Thursday, December 29, 2005

The act of a desperate woman?

Just when you thought that you had seen it all….

Ms. Sharon Tendler, a 41-years-old Jewish millionaire from London, tied the (nautical) knot with Cindy, a 35-years-old dolphin, in the Southern Israeli city of Eilat.
It seems that the met the groom, a resident of the Eilat dolphin reef, 15 years ago, when she first visited the resort.
It seems that from the start, Sharon (a British rock concert producer) made beautiful music with her dolphin.
Due to logistics (Cindy obviously didn’t want to submit himself to flying El Al, wise mammal!) it was up to Sharon to keep the relationship going.
She has been traveling to Eilat two or three times a year, spending time with her underwater sweetheart.
"The peace and tranquility underwater, and his love, would calm me down," the excited bride said after the wedding ceremony.

Mmmm, that Cindy is one smooth operator.
Is Sharon sure that he has been faithful to her all those years?
Let’s face it, whether they have limbs or fins, a guy is a guy….

May be inspired by the fact that gay marriage is now legal in Britain, or just being fed up with Cindy’s non-commitment, Tendler insisted on making it official.
Since she couldn’t locate his relatives, she turned to Cindy's trainer Maya Zilber to get the wedding going.
Zilber accepted the challenge and "talked the idea over with the fellow," who apparently consented. It is not known if the groom had to sign a prenup…

The thrilled bride, wearing a white dress, walked down the dock before hundreds of astounded visitors and kneeled down before her groom, who was waiting in the water.
In my opinion, the poor guy thought he was getting some serious fish treats instead of being high jacked into matrimony.
Cindy’s fellow dolphins acted as best-men (it is also not know if any fish changed hands to pull that one off.)

Under the eyes of a highly amused crowd, Tendler hugged him, whispered sweet nothings in his ear, and kissed him. Oh Neptune, what a Kodak Moment!
After the ceremony was sealed with some mackerels, Tendler was tossed into the water by her friends so that she could swim with her new husband.

"I'm the happiest girl on earth," the bride said as she chocked back tears of emotion.
"I made a dream come true, and I am not a pervert," she stressed.
Well, Cindy, most of us like to stick to our own kind (you know, homo sapiens?)

Tendler said she and her newly wed husband will probably spend their wedding night bowling. O dear, how exciting!

The weirdness of it all was nicely voiced by a child in the crowd:
"But what kind of children would they have?" it asked his father.
Well, mermaid/merman springs to mind....

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Poor David Letterman.

Poor David Letterman.
Bad enough that a house painter was involved in a plot to kidnap Letterman's infant son (and is currently serving time for it), he was also stalked for years by obsessed fan Margaret Ray, who served 10 months in prison and 14 months in a mental institution (before committing suicide by kneeling in front of an oncoming train).

But the latest pest in his life really takes the cake.
New Mexico resident Colleen Nestler believes that Letterman torments her over the airwaves using a secret code consisting of words, gestures and "eye expressions" for more than 10 years to convey his desire to marry her and train her as his co-host.
According to her, as a result, she suffered from "mental cruelty" and "sleep deprivation," and has been forced into bankruptcy.

Strangely enough, the Santa Fe District Judge Daniel Sanchez granted a temporary restraining order against Letterman.
The court date has been set on Jan 12, when the judge will determine whether to make the order permanent.
It smells like Ms. Nestler wants to feather her nest with a follow up court case demanding damages.

I am all for people receiving justice, but what about nutters abusing the system?
The Nestler Woman has a rather warped sense of relationships and/or a very fertile imagination.
This is what happened in her little Nestler world…

It all began with her sending "thoughts of love" after he began hosting The Late Show with David Letterman on CBS in 1993.
Mmmm, what about the fact that my cat keeps sending “thoughts of food” to me? Will that mentally damage me?
She goes on claiming that Dave responded to her thoughts of love, and, on his show, in code words & obvious indications through gestures and eye expressions.
She also claims that he asked her to come east.
Yeah, sure, just what the poor guy needs!

Before Thanksgiving 1993, Ms. Nestler claimed that David asked her to become Mrs. Letterman.
Obviously, N. has marriage on her mind – when as a teaser for his show, Letterman jokingly said, "Marry Me, Oprah" Nestler concluded that it was a message intended for her.
She justifies with the statement that Oprah had become the first of her many code names.
It must have been a bummer when the one and only Oprah W. showed up on the show.

Don’t think that Oprah was the only coded message – according to Nestler, the letter C on baseball caps referred to her and she also received specific messages through songs sung by his guests (unfortunately, “Shut up, shut up” of the Black Eyed Peas was not one of them).

