Saturday, August 30, 2003

Severe thunderstorms Tuesday and Wednesday left over 100,000 people in the DC area without power. Then last night yet ANOTHER round of strong storms rolled through. Even this morning, several thousand remain without power. Many of those have been so since round one back on Tuesday.

The severity of the storms, coupled with the extended blackouts, have of course led to an abundance of TV stories about how people are coping. One TV reporter in particular who excells at this is the very serious sounding Pat Collins, who always sounds like he's talking about some horrible calamity. He could be doing a story on the successful rescue of a kitten from a tree, and it would end up sounding so depressing you'll want to jump off the roof.

Typically these stories begin with a very somber Collins saying something like "We are on Mayberry Street in Rockville. Behind me you can see a tree lying across a street. Until yesterday that tree had stood for 169 years in the front yard of the Finkel family's townhouse. But no longer. And not only is the tree but a memory now, so is the Finkels' electricity." Collins will then turn to the man standing next to him and ask, "Mr. Finkel, what is it like without electricity?" Mr. Finkel will then give some inane answer about the family becoming closer.

In other words, a load of crap....

Just once I'd like to see the interview go in a, shall we say, "different direction:"

Collins: Mr. Finkel? I'm Pat Collins with WRC news. We're live on the air. Would you tell our viewers what's it's like with no electricity?

Mr. Finkel: Dark.

Collins: (Sounding deadly serious) Dark?

Mr. Finkel: Yeah, dark. There's no electricity, you f*cking moron. What did you think it would be like with no f*cking electricity!?!?! Do they actually pay you real money to come out here and ask stupid f*cking questions like that?

Collins: Uh.....
Mr. Finkel: And the whole f*cking family is at one another's throats!!! The kids are bored f*cking stiff, and the wife is bitchin' about my drinking again!!! Well, YOU try living in THAT house with THOSE people and YOU'D start drinking too!!! Drinking is the only f*cking thing in this miserable hell I'm living that gives me the strength to drag my unemployed ass out of the bed in the f*cking morning!!!

Collins: Uh....

Mr. Finkel: And now you want to know what it's like to be stuck in a dark overheated house with a dysfunctional family that hasn't bathed in four days!?! Well, I'm ready to EAT MY GUN!!! Does THAT answer your stupid f*cking question, you stupid f*ck!?! (Finkel grabs Collins by the throat).

Collins: Urgh.....

Camera flails wildly as sounds of scuffle ensue. Screen goes blank. Station cuts to acid reflux ad.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Congratulations to Congressman William Janklow of South Dakota, who has now been charged with second degree murder in the death of a motorcyclist last weekend. The former four term governor was elected to his first--and probably last--term as South Dakota's sole congressional Representative only last year. Janklow's Cadillac had barrelled through a stop sign at a rural intersection doing 71 mph. The congressman had amassed a number of speeding tickets over the years, but apparently felt himself to be above the petty laws that govern the rest of society. Consequently, one man is dead, and a political career is ruined.
As Gary Condit recently learned, killing one's constituents tends to be frowned upon by the general public.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

The people who manufacture Zippo lighters have pulled the plug on a website dedicated to describing various tricks you can do with a flame emanating from small containers of highly combustible butane gas. The gags included such fun gags as dipping your finger in lighter fluid, then it setting on fire. There was also something called "Hogan's Leg Drop." That one certainly sounds, but unfortunately is not described in the article. And now, with the shutdown of, Hogan's Leg Drop will presumably be forever lost to the ages.
The loss of the site is also expected to severely reduce the pool of applicants for the annual Darwin Awards.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

With Mars a mere 35 million miles away--its closest approach in 60,000 years--the threat of alien attack is at an all time high. In response, the Department of Earthland Security has raised its terror warning level to Code Orange.
The general public is advised to go about their lives as usual, but to be alert for potentially suspicious activities. This would include such things as giant fiery silver canisters raining from the sky, 40 foot tall robots armed with deadly heat rays wandering across the countryside, flying saucers starfing major metropolitan areas with laser cannons, and little green men trying to storm the cockpits of airliners.

Monday, August 25, 2003

About a month or so ago, Bobby "No, That's Just Powdered Sugar--I Snort It All The Time" Brown had a warrant issued for his arrest. He had violated terms of his probation on a seven year old drunk driving charge, which led to the bench warrant. For the last four weeks, Brown had successfully avoided being picked up by authorities.
So what do he and wife Whitney "Look Ma, No Meat" Houston decide to do this past Friday night? Why, to go out to dinner at a popular and very crowded restaurant where the well known couple would be instantly recognized by hundreds of other people!!
Needless to say, Brown is still in the DeKalb County jail while Houston is at home, alone, with all that powdered sugar.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Have you heard about the new SUV that will soon be hitting the market? It goes from 0 to 60 in 6.3 seconds, comes with bulletproof windows, can change paint colors via an electrostatic charge at the push of a button, features disposable license plates, and has an long term storage switch to extend battery life 5 to ten years.
With all these amenities and more, the new Ford Perpetrator is expected to be a big seller among rap stars and NBA players.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Arnold Schwarzenegger has aired his first TV commercials in his quest to be the next governator of California. In the ad, the former action hero star turned mansierre model says that he is running to be "the people's governor," and that he wants to "lead a movement to give California back its future, even if it means travelling back in time naked in order to kill John Conner."

