Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Really Don’t Think This Is What Genghis Kahn Had In Mind

  So, part of the Tulsa Tribe is in town, visiting, and we’ve split into two SUV-loads of people darting about the metro-plex taking care of various errands and missions. This split in destinations took place after I gracefully confessed to the assembled family members that the thought of “all of you people in one mini-van screaming and hollering will drive me to the edge.” After a moment of silence, Dawn, my sister who always faces things head-on and pushes through the issues, calmly stated “Well, at least he’s being honest.” Let’s take two different cars.

  And we did. Terry, Dawn, niece Tristany and nephew Crispy took off to who knows where. There was some vague talk about hitting Sally’s Beauty Supply (very long story, just presume that this quest was necessary) and a fancy hair straightener. Me, Mom and sister Roni had our own objective. (For loyal fans, you might recognize among this assemblage various cast members from “The Paris Chronicles” and “Six Drags Over Texas”. You would be right, and therefore win a murky prize for your dedication. You would also be aware that both of those previous expeditions had some disastrous scenarios. Things did not look especially promising.)

  We leave the house and get really far, almost to the end of the driveway, when Mom suddenly announces that we have to get tamales today. This is a deviation from the intensely-long, painful discussion that was taking place all morning long as we tried to get 7 people to agree on the same agenda. (As mentioned, we never reached full agreement, ergo the “taking two cars” business.) But no one has been assigned tamale duty, and that just won’t do.

  I whip out my phone and call Terry, who is approximately 20 yards behind me, back under the carport where people are still dealing with unfamiliar seatbelt arrangements and doing that general “family from out of town thing” where it takes them entirely too long to simply get in the damn car and shut up

  He is not impressed with me calling him. “What?”

  “Mom wants tamales.”

  I can hear his teeth grit over the phone. “So…. are you going to get them?”

  “Well, I thought that you could.”

  He sighs. “We’re not going near there.”

  I sighed as well, but not as loud as him, because he’s better at it and there’s no sense in competing. Why did this have to be difficult? He was going closer to the tamale place than us. We were going in the other direction. But we were in this together, through thick and thin and nieces who insist on doing surprise body slams when you least expect it. “Okay, I’ll pick them up.” Then a thought struck me. “It’s getting kind of late in the day. They might be sold out and we’ll have to try again in the morning.”

  Beside me, Mom made a small noise of utter devastation and despair. Okay, then. We were getting tamales today. “I guess I could see what they have.”

  Surprisingly, Terry changed his career path, probably because he just got body-slammed by the niece and needed to end this conversation so he could attend to his internal bleeding. “We’ll go get them. Bye.”

  Yay! “Bye.”

  Anyway, I throw my car back in gear, and the three of us head out. During a random moment of Internet searching, we have discovered that there is a Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop outlet in our area. This means nothing to me. But it is something akin to the Second Coming for my sister Roni. She worships the Dallas Cowboys. With much more fervor than one would think necessary, but still. For years now, she has carried a small Cowboys bear around with her in her wheelchair. Very long years, because this little bear has been reduced to nothing more than a wispy bag of sad and dejected beans that no longer have the will to live.

  It was time to replace the bear.

  Now, despite having a firm destination, unlike that other SUV where the doomed occupants were just going to “drive around until they found a Sally’s”, our own travelogue was not without a few glitches. First, the DFW metro-plex is a very big place. The journey to arrive at a location that is supposedly “right nearby” can be the same as driving across three entire states on the Eastern Seaboard. You can start out all smiling and happy. By the time you actually get there, internal organs have begun to fail due to lack of nutrition.

  So we head up the west side of Loop 12. This is one of the most boring stretches of roadway known to mankind. There’s nothing to look at. Well, there is, but you don’t want to. Have you ever seen an artsy coffee table book that contains pictures of low-rent housing, questionable furniture outlets, tractor-trailer repair stations, seedy motels where you can apparently live for only $40 a week, and vast stretches of nothing? No, you have not. Because nobody cares about that. Nobody.

  We traverse this bit of unpleasantness, and eventually get to the intersection of Loop 12, Hwy 183 and Hwy 114. These numbers mean nothing to you, and they shouldn’t, trust. The only piece of worthwhile information is that this is where Texas Stadium used to stand, until two years ago when Cowboys owner Jerry Jones got something up his butt and decided to move the team from Dallas to Arlington, Texas.

  A move which should have made them the Arlington Cowboys, not the Dallas Cowboys. Am I right? But no one really wanted to listen to my opinion on this matter. And on the flip side, this highway intersection is actually in Irving, Texas, not Dallas. So we’ve been lied to since roughly 1972 when the stadium was built. No wonder this country is in chaos right now. We haven’t been told the truth for 40 years.

  Anyway, we roll into this traffic mix-master, try to switch roadways, and almost immediately come to a halt. Because once the Cowboys hightailed it to Arlington, some really smart person somewhere decided to just demolish the old stadium, rather than reuse it. (Doesn’t make sense to me, but once again I wasn’t consulted.) And once people started banging away on the stadium, lots of other people thought it would be really fun to totally change everything in the area.

  Like where people actually drive.

  There’s some big ole mess with restructuring the traffic exchanges so that things flow more smoothly. I’m all for that. What I’m not for? Not bothering to put any signs out about what’s going on. You want to maneuver from Loop 12 to Hwy 114? Great. But figure it out on your own. We’re not going to tell you where to go. You just have to drive your ass around through blowing billows of construction dust and ramps that are blocked off. We are not going to help you in any way. Good luck with that!

  And since the traffic-flow planners don’t care, the workers don’t care, either. You can be innocently driving along, at 15 miles per hour because you have no idea where to go, when suddenly some butt wipe in a dirt hauler will burst out of the shrubbery on the side of the road and nearly flatten your much smaller vehicle in a roar of tonnage and unconcern. There were enough screams in our car that you’d think we were watching “Friday the 13th, Part 46: Carnage at the Construction Site.” Starring Meredith Baxter Now-Lesbian-Not-Birney.

  Several years later, we finally make our way to Hwy 114. I’m lighting votive candles because I’m so thankful. Everyone else in the car has fallen asleep out of sheer boredom.  Because this does not please me, I purposely hit every bump in the road I can spy. Soon enough, Mom and Roni are once again wakeful and fearing for their lives in this place of unsupervised road construction and missing signage. Look, if I have to deal with this mess, I want some witnesses on my side when I eventually snap and start waving a deadly implement fashioned out of empty beer cans and a GPS.

  We drive for a while, then, following the Internet driving directions, we exit the freeway, make a few turns, then find ourselves in what might be an extensive business park or a Japanese internment camp from the 40’s. It’s hard to tell, all of the buildings have that vague “what the hell is going on in there” look, and there’s not a single soul in sight. Apparently it’s not socially fashionable to be seen in this particular area, at least not on a random Saturday in January.

  But we persevere, plodding along and craning our necks to read street signs, some of which are partially hidden by clearly untended landscaping that desperately wants to reclaim the land. Finally, I spy the specific road where one can supposedly find discounted Cowboys paraphernalia for perusal. I slowly turn down this street, quietly texting my location coordinates to three close friends in case they need the information for the Amber Alert when we don’t show up for three days.

  We mosey down this street for a bit, a particular avenue that has certainly seen better days, probably around the time that Sue Ellen shot JR. It’s not like there are crack houses and people named Bumpty calculating what he can get for the spare parts from my car after he kills us in a ditch, but there are definitely unoccupied buildings and a clear unconcern about winning Best Lawn in the Neighborhood. 

  In fact, I’m starting to think that someone hasn’t updated that stupid website in a while, and the outlet store has been closed for years. What am I going to tell Roni, who is gazing about with rapturous anticipation, eyes searching for the first splash of blue and silver that will confirm Cowboys Nirvana is near at hand? If I disappoint her on this expedition, there could be an intense family rift for decades to come, with bitter glances exchanged at Thanksgiving and extensive updates to inheritance proclamations.

  Suddenly, we round a bend and there it is, a ginormous building with massive lettering announcing to the world that this is the official Cowboys Merchandising Extravaganza Center, or something like that. But there’s not a single car in the parking lot. Hmmm. Not very promising. Then we notice one tiny corner of the building has a little door and a small sign announcing “Outlet Store”, with a few cars way over there. Apparently, people who work with the full-price Cowboys propaganda don’t work weekends. If you are cheap and picked-over, you have to work every day and live in a crappier apartment.

  So we get parked, with Mom struggling to get Roni in her wheelchair while Roni is practically crawling across the pavement to get to the door. I scamper ahead to hold said door, and take a gander of the interior while Mom tries to roll a bucking and impatient Roni up the sidewalk. Oh my. I haven’t seen this many empty football jerseys lying around since that time in college when we all got drunk and… oh wait, Mom doesn’t need to hear about that. Sorry.

  Mom makes it across the threshhold, and Roni nearly stops breathing, she’s so excited. She wrenches the wheelchair out of Mom’s hands and uses her good leg to make a beeline for a display of the little cowbears. She begins plowing through the miniature animals in a frenzied passion, squeals of glee echoing about the room.

  “Hi there!” chirps one of the female attendants at the checkout counter, trying to be friendly and all, but keeping an eye on Roni to ensure that nothing untoward happens, because those insurance forms can be a bitch. “Welcome to the store!”

  Mom grins sheepishly and nods her head at Roni. “She really likes the Cowboys.”

  “I do, too!” exclaims Happy Woman, who then turns to beam at Roni, as if there’s nothing more exciting than meeting a fellow human who would unashamedly have sex in a public environment with furry animals emblazoned with their favorite team. It would not surprise me if she pulled out a vibrator and tossed it Roni’s direction.

