Jun 28, 2006

Black Cloud

A former neighbor of mine, Chris, has bad luck. Not some bad luck, CONSTANT bad luck. He was a really nice guy who would doggysit Cassius (four-toed dog) all the time. But make no mistake. The dude was cursed.

For example, he was a huge Red Sox fan. Grew up in Boston and therefore . . . He recently got a new puppy, a Boston Terrier. After Boston won the World Series he named his dog "Johnny Damon". Two weeks later he had to rename the dog "Johnny."

Another time he got a roommate that saved him from eviction. It turns out the roommate would have big, loud, and very gay orgies. My favorite quote during this era was, "I am sick and tired to waking up and my living room smelling like man-ass."

Anyway, this article was discovered by my wife. It is about Chris. It has the Johnny Damon autographed Red Sox jersey story, the getting attacked at Comisky story, and a brand new one I had never heard of.

He drove from Maine to see Boston play some baseball. It was rained out. Here is another choice Chris quote before you run off to read the article.

Then he added, ``It's not really a game is it? It's more like sitting here eating Fenway Franks and talking to you.`

`I guess there's nothing wrong with that. I'd rather talk to you than White Sox fans."

Jun 27, 2006

Summer of Music

Posts have been scant recently. It is my summer of music. So far I have witnessed Joe Jackson (excellent), Ray Davies (one of three and out-f'in-standing), English Beat (alright), among others. I should probably start typing up some reviews so y'all can decide if you would like to see some of these musicians for your own self. But I have not.

Thursday I leave for Summerfest. On the agenda, Elvis Costello with Allen Troussaint and the Imposters, Keane, Tom Petty, David Lee Roth, Ray Davies (again), Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Lewis Black (OK< so he's not music), Alice Cooper, and many more. August I am off to Lollapalooza. That will be a whole separate post. So let's discuss some of these acts that I am about to see before they happen and then I will let you know if they lived up to expectation.

Elvis Costello:He is with Allen Troussaint, the New Orleans blues / jazz / pop guy who was one of the folks stuck in the Superdome after the flood. There new album is good but not really new. They do a lot of there old solo stuff together new. The Imposters back them up. They are the Attractions without bassist Bruce Thomas who wrote an autobiography bad-mouthing Elvis. Not a good way to keep a job. I am sure that Steve Nieve will be in heaven as this concert should feature a lot of his piano playing. One of the shows I most look forward to.

Keane: Not tremendously excited to see them but have heard that they have a very good live show. Hey, it's included and free. And there's always the chance that I may need to be reawakened after Elvis.

Tom Petty: Classic rock idol. Probably going to die soon. Should see him before that happens. Hopefully we will hear more old Refugee era than Freefallin' era but beggars cannot be choosers.
David Lee Roth: This son of a bitch puts on a show! Last time I saw him was at Summerfest and it was great. He knows what side of the bread to put the jam on. Last time there was one new song and about twelve VanHalen songs. Now that he is older he looks like Phyllis Dyller and there are a variety of things that are not the same about him. He still jumps around but only about two inches in the air. He still screams and wails but he gets winded. He still chats up the ladies in the crowd but the reaction is more of shock than awe. But you go home satisfied. He sounds more like VanHalen than Halen does. Apparently, there is a whole generation of kids that can imitate Eddie VanHalen but not many that can imitate David.

Ray Davies: The highlight of the show for me. He is awesome. Has a little bit of the Brian Wilson syndrome where he doesn't like people but tolerates them once a decade. This is it. I saw him at the Vic and Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, he still has it. Bring paper plates, too. If you write a song and toss it up there, he will play it. Seriously, there are songs that he has not thought about in forty years that he whips out effortlessly. If you have a chance he will be in Grant Park on the fourth. Check him out.

Alice Cooper: Some guy on the SmussyOlay site claims that he lipsynchs. I pray to God that this is not true. I don't expect many theatrics and I hope to hear as few songs as possible after 1982.

Well, I will try to update but no promises. If anyone is interested in guest posting (Steve?) let me know and I will hook you up.

Jun 22, 2006

You're killing me

Jerome Irving Rodale was best known at one time for championing the cause of organic food. He was a strong advocate of an active and healthy lifestyle. He went on the Dick Cavett show to promote one of his books. At one point in the interview he claimed that he would live to 100 unless a "sugar-crazed taxi driver" ran him over. During the interview he appeared to fall asleep. Dick asked him, "Are we boring you?" He had died of a heart attack. The show never aired. Of course not, it would have been funny.

