Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

We Need Things To Slow Down Fast

 If we didn’t already have enough to worry about, with the plague killing us with disease and our politicians killing us with hate, along comes this disturbing (actual) headline:

“Scientists say Earth is spinning faster than it has in decades”

That’s right, while you thought 2020 was the longest year ever, it was, in fact, the shortest. By using atomic clocks, scientists say that July 19 was the shortest day ever recorded, and the Earth spun faster last year.

Not being influenced at all by the dangers of the plague or watching the nightly cable news, there is only one way to interpret this phenomenon: The world is literally spinning out of control.

Now I know they taught us in school that the Earth spins on its axis. But there is no real axis! Nothing is sticking through the Earth that it actually spins on. That’s why they teach us this in third-grade because we are still too young to question the stupid things we are being told.

When I was a boy, I had a metal globe with an actual plastic axis sticking through the center. Of course, when I spun it too fast, it would pop off its axis and go rolling across the floor. Let’s hope that’s not going to happen here.

But the Earth is just hanging out there in space, spinning away. And now spinning even faster, with nothing – I repeat nothing - keeping it from just flying off into the universe. You atheists better hope you are wrong. You better say a prayer that you are --- uh well, that won’t work, will it? Well, do something …..

The scientist’s solution to the problem is to “add a negative leap second” to the atomic clock. In essence, they want to “turn back time”.

If they decide to do this, I believe they should have Cher do the honors. I mean, she sang about wanting to, and now she can. She would also be a great choice because she has “turned back time”. Just look at her! Cher is 74 years old and still hot. She may have set the record for hotness longevity, since she has been hot since age 18. That’s 56 years of hotness. That’s impressive.

I realize she may have been hot before age 18, but it is not culturally acceptable to refer to females younger than that as hot. It can even be dangerous to think that way. Just ask Jeffery Epstein. Uh okay, maybe you can’t do that – but you get my idea.

I do understand that Cher has received some assistance in maintaining her hotness. But it’s time we recognize that her body sculpting has been superb. We marvel at the ancient sculptures of women by Alexandros and Bernini. Why not hold Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Murry Goldstein in the same high regard. I mean, Cher is a
master-piece, no?

On second thought, maybe Cher shouldn’t be there when they turn back time by adjusting the atomic clock a “negative leap second”. This sounds difficult, and you wouldn’t want that scientist distracted by Cher’s hotness, would you?

I certainly hope that adjusting the time on the atomic clock is much easier than changing the time on the clock in my car. That task, done twice a year due to the time change, is an arduous one. Never accomplished without multiple failures and the expression of profanations.

If resetting the atomic clock is as challenging, I fear:

Science Boss: Wilson, were you successful at resetting the atomic clock?

Wilson: I almost there, boss. The thing keeps pushing me back to the previous menu, but I’ve almost got it. There are only a few problems to work out. I should have everything corrected sometime tomorrow.

Science Boss: Problems? What Problems?

Wilson: Well, we are now at war with Germany. And oh yeah, you probably want to stock up on butter on the way home. We will be rationing it soon.

The Three Hopes For This Year

We need the world to resume its normal existence as soon as possible. So, as we enter 2021, we have three hopes. We hope that the vaccine ends the plague. We hope that the Earth slows down and resumes spinning at its normal speed. And we hope that Cher remains hot – or at least warm.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

He Wouldn’t Throw In The Towel

 I had initially planned to launch my third humor book, “Turkey Terror At My Door!” at the end of last March. I had just started to schedule book signings and events when the lockdown hit in Ohio on March 13th, Friday the 13th, by the way.

I consulted with my publisher and decided to delay the release, but there wasn’t a clear consensus.

Me: We need to delay the book release.

Publisher: Why would we do that?

Me: Haven’t you heard about this coronavirus?

Publisher: That cold germ? Are you letting that stop you? What are you, a pussy?

But other artists were delaying the release of their works, Lady Gaga, for example. And if it’s good enough for Gaga, it’s good enough for me. My publisher and I may have disagreed, but Gaga and I were totally in sync. Ooooh baby!

Lady Gaga decided to release her album on May 29th, and because I was following her behind closely – No, let me restate, because I wanted to be close behind her, oh you know what I mean - I decided to release my book on June 3rd.  But this also lacked a mutual agreement.

Me: I want to release the book on June 3rd

Publisher: Are you insane? Haven’t you heard about this coronavirus?

Me: Yes, but if we wait until the pandemic ends, we could be waiting a long time.

Publisher: Fine, but what are you, an idiot? 

