* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where on some days more than others, we are very glad we are not in the insurance business. Let our good friend Abby Byrd explain.

A Letter From My Insurance Company Denying Coverage Of Mental Health Services For Show Choir-Related Trauma

By: Abby Byrd

Dear Ms. Byrd,

We regret to inform you that upon evaluating your appeal, we stand firm in our decision to deny coverage of the services in question. While we do cover mental health services, we do not consider “show choir-related trauma” an eligible condition.

We have received the photo documentation you have provided as proof that you were forced to wear a unitard.

We have received the (slightly mildewed) turquoise jumpsuit and accompanying gold-sequined overlay.

We have also received your video documentation. It does indeed clearly show how what should have been clapping in unison during a performance of Three Dog Night’s “Shambala” degenerated into two warring factions of clappers, causing intra-choir strife and consternation in the audience.

We have reviewed the footage of your singing “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast while dancing with a giant cardboard teacup.

After viewing the incredibly awkward dance sequence during the fiddle solo in “Down at the Twist and Shout,” we understand your argument that radio stations should not be allowed to play Mary Chapin Carpenter without a trigger warning.

No, “They’re Playing Our Song” is not Marvin Hamlisch’s best work, although your assertion that it “ruined [your] life” seems to us a bit of an exaggeration.

We do not dispute that Andrew Lloyd Webber has suffered great injustices at the hands of your high school choral music program.

We acknowledge the torment that is “Jellicle songs for jellicle cats! Jellicle songs for jellicle cats!” on endless loop, and we feel the agony in your plea: “For the love of God, what the f*** is a jellicle cat?”

We also acknowledge your insatiable desire to initiate starburst formations during social gatherings.

Yes, we are aware that there is nothing sadder than getting felt up while wearing lamé.

While we appreciate the circumstances that led you to threaten us with an interpretive dance to “Memory,” know that security is tight at our headquarters, and it is unlikely you would be able to sneak in a fog machine, let alone construct the entire set from Cats.

Do not show up here wearing a leotard and a headband with cat ears taped to it.

Do not threaten us with a performance from another musical.

While we cannot assume financial responsibility for your mental health care, we wish you the very best on your healing journey.

Our jazz hands are raised in solidarity.


Kind regards,

Claims Department

LifeThrive HealthPartners



* Welcome to The Big Jewel, or as it will be known after this November, Trump World. We think it best to start preparing for the inevitable, and in that spirit we present a selection from the outstandingly funny new book by Onion founding editor Scott Dikkers, Trump's America: The Complete Loser's Guide. Read it and weep. Or read it and laugh. As always, America, the choice is yours. The book itself can be purchased from the link in our permanent blog roll on the right-hand part of this page. Do it now, while you are still more or less free!

How To Avoid Getting Sued By President Trump

By: Scott Dikkers

Will the president sue you?

He might. And as a citizen, you need to be prepared for this eventuality. When Donald Trump is in the White House, he will use every advantage to make America great again, including, if necessary, suing you.


Know your rights

Trump has the best lawyers. They know every tool of the legal system and how to use each one with surgical precision to bring you to heel, bankrupt you, or simply drag you though the courts for years until you’re a soulless shell of your former self with no memory of the innocent bliss that was once your pitiful life.

In the likely event that you are sued by the future president, it will be important for you to remember that Donald Trump is the victim here. You are the defendant. Whatever your future offense, there’s only one person to blame: yourself.


What to do if you’re sued

Besides following the clear dictates of Trump’s legal team, articulated in your summons or cease-and-desist letter, you can also try one of the following:

  • Summon a demon more powerful than Trump.
  • Invent a time machine and go back in time before you did the thing that Trump is suing you for, unless Trump is suing you for stealing his idea for a time machine. In that case, doing this will only make things worse.


Simple Tips to Avoid Being Sued by President Trump

There’s no way to guarantee the president won’t sue you. Your most prudent course of action will be to decrease the likelihood of being sued by President Trump by employing the following helpful hints:

— When speaking of the president, be sure to use one of these acceptable adjectives:

  • Terrific
  • Amazing
  • Incredible
  • Very good
  • Very nice

— Refrain from using any of the president’s registered catch phrases:

  • “You’re fired”
  • “Make America great again”
  • “Complete disaster”
  • “Billions”
  • “Moron”
  • “China”

— Don’t disagree with Donald Trump.

— Don’t write a letter to Donald Trump.

— Chant, “Trump! Trump! Trump!”