Jim Fixx was a famous runner. Really. He wrote The Complete Book of Running and because he is a liar he also wrote Jim Fixx's Second Book of Running. Apparently, the first book forgot to tell you what kind of cool, red, too tight, short shorts to wear. He used to point out how unhealthy Yul Brynner was. Yul died at 70 years of age. Jim Fixx died at 52 just after his morning jog.

It would take 2.5 minutes to fall from the top of Mount Everest. That is a long time to think about why you should have tied your shoe laces.

Utah and Ohio are the two remaining states that allow execution by firing squad. See, there is "so much to discover."

Steve Goodman was from Chicago and a Cubs fan. He wrote two songs about the team. The Go, Cubs, Go song is endured by masochists around the country listening to Pat and Ron run out of things to say year after painful year. I don't think the "on radio 7-2-0" was in the original but I could be wrong. Anyway, Steve died of leukemia (he called himself "Cool Hand Leuk") 11 days before the Cubs were to play in their first playoff game since 1945. (As an aside, they were up 2-0 in a best of five series to the Padres and lost). His ashes are located under home plate at Wrigley and yet no one discusses the Goodman Curse. Next time they parade the goddamned goat around the park they should have Bartman dig up Goodman's ashes and take the whole lot of them to Ohio.

Finally, Thomas Grasso was sentenced to death for murder. For his last meal he ordered Spaghetti-O's. Instead, he received spaghetti to go. His final words were "Please tell the media, I did not get my Spaghetti-O's." That week Newsweek and People mostly ignored his death and focused on the tasty child's meal. Uh, oh, no SpaghettiO's.

Jun 19, 2006

The first bloody fingerprint.

The year is 1892. The place Necochea, Argentina. Francesca Rojas' two young children (ages 4 and 6) are found beaten with their throats cut in their home. Rojas claims that she saw a man named Velasquez leaving her house as she returned from a store. She had earlier in the day been threatened by Mr. Velasquez after rejecting his sexual advances. (Some sources claim that she had an injury to her own neck. No one knows if it was earlier in the day or if she were somehow present at the house.)

Velasquez is picked up by the Argentinean police and "questioned." Questioning in Argentina in the 1800's consisted mainly of beating, cutting, and general torture techniques that would make Rumsfield blush. One method used for Mr. Velasquez was tying him to the corpses of the children for an evening. When that did not work the torture resumed as planned. After two weeks and no confession the police were, uh, stymied. Usually, anyone would confess to just about anything under these circumstances.

At about the same time Juan Vucetich (picture right - click to enlarge) of the provincial police in Buenos Aires was tasked with setting up a "Bertillonage System" which involves photographing a suspect in over 200 locations of his body for identification. This was very expensive in 1892. He was looking for a cheaper way to do it.

Inspector Vucetich was sent to the house to look into the grisly murders. He discovered a bloody fingerprint on a door frame. With a saw he cut the print out of the frame and brought it back to the police station. Somehow during his "interrogation" Velasquez was no longer able to give an "accurate" thumbprint to the inspectors. Vucetich, being a wise detective, opted to remove the other "suspects" from the scene of the crime. He first fingerprinted Ms. Rojas with ink (first time this was done for forensic purposes) and the story ends.

Shortly after matching the fingerprints Ms. Rojas admitted to killing her two children to improve her chances of marrying her boyfriend who disliked children. She was sentenced to life imprisonment. Nothing else is known about poor Velasquez. Argentina became the first country to replace anthropometry with fingerprinting. So if you are involved with arms dealing, money laundering, narcotics trafficking, or attempting to forcibly reclaim the Falkland Islands, do so with gloves on.

Jun 16, 2006

What happened to my country?

I never thought the day would come. According to this article, it seems that iPods are now more popular than beer on the college campus. Holy crap, can you believe it? Without beer I would have graduated college in four years. Without beer I would have remained my svelte 178 lbs. Without beer I would not have gone to the Rev. Horton Heat show. Beer being second is bad enough but ready for this? Poon-nanny-nanny ain't EVEN ON THE LIST!!! Sex is not "in" amongst 18-22 year olds anymore.

This is an ongoing problem that we have going on in this country. The pussification, as Wil calls it, of the US. Probably brought on by the cry-baby Republicans. That's right, you heard me. If you can't handle licking the Charms' Blow Pop you are not going chew the bubble gum. And smashing the candy with a hammer to get to the gum is cheating.

