Friday, September 09, 2005


Did you know that back-to-school “season” is second only to Christmas in sales volume for many retailers? According to the National Retail Federation, it is estimated that families spend an average of $441.60 on back-to-school supplies. Holy friggin’ crap. Are we sending kids to school with their own laptops now? Whatever happened to a fancy lunchbox and a backpack full of Mead spiral bound notebooks? ($14.43)

But of COURSE this news would shock ME – I don’t have children. But Geri recently sent off her little man to kindergarten, and I saw the list of required school supplies. It was not short. It looked like the kind of list you’d draft if you were being shipped off to a remote island in the South Pacific to start your own civilization from scratch. Or if a researcher instructed you to complete a two-minute free association exercise that started with the word “marker” – and then didn’t stop you for an hour and a half. The kid’s list looked like an inventory sheet from Staples. Film? He’s in kindergarten. He can’t even read and he needs FILM? Is anybody looking at the ROI here? Is there an accountant in the house? Are schools turning out smarter kids than they used to or is that just the cost of mediocrity these days?

And can you believe they're selling Halloween candy already? At least wait until summer's over. It's 88 fucking degrees outside. The chocolate will melt in the car on the ride home! Where's my medication, dammit.


If you've ever watched live television coverage of a news conference, you know it's not uncommon to see the speaker's talking points in text along the bottom of the screen.

Here's a screen shot from a news source in New Zealand that picked up coverage of Bush's news conference following Hurricane Katrina.

What exactly are they trying to say?


I hope you’ll forgive me for sharing, but I’ve just got to get this out. I just finished releasing the single longest continuous stream of rectal wind in my entire life. Gross? Not really. Completely disgusting is more like it. I’ve had some long ones in the past, but nothing like what I just experienced. What’s with the snickering? Gas is a completely natural bodily function, people. Can we talk about this like adults please? Okay. So this is what happened.

[If you don’t want the details, I advise you to stop reading now. Otherwise, proceed at your own risk.]

I hastily stepped into the bathroom here at work after my third cup of coffee with an emergency plan to evacuate Poo Orleans. There was a lot of pressure to move fast – I knew that if I didn’t hurry, my boxers weren’t going to see tomorrow. I took a seat and my cheeks immediately started exhaling loudly into the bowl. It resembled gunfire at first, rippling like a howitzer at the bottom of a deep ravine. This gave way to the ominous blowing of a foghorn, accompanied by a distant whistle. I half expected to hear the ringing of an offshore bell buoy. The final salvo sputtered like an old engine choking, then transitioned to a long sigh - like the sound an air mattress makes when you're pushing all of the air out of it - followed by what could only be described as a cymbal crash.

I couldn’t believe my ears, or my rectum. How was this much gas possible? I’d never been this long-winded before – at least not without a keyboard in front of me. The gas exodus must have gone on for a sustained 6 full seconds. That doesn’t sound like much, but in dog years that’s 42 seconds. And let me tell you about the smell. No – I’d better not. You may be eating.

Anyhow, the episode made me curious about farts, so I did a little digging around online and found some interesting facts. Like, for example, people fart on average once per hour. It’s true. And adults can produce up to about 2 liters of farts every day. (I am certain I let loose several liters in just that one sitting) Contrary to what you may have heard, men and women fart equally as often. Yes, there’s a lot of information out there for those who want it. In fact, all you need to know about farts (and much more – I PROMISE) is right here:

Check it out. You know you want to. Don’t lie. Yours stink, too. Go ahead. It’s cool. Everybody does it. Really. Speaking of everybody doing it, have you put a pin in my Guestmap yet? Why NOT? There’s a little button on the left margin that will take you to my Guestmap. Click on it. It only takes 2 seconds. It’s not like I’m asking you for money here.


Here are a few pictures I found online.

Canal Street. Irony?

The highway from hell.

And you thought YOUR commute sucked.

