Saturday, April 28, 2007

The greatest show on earth...

The gentleman in the photograph goes by the name of Bello. He is appearing with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in a show called “Bellobration”. Now, judging from his bizarre haircut and the fact that he is apparently some kind of clown/acrobat daredevil, I was wondering if this had anything to do with the popularity of the Cirque du Soleil.

They also have people with weird hair doing strange combinations of things and they’ve been very successful…maybe too successful for even the biggest of traditional circuses to ignore.

If so, I just want the people at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey to know that I’m here to help. It just so happens that in my spare time I am the business manager of several world class, cutting edge circus acts, all of whom happen to be “between engagements”. For a very reasonable price I can make available to them performers like…

Lars Nostrom the Frozen Swordfish Swallower: Lars began his career in Sweden as a conventional sword swallower before coming up with the brilliant idea of using a live swordfish instead. While recovering from the operation to repair the lacerations to his throat he came up with the even better idea of using only frozen swordfish instead.

Gunter Holbein, Extreme Lion Tamer: Audiences will be stunned and amazed as this dashing Teutonic tamer of big cats puts his lions through their paces armed only with a feather duster, while wearing a suit made entirely from beef. In Berlin his show was held over for an additional six weeks…ok, actually it was just Gunter that was held for six weeks and that was for a court ordered psychiatric evaluation, but he’s available now!

The Amazing Borini Family, the World’s Only Blind Trapeze Act: Hailing from a small mountain village straddling the border of Italy and France, all the members of this family have been blind as far back as anyone can remember. They seem to have developed some kind of echo locating ability unique to themselves…ok, really they’re just yelling at each other constantly, but it seems to work…most of the time.

Bippy Leather Stockings: This mysterious clown from parts unknown is a clinically diagnosed schizophrenic with sadomasochistic tendencies who always gets howls of laughter as he whips himself with a cat-o' nine tails while begging himself not to stop...always a favorite with the kids.

Just imagine all those acts under one roof…now that’s entertainment.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A little pondering and a little pandering...

Generally speaking, I don’t consider myself to be an idiot, but there are many things in the world that I do not understand, many things that puzzle and befuddle me. Here are a few of the questions that have recently been crawling around the junkyard of my mind…

How was it that Albert Einstein was smart enough to come up with the theory of relativity but apparently couldn’t figure out how to use a comb?

Why don’t animal species in which the males can lick their own “private parts” quickly become extinct? Because I’m pretty sure if human males ever develop that ability that’s exactly what will happen.

Why life doesn’t come with a soundtrack? I mean, even the dullest existence could be made more bearable with the right music.

Do the people who make picket signs have a union and if they go on strike what do they carry while picketing?

Aren’t casinos really just weight loss centers for your wallet?

Do werewolves have to deal with flea and tick infestation…and does anyone make a collar for that?

Will Alec Baldwin’s angry tirade at his daughter keep him from ever landing that most prestigious of all hosting gigs…Nickelodeon's Kid Choice Awards?

Did anyone but me think that MC Escher was a rapper from Europe?

Black holes, wormholes…who would have thought that the universe would so closely resemble a hunk of Swiss cheese?

Why didn’t edible underwear ever become a part of everyone’s daily wardrobe? Oh wait, I do understand that one…ewww!

By the way, my fellow blogger Diesel, over at Mattress Police, is having a caption contest and yours truly is in the running. So if you are so inclined head over there and have a gander and maybe even vote…for um, you know, whoever.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Well, I'll be a monkey's...

Recently, I was completely surprised by an article that said that the chimpanzee that played “Cheetah” in the old Tarzan movies was still alive and had just turned 75 years old…75!

If you had asked me prior to this how long chimps usually live, I might have guessed 40 or 50 years, 60 at the absolute most, but not 75. Anyway, why would you be asking me…who am I, Jane Goodall?

Just think of all the things this geriatric simian has seen... World War Two, the moon landing and the Chia Pet. I wonder if he bores his grandchildren with stories about how tough things were when he was just a chimpling…chimpet? Whatever the hell you call a very young chimp. Or does he view the past through rose colored bifocals and go on and on about how much bigger and sweeter bananas were in his day.

Maybe someone should hire a pet psychic to “interview” him and find out if he has any great stories about the golden age of Hollywood, or if he has any response to those rumors about his alleged attraction to men in loincloths.

No…I suppose it would be best just to leave this elderly, hirsute thespian to his memories. I just hope that the people who give out the Oscars have taken note and are preparing some kind of lifetime achievement award or at least a star on that Hollywood walk of fame, I mean after all, they just gave one to Eric Estrada…Happy Birthday Cheetah!

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Stormy weather...

From time to time, I like to look back in time and honor the great, unsung heroes of history. People like Le Petomane and Nicholas Cugnot or the man we are focusing on today, Jonas Hanway.

