Entry 641: World Peace Through Chick Peas

Welcome to the Food Network’s new show, Restaurants That Haven’t Closed Yet. It’s where we take you to new and trendy eateries that people can’t wait to get into because they’re new and trendy, but will close as soon as the novelty wears off.

We start today with Conflict Kitchen. It’s located in Pittsburgh, and its shtick is that it only serves food from countries in conflict with America. But here’s the thing–you can’t go there to eat dishes from all the countries that hate America, because that menu would be about as many pages as a Stephen King novel, and just as scary.

No, Conflict Kitchen only, um, attacks one nation at a time. So, in the past, it has been an Iranian restaurant, a Cuban restaurant, an Afghani restaurant, and a North Korean restaurant. As I write this, it is a Haudenosaunee restaurant. More on that in a moment.

I’ve looked at some of their menus, and it seems like all the countries with which America has disagreements have one thing in common: their foods mostly sound disgusting. That may even be why America is always fighting with these nations: it’s not so much about spreading democracy as it is about spreading recognizable condiments on familiar foods.

Some of the ethnic cuisine at Conflict Kitchen is heavily chick pea-based. I know chick peas are really gross because not only do I not like them, my wife doesn’t like them. Barbara is much more tolerant of different food nationalities than I am. She likes quinoa, for example. She’s not even prejudiced against regular peas. She likes a nice split pea soup. But chick peas, in her opinion, must be stopped at the border.

The Iranian menu at Conflict Kitchen included a dish called Kookoo Sibzamini, which I thought was the name of a former professional wrestler, but which is apparently “pan-fried potato and onion patties, served with fresh herbs, torshi makhloot, grilled tomato and onion.” Now the first part of that sounds fine. In fact, it sounds suspiciously like potato latkes, a dish that the Persians obviously stole from the Jews when they conquered the Babylonian Empire in 536 BC (long story). But what’s up with the rest of that Kookoo dish? What the hell is “torshi makhloot?”

This is a pet peeve I have with all ethnic restaurants: don’t just translate part of a menu item. You’ll be in a Peruvian place, and they’ll have “Arroz con pollo–cilantro based chicken and rice served with huancaina sauce.” How about telling me what huancaina sauce is? How do I know if I’ll like it? It could have chick peas in it, for all I know! And I’ll ask the waitperson what it is and she’ll say, “Oh, it’s like the national sauce of Peru. They use it in everything,” which is not at all helpful, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know what huancaina sauce is, either, because her accent sounds more like South Jersey than South America, so I end up ordering paella.

Where was I?

Right–Iran. And torshi makhloot. I looked it up, and it’s a mixture of pickled vegetables. Here’s a picture of it. No wonder they didn’t want us to know what it was. And how nauseating would something like that be on a potato latke! Apple sauce? Sure. Sour cream? Absolutely. Pickled vegetables? Not so much.

I kid, of course. Conflict Kitchen is all about understanding through stews. They even have programs that, for instance, educate you about what it’s like to be a child in Afghanistan while you eat your pakora, which is potato fritters battered in, of course, chick peas.

As I mentioned, Conflict Kitchen is now featuring the cuisine of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. I didn’t even know what that was*, but I think I like its people, not because the menu has items that are GF (gluten-free), V (vegetarian) and V+ (vegan), but because every dish on the menu is CPF (chick pea-free).

Anyway, I bet all this talk about exotic, repugnant food has you hankering for a nice, juicy steak. If so, hunker on down to one of New York City’s latest stupid trendy restaurants, Ikinari. This is the place to come if you want to get a delicious 7.1 ounce sirloin and some rice for just $18…and eat it standing up.

The very customer-centric concept of this restaurant is as follows: “we can sell more steaks, make more money and serve more customers if they are in and out in 30 minutes.” Apparently, this idea is very popular in Japan, but then so are “capsule hotels,” where guests stay in what amounts to morgue drawers, except (hopefully) warmer.

One idiot customer at Ikinari stated that she enjoys scarfing down her dinner this way because “I can burn calories as I eat. I’m standing up. Keep good posture. And eating some protein, so not bad.” Of course, studies have shown that you eat less food and consume fewer calories sitting down. But this perfectly-postured patron will come out ahead because she can’t have dessert at Ikinari, even if she wants one. Ikinari doesn’t serve desserts, or even coffee. Ikinari figures you can’t consume a steak and, say, cheesecake in under 30 minutes. Obviously, Ikinari has never seen me eat.

