Saturday, October 01, 2016

Camp Trump

(Our intrepid HotFlash reporter travels to the future to check out the country after a 2016 Trump victory).
HotFlash: I’m here at one of the camps that Donald Trump has established for citizens of the United States after the attempted revolution of 2017. According to his excellency, the camps provide the US with stability and protection from migrants and illegal aliens. And fat beauty contest winners.
(To camp resident): So how do you like living in a camp?
Resident: Oh, it’s fine. His Excellency takes good care of us.
HF: His excellency?
Resident: Well, he declared himself emperor after the “difficulties”. We’re all fine with that.
HF: What if you aren’t fine with that?
Resident: Then we are forced to be reprogrammed by watching every campaign speech and debate from 2016. (shudders). It’s horrible, I’ve heard.
HF: I'm so sorry.
Resident: Oh, it’s not so bad. We have great health insurance, for example. All ugly women can choose to be executed, or get free plastic surgery, breast augmentation, and tummy tucks.
HF: How did the camps get started?
Resident: Well, his Excellency wanted to get all the Muslims out of the general population, so he sent all Muslims, people with funny last names, and anybody with the middle name of “Hussein” to a camp. Then he got tired of the black people whining about Black Lives mattering, so he sent them all to the black people camp.
HF: What about the Mexicans?
Resident: Oh, there aren’t any Mexicans here. They all went back to Mexico before the wall was built.
HF: Trump did build the wall, huh?
Resident: Oh, no. MEXICO built the wall. To keep Americans out who were trying to escape to Mexico.
HF: But you’re white. Why are you in a camp?
Resident: Well, some of the Caucasians started bitching that with no Mexicans or black people, there was nobody to be landscapers or janitors. So he just sent us all to camps. Like, there’s a special camp just for his ex-wives. And girlfriends. And women he abused, because he got tired of listening to them whining.
HF: Well, this is a really bleak view of the future. I’m afraid I’m going to have to go back to the present now. I don't think I can take this.
Resident: Oh, you can't leave. You’re staying here. At the camp specially for lying left wing socialist liberal media. But it’s okay. Bernie Sanders is there. He’s the camp mascot.
(soldiers drag our reporter away screaming…)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Urban Grandma

Recently, one of the offspring of Ms. Hotflash produced offspring of her own, a boy to add to the 2 year old girl previously produced. In a spurt of good will, I offered to watch aforementioned offspring for a few weeks while his mother went back to work.

Baby boy is a good baby and has not peed in my face once (winning!), but I have encountered other challenges in my adventures in babysitting.

First of all, his parents live in Trendy Hipster Land, an urban neighborhood replete with microbreweries, organic juice bars, vintage clothing stores, trendy hipster clothing stores, and many, many hipsters riding their bicycles somewhere with their messenger bags. Don’t you people have jobs?

It is depressing to spend a large amount of time in the home of the (somewhat) newly married, as their kitchenware and appliances are SO MUCH NICER than the tired items we have at home, which includes a fondue pot from 1977. They have utensils that are nice and shiny and weigh 2 pounds! Mixers and food processors and smoothie making thingies!

The appliances! Oh, the appliances! These new-fangled appliances have more blinking lights and settings that Mission Control in Houston. For example, the washing machine has a myriad of settings, including “Casual” and “Sanitize”. What a dilemma. Of course I want to sanitize, who doesn’t? But that setting takes 2 hours. If I use “Casual”, will people know I don’t care about the cleanliness of my clothes? Will I exude a casual attitude that could prevent me from getting a good table at restaurants or a promotion at work? And will “Casual” remove the spit-up from my shoulders?

Then there’s the strollers, aka Urban Assault Vehicles. This family owns about 5 strollers, all which have their own devious method of opening and closing. Let’s consider the Uppa Baby, the umbrella stroller of choice for the up and coming toddler. Although I could open it, I could not figure out how to KEEP it open, and it’s probably a bad idea to traverse down the street with the stroller collapsing on a 2 year old. I resorted to Youtube, which has a number of videos on how to open the damn Uppa Baby (this is obviously a bad sign).  Of course, none of the videos corresponded to my particular Uppa Baby. Fortunately I resolved the problem by swearing and stomping on it, which magically “clicked” the stroller open.

But the greatest challenge has been the remote. Or should I say “remotes”.  If I want to Netflix and
chill (obviously a different meaning for us oldsters vs you young’uns), should it really take me FOUR different remotes and their mysterious settings? Really? Why should my binge-watching involve the use of so much brain power? I consider this a micro-aggression.

