Sunday, June 28, 2015

Reflections from a WV Deadhead

Note: This blog entry is strictly for Dead set list junkies with an avid interest in asymmetric national security issues.

I listened to some blips from last night's Fare Thee Well tour in Santa Clara.  While I am a big Dead fan (46 shows under my 36" belt, all of them 1989-1995), lemme state the obvious.  It's hard to take this "hippified conglomerate" that seriously.  My best advice.  Try not to be a critic and just enjoy the ride.  For me personally, that's an exceptionally difficult proposition.  It's like purposely trying to play down to the level of competition on the dome hockey table.  Not gonna happen.  But I'll give it a slap-shot, or as I like to call it... LASER!

Jenn D. once did a Macarena dance with improvised lyrics.

Everybody's looking for Saf's laser.  It's about effective as a dull razor.  HEYYY, no more laser.  Whaaa!

I had absolutely no desire to purchase the pay-per-view.  I looked for a free livestream but to no avail.  Having woken up and viewed the set list, allow me to qualify my decision... what a fucking relief!  That first show was all late 60's.  Ughh.  It's the one specific era of the Dead that I've never even bothered to examine.  I would've fallen asleep midway through the 1st set.

Set One: Jam -> Truckin’, Uncle John’s Band, Alligator -> Cumberland Blues, Born Cross-Eyed > Cream Puff War, Viola Lee Blues

Set Two: Cryptical Envelopment -> Dark Star -> St. Stephen -> The Eleven -> Turn On Your Love Light -> Drums/Space -> What's Become Of The Baby -> The Other One - > Morning Dew

Encore: Casey Jones

With the exception of the Europe 72 vibe, I'm exclusively a fan of 1985-1990 with an extreme emphasis on 1989-90.  Every once in a blue moon, I'll listen to a bootleg from '92 - '94.  Just for kicks as it sometimes evokes fond memories.  

My point --- even if you're only a nominal or "poser fan" (I call them Ped-Heads, which loosely translates to footheads), I don't think it takes a genius to figure out the direction the band's striving for.

Captain obvious here at the podium.  My hunch is the Dead are going for a "retrospect-style, historical approach" journey through the decades.  Not a bad idea.  Probably the way I'd frame the next 4 shows.  Kick it off with the old and venture forward (kinda like Hillary).

So onto night #2.  If you're big on the early 70's, 1st set Jack Straw openers and Deal closers.  Fill in the cracks with a Brown-eyed Women.  Second set China > Rider openers and Sugar Magnolia closers, I think night #2 in Santa Clara is for you.  I'll predict a Brokedown encore in advance.  Maybe throw in an Attics... although the vocals could get scary.  I'd include an Eyes > Estimated... just because it's California and Weir's "Huck-Finn cut-off Levi's jean shorts" seem like a good fit for a few more higher pitched shrieks than are customarily delivered.  This show will hopefully be stronger than the 1st concert and set forth some greater expectations before heading toward the mid-west.

So we're likely destined to hear late 70's, early 80's Dead on the first night in Chicago.  It literally cries out for a sweaty, extended Shakedown Street.  That's your obvious choice.  Definitely a bad disco kinda night.  Maybe Help-Slip-Franklin's for the second set.

The 4th of July should be designated for the "In the Dark" late 80's material.  From an independence day, musical perspective, this would seem ideal.  Because it's the time frame that truly energized and rejuvenated the band.  Garcia's recovering from his coma and it's literally the epitome of "freedom rock."  If I had to pick any of the 5 shows to attend, this would be the one.  Duhhh... once again, stating the obvious.  Touch of Grey opener.  Second set maybe go with a Scarlet-Fire opener.  Hell, you gotta throw it in somewhere in this 5 show mini-tour.  Close it out with Throwing Stones > Not Fade Away.  And I'll invoke the predictable U.S. Blues encore since it's the 4th.  Fireworks all over the place.

And then the final night at Soldier Field would by definition likely scare the living defecation out of my intestines (both large and small).  Seriously, if my hunches are accurate, the final send off could be a tinny, screeching celebration of Vince Welnick and the Bruce Hornsby waltzing accordion-era.  Ouch.  Not the way I'd choose to close things out, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.  Especially if you're not willing to pay for tickets.

I suppose I could piece together some actual real-world, set list predictions.  Oh what the fuck.  It's my blog.  I'm gonna give it a shot.  Not like anybody actually reads my shit.  Well, except NFL security headquarters in Manhattan and Texas.  Maybe some disgruntled employees in the FCC.

Even though Jerry's gone, I'll think they'll still uphold the standard Bobby > Jerry > Bobby > Jerry > Bobby song opener progression.  Here we go!

Night #2 - Levi's Stadium

Bertha, Jack Straw, Dire Wolf or Sugaree, Me & My Uncle > Big River, Brown-Eyed Women, Let it Grow

Playin' > China > Rider,  Estimated > Eyes > Drumz > GDTRFB > Playin > Attics > Sugar Magnolia

Encore: Brokedown

Night #1 - Soldier Field

Shakedown, Minglewood, FOTD, Looks Like Rain, Tom Thumb's Blues, Lazy Lightning > Supplication jam, Birdsong > Promised Land

Help > Slipknot > Franklin's Tower, Lost Sailor > Saint of Circumstance > Drumz > Wharf Rat > Around

Encore: Johnny B. Goode

Night #2 - Soldier Field  (they'll keep this show as "tight" as they can)

Bucket > Touch of Grey (in honor of the Bucket > Shakedown opener from my all-time favorite show in 1991, coincidentally at Soldier Field) , Rooster, Cassidy, Tennessee Jed, Saturday Night

Stranger, Scarlet > Fire,  Smokestack Lightining > Terrapin > Drumz >  Miracle > Wheel > Throwing Stones > NFA (get that whole stadium going).

Encore: U.S. Blues

Night #3 - Soldier Field

Cold Rain & Snow > Greatest Story followed by who knows what.  Go old school and then throw in some of the weaker mid-90's material towards the end of the 1st set.

It's Sunday, so you know... Samson followed by your guess is good as mine.  Maybe add a Hornsby tune.  I wouldn't be surprised to hear "Long Way to go Home" --- one of Vince's better offerings.  Definitely a night for a sloppy Gimme Some Lovin and a soulful rendition of Standing on the Moon.  Finish it out with Bobby screeching badly on a Midnight Hour cover.  I'd expect to see some special guests show up on stage for the 2nd and 3rd nights.  A couple Phish tunes would likely infuriate the masses, but I think it would be cool.  But that's just me.  I like surprises. 

Another thought that just came to me: how about devote the final night EXCLUSIVELY to cover songs?  The Dead have a shitload of them.  Some excellent, some tolerable, some atrocious.  That would be a novel way to end the journey.  Kinda on a lighter note but still relatively inspired and unique.  Seriously, there's no way whatsoever to even remotely pull off a Cornell 77 or Alpine 89.  Why not just have a good time with it and give the "super-hippies" something silly to endlessly jabber about on the internet?  Yep, just cover tunes.  Think about it.

