Monday, December 29, 2008

MP3 Player is No Superman

It was cold and dangerous in Zurich, Switzerland, when two tourists got lost in the snow covered mountains.

The tourists, two men from France, tried to call for help, but the battery died in their cell phone. The mountain rescue service, Rega, received the initial signal, but it was lost too quickly to pinpoint their exact position, except that it was somewhere near the Savognin resourt in southeast Switzerland.

Gery Baumann, a Rega spokesperson said, "The two winter sports enthusiasts were found by the crew of the Rega helicopter shortly after midnight -- thanks to the faint light of their MP3 player."

The MP3 player was rather modest regarding its heroic part in the rescue effort, and offered its sentiments by playing this tune:

Source: Yahoo News

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Safety Deposit “Bernie the Bunny” Box

The label on the box of Annie's Sour Cream & Onion Cheddar Bunnies that Debra Rogoff bought from Whole Foods in Tustin, TX, should have read: organic wheat flour, expeller pressed vegetable oil (safflower and/or sunflower), sour cream and onion seasoning [whey, nonfat milk, onion, sour cream (cream, nonfat milk, cultures), torula yeast, citric acid, garlic, spice], aged white cheddar cheese (pasteurized milk, cultures, salt, non-animal enzymes), yeast extract, salt, onion, yeast, ground celery seed, annatto for natural color; and $10,000.00, because that amount of money was also in the box.

Apparently, an elderly customer, who had lost all faith in financial institutions, stashed her life savings in the “Bernie the Bunny” box. She purchased two boxes of crackers and needed only one, so when she returned one of the boxes to the store, it was the wrong box – the one with the stash. She panicked and returned to the store to retrieve it, but the store had restocked its shelf of Annie's Sour Cream & Onion Cheddar Bunnies and sold the box containing the loot for roughly $3.29.

Meanwhile, after purchasing and opening the box of crackers, the Rogoffs called the police, thinking that the $10,000 might have been part of a drug drop, and they wanted to put the perceived drug cartel out of business.

"We would never feel good about spending it," Rogoff said.

The store manager told the police about the elderly customer, who left her name and telephone number at the Customer Service desk, in case the box was returned; and this story has a happy ending.

The Rogoffs received a free box of Annie's Sour Cream & Onion Cheddar Bunnies; and the elderly customer was advised on how to safely hide money at home in rodent and fire-proof frozen vegetables; cold storage, so to speak. However, this granny had another anti-theft device up her sleeve, as well.

Source Yahoo News

Friday, December 26, 2008

Mysterious Frosty on Steroids

His name is Snowzilla and he mysteriously appeared out of nowhere in the suburbs of Anchorage, Alaska. This 25 foot Frosty has definitely been on anabolic steroids and is causing an otherwise quiet community to experience an unusual amount of traffic and rubber neckers. He picked Billy Powers’ front yard to sit in, ignoring all of the city’s cease-and-desist orders.

In past years, a giant holiday snowman was built by the Powers family, but the community put up such a fuss, fearing that he would lose his head and cause an accident, that the family decided not to build him this year. Instead, somehow, in the middle of the night, a normal 5 foot snowman that was already in the front yard took steroids and grew into this 25 foot giant.

Other theories surfaced that a group of locals, who were drinking holiday moonshine decided to get even with the neighbors and used a quiet fork lift to build him after the bars closed; or that Jack LaLaine went up there and fed the thing some carrot juice.

Anyway, because of the magic under his silk hat, Snowzilla was protected from being hosed down by the fire department when a local ambulance chaser and the Civil Liberties Union came to his defense, just in time.

Today, Snowzilla, just sits there in the Powers' front yard with a “Make my Day” sign positioned right under the City's red injunction stickers.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The $10,000 Snowball Fight

After the Sunday night NY Jets vs. Seattle Seahawks game, where the Jets lost 13-3, damaging New York’s play-off hopes, a terrific snowball fight ensued. Seattle Fans booed and pelted the Jets team members with snowballs as each of them left the field. I’ve heard of sore losers, but I never heard of sore winners, but that’s what they did. NY Jets defensive, Shaun Ellis, couldn't stand it anymore, so he tossed a giant block of snow back at the fans. Consequently, the NFL fined him $10,000.

It was only snow and he didn’t lace the snowball with anything harmful, like an M80 for the few mean-spirited fans, so why the stiff penalty?

The fans, who were jeering and instigated the whole snowball throwing fiasco were not penalized. They all went back to the 49th parallel and honed their snowball throwing skills at Olympic National Park to keep in shape for next year.

A spokesman for the NFL said, "Shaun Ellis was fined $10,000 for tossing a large snow clump in the direction of fans. Players are notified prior to each season that any contact with fans that potentially presents crowd-control issues and risk of injury is prohibited, Players are informed that they must not confront fans at any time on game day and must leave those types of issues to security personnel," added the NFL.

Shaun, next time, hire the Phillies Phanatic to toss the snow. He only charges a C-note and the NFL can't touch him.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Zhu Jianqiang - China’s Sexiest Animal Alive

A pig from Beijing named "Zhu Jianqiang" or "Strong Pig” that survived 36 days buried in the rubble of a 7.9 magnitude earthquake has been voted “favorite animal” in China. However, mainland media sources say that the ordeal has made him fat, lazy and bad-tempered.

I’d like to tell you something exciting like he was buried in the rubble of a prime four-star Sichuan Chinese restaurant in moldy vegetable lo mein, but in reality, the hog, survived only on charcoal and rainwater.

After the vote, the pig "vividly illustrated the spirit of never giving up," a Chinese web poll reported.

“People come from all over to see the pig at its new home in a museum,” one newspaper said, “but it has become increasingly spoiled and ungrateful.”

"It's gotten fatter and lazier by the day," media sources quoted staff of saying. "We used to take it out for a walk every morning and afternoon, but it's too lazy - and too fat - to do it."

The pig is also demonstrating anti-social behavior, after initially being quite friendly.

I suppose that after 36 days on charcoal and water, any animal would be pissed. Zhu Jianqiang probably thought they were all holding out on him.

"Now it just blocks the door to its bedroom when there are too many visitors outside. It's been increasingly difficult for us to convince it to open the door," a spokesperson said.

Other notable animals that were nominated for the vote and scheduled for honorable mention on a Sichuan place mat, include a dog that guarded its owner when the elderly man was sick, and a cat that won’t be in the kettle anytime soon because it almost died of grief when its feline partner was flattened by a Dongfeng Kingland truck.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Here Come the Judge

A Felony Court judge, Nicholas Ford, saw two men breaking into his wife's car and rather than call the police, he decided to take the law into his own hands and chase them down. His wife is District Judge Callie Baird. Two suspects were arrested and are now in custody.

Our super hero, Judge Ford, a former prosecutor, but no Olympic sprinter, told reporters that he had pinned one suspect down on the ground, but the guy managed to push him away and took off.

"I was fully antagonized," Judge Ford said. "I was just chugging. I'm not an elite runner. I thought I was going to have a grabber."

Ford caught up with the man, and police arrived and made an arrest. The second suspect was arrested nearby.

The judge got a first-hand look at the criminal justice system from the victim's standpoint. He was detained in the police station until 2 a.m., but signed an arrest warrant before he left.

No one knew if the car was a typical “come and get me” 2-door rear-wheel drive muscle car with a powerful V8 engine, the engine was running, or the Judge was in full robe for the chase.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Only in Paris - Nude Models March for Respect

The only place on the planet where a group of people can protest in the nude amidst Christmas trees, menorahs, and nativity scenes outside City Hall and not get arrested is Paris.

Today, nude models have taken to the streets of Paris in their work uniforms protesting what they believe is the lack of respect, monetary rewards, and recognition of their craft.

Trust me, it’s not easy marching all goose-bumped to demand compensation for this time-honored aspect of art, but these life models have done it. Currently, models are earning the paltry sum of $10 Euros an hour to pose nude. Most of them are college students and part-time workers trying to make ends meet. The only thing they carry is a fanny pouch of DayQuil, nasal spray, aspirin, and Perrier.

One of the models, Christophe Lemée, told reporters “I will often do nine-hour days you have to be very athletic to do that. Each session is three hours long, divided into 45-minute poses followed by 15 minutes of rest. It’s no easier holding a sitting pose than a standing pose. The weight will always be concentrated on some part of your body. I call it dancing without moving. You need a lot of psychological concentration to cope. You have to learn what your body can and can’t do. I try to swim for an hour in the mornings to keep my body in condition for the poses.”

