Jockeying For Position

We’ve learned (or at least it has been alleged) that Russian dissident Aleksei A. Navalny was poisoned. By his underwear. Vladimir Putin, who by the merest of coincidences has the Jockey Shorts franchise in Moscow, firmly denies having anything to do with it, claiming that if he wanted to poison someone they’d be dead, especially if they were wearing a well-constructed brief in a tasteful plaid print.

I, for one, have no trouble at all believing the Navalny story. In fact, I’ve never met a conspiracy story that I didn’t like. But this one rings true, and we all know it. Is there anyone reading this who has never been attacked in some way by their underclothing (you need not raise your hands)?

As for myself, I have nearly been cut in two by underwear that aggressively “rode up.” I have been given rashes whose discomfort rivaled being covered with fire ants by wearing shorts that had been washed in toxic detergents. And the first time I saw someone wearing a thong at the beach I called the police to come rescue her from what looked to be a murder in progress. In short, I am well acquainted with the potential uses of underpants as tools by homicidally inclined persons.

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So my advice to Mr. Navalny from here on in is to go commando, for God’s sake, whether you return to Russia or not.

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Sign O’ The Times Department

Robin and I were enjoying lunch in a local restaurant (we felt safe as there was only one other patron in the entire room) when I noticed this instruction and thought it worthy of bringing to your attention. I can’t recall ever seeing anything like this before, but then this has been a year of “firsts.”

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The states of this country may be united politically, but in many ways they are quite a ways apart from one another. For example, in Florida a geezer like myself would be right at the front of the Covid vaccination line, while in Colorado I am more toward the middle of the pack. Florida isn’t following any guidelines put out by infectious disease experts on this planet, but then Florida’s Republican governor De Santis has one of the more shameful records in this regard.

I briefly considered moving to the Sunshine State until I realized that even if I were to get my two doses of meds and survive the particular hazard that the novel coronavirus poses, I would then be in … Florida … with summer coming on and mosquitoes heading for me in stabby phalanxes. So I think I’ll stay here in Paradise and wait my turn rather than suffer the death of a million micro-punctures, way off there in a strange land.

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Each year I allow myself to dig into Christmas-themed music for one month, turning off the sentimental tap on the 25th of December. Each year I also allow myself to purchase the equivalent of one album of such music, which means I’ve piled up a few holiday tunes. I say “equivalent” because I now pick and choose from among several artists rather than just one person or group, as it was in the days before streamed music.

Since I now have way more than enough versions of the stalwarts, like The Christmas Song, or I’ll Be Home For Christmas, or Adeste Fideles, I now tend to look for music that gazes at the Christmas story or the season itself from a slightly different vantage point. They may be old or new recordings, but they are all new to me. This year two that I added were Phoebe Bridger’s Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and Patti Smith’s We Three Kings. One soft and dreamy and the other sort of harrowing.

I know, I know, it’s horribly old-fashioned to think of owning music, rather than renting it, but hey, what am I if not an old-fashioned person? That’s what it says on my name badge. OFP.

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