Thursday, December 31, 2009


My father recently assembled a vast collection of some of his best poetry. He mailed it out to friends and family members. It's 150 or so of his best works - very impressive to say the least. I felt it was necessary to offer a response so I mailed him a poem of my own.
This poem is mostly inside family humor so it might not make much sense to a casual observer of my blog. Nonetheless...


I recently received, a voluminous collection
truly astonished, I read through each selection

An assortment of work, so colorful and fantastic
must be acknowledged, with something equally bombastic

And while I'm sure, I'll never achieve such notoriety and fame
I'll give it a try, during a Steelers/Ravens football game

Odd that I'd quote the Ravens or the works of Edgar Allen Poe
as one of your weaker entries, was about a plumber named Joe

Kidding aside, your skills are truly uncanny
incredibly witty, was the poem about Ranney

Last name Ranney, first name Shane
your sarcasm was evident, customarily difficult to feign

Another observation, take it for what it's worth
is regarding the Wall Street Weeklings, they will NOT inherit the earth

Perhaps the round table of investors, was admittedly meek
you needed a financial adviser, whose input wasn't nearly as weak

As I delved deeper, I became really immersed
good thing I'm not spiritual, or I'd truly feel cursed

How about that woman, who just assaulted the pope
could have been high, possibly drugged out or on dope

Maybe she concluded, that after all these years she'd been tricked
by organized religion, pedophile priests and/or Pope Benedict

Cuz after all, one egg is sufficient, in a salad named Caesar
that's a lot of cholesterol, for a non-retired geezer

Do you hear what I'm sayin? Do you know what I mean?
she was probably familiar, with the works of Doc Saferstein

And though her actions were callous
I cannot view her with malice

Hell, I'd take a shot too
one swift push, from this atheist Jew

But to assault that old churchie? I'd prefer just to mock
let us freely admit, I'm just a knock off the old block

The son of a poetic dermatologist
probably wiser, than a cilantro herbalogist

I think at this time, let's do an "about face"
Not the war or Korea, just simply a change of pace

One of my favorite poems was about Thelma, not Louise
although that cat's less exciting, it brought me to my knees

It must have been the scheme and rhyming perchance
you stole the whole damn thing, from the Pirates of Penzance

You're probably thinking, that sounds harsh and a bit crass
but I'd be willing to bet, G & S would've given you a pass

I must admit there was a time, when I thought your brain had turned to mush
but I was quickly set straight, after reading your observations on Bush

But I've come to the conclusion, that my poem was better
so I gave you an additional copy, it's enclosed in this letter

You know my routine, it's all just mere fibbing
cuz from time to time, we all need a light ribbing

Your being my father, comes with a great side feature
that every once in a while, "student become teacher" *

My only wish, is that I could be nearly as prolific
with an arsenal of poems, that range from poignant to horrific

Love, Eric

* taken from the absolutely atrocious movie Karate Kid Part II.

If anything written, has given you even the slightest offense
Well tough shit! It's called Saferstein, poetic license

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

new t-shirt

I've been burning the midnight oil! That's right, the creative juices have been flowing. And here is the unfortunate byproduct of "Saf's juices."
Time to unveil the prototype info for this years new Top 10 T-shirt. Actually, it's going to be the first ever Top 20. I've still got some finishing touches but here we go...

TOP 20

Sex on the Beech Bottom
Less filling.  Tastes like ass.  Finish off with a dash of cum.

Martini Ferry
Dry? - just add soot.  Sweet? - just add piss.
For a traditional Martini Ferry - just add shit.

I finally found the ride of a lifetime...

Funky Cold Adena
I don't fool around with no Oscar Meyer Wiener
You must be sure that your girl is pure for the Funky Cold Adena

Wheeling Island Iced Tea
Equal parts crackhead, drunk, hooker and elderly degenerate gambler.
Splash of cat urine for added color.
Bombay Safire Gin & Tonic
Who the fuck made this shirt?  Stick a lime up his ass!

Route 7 & 7
From the purgatory of Powhatan to the bowels of Brilliant.

Hare of the Dog
A Krishna Klassic. 
1 part patchouli, 1 part crickwater and 4 parts stank. 
Garnish w/ a doobie.

Rusty Nailer
This drink sucks.  It ain't even minor league.  It's bush league.

Elm Grove Dodge Car Bomb

Ka-Boom! It blows up the second you leave the lot.

19th Ho-Jito
All the sugar in Cuba won't sweeten up that Ho

I-470 Bypass
Do not stop in Wheeling.  Do not pass go.  Go directly to HELL.

Mint Jewitt
The melting pot of Ohio. Celebrate religious diversity.

Rum and Coke Plant
This drink is longer in existence. It has been officially shut down.

Proctor Colada

Drink it the night before your colonoscopy. Mmmm. Enjoy!

East Wheeling Unabomber

Hit dat crack, hold yo head back and slam dat Cisco!

Little Washington Apple
just ask Kara...

Bell-Dirty Martini
Use the only cheapest Vodka from Rite-Aid.
Garnish with a generous chunk of olive loaf.

The Oglebay Countdown
Only the rich folk - 3... 2... Kettle 1 (Not for residents of Oglebay Village Apts.)

If you have any ideas, feel free to comment. It's still a work in progress. There's a few I'm not too happy with. I want to touch on the "churchie/prayer" angle - perhaps a drink called the Chrisagis Brothers, B.E. Taylor or something of that ilk. Maybe the Festival of Lights or the Ogden 20K. How about McCulloch's Leap? I'm very open to prudent, albeit crude observations.
I honestly think this one could be better than the Wheeling Sex Moves shirt. Well maybe not that good, but it has potential.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Flavor Wave

I watched a new infomercial this morning for a kitchen device. Here's a link to the 6 minute abbreviated version which pretty much covers the basics.

This revolutionary product is known as the Flavor Wave. It's basically a small glass-domed convection oven. Darla Haun, an actress I've never heard of before, serves as the host for our culinary journey. I'm guessing she was a daytime soap star but I really don't know (or care). However, her special guest sidekick is none of the than... drumroll please... 1980's A-Team sensation Mr. T. Darla's in the kitchen and Mr. T busts down the door. A plume of smoking dust permeates the air. Why the rudimentary pyrotechnics - I do not know. Mr. T has been invited over for dinner but apparently doesn't know that he will unwittingly serve as a cook. In this case, a cook's job is to simply throw the food in the Flavor Wave.
This contraption is odd in that it grills, bakes, broils, roasts, and even steams the food. Somehow it just magically knows what to do. Darla pulls out a bounty of frozen meat on a platter. Let's see, there's the standard chicken, steak, burgers but there's also this open container of a bizarre scrambled egg custard. For the life of me, I have absolutely no idea what this yellow gelatinous shit could possibly be.
Mr. T wants to have a medium rare steak so they collectively throw in the meat a potato and a piece of corn. Darla confidently proclaims, "Set it to cook and you're off the hook." This is obviously a spin-off line from the unforgettable "set it and forget it" Ron Popeil rotisserie infomercial. I'll never forget how an inspired Popeil stormed the stage and sprayed that aerosol container on his bald spot.
Mr. T has this disoriented, hapless way of communicating. One second he's carrying on a conversation with Darla. The next second he stares into the camera and has this omniscient authoritarian perspective. He'll make these random comments to nobody - "That's right boys and girls. It's always good to eat our veggies." The poorly edited-in audience doesn't really know when to laugh or applaud. Sometimes there's this unwarranted crowd murmuring that takes place for no apparent reason.
Mr. T uses the "I pity the fool" line a couple times as well. This gets the crowd riled up although it's easy to discern that the studio audience was filmed separately. It seems the writers of the Flavor Wave Infomercial couldn't decide if they wanted a gruff Mr. T or a kinder, gentler Mr. T. So they chose to go with both shades of his personality resulting in a less than dynamic performance.
Mr. T also makes these ill-timed proclamations. Early on when he first encounters the Flavor Wave, he jubilantly looks at the camera and announces, "That's cool!" On another occasion, he stares at some chicken frying in a vat of hot oil and defiantly remarks, "That's disgusting." My point here - the Flavor Wave infomercial writers just really don't seem too inspired. Time and time again, you can see how they must have had to do multiple scene takes. Every scene is very stilted and Mr. T seems way out of his element. He just has this haunting, disjointed delivery. Darla is far more fluent and relaxed.
My only other issue with the Flavor Wavers - they're trying to usher in the end to barbecuing as we know it. Apparently, they see the social experience and merit of outdoor grilling as a waste of time. All you need is this kitchen appliance and you're set. Personally, I prefer the excitement of the grill compared to this domed infrared heating device.
I also came across this 2 minute youtube spoof which pretty much sums up the whole Flavor Wave experience. Enjoy "Flavor Wave Turbo!"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Steeler "fans"

As an ardent fan of one of the greatest professional sports franchises, I'm slowly becoming disillusioned with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yeah, I know, a Superbowl hangover season... well, not quite. They're 6-6 and in danger of missing the playoffs. Well, not really. All the injuries, the weak special teams, a defense that resembles a nylon curtain at crunch time... this really isn't the problem. Rest assured, here's the real problem - THE FANS.

Let me preface my comments here. I'm a lifelong fan since I can remember. I recall the string of championships in the 1970's. Although under the age of 10, I can conjure up vague memories of my family watching the big games. At the time, I couldn't comprehend the specifics but I definitely understood the magnitude that something unusual was happening. During the 1980's (and the Cliff Stoudt/Bubby Brister era) my interest in the team drifted here and there. In the 1990's it picked back up as they became routine contenders. I've been to well over 50 live games and seen every NFL team with the exception of the Saints and maybe the Rams. I've embraced the dank concrete of Three Rivers Stadium, elevated myself via the benches outside Heinz Field Gate A and done my fair share of tailgating. Never having been a season ticket holder, gives you a different perspective. You're forced to engage the crowd on a different level since the pre-game elements tend to vary significantly with regard to their respective trials and tribulations. Suffice to say, I've pretty much seen everything there is to see at the confluence of the three rivers.

Here's my beef. Around the NFL, Steelers fans have always been highly regarded. Their dedication, perseverance to the harsh elements, the "blue-collar" attitude, etc. Well, I've come to the conclusion that all of that is complete and utter BULLSHIT. I went to the Raiders game a few days ago. It was brisk weather but the sun was out. There were over 3,000 no shows! Of course the game was sold out as always. But come the fuck on - 3,000 "fans" didn't bother to go to the game. Yeah, we usually have 500-1,000 no shows for a typical regular season game. I understand that not everybody can go to every game. But lately it just seems that people are just content to bail. They don't even bother trying to make sure their tickets get used. Even worse, are the people who show up with extras and are very content to eat them. They'd rather have the seat next to them remain vacant. God forbid some unshaven fast food worker enter the precious, coveted 2nd level suite zone.

