Category Archives: humor

Sorta Clean Water spills into WV drinking chemicals

A storage tank containing 30,000 gallons of an ancient compound known as Sorta Clean Water sprang a leak last week. The breach went unnoticed for several hours, allowing the Sorta Clean Water to contaminate the drinking chemicals of thousands of West Virginians.

The Sorta Clean Water is a compound that was used extensively in the production of trees and wildlife.

Customers complained that no odor came from the liquid flowing from their faucets, and that they could “see clean through” their drinking glasses. “It was unnerving,” said one customer. “Honestly, if I can’t smell it? And if I can see through it? Yuck. I don’t want to drink it.”

Scientists are unsure of the effects Sorta Clean Water may have on people who ingest it.

Authorities are urging citizens to follow the procedures set forth in the Spoil Advisory. The Spoil Advisory contains detailed instructions on how to best recontaminate the water before ingestion.

 “If you are unable to properly recontaminate the water,” a spokesman for the Governor’s Office advised, “mix equal parts antifreeze, gasoline and Michelob Ultra Light. It won’t burn your esophagus going down as much as you are accustomed to from your normal drinking chemicals, but it should get you through the crisis without too many withdrawal symptoms.”

“It is especially important to make sure infants and children stay away from the freshwater,” warned Director Sogbottom, of the recently created the Department Of Environmental Destruction. “Old folks,” he continued, “and I mean the truly old, may be able to drink the Sorta Clean Water, as they probably still have some residual tolerance to cleanish water, but fresh water could be toxic to children, pets and big business.”

Asked for comment, Delegate Zatezalo, R-Hancock, said, “This is a tragedy and a travesty. When we passed House Bill 2506, recalculating the mixing zones and amounts of cancer-causing chemicals companies were permitted to dump into streams and rivers, we thought we’d effectively eliminated any chance of even a single child in West Virginia ever having to be subjected to drinking clean water again. We are not even sure why Sorta Clean Water was allowed to be stored in a tank a mere mile upriver from a drinking chemical intake. If industrial waste isn’t safe in West Virginia, then nothing and no one is safe.

“Trust me, we will take vigorous action against any and all people irresponsible enough to allow Sorta Clean Water to be present in any amount in any West Virginia stream or river. In fact, I’m working on legislation right now that would allow companies to dispose of their waste by pumping it straight into the, uh, um, boobs of breastfeeding mothers. We in the West Virginia House and Senate take the health and wellness of industry very, very seriously.”

For now, the National Guard will be mobilizing to bring in drinking chemicals from rivers, slag ponds and cesspools in Chernobyl and parts of India and China to get us through the crisis.

Please bring only lead-lined containers to the National Guard distribution site.

Bil Lepp is a storyteller and author.

– See more at: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/gazette-op-ed-commentaries/20170304/bil-lepp-sorta-clean-water-spills-into-wv-drinking-chemicals-gazette#sthash.NLI8kLj1.dpuf

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Turns out I’m Cis-Demisexual… Or Pronouns are the New Metric System

Bil Lepp Copyright 2017
My son, like any good sixteen year-old, is more socially relevant than I. We got to talking about gender identity and sexuality the other day, partly because we were driving through Omaha and I saw a sign that read, “Exit here for L-Q streets.” I says to my son, “Know what streets are in between L & Q? B, G and T.”

 

He laughed, but not entirely.

 

If I had to describe my dad via just one thing he said, I would go with: “It’s not true that a cat always lands on its feet. The cat only lands on its feet the first eleven times. And you’ll never see that cat again.”

 

I come from a long line of men who firmly believe, “If it ain’t broke, keep trying.”
And I mean that in the most positive way possible. In the late the 30’s my Grosspapa, after fighting the Red Army and making his way to America, was looking for work. He drove by the employee parking lot at Goodyear. He saw all the cars in the parking lot and thought, “If they can hire that many people, they can hire one more.”

 

The system may not have been constructed with us in mind, but we can always find a way in.

 

The only real argument my dad and I ever had was my hair. I didn’t smoke, or do drugs, and, unlike my brothers, I got grades. Not necessarily good ones, but I did get grades. So my hair just couldn’t be turned into that big of a deal. I kept it long. Maybe just to rankle him. And it worked. But one thing I swore was that I would never comment negatively on my kid’s hair.

 

My son’s hair is ridiculous. But I’ve never said anything about it.
Still and all, my son has informed me that I have a skewed ideal of masculinity.
No doubt. When I was a teenager my idol was David Bowie. How could my ideas about masculinity not be skewed?