What is still a mystery to me is why she waited 10 years to file her complaint.
Did the “relationship” go sour somewhere along the line? Was it Oprah’s book club?
Not drinking enough Kabbalah water? Not receiving good vibes from clams?

Nestler told the Associated Press that she is praying for a permanent restraining order. Mmmm, may be an exorcist can be of help here.

There is a legal aspect to the restraining order business as well.
It is doubtful that the Santa Fe District Court has jurisdiction over Letterman, which (as every law student knows) is lecture # one in law school!
You see, it seems that the Nestler Person never served Letterman with restraining order papers and also failed to follow other procedural requirements.
Oops! May be getting pointers from fellow inmates or from free e-books is not the way to start a legal procedure.

Let’s hope that this whole frivolous farce of a lawsuit will be thrown out of the window.
I feel for Letterman, who comes across as a nice guy. Nobody deserves to be forced to fork out money and waste time to react to this kind of nonsense.
Hitting her with a hefty fine for wasting the court’s time as well as some decent compensation for Letterman’s lost time and costs should do the trick.

To quote the German dramatist, novelist, poet and scientist J.W. von Goethe:

There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity

Monday, December 19, 2005

Holiday Cheer

Going on a holiday break to get away from the cold is always a good idea.
So I decided to check some (sub) tropical destinations, that would still fit my budget.

I came across the following offering:

Winter Travel Special
4 Day / 3 Night resort packages starting from $429*
Package Includes:
AccommodationsRound-trip ground transfers on island
A six-story water slide through shark-filled waters
An archaeological dig into a lost civilization
A casino of mythical proportions

And the largest open-air marine habitat in the world, second only to Mother Nature

I am a cynical, frugal and experienced traveler, so I analyzed this great offering for all of you. Read, weep (with laughter) and learn, mes enfants.

  1. The resort package starts from $ 429, but doesn’t include traveling to the resort.
    Meals are not included, and I bet that any drink (being it a simple soft drink or one of those fancy umbrella/flower-decorated thingies) will cost you mucho extra.
    If you want to budget it – I strongly advise you to double the price.
    It will easily cost you $900 -and please don’t forget your insurance!
  2. Accommodations is a nice term – but rather vague, non?
    Does it include a nice bedroom with a view, airco, cleaning and fresh towels everyday, or am I (and my b-f) supposed to rough it out on a floor mat lulled to a slumber by the sound of buzzing insects?
  3. Round-trip ground transfers on island. Oh, oh - it sounds like this resort is in the middle of nowhere! Which means that I have to schlep my jetlagged body for who knows how long to my destination.
    With a bit of luck, I will be jostled around in a rickety rack bus…with open windows instead of air-conditioning….
  4. A six-story water slide through shark-filled waters. O great! Just what I need – being propelled down a chute higher than my 4th floor apartment and then being catapulted into waters as lunch for sharks. Hello – I am not only a lawyer, I also work in high-tech.
    The aim of the vacation exercise is to get away from the sharks, not swimming with them!
  5. An archeological dig into a lost civilization.
    Let me get this straight – if the civilization is lost, how can I visit the dig?
    Is it Atlantis that I will have a look at?
    Or are they going to treat me to a view of an empty pit? Oh, the suspense!
  6. A casino of mythical proportions.
    OK, I had a nice classic education, so I know for a fact that mythical is non-existent (as in the Minotaur, the Greek gods and bug-free software)
    If you don’t believe me, check out the definition of myth:
    A fiction or half-truth, especially one that forms part of an ideology.”
    You see my point?
    The ideology of a casino is the make as much money out of gamblers as possible.
    In this case, size really matters. Just travel to Las Vegas and walk around in the casinos on the Strip. The one who wrote this piece of PR was probably looking at the word “gigantic” and decided that there should be a superlative to that word.
    Since giants are definitely mythical beings, I think that the poor person got confused, which makes sense in a casino the size of a mausoleum.
  7. Obviously still suffering from weakness of the brain, the last sentence compares the resort (or may be the island or the whole archipelago?) to the largest open-air marine habitat in the world, second only to Mother Nature.
    So they compare their shark-infested waters with the personification of nature as a powerful and nurturing woman.
    Mmmm, might be me, but somehow that metaphor was lost in translation.
    May be the writer had a few of those umbrella/flower decorated drinks while schlepping to his desk through the “mythical proportioned” premises?

Needless to say, I will do a little bit more web surfing before I consider this deal……

Monday, December 12, 2005

What's in a name? That which we call a (….) Tree by any other name would look as green.

