Roxanne Jones, a former vice-president at ESPN, has published an op-ed piece in which she suggests that young college men should get an affirmative text message from prospective sexual partners before they get busy with them to avoid future accusations of rape.
This suggestion, coming as it does from someone who possibly invented the classic ESPN program format where two men shout at each other continuously about football between Viagra commercials, has to be taken seriously, despite the difficulty of putting it into practice. Critics of Cooper have claimed that two wasted young adults with nothing but sex on their youthful, marinated brains are not about to pull out their phones and start texting each other. They are wrong. There is no situation, including such dire ones as running from a tsunami or getting attacked by a pack of rabid feral hogs that young people will not stop in the middle of to fire off a quick text message. Cooper, as a part of the parent generation, does not see any problem with any inebriated young couple swiping out a terse but legally binding assent to getting lucky before grabbing each other by their naked parts. She, like me, has observed your typical millennial in action, and we both know it's kind of a miracle these kids are putting down their smartphones long enough to have sex anyway.
This advice does not apply to my generation, thank God. I might never get sex if I had to offer a text notification in advance. It takes me long minutes of concentration to type out a message in the near English language of text to my special lady even if it is as simple as we nead bere wnt 2 str wth yor dbt cd but 4got yr pin. brb as sooun as u txt it 2 me.
And it takes my girl nearly as long to type back Y MY DBT CD WHTS THE MATER WTH YR DBT CD????
And I message back i bougt thse stpd concrt tix u just had 2 have, rember? and the whole thing devolves into an episode of selfish electronic wrangling.
But I decided to give it a try, just to be refreshingly kinky, and texted her Hey, u want sex?
She texted back right away: may B who is this?
So sexting isn't working for us but I like the idea of proclaiming your innocence in advance when you are about to engage in some questionable activity. Texting Hey, we're going to have sex but it's going to be okay with you, even if you don't remember it, right? is one way of demonstrating your lack of criminal intent in court, should you be hauled there, and it's easily applied to other situations. For example, you can always text any interested cop:
I'm not even thinking of driving myself home after those eight beers and six shots of tequila I polished off at the Rumble Room, so no need to set up that checkpoint on my account.
Under no circumstances would I cruise to Nashville from Washington State with four pounds of Bubba Kush concealed beneath my emergency tire, so if you see a '98 Chevy Caprice with a Bob Marley bumper sticker accidentally run a red light in your town, just give me the ticket and leave that dope-sniffing dog in your car.
It's 3 AM and I'm not in back of a liquor store with a pry bar in my hands, so you don't need to bother driving down that alley with your spotlight on.
Of course the cops, like that girl you want to hook up with, would have to text back an amiable "10-4" or "Proceed with your mission" or "We're all locked down at the donut shop right now" for you to consider yourself completely in the clear.
And even if your date just types back "Duh" when you text her about the sex you think you are about to have, she might need to drop a critical part of you to do so. This could cause issues, especially as you guys get older.
But there's no use standing in the way of progress, men, so carry your cell phone into every possible sexual encounter. And if you're really smart, you'll tape a condom to it.
A semi-recent news item took note of Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky , who nailed his scrotum to the cobblestones of Red Square in Moscow to protest Russia's "descent into a police state."
Pavlensky, who makes a habit of injuring himself in the name of freedom, also sewed his lips together last year to protest the imprisonment of the girl band with the greatest girl band name of all time, Pussy Riot, by the Russian authorities. Strangely enough, the greatest girl band song of all time is the Go-Go's "Our Lips Are Sealed." I am not mentioning this because I think it is relevant, in case you were wondering.
Mr. Pavlensky was unavailable for interview because the Russian authorities tossed him into jail for "hooliganism" for fifteen days for attaching himself to Red Square without a permit, so I will have to advise the prospective scrotum-nailers among you without benefit of his counsel.
"Dude," I can hear you saying, "you're not nailing your scrotum anywhere. What gives you the right to advise other people on this fascinating hobby?"
It is true I would not nail my scrotum to anything, even including Scarlett Johansson's semi-naked body, but that doesn't mean that the advice that follows is not useful even though it is entirely theoretical.