Finally, to combine the cuisine of our previous two restaurants, we have the perfect combination of disgusting and steak. I give you our President, Donald J. Trump, who was recently spotted in a D.C. steakhouse eating a New York Strip. Well done. With ketchup.

Classy, very classy.

See you soon.

*I looked it up and it’s sort of a NATO of Native American tribes across North America. Their conflict with the U.S. has something to do with the Dakota pipeline. Apparently, they are upset about land being taken from them and nature being destroyed and so forth. But their Neogë (grilled venison loin with acorn-chestnut puree, mushrooms, and salt-cured blueberries) sounds delicious.

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Entry 640: Kiss My Blarney Button With Your Nail Polish Remover

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, the one holiday that is impossible to write about without using derogatory ethnic stereotypes.

So instead, I’ll tell you about some holidays you can celebrate next week without throwing up.

For instance, next week is National Button Week. Its organizers suggest you observe it by riding up and down in elevators and taking the time to finally figure out what the ECO button in your car does. Also, if you’ve been inclined to panic ever since Inauguration Day, this is the week to do it!

Wait! I’ve just been informed that those are the wrong kinds of buttons. You can also put your “I’m With Hillary” button back in the drawer.

However, while you’re rummaging through your closet tonight looking for something green to wear tomorrow that won’t make you look like a head of lettuce, you might want to grab an outfit that has buttons, because those are the kinds of buttons National Button Week is all about.

You may be wondering how many people could possibly want to celebrate National Button Week. Well, at least 3,000, to be sure. That’s how many folks are members of the National Button Society, which is a real thing with real people and, I’m guessing, real buttons.

The National Button Society (motto: “Buttons: The Best of All Best Fasteners”) asks this question of visitors to its website:

“Do you remember playing with your mother’s—or grandmother’s or great-grandmother’s—button box or jar or tin?”

Um, no I don’t. I don’t recall if my mother ever sewed anything, and the only thing I remember about my grandmother is that she would suck on Canada Mints all day until it looked like she was foaming at the mouth.

The NBS website intro continues:

“The impulse to collect is a basic part of the human psyche, and buttons have been admired and collected for centuries. Button collecting was recognized as an organized hobby through the founding of the National Button Society in 1938.”

Gee, I had no idea that hobbies had to be recognized like countries and dog breeds. That doesn’t bode well for my pastime: collecting unidentified wires and cables, many of which are from devices I haven’t used in over a decade, and some of which have connectors that don’t even look remotely familiar. One of them could be from an Apple Newton for all I know, although I never owned an Apple Newton. I have a drawer full of these wires and, sadly, we even took them with us when we moved six years ago.

But I digress.

The National Button Society has many suggestions for thrilling ways to enjoy National Button Week:

  • Submit an article to your local newspaper about button collecting.
  • Post a photo of your favorite button on your Facebook page and invite your friends to take a look.
  • Twitter about your button activities.
  • Invite a non-member to a club meeting.

There are two things we can learn from this list. First, button collecting seems to be exactly as exciting as you would think. And, second, the NBS seems hell-bent on spreading the button gospel and would like its members to go out unto the world and convert those who would worship zippers and snaps. I’m assuming here that it would also like to launch a campaign to discredit Velcro as the devil’s work.

Whoops. My apologies. I didn’t intend to spend so much time on National Button Week. Let’s quickly move on to some more of next week’s festivities.

For example, it’s also Brain Awareness Week, which seems like a natural, and possibly necessary, followup to St. Patrick’s Day. But if your reaction to Brain Awareness Week is “Huh?” you might want to look into National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week, during which you are invited to sample the vast array of inhalants and poisons available.

Ha ha. Only kidding. So please put down that nail polish remover. National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week (NIPAW) was instituted by the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition to prevent inhalant abuse and save lives. According to the Alliance for Consumer Education, a child is 50% less likely to try an inhalant if an adult has spoken to them about the dangers of inhalant abuse. So be sure to speak to your child during NIPAW so that they will use crystal meth instead of stealing your spray paint.

If you really want to make a splash, you’ll be happy to know that next week is also Tsunami Awareness Week, although I have no idea why. I mean, the only way you wouldn’t be aware of a tsunami hitting your town is if you were busy celebrating National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week. I can’t imagine a scenario in which you’re hanging onto a lamppost for dear life as waves go rushing by and a neighbor surfs past yelling, “There’s a tsunami!” and you reply, “Really? I wasn’t aware.”

