NFL’s Chiefs Do Major Rebranding – Introducing the Kansas City Swifties

NFL’s Chiefs Do Major Rebranding – Introducing the Kansas City Swifties

Taylor Swift, AKA one half of Traylor, cheering on her new favorite team, the Kansas City Chiefs in a private box at the Chiefs’ famous Arrowhead Stadium – soon to be rebranded with its new name, “The Swift Nest.”

Taylor Swift, AKA one half of Traylor, cheering on her new favorite team, the Kansas City Chiefs in a private box at the Chiefs’ famous Arrowhead Stadium – soon to be rebranded with its new name, “The Swift Nest.”

In recent weeks, social media has been blowing up over reported Traylor sightings. That’s the term people are using as shorthand for Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. (Some people prefer the term “Tavis” or “Swelce.”) In case you don’t’ know who Taylor Swift is, what is your problem? Your kids must be ashamed to have you as their parent. Tell me, what’s it like to have been living under a rock these past 19 years?

Taylor Swift is currently the most famous music superstar on the planet – arguably the biggest pop music phenomenon since Elvis or the Beatles. On the other hand, you’d be forgiven if you didn’t immediately recognize the name of Travis Kelce, the Super Bowl-winning elite tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs. If you drew a blank, I’m guessing you’re not a football fan. No worries. Neither is my wife. She’s never heard of Travis Kelce either. Still, I made a vow to love her till death do us part, so I’m working hard to find it in my heart to forgive her over her egregious ignorance on such an important issue.

After paparazzi snapped photos of Traylor, rumors quickly sprang up that the two of them were dating. It appears to be true, since Taylor has been spotted at several Kansas City Chiefs games sitting next to Kelce’s mom. She’s often been accompanied in the private box by several other high-profile celebrities, including Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Hugh Jackman, Stephen Colbert, and Tim Jones. (Okay, I may have lied just slightly. Taylor has yet to invite Stephen Colbert to join her at a game.)

Just the fact that Taylor Swift is in attendance (home and away) has resulted in a huge spike in nationwide viewership of Chiefs games. An October Kansas City Chiefs – New York Jets game was the most-watched Sunday TV show of any kind since last February’s Super Bowl – in part because the cameraman (who clearly has a thing for Taylor), points the camera her way at least 15 times a game.

According to preliminary Nielsen viewership data, the biggest demographic gains were among girls ages 12 to 17, women ages 18 to 24, and college-educated men ages 50 to 69 who wish they were thirty years younger so they could ask Taylor for a date – or at least her autograph. It appears that Swifties, as Taylor Swift’s legion of adoring fans are known, are suddenly becoming rabid football fans – anxiously watching for the moment the TV zooms in for another close-up of Taylor cheering in her Chiefs jersey.

The ratings boom caused by Taylor Swift’s presence has not gone unnoticed by the NFL or the Chiefs’ ownership team. That’s why, in a stunning decision, Kansas City Chiefs Director of Communications, Spike Puntington, announced the team is officially changing the name it’s had since it first entered the league in 1960 from the Kansa City Chiefs to its new name, the Kansas City Swifties.

When asked about the name change, Puntington explained, “We’ve received numerous complaints over the years that the name ‘Chiefs’ was offensive to Native Americans. But the name Taylor Swift, from our extensive research, is not offensive to anyone – other than a few cranky Billie Eilish fans who seem to have a problem with all the attention Taylor’s been getting lately.”

LEFT: The former design for the former NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs football helmet. RIGHT: The fresh new design of the Kansas City Swifties helmet. Sales of the new helmet, jersey & tote bag are expected to skyrocket. Other NFL teams are reportedly furious about the move, but the Kanas City Swifties plan to just “Shake It Off.”

LEFT: The former design for the former NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs football helmet. RIGHT: The fresh new design of the Kansas City Swifties helmet. Sales of the new helmet, jersey & tote bag are expected to skyrocket. Other NFL teams are reportedly furious about the move, but the Kanas City Swifties plan to just “Shake It Off.”

The helmet’s iconic arrowhead logo will be replaced by the sultry outline of Taylor Swift’s head. The Chiefs plan to launch a blockbuster PR campaign to promote the team’s name change, including renaming the team bus the “Taylor Trailer,” complete with a giant photo montage of Taylor in concert on the side of the bus. We’ve been assured it will be very understated.

The football stadium, formerly known as Arrowhead Stadium, will undergo a name change, as well. Original plans were for the new name to be “The Taylor Dome.” However, one astute observer pointed out that it’s an open-air stadium, so not really a dome at all. Therefore, the new name will be “The Swift Nest.”

At the concession stands throughout the stadium, fans will soon be able to buy a unique microbrew invented by the singer herself, which she has named “Taylor-Made Blonde Ale” – sold only at the Chiefs stadium, plus 150,000 select bars, liquor stores, and grocery outlets throughout America, not to mention Amazon.com.