— Never initiate eye contact. And if you do, never break it.

— Don’t marry Donald Trump.

— Don’t do business with Donald Trump.

— Live on a life raft in international waters outside the known boundary of any recognized legal jurisdiction.

— Be directly related to Donald Trump.

— Have Donald Trump’s blood type and be there when he needs your blood.

— Stop spreading the lies of science.

— Get your facts straight.

— Just shut up.

— Live in the sewers and emerge only under the cover of darkness to scavenge the filth of the street to survive.

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we like our superheroes powerful and lightly pigmented. Say hello to Chris Partridge, appearing with us for the first time.

The Amazing White Man, Issue 1

By: Chris Partridge

Look! Up in the social hierarchy — He’s Caucasian! He’s cisgender! He’s…White Man!

Born in Connecticut to upper middle class professionals, White Man was gifted from birth with the powers of racial and gender privilege that aid in his noble quest to maintain hegemony and defend traditional values. But our hero must stay ever vigilant or risk losing everything to his patriarch-nemeses.

Fear not, for White Man has these astounding powers at his disposal:

Male Gaze

X-ray vision? That’s nothing! With his Male Gaze, White Man is able to objectify countless women with just a single glance. Male Gaze isn’t just about his pleasure though; it reminds his foes of their inferior status and vulnerability. And can he be blamed for ogling women on transit, at the office and in virtually every other public space? Just look at his rivals’ revealing outfits!

Superior Resources

Like Bruce Wayne, White Man’s inherited wealth and material resources help keep him one step ahead of the competition. Wonder Woman may have the invisible jet, but White Man has the Glass Ceiling in his arsenal. Those extra 23 cents on the dollar keep White Man financially safe and sound.

Stealth Attacks

White Man can lob microaggressions to disarm and disempower his enemies without being detected. And when his casual sexism and constant interruptions are noticed, White Man can artfully deflect accountability with his trademark catch phrase: “Geez, lighten up. Can’t you take a joke?”


White Man’s grandfather relied on the power of White Flight to escape The Other, but today’s White Man prefers to transform historic neighborhoods through gentrification. Loft apartments, pop-up shops and farm-to-table restaurants allow White Man to thrive in hostile territory and weather surging property values.

Super Hearing

Shhh, did you hear that? It’s the subtle, coded messages of dog whistle politics! White Man can instantly decipher racist and sexist subtext that seems perfectly innocuous on its face. That Hilary Clinton sure is shrill (wink!) and Obama wants to line the pockets of welfare queens (nudge, nudge). Plus, thanks to nationalist politicians and assimilationist laws, White Man can speak the universal language — “proper” English.


Cracker, dick, honky — slurs bounce off of White Man like bullets against Superman because they aren’t backed by the historical injustices of racism, homophobia and sexism. Sticks and stones may break his bones, but words can never hurt White Man. And White Man is almost physically indestructible too. When walking home from the bar alone at 2:00 a.m., White Man isn’t scared to take a shortcut down a dark alley. He’s not in danger; statistically speaking, White Man is danger.


Thanks to generations of privilege, White Man is capable and independent, but he doesn’t have to go it alone! White Man can count on law enforcement, academia, the courts, mainstream media, Christianity and nearly every major social institution across the country to have his back. And hey, come on, White Man has black friends. That’s why he feels comfortable stereotyping people of color and casually dropping the N-word when co-opting rap music.

So long as affirmative action doesn’t drain him of his power, White Man will continue to defend the all-American principles of truth, justice and victim-blaming. But just who is White Man? He’ll never tell! Because publicly admitting his privilege would be revealing his secret identity.

What’s that you say? No one has told that woman on the subway that she should smile more? This looks like a job for White Man! Up, up, and away!





* Welcome to The Big Jewel, the home of well considered jurisprudence. And also pieces like this one from James Warner. Mr. Warner last appeared here in 2005. Good to have you back, sir!

Final Scathing Dissenting Opinions From Antonin Scalia

By: James Warner

We were saddened to hear of the passing of fiery conservative icon and originalist judge Antonin Scalia. Fortunately for those who enjoyed his cantankerous prose, it turns out the justice liked to write dissenting opinions even when on vacation. The following arguments, found in the late Justice’s game bag by a fellow hunter who prefers to remain anonymous, are full of significance for the ongoing Presidential election cycle.