Here's what really sucks - all the people who leave early while the game is in progress. The game is on the line in the 4th quarter and people are rushing to the exit in some misguided attempt to beat the traffic. Our seats were in the corner of the end zone last week. The Raiders are storming down the field. I stand up with 25 seconds left, making some noise and trying to encourage the defense. The guy behind me asks me to sit down. "What is this? An opera?" There were only a few others standing, scattered here and there trying to embolden the crowd. This struck me as downright pathetic.

Here's some of the problem. Heinz Field is just too damn nice. If you are one of the privileged few who can dish out/waste $200 per ticket to sit in the luxury lounge, here's what you'll see. There ain't no hot dog or IC Light vendor roaming the concourse. Instead, you'll see a guy who looks like a butler in full regalia. They wear bow ties and are absurdly polite to the point where it becomes ludicrous. Like I said, is this an opera or a football game? Chefs with the puffed up white hats are carving up over-sized maple honey hams and steroid-infused smoked turkeys. The younger fans seem entirely disinterested in the action on the field. They'd rather text their friends and play video games on their hand held electronic devices. White Zinfandel seems to be the beverage of choice for the "SUV-driving-divorced-cougar-trophy-wife."

One issue of consideration is the tiny population base of Pittsburgh and the aging decrepit population. I think some of the old-timers are like, "Fuck it. Been there, done that. I'm not gonna freeze my ass off n'at." I guess they've paid their dues but how about making sure their tickets get used. Is that too much to ask? You'd think they'd feel some sort of obligation. Perhaps not.

I realize the NFL has problems with crowd behavior and is trying to provide a family friendly atmosphere these days. But since when did it become taboo to stand up and cheer or boo. And what's truly insane is the vast number of people who exit Heinz Field well before the game has ended. Here we are at 6-5 and in the midst of a wildcard opportunity and fans are leaving in droves. Didn't church end at noon? Where the fuck are these people going? Maybe they've decided to watch the rest of the game at McFlanigans or Fox O'Reilly's Pub and Grill. I just don't get it. Have you ever noticed the Green Bay fans? They stay til the end even when the team's getting badly beaten. They have the same inclement weather but, simply stated, their fans are more dedicated.

Rest assured, I'll be a Steelers fan til I expire from causes artificial or natural. And I'll keep going to the games because I love watching the throng of 65,000, well... er uhhh, 61,800. Plus, I love going to the games for free, $10 or $20 max. Next up is the Green Bay Packers at 4:15pm on the 20th. Imagine that - a free ticket for a Steelers/Packers game. Only in the Burgh. I'll just have to make sure I stay seated. Wouldn't want to offend anyone.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

vanity plate run around

Every Department of Motor Vehicles has a pretty strong stance against profane license plates. All curse words, both real and slang, get red flagged when you submit your request. I even remember a man in Florida who was upset because the DMV wouldn't renew his license plate that said "ATHEIST." Not quite sure why that word itself is so offensive. I'm sure they would have renewed "WRITER" or "PACIFIST." Anyway, I digress.

Here's the idea I just came up with. Start a business where you sell sheets of alphabet stickers that are replicas of the lettering they use in all 50 states. Conceivably, you could build the message around your license plate without arousing suspicion with the DMV. For example, it's incredibly doubtful that the license plate "SHITHEAD" would go through... However, how about one that says "HITHEA." Then, you just add the "S" on the left and the "D" on the right. Add another sticker that says "Stop Tailgating" and it becomes...


See. Now you've effectively conveyed your message and managed to subvert the community standards imposed by the state. This idea would really be an effective way of proclaiming your stance on abortion, dependence on foreign oil, basically anything. Political statements would be the way to go.

RAH PAL doesn't seem like much. Add an SA and an IN - Now you have the ability to make very terse and caustic statement regarding McCain's VP running mate.

I think this could spark the next wave in vanity plates. You just have so much more material to work with. Of course, it does involve adding stickers to your vehicle which is sometimes viewed as obnoxious and hippie-trashish, but I think if the message is strong enough, you'll be vindicated.

My friend Jess said this wouldn't work if you have a dark-colored car. You could make it work - just have box lettering with a white background. Although I agree, it wouldn't look as good. I think this idea has merit. Very difficult to market though. Maybe an arts and crafts store or ebay. Not sure how you'd go about promoting it though.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

nativity scene

I noticed an absolutely exquisite nativity scene on the way home and it got me to thinking. As a self-described master of sign manipulation, perhaps it's time to take it to the next level. Yes, I've enjoyed altering a marquee or two (or 378) in my time. I usually try to rearrange the lettering to convey an entirely different message or if I'm on fire, the exact opposite message. It's difficult, but when the planets are aligned just right, there's a full moon and I've had just the right amount of scotch...

Anyway, this nativity scene has some pretty impressive statues. Most of the replicas are waist high and appear to be made of wood. I'm not much of an expert on the nativity scene. I'm guessing it's the same as a manger scene, right? There's the baby Jesus, Mary the mom, I'm guessing the 4 or 5 other guys are the "wise-men." Not exactly sure what makes them so wise. They were there for the big day, so I guess that makes them sufficiently wise. They were in the right place at the right time. Hell, if I could scalp tickets to a modern day nativity scene, I'd make a bundle and I'm sure the wise men would have been financially compensated as well as any deserving hedge fund manager. And the local municipality of Bethlehem, WV would be an ideal choice for the nativity. Not only does it overlook my home, it's in a good centralized location with convenient I-470 access.

And there's a few animals in the scene as well. I noticed a few sheep, 2 camels and there was some kind of donkey/ass hybrid. Maybe it was a wildebeest - hard to discern.
Anyway, considering my vast years of sign manipulation, maybe it's time to STEP IT UP and inspire future generations. After all, this is a Christian Nation... right? Here's what I'm thinking. Now stay with me. If you slightly altered some of the relative positioning of these characters, you could have the first ever pornographic nativity scene with just a light hint of bestiality. And since I've already been repeatedly condemned to spend eternity in hell (for past transgressions), it doesn't really matter. I've got nothing to lose. No harm no foul.

Alright, here's the specs. First, you'd want to have a straight up sodomy scene with two of the wise men. One is hunched over admiring baby Jesus, so all you'd have to do is lean the wise guy up against the other crouched wise man. We could call it Hidden Penis, Crouching Wise Guy.
The sheep scene would be easy. Basically, just go with a straight-forward humping theme. Done. Now here's where it gets a little weird. For some of you, we may have already gotten there. There's this camel that's seated, but his neck and head are up in there air. Fortunately and regrettably, that puts him in the perfect position to deliver fellatio to one of the wise men. As the recipient, he'd be discreetly enjoying himself yet remain surprisingly nonchalant.
Finally, here's the lynch-pin of the operation. And this is where I'm obviously going to take a little heat. I would place the baby Jesus in its crib/blanket on top of the donkey's back. As he rests peacefully without a care in the world, the Mother Mary is underneath the donkey in the much heralded, but almost never utilized, 69 position. One of the sheep or final wise-men could be observing, waiting patiently for his turn.
There also might be a chicken which really opens up a new world of possibilities. I'll need to take a closer look the next time I drive by.
Rest assured, my intention here is not to upset anyone, just maybe shake things up a little in smalltown USA. And most important, in keeping with the long-standing tradition of sign alteration, there is absolutely no tolerance for vandalism. This is the most fundamental and sacred principle of the sign altering code of ethics. All I'd be doing is about 70 seconds worth of repositioning. And if it ever gets done, I'm thinking maybe December 25... ohhh, I'd say about 5:30am sounds about right. Application of the relative time theory literally begs for this in our new age of asymmetrical warfare. In all honesty, I doubt I'll be awake.

Since it's the holiday season, one final thought. I used to work with this demented woman named Kathy at the Bears Against Drugs telemarketing operation. She'd chain smoke her cheap menthols and had this quirky manner of talking on the phone - straight run-on sentences to avoid being interrupted. And she'd methodically read the obituaries and make these crazed comments to anyone who would bother listen. Although I'd egg her on, most would ignore her. One time she's reading about a deceased young boy named Timmy. She started singing this song aloud, "Santa's got lots of toys, for all the girls and boys." Then she tilts her head, looks at me and says, "Well, except for Timmy, he's dead!" I'll never escape that warped, haunting voice.

Alright, one more Bears Against Drugs story. They once hired this 20 something kid who could neither read nor write. He was there for maybe 2-3 days and then they had to fire him, or he quit - I do not know. Anyway, every once in a while, someone would inquire - "Where do the proceeds go for this charitable cause?" Considering that the whole operation was a money-making sham, we were told to offer up one legitimate explanation. We'd tell people that some of the money goes to stock teddy bears in all the troopers' cruisers so in case they come upon an accident where a child has been traumatized, they can give the kid a "Teddy Hug-A-Bear" til the proper counseling agents arrive at the scene. This would theoretically help pacify the child as his remaining family members were extracted from the minivan using the jaws of life. Anyway, one time an old woman asked the "where does the money go" question to the new kid. He starts screaming into the phone, "Ma'am, trooper give 'em Teddy Hug-A-Bear. It makes 'em understand! Yes Ma'am! It makes 'em understand! Ma'am, trooper give 'em Hug-A-Bear! Hug-A-Bear Ma'am!" This may have been the greatest moment in the entire history of the West Virginia Troopers Association and their scandal-ridden Bears Against Drugs program. To this day, I doubt the old woman understood what the fuck he was yelling about, but trust me... I assure you... I understand!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Palin book signing

So I went to the Sarah Palin book signing at Sam's Club in Washington, PA yesterday. I got there at 11:10am, right when she emerged from her tour bus. It truly was a rock concert atmosphere, and lo and behold, I was prepared. Armed with my sign, I headed into the fray...

4,000 YEARS OLD ?