Finally, after you’ve consumed all that green beer and corned beef and cabbage, you’ll be wanting some nice, rich chocolate. Good thing it’s American Chocolate Week, created to “give chocolate lovers a chance to indulge in their favorite chocolate delicacies.” This is about as necessary as Tsunami Awareness Week, since the chocolate lovers I know don’t need an excuse to indulge.

Anyway, happy St. Patrick’s Day, be aware of your brain, and see you soon.

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Entry 639: Just Sign Here

So our financial advisor sold us an annuity recently.

He made a very convincing case for it, and since we’ve already entrusted him with our life savings, we figured, why the hell not. After all, if he was going to swindle us, he already had everything he needed to do so. He could even sit opposite us in our quarterly meetings and give us what would sound like a perfectly plausible explanation as to why my wife’s 401k balance was currently at $1.98, and we’d believe him.

Because, financially, we are idiots.

That’s why we have an advisor. You can’t be an expert at everything, after all. Successful people know this, and surround themselves with knowledgeable and trustworthy counselors like Michael Flynn and Kellyanne Conway.

Anyway, getting back to the annuity: my father liked annuities. He bought three of them. My mother still gets monthly checks for $175, $226 and $275 which, when added to her Social Security, doesn’t come close to paying for her assisted living facility. So that worked out well.

But, okay, so we bought the annuity. Then a few weeks later, our financial advisor’s assistant called to say their company wouldn’t allow them to carry the annuity in our regular retirement account so they needed to open a new one just to hold the annuity. I responded the way I usually do when our advisor calls to say he wants to make this or that trade: “Sure, whatever.” I do this because I usually have no idea what he’s talking about. He could be trading baseball cards for all I know.

“In order to do that,” the assistant added, “I have to send you a signature form to sign.”

“Sure,” I replied. “Whatever.”

This would be a good time to mention that, like most people these days, I have fallen into the habit of blindly signing any document that comes my way, whether it’s a cell phone contract, a car lease or an iTunes user agreement. When was the last time you read one of those things? What do they expect you to do, hire a lawyer every time you have to update your software? I mean, I don’t want to download your friggin’ update in the first place; you’re making me. Shouldn’t it be you agreeing not to screw up my device with your download? (“Apple hereby agrees that this new iPhone software will not erase all your apps and contacts, or we will pay a penalty of $100,000. Agree?”)

But I digress.

Our financial advisor’s assistant emailed over the form, with a cover note instructing me to review the document carefully, sign it and return it. I had to initiate a bunch of security procedures just to download the thing, and then a couple more to open it. Below is the first page of the document he wanted me to sign. I direct your attention to the bottom right-hand corner, where I have highlighted something truly horrifying.

Yes, that’s right. Page 1 of 17. And all 17 pages are just like this one. Seventeen triple-columned pages of legal copy.

I snapped.

This is, verbatim, the well-thought-out response I sent to our financial advisor’s assistant:

“Are you kidding me? No, I am not reviewing 17 pages of fine print. If you can’t handle the annuity within the existing accounts, then forget it.”

Of course, within minutes, our actual financial advisor was on the phone, apologizing for his parent company’s stupidity and irrational insistence on having clients sign such documents. He assured me that it was all boilerplate, which is what people always say when they want you to sign something without reading it. I should also point out that our financial advisor’s parent company happens to be Wells Fargo, which does not exactly have a squeaky-clean recent history of acting in its customers’ best interests (although, our financial advisor would be quick to say, that was the banking division).

I drew a line in the sand, which was really a beach filled with very tiny letters. “Even if I was inclined to read this with a magnifying glass,” I said, “we both know, as does Wells Fargo, that there is virtually no chance I would understand any of it.”

Then, in total rebellion to the way we lead our 21st Century lives, I refused to sign.

“Okay,” he replied. “we’ll just keep the annuity in the existing account.”

Wait, what? This was certainly a revelation! If we didn’t really need a new account for the annuity, what was this whole thing about? And do all companies operate this way now? What would happen if everybody just refused to sign user agreements? Would Apple and the like eventually just say, “Oh, all right. Never mind”?

In conclusion, I invite all my readers to stop signing and agreeing to things. And since I don’t have nearly enough readers for any corporation to care about, I encourage all my readers who do have Facebook friends and various followers to tell everyone you know to get on board with this.