My reaction to that is digital cameras are more efficient, but then people have a right to work, right? Nude modeling is respectable, Benji did it in “Off the Leash” for a few months and even did a sequel.

None of the folks in the mainstream media were at liberty to photograph the parade. However, in a few days, you will be able to find it on YouTube.

A news reporter met up with one of them to find out that the day job is over in Disneyland, Paris. Like I said, only in Paris can you have the best of both worlds:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Outsourcing and Government - Single Point of Failure

With less than 12 shopping days left until Christmas, advertisers have come up with an ingenious way to warn people of potential hazards in our diverse culture. Warning signs like these make using words like “Stand Clear of Door” “Soporte claro de puerta,” “Stand dégagé de la porte,” or “Basamento libero del portello,” unnecessary.

Things like manufacturing bus door mechanisms and safety devices are often outsourced to countries outside the U.S. Some of the companies performing the work do not have the high Quality Control (QC) standards, as products made in the USA.

There are bus doors in major American cities containing carriage bolts that were installed by a team of Albino midgets from the Emerald Forest. You can spot them by their limp eco green color. But if you really can’t tell where the doors on the bus you are riding were manufactured (i.e., the word “China” or “Taiwan” doesn’t appear anywhere near the sandpapered VIN number inside the door gasket), and you are from Illinois, chances are they are refurbished doors from Serbia – single point of failure being Rod Blagojevich.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Buffalo Wing Politics - Rod Blagojevich

I have never been a great student of politics. I have always believed that heated debates over “left wing” and “right wing” politics, is nothing more than a bunch of politically inept analysts throwing meaningless “buzz words” around like a dog licks his testicles – because he can. Media analysts have the broadcast network platform, while the dog simply has his balls. Both feel confident and satisfied, but what do I know?

Associating wings with politics to me, is like comparing apples to oranges. Wings are a connotation of angels and good intentions; while politics connotes bribery and corruption.

I’m told that “right wing” politicians value tradition and capitalism, while “left wing” supporters value equalitarianism. There is also something called “bipartisan,” which promotes center politics - a middle of the road policy path between the right and left wing, much like "bisexual."

Case in point: Watching and listening to this video of Rod Blagojevich, the first Democrat in 30 years to be elected Governor of Illinois, you do get the feeling that he was trained in public speaking by a TV evangelist (earning “wing” points): confident, extroverted, and full of crap. However, It was filmed way before he was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as well as solicitation of bribery and several "pay to play" schemes, including attempting to sell President-elect Barack Obama's vacated United States Senate seat to the highest bidder.

He has also managed to piss off his father-in-law, Chicago Alderman Richard Mell, who might very well be FBI informant "A."

Maybe they should consider changing the “wing” description to “Black” and “white," so that you can distinguish between the good guys and bad. You know, like in all those Western movies where you could always spot the the bad guys, they wore the black hats?

In this film clip, The Rod can also be said to support "buffalo wing" politics, as in "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

British Nintendo DS Scrabble Game Swear Words

Tonya Carrington of London, England, bought a hand-held Nintendo DS Scrabble game console for her eight-year-old son, Ethan. She assumed that it would serve to increase his vocabulary. There are virtual characters in the game that you play against, one of whom is named Camilla.

Little Ethan was having a great time playing scrabble with Camilla and learned that the word “tits” could either mean ‘a garden bird’ or ‘an informal word for female breasts.’ "Shit" came up a few times, but he already knew that one. So as not to stifle his education, he didn’t tell his mother right away until "f*ckers" received a triple score and Camilla won the game. The word was defined as being 'a slang word for chavs’ (a British term for ‘low life’).

Ethan’s mother didn’t believe him at first. Then, she played the game against another virtual character and the same thing happened only with different obscenities.

The Carringtons complained to Nintendo. Nintendo blamed the publisher, Ubisoft.

A spokesperson for Ubisoft said, "We are sorry the game has caused concern, but it includes a ‘junior’ option that stops it from using unusual or offensive words.”

They have also filed a complaint with Pan European Game Information, but have yet to get a response.

While you are running out to buy a Nintendo DS for a little one on your shopping list, please make sure to get the Junior edition. The language is less offensive.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Economic Grinch Won't Steal Christmas 2008

Larry Dean Stewart (1948-2007) of Kansas City, a self made millionaire, came up with a partial solution to the economic Grinch back in 1979 when he was fired from his job.

On that day, he went to lunch and tipped the waitress $20. The look on her face was priceless! It gave him another million dollar idea - the Secret Santa.

Every December, from 1979 until his death in 2007, Larry gave away money totaling over one million dollars in $100 bills to needy individuals in stores and on the street in Kansas City, Phoenix, and St. Louis, as The Secret Santa. He kept his true identity secret until the last few years of his life for security reasons, plus he didn’t need kudos for his philanthropic efforts to help those in need.

Larry's friends and relatives are carrying on that tradition coast-to-coast, today, based on a promise they made to him in 2007. A whole Secret Santa Society has been formed and author, Donna McGuire, and World 2 Publishing, LLC, have released a book to support the effort titled Santa’s Secret.

Most of us are busy with our lives and are not millionaires, but every contribution helps the cause. Maybe some of us have an extra $20, the price of the book?

If everyone would buy a copy of this book in support of Secret Santa, thousands of families will enjoy a brighter Christmas and the economic Grinch will not steal Christmas 2008.

The official Secret Santa Society website is located at:

Please support this effort. You can click on the book jacket photo above to order books.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Scientists Mate Same Sex Polar Bears and Along Came Knut

The folks at Japan’s Kushiro Municipal Zoo tried unsuccessfully to mate two polar bears, but did not realize that they were both female until last week.

Tsuyoshi and Kurumi are the resident bears. Tsuyoshi was identified as a boy three months after she was born and no one bothered to check after that.

Zookeepers and researchers gave all kinds of excuses for trying to make a lesbian out of Tsuyoshi:

1. She was too furry
2. We couldn’t detect a boner, but what do we know?
3. Bears always squat when they pee
4. Manual checks are not practical
5. We were hesitant to anaesthetize Tsuyoshi to make sure
6. Polar bears have outies (navels)

Kurumi was not amused and began to growl the theme song from Yentl. Tsuyoshi jumped ship to find herself within the scheme of things....

In the meantime, Knut, the star polar bear of the Belin zoo is being evicted. Maybe the match making shadchan should know?

Now a fully grown bear weighing some 440 pounds, Knut is the sex symbol of the polar bear community and was born in captivity. His package has already been examined and he's all man.

... and then along came Knut
Tall mean Knut
Slow-walkin' Knut
Slow-talkin' Knut
Along came long, mean, sexy Knut

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

APB - 130,000 Plastic Breasts Gone Missing

Ralph, an Australian men's magazine has reported that 130,000 inflatable breasts have gone missing. The magazine purchased the breasts to use as free gifts for its January issue.

The container with the plastic boobs left the loading docks in Beijing two weeks ago, but arrived empty in Sydney this week (source

Ralph’s editor in chief, Santi Pintado, is urging anyone with information about the missing cargo, said to be worth £85,000, to contact the magazine directly.

"Unless Somali pirates have stolen them its difficult to explain where they are," Pintado said. "If anyone finds any washed up on a beach, please let us know."

I suppose that plastic breasts could be used as pirate eye patches, or a good place to stash the booty, but I seem to recall that about 150 pilot whales washed up on the beaches in Australia recently. Maybe they were playing breast ball or mistook them for one-eyed squid?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Indicate Jack

All over the mainstream media, reports are gloomy, indicating that the fraction of a billion dollars that was not spent on this past Black Friday will affect Christmas. However, the real deal, the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimated that people spent an average of $372.57 on Friday, which represents a 7.2% increase over last year. However, it also alluded to the fact that it does not want to bust everyone else’s bubble either - those folks, who are calling for economic doom and gloom.

I guess all the other media analysts are being paid by the Democrats, who want everyone to think things are worse than they actually are and are relying on our new President to leap tall buildings at a single bound in January.

Maybe they all have stock in Prozac?

