Monday, November 28, 2005

Baylor Senior "Bummed Out" by Sloe Gin Request

Waco Texas Senior finance major, Jarrell Bradbury, reported that he was "totally bummed out" when his date ordered a Sloe Gin Fizz after she had finally agreed to meet him at a local hangout, Just For Grins, off campus.
"Man! This sucks!" reported Bradbury.
"I'd been sitting next to this chick in my Bus-stats 305 class all semester long. It was, like, the second time I had to take it and she was totally in to me 'cause I was telling her what to expect on the tests and all."

"I was all, 'hey, I can give you some answers on the next Logic Exam', and she seemed to be totally cool with that. Next thing I know, this chick's suggesting we meet for a pitcher of Sangria at Grin's and I'm thinkin' 'Woah',
Man, no-one's ever invited me for a pitcher of wine at Grin's.
"My friends in Butler Hall were all, 'you're gonna get some tonight, dude!!"

I met her at Grin's and she was totally cool. I suggested that we order a pitcher of Sangria but she totally freaked and asked the waitress for a "Sloe Gin Fizz." Man, that drink cost me $6.75 and she kept ordering "Sprite" after that."

"When I tried walking her back to my place, she kept asking me, "Kno'm Say'n?" after every phrase. After I kept repeating, "No, I'm sorry, I don't know what you're saying," she finally piled into old blue Celica and I never saw her again."

I learned my lesson tonight, let me tell you. If some chick ever orders a Sloe Gin Fizz, just know that you won't be registering anyone in your dorm room that night.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Becoming a Jehovah's Witness Described as "The Greatest Career Move Ever."

Schaumburg IL Having grown increasingly tired of the endless, mind-numbing office parties, senior analyst Jim Anderson recently joined Jehovah's Witnesses for the sole purposed of being excused from all future office celebrations.

"It just got to the point of being ridiculous. It seemed like every time I turned around, someone was having a birthday, an anniversary or was leaving the company. I was being pot-lucked to death."

Anderson recalls the day of his conversion:

"We were having a department meeting and the office manager bawled us all out for leaving the Holiday dinner early, not cleaning up and saying that we were all a family. That really pissed me off, too. Then I remembered a previous co-worker who was a Jehovah's Witness and she got out of everything! I mean, she didn't even have to eat the office cookies! Right then, I thought, 'I'm joining up!' It's been the greatest career move I've ever made."

"We've always had to take turns being in charge of each birthday celebration. You know, order the cake, pick it up, make sure we have enough plastic forks, etc. But hey, ever since I joined the Witnesses, I'm outta the loop! Man, this rocks!"

"About once a month our executive vice-president would want us all to meet for drinks after work. Once I didn't go and on my next review I got a 'needs improvement' with regard to teamwork. Man, that sucked! But now, I just leave a couple of Watchtower pamphlets around my cubicle and I'm free to get trashed after work with my own friends rather than these losers. It's great."

"Not that I buy into any of the J.W's beliefs, like only 144,000 people are going to make it to heaven. I mean, where do they off being so high-and-mighty? I'm not really religious anyway, so it doesn't bother me if they don't believe in the trinity and all that stuff. As long as I don't have to participate in another god-awful 'Secret Santa' drawing, I'm happy as hell being a Witness."

"Just the other day, one of the new employees walked by my cubicle and said, 'Hey, Jim, we're about to have cake and ice-cream,' and I heard somone else whisper 'sshhhh!!! Don't say that. He's a Jehovah's Witness!' After they walked by I just pumped my fist. Man, this is so cool!"

I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier. I'm able to get so much more work done now and I'm saving a fortune not having to bring something to a pot-luck every other week. Now, if I can find a religion that prohibits work on Monday mornings, I'd be one happy camper. . . "

Tabby Tennis

Beijing Members if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have announced the inclusion of a new competition that will debut at the games of the XXIX Olympiad in 2008. "We are pleased to announce the inclusion of 'tabby tennis' as a competitive sport for the upcoming Olympics in 2008," reported Chinese Premier, Wen Jaibao.

