Wednesday, May 28, 2008

America's Pastime

The top of the fifth inning had just gotten underway. The Portland Sea Dogs – the visiting team – were down by a run, but had something cooking. With only one out, they had runners on second and third – scoring position by anyone’s account. The home crowd was listless, but hoping that their team, the New Brunswick Scallywags, could hold onto this lead. The pitcher, Patrick “Gunner” Foster, was feeling the pressure. Having already surrendered twelve runs, Foster thanked his respective God that opposing pitcher Jove “Mad Dog” Matheus sucked just a little bit more than he. There were two strikes on the batter, Sea Dog cleanup hitter Mags “Mad Dawg” Johnston, and foster felt the heat of the crowd intensify rapidly. “Let’s Go Sea Dogs!” chanted a few daring visiting fans, their cries of support made all the more obvious through the otherwise silence of the crowd. “Let’s Go Sea Dogs!” the fans continued to chant. However, this woke up a few heretofore dormant New Brunswick fans, who combated with chants of “Let’s Go Scallywags!” The two chants were at meek battle with one another – “Let’s Go Sea Dogs!” “Let’s Go Scallywags!” fighting it out for loudest chant, or in this case, least quiet. The two chants began to overlap to the point where the mass of sound began to resemble something closer to “Let’s Go Seawags!” Indeed, that’s what the chanters began to think was being said. As more “fans” joined in, they chanted what they thought they heard – “Seawags”. The chant became more muddled as confusion built at an alarming pace. “Let’s Go Seawags” became “Let’s Go Scallydogs!” which became “Let’s Go Scallions!” and “Let’s Go Waggydogs” simultaneously, which morphed into “Let’s Go Scrappy Doo!” which somehow became “Let’s Go Skinimarinky-Dinky-Dink-Skinimarinky-Doo” which went back to “Let’s Go Scallions” for some reason, before finally settling on “Let’s Go Get Some KFC!”

This turned out to be a brilliant bit of unintentional marketing, as the crowd began to desperately crave some Kentucky Fried Chicken, and left the game.

The Scallions ended up winning, 18-16.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Text Pileup

There’s a quarter mile backup on the corner of 42nd and Lexington, due to what experts are referring to as a “text message collision.” Approximately twenty-four individuals suffered direct impact while on foot, due to their preoccupation with a text message. Ambulances arrived at the scene only moments later, but alas, the carnage had already taken place. Eye witness Dom Wertle shares his account: “Well, it just looked like a bunch of people texting on their phones, and just timing their strides terribly. Maybe it would’ve helped if at least one of them had been looking up, but no – they may have misspelled something.” Only a few phones have been recovered out of the pile of mangled human appendages, but what exists is truly telling.

Darren Wallman, 32, was allegedly on his way home from his job at Ernst and Young, and decided to text his buddy “Rich” that he was “totally down for tonight”. Of course, Wallman appears to have spoke too soon.

Betsy Fandler, on her way to a night shift at a local Starbucks, was texting her boyfriend that “(She) wuvs him” and then typed an emoticon smiley face, which this reporter shall not attempt to replicate.

Cindy Relf, was merely responding “K” to a message, a venture that in hindsight hardly seems worth it.

Bill Wanderforks, 28, was merely pretending to text somebody so he’d look cool in public. “Seriously?! What a fag!” suggests Wanderfork’s old school bully Tom Powell, “Thanks for pointing this all out to me.”

A textless member of the collision, Paul Loevre, was merely a victim of circumstance, though claims he’s never been known for his sidewalk maneuvering abilities.

Could this have been avoided? “No”, answers police captain John Fredderson flatly “Those t-x-t’s needed delivery.”

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Do You Like to Rock?

I for one am tired of musicians asking their concert goers if they are ready to rock. They know damn well that the only ones who would be ready to rock are those holding musical instruments. It’s just a little smug, in my opinion. They might as well follow it up with “oh wait, you can’t! Bitch!” The musician should then provide time for the audience to ask them if they’re adequately prepared to rock, as it is what we’ve paid good money to experience.

