Jewish World Review Dec. 31, 2004/ 19 Teves, 5765

Greg Crosby

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Consumer Reports

Time to vent | It's the end of the year and that means only one thing - it's venting time for me again. Here is a partial list, in no particular order, of things that have crossed my mind these past months.

1. I've seen this time and again on news broadcasts - reporters and /or police personnel referring to really bad criminals as "gentlemen." As in, "we have a partial description of the suspected serial rapist; he is a tall, heavy-set gentleman with brown eyes and dark hair." "Gentleman?" Why gentleman? I realize they can't say "bum" or "punk" or anything else that, although appropriate, may be construed as derogatory, but is it necessary to anoint the criminal with such a dignified label? Why not simply say "man?" It makes me nuts!

2. Why do they remake wonderful classic movies? The truly great movies don't need to be remade, do they? It's the LOUSY films that SHOULD be remade into good films. So here's a memo to the film industry: just concentrate on remaking the drek and leave the good stuff alone. You'll have plenty to work on.

3. I've decided that visible body piercing and tattooing, along with sloppy and outlandish clothing and shaved-heads, and dirty-looking hair are really good things after all. They enable me to tell right away who the jerks are so I can avoid them.

4. Have you noticed that women are growing bigger and bigger all the time? Teenage and young women today are huge compared to the girls of my generation. Not just in height, their body mass is larger all over. The young men of today don't seem to be keeping up; the ladies are getting bigger than the guys. I wonder why that is. Scary.

5. Is it really necessary for every single ex-president to open a presidential library when they leave office? The answer is, of course it isn't necessary - except for the ex-president, that is. Clinton's library cost more than all the others combined. It's becoming a "can you top this?" game.

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6. I wish they'd go back to using real glass jars for peanut butter again. Peanut butter doesn't seem to taste the same in plastic and I don't think plastic preserves it as well as when it was in glass. Are you listening, Skippy?

7. It would be nice if I could get through all of next year without hearing some store clerk say, "No problem" in response to me saying "Thank you."

8. I voted for President Bush but his guest worker/amnesty program will be a disaster for America if it passes. If you think we have illegal immigration problems now, just wait. All that needs to be said on the subject came years ago from the late Sonny Bono when he was a congressman. A reporter asked him what he thought about illegal immigration and Bono replied, "Well, it's illegal, isn't it?"

9. And since I'm venting on Bush, I really wish he'd come out and support the Boy Scouts, who have been getting shafted recently thanks to the ACLU. The American Communist Liberties Union is doing everything it can to completely destroy the Boy Scouts of America and it is well past time for Bush and other high-ranking government leaders to help preserve this wonderful and important organization.

10. I'm holding my breath for the end of the clothing style which allows for overweight teenaged girls to expose their protruding, soft bellies to the world. I know "ugly and repulsive" have been fashionable for some time now, but I thought women, and especially teenage girls never, ever wanted to look fat. I guess they don't care anymore. Gad, where are the elegant ladies of yesteryear?

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2004 Greg Crosby