"For years, the stereotype of Chinese serving cats in our restaurants has been perpetuated. Now that Beijing will be hosting the Olympics, we just want to take this opportunity to show the world that we have other uses for our feline friends."

In tabby tennis, the tennis balls have been replaced with various breeds of tabby cats resulting in a highly action-packed spectator sport.

"We tried playing with all kinds of breeds, but the long-haired ones such as your Himalayans and Persians resulted in excessive single and double-faults," claims International Paralympic Committee president, Philip Craven. "The tabbys provided the best results and were certainly not expensive to breed for this venue."

Eloise Fleck has been a tennis umpire for 17 years: "Tabby tennis is much easier to umpire. Half the time I really can't tell if those little Gatorade-colored balls are in or out of bounds. But making a call on a fifteen-pound cinnamon tabby makes my profession so much easier!"

Seventeen year-old Jason Moore agrees: "I've been a ball-boy since I was twelve. Chasing balls around can get pretty boring but now that I'm a tabby-boy, I never get tired of the game. Besides, I don't have to run around as much especially when there's a single-fault against the net."

He ponders a moment. "The only part I don't like is after an overhead forehand smash. It can get kinda gross."

Joyce "Coriander" Robinson, president of the worldwide PETA association explained her reaction: "Naturally, I was initially outraged at this activity. But then when I learned that the synchronized swimming events were cancelled to make way for tabby tennis, well, that won me over in a hurry."

The introduction of tabby tennis into the Olympic Games will probably open the door for other competitive sports that utilize cute, furry animals. Plans are already in the making to introduce hamster badminton, puppy rugby, and weasel water polo at the London games in 2012.

Friday, November 18, 2005

A Pint of Pickled Peppers

Just in case you're wondering, here is the most difficult tongue-twister in the English language:

"The sixth sick Sikh shiek's sixth sheep's sick."

Away in a Manger . . .

I was a bearded Joseph at my church's nativity play and my friend, Beth, got to be Mary. All we had to do was to walk out, stand there, and gaze at the baby Jesus which consisted of a doll in a cradle festooned with hay. Beth was to kneel beside the cradle and I was to stand beside her with my hand on her shoulder while the shepherds and wise men did their thing. That's it! However, some pranksters (i.e. my younger brother and his friends) had crossed the eyes on the doll just before the play began. Beth and I had to gaze at this psychotic-looking doll the entire time. Needless to say, we turned into a couple of out-of-control nine year olds by the time the narrator read, "and wrapped him in swaddling clothes."

That got me to thinking about the manger scenes that are displayed every year, especially the original one on December 25, '00.

Everyone is always displayed gazing upon the baby Jesus with these looks of adoration, but I've often thought, "just how long did they have to do this?" Our nativity play took about 15 minutes, tops, yet it seemed like forever. So, how long did everyone really stand there gazing at the baby? An hour? Two? Until sunrise? And who decided how long they had to do this? Did they get bathroom breaks?

I can just imagine how it went:

Shepherd #1: (pokes Shepherd #2) "Psssst! Say, how long are we supposed to stand here and look at this kid?"

Shepherd #2: "Beats me. Maybe that guy with the myrrh knows something. "

Shepherd #1: What is myrrh, anyway?

Angels: (in three-part harmony) Aaaahhhhhh! Aaaaahhhhh!

Mary: "If Joseph suggests this 'natural child-birth' thing next time, he's gonna end up with that staff around his neck. God I wish I'd gone with the epidural. . . .

(Donkey pees all over the straw)

Shepherd #3: "Hey. Did you guys remember to shut the gate on the flocks we were watching by night?"

Shepherd #1: I told Shepherd #2 to get it on the way out. We're good.

Angels: Aaaahhhhhh! Aaaaahhhhh!

Wise Man #2: The kid's still crying. I don't think he likes frankincense

Wise Man #3: He didn't seem to care for the myrrh either.

