Poor news coverage and the new $20s

It’s just not funny anymore. And that is why I would like to announce my resignation as The GW Hatchet’s so-called “humor columnist.”

Ha! I sure had you going there for a minute.

No, I’m gonna stick around and continue to churn out these diatribes every other week. I’m having fun.

But what is really NOT funny anymore is the news. For what seemed like months on end, we were bombarded with pure, unadulterated hijinks whenever we turned on the tube. Wacky accusations of stained dresses and cigars surely brought tears to many eyes.

And all the while that lovable rogue, the president of these once great and mighty United States wagged his finger and announced that he would be absolved of these flimsy charges. Yes, he would be proven innocent, just like another American hero – O.J.

Now that the impeachment proceedings are on hold, there just ain’t nothin’ worth paying attention to on the news. Who wants to read about the stock market? Does this really affect anyone? Global economic collapse … oh no! Run for the hills!

And John Glenn in space – this is what passes for newsworthy these days? Let’s just hope they have some episodes of “Matlock” aboard that shuttle, because Glenn is going to need something to do between naps.

What concerns me the most about the news lately is the sharp increase in weather-related disasters. Of course, disasters are nothing to chuckle about (which is precisely why I am mentioning them in this “humor” column).

But what I do find a bit “kooky” is the names assigned to these storms as of late. First there was “Georges.” Now, to the naked eye, this appears to be the masculine name “George” with a neat little letter “s” tacked on the end.

Wrong again, Skippy. Actually, the g’s are pronounced as if they were a “zsh” sound. Now, perhaps this name strikes fear into the hearts of Frenchmen (“Sacre bleu! Eet ees Georges! Quick! Grab as much wine as you can and head down to zee base-mont!”) But I hope you’ll agree that they could come up with a more foreboding name.

So with that in mind, I eagerly awaited the next major tropical storm/hurricane event to see what those wackos at the National Weather Service would come up with. It wasn’t long until we were blessed with what is surely the most diabolical, panic-inducing name ever bestowed upon a raging maelstrom:

Mitch.

Tropical Storm Mitch.

What’s next? Hurricane Lance? Tropical storm Bruce?

No offense to the unlucky folks whose parents pinned them with these names, but the facts are the facts – these names are not going to send any south Floridians to the hardware store for plywood to board up their windows. (“Shouldn’t we do something, dear?” “Naw, it’s only Hurricane Wayne.”)

I guess that leaves me only one more topic of national interest to make fun of: the new $20 bill, which just recently began plaguing our streets. Being a student of the delicate art of journalism, I took it upon myself to do a little “legwork” and find out what the populace thinks of this new bill. I designed an intricate questionnaire that I distributed to several Washington, D.C. businesses, asking them to rate the new twenty in categories ranging from aesthetic beauty to, all right, I’ll stop there.

To be truthful, I asked a guy at a deli on P Street what he thought. After looking at the new $20 for a few seconds, he shrugged his shoulders and replied: “As long as it pays the bills … but yes, it is ugly.”

You got that right, my sandwich-wrapping compadre. I hear this new bill is supposed to thwart counterfeiters. Apparently if you photocopy one, it’ll scream “Turn off this freakin’ machine!”

No, of course it won’t. But I do hear a photocopy of the new bill will reveal stuff not visible on the bill itself. Try it. (I haven’t, but intend to next time I have studying to do.)

Oh, and if you hate the new $20s as much as most people, if you are just tired of looking at them, give ’em to the 10th highest-paid university president in the country to play with. Another gate, anyone?

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