 

So, I says to my son, “Know what streets are in between L & Q? B, G and T.”
That started the discussion. I come from maybe the last generation where it wasn’t uncommon to describe Uncle Charlie as a “confirmed bachelor,” or explain that Aunt Tonya and her friend Sonja live together to save rent. I’m a pretty liberal guy, I also come from the generation that nearly revolted when school boards tried to make us learn the metric system. Who cares if 5280 feet is a weird distance? It’s the way things are and that’s that.

 

My son says, “There’s not just male and female, and your gender has nothing to do with your sexuality.”

 

Again, I try and keep an open mind, but 128 ounces makes more sense to me than 1000 cubic centimeters.

 

He says: “First you have to understand the pronouns.”

 

“I gotta learn new pronouns?”

 

“Yep. You can keep He and She, but you need to adopt Ze and Hir (pronounced Here) for gender neutral people. And Mx. (pronounced Mix) Instead of Mr., Ms. or Mrs.”

 

“Really? Like, ‘This is Mx. Johnson’s car. It’s hir car.’”

 

“Yep.”

 

1000 meters in a kilometer…

 

“See,” my son explains, “you think in terms of binary genders. Male and female, but that excludes nonbinary genders and makes you  cisnormative.”

 

“Wait, I’m a what?”

 

“Cisnormative. See, you’re cisgender.”

 

“I am?”

 

“Yeah, your gender and biological parts assigned at birth align.”

 

“Like I’m an Aries with a moon in Jupiter?”

 

Sigh

 

So I say, “You mean I was born male and I have boy parts? Is that bad?”

 

“Bad is word you need to disassociate with this conversation,” counsels my sixteen year old. “So you’re cis, and cisnormative people think there are only two genders.” He continues, “There are people who are Agender, Androgynous, Androphilic, Aromantic, Asexual…”

 

“Okay, hold up. I know androgynous, what’s the others?”

 

“Agender has little connection to traditional genders at all.
“Androphilics are attracted to males or masculinity.
“Aromantics have little or no romantic interest in others.
“Asexuals have little physical interest in others.
“Got it? Cause that’s just the A’s.”

 

….Twelve inches in a foot, three feet in a yard.

 

“Then there’s Bigender, Bicurious, Bisexual and Butch.”

 

“Hey, we used to say Butch. Can I say Butch?”

 

“You probably shouldn’t.”

 

“Then there’s Cisgender…”

 

“That’s me!”

 

“Demigender, Demiromantic, and Demisexuals…”

 

“Those sound ominous.”

 

“Not at all. Demigender people are basically nonbinary but might lean a little toward one gender or the other.
“Demiromatics don’t experience romance until they are physically involved with someone and
“Demisexuals don’t experience physical attraction until a strong emotional bond is formed.”

 

“Wait! I think that’s me, too! I’m a cis-demisexual. Sounds like a Star Wars character.”

 

“Feminine-of-center and Masculine-of-center are folks who present, understand themselves, and/or relate to others in a more feminine or masculine way, but don’t necessarily identify as women or men.
“Which is not to be confused with Feminine-presenting or Masculine-presenting which is someone who expresses gender in a more feminine or masculine way.”

 

“Oh, no,” I say, “that’s not confusing at all.”

 

A liter used to be described as a kilogram of water under standard conditions.

 

“Fluidity describes a gender identity that shifts over time.
“FtM and MtF is for transgenders going from male to female or female to male.
“Gender Non-Conforming, Gender Normative, Gender Straight and Gender Variant should be pretty self-explanatory,” says my son.

 

They should?

 

“Then we get to the alphabet soup. LGBT, LGBTQ, GSM and DSG. LGBTQ stands for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer.”

 

I want to ask why we need the Q after the LGBT, but I’m afraid of sounding cisnormative.

 

And then my son says, “Sometimes the Q stands for Questioning instead of Queer. If you see a plus sign after the Q, that means And Everybody Else. GSM is Gender and Sexual Minorities and DSG is for Diverse Sexualities and Genders. And sometimes you hear somebody say QUILTBAG.”

 

I have heard people say quiltbag, but it was generally little old ladies who were referring to a bag in which to carry a quilt. I hold my tongue. Then I wonder if there’s a name for people who like to hold tongues.

 

“QUILTBAG stands for Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian Trans*, Bisexual, Asexual/Allied, and Gay/Genderqueer.”

 

“Seriously?” I say.

 

“Yep.”

 

“Is that it?”

 

“Tip of the iceberg.”