And in a case that is eerily similar to the DC shootings of last fall, a sniper appears to be loose in the Charleston, West Virginia, area. Three people have been killed outside convenience stores by single rifle shots fired from a distance. Police officials from Montgomery County, Maryland, who led last year's DC area sniper task force, have offered to lend their "expertise" to Kanahwa County investigators.
It should be noted, however, that this expertise consisted of looking for a white male loner driving a white van with a roof rack. In the end, the "DC sniper" turned out to be two black guys driving a maroon Chevrolet Caprice.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Todd and Cynthia Webb recently decided to vacation at Universal Orlando. They were having a reasonably good time right up until they decided to ride the Fire Dragon roller coaster. That's when Todd's prosthetic leg flew off, and is yet to be found.
Needless to say, he's "hopping" mad over the incident.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Preliminary indications are that Thursday's massive power outage was triggered by a tree which got a little too close to a 340 kilovolt powerline. That act of unwelcome physical contact apparently happened at 3:06 PM between Harding and Chamberlaine, Ohio, just south of Cleveland. Subsequent outages began to spread from there, eventually reaching New York City over an hour later.
Fortunately. with its lack of conservation efforts and ongoing liberalization of logging laws, the Bush Administration is already well on its way to victory in the War on Trees.

Friday, August 15, 2003

For those of you in the northeast surfing the web via electricity generated by hamster exercise wheels, thanks for visiting....
It's hard to fully appreciate the magnitude of this power outage. Fifty million people.... Almost 10,000 square miles.... And no one's willing to take responsibility for it! A spokesman for a Florida power company, Bill Swank, even said the system "worked as it was supposed to." I'm not sure, but I think Mr. Swank used to work for the Iraqi Ministry of Information as the Chief Optimism Officer.
Meanwhile, people are practically tripping over one another as the fingerpointing begins. At one point, Canadian Prime Minister Jean "Pumpkinhead" Chretien blamed the outage on a lightning strike and fire at a Niagra Falls (US side) power plant. Officials at that facility quickly denied it, and wasted no time saying the problem started in Canada. Yet another theory involved a Pennsylvania nuclear power plant. Now some are placing the blame on an Ohio utlity.
Instead of wasting all this time throwing accusations back & forth, wouldn't it be more productive to simply figure out what went wrong so it can be prevented from happening again?
Did I just say that? Sorry. I was momentarily overcome by logic.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

The "sport" of figure skating has adopted a new code of ethics. The five page document in the wake of last year's uproar involving the (GASP!!!) French judge's voting, who supposedly (double GASP!!!) gave in to pressure from the Russian and German judges. The Tonya Harding incident of ten years ago also played a role in the decision. Members of figure skating's governing body hope that the move will prevent future scandals.
That's probably true, but it will also make figure skating a hell of a lot less interesting.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

One of the radio stations I sometimes listen to in the mornings has a feature called the "Morning Mind Bender." Usually it involves some obscure poll about some mundane subject, and the answer turns out to be something ridiculous. Today the question was: "23% of men surveyed said they'd do this on a regular basis if they knew they wouldn't be ridiculed ..." A clue given by the DJ was that "some people might perceive it as 'feminine.'" And the answer turned out to be "Wear a skirt."
They didn't say who was polled, but I'm guessing they were Episcopalians.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

On a Serious Note....

Last week some questions arose about the heroism about the passengers on Flight 93. This "new" version of events says that the terrorists "deliberately" crashed the plane into that Pennsylvania field because the passengers never actually made it all the way into the cockpit.


What does that have to do with anything? Even under the new theory, it is believed that the reason that pilot Ziad Jarrah went into the final, fatal dive is that the passengers were coming up the aisle and overpowering the other hijackers. Whether the final struggle took place in the cockpit or in the passenger cabin is totally irrevelant. What does matter is that in their last moments, the passengers and crew came together in a final bid to control their destiny. Those passengers and crewmembers surely knew what the likely outcome would be. And thanks to that decision, further death and tragedy were averted on that awful day.

I have often wondered what I would have done in those same circumstances. Would I have had the guts to join in that revolt, or would I have cowered somewhere in a corner?

And to this day, I'm still not sure.

Monday, August 11, 2003

When Irony Bites You in the Ass

Congratulations to the Washington Redskins on their preseason opener, which they lost 20-0, to the Carolina Panthers. Their performance certainly demonstrated why Steve "How Can You Hate Me With This Charming Southern Drawl" Spurrier is the highest paid head coach in the NFL.