Had to get that off my chest. In other important news, Screech (Saved by the Bell) might lose his house. Could you give a brother a hand? He was, after all, with Principal Belding the only original cast member in SBTB: The New Class.

Speaking of pussification, I ran into Joe ("Is She Really Going Out with Him") Jackson last night before his show at the Vic. I panicked and made some gurgling sounds but my friend said "Hi, Joe." He did not respond. Good show though. Very good show.

Finally, Bill S., what's the wager for US - Italy? Wine? Art? The corpse of St. Francis? Name it.

Update: Maybe there is hope.

Jun 12, 2006

Wasting Time

I am an on-line time waster connoisseur. No one does it better than I. I would like to share some of that knowledge with you. Here are a few things to waste your time instead of working or playing with your kids or sleeping.

Nation States: This little site allows you to create your own state within a nation. Here is a link to mine. Create your own. You answer one or two questions a day and the rest takes care of itself. A simple time waster.

New Grounds: You like gaming? Go here.

Pandora:This is like the best thing in music. You enter an artist you like and it finds similar music. And it is all free. This is way cool if you like music. I have only been able to stump it once. The The. It eliminates "the" so . . . But still check this out.

Finally, where does Tom Waits get his ideas? Well, let's listen in.

Dag Flay

Say it with me now...

I pledge my blind, unquestioning loyalty to the large, heavy piece of cloth, dyed in two bright colors and one frankly rather neutral one, that symbolizes the numerological makeup (past and present) of The United States of America, and to the Republic --which they keep telling us is a democracy even though it clearly isn't, but telling us that it is tends to keep us intellectually sedated and, in turn, makes it far easier for them to continue consolidating their power-- for which it flaps its frayed ends wickedly in the rain-soaked night, tired and alone and forsaken and faded and wet and unraveling but, thank goodness, at least it isn't burning!--- one nation with a colony that Mexico is trying desperately to found on its soil, under Jehovah (First Amendment be damned) and Symbology and Numerology and Hypocrisy and rampant, unchecked, blood-in-the-water Corporate Capitalism and a President who is "uh unahter, not uh divahder," with libration, not liberty, and the suspension of habeas corpus for all. Must be 18 or older. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Not valid in all states.

(1) This post was inspired by comedian Doug Stanhope. Those of you who perceive the influence of George Carlin are, uh, probably right, too.

(2) Why, yes, as a matter of fact, I do like using obscure and archaic words. How did you know?

(3) No, that isn't a typo.

(4) Bud "Dag" Selig must go.

Die Doze

Maybe it's already happened to you. Maybe it will happen sometime soon. You'll be driving along some highway somewhere and find yourself wondering why That Damned Big Rig seems to be weaving just a little, wandering just a bit, having trouble staying in its lane.

Well, it could be any number of reasons...

[1] I got bored, so I nipped back into the sleeper berth to grab a book. Let's see, now, it should be here somewhere... Oh, don't worry: I'll be back in a few minutes. Besides, what's the worst that could happen?

[2] I'm more frustrated than usual, today, with people getting in front of me and slowing down. So, I'm pretending to be drunk, hoping to discourage others.

[3] Uh-oh. Oh, this isn't good. Uh, there seems to be something wrong with this auto-pilot-thingy. Oh, [expletive!] Help! Does anybody know how to drive one of these things?

[4] HA-HA-HA-HA! Somebody just said something really funny on the CB... probably about you.

[5] I took my hands off the wheel because I had an irresistible impulse to play air-fiddle during the instrumental break in Linda Ronstadt's version of "Silver Threads and Golden Needles." Hey, I didn't say I was proud of it.

[6] Uh, do these lanes look narrow to you?

[7] Not to be too stereotypical, here, but I could be sleepy, you know. I probably shouldn't be driving right now but, you see, the log book says I have to.

[8] *WHUMP!* See? The reason I swerved like that was because of the big, blown, truck tire lying right in the middle of the lane, silly. And the reason I waited until the last second before swerving around it was because, quite frankly, I was tired of you tailgating me.

[9] Are your high-beams on?


[11] Actually --seriously now-- it might just be your imagination. Sort of like an optical illusion. For whatever reason --and this happens to everybody, now and then, one way or another-- for whatever reason, you just this minute became very, very aware of how big and close that truck is, and how comparatively small your car is. In reality, neither you nor I are doing anything out of the ordinary. It's just that your brain has chosen this particular moment to become hyper-aware of some of the potential dangers of the situation. It makes it seem like the truck is looming closer, when it really isn't.

