Category Archives: satire

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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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

Home-School Children are Disrespectful and Anti-Social

From Charleston Gazette-Mail 3/6/2016
By Bil Lepp

Home-school children are disrespectful and anti-social … at exactly the same ratio as public and private school children. But it’s perception that counts. A lot of people have encountered “that” home-school kid who is pampered or lazy or just plain weird. And that’s the home-school kid by which some people judge all home-schoolers.

Three recent commentaries concerning homeschooling piqued my interest: one on Feb 14 by Debra K. Sullivan, and editorials on Feb 20 and Jan. 28. My wife and I home-school our kids. As with all crazy, radical, uber-religious zealots, I like to think my wife and I are normal and raising well-adjusted children.

Ms. Sullivan asserts: “The balance within a school team, based on the school’s carefully nurtured, already developed environment, will be disrupted,” if an outside student participates. This environment is developed when kids “spend seven hours a day, 180 days a year, for years at a time interacting with their peers and the adult staff,” and “that if you were to place an outside child into that environment you would corrupt the system.” By that metric no school should ever allow new kids to enroll.

Groups benefit by exposure to fresh or alternate experiences. Should we reject exchange students because they are only part of the social fabric for one year?

It is true that some home-schoolers are disruptive and corrupting. King George III called George Washington a “sniveling imp of a home-schooler.” This isn’t completely accurate since Washington was only partially home-schooled. Abraham Lincoln, a home-schooler, tore the nation in half. And then there’s Rudolph. He wasn’t excluded from reindeer games just because of his nose. He was also home-schooled.

“Public school students mix with youths of many different ethnic and economic backgrounds, so they learn … society is widely diverse. We worry that home-schooled children may wear blinders and know only the views of their parents,” (Jan. 28).

First of all, blinders only impair peripheral vision. Since it is also possible to learn by seeing things straight on, or by using your ears, many modern home-school parents have adopted sensory deprivation helmets for our children.

Secondly, I went to public school in West Virginia. I don’t remember a lot of diversity. West Virginia is 93 percent white. There are places in West Virginia where ethnic diversity is evident but also many schools where diversity means some kids are tall and some short. If that is the criterion, our home school is diverse.

Speaking of diversity, the editors lump all home-schoolers into one homogeneous group, as if home-schoolers are all the same.

“I see kids on a four-wheeler all day long and they’re home-schoolers,” Delegate Ralph Rodighiero, D-Logan, commented.

Not every home-school family is responsible, but given Logan County’s nearly 50 percent truancy rate, some of those four-wheeling kids may be public schoolers. The easiest way to tell is to check if the kids are wearing blinders or deprivation helmets. It is difficult to ride a four-wheeler in a deprivation helmet but it protects our children from getting hit with new ideas at 30 miles an hour.

Some of my kids’ best friends are public school kids, but it is true that apart from Scouting, Tae Kwon Do, swim team at the Y, city and church sports teams, church activities, city theatre productions, organized science, English and speech classes, ski club, extensive travel opportunities, and an active and somewhat diverse Kanawha-Putnam home-school group, my kids are almost entirely unsocialized and never hear any viewpoints but my own.

However, I do agree with the Feb. 20 editorial questioning the ethics of home-school parents. “What about [home-schoolers] fudging grades to qualify…?” to play sports, inquire the editors. Oh man, we are so busted! It is only right to assume that all home-schoolers are scheming to invent the never before employed tactic of lying about grades. The idea of academic cheating to benefit athletic aspirations is so novel that certainly no public or private school has ever been guilty of, or even considered, this avenue. I’m a bit chagrined that the editors so easily saw through our carefully plotted plan. Drats, foiled again.

I have no idea what it costs for a home-schooler to play on a public school team but I bet parents interested in their children participating would help defer costs.

Beyond that, I now employ the ol’ “I pay taxes” line. My tax bill is not lowered even though I home-school, as far as I know. I think I helped pay for the public school sports complexes. In fact, we have access to public school text books and my children have been welcomed into certain public school programs. I have happily voted for school levy increases. I believe that home schooling is a privilege and that since not every family has this opportunity or capability, I should do what I can to ensure that public schools in my community are of the highest quality.

Okay, it’s almost noon. Gotta go get the kids up.

Checkout Bil’s PEN Award winning children’s book The King of Little Things

http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article-/20160306/bil-lepp-home-school-children-are-disrespectful-and-anti-social

Christian Community Needs the Gay Community to Keep Us Straight

From Charleston Gazette-Mail 2/21/2016
By Bil Lepp

Gays will be able to legally refuse to sell Christians mimosas on Sunday mornings, thanks to the West Virginia Legislature’s hard and useful work.

The “Brunch Bill” will allow alcohol sales as early as 10 o’clock on Sunday mornings. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act will allow business owners to refuse service to anyone they please, so long as the owner holds a sincere religious belief. Ergo, gay business owners who sincerely, religiously, believe that Christians shouldn’t be drinking during Sunday School hours can refuse said Christians a drink.

At last, even the godless gays will have a say in Christian morality. But how can godless gays have a sincerely held religious belief? Simple. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is not a Christian act, or a heterosexual act. Your legislators may want you to believe that the RFRA will protect your Christian rights, but the bill reads: “‘Exercise of religion’ means the sincere practice or observance of religion, or any action that is motivated by a sincerely held religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.”

There is no mention of Christianity in this bill. And that last bit about “sincerely held belief, whether … compulsory or central to a larger system …” means anybody can think of any reason to refuse any service to anyone and say they believe it sincerely because it is part of their religion. What religion? It doesn’t matter. A Hindu doctor could refuse to treat your heart problems because you eat beef. Or a Muslim doctor because you eat pork. A pastor could refuse to marry a straight couple because they supported the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Or a gay bar owner could refuse to serve you a drink on Sunday morning. You can even make up your own religion and you are protected by this bill.

