The Rant 


First of all, I'm ecstatic that this is happening at the beginning of the new year and the new decade. I've come pretty close to salivating, but I've been trying to do something about this damn drooling problem of mine and don't want to take any chances of the two being confused. However, when tens of thousands of dead birds start falling from the skies, and equal amounts of dead fish start floating to the top of various bodies of water — for no apparent reason — and they start their respective descents and ascents in Arkansas, I may as well give in and slap on a bib. It's just almost too bizarre to be true. It's times like these — I thought to myself while checking to see if the Virgin Mary had appeared in my McDonald's breakfast burrito — that I bow down to the person or persons who invented the Internet.

After first hearing the news of the dead birds and fish in Arkansas, which were soon followed by similar events in Louisiana, Sweden, Brazil, Italy, and certain hamlets in Kentucky, I was afraid to drive anywhere near Bellevue Baptist Church. Well, I'm always a little afraid of that. But this time it was scarier. Did I expect my car to be pelted from above by falling feathered friends? No. I expected to encounter a mass traffic jam of people rushing to nearby retail purveyors of survivalist camp goods. Okay, not really. And if you go to Bellevue, calm down. At least I didn't refer to your church as the Bellevue International Airport, even though it looks like one and there probably is a landing strip out there.

I just did a little research on what the Armageddon junkies (some, but not all, Christians and a few potheads) were sending out over the Net and, lo and behold, I was kind of disappointed. As far as I could tell, no one had started on an ark or a bomb shelter of any magnitude, and none of the world's great televangelists had come forward to admit their gayness. What good are all these dead birds and fish without that?

So I used the ol' Google search engine and finally found a few people who seemed convinced that this is all the work of Demi Moore (and I couldn't agree more!) or Mel Gibson. NO comment. And there was one funny guy on a "God Talk" website, who told his readers to lay in a big supply of stuff, just in case this was it. The site also turned his list into a voter's poll, and the top "must-have" contenders among readers were, in this order: guns, duct tape, a Bible, and toilet paper.

Which brings me to Oprah Winfrey. If you haven't see the new OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) yet, by all means, don't do it without a Bible in your hand. I'm fairly certain she is the Antichrist. And the fact that birds falling out of the sky in Arkansas around the day that OWN made its on-air debut doesn't exactly quash that theory. She is, after all, treating it as though it is the Second Coming.

Oprah: The Highlights of Every Show I've Ever Done. Oprah: How Would You Like ME To Give You Your Own Show So People Can Relate to the Common Folk. Oprah: Behind the Scenes. Oprah: Ask OPRAH'S All Stars.

I think Oprah Winfrey went up there and scared all those birds to death by threatening to make them share their food so she could jack up the ratings for her new network. She did, after all, commit a substantial amount of time and resources to an OWN story about a plastic Virgin Mary that was reportedly oozing Holy Water and healing diseases. Yes, this is the world's largest — oops, most influential — media mogul, who wants to be taken very seriously. And she is. One devout fan, who wrote that she was going to have her employer, Kohl's, remove its advertising from the network unless OWN started showing up on her basic cable package, seemed particularly serious. She didn't explain how she worked for a daytime retailer and managed to watch every minute of Oprah, Oprah, Oprah for much of her adult life, but by damn, she was mad. As was another commenter who wanted to return her television's remote control to the manufacturer, because she was unable to find the channel.

Okay, I'm sorry for poking fun at Oprah's size. It's not nice and I fancy myself a nice guy. I won't do what I was going to do and write about Oprah and the End Times and loud thunderous sounds in the sky that turn out to be just her coming down the hall or thousands and thousands of birds and fish dying of fear because she might announce her a new OWN cooking show. I'm far too sensitive to do that. But I still think she's the reason for the dead birds and fish. And nobody is going to change my mind.

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