Before each game, God Bless America will be replaced each week by whatever Taylor Swift song the fans in the stadium select. Each fan will vote by swiping their song choice using the Taylor Swift music app (called the Swiftie Swipe) installed on their phone as they enter the stadium. Personally, I’m hoping they’ll play her 2009 classic, You Belong With Me. What can I say? I’m a sucker for her old stuff.

The Chiefs’ Director of Football Operations, David Dollarseinz, is excited about the upcoming changes. However, the team’s head coach, Andy Reid, was a bit more muted in his assessment, asking, “What’s next? Will we start having Taylor Swift call into the huddle to suggest plays?” In response, Mr. Dollarseinz replied, “Love that idea. Do you think she’d be open to that, coach?”

Tight end Travis Kelce seen here looking at his helmet, annoyed to see that it doesn’t have Taylor’s face on it. “Hey, Coach Reid, what gives? And you forgot to get it signed by Taylor. What’s up with that, dude?”

Tight end Travis Kelce seen here looking at his helmet, annoyed to see that it doesn’t have Taylor’s face on it. “Hey, Coach Reid, what gives? And you forgot to get it signed by Taylor. What’s up with that, dude?”

One thing many people know about Taylor Swift is her extensive history of short-term relationships with famous celebrities, most ending in under 4 months – and in the case of actor Zac Efron, in 3 days, 11 hours and 17 minutes. When asked whether he had any concerns that Taylor might break up with Travis up after just a couple months, Chiefs Director of Communications, Spike Puntington, paused before saying, “Um, I wish you’d mentioned this before we’d painted SWIFT NEST on the stadium in 50 ft. tall gold leaf lettering. But, hey, if they break up, I’ll just introduce her to Patrick Mahomes. He’s kind of cute, don’t you think?”

Good luck, Traylor. Or Swelce. Or whatever you guys prefer to be called. And Taylor, I’d love to join you at half-time at an upcoming game. I’m your biggest fan.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

Tim Smiling at Safeco Higher ResPS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

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Where Will Canada Launch Its Invasion of the USA?

Where Will Canada Launch Its Invasion of the USA?

Most Canadians carry grudges for a long time. This is a scene from the War of 1812, fought near Montreal, in which the US navy kicked their butt. Canadians still hold a grudge because the Americans won this battle – and didn’t pick up their trash.

Most Canadians carry grudges for a long time. This is a scene from the War of 1812, fought near Montreal, in which the US navy kicked their butt. Canadians still hold a grudge because the Americans won this battle – and didn’t pick up their trash.

For years, people have screamed BUILD THAT WALL! Ever since Donald Trump became our nation’s Grifter-In-Chief in 2016, millions of Americans have been in a constant state of panic that our country’s borders were being overrun by Mexicans – or worse yet – Liberals. But they’ve all been looking the wrong direction. The region we most desperately need to secure is not our southern border. It’s our northern one – with Canada.

Oh sure, at first blush Canadians seem like nice, friendly, even-tempered folk. It’s all a ruse. Don’t fall for it. I should know. I made the egregious mistake of marrying a Canadian. We’ve been married for 36 years – and I still don’t trust her. At night she steals most of the covers and the next morning acts like she has no idea how that happened. Sure, sweetie. Sure…

Did you know that, at over 5,500 miles in length, the USA – Canada border is the longest unprotected border in the world? For the vast majority of this stretch, there is nothing separating the two nations other than a few thousand well-maintained Canadian backyard hedges to block their nefarious attack on our sacred soil.

Here’s a fact that should terrify you: In the past  250 years, more than 90% of Canada’s population has quietly amassed within 100 miles of the American border. Why is it that they’re all huddled so close to us? The answer’s obvious: They’re all freezing to death. They plan to invade the USA mainly to get warm – and to erect Tim Horton’s Donut Shoppes all over this once great land.

You may say I’m overreacting. I say you haven’t been paying close enough attention. One day soon you might discover that your innocent young child is being taught in school that the proper spelling is “colour” and “labour” and “theatre.” And they’ll tell you it’s 9 degrees outside. But that’s Celsius, so who really knows how cold it is? Do you want that for your children’s future?

Do me a favour, I mean, favor, and WAKE UP – before it’s too late. Canadians have long been jealous of Americans. They resent us for having more money, better football teams, and better beer. Okay, I’ve just been informed by my Canadian wife that Canada has better beer. But I’m not going to apologize for my error by saying, “Sorry, eh?” That’s what Canadians do all the time. Apologize. Canucks are annoyingly polite.

Canadians are highly skilled at curling. This is a curling stone. It could also be used as a weapon in hand-to-hand combat. If you’ve ever been hit in the head by one of these stones, you’d never forget it. The pain is excruciating.

Canadians are highly skilled at curling. This is a curling stone. It could also be used as a weapon in hand-to-hand combat. If you’ve ever been hit in the head by one of these stones, you’d never forget it. The pain is excruciating.