For as long as I can remember, Black Friday and Cyber Monday never meant Jack Schitt in my house. Those are the days everyone in my family stay away from the shopping Malls, clogged traffic arteries, and shopping cart demolition derbys. The only exception being our teenagers, who like to hang out at the food courts, eating pizza, and watching all the viral shoppers knock each other over like yulefest Weebles to save a yuletide dollar. Occasionally, the kids report back to the house with their Blackberrys that someone took a header out in the parking lot, or some sweet little old lady whacked a kid with a candy cane because she thought he was memorizing her PIN number, so he could treat himself to another beef jerky.

Some industry analysts are also assuming that because the Thanksgiving holiday fell later in November this year, there is one less week to Christmas shop; therefore, ruining Christmas for retailers. More doom and gloom.

Maybe these analysts should be introduced to a few Hare Krishnas?

I don’t know how that could possibly affect my particular gift list, except that I have to buy the same stuff in four weeks instead of five. Actually, I bought a few things earlier, so I have less people to shop for during the next crucial four weeks. I used July/August coupons. Capitol One and the retailers got some of what’s in my wallet a little early. My gift list has not changed because we ate turkey on November 27th this year, because on November 28th I didn’t pull a Scrooge and quick grab a #2 pencil to cross anyone off my list. I always buy cheap gifts. Its an aquired habit. I expect that everyone else’s gift list will also remain the same. All the gifts will be purchased within the time frame left until Christmas, whether purchased at the Mall or online.

Why don’t they poll average Americans?

I tried reaching the North Pole to ask if Santa had indigestion or something from eating turkey on the 27th instead of the 22nd, and maybe moved a bundle of toys to the back burner, but he and the elves were laughing too hard at all the sad sacks in the media.

If you don’t believe me, go to Santa's hometown and see for yourself.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Roomba Cat Conquers Vacuum Cleaner

While you are dining on turkey left-overs, I thought you would enjoy watching this fearless cat go bronco riding on a Roomba vacuum cleaner made by iRobot of Massachusetts.

Vacuum phobias probably have something to do with who's in the drivers seat; not that I'm accusing this cat of being a control freak or anything, but it did not manifest any of the usual fright, fight, or flight responses to the vacuum.

Now, if this little kitty can take the bull by the horns and conquer its fear of vacuums, there is hope for everyone. I just recently located the on/off switch on my Hoover. Over 1.5 million people have already watched this video on YouTube and it is taking the Internet by storm.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Magic Nike Pro Ultimate Shirt

Cristiano Ronaldo is an all star Portuguese footballer, who plays as a wringer for the English Premier League club, Manchester United, and the Portuguese National Team. On November 15, 2008, Ronaldo scored his 100th and 101st goals in all competitions for Manchester United in a 5–0 win over the Stoke City Team from England.

After one of the games, Portuguese winger Kit man, Albert Morgan, wondering if there was some magic in Ronaldo’s Nike Pro Ultimate team shirt; put on the shirt and let loose on the court.

As you can see from the video, he scored 9 continuous volleys off the cross bar – a Cristiano Ronaldo trademark.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ozzy Osbourne in “Make Yourself Heard”

Modern technology can solve most of our problems, as the Leo Burnett Chicago Agency assumed when they hired famous rock star, Ozzy Osbourne, to make a video commercial for the Samsung Propel multimedia smartphone. I’m not sure if the reality TV show he starred in proved that he can spell, but they hired him anyway. We never got to see the results of his text-centric messages. Hopefully, the words had more than four letters in them. Use your imagination.

When I first saw this video, it reminded me of a typical work day. First dragging your ass out of bed in the morning and finding that the kids have already used up all the hot water, taking a cold shower, getting coffee at Starbucks, then arriving at the office to schedule that first meeting thinking - don’t come to my office, I’m not awake yet you’d be better off trying to communicate with a pit bull. Never mind the eloquent speaking, you are grouchy and miserable, and need a shrink.

If you can spell, but are not worth a plug nickel, the Propel can be one way to make yourself heard, which is the video commercial’s theme. The phone provides instant text messaging, which can get you out of a jam.

Credits for the Samsung Propel commercial from MJZ Production Company: Will Perry, Bob Price, Colin Selikow, Craig Gillespie, Lisa Margulia, Line Postmyr, and Carlos Lowenstein. Its sheer genius!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Secret Service Code Names: Cheeseburger Pepsi

Friends of the first children have divulged what the girls think of their Secret Service guards, whom they have given code names: Cheeseburger and Pepsi (a.k.a. Domo Arigato Mr. Robato).

Cheeseburger is short and stout and often comes to work smelling like garlic. He used to guard people in the Witness Protection Program, so he grew accustomed to Italian food. He's not someone you could dress up in a Santa suit and get away with it; the nose would fit in, but all the chicken pox cicatrices wouldn't.

Pepsi is a bit robotic – stoic with no personality. He even smells like the inside of a new car. He has never been seen doing anything human, like eating or going to the bathroom. The girls like to hum the song “Domo Arigato Mr. Robato” when he walks into a room.

“Pepsi is like the Queen of England, if he ever smiled it would crack his face. It’s like having the Grinch looking over your shoulder all the time.” One of the friends said. "Plus, Cheeseburger ruined a perfectly good game of Monopoly the other night when he absconded with the canon piece ”R” was using to get to the Boardwalk. Pepsi just sat there, eyes focused straight ahead. You could have held a mirror under his nose to determine if he was still alive and breathing."

Bedtime stories?

Forgetaboutit! Cheeseburger thinks “Cinderella” is a cryptogram; he was muttering something about Gus Gus being an illegal alien, and he drives the children crazy trying to read between the lines in all of the Dr. Seuss books. He thinks Dr. Seuss was a foreign agent and wants to blacklist his books from the house. The girls tried to convince him that no one was going to try to feed them green eggs and ham, but he is relentless. Again, Pepsi just sat there, eyes glazed over, saying "Tiggers do not like honey" over and over again.

The girls have also given their parents’ Secret Service guards code names: Geronimo and Cochise, but promise that they will end their respective tours of duty with both of their scalps.

They prefer the real deal, "Captain Underpants Bloopers and Troopers" and the Blues Brothers.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hard Economy - The 7-Day Sex Challenge

Everyone has been wondering what to do for entertainment now that the economy is down the tubes and people have to tighten their budgets. Leave it to a religious group to come up with a solution.

This Sunday, the Rev. Edward Young, founder of the nondenominational Fellowship Church in Dallas, TX, says he will challenge his married congregants to 7 consecutive days of sex. He will also practice what he preaches.

(His wife was seen buying a Jack Lalanne 10091 Power Juicer and loading up on vitamins and Viagra at the local pharmacy.)

"God says sex should be between a married man and a woman," he said. I’m not misquoting the pastor here. Maybe he meant to say a married man and woman, but then one could get off on a technicality.

"I think it's one of the greatest things you can do for your kids because so goes the marriage, so goes the family," he added.

Pastor Young is fed up with the way American society promotes promiscuity and he is doing this to reclaim sex for married couples. He has 20,000 congregants all champing at the bit to meet the challenge.

“Sex should be a nurturing, spiritual act that strengthens marriages,” he said.

As of this writing, no one has approached Pastor Young asking to produce a reality TV show, based on his theory.

Earlier this year, a St. Pete Beach, Florida, pastor conducted a 30-day sex challenge. I checked online at all the local human health service reports and found no evidence of post-sex trauma, burnout, heart attacks, or unusual instances of traumatic stress disorder.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Economic Conditions - Career Moves

When I woke up this morning, I had this letter in my inbox from my fellow writer, Elvira Justice, from Saxis, VA. I've known her for many years. She writes travel brochures on her Commodore 64 and sells them to tourists. Not many tourists go to Saxis, so she supplements her income at Perdue Farms:

As a struggling writer, my creativity needs to be stifled by a 9-to-5 day job until I can get my best work published, so I decided to apply for a job up your way, in Center City Philadelphia.

I've spent many years on the Eastern Shore, where the living is easy and about 30 years behind the times. Starting salaries go back even further, probably to prohibition. In order for a woman to venture outside the home to earn a living in good old boy country (you remember, the same guys, who hold divorce court out in the woodshed with a shotgun; and he gets to keep the designer Captain Kangaroo outfit), she has several choices at $5 an hour, about two at $10, and must be able to walk on water for anything higher.