The truth is that people who are on fire to nail their scrotums onto public thoroughfares seldom stop to examine the mechanics of the act. They just jump onto the street, drop their pants, grimace and start asking passers-by if they can borrow a nail. Or a nail gun.
While the nail gun isn't a bad idea in the sense that one gets over the pain of the nailing quickly, like thinking that the best way to jump into cold water is all at once, consider that after your protest is over, you're going to want to grab some lunch while you bleed into your BVD's. This means you need to remove the nail, which the gun may have attached quite deeply into the surface of wherever you have decided to nail yourself. It could be well past happy hour before you work yourself free.
No, the best way is the old-fashioned way. Use a hammer and a nail. Just choose your tools carefully. A cement nail sounds like a good idea, because of its concrete-piercing properties, but it is not. Likewise, a slim finishing nail will cause less pain when piercing the scrotal tissue, but the tiny head is easily missed, and if you miss the nail in this case, the hammer is going to fall on something a lot more sensitive to impact than your thumb. Use a nail with the widest possible head and the thinnest shaft. A few moments of study spent at the nail bins at your local hardware store will pay big dividends later.
Likewise the hammer. A long-handled carpenter's hammer is not necessary. You're not going to be able to step back and take a big swing at the target anyway, even if you're dumb enough to think that's a good idea. Get a hammer with a big head and a good grip and you'll achieve your aim of being firmly attached to Mother Earth by a bit more than gravity in a couple of teeth-gritting taps.
Also, consider how your personal appearance will affect possible sympathizers while you protest away. No one wants to look at some fat guy who's nailed his huevos to the ground. Look at yourself in the mirror objectively. If a few weeks of diet and exercise would make you more photogenic in the inevitable Huffpost slideshow that will follow your performance, get to it.
Even if your pics are just for personal use, remember the camera adds pounds. When your friends are falling asleep while you are displaying your snaps from your Hawaiian vacation and narrating them like so: "Here's us at Diamond Head. And here's us at Pearl Harbor. And here's us on the beach. AND HERE'S ME WITH MY SCROTUM NAILED TO THE SIDEWALK ON KALAKAUA AVENUE TO PROTEST THE DRINK PRICES AT THE HOTEL BAR you want your friends to cringe in horror thinking how unjust those drink prices must have been, not how you much you must have paid for enough sunscreen to cover your love handles.
And if you protest that dieting and exercising are just too difficult, you aren't made out of the stuff that guys who nail their scrotums to the sidewalks are, anyway.
Hey, any chips left in that bag?
Think this pic is boring? Click on it to view a gratuitous image of Kate Upton
"Cooking a turkey is easy." We've all heard that. It's not tremendously difficult, like building a suspension bridge or getting Obamacare, but it does require advance planning, doing things in a certain order, and anticipating bottlenecks in the process. In other words, it's not as easy as other traditional Thanksgiving activities, like watching football in a tryptophan haze or falling off the roof putting up the Christmas lights.
First, select a turkey at the supermarket. The author, like all cheap Americans, selects one that the market will sell you for next to nothing as long as you buy a certain dollar amount of other items. This can usually be accomplished in the author's case by stocking up on a weekend's supply of beer and liquor. These bargain turkeys are frozen harder than the Siberian tundra, so it's a good idea to start defrosting them a few days in advance. If you start defrosting your bird the morning of the day you plan to serve it, your Thanksgiving feast will become a midnight snack.
Next, open up the turkey's interior. Today's turkeys are usually equipped with a plastic or metal clip that holds the turkey's legs together. You may pause here to reflect on the number of people you know or have heard of on whom this feature would be useful. The clip holds the turkey's legs together very well, so after exerting fifteen minutes worth of manual effort on it, you have to resort to a "turkey wrench' to get it open. The turkey wrench is a regular wrench that you have taken the time to clean thoroughly before you use it on your family's dinner. We hope.
After the turkey's legs are spread, you have to remove the neck and giblets that have been carefully wrapped in paper and placed in there, for the sole purpose of charging you by the pound for them. Discard. Some people make gravy out of the giblets. The author advises you against eating at their houses.
