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Welcome to Your World. Here we'll take look at what's happened on this fine planet since last we met. Warning: you may not agree with my slant on things, you may even get pissed but, hey, that's my job.

COP KILLA--If you haven't heard by now, another cop was killed. This time it was in Haines City, Florida. A rookie cop goes to investigate a suspicious car at a cemetery (I thought that only happened in the movies) and ended up dead. Whoops. Here's the problem: the police again showed their lack of tact in handling this case. I'm sick of hearing about what a huge travesty it is when an officer loses his/her life. Why? What makes an officer of the law any different from you or me? Their snappy uniform and shiny car with the pretty lights? Their cocky attitudes and often unfounded suspicions? Regardless, it's time we raise awareness about this. It's annoying to hear how the officers walked "shoulder to shoulder in search of evidence for their comrade's killer." Or how the Sheriff of the county ordered his officers to serve over 1,000 outstanding warrants for people living in the area where the officer was killed. The Sheriff later said, "We won't rest until his killer is found." Funny, I've never heard that one before. Probably because they don't do that for the common person -- me and you -- the good-for-nothings who write their paychecks. How about the 200 police from 12 different departments that gathered at the scene of the crime? Think they'd do the same if you were gunned down? Yet we sit here and take it right up the asset. Doesn't it piss you off to hear that members of the force and the department chaplain visited the family of the slain cop around the clock? You think they provided the same service for the poor schmo who was gunned down outside an ATM last week? I can't fathom being the relative of someone who was killed; I can't envision hearing and seeing all of the special attention this case garnered after having a couple of desk-jockeys working on my relative's case. This is bulls#*t. There's no reason for this, other than poor judgement, and the police need to wake-up and smell their salaries. They had better start giving the same consideration to all cases or start working for free.

FYI: in late-breaking news, it's now almost certain that the aforementioned cop killed himself. Bullet fragments and gun powder were found on the officer's arm and hand. Funny, all those cops and they couldn't tell the difference between murder and suicide? Here's a topic for discussion: "Law enforcement intelligence -- oxymoron or crime-fighting weapon?"

YO QUIERO COMMON SENSE-- It seems that a Hispanic civil rights group wants Taco Bell to cease and desist its "Yo Quiero Taco Bell" commercials. You know, the one featuring the laughter-inciting dog, Dinky the Chihuahua. Let's get this straight: IT'S A COMMERCIAL!!! It's an advertising vehicle aimed at stirring the appetites of viewers. A piece of media used to encourage purchase through laughter and strategic product placement. It is not a slam on the Hispanic race. To paraphrase Jack Nicholson's Joker, "What this country needs is an enema." How can anyone possibly find this commercial offensive? Gabriel Cazares, former Clearwater mayor called it "a hate crime that leads to the type of immigrant bashing that Hispanics are now up against." A hate crime?! Are you sh#$$&*ng me?! Cazares is president of the local chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and has urged Hispanics to boycott Taco Bell. Mr. Cazares went on to make more ridiculous comments and a bigger ass of himself. This is an obvious attempt to garner publicity for Cazares or LULAC. There is no case here and, if anything, Taco Bell should be allowed to sue Cazares and LULAC for slander or stupidity, whichever holds up in court. Why is it that people raise so much s#$t about nothing? And it is nothing. This doesn't alter anyone's portrayal of anyone else. It sells product and that's what it's intended to do.

YOU DROPPED YOUR ICE CREAM -- Remember when I told you about Orange County California banning leaf blowers due to noise and pollution? Not to be outdone, Stafford Township has become the second town in New Jersey to ban the music played by ice cream trucks. No, this is not a joke; this is horribly real. Ice cream trucks are an American institution, like baseball and apple pie. Sure, baseball sucks, and apple pie has enough chemicals to kill you, but that's not important. There isn't a person alive who doesn't have fond memories of sitting home and hearing that music coming from somewhere in the sweet chocolatey distance. It let you know the ice cream man was on his way and you had better get your ass off the couch, scrape up all the loose change you could and hit the door running. It made childhood what it was. It created memories and brought neighborhoods together. Now, all the kids have to anticipate is a bell which, somehow, is still allowed in Stafford Township. And don't think this will be an isolated incident. Those old bastards in New Jersey are the same ones who'll be down here in Florida next winter pissing and moaning about the ice cream trucks here. If anyone knows where I can get a copy of "Turkey in the Straw" on CD, let me know. I've got some old people to piss off.

