Driving up the mileage may drive the rest of us insane

Slow down, baby, now you’re movin’ way too fast.
The Beatles
With gasoline prices cooking our wallets like chicken-fried steaks, apparently there now is a posse of dangerous hypermilers clogging up our highways like plaque in an artery.
I used to think hypermilers were marathon runners. Come to think of it, those folks save plenty of money when they run to Pottstown instead of driving there.
But most of us are just too damn lazy to become marathoners. So some among us are becoming hypermilers — dastardly drivers who morph into turtles behind the wheel; who tippy-toe the accelerator instead of stomping on it; who shut off the engine or put the vehicle in neutral while coasting downhill; who inflate their tires until they are bigger than NASCAR Chevys to reduce rolling resistance and bump up the mpg; who draft other vehicles also going 5 mph; and who ignore stop signs as if they were ugly women.
Of course, all these driving misdeeds are a bit riskier than having a Cobb salad with ranch dressing.
At least they won’t get a speeding ticket. But they could find themselves playing an unwanted game of bump cars.

McDonald's and dieting can be cellmates after all

You usually can tell if folks inhale a lot of fast food. They’re the ones who are bigger than Abrams tanks.
But apparently you can eat nothing but fast food and not balloon to the size of Montana.
A guy in Virginia ate nearly every meal at McDonald’s over six months. You would think the only culinary experience more nauseating than that would be eating live bait at every meal over six months.
But this former porker actually DROPPED 80 pounds, the tonnage on his 5-8 frame dramatically shrinking from 278 to 199 pounds. And his waist size no longer was the circumference of the Earth’s equator, plummeting from 50 to 36 inches.
So how the hell did he do it?
He ate mostly salads, wraps and apple dippers without the caramel sauce and avoided Big Macs, french fries and chocolate shakes as if they were deadlier than James Bond.
With discipline like that, I guess he could go to bed without a bad feeling about the mint on his pillow.

A parking spot ain't worth dying over

Somebody alert the Division of Insanity, please!
Because folks in Reading really are acting nutso these days.
It was bad enough when people were killing themselves over drugs and money.
Now they’re whacking people in disputes over parking spaces. A handicapped parking space at that!
What the hell ever happened to the days when guys simply settled disputes by punching people out or by whacking a pipe across their knees? Now they’re literally whacking people.
Now Herbert Rupp Jr. is dead and will have a permanent parking spot in eternity.
And the man charged with his murder, Santiago Robles, likely won’t ever need a parking spot again if he’s convicted and sent to prison.

The International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship isn't quite Neil Armstrong on the moon, but it's up there

Not everybody can be a PGA golfer, PBA bowler, NFL quarterback, major league shortstop, NBA shooting guard or even a crackerjack cricket wicket-wielder.
Which is why summer is such a lovely time for folks to flourish in oddball sports that seldom make ESPN’s SportsCenter or the Las Vegas betting lines.
For instance, there’s the insanely popular (among boisterous Bubbas and their kin) International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship.
Indeed, any Martians visiting our planet on summer vacation may correctly deduce that cherry pit spitting likely is the end of our civilization as we know it.
This year’s International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship was quite the family affair, what with Brian “Young Gun” Krause claiming his seventh championship by out-spitting his old man, Rick “Pellet Gun” Krause.
Young Gun’s winning spit was 56 feet, 7 1/2 inches — 6 1/2 inches better than his father.
Then again, Young Gun’s nuclear lips and tongue have lost a lot of projectile power the past five years. He astonished loogey lovers around the world when he uncorked a cherry pit a world record 93 feet, 6 1/2 inches in 2003.
Hope he wasn’t wearing dentures because those flying bicuspids could have killed someone.

There are many ways to die; a tot riding his tricycle off a building should NEVER be one of them!

A 22-month-old toddler named Joshua Garcia is dead because he rode his tricycle off a three-story apartment building in Reading.

With the world boiling over in various directions and young people dying for noble and ignoble causes, this tragic death was totally and utterly senseless.

Whatever the structural issues, whatever the code violations, etc., this enormous can of hurt never would have been opened if the boy had been under proper supervision.

His death undoubtedly has plunged his loved ones into a slobbering state of regret.

Somehow finding a way to live with themselves is a staggering challenge that defies comprehension.

Genius is in the eye of the beholder

President Bush sat down with new Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today at the G-8 summit in Japan and called him a “smart” guy.
In return, Medvedev called Bush “dumber than an empty vodka bottle” if you read between the lines.
Of course, if you’ve ever read a Russian novel you know their lines are about as easy to read as footnotes buried in a Siberian snowstorm.

Watermelon could make it a real firecracker of a Fourth of July

Since it’s Fourth of July weekend, Americans from sea to shining to sea will be inhaling all the watermelon the ants at their picnics can’t get their tongues on it time.
Which means a lot of folks could be enjoying a lot of fireworks, including all your aunts.
Because the watermelon apparently will be doing wonders for all your uncles.
Researchers, a generally boring bunch who spend their lives in monastic gloom looking for the next big thing, have discovered that watermelon has effects that mimic Viagra.
Maybe we can use watermelon to prop up the sagging economy.
There are a couple drawbacks, of course. There are no free rides in America … unless, of course, you’re flying Air Force One.
One hitch is that you have to eat a pile of watermelon bigger than your average elephant to get the desired libido boost. Which means you likely will be so busy going to the john that there could be only a short window of time available for lovemaking. That upholds the tradition of the American Minutemen.
Another glitch is having a posse of watermelon seeds stuck to your dentures somewhat inhibits passionate kissing.
On second thought, forget the whole thing and just spring for the Viagra.

Wyomissing referendum signals the beginning of the end of modern school buildings

Unless a 2006 state law requiring school boards to get voter approval before spending money on new schools or extensive renovations is repealed, a huge trapdoor has opened under all future school building projects.
I mean was anybody really surprised that Wyomissing School District voters in a special referendum Tuesday emphatically rejected a $37 million building plan to replace the dilapidated West Reading Elementary School?
Let’s face it, give the majority of a taxpayers the chance to shoot down an increase in taxes and it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. And the people with the really itchy trigger fingers are the ones who either have no children in the school system or believe in the systematic, massified cretinization of kids in the district.
Since other Berks districts eventually will be facing voter referendums, one-room schoolhouses could someday be making a return to the county.
How quaint.

Is everybody happy?

It seems there are surveys on everything.
Just the other day I read where they surveyed ants to see what their favorite picnic food was. Hot dogs aced out broccoli by a tad, I believe.
Now they have surveyed happiness. And for some strange reason, happiness is on the rise around the world. These misguided happy souls apparently aren’t tethered to the stock market or the price of oil.
Like real estate, location apparently is everything in happiness.
Denmark is the happiest nation, according to the survey. And why not? They have all that Danish. Those folks get to wolf through the pastry tray of life every day.
Zimbabwe is the gloomiest nation. I don’t even know where Zimbabwe is exactly and I don’t want to know. But I hear the sky there looks like the color of meatloaf and the heat in the air looks like germs.
As for the U.S., we rank a not-so-sweet 16th. Of course, it now is the offseason for American Idol and that depresses everyone.