I also have a problem with them asking their audience if they like to rock, particularly during songs when they can’t think of anything better to do. The only ones who would have any idea on their status of that query would be those who have previously rocked, and also therefore be able to play a rock instrument. In this case, I also believe said instrument is limited to an electric guitar. I mean, has anybody ever rocked on organ? Bass? Triangle? Folly. What these rock musicians should ask their audience is this…

“Are the guitar players with sufficient years of experience in the crowd and who also brought their equipment to the show today which would be tough because of the tightness of security but either way get over it figure something out ready to rock?”

And the three of us would try our best to be heard with our affirmative answer.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fleet Week - What's in it for me?!

Fleet Week is a single New York female’s wet dream come true – men in uniform fresh off of immeasurable time at sea wandering the city streets. Additionally, during said time at sea, the only human flesh they have laid on their table is each other’s, so their standards are way lower than that of the average male. For women, this is a winning equation. However, one group continues to be oppressed through this ordeal, and it comes as no surprise that said group is straight (white) males. Truly, during Fleet Week, the straight male is left to only watch as men who serve his country year round get a few hours of well deserved female attention –just complete bullshit. Not only that, but otherwise sociable females are distracted and bemused by the plethora of uniform-clad military men. However, I believe I have devised a few plans to level the playing field for the ever-struggling straight male population. So start marking your calendars now, America. In Sharpie!

Cheerleader Week

Yes indeed. Cheerleader Week would take place at some point in mid-July, when the air is steamiest, and so are the dolls. Cheerleaders from varying high schools, universities, and beyond are invited to New York to simply roam the streets and have pillow fights. Now, to truly make this equivalent of Fleet Week, the Cheerleaders must have all been kept in a very contained environment for the duration of the year. Right off the bat, I’m going to suggest a containment facility at the center of the Earth. Here, they would receive basic education and cheerleader training, with enough food and essentials to last them their entire stay. Their families will all be allowed to visit every once a season, but again, no male companions. By way of this method, the Cheerleaders will all be lonely and hungry for a man – any man, and primed for Cheerleader Week in New York City. Then of course, they will be shipped back to the center of the Earth, in preparation for next year’s Cheerleader Week. What if the plan backfires and the cheerleaders become lesbians while stuck down there, you ask? Even better, says this observer.

Victoria’s Secret Model Month

Victoria’s Secret Model Month will be similar to Cheerleader Week, except that its participants will don sensual teddies instead of pom-poms. No longer just the object of every catalogue-reading male’s fantasy, these Victoria’s Secret models will be casually integrated into our society for a month every year, seen riding subways and buying a Razzle Tazzle with soy booster at Jamba Juice. Again though, in order to assure their man cravings are peaked, we must devise a way to separate these Victoria’s Secret Models from the rest of normal society. With the center of the Earth being occupied (though the prospect of mixing the two groups is intriguing), only one logical alternative remains – outer space. After a few weeks of basic astronaut training, these models would be free to roam the moon, eat the moon food, and interact with the strange, deformed moon people (paid actors). After enough time has passed, they will be rushed to Earth for VSMM, desperate for human males and gravity. If you think NASA would not be behind this, you’re off your effing gourd.

Jessica Alba-Clone Fortnight

Okay, this one would seriously, be so easy to do. Let’s face it, science is progressing a helluva lot faster than the government would have us believe. And if any one male scientist received this suggestion, he would be all over it, and most likely motivated to up his research-game. I mean, we cloned sheep, and Jessica Alba would be the next logical step for science. Sure, maybe the first few attempts would be less than stellar, with a few more horns and a few less eyes than we’d like, but after those creatures have been properly disposed of (sent into space with models), we can reproduce Jessica Albas faster than Apple produces iPod upgrades. Of course, no isolation would be necessary for this bunch, seeing as they’ll be experiencing all life has to offer for the first time during JACF. With no previous men to compare us to, the Albas will truly believe that I’m a crime fighting, Oscar winning quarterback. Let’s just hope they don’t turn on us, because trust me – these are going to be a lot of Albas.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Mike Hadge Trio - The Beginnings: An Observer's Account

The crowd was relatively indifferent. The night so far, had been a bit of a relative drag – with no festivities bringing anyone to more than a golf clap. It was a humid, sticky July afternoon, and whoever’s idea it was to have the tent set up in the middle of a K-Mart parking lot ought to have their head kicked in by a mule, both for the reason that it attracted all the hottest parts of the sun, and parking became an issue for K-Mart patrons. Nevertheless, the heat was but an easy excuse for the listlessness of the afternoon. We were ready for something, anything to kick this bar mitzvah into high gear.