I've often been asked, "Saf, what's your favorite Dead song?"  My answer has ALWAYS been the same.  It's that precise moment when I get hit with the opening chords of the song I least expect to hear.  With a few exceptions of course --- Walkin' Blues, Wave to the Wind, Women are Smarter... not sure why, but the Dead play some really poor tunes that start with the letter "W."  With one big exception --- We Bid you Goodnight.  That would be a super cool encore but I won't hold my breath.

Encore: Box of Rain (Phil should be the one who terminates this whole shindig).


So those are my general predictions.  Please know that I'm not obsessed with these shows.  Not like trying to prevent a dominipede, the next potential 9/11.  I just wanted to throw out some scattered projections as they entered my mind.  I figure something along the way will come to fruition.  I spent too many years analyzing the Dead to not have a little insight.  Way too much time.  Was it time well spent?  Probably not.

I rarely acknowledge human beings but this blog is dedicated to the unusual choice of Fuzz!  His social media post got me to thinking about it.  See you in Chicago.  Gigi and I will be the ones out front with our fingers in the air and a sign that says God knows what.  We booked a hotel 3 miles up the road for Thursday night.  But not for Friday or Saturday.  We just gonna wing it and see what happens.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Let's Go Swifting

Heinz Field has seen its fair share of concerts this summer.  The Rolling Stones, Kenny Chesney, and best of all, pop country crossover phenom Taylor Swift!  Selflessly commemorating the year of her birth, the 1989 tour pulled into the stadium accompanied by a seemingly endless entourage of 18-wheelers.

So did I attend the exclusive VIP party?  Did I buy the $35 t-shirt and $20 matching pink sunglasses?  Did I hang out with the Rooney grandkids in the owner's suite?   Uhh, the answer is a resounding no.  However, I did venture down to check out the scene.  I gotta be honest.  It was pretty much what I expected.  Streaming packs of cellular-addicted teenage girls swarming the North Shore with reckless abandon.  Cockeyed optimists with unbridled enthusiasm.  All of them quite content to feed the burgeoning musician's empire.

A wise man once said, "What the Swift wants, the Swift gets."  I agree.  In her mid-twenties, Taylor has evolved into a higher life form.  Let's give the woman credit.  She's more than a singer songwriter.  She's more than a marketing genius.  She is now an entity... with bright red lipstick.

I reflected on her quest for global domination.  I wondered if there was a way to increase her fame and fortune, power and control.  Could something lie beyond the realm of stadium concerts?  Suddenly, it dawned on me.  Ka-Pow!  In one swift revelation, I devised a plan that would revolutionize the entertainment business and permanently transform the live music industry.

There's only one thing that could supersede performing in an NFL stadium.  And that's performing at a NASCAR track.  But instead of the tireless refrain of "let's go racing," I proudly give you the nifty, swifty equivalent --- "Let's Go Swifting."  Picture it as a weekend vacation destination.  But instead of camping, we're gonna go swifting.

My idea utilizes the similar theme of the 3-day race weekend getaway.  Arrive on Friday and set up.  Saturday night's the concert.  And on Sunday, they kick you out.  But here's the twist.  With my vision, everyone is a participant who gets to showcase their special talents.  Everyone's a star.  Just like our host.  Maybe you make the best grilled cheese sandwich.  Maybe you do the best cartwheel.  Maybe you're a mime.  Yawn.  Or maybe you do these incredible Mike Tomlin impersonations.  My point here --- everyone gets an opportunity to perform.  It's a natural extension from the overwhelming glut of prime time song and dance shows.

I even took the liberty of writing a dozen songs for her new cd.  Here's a sneak peak at the title tracks:  Fired Up, Rainy Day, More S'mores, Sleeping Bag For Two, Summer Lovin', Scary Karaoke, Fishing and Wishing, Hikin' and Bikin', Sunglasses in the Dark and Intense Tents.

Like I said, it's so much more than a concert.  It becomes an interactive community.  Unparalleled exploration and an experience to behold.  Here are the major sub-plot angles.  Nag parents until they capitulate.  Meet new people.  Make friends for life.  Personal growth and self-discovery.  You're the star of the show.  It's all grounded in the iconic, warholic notion that everyone deserves their 15 minutes of fame.

Let's Go Swifting is a commitment.  But with that dedication comes a hefty price tag of course.  This is her turf and you will play (and pay) by her rules.  Swift, and only Swift, controls every aspect of commerce.  No cash is permitted on site.  And with that, I humbly present the Swift Inc. Credit Agency.  A parking pass costs $100.  Weekend tickets are priced at $250.  No refunds, no exchanges.  Your thirst will be quenched with $5 bottled water and $10 lemonade, kale smoothies.  You can use the restrooms, but please be aware, they come with a modest "excretory" tax.  Cell phone accessories, tooth brushes, feminine hygiene products, the list is endless. 

All your dreams will be fulfilled.  You can buy anything and everything.  Be forewarned though.  If you fall behind on your monthly payments, her corporate roadie hunters will snatch your ass up and throw you in jail.  That's right!  She has her very own privatized incarceration facilities.  Based on the premise of a modern-day debtors prison.  But it's our beloved Taylor who functions as judge, jury and executioner.  There's a name for this as well.  We call it swift justice.

You see, I live in a future fantasy world where Taylor Swift shapes government policy and wields broader authority than the President, Congress and the Supreme Court combined.  Reminiscent of a North Korean despot, but slightly taller and sporting a less rigid haircut.  Regardless, you will obey the swift.  Or you will face the consequences.

All the while, it's economic exploitation at its finest.  Motor speedways can sell an infinite quantity of tickets.  Factor in the infield and they're basically capable of holding an unlimited number of people.  Cha-Ching!

Regrettably, all of this does raise some legitimate concerns regarding venue safety.  Unrestricted general admission seating and hundreds of thousands of frenzied teenagers could be a recipe for disaster.  Seriously, you might be thinking... what if there's a stampede?  My reply.  Hey, they're Taylor Swift fans.  If they die, they die.     

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Yinz Can't Always Get What Yinz Want

Well, it finally happened.  I was tinkering with my latest blog entry and somehow managed to delete the whole damn thing.  I tried all kinds of cached history, the time machine gismo, the control and command functions... but to no avail.  Fortunately, it wasn't one of my lengthier entries.  So for the first time in my 10 year history of blogging, I am going to attempt a "limited, scripted recreation."  Think of it like one of those annual, semi-stale American-Indian War reenactments staged at Oglebay Park's Camp Russell (Nesbitt).

So without further adieu...

Yep, a bunch of braved the torrential downpour and hit up the Stones concert last night at Heinz Field.  I had a good time, but generally came away unimpressed.  The band seemed like they were just "going through the motions."  Like they were in a hurry to "git the hell outta town."  High expectations can often yield a bit of a let-down in accordance with lofty concert-going principles and practices.  And I have absolutely no idea what the fuck that means.  So rather than yammer on and on about the show, I'll just post a few pics and finish it off with some routine stampede prevention propaganda.  And I'm also gonna throw in a suggestion for Mayor Peduto.