Wise Man #1: (looking up in the sky) Where'd that star go? Hey. You guy's know the way back?

Wise Man #2: Beats me. I'm terrible with directions.

Mary: (sigh) It's East, you fool!

Wise Man #1: Mee-oww! Chill out, lady.

Shepherd #1: Seriously guys. Just how long are we supposed to hang around? I'm hungry!

Angels: Aaaahhhhhh! Aaaaahhhhh! (cough! cough!) Did anyone bring any Sucrets?

Mary: God, get me outta here . . . Joseph! Did you remember to call the sitter?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Oh, say can you see . . . ?

As a pacifist, I think that the U.S. national anthem is, of course, pretty inappropriate with all its "bombs bursting in air" etc. (Can you imagine it being sung at a baseball game in Nagasaki?) But as a musician, I'm even more against it. This anthem has just got to go.

First of all, the vocal range that it covers is just phenomenal. Few hymns require more than an octave range to sing, yet our anthem requires an an octave and a fifth. It's melody reminds me of clothes you see at a fashion show; creative, but you never see anyone actually wearing those monstrosities. Similarly, you never hear anyone singing the entire thing unless you just happen to be seated next to Beverly Sills at a Cubs game.

Yes, one has to have some pretty advanced vocal training to get through the entire thing and hit all the notes. I can almost guarantee that the female hammer-thrower atop the winner's stand at the Olympics isn't managing it very well. . .

Back to the text. Have you ever noticed that the entire song is one big question?? It begins with the interrogative, "Oh say, can you see . . ."
and ends with ". . . and the home of the brave?"
Our entire anthem consists of a big-ol' long question. Now, I really think any nation's anthem should be a statement and not a question. Pretty mimsey if you ask me. . . .

Can't we change it to that "amber waves of grain" thing?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Mom and Dad

I'm my parent's first-born and came into their world exactly nine months after their wedding. They were only babies themselves at 21 and 23 years old; they never got to experience their marriage, much less their youth by the time I came along.
I have to admit, I am one lucky guy. Even though my parents divorced when I was ten and, yes, there are some wounds that are a part of my life, I am so fortunate to have parents have always loved me. Without a doubt. They're also smart, highly educated, extremely supportive, and really, are just very appealing people to be around. (They're also very fortunate to have an adult son that can admit these things about them, too)

But I remember two examples when my parents really came through for me that I'll never forget. Get ready for a Hallmark Moment, folks . . .

I was nine years old. We were strict Southern Baptists and never participated in the Roman Catholic ritual of "Bingo." Nooo! For that was placing fate outside the hands of God. Besides, Catholics did it, so that really solidified it as evil. But the Jaycees were having a Bingo fundraiser that didn't involve money, but prizes instead. Dad explained to me how to play my card and also warned me, most importantly, not to get my hopes up! At one point, it was a "kids only" round and several kid's prizes were placed on the stage. Boom! There it was! This incredibly cute kid-sized wooden picnic table. I knew I could win it. God!! How I wanted that picnic table!. . . .
B-9 . . . got it.
I-19. . . got it.!
N-27 . . Oh, I got it!!
G-38 . . Hey, I got it!! . . .I'm gonna get this picnic table . . . .
. . . Then from across the hall, some fat Mexican kid yelled BINGO! (who had probably been bingo-ing at the Catholic church since the first grade).
I sat there, stunned, looking down at my Bingo card while the fat kid's father carted away my little picnic table. . . Yes! Bingo really was an evil game invented by the Catholics! My Baptist-minister Dad had really let me learn my lesson. . .

Two weeks later, I wandered in from school and Dad suggested I check on things in the back yard. Thinking that my beagle, Snoopy, had escaped once again, I slid the glass door open in back of the kitchen . . .

I couldn't believe my eyes!! There was my picnic table!! It was a perfect replica of the one back at the evil Bingo hall. It was even the same color as the other one!
But there was one big difference . . . which was that my Dad had spent the previous two weeks building it himself for me without my knowledge. I just couldn't believe it.
God, I knew then that I had the most amazing Dad in the world.