I also have one more request: please send me a lot of money. I have a feeling we’re going to be needing it.

See you soon.

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Bonus Post: Don’t Play With Time

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a problem with Daylight Savings Time.

Wait, let me rephrase that. It’s not DST specifically I have a problem with, it’s the idea that we can fool around with time at all.

I don’t think humans can be trusted with that kind of power.

I understand that time is an artificial construct in the first place; we made it up. We didn’t do it that long ago, either. Well into the 19th Century, it could pretty much be whatever time you wanted it to be. The only reason we tried to standardize it at all, at least in North America, was so we could make train schedules, which was the only way you could know how late the train was.

The two men credited with proposing Daylight Savings Time, an English builder named William Willett and a New Zealand entomologist named George Hudson, did so for very serious reasons, respectively, to allow more daylight for playing golf and hunting for bugs.

But since the practice became more popular around World War I (so there would be more time to shoot at each other), we’ve bent time back and forth for a wide variety of frivolous reasons such as saving energy, to let there be light when children go to school, or to make it safe to go Trick-or-Treating.

Meanwhile, we screw up our sleep patterns, make computers work extra hard and disrupt the milking schedules of cows, which pisses them off, which is why farmers tell you not to consume dairy products in the Spring.*

We even play around with how we play around with time. We’ve changed the clocks once a year, twice a year and never. We’re constantly altering the dates on which we spring ahead and fall back. And not only isn’t Daylight Savings universal, it’s not even national. Some states don’t have it. In fact, even within states that do have it, there are counties that don’t. And get this: on one side of the Kentucky/Tennessee border, there’s a place that has permanent standard time, and just on the other side is a place that has permanent DST, so that you can drive a few miles and experience a two hour time difference!

That’s insane.

There are many people who believe we should pick one time and stick with it, but they can’t agree on which time it should be. And I’m bothered by that idea, too. Let’s say we turn the clocks ahead tonight and then we decide, enough of this stupidity–we’re staying with DST. Well, what the hell happened to that hour? Can we just throw time away like that? It’s like the New York-New Jersey tolls that charge nothing when you go into Jersey and double when you go into NY. While that is entirely appropriate from a value point of view, it means you cheat the system if you drive into (and, I hope for your sake, through) NJ on your way to somewhere else and never come back.

And what if we did it the other way around? Come fall, we turn the clocks back and that’s it for evermore. Didn’t we just add an hour to our lives?

I hope they tell us in advance when they’re going to do that so we can use our hour wisely.

See you soon.

*True about upsetting the cows, not so much about the farmers’ warning, which doesn’t mean you should use dairy in spring, it just means farmers haven’t warned us about it.

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Entry 638: The Checks Are in the Mail. So Are the Balances.

If there’s one thing we all remember of what we learned in school about the U.S. government, it’s the phrase “checks and balances.” Also, the chuckle we enjoyed when we squared-pattern-19480151first heard the name “Millard Fillmore.”

Our Founding Fathers created three branches of government, we were told, so that no body held too much power. The legislative branch balanced out the executive branch. The judicial branch made sure the other two branches stayed in line with the Constitution and that manufacturers of black robes stayed in business.

Unfortunately, there were two things our founding fathers did not foresee:

  1. A time when citizens would not frequently be asked to provide room and board for soldiers.  Obviously, there’s no need for the “quartering of soldiers” when you have AirBNB, so the Founding Fathers wasted an amendment on that one.*  The Third Amendment could have been better used for The Right to Wi-Fi.
  2. A two-party system in which representatives are much more loyal to their parties than to their country.  And because our stupid Founding Dads didn’t know that would happen, party loyalty is now destroying this country.

There are no checks when all three branches of government are ruled by the same party** and the members of that party blindly support somebody they once called a “pathological liar,” a “carnival barker,” “the most vulgar person ever to aspire to the presidency,” and “a nut job,” which are all things various Republicans called Donald Trump.***

balance1Also, as we’ve seen during the past eight years, there are no balances when the legislative and executive branches are ruled by different parties and the party with the majority in Congress blindly discards anything coming out of the White House. That’s not balance; it’s blockage.

Those are the only two circumstances that exist in our federal government now: either nothing can get done or everything can get done. Neither situation is healthy.

I know it sounds like I’m railing specifically against Republicans, but that’s only because they’re the ones currently in power. This is a bipartisan problem. The sad fact is that, between blind party loyalty and the influence of lobbyists, we have a Congress without a conscience.