The thing that distinguishes my sign from all others - My sign ain't some ghetto marker bullshit. I used vinyl lettering and had it stapled to wooden posts with a triangular backdrop, thus enhancing its stature. Once you elevate the sign above crowd level, you're begging for the added attention.
I received some surprisingly positive vibes out front for a a while. Several people wanted pictures and I was more than happy to oblige. Then, this Associated Press guy told me the line was on the side. Giddy with excitement, I turned the Sam's Club corner and saw a massive throng of probably 1,200. Witnessing this crowd of Palinites emboldened everything I stand for. At this instant, the sole purpose for my entire existence became refreshingly clear. I was going to PISS THEM OFF.
I hoisted my sign with unmitigated exuberance. As I said, there's a key to a good sign - you have elevate it above eye level. That way, everyone has to see it. They don't have a fucking choice. Anyway, a few scattered boos immediately erupted. Then, a chant of GO HOME GO HOME GO HOME! This mad me feel alive! My blood was pulsating as I started "pumping" the sign in the air.
"Hey, I'm just expressing my first amendment rights at this pleasant book signing." An embittered old man yelled, "Hey, Obama thinks there's 57 states!" Another beckoned, "Look at the lonely Democrat!" I just smiled with the giddiness of a 13 year old girl checking her myspace account. I "heart" this shit! Then, the crowd starts chanting "SARAH SARAH SARAH!"
So a Sam's Club rep comes out and tells me I have to leave. I tell him I'm not going to budge. By then, the crowd had softened and the ridicule had become increasingly sporadic. I tell him, "If you want me gone, you'll have to get the manager. I don't understand why this guy's allowed to have a sign (Some mo-ron had a piece of shit sign that said "GO SARAH GO" - how inventive!) and I'm not permitted to show mine. Anyway, he gets the "real" manager and 2 Wash Pa cops. The one cop looked at me and smiled while silently mouthing the words "I like your sign." The other cop was totally unamused. He flashed me this look of disgust, but I don't think it was directed at me. It was more of a "why the fuck am I here on a Saturday morning at a Sarah Palin book signing in Western Pennsylvania look."
I tried to get the WTAE camera guy and reporter to take an active interest. "What's it going to take for me to get this sign on the news?" The reporter dude asked me, "Exactly what are you hoping to accomplish?" I fired back, "I'm trying to piss everyone off. What do you think I'm tryin to do? Let's git'r'dun!" Then he said, "Well, if they arrest you, we'd probably put that on the news." "Well, I want to go running and hit this party later. It's called the Feast of Friends but some call it The Annual Fisting of Friends." I don't think he had a clue where I was coming from.
Anyway, the manager guy is begging me to leave. "Sir, I have a family. Will you please just leave. This is private property." I started hedging a bit, trying to rally the crowd but they weren't galvanized like before. All of a sudden, this autistic teenage kid charges at me, yelling and flailing. He narrowly missed me, his mother chasing after him. After another 10 minutes or so of gabbing back and forth with the manager, I relented, "Alright, I'm outta here." As I walked away, there was a spattering of applause. I just nodded.
In any event, I think it was a worthwhile experience. I managed to piss off a thousand hardcore Palin lovers in a congested setting. And Notre Dame lost in double OT. I'd say it was a good day. Good day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

President Palin

Think I'm joking. Sound far-fetched. Perhaps. Let me ask though... Is it conceivable that she could actually win the Republican nomination? At first glance, I'd say it's doubtful, but consider the following scenario. Who really knows what will be happening by the time 2011 rolls around. I think the economy will be in the tank. I just can't foresee an improving economic climate. I imagine the massive government spending will have done little to stimulate the job market. I envision continued high unemployment, higher gas prices and inflation in general, and even more government debt as Obama will need to rebuild the military infrastructure. I'm not even factoring in the Obamacare debacle assuming it goes through in some form.
My point - I expect the economy to still be dragging. You can place the blame wherever you want (8 years of Bush, Obama, the Federal Reserve, continuing housing foreclosures, the American people, China decides they want to collect on our debt, etc. blah). I think the majority of the American public would agree that the overall economy will not be in good shape; thus, a continued economic recession as Obama seeks reelection. How about throwing in a domestic or foreign terrorist attack to really undermine confidence since he's generally (and unfairly) viewed as weak on defense. If the economy is totally sucking the balls of Senator Robert Byrd, someone might see an opening.
Alright, here's where it gets interesting. Let's say hypothetically that some heavyweight politician in the Democratic party decides he/she wants to make a run. I'm thinking Al Gore. Basically, he'd position himself as a conservative Democrat but run as an Independent. Crazier things have happened. Al Gore would definitely fit the bill. He has amassed an enormous amount of cash and has wide ranging support. Assuming Obama's popularity has significantly dwindled, you now have a 3 way race. A large portion of the country is still disgusted with both political parties and he wouldn't have to waste huge amounts of cash in a hotly contested primary. Plus, Gore already ran what appeared to be some kind of "angry populist" campaign back in 2000.

Obama - Democrat
Gore - Independent
Palin - Republican

Ohhh, wait a second. I forgot to explain how Palin gets the nomination in the first place. That was supposed to be the main gist of this blog as I'm watching this parade of idiots stand in line (at the crack of dawn) for her book signing in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana. Regardless of whether you love Sarah or hate her (I'm with the latter), you've got to admit one thing - she definitely rallies the base. I'm talking about the evangelicals and the pro-lifers. And the "patriots" love her. These are the people who mindlessly chant "USA USA" and "Drill Baby Drill" and they love to wear sweatshirts w/ the American flag. Just an aside, I'm hardly a fashion consultant but when people wear those sweatshirts with the American flag on them, they look like disoriented buffoons. Some advice - just stick with a more tasteful lapel pin or mini-hand held flag.
There's a significant portion of the Republican base that has this churchlike mentality. They don't question anything, they tend to embrace the easiness of follow the leader and they despise the mainstream media. These are the "prayer warriors" and guess what... THEY VOTE!
It's hard to say who the major players on the Republican ticket will be in 2012. I'd say Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin are the most likely. Romney has a considerable personal fortune but I don't think he has had a lot of success raising money. Huckabee is trying desperately to increase his popularity on Fox News, but I think it has leveled off. Palin, regardless of whether you think she's a complete moron, is on fire right now. A book tour through all the battleground states and a glaring anti-big govt and anti-media message, not to mention her PAC which will probably fare well. She's positioning herself outside the establishment. Romney will have trouble shaking that robotic government mentality. And not to sound like a dickhead, but Huckabee's wife KILLS him. She just doesn't look the part of a first lady. Maybe back in the early 1800's she'd have been an ideal President's wife. I'm sure she's a nice gal and a helluva bowler, but this woman is FRUMPZILLA. And we're talking a few more years down the road. The aging process will not treat her kindly.
Let's take a look at the first three states in the Republican primary - Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Huckabee scored a convincing win in Iowa in 2008. He did this on the backs of the evangelicals. Iowa is loaded with them and they propelled him to victory. These are the same people that have a serious distrust of Mormons. Some even equate Mormonism with voodoo and Satanism. I'm not joking. I think this destroys Romney. Obviously, Romney is the most qualified to represent the real Republican party message (fiscal conservatism across the board, endless tax cuts and 1950's social values). But I think this Mormon thing kills him with the base.
In the end, I think Huckabee just can't raise the money. Most of his supporters veer toward Palin who, despite being a complete idiot, has this inspirational underdog charisma. Americans love an underdog, particularly one who waves a flag.
This sets up a Palin vs. Romney showdown. Palin takes Iowa. Romney squeaks out a victory in New Hampshire, but will then get clobbered in bible belt heaven - rural South Carolina. By this time, Palin has enough momentum to carry through. I could see it transpiring a lot like the Bush Jr. vs. McCain saga.
Don't forget how much money she'll make from the proceeds of her book. Of course, all this would hinge on a Ross Perot-like character emerging and running as an independent. How about someone like a Tom Hanks? Crazier things have happened. There's plenty of wealthy people in the U.S. with enormous egos. Could any of them snag the presidency - I doubt it. However, I'm sure there's a few mega-millionaires out there who wouldn't mind throwing a wrench into the 2012 campaign. Just something to think about. As I've said before, crazier things have happened.

I will be at the Sarah Palin book signing in Washington, PA at Sam's Club on Saturday. I'll dust off my sign...

4,000 YEARS OLD?

Why will I do this? The reason is two-fold. First and foremost, I'm totally enamored with the concept of pissing off everyone who loves Sarah Palin. And they'll all be there in a convenient, discernible, congested location. Rock! These morons need to know that not everyone is not in love with the ex-governor of Alaska. Not everyone loves her 5 kids or the fact that she's a hockey mom. I've always thought Bush Jr. was incredibly dangerous because, simply stated, he just wasn't intelligent enough to be President. An aloof neo-con is bad enough, but for the love of fucking God, where does this place Sarah Palin on the totem pole?
The other reason I'll go - I gotta get some more use out of that sign (as I'm sure any true utilitarian would agree).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

cell phone noise

I just came up with an idea. And here it is.
Consider the following scenario. Steelers are at home next week. They're up 20 to 14 on the Cincinnati Bengals (gay/lame). It's late in the fourth quarter/2 minute warning and the Bengals have the ball in the red zone w/ no time outs. Everyone at Heinz Field is making as much noise as humanly possible. The whistling, the screaming, the yelling, the cursing - here's my idea...
Why doesn't everyone in the entire fucking stadium blare the ringer on their cell phone at maximum volume? This could emerge as the most insanely annoying fad of the decade and beyond. It would certainly increase the overall noise traffic. I'm not an expert on sound logistics but if you've got 65,000 blaring phones, that's a big deal. And there's no way you'd overload the network because you're not dialing numbers. You're just hitting the volume thing/ringer button.
I remember in the late 1990's when the Minnesota Vikings got busted for piping in additional crowd noise through their speakers at the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome. I think the NFL fined the organization and the matter pretty much resolved itself.

Can you fathom the impact? Carson Palmer's back there trying to call audibles and he's overwhelmed by this crazed random blur of electronic noise.
The question is - how do you encourage an entire stadium to act like a bunch of moronic cell phone blaring fuckheads? Maybe if a player or coach were to accidentally let the idea slip in a press conference. I suppose you could encourage fans to blare their phones via the widescreen. Not sure how well that would go over with the NFL front office though. My point - once this precedent has been established, it would be incredibly difficult to undo. All sports and stadiums of all sizes could apply. I imagine the effect in dome stadiums would be near unbearable.

Let us pray this whole thing never happens. If I were responsible for introducing this calamitous shitstorm of noise to the sports world, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Broadview/Brinks Home Security

Has anyone seen these new home security system commercials? They really take it to another level. In the middle of the afternoon in an upscale neighborhood, a mom and her daughter finish playing in the yard. As they enter the house, she asks her daughter if she wants a snack. Then, she adeptly activates the alarm code. This turns out to be a wise move as a nearby "runner" is passively tying his sneakers. Then, with no warning, the guy charges the front door and does a flying karate kick. The door busts open. As the alarm goes off, the mom and daughter start screaming and the crazed maniac intruder vanishes off into the distance.

"Brinks Home Security, this is John. Is everything ok?"
The panicky mom replies, "No, someone just tried to break in!"
John calmly informs her, "Don't worry ma'am. We're sending help right now."

