Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's New Year's, and I resolve to...

OK, we all need New Year's Resolutions. I suck at them, but it appears to be a moral imperative to do them. So here we go:

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


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

Happy holidays, and fear the Reindeer

Happy Holidays to everyone. Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, Pleasant Festivus. Whatever your day/weeks, enjoy it/them.

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

44 ways you know you are old...

Today, Dec. 18, is a very special (and depressing) day. Your blogging friend will have been patrolling the earth for 44 years.

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.

Simple, huh?

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..", 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

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

Odds and ends...and more odds

Disclaimer: The blogger would like to apologize for the following cheap technique. It is getting more and more difficult to attempt to be funny and entertaining all the time, 24-7. So sadly, we are reduced to this. It is cheap, it is weak, it is pathetic. But that's what happens when you get old. (I will be a small pocket pair next week. And sadly, it is not 3-3. But we digress)

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

Yes, I look bad...

Here is Wild Will, me, Jen Reyna and Matty the Superstar after last week's show.

Check out Jen's blog at

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

Elevator trolls 2, Uncle Freddy 1

Someone suggested I blog about how hard it is to be funny all the time.
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.


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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

OK, kid, here ya go; The greatest story ever told; Yes, she's hot

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'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."

Of course.

"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, 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.

Zoo people.


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
And yes, she was very cool and great to have on the show.


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