  Mom and I look at each other. This poor woman doesn’t understand. Roni really, really likes the Cowboys. She will want to personally review every single item in the store. Some of them several times. We might be here a while.

  I get out my phone to communicate our current status to the other troop deployment. Turns out that someone in the other expedition forgot a very important something that they needed in order to purchase the one thing that they have been talking about purchasing ever since she got here. And they had to go back to the house to get it.

  Great. Team Brian has already driven halfway across the state of Texas, while Team Terry is still in the driveway. It was going to be a very interesting day.

  Why did I suddenly feel like Dorothy when the color part of the movie starts?

Click Here to Read the Next Entry in This Series.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Third Eye Blind - “Semi-Charmed Life”

We start off, briefly, in outer space, then we zoom all the way down to an American flag on somebody’s motorcycle jacket sleeve. It was probably important to somebody that we start out that way, but I didn’t learn anything from it. Then we have lots of people riding motorcycles down part of a road where “STOP” is clearly painted on the pavement. I’m guessing these people are not interested in being told what to do.

Then we’re traveling in a car with what might be the band members and a dog, but no one is wearing a name tag so it could be anybody. They seem to be going somewhere industrial, but it’s not really clear because the video producers thought it would be fun to shoot things with a shaky camera. At some point the lead singer, Stephen, must have fallen out of the car because he’s suddenly walking down the street all by himself.

So he starts singing the song and almost immediately runs into the side of a building. It doesn’t look like that was planned, but Stephen is a trooper and keeps going. Meanwhile, those people on the motorcycles are zipping all over town, and they’re already starting to get a little annoying. They need to get wherever they’re going and stay there. This is followed by a few shots of some geeky guy that most likely has dating issues.

Then we’re back in the car for a little bit, still driving toward who knows, and then cut to a venue where the band is playing. They seem very happy to be doing so, which is nice, and their happiness probably has something to do with the fact the Jesus is one of the guitar players. Nothing puts a smile on your face like Divinity in a jam session.

Everybody bops for a little bit, then we’ve got more of those damn motorcycles racing about. I’m not claiming to be a skilled motorcyclist, but I’m not sure these folks need to be in control of moving vehicles. We seem to be having difficulty with things like staying on the road and not running over people.

Cut to Stephen outside some produce market or some such, with lots of people pretending to not look at the camera as they mill about, waiting for something to happen. This batch of people doesn’t appear to be very happy, so they might be waiting for trials to start where they’ve been accused of involvement in unsavory activities. Stephen doesn’t care and just keeps singing. Then he starts walking down the street and interrupts some kissing lesbians. But instead of yelling at him, they yell at each other, so I don’t think that relationship is going anywhere.

And once more with the jam session at the unknown venue, where Jesus is just alright with them, then we have Stephen hopping excitedly down a sidewalk. Then he’s suddenly running very fast, so he must have done something very bad and has decided that he doesn’t want to be associated with the mischief. He runs for a very long time, to the point where we really don’t care what he did, we just want him to settle down.

Oh look, he’s stopped running and is just sitting on the sidewalk, then he suddenly gets very hyper and snarls at us. Then he does some more of that aimless bouncing around. (Does this burst of energy have anything to do with the “crystal meth” phrase that the censors distorted in the radio single? Just wondering.) Speaking of the radio version, this video apparently isn’t, because now Stephen is bellowing some lyrics that I’ve never heard before. So either Stephen is just making crap up on the fly or this is another example of the world not being what we think it is.

Okay, we’re finally back in familiar territory with words that I know, and here come those motorcycles again. (God!) Some of them even start driving around in a large circle, as if they know I’m having an issue with them and they are pushing it as far as they can. It looks like Stephen is standing in the middle of the circle, so we might actually be witnessing a cult celebration of some kind. As if to confirm this, a woman with really odd sunglasses briefly flashes on screen.

Now we have the motorcycle people just sitting around on their colorful rigs and comparing leather accessories. Then they all jump back on their scooters and start with the crazy-ass driving again. Cut to the band at that venue, where it appears that the folks in the very small audience have been hitting the eggnog a little too hard. Lots of pointless, uncontrolled dancing, some twirling, and stumbling, unisex-attired people are banging into each other and clutching at their heads. (Good thing Jesus is on hand in case something really bad happens that requires an impromptu confession.)

And that’s how we wind down, with shiny, happy people expressing rhythmic joy as the band finishes the song. Final scene is of a woman with cropped hair watching a moon landing on TV and appearing stunned that the flag being planted is the same as on that biker jacket that started this whole thing. She must not get out much…


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Carrie Underwood - “Before He Cheats”

We start off right away seeing the Carrie-inflicted damage to that “4-wheel drive”, with paint being keyed and headlights being smashed. No messing around here. This is intercut with Carrie on stage somewhere, she and her billowing hair preparing to sing the song. We get a quick image via a side-view mirror of Carrie carrying a baseball bat and sporting a jeans and leather outfit that is smokin’, so I’m already loving this video.

Carrie starts singing, and it’s clear that we’ve got some wind fans kicked into overdrive. Although the golden tresses look fab in this manufactured atmospheric disturbance, I’m concerned that Carrie might be blown off the stage and slammed into one of the roadie wagons. She only weighs about 3 pounds, so it could really happen, and some people won’t be happy about that.

Cut to shots of The Man Who Done Her Wrong smooching on the floozy who started all this mess, and although we can’t really see her face with his tongue in the way, she bears a striking resemblance to Kellie Pickler. I don’t know if this was intentional, or just one of those random things that happen in country music videos when the wrong people have access to beer and casting decisions.

Now we have Carrie wearing designer shades and a black leather jacket (have I mentioned smokin’ hot?), walking out of a parking garage with that infamous bat. She’s apparently marching toward Dumbass and Slutgirl, but before she gets there we cut back to Carrie on that stage kicking into overdrive with her revenge lyrics, followed by more images of vehicular manslaughter. Then we see Leather-Jacket Carrie toss the bat into a gutter, indicating that she don’t need no weapon to deal with that Cheatin’ Loser she lookin’ for.

Carrie is sashaying down some street where there are lots of clubs and women who haven’t seen their natural hair color since Reagan was in office. At first, Carrie is bothered by this crush of unknown people with pointless lives, but eventually she gets a little aggressive and starts shoving people out of the way. (Don’t mess with me, people. I had to deal with Simon Cowell AND Randy Jackson with his dogg thing. Get bent.)

More shots of Bad Boy and Bad Girl sucking face, as well as some nice neon signs for the local bars. Carrie’s still searching for the inevitable confrontation, so she has to throw a few more people out of the way. She’s about to stumble across them, but first we have to cut back to Carrie on stage, so she can belt some more of the song. We also seem to be having some sparks flying from somewhere. Not sure what that’s all about.

Oh good, we finally get to Carrie encountering Nasty Boy and Trampy Girl. She takes his car keys and dumps them into his drink, then marches away in a sexy but defiant manner. It’s very triumphant. But then things get a little weird.

All the sudden, Carrie is walking down the middle of a vacant downtown street. Sparks are flying off the surrounding buildings, and Carrie is doing some kind of shimmy waltz while a severe wind blows her hair back. Next thing you know, glass windows are exploding and shards are flying everywhere. It’s like Halle Berry got really pissed in one of the “X-Men” movies. Carrie is even making a snarling face, which is something that I would recommend that she never do again.

The song winds down with Carrie still in the middle of that street, the wind whip-tailing her hair and the ginormous earrings that some stylist picked out, unaware that Carrie was about to be subjected to a scene you would normally only see on the Nature Channel, on a show called “Heaving Winds of Death” or “Calamity on the Prairie”. But Carrie doesn’t care. She wiggles her hips in total domination, satisfied that she’s destroyed the most important thing in her ex-boyfriend’s life, and then does a dramatic profile shot that would make Jennifer Lopez proud…


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

10 Things I Learned While Sucking Down Margaritas at Ojeda’s

1. It’s hard to get into a restaurant when full but stupid people are blocking the way.

  Okay, I understand that the 47 pounds of spicy, fried lard that you just ate might slow you down a bit. Got it. But seriously, why are you finding it necessary to come to a complete halt in this tiny lobby? I can’t even open the door all the way because you are lodged at the cashier’s desk, telling your life story while the rest of your amazingly extensive family is standing there, wiping grease off their chins and belching.

  Quit talking to that cashier. She is not your friend and she doesn’t care. She is only being nice to you because you just handed her money. “Did you enjoy your meal?” is not an invitation for you to start babbling about how your gout is acting up and you might have to have something removed. Grab a complimentary toothpick and GO. Geez.

2. I am apparently not as fond of screaming, hyperactive children as the rest of the world.

  Dear Hostess Person. No, I’m not going to follow you to that table which you are indicating. Why? Do you see what’s going on at the next table? The one where something has apparently exploded, causing small humans to lose their minds and start throwing food while howling at a decibel level that can bring down a plane? There’s queso on the ceiling, for God’s sake. I don’t want to be anywhere near that.

  And don’t look at me in confusion, wondering why I don’t find the howlers to be adorable little tykes that make me want to hug and kiss them. These are not the good kind of children, who quietly sit there and do nothing but count as a deduction on income tax returns. These are Satanic products hell-bent on destroying civilization. I don’t even want to be in the same room with the Children of the Corn. If you have to build another room real quick so that I don’t have to hear them, please do so. Hurry.

