Monday, February 27, 2006

A-ha! I've Found Mr. Scoop's Birthday Present

But where's the cupholder for my beer?

The Personal Jetpack: The Gift That Keeps Giving

Mr. Scoop is easy to buy for. He wants simple things: a bunker, a rocket, a jet pack. Oh yes. "If I had a bunker," says Mr. Scoop, "things would be different." When I ask him how they'd be different, he just looks at me and shakes his head. Then he goes back to his plans for strategic landmines in the front lawn in lieu of in-ground sprinklers. "The town won't let us use 'em in the summer anyway. Water conservation."

But, if you ask him about the jetpack, he can barely contain his glee. "With a jetpack, and a rocket launcher, my enemies will rue the day...rue the day!" "Rue what day? And what enemies?" I know it's pointless. He won't tell me. I decide to change the subject. "The neighbors came by. They wanted to know if we'd seen their cat." And then he just smiles again.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Whither Pizza?


Back to Portugal. I slept longer than I intended to during my nap. When I woke up, it was beginning to get dark. I figured that the safest course of action at this point was to see if the hotel had a restaurant and to just eat there. What could possibly go wrong?

The restaurant turned out to be a trattoria styled pizzeria - a lot of stippled stucco in terra cotta tones and homey cream colored linen drapes on small windows. The restaurant was in the basement of the hotel. I was dismayed at first. I wanted to try some native delicacy like clams with sausage and potatoes. But, as much as I looked forward to the experience of trying Portuguese cuisine, this place seemed a little less intimidating in terms of jumping into my surroundings now that I was without my Portuguese speaking companion. After all, pizza is pizza. How hard could it be to order pizza in a foreign country?

Well, the correct answer to that, if you only speak English, like me, "The Ugly American", is "very".

The host, a tall, stocky guy with hair bleached blond from exposure to sun and surf and a ruddy complexion, greeted me. I remember thinking that his tank top was almost the color of his skin. I smiled and asked for a table for one. I had not thought to bring my phrase book with me, for whatever reason. Awkwardness was now about to ensue. It turns out that my host was fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, German and French. No English. However, he was personable and with a smile, he sorted out that I wanted a table and seated me. I was assigned, I was to find out, the only English speaking waiter in the establishment.

The menu was incomprehensible. Maybe it was the panic from the initial feeling of embarrassment when I couldn’t communicate with the host. But my brain just shut down when I looked at the menu. It was all in Portuguese and I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. Deep down, the smug, "ugly American" I think was expecting that sussing out the language would be like going out for Mexican. Even if you can’t figure out all the words on the menu at the taqueria, you can pretty much figure which ones are "cheese" or "beef". Portuguese isn’t Spanish. Nothing looked familiar. Nothing looked like it had a Latin root that I could extrapolate into something I could feel confident ordering for dinner. When my waiter came back with bread and olives, rather than do the smart thing and ask his advice about what to order, I just pointed at the menu and prayed.

My pizza arrived covered in little Vienna cocktail sausages.

And, damn it, I ate every last bit of it and drank my wine. Then I went back to my room, turned on Sky News and went to bed. I had explored enough for the day.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Knots

They say that Queen Mab, the Faerie Queen, visits unsuspecting humans at night and causes horrible snarls in their hair as they sleep -snarls so bad, one may as well cut off the offending lock rather than try to get a brush or comb through it. If a person were to manage to solve the puzzle of the knot and detangle his or her hair, bad luck will then befall this presumptuous human, as if in unraveling the snarl a curse or hex were unleashed in the process.

I have a knot of muscles right around my left shoulder blade that tangled itself up about three nights ago apropos of nothing in my sleep. I have no idea what possible position I could have slumbered in to cause such a knot. All I know is it won't go friggin' go away. It laughs at Advil and "stretching exercises". It nods politely at hot showers and warm compresses, loosening briefly only to seize up as soon as it cools down. I'm doing the only reasonable thing I can right now: medicating with Scotch.

