January 27, 2012

Friday Night Special

Let me take this out of the bag right away.

I really like Mark Walhberg.  I probably like him a lot more than I would have if I knew he used to be that hard core white rapper "Marky Mark".  But I wasn't aware of who he was then, so I'm free to like him as much as I want to.  I like him in the "talkies", I like him on the TeeVee and I like him when he shows up on "Live Funny Or Die" on the internets.

As some of you may know, Mark recently found himself in a bit of hot water when he made the statement that if he had been on one of the jets that crashed into the World Trade Center way back in the day, that IT WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED.  He said that instead of crashing, the first class cabin would be full of blood and he would have found a way to land the jet safely.

Well, you know what?  I believe him.  To me, there's not a tougher, meaner, more intimidating badass on the face of the earth than Mark Walhberg.  And that includes Chuck fucking Norris.

The other night, I was sitting around, thinking about how fucking awesome Mark Walhberg really is, and I wondered what history would have been like if only Mark Walhberg had possessed a time machine. Just think ... a lot of things would have been different if Mark Wahlberg had been there to ladle out his righteous brand of justice.  These are just a few of the images that came to mind ...




(but I'll give you a free shot at Yoko)

Yes ... God Bless ... MARK WALHBERG!

January 26, 2012

Well, Did You Ever?

As all of us seasoned bloggers like me out there know, there are sometimes ... ethical issues that you must face before you decide to write, and even publish a post.

And yes, I do consider myself a seasoned blogger because in 3 years of doing this, I've been approached via blanket e-mail several times by individuals asking if I would be interested in posting ads for magazines that no one in their right minds would read ... unless you were ex-POW John McCain years ago when he was sitting in the Hanoi Hilton without so much as an Archie Digest to fill the lonely hours.

Seasoned bloggers face ethical challenges every time they lay themselves out there for you, the blog reading public, for scrutiny.  For example, when getting really amped up about a subject do you say "F**k", "Fudge", "Phooey", or just "Fuck"?  Being bold, blue and proud of it ... I just say Fuck, because that's the bold way I roll.

Anyway, what if you were presented with an idea ... no, make it a revelation that was so interesting yet disturbing that it would no doubt send your comments section on fire and make you a shoo-in for Bloggers "Blogs Of Note" for the day?

Many of you experienced scribblers would say:  "Why yes you fucking idiot, of course I would!"

But ... what if it concerned your FAMILY?  Your immediate family?  Not Cousin Bobby Ray or Great Grampopsie Enos ... your immediate family.  And what if the little tidbit concerned someone from your spouse's side of the family?

Yeah.  What would you do then SMARTASS?

That's the choice I have to make some time in the near to distant future.  To tell the whole truth, it's not like my immediate family actually reads my blog.  I think they did at first, but I don't think anyone, especially Jan, has in the last year or so.  I'm fairly certain that they've just forgotten that it's there.

If I could be absolutely, positively sure of that, then I'd have no problem divulging this TERRIBLE FAMILY SECRET/TRAGEDY.

So, in the coming days ... or months, I'll have to pull the trigger one way or the other.  You'll have to keep reading to find out.

I think this is what they call, in the business ...

A hook.

January 22, 2012

A Few Sunday Thoughts

Another winter Sunday and I'm waiting for some football to come on.  The season really ends today and I wonder what I'll watch on future Sundays until the leaves come back on the trees.  Too bad I don't like basketball or hockey.

Joe Paterno died this morning.  I wonder if the scandal pushed things along for him.  Funny thing. I'm sure life was pretty good for him right up until last Fall.  You have to wonder how he viewed himself at the end.  Did he think he did the right thing?  The wrong thing?  Or did he just think he was a victim of circumstances.  Well ... I guess he doesn't really care now.

We finally got some cold weather and snow here.  For weeks ... months actually, the TV news and weather people had been bemoaning the fact that it was winter and the weather was nice.  Now they're bitching because it's cold and snowy.  What a bunch of assholes.

People act so weird when there's a measurable snow fall.  Friday afternoon, I was working away and not paying much attention to what was going on around me.  At about 3:45, I noticed that almost everyone on my floor had left because it was snowing.  Any old excuse in a storm to bug out early.

Just a tip for you guys out there with beards.  When you buy a new trimmer, start with the highest setting first.  Beard holes aren't very attractive.

Speaking of hair, the woman who does mine went on vacation last week, just when I needed a haircut, so I had to find a substitute.  When someone has cut your hair for 20 years and all of a sudden, some stranger is doing it, it's kind of unsettling.  This is what a one-night stand must feel like.

My Mom died in October, and I still catch myself starting to call her on the phone.  I guess I should take her number off of speed dial, but I can't bring myself to do it.  There's a finality in doing it that I'm not ready for yet.  I guess I'll get used to the idea that she's gone one of these days ... and I suppose that's kind of a shame.

