By Allen David
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11
I tear up a check after accidentally writing the year as 2011.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 12
The second-least-funniest guy ever to be named Jerry Lewis announces he will retire from Congress at the conclusion of his 17th term in what—little known fact—was nicknamed “the Lower House” because of the way he practiced politics. It’s true, swear to God. In fact, there are a lot of things you probably don’t know about Lewis. Like the seven seasons he starred as the formidable divorcee Dorothy Zbornak on the classic TV sitcom The Golden Girls, performing under the name of “Bea Arthur” after she was rejected for the part because it called for someone who looked like a woman. And oh, the nicknames. Lewis had a lot of them—the “King of Pork” and the “Earl of Earmarks” for his almost-criminal practice of steering big money and projects toward his district; “Mr. Reach Across the Aisle” for his relentless push for “bi-partisanship;” the “Stealth Bomber,” originally earned early in his career for his flatulence, later revived because of his incontinence; “The Undersecretary,” a move that made him a three-time champion of the House of Representatives annual Greco-Roman Wrestling Championship; and “The Dentured Servant” for . . . uhhh, isn’t it obvious?
FRIDAY, JANUARY 13
Yep, Friday the 13th and what good luck to see the story in The Press-Enterprise about the elementary school teacher in Temecula who was sent home for allegedly teaching third graders while drunk. Even better, the story says an unnamed school employee became suspicious of the teacher’s sobriety because of a “sloppily written” hall pass. Really? That’s suspicious. But what made this Friday especially 13th were the reader comments on the report. Said one: Older drunk white women in Temecula . . . this is very surprising! Said another: Maybe the hall pass was for a beer run? And, finally, this: I don’t know why they would punish this teacher. We all know teachers make squat for money, yet this teacher had the dedication to her students to still show up to work, probably after an all-nighter. Now that’s a hero—more than most of us would do. She deserves a raise or promotion. We need more dedicated teachers like her. God bless you, ma’am, for thinking of the children.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 14
The game was played on Saturday
In heaven’s own back yard.
Jesus was the halfback,
Moses was the guard.
The angels in the grandstand,
Boy, how did they yell,
When Jesus scored a touchdown,
Against the boys from hell.
In other games, Tim Tebow returned to irrelevance.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 15
Eighty-three years ago today, a baby boy was born in Atlanta, and given the name of Michael Luther King, Jr. Later, his first name was changed to Martin.
MONDAY, JANUARY 16
Fifty-five years ago today, a baby was born in Long Beach, and given the name of Paul Keith Wielenga. He never changed his name, but he did move to Riverside. Because of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Gregorian calendar and the way three-day weekends are configured, this year he has a day off on his birthday. He thinks that’s cool.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 17
Maura Ammenheuser, today’s contributor to Momarama, The Press-Enterprise’s cleverly conceived tactic for patronizing stay-at-home housewives, comes through with another mixed batch of indignant self-pitying resignation. It seems Maura came across another one of those what-if games that economists construct from time to time, ostensibly to determine what a housewife’s work would be worth on the open market, but mostly as a pitch for a little publicity. By reading this one, Maura learned that if she hadn’t painted her life into a corner by agreeing to marry that guy, bear those kids and bore herself to death by foregoing employment to spend her days cleaning the house and raising the kids, well, she would be earning $96,261. Wow! Just imagine! And you know what? Maura has imagined, and it makes her feel all mixed up inside. “I never know whether to feel proud that I accomplish such highly paid tasks,” she writes, “or to cry my eyes out.” Meanwhile, the rest of us know exactly how to feel about the fact that Maura really believes that there’s a market for all-purpose nanny-housekeeper-driver-accountant-tutor-gardeners and that she’s missing out on $96,261 a year . . . we’re grateful that Maura is confined to that home (although a little worried about those kids) rather than out in the world where she would be a danger to herself and others. As usual, Momarama leaves us feeling so sorry for her that we’re happy as can be that she’s living the life she deserves.