Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Since I've pretty much recovered from my post-election season ennui with newspapers, it's high time that I delved back into my prime source for blogging material -- the Pittsburgh Psychosis-Gazette. It won't be Reg or Tony this time. Nope, I have a new target for sarcasm and mirth. For far too long, I have ignored the PG's furry, four-legged mammalian correspondent, a professional babe of sorts who answers letters from readers on just about any topic, but primarily dishes out advice on lifestyles and relationships. She's relatively new at this, and thus has not ascended the pinnacle of self-righteousness formerly occupied by Ann Landers for so many years. Give her time; give her time.

I refer, of course, to Cat of "Cat's Call", who celebrates a birthday today, and responds to a reader's request to lay out her fondest happy birthday wishes. This is one of her more interesting columns, as it gives her a chance to branch out from the usual "you need to dump the jerk" sort of advice to her correspondents. Let's see what she wants out of life. First:

Having even one devoted reader is a wish fulfilled, but truth be told, I have more ...
Well, I'm reading it, though I'm not sure how "devoted" I am. Even if I were unmarried, I doubt that I would be sad enough to join the ranks of losers who email marriage proposals to her.
I wish the recent election to be a harbinger of things to come. It's not a party thing; it's a change thing and a voting thing.
Cat has referred to herself elsewhere as a "Registered Democrat But Currently Unimpressed with Both Dominant Parties", so this wish is consistent with her stated political philosophy. It could mean that the Dems aren't communistic enough for her tastes. However, the "change thing" in this election resulted as much from the alienated Republican base as it did from a Democrat ascendancy, so I can't really take issue with this one.
I wish my best friend and I lived in the same city. It would be so good for her.
Familiarity breeds contempt! My best friends are the ones I never see anymore.
I wish cell phone companies would quit requiring contracts. Sell a decent product and you won't need to lock us into a substandard one.
I have no issue with Cat's Call on cell phones, unless she is one of those clowns who chatter away while driving through traffic. I hate people who do that. Rudest bastards on the road, they are.
I wish politicians would own up to the egomaniacal maliciousness of TV smear campaigns. They should donate that money to charity -- it would make them look better, make us feel better and the money would actually benefit someone.
Not naming names, eh? If Cat is anything like my wife, she doesn't know the difference between a "smear" and "valid criticism". Actually, my wife does make a distinction, but in her world "smear" is when a Republican does it and "valid criticism" is when a Democrat does it. She's funny that way.

And I defy you to show me a politician who is not "egomaniacal". Egomania is a prerequisite for entering politics.
I wish people would stop saying, "Print is dead," because not only is it untrue, if it happened, they'd really miss it.
In the year 2000, I was selling books at Borders and loving every page of it. (I mean "page" as in books, not the Congressional kind.) That summer I signed on with high speed internet and openly proclaimed that books were dead; I could find plenty of reading material online. I sought, and found, employment in a different field. Six years later I am reading books as well as surfing the internet, and enjoying both. Print may not be dead, but it has some serious competition.
I wish naysayers would hop on board with stem cell because it saves lives.
I am under the impression that fully 80% of people who publicly weigh in on the subject of stem cell research don't know what the hell they're talking about. Informed individuals are neither for nor against stem cell research. There are different sources of stem cells. Adult stem cells are good, and have been proven to help. No one is harmed in the harvesting of adult stem cells. Same thing with umbilical cord blood. Plenty of stem cells there, and the newborn no longer needs the cord or placenta. People who take Cat's stand on stem cell research are advocating the harvesting of fetal stem cells. An unborn baby needs its stem cells to develop and grow. Collecting the baby's stem cells depends on the termination of the pregnancy. That's bad.
I wish I hadn't started to like football so much; it really cuts into my napping time.
I never watch football, so not a problem for me. Actually, game time is the best time to go shopping. The grocery stores are deserted.
I wish I enjoyed doing laundry half as much as the people in detergent commercials.
My wife and I do laundry for a family of seven. Cat is an energetic single gal. She shouldn't have to spend enough time on laundry to worry about whether or not she enjoys it.
I wish the Electoral College would take a cue from the dodo.
She wants the electors to go to Mauritius and drop dead?
I wish people would smile and say, "Hi" instead of staring awkwardly at their shoes.
Check again, babe. Those things they're staring at aren't their shoes.
I wish people would do what's right instead of what seems easiest. In the end, what's right is usually the easiest.
Which is why she is such a successful advice columnist. Not that we know whether any of these people ever take her advice...
I wish to be more like my parents. My mother has unending bravery, brilliance and grace and makes me laugh my arse off no matter how hard or scary life gets. My father's integrity is truly astounding, and he can spell Czechoslovakia on command.
Cat scores major points with me for using the word "arse". It's an ethnic thing. Also, the mental image of her arse shaking while she's laughing it off kind of turns me on.