Jan and I will both turn 60 years old in 2012.  Hard to believe that much time has gone by ... but at least we've had 37 of those years together.  That takes the sting out of the age thing a little bit.

Winter ... a time when you think too much.

January 19, 2012

Ventriloquism For Dummies

Editors Note:  I can't remember when I wrote this ... but I must have put SOME effort into it since it has pictures.

It seems to be popular now for people to freely admit that they are afraid of clowns.  But that's so passe'.  What people are really afraid of are dummies.  Simply because these little wooden/plastic/paper mache monsters come from the nightmares of their creators ... who have issues.  Some of the dummies are a little frightening, but rather benign.  If you're old enough, you'll probably remember some of the friendlier ones from your childhood. Others are the stuff of sheer horror.  Let me take you through some examples:

Who Didn't Love Buffalo Bob & Howdy?

Buffalo Bob was kind of a dick, but Howdy Doody wasn't too scary.  Unless he was trying to push Malt-O-Meal on you.

Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy and Whatsizface

I keep wanting to call Whatizface "Charley Horse", but that was Sheri Lewis' puppet.  Now that I think about it.  It's name is Mortimer Snerd.  Bergen was a pretty good ventriloquist until he stopped the vaudeville circuit and went on radio.  Then he got lazy and moved his lips all the time, ruining him.  Still ... not a scary group.

Paul Winchell w/Jerry Mahoney & Knucklehead Smiff

Winchell and his somewhat creepy dolls were a mainstay of late 1950's and early 1960's variety shows.  I always left the room because they weren't even remotely funny.  Paul's spots were good for piss breaks.

Getting Creepy

I didn't know Erich Von Stroheim made a dummy movie, but I have to look this one up. "Gabbo" is a great name.

Who's Scarier ... The Wife Or The Dummy?

Man, this is starting to get creepy.  I guess this would put the fear of God in you.  Where did "Timmy" go at night?

The Origin Of Michael Meyers (or Jason)

This Guy HAD To Have His Hands Super Busy!

Okay, that's enough to keep some of you awake for a while past your bed time tonight. So the next time someone tries to tell you how scary clowns are ... just remind them that:

January 15, 2012

What's In A Name?

Dad's been gone from this earth for over thirty years now.  Thirty-two this Spring if you want to be exact.  From what I know, he was a crazy young man.  Getting blown off a bridge about a hundred miles south of Paris in 1944 by a German artillery shell and spending almost a year in the hospital recovering didn't help things along.

But he had his moments, and now that I'm getting a bit older, I tend to think more about the nice things I remember about him rather than the bad.

Like any guy, he'd get a bug in his bonnet about certain things and do them with a passion until he lost interest in them.  Fishing was a bug for a while.  For a couple of years before I turned 10, he was big into fishing.  He bought a bass boat, spent way too much on rods, reels and tackle, entered fishing tournaments ... and rarely if ever caught one fish.

He took me on one weekend tournament to Bull Shoals Lake in southern Missouri.  The only thing I remember was that we had to sleep in the bed of the pick-up truck ... and the two guys we encountered who swore they were drunk on Pommac, which even at that age I found hard to believe.

Southwest Missouri is a fishing place.  The White River rolls out of Arkansas where it was dammed up in the early 1950's to create Table Rock, Taneycomo, Bull Shoals and Pomme de Terre Lakes.  A little town just southwest of Springfield, Missouri ... named Nixa, became the gateway to the lake area.  And in 1957, Nixa Sucker Days was dreamt up by the local bigwigs to bring the business to their town in May, the kick-off of the fishing season.  The fact that the Sucker, a bottom feeding river fish not found in any of the lakes didn't seem to phase the locals.

A Sucker is kin to the Catfish, only with more bones than there are planets in the Milky Way Galaxy. Basically, they're inedible, but since it's a well known fact that people will eat an old truck tire if you slather it in batter and deep fry it, a bony bottom feeding river fish is no big deal.

For a few years, Dad and I would go to Nixa Sucker Days on a Saturday afternoon.  No Mom, no sisters ... just the old man and I.  There would be fishing demonstrations, plenty of beer ... and of course, NO deep fried Suckers, because no one could catch them.  Instead, there were plenty of deep fried perch, which were just as bony and inedible.  But the memories I have of the outings are nice ones.

Anyway, the other night I was staring off into space, which I am apt to do from time to time.  And I remembered Nixa Sucker Days.  So, I got on the intertubes to see if it was still around.

And it was.  But ...

You know how a lot of places and venues are being named now for corporate sponsors?  Like the Boston Garden is now the TD Banknorth Garden.  And the Rose Bowl is now the Fritos Chili Cheese Bowl?

Well, Nixa Sucker Days went and got them a corporate sponsor.

