Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Christmas in July, Hockey in August

The Olympics may be over, but the global athletic competition hasn't ended, folks. Even though it's August (well, now September by the time you read this), there's actually some pretty sweet professional and meaningful hockey going on right now. And it just might be the last hockey you see for a long time. Well, in actuality, it'll probably be the first hockey you see in a long time.

The World Cup of Hockey rolled on tonight, with the United States losing to Canada 2-1 in its first match of the opening round robin. It's funny, everyone gushes over Olympic hockey, but this is just as good and nobody watches. This contest also only takes place every four years, it's got the world's best talent, and unlike the Olympics, it's got fighting! Hell, even thirty-eight-year-old Mario Lemieux gave some poor American a face wash and a chokeout tonight for Chrissakes...that's right, gentle Super Mario started a rinkwide brawl. Where's the publicity for that? Anyway, that was just a little public service announcement. The 416 people watching around the country know what I'm talkin' about.

But the highlight of the telecast was the unintentional comedy stylings of sidelined American forward Jeremy Roenick. JR sat out the tournament and was fortunate enough to join Gary Thorne and Bill Clement as the third man in the announcing booth. Roenick, who has been under scrutiny lately for his alleged gambling addiction, was absolutely atrocious. This guy's to announcing as Kobe is to getting away with rape. Nah, I'm just kidding, some of my best friends are rapists. After a laughable introduction to the American squad ("Goaltending is a question mark, but I like Robert Esche, GO ROBERT ESCHE, YEEEEAH!"), Roenick's banter with the other two guys truly sounded like a speed freak conversing with a pair of Stephen Wrights.

It all led up to a great television exchange about two minutes into the game (that's all I watched with sound). For the game, Canada wore these "antique gold" jerseys, which were severely unattractive. The announcers decided to comment:

Gary: Canada wearing its antique gold jerseys tonight.
Bill: They look more like green-gold to me, Gary.
JR: (screaming) Yeah guys, they look like PUKE gold to me.
Gary: (disgusted, but without missing a beat) That's awful. Robert Esche in goal for the US facing Maty Brodeur...

Good times. Gary Thorne pretty much shit all over this guy on live television and then pretended it never happened. He scolded, and then he continued his play-by-play. A true professional, that Thorne. Enough hockey. Hockey sucks.

Some quick notes:
--Had my fantasy football draft tonight, like my team. All I know is, Donovan better eat his freakin' Chunky Soup this season.

--With Deion's return to the NFL, SportsCenter just showed the clip of him dumping buckets of ice water on Tim McCarver's head after a big 1992 postseason win with the Braves. Best. Clip. Ever. Show that every day on a loop and you have me at hello.

--The Bush Twins were simply brutal. Sure, the one who didn't go to Yale looks like she gives good head, but what an awful little speech tonight. They make Stephen Hawking look like a solid public speaker.

--The Yankees got spizzanked by the Injuns 22-0 tonight, the worst loss in the storied franchise's history. Let's just move on. I'm still not panicked, maybe this is what we needed. A little pep talk from the Jetes, Torre shakes things up. We'll be fine. I can't say this enough -- the Red Sawx need to win a bunch and get close if they're going to have their annual collapse in September. Hey, look, check your calendars. It starts now.

--Ichiro is unbelievable. This guy is simply unreal, and he will break the single-season hits record this year, which he's well on pace to do. Three months with 50 hits this season -- Pete Rose only had four in his whole career! Hats off to the man.

--The Name of This Band is Talking Heads (aka TNOTBITH) came out on CD after years of strictly vinylness. Get it now. Freakishly awesome, even if you're not a freakishly awesome Talking Heads fan.

--Don't charge at Cheney, he don't mess around. Even if your last name is Frampton, that's no excuse. He'll take you down and your talking guitar.

Hard Zell

Man, I hate it when Republicans make robots and run them successfully as Democratic senators from Georgia, allow them to go so far as to give the keynote speech at the Democratic Convention and then finally flip the "fuck you" switch and the robot switches allegiances to the Republican side. Not since Darth Vader's abrupt about face in which he spiked the Emperor down that impossibly long hole in Death Star 2 has such a shocking switch of allegiances taken place. Georgia Democrat Zell Miller has actually agreed to give the keynote speech introducing President Bush at the RNC. It's like that Who's the Boss where Mona spoke at the Abstinance Club of Greater Norwalk...utterly unfathomable. Anybody who takes a dicking like Mona or claims, "I'll be a Democrat 'til the day I die," like Zell, should not be allowed to make speeches for the other team like that...especially in politics and sit-coms. Who else is going to make a speech at the convention? Reggie "Must Kill the Queen" Jackson? Did Ludwig get to Zell?

So how do we stop Zell before he starts introducing Bush and, in doing so, dropping a huge crap on the Kerry campaign? I suggest Short Round, you know, the "You call him Docta Jones"-kid from Temple of Doom. Remember when Indy was brainwashed by Molaram the evil priest and he was going to rip out Kate Capshaw's heart (notice they didn't take off her top like they did for the O Mumshibai-guy)? Well it was Short Round that stepped in with the glowing hot iron and burned Indy's abdomen, an action that instantly removed the spell. Then Indy started kicking ass, until that little bastard prince got the voodoo doll and......well, nevermind. You get the point. Heat up some iron and let Shorty stab Zell in the gut. Then Zell can start kickin' ass: Cheney, those good for nothin' Swift Boat Vets, Jenna. Hit 'em all, Zell.

OK, I should really start studying now. So make comments and such and try to come up with other instances when someone has turned so dastardly to the other side. Something at which Jim Ross would say, "Oh no. (Blank) just turned on (blank). What a turn of events!"

Welcome to the Machine

Our town hath been invaded by Grand Ol' Partiers and the people who hate them...but I wouldn't even know it. This thing really hasn't even affected my life at all, to tell you the truth, which is just more proof that Manhattan's East Side is a totally different world than the West. Might as well be Jersey over there. So far, the Ace Cowboy's clearly beating the President Cowboy in gettin' around NYC.

Mayor Bloomberg is happy to have the Republicans in town, a town in which maybe one out of every five people vote for the convening party. He's so happy they're here that he misspoke horribly yesterday, a ridiculous slip that flew largely under the radar (maybe it wasn't under it, but I hadn't heard the remark 'til today). During Bloomberg's brief spech yesterday, the Mayor alluded to the fact that he and Gov. George Pataki had "laid the tombstone for the site of the Freedom Tower" in lower Manhattan. He clearly meant to say "cornerstone." Yikes. Watch out for that first step, Mayor Mike, it's a doooozy.

I watched the speeches by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain last night, and I was largely bored. This is going to be the theme for this convention -- not outrage or disgust, but boredom. The GOP is clever as shit, they really are: They carefully chose a list of moderates who will not argue for the party's real platform -- it's a classic bait and switch. They get Rudy and McCain and Ahnold (so greeaat to beee he-uh) up there to be the faces, but these guys aren't with the party on key social issues. They're not up there to suck you in on the issues, they're up there to tout Georgey Boosh as a strong leader. There up there to say patriotic catchphrases and things like, "You know, we're just not going to let the terrorists determine where we have political conventions, where we go, how we travel. We're Americans, the land of the free and the home of the brave." Well, thanks Rudy, but we're not going to let the terrorists determine where we have political conventions? What the fuck? First of all, WE DID. They bombed New York, all of a sudden the RNC comes to NYC for the first time ever. They DID determine where we have our conventions. And is that what we're most concerned about? We should fight back on terror because we don't want them affecting the locations of our non-important political conventions?! I'm sure the next terrorist bombing is going to come with a note that says, "Stay out of Omaha, bitches."

Like I said, I wasn't outraged or embarassed or disgusted, I was just bored. Rudy running for President in 2008? Let him, I thought his speech was about as well-delivered as a large baby from a woman with a small vagina. Wait, what? Anyway, I want to hear Trent Lott and Rick Santorum and those dudes get up there and go to town on coloreds and homos and the horned Jews. That's exciting, that would drive ratings. I'd be on the edge of my seat. Instead of McCain calling Michael Moore a "disingenuous filmmaker," maybe Santorum and friends could have called him "that fat homeless dude who ate Paul Prudhomme and made that movie."

Ed Gillespie and the RNC shoulda went for it...they're convinced they've got the election wrapped up, why not use this chance to scare the shit out of people? They clearly missed the boat on that one. I mean, no mention yet of "activist judges." What's a Republican party without a mention of activist judges? C'mon, yer better than that, GOP'ers, just say it once, for me, for the Ace.

Anyway, that's my two cents after night one of this little shindig...

Monday, August 30, 2004

RNC Here, No Pudding

Holy Habeas Corpus! What's going on in this fair city of ours? Irene and I were strolling around the quaint East Village on Friday night and all hell was breaking loose. It was like walking off a great dinner...in Basra or Sarajevo or Cleveland. At one point, someone from Kosovo came up to us and said, "Thees nothing. You shoulda see a my country...". Just then, an anti-Bush protestor blew up a horse by ghost-riding his plastique-laced protest-Huffy into it. Then Vladnitz said, "OK, that was a sometheeng," as he wiped bits of blood-stained mane from his head.

