Things That Bug Me

I admit that I have a lower tolerance than most for those things that so many other, more patient people, dismiss as petty annoyances. What I can’t figure out is why they aren’t more like me.

For instance, why is it that so many people continue to accept that Barack Obama is brilliant and a spellbinding orator? How is it that anyone, even people so dumb they intend to vote for him, can bear to sit through one of his boring, self-aggrandizing, speeches? Even Jimmy Stewart, at his folksiest, didn’t pause three or four times during a single sentence.

And talk about dumb, this is the schnook who referred to 57 states and the Austrian language, mispronounced “corps” as “corpse,” and, lest there be any question about the state of his brain, recently announced that the private sector economy is doing just fine

Obama strikes me as the personification of every lazy high school student I ever knew. He smoked pot, tried cocaine, hung around with a sleazy crowd, got other kids to write his book reports and copied his answers off some stooge’s test paper. When people used to say that in America, absolutely anyone could grow up to be president, they clearly had this goofus in mind.

I am also annoyed by emails that tell me not to break the chain and to pass along some simpleminded message to a hundred of my nearest and dearest or suffer the inevitable consequences. Can you imagine anyone doing such an absurd thing in person? A word to the not so wise: If you wouldn’t ask someone to do something face-to-face or pass along a joke you wouldn’t waste the time telling to an actual human being, you might reconsider the urge to forward that email. Sometimes, it’s really better not to remind people that you are still alive.

When I read that Tennessee resident Desmond Hatchett has sired 30 babies with 11 different women, I found myself wondering why he is not regarded as a serial criminal and, at the very least, been sterilized by the state for irresponsibly placing the welfare of 41 people on the backs of Tennessee’s taxpayers.

Although I despise the louts who populate the Occupy Wall Street movement, I despise those who pay them lip service even more; I refer to those left-wing politicians who populate the Occupy Pennsylvania Avenue movement.

The United Nations, which should have been banished from our shores long before now, recently appointed Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, 88, to be its international envoy of tourism. Although he is guilty of ethnic cleansing (aka murdering his political and tribal rivals), and is, ironically, banned from touring Canada and most of Europe, the U.N. saw no problem with bestowing the honor on him. That was especially the case once they learned that Idi Amin and Che Guevara were no longer available.

Although I have often tried to point out the foolishness of people who still insist that they vote for the man or woman, not the party, I thought that radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt summed it up very neatly when he pointed out that a vote for any Democrat running for the Senate or the House was actually a vote for Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. When it comes to determining control of the two bodies, it’s noses that get counted, be they the noses of so-called blue dog Democrats or RINOs. If you like Obama and his agenda, by all means vote for people with a (D) after their names on November 6. But if you claim to be a conservative, but have reservations about Romney, don’t pretend you’re not to blame if you stay home and we get four more years of left-wing social engineering, better known as the radical transformation of America.

Although I generally regard commencement speeches as examples of the bland leading the bland, I was heartened by the one recently given by Wellesley High School English teacher, David McCullough, Jr., the son of John Adams’s biographer. In his address, young McCullough repeatedly told the teenagers that they were nothing special. It must have come as something of a shock to the few hundred kids in the audience, who had, no doubt, been told by parents and teachers since birth that they were an extraordinary combination of looks, brains and accomplishment.

The most annoying thing of all is that our young people, who take an unseemly pleasure in displaying their skepticism of everything else that adults tell them, so readily accept such obvious baloney when it comes to themselves.

Frankly, I would present McCullough with a Pulitzer for his courage and honesty, but, unfortunately, that prize will no doubt go to the New York Times for having the gall and indecency to publish the classified national security documents recently leaked by Obama’s re-election team.

In related news, I just heard from a Canadian friend that at an upper middle class public school in Edmonton, a teacher was suspended for giving students who failed to turn in their homework assignments a mark of zero. Apparently, our own politically correct cowardice when it comes to education has seeped across the 49th parallel, because the official policy is to mark such assignments “incomplete.”

In a way it makes sense. After all, even if their baseball and hockey teams are no match for our own, there’s no good reason why the self-esteem of Canada’s lazy teenagers should be any lower than that of their American cousins.

Speaking of political cowardice, isn’t it high time that judges and legislators stopped coddling homosexuals? While it’s true that as a rule, being childless, they have a fair amount of money to contribute to those politicians who bow to their wishes, it’s not as if they represent a lot of votes outside of San Francisco, L.A. and New York.

Frankly, I don’t know just when it was that sodomites became a protected class, but it’s rather obnoxious when politicians curry favor with them by promoting same-sex marriages and pretending that it is the equivalent of uprooting slavery and repealing Jim Crow laws.

One of the sillier things about homosexuals is the way they like to insist that inside every heterosexual is an interior decorator screaming to be let out. If you buy that, perhaps you also believe that inside every liberal nutcase is a rational conservative begging to be set free.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Send your comments to

Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
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  • shipley130

    I actually like it when Obama starts talking about his last campaign.  He seems like a the old baseball player talking about the Glory Days.  Thanks Bruce Springsteen for that!  One can only wish right now that Obama’s microphone gets cut off permanently.

  • terry

                          TO SEE THE SEWER.

  • terry


  • BurtPrelutsky

    Terry: I don’t wish to come off as pedantic, but it is martial law, not marshall law.  If your friends won’t tell you, who will?

    cmacrider: I’m glad to know that Canadians aren’t as thin-skinned as we often are.  I can’t take credit for the Kings.  They did it without me.  I never watched a minute of the season or the playoffs.  It wasn’t that I was that disinterested in hockey, but I was pretty busy, although after all this time I can no longer recall if I was watching paint dry or grass grow.  I did once attend a Toronto Blue Jays game in Toronto about ten years ago.  I liked it….nobody did the wave.

    Will: If you came back from a family reunion wondering what planet you were on, it makes me wonder how many heads your relatives have.  Or perhaps you just all got together in San Francisco.


  • terry


    • GlenFS

      Good points Terry, but they’re hard to read in all caps.

  • cmacrider

    As a Canadian, I thought I should let your readers know I burst into laughter after having read your comments about Canada’s baseball team and hockey teams.

    I suppose the Left would consider such remarks about another country’s teams to be “shocking and appalling.”  What seems to elude these dullards is that it is essential to have a forum in which unadulterated patriotism, unrestricted sarcasm, and hyperbole is not only allowed but is essential for the human soul.

    Your comments brought to mind an episode when the Blue Jays were in the World Series.  American fans were vocal in their outrage that the World Series trophy could actually leave continental U.S.A.  They said so in the most colorful  terms.  The left wing Canadian Broadcasting Corporation saw this as an opportunity to promote one of their agendas — namely — anti Americanism.  To that end they sent a reporter into the pubs in America to get this “American bigotry” on film.  Having caught an American blowing off steam about why foreigners should not be allowed to play in the World Series, she asked “Don’t you think its rather politically incorrect to be talking this way about another country?”  [not actual quote] The American fan took a deliberate swig from his Budweiser — looked up in complete bewilderment — and said “Gawd lady …. don’t you know …. this is baseball not politics????”  

    Needless to say, that was the end of C.B.C’s plans to use this as a tool to fuel anti Americanism.  Canadians burst into a collective laugh …. cracked open a Molson’s Canadian and sat down to see if we could beat “those damn Yankees at their own game.” 

    BTW:  Congrats to the L.A. Kings on winning the Stanley Cup.

  • Will Swoboda

    Good morning Bert,
    I thought I was the only one who thought the same way. Just came back from a family vacation and wonder what planet do I really live on?
    Thanks, Will