As the whole world knows by now, a controversy arose when the annual Christmas tree was sent from Nova Scotia to Boston.
Not only did the grower object to the Bostonians renaming the arbor "Holiday Tree", but also the conservative media such as FOX jumped on the issue and announced that the “dechristmasfication” of the USA reared its ugly head.
Funny enough, they seem to overlook the fact that the tradition of the Christmas Tree is pagan – Jesus for sure never saw a Christmas Tree during his lifetime (date trees, olive trees, palm trees, yes, but no Scotch pine or fir - trust me).

Since I want to be as PC as the rest of the world, I decided to make a Helpful Suggestion.
I decided to consult Shakespeare first, since religion was not going to give me any answers….
The Bard made some poignant observations in his time, so who am I not to learn from it?
To paraphrase him: “What's in a name? That which we call a (….) Tree by any other name would look as green”.
After absorbing these pearls of wisdom, I came up with my first suggestion: “the big green thingy.”
Not one of my brighter ideas, as I found out the hard way.
I received the following letter (stuck to my door with superglue) when I came home:

Dear Ms. Daumier,

On behalf of all green superheroes, we strongly object to being referred to as a “big green thingy.”
If you don’t retract or change to above, we will be forced to take Superhero Action, which might result in some temporary and/or permanent physical and/or mental discomfort. You will be properly notified by signs on the walls and/or in the sky.

The League of Green Superheroes


The Hulk
Chairman of the

The Green Giant

“green is a nice skin color too”

Needless to say, I had no ambition at all to mess around with Superheroes. Just look at poor Lois Lane.
So I rephrased it to “Green Entity M/F”. Has a nice ring to it, and is also very PC.

Returning home, I found the following note on my door.
I had some trouble removing it, since it was embedded with a lethal looking arrow.
I read the following:

Stupid Person,

Stop referring to us as “green entities” – we are magic folk, not thingies!

You should call a fairy a fairy and the troll a troll, if you get our drift.
(If not, you are even denser than a dragon and that says a lot!).
If you don’t rephrase your suggestion before the next rainbow, we will turn you into dead leaves, and bury you in a lead kettle at the foot of before-mentioned rainbow.

The International Federation of Leprechauns

“if you don’t want a mess, don’t mess with us”

Needless to say, I rephrased again – and came up with: “green foliage.”
That would neatly exclude anything mammal, so I would be out of the woods (or ground).
At least, that’s what I thought…until a courier knocked on my door, handing me two envelopes.

The first one was stacked with leaves containing the following text:


You use the term “green foliage” to refer to a Tree.

This is absolutely incorrect.
The term not only refers to all evergreens, but also to shrubs and bushes.
You are obviously not a botanist.

Get your facts straight and get a life (or a university degree in Agriculture).

Insincerely yours,

The National Union of Evergreens
The Hibernia Counsel for Improvement of Shamrocks

“plants communicate – HRH Prince Charles”

The second envelope boasted one on those official looking seals and read:

We know who you are, where you live and what you had for breakfast.
Please note that the President saw your suggestion and thought that he had to change his name to Prez. Foliage.

You see, he used the thesaurus tool on his computer, thinking it was some kind of Super-Dinosaurus, since he read it as The Saurus. He then typed in your foliage and bush came up. Hence the misunderstanding that he had to change his family name.
It took us quite some time to convince him that there was no need to walk around the Pentagon in army camouflage gear.
He still keeps the helmet with leaves in the Oval Office though.
See what you inconsiderate suggestion triggered?

Repent or your creative days are numbered.

The Federal Bureau of Keeping the Bush

“Never talk to a Burning Bush”

That did it! For my own piece of mind, I decided to stop helping Humanity by making more suggestions …let Bono or Sting suffer with it – I had it!
I removed all things green and leafy from my apartment.
No (….) Tree for me!
I will stick to lighting candles…and before anyone gets excited again, I am NOT going to tell you for which holiday!

Happy Whatever Everyone

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Napoleon is to blame again....

The French have a problem with Napoleon – believe it or not.
On December 2nd, it was the bicentennial of the Battle of Austerlitz (1805).

However, President Chirac stayed home, PM Villepin disappeared to somewhere else, and Minister of Defense Alliot-Marie showed up briefly at one of the side events.

It’s not that the French fell out of admiration with le petit Corsair, but admiring let alone officially applauding him is political incorrect.
You see, activists from French colonies, especially the Antilleans and French-Guineans, resent the fact that Napoleon reinstalled slavery in the year 1802.
Needless to say, this is a fact that European history books never mention….