It felt like we were walking through a reality theater performance of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" what with the crazy helicopter noises and the faint protests echoing down 2nd Avenue and old men chasing around kids with meat. I tried to tell my coke dealer about the helicopters but he didn't believe me. When we finally stopped by his place, he offered to show Irene helicopters. She declined, saying, "I've seen enough helicopters for one day." But really, a chopper floating over previously innocuous things like Mermaid Inn, the Ukrainian Cultural Home and the (thankfully untouched) Russian and Turkish Baths was really freaky, what with the light beaming down on the biking protesters and everything. Luckily, we just drank our way through it and everything died down.

And, as I've always predicted, a big green dragon set itself on fire on Sunday outside Madison Square Garden. I've been warning the government for years about Steamlock and he finally reared his ugly, fiery head.


Sorry, Slackers, I'm knee deep in Social Security reform right now, and I bet Donnie's knee deep in Cornellian Jewchicks and torts (sounds hot, right?). Otherwise, we'd be glad to wisk you away to the LaLanic World of lollipops and gumdrops and an unconditional yet unrequited love for Gary Sheffield.

For now, let me just ask this question that's been bothering me for the last two months: Is there some sort of general embargo on the coverage of the OJ Chase? How come on June 17th every year, we don't get treated to "BRAVO Presents the 10th Anniversary of OJ Simpson's Greatest Run Ever"? You're telling me a struggling cable television network shouldn't pony up the cash for the rights to this thing? Every year on the anniversary of that fateful day in June, that network would eaaasily win the ratings war by a landslide margin. Makes no sense to me...it's been 10 years and I've still never seen a replay. How can that be?

Man, that was a fun night -- Game 5 of the NBA Finals, OJ taking off in the now-infamous white Bronco...and to cap it all off, my buddy punched his twin sister with blunt force right in the head because she made fun of him, perhaps an acne-related insult in front of at least eight of his best friends, but I don't recall the exact impetus. Ahhh, good times. I really wish I were five days short of my 15th birthday all over again.

Friday, August 27, 2004

The NCAA Blow Goats (I Have Proof)

Much like Danny LaRusso's karate, the NCAA is a joke. This is an organization that pledges to protect and advance the 360,000 amateur student-athletes under its guard, yet it routinely fucks them in the ass like Zed and his hillbilly boy buddy. If I were Mike Williams, I'd go to work on the NCAA with a blowtorch and a pair of pliers, git Medieval on its ass.

How can the NCAA not reinstate this guy? He didn't do anything wrong really, he got some bad advice, lost a court case and suffered through months of waiting in agony to see if he could play football again. It's not like it'd be setting a dangerous precedent -- aside from the football world's biggest horse's ass Mo Clarett, nobody will ever be in this situation even again. When I heard the announcement on SportsCenter when I woke up this morning, I was truly speechless. I was without speech.

But I shouldn't have been...this isn't the first time the NCAA has fucked over a talented young athlete. It's not even the first time this week the NCAA has fucked over a talented young athlete. Take the case of Jeremy Bloom, who lost another appeal this week to restore his collegiate eligibility. In addition to being a pretty good wideout for the Colorado University football team, Bloom just happens to be the favorite to win the freestyle moguls at the 2006 Winter Olympics. And because Bloom receives endorsements to help pay for his training in a sport that has nothing to do with his collegiate sport, apparently he can't play football. I so hoped that at some point he walked into the NCAA offices, crumpled up a piece of neo-McCarthyism paper and said, "I may play ball, but I'll never sign this."

I've always hated the NCAA, though. This is the organization that in 1995 declared Stanford University sophomore Tiger Woods ineligible for allowing Arnold Palmer to pick up his $25 portion of the dinner check. Tiger’s eligibility wasn’t restored until the amateur cut Arnie a check for his share. That same year, the NCAA suspended UCLA linebacker Donnie Edwards for accepting a bag of groceries. As the story goes, the bag had been mysteriously left at his doorstep after Edwards outwardly expressed how his lack of funds left him in a constant state of hunger.

More recently, and perhaps most cold-heartedly, the NCAA informed University of Oklahoma third baseman Aaron Adair that his college baseball career was over. Writing a book about his inspirational recovery from brain cancer meant Adair had leant his name to a “corporate product,” an offense the NCAA apparently doesn’t take lightly.

This aggression will not stand, man. So a kid with brain cancer can't play baseball because he profited off a book he wrote about the recovery? Donnie Edwards should go hungry before accepting a gift? Tiger can't go out to lunch with an American idol unless he foots his share of the bill? The NCAA is a bunch of, to borrow a phrase from Stifler's little brother, "Fuckers, fuckers, fuckers."

It's a good thing the NCAA penalizes the good kids while letting the thugs roam free. Mike Williams can't play football, but Willie Williams can? Willie Williams, the nation's top recruit this year, will not only play football this year, but he'll likely star for the University of Miami. This is a guy who reportedly has been arrested 10 times since 1999, the year he turned 14 years old. The following year he was arrested five times, twice for felony offenses (and my guess is they weren't for tampering with mailboxes). Most recently, on his recruiting trip to the University of Florida, police said "Williams hugged a female student without her permission, hit a man at a bar and set off three fire extinguishers in his hotel — all in a span of five hours." So this kid can play amateur athletics but some of the fine fellows mentioned above cannot? The hypocrisy and horrific decision-making of the NCAA knows no bounds.

College sports are pretty entertaining...I just hope the NCAA does everyong a huge favor and gets the fuck out of the way. And if Mike Williams somehow ends up with the NCAA's chopper after a shotgun blast to its balls, then I'd be a happy man. Doesn't take much to make me happy, just a little shotgun to the balls...now you know.


Here's some funny political (and potty) humor.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Britt Stinson

What do the following athletes have in common?

Team USA Basketball Star and Cleveland ass-fucker, Carlos Boozer
Ageless, noodle-armed junkballer, Jamie Moyer
Career disappointment, replacement-level OF, Jay Payton
Cubbies OF who pees on own hands, Moises Alou

They all look like Starbux's older brother, Britt Stinson, don of the Stinson crime syndicate of Nashville, TN. If you could somehow blend Boozer, Moyer, Payton and Alou together and throw in a little tabouleh or gannouj, you'd have the perfect Stinson, crime mastermind extraordinaire. How many top 40 country hits have you launched due to your nefarious payola schemes, Don Britt, you suspicious blend of average to above-average athletes with good staying power? Shame on you!

Law School People Suck like Frist

Look, if you went to Cornell and you are originally from Long Island, could you please stay the fuck away from me? I'm four days in to this whole law school thing and half the people fit this Cornell/Long Island mold and they're killing me. If I hear one more person refer to the quality of attractiveness in females as "talent", well, I might take Jimmy Conway over to their apartment so he can strangle them with a phone cord. Schmuck on wheels, indeed.

"Hey bro, doesn't our class have a lot of talent?"
"Got any sweet talent in your section?"
"May/Walsh = Gold Medal Talent"
"Check out the talent bags on that Long Island Jewish girl who went to Cornell and came directly to law school in her sorority sweatshirt and still tries to buy California rolls with Bonus Bucks."

Somebody actually asked me that second question about the talent in my section. All I could envision was someone standing at the front of the room explaining contract law while sitting on a unicycle and juggling. And since there was a girl doing that just yesterday, I told him, "Yeah, well, this one girl is really talented." And the Cornell said, "Sweet, I could use some talent like that." And I said, "How long have you been in the circus business." He said something about me being "whack"...and then Jimmy came running down the hall with a super long cord and choked him. I think he pissed his pants.

It's like the nightmare of undergraduate "New Student Week" all over again, without the herding masses wandering to parties on Ridge and Noyes, Noyes and Ridge, Ridge and Noyes. How many fucking times do I have to say New Jersey, um...just southwest of Newark, Northwestern, paralegal, Brooklyn Heights, 2,3? And when am I going to learn that people don't really care that I lived for a year in Austria? Why do I bother throwing that in there? Are people from my section going to go to lunch after class and say, "Wow, how bout that awesome guy who taught English for a year in Austria. Let's include him in all of our fun plans."? This is how beat my "first impression" skills have become.

God, I can't even read the paper anymore although I'm pretty sure the convention is coming because half of Brooklyn Heights is currently packing their cars for a trip somewhere. Think the Hamptons might be a tad crowded this week? Think I care? Fuck no. I'm going to be here...in the shit. Dukin' it out with Assbag DeLay and irish-whipping Hastert into the corner. Heads up, turnbuckle. Big Law Fiedler is out for justice. I want to have a kumitei battle with Senate Majority Leader Dr. Frist on the steps of the post office on 34th and 8th. I want there to be a surge of illegal betting by Chinamen holding sheets of paper just as Frist pompously flexes his boob muscles in that way only really cut Asians can do. I want to be framed between two corinthian columns across from the Garden, Frist's prostrate body prone on the marble steps and moving in for the kill. The crowd wants it...expects it. Then someone yells out, "Call Gabe Pressman and Ogre from Animal House...Frist's gonna say it!!!" And then, sure enough, just as Gabe Pressmen ambles up the steps, this happens:

Frist: Matei
Fiedler: Now kill the Patriot Act and this retarded deficit SPEEEEENNNNNNNNDINGGGG!!!
Frist: Matei
Fiedler: Stop scaring the American people with color-coded teror-ALEERRRRRTTTSSS!!!!
Frist: Matei
Fiedler: Renounce control of the Senate, the body of Congress responsible for ratifying international TREEEAAAATTTTTIIIIIIEEEEESSSSSS!!!
Frist: Matei
Fiedler: Pack up your Republican barnstorm and leave our fucking CIIIITTTYYYYYY!!!!!
Frist: Matei

And now Gabe Pressman: There you have it folks. The Bush admin...hey, Keith Jackson stole my mike...
Keith: Tough luck Gabe. Oh, Nelly, you've just seen the first ever successful execution of the 5-Matei takedown. Frist flexed his boob muscles to a great extent but Fiedler capitalized on a series of devastating body slams and then, just as this crowd of 800 frantic Hong Kongese expected the death blow, Fiedler forced the Senate Majority Leader to say "Matei." Mo' is riding out of New York on a donkey. Bush Administration, look out!