“All you need is love.” — The Beatles

Far from reflecting American majority values, this is the subjective view of four foreign hippies who do not come close to presenting any legal arguments to justify their claim. All you need is a faithful interpretation of the Constitution, reasonably construed and consistently applied would be closer to the truth, and I must confess to also finding it catchier. I respectfully dissent.

“Weird is a side effect of awesome.” — T-shirt

My copy of Noah Webster’s dictionary tells me that in the time of the Founders, “awesome” meant “inspiring solemn and reverential wonder, tinged with fear of the Divine or of natural sublimity,” whereas “weird” simply meant “wayward.” So this statement is best interpreted as meaning that awe will lead us astray. Whether true or not, this maxim has no foundation in American constitutional law, leaving me no choice but to dissent.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” — The Lorax

Whether things get “better” is not my concern. What we have here is a straightforward case of the Once-ler Corporation’s liberty to respond as seen fit to the truffula tree menace. To hold otherwise is to indulge in standardless and usurpatious judicial meddling, adding unnecessarily to the unfair burden already borne by the much-beleaguered thneed industry, and eroding the foundations of our democracy. I dissent.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” — Bumper sticker

Such vapid and sententious gobbledygook is merely a smokescreen for the aggrandizement of judicial power, warping of our Constitution, and further advancement of the homosexual agenda. The unmeasured and misdirected arrogance of such an assumption of power, designed to subject our people to the out-of-control hegemony of activist mullah-judges, takes the breath away and boils the blood. I dissent.

“You gotta fight for your right to party.” — The Beastie Boys

This so-called right, unsupported in reason and ludicrous in application, is to be found neither in the longstanding traditions of our great Republic, nor in the text of the divinely inspired Second Amendment. At the risk of repeating myself, such wholesale invention of rights undermines the already embarrassingly enfeebled credibility of our judges, committed as these over-reaching obfuscators from second-tier colleges have become to the coarsening of our polity and imposition of minoritarian tyranny. I disrespectfully dissent.

“Rap is not pop. If you call it that, then stop.” — A Tribe Called Quest

My dictionary defines “rap” as a lay or skein containing a hundred and twenty yards of yarn, and “pop” as a brief explosive sound. Although there may be disagreement as to whether these two words are interchangeable, the only issue with any pertinence is whether the statement is supportable as an interpretation of our immutable and holy Constitution. You would have to be a jackass to think that it is, hence I angrily dissent.

“Don’t be evil.” — Google motto

I find this to be erroneous on numerous grounds, objecting among other things to the formulation of a standard so vague that it produces rather than eliminates uncertainty under most imaginable circumstances. It takes more than woo-woo aspirations of indeterminate content, pronounced with outrageous smugness and bereft of any reference to case law, to produce desirable concrete results, hence I furiously dissent.

“#TypeOneDirectionWithYourNose” — Hashtag

This is a strange jurisprudence indeed. We have traveled far from the sober and subtly cadenced arguments of Justice John Marshall and are lurching instead towards the naked imposition of homosexuality by willful, superannuated courts that sap the vitality of our traditions and insult our democratic process. I have never typed anything with my nose, and have no intention of starting now, hence I passionately dissent.

“You’ve eaten all the toothpaste again.” — Sext

If this suggestion isn’t what the kids today refer to as gammon and tilly-tally, I’ll eat my bonnet. Not only does it lack any substantive dimension, but I find it imponderable in its application to real-world events, an invitation to unprincipled experiment that flies in the face of righteousness, encouraging sandal-wearing apostates to wage a Kulturkampf against the proud traditions of our Holy Catholic Church. I devoutly dissent.

“Being gay is like glitter, it never goes away.” — Lady Gaga

My dictionary defines “gay” as “happy,” and “glitter” as those shiny mica flakes once commonly used in cave paintings. One can only wish that the state of happiness were indeed as permanent as a Paleolithic mural, but since extravagance of thought and expression are no substitute for the rigorous analysis of legally operative texts, I find this disedifying argument to be as mistaken as it is theologically unprecedented. I hereby denounce its author as a heretic and consign her to eternal hellfire.

“You only regret the things you didn’t do.” — Fridge magnet

This insinuation boils down to little more than praise of novelty as an end in itself. It is a maxim as indefensible in theory as it is unworkable in practice, and acting on it would risk a massive disruption of the social order. And yet the main reason I have decided utterly to repudiate it is that I myself have no regrets, being infallible. Although it is a little poignant to reflect that I never sang in Der Rosenkavalier, and perhaps I could also have eaten more broccoli.