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Ever since I was but a tadpole I've been hammered under the weight of this urban myth about putting a frog into a pot of water at room temperature, then slowly raising the flame. Supposedly, the frog continues to acclimate itself to the heat until it finally boils to death. I have questions. First off, who goes to the trouble of boiling one frog at a time? Smacks of wastefulness, not to mention the macabre. Do you need to keep hitting the frog in the head with a slotted wooden spoon to keep him submerged or can he loll about with his little front arms over the edge of the pot like a pool patron in search of a towel?
For the true aficionado, a single frog must seem a cruel tease. A torment of forbidden delights. What is the problem with bumping it up to a couple of frogs or a veritable bevy of green? Or does crowding alter the experiment, turning it into some sort of weird kinky amphibian hot-tub interlude? Also, it seems this whole frog soup arrangement hinges on an unspoken effortless conveyance of a live frog into a pot of room temperature water in the first place, which I suspect is an egregious oversimplification. Is our hoppy little friend anestheticized, and if so, isn't that cheating?
My point is, I need more information, but I do understand the allegory: we are destined to give up our rights one by one without a fight. Of that I have no doubt. If there were a Frog Soup Clock, the little webbed hands would be just closing at midnight. We're entering the dark part of Frog Soup Territory where scales are floating on top of fishy bullion that has turned a bright shade of green;two recent announcements from our fearless lizard-loving leaders are contributing more than a soupcon to the soupiness of the situation.
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has announced his intention to hold cable companies and satellite providers to the same silly primitive standards that the FCC currently holds broadcast networks to, which the spineless House of Representatives has decided should cost half a million dollars per infraction. This advance man for the American Taliban is trying to castrate the Sopranos, relocate Deadwood to outside Peoria, and reapply the muzzle onto the cantankerous mouth of Howard Stern.
For Sen. Ted Stevens, who is so concerned with the content of the cable channels he subscribes to, I have one thing to offer: You don't like something on your TV? TURN IT OFF! Most cable boxes come with a remote. USE IT. Turn off The Shield . Watch Nick at Night. Unsubscribe to HBO. It ain't cheap. Use the extra money to buy Disney DVDs or the best of Sesame Street and get your misplaced morality out of my TiVo.
In another part of town, as of April 15, the Transportation Safety Administration plans to ban all lighters on board all American flights from checked or carry-on luggage. Why? "Because if the shoe bomber had a lighter, he would have been successful. I thought that's why we take off our shoes before every flight. Now you want our fire? How 'bout pens? You could poke an eye out with one of those things. Why not outlaw the wheel in connection with luggage, and after we agree to that, they'll want our thumbs. Only the guilty need thumbs. A truly innocent person doesn't require fire, pens or thumbs. Hey, what's that smell? I think its time to start chopping up the garnish because bowls full of hot, scaly, green broth are ready to be ladled out.
Political comic Will Durst is surprised Bic and/or Zippo haven't chimed in on this one.