[12] This one might sound a little crazy until I explain it. See, if I move over onto the shoulder of the highway, just a couple of feet, it's a lot smoother. Many stretches of road --either poorly built or poorly maintained-- have wide, uneven ruts in the right lane, almost like a modern-day wagon trail. It's a very rough and hard-to-control ride. By moving over about a foot and a half, maybe two, I can avoid that.

[13] I just heard Bud "Hmm, Things Are Looking Grimsley" Selig on the radio, announcing yet another feeble gimmick that will cheapen the Grand Old Game... and I've decided to kill myself.

Jun 9, 2006

Copa Mundial

I know many of you are not in the slightest bit interested in the World Cup. I am. It's a competitive Olympics. The world actually cares about winning this thing and it adds a great deal of excitement to the event. Here are a few items that may prime you for today's start of the World Cup.
I am predicting a Brazilian win. Add your prediction in the comments section by Tuesday for a chance to win an F-Bomb's "Snakes!" shirt.

Now check out Ronaldinho's crazy repertoire. It's like watching old Jordan. I don't care if you hate futbol (soccer) this is amazing!

Jun 8, 2006

Hair Club for Me

I am a relatively hairless individual. Once every 2-3 weeks I take an electric razor and rub it over my head and face. I call this grooming. I have had one haircut in 16 years. The day before my wedding. Until last night, I was also blissfully unaware of this thing called a salon. I guess I never read the signs closely enough and just thought it was disgusting (not to mention unsanitary) to attempt drinking a beer with so much hair flying around.

This all started last weekend. I went to the Belmont/Sheffield music festival to see the English Beat. Before the show I was meandering around the street fair to look at the booths that were setup and to try to find a beer besides Miller Lite for under $50. One of the booths had matches that they were giving away. My gas grill's starter is broken and we always need matches to start it so I grabbed a matchbook and threw it in my pocket. The lady manning the booth unhappy to just give away matches handed me a flyer good for ten dollars off a "salon treatment" known as "The Man." I nodded threw the flyer in my pocket and gave it as much thought as the matches.

A quick aside. During the concert the man standing next to me asked if I had a light for his cigarette. I initially said no but then remembered the matches in my pocket. I hunted through the accumulated street fair garbage in my pocket and pulled out the match book. Thrilled to be a team player during the concert I tapped the man on the shoulder and proudly lifted the matches over my head in triumph. Being a kindly, and slightly drunk, fellow I opted to light his cig for him. Having his full attention after my little match victory dance, I opened the matchbook to discover that there were no matches inside. It was a condom. I wish I could read minds as I handed him the condom and resumed watching the show. Back to the story.

When I got home I emptied my pockets of street trash and went to bed. My wife saw the coupon thing from Halo [for men] and decided to set up an appointment for me for Father's Day.

For full disclosure I should point out that I am not actually a biological father of anyone. I don't think. I am fully aware of the two dogs, one of them full toed, that reside with my wife and I.

I arrive at the salon and am assigned to a lady whose name I do not remember but will call Charro so we can all feel a connection to this lovely lady. She offers me a water, sits me in a chair and begins to cut the lower third of my hair. My head, for those of you who do not know me, has the same hair style as "Hey Now" Hank Kingsly. The silence is overwhelming Charro. She begins to do that small talk thing. I am happy to oblige.

Charro: When was the last time you had a hair cut?
One F: About 16 years ago.
C: (surprised) What?
F: (confused) What?
C: Why are you getting a haircut now?
F: It's a Father's Day gift.
C: How nice. How many children do you have?
F: Two.
C: Boy and a girl?
F: No, no. Two boys.
C: Must be easier, then. Two boys.
F: I guess. The little one is trouble.
C: How old are they?
F: One's 10 years old and the other ten months.
C: Oh!
F: Yea, the little one will nip at my wife.
C: What? He's able to get around?
F: He's very fast on all fours.
C: I guess so. What does the older one do?
F: What?
C: Does he chase the little guy?
F: Sometimes but he has had hip and knee surgeries so he is a little slow on the move.
C: Poor little guy.
F: He's just hapy we don't put him to sleep.
C: Well, kids love to be awake.
F: I suppose they do. I suppose they do.