3. It is a law of nature that you must order margaritas in a Mexican restaurant.

  I don’t care what time of day it is, tequila just sets the appropriate tone, and somehow biologically prepares your body for the impending influx of food items that your doctor has warned you to never touch again. (He’s not here right now, so screw him.) And don’t ask me dumb-ass questions like whether I want a large or small margarita. Can you not tell by the pinched expression on my face that I have no desire for an alcoholic beverage served in a teacup? I want BIG. If I need to run to Home Depot and buy a five-gallon bucket, I can do that.

  And yes I want salt on the rim. Tons of it. I want there to be so much salt on that thing that people will think I’m doing cocaine, causing Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer to stroll into the building and join us for nachos.

4. Everything on the menu at Ojeda’s is the best thing ever.

  You can’t go wrong. Close your eyes, stab at the menu, and try it. You’ll squeal with a level of satisfaction that is nearly orgasmic. Not that anybody will hear you over the howlers in the other room shoving tamales up each others’ noses.

5. Tequila makes me talk.

  Before I even finished the first beverage, I was rambling away about anything that popped into my head. Anything. This is a change of pace for my partner and I, because he’s usually the one to share his thoughts with any person, place or thing that will listen, while I just sit there and nod from time to time. But dump some tequila down my throat and I will share every single thought that enters my alcohol-drenched brain.

6. Puffed tacos rule!

  I’d never even heard of these things before we started going to Ojeda’s years ago, but now I can’t get enough of them. They’re like little tiny taco salads in a fried Christmas ornament. We should have a national holiday for the person who invented these. Not kidding. I can gnaw my way through several of them before my bulging stomach starts to raise the table off the floor and we have stability issues.

7. Tequila and some people don’t mix.

  I’m talking about YOU, moron three tables over. First of all, why the hell are you yelling everything that you say? What’s up with that? Your equally-soused tablemate is right there. He can hear you just fine. There’s no need for this “raising the dead” business. Inside voice, please.

  And second, why you gotta start talking about Obama like that? Do you really want me to toss aside my napkin, drag my groaning ass out this booth, march over there, and beat the crap out of you with a chile relleno? I don’t think you do. So shut UP.

8. Music sung in a foreign language is pleasing when you’re buzzed.

  Typically, mariachi music is not my favorite. It’s just too insistent. But with a bit of inebriation, I’m transported to another world. It was truly divine and beautiful. I actually shed a few tears over this one song, where Yolanda did something something with some huevos, and people where offended by this and she was shunned forever, forced to wear used clothing and get her own water from the well. It was so sad. I asked our server if there was a place I could send money. He brought me another margarita instead.

9. Your plate does not have to be empty before rude people want to take it.

  No, I am not ready for you to take this. Look, there’s a little bit of rice over here, and at least two spoonfuls of refried beans, and part of a puffed taco. This is a feast. There is no reason for you to be inquiring about the relocation of my tableware at this point. Yes, I understand that lately my focus has been on the straw in my margarita, but there’s no need for you to get demanding about my consumption process. When it’s time, I’ll ring a bell, okay? We’re going to tip you. Relax.

10. It’s much more fun when you aren’t the one who has to drive home after the margarita fest.

  Terry has to pay attention and not kill people. All I have to do is sing and tell everybody what I think about unrelated topics like bratwurst and why Angelina Jolie’s lips are so big. So I did. All the way home. At one point, Terry was eyeing nearby cliffs with a desperate yearning in his eyes. I really wasn’t ready for a plunge into eternal darkness, so I eventually had to talk about things that might interest him as well, even though it pained me and ruined my conversational rhythm. 

  Finally, we made it home, where I joyously switched from margaritas to beer. Because mixing types of alcohol is such a good idea. The next morning, my uvula was swollen to the size of a Buick, I had no concept of what my name might be, and I quietly begged for Death to take me now. But all in all, it was a great birthday.

  And I sure do love those puffed tacos…

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Know I’m Not Supposed To Touch This

Hi Daddy,

  This is Scotch. Well, I think I’m Scotch. It’s hard for me to remember, because I’m a simple cat. Things are confusing. Sometimes you call me Bo-Bo, and sometimes Other Daddy calls me Scooter. Sometimes I don’t know if you’re talking to me, or to other cats that I can’t see, so I just sit there and don’t look at anybody. But you’re nice when I don’t know my name and you pet me anyway.

  I know I shouldn’t be using your toplap. I got in a lot of trouble when I used it back in those bad days when you weren’t here and you were in France with those people that don’t live here but come here sometimes. But I thought it would be okay if I used it now because it’s your special day! But sometimes I don’t think right, so I don’t know for sure.

  I don’t know a lot of things. Sometimes that’s okay, but sometimes I worry.

  But it’s your special day! Yay! You are 322 cat years old today. That’s really old! I was at the window that you open for me in the bathroom, and I talked to Tabby Lee that comes over in our yard and makes me want to claw her because she gets to run around outside and I can’t. She said 322 is super old and that you should be in a home. But you are in a home because you live here, so I don’t know if Tabby Lee is just mean or is simple like me. Maybe I shouldn’t talk to Tabby Lee anymore.

  But then, Tabby Lee ran away because Torty Sue came in the yard. Torty Sue is really big and makes lots of cats go do something else for a while. Torty Sue has a big head and a big mouth and can eat really fast. Tabby Lee says Torty Sue can eat a squirrel in two bites. 

  I never saw Torty Sue do that, but she probably could, because she has teeth like in that dinosaur movie we watched the other day. I didn’t really want to watch that movie, because it was loud, but I knocked my puff ball under the entertain-bent center and I couldn’t get it. I tried to tell you about it, but you thought I wanted a treat. I didn’t want a treat. I wanted my puff ball. But you were shoving crunchy bits at me, so I ate them and then watched the movie. I hope that puff ball is okay.

  Um. What was I talking about? Oh! Your birthday. Well, I have a funny story to tell you about your birthday. I know you like stories, because you write them all the time and make bog posts. I don’t know what a bog is, or why you post to them, but-

  What the hell was THAT? Oh, it’s just my tail.

  Oops, I just cussed. Sorry, Daddy. But I can’t help it. I’m a little nervous sometimes, and when things come at me out of nowhere, I get a little jumpy. Like what’s up with that machine in the ceiling that blows hot air when it’s cold outside? I like the hot air, but I don’t understand that bang thing when it turns on. Every time it happens, I have to look at the ceiling like it’s never happened before. Why can’t it whisper?

  I forgot what we’re talking about again.

  Oh, the funny story. Well, I was in the room with the things that you type on, and you were somewhere not here, and Other Daddy was talking to that thing in his hand that makes me hear Aunt Tiffany’s voice sometimes, and they were talking about Soo She for your birthday. Well, I didn’t know who Soo She was, so I wanted to know more, because even if I be simple, I try to learn stuff. Even if it hurts like when you take me to the vegetarian and they shove long plastic things in my butt.

  So I ran over to Other Daddy’s desk, and tried to be cute so he would look at me and tell me what was going on. But he didn’t look at me, even though I was very cute. So I did the thing where I jump on the couch and then run and jump on his desk. (This is fun! Except when I don’t do it right and I bang my face into something I don’t want to bang my face in. That makes me sad, even if I don’t remember it two seconds later.)

  So I landed on Other Daddy’s desk, and nothing fell off, so I thought my cuteness would make it alright. But Other Daddy wouldn’t look at me. He was still talking to that thing that sounds like Aunt Tiffany and not loving me for my cuteness. This made me a little mad. Why is it so hard for my daddies to understand what I need?

  I meowed in my bestest voice.

  Other Daddy was still not looking at me. Little bastard. So I marched over and used my paws to step on his typing thing. This always works, even though there might be yelling. Other Daddy scooped me up and put me on his lap. I don’t really care for this, but I wanted to know more about Soo She, so I pretended that I was okay and licked at my no-more-balls place and tried to get comfortable.

  Other Daddy says to Aunt Tiffany: “But I don’t like seafood.”

  What! Oh. My. God. What kind of heathens are raising me? Who doesn’t like seafood? Seafood is the best thing ever. Better than puff balls. I discreetly clawed Other Daddy’s thigh to show that he was a bigot and needed some counseling. Other Daddy yelled something unpleasant and hurled me to the ground. This is NOT how I should be treated. I might be slow, but I’m from royalty. Obey me!

  I don’t know where that came from. Am I royalty? Maybe. The pictures on my wet food containers say that I am. I think that’s fair.

  Anyway, I ran down the hallway to find my “fuzzy thing on a stick” toy, and this took a little bit, because I have lots of toys, and I can’t always remember which one I like on which day, or where they might be. I finally found it, shoved behind the bread box. Why was it there? That box is up on the kitchen counter, where I’m not allowed to go because people yell and act like I’m destroying civilization. Why would they put it there? Oh. Maybe they didn’t want me to find it.

  My daddies suck sometimes.

  But I found Fuzzy, and I dragged it back to the office where Other Daddy was still talking to Aunt Tiffany.  He likes to talk a LOT. I go to sleep sometimes, and wake up years later and he’s still talking to Aunt Tiffany.  About the same thing. I don’t really understand them.

  So I spit out Fuzzy and his stick at Other Daddy’s feet. Other Daddy picks up the stick and starts waving Fuzzy around. Yay! Now I can hear what they are saying without Other Daddy getting suspicious about me hanging around when I normally pretend that I don’t want any attention. To make it seem like real life, I jump and pounce and try to savage Fuzzy, even though I don’t really want to hurt him. This is just something I have to do if I want treats. I understand my position in life.

