What Japanese Beetles?

Japanese Beetles on a tasty green leaf
Japanese Beetles on a tasty green leaf

One of the great things about living in the Ozarks is the constant changing of seasons. It seems like only a few days ago we were in the throes of ice-storm season, and then came allergen season, and of course thunderstorm season, and now we’re in the midst of Japanese beetle season.

If your house has not yet been overrun and your plants devoured by Japanese beetles it means one of two things. Either you have the crappiest tasting plants in your neighborhood, or you have a neighbor like me.

Here at the CowChows we try to get along with everybody, but when the Japanese beetles began eating the green off our shutters it was time to take action. We thought about insecticide but couldn’t find one that kills only Japanese beetles. I tried going around squishing them but that quickly turned into a fulltime job. And then we heard about these nifty “Japanese Beetle Traps.” What could be better than that? You hang up this plastic bag with a little scented lure; all the beetles do a Hotel California conga into the bag, and no other bugs get hurt. It sounded perfect so we bought a bunch of them and hung them up all around the place.

There’s just one little problem with this solution. It works too well. All the beetles for miles around were magically drawn to our yard. We had bags full of them, and then trash bags full of those bags, And then, under the summer sun they began to rot and stink until our neighbors began to complain about the stench and when we said, “It’s the Japanese beetles,” they said, “What Japanese beetles?”

Turns out we had solved the Japanese beetle problem for everyone around us. While we were doing battle with these voracious little devils our neighbors thought we had developed a hygiene problem. That’s when I realized I was doing it all wrong. So, I gathered up all the lures and went for a walk around the neighborhood. Now when one of my neighbors complains about the Japanese beetles I just smile and say, “What Japanese beetles?” Life is good here at the CowChows.

Cordially yours,

Tim Couch

Dear Dad

Righty-tighty. Lefty-loosey.
Righty-tighty. Lefty-loosey.

Dear Dad,

Just wanted to drop you line and say Happy Father’s Day. I know we don’t often talk about our relationship or our feelings. Not often, not ever really. I guess that’s just the way it is between father and son. But, some things I think need to be said.

You taught me a lot of things over the years and I want you to know I’m grateful. You taught me the satisfaction of helping others without expecting anything in return. You taught me that stregnth lies not in doing what you can but in persevering even when you think you can’t. You taught me the importance of truth, liberty and justice.

Some things you taught by example, some by instruction, and some by accident. You taught me to work on cars by example and instruction. You taught me to cuss by accident while watching you work on cars.

I know we haven’t always seen eye to eye on everything, and I know that’s okay. I know you may have had a different path or destiny in mind for me than the one I chose. I know that some of the most difficult moments in your life were those when you had to stand down and let me make my own mistakes. But, I want you to know that I’m doing okay. Life is not easy, but you never promised it would be. I’ve made my mistakes, as we all have, and hopefully I have learned to be a better man because of them.

Most of all, Dad, you taught me a love of God and family and friends that will sustain me and nourish me for the rest of my life. I have a good and loving wife; I have a large and extended family; and I have many good friends. You taught me to love and cherish the important things in life and these are the things I hold most dear.

I know you sometimes wonder if you could’ve done more or should’ve done differently, but as for me, Dad, you did good.

With love and affection,

Tim

Flies set to retaliate against President Obama

What is President Obama thinking? First he goes around bowing to foreign Kings, apologizing to the world for percieved discourtesies, offering olive branches in exchange for billy clubs, and now after all this kowtowing he turns around and commits cold blooded murder, on camera!
In case you haven’t yet seen it President Obama was caught on camera, with malice and aforethought, slapping the life out of the Whitehouse fly. To make matters worse he was encouraged and congratulated by the CNBC News reporter on camera with him, as well as several off camera observers. What is this world coming to?
As with all things political the consequences of Mr. Obama’s actions have begun to come to light. The D.C. law firm of Dewey, Cheetum and Howe is in the process of contacting the widows and orphans of the newly deceased insect. The Whitehouse fly, or Whitey as he was affectionately known, was known to be of a promiscuous nature and the number of his dependents is expected to be in the thousands. A civil action suit including the President, the Federal government, and CNBC News is expected to be filed within the next couple of weeks. The D.C. Police Department has not yet responded to our enquiries so the possibility of criminal charges still exists.
On a broader scale the International Housefly Consortium is said to be taking a retaliatory stance on the matter. While it has long been rumored that the IHC has secretly been collecting tiny amounts of enriched uranium, it is now suspected the group has conglomerated enough of the radioactive material to pose a serious threat. Intelligence chatter between the IHC and North Korea has picked up considerably in recent days. We contacted a spokesfly for the IHC and although we can’t be absolutely certain because they are very difficult to understand we think he said, “Although we have no religion to base our actions upon, we are convinced that God is on our side.”
Reports, opinions and suspicions continue to swarm as this story develops and people around the world react to the news. As one worried person in Baghdad put it, “It makes you wonder what kind of person he really is. Perhaps the fly was only reaching out in friendship, and what did he get? SMAK!!”
After all his efforts to convince the nations of the world that he is a man of peace; after all the rhetoric of new beginnings, change, and worldwide brotherhood, in one swift movement we find ourselves on the very brink of inter-species war. What happens now Mr. President? Will you negotiate? Will you retreat? Or, will you at last stand up and declare to the world that America is a no fly zone?
Satirically yours,
Tim Couch

What is President Obama thinking? First he goes around bowing to foreign Kings, apologizing to the world for perceived discourtesies, offering olive branches in exchange for billy clubs, and now after all this kowtowing he turns around and commits cold blooded murder, on camera!

