by Con Chapman
Did your daughter just shave her head? Has the little woman started getting mail from The Rosicrucians? Call the Cultbusters now, before it's too late!
Our daughter Francine had a wonderful job as Fulton County Assistant Sealer of Weights and Measures when my dingbat husband Gene persuaded her to take a management training course at H&R Block, America's largest tax preparation company. She would drive up to Raytown on weekends, sometimes staying late on Saturdays for a casual dinner at T.G.I. Friday's with her colleagues.
Yesterday Francine surprised us right after our traditional Thanksgiving family go-kart race by announcing that she has joined the Everlasting Church of Internal Revenue, which I think is a cult but Gene says is probably okay. The “church” believes that the current commissioner of the IRS is the vicar of Christ on earth, going back in an unbroken line of succession through the first Commissioner, Frank M. Thorn, back to St. Peter.
What do you think? We have agreed to abide by your decision.
Verda Jean Tompkins, Lone Jack, Mo.
Dear Verda Jean:
We contacted the IRS and were informed that the Everlasting Church of Internal Revenue received its tax-exempt status in 1999 “with flying colors” and has timely filed its Form 990EZ's ever since. They asked for your exact street address and will be contacting you about the deductions you took for the “beefalo” tax shelter last year.
I purchased your CultBuster Portable Deprogrammer because I had to drop my son off at the T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, R.I. and did not want him to get “brainwashed” by the Hare Krishnas who sometimes hang out there. I had no sooner stepped off the “people mover” into the main terminal when a Federal Air Marshall threw me to the floor, pinned my arm behind my back and confiscated my Cultbuster, which was the 200LE model in red. I still have the credit card bill and my question is, can I get a refund from you—the sales brochure said it “works anywhere”.
Pete Smualsky, Seekonk, Mass.
“Drop the Deprogrammer and nobody gets hurt!”
Sorry, no can do. The bold-faced text that says “USE OF THE CULTBUSTER IS SUBJECT TO LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL FIREARMS REGULATIONS AND FAA LIMITS ON CARRY-ON LUGGAGE” gets us out of this one. Next time, hire your own lawyer before you buy something for $49.95 over the internet.
“Eloise, would you mind taking out your ear buds so Mommy can scream at you?”
This year on Thanksgiving I asked my daughter Eloise whether she wanted light or dark meat from the gorgeous 21-pound turkey that I had prepared for my wife Kathi. She—Eloise, not Kathi—announced to our extended family, with no warning, that she had become a “Vegan.” She was on break from Wellesley College, and we were just glad that she didn't come home with a nose ring or a girlfriend or both, but now I am concerned that she may have fallen prey to a sectarian group that will talk her out of her inheritance. What is a “Vegan” and do they worship the same Christian God that my family has for generations?
Endicott Lowell, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.
Dear Mr. Lowell:
You have confused “vegans,” who do not eat meat, fish or poultry, with “Vulcans,” a super-rational humanoid species. Veganism is a viral infection contracted by students at liberal-arts colleges that goes into remission when they take high-paying “yuppie” jobs and can afford expensive nouvelle cuisine restaurants. Vulcans are low-level male tech workers who congregate at Star Trek conventions, and glom onto any female who can fog a mirror held under her nose.
Lentil stew, for vegans, and Star Trek convention, for Vulcans.
Dear Cult Busters:
My twin sister Ilene has recently taken up with a man named “Darrell,” who is a member of the “Shriner's Fun Korps,” a motorized paramilitary group whose members wear red monkey hats. I know that sentence has a lot of “dependent” clauses in it, but bear with me.
Ilene and I used to spend our weekends together crocheting or going to swap meets at abandoned drive-in theatres, but no more. Now she is out with Darrell, riding on the back of his “Fun Kart,” even though I have been told by Rick Davis, Jr. of Modern Moosehead Insurance out on South 65 that this may void our homeowner's policy.
Cultbusters, I feel like I have lost a part of myself with Ilene out of my life. If I made a discreet call to the Iowa State Highway Patrol to report suspicious “cult” activity do you think they would yank the Fun Korp's special Class 2 license that enables them to operate on public ways?
Irene McComb, Ottumwa, Iowa
Swap meet: You can have fun just looking.
We feel your pain. Allow it to flow out of your heart, down your left arm into your balled-up hand, which you should then open as if releasing a pure, white dove into the sky. Either that or make a fist and tell “Darrell” to stay away from your sister or you'll rip off one of his body parts and hit him with the bloody stump of it.
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection "Take My Advice--I Wasn't Using it Anyway."
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