Wednesday, December 31, 2008
THE BIG ONES (The ones I am likely to try to keep)
1 -- Lose weight
2 -- Straighten out my finances
3 -- Get back to Vegas for the Main Event
4 -- Finish a new novel
THE EASY ONES
1 -- Gain weight
2 -- Spend more
3 -- Don't go anywhere
4 -- Don't do anything
OK, obviously this isn't working. Let's try some for famous people:
President Obama -- Keep smoking. Otherwise, he might get irritated and bomb North Korea.
Heath Ledger -- Avoid dying again so he can do another Batman.
Jerry Jones -- Get another facelift, just to see if there is any skin left****. (Non-Americans, just google "Jerry Jones Cowboys" and you will see what I mean.
George Clooney -- Acting lessons. And a movie that doesn't stuck.
Roger Clemens -- Someone who actually buys his BS. Well, besides his wife.
This isn't working either. Sigh. To heck with it. Here's wishing everyone an awesome 2009. The real resolution (besides the top four above) is to be as funny as possible next year and hopefully provide a chuckle or two on a bad day.
What resolutions do you have? The weirder the better...
Thanks for reading and see you all next year!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
The Faour experience is a little bit of everything. Hannukah for the kids, Christmas with my family.
But our Christmas experience is a little different. We all get together and make fun of each other over lunch. Then we occasionally play poker and I whine about getting donked.
(As an aside, until basketball comes on, we are stuck watching Christmas movies. Why is it EVERY Christmas movie involves orphans getting parents for Christmas? What about the other 200 kids at the orphanage? I want THEIR story. But we digress).
We also make up our own Christmas stories and tell them in the car on the way to visit the family.
Last year's story was Zunoz the Blue Nosed Reindeer.
Zunoz was Rudolph's older brother, ignored by the Santa family. So he evolved into an evil genius bent on world domination, with his first goal being to destroy Rudolph and the other reindeer, take over Santa's Sleigh, and drop small thermonuclear devices on key cities. The remaining humans -- out of fear -- would be forced to worship him.
But his evil plot was thwarted by Will and Katie, and he was presumably killed.
But Zunoz wasn't dead.
Vixen went to the local North Pole bar for some pre-Christmas egg nogg when a drunk reindeer began berating her. He smashed the jukebox, hit her over the head with a bottle, and rendered a serious beatdown on Santa's Reindeer.
It was Zunoz, drunk, blue nose flaring, dressed in a dirt old elf outfit.
Zunoz was arrested by the local elf police. Santa visited, and was faced with a Christmas decision: Bail him out, get him some help and clean him up, or leave him there to rot.
That's where the story ends this year. But I like the idea of a Zunoz Christmas special each year, where he tries different ways of overthrowing Rudolph and Santa and taking over the world.
Ah, you can't beat Christmas cheer.
Happy holidays, my virtual friends.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Forty-four-freaking years. It sounds so devastatingly old. It seems like yesterday I was an angst-ridden wannabe rock star teenager cranking out wicked guitar riffs and chasing the young vixens of the 409 area code.
By now, I would have expected to know the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.
I will just say this -- it wasn't 42. Or 43. Kind doubt it's 44.
The real answer? Pretty simple. Do the things you enjoy, treat everybody else better than you treat yourself, and don't be scared to try to be whatever you hope you can be in life. And when you fail, try something else.
The only true answer is finding what God (or whatever your deity) meant for you to be. That creates a harmony in yourself and in the universe.
Good luck finding that. I have no brilliant insight there.
At 44, I think I've found that harmony in the entertainment world, such as it is. In fiction. In making light of the world and myself.
Now if we could just figure out how the hell to make that profitable enough to exist comfortably... maybe that's the real answer.
But I digress.
Anyway, for your reading pleasure or displeasure, in honor of the day, here are 44 ways to tell you are officially old:
No. 1: You are listening to an "oldies" station and they play Pantera.
No. 2: People tell you "you are only as old as you feel," and you realize you "feel" 70.
No. 3: You are the old dude in the gym.
No. 4: You go to a college football game and your friends think the cheerleaders are hot, and all you think is "damn, they look like 12-year-olds."
No. 5: You make fun of Hooters girls instead of pursuing them.
No. 6: You go to sports bars instead of clubs.
No. 7: Your kids are watching the same movies as you and getting things you are missing.
No. 8: You start thinking like your parents.
No. 9: You can't remember half the people you meet anymore.
No. 10: (It's doubly bad when you "meet" someone you actually dated more than once.)
No. 11: You go to concerts and count the people older than you and hope you aren't in the top 5 percent* (that goes down one percent each year).
No. 12: You realize you are closer to being eligible for Champions golf tour than you care to admit.
No. 13: You are calling 43-year-olds "young man" or "young lady."
No. 14. You realize you were actually middle aged at 22.
No. 15: You realize you are worth more financially dead than alive.
No. 16: You realize you are closer to social security than High school.
No. 17: You are just six years away from being able to play in senior poker tournaments.
No. 18: People start sending you magazines like "Geezer jock." And you think the woman on the cover is attractive.
No. 19: You start thinking about getting a plant. Or a cat. Or a turtle. Or a goldfish. And becoming an old dude with a pet.
Then, of course, you meet people who have never heard of the following:
No. 20: Monty Python
No. 21: Benny Hill
No. 22: Hogan's Heroes
No. 23: Hong Kong Phooey (and Scatman Crothers).
No. 24: Aldo Nova
No. 25: Black Sabbath. (But they know Ozzy from the reality show. Really? He was in a band called Black Sabbath?)
No. 26: Freddy Mercury
No. 27: Dokken
No. 28: Krull
No. 29: The Southwest Conference
No. 30: Animal House
No. 31: They start making remakes of movies and you remember seeing the original in the theatres.
No. 32: You remember when there were no cell phones.
No. 33: You remember Atari pong and Intellivision.
No. 34: You wonder what life was like without the Internet. Even though you spent most of your life without it.
No. 35: You remember when Dec. 7 was the darkest day in American history, not Sept. 11.
No. 36: When you see people you haven't been around in a few years, they say.."Wow...you look...um, different..."
No. 37: You pull a muscle putting gas in your car.
No. 38: You run away screaming when you hear the words "tequila shots."
No. 39: Thirty year olds call you "sir."
No. 40: You are suddenly a "veteran" in your field.
No. 41: Your daughter's friends ask if you are her grandfather.
No. 42: Your daughter's friends' grandmothers are more attractive than their mothers.
No. 43: You start checking out www.viagra.com
And finally, No. 44:
When you start creating lists of why you feel old, come up with 44 reasons and could easily do another 44...
Friday, December 12, 2008
Anyway, some generic odds to share with my friends:
Odds you will not laugh at anything in this post: 3-1.
Odds that you guessed I meant 55 by my pending age: 2-1
Odds I hate you if you guessed 55: Off the board.
Odds that Tom Cruise will come out in 2009: Even.
Odds of Bugs Bunny making a comeback doing entire movie as a female rabbit: 4-5.
Odds one of my friends will have a pet coyote in 2009: 6-5.
Odds that I will mention something about circus midgets, trapezes and and spider monkeys when I get stuck and have nothing funny: 1-9.
Odds I will disappear from society and walk the earth like Jules in Pulp Fiction: 4-1.
Odds that Will reads this, even though he isn't supposed to: 1-9.
Odds that you haven't laughed yet: 1-1.
Odds that a gratuitous picture of the evil clown will freak you out: 1-1.
Odds that a gratuitous picture of this ugly kid will make you laugh: 2-1.
Odds that the Canadians and Brits will find a way to add another "u" to gratuitous: 1-1.
Odds that the government will offer me a bailout: 9,999,999-1.
Odds that I get elected president and invade Canada, Australia and England, just so I can hang with all my friends in those countries: 8,888,888-1.
Odds that I am out of odds: 1-10.
How odd is that?
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Here is Wild Will, me, Jen Reyna and Matty the Superstar after last week's show.
Check out Jen's blog at http://www.click2houston.com/bumpertobumperblog/index.html
If she sticks with the Front Page, we will make her a star. (Well, a bigger star).
