Life on Planet Looney Tunes

Life on Planet Looney Tunes

I can’t even believe that Father Time has turned out to be such an abusive bastard.

Is it not awful enough that he sucks the minutes from us like a tornado moving through Kansas? Now he has allowed a pandemic to steal a year from our ever-growing shorter lives.

Thanks Father Time, may the bird of paradise fly up your diaper.

As if it’s not enough we have to contend with living in captivity, the world has literally gone so mad I’m seriously convinced I left the planet and am now residing on Planet Looney Tunes in the That’s-all-Folks galaxy.

Recently, I was watching Bye Bye Birdie and suddenly I thought, hey, wait a minute. This was my life. What happened to innocence, civility, decency, respect and embracing the simple pleasures?

I must be living in a parallel universe where crazy is the law of the land and everything is upside down.

It’s as if we’re reliving the dream of our teenage years, spending our time sitting in front of the television, sleeping in and eating whatever and whenever we choose.

Well at least that was the dream then anyway.

It took years to achieve the freedom to live our lives as we wish and now we’re on a time out in our rooms for something we never did.  
The first clue I landed on Planet Looney Tunes was the masses paying thousands for Pelotons that covered the planet as far as the eye could see. People peddling for their life and sweating while some voice yelled at them from the great beyond. Isn’t relaxation supposed to be about quiet time?

I stopped riding bikes when my Schwinn rusted out and my tuchas lost all its fat, flattened out and the bicycle seat became my enemy.

On Looney Tunes, mobs rule, children disrespect their teachers and refuse to put down their cell phones, and anyone who attempts to change lanes while driving gets the universal middle finger signal.

When we were young we weren’t allowed to sit all day and watch television, we were castigated for overeating too many sweets, and were threatened with no television for not finishing our Brussel Sprouts. UGH! I hate those things to this day.

What has happened to our lives?

Every generation has been negatively impacted by the challenges of this craziness foisted upon us. Baby Boomers can’t cruise, tour countries they’ve never seen or play mah jong or canasta.

Children miss attending school with their friends. It’s sad they’re being deprived of their childhoods; attending class, playing outdoors, forming cliques and trying to survive high school.

I’m not saying childhood is perfect by any means, but how will our children cope with life if they’re never allowed to interact with the nice and not so nice?

Every generation faces difficulties, but I’m convinced it’s the way you emerge from challenges that matters. It is a plus that families are spending more time together. Well, for most families anyway.

I can’t even imagine how awful it was for our parents and grandparents during World War II when they endured four years of fears, rationing and the loss of loved ones without Netflix, Amazon or the Internet.

Can you imagine how much worse it would have been for everyone if they could’ve live streamed the Blitz or Pearl Harbor?

Sure this is awful, but four years of wondering if your sons, brothers, husbands, nephews or neighbors would ever return from Europe or the Pacific was bloody awful.

Perhaps our parents were tough because of the war. Perhaps we are powder puffs because aside from 9/11 we’ve had it relatively easy.

No, I’m not forgetting Viet Nam, the Cold War, John Kennedy’s assassination or Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress, but unless you lost someone in Nam, aside from the sadness we felt for those who did, our lives went on.

Aside from all the unnecessary death caused by that war, the saddest memory for me was the way our returning soldiers were treated. They’d been sent to a war for no other reason than to satisfy the egos of powerful men and made to pay a terrible price.

So yes, Viet Nam was a sad, horrible time, but I’m not certain it impacted the world as we are now experiencing.

Now we face another world war and because it’s biological it’s frightening and frustrating. We can’t pick up a rifle and shoot it, we can’t spy on it or run it over with a tank or nuke it with atom bombs. We can’t even force it to watch reruns of Petticoat Junction.

This is a new enemy, more evil than any we’ve seen. It’s as if China bottled the DNA from the most evil Nazi’s, put it in a test tube and loosed it on the world.

We are forced to cower in our caves like our ancestors when a wild boar sought them out. They had no weapons except a club or a rock.

As Albert Einstein was purported to have said, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

I guess somewhere along the way we luckily missed World War III because it seems we’re back to sticks and stones.

At the end of the day when, as all things do this pandemic passes, the better question is; into what kind of world will we return? Will our current struggles propel us forward as better people in a kinder, more civilized society or will we continue to be angry, bitter and volatile toward one another?

Have we learned as in the past after world wars that peace, love and sanity are the very building blocks of happiness or will we continue down a road of divisiveness and conflict?

I for one will be happy to be outside enjoying my life once again, spending my moments out of captivity doing as I wish. I just pray we can all celebrate being together again in a positive way right here on Planet Earth, and create a better world than ever before.

Charlie Tuna’s Bait and Switch and is This Our New Reality?

chickenportabello

Charlie Tuna’s Bait and Switch and is This Our New Reality?

If anyone wonders why one would think of Charlie Tuna at a time when the world is in chaos it seems very reasonable to me. I’m not sure if it’s the chocolate binges that have led me to these crazy, out-there theories and ramblings, but take the ride with me. What the heck? What else do we have to do after binge watching Ozark?

Right now most of us seem possessed with escaping from the turmoil of the outside world and building a safe harbor within our homes and minds.

Although too many are cavalier about the imminent dangers surrounding us at every turn, many have sought refuge in the past and the refrigerator, although not necessarily in that order.

I’ve been surprised and delighted lately at how many have responded positively and vocally to my waxing nostalgic about my youth in Detroit and desire to recall as many wonderful memories as I can from what seems to me now, a magical time in our history. A time when streets were safe, life was innocent and children were in awe of a puppet or seeing the peacock’s feathers in color on a television set. When everyone on the block rushed to see the first color TV, listened for the good humor man and compared collections of 45 records as though they were gold coins worth a fortune. Life made sense.

