Columns » Ranger Rich

Ads from the edges


Theologians believe there are sure signs Armageddon is nearly upon us, that on the End of the World clock the big hand is on "They gave the Olympics to China," and the little hand is on "Doug Bruce hasn't had a psychotic episode for almost a week," and just a few ticks away may be the termination of existence as we know it. Here are some of those signs:

Actor Charlton Heston, who played Moses, died a few days ago. (Footnote: Heston was an ex-president of the National Rifle Association. His body will be placed horizontally in a gun rack over the back window of a 1978 Ford pickup, right near the Dale Earnhardt sticker, and the body will be available for public viewing in the parking lot of a bar for 12 hours or until the truck's owner is drunk enough to drive back to his trailer. Not that the NRA doesn't do some good things.)

A 500-foot-long, scorching, incinerating stream of Orange Flames From Hell recently erupted from the mouth of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson during a speech. That, combined with his cloven hooves and goat legs, seems to clearly indicate that something big is about to happen.

But here's the surest sign: The Independent (owned by a liberal Jewish guy who rides a bike around town) is running full-page Christian religious ads while the Gazette (owned by an odd group of ultra-conservative Californians who suddenly find themselves digging around for loose change to buy their yacht fuel), is running tawdry sex ads.

For quite a while, the daily paper has been relentlessly publishing strip-club ads. One says Dj Vu showgirls are "wearing nothing but a smile." Another club invites men into its "All Nude ... The Dynamite Room." (Frankly, I'd be worried the fuse isn't the only burning sensation you're going to experience.)

More recently the daily paper (motto: "Gernalism for the 21st Century") began running large ads next to the strip-club ads for a male sexual-enhancement pill, featuring a sizzling, neglige-wearing blonde reclining and staring at you in that romantic "I accept Visa and MasterCard" sort of way. The ad targets men with this actual line: "Paravol's fast-acting sexual fuel puts the control back in your hands." Which, if I many speak bluntly, seems to defeat the whole idea.

Anyway, while the cash-strapped Gazette takes in sex-ad revenue, the Indy (motto: "Hey, We Were Doing It First") ran a very unusual ad last week, a full page with a yellow background that grabbed your attention, an ad that made you stand up and hold the newspaper with both hands unless you had just taken Paravol, which would have made it almost impossible to do either of those things.

The ad was placed by a woman from Pueblo. I wanted to know more about the ad and her, but she did not respond to repeated messages including the last five or six in which I stopped whining only long enough to beg.

If you can, take out your own copy of last week's Independent. (Speaking here from experience, make sure the $%^&* parrot doesn't get a good shot at your thumb as you retrieve the paper.) If you can't find it, let me go through the highlights of this ad, which contained some 1,500 words.

Near the top of the manifesto there's an account of a February meeting at the United Nations. Here's an excerpt: "The presenter was a UFO being who put forth an offer to provide free energy and to establish a time frame of about nine years to complete interface with humans."

Here I am, rolling my eyes just like you and thinking the very same thing: Dick Cheney.

The ad rolls along for the next 1,300 words on Christianity with an occasional side journey such as this: "Was he absent from the body and present with the Lord? Yes. But that does not mean he was conscious, as death in the Scriptures is described as sleep (just search the words bible/sleep/asleep/sleepeth)."

I have no idea what any of that means. But I do know this: You don't want to sleep or be asleep or go "sleepeth" in those strip clubs advertised in the Gazette.

Especially if the dancers go through your pockets and find your credit card. And the empty bottle of Paravol.

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