Now you can see into the turkey's interior. It looks like a tiny set from a Star Wars movie, an icy cave spattered with blood. Time to stuff it! Many items can be used in turkey stuffing, such as bread, cornbread, raisins, rice, sausage, celery, mushrooms and occasionally a wedding ring or measuring spoon. After the bird is stuffed, slip the leg clipping device back on. Use the turkey wrench if needed. Bake at 325 degrees until the smell of cooking turkey drives you into gibbering, drooling insanity.
While your turkey cooks, reminiscence about past Thanksgivings. The author grew up in a family of nine. Our Thanksgivings always featured all of us and at least seven or eight additional hangers-on. The turkeys my mother served, unlike the tidy little bird roasting in my oven, were the missing links to their dinosaur ancestors, behemoths that once shook the ground when they gobbled. The guests were equally memorable. Some insisted on sneaking out into the November cold in order to smoke enough marijuana to make sure they were nearly incoherent with hunger when dinner was served. Others had alcohol as their drug of preference. Still others, pie. We were Catholics, and the Catholic grace is only five lines long. Someone muttered through it in a matter of seconds and we dug in. Imagine the author's shock the first time he attended a Thanksgiving feast outside his home and discovered some people like to extemporize a grace in which every person and food item on the table is mentioned and cross-referenced for long minutes while turkey fumes linger agonizingly in the air. If you notice someone making notes or bringing index cards to the table you should volunteer to say grace, even if you are a committed and proselytizing atheist. Something short, simple and ecumenical, like "Thank God, Jesus, Allah and Darwin the food is finally done," should suffice.
Baste the turkey every hour, or buy a self-basting turkey. The author is too cheap to buy a bird that is willing to assist in its own slow cooking, so let him know how it comes out. Basting the bird keeps it moist and also insures that if you have not cut, frostbitten or bruised your fingers so far in the turkey-cooking process, you can at least burn your knuckles on the sides of the oven while basting.
Finally, when the little plastic deal pops out of the turkey's breast, it is time to remove the bird from the oven and lift it out of the pan. This is the most perilous part of the operation. While roasting, the bird has excreted a substance called "turkey glue," which has caused it to become attached to the roasting pan as closely as Angelina Jolie is attached to her tattoos. Spatulas, knitting needles, knives, forks, and many other sharp instruments may be used in a vain attempt to dislodge Senor Turkey from what seems to be his final resting place. During your efforts, you are exposed to countless hazards. Stabbing oneself or accidentally thrusting an unprotected hand into the magma of the stuffing is nearly inevitable. The author owns a pair of so-called "turkey lifters," which leave him longing for something still more effective, like atomic turkey lifters.
Letting either the pan or the turkey itself end up on the floor happens sometimes. Conceal this event from your guests, if possible. Reflect that at least it gives the dog something for which to be thankful.
Serve to a room that swells with well-deserved praise, or, if you are like the author, you can just give it to your kid and his friends. You know you have succeeded if they put down their iPhones long enough to eat it.
Lousy web site makes for a happy elephant
I caught up with my old pal, veteran Republican political operator Joe Redstate, at the Des Moines airport bar, where he usually hangs out between Presidential primary seasons. It was cold in the heartland, but Joe was glowing with an optimism that was positively warming.
"Obama has finally, definitely, completely screwed up," he said. "It's time for the GOP to rise again."
Have to admit you're right about that, Joe. Obamacare has been a disaster so far, at least public relations-wise.
"And it couldn't have come at a better time. After the government shutdown, the GOP was polling lower than dengue fever and identity theft. And we were staking out a position as the Party of Personal Responsibility That Urges You Not to Have Health Insurance. Now we're the Party That is Pissed Off That You Can't Get Health Insurance Online Like Obama Promised You Could."
That's kind of a mouthful, Joe. And don't you think that admitting Obamacare would be okay if people were just able to get it is pretty much a direct contradiction of your earlier position that it is the worst government program ever proposed?