And on the conversation goes. At this point it is time for a hand waxing and facial. I had never even heard of a hand waxing. We walk over to a vat of hot wax. Charro squirts my hands with a disinfectant and then slathers some teenage girl's room smelling stuff. She then asks me to dip my hands into the hot wax. "Uh, one at a time, please, sir. " As each hand comes out of the wax it is covered by a plastic bag and then by an oven mitt type thing.

Next, I am asked to follow her to a recliner type chair that sits in front of a sink. This is imbetween two very full haired gentlemen that give me a quizzical look that seems ask, "Why are you here? You have no hair." I sit in the recliner and a hot towel, a scalding hot towel, is placed over my face. Hot water drips into my shirt. I start to wipe it before it scalds my nipple but I am unable to find it with no eyesight and my hands incompacitated by the oven mitts.

Charro begins to wash my hair while asking questions that I am unable to answer for fear of the boiling water drippin into my mouth and giving me third degree burns on my esophagus. She eventually stops trying and silently washes my hair and gives me a scalp massage. I like this. I kinda zone out into my own world and begin thinking that this may be a funny piece to write about. I think about how she thought my dogs were human children that, like Damien, were cruising around the house at high speeds and biting my wife. I chuckle.

Suddenly, I realize that I have not spoken to this lady who has been rubbing my head for about 5 minutes and I suddenly shuddered for no know reason to her. It makes me chuckle again. I can't stop. I am sure she is thinking about charging me more for my "happy ending."

The oven mitts are removed and the hand massage begins. I concentrate on the music (Modest Mouse) to avoid any further embarrasing misunderstandings. After the massage, the now kinda cold towel is removed from my face. She smiles at me. I blush.

We walk back over to the barber chair and she finishes the hair cut, trims my goatee and 'stache. Small talk resumes. I am greatful.

Charro: You look great!
One F: Yep, this is pretty good.
C: Handsome. You're a handsome man.
F: Thank you.
C: Did you like the hand and scalp massage?
F: Oh, yea. Y'know, you should all offer just the hand and scalp thing. You could call it the "Half a Man" ("The Man" was the name of the procedure that I was undergoing.)
C: I don't know if that's good name.
F: I think it's a good name. You have to be pretty confident in yourself to come in here at all anyways.
C: What?
F: Just saying.
C: (long pause) Do you mind if I put product in your hair?
F: No, whatever you would like. You're the expert.
C: OK. (starts getting something out of a drawer)
F: May I ask you a question?
F: What's product?
C: You put it in you hair to avoid . . .(long pause. She is a foot from my face and staring at me)
F: What?
C: I'm gonna trim your eyebrows.
F: Uh, OK.

After the eyebrow trim I get the same stop and stare and a, "Oh." I reply with a "Yea?" She pulls out a straight edge razor. I'm thinking that this will be great. We are about to straight edge the back of my neck. She then runs the straight edge over the TOP of my head. I sat stoically but I was sad. The remaining seven hairs on the top of my head had just been shaved off. And quickly too. Next, the product is put into my hair. She takes a huge gop of goo into her hand and then puts one finger in it pulling out 1/10000th of the stuff and lighty dabs the sides of my head.

We stare at each other for moment. "You wanna see the back?" I was not sure what she was talking about but I figure why not and she hands me a mirror and turns me around in the barber chair. Through the mirror I watch a man in a recliner jump about a foot in the air as a steaming hot towel is slapped on his face. "Looks good," I say.

The experience is over. I pay another nice lady $31 whom we do not have to meet and now it is time for a final decision. The tip. I go for $5. My wife later calls me a cheapskate. I guess I am just unable to make the saloon - salon conversion.

Jun 6, 2006

R.I.P. Billy Preston

Billy Preston (1946-2006)

Billy Preston died today. He is probably best know as being the only person who was not one of the Fab Four to be credited on a Beatles album. But his career was amazing and it was long.

His met George Harrison at the age of fifteen while touring as the keyboard player for Little Richard. Being the same age, George and Billy became friends. George spent the next four years playing with Sam Cooke and being on that Shindig show that you need to be over fifty to understand.

The next time that Billy toured England he was playing with Ray Charles. At that time the Beatles were in the midst of recording Let It Be. George felt that recording this album had become a "very unhappy chore" due to the infighting of the band at the time. He decided to bring Billy in for two reasons: the first was that since it was originally supposed to be a "live" recording with no overdubbing they could use a keyboarder and secondly, he hoped that having an outsider around would mitigate the jerkish behavior of his band mates.

