World Braces For New Car Smell

While Cubs Fans Weep Over Chicago Victory

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Sure it was heartening to hear the uproar of boos from bar crowds across Chicagoland every time they showed a stomach-churning cameo of the president’s mom on TV during the Houston games, but there were so many other reasons to savor the October underdog sweep.

Anything underdog, first of all, I’m all about. Like the story about this Russian guy Sergei who’s got Starbucks by the cojones. Have you heard of him? Sergei, a former car-alarm salesman, buys the ‘Starbucks’ brand name in Russia, sits tight on it and now Starbucks has to cough up the rubles to buy its own name back, or try ripping Russians off under another, Starbucks-sounding name like Sputnikbucks or Btarsucks. Only, Sergei owns those too.

Nobody does capitalism like a former commie. “OK, you want to play free enterprise? Say hello to my little trademark squatting scheme!” And C’mon, Sergei’s only asking like $600,000 (U.S.), cheap considering I’ll probably live long enough to see Starbucks charge that for a tall non-fat latte. Could happen, because according to USA Today, more and more people are living to be over 100 years old, which also means that White Sox fans may one day see their team win again.

By then, we may have this Iraq thing wrapped up, or at least be talking seriously about an exit strategy. But I know one debate will still be raging, thanks in part to the latest discovery of a jawbone, suggesting the existence of a pre-historic ‘hobbit like’ humanoid. And it kills me how people who could never be convinced they came from monkeys are suddenly going, “Yeah, well, I can see coming from hobbits; makes more sense.”

Tolkien has got Darwin in a headlock and evolution is so on the ropes, that overnight, we’ve shot from a round-earth majority right past flat earth, and deep into a middle earth post-Rove dark ages. Don’t be surprised if the next Supreme Court nominee is chosen for having hobbit-leaning beliefs on human origins. The born-again card didn’t work, at least not for me, because if born agains believe life begins at conception, why don’t they call themselves conceived agains? I like a little more consistency in my constitutionally moderate Supreme Court religious fanatics.

Although I must confess that my own faith deepens every day. I just got word that an ex-girlfriend in Puerto Rico was attacked by a barracuda — for reals. And my initial response was, “You know, it may take ten years, but God does come through.” Then of course I felt bad and called and we’re actually speaking again. But no, it is not true that I went back and slept with her. I did, however, sleep with the barracuda, and now feel I can finally move on.

It’s just a reminder to me how dangerous the world is. I mean, if the rabid fish don’t get you, the wheezy chickens will. This flu pandemic is out of control. At first I thought it was even more bizarre because I heard it wrong and kept thinking it was called the ‘Evian’ flu, and was desperate to know if it was just Evian or all bottled water you had to look out for.

I don’t know how they figure the lifespan keeps going up when there are so many new threats to your life, the latest, get this, being new car smell. I swear. Turns out it’s so toxic, that if you wanted to kill yourself after realizing you could have bought a coffee with the money you just wasted on a new car, you wouldn’t even have to stuff a sock in the exhaust pipe, just roll up the windows and take a hit of your brand-spanking Beamer. On the bright it side, it could lead to a more humane form of euthanasia. (Note to loved ones: should I ever need to be taken out of my misery, I give you full authority to seal me into a factory direct Lamborghini Murcielago.)

Looking at the bright side isn’t always easy, but that’s why there’s Fox News. I just heard them say that the president’s numbers are, despite reports in the radical liberal media to the contrary, holding steady. They must mean his IQ, which hasn’t budged and is indeed holding steady two notches short of subject verb agreement. Any day now he’ll be extolling the mediocrity of his latest best person he could find for the job. Keep in mind, he thinks he’s perfectly qualified to do his job, if that’s any clue as to the criteria we’re working with here.

I do hear that the Greenspan replacement, in a glaring break with protocol, actually knows what he’s doing, but you know all Greenspan ever really did was give hints. He hinted interest rates were going up, hinted rates were going down, hinted they would stay the same. Not a direct fellow. I wonder if he ever actually proposed marriage to Andrea Mitchell, or just hinted that if she found him irresistible, in that Brad Pitt of economic policy sort of way, maybe he would be willing to give up his wild days of beltway badboyhood and settle down.

Still, I’m almost dead sure it’s the first time any president’s management style has been so disastrous it’s actually turned public opinion against his mom, to the point of unleashing “Y Tu Mama Tambien” jeers during World Series broadcasts. Of course, you may have noticed neither the president, nor White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, have a very good command of English. In Ozzie’s case it’s because he’s Venezuelan. Although, his Spanish ain’t too hot either.

But while Ozzie clearly knows what he’s doing and gets the job done, at the White House, there will be no amazing, game three 5th-inning rally. On top of everything else, special prosecutors are circling and the indictment spam will soon be impossible to filter out. BTW: Guess who already owns the Russian rights to the phrase “indictment spam.”

And unlike the president — who didn’t make much of himself in the baseball biz either –Ozzie is best when he’s unscripted.

Asked what a World Series victory would mean to him, The Great Oz said, “I just want my kids to be able to eat in Chicago for free for the rest of their lives.” (OK, so he didn’t mention that Hugo Chavez would be kicking in for the free life-time supply of gas.)

Anyway, Ozzie, congrats, and remember to tell your kids to stay away from the chicken. Southside!


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and billionaires wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2024 demands.

payment methods


Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2024 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend


Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.