The Rundown

10 Things That Prove Santa Claus Is A Superhero

Welcome to the last Rundown of 2022, but also. . . of all time!

Too much? Yeah maybe I shoulda quit my Nicholas Cage marathon before it overed my arches. But I’m actually playing poker with a truthful hand as this episode will be the last time I tuck this magical mystery tour into a recurring role. In 2023, The Rundown will appear sporadically; Like, I’ll write one when Donald Trump is sent to prison. Then I’ll write another one when the Netflix docu-series “Florida Man” drops. Of course, I can’t forget to write one when Volodymyr Zelenskyy throws his hat in the ring for the 2024 race to the White House. All that to say, these episodes will be around.

Let’s hit it!

Volodymyr Zelensky: 5 takeaways from Ukrainian President's historic visit to Washington | CNN Politics

Speaking of Volodymyr Zelensky, he paid us a visit this week.

It was an historic jaunt and yet all I could think about was, can you imagine the security around this guy? I can see Delaware governor John Carney wondering where in the hell his budget got to! Because to my way of thinking, the attention to this detail had to be expensive.

Couple of other things struck me about Zelensky. For one thing, he’s the most unassuming of leaders. He doesn’t give a flip what others think of him, but he’s also not rancorous about it. And he knows how to read the room, which is something many of our leaders on this side of the ocean should be taking notes on. He’s going to need all the toughness and resolve he’s shown to this point if he wants to end this war anytime soon. My takeaway from this week is the same as it ever was.

Don’t bet against the guy.

  • If Elon Musk keeps up this agent of chaos business, his resume is  . . . dare I say, presidential.
  • Yes, I have had Chinese take-out on Christmas Day more times than once. And?

When you walk through the Pittsburgh International Airport, you’ll walk by two statues: One is of George Washington, and the other Franco Harris. To the locals, the importance of these two men is a dead heat. That’s how much the former Pittsburgh Steelers great means to the Steel City.

The Hall of Fame running back’s “Immaculate Reception” (video above) has some history to it that you might not be aware of. Not only did it help win Pittsburgh’s first ever post-season game, but it was the team’s first ever post-season touchdown as well.

That legendary catch will be commemorated this weekend in Pittsburgh and Harris was scheduled to be on hand. Now, it will be a tribute to the man who made it possible.

Franco Harris was 72 years old.

  • According to the latest dish on Trump’s tax returns, the guy has been celebrating Christmas all year round for years!
  • Google owned streaming service YouTube will pay 2 billion dollars a year to telecast out of market NFL games starting next season. Roger Goodell monetizes his brand on a level Gene Simmons can only dream of.

What Is a Bomb Cyclone? - Scientific American

Millions of Americans are bracing for what meteorologists are calling a “once in a lifetime storm”. More than half the country is going to be in the crosshairs of heavy snow and high winds and more then two million flights have already been canceled. That’s because a “bomb cyclone” will be canoodling with a blast of cold air from Canada to create the kind of blockbuster James Cameron couldn’t quite score with Avatar 2.

Too soon?

  • I had a dream that Tom Brady was the “elegant demon” the Pope was warning his staff about. And my question is. Does Joan Osborne know about this?
  • Barry on HBO is the most hilariously fucked up show I’ve watched since “Piper’s Pit”. And a lot smarter.

Every year around this time, Mike Witmer puts in a call to the heavens above. His connection comes in the form of a light display that began as a show of hope, love and support for a neighbor and has taken on a life of its own.

‘Kevin was a cool kid in the neighborhood – he swam on the local swim team with my kids and we all became friends . .  He was a good athlete and had a great sense of humor. He was very outgoing and would talk to anyone,” Says the fifty-six year old Witmer who works as a land surveyor in Maryland. So when Kevin was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2002 at eleven years of age, his neighbor got the idea to put his name in lights.

A twenty-year tradition was born with the words “Get Well Kevin” and when the kid’s mother told Mike how much her son loved seeing his name up there every holiday season, well . . there was no turning back. When his cancer went into remission, Witmer found a way to sneak in a “Hi Kevin” somewhere in his Christmas lights display.

The cancer came back in 2010, this time for keeps. It took the 19 year old college student because life is always busy taking the things we can least afford to lose. It’s why Witmer has kept calling to the heavens every year since. Because while he knows the fates are undefeated, he’s also learned that kindness travels.

What began twenty years ago as a sign of encouragement for a young boy continues on, because death is never the end of a person’s story. Death simply means someone else will do the telling.  And those lights still speak to Kevin and you know what I believe? I believe he is speaking right back.

Merry Christmas

Robert De Niro Reads ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

It was the night before Christmas and all through da house,
not a creature was stirring not even a mouse . . and forget about rats, we took care of those bastids.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in da hopes that St. Nick didn’t blow all his money on da ponies . . .

The children were nestled in their big comfy beds,
that I got off the back of a truck, brand fucking new!

And mama lost da ‘kerchief and I popped a Viagra,
it was gonna be one helluva night for at least ten minutes.

When out on my lawn there arose such a clatter,
that I grabbed my Glock, because unlike a rifle, less splatter.

Away to the window I moved like a flash,
I tore open the shutter and started blasting since I had the suppressor on.

I saw da moon on da breasts of my wife’s new boob job,
as I ran downstairs to punch some holes in da scumbag.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
it was my old pal Jimmy in a stolen Riv!