On the other hand, the thought of her commanding people to spell Czechoslovakia to see if they can match the standard set by her father kind of freaks me out, so we're back to square one here.
I wish those hover-skateboards from "Back to the Future II" actually existed.
If they did, papers like the Psychosis-Gazette would be running editorials condemning the Big Hover industry and the obscene profits collected at the expense of hovering teenagers. Those things are damned dangerous, too, and only a Congressional Committee can deal with the scourge.
I wish elected officials would show up for votes, vote their conscience, say what they mean and mean what they say. And if they change their mind and admit it, good on 'em.
Two things:
  • Rick Santorum did, and he was voted out of office for it.
  • I now have this song stuck in my head. Thanks.
I wish that, just once, when someone says, "if that guy were alive today ...," the person would appear. I hope it's Thomas Jefferson.
They did that a couple of times on Bewitched, once with George Washington and once with Benjamin Franklin. I don't have a preference for who I would want to bring back, but it would be a blast to give him a ride on the interstate in my car with the windows down. He'd be so freaked out that he would die all over again.
I wish high-end makeup would go on sale. Why doesn't it?
If she's talking about KISS makeup kits, it's because Gene Simmons likes to take a nice big cut of all KISS related merchandise. (I assume this is what she means because the kits include Cat makeup.)
I wish the electorate would continue to vote. It's fun to see who "the decider" really is.
If you are familiar with the context from which the words in scare quotes was drawn, then you have to wonder whether Cat is advocating the abolition of the Executive Branch of federal government. (From my anti-bureaucracy, anti-spending POV, this idea has some merit.) All U.S. Presidents are deciders. Except Bill Clinton, who governed via public opinion polls.
I wish money did grow on trees -- in my back yard.
As a journalist, you have the power to begin advocating for a leaf-based currency. Hop to it!
I wish Dave Barry would show me how he does it.
I wish I were Dave Barry, so I can show her how I "do it". Heh heh heh.
I wish tragedies had happy endings.
Geoffrey Chaucer put it best when he said, "Tragedie is to seyn a certeyn storie/ Of him that stood in greet prosperitie/ And is y-fallen out of heigh degree/ Into miserie, and endeth wrecchedly". So no, they can't.
I wish everyone a healthy, warm and wonderful year to come.
Because that will give the PG more reasons to editorialize about the impact of GLOBAL WARMING! And bad news sells papers.
Cat's Birthday Call: I wish I knew then what I know now, and I hope I remember it later.
Good thing she's stopping here, because between this column and her own web site, I feel like I know too much as it is.


jipzeecab said...

A fellow from Mt. Lebanon named Lee Adams had a weekly cable show on Adelphia right up until the Comcast takeover.
One of his last shows was an hour long interview with "Cat" whose column I've not looked at more than once. They ran it two times a night for several weeks.
This chick is an absolute doll, smarter and more articulate than most (all that Chaucer quoting stuff is icing on the cake)..at least a 9 1/2 on that John Derek scale.
If only I was 25 years younger and in a lot better health..

Nicko McDave said...

Sadly I have not had the pleasure of seeing her on television. You've given me something to look forward to.

Also, may I point out that it was *I* who quoted Chaucer??? Speaking of whom, did you know that he hath a blog"?