To some extent it worked. The Get Back single was credited as "The Beatles with Billy Preston." He can also be seen playing with the band in the rooftop concert, the last time the Beatles appeared live together.

After the Beatles Billy went on to play with the Rolling Stones. He appears on the albums Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street, Goat's Head Soup, as well as a few more less awesome albums. He toured as an opener with Stones and eventually played with the Stones. By 1975 he was playing two of his own songs in the middle of the concert while being backed by the Rolling Stones. In 1977, Billy parted ways with the Stones over some money issues.

During this period Billy will always be known in trivia circles for being the first musical guest on Saturday Night Live (1975), writing Joe Cocker's hit song, You are so Beautiful (1970), and winning a Grammy for his instrumental album Outta Space (1973).

During the 1970's he also played on many extremely well know and critically acclaimed albums such as Sly and the Family Stone's There's a Riot Goin' On and Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks.

The 1980's were not a good time for Billy. He was in and out of rehab (cocaine and alcohol) and jailed for insurance fraud (he set his own house on fire). In early 1990, he resumed touring with Eric Clapton. Throughout the 90's he recorded and played live with Harrison, Ringo Starr, The Band (he was the Stan Szelest replacement), and recorded four solo albums.

He died today after being in a coma since November. He had had a kidney transplant that had failed. Below are some of the amazing albums that this man played on. Billy, rest in peace.

  • Let It Be (The Beatles)
  • All things Must Pass (George Harrison)
  • John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band (piano on "God")
  • Sticky Fingers (Rolling Stones)
  • Concert for Bangla Desh (G. Harrison and friends)
  • There's a Riot Goin' On (Sly and the Family Stone)
  • Exile on Main Street (Rolling Stones)
  • Ringo (Ringo Starr)
  • Goat's Head Soup (Rolling Stones)
  • It's Only Rock and Roll (Rolling Stones)
  • Blood on the Tracks (Bob Dylan)
  • Black and Blue (Rolling Stones)
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the movie (played Sgt. Pepper)
  • Choose Love (Ringo Starr)
  • Stadium Arcadium (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
As well as his own music which you can find here.

Jun 5, 2006

Open letter to Daley

Dear Mayor Daley,

I have been waiting to write you this letter until the incident report appeared on ChicagoCrime.org. I have noticed that we have not had an incident in this city since May 26th. You are doing a heck of a job. This site does not include white collar crimes. White collar crimes have nothing to do with my story or why I deserve the medal to the city but I thought I would put your mind at rest before I got started.

On Memorial Day of this year I was playing a little poker with some friends. Not for money, of course, that would be illegal. And in this fine city we hate illegalities almost as much as small airports. I was driving home from the game for a delicious steak dinner that my wife was grilling and opted to pick up some tasty ice cream with some money that had mysteriously found its way into my wallet.

Suddenly, on the corner of Clark and Albion (I may be off by a block or two) a little old lady (I'd say 80-85) came flying out of the bus stop and landed on her back in the street. I look over and 4-5 youths were scattering. The largest member threw a bottle into the street. There was trouble brewing, Mr. Mayor, but I was not scared and I knew what you would want me to do.

From my vehicle I saw that the other kind citizens that were waiting at the bus stop were helping the old lady so I took it upon myself to make sure that justice - Chicago-style - be done. Figuring I would be less winded from inside my car, I drove off after the largest member of the youths; the one who had thrown the 40 oz. He cut across Clark Street heading east and I was quickly on his tail. By quickly I mean about 5-10 mph.

As I approached him in my vehicle I noticed that he was a large man. I decided that Chicago-style street justice would be best achieved from the safety of my car. I quickly and nimbly dialed 911 while driving along side of the perp. The kind lady on 911 asked for a description and I gave her a damn good one. I even went out of my way to speed up just slightly to read the suspects shirt to her. I know you are a fan but wouldn't you know, a White Sox fan.

This is the most dangerous part of street justice. In fact when the perp saw what I was up to he made a quick step towards me. I swerved. It's pretty daunting to be involved with catching crooks.

As I continued driving while giving coordinates to the 911 operator, I noticed that I was being followed by another large scary man. This one was in his car as well. While I was deciding what this could mean the old lady throwing guy made a break for it into a baseball field. Here I knew cars were not allowed. And being a law abiding citizen, I hopped out of my car. So did the big man behind me. Rattled I opted to stare the man not running from me down. He looked very familiar.