In case you haven’t yet seen it President Obama was caught on camera, with malice and aforethought, slapping the life out of the Whitehouse fly. To make matters worse he was encouraged and congratulated by the CNBC News reporter on camera with him, as well as several off camera observers. What is this world coming to?

As with all things political the consequences of Mr. Obama’s actions have begun to come to light. The D.C. law firm of Dewey, Cheetum and Howe is in the process of contacting the widows and orphans of the newly deceased insect. The Whitehouse fly, or Whitey as he was affectionately known, was known to be of a promiscuous nature and the number of his dependents is expected to be in the thousands. A civil action suit including the President, the Federal government, and CNBC News is expected to be filed within the next couple of weeks. The D.C. Police Department has not yet responded to our enquiries so the possibility of criminal charges still exists.

On a broader scale the International Housefly Consortium is said to be taking a retaliatory stance on the matter. While it has long been rumored that the IHC has secretly been collecting tiny amounts of enriched uranium, it is now suspected the group has conglomerated enough of the radioactive material to pose a serious threat. Intelligence chatter between the IHC and North Korea has picked up considerably in recent days. We contacted a spokesfly for the IHC and although we can’t be absolutely certain because they are very difficult to understand we think he said, “Although we have no religion to base our actions upon, we are convinced that God is on our side.”

Reports, opinions and suspicions continue to swarm as this story develops and people around the world react to the news. As one worried person in Baghdad put it, “It makes you wonder what kind of person he really is. Perhaps the fly was only reaching out in friendship, and what did he get? SMAK!!”

After all his efforts to convince the nations of the world that he is a man of peace; after all the rhetoric of new beginnings, change, and worldwide brotherhood, in one swift movement we find ourselves on the very brink of inter-species war. What happens now Mr. President? Will you negotiate? Will you retreat? Or, will you at last stand up and declare to the world that America is a no fly zone?

Satirically yours,

Tim Couch

Where’s apology from Letterman Show joke writer?

Who is the puppet master?
Who is the puppet master?

As far as I’m concerned the Letterman apology is too little too late. If he truly regretted telling the joke he wouldn’t have gone around telling it over and over during the days following. He only decided to make a serious effort at apology when he realized he had gone too far publicly and it was likely going to hurt him professionally. But, this post isn’t about Letterman. It’s about the person who has, so far, been overlooked in all this hoohaw.

This post is about the person who actually wrote the joke. Letterman is just a mouthpiece. He doesn’t write his own material. This became evident during the writer’s strike of 2007-2008. Sure it was poor judgement on his part to deliver the joke and late night T.V. would be better without him. But, somewhere out there is a comic writer, or team of writers, who actually thought the implication of statutory rape of a fourteen year old girl was funny. This is the person, or people, who really need to be fired.

Anybody that clueless about what constitutes humor has absolutley no business getting paid for their drivel. I say fire the writers. Maybe if they don’t have to spend their time coming up with stupid jokes they can go back to school and choose a career path that actually suits their talents. Something like, oh I don’t know, boat anchor.

Or, if they’re really determined to make it as a comic writer I think a little homeless time is just what they need. Some of the funniest and wisest people I’ve ever known honed their wisdom and education while domiciliary challenged.

So yeah, flush Letterman. He’s been floating for years. But let’s not forget, while we’re at it, the people who put those words in his mouth, and those who downplayed it in the media, and those who promote such bad behavior. The puppet may appear to sing and dance, but forget not who pulls the strings.

Sincerely,

Tim Couch

Unintended Consequences

Cats on election day
Cats on election day

Why is it that good intentions always seem to lead to unintended consequences?

For example: A while back a black and white cat wandered through our yard. It was kind of skinny and hungry looking, but not unhealthy. My wife, being the kindhearted and generous soul that she is, coaxed it onto the porch and gave it some table scraps and a heaping helping of affection. It came back the next day, and the next. We decided it wouldn’t be a terrible thing to have a guest cat around the house so we brought home a bag of cat food and began putting out a bowl of food and water for her. It was a good arrangement. She didn’t belong to us so we weren’t responsible for her, and yet we got to feel good about taking care of her and enjoy her company when she deigned to visit.