I'm worried. I would understand if this muscular ache had happened as the result of something strenuous, like if I'd strained the shoulder snow shoveling or being overzealous with a tire iron. But, sleep? I can't be that old and out of shape, can I? And, what if the tangle of my muscles was caused by some faerie in charge of messing with the trapeseus and deltoid muscles? I mean, it's not like there's a lot of farm animals to bewitch or milk out there to sour these days. Presumably, they'd need a more current set of skills for employment than just "efficiently utlizes pixie dust and demonstrates competence when switching babies with changlings at birth" to stay active in the faerie field. If my shoulder was fair game, I want to know if there is going to be some deleterious effect should I manage to get the knot out. That way I can stock up on Scotch and Oxycontin before I lose my job, get a humpback and mystically age a hundred years and can't drive to the store to get these things.

In the meantime, I'll point my shoes away from my bed, find some cold iron and continue alternating between Icy/Hot and Macallan 12 year.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Knee To The Face


I'll get back to the Portugal thing shortly, but I wanted to share this with you all first. You're welcome.

Last night Mr. Scoop and I were disturbed to discover that it was “Chuck E. Cheese Night” at our favorite tapas place. For some reason, a large extended family had decided to squish several tables together, in the bar, and celebrate one of the toddler’s birthdays. There was a perfectly serviceable dining area in the next room, but they had decided to invade the bar. As far as Mr. Scoop and I are concerned, that’s a killing offense.

To make matters even more entertaining, two of the toddlers, the birthday boy and his sister, had figured out that they could run on the straightaway from their table to the window, press their faces against it and scream at the top of their lungs for about five minutes before their mom, hobbled by an air cast on her right leg, could amble over to collect them. Due to this, all of the other bar patrons that were not part of the birthday party had cleared the room. Mr. Scoop and I were the only childless individuals in the room.

The window that was such a source of fascination to the toddlers was directly in back of Mr. Scoop’s chair. As he was rising to go outside for a cigarette, thanks to the smoking ban in town that made these parents feel comfortable to invade the bar with their screaming children in tow, the birthday boy careened down the straightaway. His head was down and he pumped his fists by his sides for balance and speed as he gathered steam for his approach. He didn’t see Mr. Scoop at all as he neatly bounced his face off of Mr. Scoop’s knee and fell back on his ass, blinking as he looked up to see what happened.

As I watched, the two of them locked eyes. I worried that the kid was going to start crying, but he seemed more surprised than upset.

"Santa Claus doesn’t exist", said Mr. Scoop to the boy as he pulled on his black leather trench coat. "Happy birthday." And with that, he swept outside.

The kid slowly got up and toddled back to his table. We didn’t see him again for the rest of the evening.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I Get Lucky On The Plane


Monte EstorilSo, where was I?

Oh, yes. I'd decided to jet out of Heathrow to Lisbon. I was heading out to spend three days in a country in which I did not speak the language, with no plans on where I was going to sleep or people there I knew with whom I could crash. I was armed with a small Portugese phrase book with poor pronunciation guidelines, a copy of "Let's Go: Spain and Portugal", and a carry-on with clean underwear and deodorant. Oh, and I had some paper money and a credit card.

Let me also point out here that, in addition to not being able to speak Portugese, the only modern language I speak is English. All the semesters of Latin I took don't even really help me order off a menu written in a foreign language. I may as well have taken Esperanto.

You can see why I didn't graduate college "cum laude".

I seemed to luck out on the plane. I was upgraded to first class and I was seated next to another American, who was traveling solo. He was friendly and chatty. He had curly brown hair, bright blue eyes and what appeared to be a nasty sunburn. It was 1992 and he told me he was on vacation from fighting oil fires in Iraq. He said that this wasn't his first trip to Portugal and that he could hook me up with a hotel after we got off the plane.

So, after we disembarked the plane, I followed him to a waiting taxi and then to the trains. We got tickets to Estoril. I have no idea why I thought following this guy was a good idea other than I was a little freaked out by the situation I'd gotten myself into and he seemed awfully nice. I just wasn't quite the bastard to people then that I am now. In retrospect, this could have been a good recipe for winding up dead in an alley thousands of miles from home.

When we got to Estoril, we took another taxi through winding streets, mostly uphill. It was punctuated with frequent commands from my companion to the driver, "Aqui! Aqui!", whenever he wanted him to take a turn. Eventually, I was dropped off at a hotel near the border between Monte Estoril and Cascais, Foundedad something or other. I can't seem to find it on Google searches, so I don't know if it's still there. I never saw the guy from the plane again. He said he was being helpful because that what travelers abroad are supposed to do when they run into their countrymen. All I know was I was not raped or murdered or mugged and that was good.