A friend suggested that if I wanted a better job than cleaning stables, plucking chickens, or joining the illegal alien crop picking crew, I needed to head north to a metro area. So, I went to the job interview in Center City Philadelphia.

(Remembering your favorite "walking through a stable" line, I went over to Chincoteague Island, took my shoes off, and walked through some pony shit first, for good luck.)

Everything seemed to go well, except that as I left the interview, I found that they have this automated parking garage where a voice like something out of "2001 Space Odyssey" emulates from the fee machine and says "please-place-ticket-into-the-slot-with-the-bar-code-up-and-to-the-right, yada yada." You are then prompted to put money in the machine, and it gives you change.

The parking fee alone was probably more than the scrap metal value of the old restored police car I am driving, you remember it, the Ford LTD with the knackered oil rings, but the trade-off is a filthy rich salary of $12.50 an hour.

Then the robot voice says "please-take-your-receipted-ticket-with you-to-leave-at-the-gate." I guess they should actually stress the fact that you absolutely won't leave without the canceled ticket and maybe not even then.

At the exit gate, the one that holds the steel arm across the exit, another robot voice tells you to put the receipted ticket into the slot, "please-place-your-canceled-ticket-into-the-slot-with-the-bar-code-up-and-to-the-right, yada yada," only this time, the machine was broken and I had to sit and listen to the ticket robot go off the deep-end until a live attendant came over to let me out (thank God for humans). The robot sounded like a good candidate for tossing a commode in "One Flew Over The Coo-Coo's Nest." I came to the conclusion that we are really not yet ready for this technology. I just sat there; feeling intimidated humming "Amazing Grace."

Interestingly, neither of the two smiling social worker managers standing in line ahead of me had to wait to get their pimp mobiles out on the street. Maybe they already know how to make ticket slugs?

Next, I went over to the Reading Terminal Market and ate something. I was 5 minutes too late for Italian pork on a steak roll, so I went to the Israeli place and got potato pancakes with sour cream. It is very interesting to sit in a busy public place in the city and observe nuns and the Amish walking side-by-side down the isle in the produce department with ladies of the evening, who are also spending their earnings on tomatoes and cherry peppers.

God bless America!

Working in Philadelphia will definately inspire creativity and marketable material. Something to write home about, yes?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

American Rhetoric - Coming Together or Pulling Together?

The expression “coming together” has made its way into American rhetoric like no other in the history of our planet. It is more popular among politicians, being incorporated into political speeches like the Mata Hari-ism that it is, than any other group. Some examples include:

“… It is also a coming together, much the way women come together every day in every country.” Hillary Rodham Clinton, Beijing, 1995.

“…these African police have come together on a project of importance, a project that seeks to deal with criminality in our region.” INTERPOL President Jackie Selebi, Arusha, Tanzania, July 11, 2007.

“…the assumption that the wealthy care nothing for the poor and that the poor don't vote, the assumption that African-Americans can't support the white candidate, whites can't support the African-American candidate, blacks and Latinos cannot come together.” President-elect Barack Obama, SC, February 2008.

“… the only reason we stand here tonight is because men and women from both of our nations came together to work, and struggle, and sacrifice for that better life.” John McCain, Berlin, July 24, 2008

We must come together to save the planet” President-elect Barack Obama, Berlin, July 25, 2008.

"Later this week, Barack Obama and John McCain will come together to debate a president’s most important responsibility: how to keep Americans safe and America secure.” Joseph R. Biden, September 24, 2008.

I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises…” John McCain, Concession speech, November 4, 2008.

What’s up with this “coming together” business anyway, can’t you just visualize a whole auditorium of people practicing Kegel exercises, saying "YES!"?

I suppose that the expression “pulling together” could catch on a zipper and get even worse, but coming together is becoming an annoying habit and an irritating art of persuasion, don’t you think?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Jerusalem Holy War - Monks Trash Temple

In this corner, we have a bearded Armenian monk in a red-and-pink robe. In the other corner, a black-clad Greek Orthodox monk with a nasty bloody gash on his forehead.

Ding, ding, ding!

Where are we?

We’re at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. It is the site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial, and possibly his resurrection. There is a procession planned here to commemorate the holy event.

The Greek “Serafim” is upset that one of the key Greek Orthodox monks is not present. The Armenian “Pakrat” says “Tough baklava” and begins the processional march anyway.

Round one: Serafim throws the first punch; Pakrat blocks and gets him with a left hook.

A 90-year-old lady, who looks a lot like ZaSu Pitts in an olive drab shmatta yells "Meeskait! get him in the kishka."

It’s over in less than one minute; quicker than Cassius Clay (now Muhammad Ali) dropped Sonny Liston with a phantom punch in 1965. An Armenian Patriarchate counts down to 10, but Serafim is out cold and Israeli riot police are called in. They are holding assault rifles. A fight like this has not been seen since the Ethiopian and Coptic Christians were hitting the alter wine causing a near riot a few years ago.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cloning - Grow Your Own

As Pope Benedict condemned the human organ trade as “abominations,” Japanese scientists are on a roll to up the ante, and have successfully cloned mice that have been already dead for 16 years.

"This is the first time a mammal has been cloned from a sample stored at conditions reasonably close to what might be expected in permafrost," Teruhiko Wakayama, the lead scientist in the Japanese study, said. "It gives some hope for those who might seek to clone extinct species from frozen carcasses."

The immortal Punxsutawney Phil went into a jealous rage when he was passed over in lieu of a mouse for the study. “What’s cheese breath going to do for you in February?” he shouted. Then, he threatened to cause a global ice storm that even Dennis Quaid couldn’t cure. He ranted in expletive Groundhogese for days. Hell hath no fury like a groundhog scored.

Proponents of cloning say that if the Pope wants to see an abomination, he should spend a week in New York City observing specimens in Central Park and the subway system.

Protesters in Austria have threatened to burn down the laboratory that claims to have Hitler’s missing freeze-dried testicle.

Scary rumors are being reported that Michael Jackson plans to freeze his carcass when it dies, as does Rush Limbaugh; Bill O’Reilly; Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; Hugo Chávez; and the Naked Cowboy from Times Square.

An entrepreneur named Scotty Baker, who recently resigned from Miracle-Gro, is starting a cloning franchise operation called “Grow Your Own.” Industry spies are reporting that among the company’s first R&D efforts include a penis farm at a secret undisclosed location near the Amish in Lancaster County, PA.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Money - Something to Ponder

Paloma has strengthened into a category four hurricane as it heads towards the Cayman Islands, while in the U.S., President-elect Barack Obama is busy deciding on a new Treasury Secretary.

The Dow has dropped another 500 points and there is now a Depend® dispenser at the Federal Reserve.

Notice anything unusual?

The powers that be have screwed up the global economy, so now mother nature is on a roll to get even, trying to wipe out their $3 trillion off-shore bank accounts.

Its enough to make you want to invest your 401k in the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships.

Just like at the track, people in Washington, DC, are laying odds on Obama's choice for Treasury Secretary: Timothy Geithner (2 to 1); Lawrence Summers (5 to 2); Paul Volcker (12 to 1); Sheila Bair (15 to 1); Jamie Dimon (30 to 1); Robert Rubin (32 to 1); and recovering spendthrift, Marc Rich (100 to 1). It is not clear what the actual point spread is, or the identity of the bookie.

We do know that Warren Buffett is on Obama's 17-member economic advisory team. Warren is well-known for being frugal. He's the only billionaire I know of, who eats hamburgers on a regular basis, someone the average American can identify with.

This afternoon, President-elect Barack Obama and his VP, Joe Biden, will address the nation regarding the economy. At the same time, Michelle's interior decorator will be meeting with the FBI to determine the best hiding places for bugging devices that will not interfere with the new decor.

As of this writing, they were still trying to decide where to put the "zhlob" chair for foreign diplomats when they visit the White House. I heard the term used only once "We'll put Vladimir in the zhlob chair." I'm not sure, but I think "zhlob" is a Secret Service code word for something. No one will tell.

"God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change,
courage to change the things we can,
and the money to make a difference."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election 2008 - President-Elect Briefing

Well, it’s the day after the election and President-elect Barack Obama is busy making cabinet appointments. I’m not sure where you should send your resume, but it’s a good bet he’s at his Illinois headquarters.