Pic of rig.  Huzzah.

My favorite rock star... and tongue.

Can't believe I found this vintage Cabernet in the heart of Millvale!  Score.

Rip provided shelter with a pop-up tent from Sam's Club.  
And we snagged 2 tix for $20.00  Sucked.

Disparaging sign intended for everyone.  Got some decent feedback.  One guy told me it's "his dream to fuck Huey Lewis."  I replied, "but what of the news?"  He fired back, "Yeah, I'm gonna fuck them too!"

Poorly executed spacing and delivery.  
Creepy and kinda scary.  Very uni-bombesque.

Regrettably, Mick Jagger didn't take my advice.  I kept thinking, maybe he'll say something about emergency evac protocol.  But he didn't.  It was as though I was waiting on a friend... it felt like walking into Elm Grove DiCarlos without a call-in number.  That dingy (pronounced both ways) scraggly woman picks the number for you.  "Your number is 82."  Then she calls out, "Number 17, that's 8 ends and a bag of cheese."  By the way, it's not real mozzarella.  I've seen the box it comes in.  It's called "Mozza-Mate."  Ironic how the crust could actually pass for some kind of low-grade Jewish Matzah sustenance.  Is this more than a coincidence?  A conspiracy perhaps?  Fuck no.  If you want a real conspiracy, read my free online book about the next potential 9/11 (multiple, simultaneous artificially generated stampedes likely impacting the NFL 1 o'clock slate of games).

And hey, if you enjoy that book.  Here's another one for ya.  Be forewarned, it's possibly the worst book ever written.

Alright, so here's the deal.  The NFL and the federal government won't go anywhere near this shit.  So feel free to be proactive and just tell people the TRUTH --- LEGIT stadium evac orders don't come from your personal cell phone.  It ain't rocket science.

Interestingly enough, facebook has once again suspended my public commenting privileges for "repeated spam violations."  So I guess my 300 some user friends will get a well-deserved break for a a few days.  I'll just have to venture more in the direction of Disqus forums (which generally get more redirect hits anyway, but it's more time consuming).

Since nobody cares about my incessant, anguished oinks regarding human stampede prevention, here's some sound advice for Mayor Peduto and the city of Pittsburgh.

Last night, we were in Green Lot 21.  Having tailgated in every lot imaginable surrounding Heinz Field and PNC Park, I asked Gig, "Where the fuck is Green 21?"  I know that green lots are near the North end-zone and Carnegie Science Center area.  Gold are lots right next to the stadium for the more important tailgaters and VIH (very important humans).  Red are mostly across from the ballpark.  And the blue lots are for the vomit spewing, encrusted filth under the underpasses as fans blare distorted echoing renditions of that 1970's polka Steelers fight song on repeat, over and over again, until you go hoarse from having to scream your brains out.  That's where I like to party!

Okay fellow Burghers.  Here's my proposition.  The city has plans for repainting the 3 bridges to the North.  And best of all, they're asking for unsolicited advice from the public.  Which they'll likely not adhere to.  My instincts tell me they'll stick with the yellow scheme.  How unfortunate as this could be exceptionally cool.  My recommendation --- stick with yellow for the Clemente bridge.  Go with silver for the Warhol bridge.  And paint that Rachel Carson Street bridge all the colors of the gay pride rainbow... curb appeal for the lesbians, transgendered and multi-pronged, penile implanted weirdos with a vast array of genital piercings.   

I just saw this pic.  It's gaining traction on the internet.

My reply to him and his freakshow brethren --- Cover your mouth when you sneeze.  Manners!

Please forgive the tangent.  I just really can't stand the ear lobe disc holes.  As if a greater facial embellishment is warranted or remotely deemed necessary.  I'd sooner fondle Caitlyn Jenner's cock and/or balls.

Anyhoo, since the city of Pittsburgh can't/won't take my advice regarding stadium/ballpark safety and security, here's an idea they might be able to grasp... in collaboration with the "infinite wisdom of Alcoa" of course.

You've got all these parking lots on the North Shore and thousands of people who have absolutely zero idea where they're going.  Most of them are happy just making it through the Fort Pitt Tunnel without getting rear-ended or cut off by some douchebag jackass flying in from the West End on a scalene triangulated diagonal.  Hey, he's in a hurry to get to the Monroeville Mall so he can shoot the place up.  I completely sympathize with the sense of urgency.

And finally, since you've come this far, here's my killer suggestion.  PAINT THE DAMN PARKING LOT BOOTHS THE ACTUAL COLOR OF THE LOT.  Currently, all the booths are blue.  So if it's a green lot, paint the booth GREEN (show me the money).  If it's a red lot, paint the booth RED (your blood will pave the path to the future).  If it's yellow, yer YELLA.  If it's blue, you keep it the same (no change is necessary).  See where I'm heading with this.  Maybe even paint the actual parking line spots with the same consistent theme. 

I realize my multi-faceted, societal advice is often too difficult for the average imbecile to fully comprehend.   Hopefully, we can get the ball rolling and make a tiny bit of progress with this here Pixburgh Paint'n'Sip.  And then move onto something bigger.  Baby steps.

But it won't be easy.  Seriously, check out this.

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to future Steelers opponents.  Rumor has it that next year we'll be playing Lexington... and maybe someday face off against the sinister team of Paducah!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Zombie Rituals (Rob Zombie, Stage AE, 6-16-15)

Three of us hit the Rob Zombie show last night at Stage AE.  I've never really listened to his brand of biker goth metal.  I think I saw White Zombie (a more formalized, sophisticated version of the band) over a decade ago.  It was at one of those endless headbanger ball, OzzFest-type collaborations.  At the time, it really didn't leave much of an impression.

Well last night definitely had an impact.  Beyond the dreadlocks and vampire makeup, this was a pure rock concert. I'd go into a detailed description but what I witnessed defies a routine review.  You pretty much need to see this one for yourself.  One observation: the concert was loud but it wasn't absurd.  Ironically, the New Kids on the Block show at Consol was louder and way more distorted.  There's good loud and there's bad loud.  Last night was good loud.  NKOTB was stupid loud.

Two big highlights.  The first one was the reemergence of the 666 Mutha Fucka t-shirt.  Back in the day, I saw some guy sporting this shirt at Starlake.

Many years have passed and I always thought the shirt "stood on its own."  Last night, I discovered that it's actually a White Zombie concert tee.  Kind of left me feeling a bit deflated.  In all honesty, I had hoped that someone was just manufacturing t-shirts with alarming, obnoxious content.  Any graphic material would suffice.  Think in terms of straight-up shock value a la Westboro Baptist Church.

Satan rules
The pope sucks cock
Stick a tampon in your butt
Eat shit and die

I hope you get the drift.  If you don't, then Donald Trump's the right candidate for you.  Truth be told, I'm a little conflicted about him entering the race.  On the one hand, I deplore his exploitation of the low-information Republican voter.  You know the type --- god, guns and let's go racing!  However, I do like the fact that he's willing to enter any environment totally unscripted.  Also, he seems psyched to unabashedly call out any of his opponents on their perceived shortcomings.  It should add a fascinating, colorful dimension to the debates.

