Frustrated Carl Quintanilla Asking Left-Over Debate Questions to Cashier at Trader Joe’s


Boulder, CO – Insisting that he still had “a couple of good ones”, CNBC Republican Debate Moderator Carl Quintanilla asked a series of scathing questions to the man ringing him up at an area Trader Joe’s.  In the wake of his broadcast team’s embarrassing treatment of an important political event, Quintanilla berated the cashier with thinly-veiled criticisms disguised as thought-provoking questions.

“I was just asking him how he was enjoying Colorado,” the cashier explained.  “He then started grilling me about a time when I missed payment on a Comcast bill and how I could be expected to ring him up correctly when I clearly wasn’t in control of my own life.  Then when I tried to respond, but he just kept saying ‘You’re out of time.'”

Admitting that he didn’t “get Rubio” like he thought he would, Quintanilla fired question after question at the cashier with topics ranging from the man’s divorce to his personal finance record.

“At one point all the customers waiting in line behind him were booing,” the man continued.  “He still didn’t get the clue though.”

Dinner with Lincoln

They said I could sit down to dinner with whomever I pleased
(they were the type of Spirits who said “whom”).
Having never been asked such a ludicrous question
I panicked and made a hasty selection.
I picked a rather obvious figure.
“I will dine with Abraham Lincoln.”

I wasn’t a Civil War buff or a particular fan
of the Department of Agriculture.
So I had to strategize about topics to cover,
the Thirteen Amendment or Our American Cousin,
Or maybe I could discuss the finer points of

But where shall we break bread?

I selected a busy Red Robin on a Friday night
because I wanted everyone to see that I
Was talking to the President, and thus very important.
On-lookers would wave smart phones in blistering torrent,
Snapping selfies with me and the Prez.

I sat down early and ordered a Sam Adams
Just in case the conversation lulled
(I thought he’d probably get a kick out of that).

Here’s what they don’t tell you though:
When the Spirits resurrect someone who’s been gone for 150 years
It’s just “As Is.”
There’s no clean up involved.
They don’t dust the person off
Or brush their dead teeth
Or smack a new layer
Of skin on like they do in the movies.

So now I’m sitting here, trying to listen
To Honest Abe drone on about war strategy.
When a moment ago, the last piece of his decayed earlobe
Fell right into our plate of boneless chicken wings.

An Early Morning Meeting


“Here’s the thing Joe,” Hillary Clinton said as she stirred a luke-warm cup of coffee.  “You’re a likeable guy.”

Biden shifted uncomfortably in his seat.  He was glad he had picked this Denny’s outside the DC beltway to meet with the Secretary of State.  The early risers with their still heavy eyelids, truckers and wait staff mostly, all rinsing the sleep from their brains with orange juice and caffeine, all stole glances toward their booth.  Biden had picked a public place to meet and that made him feel better, somewhat.

“Thank you Mrs. Clinton,” Biden said as he poked at his waffle.  “I feel like my track record is pretty solid and I’d love to help America continue on this pathway that our Administration has mapped out.”

“Well, what’s there not to like?” Clinton smiled and pushed away her oatmeal, folding her hands neatly.  “You’re a successful politician.  You’re a family man.  You’ve gone through tragedy and that makes you relatable.  So many tragedies.”  She paused a moment, “Heck…you could probably even beat me.”

As she spoke, the light went out of her eyes.  What warmth and humanity there was prior had quickly spilled out onto the sticky tile floor.  Biden was left peering into a vacant, unsympathetic vessel.  He carved a sliver of waffle off and stuffed it in his mouth.

“And that’s the problem, isn’t it?” she asked.

“Pardon?” he replied, his voice muffled by the syrupy pastry.

“I have a lot of problems right now, Joe.  I’ve got a Republican Congress crawling through my e-mails.  I’ve got a seventy-four year old Socialist that is actually beating me in the polls. My PR team says I have an image problem!”  Her voice dropped to a low purr.  “I don’t need any more problems.”  She unfastened the top button of her grey, herringbone suit coat and revealed a nest of wires, a tangle of primary colors.  The wires were connected to narrow cylinders.  Dynamite.  “What do you think, Joe?  Do you want to give me any more problems?”

