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.