(Yes, I know I look old. I was tired and a wreck and didn't spend any time getting ready and wasn't expecting to get pictures taken. So bite me).
Monday, December 8, 2008
Since I couldn't come up with a way to make that funny, I didn't do it. But I do feel like if you are going to take the time to come here, you should be amused. Or disturbed. Or entertained.
If you are bored, I have failed miserably.
So I apologize to the 26 people who were bored by last week's posts. Boring people are one of my pet peeves.
So, too, are elevators.
We won't recount all of the weird freaks I have attracted on elevators. But thankfully, they make life entertaining.
My favorites are the ETs. (Elevator trolls).
This morning, I finally fought back.
An elevator troll is a person who is in such a huge hurry to get on the elevator, they jump on before the person on the elevator can get off.
You know them. You hate them.
This morning, Ethel joined the list of ETs.
Ethel is an elderly woman who wears too much stinky perfume. She looks like she has been smoking for 71 years. Her skin has more wrinkles than The Usual Suspects. She has enough makeup to make the Joker blush. (Or is it enough blush to look like the joker?)
She works at one of the other businesses at our beautiful building. I'm not sure which one, but she has left her smell hanging in the elevator for months.
This morning, Ethel and a co-worker were getting on the elevator as I was trying to get off.
I have a five second rule. If you are not off the elevator in five seconds, and I am in a hurry, then I can troll you.
Ethel clearly has a less than a second rule.
I was stepping for the door as it was opening.
Ethel immediately shoved her way past me, along with her equally elderly friend. They never said excuse me, never even noticed I was trying to get off the elevator. Even though it was the first floor.
I was unable to get around them and to the door before it closed.
Ethel and whomever did not even notice me. (I know her name is Ethel because it is embroidered on her purse. Don't ask).
I was in a bit of a hurry. Was hoping to get a kolache between morning updates, which means I have little margin for error. An extra three minutes on the elevator counts as an error.
So I politely asked if they had seen me when they forced their way on. (At 6-3, 230, I am a little hard to miss.)
She grunted something inaudible that sounded like "move faster next time. Some of us work for a living."
The man looked at his shoes and didn't say anything.
Trying to be nice, I said calmly, "it's usually courteous to let people OFF the elevator before you get on."
She grunted again and mumbled something else that sounded like, "don't lecture me, kid. If I am late for work, I don't get paid."
"Well," I replied sweetly, "we wouldn't want that," as my elbow "accidentally" hit the stop elevator button, and it lurched to a halt.
"Whoops," I said politely. Then fumbled for a few seconds before pushing the button again and restarting the elevator. "Sorry Ethel. Don't want you to be late. I mean, if you couldn't afford perfume, or Marlboros with no filters, or skin care products, whatever you would do?"
I then -- politely of course -- added.."Oh, you must have been late last week and missed out on the skin products. Sorry."
The man forced a giggle. Ethel growled. We made it to her floor.
I didn't get my kolache, but I got a blog entry.
Sports fans check out the examiner blog where I unveil the greatest college football playoff plan ever conceived at http://www.examiner.com/x-1519-Houston-Sports-Examiner
And please click on our advertisers above (even if you are bored). They pay for this blog.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
It's hard to say no to your kids. Especially when they are as cool as mine. Will asked me to post of photo of himself and Katie on the blog for a computer class project he is doing. So here ya go, kid. And don't read past this. The rest is for my adult friends. And no, you can't have a pet hedgehog. (Thanks for THAT, Jody).
OK, so we all have drunk stories. (Well, not me. I have never done ANYTHING I regret because of alcohol. At least that I can remember. Or will admit).
I have said before on this blog I am a freak magnet. Dig back far enough and you will find the wheelchair prostitute story. Anytime I go out of town, I attract weirdos.
The greatest story ever, however, was the elephant woman. And yes, it is sort of a drunk story.
I was in Orlando, Fla., for APSE judging. That was where sports editors from all around the country come together and judge other sections. At the time, it was a very big deal. It was the academy awards of our business.
The whole trip started out strange. We were staying in a hotel that was next to a giant mermaid. (No, she wasn't hot). So anytime we went out and got lost we just had to drive up and down the road until we found the giant mermaid.
We spent most of the time locked in small rooms judging other newspapers, then a few hours at the bar, then back to work.
As an aside, I miss the hell out of contest judging. The camaraderie with the other editors, the friendships that developed...it's irreplaceable. If I could have one thing back from my journalism career, that would be it. (Well, there are a lot of people I would like to work with again that left the Chron years ago, including a few of you who read this blog. You guys know who you are. And yes, a few of you who are still there, too).
Anyway, back to our story. We had been judging for two days, and frankly, it was grueling work. Results from the contests were starting to trickle in, and our section hadn't won anything yet, which is a different kind of stress.
One of the young men I was judging with was Jeff Rosen, who I would eventually hire at the Chronicle. We were both pretty wiped out when we got stuck on an elevator for a good 15 minutes.
With a bunch of "zoo people."
It turns out that besides APSE, the hotel was also hosting a zoo convention.
There were zookeepers, vets, animal freaks of all kinds.
And the hotel was going through a sale, so the customer service was shoddy. They weren't in much of a hurry to get us out of an elevator, even though 10 of us were stuck on it (two journalists, eight zoo freaks). The hotel never answered the alarm; we finally got help by calling the front desk from cell phones and screaming at them for 20 minutes.
After that experience, I needed a drink.
We hit the bar, and I noticed a young lady sitting next to me. She kept creeping closer and closer, like she wanted to talk.
She seemed friendly, and she was attractive. After a few minutes, she started talking to me.
(My freak alarm did not go off, even though she said she was one of the "zoo people." Maybe it was because she was attractive).
She seemed very interested that I was a sports editor. We chatted briefly about why I was there and what I did.
But the conversation quickly turned to her.
She offered that she was there to do a session on antelope mating and artificial insemination of antelopes.
At that point, my freak alarm started to beep quietly.
Then, unsolicited, she offered this: "But the most interesting thing I have ever done is take semen from an elephant."
At this point, I see Rosen, who had been sitting next to me, on the other side of the bar, laughing. He had abandoned me.
I, on the other hand, was trapped. And a little scared, especially when she began describing the process in great detail.
"It takes two people to get elephant semen," she said with enthusiasm. "My assistant put on a large rubber sleeve, shoved his arm up the elephant's rectum and began massaging the elephant's prostate."
Her tone was clinical, matter of fact.
"This, of course, made the elephant erect."
"My job," she said, becoming more animated, "was to be the catcher."
Before I could comment, she added, "The catcher's job was to stabilize the penis, then collect the semen."
"But the problem was stabilization," she said. "During the process, the penis would spasm, up and down. I would reach my arms around it and try to prevent that from happening."
She then showed me how she did it, her arms over her head.
"But I am only 5-foot tall and 103 pounds, so it was a struggle."
She then to began to jump up and down, mimicking the struggle.
Of course, I had to ask the obvious question. Journalistic integrity, of course.
"How big was it?" She repeated my question. "Five feet long and three feet wide!"
After she bounced a few more times, she said, "then the elephant ejaculated!"
"And," she said, "I collected TWO liters."
At this point, I was looking for the exit. The visual of two liters of elephant...um...well, I had lost my appetite for food, alcohol and zoo people.
And I should have anticipated her next question. "Do you want to know the weird part?"
"Oh..." I said. "I HAVE to know the weird part."
She looked around to make sure no one else was listening, and whispered quietly.
"It was kind of sexy."
"So..." she said after an uncomfortable silence. "A bunch of us are going to go dancing later. Would you like to go dancing?"
The image of the bouncing zoo person in my head on the dance floor was too much to take.
"Um, er, no, I have to go to a meeting," I said, glancing quickly at my watch.
"What kind of people meet at 9:45 p.m.?"
"Oh," I said numbly. "Sports Editors. We are night people."
She seemed disappointed. "Well, if you change your mind, I am a hell of a dancer."
"Yes," I thought to myself. "I am sure you are. But I don't think I can manage two liters."
All of my female friends who hear that story insist she was trying to pick me up.
My question is OK, if that's the case, why an elephant? Who can compete with that?