Make no mistake. Our northern neighbors are preparing to invade us. Okay, I hear you countering with, “Hey, but didn’t Canada outlaw the sale of handguns and assault weapons? So won’t we have far superior weapons to defend ourselves?” Okay, so technically, you’re right about that. But in Canada, they have nine months of winter. As a result, they have accumulated the world’s largest stockpile of unregistered snowballs. And their Zamboni ice rink machines will crush you if you don’t get out of their way as they saunter towards you at 3 miles per hour.

Don’t think the Canadians won’t do it. They’re still pissed about the War of 1812, between Great Britain and the young United States – I forget which year it took place. Much of the war was fought on Canadian soil, and frankly, the American soldiers made a mess of several Canadian towns and villages and refused to pick up their litter. Most Canadians have not forgotten. And earlier this year, the USA women’s hockey team defeated the Canadian women’s team 6-3 in the 2023 Women’s World Hockey Championship. Our women beat theirs in their national pastime. So, yeah, Canadians have an axe to grind with Americans. It’s time to keep your kids safe inside your home because the invasion could be imminent.

Where exactly might the first wave of Canadian Mounties mount their attack? Experts have several theories. Perhaps, they might try a sneak attack by way of Niagara Falls. Personally, I doubt it, because it’s extremely hard to fit a Mounty into one of those wooden barrels, let alone their horse.

My best guess? Point Roberts, Washington State. Never heard of it? Neither had I until recently. Turns out Point Roberts is an exclave – the ONLY place in the entire lower 48 states where in order for an American to get there, they must travel through Canada. That’s because it sits at the bottom of a tiny appendage of land jutting out from Canada just below the 49th parallel. [See map below.] With no airport or ferry service, you can only get there from the rest of Washington state by car – which requires you to drive through British Columbia before re-entering a USA border crossing at Point Roberts.

See that sliver of land hanging down from Canada? That’s Point Roberts, WA. Canadians feel the border was drawn wrong and that the USA ripped them off by stealing this chunk of their land. And they’re itching to get it back.

See that sliver of land hanging down from Canada? That’s Point Roberts, WA. Canadians feel the border was drawn wrong and that the USA ripped them off by stealing this chunk of their land. And they’re itching to get it back.

I recently visited Point Roberts. I have to say, our border security there is non-existent. The most meaningful barrier to entry from Canada into Point Roberts is a trampoline set in Harriet Wilson’s backyard. Its side netting is very tall. Otherwise, you literally can walk right through the border, about as easily as my annoying neighbor Bert Higgins can meander into my backyard to let his dog take a crap on my lawn.

Point Roberts is a tiny sliver of American soil, not even five square miles in size. Only 1,100 people live there. A sleepy, tranquil, mostly forested peninsula with only one grocery store, one restaurant, and for reasons I don’t understand, three bowling alleys. But in my extensive research for this article (which consisted of googling “facts about Point Roberts”), to my shock and horror, I learned that Canadians own 75 percent of the properties in Point Roberts, USA. They’re pissed that the USA grabbed this miniscule slice of Canada and they want it back – but they are quick to point out they’re in no hurry, America. Canadians are every bit as patient as they are polite.

Not to alarm you further, but the invasion has already begun. Most American news networks have refused to cover this story. But before long, Canadians will quietly, politely be buying up property in border states like Washington, Wisconsin, Montana, Maine, Minnesota and Michigan – pretty much any state beginning with the letters M or W. But it won’t end with those letters, I assure you. I’m talking to you, Vermont!

This is an actual photo of the border between Point Roberts, USA (left) and Tsawwassen, Canada (right). It is literally divided by just this ten-inch concrete barrier. Totally impenetrable – if you were a tortoise or a clam.

This is an actual photo of the border between Point Roberts, USA (left) and Tsawwassen, Canada (right). It is literally divided by just this ten-inch concrete barrier. Totally impenetrable – if you were a tortoise or a clam.

While millions of MAGA hatters keep screaming about building a wall to keep out the Mexicans and LGBTQ+ supporters, Canadians will sneakily be pouring over our northern border riding astride their pet moose or polar bears. And then one morning you’ll wake up to learn that our national meal of pizza has been replaced by something called poutine, a fattening French Canadian meal of French Fries, cheese curds, and gravy. Disgusting.

It’s high time we built that high wall to keep out the ravenous Canadian horde. Don’t worry, we’ll make them pay for it. And since the Canadian dollar is worth only 76 cents US, it won’t cost them nearly as much to build. So, a win-win.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

#canadaAmericanrelations #northernborderwall #southernborderwall #politics #internationalrelations #canada #immigration #canadianinvasion

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Put Down Your Dumbbell – Exercise Your Smart Bell Instead

Put Down Your Dumbbell – Exercise Your Smart Bell Instead

Ever since I was young, competing to earn a spot on my high school’s freshman track team, I have regularly exercised. So much so that when I was 35, I even competed in the New York City Marathon. I say I “competed” because that sounds much more impressive than “I jogged and walked” and gives the impression I might have stood a chance of winning. Alas, I came in 5,217th – barely overtaken by the other 5,216 runners ahead of me.