The hotel was nice enough. I put the stay on my credit card. At the time, Portugal was still using the escudo as it's currency. There were about 200 escudos to the dollar. I think I could have bought all of Portugal with my credit card and still had some room leftover for a shoe purchase. The room worked out to about $25 a night. Not too bad. The room was next to the pool and had cable tv and a shower.

The plane trip was short, but the travel was still a bit exhausting. And, I was now without anyone who could speak Portugese.

I decided to take a nap.

Next - I Try To Order Pizza!
Eventually - Fish Heads and Sunburn!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Goddammit!



I will have your eyes for this Kevin.  Oh yes.  I will.







<------------------- This man has my job.










Kevin "Goddamn" Brauch.

The Thirsty Goddamn Traveler.


This man gets to go to...everywhere. Everywhere on the damn company dime. And drink. On TV. And get paid for it. Everywhere.


Was this job advertised somewhere and I missed it?

During college career counseling, should I have been more upfront with the "career placement" staff? "Sure, working with children is rewarding, but...no. I think I need a job that plays to my strengths. None of this 'cubicle or classroom' crap for me. Have you seen my manual dexterity and relative wit while playing beer die? I think TV is crying out for me. But...how...?"

Yep.

I was robbed.

______________________________________________________

Actually, I wouldn't have given two shits about this guy's show except that I caught his Ports of Pleasure show and I actually have been to Portugal.

I was jealous. Not so much about the Port he got to try. I have access to frighteningly old and rare vintage and tawny ports. It's a fluke. I don't know anybody. I just have this stuff and, occasionally, I open it. Brauch got to go to Opporto to see the important and famous Port bottling places. The city had gutters, GUTTERS!!!!, in the street running with Port.

I don't know if you, my six readers, have ever tried Port...or good Port. And, yet, there it was at this guy's feet just running through the steets.

_______________________________________________________

I went to Portugal in 1992 for all the wrong reasons.

What could possibly consitute a "wrong reason"?

Going to a foreign country for the sake of going to a foreign country.

It was Spring Break. I was doing that semester in London through my college stateside.

In high school, I'd always manged to score the lead in whatever play or muscial I tried out for. College drama was a rude awakening. I never could get a speaking part, but I could score any number of technical theater gigs. Need a stage manager? Great, I'm there, especially if credits are involved.

I, a mostly Potato individual apparently, was in London to learn how to be a Rose. I was taking classes in Acting, Movement (hello, previously unheard of school of Lyric Dance), and Literature. By the end of it, I'd somehow been cast as Sylvia Plath and Joan of Arc.

Hell. You should have seen the also rans.

High school all over again.

Let's just say I don't have any illusions about my acting prowess.

The semester I was in London there were, to my knowledge, two drama majors from my college in the London "semester abroad" program.

One of them was an actor. The other excelled at technical theater. Both of them totally kicked my ass in GPA, just for the record. And they knew what they were doing, actingwise. Everybody else on the trip (other than me, an English major trying to escape a particular craptacular roommate situation back in the States) was a Government major. Government majors were required to spend a sememster in a foreign country. These particular Government majors were with us because they were trying to meet the requirement and not have to speak a foreign language. Any acting skills they might pick up to help them in their later careers as Lying Politicians would be incidental.


________________________________________

The Portugal trip came about because a girl on the trip asked me if I wanted to meet her in Rome during our break to "hang out". Sure. Why not? I'm not quite 20-something and I have an an open line of credit.

Unfortunately, by the time I tried to get tickets that would get me to Rome and back to school on time, the pooch had been screwed. I had a Monday morning class. None of the return flights would let me make it.

For whatever reason, I blame late adolescent psychosis, I made plans with the nice travel person on the other side of the phone to go to Portugal. By myself. Just a plane ticket. No lodgings or anything. No itinerary.

It was a roundtrip ticket...and I'd be back in time for classes after all.

_____________________________________________________

I don't speak Portugese.

But on the upside, my seat on TAP had been upgraded to first class.

I was traveling with just a carry on. It seemed like the most reasonable idea, since I was by myself. I had my "crush proof black dress", a t-shirt, shorts, some undergarments and toiletries. I was wearing the dress. It was from Caldor (now defunct). I had a red cardigan over it. My plane was going to touch down in Lisbon. I had no concrete plan beyond this.