Why not a chipmunk? Even an antelope?
But an elephant? Not a chance.
I'll have another entry on it later, but Ch. 2's Jennifer Reyna joined us live on the Front Page Sunday. For all of our international listeners who asked me the obvious, "is she as hot as you guys say?" You can check out her blog at http://www.click2houston.com/bumpertobumperblog/index.html
And yes, she was very cool and great to have on the show.
As always, please click on our advertisers. And for sports takes, check out the examiner blog at http://www.examiner.com/x-1519-Houston-Sports-Examiner
The latest takes include what Mike Hampton means for the Astros, grades on the Texans win Monday night, and why the Longhorns got screwed by the BCS. Please check it out.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
It is a tactic that has been employed ever since, especially when it comes to American women. They make nice, then steal everything you have.
But we digress.
This is a happy time, a time for giving thanks for all the wonderful things in our lives.
So, let's see, there's...uh...um...er....
OK, so it hasn't been the best year. I guess we should look for the things we're thankful we're NOT.
1) I am thankful I am not on death row. I mean, if they ever found that rotted, decaying body buried in that playground...
2) I am thankful I am not a bank or the stock market.
3) I am thankful I am not old. Well, never mind on that one.
4) I am thankful that I don't know any pervert priests.*
(*-see short story on prior post).
5) I am thankful I don't have a fanny, as it were.
6) I am NOT thankful that football season is nearly over. And that I think Rice is going to beat the Cougars.
7) I am NOT thankful for torn PCLs.
8) I am NOT thankful for hurricanes.
9) I am NOT thankful for people who don't return phone calls or emails.
10) I AM thankful for transvestites, evil clowns, spider monkeys, goofy Facebook statuses, language barriers, naked animals, bad movies, thongs (on strippers and sumo wrestlers ONLY), bearded women and all assorted circus freaks, Vern Troyer, sexy grandmas, flying dogs, devils needing penis enlargement, and anything else that gets me funny looks when I drop it into seemingly normal conversations. It occurred to me I am not very funny without you guys.
So thanks for that, too.
OK, the real things to be thankful for are two awesome kids, my brothers, mom and my grandmother, and all the cool people who keep life fun in H Town...The Chris Cs, Curtis Ps, The horse babe/Jason P entry, big Abel, the 1560 guys, El Deano, Michael the Mouth, Scotty S, Jerry the Man, No Fold, D Bounds, Super Sue, Rocket, Bern and Trish and everybody else I am forgetting who always picks up the phone when I call. Or returns my emails.
In the end, isn't that what matters?
Some other stuff:
1) Jack Daniels. Or Jim Beam, depending on the mood.
2) Shinedown. Or Linkin Park, depending on the mood.
3) All in with Aces against kings pre-flop, until the inevitable king on the turn. (Thanks for nothing, Poker Stars).
4) Making people laugh without dressing up like Little Bo Peep.
5) Making people laugh when I DO dress up like Little Bo Peep.
And most importantly, all the cool folks from all over the world who read this blog and click on the ads, which helps keep me in Jack Daniels and Jim Beam. I'm too broke to travel anymore, but you guys bring a little of the world to me every day. For that, I am eternally grateful to all of you. Much love.
The beauty of this blog is that so many of you spark the ideas. It's as much a community blog as it is me, which is a good thing, because you are all smarter than me. (At least most of you are).
Actually, when I first started this, a lot of the ideas came from chatting with Val. So she is sort of the unofficial conscience of the blog. She has even contributed a few ideas (not the funny ones. Those are mine).
Since then, many of you have suggested great ideas. Sometimes the ideas were great and my execution sucked. Sometimes we made them work.
The Canadians dominated for a while. Then the Aussies. Of late, the English have had the best ideas. (Especially Awesome Joy and Vikki the dazzling Brit).
The Americans? Not so much.
All this is a nice way of challenging you to throw me some fresh ideas. The best stuff always gets repurposed for our radio shows, which helps keep me employed.
Whoever has the best idea...well, I will publicly admit you are smarter than me, and that your country is by far the best in the world. (Not you, Val. Everybody else).
Just make sure it has nothing to do with Puritans and Native Americans...
And another blog I would like to recommend: http://gadfly-waywardthoughts.blogspot.com/
Thursday, November 20, 2008
*-I am just kidding. Please don't email and say, "do you mean me? You people are more paranoid than I am.
There is one thing I wish I could have back, however. One great regret. One thing I miss above all else.
Stupid headline mistakes.
There are millions of them around the world. Many great blogs make a career out of these. Here are a few I like. I am sure my former colleagues will have many to contribute.
Here are a few of my favorites from my days at the Chron. Some made the paper, some didn't.
1 -- "Brenham caught with Peters out."
Brenham had a player whose last name was Peters, and he was injured. Of course, that's not how it reads. It reads like an exposure case. The great irony? The same player was later allegedly caught on a recruiting trip, um, spanking his monkey* in a dorm hall.
*-see post on euphemisms.
2 -- "Man arrested after 20 years on lamb."
This is one of Paul McGrath's longtime favorites. That has to be one sore lamb.
3 -- "It's nut-cutting time for Kentucky."
All I can say is "ouch." Really. In Kentucky, that usually means geldings. Poor guys. Amazing how the meaning changes when you put a "u" in where there should be an "e."
4 -- "After 10 years, Johnson finally gets head job."
Poor guy. He must have been married all that time.
5 -- "Cowboys Sanders to miss three weeks with bulging dick in back."
Ah, typos. Obviously, Deion was a transcendent football player. But an extra package?
Guess that makes threesomes easier. Or maybe it was inserted.
Ugh. We learned to be careful with bulging discs.
Just this week, several headlines caught my eye for different reasons. "Sex in retirement homes becoming a problem." What, are they breaking hips at a record pace? "Death ends 15-year relationship." Damn dirty death.
Trish the superbabe pointed me to a great blog that has several
http://failblog.org (page 6: "Chick accuses some male colleagues of sexism" is one of my favorites.)
OK, I'm challenging everyone to give me their favorites. Best of the best wins some 97.5 gear.
As always, please click on the ads on this page. They help pay for the blog. And for the best sports takes in Houston, check out the examiner blog at http://www.examiner.com/x-1519-Houston-Sports-Examiner
And please check out a new blog from someone who is uniquely talented, clever and insightful (all the things I am not):
She has a lyrical way of writing that will sing to you. I predict this will be one of the most popular blogs on the planet in a few months.
Friday, November 14, 2008
My addiction to real horse racing is the stuff of legends, so being drawn to a goofy game based on it isn't a real stretch.
But as stated before on this blog, it's more the people. Most of the time, it is essentially like sitting in a bar with a bunch of other addicted degenerates talking about whatever comes up.
So it is not a stretch, too, that we all have similar interests. As such, I have made virtual friends with all sorts of wonderful people from all over the world.
(Yeah, yeah. Get a life, I know. Thanks, I have one. It's just virtual).
Regardless, there are very few Americans on there. Most are English, Aussies or Canadians.
Wonderful countries, all. Wonderful people, too.
But they don't speak English.
Well, not Texas English. Not even American English.
It's amazing how many phrases have gone off in completely different directions on different continents. (It has also led me to getting clocked in Wordscraper by these clever foreigners).
Thanks to Austin Powers, I managed to learn a few. I might take a bathroom break. The English go to the loo.
We don't have a word for loo, unless it's short for looney. (Which is what calling a bathroom a "loo" seems to be).
If your name is Randy, you can expect to get laughed at in England. While it's a nice, solid American name, it's also horny over there.
My personal favorite is the term, "fanny." In the States, it means butt, rear, etc.
In England, it apparently refers to a vagina.
I can see where this could be confusing, especially for an American/English couple. Especially if the man asks, "can I have a go at your fanny?"
Wars have been started that way.
I am also confused as to where a fanny pack is supposed to go now.
I am currently losing weight. I am not sure where I would do best. In England I would be losing stones. In Australia, kilograms. Here, it is pounds. Which would be money in England. (That might be my best bet. I am MUCH better at losing pounds in England than in America). But I WANT stones here. Sigh.