I have one week to go. I shall master the strollers and appliances! I shall binge watch whatever I want, remotes be damned! And hopefully not get peed in the face.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Welcome to Terrorism!

Welcome, everyone! Welcome to Terrorist Orientation and Training Camp!

I am Jim McCluskey, and I am here to “Soldier” you through the next few days! Get it? Soldier?

Anyhoo, let me tell you a little bit about myself.  I am the president and owner of McCluskey Human Resources Consulting out of Des Moines, Iowa, and this awesome terrorist group found me on the internet and flew me over here to oversee the program. And hey, a nice shout-out to the Peshawar Ramada Inn, who is letting us use their conference rooms FOR FREE! There must have been some crazy negotiations going on there!

So, who knew Pakistan was so awesome! I know I’m impressed, and my bodyguards have been super nice to me! I even got to take a walk outside yesterday! Thanks, Mustafa! Love you guys!

So, where are y’all from? Yemen? Okay, let’s have a big round of applause for Yemen? Any Somalians here? Oh, yeah, you got a bunch here! I see there’s a contingent from Boko Harum. Nice outfits, guys! Colorado? You’re from Colorado? Wow, a big round of applause! By the way, your parents are SUPER PISSED that you two snuck out, you were supposed to be at the mall!

And I see a few ladies here. Unfortunately, ladies, you will have to go to the female-only orientation, we don’t want you distracting the men by enflaming their loins with passion. Just exit through that door, where you will be assigned a burqua and a husband. But don’t feel bad! We need you to produce all the little jihadists you can!

Alright now, let’s do some housekeeping.

First of all, we need to assign your parking passes. Tanks have to park in parking lot C. Yeah, I know, it’s a long walk, but it will keep you in shape to fight the infidels! All livestock must be registered or will be eaten. And don’t forget about the bathhouse. We’re going to be cooped up in conference rooms all week, so a little soap will go a long way!

Now, does everybody have their information form and a number 2 pencil? That’s great!

First, fill in your real name, and then on the second line, you can fill out your new freedom fighter name.
Next, you will see where you can request assignments. Please mark them from 1 to 5, in order of preference. So, for example, if you really want to be an ammo clerk, mark that with a “one”. We are in special need of suicide bombers, so if you are into that, please request it! We seem to be running out of them.

And speaking of suicide bombers, remember! There’s 75 virgins waiting for you up there in the afterlife! Or 77. Or something. Anyway, you’ll have a heckuva good time!  And don’t forget, tonight the piano player in the Peshawar Lounge will be doing a special medley of old standards for you potential suicide bombers, including such hits as “I’m in Heaven” and “Fly Me to The Moon”.

When you are done, please hand in your forms, because it’s time for lunch! Everyone move to conference room 3, the “Death to America” room. I hear goat is on the menu! Chow down!

And remember, throughout the week, the most important thing is: Have Fun!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

The Big Effing Thing

Ah, the holidays! The time when family gets together, and the adult children return to their childhood home to provide helpful suggestions to their parents on the status (and improvement) of the family home. In this instance, one of the Hotflash offspring was quite concerned about our lack of modern technology, in particular, our lack of flat screen TVs.

Now, I realize that flat screen televisions are attractive, lightweight, and high definition. But seeing as we mostly seem to watch “American Pickers” (Mr. Hotflash’s favorite show), do I really need to see Mike and Frank’s facial blemishes and stubble as they roam the backroads of America for rusty crap that they will sell to the suckers of America? I think not.

And my new favorite show, “Botched” (admittedly, a guilty pleasure), exhibits the bad plastic surgery of various idiot patients who got way too much filler in their lips and elsewhere. But I don’t need to see these imperfections up close and personal, I work in health care, and see plenty of bodily “variations” up close and personal.

Furthermore, we have sufficient technology for our television watching pleasure. For example, we have a 13 inch television in the “master suite” which has a built in VCR! Top that! And a lovely tube TV in the family room, which weighs about a thousand pounds and will never be moved again. We could probably put a sign up on the front door directing the burglars to both televisions, and I think they would run in disgust.

However, the real reason we don’t have a flat screen television is The Big Effing Thing. (Yes, this is a family blog). Lewis Black, a comedian, did a routine a few years ago about how the best cure to a bad economy is to build a Big Effing Thing. Examples are the Pyramids and the Hoover Dam. Puts lots of people to work, and if you build it, they will come. (see photo of my parents in front of a Big Effing Thing in Egypt).