This brave soul was the first man to walk around carrying an umbrella at a time when only women used them.

Like all people who break down barriers, Hanway at first met with a lot of resistance. Especially from the Hackney coachmen (the taxi drivers of their day) who feared that if this idea caught on it might hurt their business. Here now are a few excerpts from a journal that Hanway kept during those tumultuous days…

March 3, 1750, 9:00 am:
I think the modifications that I’ve made to turn a parasol into a rainproof device are complete. My “umbrella” as I call it is ready for testing on the streets of London. Never again will powdered wigs, make up and silk stockings be ruined by inclement weather…and I guess women may find it useful as well.

March 3, 1750, 9:03 am:
Apparently, the modifications were not complete. I seem to have underestimated the bloody wind! I’d not taken three steps from my home when a sudden gust ripped from my hand. I had to chase it for six blocks and wrest it away from a couple of filthy street urchins, one of whom tried to bite me. It’s a good thing that teeth are scarce among the lower class or I might have been injured.

Clearly, I need to improve the handle, but I’m not discouraged because I believe that this idea is one for which the people of this nation will be forever thankful.

March 5, 1750, 4:02 pm:
Bloody ungrateful bastards! Mindless fools! Everywhere I went I was greeted by derision and laughter. From one end of London to the other it was “Lovely parasol, my lady!” or “Afraid you might melt in the rain? Made of sugar are we?”

The most egregious affront to my dignity was delivered by a boorish group of Hackney coachmen. Tomorrow, I plan to seek them out and teach them a proper lesson!

March 8, 1750, 11:00 am:
Finally back from the hospital. The resident proctologist said he had seen a few parasol injuries before, but never one lodged quite so far up in the human body. He also said that if it had opened I would have been a goner for sure.

This act of violence against my person shall not deter me. I will not stop until I have secured the right of every man in England to carry an umbrella without the risk of be insulted or injured…I will prevail!

And so he did. Eventually, his efforts to make it acceptable for men to carry umbrellas were a success. His follow up campaign to bring back the over sized codpiece…not so much.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Talk is cheap...

I hate “talk radio”…I always have. It doesn’t matter what’s being talked about, politics, sports or automotive repair, I just wish it would all go away.

This recent incident with Don Imus is just further proof that “talk radio” is the work of the Devil…or at least one of his higher ranking demons. I mean, you’ve got to have some seniority to unleash that kind of evil on the world. Anyway, the only sound that should ever emanate from a radio is music…just the way the God Apollo intended.

So since Imus has apparently lost his radio job the question now becomes what will replace it? If the station insists on going with something other than music, I have listed a few things that I would rather hear than “talk radio”…

A dozen or so flatulent gorillas

The mournful wailing of the eternally damned

The hacking coughs of a room full of four- pack-a-day cigarette smokers

The complete works of Shakespeare as performed by the surviving cast members of the original “Star Trek” series

The incessant buzzing of a swarm of West Nile virus carrying mosquitoes (actually, this might be to close too talk radio as it already exists)

A series of lectures by James Lipton on the contribution made to the art of acting by the girl who played “Tootie” on the TV show “The Facts of Life”

Every book on tape ever recorded…played backwards.

The mating call of a Bull Moose during the height of the rutting season ( If the station can’t find a recording of this I can do a fair imitation for them…what? I can’t have a hobby?)

I may hate “talk radio” but I like

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Try and try again...

Once upon a time, in a more ambitious phase of my life, I pursued my fifteen minutes of fame by trying to set a new world record…any record would do. As you might have guessed from the obscurity in which I dwell, I never did accomplish my goal, but I have jotted down a few of my more memorable attempts…

Long distance tobacco juice spitting: This turned out to be much harder than I thought it would be. A pathetic dribble down my chin was about all I could manage, but the chewing tobacco did make me so sick I almost set an new world record…for projectile vomiting.

Hamster juggling: I never even got to make my attempt at this one because of two elderly women from PETA who assaulted me with their protest signs.

Speed tattooing: I thought I had a real shot at this record, but then the volunteers I was tattooing got all picky about things like the quality of the drawing, wanting me to use clean needles and not hitting any major arteries…people can be so self-centered.

Envelope licking: I didn’t even get close to the record with this one. After just the third envelope, I suffered a tremendous paper cut across my tongue that required many stitches. Having forgotten to have any emergency medical staff on hand I was aided by an itinerate seamstress from the tiny nation of Bakstabia. Unfortunately, I think in her culture it means that we’re engaged.

Most consecutive hours without sleep: In retrospect, this was a bad idea from the beginning…I need my sleep. It also turns out that sleep deprivation can lead to hallucinations and when I started imagining that I was Salome doing the dance of the Seven Veils, my attempt was pretty much over.

I did get a goodnight’s sleep in jail though.

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