New research shows that exercise can be all in your mind. You can tone your muscles by thinking. So put down the weights and exercise those brain cells instead. And have a carrot. It’s healthier than those M&M’s you’ve been eyeing.

New research shows that exercise can be all in your mind. You can tone your muscles by thinking. So put down the weights and exercise those brain cells instead. And have a carrot. It’s healthier than those M&M’s you’ve been eyeing.

Over the years, I have jogged, cycled, used the treadmill, lifted weights, swam, and played against my brother John in the Summer Olympics on Play Station 4, all in an effort to lose weight and build muscle tone in pursuit of those impossible-to-achieve six-pack abs. The results could only be described as disappointing, as anyone who’s seen me without a shirt on lately will attest.

That’s why I’m thrilled to announce I am never going to exercise again. Ever! From now on, I will just think about it. That’s because, I just read an incredible report in the Daily Guardian with the following headline:

Scientists discover just IMAGINING exercising can make you stronger, tone your muscles, and delay or stop muscle atrophy!

Talk about a game changer! In a study by Ohio University, researchers concluded that just thinking of exercising can have the same effects as actually hitting the gym.

First thing tomorrow, I’m putting my elliptical up for sale on Craigs List. I’m confident I can get $50 – just so long as they don’t inspect it too closely or try peddling at any level above 3 (which is when it makes that grinding noise and starts bellowing smoke). In place of the elliptical, I will move in my plaid La-Z-Boy recliner that my wife has always hated. I guess I’ll no longer need all those dumbbells sitting in my basement. I’ll start using my smart bell instead. Get it? (I’m talking about my brain. It’s a play on words – dumbbell, smart bell? Do I have to spell everything out for you?)

I will begin slowly, so that I don’t strain a mental muscle. I’ll probably start out thinking about exercise only fifteen minutes – which, according to my wife, is about ten minutes more than I currently use my cranium in an average day.

Man, am I exhausted. I just spent the past 30 minutes watching this Pilates class video on my phone. Those guys were working out so hard, and I thought about what they were doing the entire time. I could use a massage right about now.

Man, am I exhausted. I just spent the past 30 minutes watching this Pilates class video on my phone. Those guys were working out so hard, and I thought about what they were doing the entire time. I could use a massage right about now.

Over time, I will build up to thinking for 30 minutes about exercising, then 45 minutes, and then eventually, after a few months, a full hour. But I don’t want to over-extend myself, lest I pull a temporal lobe or strain a basal ganglia. I need to pace myself if I am going to succeed at my new regimen of mental gymnastics. Then, before long, I will have the physique I have always dreamed of, plus a lot more time to sit in my new recliner and get caught up on past episodes of The Office.

But I don’t intend to think just about exercise. I intend to expand my cerebration. With this new outlook on life, I’m excited to apply my new cognitive skills to many other activities. Starting next week, if I can stick to my plan, I will start thinking about doing yard work and power washing the driveway. I might even start thinking about helping my wife with making dinner.

Suddenly, I have never felt so motivated to think about helping around the house. I just hope my wife appreciates how much mental energy I have expended thinking about all of this.

As exciting as this breakthrough study is, I want to make sure I don’t abuse my new cranial capacity. For example, I heard about a guy who tried applying this technique to his driving. He was driving 95 mph – a full 40 miles over the posted highway speed limit. A cop pulled him over and the dude tried to explain that he was THINKING about going 55 the entire time. Despite hearing about the study’s remarkable conclusions, the officer still ticketed him. I guess the policeman was not a believer in science.

It’s time for my first workout. They say it’s important to give yourself little rewards along the way in order to keep yourself motivated whenever you begin any new challenging exercise program. That’s why I’m going to reward my mental conditioning session by eating a bowl of Rocky Road ice cream. And no, I’m not just going to think about eating it.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2021.

Unraveling the Confusion About Cryptocurrency

Unraveling the Confusion About Cryptocurrency

What exactly is cryptocurrency? And what’s a blockchain? A “digital wallet?” And what is Bitcoin mining? Is crypto risky? You sure do ask a lot of questions. Just pay me $1 million in Bitcoin, and I’ll tell you everything you need to know.

What exactly is cryptocurrency? And what’s a blockchain? A “digital wallet?” And what is Bitcoin mining? Is crypto risky? You sure do ask a lot of questions. Just pay me $1 million in Bitcoin, and I’ll tell you everything you need to know.

If you’re like me, you’re a 67-year-old man who doesn’t floss consistently, has an annoying bald spot, might be addicted to peanut butter, and has a mole on your back that is starting to cause you some concern. And, like me, you’re also probably wondering, “What exactly is this thing called cryptocurrency?” But first things first. You probably should get that mole checked out.