I’ve gotten used to his youthful black hair over the last few years. That will change real soon, as he begins receiving his top secret classified briefings from intelligence officials today. I’m sure he’ll get prematurely gray just listening to Interpol. They have this top secret web site similar to that only heads of state can access, a chilling study on cyber-terrorism.

Rumor has it that part of the briefing will include SPAM 101 featuring the truth about that chain letter that has been circulating around the U.S. in broken English from some schmuck in Nigeria promising to put $22 million into your bank account if you give out your pin number. Then, there’s intellectual property crime, money laundering (I never could figure that one out. Somebody tried to explain it to me once, but all I could visualize was a little old lady selling Rolex knock-offs on eBay), criminal organizations, financial and high-tech crime, drugs, IT crime, illegal migration, war crimes, environmental crimes, fugitives, corruption, intern deflectors, and “significant cases.” Most of the significance is located on a pirate ship off the coast of China.

Now, most of us believe that a real politician doesn’t need a briefing about corruption, right? Well, the CIA and FBI don’t agree, the President-elect is going to get an intense seminar that covers corruption in every country on the planet, pole-to-Interpol. This will detail the “How to” regarding the estimate by World Bank Institute that says over $1 trillion is paid in bribes every year, not a good way to lower the national debt. Match that up with the names of the payers and the payees and our new President’s head will be spinning by Friday afternoon.

As you already know, we learned all of the above by watching HBO’s The Sopranos. It’s a shame they ended it just as Uncle Junior had his Vincent "The Chin" Gigante routine down to a science.

Of course, the best briefing is shown in the educational video below given at Camp David. It acts as a deterrent “How not to” and also provides an incentive to newly elected Presidents to rehearse every important speech:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Day 2008 - Dirty Tricks and "No Pok!"

You know the guys, who used to call the local grocery store and ask if they had Prince Albert in a can? Well, most of them grew up to be Crank Yankers, Fonejackers, one of The Jerky Boys, or dirty politicians.

Unlike Bart Simpson calling Moe’s Tavern asking for Jacques Strappe, during the few hours we have left before the elections, we have Strappe’s whole family deluging potential voters with dirty tricks, including confusing e-mails, prank phone calls, and threatening fliers delivered in the middle of the night to entire inner city neighborhoods.

The ACLU is conducting damage control. They say if you really need to pull a prank “keep it to ‘No POK, er PORK!”

"The Voting Rights Act makes it a crime to mislead and intimidate voters," said Laughlin McDonald, who leads the ACLU's Voting Rights Project, "If you can find out who's doing it, those people should be prosecuted.

OK, but who’s going to write up (in Philadelphia, they call it a "48") Haywood Jaspankmee, when he gets caught delivering flyers in the high-crime areas of the city telling people not to show up at the polls if they have any unpaid parking tickets or a past criminal record because if they do, they'll get arrested at the door?

In some areas, flyers are informing people that Republicans are voting on Tuesday and Democrats on Wednesday. You can tell which camp this is coming from, right?

Now, some might argue that the ACLU is insulting the intelligence of the average voter by making a big deal out of this, but it believes that there are whole communities out there with a collective IQ lower than the speed limit.

As of this writing, Sarah Palin is campaigning at all the Bloomingdale’s locations in CA, NV, MN, IL, NY, MA, PA, NJ, MD, VA, GA, and FL. The last thing she did before the polls opened was charge a LL Collezione Women's Cashmere Long Reefer for $995.00 to the campaign. It was cold in South Philly last night, so she went to the Bloomingdale’s at the Willow Grove Mall.

Joe Biden was munching on some bipartisan cupcakes like radio host Matt Cord’s dog on a bone. The cakes were from the Flying Monkey at the Reading Terminal Market. He was also invited to watch the election results with the Phillies Phanatic over at the Philadelphia Tap Room at 15th and Mifflin Sts. The Phanatic was practicing his "Rocky" number for the event. It was not clear, who was being set up for the punch. Rumor has it that it will be either White House Press Secretary, Dana Perino, or Matt Cord's dog.

Seriously, EVERYBODY, get out and vote Tuesday, November 4th, 2008, for the candidate of your choice.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Philadelphia Phillies Claim World Series Title

It took 28 years for the Phillies to take the World Series Championship; they did it with a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays!

South Philadelphia fans went nuts as Brad Lidge and the Phillies took out the Rays in a three-inning game, which had been suspended due to weather conditions. It is the first victory since 1980 for the Phillies and the end of the alleged Billy Penn curse.

Tens of thousands of fans were celebrating in the streets, as South Broad Street was closed to traffic all evening. Seventy six arrests later, Police Commissioner, Charles H. Ramsey, was overheard saying "I got a touch of a hangover, don't push me," in response to a fan yelling "Where's the whiskey Mr. Mclin?"

Mrs. Giordano took off her usual black mourning attire for the occasion and wore a long red dress by Target. She was so excited over at Mama Mia's that she took the "evil eye" off of the Ray's Evan Longoria free of charge. Philly Cheesesteaks were on the house.

"Hey Vito, looka Joe Maddon, he looka just like that guy, Spencer Tracy, alone ina his boat," she said.

Vito Salerno took pity on Joe Maddon after he found out that the Rays got thrown out of their hotel after the last game was postponed and they had to find accommodations at a stable in Wilmington, Delaware. The fans had everything else booked within a 100-mile radius.

Vito bought Joe a few boiler makers, broke out his Castiglione, and sang O Solo Mio.

Mayor Nutter is telling fans, who are planning to call out sick from work, to wait until Friday. The World Series Parade is expected to begin at noon on Friday, at 20th and Market Sts. and will end back at the Sports Complex.

"You can be joyous, but you can't be a jackass," he told news reporters. I think he was referring to media behavior at the parade.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Tampa Bay Rays in South Philly

After the World Series Game last night, the Tampa Bay Rays stopped at Mama Mia’s for a bite to eat. They have to eat somewhere, right? Well, they went to South Philly - another mistake!

The Phillies’ cheering section was in full swing, while Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena of the Rays were out kicking hub caps and looking for Mrs. Giordano to remove the "evil eye" for tonight’s game.

Mrs. Giordano is a well-known South Philly levatrice and moloch doctor. Her evil eye removal kit consists of a small bowl, water, and olive oil. When she's not working her magic, she sits and watches FoxNews and gives the evil eye to Bill O'Reilly. She bloviates in Italian "ou gatsa!" (Italian equivalent to the Numa Numa Guy).

Cliff Floyd, the Ray’s hitter, was wearing combat boots inside Mama Mia’s. He wanted an excuse to kick butt before returning to Tampa. “We don’t like getting embarrassed,” he said. “This was an embarrassment in the sense we’re in their park, their fans are getting on you and you don’t want to go out like that.”

Dioner Navarro, the Ray’s pitcher was practicing behind the counter tossing pizza dough while Longoria was swinging at it before it hit the floor. Outfielder, Carl Crawford, was at the ready, in case he missed. “My plan is to just keep swinging. You can’t go out there and think you’re coming out of a slump,” Longoria said. “I just have to stick with my routine.”

“What bothers me is we lose a couple of games, and people talk like we’ve got the worst team ever,” Floyd said. “This team is just going through a tough period. ... But we’ve been down before. We know we can come back.”

Manager Joe Maddon was over talking to Vito Salerno, who was making pizza. Joe was asking Vito to take it easy on Longoria.

Vito gave him the Arm ‘n Hammer sign.

"Hey Longo, giva some torque, we needa xtra-large ova here."

Just then, a feathery, green creature from the Galapagos Islands walked in and shook his booty. It was the Phillies Phanatic. He announced to everyone that he was there to knock the Rays off their game, but didn’t have to, he brought his own panino from Chickie's and left, laughing hysterically.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Money Origami – The Value of a Dollar

There are fewer than 60 shopping days until Christmas; the Dow has tumbled, making my 401k look like my first grade statement account with three quarters in it; I traded in my Lincoln Town Car for a Ford Peón; my cat, Rocky Balboa, is on dry food (he balked, but I convinced him he's still in training); I just bought a casserole cookbook featuring vegetarian and bean dishes; I sent away for a “Mix and Match” mail order catalog; and yet all the financial geniuses are in denial. They are still calling it a “recession,” when we all know this past week’s rise is only a dead cat bounce. It’s been non-stop “black Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.”