I know this to be true because Obama communicated all this to me through secret hand signals. You can trust me.

The reader may wonder why the Legislature even needs to enact a law allowing drinking on Sunday mornings. In the past Blue Laws “designed to restrict or ban some or all Sunday activities …” were passed to regulate un-Christian like behavior. Like drinking on Sunday mornings. This needs to be clearly and loudly stated: The Legislature is simultaneously passing a law called the Religious Freedom RESTORATION Act and REPEALING a law designed to protect Christian virtue.

If the RFRA passes, Christians will be able to drink on Sunday AND refuse to let others drink on Sunday. Brilliant. It’s not like we need new roads or a budget.

Let this be an appeal to “the” gays: Obviously, Christians who support both these bills are conflicted. At long last, the Christian community needs the gay community to keep us straight. There are many sincerely religious LGBT folks out there, and many hetero-religious people who are more interested in inclusion than exclusion. But please, whatever your practice or observance of religion looks like, develop sincere religious beliefs that allow you to refuse to sell conflicted, hetero-Christians booze on Sunday mornings. You will be protected by the very bill that allows Christians to refuse to DJ your wedding.

“This puts us in line with all the surrounding states,” said Sen. Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha (of the Brunch Bill). Lawmakers say the bill will boost tourism and give West Virginia’s hospitality industry a shot in the arm.

It sure will. When people find out that gays can legally refuse to serve Christians booze on Sunday morning, Christians from around the country will flock to our state the way the aristocrats used to head to the Greenbrier for the healthful waters.

http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article-/20160221/bil-lepp-christian-community-needs-the-gay-community-to-keep-us-straight

Unsafe? Legalize It!

copyright 2014 Bil Lepp
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Of all the bills the West Virginia Legislature passed this session, I think the most important is the ban on owning exotic animals such as tigers. Thank the stars above the state managed to enact this legislation.

It is clear that the state is determined to follow a new rule: If it seems unsafe, legalize it!

Owning tigers may seem exactly the sort of unsafe practice the Legislature would legalize, even require, but if that is your line of thought you are not thinking like a West Virginia elected official. Studies show that pets are beneficial to physical and mental health. The simple act of petting a cat makes us feel less lonely and lowers blood pressure. If petting a normal size cat lowers your blood pressure a little, it stands to reason that petting a tiger would lower your blood pressure even more. And we can’t have that. Recent polls show West Virginia is the most depressed state in the Union, and lawmakers don’t want to squander that notoriety. Our legislature is determined to keep us sick, addicted and depressed.

Meth makers, however, can rejoice. You are the darlings of the conspiracy to keep us sick and sad. If everyone in West Virginia is hooked on meth, unemployed, in poverty and depressed then sustaining an inept state government will be so much simpler. If we are depressed and high we will be more apt to believe the root of our problems are federal regulations aimed at clean water and clean air, rather than zillion-dollar companies who want to make a few bucks.

As a voting population, we West Virginians must be high to think our industries are overregulated when the Upper Big Branch mine disaster, the 2011 natural gas pipeline explosion, and the Freedom Industries chemical spill all happened, at least in part, because of lack of inspections and lack of governmental oversight. “Dude, oops,” seems to be our state government’s default response to industrial disasters and the drug problem.

They are hoping we are too high to notice, or too sick to get out of bed to do anything about it.

I do applaud the West Virginia Legislature for taking away the rights of individual municipalities to make decisions about gun laws. We clearly cannot trust our local governments to keep us safe. After all, right here in Kanawha County, some officials thought funding the library was a good idea. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and funding has been drastically curtailed. A literate population is a healthier population, and we can’t have that. How can we possibly allow county officials who want kids to read to also make gun laws?

I am a gun owner, but I have never felt the need to take a gun to the rec center. I guess I need to reconsider that choice. But if I did take a concealed gun to the gym, where would I put it? I wear shorts and a t-shirt when I work out. Where would I conceal my gun? If I have to put my gun in a locker, that negates the whole purpose of bringing it. I’m gonna have to mull this one over.

Do I really think there is a conspiracy in West Virginia to keep us unsafe and get us all high? Of course not. The pharmaceutical industry’s effort to keep medications containing the pseudoephedrine used to produce meth available over the counter are purely altruistic. Big Pharma is truly, deeply, concerned for all the billions of West Virginia cold sufferers who just might not pull through if they have to rely on readily available cold medications that cannot be manipulated by meth manufacturers. Mississippi and Oregon, two states that have passed laws requiring prescriptions for meth making medications, have suffered a staggering number of cold related deaths, half the populations moved to Texas, and both states are facing financial ruin. Oregon has gone so far as to adopt legislation to be annexed by British Columbia. If only Big Pharma had done for those states what they have done for West Virginia. Thank you Big Pharma. I know you never once thought, “What? Really? We make a lot of money from people who buy our legitimate products to produce highly addictive and destructive illegal drugs? Dude, oops.”

In parting, I have a final word for exotic animal owners. You either need to become part of the conspiracy or figure out a way to use your animals to make drugs. If there was a chance your critters were going to leak toxins into the environment, or be ingested for the purpose of getting high, of if you could conceal you giant beasts for the purpose of self-protection, you would become immediately invisible to the West Virginia Legislature. And then, if one of your critters did something wrong you could just say, “Dude, oops.”

Lepp, of South Charleston, is a professional storyteller. Read more at leppstorytelling.com.
As seen in the Charleston Gazette http://www.wvgazette.com/Opinion/OpEdCommentaries/201403180192