So, what is this confusing thing called cryptocurrency? Let me help you out with this simple explanation that any seven-year-old could understand (assuming that youngster is currently studying blockchain computer programming at Harvard).

Cryptocurrency is nothing more than a form of decentralized digital currency traded over the internet, utilizing a series of peer-to-peer networks of computers running open-source software, based on a complex series of logarithmic algorithms in which all transactions are vetted using a sophisticated technology called blockchain.

I know, I know. I hear your internal gears working: “Okay, but what is blockchain?” Glad to see you’re paying such close attention. It’s actually quite basic. A blockchain – or as my poker buddies call it, “Distributed Ledger Technology” (DLT) – is just a fancy term for a distributed database shared among digital nodes of a computer network in which the information is stored electronically, thereby enabling cryptocurrency systems to maintain a secure, decentralized record of transactions, without any governmental regulatory interference.

And this might surprise you, but a blockchain database collects information together in groups, known as blocks, that hold sets of information, and is closed and linked to previously filled blocks, forming a chain of data known as a blockchain. This is done using a process called a “Segregated Witness (or SEGWIT for short) that separates digital signature data from transaction data, thereby allowing a higher volume of transactions to fit onto one block.

One type of cryptocurrency is a “token.” Think of it as being kind of like a bus token – but only in the way it is spelled.

Now, wasn’t that simple? But what you might not know is that blockchain is used in a decentralized way so that no single person or group has control – other than Mark Zuckerberg, obviously. Decentralized blockchains are immutable, which means that the data entered is irreversible and therefore all transactions are permanently recorded – with backups stored in tough guy actor Danny Trejo’s basement for maximum security.

For the five readers who didn’t bail after I got to the part about “blockchain,” I just have to say, you clearly have a high pain tolerance for obscure technobabble. Why are you still reading this? Do you even have a life? I’ll bet you’re really into playing Magic: The Gathering with your friend Bert. How does your spouse put up with you? Get outside for once and try learning a sport. And no, Dungeons and Dragons is not a sport.

If you are still having difficulty understanding how BLOCKCHAIN works, perhaps this simple diagram will help.

If you are still having difficulty understanding how BLOCKCHAIN works, perhaps this simple diagram will help.

What, you still want to learn more about crypto? Okay, don’t say you weren’t warned. You’ve probably heard of Bitcoin. It was the very first cryptocurrency, introduced way back in 2008. Since then, more than 16,000 other cryptocurrencies have been launched (and thousands of them have crashed and subsequently vanished).

I recently learned there was even a hot cryptocurrency called TimCoin. So, naturally, with a great name like that I decided I had to go all in. I was all set to cash in our entire IRA portfolio – until my wife read that it was just a scam. Apparently, all the initial investors lost everything when it was discovered that the CEO had used the funds to purchase “extremely rare seeds” and repair a hole in her kitchen due to a small fire. (True.) I guess I dodged a bullet there.

Okay, I have to confess. I’ve read articles and watched news stories intending to explain Crypto, digital tokens, blockchain, Binance Smart Chain networks, and something called “bitcoin mining.” And I still can’t grasp what any of it means. For this article I just Googled “what is cryptocurrency.” I have no idea what the words I have been writing even mean. I was just trying to impress you. Did it work? I didn’t think so.

If you’re still confused as to what all the hoopla is about crypto, you may be asking, “Is it risky?” It all comes down to your level of risk tolerance. If you’re the kind of person who gets a rush out of putting down $10,000 on 22 at the roulette table in Vegas, if you get an adrenaline high from trying to outrun the bulls in Pamplona, desperately hoping to avoid being gored to death, or if you’re a big fan of Ponzi schemes, then something tells me crypto just might be totally your kind of thing.

If on the other hand, you might like to retire someday with most of your 401K intact and still be able to take that Mediterranean cruise you’ve been dreaming about for years, then perhaps you might want to sit out the crypto craze. My wife explained to me that it’s the Wild West of investing, as it’s a virtually unregulated industry with huge, sudden market swings up and down – much like my daughter and her feelings about her latest boyfriend.

Incredibly, if you lose your crypto “wallet” password, you’re completely screwed. No bank or government agency will bail you out – not even Oprah, and she is extremely generous.

A couple of computer software engineering nerds went so far as to launch a satirical cryptocurrency they named Dogecoin, in order to make fun of Bitcoin. Elon Musk endorsed the new currency. Now Dogecoin has a market cap of $19 billion. That’s one hell of a prank.

A couple of computer software engineering nerds went so far as to launch a satirical cryptocurrency they named Dogecoin, in order to make fun of Bitcoin. Elon Musk endorsed the new currency. Now Dogecoin has a market cap of $19 billion. That’s one hell of a prank.

