Random inspirations, observations, ruminations

November 03, 2005|By DAN RODRICKS

Regarding Exxon Mobil's obscene profits while consumers face record-high gasoline and home-heating fuel costs: Can we just do a hostile takeover? I say bring the troops home from Iraq so they can help us seize control of Exxon Mobil and nationalize the company. All in favor say, "Hooah!"

Trust me. Six years from now, when kids born in 2005 enter first grade, we're going to see a mess of boys named Scooter.

The service was so slow at the Starbucks in the "Yuppie Singles" Safeway in Canton the other day that five couples had time to hook up and get engaged.

I like that boxy, funky Scion xB. But I saw an all-white one on Pulaski Highway the other day, and it didn't look like a car; it looked like an appliance. I felt like opening a door to grab a cold one -- or my laundry.

I saw a petite, young woman driving a giant Hummer at a shopping center. She looked like Shari Lewis' Lamb Chop at the helm of the QE2.

In a memo to workers at Ford's truck plant in Wayne, Mich., managers said hourly workers are spending too much time in the bathroom, and these extra-long breaks are slowing production of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. All I can say is: Whatever it takes, brothers and sisters. Drink more coffee! Subvert the production and sales of gas-guzzling SUVs! Works for me.

I went to an Asian food store on York Road to buy some stuff -- chopsticks, rice bowls, various sauces and a selection of noodles. I would have bought the dried fungus but remembered I had plenty at home.

Like many Americans, I was surprised to learn that Senate Democrats are starting to criticize President Bush's use of intelligence in the Iraq war. I had no idea President Bush used intelligence in the Iraq war.

Nice to see leading Democrats doing this -- now that Bush's approval rating is 39 percent. There's a profile in courage for you, and right on time to save countless lives.

I like the idea of unmasking someone who makes an anonymous -- and disparaging -- Internet posting in chat rooms or on message boards. Men and women who want to say crackpot things about anything and anybody ought to stand by their words, attach their names and identities to their nasty, sarcastic and scurrilous postings, and take the heat that ensues. Otherwise, they're just gutless scribblers, graffiti artists of cyberspace.

Mark my words: MD4Bush will turn out to be the late Ross Pierpont.

Why is it my kids come home from Halloween trick-or-treating with enough Reese's cups to fill a laundry basket? I mean, we're talking about 10 Reese's for every one pack of the much-preferred Peanut M&Ms, and I know no one who actually likes Reese's cups. To me, they are the fruitcake of the candy world -- something you give away and nobody eats.

OK, maybe MD4Bush is Ed Norris.

Ray Lewis is expected to miss three more games with a thigh problem. He didn't play Monday night, and the Ravens defense had a great team effort against the Steelers. I'm sure Ray's thigh will get better. It's the ego that might be beyond recovery.

Time now for the Jesse Jackson-Wannabe Quiz: Who gave the following quote? "Just think about what we saw in Louisiana. What we saw were the differences that empowerment can make. Those who were empowered got out. Those who didn't, died. No one admits this divide, this division that's grown into our culture and our community." This bit of subversive, haves-vs.-have-nots rhetoric did not come from the usual suspects -- Jackson, Al Sharpton, Michael Moore, Kanye West -- but from the Republican lieutenant governor of Maryland, Michael Steele, as he announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Kind of surprising, I'd say. Next thing you know, Steele will be saying that he thinks global warming actually exists. He has already said he opposes the death penalty. Looks like Steele might be a victim of identity theft.

I know: MD4Bush is Marty Bass.

We're all concerned about what it's going to cost to heat our homes this fall and winter. Here's my recommendation -- toilet paper. Go to a warehouse superstore and invest in about $200 worth of toilet paper. Stack the rolls against the walls of your coldest rooms to further insulate them. This way, your house will be warmer and, when it snows, you won't have to run to the supermarket.

A Baltimore City Council proposal would ban noise in residential areas over 55 decibels, and toughen fines and provide other remedies for loud neighbors. Excessive noise would become a public nuisance crime, like prostitution and lewdness. Violations could bring eviction, property closure, $1,000 fines and yearlong imprisonment. "On first blush it sounds a little extreme," said Mayor Martin O'Malley, pointing out that the city has noise-abatement laws on the books. But don't let O'Mayor's measured reaction fool you -- he sees this as a threat. Remember, he sings and plays guitar. He's a rocker. Guy makes a lot of noise.

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