#479, November 18, 2007

Football rivals and Presidential candidates

COLUMBUS: College football is wrapping up. Teams like to save their biggest rival till the end of the season. Almost everybody has a favorite match up. Here, Ohio State beat Michigan again to end the Big Ten season.

Your school may have another game or two before the Bowl games begin. You can expect more upsets. Nothing has been as predictable this year as unpredictability. If your team isn’t ranked near the top, why you’re fortunate.

Before we even crown a college football season champion, the political season has it’s first battle in Iowa. Iowa kinda lost interest in football this fall, so they’re tuning in early to the Presidential candidates. New Hampshire never did have much interest in football, so politics is a year-round sport.

Did you see the Presidential debate on CNN from Las Vegas? None of these debates are good for the candidates. There’s too many up there; by the time one finishes talking you’ve forgotten the question, and after each one gets a turn, you forgot what any of ’em said. Instead of televising it nationally whatever was said in Las Vegas should have stayed in Las Vegas. Except Joe Biden; he got a few laughs. Some others drew laughs, just not on purpose.

Last week I told you about the drought in the Southeast and Congress passing a water bill. Well, the Georgia governor called a meeting to pray for rain, right there in the Capitol Building. Some said he shouldn’t do that, you know, praying on state property. But it did rain, so even the critics had to admit it more likely came from the Almighty than from Congress.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“The football season is about over. Education never had a more financial year. School will commence now. Successful colleges will start laying plans for new stadiums; unsuccessful ones will start hunting a new coach.” DT #414, Nov. 20, 1927

#478, November 12, 2007

Weekly Comments: Writers on strike; Congress provides the comedy

COLUMBUS: Congress passed a bill to spend $23 Billion on water. The Senate voted to spend 11 Billion and the House voted to spend 12, so they compromised on spending 23. See, that’s the way they work in there; compromise means asking every Congressman and Senator what he wants, then giving it to him. Nobody asked the taxpayers.

Our southeastern states are drying up, and this bill promises Billions of dollars for ’em, but no water. Building another dam won’t help if there’s no water running into it. A week of soaking rains would do ’em more good than all the water bills Congress can pass in a year. Seems you just can’t get a good hurricane when you need one.

Prospects don’t look too good for rain the next few months. Something called La Nina is gonna keep that whole region dry. If this drought spreads to the Midwest, it’ll be even worse. Oil over $100 a barrel, and all that corn we’re counting on to replace it might wither in the dust.

The writers for television have been on strike for a week. Viewers accustomed to getting their news from Jay Leno and the other late-night shows are turning to their morning newspaper. You know, that’s where those Hollywood writers get their ideas, so why not read all the news and write your own jokes.

Say, have you been reading that Alley Oop comic strip? If your newspaper don’t carry it, you can find it on the internet at: http://comics.com/comics/alleyoop. For the past month or so Oop has teamed up with another hero you’ll recognize, solving a mystery from a hundred years ago.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

   “This day is no doubt the greatest day in all the world history. Armistice Day, when you think that a half dozen men could sit down and casually sign a pact to stop millions of men from killing each other. But if they don’t stop these guys making these speeches over the radio on Armistice Day, why we are liable to have the same war over again, only worse. If Armistice Day had stopped speeches, it would have done more good than to have stopped war, for speeches is what starts the next war. It’s not armament, it’s oratory that’s wrong with this country.” DT #1028, Nov. 11, 1929

“I just got back from Washington D.C. (Department of Comedy)… Most people and actors appearing on the stage have some writer to write their material, but I don’t do that. Congress is good enough for me. They have been writing my material for years.
Now, they wouldn’t be so serious and particular if they only had to vote on what they thought was good for the majority of the people of the U.S. That would be a cinch. But what makes it hard for them is every time a bill comes up they have a million things to decide that have nothing to do with the merit of the bill. The principal thing is of course, ‘What will this do for me personally back home?’ A man’s thoughts are naturally on his next term, more than on his country… If we could just send the same bunch of men to Washington for the good of the nation, and not for political reasons, we could have the most perfect government in the world.
So all in all I had a very pleasant visit in Washington, found that with all my kidding and knocking our public men, they all seemed to be my friends, It’s only when they are actually in action and serious that they are funny. Off the stage they are the finest bunch I ever met.”
 WA #78, June 8, 1924

#477, November 4, 2007

Oklahoma celebrates centennial sooner

CLAREMORE, Okla.: There’s something about a birthday that draws attention, whether it’s a state turning 100, or a man reaching 128. Oklahoma’s been celebrating a Centennial all year, even though they don’t officially reach 100 ’til November 16. Oklahoma has had so much fun with this Centennial I propose they keep on going and celebrate the 101st in the same manner. In fact every state ought to find something to celebrate every year or two.

As for “my” birthday (Nov. 4), I tried to keep it quiet, but they kept announcing it in the papers and on television. The party started Friday morning with the Oologah second graders singing at the old ranch house, then a parade in Claremore Saturday afternoon, and it ended with Garth Brooks in Tulsa. The Pocahontas Club, which the Cherokee girls started in 1899, also held their usual delightful ceremony at the Memorial. All this attention is kind of embarrassing, but I guess I’ll hang around for the next one.

Oklahoma had other excitement this week. They put in force a law against hiring or helping illegal immigrants and it has caused quite a ruckus and legal haggling. But according to the newspapers, the main effect of the new law is that most of ’em have left of their own accord. This last item should be of interest to those in other states who say we can’t possibly deport 12 million people. See, you let the word out you’re serious about illegal immigration, and they kinda deport themselves.

Now I know there’s some good folks among ’em. They work hard and don’t like to be called illegal, even though they jumped the gun instead of waiting in line to be let in legally. In Oklahoma there’s a name for those folks. It’s a peculiar name that goes back 120 years and is still held in ill repute across most of the state (at least among the cowboys). This strange name was stuck on those who illegally jumped the gun weeks ahead of the famous Land Runs. Rather than wait, they sneaked in “Sooner”.

So I propose that all these millions of folks who sneaked into this country illegally be hereafter called Sooners. The ones in New York, when they get their driver’s license they will given a license plate holder for their car that says in red letters, Sooner Schooner. In California there’s so many Oklahoma Sooners that moved there during the Depression these new Sooners will fit right in. Now Texas is different. All illegals will clear out of there pronto, because nobody in Texas will ever admit to being a Sooner.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

“There is nothing in the world like home. You can roam all over the World, but after all, it’s what the people at home think of you that really counts.” WA #128, May 24, 1925