A few years ago, there was a guy named Stefan Thomas who misplaced his Bitcoin password – never could remember it. As a result, he couldn’t access his Bitcoin account. His $250 million investment was literally locked in a cyberspace vault forever. Poor guy. He should have used an easier-to-remember password. Had he used my universal password (“PASSWORD123”),  he’d be rich today.

My advice, if you’re contemplating getting into crypto: Do extensive research. Otherwise, you probably should avoid it altogether – unless you’re really good at remembering your password.

Invest in something less volatile. In fact, the other day, a buddy of mine told me about another hot new investment vehicle that sounds like a sure thing. It’s called Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs for short.

I asked him what an NFT was and he said. “It’s a unique unit of data employing technology that allows digital content – from videos to songs to images – to become logged and authenticated on cryptocurrency blockchains like Ethereum so that you can easily own and sell digital content.”

Umm, I have absolutely no idea what the hell any of that means. But I do know one thing: I’d better get in on this NOW, before the buzz around NFTs start to cool off. Don’t tell my wife. I want to surprise her.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2022.

Judge Tim’s Court is Now in Session

Judge Tim’s Court is Now in Session

I’m excited to announce my latest career move: Replacing Judge Judy, who recently stepped down from The People’s Court. Pray to God you don’t have to appear before me. I’m a ruthless judge. I have a lot of scores to settle and a very long memory.

I’m excited to announce my latest career move: Replacing Judge Judy, who recently stepped down from The People’s Court. Pray to God you don’t have to appear before me. I’m a ruthless judge. I have a lot of scores to settle and a very long memory.

Recently, I decided to retire from my four-decades-long career in sales management. As you know, I’m not one to boast about my many lofty career achievements. but I humbly admit that I was extremely gifted at building and leading successful, high-performing sales organizations (if you ignore the input of my former bosses or any of my sales reps or HR Directors who had to deal with the litany of complaints they received from my sales reps and bosses).

I was preparing to retire to a simpler life of afternoon naps and watching reruns of Modern Family, when I read some shocking news. I learned that after 25 years and 12,500 episodes, Judge Judith Sheindlin, better known as Judge Judy, recently decided to call it quits. She would soon bang her last gavel on the long-running hit daytime show, The People’s Court.

I began to wonder anxiously: Who would fill the tremendous void left by Judge Judy’s departure? Would America start to descend into lawlessness, violence, and debauchery? More importantly,  What would I do to fill my time between 4 and 5pm on weekdays?

Then it hit me. Of course! Call off the search for the next Judge Judy. Because there was one person uniquely qualified to take her place. And that person was staring back at me in the mirror. I would be the natural jurist to fill Judge Judy’s shoes (unless she wore high heels, in which case, having to wear pumps would be a deal breaker).

What are my credentials, you ask? Too many to count. I went to Ohio State University’s law school, where I finished in the top 99% of my class. I also took three years of Latin in high school, and I remembered that judges use tons of obscure Latin phrases in their decisions, like Quid Pro Quo and Res Judicata. I have no idea what either of these mean, but that’s never stopped me from using them in the past.

During law school, I had a part-time job as a conciliation mediator working for the Small Claims Court of the Franklin County, Ohio Municipal Court System and my job was to attempt to persuade complainants to settle their claims out of court. I did a phenomenal job. In fact, I had the highest case settlement record in the court’s history. And there is no way my supervisor would dispute my claim because that was 40 years ago, and I’m pretty sure he died a while back.

Another reason I’m the logical successor to JJ is because I was in my high school’s theatrical production of Inherit the Wind, a play about the famous Scopes Monkey Trial. I was cast in the role of Matthew Harrison Brady, the prosecutor in the trial.

Again, pardon me if I sound immodest, but my performance was Oscar-worthy. My drama teacher Art Green said about my performance, and I quote, “Tim’s performance was at times erratic, and I don’t think he quite grasped the motivation of his character. He felt the need to hog the spotlight every chance he got. Tim would be a natural, um…lighting crew assistant.” 

Stop, Mr. Green. Stop! You’re giving me a swelled head! But perhaps most importantly, The People’s Court wouldn’t even have to buy me a judge’s robe, because I already have one (as proven by the photo above), which I bought for a Halloween party in 1994. It still fits me – if I don’t have a big meal before trial.

So, now that we’ve agreed I’m the obvious choice, you can start calling me Judge Tim – once my official judicial confirmation is approved by the U.S. Senate. I’ve got some, let’s just say, “embarrassing dirt” on Senate Majority Leader Schumer, so my confirmation is pretty much assured.

Here is a small sampling of the cases I plan to hear, as soon as I can locate my gavel (which I stole from the set of Inherit the Wind in high school, but please don’t tell the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee):

The case against Mary Spivey, who, in my freshman year at UVa, agreed to go out on a date with me when we were matched by a computer date matching service, only to have our first (and last) date end after 30 minutes, when an irate guy interrupted our date to inform me that, unbeknownst to me, he and Mary were engaged (true). Judge Tim doesn’t get mad. He gets even. Mary, I’ve ordered UVa’s registrar to update your final college transcript and change your impressive 3.9 GPA to a shameful 1.9. And just like that, your grandkids will lose all respect for you.