"People will forget about that once they see a few error messages. I smell Republican votes in the air. We get back in and we repeal Obamacare and replace it with the Republican healthcare reform program."
What exactly is that, Joe? Nobody seems to know, especially the major Republicans who get asked about it all the time.
"Details are still sketchy, but mostly it's going to be about tort reform. As long as ungrateful patients are still entitled to sue surgeons who accidentally sew up their golf cart keys inside of them, American health care will be in an unhappy place. Republicans will fix that."
What about those 40 million plus Americans who still won't have health insurance?
"They can go to the emergency ward. Have you been there lately? Even if all 40 million go at once, the wait times can't get much longer. I don't see a problem."
I don't think you'd see a problem with an asteroid strike today, Joe. I've never seen you so happy.
"You're right, pal. It took nearly six years, but Obama has now officially screwed up, and it's about time. We tried to tell you he was screwing up the economy, but the economy kept improving. We tried to tell you he was weak on terror, but people noticed he kept killing terrorists. We tried to tell you that Benghazi was the worst attack ever on Americans, but people insisted on remembering 9-11. Now that he has unquestionably screwed up health care, we feel the American people will want us back in power so we can screw up everything else again. We've had eight long years to plan. We start two more wars in Muslim countries to satisfy the McCain wing of the party. Syria and Iran, baby! We loosen regulation on Wall Street so a new generation of thieves can figure out a new way to make everyone's IRA evaporate! And tax cuts! Are we going to have tax cuts? You bet we are!
Followed by sound fiscal reforms, like getting Social Security under control, right?
"Are you kidding? We just talk that talk, baby. As soon as we're back, we're not cutting a dime from Social Security. Those old folks are natural Republicans. The deficit is something we're only desperately worried about when we're not in charge, if you haven't noticed. All that pious talk about the monstrous debt we're leaving our grandchildren evaporates as soon as we get our hands on the budget. Let those unborn kids open their wallets, baby! They owe us for keeping them from getting aborted is what we figure."
Wow, Joe. And we're getting all that because a website doesn't work?
"It's like a Christmas present for the GOP, dude. Joy to the world!"
For those of you holding your breath for the announcement, the annual title of Miss Bum Bum Brazil has now been awarded.
The title, which comes with a cash prize and some serious endorsement opportunities, is not taken lightly in this hiney-centric nation. Scandal erupted when the owner of the eventual winning tushie accused the sweet-cheeked third-place finisher of bribing the judges in an effort to secure victory. This, to me, demonstrates the moral rectitude of that august panel—they could not be swayed by offers of free bum bum, of which the contestants had plenty, and presumably offered in their efforts not to have their behinds left behind. These judges did not surrender their principles. They demanded their payoffs in cash.
Miss Bum Bums do not win points by participating in tiresome talent contests or boring interviews like girls in retro beauty pageants such as Miss America or Miss Universe. There is no evening gown competition, for that would be pointless. The bum bum is all. Regional and state contests produce local winning buns, which are narrowed down (although narrowness is not a sought-after quality in the competition) to fifteen final asset-holders. Then the frenzy to select Brazil's most bodacious booty begins in earnest. It is said that competitions like American Idol are poorly attended sideshows in comparison to Miss Bum Bum, so highly does the Brazilian nation prize its reputation for stimulating derrieres.
The obsession of the Brazilian people with the female bottom began in Neolithic times, when primitive girls with primitive behinds crossed over the Bering Sea land bridge during the last Ice Age and headed south in an effort to find a climate warm enough to flash their fannies. Arriving in Brazil, they abandoned the furs that had kept them snug in their emigration from Eskimo country and used the abundance of local jungle vines to invent the g-string. The invasion of the place by Europeans a few centuries ago did not increase their proclivity to wear clothes. On the contrary, the Christian religion, to which this nation of exhibitionists nominally belongs, is the inspiration for Carnival, a week in which the entire country gets drunk and naked.
One glance at a map of this nation solves the mystery of its obsession with patootie. Brazil thrusts its backside out into the Atlantic Ocean like the behind of a dancer, cleaved centrally by the Amazon, with one hand clasping the stripper pole of Central America, an open invitation to the rest of the globe to examine its musk, mystery and steamy tropical warmth.
