Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Doing the Unex-Spectered

Doing the Unex-Spectered © 2009 Lynn Rebuck

Republicans were stunned today by Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter’s announcement that he switched parties. They thought he already was a Democrat.
Specter left the Republican Party because he heard that Obama said only Democrats would be able to get Tamiflu.
Specter said he was forced to switch parties because he lost party support after he voted for President Obama’s economic stimulus plan.
Republicans should have figured Specter was jumping ship when he kept scooting his Senate chair toward the center aisle.
Republican Pat Toomey had announced he was running against Specter in the Pennsylvania primary election and polls showed Specter trailing Toomey by twenty points. Specter decided he’d rather switch than fight.
Specter likes to flaunt his almost 30-year service in the Senate. When the caucus goes to Denny’s he always asks for the “seniority discount.”
Specter’s move puts the Democrats only one senator shy of having 60 seats in the Senate. If comedian Al Franken wins the contested senate seat in Minnesota, it means that the Democrats would be able to prevent Republican filibusters. Instead, Franken will perform non-stop monologues.
While Franken could become the first comedian elected to the Senate, he certainly wouldn’t be the first Democratic joker in office.
Senate Democrats are excited at the prospect of having 60 of their kind in the Senate. Imagine that…they can finally have full rosters in their softball league.
Democrats are thrilled because it means they can get the group discount for their next trip to Atlantic City. They’re putting up a sign on the bus already… “No Filibuster… or Bust.”
Specter said he didn’t want to lose his Senate seat because of the vote of Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I’m pretty sure that’s how the law works. You lose, you leave. But leave it to Specter, a lawyer, to find a loophole.
Wouldn’t it be something if Pennsylvania Republicans switch their registrations to Democrat to vote against Specter in the primary?
How about Air Force One flying over New York City and causing a scare? High ranking government officials thought New Yorkers could use a distraction from the swine flu outbreak.
Congress is worried about the swine flu. They don’t want it to affect their pork.
Speaking of budgets, it cost over $328,000 for the government to fly Air Force One over New York City … for a photo shoot.
It turns out the old photo was looking outdated. You could still see Dick Cheney hanging on to the wing.
Obama’s looking for ways to cut the budget and reduce the deficit. Here’s my suggestion: maybe his plane can go without its 8 X 10 glossies.
Obama marks his 100th day in office Wednesday with a prime-time television press conference. Fox is refusing to air the president’s speech. Apparently the network didn’t want to duplicate coverage. They already have one show in that time slot called “Lie to Me.” © 2009 Lynn Rebuck
Lynn Rebuck writes an award-winning weekly humor column for the Lititz Record Express. You can follow her on Facebook and and email her at

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Whack-A-Mole: Punxsatawney Phil Better Beware

“Whack-A-Mole: ” by Lynn Rebuck © 2009

Monday morning the sadistic Pennsylvania groundhog saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter.

Suddenly, I felt like playing “Whack-a-Mole.”

I am tired of shoveling four inches of “scattered flurries” off of the driveway.

I feel like we are being duped by the forecasts on the nightly news.

The meteorologists predict snow, we all crowd into the grocery store to stock up on the essentials of life--Tastykakes, Doritos, and People magazine-- and the storm doesn’t show up.

They predict flurries and suddenly we find ourselves in the middle of the next ice age, in an all-out white-out, or hacking through what I call “snice”—a fiendish snow/ice sandwich. It is solid ice on the bottom, fluffy snow in the middle topped with a crunchy layer of ice. It’s a Fluffernutter from hell (if you don’t know what a Fluffernutter is, email me or phone a friend).

I’m pretty sure I found Scrat, frantically attempting to reach an acorn, frozen in a pose in the iceberg that was my driveway last week.

A few years ago I interviewed a broadcast meteorologist who worked for a network television affiliate. He was highly-respected in his field and had started a successful weather forecasting company. He told me that even with all the technological advancements, weather satellites, and Doppler-gadgets, the “science” of predicting the weather was still a 50-50 proposition. “You might as well flip a coin,” he said.

When I shared this story with a friend of mine recently, she said she wished she could have a job where she only had to be right half of the time and could still get paid for it. I advised her to run for political office.

My car has no traction in the snow and it has front-wheel drive. Someone told me to put some dead weight in the trunk, so I put an ex-husband over each wheel.

I bought a cheap snow blower on eBay. It turned out to be a crazy straw.