The author Claude Ribbe, a member of the prestigious Académie Française, wrote a poignant pamphlet under the title: Le Crime de Napoléon (the crimes of Napoleon).

Please don’t think that Ribbe represents the intellectual conscience of the French intelligentsia - philosopher Alain Finkielkraut complained in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz that “African immigrant are not grateful enough for all the good things that France has done for them and their continent”.
Yeah, sure, being poor, unemployed and discriminated against is just great!
Finkielkraut added that the French national soccer team is being ridiculed as 'black-black-black'.
Now let me get this straight: the French colonized parts of Africa, ensured that the locals became “French” (language, culture) and then, when they play in the national team (with great success I might add), they are suddenly not French enough? Pfffff.

Finkielkraut is not alone – Pierre Nora, the leading and innovative historian in France, believes that France is suffering from its own version of American PC - a “re-ideology of its history,”
with too much emphasize on colonization and slavery.
As if we can ever pay to much attention and learn lessons from it.

French politics got involved as well – the month November saw two major issues.
The Socialist Party demanded in parliament (Assemblée Nationale) that the legal requirement that schools must pay attention to the “positive role” that France played in North-Africa will be scrapped.
This law came in February in effect, and embarrassing enough, the Socialist Party voted in favor of it (“out of oversight” as the party leader Ayrault declared.
Protest also came from history teachers, professors, and the Algerian president Bouteflik.
They were unsuccessful –colonization will officially remain “positive.”

This law is seen as a reaction to the Taubira Law from 2001.
That law was initiated by a left-wing representative from French-Guyana and marks slavery as a crime against humanity.
It might be me, but this should be clear to every decent person and it says a lot that the French needed a law for this….
The Taubira Law will play a major role in the upcoming court case against historian Oliver Pétré-Grenouilleau, who is being charged with “negationism.”
In a news interview, he denied that slavery is a crime against humanity.
Pétré-Grenouilleau conducted a study about the spread of slavery in different cultures and came to the conclusion that it didn’t have genocide as a goal.
Of course not, but in my humble opinion, treating human beings as merchandize to make a maximum profit is still a crime against humanity…
And the fact that he dedicated his book to “all those that suffered under slavery” doesn’t change that one iota.
Nora is a staunch supporter of Pétré-Grenouilleau, and is convinced that he will be acquitted. Please note that Monsieur Nora was also one of the few historians that opposed the law that forbid denial of the Holocaust.

If France wants to remain “French” and cultivate its “liberté, egalité, fraternité,” it better shape up – pronto.
The recent revolt of the immigrant youth is just the top of the iceberg and global warming will not save their fleur-de-lis white skin.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Has anyone seen the King of the Jungle?

We all know that the Gaza is not exactly the most sophisticated place on the planet.
It they would ever twin, I would suggest doing it with Afghanistan or Iraq.
There is not much law and a lot of disorder.
(an idea for a new reality show? “Outlaw and Disorder”? Oops, forgot, we already have that in the form of incursions in Iraq….)

It seems that not only humans are unsafe – our animal friends are also in danger.
Mid November, four masked gunmen armed with Kalashnikov rifles raided the only zoo in the Gaza Strip.
After handcuffing the guard and locking him up in the cafeteria, the thieves first stole two white and grey parrots that speak a few words in Arabic.
That is in itself a Good Thing, if they would speak Hebrew, they would for sure be bird pie by now.
Then, the thieves moved on to grab two lions.
They were successful with one; the other violently resisted and was left alone.
The zoo’s manager Saud al-Shawwa announced a $1,000 reward for anyone who provides information that could help find the lion and parrots.
"Thousands of people visit the zoo and they will miss these animals, especially the lion," he said.
"We have different species of animals here and we urge the Palestinian security forces to help us find the stolen animals."
(I wouldn't hold my breath if were him - Palestinian security is not exactly known for its efficient operations).
"The whole operation lasted less than 30 minutes," Shawwa added.
"The thieves must have visited the zoo before to examine the place. The zoo was officially opened two months ago."

It seems to me that the animal abducting gang was filling an order – the black market for lions is non-existent.
Apart from an attitude problem (lions don’t take very kindly to anything interrupting with their comforts in life), they are also expensive in the upkeep.
An adult will easily eat more than 3 kilos meat a day, and we are not talking hamburgers, but prime stuff.
So somewhere in Gaza, Jordan or Egypt, there is a Fat Cat stroking the head of this lion….
I don’t think that the announced reward will bring in any leads – the Fat Cat will for sure multiply this amount as hush money if necessary.
Let’s hope that our lion gets a good treatment; if not, it can always cross the bother and enjoy matzot during Pesach in an Israeli zoo…..