2-13-2004 I'm #1

If you're 20 and conservative you have no heart, if you're 40 and a liberal you have no brain.--Winston Churchill

I am a member of the the best. I'm a Delta Force operator surrounded by common grunts. I'm going to have to start swaggering just a bit.

Yesterday I was summoned to what amounted to an emergency meeting at work. One's natural inclination is to assume that bad news is well on it's way, right? What could be so important? Is the company being sold? Are our wages going to be frozen? Did the E.P.A. slam us with an outrageous fine? What's the buzz? That's how some folks think under such mysterious circumstances, but if you know anything about the longevity and tremendous market share that our company enjoys, you would have to assume that whatever was going on, it couldn't be bad.

At the end of 2002, we had one of these mysterious meetings and rumors were running rampant. I, of course, could care less being that my approach to life can be summed up with one simple word: whatever. Besides, I have been through buy-outs before, so if something earth-shattering was on it's way, "Whatever, man" would have been my likely response. As it turned out, after an exhaustive study, Pest Control Technology Magazine named J.C. Ehrlich as America's Finest pest control operator. Pretty weighty stuff.

Ehrlich is the country's premier pest control company. They've created a culture that celebrates the individual, nurturing and developing a staff of 1,100 co-workers that consistently perform at the highest levels while providing extraordinary value to their customers," writes Dan Moreland, editor of Pest Control Technology magazine.

So, what was the big announcement that came down today? I know the company has expanded as of late, and I'm not sure how many offices we currently have. If I had to guess, I'd say 50-55. I think we're in eight states now, but that's a guess also. What we learned today was that our office right here in good ole Wilkes-Barre was named the #1 office in the company for 2003. We received a plaque, certificates, and a trophy not unlike the Stanley Cup, only smaller. No, we didn't recieve any monetary goodies today, because after having such a completely successful year, we've already collected as much bonus money as humanly possible.

Spending my days crawling in the dark, covered in muck, concrete dust, and enough spider webs to choke an elephant actually amounted to something more than a paycheck. The sore wrists, the sore lower backs, the achey knees, the nicks, and the scrapes that termite work provides me with on a daily basis are much more tolerable when you're being recognized for all of your efforts that seem to go unnoticed.

In my industry, I toil away at the very best office of a company called America's Finest by it's peers.

It sounds good, it feels good, and it's further motivation to keep on maintaining those lofty standards that J.C. Ehrlich demands of it's employees.

Now, who says there's no good jobs in this area?

Jeez! Sounds like a recruiting speech.

SNAKE gave me permission to quote him:

Everyone is an asshole until proven otherwise.

I told him he sounds like a veteran cop.

Asshole? How 'bout you meet me behind the Ack-A-Me and I kick your coal cracker behind?

I've discussed this before with a few NASCAR fans and they disagreed with me most vociferously. As far as I'm concerned, Sterling Marlin killed Dale Earnhardt. He had no f**king business making contact with anyone while going 190 mph-plus, through the very last turn, of the very last lap at Daytona. There was no way he could possibly vault from third to first at that late point in the race, so why not settle for third place, rather than sending a car travelling at those speeds hurtling into the wall so that he could jump from third to second place with only nanoseconds left in the race?

Don't even bother trying to debate this with me. In my mind, Sterling Marlin needlessly killed Dale Earnhardt.

I fired up the advertising box last night to check the results of the Twin 125 qualifying races held at Daytona yesterday, and what did my unbelieving eyes spy? Sterling Marlin trading paint with Kevin Harvick during the latter stages of a qualifying race. Once again, at 190 mph-plus, Sterling Marlin needed to make up for his lack of track position late in a race by playing bumper cars at a track known for some horrific airborne crashes. If that's what passes as talent from one of the frustrated good ole boys, it's probably a good thing that NASCAR is more and more being dominated by it's youngest drivers.

I'll be sitting here on Sunday eagerly awaiting to hear: "Gentlemen, start your engines!" and then enjoy another exciting foray into the wonderful world of restrictor-plate drafting. But what I most want to see is Sterling Marlin sliding out of control on his Dodge's roof for a country half mile. I think he's more than earned seeing his life flash before him.

And what's up with Jimmy Spencer hacking on the Japanese now that Toyota's have joined NASCAR? Has he whacked his helmet off of his steering wheel one two many times? I say, the more manufacturers involved, the better the sport will be. Plus, I'm tired of seeing the same three body styles over and over again. Remember the early days when seemingly every driver showed up in a unique car? Give me Toyota. Bring back Pontiac. Bring on Plymouth. How about a Geo? A Dodge Charger Daytona? A Plymouth Superbird?

And Spencer doesn't even have a sponsor after Sunday. It seems like he's further limiting his already limited options. I hope I see him racing the La Choy Mitsubishi before very long. He'll wreck it much like he's wrecked every other car he's ever driven, but if the stars align just right and he somehow finds his way to a victory; it'll be fun to watch him climb out of his rice-burner and suck down a gulp of La Choy soy sauce as the celebration begins.

So, the budget that Tom Leighton presented is now a done deal. We raised taxes, as well as every fee possible. What more is there to examine? We need money in a big way. We also need a budget that is not a complete fantasy. As far as I'm concerned, he did what needed to be done. No money, no future.

Alright! The Davis Place clean-out is scheduled for next Wednesday. This ought to be interesting. Where's Harry Chapin when you need him? 30,000 pounds of....cat sh*t. Feel free to visit me. Like anyone would.

There's no media bias in this country, right? Despite what Matt Drudge added to the equation yesterday, today, the major news networks were all transfixed on what Dubya did, or didn't do while in the Air National Guard thirty years ago. Why not just lay down our arms and invite the U.N. in to divide this country equally among all of the envious countries that want what we have, but can't manage to produce any of it on their own? Dubya dared to suggest to the mostly troubled world that we'll plot our course without their input. What was he thinking?

I'm working on the lyrics for the song I hope will land me the gig at next year's Super Bowl half-time sex-a-rama.

Fe! Fi! Fo! Fum!
Grab on to this ho'
And make it cum

Heyna? What do you think? I've got a legitimate shot at that gig, provided that I get a really, really good tan. And a bit of full frontal nudity can't hurt either.

Believe it or not, I've been known to write a few lyrics in my time. Dave, do you still visit this site? If so, I'm sure you'll remember this:

Save the Beavers

They wanna crush the beavers
They say it's humane
But the beavers aren't
The ones to blame
The D.E.R. wants
To make them lame
And the watershed basin
Has gone insane

Kill the varmints
We need garments!
They wanna crush the critters
Cause they give our stomachs jitters!

Giardiasis anyone? Remember that? Having to boil your water just to scrub your teeth? If you're real nice to me, I'll allow you to hear the tape of the full song. That nifty ditty made the top twenty request list at WRKC and received heavy airplay at WCLH as well during 1983, or was it 1984?. Autograph, anyone? Massive amounts of alcohol, coupled with two so-called creative guys, and a few screaming guitars equalled Save the Beavers. Luckily, my next-door neighbor was completely deaf.

We live in an area where even baseball can become a political football.

Wish us luck.