Needless to say, this one was much better than the one I'd lost at Bingo.

High School . . . I auditioned and made District choir along with two altos from my high school. Then at Regional auditions, I was the only one from my high school to make the cut. I was going to get to sing with twenty other tenors in a choir of eighty people the next spring after attending choir-camp! I'd never sung with any other choir members at all! My high school choir only consisted of a dozen underclassmen female outcasts singing soprano and alto, along with three football jocks who were being banished to the choir as punishment, and myself, a French horn-playing tenor.
Regional choir rehersals began in February and were 80 miles away from my home town. Since I was the only member representing my high school and since I was now eighteen and had my own car, (a little bitty Honda Civic) I got special permission to drive myself to-and-from rehersals each day. Each night I would come home just going nuts over how exhilarating it was to be singing tenor with eighty other choir members. Our concert was in two weeks, and god, I wanted someone to hear me sing this glorious music!
Mom was so busy raising two teen-aged boys as well as teaching in our public school. She explained to me that there was just no way she could get away and drive a hundred miles on the night of our concert. Besides, the auditorium where the concert was taking place was in a suburb of Houston. Mom was a single mother and had no idea how to find some obscure concert hall in the suburbs of Houston. I understood that, and the thought of my mom driving so far to the suburbs of Houston really scared me anyway. . .

. . . The curtains opened. There we were, eighty of the finest high school singers in South Texas. I was standing so proudly amongst the other forty tenors and basses. The stage lights were blinding me but just before the director held up his baton, I heard a cough from the audience . . . wait! . . That's my MOM'S cough!. . . I broke out in a huge grin and heard the same cough as confirmation. I coughed back and she reciprocated. WOW!! My mom was here! She made it somehow and drove all this way! Between each song, my mom would cough from the audience just to confirm that she was there.
And it was the best performace of my life.

I know that there are countless other things that my parents have done for me that go unnoticed by their son.

Aren't my folks just the greatest?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Proposition 2 Protects Gay Texans

Texans recently voted on proposition 2 and overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment protecting its gay citizens from the likes of heterosexual marriage.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, divorce rates among Texan heterosexuals were nearly twice as high as those in Massachusetts in 2004. (4.1 vs 2.4 per 1,000 respectively) This places Texas with the ninth highest divorce rate in the U.S; 51 percent higher than the national average. With most of its heterosexual marriages ending in divorce, Texans felt compelled to protect its gay citizens from the high odds of having to endure such painful and degrading outcomes.

Quebelle Bruchmiller, a wedding consultant in Plano, Texas, is relieved with the new amendment. "I've been in this business for 27 years and, let me tell you, Texan weddings are getting tackier by the minute." She sites an outdoor wedding in East Texas where a recording of Dueling Banjos was played for the wedding march, the groom wore a Git-R-Done T-shirt, and the best man kept pumping a pony-keg during the nuptuals. "The mother of the bride weighed four-hundred pounds and, I swear, you could see the outline of her thong through that dress. It really makes you wonder if there is a god. And, oh, don't get me started on these couples that write their own vows! If I hear one more quote from Kalil Gibran or the Desiderata, I'm just going to urp."
Bruchmiller smiles and her tone suddenly brightens.
"At least part of our society won't be tempted to follow this disgusting trend now!"

She then winces and continues:
"Let's face it. No one enjoys going to weddings except the bride. Then these narcissistic little daddy's girls decide that their wedding is an honor-yourself-beauty-pageant, end up putting both families into debt and getting divorced within a year. At least gay Texans won't be in danger of incurring such god-awful resentment from their families. Bless their hearts!"

Helen Heimlich, a long-time organist at Fairview Baptist Church in Abeline TX, responds:
"I've played for hundreds of weddings and you just wouldn't believe the crap these people want me to play!" She remembers one particular bride who insisted that Gretchen Wilson's Redneck Woman be played while the mothers were being seated. "Now that Proposition 2 has been ratified, five-to-eight percent of our congregation won't be making requests like that. It'll make this place a little more dignified and make my job that much less embarassing."
She sighs and pensively gazes out the window.
"I just wish more of our congregation were gay."