  Anyway, Other Daddy keeps talking to Aunt Tiffany, and he says “Well, there might be something on the menu that isn’t fish.”

  Then why even go there? Other Daddy doesn’t understand the good things in life.

  Other Daddy says to Aunt Tiffany: “Okay, fine. Let’s do it. But don’t tell Brian. This needs to be a complete surprise.”

  Oh? I know that “Brian” name. That’s the Other Other Daddy. The one who lets me make bread on his belly. I love to do that. I mash and mash and then I get sleepy and I snooze a little while Daddy pets me and says he loves me. That’s when I don’t care that I’m simple, and I don’t care that Tabby Lee and Torty Sue get to run around and smell grass and do whatever they want and make fun of me in my bathroom window.

  My daddies love me. And every once in a while I love them back. But not too much. Because if I did love on them a lot, they would want me to love them all the time, and I’m too busy for that. There’s still a puff ball under the entertain-bent center that nobody has helped me rescue.

  So anyway, Daddy, that’s what I wanted to tell you. Other Daddy and Aunt Tiffany are planning to have you meet Soo She on your birthday. I don’t really know her, but she knows about seafood, and that makes her special. Like me.

  But don’t say I said anything. It’s hard enough to get a treat around here…

Your little bread-maker,


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Plain White T’s - “Hey There Delilah”

Okay, folks, this one’s a toughie, because of the way the video was put together and the limited images that you can see. But hey, let’s give it a run and see what happens…

Right away they start off with this multi-screen effect, showing different things going on all at one time. This is fun to watch at first, because it’s busy and interesting, but you soon realize that there’s no actual story, just some themed imagery. There are basically just two things going on: Tom is sitting in an apartment playing his guitar, and Delilah is running around in another city in search of the rest of her skirt.

Since playing a guitar while sitting in a chair is all that Tom does, we can basically wrap up his story thread right here. He sits, plays, and sings. The end. Besides, although the song is pretty and everything, you can only get so much video footage out of somebody fingering their instrument. Things are a little slow, especially since the song is borderline emo and that’s a dangerous line to walk. You need some pep for a great video.

And that’s where Delilah comes in. This girl is busy, rarely staying still for longer than 1.3 seconds. She would never be happy in a quiet, acoustic apartment where not much is happening. This is probably why she chose to stay on the other side of the country until Tom gets it together. That “going to school” business is just a sham. Delilah’s a party girl. And this is her story.

Delilah starts off by wearing leg warmers with high heels, so you know she’s on the quirky side. She appears to be waiting for a subway, but she might just be there for the excellent selection in the vending machines. She also wears lipstick that accents the puffy trim on her hood, so she’s stylish as well.

Now she’s running up some stairs to another subway station. I don’t know if she realized she was at the wrong one, or if we were watching Tom’s fingers when she caught the first connection. Anyway, she steps out on this new platform, and this is where her skirt really makes its debut. Or perhaps I should say “lack of skirt”. I mean, it’s not super tawdry, like someone would barely wear in a Whitesnake video, but still, ain’t much there.

I guess the train is running late, because Delilah first appears restless, then starts walking around the platform, going faster and faster as if there are growing bladder issues or she’s fresh from a wax job. Next thing we know, she’s walking along a street, letting us see she owns one of those purses with the really short straps. (I’ve never understood those things, the way your purse is jammed into your armpit. Aside from potential moisture stains on expensive leather, how is that comfortable?) Delilah doesn’t care, and she and her restrictive purse continue waltzing up the street.

She crosses at an intersection, allowing her hood to flop down so we can get a gander at her ponytail, letting us know that she’s very sensible and doesn’t waste money and effort on hair products. Good for her. Then she gets to the other side of the street and pops the hood back on. She must be walking past the Vogue building and isn’t feeling quite as liberated about her coiffure.

Okay, Delilah has magically transitioned to some place where there’s lots of graffiti on the walls. There seems to be a mirror in all that mess, because Dee is staring into it and applying some cosmetics. This might be her own bathroom, and it looks this way because she ran out of Post-It notes, but I’m going to venture it’s a public restroom in one of those trendy places where you can substitute tofu for anything on the menu. Even the tofu.

It takes Delilah quite a while to apply, looking a little garish, so either she’s got an important meeting with a client who happens to be a pimp, or she’s a wee bit self-centered. After all, she’s supposed to be saving herself for the man across the country who is writing a hit song about her. She really shouldn’t be spending this much time dressing up the goods. But I’ve been out of the dating scene for a while. Maybe “relationship” these days means “I’ll sleep with you when you’re in town”.

Um, she’s still putting on that makeup. Geez.

Okay, now we’re back at the subway. Is this girl ever going to get where she needs to go? Poor thing. Oh look, she’s actually getting on one of the cars, so at least she’s made progress. Wait, now she’s back on the street, in a provocative pose concerning that questionable miniskirt. Then she’s back at a subway station with her leg warmers. Delilah, honey, stay in one place long enough for me to finish a paragraph.

Dee’s on the move again, back on a street, looking as if she’s contemplating taking a cab. I would strongly suggest that, Delilah. It’s becoming very clear that the workings of the subway system might be just a tad out of your grasp. Get into one of those nice, warm cars and let someone else figure out your destination. And remember to cross your legs.

Nope, she passes up the taxi and decides to run across some streets without looking either way. Then she’s walking on another street looking sad. This might be because the hot dog vendor behind her is out of sauerkraut. Then she’s walking by some benches, but doesn’t stop to rest, even though it’s obvious by now that she’s never going to get where she’s going.

Back at Tom’s, he finally ends the song and just stares at the floor, contemplating. Yeah, I hear ya, Tom. We just watched the video, too. Are you sure that Delilah’s really the one? Because there are lots of other girls out there with three syllables in their name, so it wouldn’t be too hard to re-record the song….


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Maroon 5 - “Wake Up Call”

We start out with Adam and some woman with far too much makeup sitting in a car somewhere. Her fake eyelashes alone are so startling that it’s hard to follow the dialogue, but the main gist is that Makeup lied to Adam a bunch of times about something. When Makeup tries to explain, Adam interrupts by saying “it was probably my fault anyway”.

Dude, lying aside, do you even know what this woman looks like in real life. I haven’t seen that much pancake since I ordered the Fresh N Fruity at IHOP.

Cut to the band performing in a water runoff channel, possibly because the acoustics are just right. While Adam sings, the opening credits for this mini-film start flashing. Quick shot of Makeup practicing for a Victoria’s Secret gig in some hallway, then we have a gander at some obvious hookers standing near a building. Some person that we can’t see uses binoculars to focus on the hooker booties. That’s nice.

Next we have Adam and Makeup bumping uglies during apparently happier, non-lying times, then shots of the band, shots of another hooker, and shots of somebody with a trench coat running through water. (Who knows.) Suddenly, we see Makeup in bed with another man (the horror!) and Adam kicks the door in to catch them in the act. (He couldn’t just turn the knob?) There’s a confrontational scuffle, leading to Adam pulling out a gun and shooting Makeup’s new friend. Okay, then.

Now we’re on a roof with one of the other band members, James, and absolutely nothing happens before we cut back to Adam’s apartment where he’s dragging New Stud down the same hallway where Makeup was practicing just a few moments earlier. Then, out of nowhere, we see a stripper swinging on a pole. Seriously. Back to that roof, where some woman who never met a bottle of peroxide that she didn’t like exchanges carry-on luggage with James.

Shots of somebody running across another roof. No idea. And now it starts to really get crazy. Quick shot of supermodels bound-up on a boat, some other people tied up in the back of some vehicle, an extremely breasty woman doing something with a flag, somebody slamming a tailgate shut, Adam turning over a dining table while Makeup wears panties, another shot of the boat supermodels touching each other seductively, and yet another hooker smashing a bottle over someone’s head.

Still with me? There’s more.

More of the woman who loves her some stripper pole, suspicious people meeting in an alley, Adam and Makeup running down another alley, Adam shoving Stud Boy into a body bag (who keeps that kind of thing around the house?), one of the band members being chased by Cujo, Adam smashing a bathroom mirror with a baseball bat (because that accomplishes a lot), and multiple people getting their mug shots taken. Is there anybody nice in this video?

Cut to Adam and Makeup on some building, bridge, something high, throwing Stud Boy over the side while a security camera catches everything. Back to the parked car where this whole mess started, with Adam and Makeup still talking. We see that somebody (probably Adam, because he just has that sneaky look, but maybe not) is recording their conversation. Then I guess he and Makeup make up, because they get out of the car and hold hands while walking away. And the car blows up behind them.

What in gay hell?

We see that the breasty woman still has her flag, there’s a helicopter flying around where the boys are performing, Adam is driving another car really fast, the lesbian subplot on that boat is still developing, we still have random hookers, some of whom are fondling somebody in a dark bar, disembodied lips flashing across the screen, somebody checking their watch, people still tied up in the back of a car, and more mug shots. I don’t know who’s guilty of what any more, and I’m starting to not care. Perhaps another beer will help the situation.

And the video winds down with more flashing images. Police women with cleavage bouncing their way down yet another alley, people on rooftops, the lesbian cruise, airplanes, Adam being captured and interrogated by Playboy Bunnies, fingerprinting, that stripper who won’t stop twirling, something burning, the cast of “Burlesque” making a cameo, slobbering dogs, and the band still performing in that place where John Travolta raced for pink slips back in the day.

