How’s your human condition treating you?

By Carol MacPherson

Ah, nothing says the first Sunday of May like … the National Hockey League playoffs. Let’s Zamboni over the headlines:

Former Mad magazine editor dies”: Thank you, Al Feldstein, (and late publisher William M. Gaines) for overseeing the most influential magazine of my formative years, (yes, even more influential than “Tiger Beat”) and for turning all those funny people loose.

This weekly column, called “The Lighter Side of the News” is a homage to Mad’s cartoonist Dave Berg who produced the “Lighter Side of …” (dating, fashion, television, etc.) feature. As the New York Times put it when he died at 81 in 2002: Berg affectionately spoofed what he called ‘’the human condition.”

I’m a big believer in affectionate spoofing, (acknowledging, of course, that I’m quite capable of missing the mark, due to my human condition.)

4 places you should not swipe your debit card”: According to the article, you should not use your debit card at gas stations, restaurants, stores and online. Hmm. That covers just about every place you might swipe your debit card. What’s left? Your nose?

Florida Elementary school stops serving Mountain Dew before test taking”: It was found to be interfering with the effectiveness of the Ritalin served at lunch.

Starbucks to enter soft-drink wars this summer”: The coffee giant won’t rest until it completely dominates the lucrative full bladder market.

Wire thieves caused cable outage, Comcast says”: The criminals thought they were stealing easy-to-sell, valuable, copper wire, but in reality took fiber optic cable, which has no “street value.” Doh! The mastermind genius criminals managed to corner a non-existent market.

B of A math error halts dividend increase”: Bank of America stunned investors, saying it was suspending plans for buying back stock and increasing its dividend after miscalculating its required capital levels, USA Today reports. If only the bank would face a fee, completely out of proportion to its math error, you know, exactly like how it deals with its customers who make a “math error” in their accounts.

5 things to know about Google’s self-driving cars”: It doesn’t answer what some people would like to know: Who, exactly, is clamoring for a self-driving car? It counts out anyone who likes to drive. That’s not a small number.

And for people who don’t like to drive, or cannot drive, or need assistance, a self-driving car likely would not be a reassuring or practical choice. Not to mention, that’s what mass transit is for. But sure, why not build even more cars to clog the highways, especially ones that can self-text.

Bertha’s bogged down, but Brenda to begin Northgate-to-UW tunnel”: Gee … does this practice of giving female names to “tunnel boring machines” represent some kind of retro Freudian confusion? Tunnel boring envy?

Feel free to free associate your way through the week.

Carol MacPherson: 425-339-3472,