Miss Bum Bum is Brazil, and Brazil is Miss Bum Bum. The finest behind in the land is the nation's icon. Makes you wonder how we got stuck with a lousy eagle.
I chanced across a recent Internet item that purported to tell me where to aim my personal stream in order to avoid misting myself when using a public urinal.
This problem is a recent one for the XY segment of mankind. Before the invention of indoor plumbing we guys urinated far and wide, on desert sands, in deepest forests, into raging rivers and quiet streams. The essence we voided was gone for good. There were no splashback issues when a cave individual came upon a pristine vista or a majestic fjord, realized that no human had gazed upon it before, and then peed into it. Men were at one with the primitive world they wizzed upon. No one disturbed the balance of nature, although some climatologists feel that the last Ice Age may have ended because too many guys tried to write their names in the snow at the same time.
In the Outhouse Age, men dug deep and wide. When they voided their bladders, the issue was settled permanently. Even after the invention of modern plumbing, respect for our desire to be rid of our liquid waste for good and all was built into the design of public urinals. They were tall and capacious. They towered over the heads of the toddlers that were just learning to use them. Specimens of this type can still be found in older government buildings, rowed up in an orderly fashion, echoing in their classic form the tranquility one feels when the act they were designed to accommodate is completed.
Not so the modern public pee-pot. Small and placed at staggered heights on the wall, its parabolic surface is designed to return serve better than either of the Williams sisters. Especially here in San Diego, where shorts and sandals are standard wear for much of the year, the result of using them is not the relief you anticipated but the discomfort of knowing you have wet yourself secondhand, especially if your personal hydraulics have been augmented by consuming several beers. I don't know who designed these things. I suspect it was some otherwise peaceful homemaker who finally flipped after scrubbing off one too many spots of the yellow glaze we guys like to contribute to the ecology of our local powder rooms, got a divorce, went to engineering school, earned a degree and worked her way to the top of the urinal design field, where she promptly got even with all of us by inventing the Return to Sender urinal that bars and stadiums install nowadays.
So I made a mental note to get back to that post, figuring that knowing the 'sweet spot' at which to aim when using one of these diabolical relief stations would make my life better and drier. Unfortunately, it was only a mental note, not an actual bookmark, and when I ran a search on the subject again, it failed to appear, but several other items of immense interest did.
The video game company Sega has invented a toilet-centric video game called Toirettsu, in which the player earns points by urinating on sensors in the toilet. This innovation has been badly needed since the era of public smoking ended. Back in the day, there was usually at least one cigarette butt floating in all the men's room toilets, giving guys a valuable chance to practice their aim. We could amuse ourselves by pretending to be driving a powerboat on Lake John while making a fake outboard noise. If we were lucky, someone would have dumped a full ashtray in the bowl, and we could recreate an entire naval battle before we ran dry. Stukas at four o'clock! Battle stations! Buda-budda BOOM! Abandon ship! Now, instead of targeting a soggy squadron of Marlboro filters, we can win valuable video game prizes like Mario coins or extra lives while micturating.
Also, the State of Colorado is using talking urinal cakes in an attempt to curb drunk driving. The cakes notice when they are being hit erratically and counsel the urinator to take a cab home. While a slight decline in drunken driving arrests has followed their installation, several of the chatty cakes have been destroyed or thrown in the trash by users. This is because they have broken one of the unwritten rules of public urination, which is that you never initiate conversation with a stranger while wizzing next to him. (It's okay to continue a conversation with a friend while relieving yourself, especially a profanity-laced tirade against the under-performing, overpaid superstar who is causing your team to lose the game you are watching) Having a guy you don't know start talking to you from the urinal next door is bad; having the urinal itself horn into the act is enough to prompt a violent reaction from anyone.
One of the urinal cakes was stolen, presumably so a conversation could be resumed in private. It's a lonely world.
None of this helps resolve the splashback issue, of course. I just figure that no matter how hot the night, I'll wear jeans to the ballpark from now on.
