to bed. At the age of six, he chopped down his father’s cherry tree and yet had the courage and fortitude when confronted with the evidence to state “I cannot tell a lie” and accept full responsibility.

That is the same truth-telling hero you see before you today. Those who say young George failed to also accept blame for a felled pecan tree and a severely damaged peach tree are sorely mistaken.

Ezekial Abernathy from the Philadelphia Gazette, you have a question? How does the President justify the ownership of slaves?

Thank you for that question. Yes, the President inherited some slaves and that is perfectly legal. But he is a model slaveholder who treats his chattel with the utmost kindness and, in fact, intends to free them upon his demise. I might remind you gentlemen of the press that Mr. Washington has great respect for his property unlike a contemporary in nearby Monticello, who shall remain nameless, who reportedly has made one of his slaves his mistress.

Thaddeus Baskerville from the Boston Gazette. Did Washington actually stand at the bow of the boat crossing the Delaware River?

It’s hard to believe that, after all these years, we still have to deal with the pernicious rumors that General Washington was not at Valley Forge, did not stand at the bow of the boat and did not even personally cross the Delaware. He was definitely there and it is hoped that within the next fifty years or so pictorial evidence will surface to confirm the truth.

One last query. Yes, the scrivener in the back of the room.

You are wondering why the President has not stored all of his correspondence in the Library of Congress rather than keeping much of it in a private garden shed at Mount Vernon. While President Washington has conceded that it might have been preferable to do so, the nation can rest assured that no confidential or classified letters or memoranda were ever compromised, particularly since that shed recently burned to the ground.

 

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, the foremost interpreter of constitutional matters, courtesy of Ryan Wolin.

The Second Amendment, As Originally Written

By:
RyanWolin@hotmail.com

I. Hello and welcome to Second Amendment of Constitution for United States. Is very important you don’t read this in Russian accent. As this is defineetly not being written by Russians from future who realized best way to destroy evil United States was go back in time and insert this amendment into your laws forever. I did not mean to write “evil” there. Was accident. Why would I, Benjemin Franclen, call my own country that I love very much “evil?” The United States is great place, and only slightly inferior to Russia, the country I am not from and whose crisp spring breeze has never sweetly caressed my cheek. Now, time to list details of this, the amendment that will surely not ravage your country, I mean “our country,” for rest of time…

II. To make U of SA safe, is necessary all citizens have right to own gun. And not just one gun, but as many as person can fit in closet or hole they dug in yard of trailer park. This right is for everyone! Would be ridiculous to take a man’s guns away just because he was batshit crazy, or involved in series of escalating domestic incidents that seemed destined to come to violent end. Furthermore, if too many shootings ever becomes issue, the answer will never be to remove guns from populace. When has a problem ever been solved by eliminating the thing that caused it? Sure, guy in bank line might pull 9mm out of Jockeys and shoot place up. But guy behind him might pull .45 out of Hanes and shoot first guy. Is recipe for healthy democracy! We, Framers of Constitution, anticipate day when there are 300 million people in America and 100 million guns! Imagine how safe from guns we will be on that day when we all have guns! May sound crazy, but trust me, is good idea and not part of rival country’s plot to destroy your nation from within.

III. We have touched on quantity, now is time to talk technology — which is word I believe exists in this time period but am not totally for certain. In future, people may say we Founding Fathers couldn’t envision advances in gun capability. Is nonsense!!! Right now, me and Tommas Jeferssinin are sitting next to each other making discussion of gun ideas. Here is list of possible possibilities off top of our heads: laser scope. Silencer. Body armor. Bushmaster AR-15 with Fiber-optic Red-Bar front sight. Will any of these things be invented? Who knows? But point is, this amendment should serve as blanket recognition that we foresaw all of them. So go to gun show and buy as much artillery as kiddie-porn enthusiast in BluBlockers will sell you, then keep it with you at ALL times. You’ll want it when you’re having bad day — which we all have! Note: I capitalized “ALL” not out of unfamiliarity with English language but to emphasize importance!

IV. Now, is possible many citizens of Mother America will be killed in mass shootings. People will use these as excuse to further anti-gun agenda, which is the great tragedy of it all. Also the dead children. Massacres may occur anywhere. Schools. Churches. Dave & Busters arcade/restaurant hybrids (which I foresee being Ultimate Destination for those who enjoy four-way air hockey and loaded tots). But I implore you, when gunmen use military-grade weapons to slaughter civilians with maximum efficiency, Americans must do sensible thing: blame rap music. Gun is not problem! Gun is good, with many non-violent uses! You could stir noodles with it. Use it to perforate paper to fit in binder. Spin it on dinner table and person it points to gets biggest piece of chicken. So many possibilities! Still, after tragedies people will say law is stupid and not changing it would be literal definition of insanity. Яidiculous!!! This is price of freedom!!! Take it from me, intelligent Patriot who is not vindictive adversary hoping Americans will butcher each other in endless cycle of violence. Besides, if killer didn’t use gun he would have used knife or slingshot or sock full of dominos, and been just as effective.

V. This section is dedicated all to gun safety. Be safe out there.

VI. Now is time for conclusion. Americans are like weeds (in a good way) and part of living in Greatest Country on Earth is knowing anywhere you go someone could be waiting to shoot you in face. Accept it! Life isn’t all rainbows and four-way air hockey. Important thing is you strictly adhere to most radical interpretation of this amendment no matter what. Dig those heels so far in you’re up to your nipples in shit! And when in doubt, take opinion of politicians you deem most likely to use N-word in private. Is good rule of thumbs! Back in Moscow, which I have never been to, we have saying…”Above all, seek truth.” In this case, truth is staring you right in face: anyone who wants to remove this amendment…is not real American.

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