There has been talk over the years about somehow getting lobbyists out of our government, but, for some reason, there hasn’t been a strong movement by our representatives to stop lobbyists from influencing our representatives. I’m not sure, but it might have something to do with money.

So, if we’re not going to do something about the lobbies, how about doing something about the parties? There’s nothing in the Constitution (I don’t think) that dictates a two-party system. There haven’t always been two parties. In fact, the two parties we have now have switched core beliefs more often than professional wrestlers switch from bad guys to good guys. And, really, where can you find a good Whig when you need one?

If parties were abolished, everybody could be an independent. A politician could be fiscally conservative without also having to be socially conservative. Someone could be pro-life without also having to be pro-gun, a combination that makes no sense at all. Voters wouldn’t be able to just check everything in one column; they’d have to know what each candidate was all about, except maybe the guy running for small claims court judge.  And our representatives could represent their constituents instead of doing whatever their party leaders told them to do.

I know it’s never going to happen, but we can dream, can’t we?

See you soon.

*The largely forgotten Third Amendment–Quartering of Soldiers–is the least litigated amendment in the Bill of Rights. The Supreme Court has never even decided a case on the basis of it.
**I’m assuming the Supreme Court will soon fall in line.
***Respectively: Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham.

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Entry 637: I Don’t Want to Carp on This, But…

Since our daughter Casey was born over 30 years ago, my family has had a lot of pets. If we made a graphic of all the pets we’ve had, it would look like one of those evolution charts, albeit one of an extremely random species.petevolution2

It would begin, of course, with a goldfish. We never had much luck with goldfish; no matter what we did, they never seemed to last very long. It was probably because we overfed them. Every time we got bored, we’d say, “Casey, want to feed the fish?” and she’d enthusiastically dump a handful of whatever the fish food was into the aquarium. After a week or so, we’d find the thing with its enormous belly up, give it an undistinguished funeral, and spend $2.99 on another one.

The fish evolved into hermit crabs, which evolved into these weird frogs that came in the mail (we ordered them; they didn’t just show up unsolicited) and never left the water. Those evolved into hamsters, then a rabbit. All of these had one thing in common as far as my wife and I were concerned: they couldn’t die fast enough.

The damn rabbit, which I think we acquired when Casey was in second grade, hung around until she was about to go off to the Rhode Island School of Design. (That is, Casey went off to RISD, not the rabbit. We would have made the rabbit go to a state school.) This longevity was in spite of a genetic deformity (in the rabbit, not Casey) that made its tooth grow unabated to the point where it wouldn’t be able to eat. I had to shlep it to the vet once a month and get its tooth filed for $15. Plus, the rabbit would sometimes get this horrific expression on its face that communicated: “I would tear you to pieces if I could get out of this cage…and if I could chew.” You can read about the glorious day the bunny died here.

The frogs refused to die at all. In fact, when we moved from Westchester to Connecticut six years ago, we actually left the remaining amphibian behind for the new owners. “Includes all appliances,” it said in the real estate listing, “and a friggin’ immortal frog.”*

It wasn’t until we moved up the food chain to a dog that a pet became a beloved member of the family.

Then, of course, we ran into the opposite problem: what to do when a beloved member of the family got gravely ill. Most dog and cat owners have had to deal with this. How much money do you spend on chemotherapy for a 15-year-old cat? Should you put your 10-year-old St. Bernard on the waiting list for a liver transplant? Do you love your goldfish enough to spend $250 on life-saving surgery?

That last question came up recently for a family in England, which, for some reason, is the origination point of many of the weird pet stories I come across.** The article I read about this didn’t include the name of the family involved, but the goldfish’s name is Bob. Bob had what I’ll call a finereal disease. The vet told them that they could either put Bob to sleep or operate to remove a tumor from his fin.

I should point out here that I am not making any of this up. I deem it necessary to specify this because of what I’m about to tell you.

Bob was 20 years old.

Okay now, readers. By a show of hands, how many of you would consider taking a goldfish of any age to a veterinarian for any reason? For that matter, how many of you would even notice a tumor on a goldfish? If you’re raising your hand, you’ve made my point: you are a crazy person. Why else would you raise your hand when I’m not there to see it?