I must admit.  I watched his entire presidential launch speech.  I enjoyed the extemporaneous style and content.  In this day and age of stale rhetoric and memorized pitch lines, let's just say it's refreshing.  Reminds me of the reason people listen to Howard Stern.  They hate him but they're curious to see what he'll say next.  It's all about the ratings.  Whatever your thoughts on this egomaniacal, carnival barker... he can certainly hold the crowd's attention.  And you gotta be amused by how he made his grand entrance on that escalator.

I could definitely envision him "choppering" in to the Iowa State Fair.  Good afternoon Sioux City!  Or showing up in a yacht along the Ohio River in Steubenville.  He easily held my attention for the entire hour.  I watched the Jeb and Hillary kickoff speeches as well.  I thought Hillary's was decent, albeit relatively predictable.  No surprise there.  On the other hand, I thought Jeb's was poorly written.  Whoever wrote the damn thing didn't know how to factor in the crowd reaction.  It's important to be mindful of how to specifically elicit boos, as opposed to cheers.  You don't want to keep mixing the two.  A friendly word of advice for his speechwriter --- get the damn progression straight.  It goes boo, boo, cheer.  Attack, attack, applause.

One other thing about Trump, although I find his entire existence objectionable... he's likely the only candidate willing to raise my issue about obsolete stadium emergency evacuation protocol.  So yesterday, I started spamming the shit out of him.

Donald, here's an idea. Hope you can incorporate it in the campaign. It's about keeping Americans safe.

Every NFL stadium has 50,000 - 100,000 active cell phones. We need to explicitly warn fans that LEGITIMATE emergency evacuation orders do NOT come from their mobile devices. If something like this were to happen, it is a malicious HOAX designed to create an "artificially generated stampede."

Just some common sense, public safety info that nobody's allowed to talk about. The federal government and private industry won't go anywhere near it... until there's a tragedy.  Donald Trump, do you have the moral courage to acknowledge this asymmetric national security issue?   Nobody else has the guts.

Who knows?  Maybe I should try and get Rob Zombie involved with the stampedes.  He seems like someone who speaks his mind.  The ideal person to represent freedom of speech and explore an untested, futuristic civil rights issue.

Then again, maybe not.

Sorry for the tangent.  So anyway, I said there was another highlight from last night.

A magical parking spot opened up for us on the street directly across from the Tilted Kilt and Rivertowne restaurants.  By the way, never eat at Rivertowne.  Their food and service are below mediocre.  I wouldn't even be willing to honor their restroom with an unsolicited piss or unwelcome shit.  That's how bad it is.  The name of the place should pretty much should send off a warning sign.  Hmm, what are we going to name this fine dining establishment?  Well, let's see here... we're next to a river and it's in a town.  Let's call it Rivertown and add an "e" so people will think it's high-end Euro-inspired French cuisine.  Red flag.  Kind of reminds me of a place in Wheeling that sucks to an even greater degree.  River City!  Or as it's often referred to... River Shitty. 

Note: I do like the notion of calling it "Rivertownie."  That would be an unprecedented bad ass move.  Serve me up some appetizers... crick grits and coonskin pie.  And wash it down with a house drink... The Bum Rush (1 part Jamison and 4 parts Boone Farms Country Quencher).

So we're hanging out and this 50 year old guy approaches us.  He desperately needs eight dollars.  He regales us with his unfortunate circumstance.  He shows us some "injuries" to his arm which was actually just a bad case of eczema.  Call me crazy, but he seemed to be playing up the sympathy angle.  Now apparently, the van he uses for his drywall business was towed.  And he needs some money for "advance cab fare" so he can back to Irwin.  Obviously, his wallet, id, cell phone and every other earthly possession were in the van.  So that's the gist of everything that has left him in this horrible predicament.  He pointed to a notepad with some scribbled contracting information, projected costs for this and that.  Nice prop.  I just sat there and smiled, taking it all in.  Jepson and Juanita listened to the pitch as well, carefully ingesting all the details.

Alright, so how did I know that it was a scam?  How did I know he was a completely full of shit con artist?  Well... about 6 weeks ago I was leaving a Pirates game and the same guy hit me up with the EXACT same scam.  Same story about his van, his drywall business and even how he needed to get back to Irwin (an ideal, unassuming blue-collar suburb).  Personally, I like the sound of Crafton or the remote resonance of Aliquippa, but that's just me.

So after about 40 seconds, I decided to chime in.  "Dude, I gotta admit.  I'm a little skeptical, probably because you hit me up 6 weeks ago with the EXACT SAME STORY!  Seriously, I don't mind the scam aspect.  I just want you to admit the truth, that we've had this same conversation  Is that asking too much?"  I felt like I was in the fucking twilight zone.

But he held passionately to his solicitation propaganda.  He looked at Jepnita (my new celeb term for these two) and said... and I quote... "I don't know what this guy's on, but I could sure use some of what he's smoking!"

His outright denial and lack of ownership annoyed me a little bit, but I was in a good mood, pleasant weather and such, so I just laughed it off.   Reflecting back on this incident, I had $90 on me.  I should have tantalized him with it.  Asked him if it was enough and got him to write down my address so he could pay him me back.  I could have had this guy "salivating like the Pavlovian mongrel he is."

As he abruptly bolted off I should have used a line from my newest hero.  Not this guy.

 It's this guy.  Kevin O'Leary, the new and improved Mr. Wonderful.

As far as the concert, a great time was had by all.  The encore was exceptionally cool.  A demonized, metalized version of Grand Funk Railroad's "We're an American Band."

Monday, June 15, 2015

Thoughts on the Block (NKOTB - Pittsburgh, 6-14-15)

If you could go back in time and double your income during the first Bush presidency, what would be your commodity of choice?

Rollerblades?  Nope.  Fanny Packs?  Not.  Beanie Babies?  For the love of Allah, I hope you die a painful death.  Perhaps sliding down a razor bannister would suffice.

Back in 1990, I invested a decent chunk of my life savings (about 500 bucks) in New Kids on the Block tickets.  They had announced a show for the Wheeling Civic Center and I knew it would be a guaranteed sell-out.  Hell, the place seated less than 10,000 and at the time, NKOTB was routinely filling up major arenas.

This was back in the day when people actually "camped out" for tickets.  So I did it old-school.  I partied all night long at Capone's (Rolling Rock bottles for $1.25) and then ventured westward to the Kaufman's department store "Choice Seat" outlet before the crack of dawn.  St. Clairsville would be the scene of the most heinous crime ever recorded in the history of the Ohio Valley Mall.  Come hell or high water, I was going to scalp the living shit out of this New Kids nonsense.