And I can't even talk to the English about tea. For some it's dinner. For other's it's lunch. For me it is a wretched drink.
And my English friends don't understand why we giggle like school girls when they talk about eating spotted dick. It's a sponge pudding for them. For us? It's someone who needs a penicillin shot.
Well, at least we all like alcohol. Even if I go to a bar and they go to a pub.
And Canadians...what is it with putting the extra "u" in every word? Is it really necessary? isn't Glamor just fine as Glamor? Why does it need to be Glamour? And humor...does it really need to be hume-you-are? That's what "humour" looks like to me.
Admittedly, I REALLY need to travel the world more. Unless I want to keep getting clocked at Wordscraper.
OK, if you have more of these, please share. Thanks to Joy, a clever young lady from England, for her help with this. Also, much love for Vikki the Dazzling Brit, who drops stuff out of the blue that is funny as hell and sends me scurrying for a dictionary. And thanks to Brandy the Awesome American for speaking the same language and wanting me to be president. And Virtual Val, the Canadian goddess, who puts a u in every word that has an o just to confuse me.
In response to C-squared's comment below...You want relationship advice from ME? What's next, human rights advice from Saddam Hussein? Bar Mitzvah advice from the pope? Coaching advice from Gary Kubiak? How to spell O words from Val?
Try this: At our age, until you purchase a ring, you are just friends. (That's what you get for dating 18 year olds). You don't need to drop that fact on them until you have been dating for about a month. Tell them it's a late 30s/early 40s thing.
Oh, and K-10 offsuit is not a good hand....:-)
As always, please click the ads, and visit the examiner blog at http://www.examiner.com/x-1519-Houston-Sports-Examiner
Thanks to all!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I have discovered I do not speak English. I need help from my English, Aussie and Canadian friends. Please send me some of your favorite phrases that are unique to your country. It will be for a blog entry later in the week. Just some of the things that confuse your American friends. Email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, a bit about ethics. We have been filling in for Calvin Murphy off and on over the past two weeks. Matt brought up a brilliant ethical dilemma on the show, and it got a lot of great response, so I thought it was worth revisiting here.
One of our interns left his personal email signed on a work computer.
The ethical question: How much are we allowed to do?
Send emails to his friends? Change his fantasy roster? Change his password.
The possibilities were endless. First up, his friend Jennifer. We had to send her an email confessing that he had a "small problem." But that he was considering enlargement surgery and would she be willing to talk about expanding their friendship at that point.
Mom, of course, got the full confession. "Mom, I have been wanting to tell you this for a while, but I recently found myself. I will be bringing my 'special friend' Bruce home this weekend."
And, of course, to Bruce..."I have a confession...I am attracted to you in a special way. Can we talk about this in person? Sorry I haven't brought this up sooner, but I wasn't sure about you until now..."
So what is over the line? How much can we get away with? When do we go from funny to childish?
And if any of you get strange emails from me, you'll know I was stupid and left myself signed on and the kid got me back...
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
In the interim, please visit the advertisers on this page. They pay for the blog. And check out the examiner blog; I get paid per view there. It's a great blog if you like Houston sports. If not, click on it and comment anyway and help a brother out.
Fun stuff is coming on this blog. Sometime this week, I will have something on how even though we all speak the same language (theoretically), the English, Aussies, Americans and Canadians all need translators for each other.
Also, some new fiction in the works. I had a Halloween story called Night of the Living Old Yeller. Didn't get it done in time for Halloween, but it is almost finished and it is as disturbing as it sounds.
I am also working on a new super villain series.
On the radio front, we'll be filling in for Calvin Murphy on 11/4, 11/5, 11/6 and 11/11. That's prime time, 5-7 p.m. Central. You can hear us on the Web site at www.975theticket.com. It promises to be entertaining, so please check it out.
So it's Election Day in America. Please get out and vote.
It doesn't matter whether or not you vote for the guy who says nothing or the old chipmunk looking dude who had to pick a hottie as a running mate to have any shot. Just vote.
The next election, however, I will be running for president as head of the Degenerate party.
I ask for your support.
Unlike my future opponents (the incumbent Obama and Palin the she-devil, who will run on her own in four years), I am not going to resort to ducking the issues and relying on my good looks to get elected.
I will not resort to negative campaigning.
However, I might have to point out a few facts.
I will mention that Obama is just a pretty face with the personality of a sponge.
I will mention that Palin sounds like she missed out on the lead in Fargo but that she did star in Damien Omen III as Damien.
I might even have to reveal that they had a little-known affair, and are secretly into each other in a big way.
And that they were both sexually involved with different farm animals, too. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but is this who we want leading our country?
No, this will be about me.
I promise no taxes whatsoever. We will get our money by initiating a national lottery and tax, er, collect from you that way.
I promise more national parties. No, not Dems and Republicans. Real parties, with circus midgets, trapezes, and Palin in a teddy.
We will also run the country like a college football program. In fact, just like the University of Texas.
Because of that, I promise we will invade Canada. (Nothing personal, Canada. We will leave right after we invade. We don't want to keep you.).
But we do need an easy win to help our BCS rankings. Iraq was tougher than expected. They took us to the wire. China is gaining points on us. We need to pad our stats.
Canada is like Baylor -- we need a rout to feel better about ourselves. We will pull the starters once we get a big lead. Really.
And finally, I will legalize poker in all states, eliminate the death penalty (except for people who annoy us) and decree that football must be played year round.
And I promise some pot for every chicken.
Or something like that.
Regardless, join the Degenerate party, and vote for Fred.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
And don't forget to click on our advertisers on this page. They support the blog. If you want to see Freddys World survive, help us out. Thanks!
We have a tendency in radio to overstate things, just because it's funny to us. Sometimes I will say something like, "that dude deserves to die." In reality, it's a euphemism for "that person is a below average human being."
If I say, "that dude deserves to die drowning in his own blood," that's usually a euphemism for, "that dude deserves to die."
So with that in mind, it's time to compile a list of people who deserve to die.
(Disclaimer: These are not pedophiles or sex offenders. Or serial killers, mass murderers or exes. That goes without saying. Just more general annoyances who we would be much better without).
1 -- Dorky Weezer concert dudes. See prior post.
2 -- Whoever invented rashes.
3 -- Perfume lady. (Featured in a prior post, but basically the lady who bathes in perfume and then gets on the elevator with you. Same goes for guys with cologne).
4 -- Telemarketers reading from a script. "Hello, Mr. Fay-yur, I am representing aluminum siding, Inc. We have an unbeatable offer for you today."
"Thanks, I'm not interested."
"I understand that sir, but our siding is guaranteed for 5 years, and..."
"I'm not interested, dude."
"I understand that, sir, but we are the No. 3 provider of aluminum and we were invented by John K. Savage, who..."
"I live in an apartment."
"Yes, I understand that, but our siding is the best..."
5 -- Whoever invented the Facebook blocker on office computer systems.
6 -- Stuart Scott.
7 -- People who use cell phones in public and talk about rashes and diahrrea.
8 -- Whoever left the band cart out at the UH game last night. (Here is the video of what happened. Warning, don't watch this if you are faint of heart).
9 -- Dentists who carry on conversations with you, expecting you to respond while your mouth is full of crap. "Fred, what do you think of the Rockets?"
"Mmmmppfh, gurgle, mmmpf."
"Yeah, but I think that Yao will stay healthy. And I think they have a big chance."
"Well, you are the expert. But I happen to think you are wrong."
10 -- People who self-promote and do stuff like, "please check out my other blog at http://www.examiner.com/x-1519-Houston-Sports-Examiner"
11 -- Men who try to pick up other men in the gym. (Don't ask me why, but I am a magnet for these guys. I am NOT into you. I don't roll that way. Although there is this one guy...).
12 -- Militant anythings.
13 -- People who insist on talking to you when you are clearly hung over and wish to be left alone.
14 -- People who insist on chatting with you online when you tell them, "hey, how are you? I am kind of busy at work right now but I will be in touch soon." Then they keep going anyway. "Really? You are on the air? How cool is it that I am chatting with you while you are on the air? So how is life? How have you been? How is the rash?"