Final shot is of Adam in jail. Based on his friends and the cavalcade of women marching around with lethal weapons on their chests, this is probably the safest place for him to be…


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

An Open Letter to the Idiot with the Chainsaw

Dearest Neighbor,

  How are you this fine morning? I trust that you realize it is morning. Quite early in the morning, as a matter of fact. Were you aware of this? Perhaps not. Maybe you’re one of those people who leap out of bed without any concept of time, and then race outside to pull the ripcord on gas-powered devices that don’t have any “inside voice” settings. As such, there are a few things which we need to discuss.

  First, there are actually some people who don’t live quite the same lifestyle that you have chosen for yourself. These other people have rich and meaningful lives which they pursue with relish, lives that sometimes include activities which require them to stay up late on a Saturday night. When this late-night activity takes place, it is customary for these happy, satisfied people to not arise from their slumber at the butt crack of dawn. They instead prefer to sleep in a bit, and then have a nice brunch where mimosas are served and people have conversations in hushed, soothing tones.

  Now, having laid out the details of this alternate manner of living, a pursuit of life that may not be familiar to you and the other people that grew up in whatever horrid little country from whence you came, do you see how your tawdry obsession with the usage of fossil fuel-depleting implements, before the newspapers have even been delivered, might cause some consternation among folks who are still in their bed chambers when you attempt to jump-start the Apocalypse in your backyard?

  Second, what do you possibly have in that backyard which requires such vicious mechanical savagery? I know you don’t have any trees back there, you wiped all those out the very day you purchased that Antichrist of a chainsaw. Were you perhaps attempting to remove part of your house that you didn’t find particularly pleasing? Were you trying to instill some terror-based life-lesson into your children who refused to stop smacking their gum? (Oh, wait. You don’t have any of those, either. I seem to recall your offspring being removed from your possession some years ago. Those little urchins of yours were weeping with joy as they clamored into the police van.)

  And just to make sure you understand the impact of your recent actions, let me share with you exactly how it transpired that I became aware of your grievous hooliganism at such an early hour. I was in the midst of a very pleasing dream, wherein Ryan Reynolds had done something or other which required that he take a shower in my house. Being the gracious host that I am, I was standing nearby, wearing something revealing (translation: nothing), in case he should need assistance of any kind.

  Things were going splendidly when, to my utter shock, Ryan apparently let loose with the most resounding instance of flatulence that mankind had known up to that point. My infatuation with Ryan dimmed briefly, then I decided that some things could be overlooked in the name of lust. Then it happened again, with the shower door nearly being blown off its hinges. This was becoming entirely too much.

  Then my dream began to blur as bits of me became conscious, and I eventually surmised that the ass noises where apparently something else entirely. And the noises seemed to be coming from above my head. I slowly cracked open one sleep-encrusted eye, and the window above the bed came into view. By the dim light filtering in, I could tell that dawn had barely broken.

  And some idiot was using a chainsaw next door.

  I tried to ignore your heinous activity, flopping about in the bed and attempting to cover my head with various pillows and startled pets. But it was right at that moment that you, in your treacherous agenda, encountered an obstinate section of whatever it was that you were hacking to death. This inspired you to begin revving your wretched machine until a noise filled the air that could make grown men take their own lives. And you KEPT doing it.

  This reminded me of Thanksgiving days as a youngster, when our grandfather, bless him, didn’t really understand the anatomy of a turkey. Despite his ineptitude with avian biology, he was the head of the gathered household and therefore responsible for carving the turkey once Granny presented it to him at the dining table. Family tradition required that, despite being nearly faint with hunger, we must all wait for PeePaw to decimate the bird completely before anyone could take the smallest nibble of anything.

  And it always played out that PeePaw, slashing around with the fancy electric carving knife that some fool had purchased for him, would encounter the skeleton of this year’s creature, and would once again fail to understand that he should NOT cut through it. When he ran up against something solid, he would simply increase the speed of the knife until Tom T. would start to disintegrate and fly about, creating a mushroom cloud of death and poultry, with little bits of bone and stuffing raining down on the upturned faces of the assembled and terrified grandchildren. To this day, the mere sight of an electric carving knife makes me wet myself.

  So, neighbor of mine that I really can’t stand, do you see how your crimes of the early morning might have set me off a bit? Not only were you stupidly sawing at something that obviously didn’t need your intervention, but you kept revving. It was the revving that forced me to take pen and paper in hand and jot off this missive of passionate dissatisfaction with your very existence.

  In summary, should you ever again take it upon yourself to do anything with a gas-powered yard tool at 7am on a Sunday morning, I will not hesitate to immediately march to your house, even if I’m currently nude because that’s how I roll when I sleep, and beat the hell out of you with that freakin’ chainsaw. Because nothing comes between me and Ryan Reynolds. 


Thank you for your time,

P. S. And your house is ugly, too.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

10 Things I Learned at the Chinese Buffet Today

1. There’s nothing like “all you can eat” to bring in an interesting crowd.

  Wow, some of these people have no shame. Would it have killed you to actually brush your hair? Or at least pluck the rolling paper out of that rat’s nest? And while I understand you wearing sweat pants up in here so you can remain comfortable while your belly size doubles, could you maybe at least tie the drawstring so it’s not so obvious that you’ve had an appendectomy? And I realize this is pushing it, but could you change your shirt? You’ve still got duck sauce on it from the last time you were here. This morning.

  Yes, I know that you really don’t care, because you don’t know me and you will never see me again. But the image of your butt-crack next to the Kung Pao Chicken will be with me forever, and that’s not really fair, is it?

2. The hostess is not impressed with the “party of one” concept at an establishment designed for high-traffic.

  “Just one?” she queries, glaring at me with complete suspicion. When I confirm, she studies her table-assignment chart, desperate for some clue on how to handle me not bringing relatives or friends and thereby potentially impacting the revenue flow. She finally sighs, glumly asks me to follow her, and leads me to the furthest point in the building, a rarely-used, ignored-by-servers corner where she had to blow dust off the table and throw away the soy sauce that had turned into molasses. Later, whilst enjoying my egg drop soup, I discovered Jimmy Hoffa under the table.

3. The plates are tiny.

  Again, I understand what’s going on here. The plates are small so you can’t take as much. Got it. But I’m still going to eat what I want. Which means I’ll be dirtying up 5 plates instead of 2, meaning one of your relatives will have extra dishwasher duty. Are you really saving any money on this?

4. The tiny plates do not stop the woolly beasts intent on taking full advantage of the free-for-all in the buffet line.

  These Neanderthals (and you know who I’m talking about) will fill plate after plate before they even start eating. (I’m surprised that they can wait that long, pigs that they are, but anyway.) Back and forth from buffet to table, meaning that said table is eventually covered with 10 plates piled high with food. You can’t even see the people anymore, hidden as they are behind mounds of Mu Shu Pork. But you can hear them, smacking and grunting.

  They will never be able to eat all of this, even though, based on their appearance, they have certainly tried to do so in the past. Most of it will just be thrown in the trash. Get ONE plate at a time, you idiot. And if they run out of my favorite dish because you’re being an ass, I’m coming over there with a forklift. Not kidding. Speaking of…

5. My current favorite dish on this particular buffet is Egg Foo Yung. I’m in love.

  I don’t know what it is at this restaurant, but somebody in that kitchen knows what they’re doing when it comes to Egg Foo Yung. For the uninitiated, it’s an omelet of sorts crammed with veggies and onions and who knows what. Then you top it off with a brown sauce that probably has enough fat grams in it to shut down my circulatory system with one bite. Oh. My. God. It’s not unheard of for me to knock the slow-ass hostess down and race to this station before she even shows me my decaying “table for one”.

6. Some people navigate buffet lines like they drive on roads.

  Why are you stopping right in the middle of everything, blocking my access to the dish just on the other side of you? WHY? I realize that there are a lot of choices, and the sensory overload can make you palpitate a little bit, but that’s not MY issue. It is imperative that I get to the spicy shrimp before Thunderina and her inbred cousins beat me to it. You must understand this. Pull over to the shoulder and let me pass.

  And this business of going the wrong way in the line? Oh, no you didn’t. When it’s slow up in here, you can approach the stations from whatever direction you want, and no one blinks an eye. But when it’s busy, like NOW, there’s a protocol. You gauge the general flow, and you get at the end of the line. This is now a one-way street. Don’t come charging up from the wrong direction and then glare at ME. I will knock your ass into the Moo Goo Gai Pan and not think twice about it. No, sir.

7. People are just stupid.

  So I’m sitting there, munching on the delicacies arranged on my plate with loving devotion, glancing around furtively like a dog with a bone, because I know the woolly beasts will snatch up any food that isn’t locked down, when I hear a couple near me ask their server for the manager. Oh? This could be fun.

  When Mr. Whoever finally comes trotting out of the back, this couple, especially the man, who has seen a few buffets in his life, sayin, actually complains that there was broccoli in one of the dishes. Complains! Totally offended that it was there. Holy cow. Did you not SEE the broccoli when you were scooping buckets of it onto one of your many plates? It’s not hard to identify broccoli. It’s not one of those deceptive things that can hide easily, like bits of jalapeno or Dick Cheney.

  The manager, flummoxed, points out that there are quite a few options available without broccoli. (Uh, yeah, Complaining Dude. There’s 400 things over there without any green color. You know, that color that might mean broccoli, and you shouldn’t get it if you don’t like broccoli or anything the color of broccoli?) The couple demands their money back. Okay, A, they haven’t paid yet, so shut up, and B, screw you and your stupidity. The manager tells them they will still have to pay, and marches away. The couple’s timid little server then races up, and is instantly berated because there are too many ice cubes in their drinks.

