Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 3, 2006 / 7 Tamuz, 5766

When they're out to get you, keep cool

By Dave Barry


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Recently, I was in my office, with a lot to do, including write a column, when I got a phone call informing me that the electric company had cut off my power.

Years ago, I would have responded to this petty annoyance with a pointless, immature outburst of anger. But since then I have learned that stress management is vital to health. So I hung up the phone, took a deep breath, exhaled slowly, then punched my desk so hard that I could not make a fist for three days.

Then, using my other hand, I called the electric company, which has one of those automatic call-routing systems, designed by escaped Nazis with the aid of the Educational Testing Service, wherein you must use your touch-tone phone to pass a lengthy multiple-choice test (". . . If you know your first name but NOT your last name, press. . . ."). This is the electric company's way of testing your worthiness as a customer; it's similar to the way knights of old had to prove themselves by slaying dragons, except that instead of winning the hand of a fair maiden, you get put in line to speak with an actual Customer Service Representative.

While waiting, I kept my stress level down by calmly going over the points I planned to make, as follows:

1. You stupid idiots.

2. Give me back my electricity THIS INSTANT.

3. What are you people using for brains?

4. Pez?

While I was refining these points, a Customer Service Representative came on the line and immediately irritated me by-I believe this was a deliberate tactic on her part-being polite. She explained to me that my electricity had been turned off because-get a load of THIS excuse-I had not paid my bill.

I was furious. The only thing that prevented me from hiring the entire O.J. Simpson defense team and suing the electric company for every last volt it owns was the realization that I had not, in fact, paid my electric bill. You know how you sometimes make a pile of papers that you Definitely Have To Get To Soon, and then you avoid making eye contact with the pile for several weeks, secretly hoping-you crazy optimist-that a giant comet will strike the Earth and wipe out all human life and you won't have to deal with it? My electric bill was in a pile like that.

The irritatingly polite woman told me that they could turn my electricity back on that day, but only if I paid the bill in person before 2 p.m. She told me to pay at a drugstore near where I live. (I don't know why she didn't have me pay at the electric company; probably they don't want anybody to find out their secret method for generating electricity, which I suspect involves a carpet being scuffed by a giant pair of mechanized shoes.)

So I had to rush home to get my electric bill, and naturally my car chose that exact moment to be low on gas, so I had to stop at one of those all-purpose gas stations that also sell beer, cigarettes, magazines, hats, beef jerky and hot dogs the same age as Strom Thurmond. Naturally, I wound up standing in line behind some moron who was investing his family's grocery money in some kind of state lottery transaction so complex as to require the full attention of ALL THREE store clerks for about 15 minutes, during which time I controlled my stress level by staring laser holes into the back of the moron's neck and shrieking silently, inside my head, WHY NOT SAVE YOURSELF SOME TIME? WHY NOT JUST SET YOUR MONEY ON FIRE?

Donate to JWR

So, as you can imagine, I was feeling very non-stressed when, with 2 p.m. rapidly approaching, I finally got back out onto the highway and immediately got stuck in severe traffic behind a driver with ears the size of pie plates who had just this moment arrived here from the year 1937 and had therefore never seen a left-turn arrow. You could see him studying it, trying to figure it out-A green arrow! Pointing left! Here in the left-hand lane! Whatever could it MEAN?-while those of us behind him controlled our stress levels by pounding our horns and then yelping with pain because we had accidentally used the same hand that we had used, in an earlier stress-control effort, to punch our desk.

Finally, with only minutes to go, I got to the drugstore-a cramped and dingy place selling unattractive housewares on layaway-and found myself at the end of a long, Soviet-style line of people paying their utility bills in cash, which they pulled out of their wallets one dollar at a time in slow motion, pretending that they couldn't hear my brain shrieking at them, HURRY UP, YOU FOOLS, but of course, they knew exactly what they were doing because they were ALL PART OF THE PLOT, along with the electric company and the big-eared driver and the lottery moron and the black federal helicopters constantly monitoring my movements, all of them working together to RAISE MY STRESS LEVEL, BUT I KNOW WHAT THEY'RE TRYING TO DO AND IT'S NOT GOING TO WORK HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HEY GET AWAY FROM ME YOU-

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.


Previously:

When they're out to get you, keep cool Mothers of invention

Kill 'em with kindness



© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles