Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Goodbye Phantom



Obviously I have taken an unexpected hiatus the past several weeks. Trying to get ready for Christmas and long hours at work stole any time I had to write. I hope you all had a joyous Christmas and were able to muster more holiday spirit than I was.

Christmas is my favorite time of the year so usually I have no problem finding the spirit of the season. This year, however, circumstances combined to exhaust me making it difficult to enjoy the festivities the way I would have liked. I did my best but sadly something happened the day after Christmas that buried any spirit I had left.

I have written a couple of blogs over the past 2 years about my cat Phantom. He has battled kidney disease, repeated urinary tract infections and e coli bacteria growing in his bladder. In November of this year he was also diagnosed with congenital heart disease and Sunday evening he succumbed to it. I took him to our emergency vet and held him as they put him to sleep.

I miss him terribly. My home is very quiet and not a fun place to be right now. Phantom was silent around other people but when it was just me and him he was very vocal, constantly meowing and purring. Because of having two jobs the past couple of years I was usually working or sleeping and it was difficult to find the time to give him all the attention he deserved and desired. Phantom found his own way to rectify that. Over the past year he had taken to not eating unless I sat on the floor with him, petting him and talking to him. It felt sort of like Leave it to Beaver where the whole family sat down and had their meals together.

Ever since his diagnosis I have been worried about him, knowing that any day could be his last. I believe that he sensed my anxiety and changed his behavior slightly to ameliorate some of it for me. He usually slept at the foot of my bed, but since his heart disease diagnosis he had been sleeping right next to me. All I had to do was reach out and I could pet him which would immediately elicit a deep purring. If I was lying on my back he liked to climb up and lay on my chest with his face only inches from mine, his motor humming like a locomotive.

I was Phantom’s 3rd owner. He spent the last 5.5 of his 10.5 years living with me and I was lucky to have him. He visited the vet A LOT and everyone there loved him as well. Thank you for indulging me. I hope posting this will help me heal from my loss. If you have a cat or a dog or any pet you love, give them a treat and a hug.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Crybaby


John Boehner, republican congressman from Ohio, is the current house minority leader and in 2011 he will be the house majority leader. He is also a giant, orange dick. Of course you knew that as soon as you read he was a republican. Sorry for being redundant. Mr. Boehner has promised his constituency of inbred tadpoles that he will not compromise with President Obama and the democrats when the republicans take over the leadership of the house and to show you how serious he is, he cried. Because you know . . . (sniff) he just (sob) . . . loves this country so much (boo hoo) . . . and his cushy . . . (wahh) do-nothing job . . . (oh mommy) with the exorbitant salary (I need a tissue) and free healthcare for life (waaaa) and lobbyist money buried in the root cellar with the apricot preserves (please don’t take away my government job; I have no marketable skills).

I have butchered the words to a good song as an anti-homage to John Boehner, a man I have absolutely no respect for and would wish into a job shoveling pig shit at a hog farm if I could:

Sung to the tune of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKqO0FeaCFQ

Well I won’t compromise
No I reject the word
You can make fun of my tan and make me cry
But I won’t compromise

No I’ll do what I want, won’t listen to anyone
And I’ll keep the voters from draggin’ me down
Gonna do what I want
… and I won’t compromise

Chorus:
(I won’t compromise)
Hey GOP, soon we’ll be in control
(and I won’t compromise)
Hey I’ll stick to being a shitty troll
and I won’t compromise

Well I know I suck, you want to hit me with your truck,
It’s an F-150 with tires twice my size
But I’ll keep on tellin’ my lies
… and I won’t compromise

Repeat chorus

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Black Hole of Comcastcutta

A few weeks ago I started having trouble with my cable box. Stations were digitized and becoming unwatchable. At first it was one or two channels, a week later it was a dozen, another week and more than half of the channels were scrambled. I was trying to watch a re-run of American Chopper but instead picked up something from a Romanian satellite, a game show called “Are You Smarter than an Ex-Communist Apparatchik”.

So last week I exchanged it for a new one. After I hooked it up I had to call Pasha in India, who is pretending to be American and obviously reading from a script, so she can “activate” the new box. It went off without a hitch and I thought, finally I can watch Dirty Jobs without wondering “Is that poo?” With my new box I could actually see that yes, it is poo, and Mike Rowe is covered in it. We were both living the American dream: I have cable and he will do anything for a buck.

My dream lasted only 36 hours however. On Saturday I turned to local channel 21 to watch the Auburn-South Carolina football game and was met by the message “one moment please—channel will be available shortly”. Apparently to Comcast “shortly” is defined as “an indeterminate amount of time between 1 second and an epoch”. I called my sister and asked her to check her TV. She was able to view channel 21 so well she could see into the player’s souls. Meanwhile I had lost all my channels and now had no signal at all. And the power button had gone out on the box. And the cat was meowing for food. And the temperature had dropped to 28 degrees. And somewhere in the world a volcano was erupting. And no matter how many times I closed my eyes and wished it so, Bar Rafaeli did not appear in my living room.

It was back on the phone to India for reactivation. I got another female reading from a script, who after sending a signal 3 times with no results, had me switch to channel 4 with no change. Then I was put on hold for 10 minutes forced to listen to the same 15 second snippet of muzak edited to play over and over again until Jesus returns or I have an aneurysm. Finally she came back from warming up her hummus or whatever she was doing and asked me for the 4th time to check the connections and make sure the cables were hooked up properly. Why wouldn’t she just tell me she had no idea what the hell was wrong so we could both get on with our lives?

She tells me to hook the cable directly to the TV. I do it and of course I get a signal. She’s getting ready to use her clean hand to pat herself on the back for a job well done until the ugly American points out that we are now bypassing the cable box. So she tells me to hook the cable back into the box and . . . Shock! Horrors! Surprise! I have no signal! She disappears again and while I’m waiting I absent-mindedly press a button on the front of the box and viola, the power light comes on! She gets back on the phone and repeats her script again which, by the way, needs a complete re-write. There’s no tension, no laughs and I didn’t feel empathy with any of the characters. I tell her the power light is on now and she sends her signal to no avail. Then she puts me on hold again.

Exceedingly frustrated by now I pick up the remote and change back to channel 3 just because I need to do something besides hold the phone and say “nope, no change” and holy effing shit, there’s a signal! Why is there a signal on channel 3 when she told me to change to channel 4? Why is everything so difficult? Why is cheese so expensive? Why can’t I find a non-abrasive soap that leaves me feeling clean and refreshed instead of oily and itchy?

The upshot is I spent 30 minutes on the phone with a “technician” and haphazardly fixed the damn thing myself. Hooray for technology, hooray for call centers, hoo-effin’-ray.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mr. Paterno Goes to Washington

My friend Rob sent me this link:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=hr111-1715

The House of Representatives passed a bill, HR1715, congratulating Joe Paterno on his 400th win as the coach of the Penn State football team. The bill also commends Paterno on his community service and the graduation rate of his players which is the best in the country. The vote for passage was 417-3. Rob rightfully asked the question: Who voted no and why? Why would you vote “no” on such an innocuous piece of legislative fluff? This is how I imagine the vigorous debate on the house floor by the three dissenters. I will call them Mr. Smith, Mr. Jones and Mr. Johnson.

Mr. Smith: I’m offended at this house wasting time on a bill like this when we have more important work ahead of us, like my bill to refer to anyone who believes in global warming as a “poopiehead”.
Mr. Jones: I agree, uh, not with Congressman Smith’s bill, that’s stupid, but I agree that this Joe Palermo thing is a waste of time.
Mr. Smith: Paterno.
Mr. Jones: Gesundheit
Mr. Johnson: The work of this house should be to ensure that we all have health care for life and plenty of lobbyist money to wipe our asses with.
Mr. Jones: I’m only interested in denying unemployment benefits, keeping health insurance from those that need it and golf outings with my secretary Misty.
Mr. Smith: What happened to Jasmine?
Mr. Jones: I promoted her to my chief of staff
Mr. Johnson: I still don’t see a pile of money in front of me, or a baggie of coke or two Asian hookers.
Mr. Smith: I just want to get the word “poopiehead” into a congressional bill.
Mr. Jones: I’ll vote for this bill if someone has a potato in their shoe.
Mr. Smith: Ha ha! Yeah, or a tuna salad sandwich in their wallet! Anyone? I’m really hungry.
Mr. Johnson: Well, I’m voting “no” so I can leave. I have undocumented Hondurans building an addition onto my mistress’s townhouse and they have to be monitored.
Mr. Smith: I vote “no” too, and would like to add for the official record: poopiehead!
Mr. Jones: “No”. I don’t care what Joe Palermo’s done. If it doesn’t involve screwing this great country for my own benefit I’m not interested.