Here's a drawing of how it all happened. When that bitch Katrina left town, she took a bite out of the levee that kept the lake at bay.

Not lovin' it.

Old news.

Whoa! How'd this one get in here??

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Here's a live television interview with Dick Cheney during which a passerby clearly offers up a big "Go fuck yourself Mr. Cheney."

Great stuff!


This is to be the highest bridge in the world. You can read more about it by clicking on the header. I do not care much for heights, so just looking at this photo makes me want to crawl under the table and cling to someone's leg.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


I have a very good friend here in town – a guy I’ve known for over 15 years. No, I’m not talking about Captain Morgan. But nice guess! To protect his identity, let’s call this friend “Scot” (yes, with one T...I'm trying not to give away his REAL name).

Scot is, by all accounts, a great guy. He’s easy going, mild mannered, and sociable. Scot and I, together and with groups both large and small, have attended music concerts, Cubs games, Bears games, Illini games, camping trips – you name it. In some neighborhoods, we’d be called “homies.” So you can imagine my shock and concern when I learned some days ago that Scot was missing.

The first part of this mystery takes place a couple Friday evenings ago. Geri and I were enjoying a lovely dinner together at Chicago’s premier sushi establishment, Japonais. It was my second birthday dinner of the week, a fabulous feast to precede a theater date where we would see the new Broadway sensation, Wicked. (It was wickedly clever, incidentally – I highly recommend). We agreed that the food at Japonais was a close second behind the best sushi restaurant you've never been to, Tsuki Sushi (Fullerton and Greenview, Chicago) - but that the service was far superior. But why we're talking about sushi now, I don't know. Would you please FOCUS on Scot? He went missing, dammit. Thank you.

Following dinner, Geri excused herself to reference the ladies room…so I passed the moment accessing a curious voice mail message left me from Scot’s cell phone number. Unfortunately, the ambience of the restaurant prevented me from fully comprehending the message. I presumed it was a drunken message laced with incoherent whiskey-babble, which is not so uncommon in my world, so I flipped the Samsung shut and slipped it back into my suit pants.

Scot had flown to Washington that weekend to visit our mutual friend (who we will call Brent - also with one T). Brent had secured tickets to an outdoor music concert featuring the Dave Matthews Band and the two were to party like college kids with Seattle Seagals and the like. It was going to be the best time two grown up kids could ever have in the state of Washington.

While I am personally unfamiliar with the region, Brent described much of central Washington State as a “desert.” The concert was to be held at a natural outdoor amphitheater, not unlike the world-famous Red Rocks venue in Colorado. Just swap mountains for desert. And without any bridges to sail under in the middle of the desert, the odds of getting shit on by the band's tour bus driver were much slimmer. At the very least, one particular flock of sightseeing Chicagoans would consider this a major plus. But I digress...again.

The whole weekend sounded like a grand time – and for an extra $20, Brent, Scot, and thousands of other show-goers were to camp out after the concert under a sea of stars. Cars lined up for acres like a massive tailgate party. All around them people pitched tents to pass out in afterward. Unfortunately for Scot, there was no “afterward.” That’s because he went missing before sundown.

Geri and I were having a Post-Wicked drink at a neighborhood pub when I received a strange text message from Brent. It was 12:40a CST – which would have been 10:40p out west. It read: “Dude. Scot is missing. He wandered off and we haven’t seen him for hours.”

Messages like these are also not uncommon in my world, so I jestfully replied “OMG – go find him!” Geri and I retired for the evening shortly after, as far as you know.

The next morning I received a call from Brent.

“Hey – sorry to call so early in the morning…but…have you heard from Scot?”

“No. WHY?” I asked, concerned.

“Because he’s still missing. We don’t know where he is. He just wandered off somewhere at around 7:30 last night and we haven’t seen him since.”