Olympic Fever

Olympics update from Mitchell Verger Dartz III, our intrepid researcher in Athens right now. V. Dartz sent this communique earlier today, figured I'd share some excerpts:

Met Rulon Gardner last night, coolest man alive with the exception of Peter Gammons and Trey when he's not on heroin.

I've now been to 8 events, gonna make it 9 tomorrow with diving...Yes, I'm going to diving, then afterwards I'm thinking about kicking my own ass.

Also walked by the Today show set on the way to work today...has anyone ever really noticed the things people do/say to get on television? City/State names being yelled everywhere, a lot of "We love you Matt"...someone even screamed "Katie has the best legs." That one made me laugh.

Speaking of laughs, I was sitting at the same dinner table last night with Jimmy Roberts and Jim Lampley...and have you guys heard Lampley laughing by any chance? Well, you might have, it seriously makes Janice's laugh from Friends seem diminutive -- just a rollicking, obnoxious guffaw...it's one of those laughs that makes you be like, "Yo, does this guy know how loud and annoying his laugh is?" And people call him "Lamps." Weird.

Thanks midget, shocking report...the Lampley laugh joke coulda been a bit better, but I loved the diving paragraph, excellent stuff from overseas. V. Dartz is a great researcher I'm sure (I mean, I don't know that's true for sure), and he sent me this hilarious Op/Ed article from yesterday's New York Times, with a note that this isn't quite how it works, but still funny nonetheless.

And if you haven't seen the commercials, I thank George W. for making it possible for two more countries to have freedom and the ability to participate in these Games. Thanks Georgey. Makes it all seem worthwhile now.

Naked Pictures of Bea Arthur

Good morning, Slackers...Spanish Miguel sent me this little article late yesterday, and since we all love poking a bit of fun at the legendary Bea Arthur, I figured I'd post it.

I used to watch those Friar's Club roasts on Comedy Central...the best line I ever saw was Jeff Ross saying, "I wouldn't fuck Bea Arthur with Bea Arthur's dick." Classic. Of course, he made the same joke about Penny Marshall when roasting Rob Reiner, but I like the first one better. Anyway, here's the story:

Golden Girl Causes Terrorist Scare in Boston

Golden Girls star Bea Arthur sparked a security scare at Boston's Logan International Airport earlier this week when she tried to board a flight with a pocketknife in her handbag. The actress, 81, was about to board a Cape Air flight when a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent discovered the offensive article in her belongings, which is strictly forbidden on airplanes since the September 11th attacks.

A fellow passenger says, "She started yelling that it wasn't hers and said 'The terrorists put it there'. She kept yelling about the 'terrorists, the terrorists, the terrorists'." After the knife was confiscated by TSA officials, the funnywoman pulled out a key ring from her bag and told the agent it belonged to the "terrorists", before throwing it at them.

As she boarded the plane, the Emmy-winning star told the TSA employees, "We're all doomed." A spokeswoman for Cape Air says, "Miss Arthur was cracking jokes and was a real character."

Wait, Bea Arthur is an "Emmy-winning star?" That's sillier than the synthetic string that shares its name. That's just craisins.

Congrats to the U.S. Men's Olympic Basketball team, who sucks, but still managed to hold off the previously undefeated Spanish squad this morning. The not-so-dreamy team built on a one-point halftime lead to take the contest 102-94. Damn, really woulda been nice to see Pau Gasol beat these cocky bastards...

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Don't Be Idiots, Folks

OK, you'll notice that the "Comments" section in the post from earlier today has been removed...whichever Anonymous poster, friend or foe, threw my boss' name on there, that shit is not cool. You got a fuckin' dart in your neck. Just because J-Mulgrew has no fear about getting caught writing dumb shit on the World Wide Web don't mean I do too (and no offense, Jason, you know I love your shit, but your albeit hilarious blog will be your own personal Marv Albert and bite you in the ass, right?).

Anyhoo, acrimony pointed at anonymous posters aside, here's the story of the day, courtesy of my boy Lukas:

Minor league baseball employee fired after cracking gay jokes during ballgame

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- The public address announcer for the Atlantic City Surf of the independent Atlantic League was fired and the scoreboard operator resigned after poking fun at Gov. James E. McGreevey's sexual orientation.

Announcer Greg Maiuro dedicated a between-innings rendition of the song "YMCA" to McGreevey during a game on Aug. 17, less than a week after New Jersey's governor announced that he had had an extramarital affair with a man and would resign. The 1970s hit song by the Village People is widely considered a gay anthem.

The following night, scoreboard operator Marco Cerino posted the message "Sponsored by Gov. Jim McGreevey" on the scoreboard when the song was played. Cerino resigned over the incident, the team said.

"Any time anyone speaks representing the Surf, they have to understand that we don't politicize," said team co-owner Frank Boulton. "It's not our place to do so. And it's just

The men left their jobs Monday.

"I was told what I did was wrong," Maiuro said. "I can see where you don't want to mix politics and baseball. I would have been willing to apologize."

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Drugs Are Bad, Mmmkay

Maybe this whole time, I've accidentally been taking Zoloft every morning. My roommate and I were watching some teevee after work, when one of those "Feeling Blue, Assface? Ram This Little Pill Down Your Bitchboy Throat" antidepressant commercials hit the ol' airwaves. Needless to say, I didn't pay much attention to the mersh itself, but my ears definitely perked up the second that seemingly constipated narrator lady finished reading the side effects. "Sounds familiar, dude. TiVo back." I heard them again:

People who use this product might experience dry-mouth, insomnia, sexual side effects, diarrhea, nausea and sleepiness.

Wait, so people who use this product are essentially paying all that money to feel like I do every day? Damn, I'm in the wrong business altogether. And while I myself am not depressed, don't you think someone experiencing all those side effects would be pretty fuckin' far from okay? Shit, if some of these people were depressed before popping Zoloft, just wait until they can't sleep through the night with the constant feeling of nausea and a wicked case of 'rhea. Not fun.

I'll never understand the sudden rush to legal drugs as an answer to our ills, and especially to our children's perceived ills. In fact, we now spend more on mood-altering drugs for our children than we spend on antibiotics. Zoloft alone generated more than $3 billion in sales for Pfizer last year, and those pills are still selling like the the Tri-Lambda's homecoming pies. Pfizer recently reported its corporate earnings, and said its Zoloft sales jumped 25 percent in the latest quarter. They're not alone: Wyeth's Effexor racked up more than $2 billion in sales last year, while GlaxoSmithKline's double trouble combo of Wellbutrin and Paxil totaled about $3.3 billion.

This ain't the medicine business, this is a motherfuckin' $14 billion fuck-you industry in the United States alone. This ain't about the need to make people feel better, it's about the need to sell the products that make money. Much like the terror alert system, it's about playing on people's deepest fears and capitalizing like a gang of robber baron apothecaries. As Alec Baldwin's character says in Glengarry Glen Ross, "Only one thing matters in this life. Get them to sign on the line that is dotted." That's why Pfizer makes $52 billion a year and you're nothing.

But greed is not good, Gekko. Greed leads to shadiness and negligence, even death. A nurse in Los Angeles last month sued Pfizer on behalf of all California residents who allegedly have been misled about Zoloft. The suit alleged that Pfizer misled doctors and the public regarding the safety and effectiveness of its drug, downplaying the alleged risks of taking Zoloft, such as increased suicidal and violent impulses, while exaggerating its benefits (New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer filed a similar lawsuit on behalf of all "aggrieved consumers" in that state who used GlaxoSmithKline's drug Paxil).

Zoloft also came under intense fire when a 12-year-old boy taking the drug (mind you, no antidepressant has been approved to treat pediatric depression except for Prozac) killed his grandparents and set their house on fire in 2001. And they say pot is bad for you. The case is drawing national attention "because it is among the first to arise amid a national debate over the safety of antidepressant use in children and teenagers." I'm anxiously awaiting the outcome of this case. We're a quick-fix society that rarely corrects it errors until it's too late. But it's been too late. It's too late for that 12-year-old's grandparents, it's too late the families and friends of the people in last month's lawsuit, and it may be too late for all the people who were misled by these pharmaceutical evildoers. It sucks to be misled by people whose sole responsibility it is to tell the truth, whether it be our government or our business leaders, or the people who are supposed to make us feel better.

To me it's painfully obvious that the driving force behind the sudden rise in prescriptions is aggressive direct-to-consumer advertising. It's a tel-e-vsion com-mer-cial. Following the relaxation of a 30-year drug marketing agreement in 1997, pharmaceutical companies have tripled their annual advertising to consumers, resulting in a 37% increase in sales of prescription stimulants for children. Also, roughly one-third of all adults have asked their doctor about a drug they saw advertised. If television commercials have made you want to go out and get a pair of Nikes, why can't they make you want to go out and get social anxiety disorder? Couple that with the fact that general practitioners, internists and family doctors are sometimes penalized by health insurers for making referrals to psychiatrists, and it's no wonder that primary care physicians write more than 70 percent of all antidepressant prescriptions in America.