15 -- Bill collectors. Especially the ones who say, "please call back. I can't help you unless I talk to you."
16 -- Parents who talk about their children as if they are completely flawless, the center of the universe, the most perfect kids ever created, then after about 30 minutes ask..."How are your kids?" And before you can answer, they jump right back in with, "oh, I forgot to tell you what mine did the other night..."
17 -- Radio talk show hosts. No, the other guys...
18 -- *People who tell you that wherever they live is better than wherever you live, because they are there and you are not. (*-Except Canadians and Aussies. Canada and Australia really ARE better. So I am told)
19 -- Whoever invented porn sites. Well, the ones that DON'T charge.
20 -- People who borrow your newspaper, take it to the restroom, spread it out on the floor, bring it back with water and brown spots, and return it to you.
Feel free to share some of your favorites...
Friday, October 24, 2008
I don't know what I expected. But I did not expect to walk into a dorm at Rice.
My buddies Gina the Horse Babe, Jason the Music God, and C-Squared went to the show Thursday night. We were by far the four coolest people in the building. (I mean, we usually are, but this was a landslide. This was Texas over Florida Atlantic).
At some point, C-Squared, Jason and myself decided we could kick the crap out of 95 percent of the men there. Most concerts, that percentage is closer to 50-55. We're old. (Well, I am).
Dude, you are at Weezer.
And the women? Well, they could kick the men's butts, too.
This was a crowd that would have gone to see Rush back in the day. Or Yes.
Dorky guys who can't get dates. (No comments from the audience, please. Especially you, Virtual Val. I see a smart aleck response coming from 1,000 miles away).
So the show itself was awesome. The company was terrific. The Horse Babe rating everyone was worth the admission.
But the people?
I had an exchange with a dork in the bathroom. I somehow said out loud that it was the dorkiest collection of dudes I had ever seen.
He replied in a whiny, high-pitched voice. "I hope you don't mean ME."
"Yes, dude. I mean EXACTLY you."
What happened afterward will not become public knowledge.
But the Dungeons and Dragons crowd was out in full force.
Memo to the dorkos: The songs are SARCASTIC. They are not your theme songs. Weezer has a sense of humor. You do not.
Then again...Troublemaker IS kind of my theme song.
Dude, you are at Weezer.
And the opening act -- Angels and Airwaves -- was horrible. They had the energy of a sea sponge. The lead singer (formerly of Blink 182) got all rock and roll on us near the of the set and threatened to "bring the f---ing roof off the f---ing place."
Um, Ike already did that, dude. And your wimpy little song wouldn't have brought the roof off a roach motel.
Hmmm...in retrospect, maybe HE was the dude in the bathroom...
As promised, a couple new things to check out: I am now doing a sports blog on examiner.com. Examiner.com is a brilliant idea -- it is a national Web site with local writers hitting topics of interest in the towns you care about. I will be the general Houston sports examiner, so it will be things of interest in the Houston sports world. Please check it out at http://www.examiner.com/x-1519-Houston-Sports-Examiner (It should be active very soon. I get paid per click, so even if it's not your bag, help a brother out?) It will have a much different tone from this blog. It will be more analysis and sports insight. This will continue to be about the freaks in my life. And as always, please click on the ads on this page. They pay for the blog.
We also now have a daily update on the Ticket's Website at www.975theticket.com where you can read about upcoming guests and goings-on each day on the Ticket.
On a serious note...As some of you might know, Sam Houston Race Park will not be doing a live thoroughbred meet this year. There were a lot of implications in the local media that the track simply did not want to run the meet and that the damage wasn't as bad as management implied. That is simply not the case.
No one wanted that meet canceled. It's unfortunate for a lot of reasons. Some good people -- and good friends -- might not have jobs.
But there was simply no choice.
It sucks that we won't have live racing. But blame Ike, not the track
Finally, thanks to everyone for reading and participating in this blog. You guys are creative as hell and you always keep me laughing. Not sure what I would do without you. Much love, my friends.
In the meantime, for those of you who want to wager on the BC this weekend, here is the tip sheet for Friday/Saturday that I did for SHRP...
THIRD RACE (filly and mare sprint): 5 – Indian Blessing, 1 Magnificence, 3-Intagaroo, 12-Ventura, 10-Miraculous Miss.
Indian Blessing looks like the best horse, but she's only run on the fake tracks once. I like the other three to all be in the mix. Magnificence might be a good horse to key at a price. Not a strong win candidate, but she should hit the board.
FOURTH RACE (12-Heart Shaped, 10-Beyond Our Reach, 1-April Pride, 6-Freedom Rings.
This one is wide open and I do not have a good feel for it at all. When in doubt, I just go with the Euros on the turf. I wouldn't play it, but if you must, maybe Heart Shaped across the board.
FIFTH RACE 10-Stardom Bound, 4-Sky Diva, 12-Dream Express, 6-Van Lear Rose.
Another tough one. I like Stardom Bound and Sky Diva the best. Also think Van Lear Rose can hit the board. Also, Black Magic Mama might hit the board at a huge price so throw her on the bottom of your bets.
SIXTH RACE (8-Halfway to Heaven, 10-Pure Clan, 7-Mauralaukana, 5-Wait a While).
Good race – I think one of these four wins the race. Pure Clan might be the upsetter.
SEVENTH RACE (1-Zenyatta, 3-Cocoa Beach, 5—Carriage Trail, 4-Music Note.
Don't see them beating Zenyatta, although Cocoa Beach might be good enough. Zenyatta has only been 1 1/8 miles once and that was her closest race, so maybe that is a good enough excuse to try to beat her. But I would just hammer the 1-3 and 1-5 exactas.
RACE ONE (4-Sixties Icon, 7-Big Booster, 3-Delightful Kiss, 1-Church Service).
Really like this race. I would consider keying Big Booster in all three spots in the tri. If Sixties Icon is right, he kills this group, but he might not like the surface, and Big Booster seems to be the most consistent horse. Keep an eye on longshot Church Service.
RACE TWO (13-Get Funky, 10-California Flag, 14-Mr Nightlinger, 6-Storm Treasure.
Love Get Funky to get a perfect trip behind the dueling California Flag and Mr Nightlinger. Think he turns the tables on Flag this time at a decent price. And watch for Storm Treasure to pick up the pieces late to hit the board at a monster price.
RACE THREE (8-Well Armed, 7-Albertus Maximus, 1-Lewis Michael, 12-Lord Admiral)
Was hoping Well Armed would go in the Classic, because thought he had a shot to knock off Curlin. He should be close to a lock in this, although he will face more internal early pressure here and he is probably a better horse going slightly longer. Like Albertus, Lewis and Lord to run behind him in the exactas and tris. Don't leave Slew's Tiznow and My Pal Charlie out of the bottom of your tris.
RACE FOUR (1-Shakis, 2-Kip Deville, 5-Daytona, 4-Goldikova)
One of the hardest races on the card. Hard to imagine Kip Deville won't bounce back from a poor effort on the weird turf course at Woodbine. But Shakis is consistent and will be coming on late. If Daytona can shake free early, look out, but that rarely happens in this race. Goldikova is a Euro monster and Whatsthescript loves the surface so watch our for them as well.
RACE FIVE (4-Square Eddie, 3-Terrain, 12-Bushranger, 11-Pioneer of the Nile).
Another very tough race. Square Eddie was huge in his first start over a fake surface, and anything close to a repeat makes him tough here. Bushranger faced much tougher in Europe and if his form transfers, look out.
RACE SIX (3-Westphalia, 4-Donativum, 11-Bittel Road, 5-Relatively Ready).
Bittel Road will likely take most of the money, but you have to think the Europeans are standouts here. Westphalia and Donativum appear to be the top two of the Euros. If they don't run, it's wide open, but expect one of those two to get it done.
RACE SEVEN (9-Fatal Bullet, 2-Street Boss, 8-In Summation, 1-Cost of Freedom).
Fatal Bullet is a fake track specialist who should get a perfect trip sitting off the speed and turn it on late. Will be a square price and should be in the mix. Don't like his rider, but other than that, all systems are go. Street Boss and In Summation like the Cali. tracks and can close. Defending champ Midnight Lute is unbeatable on his best, but you never know when it is coming. Will play against him.