Alan Greenspan was tried and convicted in the media last week, but he pleaded “not guilty,” and did better than "Frankie Five Angels" before Congress. "This crisis, however, has turned out to be much broader than anything I could have imagined," he testified. Where, Frankie Five Angels alluded to "I was in the olive oil business...and I don't know nuttin about that."

My grandson has taken to wearing dark vampire glasses and a Ninja suit to the candy store, and Grandma Russo has been liquidating her gold fillings.

You can get a seat at Seafood Shack at 6:00 pm on Fridays. The hostess no longer gloats, directs you to a chair, and hands you a vibrator when you say you didn’t make a reservation. The waitresses constantily interrupt to ask "is everything OK?" 30 additional times during your meal, hoping for the extra quarter; and the Red Hat Ladies are staying home cooking red and purple gumbo.

All the ladies in my auxiliary still want to smack Martha for Christmas, but they have also come up with some ingenious gift ideas – Money Origami, "It's a good thing."

It’s amazing what you can create for $1. Take for instance this sculpture called “Value of a dollar”:

You can check out all the neat money origami’s you can make at DeviantART.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Preparation H… er, Proposition K

It has been reported in the media that the State of California is trying to legalize prostitution. It is already adding “Proposition K” to the November ballot.

Proposition K, would decriminalize the oldest profession. However, in reality, prostitution isn’t the oldest profession, motherhood is, followed by government, you know, the legalized mafia?

Legalizing the hooker industry will pose many more problems. For instance, will we all have to pay extra to our respective HMOs for penicillin? How about the elected officials, who will be charging the taxpayers for “Travel and Expense” to San Francisco?

I posed the question to some of my friends at the local coffee shop in South Philadelphia’s Italian market district:

“Hey, if they do that, Louie ‘the Creep’ will be out of business.” One of them said. “That’s discriminating against the small business establishment, you know?”

“Yeah, and what will Harry ‘the Hun’ do Friday nights?” another guy yelled out. “They’ll have half the precinct busy keeping him from accosting people on Washington Avenue, cause he don't want no receipt.”

Sammy the butcher stopped in for some cappuccino and overheard some of the conversation. “What my daughter has to get a real job?” he asked.

Mrs. Giordano was not amused and threatened to call in The Sons of Italy if they ever put that on the ballot in Pennsylvania.

Vito Salerno wanted to know why they called it “Proposition K” instead of “Preparation H”, because that’s what the politicians should really be using as lipstick. He also brought out a very interesting point about restitution funds:

“Madone, after they leta all a da criminals back ona street, we gonna have to pay froma 10 years ago.”

My cousin from New Jersey was visiting the area and when I asked him, he said "If it brings their rates down I'm for it."

Whata ya gonna do, ey?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

South Carolina Gator Aid

Over 1,500 croc hunters in South Carolina have applied for 1,000 hunting licenses to kill pesky alligators. The critters have been causing havoc in local swimming pools, ditches, culverts, and back yards.

The kicker for most local residents is when they can’t let cats and dogs outside without some hungry gator waiting for a tasty lunch.

There are animal rights activists, who are concerned about whether or not the hunt is humane. While most experts use cross-bows, some inexperienced hunters are wandering into croc country with Colt 45s.

The way I look at it, they should simply sell a license to the Food Network and let Paula Deen or the Iron Chef create some great gator recipes, such as gator dogs, bourbon gator tenderloin, five-spice stir-fried gator with steamed rice.

Chinese recipes would definitely provide a solution to the overpopulation of gators. We could have gator lo mien, sesame gator, gator in garlic sauce, and gator chow mien.

Maybe a new recipe at the Charleston Peking Moon?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sarah Palin to Guest on Saturday Night Live

This week on “Saturday Night Live(SNL)" Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin is scheduled to appear. The popular show has already parodied Governor Palin using Tina Fey as the character, and has now decided to have Palin make a real appearance.

This week’s show will be hosted by Josh Brolin, who portrays President Bush in Oliver Stone's new movie, "W." Jill Hazelbaker, a Republican campaign spokeswoman, will not divulge what the real Governor Palin will do on the show.

John McCain once hosted SNL and Obama appeared on it once. It is a popular and politically correct stop on the campaign trail.

Back in Little Italy, I asked around the street, “What do you think she will do on SNL?”

Grandma Russo’s friend, Giancana said “Buongiorno, why you give a crap, ey? Nutting will change if she’s a win. I still owe on April 15th, maybe more, now theres gonna be a new Godfather.”

She turned to pay for her cooked Prosciutto, and added “Ma! nexa month, they gonna serve buffalo here, justa like the politicians.”

Her daughter, Maria said “You know she’ll wear lipstick.”

Sammy the butcher put his two cents in that she would go moose hunting wearing a "Sara Barracuda" T-shirt.

Old Mrs. Rizzo said that Sarah should get her "progressive, competitive attitude" over to Esposito's and stimulate the economy. "Never mind SNL!" she said.

Grumpy Harry's was selling Palin-style reading glasses in 125 strength to coke bottle, as if it were a fire sale.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

No License Crimps “Joe the Plumber”

The mainstream media is being true to form again, as they have released the fact that Republican hero, “Joe the Plumber,” a.k.a. Joe Wurzelbacher of Holland, OH, has no plumbing license.

Give the poor guy a break, you know? He’s been fixing outhouses in Holland for less than union rate and it isn’t his fault that Republican, John McCain, and Democrat, Barack Obama, made Joe a household word after the Presidential Debates last night (I’m glad he’s not an under-the-table bartender, just more political collateral damage).

Had it been Joe’s Bar, rather than a local plumbing company, the media would have gotten an ear full.

Do they have CLEP exams for plumbers?

How about a little respect for the average voter?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Alfonso's Philly Steaks in Dallas

Today, I decided against writing a humor piece and thought you might like to know about a teriffic new Philly-style steak house that has just opened in the suburbs of Dallas, TX.

It is called Alfonso’s and is located at 121 South Main St. in Ferris, TX, just a few miles south east of Dallas on Route 45. It is open Monday through Friday, from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, and on Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

The food is better than Philly’s own Pat’s and Gino’s, plus the menu has a scrumptious variety of both hot and cold sandwiches.

The steak house is named after the owner’s (Rose Ann and Clint Beatte) grandfather, Alfonso Ulissi, who came to America with his wife Teresa Salerno Ulissi, from San Paolo, Foggia, Italy, in 1918, and settled in the Burlington, NJ, area.

Two other members of the family perfected some of Teresa’s secret family recipes and opened various Italian restaurants in the Philadelphia area during the 1960s. Clint, the youngest grandchild, specializes in Steaks and hoagies the way his grandfather, Alfonso, always enjoyed them.

If you are in the area, you can stop in and order some delicious highly-perfected Philly-style steaks, or call 972-544-2020 for takeout.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Stem Cell Research – Hold on to Your Testicles

According to the folks at journal Nature, cells taken from human testicles can function the same as those taken from embryos, when used in the treatment of Parkinson’s, diabetes, and spinal cord injuries. However, this method only solves half the problem - it only addresses the treatment of men.

There was no comment from scientists regarding how the cells would actually be extracted, ouch, but I suspect that the first human trials will be performed on Republicans. They don't manhandle the truth.

Change is coming; so, don’t be surprised when future Presidential debates are presented in "helium voice."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Skinny Dipping in Tokyo

Today, October 7th 2008, is a day that will live in infamy. This is the day a gentleman from the U.K. disrobed and went skinny dipping at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan.

OK, so it wasn’t the Riviera, but how is it that one naked guy in a moat can cause more chaos than an alligator?

Kyodo News was on hand to televise the event, but had to distort the image when the guy got out of the water to wrestle with the police, who were trying to convince him to go to Hawaii for a little Kon'yoku.

Japan has very strict obscenity laws. The laws are so strict, in fact, that standing naked in front of your full-length bathroom mirror practicing Zumba is a cardinal sin. Plus, no one can actually read the obscenity laws written in the Japanese law books because it would be obscene, especially the part about frontal nudity as opposed to the “kiss my grits” variety.

After the man left, we were told that reporters waited outside the palace to ask if the Emperor saw the perpetrator. They got no response, as the Emperor was still in his room with 1,000 lit candles, a prayer book, and a jar of Fendall's EyeSaline.