You're all most likely in agreement or bored as shit; this is either preaching to the choir or delivering the world's worst sermon. But I'm just fuckin' sick and tired of hearing about children on medication who clearly don't need it, and hearing about people taking drugs without the necessary therapy that goes with them. If you're mentally unhealthy, which many people legitimately are, what makes you think the family doctor's off-hand prescription is gonna save the day?

I have no idea how to wrap up this ridiculous rant, so I'll just say this: Pharmies are fun to take recreationally, so keep making 'em, Pfizer. But get your fuckin' commercials off my telly and quit preying on America's youth. Otherwise, I swear I'll do all my "Silent P" business with Price Pfister and buy myself a new faucet.

Toilet Robbery

It's a busy day, folks, so I'll leave you with my favorite story of the day thus far (you'd think my favorite story would have been either the Earthquake in Athens, the Abu Ghraib fallout or the Jets signing Quincy Carter, but no, it's this crap (no pun intended)):

NATCHITOCHES, La. -- A New Orleans man was wounded by gunfire in a botched holdup in a Natchitoches Wal-Mart restroom Sunday, police said.

Viator Tyndale, 48, told police that someone reached over the side of a stall and fired one shot into the floor, then demanded money. The gunman then moved to the front of the stall and fired two more rounds. Tyndale said he shoved the swinging stall door at the robber, who then fled the restroom.

Tyndale suffered a small cut on his hand from shoving the door.

A shopper in the store said he received a minor arm wound from what he believes is a round that exited the bathroom.

Lonnie Davis, of Natchitoches, was treated at the scene and declined further medical treatment. The investigation is continuing.

Police are reviewing store surveillance video.

That's all. I promise, Slackers, tomorrow you'll have something good to read. I don't promise.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Political Humor Rocks, Yaaaay!

In lieu of anything original (due to time constraints and general blogapathy), here's an e-mail from the world famous Bart Starbux:

One thing I've learned recently is that people who play or write about poker for a living tend to use way too many poker analogies in normal conversation. That said, I thought this was pretty good.

Transcript of The Editors' regular Saturday-night poker game with Dick Cheney, 6/19/04. Start tape at 12:32 AM.

The Editors: We'll take three cards.
Dick Cheney: Give me one.

Sounds of cards being placed down, dealt, retrieved, and rearranged in hand. Non-committal noises, puffing of cigars.

TE: Fifty bucks.
DC: I'm in. Show 'em.
TE: Two pair, sevens and fives.
DC: Not good enough.
TE: What do you have?
DC: Better than that, that's for sure. Pay up.
TE: Can you show us your cards?
DC: Sure. One of them's a six.
TE: You need to show all your cards. That's the way the game is played.

Colin Powell: Ladies and gentlemen. We have accumulated overwhelming evidence that Mr. Cheney's poker hand is far, far better than two pair. Note this satellite photo, taken three minutes ago when The Editors went to get more chips. In it we clearly see the back sides of five playing cards, arranged in a poker hand. Defector reports have assured us that Mr. Cheney's hand was already well advanced at this stage. Later, Mr. Cheney drew only one card. Why only one card? Would a man without a strong hand choose only one card? We are absolutely convinced that Mr. Cheney has at least a full house.

Tim Russert: Wow. Colin Powell really hit a homerun for the Administration right there. A very powerful performance. My dad played a lot of poker in World War 2, and he taught me many things about life. Read my book.

TE: He's extremely good at Power Point. But we would like to see the cards, or else we can't really be sure he has anything to beat two pair. We don't think he would lie to us, but ... well, it is a very rich pot.

Jonah Goldberg: Liberal critics of Mr. Cheney's poker hand contend that "he doesn't have anything." Oh, really, liberal critics? Cheney has already showed them the six of clubs, and yet these liberals persist in saying he has "nothing". Why do liberals consider the six of clubs to be "nothing"? Is it because the six of clubs is black?

Matt Drudge: ****DRUDGE REPORT EXCLUSIVE**** *****MUST CREDIT THE DRUDGE REPORT***** The Drudge Report has learned that Dick Cheney has a royal flush, hearts. Developing ...

TE: Perhaps if you could just show us a subset of your cards which beat 2 pair? Or tell us exactly what your hand is?

DC: We will show you our cards after we have collected the pot. It is important that things be done in this order, otherwise the foundation of our entire poker game will be destroyed.

TE: We aren't sure ...

DC: (collecting pot) Very good. And here are my cards. A straight flush.

Judith Miller: Dick Cheney has revealed a straight flush, confirming his pre-collection claims about beating two pair.

TE: That's not a flush! Those cards are of different suits. It's not a flush.

Mark Steyn: When will it end? Now liberal critics complain that Dick Cheney's cards are not all the same suit. Naturally, these are the same liberals who are always whining about a lack of diversity in higher education. It seems like segregation is OK with these liberals, as long as it damages Republicans.

MD: ****DRUDGE REPORT EXCLUSIVE**** *****MUST CREDIT THE DRUDGE REPORT***** A witness has come forward claiming that The Editors engage in racial profiling in blog-linking. Developing ...

TE: Wait! It's not even a straight! You've got a eight and ten of hearts, a six of clubs, and the seven and five of diamonds. You have a ten high. That's nothing.

Sean Hannity: Well, well, well. In another sign of liberal desperation, liberals now complain that a ten high is "nothing". Does ten equal zero in liberal mathematics? That would explain a lot.

Robert Novak: It's a perfectly valid poker hand. Apparently, liberals have never heard of a "skip straight". It's a kind of straight, just with one card missing. But if you skip around the missing nine, it's a straight.

Alan Colmes: Mother says I mustn't play poker.

TE: There is no such thing as a "skip straight".

Brit Hume: It seems like some people are still playing poker like it's September 10th. Back then, you needed to have all your cards in order to claim a straight. But, as we learned on that day, sometimes you won't have perfect knowledge. Sometimes you have to learn to connect the dots, and see the patterns which are not visible to superficial analysis of the type favored by the CIA and the State Department. Dick Cheney's skip straight is a winning poker hand for the post-9/11 world.

Rush Limbaugh: Do The Editors have two pairs, or a pair of twos? First they say one thing, then another. What are they hiding?

Andrew Sullivan: Dick Cheney never said he had a straight. He was very careful about this. His cards can form many different hands. None of these hands alone can beat a pair of twos; but, taken together, the combination of all possible hands presents a more compelling case for taking the pot than simply screaming "Pair of twos! Pair of twos!" as unprincipled liberal critics of the Vice President so often do.

MD: ****DRUDGE REPORT EXCLUSIVE**** *****MUST CREDIT THE DRUDGE REPORT***** Did The Editors claim to have "a pair of Jews"? Are they anti-Semites as well as racists? Developing ...

Zell Miller: As a lifelong liberal Democrat, I believe Dick Cheney, and I hate liberals and Democrats.

William Safire: Why are liberals so obsessed by Dick Cheney's poker hand? The pot has been taken, the deal is done. If liberals are upset that we are no longer playing by the Marquis of Queensbury patty-cake poker rules, they clearly lack the stomach to play poker in the post- September 11th environment. And why do they never complain about Saddam Hussein's poker playing, which was a thousand times worse?

Christopher Hitchens: The Left won't be happy until the pot is divided up equally between Yassar Arafat, Osama bin Laden, and Hitler. Orwell would have seen this.

Ann Coulter: Why do liberals object so strenuously to the idea of conservatives having a "straight"? Perhaps because it doesn't fit in with the radical homosexual/Islamist agenda they hold so dear? Report of the Bipartisan Commission on Poker Hands: There is no such thing as a "skip straight".

DC: I have access to poker rules that the Commission doesn't, and so I know for a fact that the cards in my hand are all intimately connected.

George W. Bush: Dick Cheney is telling the truth. I'm a nice man who would drink a beer with you.

Vladimir Putin: I dealt Dick Cheney three aces and two kings.

DC: My deal.

Holy Shit, I'm at Law School

It's true. I have to whisper here. It's my first day and I'm scared. I actually just peed in the corner. I have to go now. I have a final later today in Criminal Property ("CrimProp") and potentially a mixer or two.

Friday, August 20, 2004

I'm on CNNfn, Beeyotch!

About an hour or two ago I was sitting at my desk, working quietly, checking e-mail, occasionally thinking about jumping out this window next to me. Then I heard a loud man scream "Charlie Murphy!"

Since I'm about 10 feet from the open studio, I stood up immediately and looked over, only to see Charlie Murphy, Ashy Larry and some token white dude associated with Chappelle's Show on The Biz.

The Biz? This just serves as further proof to keep my expectations low for next season -- when you appear on The Freakin' Biz, that's a bad sign: White people are moving in.

These fuckers aren't just mainstream now, they've gone well beyond that. It's not like this trio was just featured on a cable news network -- they were on the financial news unit run by that cable network. What the shit do these guys know about money and finance? Ashy Larry even yelled "I'm rich, beeyotch" into the camera at the end of the interview. Is that his take on business? It's a pretty good take, I must admit, but I'm an amateur.

Then again, I also caught Michael McDonald on the program a few weeks ago, and I know he don't know shit about business. Regardless, I'll still continue to sing his praises to everyone within earshot. And not only do I sing his praises, I sing his praises in that Soulful White Guy With Ridiculous Pipes kind of way.