Rev. John "Booger" Robinson agrees:
Back in the 1950's, weddings were really dignified. Now you never know what to expect. Last week the ring-bearer and flower-girl were the couple's own children. And the bride wore white! Most of the time the groom is so hungover he has no idea what's going on. You bet, I voted to keep the sanctity of marriage in Texas! I'm really glad the gay members of Fairview Baptist won't be tempted to follow the immoral examples that others have been displaying. "

Members of Texas' LGBT community have responded with similar enthusiasm. Janet Smith, president of the Texan Lesbian and Gay Task Force was relieved when Proposition 2 passed:
"I was really worried there for a while that marriage might become legal for us in Texas. I mean, haven't my people suffered enough?"

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I just read today that a Boeing 777 just broke the world record for the longest non-stop flight lasting over twenty-two hours, from Hong Kong to London. The article reported that the flight left from Hong Kong with 35 passengers and flew over the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. . .
. . . What???
Okay, using my knowledge of third-grade geography, London is West of Hong Kong. That's why Hong Kong is referred to as being in the Far East. Planes take off to the South from Hong Kong International, so someone should have been telling the pilot, "Uhhh, you need to be turning this puppy to the right, my friend.To the right! No, MY right!" It's no wonder they broke the world record. Talk about taking the scenic route! I'm can almost guaranteee those passengers didn't make their connecting flights.

I've done my fair share of flying over the years. It used to make me nervous, especially when encountering turbulence. I just didn't like the idea of something that big bouncing around that much.
I'm no longer afraid of flying after one particular flight a few years ago. I was flying from Toronto to my small home-town about 120 miles Southwest of Houston, Texas. After a nice flight to Houston on normal-sized airplane (explanation: a "normal-sized" airplane is one on which you can be served a Bloody Mary), I had to fly in one of those little-bitty prop planes. I have a cousin who loves anything having to do with airplanes and always wants to know, "What kind of plane was it?" I honestly think this was a Boeing "Seven" that was servicing our flight. It was late at night and a line of thunderstorms had moved into the area. Before lift-off, the pilot came on with his announcement. "This your pilot, Captain Scooter Brady. Radar indicates a line of heavy thunderstorms, bowling-ball sized hail, severe lightning and possible tornadoes in a line extending 120 miles Southwest of Houston. . .”

Oh, swell. And no Bloody Mary’s. . .

“. . . In the event of a water landing, your seat cushion may be used as a flotation device. . ."
I thought, “Scooter, baby, in the event of a water landing, I will use you as a flotation device if I have to.

For the next forty-five minutes, Captain Scooter hot-dogged that little airplane through the most turbulent weather I’ve ever experienced. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it would. Again and again.

After two aborted landing attempts due to changing wind directions, we were finally on the ground and Scooter apologized for the flight. A friend of mine from high school worked there at the little airport and I mentioned to her how horribly scary the flight was. She said, “Jon, you have to realize that these pilots and planes fly in much worse conditions that these when delivering cargo.”

From then on, I’ve never been nervous on a flight.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Follow the Yellow Brick Road . . .

Had Dorothy asked me for directions to the Emerald City, I'd have inadvertently pointed her toward the Munchkin-Land landfill.
I'm absolutely horrible at giving directions which has really suprised me. I have a great sense of direction. Even when walking up out of any subway station, I automatically know if I'm facing North, South, East or West. I know the routes and general timetables of the blue, green, orange, purple, red, brown lines and even the little yellow Skokie line. I'm truly an urban-gorilla when it comes to negotiating my way around Chicago's urban transit system.
But whenever anyone asks me for directions, I freeze up, go blank, and blurt out some obscure authoritative command, just wanting not to feel stupid. Then thirty seconds later I realize that some poor single mother wanting to get to a job interview downtown near Clark & Lake will probably end up in Des Moines because of me.