Turns out, I was one of the first people in line around 5am. A few teenage girls had been on the scene since well before midnight.  They pestered me with a barrage of questions.  Who's your favorite New Kid?  What's your favorite song?  Who did I think was the hottest?  E-gad.  I reflected and gave due praise to the unforgiving concrete.

I assured them that I was only there for the "white sale" --- deep discounts on linens, sheets and pillow cases.  But they saw right through my ruse and persisted with the interrogation.  So I changed my story and told them I had been tasked with getting tickets for my younger sister.  Note: I only have two older brothers and I doubt that either of them has ever taken an active interest in NKOTB.  After a while passed, they gradually grew more suspicious and somehow managed to get me to fess up.  I made the mistake of admitting that my sole intention was to buy tickets and resell them for a tidy profit.  With nothing else going on, this newly found controversy set everyone on fire.  They actually started to harass me and even threatened to alert the Belmont County police and the Kaufman's manager.  Comprehend the audacity!  Some asshole had the unmitigated effrontery to exploit the benevolence of the world's first mega-Caucasion boy band. 

At one point, I retaliated with a hellacious "SBD," a silent but deadly fart that stunk up the entire line.  Keep in mind, we were in an outdoor environment.  I tried to play it off.  Like it wasn't me.  But the narrative was impossible to spin.  One of the girls even started to cry.  She called me a "stinky scalper" and rallied everyone against me.  An old man eyed me up, held his nostrils and yelled "Peee-youuuu!"  But I held my ground.   I wish this part of the story wasn't true.  That it was just my overactive imagination.  But it was the real deal.  In 1990, I maliciously exposed some 7th graders to a round of abhorrent flatulence.    

Long story short, I managed to snag about 20 tickets.  My plan was to sell them for a little more than double the cost (in the neighborhood of $50 or $60 a pop).  I even placed an ad in the local Green Tab.  Needless to say, my phone rang off the hook for the next couple of weeks.  I'll be honest.  It made me feel important.  I envisioned myself as a coke dealer on Miami Vice.  My ground level apartment on Wheeling Island served as the base of operations.  And I'd arrange for clandestine meet-ups at the nearby Convenient Food Mart, exchanging New Kids tix for cash.

Seriously, it gave me a tiny bit of a rush.  Like I was part of a burgeoning criminal enterprise.  All mobbed up, n'at.  Probably because this whole thing coincided with the ongoing "Catfish" Joseph mafia trial at the Wheeling Federal Building.  Back then, I worked at the McLure Hotel parking garage.  This put me directly in the middle of all the action.  Everyone (the jury, the lawyers, the media, the scumbags, etc.) used my facility... so I had an excellent front row vantage point from my little aluminum booth.

Months later, the New Kids would stay at the McLure.  Once again, everyone was looking for an angle about who was coming and going.  And once again, I was deemed an "authority figure" on the scene.  Not a good sign when you're sporting this retro-mulletized plumage with 50 shades of near-sighted confusion.

When your appearance is comparable to this ^^^...  let's just say, get the fuck outta my way.  Move over, grandma.  Saf is livin' life in the fast lane.  And I hate to steal whoever coined these lyrics but they would seem an apt characterization.  Totally spot-on.

Ain't nothin' gonna to break my stride
Nobody's gonna slow me down, oh-no
I got to keep on movin'

So fast forward about a quarter of a century.  Last night, Gigi and I entertained her family for a couple hours.  She fed us steaks, dill and/or basil smashed potatoes, salad and pencil-thin asparagus.  I've said it before... thick asparagus is for losers.  And for dessert... homemade blueberry cheesecake.  Yummo goodo. 

I took the opportunity to school her niece's husband on the dome hockey table.  It was both an educational and emotionally rewarding experience, for myself and Air Force.

pic of dome from the old house

We kicked them out around 6:30 and devised a makeshift plan for the evening.  Two options --- Steve Miller at the inaugural concert at the Riverhound's Highmark Stadium at Station Square OR we could hit up the New Kids on the Block concert at Consol with opening acts, TLC and Nelly.   I thought to myself... isn't Nelly the guy who peed on some teenage girl?  It's amazing how some expertise with damage control can salvage an embattled rap career. 

Turns out I was thinking of R. Kelly... not Nelly.

With the forecast calling for torrential rains, we wisely opted for the indoor show.  To be honest, I was pretty indifferent.  I've seen Steve Miller at least a dozen times.  He opened for the Dead during the stadium shows in the summer of '92.  Seen him a bunch of times at Starlake too.  His concerts have a strange effect.  Physically speaking, when he plays Swingtown or Fly Like An Eagle, I tend to yawn, both loudly and aggressively.  It's similar to an allergic reaction.  But I do likes me a groovy Abracadabra.

In retrospect, we made the right choice.  The Steve Miller concert ended up being postponed due to inclement weather.  How ironic --- earlier in the year, I had an extended conversation with Riverhounds owner Richard Nightingale about their emergency evacuation protocol.  He understood my concerns (warning fans with a 3 second looped message... that LEGIT evac orders do NOT come from your personal cell phone), but never took any action.  Not a surprise really.  Hey, at least he listened and was forthright and honest when he admitted that "nobody had ever brought this matter to his attention."  I do give him credit for at least acknowledging the fundamentals.

Anyway, Gigi scored a freebie ticket off some woman and I ended up purchasing a print-out for 5 bucks off this one desperate scalper.  I had a difficult time reconciling this transaction.   The last time I paid anything for a ticket --- in 2012, I paid $3.00 for a ticket to see Queensryche at the Wheeling Island Casino.  I've carried that stigma of shame, that scarlet letter of defeat... up until last night.

We really didn't have much of a choice.  The scene outside the arena was pretty dead.  All the "seasoned, veteran" concert goers probably went inside around 5pm.  I'm being facetious of course.  These 40 year old fans were almost exclusively divorced women, all decked out in their vintage Saved by the Bell wardrobes.  The row of women below us truly put the "punk" in Punky Brews, the newest line of Soldier Moon Fry fashion.

So what are my actual thoughts on the show.  Well, we missed Nelly.  I'll assume that he played the "it's getting hot in here, I'm gonna take my clothes off" song.  Truth be told, when it comes to "not" taking off clothes, there can be only one.  And that's Smoky Mountain Sam, the former drummer for Jermaine Stewart, who in all likelihood embraces nudity to the fullest extent of the law.  I scoured the internet but couldn't find the pic I wanted with the frizzed hair, devilish mustache and drumstick in mid-twirl.  Trust me, it's a gem. 

Hard to believe Jermaine Stewart died in 1997, nearly 20 years ago.  Now that is insane.

We caught most of TLC sans Left Eye.  She's dead as well.  About 15 years ago in a car crash in  Honduras.  Didn't she torch Andre Rison's house?  He was a wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons.  Now that is the essence of CrazySexyCool.

Hey, the Atlanta Falcons have a new stadium going up.  Here's a thought --- if you truly respect your feathered fans, why not explicitly warn them that LEGITIMATE emergency stadium evacuation orders would NEVER be delivered via their personal cell phones?  Seriously, how difficult is that?  Just tell them the truth.