I don't know what to make of this...Chappelle's new contract is flat out inexplicable. It's almost like Comedy Central was about to get hit with a race discrimination lawsuit, and this was their way of saying, "We're not racist, we just gave $50 million to a colored guy last week." I don't know, just a thought. I hope that Chappelle maintains some semblance of artistic integrity and doesn't let down just because he got a rich contract.

My fear is that his show will suffer from one or all of three things:

1. Chappelle pulling a sports free agent move and performing Operation Shutdown after signing a huge deal (see Bartolo Colon and Twinkies)

2. Complete and utter "overplayedness" (see the "Walken/More Cowbell" SNL sketch, Budweiser frogs and anything else ever)

3. White people

I can't get over the fact that Charlie Murphy and Ashy Larry were guests on a financial news network. That's the most out of place celebrity appearance since Johnny Dakota taught the kids of Bayside "There's no hope with dope." RIP Brandon Tartikoff.

Down with Swift Boat Veterans

I've had enough of swift boat veterans bad-mouthing Kerry's war record. Can't they bad-mouth something else...like Charley? I mean, who do these swift boat veterans think they are? Everyone knows (or should know) that you can't trust a non-Kerry swift boat veteran. Is there so much to dispute here? Kerry obviously put his rich ass on the line at some point to drive his swift boat up a river filled with killer pirhanas and bombs and killer pirhanas with bombs on them. He got a bunch of fucking medals for it too. So what's the big deal? Swift Boat Veterans for Truth should rename itself Swift Boat Veterans for Fucking Kerry's 'Nam Shit Up. And what does Kerry's swift boat record have to do with his environmental initiatives or his tax plan or his handling of the Quebecois Separatist movement?

Nothing. That's what. Plus if we were really looking at Kerry's war record, shouldn't we look at Bush's non-existant, "I went to town for fresh corn" non-war record? But we can't. Cause Bush has no record for like 20 years while he followed around Deep Purple and hoovered Peruvian flake. And, as far as I know, Bush was not a swift boat captain for Deep Purple, Black Oak Arkansas or any other artist on the Dazed and Confused soundtrack. I'm not even sure these bands traveled by swift boat.

As an aspiring swift boatsman myself, I'd like to announce the forming of Swift Boat Captains for Boobs. They're bouyant and supple and I like them. I'd rather have boobs than truth as my swift boat sinks in a raging river.

And that's really all I have at this point. I'm not even sure what I'm writing about anymore, except swift boats, Kerry and boobs. Sounds like a party. Now I'm going to look for a coffee table.

The Cowbell and The Bunny

Up in Coventry last weekend, the DJs at The Bunny (Phish's radio station) played this new song about 45 times...I'm pretty fuckin' tired of it to tell you the truth, and I'm pretty fuckin' tired of The Bunny, but I figured I'd share it with the people who haven't heard it.

It's a new track based on the "More Cowbell" SNL sketch, which has caught on like gangbusters. A year or so ago you could say "more cowbell" and get blank stares...now I wake up in the morning and hear it nine times a day. Niiine times. Anyway, here's the link to this new track.

Unrelated...yesterday I re-discovered a hilarious story that may take like 45 minutes to get through, but it's Friday and most of you are bored at work I bet. This guy, Patrick Combs, deposited a junk mail check for nearly $100K and fought the bank to keep it. Some of you may actually remember this taking place, but I have absolutely no recollection. The story itself is absolutely wild (although the ending is a bit weak). If you're bored today and looking to kill some time, I highly recommend you read this shiite.

By the way, I love how our 3,000-word Phish posts get no comments whatsoever, but a brief musing about Walking in Memphis gets 17 comments! Hilarious.

I just scored a 9.735 on the vault. I have weird boobs.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Ten Feet Off-a Beale

Good morning, Slackers...

Most of you have got to be tired of Phish, so let's talk about some more great music, namely "Walking in Memphis." My old boss' blog discussed guilty pleasures last month, which I thought about this morning when Marc Cohn's wonderful one hit randomly came on the iPod this morning. I mean, is there a guy out there who doesn't consider this to be a guilty pleasure? Seriously, does anyone not like this song in a I'm-alone-no-one-can-see-me-so-I'll-belt-this-out kind of way? When he sings "Tell me are you a Christian child," does anyone not belt out "MA'AM I AM TONIGHT!"? I thought so. That's all I have at this time, your honor.

More to follow this afternoon...maybe it'll be about the Olympics and last night's gymnastics shocker, maybe it'll be about the Fat Darrell sandwich, maybe it'll be about the Defenestration of Prague. Could be lunchmeat, could be peaches. Who knows? The point is this: even though it's free, don't mean it's no good. Am I right, princess?


Wednesday, August 18, 2004

End of Phish

As I was grooving silently to a Phish song at some point over the last weekend up in some abandoned cow pasture in rural Vermont, some guy sidled up to me and asked, "Hey Bro, you got a nitrous cracker?" Alas, I didn't have a nitrous cracker on my person, though I wished I could have accomodated his request.

That's the thing about Phish. If I walked down into the West 4th Street subway station and asked a conductor screaming, "Stand clear the closing doors, please!", if he had a nitrous cracker, he'd probably say, "What the fuck you talkin' bout?" But at Phish, it was a perfectly legit question. I may not have had the cracker, but someone certainly did. And this guy, his brain shriveled due to multiple whippets was going to find that someone, crack into a whippet, and fall face first into the urine-soaked mud. I'm going to miss that sort of suspended reality, where ridiculous things are not only possible, but likely, especially as pertains to drugs.

So it was with a mixture of anticipation and heavy hearts that 10 brave souls revved an RV named the Chateau and set out for a mud-soaked quadrant of Vermont for a often-trying, but ultimately successful weekend.

So we're cruising up I-91, having just picked up Handstand and Zebra outside of the Basketball Hall of Fame (I had no idea, but the B-ball Hall of Fame looks more like a McDonald's with a Hall of Fame attached to it, kind of like a McDonald's Kid Land with a ball pit and a Mayor McCheese teeter-totter. There's certainly no stately elegance like the baseball hall.) and we've hit the traffic. Stretching as far as the eye could see, we did not move again for nearly 24 hours. Luckily, we had the Chateau, which was essentially a living room on wheels, complete with fridge and pooper. So it was cold beers and lots of laughter for a long time. It was the first time I've ever grilled fresh, Greepoint kielbasa on a hibachi in a drizzle on the side of a major north-south expressway. It was also the first time a wookie walked up to me on the side of an expressway and said, "Dude, THAT's some sausage. Are you selling any?" We turned him down, but shouldn't have, since those extra links of kielbasa stunk up the Chateau for the rest of the weekend.

At 9 the next morning, we awake to Mike Gordon of Phish on the radio saying, "You're all fucked. Sorry bout that. Go home now." After about a half-hour of dilly dally, we got the Chateau into gear and hauled ass up the suddenly clearing I-91. Gordon be damned, we were going to see this show. Eventually, having meandered on the backroads, we pulled up at some local's house that had a "Park & Ride" sign on the front lawn, except the "R" was backwards and the ampersand just looked like poorly-drawn penis. A woman with several teeth came out and told us we could park in her backyard, which was about 3 miles from the entrance to the campsite. Seeing no other option, we parked, guided in by the woman's husband, a 7-foot bear.

The walk to the campsite was uneventful, save for the thousands and thousands of frustrated dirty people trying to enter through the gates. Just when I'd given up hope, sure enough, a hippy fell off the back of a flat bed on her head, shook it off and said, "Ow, dude."

And then we saw the mud. Acres of it. Hectares, even. Ankle-deep. Knee-deep. Waste-deep. And I'm not kidding. It was insane. Over in one corner of the campground, I saw a pagan priest incant something and then rip out the heart of a wookie and hold it aloft. He then lowered the wookie in to the mud and as he did it, the heart in his hand became engorged in mud.

As for that night's show, we were woefully unprepared. First of all, I was wearing flip flops, which basically meant I was wearing a foot encased in mud. And it got pretty cold and mushy up there on the hillside. So that wasn't too much fun. Plus, we didn't have a tarp, or chairs, or even alcohol. The music was great but not fantastic. The crowd was tired and cranky for the most part and I just wasn't feeling it. We actually left a little early and got rides back to our campsite from a guy playing the banjo with narrow eyes and his buddy who said, "Aintree, what you go up thar fer?"

But the second day was so much better. First off, I wore shoes. That right there turned my attitude around considerably. Second, we had much better "seats." In fact, we brought in some collapsable chairs, a huge tarp, three logs to mark off our tarpal area, and some liquid fortitude in the guise of smuggled Bud Lights and a water bottle filled with Cuervo. If this was going to be the last show, we were going to do it right. And we did. Through the muck and mire, we remained clean, dancing in our socks on a tarp stretched over a mud pit. It felt like we were grooving on a big blue vagina cause the ground was so, well, mushy.

And then it was over. 9 years invested in this band and now I'm cashed out. And I'm happy about it. Now maybe the part of my brain that was dedicated to remembering the whistling part of Reba can be used for some useful knowledge. Now I don't have to hear my mom say, "No pot this time, huh?" Now Irene can't guilt me into missing New Year's at the Garden...but I'm sure she'll find something else to turn those screws.