Alright, praise the lord, the alarm system did its job. However, this commercial asked more questions then it answers. First, is this a normal mode of entry for an intruder - a flying crane kick straight out of Karate Kid Part II? I assume this guy's motivation is not robbery. I'm guessing he wants to rape the mom while the daughter is forced to watch. Either that or kill both of them. If he wanted to rob the house, I doubt he'd use such brash tactics in pure daylight.
I'm also wondering how a strong door like that just gets smashed to smithereens. If I tried to kick in my front door, I doubt it would easily break apart in one fail swoop. Also, is it normal to activate the alarm EVERYTIME you enter your home. I thought you just activate these things at night or when you go on vacation.
Our house was robbed a couple times when I was young. One time, we came back from a vacation and a bunch of stuff was stolen. The bastard took stuff from everyone except me. As a 6 year old, I felt left out so I went up to my room and threw clothing everywhere. Then, I came down to the kitchen and said, "They did a number on me too." I don't think my mother or father were amused. The robber also took a massive shit in the garage. As we surveyed the poop scene/crime scene, it left an indelible image in my head. I'll never forget the cop (Wheeling's version of Inspector Detector) saying, "Yeah, defecation is common. It's the adrenalin. When you gotta go, you gotta go." I even remember asking the cop if they were going to take the poop to the lab and have it analyzed. I remember my father telling me I should clean up the shit and then straighten up my room.
After this whole fiasco, we got an alarm system right before our next family vacation. It was a motion sensor with an incredibly loud alarm. Anyway, dad pretended to reenact the movements of the newspaper boy and sure enough, the thing starts blaring at 7am, waking up the whole neighborhood. We ended up disconnecting the thing and just left this bullhorn contraption attached to the house. We were never robbed again. The bullhorn looked rather menacing but was never hooked up. Turns out it was an effective deterrent.
My point is that Brinks really ups the ante. I've never seen home security commercials push it to this level of fear mongering. I think rather than spend god knows what on an alarm system, installation fee and yearly security payment, maybe it would be best to just attach one of these bullhorn devices in a prominent position. Or maybe just get a little sticker for the front door. Of course, the sticker probably wouldn't deter a mass murderer/rapist.
I'm kind of surprised the Brinks commercial didn't go with a black intruder. I'm sure their marketing team discussed it but didn't want to cause a firestorm. Really though, if you're going all out, why not play the race card?
There's another Brinks commercial where a couple get done with their date. The woman informs him, "I just got out of a bad relationship and want to take it slow." The man nods in agreement. They shake hands and he quietly departs. Then, all of a sudden, the guy's back and pissed off. He violently smashes through the glass door and tries to turn the knob. Fortunately, the alarm scares him off. Wow, this guy had a major shift in attitude. What the hell provoked him anyway? He seemed fine but then instantly turned psychotic.
I'm from small town America and live in an isolated location, but I'm just not familiar with any of these crazed maniacal intruders. These Brinks commercials would make for a fantastic parody on the internet. Could be a big a hit, like the Snuggie one.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

it must be me...

There seems to be a concentrated effort by the media to "dumb down" the population of the United States. I'm going to offer a few disconnected examples. Trust me, they're endless.
Gig mentioned how she was concerned about the background music in today's cartoons. I really didn't give it much of a thought until we were zipping through the channels and landed on an old Pink Panther episode. The background music was this risque jazz. Then we flipped to a Dora the Explorer cartoon and it was just a series of quirky noises - eerily similar to the noises you might hear at Wheeling Downs Casino. Take a minute and reflect on the old Bugs Bunny cartoons - they all employ Beethoven, Mozart, etc. The music is vastly more stimulating. These new Teletubby cartoons don't really even have actual music. It's more of a blipping feed of silliness, designed to leave you in a trance. I wouldn't describe the music as good or bad, but rather fun or sad.
This phenomenon seems to have spilled over to the popular social networking site Facebook. There are two different types of status updates. Some people try and provide a comical quip or something insightful about current events. But for most people, this is far too difficult. The lack of creativity is truly mesmerizing. Let's check out an example...

Status update: I just ate some chicken lo mien - YUMMY!

Aside from pressing the "like this" button (truly an indicative marker of higher consciousness)...

here are 5 typical follow up comments.

1) I just had shrimp lo mien yesterday. Mmmmm.
2) Stop it! Your making me hungry! (always with the incorrect usage of "you're")
3) LOL - my cat's nickname is fried rice!
4) I'm so jealous! My stomach is growling! Hee hee.
5) I always thought were a Kung pao kinda girl.

My point is this. People seem satisfied to just make these relatively innocuous, meaningless observations. It's the more popular way to engage in discussion or touching base with a friend and it's becoming increasingly socially acceptable. I'm curious if you asked these facebook addicts, "When was the last time you sent someone an email which had 10 or more sentences?" I seriously doubt any of them has. Constructing anything of length or substance might require too much exertion. I'd actually have to think about what I want to say and put it in writing. Isn't it just easier to make a follow-up comment about the weather or how tired you are?

This generally simplistic mindset has been a force in the national media. Think about it - when the Bush administration sold us on the war in Iraq they used incredibly simple tag lines.

We must fight them there, so we don't have to fight them here.
They hate us because they hate our freedom.
You're either with us or against us.
This is a battle for civilization - good vs. evil.
Osama Bin Laden - wanted dead or alive.

And you hear it today with regard to the Obama administration. The regurgitation of key buzzwords - socialist, fascist, elitist, racist, etc. With the consistent "dumbing down" of the U.S. population, the trend of defining incredibly complex problems with brash slogans and endless zippy refrains continues unabated (Drill Baby Drill was the rallying cry for 40% of the fucking country). Think about it - Why on earth would I want to reflect on a problem when I can be force fed the answer from the political commentator of my choice? It's just so much easier.

Facebook has made it even more efficient. If you want to be informed, it's not a problem. You can take a quiz specifically designed to for you. My favorite one is "God wants you to know..." WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? Do people really achieve some sense of gratification or self-fulfillment when the result comes back - "God wants you to know... that even when things seem darkest, you are loved by many. God thinks that you can pull through any hardship because God loves you and knows that you're a fighter." Are people really unable to ascertain that this is a group of English majors/techies sitting in an office in Mountain View, California spewing forth this drivel? Why are people perpetually compelled to take these quizes? I guess it's kind of a modern day horoscope - something I've always found equally revolting. Oh wait, now I get it - I'll fill out the questionnaire where I describe myself as yippety, outgoing, affectionate, and then lo and behold, the answer "Golden Retriever" comes up. That "what kind of dog are you" quiz was spot on. F'in A!

My favorite example of this will always be the sub-humans who pay the yearly fee for their personalized license plates. What did they put on it? Well, their initials of course! JWL - stands for John William Lewis. Wow, how cool is that? This could be the most uninspired gesture of all time. Well, unless it was JWL II. Yes! The father/son combo vanity plates. As if it couldn't get any worse. Yet is is consistent with the 2 precepts of our new societal trend - Keep it quick and simple and for the love of Christ, don't make me think about it! This is America - I don't need to think. I will buy the Abercrombie & Fitch shirt because it says "Abercrombie and Fitch" on it. What more could I possibly want? And look, it was marked down 70%. What a steal!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Gig and I hit up half of the 4 night Pearl Jam stand at the Wachovia Spectrum in Philly. On the planet earth, Philadelphia is the place to be. Aside from a 4 night string of Pearl Jam shows, there's the World Series and a Sunday night Eagles-Giants game. Oh yeah, and it's Halloween. Every once in a while, the cosmic forces of music and sports combine to create a turbulent, frenzied atmosphere. This was one of those deals.
Pearl Jam reminds me of the Dead from 20 years ago. Obviously not the music, but the manner in which it's delivered. And of course the desire to "set up shop" in a city for an extended duration; then upon completion, get the hell out of town.
We hit the highway early Tuesday armed with only a sign...

(PA Turnpike)