I really did get a snow blower. It didn’t do a very good job on the driveway but it's great on the highway. Now I drive it to work.

It was hard to learn how to direct the snow when it comes out of the machine. I ended up blowing snow into my neighbor’s driveway. He has a snow blower too, so he just blew it back. Three hours and all we accomplished was the start of another Cold War.

All this cold weather and snow is nature’s response to Al Gore’s summit in D.C. about global warming.

There are good things to be said about winter. Like, um…snakes hibernate. That’s about it.

Well, we’d better break out the shovels—they’re calling for more scattered flurries tonight.

Maybe if we all stand outside and catch the snowflakes on our tongues we won’t have to shovel. © 2009 Lynn Rebuck

Lynn Rebuck writes a weekly humor column for the Lititz Record Express. You can email her at

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Joy of Communicating with Teens

The Joy of Communicating With Teens © 2009 By Lynn Rebuck

Anyone who has raised teens or been around a teen for more than a few minutes knows this universal truth---teens truly speak a different language. And today it’s more technology-based and harder than ever to get their attention.

How do you communicate with a kid who is text messaging on a cellphone, playing Guitar Hero while Wii-fitting on a balance board and battling on World of Warcraft?

Teens today are immersed in a culture of constant instantaneous connection, and although the exchanges are often brief and coded, they have been known to continue all night (has your child ever awakened for school the next morning with cellphone still in hand, and a caller still on the line?).

Most American teenagers speak English with a dialect---or, as I call it, a "dialectronics."

Everything today is based on text-messaging, instant messaging, social networking on Twitter and Facebook, and whatever the next fad to come through the internet “pipeline” will be. And we have Al Gore to thank for it all.

Despite the technological advances, we parents still have the same basic challenge: get kids to do chores, finish homework, and be responsible. So we need to learn to speak their language.

Keep in mind, the average attention span of a teen is negative 3 seconds. If you want a teenager to do something, you have to actually finish saying what you need to say before you started saying it. Otherwise, you get the eye-roll.

Granted, at times is seems that trying to convey a message to teens, especially if it involves work or movement of any kind, is like walking into a foreign country with high expectations only to have your sincere efforts at communication met with blank stares. Gestures are ineffective.
So, in an effort to improve communication between parents and teens, I am offering a few phrases to help. Remember parents, no matter what chore you need done, phrase it in computer terms.
Here’s how a recent conversation with my teen went:
Technologically-challenged Mom: “I need you to upload the laundry.”
Texting Teen: tap, tap, tap, tap…
Type-A Mom: “You need to download the dishwasher.”
Texting and Computer-playing Teen: tap, tap, tap, tap…
Tired Mom: “You need to stream the shower and post your towel when you’re done.”
Texting Teen who just signed on to Xbox 360: “I’ll do that in the morning.”
Frustrated but still-trying Mom: “Put the lid back on the toothpaste YouTube and don’t forget to Google with mouthwash.”
Texting Teen whose phone is ringing: “I’m not gonna, the sink is gross.”
About-to-Explode Mom: “The sink is backed up. Something is blogging the drain and I need you to delete the gunk in the trap under the sink.”
Texting Teen who just got Twittered: “No way.” Tap...tap...tap…
Determined Mom: “And another thing: “Don’t park your car in MySpace in the driveway. Park it on the street. “
Our parents relied on Dr. Spock for parenting advice. I think our generation needs advice from Star Trek’s Mr. Spock.
After an hour of trying, I did the chores myself and mumbled, “Beam me up, Scotty. I think my communicator’s broken."
Lynn Rebuck writes a weekly humor column for the Lititz Record Express. You can email her at

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rock the Electoral Vote by Lynn Rebuck Copyright 2008

