Guest: Rose A. Valenta

Uncle Harry’s Obsession

Uncle Harry came over for breakfast this morning wearing flip-flops. I was making corn fritters with maple syrup and the aroma must have traveled across our water-logged backyard into his bathroom window, while he was getting a load off his mind.

He is not supposed to eat corn. The doctor told him that he has diverticulitis; he can’t digest American politics either, but Harry never listens to anyone, he’s hooked.

This morning, after making divots in my yard, he walks into my kitchen looking like the cat that ate the canary.

“Got any left?” He asked.

“You know that you are not supposed to eat them.” I responded.

“Everything in moderation,” he said.

He had The Washington Times folded under one arm.

“That’s why you have diverticulitis.” I said. “You’re obsessed with politics.”

“I like to hit the newspaper with a bingo highlighter,” he said. “The politicians with the orange dots should have gone to school to learn how to train killer whales, instead of majoring in political science.”

“Harry, why don’t you call Dick and play cards or something today, instead of reading the Times? You both like Uno, I’m just not in the mood for a political discussion this morning.”

“I think you might be interested in what Hillary said this morning,” he said.

“What, she’s appearing on Judge Judy? The statute of limitations has run out on that one.”

“No, she thinks domestic bickering in the media is setting a bad example abroad,” he said.

“Why, did they finally find out that she declared Jihad on Rahm Emanuel?”

“No, looky here,” he showed me his newspaper.

Sure enough, there was a feature article about the Secretary of State blasting both political parties for airing their hissy fits in the news media. She said that it was a bad reflection on Americans, especially to the foreign countries signing trade agreements. I laughed, as it reminded me of my Grandmother telling me as a small child, “What happens in this house stays in this house. Don’t be carrying tales outside.”

“Nice.” I said. She also has a 70% approval rating, no thanks to Bill. She should know what supports one’s character.”

“Look at Bernanke’s report,” he said. “It reads like Robert Benchley’s Treasury Report.”

“You want to stay for dinner, I’m cooking something healthy?” I responded, knowing how Harry just loves free food.

“You bet!” He smiled.

Later that night, Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck were bashing Louis Farrakhan, Jeremiah Wright, Michael Pfleger, Tom Hanks, and the Chicago press on The O’Reilly Factor. They showed some Sumo wrestlers warming up outside the Fox studio and security was installing anti-ballistic missiles. It was better than an episode of Survivor.

Uncle Harry was sitting at the dining room table enjoying the whole fiasco. He had swiveled the television set in the living room so we could watch while we ate dinner. I never saw him in such a jovial mood.

“Are those guys trying to get shot?” Harry snickered.

“Why do you think that?” I said.

“He just bashed Farrakhan, called Tom Hanks a ‘pinhead,’ and nearly double-dog dared the Chicago newspapers to cover the Living Legends award ceremony, like they’re a bunch of chickens.”

“I guess that’s one way of goading them into it,” I said. “Then, he doesn’t have to do it. Harry, why don’t you put Bravo on instead of political news, The Real Housewives of New York City is coming on and there’s going to be a cat fight tonight, you might miss something,” I said.

“Did you know that O’Reilly actually called the Archdiocese of Chicago to complain about that other guy, Father Pfleger?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said, “and you’re missing Bethenny posing for nude rooftop photos on Housewives, Jill is being fake, and Luann is going ballistic.”

“Wait, I want to see the end of this.”

“Why?” I asked.

“I wanna see if Beck stabs O’Reilly with the pen.”

“Harry, change the channel or no dessert.”

“Housewives Kelly and Alex should learn from The Factor and start calling each other nicer names like ‘white right winger’ or ‘race-baiting anti-Semite.’ O’Reilly was a social studies teacher, you know. I think he’s bipartisan.”

“Harry, I think he was really a history teacher and makes his money bashing the President. Now, eat your cheesecake and do something bipartisan – let the cat out, before he pees on your other flip-flop.”▪

* * * * *

Rose A. Valenta is a nationally syndicated humor columnist. Her irreverent columns have been published in Senior Wire, Associated Content, Courier Post Online, NPR, Newsday, USA TODAY, the WSJ Online, and many other local news and radio websites. She is the author of Rosie’s Renegade Humor Blog,; and the humor book, Sitting on Cold Porcelain.

Rose is giving away a copy of Sitting on Cold Porcelain to one lucky reader. Due to shipping costs, the contest is only open to US readers. To enter the contest, you must first leave a question or comment for Rose. Then to complete your entry, either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to The winner will be chosen on Sunday, February 13.