Suddenly, they took the stage – three young ruffians dressed in matching bowler ties and V-neck t-shirts that appear to have been recently purchased at that same K-Mart took the stage. Well, to be honest, “the stage” I refer to really was more of an area blocked off rather haphazardly by traffic cones, but it still provided sufficient enough for Mr. Liebowitz’s forty-five minute speech about how proud he was of his son just prior to this moment. The three young ruffians set up their equipment in what seemed like seconds, and might have actually been. The young ruffian in the center took the mic and introduced the band, “Hey everyone, we’re the Mike Hadge Trio” he began, his voice whimpering over the PA, which to be fair, was more of a Fisher-Price karaoke machine with the handle broken off, “and this first song is in honor of Johan becoming a man.” Suddenly, like a steamroller full of construction workers building a giant steel tree fort on that same steamroller, the band launched into their first song, and the crowd was stunned.

By no stretch of the imagination was it any good, no sir. However, it had a certain something that we just couldn’t put our finger on. Maybe it was the sweat pouring into our eyes or the K-Mart shoppers beeping at us to get out of the damn way, but the sound these young ruffians were producing intoxicated this listless crowd. And what a sight they were, the leader Mike Hadge on guitar and lead vocals, bass player Gary Stevens on mandolin and harmonies, and percussionist Garri Stephens on spoons and key-tar. It was obvious right from the get-go that these guys hated each other, just plain loathed one another. Well, it was more like the other two despised Hadge, as he crooned away at whatever piss-poor excuse for a song they had been performing, their icy stares pierced through him like a thousand sharp needles through a…human, I guess. The first song ended and the crowd did not know quite how to react. I assumed it was because they were all mesmerized, but I think it had far more to do with the fact that they weren’t quite sure if the band seriously expected applause for that display.

The Trio carried on with what can be best described as “musical masturbation”, in fact that may have been the name of the song, as was anyone’s guess due to the poor PA. All that the crowd knew was that after the Trio riffed on a sloppier than hell free-form eight bar, Hadge launched into a spoons solo that was cute at first, but lost some momentum in the eighteenth or nineteenth minute. Literally, he just kept going, and the other two members could be seen getting cake across the room. After he finished the “song”, Hadge could be seen yelling profanities at the other members to put down their (blank)ing cake and get their (blank)s back on the stage. This did not go over well.

By this point, most of the crowd had left, though I stuck around, as my mother had not yet shown up to drive me home (K-Mart was having a sale on fabric softener). The Trio proceeded to stumble into another song, which was introduced as “Pure Shit”, and lived up to the title. After the first few minutes of the song, which again, had no discernable lyrics, Hadge and Stevens could be seen exchanging unfriendly words. Apparently, Hadge was commenting on Stevens’ less than adequate mandolin playing, though to be fair, Hadge did not appear to actually be a musician. The two yelled back and forth until Stephens got into it as well, with the two side men taking on the leader of the band. This was very exciting to see the real working dynamic of a band in action, though to refer to them as a band is perhaps the most generous act of my life thus far. However, things turned ugly very fast. Stevens grabbed a broken beer bottle seemingly out of nowhere and thrust it towards Hadge, who dodged it just in time, but unfortunately leaned right into Stephens’ swinging folding chair that had just reached the apex of its force. Hadge was down almost instantly, though the “song” had never sounded better at that point. What was left of the audience erupted in applause, and the conscious members of the band stormed off the stage in a huff. Guests had already pretty much cleared out, except for the lucky few, and those who were there really had lost all interest in the happenings behind the traffic cones. Nevertheless, Mr. Liebowitz promptly reminded the remaining Trio members that he paid for a fifty-minute set, and they had only given him twenty-three. Plus, it seemed the cost of cake had upped the time to about an hour and a half. Much to their chagrin, Stephens and Stevens lumbered back on stage with no idea what to do, clueless without a leader. They proceeded to tell corny knock-knock jokes and stories about “wacky family Christmases” for about an hour while the ambulance came to wheel off Hadge. I’ll never forget that night I witnessed an early incarnation of the Mike Hadge Trio. It was clear they were working out a few kinks, mainly because no actual songs were performed, but the distinctive dynamic and sound they’re known for was already in place, unfortunately. The bar mitzvah overall was decent.