 

I’m a dad in the 21st century raised by men born in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Here’s what I know. If you see a parking lot full of cars you can think, “There’s no room for me,” or you can think, “There’s easily room for one more.” And, as a dad, you always have the option of deciding that you are right no matter what. And you can prove it. You can drag that cat up onto the roof and chuck it off until you do irreparable damage, but you’ll likely never see that cat again.

 

Sometimes you just need to accept that the centimeters have always been right there, across from the inches on your ruler.

 

Note: This is a composite of several conversations, not an actual start to finish conversation

Equating the Presidential Candidates to the Bands of My Youth

Copyright Bil Lepp 2016

Remember Columbia House Record Club?  Choose twelve albums for one cent, then promise to buy one album a month and start ruining your credit early?  Looking at the presidential candidates reminds me of trying to pick the last six albums.  Here’s how I compare the candidates to the bands of my youth.

Clinton: The Smiths  A lot of people I knew loved The Smiths.  A lot of really smart people.  And I wanted to like The Smiths.  I tried to like The Smiths.  But Morrissey was just so morose.  I was wrong every time I thought he was making a joke and I never got it when he did.

Cruz: Marilyn Manson  Dude might be a genius, some people like him, but there is something fundamentally off-putting that keeps me from wanting to get involved.  Or, if that’s too much, Van Halen with Sammy Hagar.  Something just wrong about it.

Kasich: Lionel Richie  He’s just too nice.  I’m afraid he’ll pick Hall & Oats as his VP. Watching the debates I imagine in his head he’s signing

Hello!
Is it me you’re looking for?
’cause I wonder where you are
And I wonder what you do
Are you somewhere feeling lonely?
Or is someone loving you?
Tell me how to win your heart
For I haven’t got a clue
But let me start by saying I love you

Hello! (By Lionel Richie)

Rubio: Heart  When I hear the first riffs of most Heart songs I think, “Oh, I like this.”  But after thirty or forty seconds I realize, “Oh, no I don’t.”

Sanders: Warren Zevon Catchy. Very smart. But ‘everyone’ has decided that the guy who sings Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner can’t be president.  But it was so cool when Zevon played Prince’s Raspberry Beret on Letterman!

Trump: Warrant  A lot of noise, a lot of hair. Lyrics such as

She’s my cherry pie
Cool drink of water such a sweet surprise…

Woaw

Well, swingin’ on the front porch, swingin’ on the lawn
Swingin’ where we want ’cause there ain’t nobody home
Swingin’ to the left and swingin’ to the right
I think about baseball, swing all night,

Yeah, yeah, yeah  (By Jani Lane)

It was a huge hit, but what the Hell?

All I know is, come next January, one of these people is going to start showing up in my mailbox and, month after, I’m probably going to be writing Return to Sender on the package.

Smart Enough to Operate a Jacket? Smart Enough to Carry a Gun.

From Charleston Gazette-Mail 3/13/2016
By Bil Lepp

I think the crowning achievement of the West Virginia Legislature this session is the courageous stand taken on the important issue of felonious jacket wearing. I’m a responsible jacket owner and a proud member of the National Jacket Association, or NJA.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael said: “I recognize that there are issues as it relates to public opinion on this, but at the end of the day, it is a constitutional right and we really don’t see much difference between carrying in an open manner without a permit or putting a jacket on over your weapon and then being a felon.”

Maybe I’m missing something here, but the Senator is correct — It would be silly to require a permit to put on a jacket, or for jacket-wearing to be a felony. The Legislature’s paramount concern for people who want to wear jackets shows that our state government is, first and foremost, concerned about our health and well-being.

After all, it gets cold out there, and given the conditions of the state’s roads the average citizen might well find himself walking a long distance on Sunday morning to buy a mimosa. Responsible citizens can rejoice in the freedom to wear a jacket! Jackets save lives.

If it is true that 70-some percent of West Virginians oppose this law than it must be that they simply misunderstand it. I am thankful that the Legislature had the foresight to go against the wishes of more than two-thirds of the population, and the Governor, and the better judgment of the state’s law-enforcement officers.

Seriously, if we want to attract businesses to West Virginia, it is vital that folks be allowed to wear jackets with impunity. You can’t have Casual Friday every day of the week.

What I don’t understand is why Gov. Tomblin vetoed the bill in the first place. The governor wears jackets all the time.

I am assured by Sen. Carmichael’s remarks that “… at the end of the day, it is a constitutional right …” to put on my jacket. The Founding Fathers really thought of everything.

If the clothes make the man should his jacket make him a felon?

