Tuesday, February 28, 2006

And now a few words about "Oscar"...

I hate award shows in general, but I have a particular problem with the Academy Awards, more commonly known as the ‘Oscars’. The origin of the nickname is lost in the mists of time. OK…I just didn’t feel like looking it up, but I’m sure it’s a (yawn) fascinating story.

Anyway, my problem with the Oscars is that both Cher and Robin Williams have one. Although, in Cher’s case fate may have let her have it as a way to make up for having been married to Sonny Bono. Don’t get me wrong about Robin Williams, I think he’s a fine standup comedian. It’s just that as an actor…he makes a fine standup comedian.

You see, I’ve always thought that the essence of acting was the ability to convey a wide range of emotions and portray a variety of characters convincingly. The Academy must feel differently, since whenever Williams tries to convey any emotion more profound than mild bemusement, he just looks severely constipated.

Maybe the problem is that my ideas about acting are wrong…maybe Hollywood doesn’t want versatility. Perhaps they want each actor to portray one kind of character well. You know…Joe Pesci as a mobster, Bruce Willis as an action hero, or Jennifer Aniston as the jilted wife, no wait…that was real life.

The point is, if that’s how things really are then maybe Robin Williams does deserve that Oscar. After all, if you need someone to play a character that looks bemused but constipated, then he’s your guy.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

What he really meant was...

I was discussing the letter that Donald Trump is reported to have sent to Martha Stewart with my good friend and renowned psychic Madame Putwonovaonya. She told me that part of her gift is the ability to read "between the lines", in other words she knows what someone was really thinking while they were writing. Here is her analysis of Trump’s letter:

Dear Martha:
Dearest passion flower:

It's about time you started taking responsibility for your failed version of "The Apprentice".
You know that you and you alone are the cause of this passion that burns in me with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns.

Your performance was terrible in that the show lacked mood, temperament and just about everything else a show needs for success.
How can you act so indifferently to the love of this most manly of men. In this concrete jungle I am Tarzan, come be my Jane and swing on my vine.

I knew it would fail as soon as I first saw it –- and your low ratings bore me out.
From the moment we met I tried to resist your Amazonian charms. I did this for the sake of my absurdly young wife whose name I can neither pronounce nor spell, but I knew it was hopeless.

Between your daughter, with her one word statements, your letter writing and, most importantly, your totally unconvincing demeanor, it never had a chance –- much as your daytime show is not exactly setting records.
Why have I never received a hand written letter from you? I have seen the letters you have sent to others and just the sight of your elegant and curvy lettering makes me tingle all over. Curse my fetish for women with good penmanship!

Despite this, I did nothing but positively promote you. Your only response to your failed show was that, "I thought that I was supposed to fire Donald Trump!" You knew this was not true – NBC would never fire me when The Apprentice was, for a good period of time, the #1 show on television and my recent finale, where I hired Randal, was the #2 show for the week, easily beating the competing finale of Amazing Race and others. Even Mark Burnett said, "Thank God that didn't happen," when asked about firing Donald Trump.
Essentially, you made this firing up just as you made up your sell order of ImClone. The only difference is – that was more obvious. Putting your show on the air was a mistake for everybody – especially NBC.
In any event, my great loyalty to you has gone totally unappreciated.
Nevertheless, as you go about referring to me as just a friend, I continue to worship you from afar. At night I call on Cupid and offer him everything: my real-estate holdings, my casinos and even the secret to my miracle comb-over, if the little diaper wearing freak would just aim one of his arrows at your heart and fill it with an all consuming love for The Donald.

Donald J. Trump
P.S. Be careful or I will do a syndicated daytime show, perhaps called The Boardroom, and further destroy the meager ratings you already have!"
Neglect me no longer my queen, or I just might end up hanging myself with one of my very expensive, imported silk ties.

Monday, February 20, 2006

My life's story...sort of...