TLC was okay I guess.  The highlight was when they lured this overweight, homely gay white dude onto the stage and gave him a pseudo-reverse lap dance.  I guess that qualifies for a highlight.  I mean, it's better than listening to Ted Nugent speak at a Ted Cruz rally in rural Texas while chewing on thick asparagus I suppose.

After a brief break, NKOTB thugged their way on stage.  Incidentally, the set up was really impressive.  It took up almost the entire floor of the arena.  I've seen a few shows "in the round."  But this stage was really striking.  Plenty of moving pedastals and corridors which allowed for a lot of fan interaction, sweaty hugs and embraces, selfies, and various masturbatory simulations which elicited shrieks of unbridled enthusiasm from the audience at-large.  And when I use the term "at-large," I really mean it.  The crowd's collective weight seemed considerably heavier than your typical Long John Silver's restaurant. 

I gotta be honest, they were pretty decent.  Not a whole lot of musicianship, but I wasn't exactly anticipating Radiohead.  Their voices have held up pretty well over the years.  Kind of like if Sinatra had a bunch of bastard Boston offspring.  They even waved terrible towels and flashed pics of the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers.  Not sure how they reconcile this with the douchebag Patriots who also fail their fans miserably with regard to obsolete evac protocol.  So do the Steelers.

Now one of the guys just can't sing.  As a matter of fact, his voice totally sucked.  I'll end the suspense.  It's the tannish orange Guito on the left.

However, he did manage to compensate with some impressive flexing and breakdancing.

All things being equal, it wasn't that bad.  Of course, my expectations weren't very high.  Somewhere in the realm of Sarah Palin on her knees, using a loaf of Wonderbread to sop up a pile of vomit spewed forth by a drunken Kenny Chesney fan.

I'll leave you with a Pittsburgh Hangin Tough.  This one's from 2013 at Consol.

Jesus Fucking Christ!  2013, 2015... is it reasonable to assume that NKTOB will be back in 2017?  With all the combined excitement and professionalism of the Republican "clown car," maybe that clown on the left (Guito) should enter the presidential race.  Not sure about his domestic and foreign policy views, but I'm sure he'd be the superior singer.  And that pretty much sums up the sorry state of affairs heading into 2016. 

Here's my motto --- if you can find a CREDIBLE major party candidate who's a BETTER politician than Hillary, lemme know.  Because I honestly believe that individual does not currently exist.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mr. Wonderful from Mulberry Street

Pittsburgh's North Shore walking trail along River Avenue has some scattered mulberry trees.  And much to my newly discovered yinzing chagrin, these trees produce mass quantities of mulberries.

I'm currently 44 years of age and to the best of my knowledge have never consumed a mulberry.  Not sure if I've ever had a huckleberry either.  Turns out, it's the state fruit of Idaho.  And with that tidbit of knowledge... I can peacefully die.

Anyway, whenever I hear the term "mulberry" my mind immediately drifts to this movie clip.  An excerpt from one of my all-time favorites, Donnie Brasco.

Mafia portrayals by Pacino and Depp?  The Bonnano and Trafficante crime syndicates circa the 1970's?  With the exception of Good Fellas, it doesn't get much better.

So can you name the five burroughs of New York?  Even if you've never been to NYC, I think this knowledge is worthy of possession.  The answer will be revealed in time.*  It's a little more important than vegetable and fruit trivia.  Although I do think it's critical to be aware that tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene.  Potassium in bananas?  Uhh, not so much.  For the most part I find bananas offensive.  However I do like the dehydrated banana chips from Trader Joe's.  I've also maintained that reduced fat Cheez-Its are superior to regular Cheez-Its.  Same rule applies to Marzetti dips.  The low-fat versions actually taste better.  And thick asparagus is for losers.  One wonders how I manage to integrate all this meticulously specified crap into a functional existence.

Back to the mulberry story.  We went down and picked for about an hour.  Behold the awesome rewards of Mother Nature.

Gigi has this grand, gelatinous aspiration to produce mulberry jam.  FYI --- I'm not a big Smuckers fan.  And the mere sight of a tray of jello shots leaves me visibly annoyed.  I can't stand Bill Cosby with the puddin' either.  All of this is true, despite the fact that I actually sold jellies and preserves for 5 years.  That's right!  I was a renegade telemarketer for a shady operation called the Bears Against Drugs Program back in the early 90's.  We'd call just about everyone and everything in Northern WV and Eastern Ohio and pester them into supporting the "West Virginia Troopers Association."  Our mission was to hock these overpriced Hickory Farms-like gift assortments.  The products were manufactured by a clandestine shell company called Smoky Mountain Secrets allegedly located somewhere in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.  And delivered straight to your door by a triumphantly, creepy pedophile in a Dodge Caravan.  "Hello there, ma'am.  We got yer jellies!" 

I went to google this shit and there's absolutely nothing.  It's as though the whole operation never existed.  What a fucking racket!  The Bears Against Drugs program eventually succumbed to numerous consumer fraud complaints and eventually disbanded after the launch of multiple state investigations in tandem with the Better Business Bureau.  Ahh, is it any wonder they targeted the street-smart savvy citizens of Appalachia?

Now in addition to the notorious jellies and preserves, we also peddled steak sauces and seasonings, various mustards and gourmet salad dressings.  In its final year, the "gift box overlords" tried to salvage this solicitation nightmare with the introduction of something new, something different.  FRUIT SYRUPS.  That's right!  Apricot, raspberry, strawberry, blueberry and plum.  For you Jews out there, that's $34.95 to schmear on your blintzes.  And for you morbidly corpulent gentilian Baptists, it costs the same amount to smother your stack of flapjacks (and eggs and hash browns).  Fruit syrup goes good on whole plate.

Aunt Gemima and Quaker Oats related subsidiaries --- Know. Your. Role.  And shut your mouth!

Now here's the question.  Who on earth could have conceived of this scurrilously lascivious jelly-vending extravaganza?  Answer: Kevin O' Leary.  That's right!  The sophisticated bean counter a/k/a Mr. Wonderful on ABC's Shark Tank.  He was the original investor and brainchild of the Bears Against Drugs Program! 

I love this guy.  He is the show.  That stinging tinge of playful arrogance.  The clever insight.  The economic acumen.  Those timeless refrains --- show me the money, this isn't a business... it's a hobby, you're dead to me.  Don't you ever dare forget.  All roads lead back to Mr. Wonderful.

So by now, you're probably wondering what's the connection between mulberry jam and Kevin O' Leary's sordid financial history.  Drum roll please...

For the past year, I've been trying to appear on Shark Tank.  My sales pitch is a total win-win.  For me, the sharks and humanity at-large.  Newsflash:  I'm not in it for the money.  My offer...

A 100% stake and 100% of future royalties from the 3 books I've written for $0.00.  
Sounds like the deal of a lifetime.  Too good to be true.
Regrettably, my books are about the next possible 9/11.  And nobody's allowed to talk about it --- a dominipede (multiple, simultaneous stadium stampedes likely impacting the NFL 1 o'clock slate).,,

Here's some additional background info on my arsenal of literature...