“Shit. I thought you were kidding, dude. He’s REALLY missing? Have you tried calling him?” Geri, who was browsing the unappetizing collection of condiments in my refrigerator, looked over at me with concern. The text message had been no joke. Scot was really missing - and he had now BEEN missing for 12 hours.

“Well…we did try calling him. That’s how we found out that his phone is in my car.” Brent sounded genuinely worried.

“Well has he tried calling YOU at all? He must have tried calling you?”

“I honestly don’t think he knows my number.”

That made sense, actually. People don’t memorize phone numbers any more. We program them into our cells with nicknames and don’t bother committing them to memory because we don’t have to. I call Geri all the time – I've been calling her for well over a year – but I couldn’t do it from anyone’s phone but my own because I don’t know what her number is. I only know to scroll down to her name on my contact list and press “send.” Things were suddenly not looking very good for Scot.

Brent and I thought aloud for a second. Scot had been drinking Jack and Coke for several hours in a large field in the middle of the desert, partying with an enthusiastic concert crowd. He then, for some unknown reason, decided to leave the group and wander off. He didn’t have his cell phone, didn’t know where he was, didn’t have a ride other than the people he came with, and couldn’t remember any important cell phone numbers. Most importantly, he had now been missing for over 12 hours.

“Dude,” I said, “You need to get a hold of the police.” Brent said he was working on it and would get back to me. I agreed to call should I hear from Scot first. This was a distinct possibility, we thought, as I have the easiest phone number to remember in the entire world. No, I’m not going to tell you what it is. Dream on.

I hung up with Brent and told Geri the news. We were suddenly fearful that something terrible happened to Scot. We imagined him wandering off somewhere, getting lost, falling into a hole in the ground, getting attacked by an animal of some kind, running into a group of deviants, passing out on the desert floor. Where was he? Where’d he go? Who was he with? Was he okay?

And then I remembered the call I’d received at Japonais the night before. The one I couldn’t hear that I assumed was whiskey-babble. Had that been Scot calling for help? I panicked and replayed the message. What had I done? Had I been the only one Scot thought to call in his hour of need? Was he in danger? I hastily plugged in my password and listened closely to the message. It wasn't Scot at all - it was Brent using Scot’s phone, drunk, and pretending to be a gay man looking for man love. Again, not so uncommon in my world. It’s really better that you not ask any questions.

Several hours later I received a phone call from Brent. “Scot’s alive, man. We’re going to get him now.” That was all I needed to hear to know everything I needed to know.

“He’s in jail, isn’t he?” I asked knowingly.

“Yep. Criminal trespassing.” Scot’s weekend in Washington State to see the Dave Matthews Band had become a $250 overnight stay at The Grant County correctional facility. Meanwhile, we all breathed a sigh of relief that he hadn't been eaten by fireants.

Scot is released from the Grant County facility and there's only one mystery left to be solved: Did he drop the soap?

Scot’s version of the story, unfortunately, would shed little light on what actually happened that evening. He remembers very little - only that he had been drinking and stumbled off to find a place to urinate. At some point he lost his bearings and became disoriented. He didn’t have a phone or a number to call, so he wandered lonely as a cloud for a bit until he spotted some police officers. He says he approached them asking for directions, at which point they decided he was a either a menace to society or a menace to himself and gave him a ride to the station. His story completely blew my theory out of the water. I'd imagined a herd of police on horseback with long nets sweeping across neighboring farmland like the gorilla soldiers in Planet of the Apes, nabbing stray drunkards and piss bandits.

Scot is home safe now, so this long-winded story does have a somewhat happy ending. I like to remind Scot that this kind of thing never happened before he bought that Harley Davidson. Ever since then, trouble's had no problem finding him.

In closing, I'd like this be a lesson to all of us. For how much easier technology has made our lives, it’s not without some drawbacks. I recommend you memorize at least two phone numbers on the off chance you get lost at a Dave Matthews Concert and find yourself behind bars for criminal trespassing. Maybe even write a few down on a scrap of paper and stuff them in your wallet just in case.