Today I am pleased to present excerpts from my recently finished memoir entitled "Pants On Fire".
For years I put off writing this book because of my dull and uneventful life, but then I was inspired by the story of James Frey, you know that guy who pissed off Oprah by lying in his memoir. Well, if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me:

I was born to religious fanatics. My parents made Pat Robertson look like Ozzy Osbourne. Wanting to start my religious training early my mother would often act out stories from the bible with me filling in where ever a baby was needed. So, one day she decides to reenact the story of the infant Moses being put into a basket and set afloat on the Nile River. However, as there was no river nearby and my mother was as lazy as she was pious, she settled for a drainage ditch near our house. Much to her surprise the shallow water started carrying me away quicker than her three hundred pound frame could keep up with and soon I was out of sight. I eventually wound up at the sewage treatment plant where I was adopted as a sort of mascot until I was old enough to start school…

What can I say about my school days? They seem a blur of drugs, alcohol, knife fights in the boy’s room, clandestine encounters with a lonely, spinsterish English teacher and a four month long coma resulting from a near fatal bullet wound. The next thing I knew, it was time to start the second grade…

Eventually, school came to an end and I began to look for work. A friend of mine helped me get a job polishing brass knuckles for the mob and I quickly worked my way up to money laundering. Unfortunately, "laundering" money has nothing to do with bleach or detergents of any kind. So, after I got out of the hospital, it was time to find another job…

Being blessed with extraordinarily beautiful feet I became a foot model for a German sandal manufacturer, which somehow led to me starring in a series of French existential porno films. They are just like regular porno films, except that everyone is smoking cigarettes and mumbling about how pointless all this boinking is…

A few years after that I moved back to the United States and married the first of my three wives. Jane was an extremely nearsighted radical environmentalist, who unfortunately decided to go skinny-dipping in Yellowstone National Park's, "Old Faithful"…

My second wife Miriam, the seventy-two year old owner of the Golden Acres Nudist Retirement Village, was as passionate as she was wrinkled…

Finally, Holly my third wife, was runner up in the Miss America Pageant. She is now serving time for attempting to strangle the woman who won with her own sash. Baby, you know I’ll wait for you…

Those are just a few of the highlights in my book. I expect to hear from Hollywood soon, but I will probably avoid the Oprah show…just to be safe.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

We put the 'fun' back in funeral...

Funerals are a somber business and of course many people will tell you that they should be, but there do seem to be exceptions. Take for example the Irish wake or the jazz funerals in New Orleans.

I for one applaud a more positive approach to our inevitable demise and I’m considering opening my own funeral parlor. Here are a few of the services that we might offer:

Three Coffin Monte: kind of like the card game except that the deceased is placed in one of three identical coffins that are then quickly shuffled around. Pick the one with the body in it and the funeral is on the house.

If the dead person (or if you’re a stickler for political correctness, the "living impaired" person) was the outdoorsy type, then give them one last adventure by taking them white water rafting in one of our kayak style caskets. They’re watertight and guaranteed to stand up to (almost) any rock.

We will also offer alternatives to traditional burial or cremation:
The Egyptians had mummification but we’ve got lamination, that’s right instead of an urn with a handful of ashes, imagine your loved one with you always thanks to a coating of shiny and durable plastic.

For those of you with no desire to keep any part of the dearly departed with you, I recommend the "Boom Box". The deceased in place in a crate packed with half a ton of TNT, which is then detonated from a safe distance. I predict this will be a big seller around the fourth of July.

If it all goes well, someday I might be able to open up a cemetery/miniature golf course. Now, there’s fun for the whole family.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Hernia Celebrate...

According to a recent news article, 47-year-old pop icon Madonna suffered a hernia while performing a dance routine at the Grammy Awards Show.

You know the Grammy people must be thrilled to have that little fact made public. The entire entertainment industry is youth obsessed but none more so than the music biz. So, you gotta figure that as far as they are concerned, you can stick a fork in "Madge" cause she’s just about done. Here’s you’re AARP card and try not to break a hip as you step out of the spotlight dear.

Then again, maybe she can use this to further her so far less than spectacular acting career, by joining forces with Olivia Newton-John and Stevie Nicks to star in an updated version of THE GOLDEN GIRLS.
Or she could become the spokeswoman for a new line of "sexy seniors" lingerie from Victoria’s Secret.

Anyway, I’m sure she’ll be fine. Time has a way of marching on, but we all know if anyone can make support hose and orthopedic shoes seem sexy, it’s Madonna.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Olympic fever? I'd rather have the avian flu...

Let me be clear about this…I hate the winter, I don’t enjoy watching winter sports and I have not watched a single minute of the winter Olympics. So, how the hell is it that I know who Bode Miller and " The Flying Tomato" are? Did I pick up this knowledge by osmosis or could it have been the relentless, mind numbing and soul crushing media coverage besieging us from all sides.

Aliens landing on the White House lawn and publicly probing the president and his entire staff wouldn’t justify the media coverage given to this frozen snoozefest

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the grace and skill of figure skating, I just don’t like sports where the "winner" is decided by judges. Scoring the most points, crossing the finish line first…that’s how you know who the winner is.