Rock the Electoral Vote by Lynn Rebuck Copyright 2008 Lynn Rebuck

If you ask me, the Presidential election isn’t over yet.
Thankfully, the campaign ads have ended. Unfortunately, the ads about erectile dysfunction have not.
You may say that I am in denial about the outcome of the election, or you may say that I am well-informed.
I asked Lititz resident Rich Filling for his opinion, and he says I’m right.
And he should know. Filling is the former Commissioner of Elections for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a former member of the Electoral College.
Up until now, every four years I have been forced to admit my ignorance concerning how we elect our president. Several years ago I actually applied for a scholarship to the Electoral College. I ran into a little problem when I tried to arrange for a campus visit. This year, I decided to become informed.
As most of Jeff Foxworthy’s 5th graders know, we, the people, in order to keep our more perfect union running, don’t really elect the President. The Electoral College does that.
But what most Americans aren’t aware of is that the Electoral College doesn’t meet until December 15. So the 2008 Presidential election isn’t a done deal.
We may still end up with President Hillary Clinton. Or better yet, President Palin.
You see, Presidential electors don’t always vote for their party’s candidate.
The first one to rock the electoral vote was a rebellious Pennsylvanian. The year was 1796.
Before becoming a Presidential Elector, Samuel Miles was the mayor of Philadelphia, which was a bustling town that had about three times the population of present-day Lititz.
Miles did not vote for the Federalist candidate to whom he was pledged, John Adams. He voted instead for that gifted writer and inventor of the architectural column, Thomas Jefferson, the Democratic-Republican candidate for President.
Whoa, hold on. Democratic-Republican? What did they have on the map back then, purple states? How did the town crier, Anderson Cooper, who was the son of a designer barrel-maker and an actual cooper during the day, define the states during the evening cry?
Even with Miles on his side, Jefferson was not elected president, but he did receive enough electoral votes to become vice president. If that job had not panned out, he would have been forced to become a political analyst on CNN, the Crier News Network.
Back to present-day politics.
I hope to attend the ceremony at the State Capitol at noon on December 15th to witness our next President being elected by the Commonwealth’s elected electors.
“Nobody ever comes,” said Rich Filling, who twice was the Sergeant of Arms for the Electoral College ceremony. I think it’s time for that to change.
Speaking of change, if you’re not happy with the way the election turned out, it’s not too late.
Contact your state's Presidential electors today. Tell them to Rock the Electoral Vote.
Lynn Rebuck writes a weekly humor column for the Lititz Record Express in Lititz, PA. She is still desperately clinging to her guns and religion. You can email her at

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow Daze

I wouldn't mind winter if it weren't for all the snow, sleet, and school closings.
A few years ago I picked the worst winter to move my family from sunny California to frigid Pennsylvania. My three children and I were greeted by a record-breaking string of low temperatures, the fifth-largest snowstorm in recorded history in the area, and a smart-aleck groundhog that predicted six more weeks of winter (I didn’t know groundhogs could snicker).
Within a few short weeks after our arrival we witnessed every possible variation of snow, from fierce blizzard conditions to gently floating crystalline flakes. I shoveled, scraped, deiced, shoveled, salted and shoveled again. And that was just for one storm.
I coveted my neighbor’s snow blower.
Our wardrobes increased considerably. As for my personal fashion taste, I really got into Thinsulate. It lined my gloves, my boots, my hat, and filled my coat. Next winter I am considering having a complete Thinsulate body wrap until the spring thaw. If that fails, I may resort to reverse liposuction to stay warm.
There are secrets to staying warm here, which any native can tell you: 1) Dress in layers (although no one tells you how many layers you‘ll need. 23 works best for me. I just get up in the morning and put on everything that’s in my closet). 2) Keep your head covered, since most of your body heat is lost from your head (while you try to figure out why you’re still living in this cold climate). 3) Move to Florida.
This winter I made “figure eights” on the ice -- while I was driving. I learned the fine art of skidding gracefully (it involves the absence of any look of panic). The trick is to make it look like you actually planned to slide sideways through the intersection.
I had no need to go to a gym for fitness classes. Icy sidewalks inspired me to create a new aerobic workout more strenuous than stepping, sliding and Tae-Bo. It involved slipping, falling, and struggling to stand again. So much for walking in a winter wonderland.
My children reveled in the joy of a new phenomenon to them -- the “snow day.” This is a day when school is canceled due to weather and road conditions that are deemed too dangerous for children to travel to school. Instead, the jubilant children stay home and snowboard down steep hills with their eyes closed and sled out into the street.
There is no doubt that a winter storm draws a family closer together. This forced togetherness creates a scene reminiscent of Norman Rockwell paintings. The children and I huddled around the laptop warming our hands. Their faces glowed and their cheeks looked rosy from all the outdoor activity (or it might have been frostbite).
The locals told me this was an unusually harsh winter, that it doesn’t usually snow this much, and that it hasn’t been this cold during the previous few winters. I will admit there were times when I thought that just a little global warming sounded pretty good.
The last storm of freezing rain left behind a glistening wonderland of ice-coated trees. It also froze the doors of my car shut, with me inside.
Copyright 2007 Lynn Rebuck