Unemployment – OUT OF WORK

Abbott & Costello

Who’s on First

As a kid I enjoyed the antics of a very famous duo-comedy force called Abbott and Costello. One was a straight man for the other. They had some classic side splitting skits. One of them called  “Who’s on First” is genius comedy.  The skit below is modeled after “Who’s On First.”  This version is even funnier than the original.   Of course, if you are either unemployed or out of work you may not see the humor.

Unemployment- OUT OF WORK

 COSTELLO:  I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America .

 ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It’s  9%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.

COSTELLO: You just said 9%.

ABBOTT: 9% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 9% out of work.

 ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.

 COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 16% unemployed.

 ABBOTT: No, that’s 9%.

COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE.    Is it 9% or16%?

 ABBOTT: 9% are unemployed.  16% are out of work.

 COSTELLO: IF you are out of work you are unemployed.

 ABBOTT: No, Obama said you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed.

You have to look for work to be unemployed.

COSTELLO: BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!!!

ABBOTT: No, you miss his point.

COSTELLO: What point?

 ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work can’t be counted with those who look for work.

  It wouldn’t be fair.

 COSTELLO: To whom?

ABBOTT: The  unemployed.

COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.

ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work gave up looking and if you give up, you are no longer in the  ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if you’re off the

unemployment roles that would count as less unemployment?

 ABBOTT:

Unemployment would go down.  Absolutely!

COSTELLO: The

unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?

 ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how Obama

gets it to 9%.   Otherwise it would be 16%. He doesn’t want you to read about 16% unemployment.

COSTELLO: That would be tough on his reelection.

ABBOTT: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question

for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment  number?

 ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

 COSTELLO:

Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

 ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two  ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to have Obama’s supporters stop looking for work.

 ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like the Obama Economy Czar.

 COSTELLO: I don’t even know what the hell I just said!

 ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like Obama.

Thanks Diane for a great laugh.

Branson Hiatus

Every once in  a while we need to get away. Peggy and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary by taking a trip to Branson, Missouri. I fully expected to add posts and cartoons to grumpajoesplace, but learned very early in the trip that my computer was trashed. It needs a reload of the operating system. I now have it at the fixer to try and save my files before it is re-loaded to factory status. In the meantime, I work on my seven-year old lap top; sloooow, verrry slooow.

Branson is pure fun. It has to be the entertainment capital of the world. A person can see three shows a day for a week and not see all of them. Each one is better than the last. Even the second tier entertainers are great. We saw a young man, Keith Allyn,  who put on a Neil Diamond tribute. He looked like Neil, and sounded like Neil too. We learned of him one morning at breakfast. He came into our hotel to hand out business cards and to talk up his show. Had he not done this, we would never seen his act.

Who else did we see? I’ll list them all and review them for you.

1.”SIX *****” This act partners six brothers who use their voices as instruments. They do not have a single musician on stage, yet they sounded like a full orchestra at times.

2. “Butterfly Palace. **”  More of a tourist trap than entertainment. It was interesting to walk through a jungle like atrium with white butterflies flitting all about. There were hundreds of them. The image being conveyed was that of snow falling. That is why they used white butterflies. All of them are purchased from Costa Rica in cocoon form. They are hatched in the Palace, and live for two weeks. I learned that a butterfly will not reproduce unless it has its host plant to do it on. Since Palace does not have any of the  host plants, they do not reproduce in Branson.

3. “Neil Diamond Tribute ***” very entertaining and well done one man show.

4.” Tony Orlando  ****and the Lennon Sisters ****”  The trio of Lennon Sisters sang beautifully. They combined favorite songs from the Lawrence Welk show with more contemporary tunes. Since Branson features Christmas shows from November through early December, many of the songs are Christmas Carols. Stage sets are typically loaded with Christmas trees. Tony Orlando combined his hour of both contemporary songs “Tie A Yellow Ribbon,” with a Christmas skit starring Santa Claus and the Nativity. Although in his mid-sixties, his voice was pure and powerful.

5. “The Oak Ridge Boys, *****” The boys are back. All of them are original, and now in their sixties, but one would never know by their sound. It was obvious that this group had done a lot of tour performances. The level of professionalism was astounding, the sound was great, the lighting, and the accompanying band solid. Lead singer Joe Bonsall sang a song in tribute to his parents and for veterans. It was a knock out. Joe sang it with such emotion, that the audience had tears in their eyes. The song is “G.I Joe and Lillie.” Veterans day falls into the Christmas season at Branson and each show pays tribute to veterans. The Boys are on their annual Christmas tour and come back to Branson mid-week to perform in their theater.

6. “Andy Williams, *****” this guy is amazing. He invented the Christmas season in Branson. His Christmas show is without rival. At eighty-two, the Andy performed for an hour and forty-five minutes and sounded great. I thought for sure he was lip synching.  We had front row center seats, and I can tell you he does not lip synch. His voice is as powerful as it always was.  His show emulates his old TV show. He has a few acts coming out to keep things lively and to give him a break. As long as he lives, he will do this show, and I will go to see him.

7. “Shoji Tabuchi, ****” An immigrant from Japan, this man became a first class country western fiddle player. although he can play classic violin, he came to America to be a CW star. He migrated to Branson nineteen years ago and built a theater for his performances.  The theater is a show case venue. He made the restrooms a feature that people talk about as much as they do  his performances. I can only speak for the men’s room which contains a billiard parlor with two rows of perimeter seating to watch  matches. The interior of the elimination room is absolutely stunning.  His show is also stunning. He combines his play with many well choreographed dances, flying angels, and songs by his daughter.

8. “Yakov, ****” Russian born and an immigrant to the US, Yakov is a very funny man. He has a unique way of looking at our culture from his perspective, and to point out the humor.  Like Shoji and Andy Williams, he has been in Branson for nineteen years. He built his own theater and plays to capacity crowds regularly. He boasted of how hard it was to earn “a lousy $100,000.00 a week.”  I left his show laughing for hours afterward. His jokes lingered and the humor kept me in high spirits. In one of his skits he showed the value of humor in longevity. He taped a couple who were married for seventy-five years. He asked what their secret was for staying married so long. The wife answered this way, “never go to sleep angry, stay up and fight.”

9. “Dalena Ditto,”  **** Another second tier performer who puts on a great show. This time she used me as a celebrity walk on. As part of her show, she picks an old fat guy from the audience to fool around with on stage. I was the second guy she picked. She had me sit on a chair facing the audience. She wore long red gloves and a stunning red gown. During her song I felt and saw red gloves against my face and through my hair. The audience was screaming with delight. I helped out by nuzzling the hand against my face. At the end of the song, I learned that the red gloves were on the hands of the male guitar player. Lots of fun. Dalena sings great and is a good looker too. She comes from family of performers. She spoke of her father playing in the Country Western scene.

Joey Riley, ****” Joey has been playing straight man for Mickey Gilley for seventeen years. The two of them are hilarious together. This year, Mickey cancelled his season because of an accident. Joey Riley filled in for him with his own show. He is a talented musician, playing the fiddle, guitar, and the steel guitar. His wit is spontaneous and quick.  He featured his lovely wife in several dance routines. We  spent another two hours of side-splitting laughter.

The worst part of going to Branson is the nine-hour drive home.

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