Check this out too. Apparently, everyone is going to miss Phish. That's how cross-cultural a 25-minute Tweezer can be.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Joy in Mudville: A Farewell (Second Part)

Last we left off in Part I, our trusty n' rusty RV cruised into Coventry at noon on Saturday, a mere 13 hours after reaching the end of traffic line 10 miles or so from the venue.

Following a rigorous CSI-like search of the vehicle, we finally pulled onto the grounds and parked excessively close to the exit, a good thing for departing the grounds late Sunday night. But that fortuitous spot was excessively far from the concert stage, a bad thing for walking to the weekend's shows.

It's hard to describe the Coventry Mud Situation to someone who wasn't there to see it, but I will say this in an attempt to convey the scene: some parts were straight-up quicksand mud, other parts were covered in mulch, sinking when you stepped on them.

Finally, I fulfilled my childhood dreams of navigating a quagmire like the Dread Pirate Roberts in the Fire Swamp from The Princess Bride. People lost their shoes, people got stuck and fell face forward into the mud, and many, many dirty hippies dove head first straight into it. John Kerry told me it felt like Vietnam, and he won medals there, so I believe him. I don't know why, I just do.

Musically, well, um, we've all seen better shows. Everyone knows this. If fans don't realize they flubbed half the songs played this weekend, they're in Psychoville and Finkel's the mayor. The only thing that looked more like a sprawling meadow of human shit than the mud was Trey. I once called Trey the Allen Iverson of jam bands, but I think I gave him too much credit on that one. This guy not only refuses to practice, but it appears that he stays up for four straight days on a heroin binge in order to psyche himself up for his last show ever as a member of the band he drove to such success. Last show ever, bud, do you think ya can hold off on the smack until, say, you've finished the most anticipated performance of your career?

He'll always be an idol of mine, but the guy forgot half the lyrics and most of the chords to his songs. He flubbed so many lyrics I honestly thought he was going to sing Dire Straits' Walk of Life and get all the words right, just to show he's been fucking with us the whole time. He even told the same exact story two nights in a row with no variation and no real recollection of telling it the first time.

Trey made up for some of it by playing slide with a glowstick. The Phish crowd has what are called "glowstick wars," where fans chuck about 5,000 or so glowsticks and glowrings (no idea on how many for real, but that figure might be low) around the arena for, let's call it five minutes of nonstop chucking. It was pretty cool, but much like Phish, it peaked around 1997-98.

Night two set two's opener though, Down With Disease, saw the most amazing display of a glowstick war ever. With 70,000 people in attendance, you could just imagine how cool a visual that truly is, anywhere from 50-100,000 glow objects soaring through the air while the lights are dim and the band is funkin' it out. As TJ in OH said to me during the war, "Item number one on the National Glowstick and Glowring Manufacturers annual meeting's agenda better be entitled 'Life After Phish.'" Not to mention, fans were setting off roman candles and bottle rockets and all kinds of cool fireworks. One guy even aimed his roman candle at the band. It's seriously too bad that one of those bottle rockets didn't take out his eye, though.

I also thought the pattern of sets was very similar on both nights: The first set on both nights were rockin' and played well. The second sets got more experimental and somewhat trippy. And then the third sets were completely and utterly cracked out and flubbed. I've slandered the good man's name enough, so I won't say that Trey was backstage during the hour-long setbreaks bangin' hookers and injecting some good, hard smack. But he was. I love the guy, but after this weekend I kinda hope he gets typhoid.

The whole thing kind of felt like the happiest internment camp since the dawn of mankind. Forlorn refugees trudged in from the road so dead from travel they could only shuffle through the gates, people knew they'd be stuck for days because they couldn't get their cars out, no showers, no contact with the outside world, strangers bound together for reasons known and unknown...and everyone was happy. Except for the flubs, those sucked.

Overall, I guess I really loved the weekend. I bitch because it's just more fun that way. But I might as well have been dancing dirtily at Kellerman's, because I had the time of my life. You could say it was "phantastic," but then I'd have to punch you in the tits.

But it was fantastic, and I "had a ball" as the kids are saying. I'll think very positively about this festival when I look back at it ten and twenty years from now. I had such a great time meeting new people, chillin' with old friends, hangin with great traveling companions...And I really didn't even mind slopping through the mud, sittin' in traffic, any of that. Just makes for a better story.

Thanks for bearing with me on this little account, I needed to document this gala event before it faded into Bolivian.

For more, click here for some Google videos, here for some YouTube videos and check out Donnie Fielder's End of Phish thoughts and the Slack one-year anniversary post: A Year Since Mud & Flubs.

R.I.P. Ace's Sandals (1996-2004)

(And for the record, to my understanding, the town of Coventry is not pronounced like cover, but rather like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (I was going to post a picture of that terrorist fuckface, but then I figured Slack might get put on some government watch list). There were at least 70,000 visitors to the town of Coventry over the past weekend, and I bet no more than two percent will go home knowing how to pronounce it correctly. I feel sadness in my heart for the people of Coventry, and I feel lust in my groin for their warm hospitality.)

I Love Black People (and God)

Here's an excerpt from the latest Rolling Stone article with Tom Cruise, where Lt. Kaffee's portrayer answers questions about Scientology.

He lists some of Scientology's selling points: its drug-abuse, prison-rehabilitation and education programs. "Some people, well, if they don't like Scientology, well, then, fuck you." He rises from the table. "Really." He points an angry finger at the imaginary enemy. "Fuck you." His face reddens. "Period."

That's just great stuff right there. "If they don't like Scientology, well then, fuck you." Had to be shared.

Olympic Shocker

Wait a minute. You'll have to forgive me. I was wading through nipple-deep mud all weekend and I missed this.

We were blown out by Puerto Rico at basketball at the Olympics using a roster of NBA millionaire superstars?

Actually, I kinda figured we were ripe for the taking when I watched our team celebrate our buzzer-beater win over Germany like the New Jersey Republican Party upon hearing of McGreevey's true self. Actually, all of that piling on and cavorting on the hardwood resembled what must have been going on in the NJ Statehouse for the last few years. So I guess that celebration resembled both Republicans and Democrats from New Jersey. Where you at, Gay Nader?

Anyway, how can we lose to Puerto Rico? We OWN Puerto Rico. That's like me losing a game of one-on-one to my T-shirt or a stapler or a Buick. I mean, even though my Buick has a nasty jump-hook, these things can't beat me because I OWN them, plus my Buick would never get the calls from the international referees. And if Puerto Rico can form its own team, why can't any part of the US or any country have a team. Shit, my Brooklyn Heights team would be a world power in events such as pedantic ranting about expressway construction or library perusal. (I'd love to see Denmark's face when we're done kicking their ass at library perusal. "Don't fuck with my Dewey Decimal, Tørvald!")

I also learned, when I stepped down from my RV's retractable last step yesterday, that American spirits are way down. That robot swimmer we have won't win 25 medals. Both our military and basketball hegemonies are on the wane. Our female gymnasts are getting boobies and falling off the apparati. Our version of the national anthem on the medal stand is toned down to elevator music. Oh, and everyone hates us!

But let me tell you, readers. America is doing just fine. This country was weaned on the teet of capitalism and, if this past weekend at Phish was any indication, that milk is still chock full of vitamins. Walking through the campgrounds, one could find most anything for sale: chocolate covered magic mushrooms, pure-style MDMA ecstacy tablets, heady nuggets of marijuana, pharmacological medicines, pick-up truck and ATV rides to and from the concert venue, $50 hipboots, both dank and super-dank versions of ganja gooballs, mass-produced but microbrew-marketed beers, reasonably-priced hugs, innovative T-shirts with names of Phish songs on familiar corporate logos, and $1 pulls from a de-boxed Franzia bag laced with LSD and an anti-rusting agent for silverware. So when a Namibian wins the 110-meter high hurdles and we suck ass for silver, just remember that that Namibian guy probably can't pay $10 for pot-laced brownies when he gets home. Although he might find an anonymous dead man in his tent. God bless you, and God bless America!

Joy in Mudville: A Farewell (First Part)

A little more than nine years ago -- only six days after my 16th birthday -- my older brother and I took off for Lawn Gisland's Jones Beach to see the popular rock band Phish.

I didn't really know what to expect at the time, and looking back I still can't exactly remember what happened there. I just remember being wildly out of place: a high schooler with no facial hair and teeth full o' braces. But just like the first time a guy realizes what he can do with his little pecker, that night started me on the long road of obsession with this band that compelled me to see them as often as I could.

That journey officially ended this weekend, up in the beautiful grounds of Coventry, Vermont. And by beautiful, I mean muddy: The whole place was one giant mud pit. There was so much mud, in fact, that the parking lot couldn't fit all the cars and RVs, and many unhappy fans were turned away on the highway by the state police.

About 25,000 people were undeterred though, parking their cars on the side of the I-91 and walking as long as 20 miles to get into Phish's last show ever. Last show ever. How could you make it just 20 miles from the venue and not keep going?!

But I knew the Karma Gods were smiling on me. It all started on Thursday night, at the band's second-to-last show, at the annual stop Camden, New Jersey. My buddies TJ and PB and I walked in with some heady nuge but no piece, and happened to sit in the one section of the pavillion with no bowl being passed around freely. No fuckin' bowl, except for the one directly in front of us that some scrawny kid was puffing away on. So I asked him to borrow it, pack it up and let him shmoke with us. He refused. Refused? Refused! That never happens!