I’ve twice been present when we had to put a dog to sleep. We sat there crying and stroking 2-bob-the-goldfishthem as the drug took effect. I’m tearing up now just thinking about it. Call me a heartless bastard, but I can’t picture a scene like that with a fish. “You were a good boy, Bob, a good friend. Now close your eyes and go off to fish heaven and…Bob, stop flopping around. Can we put him back in the water to die, doctor?”

In any case, possibly because it would be silly to pay a vet to euthanize a goldfish, Bob’s family opted for the surgery. The vet put Bob under general anaesthesia and, using advanced microsurgery techniques (pictured at right and below), removed the tumor. Bob is now doing well, although I imagine that for a while he was only able to swim in a circle.

But I bet the vet wishes Bob had been a bigger fish of 5-bob-the-goldfishthe Acipenseridae family. That way, she could have been a sturgeon surgeon.

See you soon.

 

 

*Not really. But we did leave the frog behind. It might still be alive for all we know.

**For instance, longtime readers may recall my coverage of Claire Lennon, who refused to risk the life of her pet cockerel in order to have her $500 diamond earring, which the bird had swallowed, surgically removed.

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Entry 636: What Does the Pope Know?

Mark’s Note: With leading biologists and ecologists gathering this week for a conference at The Vatican, President Trump asked Scott Pruitt, his pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency, to write a rebuttal to whatever scientific hokum comes out of Rome. This reporter has obtained an early draft of this document from a reliable source who thoroughly enjoyed the electric widow’s peak sharpener I got him as a “thank you.”

FROM THE DESK OF SCOTT PRUITTscott_pruitt_epa_official_portrait_cropped1
Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency

To: President Donald J. Trump
Re: Vatican conference

First, let me take a moment to thank you again for choosing me to head up the EPA, a job I feel totally qualified for based on my years as president of the Republican Attorneys General Association. As you are aware, that organization has a very close relationship with the oil industry, so I was able to learn all I need to know about environmental issues.   I also meet the prerequisite for most of your appointees: I’m an old, rich, white guy.

The first claim that will emerge from the highly overrated “scientists” who are gathered in Rome is that about half the species currently on our planet could become extinct by the middle of this century.

Even if I was inclined to accept that at face value, which I’m not because I don’t want to, that assessment begs the question: Which half? I think you’ll agree, Mr. President, that if it’s the half that includes kale, Mexicans and those stupid bugs that show up every 17 years and make a racket, it’s nothing to worry about. And don’t worry, sir, I have it on good authority that meat loaf is not one of the species in danger.

We know that the conference in Rome will be as biased as CNN, since the Pope is a tree hugger from way back. He’s even on record as saying, “Because all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another.”

I’m gagging just typing that quote, sir.

Certainly we can not expect a gathering under the auspices of such a person to disclose the truth about the climate change hoax. Some of these liars are already saying that we’re facing a disaster even worse than Obamacare, an “extinction event” such as the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. Perhaps, as a talking point, Kellyanne can refer to the dinosaur massacre.

These so-called scientists also talk about humans as an invasive species. Well, that’s exactly what you’ve been saying, Mr. President! It’s why we can’t let just anybody into the country!

Regardless of anything reported by the liberal Catholic press this week, I don’t see why we should pay any attention to it. I mean, what the hell is The Vatican anyway? It’s some kind of “independent state.” Is that the same thing as a country? I’ve been there, and it’s just a hundred or so acres in Rome guarded by a bunch of Swiss guys who couldn’t even keep terrorists out of their own country. No, wait, that was Sweden.

And everyone over there is always talking about the Holy Sea. Is that where holy water 15474767620_6139fd54b0_b1comes from? Are they worried it’s going to get polluted? I didn’t even see any oceans near The Vatican, although I did get some nice action figures for my kids.

In conclusion, sir, I don’t think we need to give much credence to fake news about fake science coming out of a fake country.

I’m off now to check on the progress of the Dakota pipeline. And, by the way, on that subject, we can have Sean Spicer tell the press that if we’re already going to lose half the species even before we build the pipeline, we might as well go ahead and build it. Let’s see Pope-what’s-his face argue with that logic!

Keep up the good work, Mr. President.

Yours,
Scott Pruitt

P.S. I just looked it up, and evidently it’s “The Holy See,” not “Sea.”  What the hell is a See?”

P.P.S. Saw your speech to Congress last night.  Amazing!  You are the best President ever.  BTW–There’s nothing to that rumor about you dissolving the EPA, right?

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