Congratulations to JoePa on being the first Division I football coach to 400 wins. We are . . . Penn State!

Friday, November 19, 2010

S.O.S.! VCR ASAP!



The 80s and 90s were the heyday of VCRs. Whether I was using it to tape David Letterman while I was at work, recording Mystery Science Theater 3000 and circulating the tapes to friends or watching a movie rented from the local drugstore for 99 cents, my VCR was in constant use. Technology has moved forward and now we have DVD players and DVRs. If I was a rich man or semi-rich or middle class or solvent in any way I would already have set my home system up with a DVR to record more hours of programming than I could watch in my life-time and replaced all my old VHS tapes with shiny, new laser-etched discs from the future.

What I am, however, is an occupant of paycheck-to-paycheck island where the palm trees produce $1 packs of chicken franks and the water is filled with those damn Wal-Mart smiley faces. In the living room I do have a DVD player, but I can’t afford a DVR. Last year both my VCRs and my cheap DVD player in the bedroom all died within a month of each other. My sister gave me a VCR she wasn’t using so I at least have 1, but I would still like to have one in the bedroom.

Being an intrepid explorer I logged on to Google to search for a VCR. The initial response from the world’s largest search engine was “You’re still using a VCR? Hey everybody, this doofus is still using a VCR!” I thought that was a bit rude so I tried again. “Oh my God, you were serious? You’re actually searching for a VCR in 2010!” was the answer I received this time. So I said screw Google and tried other search engines with these results:

Microsoft—“Our algorithms are set up to search only for things that are relevant”
Yahoo—“VCRs? Yeah I remember them. They were still popular when I was on top. Good times, good times.”
Ask Jeeves—“Holy crap! Someone is using me to do a search! Yes! See world, I’m not dead yet!”

Unfortunately I had to crawl back to Google like the Alaskan GOP to Lisa Murkowski. I was led to Ebay where many sellers were offering used VCRs for small amounts of currency. So I bought one and when it arrived in the mail I was as excited as a child on Christmas morning who had asked for a toy fire engine and instead got a piece of molded Chinese plastic out of a happy meal. I hooked it up, popped in a tape and pressed play.

The movie I had blindly grabbed is a 1950s low budget sci-fi movie called The Deadly Mantis which is about a giant praying mantis on the attack. It’s been a while since I watched it but I remembered there being actors and scenery. What I was seeing from my new VCR was snow and jagged lines which made it very difficult to follow the plot. I stopped it and pressed rewind. The tape went back for a few seconds and shut off. I pressed again and again and again and again until the three minutes of tape had finally rewound completely. With a sad shake of my head and a realization that technologically I felt like an ape trying to open a nut with a rock, I pressed “eject”. Then I pressed it again. And again. And again. And again.

My tape is still in the VCR two days later. I get up every morning and think “maybe today’s the day” but alas, it’s not to be. This weekend I will have to perform surgery to get my movie back from the belly of the beast.

The Ebay seller was very apologetic and my money was refunded within hours of my contacting them. I’m still without a VCR in the bedroom. My rows of VHS tapes stare at me forlornly, wondering when they will again be a part of my life. Sadly, I have no answer for them.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Zen of Michelle Bachmann


Minnesota congresswoman Michelle Bachmann is back in the news. She did an interview with Chris Matthews where her appearance was glassy-eyed, and she gave the same typical, nonsensical answer to every question. Matthews wondered aloud whether Michelle was under hypnosis.

If only it were that simple Mr. Matthews. No, Michelle isn’t under the influence of an outside force, it’s an inside machine that has shoes clogging the gears. Michelle hasn’t been hypnotized, she’s batshit crazy.

That look in her eyes is a mixture of pixilation, stupidity, paranoia and a gene that scientists haven’t identified yet. It all combines to form the Zen of Michelle Bachmann. It allows her to remain in a state of oxymoronic manic calm that produces her ludicrous conspiracy theories, screaming monkey-with-a-microphone proclamations and unrelenting demands for attention.

Dr. Alan Rabinowitz of the Larry Fine Foundation for Ridiculous Thought, a non-partisan, non-denominational, non-profit, non-fat, low cholesterol think tank, has written a paper that includes a section on Michelle’s brain for the science journal “If the Neurons Aren’t Firing, It Must Be the Wiring”. In the paper entitled “On the Thought Processes of Lower Primates”, Dr. Rabinowitz argues that Michelle’s brain is unique even among other conservatives or other paranoid schizophrenics. When Michelle gives a speech or makes a TV appearance she looks normal: She looks like a soccer mom or a respected business woman. It’s only when you actually listen to what she she’s saying and try to understand how she got from point A to point 32 in a straight line, that you realize the depths of her whackjobian fugues.

So Chris Matthews, the next time you have Mrs. Bachmann on your program, remember you are dealing with a brain that works on a different level from anyone else. You have to ask her questions she can handle like, “What meds are you currently on?”, “Did they change your meds?” and “Have you taken your meds?”

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Don't Play B-17

Noises come from the radio that sound sort of like a train whistle. They repeat several times before Paul McCartney starts to sing. It’s the beginning of “Silly Love Songs” and I am immediately taken back to age 9, sitting in our kitchen on Charles Street eating my sugar-laden cereal for breakfast, getting ready for school, listening to WSBA 910 am radio with the Morning Mayor, Hal Raymond. That memory floods over me every time I hear “Silly Love Songs”.

We all have these moments of time floating around our heads like bubbles just waiting for the right song to burst them and release the memory. Whenever I hear “Monster Mash” around Halloween I remember being about 5 years old, sleeping with the lights on and the radio playing low to help me go to sleep. The last thing I needed was Dr. Frankenstein singing me a song when I was still convinced the closet door creaked open after my eyes closed.

Sometimes the song and memory are lodged in our brains because it was a traumatic event. When I was in 8th grade, myself and two friends started re-writing the lyrics to rock songs, replacing certain parts with words we had learned from a Richard Pryor album. Kiss’s “Detroit Rock City” was our magnum opus. Take a guess as to what word we replaced “rock” with. Yes, our humor was very sophisticated. Anyway, these ditties were supposed to be just between the 3 of us to provide sophomoric chuckles for our inchoate little minds. But one of my pre-pubescent cohorts in crime decided to pass “Detroit %$#@ City” around the room culminating in the TEACHER FINDING IT! Thank you St. Clair for giving me a stroke at age 13. To this day I can’t listen to “Detroit Rock City” without my chest tightening.

The length of time the memory represents is fluid as well. It could be an event that was over in minutes or it could be an entire week taken as a whole. INXS’s “Kick” album came out in 1987. I liked it but my fiancĂ© at the time loved it. When we went on vacation to Ocean City MD that September she popped it in every time we got in the car. Every time. By the end of our vacation I hated it, wanted to run over the cassette with the car until the plastic casing burst like an over-cooked sausage and the tape lay across the road like greasy intestines. Now every time I hear “Need You Tonight” I’m suddenly driving down Coastal Highway headed for the boardwalk screaming “Damn you Michael Hutchence!”

It’s an amazing power that music has on us: To be able to so easily replicate a moment in time even if it’s decades old or we were only children when it happened. The best part is you don’t even realize your mind is storing away that tune and memory tandem until years later when you’re in the grocery store and you recognize the muzak version of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”. Just like that I’m a high school freshman again and someone is playing the song during morning announcements. I have no idea why but I still remember.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Constitutional Wisdom of the GOP


One of the big selling points that Tea Party and some Republican candidates use while campaigning is that they will return the country to the constitution. This has always confused me because to my knowledge, the USA and the constitution are still married. I’ve scoured the papers and can’t find any news of a divorce or even a trial separation. Sure, the country has a wandering eye, trying to occasionally get away with something, but the Supreme Court always bring them back together. At the end of the day the country and the constitution are in bed whispering sweet nothings to each other.

So why do Tea Party candidates say they will return the country to the constitution? The answer, as far as I can see, is that they’re full of shit. Tea Partiers are filled with fake righteous indignation and have no idea how to express it without sounding like the racist douche bags they are so they spew out meaningless bullshit to get attention. As a candidate for office if you say you want less taxes and rule by the constitution, who can argue with you? If your opponent tries, the Tea Partiers rise up like the overinflated parade balloons they are and scream “the democrats want higher taxes and to ignore the constitution!” It’s a full proof plan to run for office without having to think or have any actual ideas.

You may ask “How well do the Tea Partiers and like minded republicans know the constitution?” As it turns out, not very well. Last week Christine O’Donnell was debating her opponent for the Delaware Senate seat, Chris Coons, when he stated that the constitution calls for the separation of church and state. O’Donnell responded "Where in the constitution is the separation of church and state?" Coons’ answer: the first amendment.

The FIRST amendment. He went on to quote from the document “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. O’Donnell responded "You're telling me that's in the first amendment?" This would be hilarious except that this woman is running for congress and has every chance of winning since our country elected George Bush TWICE! Some have argued that O’Donnell was referring to the fact that the words “separation of church and state” do not appear in the constitution. Nice try. Though those exact words do not appear in the constitution itself, Thomas Jefferson said the clause's intention was to erect "a wall of separation between church and state". The meaning has been clear for a very long time.

You could also argue “Who the hell knows the constitution by heart?” Valid point. I sure don’t, but then again, I’m not running for the Senate and haven’t used my knowledge of the constitution as a calling card. As a qualification for running for office O’Donnell talked about a graduate fellowship in constitutional government she received from the Claremont Institute. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? The Claremont Institute is a conservative think tank and the fellowship dragged on for a harrowing 7 days.

Our little constitutional scholar was also asked in another debate to talk about a recent Supreme Court decision she disagreed with and she couldn’t come up with one. Which brings us to Jon Runyan: Jon is an ex-NFL offensive lineman once voted the dirtiest player in the league. He’s now a republican running for congress in New Jersey. He was asked by his democratic opponent in a debate "Jon, it's a different branch of government, but can you give me an example from the last 10 or 15 years of a Supreme Court decision in which you strongly disagree?" Runyan’s response after a long, long pause?

“Dred Scott.”

Dred Scott, which was decided upon in 1857. I’m sure everyone feels warm and fuzzy that Jon Runyan disagrees with a ruling declaring slavery legal 153 years ago.

This is the constitutional wisdom of the GOP.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Doom in the Living Room

This is Howard Cosell welcoming you to this dark, lilliputian living room on a glorious Sunday evening in October. Tonight we bring you a heavyweight bout of epic magnitude between defending champion Left Foot and the challenger, a pair of steel-toed work boots. These pugilists have chiseled their bodies to Atlas-like proportions and honed their skills in the sweet science to the ne plus ultra of fustigation.

The cat has meowed signaling the opening of round 1. The boots, a revelation of quotidian practicality in brown suede, are lying on the floor in a heap. Here comes Left Foot walking down the hall, bare foot, flaunting his confidence like a preening peacock. He walks by and nimbly avoids his opponent to the chagrin of all footwear everywhere watching tonight’s broadcast. Round 1 goes to Left Foot.

There’s the cat’s meow for Round 2. The boots have been moved to a spot in front of the TV and here comes Left Foot to change the channel. These are the moments that crystallize in my mind why we as a global society are drawn to this barbaric yet contemplative sport. Left Foot is stepping into the viper’s pit and the boots are prepared to strike with eloquent ferocity. Oh my! Left Foot steps on the boots! He’s wobbling, but now has regained his balance. He’s picking up the boots and throwing them across the room!

What a turn of events. As Robert Burns wrote so profoundly “the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray”. Round 2 has gone to Left Foot and the gallant pair of boots has retreated in abject humiliation.

The cat has meowed for Round 3. The boots are lying next to the couch in a blind spot where the light doesn’t reach. This is an all-in gambit from this valiant competitor. Left Foot is in the dining room. And here he comes! He’s stepping into the living room and he doesn’t see the boots. Left Foot has slammed hard into the steel toe of the boots and is hurt. Down goes Left Foot! Down goes Left Foot! The champion is down on the living room floor writhing in agony. What a stratagem by the boots to just lie there like a coiled cobra and wait for Left Foot to trip over them. The referee has stopped the fight! Its over! The champ is still down. We have a new world champion! All hail the steel-toed work boots!

Join us next week when we bring you another Sunday night fight, Right Knee vs. Coffee Table.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Morning Devotions

Dear God,

Have you been checking your Facebook page lately? (By the way, I thought there was a limit of 5000 friends, how did you get 3.5 billion? Flaunting the rules is not cool) If you haven’t noticed, a lot of people have been posting a status asking you to give us back Johnny Cash and we’ll give you Justin Bieber.

First of all, apparently I’m not getting your newsletter anymore because I didn’t know we were allowed to ask for this kind of thing. Please have one of the girls in the office check that, I’m sure it’s just a clerical error as I don’t remember clicking unsubscribe.

Anyway, now that I know that we can make this type of request I have a few of my own:

1) If you give us back Stevie Ray Vaughn we’ll give you Madonna. The argument: Stevie Ray was only 35 when he died in a helicopter crash and I never even got to see him play live. He had just gotten clean and sober a short while before his death. I can imagine the great songs he still had to write and blues riffs to play. As for Madonna, I know she’s not as big a star as she used to be, but come on, I know you. You must still be peeved about the Sex book and the blasphemous religious imagery in her videos. We get a great guitarist back; you get some of that divine retribution you love so much.

2) Give us back Bill Hicks and we’ll give you Carlos Mencia. The argument: I’m going to play the age card again with Bill who was only 32 when he died. I’ve never heard anyone so smart, quick on his feet, vulgar, paranoid, profane, laugh out-loud funny and thought-provoking at the same time. As for Mencia, he’s made a career of being a Mexican telling Mexican jokes but he’s not of Mexican descent. He’s half German and his name isn’t Carlos, its Ned. And he’s a prolific joke stealer. With the political and social situation in this country we need Bill Hicks back to guide us through the minefield, not a poser who can’t think for himself.

3) Give us back Keith Moon of the Who and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin and we’ll give you Phil Collins. The argument: Bonham and Moon were two of the greatest rock drummers ever. Slight drinking problem, I know, but if we can get Aerosmith clean, we can get Keith and John clean. Phil Collins used to write good songs in the 70s and 80s, but now? Enough already with the Disney music and the saccharine drenched love ballads. We’re drowning in sugar-substitute covered lyrics and generic piano noodling. How do you go from In the Air Tonight to the theme of an animated Tarzan movie? I know you like Sussudio, here’s a chance to have the man who wrote it.

4) Give us back Bon Scott to sing for AC/DC and we’ll give you any indie hipster band you want: The argument: No offense to Brian Johnson, he’s done good work, but Bon Scott is the true lead singer of AC/DC. The band’s brand of ballsy, bluesy fast paced rock was a perfect match for Scott’s caterwauling voice and rampant machismo. As for these indie bands, I’m tired of Rolling Stone telling me what the next great band is only to listen to them and hear 40 minutes of droning, self-indulgent, our-songs-are-deep-and-meaningful-but-you’re-not-cool-enough-to-understand-them noise. AC/DC’s songs don’t pretend to be meaningful, they just rock.

I’ve got more of these requests but I’ll save them for another time. I don’t want to come off like Charlie Brown’s sister, Sally, writing out her Christmas list asking for 10s and 20s. But these are important requests. The state of music and comedy today are a sad shell of what they once were. With all the problems in the world we could use a good laugh and some good tunes.

Until next time,

You know who

P.S. Have you been getting my emails about the lottery? Because I’m still not winning. Check your spam filter. Thanks.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Making a Boob of Myself

Someone wrote a blog on the Huffington Post saying that they had seen quite enough of Katy Perry’s breasts lately. Whoa, whoa, whoa . . . whoa . . . whoa. That is blasphemy. Let’s back this male sexist pig train up, switch tracks and take the lacey black line to Boobville, Breast Town, Hooter Junction and Cucamonga!

I don’t find Perry all that attractive as a whole and her music is unlistenable, but she has a rack that is, in a word, inspirational. Just thinking about them . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Huh? What? Oh, right. I don’t think the world has seen enough of Katy’s best assets. I think they deserve their own show on MTV or VH1, you know, one of the networks that already show nothing but garbage.

Here are some ideas:
1) Give the twins names like Freebie and the Bean and make them private detectives with Aaron Sorkin penning snappy dialog for them.
2) Make a cartoon calling them the Scooby Snacks where they solve mysteries with Shaggy, Scoob and Velma.
3) You could call them Cagney and Lacey in a remake of the 80s police drama and get Steven Boccho to produce.
4) J.J. Abrams hasn’t written a series in the last 5 minutes so name Katy’s breasts Kirk and Spock for Star Trek: Space Station 38D

These were just off the top of my head; I’m sure professionals can come up with even worse ideas. The important thing is to keep Katy’s tatas in the public eye for all to enjoy. Katy, you got ‘em so flaunt ‘em, every chance you get. Just, please, don’t sing anymore.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Tea Party Plan for America

Today we talk to Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell, two Tea Party candidates for the United States senate. Welcome.
Sharron: I hate the media, always asking questions I can’t answer. Don’t ask me any of those.
Christine: You’re not masturbating while you write this are you? I'm going to be sick.
CO: Ok, enough with the opening remarks, let’s get started. Sharron you have called for the abolishment of social security and Medicare. What’s your plan to take care of the millions of elderly poor who depend on these programs?
Sharron: I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question.
CO: Poor, elderly, need money and health care, how do you provide?
Sharron: I couldn’t hear you.
Christine: I’d like to answer.
CO: Please.
Christine: They need to stop having sex.
CO: How will that pay their bills and provide health care?
Christine: I don’t know, but they should still stop.
CO: Ok, let’s table the first question and talk about your obsession with sex Christine.
Christine: I’m not obsessed with sex. I want a world without sex.
CO: You do know that the people in the Bible had sex, right?
Christine: I don’t agree with that. I believe the original texts of the Bible were mistranslated. Those people were just snuggling. It was cold.
CO: It was cold in the Fertile Crescent 365 days a year?
Christine: I believe so.
CO: You’re parents had sex, or you wouldn’t be here.
Christine: No!
CO: You’re parents had sex.
Christine: La la la, I can’t hear you! La la la!
CO: Wow. Let’s turn back to Sharron Angle.
Sharron: I don’t like that question.
CO: I haven’t asked you anything yet.
Sharron: I’m right about everything.
CO: One of the main tenets of the Tea Party is to lower taxes. This is an easy platform to run on, but how do you plan to pay for things without the tax revenue?
Sharron: Yard sales.
CO: What?
Sharron: Government sponsored yard sales every weekend. I have one every year and easily clear $500.
CO: In order to match the tax money brought in you would have to have 4 billion yard sales.
Sharron: No, my people tell me only a dozen or so are needed.
CO: Tax revenue is $2 trillion a year.
Sharron: No! La la la! I can’t hear you! La la la!
Christine: La la la!
Sharron: La la la!
CO: There you have it folks. The Tea Party plan for America: no money, no insurance, no assistance, no sex. Sweet death, take us all now.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A York Fair Fable

Here in York County, PA every September after Labor Day we have the York Fair. It’s the oldest county agricultural fair in the United States at 245 years. The York Fair has happened every year since 1765, which is pretty amazing.

I went to the fair last Saturday and it was a lovely day. The Sun was showering us with healthy rays, leaving out the gamma, x-rays and the ultraviolet radiation. Clouds danced across the sky doing a delicate samba. Mothers were reading poetry to their children while fathers hummed madrigals in the background. As I traipsed down the midway, bluebirds alighted on my arms, singing a song they had written for me extolling my virtues and damning my enemies.

A few hours into my day at the fair, however, I made the acquaintance of the worst merchant/salesman the blackest depths of hell has ever produced. Ok, that’s overselling him, but he really bugged me. His claustrophobic tent was crammed to the rafters with t-shirts, baseball hats, stickers and sundry crap he bought off of EBay. I went in to look around and the first thing that irritated me like a prickly heat rash was that he didn’t have the price of anything displayed. If you wanted to know how much something cost you had to ask about each item, picking his brain like snatching a grape from the vine. Feeling my annoyance, the bluebirds sat outside the tent beating a drum for my vexation.

I don’t know the merchant’s name but I shall refer to him as Dipshit McGee. I perused Dipshit’s merchandise and found myself interested in 3 Philadelphia Phillies baseball caps. In my friendliest voice I asked, “Dear shop keep, pray how much legal tender are you asking for your baseball-logo adorned chapeaus?” Instead of looking at me and engaging me in conversation, Dipshit folded a t-shirt, responding briskly, “They’re all different prices.” The bluebirds’ drum beat got louder.

Continuing to fold his precious shirt he asked, “Which ones are you interested in?” I replied in a humble tone “Why, the triumvirate of Philadelphia Phillies caps hither”, and I helpfully pointed with my index finger.

Here is what I was looking for in an answer: taking a cue from my helpful first digit, Dipshit McGee walks over and using his own pointing finger, illustrates each hat one at a time and says, “This one is $8, this one is $12 and this one is $25, good sir.”

This is the answer I received: “They’re anywhere from 8 to 25 dollars” Dipshit mumbled disinterestedly while extending his love affair with the folded shirt, petting it in a seedy, sexual way while calling it “my darling Clementine” and puffing breaths from his cheeks like a woman in labor. At this point the bluebirds’ drumhead rolled like the rushing ocean waves in my ears.

I don’t know whether he was insulted by my receding hairline, didn’t believe that I actually had $8 in my pocket, or perhaps he believed his existence of selling trinkets from a tent in between cattle judging and hot tub sales was a hollow mockery of what life should be and for this he hated all his customers. Whatever the reason I determined I would not spend one ducat in his tent. I threw him a stout, “good day” and left his shop. As I passed my honor guard of bluebirds I instructed them, “Burn it down boys.”

A few vigorous flutters of their hearty wings and an ember from the stove fire of the Italian sausage shop next door lit the offending tent. By the time the blaze started I was long gone, already in line for my chocolate milkshake.

The moral of the story? Act like you want my 8 bucks you piece of crap. I know, it’s not as lofty and poetic as the messages in Aesop’s fables, but I’m working on it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Boo!

Have you ever been really scared? Like when you’re watching the shower scene from Psycho, the ending of Halloween or any Whoopi Goldberg movie. As the feeling passed over you, how did you refer to it? People have many different sayings to express their momentary frisson of fear.

You scared the hell out of me—This is actually a good thing. You should be glad to get those demons out of you, even if it took watching Sister Act 2 to do it.

I was scared shitless—Now this is scared. If you excrete every drop of waste in your body, you must have found out that you can’t afford cable or satellite TV and are stuck with an indoor antenna that picks up 3 channels. Sometimes. I was in this circle of hell for a year so you have my sympathy.

You scared the living shit out of me—Hmm. You never hear anyone say “you scared the dead shit out of me” do you? Can shit be alive or dead? Since it’s in your body and you’re alive, it must contain living particles in which case this variation has a corollary to being without cable TV. But since shit can’t eat, breathe, talk or think on its own, you’d have to say it’s not living which means this saying makes no sense. Of course, neither does me spending 60 words writing about it.

That scared the bejeesus out of me—Honestly, I don’t know what “the bejeesus” is, so I don’t know how you get it scared out of you. Possibly it’s related to the heebie jeebies or maybe the hoochie coochie but probably not the cha cha, can can or Walla Walla. To get something scared out that you knew was living inside of you but you don’t even know what it is, I believe would take listening to Celine Dion screech her way through an entire Vegas show. I choose to keep the bejeesus inside of me, thank you.

She scared the pants off of me—I’m not sure how this happens. I know alcohol can make your pants come off and category 5 hurricane force winds could do it but I’m not sure what kind of scare could be responsible. Possibly watching The View and realizing this is how far our culture has fallen.

You almost scared the life out of me—Obviously this is the ultimate and as such, is very personal. You need to figure out for yourself what could scare you close to death. Myself, it would have to be if the publishing world decided that only one author was allowed to write novels anymore and they chose as The One, the God-awful hack James Patterson.

Now I’m going to tell you something that should scare you and we’ll see what your reaction is. Let me know whether you lose your shit, your bejeesus or drop trou. Here goes: There are 3 million Americans unemployed, some for more than a year, but The Situation from Jersey Shore stands to make $5 million this year.

I need to go change my underwear.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pick Up Your Guitar


REO Speedwagon -- Flying Turkey Trot



I’m going to talk about a guy you’ve probably never heard of, but who I think in the music world has always been underappreciated. I am a fan of 70s era REO Speedwagon. Gary Richrath was one of the primary songwriters and lead guitar player. When discussions of rock’s greatest guitar players come up Gary’s name is never mentioned. He’s basically been forgotten. His band is treated as a joke which they really don’t deserve. In the 70s they had hits with Ridin’ the Storm Out, Roll with the Changes, Back on the Road Again, Time for Me to Fly, and 157 Riverside Avenue. These were great examples of the hard rock era.

I have no problem considering the 80s version of Speedwagon a joke because that’s when douche bag lead singer Kevin Cronin turned the band into a Peter Cetera-esque treacle producing crap factory. They deserve the non-success they’ve had since Cronin took control of the band. It was Cronin who, for all intents and purposes, forced Richrath to quit the band in 1989 because Gary wanted to return Speedwagon to being a ROCK band and Cronin wanted to write and sing more brain melting ballads.

REO Speedwagon’s 1979 album Nine Lives remains one of my favorites. Back then local rock radio station FM 104 would play a new release in its entirety every Friday at midnight. I remember lying on my bed and listening to Nine Lives and loving it immediately. The album was filled beginning to end with Richrath’s attitude and great guitar playing. I went out the next day to the Music Merchant and bought my copy which I still have.

REO Speedwagon started changing to a more pop oriented sound as the decade rolled over into the 80s and had their biggest selling release with Hi Infidelity. I like the album to a certain extent but this was the first record where Richrath’s rock n’ roll soul was being subdued. Each subsequent release over the years moved farther and farther into what Bart Simpson calls “wuss rock”. Suddenly the band that Gary Richrath had put on the map with his hard edged political protest song Golden Country had turned into Bread.

After leaving REO Speedwagon, Richrath put an eponymous band together which released one CD in 1992 and toured extensively. Another CD was started in 1998 but never finished. Since then he’s disappeared from music. Apparently drugs and alcohol have played a large part in his becoming a ghost and while this is all too common in the music industry, it’s still sad. I have to admit that I paid money to see the current touring version of REO Speedwagon a few years ago and now I’m kind of sorry I did. I helped perpetuate the fraud that Kevin Cronin is passing off. I believe it was just him and Bruce Hall as original members with a bunch of 20-something hired hand musicians surrounding them.

Without Gary Richrath there is no REO Speedwagon. Pick up your guitar again Gary. Rock n’ roll needs people like you.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Day Hell Tried to Deny Me a Tuna Salad Sandwich

I still remember the day, an innocuous Tuesday. An azure sky spread over the world like a protective cloak. Wisps of cumulous clouds hung above us like ornaments on a charm bracelet. Squirrels and rabbits played in my yard, dancing to whatever music is running through the head of a squirrel or rabbit if indeed any music is running through their heads, which would be pretty cool. I wonder if scientists have ever studied that, whether squirrels and rabbits hear music when they play.

Anyway, my point is it was a nice day. I was going to work and decided to stop at the grocery store on the way to get lunch. I knew exactly what I wanted so I would only need an extra 5 minutes. When I walked to my car if I had only noticed the burning, sulfurous magma of the underworld bubbling up through the earth, I would have known how wrong I was.

The drive up to the store was idyllic. Traffic was light and a good song on the radio pied-pipered me to my destination. I pulled into the strip mall parking lot and that was where the Devil’s minions began to pick at me like gnats. I started to make a right hand turn to drive past the pet store. There was a gentleman crossing the road in front of me. To say he was taking his time would be to say Michelle Bachmann is just a little eccentric. I don’t know the man’s name but I was calling him a bad word so for editorial purposes let’s just refer to him as Expletive. Expletive was taking steps equal to the length of a paramecium. In the time it took him to cross, 3 species of animals became extinct. When I was finally able to finish my right hand turn the Sun had completed burning all its hydrogen and was now burning helium for fuel. The dude was walking really slowly.

Although most of my extra five minutes had been used up I decided to press on. I drove down to the supermarket parking lot and made a right hand turn to look for a parking space. I should have been more observant. I should have looked to see if there was a sign at the front of the aisle that read “this aisle only for people who are willing to wait as long as it takes for the first available parking space rather than moving on”.

Sitting in the middle of the aisle in front of me was a car that was waiting to pull into the closest space. They were hindered in doing this because the car aside of the space had their doors open while they loaded groceries and pre-teen children. These two characters in my little playlet shall be now known as Nasty Swear Word and Word My Mother Wouldn’t Want Me to Say.

I couldn’t get around Nasty Swear Word and they were apparently willing to wait until the end of time to get that space. Word My Mother Wouldn’t Want Me to Say was moving at the same pace as Expletive had been moving. I knew now that no matter how quickly I purchased my tuna salad sandwich I was going to be late for work so I stayed where I was and waited impatiently for Word My Mother Wouldn’t Want Me To Say to close their doors and Nasty Swear Word to sssllloooooowwwwwlllyyyyy pull into the available space. I parked my own car and walked in to buy my lunch with several of the Devil’s sidekicks nipping at my heels. As I later pulled out of the parking lot they were still hanging onto the hood of my car chattering and making faces at me. I managed to shake them off about a mile down the road and was minion-free the rest of the evening.

You may be inclined to say I have exaggerated this story, but I want you to know it is 100% true. It happened just the way I have told it here and you’d have to be a communist or a libertarian to think otherwise.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lady Gaga, Will You Please Gogo Away?

Who is this person, this Lady Gaga who has invaded our innocent planet with a Biblical plague of cheap tranny makeup, derivative music, and the costumes from a New York City Halloween parade? What thigh of what mythical creature was she torn from? Who said we needed another Elton John? I thought we were doing fine with the one we already have. Is our Elton in the shop? Is Gaga a loaner Elton?

While I think Gaga’s costumes are less about being flamboyant and more about covering up limited musical ability, I wouldn’t mind so much if she weren’t so ubiquitous. I realize publicity is necessary but does it have to be every single magazine cover I see? Does she have to be on every news and entertainment website I log on to? Last week I saw her on the cover of Bass Fisherman Quarterly dressed as a smallmouth with sunglasses in the shape of an Evenrude motor.

I understand People and US Weekly posting endless interviews and articles, because they’re bland, treacle producers and Gaga is the newest mindless, look-at-me pop princess. But why is “This Week in the Koran” doing an interview? Did The Zucchini Farmers and Gourd Consortium of America really have to do a style piece in their newsletter comparing her meteoric rise to the increased popularity of cucumbers among married couples ages 25-35?

Enough already! I would like a few of the precious days I have left on this earth to be Gaga free. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d type.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ESPN: The French Whores of the Sports World

When basketball star LeBron James was ready to announce where he was going to play basketball next year, he suggested to ESPN that he do it in an hour long special they could air called “The Decision”. I wonder what other profound names they fed to the pigs to see what got shit back out: “A Complete Waste of 60 Minutes”, “Insult to Our Intelligence”, “The LeBron James Dancing Bear Variety Hour”, “Can You Believe The Shit They Put on TV” or “’What Else is on Theater’ Starring The Who Gives a Rat’s Ass Players”.

Since it took LeBron 3 seconds to say he was going to Miami, they only had 59 minutes and 57 seconds of air time to fill with sneaker commercials and prattle from the network’s legion of talking bobbleheads.

This fiasco was LeBron’s idea and I understand why ESPN said yes. James is a singular talent and the organization he chose to play for instantly became the favorite to win the NBA championship next year. They knew basketball fans all over the world would watch. That means high ratings, which translates into money which sets the suits in their ivory towers all aquiver and leaves them sweating bourbon back into their glass of ice. In the end “The Decision” was nothing more than an ode to narcissism and it left a bad taste in every sports fan’s mouth.

I’m surprised that no one at ESPN has suggested making The Decision a weekly show. For example: This week on The Decision Shaquille O’Neal decides which team to beg for a contract allowing him one more year of non-production for which he will get paid more money than some small countries have in reserve. Don’t miss next week when the Cincinnati Bengals decide to thumb their nose at the wrath of God and sign Terrell Owens for a year.

ESPN has recently compounded their affront to journalism by spending an entire day reporting AS A FACT that Brett Favre had told the Minnesota Vikings that he was retiring from the NFL. The next day we find out it was nothing more than a rumor which Brett eventually denied by saying “I have not made a final decision because I’m a prima donna drama queen who milks TV time like a farmer’s cool, morning hand on a cow’s teats.” I’m paraphrasing but that’s what I heard.

I watched and listened to some of the coverage because it was inescapable if you’re a sports fan. ESPN tied our hands and feet to an uncomfortable vinyl-covered kitchen chair using coarse horse-hair rope and held us hostage. ESPN was definitely not reporting it as a rumor. They were acting as if it were a foregone conclusion. The only reason to report it this way is the same reason they aired “The Decision”: ratings.

So while ESPN has always been about making money like any network is, lately they have become the French whores of the sports world, selling themselves for little more than a baguette and a verse of the Marseillaise.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Come On Nevada, You Can Do Better Than Sharron Angle

Sharron Angle is a senate candidate from Nevada. She’s a tea bagger so she’s loaded with crazy like when she refuses to take questions at a news conference because she thinks reporters should report only the news she wants them to. Yeah, that doesn’t violate our right to free speech or a free press, you know, those pesky things we’ve been fighting for 230 years to have.

Angle is a Christian and mixes her faith with her politics. She recently said the Obama administration’s agenda goes against the first commandment: thou shalt have no other gods before me. She apparently believes that the government helping people with health care, unemployment compensation, social security and Medicare is turning the government into an idol that people are worshipping.

1st way this is ignorant: If companies sold health insurance that was affordable to the masses, the government wouldn’t need to participate in the process so the real demons here are the pharmaceutical and insurance industries who have colluded to keep prices out of reach of regular citizens while posting billion dollar earnings. Nero fiddles while Rome burns. Also, people would rather be working than be on the dole. Maybe Sharron you should spend less time complaining about the democrats and tell us your amazing ideas on how to create jobs. Typical tea bagger: all hot air and no balloon.

2nd way this is ignorant: Proverbs 19: 17 If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord and he will repay you.
Matthew 7: 12 Do unto others as you would have them do to you
Matthew 25:40 And the King will say “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these, my brother and sisters, you were doing it to me!”
Matthew 5:42 Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you

You need to read more than the commandments Sharron. You have to read the whole book

3rd way this is ignorant: Say hello to Bob. Bob is a Christian who lost his job and his health insurance. He exists on unemployment compensation and can’t afford to go to the doctor when he’s sick. Bob prays for a good job but he has some flaws in his character that he has to fix before God will reward him with the job he desires. So for the time being God is using the unemployment money to help Bob until he makes himself right. My guess is, Sharron, that you never thought of things this way, that God might be using our government to help his children on their way to a better life.

I need to break something else to your holier-than-thou self. You don’t sit at the right hand of God, nor the left, not at his feet or even in the first row of the auditorium. You’re still out in the hallway trying to convince St. Peter that the ticket you printed off of the internet isn’t a fake.

Sharron Angle, you believe that God told you to run for the Nevada senate seat and that may be true. However, God told me that you’re an idiot so one of us is getting our messages wrong. I don’t think it’s me because God also told me I’d never win the lottery and he’s been spot on with that one so far.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sleep, Perchance to Sleep Some More

Sleep and I used to have a solid relationship. I worked one job, day work, got home around 5 or 6, ate dinner, watched TV, then went to bed and got my needed 8 hours. Weekends came along and Sleep would slip me an extra hour or two with a wink and a nod. I never took her for granted and she was always there for me. But 2 years ago I had to take new jobs. I started working second shift with another in the early morning. My relationship with Sleep hasn’t been the same since.

I remember that first night getting off at midnight. I poured myself into the car, exhausted, my muscles heavy with fatigue. Sleep drove me home but she took me the long way, by the lake. When we reached the inlet she opened the door and pushed me out, leaving me for dead in the shallow water.

I survived the bitch’s attack. I wanted to recover and return strong like Clint Eastwood in Fistful of Dollars. I was going to show Sleep I didn’t need her. But all my brave talk couldn’t stand up to the rigors of the hours. It was only a few weeks before I was dreaming of death as if I were in the third act of a Shakespeare tragedy.

I was barely getting 6 hours a night. That’s enough for some people. There are folks who only have a casual, friends-with-benefits relationship with sleep. But I needed a commitment. I needed 8 hours a day. I wasn’t going to call her though, not after what she had done to me.

I tried the usual tricks to stay awake like consuming copious amounts of sugar and caffeine while working at night. All that happened was I gained 15 pounds, started seeing a snow shower of glittering lights everywhere I went and believed I was a small woodland creature named Frisky Fritters.

Sleep taunted me. She knew I was jonesing bad. When I would get home from my second job in the morning I’d see her standing across the street in a French maid’s outfit dusting telephone poles which even in my weakened condition I knew was ridiculous. You don’t dust telephone poles; you give them a nice sheen with a can of Pledge. Come one, I know I was tired but I wasn’t a fool.

The lingerie didn’t work so she’s started calling and leaving messages on my answering machine. They’re sexy entreaties to the wonderland of REM sleep and dreams of 13 inch memory foam mattresses with 1500 count Egyptian cotton sheets and full body pillows. I haven’t answered her siren song yet but her voice is so mellifluous; it envelopes me in a cloud. A soft, white, fluffy, drifting cloud that . . .zzzzzzzzzzzz

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Out of Context

The big story in the news right now is Shirley Sherrod, an employee of the USDA and an African American, resigning under pressure after Fox News showed a videotape of a speech she made where she seems to admit to showing prejudice against a white family she was supposed to help when they were about to lose their farm. The one problem is Fox edited the video before showing it. If you viewed it in its original form you find out the incident she’s talking about happened over 20 years ago and the whole reason she was telling the story was to illustrate that she realized her feelings were wrong. She changed her mind and did help the white farmers and not only saved their farm for them, but became life-long friends with the now elderly couple.

I was wondering how Fox News would feel if say, MSNBC, showed video about them, only they edited it first to, oh let’s say LIE to the public. I think it would go something life this:

In an interview night time gas bag Sean Hannity says “I’m a Dickensian scholar. Charles Dickens’ writing has guided my life”, but MSNBC airs Sean saying only “I’m a Dick.”

Prime time bag o’ shit Bill O’Reilly had this story to tell: “I was in Vegas recently. You know I’m not an easy sell, but I was knocked off my ass by an amazing show starring a clown with a monkey. There is no doubt this lends clowns new credibility in the industry.” But this is what MSNBC airs on Countdown: “I’m an ass clown with no credibility.”

Let’s say Glenn Beck was doing one of his unfunny comedy routines where he compares everything he doesn’t like or agree with to the Nazis. Instead of showing his performance as he filmed it, MSNBC put on the screen a still picture of Glenn with his arm in the air and behind him they played the soundtrack to an old Nazi propaganda movie with the crowd repeatedly shouting “Sieg heil!”

What if there was a story about the plethora of blond Stepford wives that read the news throughout the day on Fox and one of them is quoted as saying: “We got our jobs because we made Rupert Murdoch see how hard we work.” What if MSNBC re-edited that and broadcast her quote as “We got our jobs because we made Rupert Murdoch hard.”

While all of these examples would be hilarious, the fact is that doing this would be unethical and an affront to journalism. The problem is that no one at Fox News knows what the words “journalism” or “ethics” mean.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hey, North Iowa Tea Party, Shut the #@$* Up!


The North Iowa Tea Party put a billboard on display in downtown Mason City this week. The point was to say that President Obama is a socialist and socialism is bad (editorial note: no he’s not and not necessarily). The poster displayed 3 photos. Obama is in the middle, flanked by Adolph Hitler and Vladimir Lenin. That’s right, the grunting, huffing, baboons who run the North Iowa Tea Party thought it appropriate for the president of the United States, who so far has done nothing more evil than tell the Republicans to come up with better ideas or shut up, to be compared to a man who murdered 6 million Jews and another that started a revolution that led to deaths of approximately 30 million Russians.

Co-founder Bob Johnson had this to say: "The purpose of the billboard was to draw attention to the socialism. It seems to have been lost in the visuals. The pictures overwhelmed the message.” Translation: “Duhhhh, doy, duhhhhh, I’m a moron. Mommy cuts my food for me because they won’t let me use anything sharp. I think I just pooped. Duhhhhhhhhhhhh.”

There are about 200 members of the North Iowa Idiots Club. How did 200 people this ignorant and hapless find each other? Do they have mixers in Iowa so cross-eyed mouth breathers find each other to rut and breed more small-brained dipshits? “Welcome one and all to the Iowa ‘I’m-a-Dumbass’ Cotillion. Hors d’oeuvres are on the left, room keys on the right. Remember, don’t screw anyone smarter than you, we’re de-evolving here in Iowa. No more thumbs! No more thumbs! No more thumbs!”

Another delicious quote about this story comes from John White, a coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, apparently a separate group of bigoted turds. Mr. White believes “the billboard is offensive and unproductive” but also “I can understand the North Iowa group's perception that Obama is "Hitler-esque”.”

I try to keep these blog posts light and humorous but I am so fucking sick of these Tea Party retards comparing Obama to Hitler I could, to steal a line from Bill Hicks, puke blood.

Adolph Hitler forced his way into power. Obama was chosen in a fair, democratic election. Adolph Hitler murdered 6 million Jews. Let me know when you find Obama’s concentration camps Tea Party boneheads. Hitler invaded Poland, England, France, etc. in an effort to take over the world. Obama’s trying to end the wars we’re in to bring our troops home. Hitler took over the army to use it to suppress any freedom the German people once had. You’re still free to speak the bile that spews from your mouths and carry the guns that prop up your non-existent manhood.

On the billboard under the three photos is the phrase: "Radical leaders prey on the fearful & naive."

Pretty ironic considering that’s exactly what the North Iowa Tea Party is doing.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chats with Chumps

Hello and welcome to the first edition of my imaginary talk show Chats with Chumps. Today’s guest is Ben Nelson, Democratic Senator from Nebraska.

CO: Mr. Nelson, recently congress failed to pass an extension of unemployment compensation leaving over 2 million Americans with no source of income to support their families. While this sort of behavior is expected from the Republicans whose attitude toward poor people has always been “suck it”, Democrats have historically supported social programs such as this. You, however, chose to go to the dark side this time. So my question is why are you such an asshole?
BN: I, uh . . . well . . . what?
CO: I mean what was your thinking in denying struggling families the only lifeline they currently have since the administration’s job creation program has failed like a Toyota accelerator?
BN: My thinking was to do what’s best for this country . . .
CO: And you think what’s best is for people to lose their homes and not be able to eat?
BN: Look, many of these people like being on the dole. They’d rather have the government take care of them than work for a living.
CO: Work for a living? You mean like you: making $200,000 a year to sit in meetings, talk on the phone and play golf while utilizing government subsidized health care for yourself and your family for life?
BN: Yes. Wait . . .
CO: What’s the real reason you voted “no” to helping hard working Americans while your body was clothed in a $500 suit and your ass sat in a $2000 leather chair?
BN: It’s our debt. Our deficit is $13 trillion. We can’t keep adding to it, we have to find another way.
CO: One of the ways to reduce the deficit is to kick start the economy. A way to start the economy is to give people money to spend and they receive money to spend by having a gainful job. You’ve provided no jobs and are now helping clueless Republicans take away the only source of income the unemployed have, leaving them with nothing. Explain again how this will lower the deficit?
BN: All I’m saying is that we have to start somewhere. We can’t keep adding to the debt willy-nilly.
CO: But Willy and Nilly can’t find a job. The unemployment check was the only thing keeping them afloat. Now they’re in jeopardy of losing their house and they have no money for food or the medical bills when they go into renal failure.
BN: I’m just trying to do what’s best for the country.
CO: There you have it folks: Ben Nelson believes what’s best for America is for everyone to be living under freeway overpasses and eating beetles out of the dirt.
BN: Now just a minute . . .

Join me next time on Chats with Chumps when we interview Steve Jobs and ask him why everything Apple produces is so cool but costs so damn much.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Coming This Fall

The TV season used to run from September through May. There were four networks with original programming so you only had to memorize a few channel numbers to get your viewing schedule planned out. Now every nickel and dime network is creating their own original programs. The “seasons” are only 10 or 12 episodes long and they start and stop at any time throughout the calendar year. With so many new avenues I thought I’d pitch a few ideas of my own to every network on the dial and see if I can get a bite.

Bingo and Bango
—Identical twin cops get re-assigned as each other’s new partner. Bingo is obsessive/compulsive, reading a criminal his Miranda rights as many as 30 times. Bango is bi-polar playing good cop/bad cop all by himself. Watch the fireworks each week as they try to blend their mental illnesses to solve crimes and not piss off their glue sniffing captain.

Scratch MacDougal—written for the David Kelley assembly line of lawyer shows, this one finds lovable curmudgeon Scratch MacDougal taking any case that walks through his door to pay alimony to 7 ex-wives and keep current girlfriend Maxine happy. Watch Scratch prepare paperwork to close on the first house for a young couple while simultaneously defending a schnauzer charged with public urination.

The Babysitter is a Ninja!—A new reality show places a real-life ninja in a duplex living next door to the Hendersons, Barb and Barry, and their two kids. In between fighting agents of the Yakuza, the ninja becomes the children’s babysitter in the hours after school before Barb and Barry get home from work. Which will get to him first: Danny’s flute lessons or the triad’s assassins?

Meet Pain—Ashley Van Lusterberg lives in apartment 6c of an exclusive building. She works in the corporate offices of a tony New York Wall Street firm and dresses in designer clothing even to go to the grocery store. Apartment 6d across the hall is soon rented by The Painhammer, guitarist for death metal band Maggot Infested Intestines. He dresses in black leather and metal studs even just to go to the liquor store. Watch what happens when they fall in love and Ashley has to introduce her new fiancĂ© to her parents.

Diggin’ That Grave—Rafe and Frisbee are gravediggers at the Dream Lawns Memorial Cemetery. At night after a hard day’s work they like to play cards . . . with the corpses! That’s right, it’s network TVs first zombie sitcom. Will Rafe take the pot with his pair of sixes or will Mrs. Goldberg bluff him out of another week’s pay. And the hi-jinks don’t just happen at night. Watch the hilarity as Frisbee tries to keep the bodies from rising from their graves early, in the middle of the Hightower funeral!

Pam and Eggs—Conman Eddie “Eggs” Larson meets Pam “Vavoom” Greer, a hooker with a rack of gold. They join together to fleece the city for all its worth. But soon they also find themselves raising 3 young children they find living in Central Park. Every day is an adventure as Pam and Eddie teach the kids to spot the rubes and the kids teach them what it means to be a family.

Hopefully in a few months you’ll be seeing one or more of these quality shows coming to a network schedule. I’m not picky, any of them will do, even NBC.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Rhyme, A Rhyme, My Kingdom for a Rhyme

I love music and over the past 30 years have expanded my interests to many different styles, but when I was in middle school I listened to only hard rock: Aerosmith, Kiss, Kansas, Foghat, REO Speedwagon, April Wine, AC DC, Ted Nugent, etc. The other day while listening to the radio, I was thinking that no matter how much I still revel in this music you can’t argue they wrote some horrid lyrics.