This is possibly the stupidest thing I'd ever done...and yet...not. I don't know where the hell I'm going. I don't speak the language.

Ah, but...

It's getting late. I'll finish this tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

In The Spirit Of The Day...


The night that I told Mr. Scoop that I wanted to be with him I had recovered just enough from a sake blackout to be lucid. Barely. And yet not be sober enough to give a shit about fear of rejection. As an added bonus, I had also stopped trying to punch his best friend in the face. It was an auspicous evening for all concerned.

The night we finally got the balls to spend the night together (but behave ourselves! Oh no, there will be no having of the sex!), we killed a case and a half of Sam Adams and half a bottle of Jameson's and watched "Akira". On a note that may or may not have been related, later, by 6 AM, in a nearby Dunkin' Donuts I would hallucinate fairly vivid security cameras that I was sure were from the government. Watching me. Nothing says whirlwind romance like tip toeing up to the edge of a psychotic break and waving at the dark, gaping maw.

I'm cute when I'm psychotic. Trust me. I said TRUST me.

But, more than four years later, a whirlwind romance it has been and continues to be.

Happy Valentine's Day to Mr. Scoop, the love of my life!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

High School: Didn’t Love It; Can’t Leave It



This is a repost from June 21, 2004. Mr. Scoop and I are bracing for what looks a major Nor'Easter. That means we began drinking about two hours ago. We're trying to time the whiskey blackout with the advent of the storm. At least that's what I'm going to tell my neighbors if they catch me looting their apartments in the impending power outage.

I haven't indulged in reposting older writing before and I don't want to make a habit of it. Still, I have a soft spot for this piece. It is one of the earliest things I posted to this blog. I find it interesting to see where my voice has gone since then.

Enjoy!

***********************************

High School: Didn’t Love It; Can’t Leave It.

Early in September, 1985, my guidance counselor dropped in on my freshman honors geometry class to give us a pep talk that amounted to "You can be anything you want to be. But please, don’t bother trying to apply to an Ivy League school from this God forsaken, backwoods armpit. The history of unremarkable SAT scores produced by this school has already marked you as Unclean to Harvard. Don’t bother trying prove you’re an "admissions-friendly" minority. Even if you’re the product of generations of incestual coupling within a rare strain of Blackfoot Indian, Dartmouth will have nothing to do with you. Now back to your discussion of The Compass and Safety In The Classroom."

I was disheartened. College, particularly an affluent Ivy one, was going to be my ticket out of the rural, impoverished hellhole I called my hometown. It was going to provide me with the opportunity to buy expensive luxuries, like food.

Alright, I decided. I’ll study hard. I’ll involve myself in so many extracurriculars I’ll have to clone myself to keep up (all the more challenging, given my general hatred of others). I’ll go to summer school.

The summer between junior and senior year I spent at a posh boarding school in a summer program for The Gifted and Talented. Gifted and Talented students are those who have excellent marks in school and parents with exceptionally large checkbooks. I’d like to believe I got in on merit though I know my dad "helped". I still remember his words of wisdom to this day: "Gun laws are things that happen to other people". Over the summer I studied all the subjects important to college acceptance: Advanced Biology, Creative Writing and Recreational Drug Use.

Things improved little, however, upon my return to school in the fall. I was pulled into the same guidance counselor’s office to be…debriefed.

"Now, Amanda, you may experience some problems as you integrate back into your normal routine. You may become frustrated by the fact that the other students you’re with are –", he began.

"Stupid, sir?" I said, cutting him off.

"Uh, less apt, I think. They haven’t been exposed to the same level of enrichment – ", he tried to continue

"Or their parents couldn’t read the directions on the back of the box of condoms. Can I go now?" And back to class I went.

I was livid. Educators are supposed to help plant the seeds of student growth. Then my mother reminded me that my guidance counselor had originally been the school’s driver education teacher and the only seeds this guy planted had been when he knocked up his students.