I got held up by the Boy Scouts the other day for a twenty-dollar box of popcorn on my way out of the supermarket. It's just about the cheapest thing they sell at their table and although they nailed me for the twenty, their table was not crowded with eager buyers. It was just me, one sullen Scout, and his dad, a guy who exuded so much cheer you suspected he was just grateful to get out of the house.
I only bought the stuff out of my innate spirit of sexual egalitarianism, but I think the Boy Scouts need to take a cue from the competing Girl Scouts here. These bouncy girl-children, in their season, operate in enthusiastic packs, screeching in unison "DO YOU WANT TO BUY SOME GIRL SCOUT COOKIES?" at anyone exiting the supermarket, including obvious diabetics and painfully thin vegans. They are backed up at all times by a cluster of steely-eyed Girl Scout Moms. Most importantly, you can get them to leave you alone for just four bucks.
Girl Scout Cookies are sold for at least a month, whereas Boy Scout Popcorn Time is much briefer. When I went back to the supermarket the next day the Scout and his dad were gone, and the Hispanic lady in the white uniform who murmurs "Do you want to donate to the Mexican Red Cross?" to everyone who passes by was back in the spot.
"No hablo Espanol," I say to her brightly, and escape in the confusion. She's easier to ignore than the signature collectors who sometimes replace her. They wave petitions for new propositions in my face, trying to shame me into doing my civic duty by getting me to encourage a process by which the great political questions of California are determined by the voters, typically people who are willing to think about any big problem for maybe three seconds before deciding that the government ought to fix it, then wait another three seconds and start complaining about big government.
I tell them "If it's a proposition to outlaw propositions, I'll sign it." They get their stony silence on when I say that. It's their living, after all. It's like asking a farmer to help you outlaw wheat.
The supermarket itself is getting into the soliciting act. For a few weeks there, they kept asking "Do you want to donate a dollar to help cure cancer?" when they rung up my order.
"No, I want what I put on the belt," I finally replied. "Has the basic process of getting stuff here changed, or what?" This sent the checkout kid into a hopeless mental tailspin. He was still stuttering out an explanation when I was headed out the door. I know he was just doing his job, and I ought to be ashamed of myself, but like many other people, I spend much less time being ashamed of myself than I should.
Besides, I was buying a twelve-pack of beer and a half-gallon of vodka. He should have asked if I wanted to help cure cirrhosis.
All right, Kate never said that. But here's a gratuitous image of her anyway.
I was advised by one of my critics the other day to quit reading the Huffington Post. Apparently, he doesn't realize that stories gleaned from Huffpo are the basis for maybe eighty percent of the commentary here.
All the more reason for you to quit consuming that liberal media swill, I can hear you say. Well, it's not that easy. I've been on the Internet nearly since Al Gore invented it, and nowadays I find that the only thing that interests me more than the links on the Post are image searches for Kate Upton.
Just this morning Huffpo offered me a treasure trove of insights into human nature. It reported that a bakery in southern California splashed this advice across its shop window:
DON'T GET A DIVORCE, GET A DONUT
This pearl of wisdom for those of us contemplating taking the express train to Splitsville now resonates across the Web, instead of being confined to passers-by in Burbank, thanks to the Post. Contentious couples can now gulp a sugar-coated sweet and feel they are doing something about their dissolving relationship, the woes in which were probably brought on by him discovering she has a fresh tattoo with his best friend's name on it in an intimate place, or her opening their credit card bill and finding extensive charges for hotel porn that he incurred on the same weekend he claimed to be helping a buddy move his mother into a nursing home. People like this, whose legal bonds are trapping them in frenzied hatefests, might need to eat a box or several of donuts every day in lieu of marching down to the courthouse. By the time they realize they've both hired lawyers and are going to have to pay them anyway and so might as well go through with the divorce, they are both too fat to attract someone into a new dysfunctional relationship.