  Jesus H.

8. There’s something really wrong with the bathrooms.

  Okay, I’ve noticed it before about this place, so it doesn’t actually startle me, but it does make me ponder. There’s graffiti on the wall above the urinals. Graffiti. Seriously? What kind of people would go to a Chinese restaurant, in non-crime-infested, fairly affluent Cedar Hill, Texas, and spray paint a gang tag in the john? Are you telling me you searched this place out? (What, did you hear about the Egg Foo Yung?)

  And to top if off, some of the wall art has been there for years. Management does nothing about it. The main part of the restaurant is pristine, you can eat off the floor while chaste and complacent servers satisfy your every need, but if you gotta take a leak you’re walking on the wild side. Be sure to wear the right colors.

9. What’s up with the soft-serve ice cream?

  I don’t think such a thing is Chinese, or even Asian in general, but there’s a mega soft-serve ice cream machine off to one side, unfortunately located in the loser zone where parties of one are seated. I don’t know what ingredients are in that mess, never tried it, but something in there has an amazing effect on children. They can smell the chemicals the very second they walk in the door. Next thing you know, the little urchins are clawing and belting one another to be the first in line to receive the sugary goodness.

  And the parents? They don’t care. There can be bloodshed and dismemberment, but Mommy and Daddy calmly keep munching on Lemon Pepper Beef while their offspring savagely rip each other apart for a waffle cone.

10. I don’t understand the obsession with the complimentary fortune cookie at the end.

  I don’t want one. Those things are bland and non-appealing. And they contain cheerfully-intentioned slogans that actually make you feel worse. “You will find true friends in next year. Yay!” Like I don’t have any right now? Thanks for that.

  But the servers in this place insist that you enjoy your cookie. I can take the cookie off the little plastic bill presentation tray, and throw it under my chair. Within seconds, the server has retrieved the discardment and is proffering it again. I don’t want the damn cookie. I will gladly tip you 50% if you will just forget about the cookie.

  Nope. They follow me to the door. Cookie for sir?


  I take the stupid thing with me, and then throw it in the glove box where there’s about a hundred of them.

  Anybody have any Gas-X?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Adam Lambert - “For Your Entertainment”

We start off with a quick shot of some boring traffic driving through an intersection, then the camera pans downward, taking us underground to some fancy place where Adam and the Lambertinis are doing their thing. First off, Adam and his mystical walking stick are marching down a gloomy hallway in slo-mo, with extras from “Buffy” walking behind him. They all sashay through a curtain into a club, with Adam waving that damn stick around.

While he belts out the song, we get glimpses of other people at the club, and the general theme is sophisticated trashiness. People are caressing wooden furniture whilst undulating their hips to indicate unsatisfied desire. (One unfortunate woman appears to have a raven chewing on her skull, so I would assume her hookup opportunities are limited. Poor thing. Guess she picked the wrong hair gel.)

Adam immediately takes center stage, with his leather jacket and his hair jacked to Jesus, and proceeds to own the room through sheer will. He’s a little too dependent on jabbing about with that walking stick, but that’s much better than grabbing his crotch rap-style, so we’ll give him that. We also seem to have lots of trampy girls lying on the floor, because legs swathed in fishnet stockings are being thrust in the air at random.

It soon becomes clear that this club is really not about dancing, based on the numerous shots of couples of all types thrusting tongues at each other. I’m fairly certain that no one is actually listening to the music, so I’m not sure why Adam is even here, but we’ll run with it for now. At the very least, we can pick up some tips on how to advertise your availability in dim lighting.

Okay, now Adam is sitting on a throne of some kind, and they’ve messed with his eyes (at least I think they have) so that he appears to be slightly demonic. I hadn’t really noticed before, but Adam sure has a very busy tongue. That thing is flopping all over the place. Is that why he can hit the high notes? Because he’s not getting enough oxygen and the falsetto is really a cry for help?

Anyway, back to the club proper, where people are pawing one another like there’s a prize if you touch enough nipples. Then the throne again, where Adam has managed to find a green snake that he is screwing around with, letting it roam about his body. (What the hell?) Then back out to the dance floor, where Adam has decided that it’s very important that he and some scantily-clad vixens do a line dance. Adam has yet another jacket with spiky things on the shoulders, so it’s very clear that he’s in charge and the strumpets better dance their asses off.

This bit goes on for a while, with both men and women clawing each other to touch Adam in some way. (Perhaps they want to do some snake-handling of their own?) There’s one segment where all the dancers are bent over and pawing at the ground like horses. I have no idea what it means, but it’s cute.

Now Adam is wandering through a tropical jungle. (I guess they don’t spare any expenses on d├ęcor in the L.A. clubs.) Anonymous hands are reaching out from the foliage to express their physical love for Adam. I hadn’t realized until now that Adam simply taking a stroll can cause so many people to reach instant orgasm. Maybe it’s that walking stick?

More diddling with the green snake on the throne.

And more of the jungle, with a jarring preponderance of females latching on to Adam and praying for a pre-nup. Not sure what that’s all about, since we all know by now that Adam’s Garden of Eden involves Adam and Yves, not Adam and Eve, but nobody asked me to storyboard this thing. Then again, “Will and Grace” might have been a hit, but if you startle too many of the red-state people there might be some difficult questions in the morning.

Back to the dance floor again, with Adam and his stick directing the dancers to shimmy and thrust like their lives depended on it. We also have shots of some stud being blindfolded with black lace. I’ve never understood this blindfold thing when it comes to bumping uglies. Why would you NOT want to see what’s coming at you in the bedroom?

Anyway, we roll into a montage of Adam playing Julie the cruise ship director on the dance floor, more of Adam doing some bungle in the jungle, and Adam still jacking around with that snake on his throne. Thrown into the mix are glimpses of very happy people wearing skimpy attire and sending out signals that they will sleep with anyone as long as there’s no drama or cab fare.

Oh, and we have a dramatic bit where somebody finally takes the blindfold of the stud, which causes Adam to sing the highest notes that he possibly can and the dancers to start misplacing most of their wardrobe. This leads to scenes with everybody in the club waving their hands over their heads while Adam over-dramatizes on the stage. Meanwhile, some skank with a severe hairdo wanders around behind wailing Adam and does nothing worthwhile.

We wind down with everyone in the club achieving some type of sexual-release milestone, apparently pushed to this destination by the fact that Adam is wearing black fingernail polish and has pointy things on his couture. The camera then pans back above ground, where bereft people are still driving about, completely unaware that sexual nirvana is just a few feet below them….


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Pet Shop Boys - “West End Girls”

I have no idea what is going on in this video, but we’ll give it a run.

We start out with somebody walking past a store where small children seem to be trapped behind glass. You’d think this would be an unsavory experience, but they seem to be smiling, so who knows. Then the camera starts whizzing around, jumping from one thing to another, and it’s very unclear what we’re seeing. (Was that Brad Pitt eating a corndog?) People are walking around in tight jeans and there seems to be an abundance of neon signs. And somebody who might be Martina Navratilova seems very invested in whipping her hair around.

The frenzied imagery finally stops and we see Neil Tennant sashaying along some street, apparently having just had his hair fluffed and/or having just purchased a trench coat that makes him look even skinnier that he already is. There are some other people with him, but I don’t know if they are part of the band, members of a security detail, or people who just like walking along a street on an overcast day.

Close-up of Neil’s face. He’s looking very serious. But the British always look serious, so we aren’t really learning anything.

Oh, now Neil is standing in front of a pink steel door, belting out the first part of the song. There’s another guy standing beside him, but he doesn’t look really pleased to be here, and his image is kind of faded. And why is Neil doing that thing with his left pinky?

Brief glimpse of somebody’s nose. Beats me.

Back to the pink wall, where Unknown has moved behind Neil, and Neil continues to sing in a manner that draws attention to his interesting hairdo. And the growing realization that perhaps Neil might not have an actual jaw. Unknown Man glances off to the left, desperately searching for cue cards that might let him know what is going on and what he needs to do next. (Wait, is Unknown actually Chris Lowe? Maybe. We’ll just keep calling him Unknown for now, because that’s artsy and stuff.)

Now Neil and Unknown Chris are standing near some odd stairs. Then they’re walking on some elevated crosswalks, and descending some other odd stairs. (Are they trying to find the subway?) Shots of crowds of people heading various places, and then a shot of Neil with an exclamation point over his left shoulder. What does that mean? Are those rude little Germans bombing London again?

The punctuation symbol goes away, replaced by Unknown Possibly Chris. Neil bellows some more, and Chris continues to be uninterested in anything that might be happening. Now the boys are walking past a bookstore, then they’re in a mall trying to avoid being run down by the camera, then a double-decker bus whizzes by because you haven’t really seen London until you’ve managed to not get run down by one of those, and then we’re apparently on a helicopter tour of famous London images.

Back to the… I don’t know, place where Neil and Chris are walking around and pretending that there’s not a camera tracking them. Chris actually shows some signs of life by performing a quick dance step. Or he might have tripped over something. Not sure.

Now they’re walking along the Thames River (I’m assuming) and it’s still overcast, so I’m not sure that London gets a lot of sunshine, so this is probably not a place that Katrina and the Waves should visit. Shot of the river water, then a nice composed shot of the guys with the Tower of London or maybe Margaret Thatcher’s house in the background. (Chris is still not interested. That dude is basically over everything.)