Sonofsaf: odd oh biography is an autobiography.  Go figure!  A lifetime collection of comically debilitating short stories circa 1970-2011.  You'll find the circumcised perspective of an atheist Jew from West Virginia to be both uplifting and traumatic.  Joy and pain.  Sunshine and rain. 

His heartfelt observations on a wide array of topics: art, labor, leisure and music will take your breath away.  His thoughts on people, politics, religion and sports will leave you gasping for air.  His ominous predictions will suck the life right outta yer lungs.

For Christ sake, enough with the innuendo.  The book's about an asymmetric national security issue --- artificially generated stampedes.  Give it a shot.  If anything, it's free.

Dominipede: Book of Fear is the explicit prediction of an unfathomable future event.  A national security disaster surpassing the scope and magnitude of 9/11.

The entire NFL 1 o'clock slate of games will be impacted.  But it was all just a malicious hoax.  Everything was based on a lie.  Society will be transformed.  Everything will change.

You'll be left permanently exasperated.  Is it real?  Is it fiction?  Could it happen?  Will it happen?  When will it happen?  History and humanity will judge the author.  But should they?  You decide.  A book like this is free... of course.

The Immaculate Rejection is the disheartening game day tale of a Pittsburgh 5th grader wishing to improve stadium safety.  An overly optimistic Jewish boy from Squirrel Hill tries to shed light on an undiscussable subject --- the prospect of an artificially generated stampede at Heinz Field.  But nobody wants to listen.  Sid and Miss Priddy find things quickly spiraling out of control, resulting in what many will come to view as the next 9/11.  Based on a true story... and a black swan.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and several billionaire owners want this book "removed" from the internet but cannot acknowledge its existence.  Quite the conundrum.  Making matters worse, the book is free.

So did anybody catch the overriding similarity with all 3 books?  Yep, all of them are free.  You heard me right!

Personally, I prefer this old school pic of The Fonz.  Granted, it's a tough call.

Think about it.  Am I really asking that much?
I'm just an atheist Jew from Pittsburgh willing to give away all of my future projected revenue to a bunch of billionaires.

All I want is a platform to warn people that... LEGITIMATE venue emergency evacuation orders would NEVER be delivered via their personal cell phones.  If something like this were to happen, it's almost certainly a malicious hoax designed to create a stampede.

All I want is to make people aware of the modern, technological equivalent of shouting fire in a crowded theater.  Sounds like some good, common sense information if you're heading to a stadium, ballpark, arena, amphitheater, motor speedway, political convention, etc.

Because if an artificially generated stampede, or worst case scenario dominipede were to strike, you don't get a second chance.  There is no preseason.  No dress rehearsal.  No mitigation.

All I want... is to prevent the next possible 9/11.

All I want... is to be heard.

All I want... is to tell people the truth.

I almost forgot.  If you require closure and truly wish to kick out the jams, here's a final pic of the March to Mulberry Madness.

* Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and the Bronx.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Kenny Chesney & Heinz Field Security : Vomit & Condom Dogs

If you're already familiar with my agenda, scroll down to the pic of Hillary.  The time you save could be precious.  Those 2 valuable minutes could have been spent listening to the wisdom of Donald Trump or admiring his neo-sculpted side do.  Life is full of choices. You either read the next few paragraphs or you don't.  You can't have both.  The world is an inherently cruel place.

For the past several years I've been trying to prevent human stampedes.  I know, sounds borderline ridiculous.  But if you phrase it differently... for the past several years, I've been trying to educate the general public and increase fan situational awareness...

LEGITIMATE emergency evacuation orders for large, confined crowds (stadiums, ballparks, motor speedways, etc.) would NEVER be delivered via your personal cell phone.

Well, all of a sudden, it starts to make a lot more sense.  Reason being, if something like this were to occur, it's almost certainly a malicious hoax designed to create a stampede.  There is one other viable possibility I suppose.  That someone is attempting a mass venue evacuation merely for their own personal amusement.  Either way, both scenarios could produce an incredibly dire outcome.  You do not require a doctorate in physics with a minor in communications in order to comprehend the issue.

The problem is this.  Anytime you suggest something that might result in a 9/11-like disaster, and it's something the vast majority of the public has never considered, you'll likely be labeled a crackpot or an imbecile.  Hardly a surprise.  I'm virtually certain that Rick Rescorla (the director for security of Morgan Stanley in the World Trade Center) was viewed with similar disdain when he told fellow employees...

"Hey, I think we should prepare for the possibility that someone might crash a 747 into your office cubicle on the 78th floor.  Since our building has been attacked in the past and remains a high profile target, wouldn't it be wise to acknowledge the fundamental security gaps and try to at least devise some kind of contingency plan?"  Hmmm, I think we all know how this one turned out.

People express a lot of discomfort when trying to cope with unsettling scenarios.  But rather than have a conversation about inconsistencies, vulnerabilities or exploring mitigation options (there aren't any credible ones that address my specific concerns), most people resort to ad hominem attacks and denigration.  They lash out.  Trust me, I get it.

Some surely view me as a stark, raving lunatic.  Others are likely anxious and unable to articulate a counter-argument.  Personally, I don't think I come across as an imprudent buffoon.  Maybe I am.  Maybe I'm not.  I do not know.  However, I do one thing  --- it's incredibly challenging to engage people on hypothetical, asymmetric national security issues.  Especially ones that most people simply could never fathom due to a lack of historical precedent.  A DOMINIPEDE (multiple, simultaneous human stampedes likely impacting the entire NFL 1 o'clock slate of games)?  Well, there you go.  Uhh, something like that would probably qualify.

So I've done all kinds of things to promote the AGSAF awareness campaign.  Books, emails, phone calls, letters, the website/newsletter... like I said, it's a tough one.  One of my zanier promotional ideas was something known as "condom dog."  More on that later.  Now there ain't any money to be made here and not a lot of upside for getting involved.  Unless of course, you just want to tell people the truth (evac orders in NFL stadiums don't come from your personal cell phone) and try to save a life or two along the way.  I'll willingly concede the following: it's some highly speculative, controversial material... assuming you don't own a cell phone or have never seen anyone utilize a wireless device.  Hey, maybe you don't get out that much.
And forgive me for trying to lend a hand, but I'm just trying to prevent the worst black swan event in the history of mankind, even surpassing the debilitating emotional toll and inconceivable societal fallout of 9/11 (endless war, diminished standing, trillions wasted, etc.).  So calm down.  If I'm right, it's really not that big a deal.  Just 10 or so near-simultaneous human stampedes with 500 - 1,000 fatalities and somewhere in the realm of 7,500 injuries scattered across nearly a dozen separate locations in the Northeast into the Midwest.  

"Does it really matter?  What difference does it make?" --- Hillary Clinton.

For the love of Santorum, I hope you understand the message.  It's amazing how many people can't seem to grasp the real-world, blaring security disconnect (50,000 - 100,000 active cell phones in any NFL stadium capable of disseminating false information).  Frustrating too.