I've always thought the PA turnpike subliminally discourages economic development in central PA. It seems like there's a subliminal message to get from one end of Pennsylvania to the other with as little exploration as possible. Sometimes, it's the unexpected destinations that define a vacation. And while there are those who extract enjoyment from purchasing a Penn State beanie baby at a Roy Rogers gift shop, suffice to say, I am not one of that ilk/mindset.
We got to our hotel (1/2 mile from the arena) by mid-afternoon. I chose the Holiday Inn by the stadium complex so we wouldn't have to worry about traffic/driving/parking. In retrospect, a wise decision. The hotel was loaded with Pearl Jam fans but was relatively calm and guarded. We set off on our ticket quest an hour before the show. We avoided the scalpers and walked up to the line of fans about to enter. This one kid offered Gigi a freebie which she snagged up. Not bad, $77 ticket for zilch. I ended up buying a single for 20 bucks. Again, not bad. I was prepared to dish out a little more than a twenty.
We met up with an unruly crowd in the parking lot - a half dozen characters in their mid 30's. While I explained my future 9/11 follow up predictions to a guy chugging a bottle of McMasters, Gigi spotted a backpack. McMac took my cue and predicted it was an IED. We went over to inspect, and lo and behold, it was filled with luke-cold Keystone Light. Sweet. I used to drink that stuff in college. The McMasters guy seemed to harp on the idea of having a threesome with me and Gig. We both found this oddly disturbing. I assumed he was joking but Gig thought he was for real. Perhaps, my small town yokel heritage has me immune to the aberrant sexual proclivites of the big city types.
Next, we split a large bag of generic potato chips with a local brother & sister couple and gulped down the rest of our drinks. We opted to skip the opening act Social Distortion. We zipped inside and took our favorite place on the right side of the stage. Pretty much eye-level with the band about four rows up from the floor. The first few rows were cautioned taped off, so we were pretty much front row, aisle seats on the side in front of Mike McCready. KILLER SEATS (especially, for 20 bucks total). It always ceases to amaze me that more concert goers don't flock to the side of the stage.
I was expecting a slow, anthem opener like Release or Long Road. Fuck that - Corduroy, Whipping and Hail Hail. Great energy. A few songs later they played my favorite song - Faithful (never heard it before live). Toward the end of the night, they played Leash - one of Gig's favorites. There was a group of a half dozen lesbians next to us with a young girl. They had a sign indicating it was her first Pearl Jam show. Towards the end of the night, one of the roadies handed her a large copy of the set list. This was BAD ASS. We have a picture of this. One of these days, I'll step into the 90's and learn how to upload this stuff. I imagine that it would necessitate learning how to take pictures or perhaps purchasing a camera.
After the show, we walked back to the hotel in a steady downpour. We were pretty much oblivious. We entered the hotel through the restricted employee area (I guess this was to compensate for not getting backstage at the Spectrum). Gig found a vending machine in the break room and purchased a cup of Ramen noodles. I'm not joking when I say, this was some of the best soup I've ever had. I'm not a chemical engineer for the Food and Drug Administration, but I'm pretty sure the main ingredient was salt.
Later that night, we were winding down and some kid mistakenly knocked on our door with a bag of McDonalds. Gig told him he had the wrong room - the kid was fucked up and disoriented. I thought it would have been great if she had snagged the bag of food and said "yoink" and shut the door on him. She showed a little discretion and let it go. Wise.
The next day we went to a diner near the stadium. I think it was called Oregon. Cheap, great food. She had a Spanish Omelette and I had a corned beef/pastrami reuben. I deemed it necessary to explore my Jew culinary leanings while in a real city on the East Coast. I was not disappointed. Arby's can take their reuben and stick it up their ass. Despite the cries of David Putty (Seinfeld), it does not feel like an Arby's night.
The show tonight would have a vastly different feel. Again, we snagged tickets for basically nothing (2 for $40). Keep in mind that face was $77 and the show was sold-out. Only the first night was not a sell-out. We made our way in and quickly realized it would be more challenging to get back our seats from the previous night. No caution taped off area and the security people were complete bitches. I realize they're just doing their jobs but this one black woman was a complete (rhymes with the last name of Candid Camera host Allan Funt).
We got jostled a little bit for the first few tunes. Once again, an aggressive opener - Animal. Five songs in we decided to bolt for the other side of the stage. A wise move. We found some good seats again. Right off the side of the stage but on the opposite side next to the keyboardist Boone Gasper. In retrospect, this was cool because we got a different angle of the band. The band was definitely "on" but I think we both this preconception that everything would happen just like the previous night. Both nights were really different.
A burlesque dancer in full regalia would walk out every so often with scoring updates of the Phillies/Yankees game. First it was 2-0, then 4-0, then 6-0 as the crowd went nuts each time. Very cool idea. At the end of the show, this big dude was pissed because some pipsqueak with a Yankees ball cap through an empty cup of beer at him. It hit him in the leg. He went over and started pushing and shoving. The security dude (a really cool black dude who I thanked after the show for not bitching about if we had the right tickets) broke it up. Then, one of the girlfriends started doing a windmill. We opted to take off.
Gig left her scarf on the other side of the arena. We were accosted by security and they said we weren't allowed to go over there. Meanwhile, there's tons of people everywhere and another scuffle breaks out between Phillies and Yankees fans in the hallway). We explained our case, but they weren't budging. Finally, I said "well, we're all doing the best we can" and walked through. We went over and retrieved the scarf. We then walked back over and showed it to the dude - much to our chagrin, he seemed indifferent.
Made it back to the hotel and crashed. Woke up early the next morning and I hustled us out the door by 9. On our way back, 376 was clogged up due to traffic. Gig showed me a shortcut. We were driving through the Regent Square section of town and watched this kid pick up and throw down to the ground this other kid. Then he started a brief session of "UFC ground and pound" as I watched in the rearview mirror (and yes, they played RV Mirror the first night). How prophetic. What is with all the mindless violence? I think it has something to do with this prevailing "rich, overweight suburban whitey trying to emulate the inner city Philly street thug" attitude. It might also explain why my neighbor has attained the status/nickname of "mother fucking cock sucking piece of shit ass."
So all in all, we got to see 50% of the East Coast tour. Not bad. Despite the fact that I'm rapidly approaching the big 40, it made me feel like a kid again. My concert traveling days are far behind me, but just this ONCE...

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I took advantage of a rare opportunity yesterday. I went to hear Newt Gingrich (former Speaker of the House) speak at the Capitol Music Hall. As I approached the venue, there was a lone protester across the street with a sign that read

"Newt, where's your wife? ... FAMILY VALUES"

The sign was mangy, very ghetto and appeared hastily written. I gave the man a brief thumbs down and headed in. I had to sign in so I used my alias Eric Stone and my neighbor's address. I hope he gets plenty of teabagger-oriented direct mail in the future.
What was reported as a crowd of over 1,200 looked like about 700 tops. The crowd was overwhelmingly old and white. Not much of a minority presence but I honestly wasn't expecting that to be the case. I quietly took a seat on the right side. I couldn't help but notice an armed presence on both sides of the stage. 3 cops were on hand and several were outside milling in the lobby. The 3 cops directly in front kind of reminded me of The Doors movie when Jim Morrison's on stage and he harasses them. Rest assured, I had no plans to tar and feather Newt (Benny Hinn style) or even resort to the age-old "pie in the face" routine.
I must say, Newt is an incredibly gifted speaker. The speech itself centered around 5 main themes - be true to yourself, dream big, get an education, blah... Do you get the drift? Have you garnered my inference? I will say one thing though. At least he adapted the speech to fit the citizens and challenges of the Ohio Valley. And he did a very effective job. His biggest applause lines came when he railed against Hollywood and the 9th circuit. However, he did put forth an incredibly effective slogan -


Basically, it's a call for personal and governmental fiscal responsibility and accountability. The idea being, that if it doesn't sound right, it won't ad up. This would make a tremendous campaign theme for the Republicans in 2010. I would not be surprised if we see it in the future. The Republicans need a more resonant message than the endless, wuss-sounding homoerotic teabag refrain. Teabag? Just sounds plain weird and kind of has this elitist European twang. If I were a corpulent Republican 7th Day Adventist conservative running for office in the deep south, here's the slogan I would use...


It's simple, powerful and sets a good framework for delivering a message of fiscal sanity in the wake of massive government spending. A prominent Republican, maybe a John Boehner (R-OH), should latch onto this. I'll never be a Republican spokesman, but trust me on this one.

Back to Newt's speech... He really is a gifted orator. I can see why the Republicans rallied around him in the early Clinton years. At the end of the speech, he took about 5 or 6 questions. I was really tempted to address him but chickened out. I was going to ask either of these 2 questions.

Mr. Ex-Speaker, during your speech you stressed the importance of science and education. The Republican party appears to be very anti-science these days, particularly regarding the theory of evolution. As a former professor and scholar, and having a major leadership role in the Republican party, how would resolve this inconsistency?

My other question which I really liked was...

Mr. Ex-Speaker, as an observer of the Georgia political scene, shortly after 9/11 in 2002, I followed the defeat of Max Clelland (D) to current Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss (R). It was regarded as one of the nastiest campaigns in U.S. history. Clelland was a triple amputee Vietnam veteran. Chambliss got repeated draft deferments during Vietnam because of his "bad knee." Chambliss' prominent tv ad implied that Clelland was a Bin Laden sympathizer and Al Quada supporter because he voted against a funding measure for the Department of Homeland Security. Do you think these political ads were reasonable and/or justified?

I would loved to see how the crowd responded to either of these. I wonder how many in the crowd would have known what the hell I'm talking about in regard to the 2nd question. I'm guessing about 5-10%, possibly more. I should have made my way to the front. I just seem to lack "balls" these days - I think it's called testicular fortitude. However, I am going to see Pearl Jam in Philly at the end of the month. That requires a minimal amount of passion.
All in all, I came away from Newt's speech with a better understanding and appreciation of the guy. If the Republican party wishes a a return to power, they should follow his lead. But they'll probably stick with the hot-button issues - abortion, guns and anything anti-gay. Anything that enrages and rallies the base. A word of advice for any Republican running for national office. Put the bible away for a year or so. Use a hand held calculator as a prop instead. And focus more on Congress cuz against Obama you got NO CHANCE.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Burlington Coat Factory Woman

Yesterday, a woman from Columbus, Ohio rented a Hummer limo and was dropped off in front of a Burlington Coat Factory. She told the crowd she had just won the lottery (1.5 million) and was going to pay for their purchases. Of course, she hadn't won shit. She was just a moron seeking adoration from anonymous strangers. Anyway, when the crowd finally determined it was all a hoax a riot ensued. Customers trashed the place and many made off with stolen merchandise.
I find this story amusing because it involves 2 things I have great disdain for (limos and the lottery). I'd like to encourage someone to try this in Wheeling. I'd even be willing to drive and you don't have to tip me.
We could hit TJ's Sportsgarden for the lunch rush. We'll pull up directly in front of the entrance and I'll put the hazards on. That will help create a minimal buzz. Can you fathom some idiots paying a grand for a limo and then having the wisdom to dine at TJ's. Sounds about right. Anyway, I'd love to see the fall-out from this one. You make the same announcement. Lunch and drinks are on me! People start ordering the most expensive item on the menu. I'm not sure what it is - maybe something called "Beef Tips and Noodles." People at the bar start ordering endless shots (probably Jagerbombs and Irish Car Bombs).
After you make a hasty exit, word starts to gradually spread that it was all a hoax. When the bills and bar tabs are delivered, people go apeshit. If I were there, I'd whip out a Swiss army knife and start carving up the felt surface of the pool tables. You could carve the words "Wheeling Feeling." Some drunken slob could knock over the popcorn machine. Little kids could piss outside the urinals. All the waitresses would be blowing those whistles around their necks. Total, absolute chaos.
On the way out, maybe the mob could tip over the TJ's delivery mobile. Have you seen this thing? Apparently, the new hotel up the road doesn't have room service but you can have food delivered from TJ's. Have you seen their Philly cheese steak lunch special? Wouldn't it be funny when someone orders that thing and they get that miniaturized shaved steak-um sandwich? The "famous" coleslaw (I'm not sure why it's designated as famous) would have spilled all over the sandwich. Mmmm, soggified steak-um shit. I wonder how many people have been dissatisfied with their meals and tried to send them back. I don't envy that delivery driver. He/she has their work cut out for them.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