Our Big Effing Thing, unfortunately, is our entertainment center. Built in the olden days when folks needed a place to put that thousand pound tube television set. It didn’t seem quite that large in the catalog that Tammy, our interior decorator, showed me. But when it arrived, oh my. It’s big. It’s really big. It's... monolithic.

So, you may think, just sell it! News flash, kids. Nobody wants an entertainment center. There are 765 entertainment centers listed on our local Craigslist today. So what to do?

We could have a bonfire in the back yard, with very expensive wood going up in flames. We could somehow cart it to an area where the homeless gather, under the assumption that a family of four could probably fit into it. However, I think this is a national problem.

If Obama wants to resurrect his image from all those awful things he has done, such as providing health insurance to those awful people who were previously uninsured, he should tackle this problem. I suggest a national decommissioning authority to take all the old entertainment centers and dispose of them, in the same way various countries “decommission” their old nuclear power plants.

Just like a pesky nuclear facility which needs to be buried under concrete, the government could pick up our entertainment centers and do something useful and ecologically correct with them. Or just burn those mofos. Either way, then I can purchase a lovely flat screen TV for my family room (or a specific Hotflash offspring can buy it for us).

Until then, we will continue to watch bad television on a bad cathode ray tube TV, with the option of watching old video tapes of our offspring in their younger years at swim meets and cheerleading competitions. Really, who needs more than 13 inches for that?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Naked Pictures!

One or more hackers recently stole naked pictures of various female celebrities, and posted them on the internet, thus creating quite a media kerfuffle. Besides the outrage of the various celebs, Lena Dunham (of the HBO show “Girls”, who peels down to not much at the blink of an eye) was uber-outraged! She huffs, “Remember, when you look at these pictures you are violating these women again and again. It's not okay.”

So, being weak and without moral compass, I must shamefully admit that I DILIGENTLY searched the internet to find these naked pictures. It was either that or do laundry.

Amazingly, Google Images is just chock full of naked celebrity pictures, all with aforesaid celebrities performing acts of various athletic prowess and undress. And all Photoshopped. I really doubt that Brad would let Angelina do that stuff with two other guys, I mean, Really. She, the mother of 6 (or 7 or whatever…)

So obviously some 12 year old boys have become proficient at Photoshop, which raises the question, why didn’t these celebs just laugh and say the pictures were just Photoshopped?

And this whole issue raises other questions. For example, are celebs just hanging around the mansion, wondering, “So, what should I do tonight? Go to the Apple Store? Torment the paparazzi?  I know, I’ll take naked photos of myself and post them on a pretty insecure internet site!”  Granted, these folks probably have much better bodies than the general populace, but couldn’t they be content with just gazing adoringly into a full length mirror?

And this involved SO MANY celebs. Why are so many people taking naked pictures of themselves? Did I miss the memo?  

I suggest their managers (or parents) sit them down and have a stern talk about being careful with their naked photos. I know, as Ms. Dunham has said, more or less, celebs have the right to “share their bodies however they want”. But except for the laundry bills, keeping your clothes on is just so much easier. But of course, that doesn’t make the news.  

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Elf This!

Yes, it’s been a while since I have posted to my Hot Flash blog. Not to say that I haven’t had many profound thoughts and opinions, but life got in the way. But as the holiday season winds down, I become reflective, and think warmly of the various customs that the Hot Flash family celebrates from year to year.


Number 1: Lighting the tree

Every Christmas season, I harangue Mr. Hot Flash to bring the pre-lit, artificial tree up from the basement. As he sets it up, we wait breathlessly for the Christmas lights to spring to life, to twinkle, and to reflect the new hope we have for the season. A hope that the freakin’ lights will actually work for a change. This year, about 10% of the lights came to life, while the rest remained dark and annoying. However, Mr. Hot Flash, ignoring helpful suggestions from Ms. Hotflash that we just buy some damn lights at Walgreen’s, embarked on his journey toward Total Domination of the Christmas tree. Armed with numerous extra bulbs, a volt meter, and many bad words, he toiled and sweated for many hours while the rest of the family took cover. However, I heard the Good News when the shout, “Who’s your daddy! WHO’S your daddy??!” rang out from the living room, as Mr. Hotflash shouted at the tree in triumph, and the tree came to life, every bulb twinkling away.