He claimed that the last time he let someone use it, the security guards took it from the guy he lent it to. So I backed off. Half-hour later and no longer stoned, I asked again as nice as could be: "Hey man, we really need a piece to use, can I just give you some bud, I'll give it to you, you can just pass the bowl back to us once or twice?" Again this little turdlicker refused, saying it was "his preference," prompting me to call him "terrible."

At setbreak, after finding a one-hitter from a nicer dude, TJ remarked that maybe we should just push him over the balcony. I concurred. We didn't. But just a few seconds after I turned to TJ and said, "Somebody needs to teach this kid a fuckin' lesson," a security guard walked past him taking a hit and confiscated his piece. Instant Karma's gonna git you, kid. It's gonna be a good weekend, we thought. Victory is ours!

For the trip up to Coventry, my six companions and I rented an RV that we affectionately referred to as "Alemon," because this thing was nothing short of a lemon. It was leaking in three spots, the fridge wouldn't work at the start of the trip, and we needed to replace the alternate battery in order to work anything. But that turned out to be a serendipitous turn of events, as we took the battery-changing opportunity to walk to Home Depot and buy some big yellow rubber boots. Had we bought 100 extra pairs of boots to bring up with us, we'd all be really rich right now. Muddy-footed people everywhere were willing to pay us triple for these functioning eyesores. Rich, I tells ya.

With the battery changed and the RV on the road again, we turned to planning a route to the show that would bypass I-91, which we heard was just not moving at all. One look at a map and a few suggestions from people already at the venue, and we decided to take Rte. 14 instead of fuckin' around on I-91.

Friends of mine, including one Donnie Fiedler of Slack LaLane fame, left at least 12 hours before our trip begun, and they didn't even get into the venue at all. We stopped at a gas station and this shirtless hippie told us to take Rte. 15 to 100 to the Rte. 14 shortcut (ha, shortcut!), which we eventually did. The move worked out really well, and we ONLY had to spend 13 hours in a non-moving traffic line just 10 miles from the venue.

Contrary to the kvethcing, the traffic situation was fiiiine. Maybe it's because we were in an RV and not in a small, cramped car. Either way, picture the very last scene of Field of Dreams, when all those cars are lined up in the middle of the night on a dark rural road. There's no light anywhere except for the headlights of these cars, and those cars are being driven by people who have no idea why the fuck they're doing what they're doing. That was this scene.

Why are we waiting in a day's worth of traffic? Where the fuck are we? Thousands of revelers became fast friends -- everybody was conversing and sharing stories of festivals and shows past. The preppy kid in front of us and I talked for a while, about how we was skipping another semester to try to become a ranked skiier and to sell these ribbon belts. I found myself telling him to "make sure you get your degree, man, it's important."

Who the fuck am I, Dr. Phil's sexy younger brother? I'm stoned as hell going on no sleep, riding in a huge RV and doling out career advice to a prep school hippie in his parent's Saab on Rte. 14 outside Coventry, Vermont. As David Byrne says, "My God, how did I get here?"

At one point, with Alemon the RV only four miles from the venue, the distinct voice of Phish bassist Mike Gordon came through loud and clear on the radio. His stunning announcement: Due to severe weather conditions at the festival grounds, the police were turning cars around and no other vehicles would be allowed to enter the venue.

Did this mean us? Mike, what are you saying? Are we OK? Are we OK?! Everyone in the car line got weak, and cell phones all of a sudden popped out from every which way. People started running towards the venue to get further instructions; there was near chaos. I pictured riots of epic proportions.

Just then a police truck rolled down the stalled highway in the opposite direction with a megaphone, shouting, "If you're on this road North of Orleans Street, you're fine." And a roar from the parked crowd! I watched as the authorities cruised down the highway behind us, taking in the sheer jubilation of the weary travelers in line. This police truck started a wave of cheering that went for miles.

Then I remembered what my father told me before I left: "If Coventry makes the news, call home." And I figured this might make the news, like the traffic in Big Cyprus did. So I called home.

"Mom...Dad told me to call if I make the news, and we're about to."
"Oh no. Are you OK, dahling?"
"I'm fine, but..."
"What? I can't hear you, you're breaking up."
"No, I'm fine..."

Shit! I just told my mom I'm about to make the news, in no context, and now she can't hear me -- this may cause some panic back in Jericho. My father joins the convo, on speakerphone. I try to tell them the news, but they still can't hear me. Instead of bearing with me and waiting 'til I get into range, my father repeatedly hung up on me. Call back, click. I can't hear you, call back, click. I still can't hear you, click. Finally, I called, said "I'm fine" and hung up on them...

At noon on Saturday, after only 13 hours of waiting in line, I finally reached the muddied promised land. Fiedler's story is crazier, as he got shut out and had to park on some farmer's property and get a ride to the venue. I hope he posts it.

More on the actual festival to follow...Part Deux will no doubt debut this afternoon or early evening.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Seriously, We Out

Ahh, the first of three vacation days and somehow I was still up at 7:30 this morning. Ain't life grand. This post should serve as a reminder that Donnie and I will be departing for Parts Unknown (homeland of such faves as the Ultimate Warrior and The Berserker) for a joyous farewell weekend with the popular rock band Phish.

I just made a final preparation run to Duane Reade for the essentials...Somehow I came back to my apartment with only five packs of cigarettes, two lighters and a travel-sized Scope. Um, maybe I need to make another run shortly. There's gotta be something else I'm forgetting. This girl in the elevator on the way back up definitely forgot something. She pushed 20, I pushed 18. I got out on 18, so did she. Chances of her putting her key in someone's else's lock? One-hundred percent. I fuckin' love seeing shit like that. It happens. What happens, shit? Sometimes.

Anyway, we'll be back next week with our regularly scheduled programming: Donnie Sits On His Fat Ass and Ace Whines About His Difficulties At Work. Remember, the Slack LaLane network is on old school TBS time, so tune in on the :05's. Whatever you do, take care of your shoes. See ya Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Me In, Then Me Out Too

My apologies faithful readers. I realize that I've been about as dependable as my old 1985 Chevy Spectrum hatch-back over the past few weeks, all coughin' up fumes and making loud noises when I get above 40 and hotboxing with Newman. All I can say is, "These are truly the dog days." I've been moving, and when I wasn't moving, I was packing, and when I wasn't packing, I was parking my increasingly fat ass on the beach eating the newly-discovered and oh-so-delicious SpongeBob ice cream bars. You see, I don't work anymore...and when you're out of a routine, you're really the anti-blogger. I mean, I can't think of shit to write about anymore, mostly cause I watch cooking shows and Yankeeography all day. My witty repartee has been limited to, "That 30-Minute Meals girl has quirky tits" and "Set it and...(audience, especially buck-toothed lady in 2nd row) FORGET IT!!" Unemployment would be great were it not for the incredible brain drain. I kinda feel like President Bush when he's not clearing brush. In a word...useless. And, well, dumb. Even with all of that fodder from the convention, which I watched religiously, if religously means with a Qdoba burrito and a sack of free chips I scored by noticing the ad for it on the ferry, I had nothing to show for it. Nothing.

But this is all going to change...for two reasons. First, I've got this whole Phish thing coming up that the Cowboy alluded to in the previous post. If Phish can't be mind-expanding, then I don't know what is...except maybe 'shroomin...or rock-climbing with Rains. I'm heading up to Vermont in an RV with a bunch of people from my hometown. I'm probably heading home in a RadioFlyer with some dreadlocked guy named Searrrch and his dog Sparkle. So that should be some fodder right there.

Then, in a little more than a week, 2 great things are happening to me and New York: the RNC (Republican National Convention) and the DSLS (Don Starts Law School). Unfortunately, this is all happening at the same time, ruining my one-train commute from B'klyn right when I want to nail my routine down. Instead of the blissful 2, 3 to 72nd street and a nice little walk, I've got to take an alternate route, cause the 2,3 goes right under MSG and lord knows I don't want to miss my first week of Contracts because Tom deFuckinLay's explosion-severed right arm clocked me in the face as I was passing through the 34th Street station. (Unless Jim Lampley was sitting next to me to commentate, "A powerful majority whip to the face and Fiedler's not making Con Law today folks. Harold, how do you have it? 'Okay, Jim, I scored it 10-7, Tom DeLay's severed arm made a mockery of Fiedler's budding lawyering skills with a lightening quick jab to the chin. Fiedler loses a point for not changing his commute in order to avoid the convention. He should have seen it coming. Back to you Jim.' Thanks Harold. Larry? 'Jim, as Madison Square Garden comes crashing down on top of Penn Station and pandemonium is searing Midtown Manhatten, one can't help wonder whether Don Fiedler will EVER regain the drive and determination it takes to become a big shot Scheister. One shot to the face by Tom DeLay's severed arm could have derailed a potential Clarence Darrow or Chris Darden.') Wow, that would be awesome. Maybe I'll take the 2,3 anyway. Beats taking those brown trains that stop by my apartment.

In any event, I should be meeting lots of new people and when you meet new people, what better than to make fun of them anonymously on your blog? So stay tuned.

We Out

Yaaaay, today's the last day of work before the Ace Cowboy and his friends go on a mini-vacation. People in my office keep saying, "Oh, where are you going?" And my reply has usually been, "Just camping with friends." Little do these simpletons know that I'll be camping with 75,000 friends and four musical dorks who have been stealing my money for nearly a decade.