rare church dinner

On Tuesday, September 22 I was given 2 tickets for a church dinner at the United Methodist Church in Elm Grove. A total retail value of $16.00. Far be it from me to dismiss a free dinner. I'd be willing to dine with some of the most despised figures in history (Hitler, Stalin, Obama, etc.) provided they feed me. So Friday was the big day. Justin, Danno and I had just finished golfing at Wheeling Puke. Before heading to the Alpha, I deemed it necessary to cash in these tickets. Elm Grove was a traffic nightmare. Translated into Wheeling terms that means there was a line of over 50 cars on National Road which would take an 5 extra minutes. We parked and headed in.
I had never been to this particular church and you could tell there was a definable, palpable sense of excitement in the air. We calmly entered the recreational center of this house of God. There were a few people congregated by the door and for one brief second, my scalping instincts almost kicked in. Hell, I could have gotten 2 for $15. Fortunately, I reconsidered. It would have been in incredibly poor taste - trying to dish off 2 comp dinner tix w/ the negligible dollar off.
I couldn't help but notice - this crowd was kind of like an Ohio County Mehlman's Cafeteria. Very old. A virtual zephyr of cascading white hair. I'd say about 120 men and women were there, all over the age of 70. I spotted about 3 children. Of course, we got there early (about 5:10pm), well before the probable dinner rush, well before they got the party started up in the church n'at. We quickly zipped to a back room and were warmly greeted. Asked to make our selections, Justin opted for dark meat and Dutch apple pie. I went for the more conventional white meat and chocolate cake. Armed with a Riesbeck's bag of multiple styrofoam containers, we bolted for the door. I dropped him off and zipped to the Alpha. I would later eat my dinner around 8pm.
Here are my observations. I applaud the organizational and efficiency efforts of the Methodists. We were in and out in easily less than 3 minutes. Their preparation was stellar. I thought it might be one of those scenarios where we had to wait in a long buffet line, where elderly people made mindless chit chat about the weather and if there were any low sodium selections. Not the case.
All the food tasted great, but had an overwhelming mushlike consistency. Of course, I would expect that mashed potatoes have a creamy origin, but the chicken breast also had this overcooked, melt-in-your-mouth vibe. The green beans - same thing. They kind of disintegrated and became one with the soaked oil/margarine conglomerate. The coleslaw, aka mushslaw, was presented in an ill-sized container. The miniaturized roll was quite good. My chocolate cake came with a tiny container of some kind of pomegranate puree adornment. More likely it was raspberry jello topping.
So here's my final review of church dinner...
The food was just way too mushy. There's probably a direct correlation between mushiness and lack of teeth.
The energy level in the place was slightly below mediocre.
The service and cooperation were outstanding. I'll refer to this as the overall quality of the production.
Fortunately, nobody tried to convert me. This event was not prepared for a good old fashioned food fight. Could you imagine the headline in the Wheeling today?


At 5:03pm Friday, Wheeling police responded to a food fight at 125 Kruger Street. Local police used pepper spray to contain an irate Eric Saferstein. Apparently, his combative nature was the direct result of an earlier argument. A United Methodist Church representative claimed he was hurling accusations at the dinner crowd. "A pox on your house of worship. A pox on your godless gruel! It's all mushified damnit! Jesus Christ died for this chicken dinner!"
The Wheeling Police Chief later commented, "We had to take the biatch down, G20 style."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


The recent video of the phony pimp and hooker who enter an Acorn office and received tacit approval to defraud the IRS has left me speechless. Since I cannot use the spoken word, I'll try to put my thoughts on computer screen. This has to be one of the most ludicrous things I've ever seen. A thin, pale honky kid comes into the office dressed as an actual pimp. He's got a sequined robe and a cane for gods sake. And he looks like he's in his mid 20's. But wait, he's actually some kind of Michael Moore Republican filmmaker activist. The "hooker" has her ass hanging out in these spandex shorts. And I love the plastic mammoth loop earrings. They neglect to show her face but I'm sure she had a sufficient coating of rouge.
The pimp proudly explains to the Acorn rep (a black woman in her 40's) that he has a dozen Central American girls on his payroll. I like the illegal immigrant insinuation - nice touch. Then he proudly extols, "Some of them are underage!" Then, like most pimps, he wants to acquire a better understanding of his tax obligations to the IRS. The seemingly amused woman informs him that he "probably shouldn't make an issue of it and it might be wise to avoid reporting all this extra income on his tax returns."

Here is pure, verifiable truth that Acorn is a corrupt organization and they are actively engaged in trying to rip off the US government. Apparently, this is their "gotcha" moment and they're going to use it to dismantle Acorn. Acorn supports underage prostitution rings! Those bastards! Our hard earned tax dollars are being used to support teen prostitution. Beck, Hannity and O'Reilly are going to have a field day with this one! Limbaugh will probably have to go back on oxycontin.

The incident is eerily reminiscent of the deranged artist who submerged a cross in a jar of urine. I think it happened in the early 90's. Basically, you take one moron and use him/her as a poster child to damn an entire organization or political movement. In one fell swoop, this idiot managed to accidentally galvanize all of the churchies in America. Basically, this guy metaphorically urinated on every flag waving, social conservative Republican. After all, the National Endowment for the Arts was supported with taxpayer dollars, so in effect, the government was funding and advocating this disgusting, immoral artwork. I think it was the infamous Senator Jesse Helms who led the charge. The same man who claimed that it's impossible for a female rape victim to get pregnant because "the juices just aren't flowing."

What's both sad and amusing is that the whole Acorn incident was a set-up. The Acorn worker recognizes the degree of absurdity and seems to be playing along. The notion that Fox News would use this fugazi nonsense is borderline insane. The producers at Fox obviously believe this story has a degree of credibility. But it's more likely they think the majority of their viewers will find the story newsworthy. This speaks volumes about how they perceive their viewership and their collective abilities to dissect and ingest the daily news. At least the outcry over the urine crucifix was grounded in reality.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Cathy Mitchell

Who is Cathy Mitchell and why do I find her offensive? These are two questions which have plagued my mind for the past month or so. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, Cathy Mitchell is a grandmotherly woman who hosts a 30 minute infomercial for a product called "The Express Redi Set Go" indoor grill. It's basically a cheaper version of the George Foreman Grill with a timer and an emphasis on baking.
Saf, what could possibly be wrong with that? Some of us enjoy grilling and baking. Alright, since you asked... here we go.
Cathy and her partner (an overly cooperative, handsome older gentleman) take you on quite an adventure. They seem to be having the time of their lives in this half hour infomercial. The writers seemed to have taken a page from "Saved by the Bell" - the atrocious early 90's sitcom. Everything they do is just simply outlandlish. This cooking unit... it just brings families together. Everyone can get involved. It's just so easy. And of course the kids will love it. Most important, it's just too much fun. F-U-N fun!
Let me get a little specific. First, Cathy Mitchell's hairdo is some kind of teased up birds nest without the curling irons. Although she does not wear a house dress, her bodily shape literally cries out and begs to be adorned with one. I imagine it would read "Grandma's my name and spoiling's my game." What really angers me is the way she conducts herself. She has this crazy knack for inventing cutesy names for normally mundane food items.
For example, she'll put a frozen tater tot in one of the food wells and surround it with egg yolk and call the finished product an "Eggster." What the fuck is an eggster? I've never heard of this terminology. I can already envision a legion of preschoolers asking mommy to fix them eggsters. The thought of this makes me unhappy, but wait... there's more. How about a "Cini Mini?" A Cini Mini (And trust me, I'm filled with rage as I type the word Cini Mini) is simply a Cinnamon Biscuit but vastly more entertaining. You see it's just a third of a normal sized biscuit; thus, it has attained the status of mini. And wait, there's something even better on the jackass menu - a COOKIEZZA. Yep, it's pronounced Koo kee tsa. This is a combination of a cookie and a pizza. But in reality, it's just a large cookie. Never having been a big fan of dessert, I desperately want to take this disc shaped freshly baked cookie and smash her in the face with it. Nope, not a Laurel and Hardy pie in the face routine. This cookiezza would pack more of a punch due to the mitigating factor of no filling. As the blood pours from her broken nose, I would calmly celebrate.
Okay, there's more. She claims this grilling contraption is perfect for appetizers so she makes 5 crab stuffed mushrooms. Wow, there's a total of 5 miniature grilling compartments for the big party. Who the fuck is coming to this soiree? A delegation of Sudanese? Cathy Mitchell is so excited when she plates the crab stuffed mushrooms which incidentally look pretty disgusting. I have no doubt that Cathy (the fucking info-grandma) is a major proponent of imitation crab meat. I can see her whipping out her mammoth coupon collection kit searching for that 10 cents off discount on artificially flavor infused pollock.
It gets better. As if cookiezza wasn't enough, she gets all giddy when it's time for other desserts. She pours a dollop of chocolate batter mixture into one of the food wells. Then, she retrieves one of these "mystery" chocolates from a box of Russell Stovers. This is where the fun really starts. She has no idea what filling lies inside the mystery chocolate. I can't wait to bite into it and find that I was the recipient of the crappy strawberry marshmallow goo. Then she puts coconut macaroons in the other one. As my blood pressure begins to elevate and I start shaking violently, Cathy hears the Ding noise from another Redi Set Go Grill unit.
"Ohhhh, my pineapple upside down cake is finished. Oooooh." Other than the Darfurian immigrants, this cake could possibly feed a malnourished Haitian toddler as well.
There's more. Cathy likes to use the words "smoky links" and "little doggies" when referencing sausage. Surely this makes us all everyone cringe. I can't be alone on this one. She surrounds each of these "hound dogs" with pancake batter. When they're finished she offers a vat of syrup. Mmmmm - it's the preferred dipping sauce for morbidly obese Southern Baptists!

Just 2 easy payments of $19.99, plus s/h of $16.00. Thus bringing the grand total to $56 and change. Hey there, Cathy Mitchell, you yeast infected elderly fuck. I've got an innovative idea for you and your Express Redi Set Go . How about a skillet with a lid on it?