RACE EIGHT (4-Soldier of Fortune, 9-Conduit, 2-Red Rocks, 3-Grand Couterier).
Europeans are simply light years better on the turf going long. Soldier of Fortune was third in the Arc, the toughest turf race in the world. If he handles the ship, he rolls here. If not, watch for Conduit. Red Rocks won this race in 06 and was third last year so you know he can handle the tight turns.
RACE NINE (1-Go Between, 4-Duke of Marmalade, 9-Curlin, 3-Tiago).
Curlin has been the best horse in the world for two years. But there is a reason his connections have avoided synthetic surfaces. He is vulnerable here. A loss won't diminish his legacy, and a victory confirms what we already know. Go Between is a monster on these surfaces. Maybe he is running for second behind Curlin, but you can count on him to run a big race. Duke of Marmalade wasn't that far back in the Arc and if he handles the surface, he rolls. After that, Tiago, Champs Elysees, Student Council -- those are all horses that could hit the board. Curlin is the best horse, but the best horse might not win. If he doesn't, plan to cash in.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
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So on with the show...
We have two things we would love to accomplish on our radio shows, just to entertain ourselves. One is to do an entire poker show without mentioning poker.
Another is to do an entire show in euphemisms.
I absolutely love euphemisms. Always have, probably from the first time I heard the term "Spanking the monkey." (I have no idea what it REALLY means, of course).
We have created some of our own for the show. "Pretzels" is a euphemism for dollars when discussing potentially illegal wagers. For instance, "I love the Texans to cover the three points. I will probably drop a few pretzels on that."
Richard Weed is a euphemism for Dick Weed which is...well, I guess just an insult.
Satan is a euphemism for *-ex. (*-disclaimer -- not the most recent ex wife. She is actually a very cool person).
Very cool person is a euphemism for...(um, er, never mind!)
There are death euphemisms (hanging with Elvis, sleeping with the fishes, being coached by Joe Paterno...)
And political ones. "Palin" is a euphemism for "Damien Devil worshipper who will take over the world."
Of course, sports euphemisms are the best, especially when rating members of the opposite sex.
All-Stars are, well, all stars. You pay them big bucks and expect them to deliver. You can also assume you will lose them to free agency at some point.
Starters are good players that sometimes look like superstars. They are solid, you like having them on your team, and you don't have to deal with the superstar mentality. But you usually get bored with them at some point because they never quite make it to superstar level.
Then there are role players. They are nice to have, but you won't sign them to long term deals. They fill a role, sometimes they can rise to starter level, but you forget them pretty quickly when they are gone
Bench warmers? Only to fill out your roster. They only get to play when all the good players are taken.
Recently, we rated Hooters girls by starting hands in poker. The practical offshoot of that is Pocket Aces is now a euphemism for a superstar; deuce-seven off is a euphemism for, well, a manimal. Which is a euphemism for...oh, you can figure it out.
There are millions more, especially for, um...sex. Please share some of your favorites so that when we do our euphemism show, we can use your suggestions.
In the meantime, the next time I win a few pretzels on football, I plan to find a superstar. Then I will play my pocket aces, get them snapped, and go home and spank the monkey.
Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day was a guest on our poker show last week.
Pat and I have a long history. As a rider, frankly, I hated him. He was terrific, but if he hadn't been so damn, uh, patient, he would have won a lot more races*. (*disclaimer: I actually think Pat is terrific. I have just always enjoyed making fun of him in a good natured, Freddy way).
Regardless, Pat told us his nickname was "Patient Pat," because of his propensity for sitting back and letting a horse make one late run. (I preferred the less flattering, Pat "wait all" Day).
(Here is Pat finishing second on Easy Goer in the Preakness. He finished second a lot. In fact, in his career he won 8,804 races. I can't find anywhere how many times he finished second. I will just speculate and say 400,366 times.).
Pat is actually a very good guy who has been involved with racetrack chaplaincy for a long time. His interviews are always good for one, "since I gave my life to Christ," comment, and then he usually moves on.
I guess because it was us, he took it a little farther. He spent several minutes testifying on air. During a gambling show.
I am sure it was payback for all those times I said in seminars that I hated Pat more than my first wife. For the time I heckled him at Oaklawn Park. For the time I thanked him for running second (again) while Calvin Borel outrode him to give me a $45 winner to close out a nice pick 3.
Anyway, as he finished the interview, I thanked Pat for sharing.
Matt thanked God for being a surprise guest on the show.
I'm all for religion. I'm very happy for people who have found God, whether they be Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu or jockey.
But I was so depressed after the show and felt the need to change my life. No more wagering pretzels. No more rating human beings as Texas Hold Em Starting Hands.
No more being a degenerate.
At least I have a new euphemism. My new one for religion will be "riding with Pat."
Although I will probably finish second.
Speaking of horse racing, I will post my Breeders' Cup picks on the Ticket's Web site. I will link it later in the week. Hint: Curlin will lose, and if you trust us, you will make LOTS of pretzels.
And finally, my favorite video of the college football season so far...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWt1tGTHdkc
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Because of that, Sage Rosenfels should do the honorable thing.
He should go all Frank Pentangeli on us.
(If you don't get the reference, go watch Godfather II again. And take three steps backward and put a shame on yourself).
Sage's coup was foiled. When a coup fails, you do the honorable thing. Just like Frank.
If you think that's extreme -- that a backup quarterback should whack himself for blowing a football game -- you don't understand the passion for football and the angst of the Houston sports fan.
This is where Choke City was born. Where a team blew a lead when they were up 35-3 at halftime. Where John Stockton is a four letter word. Where Lorenzo Charles will be shot on sight next time he enters Houston city limits. (Memo to law enforcement: Since I am writing this in advance, it counts as an alibi, because why on earth would I do something I wrote about?****)
****-Stolen from the plot of Basic Instinct. Minus the hot chick. Although you should see me in a Batgirl costume. But I digress.
Regardless, in sports -- especially football -- one person RARELY loses a game.
This was one of those days.
So Sage, I'm Tom Hagen. I'm making a "suggestion." Do the honorable thing.
Ok, by now you know I think Sarah Palin is the devil. But I do think she is not unattractive.
(Take a second to sort through that convoluted sentence...And we resume).
So a few of us were goofing off the other night while I was trying to come up with a blog idea. Danny -- a.k.a. Captain Canada -- suggested political threesomes. (Yes, he is as sick as I am).
So while a Palin/***Condoleeza Rice/Freddy power trio would make a lot of sense (I can almost hear Lady Damien saying "you betcha" over and over), I submit there are more interesting duos that could become threesomes:
(***-Condi is sneaky hot).
1) Margaret Thatcher/Barbara Bush. Is Margaret still alive? I love the smell of Ben Gay in the morning. Smells like...victory!
2)W. and Laura Bush. I mean, he is cute, in a chipmunk sort of way, is he not? And I hear she has a Putin tattoo.
Ugh. Never mind. I have officially made myself ill.
I am off to do the honorable thing.
OK, let's see if you guys can do better...got any sicker duos you would want to see in a threesome?
(And I am talking golf. What the hell did you think I meant?)
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
So, what's your Facebook status today?
One of the most interesting things about Facebook is you can put your status at the top of your page, and it will go to all your friends.
"Mindy is happy today."
"Dana is going to work."
"Sarah is running for Vice President."
That kind of thing.
My favorites are the people you hardly know putting up cryptic status messages that could mean anything. Especially if you do not religiously following their status.
"Jeffrey is much better today."
Really? I missed yesterday. I think I met Jeffrey at Taco Bell one day and he added me as a Facebook friend. I haven't talked to him since and probably never will again.
But now I am curious. What happened to Jeffrey that made him unhappy in the first place? Did he just have a bad day? Did his girlfriend leave him? Is his leprosy in remission? At least he is much better today.
I got this one recently:
"Elaine thanks all her friends for caring."
Really? But Elaine, what if I don't care? What is it I am supposed to care about? Did you husband leave you? Die? Or, worse yet, decide to stay with you?"
Damn. I just can't miss a day of updates.