Why am I so sure I’ll be selected as the next judge on The People’s Court? Because I played the prosecutor in my high school’s production of Inherit the Wind. That’s me on the right as Matthew Harrison Brady. At left, my classmate, Arman Williams, who bore a vague resemblance to Spencer Tracy. Amazing makeup jobs, if you ask me.

Why am I so sure I’ll be selected as the next judge on The People’s Court? Because I played the prosecutor in my high school’s production of Inherit the Wind. That’s me on the right as Matthew Harrison Brady. At left, my classmate, Arman Williams, who bore a vague resemblance to Spencer Tracy. Amazing makeup jobs, if you ask me.

The case against my three college dormmates who pranked me one time by putting up deeply embarrassing posters of me all over campus. Sure, I laughed and pretended it was hilarious. Maybe you will all be in stitches when you see the punishment I’ll be doling out to you. Hope you like Mexican prisons.

The case against that Nazi storm trooper cop who issued me a ticket for going three miles an hour UNDER the speed limit. Kneel before me when you enter my courtroom, you pathetic little man, and hand me your badge.

The case against my neighbor for borrowing my weed whacker and never returning it. No wait, now I remember. Actually, I borrowed it from HIM, and then I lost it. Okay, I’ll go easy on him, I guess.

And finally, the case against Donald Trump for having taken years off my life, causing me to scream at my TV on a daily basis for the past six years, and raising my blood pressure to dangerous levels. Donald, Judge Tim would be happy to build that wall you keep ranting about, you petulant man child. But that won’t be necessary. I’ve already made all the arrangements. Your beautiful, insurmountable wall is waiting for you – at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.

It appears I’m going to have a full docket, I must say. I assure you, I will be a fair judge, committed to justice. And I will only accept cash bribes if I have a particularly large credit card bill coming due that month.

Wait a minute. I just read that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer might step down in the upcoming year. Maybe I should turn down The People’s Court gig and put my name in for Breyer’s job. After all, these guys only work 26 weeks a year and they only hear cases on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Talk about a cushy gig. Yeah, given my marginal work ethic these days, that job sounds more up my alley.

Court adjourned!

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

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Subscribe to my new View from the Bleachers YouTube Channel and request notifications to see my latest videos.© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2022

How to Handle a Phone Scammer – Part 2 of 2

How to Handle a Phone Scammer – Part 2 of 2

[This is Part 2 of a 2-part post. In case you missed Part 1, by all means start with Part 1, which you can read here.] 

I’m often a victim of threatening phone calls telling me the IRS is investigating me for tax fraud, or my social security number has somehow been compromised, or I supposedly owe $10.75 in late fees to my local library because I still haven’t returned Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Old Clock. (What can I say, I’m a slow reader.) Next time, don’t hang up. Have some fun with the caller instead.

I’m often a victim of threatening phone calls telling me the IRS is investigating me for tax fraud, or my social security number has somehow been compromised, or I supposedly owe $10.75 in late fees to my local library because I still haven’t returned Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Old Clock. (What can I say, I’m a slow reader.) Next time, don’t hang up. Have some fun with the caller instead.

Like I was saying in Part 1, in recent months I’ve received an increasing number of phone calls from fraudsters offering to part me from my money and my identity. They do this via robocalls with alarming or threatening messages informing me my social security number has been hacked or I’m wanted by the FBI for securities fraud.

Most mature people would hang up the moment they realized they were being defrauded. But I never claimed to be mature. No, I prefer to have fun with these sleaze balls and egg them on for as long as I can keep them on the line.

These calls typically start with a robo-message, urging me to press 1 to talk to a live agent. And they always end the same way – with the conman hanging up on me.

Here are more examples of actual phone exchanges I’ve had with phone scammers – some of whom actually had a rudimentary command of the English language. These all really happened.

[To read more examples, go back and read Part 1.]

The Jury Duty Scam

Robo message: “This is the King County Superior Court calling to inform you that you failed to report for jury duty within the past month. As a result, the Sheriff’s department will be coming to your home with a warrant for your arrest – unless you explain your absence immediately. Press “1” to speak to a member of the court system.” 

So I press 1.

Mary Nash: This is Superior Court Assistant Clerk Mary Nash (spoken with a thick Filipino accent). Who am I speaking with?

ME: Hi, Mary. My name is Rodger Staubach. Can you help me? I swear I have no recollection of missing jury duty. I take that as a sacred commitment to my community, my country and my God. I feel terrible. How long will my sentence be?

Nash: What do you mean? 