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Do Not Feel Good


I made this sign last night for Crue Fest at Starlake. It would turn out to be mildly prophetic. I like it due to the combination of grammatical ineptitude and general relevance (Dr. Feelgood tribute tour, ugghhh).
Anyway, my car has been out of commission (alternator), so Jepson and Kyla picked me up. I was a tad exhausted from a long day/night before and a 5 hour car ride earlier in the morning. However, the acquisition of 6 packs of Lone Star beef jerky at the Claysville Exxon buoyed my spirits. The Indian owner guy posed the usual question as I dumped $30+ worth of beef jerky on the counter, "Having a party, ehhh?" It's all about the dry texture and consistent infusion of salt/smoke. If I do atheist Christmas gift assortments (kind of like a Safshire Farms gift box), I would think Lone Star would be a definite as well as those hot mini-pepperoncinis.
Anyway, we cruise up to the show listening to Jepson's favorite band. They're an over-the-top metal throwback band with sexually graphic lyrics. For the life of me, I can't remember the name - I think it's Phantom Angel or something. Personally, I didn't mind hearing the cd one time, but I think once is sufficient. I am not a fan, but I will salute their use of the word "clitty." They must have stolen that off an episode of 7 Lives Exposed. I'd be willing to bet on it.
We get to the lot and they park us way off in Section N - basically this is like the Gobi Desert section of Mongolia. You're way off in the back. Fortunately, his extended crew was a few rows over. They had a large, canopy which seemed to have a hint of Downs Syndrome. I know that sounds harsh but the pop-up tent seemed to have this lethargic, drooping personality. It really didn't do much to provide shelter as the heat and sun were pretty brutal. We had a good time for a couple hours highlighted by some injectable pineapple/vodka jello shots.
As Theory of a Mailman hit the stage, people began to scatter and head in. I suggested we drive up and park at the top of the steps. We cruised up and a parking dude escorted us to a side area. Great spot. This helped with some of the later stages of people watching. We were sequestered for most of the tailgate so probably missed out on some high end freak shit. Remember, even though Motley Crue is kind of stale these days, they still inspire a generation.
Anyway, those guys went in for Godsmack. I ran into Gig and Nichole and basically hung with them by the limos. We zipped in for Motley Crue. The show was surprisingly weak. The vast majority of material was from the Dr. Feelgood cd - probably one of their weakest efforts. And they just sounded bad. I honestly don't remember much of the concert itself. I was far more interested in the entertaining company.
Anyway, we were walking back to the limo. At the top of the steps I somehow snagged the lip of my sandal on one of the steps. It left this bizarre gash underneath the big toe on my right foot. STINGING/THROBBING PAIN. The girls started laughing because I violently tripped but regained my balance before falling. That laughter quickly subsided as my entire foot was covered in blood. The underneath of my foot is gushing blood. I lean up against the limo and Gig snags a medical kit and a bottle of water. I start to slump and realize that I've got to sit down. I then blacked out in a light haze for about 4 minutes. I probably lost (I'm guessing) about 1.7 pints in a few minutes. Anyway, Gig gauzed it up and I regained a little composure. We walked over to Jepsonian and I got my duffle bag. I ended up going back to Washington with Gig and Nikki (some prefer to call it WashPa).
We got back to the house and Gig cleaned up my foot with the skill of a talented nursing assistant. Just kidding, I mean registered nurse. She did her absolute best to help me forget about my fucked up foot. Thanks Gig!
I tried putting weight on it today and it started bleeding again. So I crashed for a bit and just removed the gauze and redid it. My wrap job looks really ghetto but I think it will suffice. The gash is still pretty deep and open. I probably should get stitches but I think if I can keep it from bleeding, it should be alright. I still might go to Doctors Urgent Care tomorrow. It's just that my entire toe is bruised and mangled. So the fall out is no golf and obviously no running. Pearl Jam in Chicago is a pipe dream at this point. Just hobbled walking and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to use the gas pedal.
The other signs from the night...

Gunt Sweet Gunt (aka Home Sweet Home)
Gunts, Gunts, Gunts (spinoff of Girls, Girls, Girls) - my personal favorite
Vick is a Dick (not really relevant)
Pamela Anderson Loves Borat

A long night, A painful night, A wonderful night
Motley Crue really needs to hang it up. They're kind of turning into Spinal Tap. Well... Spinal Tap is a poor analogy. Spinal Tap knew what the hell was going on. Motley Crue, not so much.

Saturday, August 01, 2009


Well, today is the big day - August 1. I turned 39. What a catastrophic achievement of biblical proportions! For the record, I have always been one to shun pre-planned celebrations. If you asked me, "Saf, what did you do on your birthday last year?" - I'd have absolutely no idea whatsoever. I tend to treat everyday the same in an attempt to ride a wave of absolute consistency. In many ways, it's odd. When everyone is having the time of the their lives on New Years or the infamous night before Thanksgiving, I generally tend to avoid the party and lay low. Churchies will call me a "wet blanket." Street thugs (surprisingly from Beech Bottom) might view me with mild contempt. "Whassup wit dat? C'mon Lil' Saffy. True dat!" Rednecks will inquire, "Saf, you ain't gonna do that shot of Beam?"
Suffice to say, I don't generally celebrate my birthday. This year is a little different though. I woke up and ran about 3 miles and then mowed my lawn. Good workout. Then, I jumped in the shower and decided to eat lunch at Wesbanco Arena. For those of you in the dark, allow me to guide you into the light. Do you see? Do you see the light? If you've been following the local news, you'd realize that this weekend they're having the annual Jehovah's Witness Convention at the arena. They're actually spreading it out over 3 weekends due to overwhelming demand and lack of accommodations. I decided that since I was going to see Slayer, I might as well try to strike some balance in my life. Hence, a Jehovah lunchable. I put on my only religious attire - a Pope Benedict XVI U.S. tour shirt along with khaki shorts. I figured this might help me blend in. This assumption proved false. First, I failed to realize that everyone would be wearing nicer church-going attire - suits and dresses. I got some strange looks from the Jehovites. It dawned on me that they were probably not amused with the shirt. In their eyes, I think a pope t-shirt could be viewed as somewhat offensive. My bad.
I arrived at lunchtime with my DeFelice Italian sub and grabbed a seat in the corner upper deck. Not much really going on. People milling about here and there. I had hoped to see a little of the presentation (possibly a reenactment of the fornification of Adam and Eve) but I timed it wrong. Anyway, I start eating my sub and reading the paper. A young man named Dave from Spencer, WV must have seen that I was a little out of place. He greeted me and asked me where I was from. I let him know that I'm just a local. He proudly distributed some Witness literature and went to get me a DVD. I ate half my sub, chips, water and bolted. Not the entertainment value I had hoped for. Then again, I wasn't trying to engage anyone.
A few observations. Having been intimately acquainted with all things Jehovah, I feel uniquely qualified to comment. Most people view the Jehovahs as a cult. As if their brand of religion is less cult-like. Every religion embodies this weird ritualistic behavior. It's as if acting incredibly bizarre is almost a rite of passage and mode of acceptance by the flock. The Jehovites do take it one step further. First, they actively discourage their members from getting a higher education. Second, they don't let you register to vote or participate in the political process. Third, there's the blood transfusion issue. I wonder if you're even allowed to donate blood. Probably not. I'm not even going to delve into the knocking. The voting and education issues seem overtly linked to maintaining control over the flock. But the blood transfusion and the parental refusal to accept medical care in extreme cases - c'mon, what the fuck is that about in the 21st century?
I will say one thing though. The Jehovahs are an incredibly inviting and racially inclusive group. I've been to a few functions and the one thing that immediately struck me was the friendly interaction between blacks and whites. Didn't see much in the way of Asians or Hispanics, but then again, this is Eastern Ohio.
I made one other important observation. The Jehovahs sometimes make fun of and mock the crazies. I'm talking the true wackjobs who can ONLY talk about their faith and the church. You can't talk about the stock market, the Steelers or even a sale on ground chuck. Everything is "The Lord speaketh" and "Let us pray." My point - just like every other religion or cult, there's a definable mainstream element which mocks the hardcore super religious freaks. The way I see it, the problem is, when your religion becomes too cultlike, how can you properly define where "normal" begins and what constitutes "freakshow?" I'm sure it's the same deal with Islamic Jihad and off-shoot Hindu sects.
One other thing, assuming only 144,000 people get into heaven or are saved or whatever ... Why in the name of the fucking pope would you actively solicit new members? Wouldn't your success diminish your chances of doing well in the afterlife. Anyway, just something to think about.
So onward to Slayer. Tailgating was predictably weak because most of the crowd went in early. I love metal as much as the next tatooed, pierced up weirdo but in all honesty, how much can one tolerate. They opened the gates at 2:30pm. Everyone seemed a little worn out by the time Slayer and Manson hit the stage. One girl referred to Slayer as "consummate professionals." I wholeheartedly agree. They opened w/ Darkness of Christ & Disciple - The God Hates Us All song. BAD ASS. And unlike the Jehovite gathering, I got a few compliments regarding the pope t-shirt. Just trying to take things in a different direction. Long and intriguing night. I think I'll go running and sweat out some of the toxins.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I often speak of my contempt for the biggest "party" on the planet, Jamboree in the Hills. I've always had little regard for the quality of pop country music and find the genre largely unsatisfying. I also tend to loathe many of the things that accompany country music - a tacitly approved and encouraged racist undercurrent, the cries of a return to pre-Civil War days (endless displays of the Confederate flag), the whole Ford vs. Chevy debate, the embrace of mid-end whiskey (Beam and Jack), chewing tobacco and the act of spitting everywhere, the abundance of low-end red meat (lots of burgers and dogs) and the myriad of dancing-shaking overweight shirtless men.
I also don't care for the hostile "squirt bottle man syndrome" - guys that have been dissed all their lives by pretty women and get their yearly vengeance by squirting them in the chest and other targeted areas all in the name of having a "good time." Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm too old for all this fun and Jambo revelry.
However, I do have a unique perspective. I was there for 3 out of the 4 days with the limo gig. This provides me with a sobering, behind the scenes perspective. You see many of the arrests and encounter more of the redneck fallout. Kind of like a Girls Gone Wild video except it's more "When Rednecks Collectively Piss and Vomit."
Every year, WTOV9 says the same thing - "Well, it's another year in the books and Jamboree went off without a hitch. They put on a flawless production as usual and country music lovers came from far and wide. A great time was had by all." Well, it's my contention that this statement is not only erroneous, but it's a flagrant lie. Here's an estimate of the true aftermath of Jambo...