More shots of various random people, including a woman with earrings that could double as anchors for a cruise ship. We also learn that people like to eat while walking. And gamble. Or at least do something with machines that appear to be gambling devices. Maybe they’re just inspecting them to make sure the bells and whistles are pleasing.

Oh wait, now we have lots of those tiny European cars racing past what might be a government building, or a hotel, or a royal residence with crappy security. This doesn’t escalate into a riot or an embassy bombing, so I don’t know why this footage is included.

And there’s Neil again, singing some more with that exclamation point and some neon pink lettering that experience tells me has something to do with questionable venues where small women walk on your back for money. (I really don’t think Neil would be interested in such places, so the mystery deepens. Chris is nowhere to be found at this point, so perhaps he’s much more receptive to the back-walking.)

Dramatic image of Neil glancing off to his right. But nothing happens. So he sings another line of the song and then glances again. Still nothing. Dude, is somebody missing a cue or do you have an attention deficit issue?

We end with the camera traveling along a street and showing lots of people waiting in lines to get into places that are apparently popular. But we don’t know these places and we don’t know these people, so the emotional investment just isn’t there. We fade to black as Neil whispers the final lines of the song.

But seriously. Where the hell are the West End Girls? Did I miss them?


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: The Script - “Breakeven (Falling To Pieces)”

We start out with the lead singer driving along in his car, destination unknown, while we hear a woman repeating herself in voiceover. We don’t know if it’s a flashback or a haunting. We get glimpses of the band performing while the lead singer (Danny) watches a big blue boat float past. He’s really sad, which probably has nothing to do with the “Where’s Waldo?” tower behind him. We also get brief shots of some presumably naked people having a swell time.

Cut to Danny sitting all alone in the dark, fiddling with his cell phone, proving that society has issues if people need to check their text messages when they should be singing in a music video. He finally does start with the singing, triggering some more flashbacks where his girl is doing something with wheat as well as more intimate nap time. (There’s that tower again.) It appears that Nameless Girl really likes to have videos taken of her while she wears a coat, so she’s probably high-maintenance.

Back to Danny sitting again, this time in what we’ll assume is his bedroom. He checks for head lice, but doesn’t find any. He’s still sad. I’m no counselor, but maybe if he got off that damn bed things might improve a little. Oh look, I guess he heard me because the band is performing once more. The guitar player seems pretty happy, so maybe Danny should have a few beers with his buddy and figure out the secret.

But no, Danny instead has some more flashbacks, this time of Nameless Girl marching out his front door with one tiny suitcase, so either the relationship wasn’t that serious to begin with or she’s misplaced a lot of things. Danny just watches her go, already writing this song in his head. He runs back inside to get a pencil.

And more of the band performing. The audience really seems to be enjoying the music, so maybe they don’t understand that it’s not exactly a joyous song. Danny likes to wave his hand at something in the upper balcony, so we’ll assume that he and Nameless had a good time or two up there. Of course, he’s still having flashbacks, this time of Nameless auditioning for a shampoo commercial. Or lipstick. Something that requires Nameless to gaze at the camera with barely controlled yearning for the latest beauty products.

Extended montage of the couple being intimate again. Did these two do anything besides have sex and wear jackets on a cloudy day? Danny is singing on stage again, and he’s completely ignoring his keyboard, so this must be the most emotionally-wrenching part of the song for him and he can’t multi-task. (Another shot of the duo showing their fondness for L. L. Bean outerware.) Danny waves to the other balcony, so I’m guessing that second floor is a really happening place.

Now we have Danny singing by that striped tower again, and I’m starting to think it might have something to do with the breakup. It’s always there, and everyone knows that three-way relationships are very difficult to maintain. No wonder Nameless finally packed her minimal things, she was tired of playing second fiddle to something that’s taller than her and doesn’t talk very much.

Scene with Danny realizing that his keyboard isn’t even plugged in, while the audience waits for him to realize where they are. Another shot of the couple in bed, and Danny is wearing a shirt that probably didn’t help the relationship, either. Back to the stage, where something very bright just landed on the audience. Danny looks up and sings to the ceiling, so I guess he and nameless did it on the roof as well. They were very busy people back in the day.

Another shot at the seashore, where Nameless thinks she’s on a high-fashion runway, followed by more footage of the couple walking in that wheat, and Danny checking his inbox. The song winds down as we see Danny brooding in various locales, and snippets of Nameless apparently already with another guy. Danny sighs, adjusts his coat collar, and then goes to see what the Waldo tower is doing for dinner…


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Crowded House - “Don’t Dream It’s Over”

We start out with the camera approaching an open window, so once again we are going to be doing voyeuristic things, spying on people performing activities that are considered private when music isn’t playing. Neil Finn is sitting on a bed (probably his, who knows), strumming his guitar. Out of nowhere, a plate comes flying up and smashes against the screen. No explanation is given, but get used to it. Possessed tableware is all over this video.

Neil doesn’t mind the shattered crockery, and just keeps playing and singing. He gets up, slowly wanders across the room, avoids a mysterious shower of somebody’s exploding mail, and goes out the door. We’ve now gone back in time 18 years, where somebody is watching home movies and flipping through photo albums while another plate smashes. This person is also not concerned with projectiles, continuing to gaze at people in black-and-white photos with startling hairdos.

Flash forward 7 years to another room, where a chicken nugget on a stick sails by as folks are packing things in boxes and vacuuming an ugly carpet. More chicken nuggets levitate, as well as giant heads of the band members. This room is incredibly boring, so I’m glad when we move on.

Now we have a close-up of Neil singing, followed by shots of an old radio, somebody looking through a telescope (trying to find an actual script?) and ghostly papers that flutter about. Yet another room, where one of the band members is wearing one of those embroidered half-jackets and you expect a bull to run by looking for a red flag. This doesn’t happen, but we do get shots of a religious statue and some horrid wallpaper.

Now the band is in a 60’s kitchen, where there’s plenty of dinnerware that can fly about. Shots of a partially-eaten breakfast being ignored while someone plays a guitar and somebody else irons a shirt. (People, at some point you have got to show me something interesting. This review is about to self-implode with drabness. We need some stabbing or a fire or a gratuitous shower scene. Something.) But no, more ironing and breakfast-ignoring.

Finally, even Neil can’t stand this room and moves on. Next we have a garage (I think) where all of the band is actually playing their instruments. But instead of the pace picking up and the band jamming and sweating and showing actual signs of life, Neil puts down his guitar, whispers something to the drummer, and then leaves the house.

Once outside, Neil puts on an overcoat and wanders off in the direction of a hill in the distance.

Really? That’s it, guys? Hmmm.


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: Lloyd - “Lay It Down”

We start out with a nice aerial shot, flying over a city that somebody else might recognize. Cut to Lloyd and a lovely lass strolling along a street. (Naturally, he has his shades on because it’s pitch dark outside.) They’re holding hands, which is refreshing, because in some videos people would already be having sex 7 seconds into the video.

Cut to Lloyd standing in… not sure. Is this a fancy bathroom in a hip night club? Maybe Lloyd will sing about it and tell us where he is. Well, no, he wants us to lay our head on his pillow. I don’t really want to do that, but I’ll see what else he has to say. Seriously, he wants us to lay our damn head on his pillow. Lloyd is really pushy. Maybe later, dude. Depends on how the drinking goes.

We start seeing brief glimpses of some finely-dressed people enjoying champagne at what might be a restaurant. They’re just sitting around and quietly talking. Perhaps they’re waiting for Lloyd to make his way out of the bathroom, because he’s still in there, insisting that we get some rest. Maybe someone should go check on him.

Oh good, looks like Lloyd finally broke free, because now he’s joined the elegant people wherever they are drinking that champagne. Lloyd is so happy to be out of the bathroom that he high-fives people and hugs them, even if they don’t know who he is. His lovely lass (let’s call her Janice) is by his side, being fully supportive after his harrowing ordeal.

Everybody raises their glasses of champagne to the notion that all people should be able to exit public facilities whenever they want to. More champagne is poured, because you never know when somebody else might be released from the men’s room and they need to be prepared to celebrate.

Brief shot of what might be a DJ, but he doesn’t introduce himself, so we don’t know for sure. This is followed by more happy people chatting and drinking the bubbly. Then Lloyd is back in that bathroom again, which is probably not an ideal move, but hopefully he’ll remember his way out this time.

Now we have Lloyd eyeing Janice across the table of friends. This inspires Janice to come over and ask Lloyd to help adjust her boobs. That’s all it takes to get the fires burning, and we cut to an alley where Janice is pawing at Lloyd’s clothing. Just to make sure he understands her needs, she turns around and crams her booty up against him. To her dismay, he keeps singing, so she finally resorts to a stronger message, wrapping one leg around his waist and heaving her breasts toward heaven.

Lloyd finally shuts up for a second, realizes that perhaps there are some other things they could be doing right now, and they run hop in his car, headed toward what we can assume is more erotic location than a smelly alley. During the journey, we see shots of Lloyd singing in another room, this one with tufted walls that make it look like he’s bellowing inside a giant coffin. This man sure chooses some odd places to sing.

They finally get to a fancy house (we know this because some butler guy opens the car doors for them) and the loving couple troops inside. Thoughtfully, someone has arranged for an orchestra to be right there, playing along as Janice flings her tiny purse to the side, quickly joined by most of her clothing.

But instead of hopping right in the sack that we actually haven’t seen yet (were they going to do it on the marble floor?), Janice heads toward a really nice swimming pool. (Maybe she wants to rinse off the smell of rotting cabbage that she picked up while doing sexual gymnastics in the alley.) I’m guessing Lloyd is not particularly fond of this change in itinerary, because he starts to sing a little more desperately in that coffin room.

