Residents of the Joe Zone enjoy eating out as much as anyone in any universe; maybe more so. But even the most intrepid Zoners have their comfort zone. I knew trouble was brewing when I acquired a gift card to an es-snob-lishment with an unpronounceable foreign name. As I jacked up my pluck (watch for the coming Joe Zone instructional DVD on pluck jacking) and headed for the restaurant, I knew this was going to be a circus. The only question was how many rings would be under the big-top.
We’re looking into a never-before-seen corner of the Misty Mirror. The reflections are ill-formed and ambiguous. We have entered the world of dreams.
The tableau to follow is a remembered dream. Or was the dream a memory?
As we peer into the trusty, musty, Misty Mirror, the Joe Zone Bureau of Science (JZ-BS) is once again coming into focus. Since our last encounter of the BS kind, our science snoops have been skulking around the countryside, slinking into scientific corridors and lounges to bring you the most startling scientific news since E=MC3. That bump in the night you heard last week was probably one of our clumsier operatives, questing like Quixote for the secrets of the universe. Remember, at the JZ-BS, accuracy is king, and we live and die by our motto: A half-truth is twice as good as a quarter-truth.
Joe Zone Bureau of Science fans will remember that we tackled Dark Energy back in November. Others will remember eating turkey back in November. Whatever. Anyway, we hinted, in “Dark Energy: What Else?” (11/12/12), at delving into Dark Matter at some point in the Misty future. The JZ-BS is proud to announce that that time is now! (Was it confusing having a double “that” in the previous sentence? Hang on, that’s the least of your worries.)
Huge throngs of dedicated Joe Zoners, perhaps numbering into double digits, have been clamoring for the second heart-palpitating installment of “2013 – the Year in Review.” And believe me, there’s no force in the universe that can withstand clamoring Zoners. So as we wipe off the Misty Mirror to peer into the dim reflections of what is yet to be, let’s hope that Loopy and La La, our sage (with a hint of thyme) newscasters, have calmed down and collected their wits. All seven of them.
Ah, yes, our Misty News kaleidoscopic lens is focused on the crack Misty News discerning duo of doo-doo, scooping out all choicest and select cuts of audio bytes and video tripe for your consumption. Welcome to the Joe Zone Bureau of Unusual News Kaleidoscope (JZ-Bunk).
We all experience annoying little mishaps. It’s part of being human, and living in this imperfect world. When these potholes in life’s highway happen, it doesn’t mean that the world has something against you, or that you’re unlucky. It doesn’t mean that the universe is a sentient entity looking to mess up your life and make things as difficult as possible for you.
Or does it?
The Joe Zone takes its mission very seriously of keeping all you Zoners informed on what’s happening in the world and other places. Just as the Joe Zone Bureau of Science (JZ-BS) brings you all the latest scientific developments and wild-eyed theories, the Joe Zone Bureau of Unusual News Kaleidoscope (JZ-Bunk) gives you an earful (or even two) of the wackiest, Zone-iest news around.
Join us, as we train our Misty News kaleidoscopic lens on our own inimitable crack news team. From the deepest recesses of the Joe Zone, our news center gathers only the choicest news that won’t make you snooze, give you the blues, or soil your shoes. Grab a cup of Joe Zone joe, settle back, settle down, and listen up:
Loopy: Hello, my name is Anderson Looper, but you can call me “Loopy”.
La La: And I’m Diane Lawyer, but you can call me “La La”.
Loopy & La La (together): And this is the Loopy La La report.
When we last gazed in the Misty Mirror, strange things were happening to our eyeballs. Who says we don’t have a good time in the Joe Zone?
We had determined that most people can’t focus either near or far once they reach middle age (the “good times”). Mrs. Zone found this condition much more difficult to cope with than simple myopia. The trouble began during the eye exam when the condition was first seen (so to speak):
Today we embark on a thrilling adventure, as we peer into the Misty Mirror to diagnose and resolve eye problems. Doesn’t sound too hard; this should only take a day or two.
Yesterday, America was a country with vision. Today, America is a country with vision problems. Myopia is running rampant in the land of the free, and the American who can see beyond our borders is an endangered species. Hordes of us can’t see past our nose, literally and figuratively.
Maybe the world is too large and variegated to comprehend, with too many countries and cultures, too many languages, religions, and viewpoints. It’s beyond anyone’s capacity to be knowledgeable about all lands and peoples. I submit, however, that it wouldn’t be asking too much for us to at least be conversant in the affairs of one portion of it (excluding Middle Earth).
When last we met, we were in another universe, and Joe was deep into a hard-hitting interview with The Hobbit, while the Joe-ma-Tron was being washed and waxed and having its power source (three AAA batteries) replaced. The J-m-T is a green/hybrid vehicle, so it can also run on a watch spring if the batteries are depleted. Anyway, Bilbo Baggins was proving to be an affable interviewee, so Joe bears down on the chubby little bugger, and goes for the jugular:
The movie version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit had a huge opening weekend. The Peter Jackson prequel to The Lord of the Rings earned about 85 million dollars in the U.S. alone. Worldwide, The Hobbit earned 223 million dollars in its first weekend, which is roughly the value of the gold and jewels of Smaug’s treasure, or about as much as the federal government spends in seven minutes.
Actually, the movie is only the beginning of the book, covering approximately the first nine pages. The remainder of the book will be parceled out in sequels over the next 35 years, by which time Ian McKellan, who plays the wizard Gandalf, will have to do his role via séance.