What I would really like to see is Facebook status honesty day. For one day, everyone put what they are REALLY thinking on their status. Plenty of detail, and no BS.
Imagine the possibilities...
"Alex has been married for seven years, but he is really gay and would like nothing more than to do the sword dance with the bearded barista at the local Starbucks."
"Jenny is sick of her family and wishes they would all die so she could get the inheritance."
"Lisa loves her husband, but she is proud to announce she has now slept with 17 of her 20 male Facebook friends, and the other three are gay."
"Brad thinks his girlfriend Sarah needs to drop 20 pounds."
"Sarah thinks Brad needs penis enlargement surgery and could use a few hours in the gym himself."
"Steve thinks it is pathetic that he spends so much time on Faceboook and has to flirt with virtual women who are probably uglier than the skanks he dates when he actually goes out."
"Linda thinks Steve's photo is shot from an angle that makes him weigh somewhat less than the 350 he's probably packing."
"Sophia says yes, my photo is hyper hot. It's a super model I pulled off a Web site. I am really a 55-year-old homosexual pedophile named Stanley Rubenstein and this is how I feel special."
"Sarah is running for Vice President. But she is really the Anti-Christ and will kill her running mate four days after he is elected and rule the free world."
I think this would be MUCH more fun. What do you think? Give me your favorite real ones and ones you would like to see. Either sell out your friends or don't.
Oh, and my honesty status?
"Fred is tired, hung over/drunk (depending on the time of day), broke and struggling to come up with a funny blog entry and can't understand why anyone would give a rat's ass about his status."
To Katie Faour on Oct. 1
Happy birthday. I can’t believe you are already 7. It seems like yesterday I was sitting in Texas Children’s, watching a tiny, scared little infant struggle to breathe. I prayed more then than I ever have back then.
That you would grow up to live a happy life.
That you would be a healthy, happy child.
That you would be OK.
Today, you are a beautiful, brilliant little person. So full of life. So full of attitude. Seven years old going on 18.
Everyone says their children are perfect. Mine truly are. Even if their parents aren’t.
But I also prayed back then that if you made it, you would be the best of both of us.
You are that, and much more.
More than anything, you are an answered prayer. You are proof that God exists.
No matter how bad things get, I can look at you and know that my prayers – the most important of my life -- were answered.
Happy birthday, Katie Faour. Your dad loves you more than you know.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Abu is my nemesis. He (or she) is the host, and I am the virus. And Abu constantly takes medicine to try and kill me. But I am a vicious virus. I will not go away.
OK, some background first...
One casualty of the storm is the wireless at the station. It has been down ever since Ike and there is no indication when or if we will get it back.
This is a bit of a problem for those of us who need our laptops to do our job. The company has a policy against allowing us access to the hardline Internet from non-company computers. (I assume they think we will download animal porn). But almost everything I need to do my job is on the desktop of my laptop.
So we have been trying to find unsecured signals to "borrow" in the building.
We have most of the 7th floor, so when we find a signal it is pretty weak and usually from another floor.
Abu is the name of an unsecured wireless signal.
Abu became a part of my life the day after Ike. Abu is a very weak signal, but it is unsecured. (Please, no Internet etiquette lectures. Yes, I know I could buy my own wireless. I don't roll that way. Besides, the station has a GREAT signal. When it works. And if dude doesn't want me poaching, make it a secure wireless).
In many ways, Abu is like a family member now. He joins my friends at the apartment, "Carrie," "Miss snake" and "Robertd." (Really interested in meeting "Miss Snake." I mean, a miss with a snake? Hmmmm...maybe that's something I can download).
But Abu is fickle. He kicks me off, usually when I need him the most. He will let me in long enough to write an email, but not long enough to send it. He cuts off my chats at inopportune moments.
I can almost picture Abu, sitting somewhere in an office in the eighth floor, getting increasingly agitated as I steal his signal.
I half expect him to storm in one day and go all Seinfeld on me. "You are very bad man, Mr. Fred. Very bad." (OK, my apologies, Babu)
I have a love/hate relationship with Abu. Some mornings Abu is helpful and friendly. Others? We are in an all out war. That's where we are now. Abu must die.
(Wow, Abu sounds a lot like a wife, huh?)
But I would like to thank him (or her) for letting me stay on long enough to post this.
I know you are watching, Abu. Be afraid. Be very afraid. I AM a very bad man.
Hope you enjoyed the animal porn.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I've had a lot of people ask me about the short story below...It is NOT based on any real events, especially in my life. It's FICTION. I craft stories. If you are disturbed, I did my job.
Friday, September 19, 2008
When you are locked in a room by a hurricane, you tend to either get creative or stupid. I have not written any fresh fiction in a while, so this popped in my head.
When you are locked in a room by a hurricane, you tend to either get creative or stupid. I have not written any fresh fiction in a while, so this popped in my head.
Warning: It's graphic. It's violent. It's disturbed. If that's not your bag, stop reading now. If it is, I would love some input.
Warning: It's graphic. It's violent. It's disturbed. If that's not your bag, stop reading now. If it is, I would love some input.
No title yet, but something will come to mind...
No title yet, but something will come to mind...
“Bless me Father, for I have sinned,” the Killer hissed. “It’s been 30 years since my last confession.”
Monsignor Benetti grimaced in pain from the knife jabbed deep into his right leg, squeezing tears out of both dull brown eyes.
“Have mercy,” he cried softly. “Please… have mercy. I am a man of God.”
The Killer sighed deeply, exhaling the cigarette smoke in a swirling cloud of gray. It hung there briefly, seeming to form the shape of a snake, then an angel, then wisping away on the wind, floating toward heaven.
He took another deep drag, then pulled the knife from the priest’s leg, casually wiping the blood on the Monsignor’s now-stained collar.
The killer smiled, Marlboro hanging loosely on his lips.
“Mercy is for the weak, Father,” he hissed. “You told me that once.”
The pain in Benetti’s leg was now shooting into his hip, his right side. The Monsignor thought he might black out, but he stayed focused. His arms and legs were bound in the chair, duct tape tight against him. He tried feebly to move, but knew there was no hope.
He was trapped. For better or worse, his fate was in the hands of a man he didn’t recall. He seemed so familiar, but Benetti couldn’t place him. He had been given something, and it was affecting his mind.
“I don’t remember you, son,” he whispered, almost hopelessly. “And I would have never said such a thing.”
Benetti’s face was old, ruddy with alcoholism, his eyes blank and hopeless. He scrambled his memory, trying to remember this man, but it was a blank, lost in waves of bourbon and the fresh pain in his leg.
“Son…” he whispered.
“Don’t call me that again!” The Killer screamed, grabbing the Monsignor’s throat, holding the knife against his target’s nostril. Benetti could taste the rubber gloves tight against his lips.
“Never call me that again!” the Killer hissed, unable to control his anger. “I am not your fucking son.”
He loosened his grip, pulled the knife away slowly, exhaling fresh smoke in the Monsignor’s face.
“No mercy, Father,” he spat. “Not this time.”
Benetti wracked his brain, trying to remember this man. The Killer’s features were hard to discern. His hair was
dark with hints of gray, but most of it was covered by a Yankees cap. He wore dark sunglasses that reflected the Monsignor’s scared eyes. A black hoodie was pulled slightly over the baseball cap. The killer was a large man, a little overweight in the middle, but not unattractive. There was something very familiar in him, but Benetti couldn’t quite place it. So many little boys…
Oddly, he found himself aroused.
That ended as he felt the knife against his lap, piercing his left testicle. He tried to scream, but his mouth was suddenly filled with cloth.
This time, he did pass out.
The Monsignor awoke to find himself face down on the floor, his robes pulled up over his back, leaving him exposed. His pale legs and hairy, boil-stained ass were cold in the dawn air.
Benetti couldn’t tell where the pain was coming from – his leg or his testicle. He was gagged now, and struggled to breath through a nose that had clearly been broken.
“You don’t remember me at all,” The Killer said, somewhat bemused.
Benetti tried to respond, but his inaudible grunts were immediately dismissed.
“Quiet, Father,” the killer said. “No one can hear. Just like when I was here before...”
He lit another cigarette and smiled.