The song I heard on 98.5 The Peak was Kiss’s highly suggestive “Lick It Up”. Here are the lyrics:

Don't wanna wait 'til you know me better
Let's just be glad for the time together
Life's such a treat and it's time you taste it
There ain't a reason on earth to waste it
It ain't a crime to be good to yourself
Chorus: Lick it up, lick it up, oooh, (it's only right now)
Lick it up, lick it up, ooh yeah
Lick it up, lick it up, oooh, (come on, come on)
Lick it up, lick it up
Don't need to wait for an invitation
You gotta live like you're on vacation
There's something sweet you can't buy with money
lick it up, lick it up It's all you need, so believe me honey
It ain't a crime to be good to yourself
chorus
Come on - it's only right now (it's only right now)
Ooh yeah (ooh yeah) ooh yeah (ooh yeah), yeah yeah

chorus repeats

This is God-awful. Basically they came up with a sexual innuendo for a title and then rhymed a few words to create a song. There are 36 words in the chorus and 66% of them are “Lick it Up” and another 3 of them are “ooh”. The bridge is even better: 20 words, 4 of which are “ooh” and 6 are “yeah”. Well done boys. I’m sure the 8 minutes you spent writing this was very profitable.

Ted Nugent is a master of just abysmal lyrics. I could pick any of 2 dozen songs to mock but the one I chose is in honor of my sister. I listened to a lot of Steady Teddy growing up and if I had my stereo turned up loud, my sister was forced to listen as well against her will. There was one song she could never get her head around: “My Love is Like a Tire Iron”:

Oh, baby
it’s a catastrophe what you do to me
But that’s all right honey
I find it rather funny
sympathy is what you want from me
But I got news
You’re gonna lose
My love is like a tire iron
My love is like a tire iron
My love is like a tire iron
and I like it stiff as steel

Look at me
What do you see
A man on the run
A loaded gun
check me out
what I’m all about
I got some news
you don’t want to lose

chorus

This is gibberish. There is no point to anything being sung here: no context, no story, nothing but rhyming words. And then he sings the chorus which has nothing to do with the rest of the song nor does it ever explain how the hell love can be like a tire iron. This is one of Ted’s most pointless songs.

Tygers of Pan Tang are a late 70s, early 80s band from England named for something out of fantasy novel. They never made it big but my friend Rob and I always liked them a lot. They played great, simple guitar riffs and sang some of the dumbest lyrics you’ll ever hear, such as these from “Money”.


Walk a mile in my shoes
You won't know what hit you
Wasn't born with a silver spoon
Take no ride on a fat man's tomb
Babe I need the money too
Hey, come over here you
Now I've got money for you
Do you believe that's true?
Now I've got money in the bank
Ah well, that's a prank
And I've got money for two
Do you believe that's true?


Where can I even start? It’s hard to analyze something this bad. This is the epitome of merely rhyming words without trying to have any meaning. If I said Kiss spent 8 minutes on their song, the Tygers couldn’t have used more than 2 to write this mess of unrelated nouns and verbs.

Now that I’m done trashing these songs I will reiterate that I also like all of them. But it’s obviously not for the lyrics. I’m a sucker for a cool guitar riff and at least one finger-dancing solo. While I’m playing my air guitar with the song I’m trying to sing along but usually end up laughing and that’s my challenge to you. Try listening to the lyrics of a Kiss or Ted Nugent song and not guffawing, chortling or at least tittering. That’s a double dog dare.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Circling the Drain

Being a single guy I don’t do a lot of cleaning. I’ll do the dishes when I’ve run out of plates to heat up my blood sausage hot pockets and ever since I found a family of Ethiopian refugees living under a pile of newspapers in my living room, I’m more diligent about picking up trash from the floor. Other than that I’m like most men in that we can live in a certain amount of our own dirt and thrive, growing taller and more self-assured.

The bathroom is the room in the house that no one wants to clean, even neat freaks. I avoid it like Grateful Dead heads avoid showering. However, I’ve seen some signs lately that its time to clean.

I walked in the other day and found a message written on my mirror in toothpaste. Turns out the mold spores on the bottom of my shower curtain have been their so long they have evolved into new silicon-based sentient beings and they wanted to open up diplomatic negotiations with me. Apparently every morning when I take a shower I wipe out half their population, the interstate highway system and several layers of infrastructure.

But before I could take a United Nations tour of my bath tub, I heard a slurping sound that made me turn toward the sink. I watched with fascination and revulsion as the filmy layer of old soap, water, skin dirt and beard clippings from the edge of the sink had coalesced into a globulous creature resembling a BP executive. It tore its suction cup-like body away from the counter top, leaping at me with a ferocity matched only by movie critics reviewing a Robin Williams film. As it flew through the air it shouted, in a voice reminiscent of Carl Castle from NPR radio, “I’m alive! I’m alive!”

I sidestepped the beast, tripping over the toilet and slamming into the wall. The blob foresaw its impending doom and wailed “Remember me my Holy creator!” before landing in the bathtub right on top of the newly rebuilt mold home world. When it hit, the thing split apart covering my tub in a gooey paste.

From the floor I could hear the mold people crying out; their emergency vehicles speeding to the manifold scenes of destruction. Their satellite, which hovered just above my showerhead, changed position as they broadcast a hastily organized press conference where the president called for calm before being swept away to an undisclosed location by the secret service. The mold people celebrities quickly gathered in the ruins of the opera house for a benefit concert/telethon while the conservative commentators blamed liberal border control policies.

I picked myself up off the floor and decided to take the easy way out. I turned the handle marked H. Hot water rushed out of the showerhead, washing everything down the drain. My cleaning is done for another 6 months.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lohan Mania

Sometimes I’m looking for something to write about and it’s a struggle. I’m poring over the entertainment and news sites hoping an article will strike a spark. Last week I was in that position and then, like a divine lightning bolt, a member of the Lohan family did something so inane, the blog practically wrote itself.

Here is their latest nugget of insanity: Dina Lohan, the increasingly self-absorbed and toys-in-the-attic mother of the clan, went to a Carvel ice cream store to get a cake for her son’s birthday. She handed over a Carvel black card starting a kerfuffle only an elitist, entitled, Z-list celebrity can find themselves in. Apparently these cards were issued to commemorate Carvel’s 75th anniversary. For advertising purposes they gave a card to 75 celebrities allowing them to get free ice cream for 75 years. Do you see the pattern with the number 75? Ok, good.

Dina “Please Someone PAY ATTENTION to ME” Lohan hands over the card and the clerk at the counter, who is now my favorite person in the world, says: you’re not Lindsay Lohan, the card says Lindsay Lohan, where is Lindsay Lohan? At this point I’m sure Dina pulled the “don’t you know who I am?” gambit but the clerk, again—my favorite person in the whole world, sticks to his guns and says: you’re not Lindsay Lohan, the card says Lindsay Lohan, where is Lindsay Lohan?

When Dina couldn’t produce her daughter the guy behind the counter, my new favorite person in the world, refused to give her the cake AND kept the black card. Dina, feeling that this was the single most egregious injustice in the history of the mankind, called the police. For an ice cream cake. When the authorities got there they made the clerk give her the cake and the card but told her she couldn’t use the card again. Later in the day, a Carvel spokesman, my second favorite person in the world, issued a statement that the card was being revoked because Lindsay had been abusing the privilege by ordering copious amounts of ice cream for her family and friends.

Did anyone actually see Lindsay and exclaim, “Look, it’s that boozy, cokehead actress who did a couple of Disney movies and she’s carrying a Fudgie the Whale ice cream cake from Carvel’s. Let’s go get one too!” I don’t believe this form of advertising works for 2 reasons. One, I didn’t even know Carvel’s was still in business. Two, I’d never heard of these mysterious black cards until last Friday when Dina Lohan found out how much of a nobody she really is.

Have I mentioned how much I love the clerk who wouldn’t hand over the cake?