You've got to figure that's a good outcome. Plus other businesses can take a cue from the donut shop and offer their products as a substitute for breaking the marriage bond:
DON'T GET A DIVORCE, GET A REVOLVER
What gun shop wouldn't be keen to boost business with this thoughtful reminder? But what if you own a competing donut shop, and, unlike many popular politicians, are shy about plagiarizing other people's ideas? There are many other painful ordeals in life that one can postpone by sinking one's teeth into a handful of gooey glazed goodness. Say yours is the only donut outlet near a medical plaza. Try this:
DON'T GET A COLONOSCOPY, GET A CRULLER Or if your shop is located near a full-service salon: DON'T GET A BACK WAX, GET A BEAR CLAW
Huffpo also made me aware of the practice of "catfishing," simply by running the headline "Regina Hall Gets Catfished on Huffpost Live." I watched the video, expecting to see the actress whapped lightly but merrily with a live member of the catfish species, or to at least have some frozen filets slipped down the front of her dress, but it turns out that catfishing is not that at all. Instead it is just a spectacular new waste of time made possible by the Internet. It consists of you pretending to be Justin Bieber or someone else who is vastly better looking and more successful in life and love than you, online. You then Tweet sweet phrases to that girl who rejected you cruelly in high school, collect her eager responses to "Justin," and then post them on Facebook for other people to laugh at, thus embarrassing her and also proving she was pretty savvy for rejecting you in the first place.
Just to see if I could survive without Huffpo, I switched to Yahoo, but the best thing I could find there was a story on the scheduled christening of the US Navy's newest aircraft carrier, the Gerald Ford, despite the fact that the ship will not actually float until 2016. This weapons platform, which has the distinction of costing more than anything else ever built, will have a bottle of bubbly popped on its bow by the daughter of the late President. I suppose that lady might be all booked up between now and 2016, but it still strikes me as a little premature to christen something that is still basically a collection of spare parts in a shipyard. Wait until its peacekeeping prowess is fully ready to sail, is my opinion.
And if we can't get the Jerry Ford's daughter to christen it then, I hear Chevy Chase is looking for work.
I spent a Sunday afternoon recently at the California Ballet's performance of Dracula. I attend the ballet because my Significant Other's lovely and talented daughter is a member of the troop. I admit otherwise I would not go to the ballet, but most of the time I really don't mind it. The female members of the show often wear little more than body stockings or other dancewear that shows off their toned physiques, and in this enlightened age, it is not necessary to have one's masculinity threatened by being in the same room with bisexual guys jumping around in tights and codpieces. And if the ballet lags, I can always admire the crowd, which is usually peppered with ballet-capable looking young women in short skirts and dresses. The eye-candy banquet is almost as good as the one at a ballgame on a hot summer night. I am with my Significant Other, of course, not with another middle-aged guy, so I am denied the pleasure of pointing out the most spectacular or lightly dressed examples of young leggy girl beauty with a nudge to a fellow enthusiast, which I then usually follow with a complaint that the girls didn't look this good when we were their age.
Of course, I usually go to ballgames with my S.O., too, so I am getting used to this deprivation.
Despite all of these balletic distractions, I nonetheless turned to my date during the second intermission and said "Imagine the life of a vampire, wandering through the endless night, alone and immortal, your only pleasure being your only curse, an unslakeable craving for mortal blood."
"What about it?" she said.
"I don't think it would seem half as interminable as this," I replied.
You see, the creators of ballet Dracula, who were only inspired to cast the old bloodsucker in a dance drama in 1987, after the book had been around for almost a century, failed to realize that there is no dancing in the original storyline, which is pantomimed faithfully and almost in its entirety by the cast. The story, a typical colonialist fantasy, is that Dracula, who has fed merrily on a bunch of ignorant Eastern European peasants for centuries, decides to emigrate to England, where he is promptly staked through the heart by superior, science-minded Englishmen with a minimum of casualties.
It's almost as convincing as Tarzan, which asserts that if you drop the unprotected baby son of a white English noble into the African jungle, he will naturally rise to become king of it instead of turning into snack food.
