Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Let's "kick it up a notch"...

Man, there sure are a lot of cooking shows on television. They run the gamut from complicated gourmet cuisine to simple meals anyone could make in thirty minutes. However, the one thing they all have in common is that they lack "edginess", there’s no one "pushing the envelope", not even on "cable TV"(alright, I’ll stop with the quotation marks).

Not surprisingly, I have some ideas for what could be called "alternative cooking shows" (sorry, those were the last quotation marks, I promise) that ought to spice things up a little…

BUSHMEAT FOR BEGINNERS: Chimps, gorillas, leopards and many other exotic animals not normally considered food by most people are on the menu for this show. You will never be caught without a good recipe for spider monkey again.

THE LAST CHANCE DINER: Travel each week to a different state penitentiary and watch as the nation’s top prison chefs prepare the last meals of death row inmates on budgets tighter than a hangman’s noose.

FRYIN’ WITH THE PLAYMATES: Taped at the Playboy mansion this show will feature topless playmates frying everything from bacon to zucchini, all the while jumping and jiggling to avoid the splattering grease. The show will be hosted by Hugh Hefner who, ironically no longer eats actual food, but is kept alive with oxygen and large doses of vitamin enriched Viagra.

EXTREME CUSINE: This show would be the ultimate in adventurous cooking. You will see chefs with more courage than common sense attempting things like:
Roasting hot dogs over the rim of an active volcano, deep frying chicken in a canoe while riding the rapids and serving up elegant examples of Novelle cuisine while dressed up as a Union soldier in the middle of a trailer park somewhere in the deep south.

Hey, even if the Food Network isn’t interested in any of these, I’m sure the Fox Network will be.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

History revisited...

If I could go back in time, I think I would like to meet Alexander Graham Bell…and smack him in the head with his newly invented telephone, or at least interrupt his dinner by trying to sell him something.

Of course, there are many other historical figures that have annoyed me in some way. Here are just a few, along with the revenge I would take if I could…

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE: I would have this self-proclaimed "emperor" shot out of one of his own canons, partly for plunging Europe into war, but mostly for giving short men a bad name.

GUTZON BORGLUM: Yeah, I know…Gutzon who? He was the sculptor who defaced Mount Rushmore with those absurdly large presidential heads, for which I would imprison him for one year in Teddy Roosevelt’s left nostril.

NOSTRADAMUS: The sixteenth century crackpot…er, I mean astrologer who wrote a book full of vague and obscure "prophecies" that many modern crackpots, excuse me, I mean "star gazers" still believe to be true. To get even with Nostradamus I would probably arrange for him to discover his wife in bed with a group of wandering troubadours, at which point I would turn to him and shout "You didn’t see that one coming, now did you Nostry old boy?"

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: Since it was basically his poor sense of direction that eventually led to my having to study about him in school, I would tattoo a very small but accurate map on his forehead and make him stop for directions every time he walked more than twenty feet.

MOSES: As I see it, by performing tricks like turning his staff into a snake, turning the waters of the Nile River into blood and parting the Red Sea, Moses is responsible for starting a tradition that would eventually result in cheesy Las Vegas magic acts like David Copperfield and Siegfried and Roy. To even things out I would subject him to forty days of Wayne Newton concerts. No wait…make it forty minutes, I don’t want to over do it. After all, they say he has friends in high places.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Thinning the herd...

"Don’t try this at home!"…I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase more times than you can count. Whenever someone on television is about to do anything dangerous, someone else on the show is bound to utter some variation of those infamous words. They do this even when it’s extremely unlikely that anyone could attempt it even if they wanted to…
"We are just moments away from ‘Mad’ Max Borstein’s attempt to disarm a nuclear warhead while strapped to the wing of an F-16 fighter jet as it soars over Antarctica, but remember ‘Mad’ Max is a trained professional and under no circumstances should you try this stunt on your own!"

Don’t misunderstand me, when it comes to kids I’m all for warning them against doing risky and stupid things, but as far as full-grown adults are concerned…I’m not so sure. I mean, if people who should know better want to attach rockets to their cars and try to jump over a canyon because they saw someone else do it on TV, maybe we should let them. Hell, as long as they do it where they can’t hurt anyone else, we should probably encourage them. If they haven’t reproduced yet, so much the better…think of it as putting a little chlorine in the gene pool.

In case you’re thinking that I’m being too hard on stupid people, remember I’m only talking about those individuals who are imitating stunts they’ve seen on television or the movies. People who get hurt doing things that they thought of themselves, like using gasoline to start the family barbecue, asking Mike Tyson for an autograph or going hunting with Dick Cheney…well, that’s a different matter entirely. Oh, by the way… my burns are healing nicely.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Star power...

I think most of us have the impression that celebrities can be a little spoiled, but until the Internet came along, I had no idea how true that is. It turns out that many performers have what is called a rider, which is a list of things that they require and it can cover everything from food to the d├ęcor of their dressing room. You can find many on The Smoking Gun website, but here are some that I…er, just discovered myself:

THE ROLLING STONES: one industrial grade defibrillator and six gallons of embalming fluid. At least four coffins containing consecrated soil and under no circumstances are garlic, crosses or wooden stakes to be allowed in the dressing rooms.

BRUCE WILLIS: a large Ashton Kutcher dartboard (this is to be kept TOP SECRET…if Demi asks deny everything. All personnel around Mr. Willis are to be informed that NO reference to Hudson Hawk must ever be made in his presence. Finally, due to past unpleasantness, one extra guard must be hired and put on constant Cybill Shepherd patrol.

BILLY JOEL: three or four disposable cars. At least two people to repeatedly reassure him that’s it’s ok that he produced a lot of crap after marrying Christie Brinkley…after all who can concentrate when you’re married to a supermodel? His manager also requests a razor and shaving cream to be left in Mr. Joel’s dressing room in case he decides to “shave off that goddamned Mitch Miller looking goatee.”

HOWARD STERN: Mr. Stern will require a large assortment of strippers, dwarves, mentally challenged individuals and lesbians. As for parasitic, brown nosing sycophants that laugh at everything he says, Mr. Stern will provide his own.

MADONNA: enough copies of the book “Kabbalah for Dummies” for her entire entourage. A separate dressing room and a case of antidepressants for her acting coach. In keeping with her current incarnation as a respectable married woman, all personnel around Madonna will refrain from asking her to autograph any old copies of her SEX book or to demonstrate her deepthroat techniques on a water bottle.

TOM CRUISE: the walls of Mr. Cruise’s dressing room are to be covered with the Church of Scientology’s official L.Ron Hubbard wall paper. No one over the height of five feet and seven inches is to stand close to Tom when photographers are present. Any mirrors in the dressing room must be newly manufactured and come directly from the factory. Mr. Cruise has been known to break out in hives after having unknowingly used mirrors that have been soiled by the reflections of other people.