"You watch the cars and I will chase him," said Junior Gracie, "If I knew he didn't have a gun . . ." We both knew how that story would end. With an armbar. While the 4th degree black belt chased the large criminal, I bravely watched the cars.

A car pulled up very slowly next to me. I looked inside and saw three men with bullet-proof vests on.

"Are you the police?" I asked astutely.
"He's over there."

Now as I am sure you know, Mr Mayor, police are allowed to drive on baseball fields. They did so and jumped out at Junior. Junior quickly corrected that misunderstanding and the police apprehended their man. Knowing that the police would want to speak with me and would probably not ticket me for not having city sticker because I had just become a Chicago treasure I drove around to the area of the original assault. I saw one of the officers, pulled over and went to speak to him.

"I called in the 911 report do you need me for anything? A statement, to identify the man, anything?"
"I thought it was a robbery."
"Uh, I didn't say that but do you need me to . . ."
"No, go home."

I did. Went home to regale my wife and our neighbors with tales of my bravery and duty done to the city of Chicago.

I know that you will want to give me the key to the city in a public forum. After all, you recognize bravery and good work done by the citizens of the city. I will be available most of the summer. Maybe we could start Lollapalooza with my receiving the key? Just a suggestion; you, after all, are the Mayor.


One F

P.S. As a friend, let me give you a tip. We know when you are lying to us. You stutter.

Undocu Drama II -- Mexican Standoff

The accident happened because of a psychosomatic disorder that I like to call IAAS: Ignorant, Arrogant [Anus] Syndrome. It is pronounced, as you might guess, "I ass," and it is affecting a growing number of people every day. While most of the afflicted are probably full-time sufferers, the condition seems to manifest itself most often in heavy traffic. Despite overwhelming and irrefutable raw sensory evidence that literally hundreds of other drivers, in every sort of vehicle, are all driving, um, "less than optimally," shall we say, IAASes seem to suffer from the almost hallucinogenicly-induced conviction that if they can just get past that damn big rig up ahead, cut him off quickly and slam on their brakes, then all of their commuting woes will be solved.

This particular attack of IAAS was more severe than most: Some fecal-brained bozo wearing way too much cologne succumbed to the deranged impulse to pass me on the right --on the shoulder, mind you-- and try to shoe-horn his new, white Lexus (which, by the way, is a thoroughly overrated car) into a space that would have been cramped even if he'd been driving nothing more than a Radio Flyer. He didn't have room, but he didn't let that bother him. He simply ran into me.

It had been that kind of day. In fact, it had been that kind of week. It started with the discovery, bright and early Monday morning, that my semi-tractor --the company's tractor, to which I was assigned-- had been stolen from the lot outside the company warehouse over the weekend. Probably it was used, in turn, to steal a trailer full of appliances or stereo equipment or some-such from somewhere else. In any case, it was recovered a couple of days later, abandoned in a business park a few miles away, somewhat the worse for wear. By then, of course, the company had rented a replacement for me to use. Since I was on the road all week, I was still driving the rental when the accident happened.

I figured the accident would be the capper: The last bad thing to happen on the last bad day of a bad week. I was wrong.

It was well after sundown by the time I got back to the warehouse. My car was the only one left in the darkened lot. It wasn't alone, however: Someone was hunched over it-- just in front of the driver's-side door. I felt the muscles around my eyes contract, trying to bring the scene into sharper focus as I drove toward it.

I stopped a few feet away. The dark, hunched figure was a woman. She was reading a newspaper, even in that dim light. She had it spread out on the hood of my car and was leaning over it, close. As I pulled up, she straightened. Dark hair, dark eyes, dark skin, dark clothes. But who the hell was she?

I opened the door and climbed down. I stood there for a few seconds, feeling dumb. Then I said, "Uh, who the hell are you?"

"I'm waiting for my husband," she said.

That didn't answer my question, but I went with it anyway: "And who is he?"

She lifted an arm, index finger extended. She didn't point, exactly, she just sort of waved in a general westerly direction. "He's down there," she said.

That didn't answer my question, either-- not really. There was another trucking company with a warehouse several hundred yards "down there," and I assumed that's where she meant. It was the only place likely to still be open at that hour. It didn't explain, though, why she was "up here," using my car as a park bench. I pointed all of this out to her, especially the part about it being my car. Looking back on it now, I probably should have thrown in the term "private property" a couple of times, but --silly me-- I thought it was implied. See, where I come from, a person's car is their private property. Apparently, not everyone feels that way. I also mentioned that the company whose property she was trespassing on had had two tractors (mine and one other) stolen recently from that very lot. I didn't use the word "trespassing," though. And I tried not to come across as accusational. I was just trying to make her understand why I was asking so many questions.