My guidance counselor had managed to shepherd me into a realm of bitterness and outrage. I carried these feelings past the usual adolescent angst. They would warp me into the woman I would become: a comedian and a high school English teacher. As a note to my guidance counselor, if you ever happen to stumble across this: you don’t get credit for Making Me. It took years of study, thousands of dollars in student loans and hundreds of kegs of beer to get me to where I am today. Oh yeah, and if you come anywhere near my 15 year old cousin again, I’ll glass you.

The profession of teaching, with its 5 a.m. wake-up, calls is not conducive to spending late night after late night running around from club to club in hopes of getting five minutes from somebody, please anybody – and more often than not getting stuck at the first club you go to, running into so-and-so from That Club and running up a $50 bar tab telling yourself that maybe now he’ll let you take the bullet on Friday. My period one students have stopped questioning the number of classes we have during the week with the shades drawn and the lights off.

"Betcha get a lot of material working here!" Every comedian with a day job gets that. People are convinced that their mundane existence is fodder for divine, comedic revelation. My co-workers don’t understand any better than anyone else. Sure I look forward to those moments where I enter my classroom to find that one of my more perceptive students has scrawled on the chalkboard: "Ritalin. It’s what’s for dinner". But for every moment like that, there’s ten others where the closest thing to humor all day was the kid who felt he could give a more convincing reading of the part of the Porter in Macbeth if we could wait until tomorrow so he could come in drunk.

For a while, I was also the Advisor of the Class of 2004. March and April were rife with Prom Planning Activity. This involved buying festive glitter balloons and fielding, "Ooooo! Who did you go to your high school Prom with?" "Ricky Prouty", I replied. Ricky was cool - the kind of guy who had multiple varsity letters and could form intelligible sentences. After stalking Ricky at every school dance since 7th grade, I found the courage to ask him to the Prom. Of course popular legend had it that I pinned him to a locker in between lunch and Chorus in front of all his friends leaving him no option but to say yes or get to know my field hockey stick intimately. I say history has distorted the facts: it was before lunch.

Why teaching and comedy? I had no choice; I was called to both. Like the priesthood without the furtive groping.

If I bomb the night before I have a whole captive audience the next day. I like to call that type of lesson planning "Laugh for the A (or Remember You Need This Class To Graduate)". In a world where I might have to miss an open mike because I have a stack of term papers to correct, that is just good time management.

The thing that I dread most is the idea of co-workers coming to see me perform. Sure that quip I made in the staff meeting about opening up a can of whup ass with my Super Soaker 2000 on hormonal students dry humping in the hallway like they were dogs in heat was hysterical. I’m not sure I need the guy who might get named department head hearing my five minutes on bondage.

Fortunately, I have tenure.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Of Chicken Soup and Other Cold Remedies...Not Meth...


...really. I promise the reason Mr. Scoop was in that CVS purchasing Listerine, Sudafed and Drano all at the same time was because I sent him to acquire supplies while I lay huddled, shivering and coughing on the couch. Not because he intended to create "the most bitchin' peppermint flavored meth ever".

I've been ill since last Thursday. If you so much as whisper "sinus infection" near me during the winter, my head will swell to twice its natural size and become laden with nasty yellowish goo. And that's the upside of the infection. Before I spend so much time blowing my nose that the inside of it bleeds if I bend over to tie my shoe. By the way, if you are in a meeting with parents, it's a bad idea to attribute a spontaneous nose bleed to an old coke habit. Clasp your hand to your head and writhe around on the floor shrieking that it's an aneurysm instead. It will be less awkward for everyone.

That's me, sharing the tips for workplace success with you. You're welcome.


I've been trying to combat my cold with chicken noodle soup.

My recipe is based on my grandmother's on my dad's side. Grandma was an adequate cook, but when you're looking for childhood comfort food you certainly don't want haute cuisine. The flavor is on the sweet side from lots of carrots, but also perfumed with bay leaves and thyme. It also has macaroni. Grandma always used macaroni, so that's what goes in mine. When I eat it, I'm six years old and taking the day off from school in my pajamas on Grandma's bright aqua couch that didn't match any of the other furniture in the living room but was incredibly comfortable for using to sleep off a fever and sniffles.