"But what about skiing?" I hear you ask. "Isn’t the winner the person with the best time? Isn’t that good enough for you "Mr. I don’t like subjective results in my sporting events blogger man?" To which I have a two part reply; part 1: Yes, but the results always seem to involve winning by 8 tenths of a second or some other ridiculously small increment of time. I’m a simple man…I don’t do fractions, start rounding off the numbers and we’ll talk.

Part 2: I’ve got to see someone about these voices in my head.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Like, what's your sign...

Shakespeare once wrote that the ‘fault lies not in the stars, but in ourselves.’ Despite this sage advice many people still believe in astrology. For the benefit of these individuals (I can’t help it, I’m a giver) here are today’s horoscopes:

ARIES: Today is not the day to reign in your impulsive nature. Barge in when your boss is in a meeting and demand a raise, he’ll admire your gumption. Tell your spouse you’ve always hated your in-laws and from now on they’ll only be allowed to visit when you say so and tell those bratty kids if they don’t straighten up there’s an orphanage with their name on it.

TAURUS: This is not your day! Uranus is out of alignment and that’s never good. Unplug the phone, turn off the TV, stay in bed and pretend that the outside world doesn’t exist. If your characteristic stubbornness leads you to go about your daily routine anyway, at least make sure your will is in good order.

GEMINI: Financially speaking you are on fire today, money will be practically forcing itself into your wallet. The stock market, casinos, the lottery, three card monty or Russian roulette, bet the house baby because you can’t lose!

CANCER: Venus is in retrograde…or is it Gatorade? Either way it’s good news for you because love is in the air. So grab your spouse, companion, stalker, blowup doll or vibrator and let them know how much they mean to you.

LEO: With the lion like boldness associated with your sign today is a good day to start your travel plans. Start with Europe and then head for the Middle East, but make sure you pack as much red, white and blue clothing as you can and be sure to start chanting ‘USA…USA’ whenever you’re in a large crowd…people there just love that.

VIRGO: It is time for you to start putting your health first for a change. So, go ahead and make an appointment for that seaweed enema that you’ve been putting off and you might want to try the new squid and grapefruit diet that I’m predicting will soon be very trendy.

LIBRA: Unleash your creativity today. It’s time to write that big autobiographical novel you’ve been thinking about. Make sure you remember to use real names and addresses’ when writing about your annoying neighbors, incompetent co-workers and repulsive family members…it adds authenticity.

SCORPIO: Old friends seem to come out of the woodworks seeking your help. Refuse them nothing, no matter what it is…letting them move in for a while, co-signing for a loan or donating a kidney. Remember, the stars are watching.

SAGITTARIUS: Even though you’ve never had much luck with pets…you never had a hamster or goldfish live longer than a week and no matter what the psychiatrist says you’re convinced your dog committed suicide, now is a good time to turn that around. Get yourself some cats…lots of cats. Remember you just can’t have too many cats.

CAPRICORN: Your natural psychic abilities will grow stronger as the day goes on…but you probably knew that already. Gather together any other Capricorns that you know into a group and focus your mental energies together…and see if you can find out where the hell I left my keys.

AQUARIUS: Ironically for the sign of the Water Bearer, today water is your enemy. Do NOT try to fix your plumbing, go swimming, dance in the rain, bathe, date a lifeguard or raise the Titanic.

PISCES: Last but not least, you are steadfast, loyal and good with children…no wait, that’s a Golden Retriever. Well, that’s all the time I have today my fellow stargazers, join me again when I hope to be able to explain the cosmic meaning of those mysterious numbers on your credit cards.

Monday, February 13, 2006

I got the music in me...

Just about everyone knows what it is like to have a song stuck in your head and how annoying it can be. Especially when it’s a song you never even cared for, but thanks to the way radio stations play songs over and over again these tunes manage to bury themselves in your memory…just lying there, waiting.

Then one day you’re watching television and a commercial comes on featuring the music of ABBA or some other formerly popular but to you always irritating performer. You quickly change the channel, but it’s too late…the song has risen from the swampy bottom of your mind and is planning on staying for a while.

You frantically search your memory for a cool song, something you really like and you play that one over and over in your mind until your think you’ve gotten rid of the other one. Now you think you’re safe and start to go about your business, but wait…no, it can’t be… "See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen."

At this point, if you’re anything like me, you start looking for a hard surface to pound your head on, but really the only thing that ever seems to work is to sing it in front of someone else. Before they know what’s happened they’ve got it and you should be home free…it’s kind of like a musical virus.