Clinton was gently thumbing what looked to be a detonator.  The Vice-President had seen many remnants of those during his tours to the Middle East.  He knew these types of homemade explosives were temperamental, even in an expert’s hands.  Biden’s eyes frantically searched around the restaurant, looking to see if anyone else had spotted the Secretary of State’s suicide vest.  But as the public does in all matters of politics, they had all gone back to taking bites of their bacon, pouring their customers coffee, folding the newspapers.  He swallowed hard.

“N-n-no Mrs. Clinton,” he choked.  “I certainly don’t want to give you any more problems.”

“Good,” she said as the shadow fell from her face and she fastened her top button once more, concealing the explosive device under a thin layer of wool.  “We don’t need any more tragedies to happen to you, now do we?  There is such a thing as being too relatable.”  Her smile radiated warmth once more.  “Are you going to eat that last piece of sausage?”

“No, ma’am” Biden said quietly, his eyes cast downward and his heart still racing.

Hillary Clinton reached over the table with a fork and plunged it in to a link.  The twinkle in her eye gleamed even brighter as she raised the sausage to her mouth and took a deep, satisfying bite.  “Say,” she said as she chewed.  “Do you happen to know Jim Webb’s home address?”

Letters from Smitty: A Stern Plea


Dear Mr. Sutherland,

I hope this letter finds you well.  I understand that you are a busy man and I wouldn’t dare take more of your time than is absolutely necessary.  As of the writing of this letter I believe you are the man responsible for affairs concerning public nuisances for my jurisdiction and the eradication of said nuisances.  You may remember me from my letter writing campaign that I mounted in 2008, when it had been audaciously proposed that our town of Sheridan, WY host some sort of Farmer’s Market on the corner of Smith and North Jefferson near Whitney Commons Park.  My letter campaign, though intense, was unfortunately ineffective.  Apparently, the Obama administration now requires letters to be post-marked or “stamped” as I understand it.  However, despite the interference of big government, I was still successful in blocking the event from occurring anyway.

As you know, Article 5. 2. 3. of the Wyoming Constitution states that all citizens are legally allowed to brandish unconventional weapons in public settings when staging protests.  As the Framers of our state constitution intended, I was able to scare off the basket weavers and organic, granola types from infringing on the long held belief of Sheridan residents that commerce and industry is to be purveyed by a few chosen overlords (you may call them Barons), instead of this locally-sourced, sustainable Democratic abomination that seems to be en vogue currently.

Early in the morning, I, along with my roommate “Smitty”, stood guard at the park with water balloons filled with piping hot McCafe coffee from McDonald’s at the ready.  We had strategically placed signs around the park that read “Go Home to your Homes!” which we felt was a clear message to the apple-pushers and amateur, unregulated cucumber-growers that would certainly attempt to infect the area later in the day.

The first shot was not fired by us.  Around eleven o’clock, a straw-hatted woman (some Mennonite or Carnival Barker) aggressively attempted to set up a card table on top of which she would sell locally-grown fruit preserves.  It is not something I publicize often, but I have deep, binding ties to the Smuckers family and their eponymous jelly company.  I have asked them to make grave sacrifices for me in the past, so I was more than willing to stand up for their market share in this situation.  I threw my first balloon at the woman.  Although, being that it was much, much later in the day, our scorching bags of java had cooled to a pleasant temperature.  The damage done by the exploding balloon was less medical in nature and more fabric/stain related.  No doubt I was an unexpected hero to the infamous Sheridan dry-cleaning cartel that day (not the first time).  Nevertheless, our message was loud and clear and the market activities dispersed quickly.

Now Donald, the point of the backstory is to familiarize yourself with the tactics I am capable of if I do not get my way when I have a grievance to air.  Therefore, I will only say this one time:  I insist that you turn down the volume on my shower radio.  It is far too loud and I don’t care for the station that it is playing presently.  I have tried all non-governmental options to remedy this issue and have been met with nothing but incompetence and bureaucracy at each turn.  Since I got the shower radio out of your trash can, Mr. Sutherland, I don’t believe there is anyone else who can be held responsible.

I have enclosed the address to my loft apartment near the bustling market district of Sheridan, WY.  Please stop all movie and voice-over projects and place this on the top of your priority list.  The shower radio can be located in the bathroom and is, of course, underneath a large stack of dried wood near the toilet.

I would appreciate a response within the next thirteen minutes.


Alan Gibbons

For a Historical Context: Here, Here, Here, Here, Here and Here