Let's fast forward to Saturday night.  Kenny Chesney brought his annual shindig hoe-down to Heinz Field.  It's a boot stompin', truck engine rumblin', tobacco spittin', wife-beatin' wearin', non-craft beer drinkin' event of a lifetime.  Don't just take my word for it. 

It's an annual, make that annular, tradition.  Nothing will impede the "Burgers and Dogs" tour  or the "Leggo my Skoal" tour or whatever they're calling it this year.  To be honest, I can't remember the moniker and to execute a Google search would represent a humiliating defeat.

Now last year, Chesney and his cunt-tree coalition bypassed Catsup Stadium due to the trash-brawl publicity fiasco of 2013.  Apparently, shitting in buckets is out-of-bounds.  As is pissing in kiddie wading pools filled with jello or sand.  Also, you're not permitted to sodomize Obama supporting concert-goers with the American flag.  Who woulda thunk it?

More bad stuff happened at this year's concert.  Check out this footage from Pamela Osborne, my second favorite WPXI reporter!

Alright, hang in there with me.  We're approaching the "rouge cou denouement."  That's french for "redneck finale."

G and I have been on a walking binge as of late.  We go pretty much anywhere.  We'll do walking trails, private country club golf courses, shopping malls, cemeteries, parks, bridges, sewage treatment plants, abandoned whorehouses, steps to nowhere... we don't care where.  We just choose a given destination and start walking.

As you may have ascertained, last evening's walk was multiple laps around Heinz Field, encompassing the river trail and the gold lots.  Just an aside... for future Chesney shows, I think they should rename the gold lots... the "golden lots."  As in golden shower.  Simply put, the whole place reeked of piss.  Twas' a biblical plague of urine, likely on par with the flooding in Houston which was recently declared a national disaster.  Hey now, I'm just happy the selfless right wing wackos in Texas are willing to graciously accept relief funds from the current administration.  I foolishly thought some Tex-Mex politicians would refuse the monies based on a fear of centralized government takeover of the lone star state.  Does anyone recall the Rick Perry-inspired idiots yapping about secession in 2012?  Still going strong with Jade Helm I see.  Who the fuck are these people?

Anyway, the stench of urine was both resolute and determined.  Some would say, utterly defiant.  But it wasn't the puddles and streams of piss that piqued my attention.  It was the endless islands of puke.  Pile after pile.  Mound upon mound.  Liquified chunk-laden conglomerates.  Gratuitous heaping smell-bads.  Some featuring Cool Ranch Doritos.  Some with McNugget.  Others showcasing corn dog.  One even featuring "The Artist Formerly Known as Bucket of Hot Wings."  Not quite sure what that means.  Suffice to say, it was a vomitous upheaval.  And that just triggered a recollection --- it's the Big Revival Tour.  Yee-haw.  Lookie there ma!  That's Kinny with Big Ben (pronounced bihn).

Alright.  Now in the words of Led Zeppelin, we're finally "gonna bring it on home."  Or in the words of Kenny Chesney, "we gonna git r' dun."  I'm assuming he had at least a minimal role in the creation of that anguished rallying oink.  A sad testimony if you think about it.  Let's be honest.  Chesney isn't fit to carry the Pig Man's jock.

Okle Dokle.  So we have a Kenny Chesney parking lot and a whole lotta drunk, stomach spewing morons.  Whaddya got in mind?  CONDOM DOG, BABY!!!  Not only do you bring back condom dog, you bring it back the other way!  --- Rage Against the Machine lead singer whose name escapes me

Regrettably, this idea came to me on 279N.  Too little, too late.  But I can always share and promote this earth-shattering concept.  Ohh, the power of the internet.

Just go to your local Piggly Wiggly and buy a pack of cheap hot dogs.  It'll probably set you back about a buck.  Toss them in the freezer.  Next, take a trip to your local health department and ask for a bag of free condoms.  They'll be more than happy to give you a baker's dozen of prophylactics.

Now right before you head off to the big show, remove the individual dogs and apply each rubber accordingly.  You'll end up with something like this.

If any of this makes you feel uncomfortable, just try to think of it in terms of promoting responsible birth control and safe sex at a Mormon gang bang in a suburb outside Provo, Utah.  That should help alleviate the "seediness" factor.

Now place all the newly suited condom dogs in a large ziplock bag.  Discreetly store in cooler.  Throw cooler in the back of your jacked-up Ford F-10,000 pick-up truck and drive to the Carnegie Science Center lot next to Heinz Field.  Pay the reasonable $75 parking fee and find a spot.  You've now established a credible forward military base for "Operation Condom Dog."

This is where your special journey begins.  Every time you see a pile of vomit, gently place a condom dog in the middle of it.  Or you can go hog-wild and throw it down with reckless abandon.  BLAM!  I suggest singing that unforgettable commercial lyrical ditty "Trojan Man."  Adds that element of mystique with a celebration of song and dance... or if you will... boot, scoot and boogie... or if you prefer... puke, fuck and shitty. 

Now anywhere there's a splattering of vomit.  Yep, you guessed it.  Condom Dog is on the scene, making its presence felt.  But this activity represents something of vastly greater magnitude.  It's not just some discarded low-end meat wrapped in synthetic latex.  Lest ye forget the underlying purpose, the overriding mission, the humanitarian cause --- HUMAN STAMPEDE PREVENTION at any NFL stadium.  That's right, bitches.  Anytime a person sees that "condom dog in a pile of puke," it will naturally signal a message of situational awareness for fans who are about to enter an NFL stadium.  It's the critical public safety information which the government and private industry are unwilling to divulge.  The common sense, 5th grade level information that's deliberately concealed from the general population.

LEGITIMATE emergency stadium evacuation orders would NEVER come from your personal cell phone.  If something like this were to occur, it is an attempt to maim and kill innocent people by weaponizing a human stampede.

People have a fundamental right to know... 

that if they're in a large, confined crowd and receive an evacuation order and/or panic-inducing information from their cell phone or mobile device...
it's almost certainly a hoax designed to create an artificially generated stampede.

My only regret.  This whole promotional campaign/marketing endeavor popped into my head on our way home.  Thus lamentably, no pics.  However, next year I will put this plan into action.  And by the way, the yearly Kenny Chesney concert at Heinz Field does NOT have a monopoly on condom dog.  However, I defy you to find a superior concert or sporting event which embraces the spirit and essence of that which is condom dog.  Good.  Fucking.  Luck.

So if you believe in truth and justice, and to a lesser extent, vomit and condom dogs... if you found this information helpfully disconcerting or beneficially disgusting... instead of throwing it up, throw it out.  Share this blog link with any trending hash tag on any social media platform.  And if you know anyone affiliated with the NFL or any stadium concert performers (remnants of the Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, etc.), fill 'em in.  Personally, I'd like to see One Direction or even Taylor Swift get involved... although the role of Condom Dog would likely be rendered marginally insignificant due to a lack of copious vomit.  

Thank you for your consideration,