The Founding Fathers clearly intended the Second Amendment to mandate the constitutional right to wear a jacket over a gun. I mean, if you outlaw wearing a jacket over a gun, what’s next? It is worrisome that while this law allows you to carry a gun under your jacket, it forbids carrying brass knuckles or a knife with a blade over three and half inches. This is a slippery slope. Soon the government might decree that you can’t wear a sports jacket over a T-shirt. Or that your jacket can’t be plaid, or reversible, or have more than nine buttons.

There are people, like myself, who own guns, have been trained in gun-safety, and use them responsibly.

There are people who own guns but use them unsafely though not necessarily criminally.

Then there are criminals who own guns. It is reassuring that the Legislature’s Venn diagram of these three demographics overlap at Anyone Over Age 20 Smart Enough to Operate a Jacket is Smart Enough to Carry a Gun.

The only drawback might be the misinterpretation of Sen. Carmichael’s use of the word “weapon.” Whereas most jacket wearing members of society are upright, decent citizens, this law may be abused by flashers.

If it weren’t for the valiant work of the West Virginia Legislature and its dogged determination to keep jacket wearing permit-less I would be worried that the government might show up at my house and confiscate all my jackets.

The National Jacket Association operates a website that rates West Virginia legislators not only on their jacket panache and style, but on their jacket stance in these difficult political times. I urge to check out your legislator’s rating.

Bil Lepp is a gun owner and a satirist because this really is a great country.

As long as you are down here, please click on the link original version in the newspaper

http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article-/20160313/bil-lepp-smart-enough-to-operate-a-jacket-smart-enough-to-carry-a-gun

Put a Dishwasher in the Living Room & a Dumpster on Everest

Copyright Bil Lepp

In our house the dishwasher and the kitchen sink are in the same room.  They are located right beside each other.  This is a colossal design flaw.

We don’t need two places to store dirty dishes in the kitchen.  Scholars argue that the sink and dishwasher are situated in close proximity so the dirty dishes can be rinsed and then placed in the dishwasher.  Evidently those scholars do not have children.  My children believe that trudging all the way from the table, burdened by as much as a single bowl and spoon, is enough toil for one day.  They think that the magnanimous act of putting the dirty dish in the sink is a great gift to humanity. To then put the dish into the dishwasher would be flaunting their selflessness in a shameful manner.

Please note that one has to pass the dishwasher to get to the sink.

Furthermore, there are hardly any dirty dishes in the kitchen.  The dirty dishes migrate to the living room.  This is a factor of climate change.  I don’t mean to suggest that migrating dishes are a factor of climate change; I mean eating food in the living room is a factor in climate change.  The kids leave dirty dishes in the living room rather than hiking them back to the kitchen.  The food rots and produces methane, which stinks, so we have to open the window.  Then it gets hot, so we have to run the AC.

I have read that Mt. Everest is becoming a huge garbage heap because climbers jettison useless gear on the mountain rather than hiking it down to the dumpsters by the bathrooms in the parking lot.   Our living room is very much like Mt. Everest.  It can be hard to breath up there and it is littered with chip bags, candy wrappers, and dirty dishes.

The dishwasher should be in the living room.

And it wouldn’t hurt to put a dumpster two-thirds of the way up Everest.

If the dishwasher were in the living room I would never have to say, “Is it too much trouble for you to carry your dirty dishes from the living room to the kitchen?”  Instead, I could say, “Don’t leave your dirty dishes on the coffee table, Sir Edmund Hillary! There is a dishwasher under the TV!”

Actually, my mama brought me up better than that.  If Sir Edmund where a guest in my house I would not ask him to carry his dishes to the dishwasher.  I would do that for him, but you get my point.  Come to think of it, unless it was tea or something, I don’t even think I would feed Sir Edmund in the living room.  I ain’t Emily Post but I’m pretty sure that you are supposed to feed Knights of the Realm in the dining room.  Unless it is someone like Sir Mick Jagger.  I’d feed Sir Mick in the living room, but Jagger doesn’t fit my Everest reference so there’s no sense putting him metaphorically in my living room.

There are some drawbacks to installing a dishwasher in the living room.  Eventually the dishwasher in the living room would get full- provided someone actually put the dirty dishes into it- and then someone would run it, and then it would be full of clean dishes desperately needed in the kitchen and no one would take them down to the kitchen and I would be faced with a whole new frustration.

Maybe I could just put the TV in the kitchen.  That would limit all my dirty-dishes oriented frustrations to one room.  I believe it is very Zen to limit your aggression to a single room.  Spreading your frustrations across several rooms ruffles curtains and stirs up dust.

My understanding is that when you get to the top of Everest, that’s it.  There’s nowhere else to go.  And so it is with this little essay.