Friday, October 3, 2008

In Memory of Paul Newman

The Broadway League in a statement about Paul Newman said "The Broadway community mourns the loss of Paul Newman, the universally admired stage and screen actor, director, and philanthropist."

In tribute, all of the Broadway theatre marquee lights will be dimmed at 8:00 p.m. (EST) tonight for a few minutes.

Paul Newman was born on January 25, 1925 in Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, OH. He actually made his Broadway acting debut back in 1953, starring in the production of "Picnic," and spent many years acting on Broadway. His wife, Joanne Woodward, also appeared in “Picnic.” That is where they first met and fell in love. They married in 1958, over 50 years ago, and had three daughters.

Paul Newman has an impressive resume, graduating from Yale and making his mark in Hollyood, as well as driving the track. More recently, in 2003 he was nominated for a Tony award for his role in the Broadway production of "Our Town."

Being a Robert Benchley Society member, I especially enjoyed the Newmans together in the 1990 film “Mr. & Mrs. Bridge.” Joanne Woodward won an Academy Award nomination for the film, which depicted upper-class society life during the 1930s and 40s.

Paul Newman will be sadly missed by yours truly.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Seven Faces of Jesse Ventura

You’ve seen him as a ninja, pro-wrestler, Minnesota Governor, Navy UDT veteran, weekly radio and talk show host, and TV commentator for the XFL. Now, Jesse Ventura, a.k.a. "The Body," "The Star," and "The Governing Body,” whose real name is James George Janos, will be hosting a new conspiracy theory series made for television.

Super sleuth and sexy Slovak, Ventura, will travel the USA looking for trouble and he will find some. He will hunt down answers to conspiracy theories and plans to have viewers on the edge of their seats attending secret meetings, and witnessing witching hour surveillance; shadowing shady characters, and thwarting forces of evil.

The series is a product of A. Smith & Co. Productions and the Pilot will air next month.

Will Jesse self-actualize as a super sleuth?

Jesse is here to fight for truth, and justice, and the American way. There is no kryptonite. Go get ‘em tiger!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Large Hadron Collider - Out of Order

Today in Hawaii, a U.S. District Court Judge, dismissed a "doomsday lawsuit" to stop all operations of the particle accelerator at CERN in Europe. For details see my September 10, 2008 article, “Good News for Nerds - Aurora Over Switzerland?

As you already know, the Large Hadron Collider is located on the French-Swiss border close to Geneva, Switzerland. It has been down since the first week of operation. No one knows if a micro black hole was playing Pacman with a few critical bolts out of the accelerator, or it just overheated.

Monday, September 22, 2008

First Day of Fall - Celebrate With a Great "Late for Work" Excuse

As of 11:44:16 EDT, Monday, September 22, 2008, the first day of fall kicked in. What better way to celebrate the occasion than falling behind schedule and making up some bizarre reason for being late for work.

I checked into the most popular excuses for being late and also polled a few managers to find out the most outrageous excuses they were given. Here are the top 10:

1. While rowing across the river to work, I got lost in the fog. (MSN, Careers)
2. My kid stole my car, so I couldn’t drive to work
3. The line was too long at Duncan Donuts
4. Someone stole my hub caps
5. My normal route to work was barricaded for a tailgate party and I stopped for pulled pork
6. The guy next to me was picking his nose at a traffic light and I was out of barf bags, so I had to pull over
7. I didn't have money for gas because all of the pawnshops were closed (MSN, Careers)
8. I was trying to get my gun back from the police (MSN, Careers)
9. As I left the deli, someone stole my cheese
10. I logged on to YouTube this morning and lost track of time

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pirates and Treasure and Kids - Oh My!

Today, I wanted to let you in on a terrific book for parents and grandparents, who are looking to raise pirates, “GUIDE TO PIRATE PARENTING, Cap'n Billy "The Butcher" MacDougall.” It takes me back to the time I went metal detecting on Marconi Beach off the coast of Wellfleet, MA, and saw the pirate ship “Whydah’s” mast sticking up about 200 yards off-shore.

Most people don’t know about the pirate ship Whydah, but I remember it from the late 1970s, when JFK Jr. was still in college and worked for an entire summer with a salvage company owned by Barry Clifford aboard the Vast Explorer out of Nantucket, MA.

They laid claim to the Whydah that summer and the company has been finding treasure from it ever since. Legend has it that if you go up there after a Nor'-Easter, you might find gold and silver and pieces of eight washed up on the beach.

Makes you drool, eye mate?

A few years ago, I met Tim Bete at the University of Dayton. He had similar pirating experiences in his childhood, but since he had to grow up and get a real job, he took the edge off of having to let go of Blackbeard and Captain Hook, and developed a terrific child-rearing methodology called Pirate Parenting. I recently sent him an e-mail to find out how the main character in his book was doing and got this reply:

In an effort to get more publicity for his book, GUIDE TO PIRATE PARENTING, Cap'n Billy "The Butcher" MacDougall (that be me) has agreed to star in the upcoming High School Musical 3. You can watch the movie trailer here:

Cap'n Billy

Here is the skinny on his book:

Title: CAP’N BILLY “THE BUTCHER” MACDOUGALL’S GUIDE TO PIRATE PARENTING: Why you should raise your kids as pirates and 101 tips on how to do it
ISBN: 978-1-58385-127-2
Category: Parenting/Humor
Type: Paperback
Size: 6 x 9, 123 pages
Cover price: $10.95
Publisher: Cold Tree Press
Publication date: April 2007

Guide to Pirate Parenting can be purchased at bookstores, or directly from the publisher or author.

Table of Contents
Part 1: Introduction
How I Met Cap’n Billy and Why You Should Raise Your Children to Be Pirates

Part 2: Cap’n Billy “The Butcher” MacDougall’s Guide to Pirate Parenting:

Baby Pirates—Mapping Out Your Child’s Future

Belly Timber—Feeding Your Pirate

Sleeping Like a Seadog and Other Nocturnal Issues

Quelling Mutinies—Disciplining Your Pirate

Scurvy and Hook Injuries—Pirate Health and Safety

Your Pirate's First Ship—How to Convert Your Minivan into a Pirate Schooner

As Your Pirate Gets Older (The Teen Years and Beyond)

About the Authors
Tim Bete (pronounced “beet”) began his nautical adventures as a child sailing on Buzzards Bay off the coast of Massachusetts. At age 10, he longed for a small cannon to put on his grandfather’s 30-foot wooden ketch—a quick, two-masted vessel that is perfect for catching other ships so you can plunder ’em. His parents scuttled the cannon idea, saying he “would terrorize other boats with it.” That’s exactly what he had in mind.

Bete's parenting advice has been published in dozens of newspapers, magazines and Web sites, including The Christian Science Monitor, Atlanta Parent, Big Apple Parent, Northwest Family, and His first book, In the Beginning…There Were No Diapers, was a 2006 Foreword Best Book of the Year finalist.

Bete’s hobbies include pushing his luck and skating on thin ice. In his spare time, he’s director of the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop (

Cap’n Billy “The Butcher” MacDougall (pronounced "MacDougall") has been hiding from authorities for most of his life. He lives on his ship, The Frightened Flounder, but can sometimes be found at the Crow’s Nest Tavern. His hobbies include plundering and rum.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Good News for Nerds - Aurora Over Switzerland?

Now that the great minds of the world have gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, to discover the secrets of the universe, I can use mine to let you know what comes next.

The last time I looked, it was obvious that they really don’t know what to expect. Dr Aldo Saavedra, a particle physicist at the University of Sydney, actually said "It would be really nice if nature actually provided some very puzzling thing that theories haven't actually thought of."

Guess what?

The University of Alaska has been studying auroras for years and says that “the aurora is caused by radiation emitted as light from atoms in the upper atmosphere as they are hit by fast-moving electrons and protons. The kind of atom determines the color.” These are the same kind of electrons and protons that they are messing with in CERN, right?

As a grandmother and homework researcher, I theorize that the world will not end because of black holes; Higgs is actually hovering somewhere over Transylvania; and there will be a new Aurora over Switzerland and a 600 foot hole in the ground after the $4 Billion Large Hadron Collider blows up trying to find Higgs. What color the aurora will be is another story.

According to Wikipedia, “Different gases interacting with the upper atmosphere will produce different colors, caused by the different compounds of oxygen and nitrogen. The level of solar wind activity from the sun can also influence the color of the aurorae.”