She folded the newspaper and put it under her arm. "He should be here soon," she said. VOC: Very Oblique Conversationalist. I didn't say anything more to her. We spent the next several minutes in an uncomfortable, silent, slow-motion sort of dance: She tried to keep her distance from me without going anywhere and I tried to keep an eye on her without seeming like I was stalking. I also took a few seconds to give my car a quick once-over.

Before too long, a silver-colored van pulled into the lot and parked near the end of my trailer. The woman walked over to it, got in. I stood there, all suspicious-looking, for a second or two more, then I climbed back into the truck and waited for the van to move. He had me blocked: I needed to back up about a hundred feet, the first in a short series of maneuvers I needed to make before backing into the warehouse loading dock. But I needed the van to move first.

It didn't. A few long seconds went by and then the guy got out and started stomping my way. Dark hair, dark eyes, dark skin, dark clothes. He marched up to my open window and started yelling. I've no idea where he was from: He had a thick, thick accent that I couldn't place. I had trouble following it, too. I'm not trying to be a jerk about that: I simply have trouble understanding thick, unfamiliar accents. After about thirty seconds, though, I got the gist of what he was saying: He was very, very angry... and I, apparently, was a racist [sphincter].

*Irony Alert*
Oh, how I love being called a racist by people who are stepping on my toes.

Really, how convenient. How nice it must be to be a brown person arguing with a dusky-pale pink person and have a ready-made "get out of disagreement free" card that you can play at any time, especially when you're wrong and/or you're acting like an [anus].

Last week, you might remember, I said a few words about the spin-doctoring battle between the terms "undocumented" and "illegal." One-F expressed the opinion --and it's certainly a valid point-- that the immigration issue is being stirred up like a big dust cloud, largely for the purpose of distracting us from other, more important topics. Well, the "racist" label is the same sort of cloud, stirred up within the immigration issue and for a similar purpose. Rather than confront the illegality of taking up unauthorized residence, many on the pro-amnesty side of the argument have gone on the attack, calling their opponents "racists." True, some of them probably are racists. Most of them, however, are not. In either case, it's still a cop-out: It just muddies the water. So-hey-cousin-guess-what: If I call you an [anus], it isn't because you're brown... It's because you're acting like an [anus].

P.S... Bud "IAAS" Selig must go.

Jun 1, 2006

Run Ted, Run

One of the many items that I read daily pointed me to this interview with Ted Nugent. Picture Spinal Tap but for real. This is the single funniest interview that I have ever read. He was interviewed because he is running for Governor of Michigan. Here are some key quotes from the future governor:

  • "I say if somebody robs you, shoot 'em. I'd like all thieves killed. And all rapists. And carjackers. No more graffiti. No more snatch-pursing."
  • "And I visited Saddam Hussein's master war room. It was a glorious moment. It looked like something out of Star Wars. I saw his gold toilet. I shit in his bidet."
  • Speaking about Iraq: ""Our failure has been not to Nagasaki them."
  • After and during shooting a Styrofoam bear with a bow and arrow: "Straight through the heart... dead bear. Both lungs... dead bear. Dead bear... dead bear... dead bear."
  • "I saw the riding crop. A lot. I felt it, I think, just once. But corporal punishment is real good. It teaches dogs not to shit on the couch."
  • "Neither did I poke my erect penis through a map of West Virginia - did you read that?"
  • "I never did crystal meth. And I never pooped my pants."
  • "I supposedly shit in a bowl of whipped cream. God, I wish I had."
  • "They sent this young Limey prick who pretended to be my friend. He tried to fuck with me on all these politically incorrect levels. I gutted him. I danced on his skull."
  • On what deer think: "They're only interested in three things: the best place to eat, having sex and how quickly they can run away. Much like the French."
  • "Politics, man. I don't have to placate some Arab numb-nut because he holds all our fuel."
  • "You want to know how to get peace, love and understanding? Who doesn't know this? The Ku-Klux-Klan? The Black Panthers? Child rapists? How do you get peace, love and understanding? First of all you have to find all the bad people. Then, you kill them."
Good reading.