An accidental ass

Some ass walked into the grocery store without a mask, and it was me. Despite two years of wearing masks everywhere except at home, I'd forgotten, and blithely left it behind in the car. I was an accidental ass.


A security guard at the door was supposed to stop me, but there's only one of him and he has too many other supposed-to's. He didn't notice or didn't say anything, so I cluelessly proceeded to the produce department.

Carrots, and then onward. Hot dogs. Canned fruit. Pickles. Sauerkraut. Sliced cheese. I was all the way to sardines when I noticed some other ass in the aisle was maskless, and it pissed me off. I was going to say something rude, or throw my sardines at him, when — I don't know why, but I doublechecked. Touched my bearded face. No mask.

Of course, I abandoned my cart, beelined out of the store toward my car, and masked up. It's required by law, common sense, and two big signs at the front door. I've seen those signs a hundred times, but this morning I'd blown right past 'em.

N95 finally on my face, I walked into the store a second time, found my cart again, and pushed it toward frozen foods for my last few items.

This part of Wisconsin is blue and left, so it's rare to see anyone's nose or lips. I'd walked maskless past a dozen masked customers and employees, and none of them had said hey, or fuck you, or anything at all. Guess everyone's weary of arguing over masks and mandates and vaccines and all things viral.

Frozen won-tons. Sugar-free popsicles. Then I was second in line at the cash register, when who rolled his cart behind mine? The other maskless man, the guy from the canned meat aisle, and he was still naked-faced. I glared at him, pointed to my mask, and he flipped me off. 

Having testosterone, I was instantly furious, ready to return the finger, say something loud, or do something stupid. Instead, Jesus spoke to me.

I'm an atheist, but raised Christian, so that damned old hippie still nags me sometimes, and this morning he whispered in my ear, "Let he who is without sin cast the first can of sardines. —John 8:7."

I shook my head, turned back around, silently told Jesus to go to Hell, and waited my time at the register. 

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Street sweeping in San Francisco 

In San Francisco's super-seedy Tenderloin neighborhood, a non-profit called Urban Alchemy pays ex-addicts to walk the street, gently nudging the undesirables a few blocks away. 

It's futile, of course, solving the problem for an hour or two at best, but it's better than the traditional strategy of having the police beat people's heads.

Want the Tenderloin to actually be a better place? Legalize drugs, open safe shoot-up spaces with non-judgmental medical staff, and of course, build 100,000 units of affordable SRO housing. Problem solved. You're welcome.

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This 22-minute video from Michael Hobbes examines the moral panic surrounding so-called 'cancel culture'.

For the first 16 minutes or so, it's about the often-overblown controversies that swirl around celebrities after they've said something stupid, and it's interesting enough, but I don't care about celebrities.

For the last six minutes, though, Michael ties everything together to explain plainly what the right-wing is up to. Their 'cancel culture' panic is mostly about protecting racists and supporting racism.

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I enjoyed this bit from Bruce Anderson at the AVA, but his site doesn't let me link to the pertinent part, so pay attention: Click this URL. When you get there, search for IN OUR OWN and read four paragraphs. It's over when you come to a picture of Sidney Poitier.

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US nuclear power plants contain dangerous counterfeit parts, report finds 

Hadn't heard about this in nuclear power plants before, but I'm not convinced it's a big deal.

Counterfeit parts are fairly common in airplanes, and planes aren't falling from the sky. Nukes probably don't need name-brand everything either.

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Third grader faces assault charges for bullying 

What, you're sympathetic for the bully? Look, the victim's parents complained to the school, and school officials did nothing. This is the logical next step, and the right thing to do.

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In a first, former prisoner takes seat in New York State Assembly 

I'll make a brand new start of it in old New York...

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Next COVID strain could kill many more, warn scientists ahead of England restrictions ending

It's true in America, too, and everywhere else.  

"If these demands are not met, we will be striking by not attending school" 

Kudos for the kids awake enough to wonder why they're being sent to school, while schools are obviously unsafe from COVID.

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Dude, who's my alder? 

This is local from Madison, Wisconsin, but it's reassuring to see — with so much gerrymandering nationwide — that redistricting can be done fairly.

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A porno-metal song about gay cowboys is disrupting the anti-vax trucker convoy 

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Weird science:
Radio station snafu in Seattle bricks some Mazda infotainment systems

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One-word newscast, because it's the same damned news every time...


Yale Kamisar
James Wharram
Irwin Young 

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 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


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♫♬  Sing along with Doug
Cranky Old Man is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to All Hat No Cattle, Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S., and always Stephanie...


  1. You should've beaned that guy with your can of sardines. Screw Jesus. great story though.

  2. Unrelated:

    I laid a shit earlier today that stank so bad, it hung in the aether for a legit 30 minutes.

  3. Got my first shot, no prob. Got my second shot, no prob. Got my booster, no prob. No problem with any of it. The shots barely even hurt. I still got the corona but it didn't kill me. All in all, much easier than parking a truck in Ottawa for a month.


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