Before posting, I sent this story to a friend of mine named Scott (two T's) to review. Here are his comments:

“…If this "Scot" is who I think it is, I believe he'd appreciate you throwing in a few truths into this “story” or “life lesson” or whatever literary term befits the text. First off, you need to mention the many hot (female) whores he banged that night prior to incarceration. Got that, many. Also, he's sporting a new prison tattoo he acquired from a homemade ink needle constructed from a Bic outer casing, a sharpened Bobbie pin, and a borrowed "Make the Pussy Purr" 3-speed electric motor. Finally, when the Deputy Sheriff hosed him down following booking, he kept calling "Scot" stallion, because he's hung like a horse. Now yous gots yourself da whole story.”

Yes, it's a hard knock life.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005



Shocking! 7-time Tour de France victor Lance Armstrong may already be contemplating a comeback.

Reports say he's been motivated by recent allegations from the French press that he used an illegal blood booster agent prior to the 1999 Tour. Armstrong has repeatedly, and vehemently, denied these allegations.

A source close to the 2005 Champion says that if these reports persist, Armstrong plans to ruin the event for a generation of French cycling enthusiasts by winning it another 20 years in a row. "Frankly, we all assumed these mongrels would have backed off a long time ago - it's in their blood. As appalled as we are, we're equally surprised at the backbone they've showed in this ongoing "drug" war. If they know what's good for them, they'll shut up already."

I think Lance ought to do it an 8th time and actually USE performance enhancing drugs just for the fun of it. Why not? He's really got nothing left to prove - except maybe how much better he would have been all these years had he been really doped up. I think a little human interest story like that might actually make the event one worth watching.


According to a "newsworthy" report on CNN, New Orleans flood waters are contaminated with e. coli - this according to an official in the office of Mayor Ray Nagin.

Is this REALLY news? I would imagine it's probably safe to say there's a LOT of shit in that water, so to speak. I guess I'm just not sure of the purpose of the report. Is this to discourage people from drinking it? Well, I've got news for the news media: if your senses of sight and smell won't prevent you from taking a big sip, or a leisurely dip, the confirmed presence of e. coli probably isn't going to. Plus, I always get e. coli and echinacea confused anyway. Which one is the herbal remedy again?

If the swimming pool at the Holiday Inn has e. coli in it - THAT'S news. Not stagnant floodwaters one week after a natural disaster. There's no plumbing! It'd be a miracle if there WASN'T shit in that water. Hell, e. coli should be the least of their concerns anyway. There's probably all sorts of shit worse than that floating around. I wouldn't be surprised if they find Nessie the Loch Ness monster swimming around in that sludge.

All this report really does is confirm the ugly truth: Nope - that's not a Baby Ruth bar.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Now you can show me where you live on my fancy GuestMap! I've placed a button in my sidebar that will let you stick a pin on a big map of the world indicating where you live. You can even post a little note there for all to read. Did you ever imagine you'd be having fun this big without paying for it?

What are you waiting for?? Click my little GuestMap bug on the left and put a little dot where you live!


As reported, the cruise ships are on their way. Three Carnival Cruise Line ships, the Ecstasy, Sensation, and Holiday, have been chartered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide 6 months temporary housing for victims of Hurricane Katrina. What a novel idea! It just sounds a little strange to say 2,600 victims will be on Ecstasy, another 2,600 will ride the Sensation, and another 1,800 will be going on Holiday.

The three ships will not be touring the Bahamas, but will instead be docked in breathtaking Mobile, Alabama. Carnival crews are expected to provide service for their homeless patrons - but the operation will be run by the U.S. Military Sealift Command.

Carnival shares (NYSE) closed down 28 cents Friday to $48.24 on news refugees don't tip well.


And then there's always the point of view that poverty is a policy decision. This gentleman articulates his point rather well in implicating the local government for creating a mess it couldn't clean up.