Cut to the couple finally in bed, and we learn that Lloyd has more tattoos than you would ever have imagined. Janice is on top of him, showing tremendous amounts of affection for the ink work. She must have just the right touch, because Lloyd suddenly starts yodeling while his head hangs upside down.

Whoops, now we’re back to the pool, where Lloyd is convincing his little kitten that she can swim later, like after the video’s done. (Apparently we had some focus issues in the editing room.) They troop once more to the boudoir, even though we’ve already been there. More tattoo exposure and yodeling, complemented by shots of Janice flinging her head about with wild abandon so that her dangly gold earrings catch the light just right, accenting the fact that she has breasts, in case we’ve forgotten.

The music fades as Lloyd and Janice consummate their 5-minute relationship. Far off in the night, the von Trapp family is pleased that yodeling is making a comeback…


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

10 Reasons Why The Cold Weather Is No Longer My Friend

1. The constant nipple protrusion.

  When the temperature drops, my hi-beams come on. For hours at a time. And with an intensity that is mildly frightening. Some of my shirts are so lacerated at pec level that it looks like Edward Scissorhands dropped by for a game of Twister.

2. The inverse reaction a bit further south.

  Although I might be running around with Ginsu knives sticking out of my chest, the reverse is transpiring with the twigs and berries. Mr. Happy wants to be someplace warm, and apparently that place is back inside my body. This makes things very difficult to find when nature calls. I’m tired of going on a scavenger hunt in Nutbush City Limits.

3. The nightly charbroiling.

  I understand that the heater needs to run all night or we will die, frozen in our beds, not discovered until the Spring Thaw when the sheriff knocks on the door to see why we ain’t paid our light bill. But I don’t understand why the process of heating has to suck all the moisture out of your body, leaving you as nothing more than a burnt-out husk trapped under 7 layers of Aunt Jethrine’s special afghans, too dehydrated to call for help.

4. The lip-splitting and tongue-cracking.

  If you do manage to somehow survive the night, your mouth probably won’t, especially if you have gas heating. Your lips will be criss-crossed with deep, blood-filled ravines, and your tongue will feel like you’ve been shoving it in a cotton bale all night. Do not try to roll your tongue around in search of the one remaining drop of saliva in your mouth. You risk losing a layer of tongue skin if it comes in contact with some of the more treacherously arid parts of your cheeks. Instead, calmly and patiently work your way to the nearest source of fresh water, and then drink 5 gallons of it.

5. The extra layers of clothing.

  I already have more than my share of poundage, thank you very much. I don’t really relish adding bulky sweaters and coats and mufflers and circus tents, making me look like I should be floating in the sky with “Goodyear” on my side. Or having people start parking their cars next to me, thinking they finally found the Super Bowl. And seriously, how is one supposed to drive a car when your arms are sticking straight out to the sides of your body and you can’t lower them? Use my tongue? And have it snap off because it’s so brittle?

6. Waiting decades for your car to heat up.

  Why even bother to turn the heater on? You won’t even feel the first feeble bits of warmth trickling out of the vents until you’ve already been at work for two hours. And you snooty people with the remote-start cars, drinking hot cocoa in the comfort of your house until it’s time to slip into the sauna of your deluxe vehicle, wearing flip-flops and shorts? I don’t really care for you. Don’t even talk to me until April.

7. The complete morons on the icy roads.

  Dear Stupid Fools That Don’t Understand That There Must Be Speed Adjustments When the Ground Is White: You know you’re going to end up in the ditch. We’re all aware of this. So why don’t you just go ahead and pile into the ditch in front of your house, so you can wait comfortably inside your dwelling for the tow truck, and the rest of us can have a decent chance of getting to work on time. Thanks.

8. The Flu That Will Not Die.

  You can use all the hand sanitizer you want, but if you work in a building with other people, like most of us do, you are going to get sick. Repeatedly. Because you’re in a soup of germs. You’re going to keep passing the crud back and forth until you just want to claw your face. So just brace yourself for it. Go to Sam’s, buy the bulk crates of TheraFlu and tissue, and prepare for the skin on your nose to be in shreds for the next 3 months.

9. The piercing, mind-searing, soul-shattering wind.

  It never stops. Ever. This is why some people start talking to themselves, commit odd crimes, and then spend the rest of their lives under heavy sedation. Or as the CEO of a major corporation. Same thing.

10. The pale, pasty skin and the frizzy, uncontrollable, static-electricity hair.

  What’s this? You think you just spotted the Abominable Snowman in your bathroom. Honey, put down the phone and quit trying to call Oprah. That’s you. Yes, it is. Seriously. Raise your right hand. See? Now, now, don’t cry. It’ll be okay. Fix yourself a nice drink and then we’ll talk about it…

Friday, January 14, 2011

10 Things You’ll Find Yourself Experiencing Much More When You Get Older

1. Surprise naps.

  You get a phone call from your favorite niece, but instead of running around and jumping excitedly during the conversation like you would when you were fifteen like your niece, you have to find a comfy chair, because talking and walking is just far too much combined effort at one time. As you settle into the chair, you realize that it is very relaxing to not have to use your legs, and your niece really has a lot to say, so you’ll just let her babble while you grunt approvingly every now and then.

  Then you wake up, and it’s quite some time later. Your cell phone battery is dead. And your niece has graduated from high school.

2. Pain from body parts that you didn’t even know existed.

  All you’re trying to do is stand up from a sitting position. You don’t recall doing anything especially strenuous or odd whilst sitting, but suddenly you experience a startling pain shooting through your… well, you’re not sure what it is, but basic intelligence alerts you that whatever it is, it shouldn’t be hurting like that. It almost feels like somebody shoved an arrow through your… thing. But don’t try to look around and see if an archer is standing nearby, giggling, because then you’ll just twist something else that wants to protest. Immediately proceed to the bathroom and review your prescription bottles for the one that seems the most appropriate for “I don’t know what the hell that was all about but I want a pill”.

3. Leaky plumbing.

  I can only speak from the male side of things, but I’m sure there’s an equivalent irksomeness on the female side. Whilst in the bathroom making your selection of prescribed candy that will make your day brighter, you might find yourself needing to tinkle because you’re in the vicinity of water and that’s all it takes anymore for your bladder to stand up and start ringing a bell. But if you decide to relieve yourself, remember that things are different now.

  You can no longer squat, squirt and run with no after effects. Things move more slowly. Your pee is just as tired as you are. Be sure that everything is out of the processing chamber before you pull up your drawers. Otherwise, there will be physical evidence that you did not quite complete the mission, with telltale wetness in a glaring location. And if you do get ahead of yourself and have to deal with reputation-killing spottage, be expedient with your methods to rectify the situation, especially in public. You don’t want to be rubbing vigorously at your nethers with a paper towel when the President of the PTA waltzes into the bathroom, camera phone in hand.

4. Car keys become your enemy.

  These little jingly bastards will run and hide every chance they get. You know damn well that you put them right there on the kitchen table, yet two seconds later they have vanished. You might as well call whoever it is that you were going to meet for lunch and beg tardiness, because it’s going to take you at least 30 minutes to figure out what you’ve done with the keys. And the worst part of this frustrating situation is that when you do finally find the keys, in the fridge next to the mayo, you will clearly remember putting them there and why. Sad, really.

5. Driving a car is not the thrill it used to be.

  Oh sure, there are still times when cruising around on a sunny day brings a smile to your face. And if the destination includes a good time with family and friends, all the better, even if you can’t really remember their names anymore. But more often than not, especially if a freeway or lots of turning is involved, the love affair is over. 

  People don’t drive for pleasure anymore. They drive with the sole intention of making your life miserable, swerving all over the place, ignoring all rules and regulations, and listening to music that is crushingly loud and apparently concerns Godzilla stomping through Tokyo while some man raps about his bitches and his penis. This is not your father’s Oldsmobile. Or his respect for the law.

6. Everything repeats.

  Once you get to that destination, with your family and friends, whatever their names might be, and everyone settles around the table at the restaurant, there are more critical decisions to be made. Gone are the days when you could eat anything before you and then go play volleyball for six hours. Now every single ingredient in every single dish must be analyzed for potential digestive disruption. Those damn vegetables that your doctor thinks you should eat six buckets of every day? No, sir. Unless those vegetables have been boiled down to the consistency of gelatin, they ain’t goin in my pie hole. Otherwise, I’ll have a gas bubble the size of Utah and the embarrassing ability to jet-propel anywhere I walk for the next two days.

  And grease? Grease really is one of God’s gifts, especially when it comes to fried foods. Nothing could be finer. But as soon as an ounce of such passes my drying-out lips, it’s like somebody installed a Slip N Slide. That mess races through like Fox News runs from fact-checkers. You might as well strap me to a gurney and lower me over a toilet, because Hurricane Katrina was nothing compared to what’s about to happen.

7. You forget what you just said.

  There’s a certain facial expression with which you should familiarize yourself. When coming from younger people, it means this: “Uncle Brian, you just said that two minutes ago.”

8. You forget what you just said.

  There’s a certain facial expression with which you should familiarize yourself. When coming from younger people, it means this: “Uncle Brian, you just said that three minutes ago.”

9. Sex is no longer the driving focus of your life.

  It’s not even in the car.

10. You no longer care what other people think of you.

  And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the saving grace. Finally, after all these years, all that worrying, all those decisions based on how you would be perceived, it actually doesn’t matter. Do whatever the hell it is that you want to do. Even if you don’t remember it two hours later….