Some of the most insidious and persistent tunes are television theme songs. I watched shows like Gilligan’s Island and The Beverly Hillbillies when I was a kid and those theme songs are still locked in my memory. Perhaps for an ordinary person like me wasting memory space on this kind of crap doesn’t really matter, but what if there’s a brilliant medical researcher out there that also grew up with watching these same shows?

After years of hard work and ceaseless thinking he or she is on the verge of curing some fatal disease, just needing to call up a few more brain cells to finish the formula…only to find those precious cells already occupied with…"Well, this here’s the story 'bout a man named Jed…"

Friday, February 10, 2006

What were they thinking...

Have you ever seen a movie that had a scene in it with men in prison working out with weights and wondered to yourself…who the hell thought that was a good idea? If they really need exercise, there’s always Richard Simmons’s Sweatin’ to the Oldies.

Of course, there has never been a shortage of really bad ideas, so I present to you my personal mini-hall of fame of truly awful ideas:

Letting Roseanne Barr sing the national anthem


Musical theatre

Talk radio

The lobotomy

Oprah having a book club

Three piece polyester suits

Hydrogen filled dirigibles

Hand feeding bears in the wild

The 8 track tape

Michael Jackson having children

Decaffeinated coffee

The Three Stooges continuing on after Curly died

Pepsi Clear

Turkey bacon

The comb over


Electing celebrities to any public office

The laser disc

Well, that’s my list, feel free to let me know if you think I’ve left out anything you think should be on the list.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Donald...

It was recently reported that Donald Trump has added a travel website to his business empire. Since everyone knows how much the man likes to acquire things and slap his name on them, I’ve come up with a few ideas that the Trumpster might want to consider…

SUGAR FROSTED TRUMP O’S: the sugary breakfast cereal with marshmallow bits shaped like Trump’s head, so you always get a little of ‘The Donald’ in every bite.

TRUMP TOILET TISSUE DELUXE: why would you wipe with anything less?

THE CHURCH OF TRUMPOLOGY: if some third rate science fiction writer can start a religion than so can Trump. Celebrities will be drawn to it like flies to honey covered dung.

THE TRUMPETTES: (formerly the Radio City Rockettes) these dancers will have a new retirement age of twenty-five, but in his munificence Mr. Trump will build them a group home so that as he himself might say " the old broads will have some place to go."

TRUMP HEALTH INSURANCE: our motto is "We definitely cover breast implants."

GRANDPA TRUMP'S BABY FOOD: feed your little ones only the best. Featuring two new, exciting flavors: Lobster Puree and Caviar Custard.

THE TRUMP SCOUTS: where children will earn merit badges for things like self-promotion, ruthlessness and conspicuous consumption.

TRUMPS EXTRA STRENGTH LIP BALM: lets’ you purse your lips in a disdainful manner even in the coldest weather.

All I ask in exchange for any or all of these ideas is a rent-free apartment in Trump Towers…so, Mr. Trump, what do you say?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Here come da Prez...

It’s no secret that men have dominated the presidency and vice-presidency since the beginning, and despite all the lip service being paid to equality, I don’t see that changing anytime soon. So I have come up with a plan to encourage both the Democrats and Republicans to level the playing field and make sure there’s always at least one female candidate. (I would’ve included any and all other political parties, but come on, who are we kidding?)

In any election year that these bozos fail to include a woman, the normal election process would be scrapped and my alternate plan would be put into effect. The candidate with the most points after completing all five events would then be president. Here’s what they’d have to do:

1.The checkered past marathon: It’s well known that candidates will go to almost any length to hide the skeletons in their closets. This event will turn all that around by rewarding complete disclosure. The worse they’ve been, the better they’ll do! Here are the point values:

Felonies: 200
Misdemeanors: 175
Racist or sexist remarks: 100
Extramarital affairs: 50

The salute to Darwin: The candidates will be locked in an enclosure with a large troop of baboons. The first one to kill the alpha male and mate with the dominant female wins, and in case you were wondering, no, none of the baboons is eligible for the presidency. Point value: 100

3.The dwarf toss: This controversial activity will gain new found respectability when it’s used to help select the nation’s leader. The candidates will be judged on distance and accuracy. In exchange for his participation the dwarf will be given a spot in the president’s cabinet…or at least on the nightstand in the Lincoln bedroom. Point value: 75

4.The pit: Drop the keys to the White House into the La Brea tar pits. The candidate who finds them and manages to get out of the pits is the winner. If no one survives just bring on the next group of presidential hopefuls. Point value: 200

5.The most well endowed: May as well break out the tape measure, since this is something most men care more about than foreign policy or balanced budgets anyway. This event ought to separate the men from the boys. Point value: 200

If this plan accomplishes nothing else, it ought to at least provide us with some really entertaining television viewing.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Earth friendly...