Dracula is a long enough story, but because we are at the ballet, numerous dance numbers have to be inserted into it. Gypsy women swirl at the beginning, stealing the watches of and confusing our English lads briefly. The Brides of Dracula, of which my S.O.'s daughter was one, made two appearances, although they weren't in the book at all. And whenever Dracula claims a female victim, they do the neck-bite boogaloo.
Other than that, the cast just walks around in uninteresting Victorian costumes, overacting strenuously. There is one guy who plays a madman in a transparent cell, who writhes in solitary insanity whenever the plot heats up. Near the end, he hangs himself.
"Can't blame him for that," is what the audience is thinking..
When the third act begins, Dracula does a solo number, just him and his cape, leaping from one side of the stage to the other. It's his way of letting the audience know that the approaching climax of the show is going to be just as somnambulistic as the rest of it, was my analysis.
"What's he doing now?" my date whispered.
"Just Drackin' off," I told her.
In this single Web page on Yahoo
, the casual surfer can find links to stories about Kraft planning to take the orange dye out of its macaroni and cheese and Hallmark omitting the word "gay" from its "Deck the Halls" Christmas sweater, replacing it with "fun" instead.
Both of these stories contain the seeds of fine posts. Personally, I think Kraft macaroni and cheese should be dyed a deeper orange, possibly matching the color of a safety cone, as a warning to anyone who eats it in the mistaken hope that it will taste good. Taking the word "gay" off your Christmas sweater now means that Christmas sweater enthusiasts can now wear them into biker bars without worrying about being bullied. Or possibly not.
But the headline is the main story here. Kanye West, whose ego was recently misidentified by the Hubble Space Telescope as an extrasolar planet, told Ryan Seacrest that he and his main squeeze, the extravagantly breasted Kim Kardashian, were a more influential couple than President Obama and the First Lady, and went further by criticizing Michelle Obama for not posting more pics of herself in a bathing suit on Instagram.
There's nothing this column enjoys more than a sober analysis buttressed by well-researched facts, so let's examine the Kanye claim below:
KANYE WEST VS. BARACK OBAMA
KANYE WEST--Thinking about having a fighter jet flyover at his upcoming wedding
OBAMA--Thinking about sending drones instead.
OBAMA--Killed Osama bin Laden, overthrew Qaddafi, kicked Mitt Romney's ass.
KANYE WEST--Took out Taylor Swift.
ADVANTAGE--At first glance, Obama, but let's face it--he had Seal Team Six on his side. West went after Taylor Swift alone and unarmed, even though everybody knows those country girls can really throw down. Even.
MOST OUTLANDISH CLAIM MADE BY KANYE WEST--"I am god."
MOST OUTLANDISH CLAIM MADE BY BARACK OBAMA--"Yes we can."
ADVANTAGE--No evidence for either. Even.
MOST EGREGIOUS FAILURE BY BOTH MEN:
ADVANTAGE--Even, and it goes to show Obamacare wouldn't be doing any better if it was delivered by truck.
THING EACH MAN HAS DONE THAT EVERY BOY DREAMS OF DOING:
OBAMA--Became President of the United States
KANYE WEST--Screwed Beyonce
KIM KARDASHIAN VS. MICHELLE OBAMA
M.OBAMA--Concerned about nourishing all of the children in America
K. Kardashian--Built like she's capable of nourishing all the children in America.
ADVANTAGE--Kardashian. A clear example of walking the walk instead of merely talking the talk
K. KARDASHIAN--Contents of clothes closet worth more than most people's houses.
M. OBAMA--Same here
K. KARDASHIAN--Lives in splendor and has her face constantly on TV.
K. KARDASHIAN--Has child named after compass point.
K. KARDASHIAN--Instagrams pictures of her ass to the world.
M. OBAMA--Feelings on subject of flashing fanny to globe unknown.
M. OBAMA--Graduate of Harvard Law School
K. KARDASHIAN--High school grad. Skipped college to become professional shopper.
ADVANTAGE--Obama, grudgingly. I mean, what's really better-some musty old degree or having unlimited credit since you were fourteen?
CONCLUSION--West's claim proves surprisingly robust even under this intense scrutiny. What did you expect? He's a god. He's a god. He's a god. Yeesus.