Number 2: Making fun of other people’s customs

I find “Elf on the Shelf” disturbing. Yes, I said it. For those of you manning a scientific station in Antarctica, Elf on the Shelf is a scam perpetrated by a toy company to force parents into buying a scary looking elf doll (think spawn of Chucky), complete with instructions to pose the elf in various places around the house every night after the child goes to bed. Apparently Elf is just a stool pigeon who flies back to the North Pole to squeal on various family members regarding their naughty or niceness. But it requires Mom or Dad, who may be in various stages of holiday fatigue or hung-overness, to actually remember to move Elfie around every damn night. Seriously? Yes, you over-achieving mothers are into it, but what about the more casual mother?

Okay, I will admit, I was a more casual mother. I am truly thankful this Christmas season that Elf on the Shelf did not exist back when my kids were youngun’s. I don’t think of myself as lazy as much as just “preoccupied”. My (now adult) children remind me of my rather laissez faire approach to St. Nicholas day. Year one: “Hey! Put your shoes out! St Nick comes tonight!” Year two: “Mom, the other kids at school said St. Nick came LAST NIGHT”! “Oh, um, he’s coming tonight for sure. It sometimes takes him two nights!” (children roll eyes in disgust).


Number 3: Making fun of other people’s lawn displays

In our neighborhood, there are several post-modern Nativity lawn displays. Who knew that both Rudolph and Santa visited the Baby Jesus on Christmas night? People, at least separate your secular blow-up dolls from your inflatable Nativity scenes. And please take them down by Valentine’s Day.

But in all seriousness, I wish you best Christmas, New Year’s, Kwanzaa, and whatever Holiday Season I missed. Peace on earth and may all your pre-lit trees light the first time.

Friday, September 07, 2012


The 2012 conventions have adjourned, to the delight of television viewers everywhere, but our intrepid Hot Flash reporter was there, observing the suspenseful nomination process. Okay, well, maybe not there, and maybe asleep on the couch, but the television was on. And here are our fair and balanced observations:

We are either in deep doo-doo or marching forward toward the land of milk and honey. The Republicans displayed the ever increasing national debt on a nifty digital display throughout the convention, whereas the Democrats SHOULD have had a nifty digital display of the number of dumbass things the Republicans have said lately. (Legitimate rape, anyone?)

A Lassie Democrat
Full disclosure: I am what is referred to in my family as a “Lassie Democrat”, in that if Lassie ran for president as a Democrat, she/he would get my vote. I am not ashamed to admit that my allegiance to the Democratic party began in 2nd grade at Our Lady of Perpetual Guilt grade school, where the nuns were beside themselves at the thought that a nice Irish Catholic boy might become president. And I thought John F. Kennedy was just really cute. The nuns were summarily overwhelmed with joy when he was elected, which is probably the closest to orgasm they ever got, seeing as both “impure thoughts” and “touching oneself impurely” could be mortal sins which might condemn you to hell for all eternity. Or not. It just depended. They never elaborated on exactly what it depended on, thus thrusting the students of Perpetual Guilt into a state of confusion, as well as a state of harboring impure thoughts, now that they were forbidden. ( Ha ha. I said “thrusting”.) But I digress.

 I’ll admit that I tried to watch the Republican convention, but kept falling asleep on the couch, missing not only the candidate’s speech, but the lively dialog between Clint Eastwood and a chair. Doesn’t the GOP have an advance team to vet the speeches of crotchety old men on national teevee? Or at least someone backstage to wrest the chair away from Dirty Harry?

I did stay awake for a lot of Democratic convention, however, and found Obama’s speech to be adequate, but mostly I watched Malia and Sasha look bored out of their minds. It must be hard to come of age in the White House, when your dad is up in front of a bunch of people BEING TOTALLY LAME instead of driving you to the mall like a normal dad. I was impressed that neither were caught picking their noses, scratching, or adjusting their underwear. They were probably briefed ahead of time that rolling of eyes, yawning, and texting were grounds for relocation to Guantanamo Bay, which, by the way, is still open.

My biggest problem, however, is Michelle Obama. Bitch. How DOES she obtain those sexy, well-toned arms? It’s all her fault that sleeveless dresses are still in fashion, which don’t flatter those of us of a certain age. I would do arm exercises, but I fear the subsequent rotator cuff surgery that would inevitably follow. At least the Republicans have had First Ladies that didn’t make me feel inferior. Barbara Bush, anyone?

The highlight of the Democratic convention, of course, was not Barack, but Bill. Oh, Bill, please, can’t you be president again? The constitution is just so problematic. Surely those term limits are just suggestions, not absolutes. We ladies want you back. That twinkle in your eye, the florid oratory. I know those were meant for me, you old horndog, you. I have a blue dress. Call me.