I'm especially bad during the tourist season. I live and work in downtown Chicago, so I'm constantly being asked where things are. Recently, as I was about to get groceries on State and Grand, a nice family asked me how to get to Navy Pier. I told them that the trolley-stop to Navy Pier is just two blocks South on State. As I was walking home on State, there was the trolley-stop just a half-block away. Dang! The nice family was probably on the 29 bus to 95th Street and on to Kankakee hoping to find the elusive Lake Michigan because of me. They've probably reached the Gulf of Mexico by now.

I've sent people wanting to get to the Sears Tower onto the Brown Line. "Get off at LaSalle, turn right and you'll run into the Sears Tower." Just as the brown train pulls away, I remember that it's Quincy that's near the Sears Tower. Crap! Did it again!. These folks probably got off at LaSalle, turned right, are are still probably trying to find a cab. Either that or they've obtained public housing by now.

Once I encountered a group of people dressed to the hilt on a snowy Winter night near Lake and LaSalle. They were headed to the opera and wanted to know if they were close or should they get a cab. "Oh, sure, it's just a block away on Wacker." (I pointed West). Oops. The Chicago Lyric Opera is three blocks South of that. I hope they turned South. And weren't wearing expensive heels.

So, I've learned to say, "I don't know." Even if I think I know, I'll probably serve society better by just saying, "I don't know."

Just yesterday, I was on the corner of Wabash and Wacker in the heart of Chicago one block from my apartment building. Two nice women wanted to know if I knew where Morton's Steakhouse was. I replied dryly, "I'm sorry, I don't know." Well, there it was, lit up in huge seven-story letters right above the Christian Science church where I've been going for the past four months. . .
. . . Too bad I didn't notice that until the next day . . . .

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

Living and working in downtown Chicago, I encounter at least six people a day on the street asking for money. I make a good living and as a liberal democrat I don't feel entitled to more than I need. But as a social worker, I know these folks are only wanting to get the $1.75 to get that mickey of cheap vodka and cause more harm to themselves and others. So, I've felt the need to develop creative ways of saying 'no'. Here's what I've tried:

1. When they say, "Can you spare a quarter?" I don't make eye contact and just blurt out, "Not on the street, my friend." Doesn't work. It just invites a response, or worse, a string of expletives. Especially if they're behind on their semi-weekly Haldol injections.

2. When they say, "Can you spare a quarter?" I've actually opened my mouth, stuck out my tongue, and emenated a soft glutteral "gggghhhh." Doesn't work. They don't buy it. I'm a tall, clean cut guy in a London Fog full-length navy coat with a sweater-vest. Guys like that don't go "gggghhhh." When they do, they just make fools of themselves.

3. I've tried replying in Russian, saying that I don't understand English. "Я не понимаю английский язык!" Ya nye panimayu anglisky yazik. I can really speak Russian without an English accent, too. Doesn't work. These guys have heard every trick in the book.

4. When they say, "Can you spare a quarter?" I've tried replying, "I was just about to ask you for the same." Wow. That really pisses them off. Don't do that.

5. I've often tried replying in sign-language, hoping to convey the fact that I'm deaf. They never get it.

After many trials and errors, here's the best option:

1. Never make eye contact and totally ignore them. Mouthing along lyrics to your headphoned i-pod really helps.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Closet Cases

Here is a listing of "closeted" TV characters from television from the 60's and 70's. Mind you, these are characters, not actors.

Howard Sprague, The Andy Griffith Show. Howard was so sad. I never could figure out why the other fellas even put up with him. He was the county clerk in Mayberry, always wore suit that was wayyy too tight with a little bow tie, and lived with his prudish mother. Although there were brief forays into the dating scene and even one episode where he attempted to become engaged to Millie, Howard remained a confirmed bachelor. National "Coming Out" Day should have worked in reverse for Howard: All the people in Mayberry should have just told him, "Howard, we know."

