Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hot sheets: Free parking my ass and kids (porn) say the darnedest things

For this week’s Eighty Four Glyde Hot Sheets, I decided to go with a new approach. Instead of wacky stories from around the country, I’m going to offer commentary on real stories that may or may not affect you. Stories that you might actually have an opinion on. Let’s see how it goes.

The first story: “Cities rethink wisdom of 50s-era parking standards” concerns parking spaces in cities like Washington D.C. and others across these fruited plains. It was reported in USA Today, yesterday.

It looks like the District has a parking problem, but not the one you’d think. Some critics think that there are too many parking spaces in D.C. This “over abundance” of spaces apparently make the city look ugly and “eat up space that could otherwise be used for trees.” Because, as well all know, people go to cities to enjoy the foliage.

The idea is that if “they” make it harder to park in major cities, then “they’ll” be able to use the empty lots for new and thriving businesses, like restaurants that aren’t up to health codes and porno stores.

Less parking spaces means more pedestrians and less traffic and congestion. This means that we’ll have quaint little cities where everybody walks where they need to go, regardless of the weather or if they have a lot of shit to carry.

Let’s think about that for a moment. I happen to live near D.C. and I find this idea to be retarded in the extreme. I hate going downtown already because of the lack of decent parking. But don’t take my word for it. Read the words of Virginia commuter Randy Michael: "Today I had an 11:30 meeting and I had to plan an extra hour just to park" said Michael, 49. It ended up taking him 40 minutes to find a metered spot.

How ridiculous is that? And less spaces will make the situation better?
There’s already too few parking lots and parking garages in D.C. and the ones that are around are so expensive that I end up having to take a loan out before I drive into the nation’s capital.

“But Josh,” you say. What about that famous D.C. mass transit system? I mean you’ve got buses, taxis and the metro!”

Yes, let’s talk about the metro for a minute. Half the time there are delays that can take hours, or entire lines are shut down because some hobo’s remains were accidentally run over. The other half the train’s packed so tight with commuters that you can tell if the guy next to you is circumcised or not. And that’s not my idea of fun.

Nope, people who want to erase parking spaces from the face of the Earth so that they can plant trees and make the city “look nice” should go play in the traffic they so desperately want to get rid of. We need to burn down more buildings so that there are more spaces, more spaces means cheaper parking.

I vote that we pave paradise and put up an all night, five-story parking lot with stairwells that don’t smell like piss and vomit.
The next story is from Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell, and it’s about a new and exciting cult from the bottom lands of Arkansas.

Feds raided a Christian ministry compound in Arkansas looking for evidence of child porn. I know what you’re thinking, Christians? Priests? Sex with little boys? Give us something new Josh!

And so I will. This time, it turns out that it’s not Catholic holy men who are into the kiddie porn. Nope, it’s the Tony Alamo Christian Ministry! Sounds like a new religion created by some radio D.J. from the 70s, doesn’t it?

Anyway, Rockin’ and Rollin’ Tony Alamo’s take on Christianity is anti-gay, anti-Catholic and anti-government. Well, I can’t fault them on the last one, at least. Oh yeah, and they’re also pro-polygamy, (which has always struck me as odd. Isn’t it enough just having to deal with one wife? Who needs more of that nonsense?!)

The feds raided the 15-acre compound without any kind of arrest warrant, which is just silly because that’s only warning people of what you’re trying to do. It’s like going to rob a bank but not bringing a gun, or mask, or sacks with dollar signs on them and asking politely for the money. It just doesn’t work.

Not that it matters anyway, because Big Bad Tony Alamo was actually in Los Angeles, probably to get the movie deal about his cult. Here’s what he had to say about the raid:

"We don't go into pornography; nobody in the church is into that," said Alamo, 73. "Where do these allegations stem from? The anti-Christ government. The Catholics don't like me because I have cut their congregation in half. They hate true Christianity."

Spoken like a real man of God.

I’m not exactly sure what makes this guy’s congregation a cult; it can’t be their dislike of the government, that’d make most people in America cultists. It can’t be the polygamy, or else Mormons would be cultists*. Hell, Alamo says he doesn’t even practice polygamy. And it can’t be the kiddie porn, or else Gary Glitter and more people in the country than I’d like to think about, would be cultists.

The ministry’s website says that Tony Alamo and his Wacky Morning Zoo is "dedicated to spreading the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the winning of souls worldwide."

That sounds wholesome and decent to me. I might have to shun my atheist ways and see what all the fuss is about.

Oh, and the name of where this compound is located?

Fouke, Arkansas. Not sure how it’s pronounced, but I bet I can fouken guess!

That’s the Hot Sheets for this week, join me next week when I just make up my own stories and then make fun of ‘em!

*Yeah, I know the Mormons don’t get down with polygamy anymore, but they used to, and people don’t accuse John Smith of trying to create a cult. Or do they?


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