The decision to release the book was the right call. Sales were decent, considering the circumstances and the lack of in-person events. As the the pandemic eased some in August, I held a couple “open-air”, in-person book-signings. I scheduled several events held outside in September since I would not be able to have any events outdoors the rest of the year.  

However, if the September events went well, I would need more books. This was a great accomplishment under the circumstances, and I was reordering much sooner than I had for my previous books.  So, of course, I called my publisher.

Me: I need to order more books.

Publisher: What did you do with the books we sent you?

Me: I sold them.

Publisher: How did you do that?  Haven’t you heard about that virus?

Me: I’m working harder, smarter, and safer, and I’m selling books.

Publisher: Well then, I recommend you order more books.

Me: Good idea, send me another box, please.

I was away on a short vacation to a safe, remote location when I got the delivery notice that the books had arrived. I was concerned because my  daughter would have to move the heavy box off the porch. When I got home, I was surprised to see the box on the kitchen counter. When I asked my daughter how she had managed to lift the box that high, she laughed it off and said she had been working extra hard at the gym. This was the first indication that something was amiss.

The box sat on the counter for a couple of days, as I got caught up from being away. But then I accidentally bumped the box, and surprisingly, it moved. I grabbed the box with both hands but it was lighter than expected, much lighter. Very, very, light.

I ripped the box open, only to find it did not contain any books, but two packages of white bath towels. I just stared at the towels in disbelief. I quickly checked the shipment notice, which confirmed that one box of books had been delivered to my house on Wednesday.

I was unsure of what to do next. If I call the shipping company, they would ask me to return the towels. I did not want to do that because my possession of the towels is the only proof that I had not received my books and that the shipping confirmation notice was also incorrect. So, I call my publisher. 

Me: I didn’t get the books. They sent me towels.

Publisher: I thought you ordered books. How you gonna sell more books, if you got towels? Can you sell the towels?

Me: I don’t want to sell any towels. I want to sell books. Just find where my books are, please.

While I was waiting for an answer, I examined these towels in greater detail. These were not just any towels. They were EXQUISITELY FLUFFY, made of 100% RING SPUN COTTON. And I just hate it when my towels are only 85% ring spun. The towels feature supreme loft, are quick-drying, and have long-lasting fibers. Everything you would want in a bath towel. They were made in Pakistan, and you know how luxurious Pakistani cotton products are.

Oh, these were tremendous towels. I could imagine stepping out of a hot shower and wrapping myself in one of these babies. It might feel better than the shower itself.

I hoped that no one would ask me to send back the towels. I wanted these towels. I fantasized about these towels. At some point, I cared more about the towels than my books.

My publisher soon called back. The shipper had assumed liability for the mistake, and the books would be reprinted and reshipped. This was fine because one of my book events got cancelled and another one wasn’t well attended. I still needed the books, but there was no rush. And more importantly, there was no mention of returning the towels. The towels, all 12 of them, were mine! All mine! Woo Woo – score!  

Upon hearing that the problem had been resolved, my wife walked over to the box of towels which had been sitting in the living room for over a week. Why she waited so long to get involved is a mystery. She then carefully pulled back the shipping label. Underneath was the package label, which revealed the towels were supposed to be sent to a hotel. And this is key, a hotel less than four miles from my house.

Now, prior to this knowledge, I had no problem keeping the towels. Someone had made a mistake that had inconvenienced me, and it would be a hassle to send them back. However, now that I knew who the towels belonged to and could quickly rectify the situation, I couldn’t in good conscience keep the towels.

I called the manager of the hotel and explained the situation. We both had a good laugh about it, and I explained he could send someone over to get the towels when convenient. We were wrapping up the conversation, when:

Manager: By the way, what were you supposed to get in your delivery?

Me: Books.

Manager: Books with a turkey on the cover?

Me: Uh, yeah.

Manager: Yes, I’ve got your box of books in my office.

Twenty minutes later, I am driving over to the hotel to make a much-welcomed trade. However, I was still upset about giving up those luxurious towels. But then, I had a great idea.

When I met the manager, I offered to trade him one of my books for one of his towels. A more than fair offer, no? But sadly, he turned me down. You see, the pandemic had caused a severe towel shortage, and he needed every one of those towels. No, he could not spare a square. I was crushed.

I called my publisher and cancelled the new book order since it was no longer needed. Everybody, the shipper, publisher, hotel manager, and hotel guests were happy, happy, and happy that the problem came to a surprisingly satisfactory resolution. Everybody was happy except for one person. I didn’t get one darn towel out of whole bizarre episode. Now it haunts me whenever I shower.