Springfield, Missouri is a town always in transition.  It used to be the welding capitol of the midwest. Then it was the banking capitol of southern Missouri.  Now ... it's the hospital capitol of the whole area.  Oldsters come from thousands of miles to put down roots in Springfield so they can be serviced in their twilight years by the town's big two health conglomerates ... St. Johns and Cox Health.  One for the Catholics, and one for the Protestants.

And there's a rivalry for the old people's business.  So, what better way to build goodwill, than to sponsor some events?

And to that end, Cox Health decided they would put their money ... and their name on Nixa Sucker Days.  So, starting in 2012, Nixa Sucker Days is now ...

Cox Sucker Days.

I'm not kidding.  Here's the logo:

Needs A Little Refinement

And if you still don't believe me, here's the article.

They had to know what they were doing ... Right?

January 08, 2012

Die X-Mas Tree, Die ...

Ahhhh ... the holidays are finally over.

Funny, no matter how many times you experience the Christmas/New Years season, you always forget what a relief it is to have the whole thing over.  Let's face it.  It lasts too damn long.

It was especially long this year, and having the zombie Christmas tree next door didn't help it go any faster.

Back in 1980, when Jan and I had purchased our first residence, a town house, we celebrated the first Christmas season there by just saying no to dead, needle dropping, sap dripping, insect hiding "live" pine trees.  We went to the long ago defunct Franks Nursery & Garden Center and bought an artificial tree.  It served us well, through our 7 years in the town house, and the move to our new home.  My son was born, grew up and moved away knowing nothing but "Art", our artificial pine.

Two years ago, we decided that "Art" needed to be put out to pasture, and we went to the local big box home improvement center and purchased a new artificial tree.  Nestled in his well worn cardboard box, I carried "Art" to the curbside, in hope that someone would pick him up, take him home, and enjoy many future Christmases to come before the trash guy showed up on Monday morning and unceremoniously dumped him into the collection bin of his truck.

But it wasn't to be ... because in less than an hour, "Art" was scooped up by that mindless hoarder, that "I never saw a piece of junk I didn't like", that king of trash ... Hillbilly Ron.

And "Art" was deposited at the side of his garage, where I could continue to view him.  And I did. Through the winter snow, the spring rains, the baking rays of summer and the blustery days of fall ... times two.  "Art" sat there in his box.

And then, late this fall, Hillbilly Ron went on a cleaning spree.  "Art" disappeared.  I was glad he was gone.  I'd always felt a twinge of guilt looking at him.  He spoke to me sometimes.  "Rob, why didst thou abandon me", he called out.  He talked like that at first.  And then he stopped with the "thees" and "thous" and got a little more real.  "Hey you prick!  I'm freezing my ass off out here!"  "Do you know how hot it is out here you son-of-a-bitch?"  "Great, now I'm all wet you asshole!"

But, in late November of 2011, that was all over.  "Art" was gone.

Or so I thought.  Early in December, there came a blow, as they say in New England.  A mighty blow with winds topping 60 miles an hour.  I happened to look at a window into Hillbilly Ron's side yard and saw ...

"Art"...  Stand included

"WTF!!" How the hell had this happened?  Did Hillbilly Ron have him stashed away in the garage and attempted to assemble him for some type of redneck lawn display?

Or ... had "Art" wherever he had went, left his box, put on his feet and walked back to let me know he was still around?  Still pissed at me?  Wanting to extract revenge for junking him?

I didn't know, and I didn't care.  "Art" had to be taken care of.  Once and for all.  But, he was in Hillbilly Ron's yard, and the code says "if you're in my yard, hands off".

So I waited for the wind to do it's job and for the westerlies to push "Art" into my territory, where he could be dealt with, once and for all.  But the winds, like life, are fickle.  And instead of blowing "Art" into my yard in one piece, he came at me, one horrifying part at a time.  First it was the head ...

"Look What You've Done To Me, You Bastard"

And then other bits and pieces came into my jurisdiction.  As soon as they arrived, I tossed them in my trash can.  But no matter how many pieces came under my control, the terrifying torso of the tree, attached to the stand/feet never left the other yard.

But I had a good chunk of it.  Surely, Hillbilly Ron would realize that "Art" was useless for any purpose and throw what remained of him to the curb.

And that's what I thought happened, because "Art" disappeared again.

The holidays came, and the holidays went.  And all was well.  "Art" faded from memory.  On New Years Day, Jan and I took down his replacement and boxed it up in the basement, where it will remain for another year.

And then today, I decided that I ought to write a new post to start off 2012, so I came up to my den/office/whatever and gazed out the window towards Hillbilly Ron's house.

And saw something that froze my shit solid.

"I'm Still Heeeerrrrre ... You Bastard!"
"Where's My Head??"

It's going to be a long winter.