25 DUI's
50 misdemeanor and felony assualts
50 underage drinking citations
a few rapes (unreported)
5 attempted rapes
100 drunken and disorderly conduct violations
tons of alcohol related injuries

Alright, you get the drift. Peoples lives can be destroyed or face a serious setback, mostly self-inflicted wounds. Maybe, just maybe, things didn't go so smoothly after all. I guess my main problem with Jambo is the way the locals unite around the whole thing. People view it as some kind of drunken celebratory vacation. Talk about some low-end aspirations for yearly entertainment. Can't you come up with something better to do once a year? I realize a trip abroad is probably out of the question, but is Jambo really such a quality adventure? I honestly think it is not.
On a brighter note, it didn't smell that bad on Sunday this year. As Jambo nears its close, the acrid stench of incest permeates the air. This scent is comprised of sweat, beer, piss, shit, mud, puke and skoal with just the slightest hint of tampon. Sounds like a great way to take some well-deserved time off. Oh yeah... and the music is atrocious. I'm not even factoring in the country music reprise which takes place every night in the campgrounds.
I often think that the Jamboree venue is under-utilized. Maybe they could have a rock band there every once in a while. On second thought, let's just stick with Jambo once a year. Sometimes it's better to just stick with the same old routine. Maybe they should publish a Jambo cookbook - stuff like deviled eggs, macaroni salad, hot dogs, cotton candy, scalloped potatoes. Oh yeah... and cheap beer, lots of cheap beer.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tiki Bar and Grill

My harem and I ate at the Tiki Bar and Grill today in glorious downtown Wheeling. This place opened about 6 months ago to a wide variety of reviews; some favorable others scathing. I purposely avoided it until today. I got the email for Lunchtimez and was all on board.
For those of you unfamiliar with Tiki, it's basically a low-end attempt to capture the festive nature of Myrtle Beach and regurgitate it in the center of downtown Wheeling. This building used to be a shoe store. Then it was "Domino's Express Pizazz Pizza" - whatever the fuck that all means. Then, as the dust settled, it would morph into an unclean, disgusting Mexican Restaurant called Nogales. History would dictate a brand new restaurant in a year or so. And voila, Tiki Bar and Grill emerged.
I'd never been in the place. I walk in and it pretty much resembles a Jimmy Buffett parking lot. Lots of "fun" stuff to look at. Plenty of dollar store decorative items - lots of plastic statues and lays. It's as though the party just never stops (keep in mind, this is centrist Wheeltown). I guess I've never been a big fan of the whole Margaritaville movement, lots of pureed strawberries and tropical fun.
Our waiter was kind of like a Wheeling Sinatra. Very cordial and debonair, he is probably the most hospitable man in the 26003 zip code. He could turn the most mundane topic (our drink orders - 4 waters and 3 diet cokes) into a veritable plethora of side-splitting punchlines. Let's just say he was at the peak of his game.
The menu attempts to capture this "beach vibe" but it resembles more of a "Perkins meets Eat'n'Park." Basically, there's a bunch of hamburgers, sandwiches and salads - then they make it fun by throwing in a dose of salsa or pico di guyo (sp., I know).
I had the special - a turkey melt w/ fries and coleslaw. It may have been the special, but it was sadly lackluster albeit edible. I would think they'd make the daily special something a little more festive. Just a side note - the coleslaw was sub-par and it came in one of those tiny salad dressing containers. Fortunately, since the coleslaw was in the spectrum of "that which sucks," I considered it a non-issue. Regardless, I'd never complain about something so trivial. I just thought the weak portion was peculiar.
All in all, I'd have to give Tiki a lamentable thumbs down. I'd give the place another 6-8 months depending on how much money they opt to throw down the drain. I have a hunch that Lunchtimez was a harbinger of more things to come this evening. You see, I'm heading up to scalp the Jimmy Buffett show at Starlake. In and out - I love it on a Tuesday. All the drunk frat boys will be getting rid of tickets for $5-$10 a piece. "Yeah, but you don't understand, I paid $137 for this ticket." "Uh yeah, I"m painfully aware of that - how about 5 bucks? Just don't eat it."
I'll snag about a dozen or so and resell them at cost. Tonight's a great night to check out the EMT vehicle; tons of drunks will bite the dust, or at Starlake, they bite the rocky concrete surface, strewn with bits of charred glass and puddles of rhombus-shaped vomit . Welcome Parrotheads - an unusual sect of the populous that summons all their collective strength for one evening of summertime revelry!

Wip out that coconut bra! You are so zany!

Drink cheap Tequila, you know the shitty Pepe Lopez brand with the cool plastic Mexican sombrero on the bottle. Then, later that night, afix the sombrero to the head of your penis! What a blast.

Sing the good time refrain of Cheeseburger in Paradise. Then, on the way home, sing Mony Mony (get laid get fucked).

Reminisce about all the drunken fun times you've had at previous Buffett shows. Yeah, I got so wasted when I saw him in 96. Jimmy's da man.

44 year old divorced mother of 3, cinch in that pussy pillow! Tonight you will shine!

How about that one time? You know, when a dozen people cruised up to Buffett and continually filled a bucket with urine, and then from time to time, would empty it into one of those kiddie wading pools. Then, they'd watch the people swimming and splashing about in their urine. It's a felony, but it's so much fun. Only at a Jimmy Buffett show.

Monday, June 22, 2009


For over a year I've been predicting the use of texting to help facilitate looting in the United States. Well, I have a hunch the situation in Iran will take precedence. Of course, we've all seen the political unrest in Iran. Although protests have been conducted in over 50 cities, I imagine the main thrust of the unrest is in Tehran. Especially since the Neda woman got snipered and the footage was captured via the social network sites.
I'm thinking the use of twitter, despite the communication clampdown by the theocratic thugs, will be used heavily during the variety of ensuing phases of this rebellion. I'm assuming there will be continued protests. I could be wrong. Tehran is an incredibly modern, spread out city. It actually resembles Phoenix, AZ. It would be exceedingly difficult to mobilize the revolutionary guard and various govt. militia representatives to combat infrequent, sudden looting. This is the shit twitter was made for. Coordinating mass chaos in an instant. They've mentioned repeatedly on CNN, using twitter, that the timing and location of future protests must be kept secret right up until crunchtime. Well, there you go.
It'll be interesting to see if a group of well-coordinated citizens could take out a pipeline or something of monetary value. In the long run, torching a bus/ambulance has little effect. Of course, when over a hundred thousand people defy the Supreme Leader and participate in street protests - this is definitely an important component. But I suspect the military apparatus and conventional police forces will wear them down over time. I'm definitely not in tune with the general vibe on the streets of Tehran. I get my info like everyone else - mostly CNN/MSNBC and occasionally the BBC. Fox is so far out of the mainstream, one can hardly fathom how they could be viewed as a credible source of information in the Middle East.
Seriously though, the political upheaval, specifically in the capital city of Tehran, seems ripe for sudden and highly focused looting via twittering and other instant messaging forums. I guess it's dependent on how effectively the govt. can crack down on the existing communication systems. Obviously, they can kick out virtually every foreign news correspondent, but you just can't effectively impose martial law when everyone (particularly the youth) have cell phones with video messaging capabilities. I think the images of the 20 yr. old Neda Girl will have vast, far reaching implications. It reminds me of the guy who stood before the tank in Tianamin Square. Whether or not there's a political transformation or change in Iran - I don't know. In fact, I think it's plausible to say that A-Jad may have even legitimately won the election - I don't know. I do know one thing though. The images of the Neda woman will not be fleeting. I think they'll stand the test of time. I'm curious to see how this all pans out.
Wouldn't it be a fascinating development if the mullahs temporarily ban the use of cell phones and twittering because they "claim it's subversive to Islam" and "treasonous behavior designed to overthrow the existing government." Talk about oppression... If they could pull off something like that on such a massive scale, well, let's just say... for the love of Allah.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Holla back, asshole

Late Friday night after the Pens won the cup, Jepsonian calls me, "Hey I've got free tickets to the No Doubt concert tomorrow night. Wanna go?" I forgot all about it until the next day. It was an unusual foursome - Me, Jepson, Cheyenne and Katrina. I half-heartedly agreed to drive, mainly for purposes of quality control. The crew seemed a bit disorganized, mostly cooler and beverage issues. When I saw the green apple Bacardi and the kahlua espresso beverages, I knew something was a tad askew. I usually prefer to keep things very streamlined - case of beer, bag of ice - done.
En route, we stopped at a "luau" in Follanbsee which was actually a birthday party for a 5 year old girl Sydney. Nice crew of pleasant individuals. This was probably a decent idea since I wasn't sure a No Doubt parking lot is my kind of tailgating scene. Later on, I would stand to be corrected.
On the way in, Katrina snagged a freebie VIP parking pass from a family in a minivan. They were impressed with my Red Wings sign. It says RED WINGS, but then you lift up the cardboard flap, and it reads SUCK COCK. Not exactly an awe-inspiring message but every once in a while you go with old school simplicity. I made other signs as well...

These twins died for your sins (pic of Chrisagis Brothers from the Saturday Faith section of the newspaper)
PALIN SUCKS (and so does her daughter)

and a few other miscellaneous Penguins signs. Most were well received.

I'd say about 18,000 people showed up for this thing. I was expecting a 20 something crowd of screaming girls. What I failed to anticipate was the massive throng of "emo-fagolicious vampires." The closest approximation would be a youthful version of the gay pride Mardi Gras pararde in New Orleans. They really came out in full force. Some of these guys have no shame. They really let it all hang out. It made for some highly impressive people watching at the top of the steps. My motto has always been "Let them come to us." And sure enough, they came. The weather really helped out - many of the morbidly obese women were accompanied by their homophonic leaning boyfriends/husbands. This would be a recurring theme. One woman would be adorned with the title - Green Manalushi with a two-pronged gunt. Others had multi-tiered gunts proudly displayed with a reckless temerity I've grown accustomed to seeing at similar concerts. Ahhh, the impudent effrontery.
The girls zipped in to see the opening band - Paramore. They had pavilion seats, we had lawn. I was more than content to just have a few beers and wait for No Doubt. We made our way in at crunch time and headed for the lower steps. I wasn't prepared for the onslaught of jubilation when the band took the stage. I will say one thing - Their fans truly love this band. The band itself sounded fine. I guess they pride themselves on being the zaniest, melodramatic band of all time. Gwen Stefani runs around the stage yelling "Uhhh Uhhh Ooooh Oooooh " about every 10 seconds. I don't think it matters what the song is. This appears to be her trademark. She'd also be doing pushups and a wide variety of calisthenics.
The other band members aroused deep within me an urge to spontaneously vomit. The drummer, with the spiked out hair wore a tutu. The trumpet playing fuck was almost as annoying. During Stefani's costume changes, the band would go off on these bizarre fun-filled unrelenting ska tangents. They were just soooo crazy. Honestly though, I've never seen anything quite like it. Remember in your 20's where you'd always know a few girls who had the gay boyfriends because they were non-abusive and liked to go clothes shopping. They'd live in a continual state of denial because their prior boyfriend was some 4-wheeling drunk abusive asshole. Ohhh, he's not gay. He's just sensitive and he likes to "dress up." I think he's hot. Then, over the course of a few months, the eyeliner and excessive hair gel commences. Then, the occasional high pitched gay tantrum. Finally, the other man emerges and threatens the current girlfriend, "I don't think so honey! Don't go there girlfriend." Well, I'd say this faction comprised a pretty convincing percentage of the attendees. Kind of like the Kurds in Iraq. Sequestered to the North, they operate independently and reject the usual societal norms. Well, not last night as it was their time to shine. This was their night.
As we exited, a 20 year old girl was lying in a fetal position on the asphalt. Her friends were trying to get her to move, but she wouldn't budge. As the EMT golf cart showed up, we both simultaneously remarked, "Somebody help her! Somebody do something!" She staggered to her feet and started screaming at her friends, "Why wouldn't someone help me?" Jepson and I flashed each other a look of credulity and we both remarked (again simultaneously) "That's what we were trying to do! We were trying to help!" It provided a nice dose of circular closure for the evening. Sometimes you really want to help people, but as much as you try, they just don't want your help.