“You don’t remember me, but I remember you,” the Killer said, almost beaming. “Right here in this room. On this floor. Right where you are now. Shall I remind you?”
Benetti squirmed and grunted, but the knife against his ass stopped him cold.
“My name was Tommy,” he gasped, drawing closer now, whispering in the Monsignor’s ear, pulling his body against the Priest’s. “Tommy. Little Tommy, you called me. Little Tommy, your SON, you called me.”
He shoved the lit cigarette into Benetti’s ear, and laughed at the muffled scream.
The killer seemed irritated the cigarette had gone out. He relit it and took another drag.
“You brought me back here after mass, and gave me wine. Lots of wine. Remember?”
Benetti already knew the story, even if he didn’t know the man. This Tommy could have been one of a hundred boys.
“The blood of Christ, you said…” The killer’s voice was now sharp, cold, as if he had gone into a trance, going back to a place he didn’t want to be.
Even so, he was enjoying himself.
“You said the wine would make me forget…make me part of God’s special children.”
He took another drag.
“God’s special children,” he whispered.
Now, the Monsignor could hear the anger in his voice.
“I did forget,” he said. “For years I forgot. Put it out of my mind. Lived a normal life. That wine did make me forget. You were right about that.”
Again, the smoke hung there, this time around the killer’s face, mimicking a skull.
“And then I saw you on TV…You and the Bishop, and your lawyer. And how you were falsely accused, and how that poor boy was disturbed...”
Benetti tried to speak, but they were just grunts in the cloth, which was starting to gag him.
“You’ve gotten fat,” the Killer said casually.
He got up, and casually grabbed a bottle of wine.
“This is the blood of Christ,” he said, and began pouring it on the Monsignor.
He then took a sip. And Benetti started the think the Killer might be drunk.
But The Killer was rolling now, comfortable.
“I hadn’t tasted wine in 29 years,” he said. “I was out with a friend one night, and she gave me a sip of her wine, and it all came back to me. All at once.
“I threw up.”
He smiled again, his thin lips pulling across his face. Despite his girth, his face was gaunt, like a ghost long dead come back to life.
“You put me on the floor, right there where you are now. You shoved yourself inside me. It seemed like forever. The wine didn’t dull the pain. As small as you are, it hurt me. And you kept whispering, over and over…”thank you, son. Thank you, son.
“Thank you, son.”
He paused, took another drag. He looked at the cigarette briefly, knowing it was bad for him, and clearly not caring.
“Then you wiped yourself off on my altar boy robes, washed your hands in Holy water and prayed for forgiveness. And you gave me more wine. And took a deep drink from a bottle of Jim Beam.
“And twenty minutes later, you did it again.”
He held the gun lovingly. “Do you remember me now?”
The Monsignor was sobbing, unable to respond. He still didn’t remember this particular man. But that story had played out so many times.
He tried to say “forgive me,” but the words wouldn’t come out. The killer seemed to understand him.
“No father. No forgiveness. No mercy.”
And he shoved the gun deep into the Priest’s ass, as far as it would go, violently, over and over again. Benetti’s muffled screams made the killer laugh.
The killer pulled himself closer to the Priest, whispering in his ear.
“Thank you, son.”
He smiled, satisfied, and wiped himself off on Monsignor Benetti’s robes.
Again, the Monsignor passed out.
Benetti woke up in the chair again. He was numb all over. The killer had given him something to make him relax. He felt only a dull ache in his backside, in his testicle, in his leg. He was no longer gagged, and he was completely naked.
Benetti thought about screaming for help, but suddenly the gun was in his mouth, and the taste of his own feces made him gag.
“Shhhh, father.” The killer whispered. “We’re almost done.”
Monsignor Benetti noticed the candles. There were 26, all lit. One giant candle in the middle surrounded by 25 others.
“Why?” he whispered. “The word took a long time to get from his brain to his mouth. Clearly they were strong drugs. The wound in his leg didn’t look real. He wanted to laugh at it.
“One for each of us. All the altar boys who were here when I was. And one big one for all the others I know nothing about. Including that little boy you said was disturbed.”
The Monsignor began to sob again.
The Killer was wearing Benetti’s robes. It made him look even more familiar. He casually moved closer.
“I will hear your confession now.”
Benetti started crying. And then, they all came back to him, one by one. He gave names, years, what the boys were like, what he told them to say. And yes, he remembered Tommy Shea.
He stared at the flickering candles and sobbed.
“I’m sorry, Tommy. God made me this way. Please don’t kill me.”
The Killer smiled, and placed the tape recorder on a stand next to the chair, gently switching it off “record.”
“This is where I am supposed to say, ‘three Hail Marys and do a good deed for a stranger and you will be forgiven,” the Killer crooned.
“But do you remember what you told me when you finished with me?”
Benetti sobbed and offered a muffled, “yes.”
The killer glared. “I was weak. No mercy for me. I had to be cleansed.”
He shoved the shit stained gun deep down Benetti’s throat.
“Mercy,” said the Killer, “is for the weak. YOU have to be cleansed.”
He slowly pulled back on the trigger, watching Benetti’s cold, broken eyes tear up as the inevitable blast drew closer.
“Oh yes,” the killer whispered as the Mosignor sobbed.
“Before I forget…”
“Don’t tell anyone about this. God will punish you if you do.”
The .45 exploded, spraying brains and blood all over the room. What was left of the Monsignor slumped in the chair, his grotesque body almost a parody with the bloody mess that used to be a head hanging over it.
The blood was everywhere. The Killer was amused in the way that it covered the stained glass window behind the corpse.
The Killer smiled. The sunlight was just starting to creep through the window; the stained glass Jesus was covered in blood. Only the eyes were visible. The Killer stared at them for a long time, then took off the robes, threw them on the floor and set the on fire. They would not find his DNA at this scene.
The Killer pulled his pants back on, but left his shirt off. On his chest was a large tattoo; an angel. The Angel of Vengeance.
The Killer smiled, pulling a tattoo needle out of his bag. He quietly added a drop of blood to the Angel’s sword. He went slowly, methodically, like he had all the time in the world. It was his fifth drop of blood.
“Say hello to Satan for me,” he whispered to the cold dead corpse.
He put away his needle, pulled on his shirt and put out the fire as the robes flickered to ashes.
Again, he reached into his black bag, pulling out a small book. It was a diary.
He opened it to the last page, which was bookmarked with a newspaper article.
The broken cursive was hard to read, as if the author had been drunk when he wrote it. “Father, I hope God forgives you,” it read in broken cursive, surrounded by splatters of blood.
“Because I don’t.
“Burn in hell. I’ll be waiting there for you.”
The signature was in blood.
The Killer tossed the diary on Benetti’s ruined body.
The corpse looked fake. It seemed cold, empty, almost surreal. Soulless.
The Killer was dressed now. He took one more look at the newspaper article, then left it on top of the book.
It was a news story about Tommy Shea, 42, years old. Survived by two children and an ex wife. Found dead in his apartment, apparent suicide, brains blown out with a .45.
The killer picked up his bag, quietly. He took one last look at his work.
“Vengeance is mine,” he whispered. “Vengeance is mine.”
He lit a cigarette, walked toward the door. He turned back briefly, picked up the bottle of Jim Beam, and put it in his black bag, easing out the door.
Father John Scales found the body a few hours later. He called the police, quietly waited as the investigators did their work. He said all the right things, helped the officers. No, he hadn’t heard anyone come in. He didn’t hear the gun. He took pills to help him sleep. He didn’t know until he had walked into the room shortly after , and immediately called the police. He was new here, had only been assigned there for a week. Barely knew the Monsignor, really. He was just a young priest, one they moved around a lot. He never knew Tommy Shea.
Then he prayed for the Monsignor. And for the Killer.
When the police left, he went out behind the church and lit a Marlboro. His chest was still sore from a recent addition to his tattoo. He leafed through a new diary. Bobby Rigby. Poor Bobby Rigby.
He looked skyward.
“Bless me Father, for I have sinned,” he said, rubbing the diary lovingly. Father Todd would soon be reunited with Bobby Rigby.
“And I will sin again,” he whispered.
“I will sin again.”