Mary and Ian Butterworth, Imperial College London, and Doris and Vigdor Teplitz, of the Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, have written a one page dummy book on Higgs Boson. You can read it at

The new phenomenon will probably not be called Aurora Borealis, which in Latin means "the dawn of the north", but I'm not sure if scientists have the kahones to call it what it is "Aurora Illigitimi Carbarundum." Regardless, get your cameras ready for the Alps.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Secure Undisclosed Location

The scene was tense; several off-duty police officers accompanied by private security guards were in the process of transporting an invaluable object to an undisclosed location. Bo Diddley, I mean, Bo Dieti, the president of the security company, marched in a clave rhythm down the hall to the vault. An armored car with an intimidating driver, who looked like Shrek, idled outside. They carefully opened the vault, and Bo Dieti handcuffed the object to his wrist for the trip.

What was it that warranted the security of a multi-million dollar Van Gogh?

A famous recipe, of course.

About 68 years ago, the world’s most famous recipe was created and locked up for safe keeping. No, it’s not the Baldwin Sisters' bootlegger father’s famous whiskey blend. It is Colonel Harland Sanders’ ingenious concoction and handwritten (in pencil) recipe containing the 11 herbs and spices that coat KFC’s famous Original Recipe chicken.

The recipe is so protected that some of the herbs and spices are combined at different locations in the Unites States and the only complete copy is secured in the corporate vault, until now.

As it was removed from the vault, the KFC CEO was experiencing mood altering endorphins, probably hitting the john every 5 minutes, as “the recipe” hadn’t seen the light of day in over 20 years. However, they successfully whisked it away, like Dick Cheney, to a secure undisclosed location.

I always figured one would have to have the taste buds of a catfish to figure out the recipe. Especially, after a few of my friends tried to duplicate it once for a cook out. We thought it would be a hoot to try.

We carefully selected our R&D team from among the ladies of our auxiliary.

Esther Jean was our taster. She really did have the taste buds of a catfish. She also had the strong genetic characteristics of a Rhode Island Red, although the locals claimed it was from all the corn liquor she consumed. So, we sent out for some Original Recipe chicken and let her have at it.

Talking with her mouth full, she identified paprika, cayenne, and a handful of other spices that didn’t make sense.

Ethel was assigned to beating the corn flakes that were inside of a large zip-lock bag, with a meat hammer. She was an old pro at this, since it was the only way she could get her teenaged son, who was prone to apathy and inactivity in the practice of virtue, out of bed most mornings. Trudy was doing the same thing to a bag of unsuspecting saltines.

We merged the corn flakes and cracker crumbs together along with a cup of corn meal into a very large bowl, while Sally was beating the glue - egg whites.

We also precooked the chicken in boiling water for 20 minutes before breading because Mabel, our coater, was a bit squeamish at the sight of blood.

The end result?

Three sticks of dynamite and Bam! Bam! Bam!

We went to Peachez and ordered buckets.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

"Conservatorship" and Paulson’s Bazooka

No, this is not an article about an upcoming book by Alan Greenspan titled “Beam Me Up Scotty.”

The two companies that are allegedly having a negative impact on the housing market, Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddy Mac (FRE), (aka the Clampetts) are going to be placed under house arrest and controlled by the Government.

What, all of a sudden the government has a project team of efficiency experts ready to hit the ground running?

This is really an experiment in positive thinking and a new project management initiative by Henry Paulson called “Conservatorship.” I think it should be put on the ballot in November.

Which one of the Presidential candidates will be able to pull off a Franklin Roosevelt and drastically improve the economy so that everybody’s pot can be in a Beverly Hills mansion? By the time they get done screwing up “Conservatorship,” nobody’s fannie will be in Beverly Hills, and Freddie will be Kruegered on NASDAQ (FKED).

I point out a statement Paulson gave Congress in July, at a Senate Banking Committee hearing, "If you have a bazooka in your pocket and people know it, you probably won't have to use it."

So, I guess either McCain or Obama will have to wave some magic wand to deflect the consequences of Paulson’s bazooka, because Congress has been acting like a bunch of slugs in a salt ring.

No comment from Federal Reserve incumbent, Ben Shalom Bernanke. You can be sure, however, that the government will be the 800 lb. gorilla in the room at the title insurance company office the next time you buy or sell a house.

I'm no accounting expert, but I never thought conservator and bazooka were synonymous, and is it really Fannie and Freddy driving the housing market into the pits, or Banking Industry and government mismanagement? Do they fully understand the concept of diverse portfolios?

They lie to us, just like the oil industry.

Every time I turn on the news I hear things like, the price of oil is up “on news of [you can fill in the blank with the excuse of the day, bon appetit!].” On what? I figure it’s the fact that they can raise the price of oil like a dog scratches his balls – because he can.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Is Chad Johnson Really Ocho Seis?

Cincinnati Bengals Receiver, Chad Johnson, has legally changed his name to Chad Javon Ocho Cinco (Spanish for the number 85) in his home state of Florida. I don’t know why he had an issue with the name Johnson (unless it had something to do with a Madeline Kahn "it’s twue" statement), but kept the first name “Chad.” After all, he is from Florida and it is election time. There must still be something in the bit bucket, right?

Ocho Cinco and his coach, Marvin Lewis, have asked the media to immediately begin referring to him by this legal name and the NFL approved the name on his jersey – another battle won. As you probably recall, two years ago, he was fined $5,000 for putting “Ocho Cinco” on his jersey during a game because it was not legal.

"Is that a 'yes' or the number of your intelligence quotient, uh?" Ben Jabituyam, "Short Circuit."

Ocho Cinco has lead an impressive football career and is a popular NFL player, always giving stellar performances, but he has had issues with both the media and his teammates, making him really “ochenta y seis” (86) to some people. Strong rumors indicate that he would like to be traded to the Washington Redskins. Understandably, Joe Gibbs is glad he retired and I can’t repeat Coach Jim Zorn’s gestures.

Now, you understand what we are all in for during this 2008 football season. Ocho Cinco was so overly confident about his prowess as an athlete, during a recent interview, that he claimed he could even beat Michael Phelps in a swim match.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Asian Elephant in Detox

Tonight I had a choice between writing about Republicans or Democrats, but I really hate politics, although I did watch Sarah Palin’s entire dynamite speech. Anyway, I asked myself what would be more interesting to my readers, a story about the first Republican woman VP candidate, or the first elephant that ever got hooked on heroine? Xiguang the elephant won.

I found this story out on the BBC while I was Googling for a rebuttal against Democrats, who question Palin’s foreign policy experience. I also found a video that proves Pablo Picasso is reincarnated as an endangered Asian Elephant. I just love the credibility of Internet research.

Who is Xiguang, you ask?

Xiguang is a four-year-old Asian Elephant that was ambushed by elephant traders when he was only a year old. They fed him bananas laced with heroine for a year to keep him calm and controlled. They let him loose when the food bill topped the $5 Million mark. No one knows the long-range goal of the ROI.

A Wildlife conservation group found Xiguang with a monkey on his back in the southwest of China. They must have interrogated him, because they reported to the BBC that he was first captured by the traders along the Chinese-Mynmar border in March of 2005 and kept drugged for a year. The conservation group took him to an animal protection center in Hainan Island, China, and treated him with methadone injections until he was clean.

When he returns home on Saturday, he will reside at the Yunnan Wild Animal Park in Yunnan province, Kunming. As you can see from the above photo, his mother is pissed.

Sources are still not certain if he was originally abducted to restore the Sistine Chapel.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fashionable Kicking Dribbling and Bloopers

No, this is not an article about an upcoming Steven King book titled "Seppuku." A German optician, Stephanie Berndt, has really designed these stunning contact lenses for the cool fashionable soccer mom to wear to soccer drills and events. Sources claim that she wasn't drinking a warm dunkels when she created the lenses.

It is no longer challenging enough for people to cart their kids to scheduled sports events at inconvenient hours after school and on weekends, hoping for a little Houston Dynamo (I can still remember kicking an empty cow juice can around whenever we pleased). Nor is it enough that soccer moms get into fist fights because somebody scored a goal with their back side, instead of a kick. Now, they also want to make a championship fashion statement, hopefully away from flying balls.

Today, dedicated moms and daring goalies can travel to Munich and buy a pair of these for around $55.00 and keep the ball on their eye.