Scoop's Chicken Noodle Soup

1 1/2 lbs skinless boneless chicken thighs trimmed of as much fat as possible
8 oz. carrots
4 oz. celery
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
32 oz. fat free, low sodium chicken broth
4 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
2 c. macaroni
salt and pepper to taste

Place the carrots, celery and onion in a food processor and blitz until chopped medium-ish. In a pot large enough to hold at least 5 quarts, place the chicken thighs on the bottom of the pot. Cover with the chopped vegetables. Pour the chicken broth over and add the thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce to low. Simmer for 30 minutes. Then remove the bay leaves and thyme and the chicken thighs. Shred or chop the chicken meat. Bring the liquid back to a boil and add the pasta. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until just tender. Add the chicken back to the pot and cook until just heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

If the soup looks like it needs more liquid when the pasta is done cooking, add more broth or water a cup at a time. I like my soup to be heavy on the pasta and chicken and lighter on the broth.

This should make 4 servings.

And now, I'm going to crawl back onto my couch - which isn't aqua, but still serves nicely for the purposes of cold and flu recovery.

Monday, February 06, 2006

How Many Degrees of Seperation From My Ass?



This information comes courtesy of Ernie's 3D Pancakes:

Six Degrees of Wikipedia

This tool finds the shortest path between any two Wikipedia articles.

I was disturbed to discover that it's only four degrees of seperation between:

The Flying Spaghetti Monster


and

Bobby Brown

Not that that makes Brown any more than zero degrees of seperation from "has been".

In the real world.

Although in the wikipedia search, it's 3 degrees.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Chew On This...


Observation of the day:

A 16 year-old boy should not reek of Old Lady Smell - the scent of potpourri sachets, White Rain shampoo and impending death.

I caught a whiff of Old Lady Smell on one of my young male charges today. It made the hair on the back of my neck rise and caused my soul to shrink up and press itself against the back of my kidneys. And that made me want to pee.

It’s wrong. And incongruous. I don’t care if the kid is living with the Grim Reaper himself – although I’ve been told that the Grim Reaper smells of roses and kittens, or maybe that was chloroform. Probably chloroform. In any event, it caused a deep icky in my stomach which reverberated into the very core of my being. I felt a sudden urge to whisk the kid into an assisted living facility and forget he existed until the Medicare ran out.

But the school would probably ask questions. Or his grandma would. Unless I could get her into the same assisted living facility.

Amazing. I meet the one teenage boy who doesn’t stink of cheap body spray – "Axe" I’m looking in your direction you awful Deep Wood Off + French Rent Boy smelling motherfuckers – and, rather than feeling happiness that I can breathe without gagging, I’m filled with the desire to put a wooden stake in him and sprinkle him with holy water. At 1:45 on a Friday afternoon. Nice work, Fate. Nice fucking work.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

High Crimes And Misdemeanors

Crack it open and it's like a Cadbury Egg full of booze!

I'm singing along to Madonna's "Like a Prayer" right now. I'm not even drunk. There's something very wrong with me.

At least as far as I know I'm not drunk. And as far as we all know the Jack Daniels truck that kept playing leapfrog with me on the highway made it safely to its scheduled destination and was not forced off the road, its driver forced to unload its cargo while under the impression that a travel curling iron was a .38, and its contents placed in the back of a dilapidated Corolla looking vehicle from the early 90s that appeared to be held together with duct tape and Bondo.

As far as we all know.

Damn you, sobriety.

____________________________________________________________

President panders to anti-manimal lobby! Dr Moreau flees country in rage!

So, I was turned on to this particular link courtesy of Reverend Tim. Now, I dozed off to the State Of The Union address last night. What with the not drinking, I needed something. to sedate me, afterall. So, I missed this little Dubya tidbit:

"Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research, human cloning in all its forms, creating or implanting embryos for experiments, creating human-animal hybrids, and buying, selling or patenting human embryos."


Human-animal hybrids? When did this happen? My God it's true. It's just like Dr. Venkman predicted; soon dogs and cats will. be living together. And it'll be a male dog and a male cat, trying to get a marriage license and looking to adopt Jo-Jo the Dogfaced Boy, fresh from his petri dish at Star Labs.

There goes the neighborhood. There goes the moral fabric of American society.

I recommend reading Pharyngula's take on this. Bush is trying to whip his religious right wing supporters up into a frothing frenzy by making some good science seem like an attempt to release Monster Men upon the country, when it's really research intended to help individuals with disorders like Down Syndrome.

Hey, maybe he just doesn't want to be cured.