In one of their more controversial moves during the offseason, the 'Skins released star running back and two-time pro bowler Stephen Davis, whose three straight 1300 yard plus seasons were one of the few bright spots of an otherwise dismal decade. Spurrier, however, sees no particular use for a ground game and thus decided Davis wasn't worth keeping around.

In an ironic twist of fate (Note to Alanis Morisette: Rain on your wedding day is NOT irony; it's just bad weather. THIS, however, is irony at its finest), Davis was quickly signed by the Panthers. Then in a performance that left the sports gods rolling on the floor in laughter, he turned in 74 yards in four carries against the very team that spurned him just six months ago.

On a postive note, no players from either team were arrested during the game.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Well, if you were planning on running for governor of California, you're now officially too late. As of the 5 PM deadline yesterday, just over 90 candidates had filed the appropriate paperwork.
The early frontrunners are considered to be Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democrat and current Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante, and Aquatic Party candidate Nemo the talking fish.
A tight race is expected.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Jerry Springer has decided NOT to run for the US Senate from Ohio. This decision took most political pundits by surprise, since Springer pretty much had the cross dressing midget lesbians who married their sister's girlfriend vote all but locked up.

Friday, August 08, 2003

As you have no doubt heard, the Episcopalians have confirmed a gay bishop, a move certain to improve the previously drab interior decorating of the denomination's churches. The decision, however, has not been without some controversy. A number of critics are predicting that the lord himself will soon come down to Earth and smite all of us.

Well, except for the Catholics, of course. Last week the Vatican said it is the duty of Catholic lawmakers throughout the world to outlaw gay marriages. It is rather surprising that the Vatican found time to weigh in on this important subject, since they're usually busy transferring child molesting priests from one diocese to another.

The Episcopalians' move was perhaps best summed up by a Rev. David Anderson of the American Anglican Council, who said: "I think we have rearranged the deck chairs now on the Titanic for the last time. We have struck the iceberg and we are going to begin to see the ship of state starting to fragment and come apart."

Seems to me that the Rev. Anderson has seen the movie Titanic once too often and fallen in love with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Speaking of things that have struck icebergs and are rapidly falling apart, California has certinly been in the news lately. Wednesday actor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he will run for governor of California in this October's recall election. It was not immediately clear if he plans to campaign in his Conan the Barbarian loincloth. It's a safe bet that some computer wiz with too much time on his hands is already designing a movie poster style jpeg for The Governmator, which will be coming soon to an email in-box near you.

Ah-nold joins an already crowded and varied field which includes porn publisher Larry Flynt, child actor Gary Coleman, and dozens--if not hundreds--of others.

Jeez, Gary Coleman? Most people had probably assumed he was either dead or in jail with the rest of the Different Strokes cast members.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Do gay Mormons have like six or seven husbands?

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

According to the San Diego Zoo, their female panda, Bai Yun, is pregnant with twins. However, officials there are not sure who the father is.
The uncertainty about his identity stems from a recent tour group that came through the area. It consisted entirely of NBA players.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Michael "Where the Hell's the Rest of My Nose" Jackson is coming out with a new line of clothing to be marketed in Japan. The former pop superstar turned freakish space alien says that initially he will be offering men's suits, "though later I'd like to get into little boys' underwear."

In other entertainment news, the new Jennifer Lopez/Ben Affleck movie Gigli opened this past Friday to universally horrible reviews. Now the weekend's top ten box office totals show that the public treated it with equal scorn. The film came in at # 8 on the list and took in a mere $3.8 million. Thus it's official: Gigli is a stiff.
Then again, given the way she goes through men, J.Lo should be used to stiff things by now.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Scientists are on the verge of developing a vaccine for Alzheimer's.
The only drawback will be remembering to take it.

Friday, August 01, 2003

The radio station I listen to in the mornings had some very interesting guests on this morning. The group is called Hayseed Dixie, and their specialty is doing rock songs in "hillbilly style." Among their CD's is one devoted to AC/DC songs, and another to Kiss. And believe me, you haven't lived till you've heard "Highway to Hell" performed with banjos and fiddles.
They did perform one original song on the air called "I'm Keeping Your Poop," which is best described as a tribute to an ex-wife. Among the moving lyrics of this little ditty:

Keepin' your poop in a jar
Till the day you come back
So I don't forget what you are
Keepin' your poop in a jar.

The raw emotions evoked by the singer brought tears to my eyes.

As you may have heard some months ago, the FBI had drained in a pond in Maryland as part of its investigation into the Anthrax attacks of late 2001. After spending $250,000 on the project, and devoting countless manhours to analyzing the materials found in the muck, agents have found absolutely no trace of the bacterium, and no new evidence to aid their investigation.
They did, however, find three Iraqi nucear warheads and a truckload of mustard gas.