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Below was sent to me as a joke. I think it’s brilliantly funny. Brilliant in the way Ernesto breaks bad news. Funny in the response to the news. Enjoy.

At dawn the telephone rings, ‘Hello, Senor Rod? This is Ernesto, the caretaker at your country house.’

‘Ah yes, Ernesto. What can I do for you? Is there a problem?’

‘Um, I am just calling to advise you, Senor Rod, that your parrot, he is dead’

‘My parrot? Dead? The one that won the International competition?’

‘Si, Senor, that’s the one.’

‘Damn! That’s a pity! I spent a small fortune on that bird. What did he die from?’

‘From eating the rotten meat, Senor Rod.’
‘Rotten meat? Who the hell fed him rotten meat?’
‘Nobody, Senor. He ate the meat of the dead horse. ‘
‘Dead horse? What dead horse?’
‘The thoroughbred, Senor Rod.’

‘My prize thoroughbred is dead?’

‘Yes Senor Rod, he died from all that work pulling the water cart.’

‘Are you insane?? What water cart?’

‘The one we used to put out the fire, Senor.’
‘Good Lord!! What fire are you talking about, man??’
‘The one at your house, Senor! A candle fell and the curtains caught on fire.’

‘What the hell?? Are you saying that my mansion is destroyed because of a candle??!!’

‘Yes, Senor Rod.”But there’s electricity at the house!! What was the candle for?’

‘For the funeral, Senor Rod.’

‘WHAT BLOODY FUNERAL??!!’

‘Your wife’s, Senor Rod’, she showed up very late one night and I thought she was a thief, so I hit her with your new Taylor Made Super Quad 460 golf club.’

SILENCE……….. LONG SILENCE……….

‘Ernesto, if you broke that driver, you’re in deep shit!!

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Five things I hate? Interesting, almost refreshing twist on what everyone seems to be asking these days. On the phone messages you hear “ … and before you hang up, tell me one thing you love about your life.”

I guess it’s progress on the road to enlightenment that I actually can’t think of anything… at least not at first. A good sign I think. I don’t hate anything? What a highly conscious evolved person am I?

And then I think of a person that really irritates me sometimes. I hate it when she’s like that. When she’s that way, you know …  so unnecessarily difficult. That’s it! That’s something I can roll around with in the pig pen of hate. I hate it when she, or anyone else for that matter chooses the difficult path when the alternative is so available and obviously easy. There, that wasn’t so hard. I nailed #1.

What else do I hate? I’m challenged with five. Hmmm one down, four to go. I hate people that don’t clean up after their dogs. Ok I don’t actually hate them; I just hate dog shit on the streets. I’m sure the dogs are great to play with and their owners are much more hygienic at home, I just hate stepping in dog shit. Yes! Another victory I really hate stepping in dog shit.

And oh, the smell. Can I claim that as # 3? There’s the stepping in, and then there’s the smell of it. God, I hate the smell of dog shit. Yes. I’m claiming that as #3. I hate the smell of dog shit. I could milk this with the wiping off of it, but where would the challenge be? I’ll go for the challenge.

What else? Think, think, think. Well there’s traffic. I actually don’t hate traffic. I don’t even drive anymore. Plus I usually have an audio book I could listen to. Ah hah!

Wasting time.

I hate wasting time, or rather having someone else waste my time. I as Grand Master of my own time, am the only one that has the prerogative to waste my time. Anybody else wasting my time earns my contemptible scorn. How’s that for hatred: contempt and scorn. What passionate words.

And for #5 what else do I hate? Oh this one’s easy: salsa songs that go on forever. Don’t get me wrong I love salsa, and I’m even credited with being a decent salsa dancer. It’s just that I’ve got only so many moves and after I use them up, I get bored or rather I think she gets bored. Starts a whole conversation in my head about what she’s thinking about my dancing, and God. The freaking song won’t stop! It just goes on and on and on. Why couldn’t it stop after 3 minutes and I could milk my four or five really cool moves, song ends and I still have some perceived mojo left. But no, it’s gotta go on for for fifteen frickin’ minutes. Damn I hate long salsa songs.

Ok. That’s it. Five things I hate. That wasn’t so bad. Now I can go back to my transformed higher self. Until I step in dog shit as a salsa party.

So I’m a closet visionary. I predicted electronic talking dictionaries in the mid ’80’s when the Apple IIe/c was all the rage. What that proves I can’t say, I just thought it would lend some credibility into my initial public foray into uncharted waters. In this case the Indian and Pacific oceans.

With this post, I start writing about my ideas of where we could be headed. Mostly for fun yet I’m also quite serious.

Last night at dinner with friends I went public with an idea for a possible solution to a whole slew of global issues: food production, overpopulation, ethnic cleansing, species extinction and global warming. It’s crazy.

You ready?

Junglize Australia.

You heard me. Turn Australia into a huge green habitat for all of the world’s endangered life forms. Let’s create jungles where right now is only sand and rock. That gigantic patch of arid land depicted on maps we’ll transform into the equivalent of a new Amazon. They’re certainly not doing anything with it.

How would that be done, you ask. Good question to which I don’t have the specifics. You see I’m a big picture guy. I usually leave the details to other people. But here’s how it could work: There happens to be a whole lot of water around Australia, you may have noticed this from at least a global map. And, as is very clear from observations of the polar caps, there’s a whole lot of water that’s becoming available every day. So what we’ll do is build huge channels into the interior of Australia, with desalanization plants along the way. We’d build tributaries spreading across the continent essentially reversing the normal “water flows to the sea” tradition. (The possibility that this experiment may protect my Florida coastline investments has not escaped me.)

With the help of soil enhancement technology and Al Gore, we’ll then plant all of the necessary Amazon type trees in areas best suited to wildlife (Australian jungles), and in areas best suited to farming we’d then start to do so. Then we’d introduce endangered and threatened species (like they need more dangerous animals), as well as displaced peoples from every corner of the world.

And presto, we’d have a gigantic mess of new problems that we can barely imagine: lions sleeping with tigers, giraffes dating kangaroos etc. But we will have done something constructive to address some of our problems. We will have had a great world project to have our conversations about instead of the conversations of pain and destruction that we currently engage in.

Sidebar:The Australians themselves may prefer the term “forest.” I like “jungle.” I mean the Australians are a nice people, but with the exception of Crocodile Dundee and Steve Irwin (the Crocodile Hunter), they’re often a fairly bland lot. (Indigenous people of course not included.) Junglizing Australia would add some flavor to these rather traditional British loyalists. With all of the new imigrants their accent would become “Caribben like. They’ll be inventing new dances and music, etc., etc.

Man, I’m excited. Anybody have Al Gore’s address? I’d love to hear what he thinks of my idea of junglizing Australia. My dinner companions last night didn’t have it.