When the new Hi Fi was delivered I wondered how I’d ever learn to work this new state-of-the-art device. I was so happy when I learned to stick the plastic middle piece into my forty fives to make them fit over the spindle thingy on the turntable without breaking the record. Pretty high tech stuff huh? Now I wrestle with megabytes and artificial intelligence.

No, I’m not digressing from the whole Charlie Tuna headline at all, just merely leading up to a point I wish to convey. Perhaps Charlie Tuna had it right after all. If the whole world was looking for tunas “wit good taste,” Charlie would produce artwork or whatever he needed to do to prove himself. However, as he was reminded in the commercial, “Star-Kist don’t want tunas wit good taste, they want tunas that taste good.”

Yes, we all remember the old commercials where Charlie struggles to be selected by Star-Kist, a company so picky they thumbed their nose at Charlie, an obvious star and continued to reject his constant advances.

And how did we react to his dilemma? We loved Charlie and although we sympathized with his rejection, we were torn by the thought of the company relenting and putting him in a can on our supermarket shelf.

As I’ve said before, we were very innocent. But Charlie’s quandary seemed to teach him a valuable lesson that now goes unnoticed; distraction will save your ass.

Yes, without noticing, Charlie pulled the greatest bait and switch, pun intended, in history. Have you ever wondered why all anyone can talk about nowadays is salmon?

It’s all about the salmon. How healthy and full of good omegas they are. How sustainable they can be raised. How you can’t go to a damn dinner party and not find a slab of pink fish in front of you.

I for one dislike salmon unless it is dressed up like Cinderella for the ball or on a bagel loaded with cream cheese, and have struggled with why we have recently experienced this great love for salmon.

So because I have little to do except check the refrigerator for new food that may have snuck in while I wasn’t looking, I gave it some thought.

I’m convinced this is a plot hatched up by some undercover Charlie Tuna with the help of the Mossad (I have to infer that any food-related plots would defer to Israel) to distract people and turn them off tuna and onto salmon.

Why you ask would Charlie do this when he has always been a big proponent of tuna? Simple, pressure from a tuna mafia that simply got tired of having their tush chased all over the ocean.

Distraction is the perfect vehicle. It allows anyone with an agenda to perform under a cover of whatever they wish and we are easily fooled.

So the big boy tunas sat down with Charlie and laid it on the line, “Stop pushing the tuna or we’ll push you back hard.”

So Charlie possessing a desire for survival decided to secretly exploit a salmon agenda in an increasingly health-conscious society that believes salmon is the filet mignon of the fish world.

Smart move, Charlie. Salmon is now king and the poor fish is dead in the water, literally. Sad after all that work to swim upstream.

If this seems like a long way to go to make a point, it’s not so far as you’d think.

We are inundated today with distractions and being force-fed a steady diet of craziness, fear and distrust.

We are stressed over the news that changes hourly from one extreme to another. Masks, no masks, ventilators bad, no good, who knows anymore, you can catch COVID19 if your neighbor sneezes two blocks away, wait that’s six feet, lock down, go out, occupy the streets, take back our streets, police or no police, I guess if you’re in trouble you can call Rin Tin Tin to save you. Is Joe Biden still alive in the basement or is it a hologram? Is Trump self destructing on purpose or does he have some devious plan? Did Lincoln free the slaves or was he a racist? Is Congress as useless as an old girdle without any elastic left? Oh sorry that one is a no brainer, yes, Congress is useless, no quandary there.

No wonder people are hiding in their homes eating themselves into oblivion. Is all this craziness an attempt to distract us from what’s really happening and if so they’re doing a hellava job, because I don’t have a clue.

We’ve all lived through crazy times before. Viet Nam, the Cold War, Watergate, Bill Clinton’s women, Tiananmen Square, 9/11, the list goes on, but this is different, a complete switch from tuna to salmon.

This is a whole new breed of chaos and even the strongest of us have no idea what to make of it all.

Our generation is tough, but where once there were answers that made even a little sense, now there are none, and it’s a scary place to be.

So now that they’ve switched us off tuna and onto salmon I have two questions; first, what is behind this salmon switch and second, who is the real Charlie Tuna and what is he ultimately up to?

Yes, it’s unsettling and I feel like I’m living through an episode of The Twilight Zone.

And I think I hear Rod Serling’s voice now: “For your consideration, a world that once made sense now filled with strange happenings that cannot be explained. Is this truly reality or has the present descended into what these people will soon awaken to and find makes perfect sense in the new world within the Twilight Zone?”

Anyone for a tuna sandwich on whole wheat with chips in a little paper cup? I thought so. And tell ‘em Charlie sent ya.

Chicken Stuffed Portobello

4 large Portobello mushrooms cleaned

1 large or two small chicken breasts

1/4 cup celery chopped

1 cup grated Fontina cheese

1 cup shredded Parmesan Reggiano cheese

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup mayo

½ cup sliced almonds

1 heaping tablespoon of Panko crumbs

2 tablespoons of chopped sweet onions, sautéed with the celery

Salt and pepper

Cook and season chicken breast until soft. You can poach it in broth or water and wine. After shredding chicken breast combine with all other ingredients except Parmesan Reggiano.

Salt and pepper to taste

Fill the mushroom caps with chicken mixture and cover with Parmesan Reggiano. You may add sautéed spinach or tomatoes if you’d like.

Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes until warmed through and cheese is melted on top. Serve with soup and salad for a great easy supper.