Major Don West, Lost in Space. (As a kid, Lost in Space was my absolute, favoritest TV show of all time. I was just nuts about it).
Of course, the diabolical Dr. Zachary Smith was so obvious on the series that he doesn't even require mentioning. Every time some alien plant would budge, he'd shriek and go flitting off behind a rock. But Major Don was just wayyy too homophobic toward Dr. Smith which is always an indication of something hidden. And poor Judy Robinson, that gorgeous blonde vixen. All her attention was always on the handsome Don West but he never reciprocated; their relationship was always implied but never seemed to materialize. Hmmmm. And let's not forget Major Don's driving skills. Although he would heroically fly the Jupiter II, somehow he always managed to crash the damn thing. Yes, Don was one wound-up, frustrated puppy.

Mr. Mooney, The Lucy Show. Mr. Mooney made no bones about it. Whenever Lucy Carmichael would try to set him up with a nice female companion, he'd always emphatically remind her that he was a "confirmed bachelor." And how many times did we get to see him roll his eyes, place one hand on the side of his face and exclaim, "Ohhhh, Miss Carmichael." Good Lord.

Sgt. Schultz, Hogan's Heroes. Gosh, can you say, "Big Fat Queen?" Even as a little kid, I knew that Seargent Schultz just wasn't "quite right." And let's not even get into that Bob Crane thing . . . wow.

Ralph, Green Acres. Remember Ralph, the female handyman? It took a while for Oliver and Lisa to catch on that Ralph was female which should tell you something right there. When Ralph wasn't handy-manning, she was probably spending most of her time trying to inaugurate a women's softball team in nearby Pixley.

Miss Jane Hathaway, The Beverly Hillbillies. With that short hair, tweed suits, and no make-up, Miss Jane resembled a young Eleanor Roosevelt. As executive secretery at the Commerce Bank of Beverly Hills, she ran a tight ship, always keeping the other secreteries in line. Although she often feigned a crush on Jethro, we know it was just a ploy to get close to Ellie-Mae.

Alice, The Brady Bunch. As housekeeper for the Brady's, Alice kept Sam-the-butcher, as her cover. And Sam was one frustrated dude too! I never could see what he saw in Alice. She was "butcher" than the sides of beef in Sam's locker. Remember the episode where all the Brady's went camping? That was the only time we ever saw Alice in anything but her maid's uniform. And she wore flannel. "Oh, Alice!"

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Stand Up and Holler

"Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar
All for the Tigers, stand up and holler!"

I'd usually stay seated with my French horn at that point. If ever I had a "cause" it would be to eliminate the high school football programs in Texas. I'd love to be the Madeline Murray O'Hare of high school football. From a legal standpoint, it would be a slam-dunk.

What does high school football consist of? A couple dozen under-aged kids being cheered on to agressively assault each other as much as possible. If any 200 lb. pound sixteen year-old slammed into pedestrians in the same manner, he'd have scores of felonies on his record and be locked away. And medicated. Yet, entire populations across Texas praise the same activity every Friday night. A town of 3,000 people will turn out en masse and work themselves into a frenzy to watch a dozen kids commit felonious offenses for two hours. Not only that, a small few of these youngsters are awarded full "scholarships" to continue this criminal behavior. Scholarships?? Scholar??? God, please tell me what is remotely scholarly about this?

Let us just imagine how ridiculous the townsfolk would look if they exhibited this behavior toward more lofty pursuits:

1. Durndle, Texas, pop 7,500. Can you see five thousand Durndalians turning out every Friday night to hear piano recitals of twenty high school students?
2. McMaynerbury, Texas, pop. 9,000. Visualize all the parents fervently praying that Jesus will bless the high school choir so that they'll win the state championship.
3. Durndle, Texas, pop 7,500, (again) Imagine those twenty high school pianists being encouraged by the tax-paid faculty to commit numerous felonies each week. In Texas, we call those faculty members "Coach."

And our tax dollars hire as many as we can.