A few days later she brought a friend over for dinner. He was well behaved and kind of shy so it was okay. We could handle another guest cat. We hadn’t bothered to give the first one a name but now we needed to call them something just so we’d know which one we were talking about. To make it easy we decided to simply call them Thing-One and Thing-Two. They were good neighbors. They stopped by every evening to say hello, have a bite to eat, a quick rub, and then they were on their way.

Then came Thing-Three. She was pretty much a feral cat. She made it clear she was only there for the free food and wanted nothing more to do with us. We felt sorry for her and accepted her into our little group. After a few days she began to calm down and act as if she might consider a scratch behind the ears, when along came Thing-Four. She was a blond haired, green eyed beauty who thought she could swish her tail and get anything she wanted. Unfortunately, for us, she in turn attracted, Thing-Five.

We drew the line at Thing-Five; enough was enough. We tried to be generous and offer a better life to a few stray cats but they were just going to keep coming until there was nothing left. And, where they once came for a few minutes in the evening as part of their neighborhood prowl now they were staying all the time. Once their nourishment needs were taken care of they just wanted to lay around in the shade all day. So, the bowls went empty and dry, and you know what? The cats did just fine on their own. In fact, they seem much happier now than when they were lounging around on our porch. Thing-one recently had kittens. She sent us a card.

Diligent labor for labor’s sake is not in our nature. When we realize we can vote ourselves the fruits of another’s labor the knell of democracy has begun.

Sincerely,

Tim Couch

How to implement the Fart Tax

Farting is your Patriotic duty
Farting is your Patriotic duty

Methane gas is the second most worrisome of the greenhouse gases contributing to Global warming. A recent report shows that livestock, particularly cattle, produce as much as seventeen percent of the methane gas present in our atmosphere. There is talk in Washington of taxing the offending bovines. A new study, not yet released, by the Atmospherical Solutions Society’s – Geological Astronomical Studies (ASS-GAS) department reveals that human activities contribute approximately sixty percent of the world’s methane. Given the current economy and the present administration in Washington it’s easy enough to see that we will all soon be paying a fart tax. The only question is how will the tax be implemented? Several methods are currently being considered.

Fart-O-Meter

One Japanese company is developing the Fart-O-Meter. This is an ingenious device that can be conveniently slipped into any back pocket, or worn comfortably fastened to the optional waist band. By constantly monitoring the ambient air it will keep a precise record of all taxable expulsions. At specific intervals each device will transmit wirelessly an update of its readings. Each transmission will be received, recorded and the appropriate tax calculated by the new government office, the Biological External Revenue Service. The organization of the B.E.R.S. is still underway and film maker Michael Moore is said to be under consideration to head the government office as Fart Czar.

Tests of the Fart-O-Meter are ongoing and while the technology seems promising there have been some problems. According to the chief officer of development, Ono Stinkomoto, “…the readings of the device are precise and dependable in less populated areas, but when tested in crowds such as a sports arena or subway the thing just goes nuts.”

Geography and Demography

Another promising method for calculating the eminent fart tax is by using geography and demography to determine tax responsiblity. Studies have shown that diet and lifestyle directly determine the amount and frequency that a person passes gas. By analyzing the normal diet and lifestyle of a given demographic we can estimate not only how often the average citizen will fart but also what level of greenhouse gases those farts would contain. Statistically and politically this may prove to be the most reliable, fair and transparent method to date. While the diet and lifestyle of those living within a given geographic area varies according to financial means this method would allow the tax to be spread evenly throughout the area. Thus, this particular method has come to be called the Flat Fart Tax.

Unfortunately, the F.F.T. is not without it’s problems either. Predominantly Red States are more heavily populated by red meat eaters, whereas those living in predominantly Blue States eat more fruit. Determining the boundary lines for the several tax regions has proven difficult, and no existing enforcement agency is equipped to control line-jumpers who might cross over into a neighboring region to enjoy a steak without paying the higher tax.

The Honor System

A final method under consideration for the calculation and collection of the fart tax is the honor system. Under this system everyone would keep track of how many times they farted during the day, nighttime farts would be estimated, and the tax would be calculated and added to our annual income tax. This would, of course, be the simplest system to implement. There would be no need for additional infrastructure as the existing I.R.S. would be able to collect and record the payment of taxes. Jobs would be created in the form of government agency employees to perform the necessary audits to ensure fart tax compliance. And, the construction industry would be stimulated as new prisons are built to house tax evaders.

As tempting as this system may seem it too is not without it’s shortcomings. Tax evasion, as mentioned, would obviously be a problem. Enforcemement would be difficult. New laws and regulations would have to be enacted and enforced. Our law enforcement agencies would need to be trained to spot and recognize perpetrators. It would, in short order, become a convoluted and stinky mess.

The good news for us consumers is that once all the details have been aired out and the fart tax is implemented the government plans to subsidize the bean industry. The price of a can of beans at the grocery store is expected to fall to an all time low. However, Beano will be declared a controlled substance.

Yours in pun,

Tim Couch