WE'LL MAKE GREAT PETS -- I know these things are popular with some of our 20-somethings out there, but I think it's high time to get over it. I'm talking about the virtual pet craze. I don't know exactly when it started because it's been popular in the Far East for years, but it seems that everyone 14 and under has one of these electronic "pets" dangling from their bookbag or pocket or some place. That's a sad comment on society in itself, but now it's gone to a whole new level. Brian Mirsky of Dover, N.J. has created a graveyard website for dead virtual pets. Mirsky told the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram he "made the decision to become personally responsible to the death of as many pets as possible." I don't think I have to suggest that Mirsky might have too much free time. Mirsky created a website so mourning relatives can send in their final good-byes and see them posted on a computerized headstone. I visited the site (www.mirskyland.com/tamogot.htm) and found it altogether stupid, yet humorous. There are over 30 "dead" in the cemetery, including "Beavis," "Satan" and "Anus." Beavis' tombstone reads "He was such a little BeavisNocker," while Satan's says "Satan lived 1/2 and 1/4 of a night he'll never be missed." Anus' owners were a little more considerate: "We will always remember you! Our dearest Anus." Unbelievable as it sounds, this isn't the only website devoted to dead virtual pets. Another site is located at www.d-3.com/deadpet/. Here you're prompted to put your departed on top of your monitor for the ceremony. You then put in the pertinent information. Finally (the site's a bit slow), a horribly drawn hearse "rolls" across the screen while quotes and a eulogy scroll across the top of the page. Lastly, at www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Flats/6337 you'll find a bland site of "headstones" with messages. I implore you to abandon these virtual pets! Instead, think about buying a Meanie Baby. No, I didn't misspell Beanie Baby. I said Meanie Baby. You can choose from 12 of the little misfits, including Splat the Road Kill Kat and my personal favorite, Dalmutation. Now that's endearing.

YOU MAY HAVE ALREADY WON -- Most of you have probably heard about the lawsuits being filed against American Family Publishers, Dick Clarke and Ed McMahon. Several states have sued Clark and company over their campaign, charging the company tried to fool consumers into believing they'd won million-dollar sweepstakes prizes in order to push magazine subscriptions. Dammit, when will the morons in this country wake-up and realize there is no such thing as a free lunch?! See, here in America we have a little thing called work. It's what 95% of the country does to earn a living. Oh, "earn," right ... you're not familiar with that one. OK, well "earning" is basically gaining money through working. Then we have these things called banks.

Now banks will actually hold your money for you and even pay you for holding it, thus making it harder for you to squander it away on cheap wine and five pound boxes of chocolates. Anyone with one ounce of common sense knows those mailings from American Family Publishers are marketing gimmicks. They send those in hopes that you'll feel so tempted by fate that you'll enter and, what they heck, order one of their magazines, too. Still, even if you do order, it's a no-risk situation. You can still send the magazines back if you're not satisfied. "What?! Is he serious?" Yes I am, my grey-matter-lacking friends. The real problem here is, not surprisingly, the lawyers. Take, for instance, Bob Butterworth, Attorney General of Florida. He filed Florida's lawsuit back in early February, claiming Clark's and McMahon's marketing efforts are "unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous or substantially injurious to consumers." That's so ironic, Mr. Butterworth, because those are the exact words I'd use to describe you and the rest of your jack-ass lawyer friends. You want to talk ethics? How about making me stand trial and defend myself after I was hit by drunk driver. What the hell kind of ethics are those?! The whole damned thing is just silly. To think you can prey on the na´vetÚ of people like this is laughable. How about you admit that you're an unscrupulous (see, I told you), opportunist ass-wipe looking for a fast buck? Do that, drop your lawsuit and we'll call it a wash.

Until next time, this is the end of Your World.

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