Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Ready For The Ball To Drop

With Christmas past and the new year encroaching, these reflections from Dr. Evil on the halcyon days of his youth probably speak to all of us in one way or another:

My father would womanize, he would drink, he would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Some times he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy, the sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical, summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds, pretty standard really.

I believe that riff by Dr. Evil in the original Austin Powers movie was inspired by the rarely-sung final stanza in the classic song from The Sound of Music...

Hot Rangoon summers and chilly luge lessons,
Burlap bag beatings in my adolescence,
Making meat helmets whenever it's spring,
These are a few of my favorite things.

This blog has been one of my favorite things in 2004. Thanks for stopping by, San Diego.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Cut Cheese With A Rich, Full-Bodied Red

On the people mover at DFW airport. Coming out, beefy Cincinnati Reds first baseman Adam Dunn. Getting on, the explosively flatulent (thanks to someone else's creative audio editing) and fraudulent (which he did on his own) televangelist Robert Tilton.

One pitches, the other swings. Both made rich from their respective flocks. At least one of them occasionally gives his fans their money's worth.

Monday, December 06, 2004

UMC: No Gaiety With The Laity

From Pughtown, Pennsylvania - motto: "Get A Whiff Of Pughtown!" - comes the story of the now former Reverend Irene Elizabeth Stroud, a tale both ribald and riddled with double entendre.

Last week, the United Methodist Church defrocked Stroud as an associate pastor after she confessed that she is a practicing homosexual, and it got me thinking.

Does practice ever make perfect? How much practice does one really need for that type of activity? Would she have been punished had she declared herself a perfect homosexual?

And this defrocking business. Wasn't that the problem in the first place? She was defrocked because of what she and her partner did after de-frocking one another!

And when the church says Stroud may continue her work as a lay employee, aren't they just encouraging the same behavior?

This is what happens when you start asking questions. That's why I don't recommend it.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Sports Fruitcake Chock Full Of Nuts And Berrys

Hats (and towels) off to the men and women of our nation's armed, legged, and barebacked entertainment forces, who've proudly taken it upon themselves to answer the one question that's haunted 24-hour news network producers since the day after the election: "Whose idea was it to create 24-hour news networks anyway?" And, more specifically, "How many times can we run that same "we're-a-divided-nation" package before our 0.4 Nielsen rating shrivels into negative integers?"

("Hey, CNN! PETA's on the phone. It's about that dead horse you're beating...")

That's when our men in uniform sprang into action and our women wanting action sprang out of whatever they were wearing. First, it was Terrell Owens on Monday Night Football. The Philadelphia Eagles receiver known as "T.O." (Towel Off?) and Desperate Housewife Nicolette "Edie" Sheridan starred in a seductive, pregame skit featuring a just-showered Sheridan asking Owens to explain the instructions on her shampoo bottle. Well, it certainly succeeded in lathering up the American viewing audience, the most prudish of whom excoriated ABC for showing such filth and demanded that the network in the future skip the shenanigans and get right to the real reason they tuned in to watch the game: the slow-motion close-ups of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, tastefully festooned in their booby-trapped blouses and hip-hugging undies. (By the way, with the advent of High Definition technology, how soon before merely watching those cheerleaders on a big screen TV becomes a statutory offense?)

No sooner had those verbal volleys landed on ABC executives than the Pacers, Pistons, and half the city of Detroit engaged in real fisticuffs at an NBA game. It started when Pistons' big man Ben Wallace - the incarnation of that great line from Fletch, "He's 6'5", with the afro 6'9"..." - attempted to perform a tonsillectomy on Ron Artest of the Indiana Pacers. Push came to shove when Artest defiantly lay down on the scorer's table, and a fan threw down from 8 rows up in the stands his $10 beer, cup and all, which hit Artest between the numbers on his jersey. How hopelessly inebriated was that guy to:

a) decide it might be a good idea to chuck a brewski onto a man who could snap him in two like pre-cooked vermicelli

b) actually hit that target from 30 feet away?

The ring toss game at the state fair would run out of stuffed animals the first night in town if sober people could do that on command. Wars have been lost because soldiers, in complete control of all their faculties, couldn't lob grenades with such precision.

Well, the Battle of Detroit was officially on after the launching of that suds scud. Artest charged into the stands along with a couple of his hooligan teammates, and before long it had the makings of a World Wrestling pay-per-view steel cage match minus the class and dignity (or a script to determine the outcome).

Athletes from around the sports world were so embarrassed by what they saw from their NBA brethren Friday night that there wasn't a single incident of on-field misconduct...until Saturday afternoon. By then, 'Cockfighting had broken out in the Clemson-South Carolina game where players from both teams employed such tactical maneuvers as slamming their fists into the other guy's helmet. Not only did contrite officials from both schools voluntarily remove themselves from consideration for a bowl game, the Gamecocks replaced retiring head coach Lou Holtz with noted good sport Steve Spurrier.

Yet not to be outdone by those brouhahas (or is it brous-haha?) was an uprising in Washington, D.C. where city officials were trying to announce that the name of the new baseball team there would be the Nationals. (They can't pass a single page of meaningful legislation in Washington, but they can name 'em a baseball team lickety-split.) Some goofball, who perhaps had hoped the nickname would be as insensitive as those of the other sports teams in D.C., commandeered the podium and began screaming incoherently before being removed by security. Onlookers decried the outburst but agreed the man had a bright future in politics. The whole debacle must have been a great disappointment to former D.C. Mayor Marion Berry, who's done so much to bring honor and civility to our nation's capital in between prison terms.

So take heart, news producers. Our athletes and entertainers are taking their skills off the sports page and onto the police blotter where their true greatness, if not their naked bodies, will be revealed. And before you overreact to these acts of foolishness and violence, I urge you to remember the words of Mayor Berry when he said - and I'm afraid this is an actual quote: "If you take out the killings, Washington actually has a very, very low crime rate."