ME: I mean, will the court take into consideration that I have not had a moving violation in over two years? Would they go more lenient if I mentioned I am a veteran? [Note to the reader: I am not a veteran.] 

Nash: Slow down. What is your social security number and your date of birth?

ME: 045-56-7642. And my date of birth is December 25, 1968. I was born on the same day as Baby Jesus. Do you believe in the Baby Jesus, Mary?

Nash: Pardon me?

ME: Do you take Baby Jesus as your lord and savior? He will cleanse you of all your sins, if you just accept him as your lord. Are you willing to commit yourself to Jesus today, with me as your spirit guide, Mary?

Nash: Are you okay, sir?

ME: Pray with me, won’t you, Mary? Hey, did you know that Mary was the name of Baby Jesus’s mother. Did you know that, Mary? Would you like to confess your sins before Baby Jes – … 

“CLICK” 

The Computer Repair Scam

Robo message: “This is Microsoft with an important announcement about your computer operating system. We have identified that your computer’s operating system may have become infected by the “Hercules” virus. If you would like us to remove this virus at no cost to you, we can do it remotely by phone. Please press “1” for a tech support agent to assist you.”

So I press 1.

Agent Collins: This is Agent Collins (spoken with what appears to be a thick Indian accent). Can you please tell me your name and which Windows Operating System you have and your credit card number?

ME: Sure. It’s Manning. Archibald Manning. Hey, you’re not going to charge my credit card are you, Agent Carlin?

Collins: No, sir. And it’s Collins. I just need your credit card number so we can confirm whether your Windows license is still current. Mr. Manning, please verify your card number for our records.

ME: Thank you, Agent Cowhand. It’s 1843-4365-6327-0928. And I know you didn’t ask for it, but my Bank of America checking account number is 8849329149. And if it might help identify me in your system, my Passport number is C34097749. Would it be helpful if I provided you my Hyundai’s VIN number as well? Whatever info you need, just tell me.

Collins: Um, that’s okay. Give me your email address so I can initiate the remote repair.

ME: Happy to help, Agent Cowlick. It’s A_Manning@SeattlePolice.gov– ……

“CLICK”

Meet Rahul. Oh, he’ll tell you his name is Zack or Brad, but he’s a scammer. He’s calling “from Microsoft” to tell you that your computer has been infected with a dangerous virus – which he can repair for a one-time credit card charge of just $100. Don’t hang up. Be polite. And be sure to give him your ex-spouse’s credit card number. Then hang up. Rahul is bad news, buddy.

Meet Rahul. Oh, he’ll tell you his name is Zack or Brad, but he’s a scammer. He’s calling “from Microsoft” to tell you that your computer has been infected with a dangerous virus – which he can repair for a one-time credit card charge of just $100. Don’t hang up. Be polite. And be sure to give him your ex-spouse’s credit card number. Then hang up. Rahul is bad news, buddy.

The COVID Vaccination Scam

Robo message: “This is an important message from the CDC. If you have had the COVID-19 vaccine within the past five months, there is a possibility that you may have received an infected vaccination that could have long-term harmful effects to your respiratory and cardiovascular systems. To find out whether your vaccination might be among the corrupted batches, press 1 to speak to a medical assistant.”

So I press 1. 

Nurse Claire: This is Nurse Claire. What is your name and which vaccine did you receive? Please provide the dates of those vaccinations.

ME: Hi, Nurse Claire. Oh my. This is very scary. Um, my name? Jonathan… Elway. Anyhoo, I got the Pfizer vaccine. Or was it the Moderna? No wait, I think it might have been the AstraZeneca. Or was it that Russian one whose name I can never remember? All I know is, after the second one, I got really sleepy, a little achy, and had a craving for pistachios. Does that help? No? Let me ask my wife. She’ll know. [Then I put “Nurse Claire” on hold for a minute while I play Solitaire on my computer.]

I’m back. It was definitely Moderna. And I got them on March 12th and March 15th.

Nurse Claire: Are you sure about the dates? Because you’re supposed to wait at least four weeks between the shots. Can you tell me your social security number so I can confirm those dates?

ME: I was able to get in fast for the second shot because I gave the check-in person a $25 Target gift card. Oh, sh*t! Is that considered bribery? Am I in trouble with the Feds now?

Nurse Claire: I would not know. What I need is your social–  …

ME: Hey, can I ask you a question, Nurse Claire? When they implanted the microchip in me, would it cause me to start acting weird? Because ever since my second shot, I keep thinking I can fly like an eagle. And lately I have an inexplicable desire to go bowling – and I used to hate bowling. Do you think that’s because of the chip? Also, do you know what language they speak in Uzbekistan?

“CLICK”

It’s so much fun. Trust me. Next time don’t hang up on the scammer. Engage them and see how long you can keep them on the line before they hang up in despair. I promise, it’ll be hilarious, or my name isn’t Joe Namath.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

Read Part 1 of this 2-part series here.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2021