How Smart Are You?

My father’s insurance and savings left my mother with enough resources to live a modest, independent lifestyle so you can imagine my surprise when I got this call:

“Jean, I’ve decided to get a job.”

“What? Why?”

“I’m bored with the people at my complex who only want to get their hair tinted blue and make ceramic angels so I’m going to work.”

“But, Mom,  you don’t have to do that. You can live comfortably. If you need something special, Maury and I can always help you out.” (As well as the kids and every charity that approaches us and Maury’s green causes.)

“Jean, I can do telemarketing right from my living room. I won’t have to depend on Wolf Blitzer and all his situations anymore for my entertainment.”

Uh-oh. “Mom, who called you? Did you give them any money?”

“A nice young man is calling me back tomorrow so I can give him my credit card number. I couldn’t find it because I switched purses yesterday. You know my handbag always has to match the shoes. Turquoise is such a tough color.”

Boy, did I have to do some fast talking to explain that Arizona, besides being in the national spotlight for immigration, concealed weapons, seniors with STDs, dirtiest air and  plastic surgery, is now the national capital of scams! I’m so excited! Something else to be proud of in our state of spectacular scenery and warm weather.

We received this dubious distinction when the U.S. Postal Service and the Federal Trade Commission shut down a number of boiler room businesses and launched “Operation Bottom Dollar.” Lynn Weed of Salmon, Idaho (who must have been smoking something) lost $110,000 after being sucked into a business that charged him that for a website. Maybe part of the problem was being a guy named Lynn. Anyway, others lost less but still…

“Mom, they arrested a guy in Scottsdale recently and confiscated his luxury home in Troon North on the golf course for selling pharmaceutical websites. Another scam based in Arizona stole over 19 million dollars from various people.” You have to be careful. Don’t pay attention to “no experience necessary.””

“Jean, don’t be ridiculous. I know a lot about pharmaceuticals. I take a lot of them and keep all my medications in the oven. That way if I have to heat something up I can use the micro-range. Don’t try to talk me out of it. The oven is airtight and dark with the door closed.”

We Are Related to Cavemen

So after the Arizona, Capital of Scams information I was not surprised to learn that Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology has found Neanderthal genes in people. I knew that. I’ve met a few people where they’ve been dominant. Through scientific findings, which means some supposedly really smart, educated people who shut one eye and look into microscopes, it has been decided that the ape-like hairy, low eyebrowed predecessors of humans were doing it in a cave with some modern humans who had less hair on their backs than Maury. But not in Africa. Only white people in Arizona have these genes. I’m just kidding!

Although there are a few here who…

I’m experiencing a lot of stress right now.

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