The great Huey Lewis once said "If this is it, please let me know." The popular rock band Phish was kind enough to let their fans know in advance that this would be their last tour, culminating in a two-day musical free-for-all at an airport in Coventry, Vermont. So for the next five days, Donnie and Ace will be basking in the final blaze of glory -- one show in the CrackDen of Camden, New Jersey and a weekend full of Pheesh up in Coventry. To borrow a term from the band, Slack LaLane will be on hiatus from tomorrow through Tuesday while the site's proprietors dance with hippies and weep uncontrollably at the end of an era. Full report to come next week, hopefully from both Donnie and A.C.

I checked out the Phantasy Tour message board this morning, to see some reaction from last night's show outside Boston, and saw the funniest post title I've ever seen: "Can you fax acid?" Much like Northwestern's 54-51 win over Michigan in 2000, that post's an instant classic right there.

OK, enough of this Phish nonsense, let's change the topic for a second...here's a good story to discuss: "A dispute over a pushcart escalated into a bloody battle when two men engaged in a 'sword fight' using two-by-fours inside Home Depot, police said." I don't mean to get on the soapbox here, but what's all the fighting about, fellas? You're at Home Fucking Depot, most likely getting some silly shit that your wife sent you out for, and you need to swing fists and wield wooden swords over a pushcart? Just like that man really needed to beat another to death at their kids' hockey practice a few years ago?

I think Rodney King definitely deserved the beating of a lifetime, but he was right to say, "Can't we all just get along?" This fight-first-ask-questions-later society kind of scares the fuck out of me, to tell you the truth. One day you're walking down the street, the next someone's trying to pummel you with a lead pipe because you took his parking spot. Or someone DOES pummel you to death because you stole their X-Box. It's a poor example for the keeeds, and it's a terrible way to go through life. What's worse than going through life fat, drunk and stupid? Going through life as an antagonistic prick who tries to fight everyone to look cool in front of his girlfriend, thereby compensating for his excessively small cack. Let's just stick to how we solved problems as high schoolers and make fun of people behind their backs. That'll be much safer.

One last note: Did you know that August was "National Anal Sex Month?" Well it is, so if you've been waiting for the right time to bring it up to your girlfriend, or even your boyfriend, you've got 20 days left to do so. From my days in prison, I like my salad tossed with jelly or syrup.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Mike T.V.

Last night we held our annual fantasy football owners' meeting, which is pretty much an excuse to congregate and get high, play cards, talk shit and watch television. Good times, great oldies. The hospitality was excellent, a very cool apartment with an enormous TV, like probably the biggest television I've ever seen in person. It was something like a 65-inch widescreen (that's me on the right in this pic) with HDTV capability, and I'm sure that pupper's hooked up to speakers with surround sound and the like.

I hope you guys agree with me when I say, I'd absolutely quit my job if I had such a set-up. I'm serious, I'd be done, finito, packing time. There's just no way I'd be able to leave my apartment for something as mundane as work when I had the boss entertainment center staring me in the face. Not even up for debate. Twenty-four/seven I'm in my boxers on the couch switching back and forth between war documentaries and animal porn.

The other interesting part of this apartment was a $10-per-month concierge service offered by the building. You obviously have to pay for the services they provide, but for $10 a month they'll pick up and drop off your dry cleaning, they make arrangements to clean your apartment, hail you a cab or call a car, just cool stuff that's well worth the ten bucks. Hell, I'd pay that money just to have somebody to fuck around with. "Hey, concierge, I'm watching Navy SEALS on my huge ass TV, could you come up here and do the Roger Rabbit next to the couch for my friend who's bored? No? OK, how 'bout the running man? Sweet, see ya in ten. And bring some whip-its, a Duncan brand yo-yo and a one-armed stripper named Claude. Hugs and kisses, XOXO."

So anyway, I got the fourth pick in the draft, which ain't a bad spot to be this year. Pretty much guarantees me either Ahman Green or Clinton Portis (I would think), and either one's not a bad guy to build a team around. Part of me thinks that Ahman Green will break the total yards from scrimmage record this season...you heard it here first. No joke here, just a prediction.

Well, that's it for the other one, I gotta officially start my day. Man, I so wish I could be parked in front of that giant screen right now, scratching my ass with a fork, eating some mac and cheese with it. You know, the usual. It's time to re-evaluate my priorities, methinks.

A late addition: Checkity check this awesome link out, it's allright LaRusso.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Thou Shalt Rest

Donnie's on the beach, and I'm not so much. Hence, we're taking the day off. And we're taking this armoire. Ju got a pro'lem wit' dat? I said, we're taking this armoire.

Be back tomorrow, folks.

Friday, August 06, 2004

RIP Rick James

He's Rick James, bitch. And now he's not alive, bitch. The world lost Rick James today, a sad day. Cocaine's a helluva drug. Now go rub your dirty feet on God's couch, Rick.

X Games This

SportsCenter is just really pissing me off. Just when I think it can't get any worse than last week's "music and sports" ridiculous crossover, ESPN sends everyone's favorite slutbag Linda Cohn from Bristol to Los Angeles for about 20 minutes of live X Games coverage in the first half hour of SportsCenter. I tune into SC to find out the day's baseball scores and preseason football news, and all I get is a few dudes on bikes doing some flips. Granted, the flips were cool as shit, but if I purposely didn't watch the two hours of X Games coverage that immediately preceded SC, why the fuck would I want to watch it during SC? That's fuckin' balls on ESPN's part, and I fear they're going to pull this crap every night of the games. Gimme bats, not bikes.

On an unrelated note, if you didn't hate Jim Rome enough, here's some more wood for that fire (although many of you might find this funny, I actually chuckled once or twice). Not sure if this is a joke, or if it's serious, but who the hell is this guy and why is he writing about Phish? I'll tell you who he is: Jim Rome is a fraud and a nincompoop. I hope Jim "Chris" Everett is a fan.

I, obviously, have nothing today.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Comment of the Day

This space in no way, shape or form will turn into an outright Bush-Bashing Blog, but this one's just too good to be true...One of the ultimate "Bush-isms":

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we," Bush said. "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

Wait, did that guy just threaten me? Should I fear harm from OUR side? Well, if you wanna see the actual quote in action, check it out here.

Saved By the Curb

One of the best Saved By the Bell episodes of all time was the two-parter where Jesse's wicked step-brother Eric moves from the mean streets of New York to the sunshine daydream of Bayside, California. Eric soon wreaks all kinds of havoc on the Bayside crew, turning their fantasty world upside down. One of the main plots centered on the fact that Zack had skipped school for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur in order to go to the matinee Dodger game (how Mr. Belding didn't know his good buddy Zack wasn't Jewish is beyond all comprehension, but you gotta suspend disbelief with this show). Meanbrother Eric happened to tape of the game, saw Zack catch a foul ball and proceded to blackmail his new rival. Ahh, high school.

Ace, what's that got to do with the price of apples, you say? Well, not much, but it was the first thing I thought of when I heard the following story...just shows you where my head is, always in the television, very Dream On. Incidentally, Dream On should clearly be on re-runs somewhere right now, we need to start a petition for that.

A 24-year-old Los Angeles man was recently wrongly accused of murder and arrested in front of his family, only to be let out of jail after outtakes from an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm proved that the man was indeed at the Dodger game like his alibi said. It's everyone's favorite episode of Curb, or at least it should be, the one where Larry takes the hooker in the HOV lane to the ballgame and ends up getting stoned with his glaucoma-afflected pops. This episode not only made countless Americans fall off the couch in laughter, it now could be the key piece of evidence in the civil lawsuit this man filed against the LAPD yesterday. What a country! Larry David wore a cape as Mr. Costanza's lawyer in an episode of Seinfeld, but who knew that he'd be the hero to get this guy out of trouble and into millions of dollars. That's not schwag at all.

Now maybe some of you forgot, or didn't know at all, that Larry David was the cape-wearing lawyer in that episode where George's parents get divorced. But he's in a handful of episodes, either pictured on screen or yelling something out. Aside from the recurring George Steinbrenner character, I can name a few, and I'd love some help with identifying other ones I'm not familiar with.

--LD portrays the cape-wearing lawyer
--LD yells out "Is anyone here a marine biologist?"
--LD yells out "I ordered a kosher meal" on the flight when Elaine's in coach
--LD portrays some guy in a TV movie that causes Jerry to dream and write something down that he can't make out in the episode with Ned Ryerson/Werner Brandis as the holistic healer

There are a handful more, but I'm drawing a blank. Anyone?

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Best. Story. Ever.

Everyone's favorite leader of the free world and his freak-headed challenger in the upcoming election have provided many similar policy positions on some of America's most divisive issues. Over the past few months, Bush and Kerry have offered nearly identical plans on the war in Iraq, middle class tax cuts and immigration reforms, among others.

But today marked the weirdest overlap thus far: Both candidates held campaign rallies in Davenport, Iowa at the same time, just blocks away from each other. And obviously every single member of the Daveport police department was assigned to protect President Bush and Sen. Kerry.

So what happened? Three separate Davenport banks were robbed while the candidates were on the stump and the police were pre-occupied with the two doofs! Let me repeat this because it's so incredible: Three separate banks were robbed because all of the city's police officers were watching the backs of the high-profile visitors. That's priceless. Nobody saw that coming?!

These men should not be punished. They should be rewarded for showing these selfish fucks that when you play politics in someone else's city, innocent people get screwed.

It's all very Die Hard with a Vengeance -- "Look around, mister, you could steal City Hall." I hope these criminals are somewhere saying, "Hook, line, sinker" in a remarkably awful German accent.