Are you a fan of recycling and alternative medicine? Do you wish you could find ways to combine the two? Well, you’re in luck because I just happen to a few ideas right here…

Lawn dart acupuncture: Lawn darts are large, potentially lethal projectiles that used to be commonly found in suburban homes with big front lawns, spacious backyards and children whom were considered expendable. They’ve been banned in a lot of communities, so there are probably thousands of sets just gathering dust, but now you can use them in new twist on the centuries old science of acupuncture.

Just draw all the major pressure points on your body with a marker and let the kids fling away; they’re bound to hit something. It will also provide the little couch potatoes with the only exercise they’re likely to get.

New age chocolate milk
: Everyone knows that milk is good for kids, but are yours getting enough? Well, now you can be sure. Just add used coffee grinds instead of the usual chocolate mix and add a tablespoon of sugar. Your kid s will never know the difference and the small amount of caffeine still in the grinds will keep them coming back for more.

Really green tea: People who are into health food go on and on about the benefits of drinking green tea. You will never have to buy an ounce of the stuff because it can easily be made from the algae growing in that long neglected fish tank in your home and those expensive tropical fish that you bought for your spoiled, ungrateful kids make fine sushi.

Homemade hemorrhoid cream: Do you have one of those households that seem to have an endless supply of dead hamsters, gerbils or any of the rodents that kids have as pets and you just don’t know what to do with all the little corpses? Well I’ve got good news for you, some scientists (ok, one guy who used to be a pharmacist and now lives in a dumpster) have recently discovered that the fat of these animals makes a great hemorrhoid cream. You just boil them in a big pot of water, skim off the fat and store it in the refrigerator. The next time your roids act up you’ll be sitting pretty.

No thanks necessary…

Friday, February 03, 2006

By any other name...

While the topic of celebrities having children is usually a matter of complete indifference to me, there is one thing that can force me to waste valuable moments and ever diminishing brain cells thinking about it.I am referring of course, to the child’s name.

We are all familiar with the unfortunate tendency among some celebrities to get "creative" and give the child a name that will express its "individuality". Why the hell these people don’t give their kid a regular name and then introduce the child to art, literature and music, is a mystery to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I really do believe in minding one’s own business, but some of the names these kids were given make it difficult: Calico, Fifi Trixibelle, Pixie, Elijah Blue, Prima Sellicchia, Scout, Zephyr, Banjo, Karac, Dusti Rain, Sage MoonBlood, Scargcogh, Moon Unit, Apple?

I suppose if these kids all go into show business it might not be that big a deal, but what if they want to become politicians or judges? President Trixibelle? The honorable Judge Unit? I just don’t think so. I guess a law could be passed against this practice, but I don’t think we really want to put people in jail over this, so maybe any celebrity that wants to give their child a "unique" name should be required to put aside a large sum of money. This would be used to pay for any therapy the kid might eventually need.

Conversely, since this phenomenon seems to dramatically increase when one celebrity marries another, a kind of ‘marriage’ tax could be imposed to encourage them to marry people not in show business. If all else should fail we could always resort to a top secret sterility squad.

Hey, it’s worth a shot…I mean it’s just a few short years before Dakota Fanning starts having kids.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A sound mind and a sound body...

It’s been a long time since I was in school, so things may be different now, but almost all of the gym teachers I ever had were out of shape. Some were just in the early stages of physical decline, while others looked liked the Pillsbury Doughboy in sweatpants.

I always felt that having an out of shape gym teacher was like having a math teacher who can't add without a calculator or an English teacher who thinks homonyms are a type of grits. Just calling them teachers is straining the term anyway, because I don’t remember them actually teaching us anything. Blowing a whistle and yelling "Gimme 25 laps!" in a cigarette and whiskey ravaged voice is not teaching.

Neither is dividing the class into teams for dodge ball and then wagering on the ensuing mayhem. Well…the wagering part was just one of my theories, the other one was that all gym teachers had started off as real teachers but at some point had killed a student. They were then given the choice between going to prison or teaching physical education.

Now with so many doctors going around saying that America’s kids are overweight, surely we must expect gym teachers to set the best example possible. So, to them I raise my glass and say… "Gimme 25 laps!"