For an old fuck he thought he was pretty lively and slick,
but he wasn’t fooling me, the rotten prick.

More rapid than eagles, his goombahs they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name.

Yo Vinny! and Johnny! and Tony! and Pops!
get your asses moving before he calls da cops!

And then I heard something up on the roof,
it HAD to be Sally, the big fucking goof.

As I lifted my Glock and was turning around,
down the chimney Sal came and I blew his fat head off!

Jimmy sprang to his Riv and gave his guys a whistle,
and they started running like their asses was on fire.
But they didn’t make it to the hallway before I filled them with lead,
I ran outside and told Jimmy they was dead.

But I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,
“Fuck you, you piece of shit!”

That’s okay . . .I caught up with him in Florida.

 

 

 

 

The Rundown: Sunday Edition!

Vikings surprise liquor store worker who gave shoes off her feet | kare11.com

La Teia “Ace” Thomas is the kind of person who will give you the shoes off her feet. Which is exactly what she did recently when she spotted a homeless man wearing cardboard boxes for shoes. Never mind that it was her favorite pair of shoes, because as she says “I didn’t care about the shoes, I cared about him.”

Ever since then she has found herself on the receiving end of individuals who are paying her good deed forward. She was gifted free tickets to the Minnesota Vikings game against the Colts yesterday, where she witnessed her favorite team come back from a 33-0 hole to score the biggest comeback win in league history. And she got a pair of signed cleats from All-World wide receiver Justin Jefferson to boot.

Her employer, Brooklyn Center Liquor, is getting in on the goodness. They’ve set up bins at local liquor stores as well as City Hall in order to collect winter clothes for unsheltered people. Thomas still can’t believe the ripples that her simple gift has engendered.

“I didn’t think it was gonna get as big as it is but I just want to show the world that there are still good-hearted kind-hearted people out in the world,” she said.

Meanwhile, in other news . . .

  • Memo to President Biden: When reading from prompts, for the love of God please stick to the script.
  • Do you think Elon Musk has a GoFundMe page?
  • Actress Taraneh Alidoosti has been detained by Iranian authorities for “spreading false” information regarding the execution of protester Mohsen Shekari. It got me thinking that maybe it’s time for the all these talented and influential voices here at home to practice unity for at least five minutes so we can hold countries like Iran accountable.

As it happened: Messi's Argentina beat France on penalties

Argentina beat France to win the World Cup for the first time in thirty-four years and give Lionel Messi the top bunk in the GOAT debate. In what might have been the best World Cup match, check that, best soccer match, check that again . . Best game. In any sport. Ever. All this happened . . .

  • Argentina blew a two goal lead late in the second half
  • An outstanding save by the French goalkeeper kept things even but the rebound made it over the line in spite of another outstanding save attempt by the French defender. That gave Argentina the lead back at 3-2
  • That was before France’s Mbappe scored his third goal of the match to tie things at three.
  • And then Messi in a shootout, which is akin to Wild Bill Hickok at high noon. His first kick grabbed the back of the net and it set the tone for what would end in a world title.

You could not have written a more dramatic finale if you tried.

And in sports! . . .

  • The Miami Dolphins are more flawed than a sitcom script, but they’ll bring a puncher’s chance to the postseason if they can figure out how to get there. Sure beats being a Cleveland Browns fan.
  • Over the past five seasons, NFL teams spent $800 million Goodells on fired coaches and executives. Yes, you read that right. They shelled out almost a billion dollars for these guys to go away. As Sheriff Ed Tom Bell woulda said . . signs and wonders.
  • The Cleveland Browns remain completely irrelevant. What? Too much? I think it’s about right . . .

Marco at the Movies! 

Amsterdam- Half of Hollywood seems to be in this cast and to its credit, it doesn’t get stuck on its impressive marquee in the least.  To the contrary, it will make you fall in love with great story telling all over again.

The Banshees of Inisherin- And speaking of storytelling . . . wow. Unlike Amsterdam, this one holds court in the quiet but it does so brilliantly. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson shine as two estranged pals in this dark comedy that examines the meaning of friendship and life itself.

 

The Rundown

Mother Nature’s destructive tool kit is being felt across the country this week as a deadly snow system has worked its way from the plains to the Midwest to the gulf and the northeast. This beast is working on a biblical blueprint; with tornadoes, blizzards, hail and ice pelting every corner of the map. Bing Crosby took one look at the image above and said “Oh hell nah!”.

Imma be providing another episode of the Rundown this weekend so’s I can report on the World Cup finals result . . and because I got a super late start on this week’s post. That too.

Let’s get to some twin-billing . . .

Frank “Beach Walks” Angle hit me with this gem a couple weeks back and I’m better late than never in posting it, which is in keeping with this story. Because Jeanne Gustavson and Steve Watts finally got around to writing the next chapter of their love story: Forty-two years after she broke up with him.

The couple found love at first sight as students at Loyola College in Chicago back in the ’70’s but Jean’s mother forbid the relationship. The reason? Steve Watts was a black man. Yeah, there was a time when this kind of thing was the norm rather than the exception. Jeanne regretted her decision every day for the last forty-three years, until she found him again, after which they began writing their last chapter.

The college sweethearts were married last year, meeting up with forever after before their love story went unfinished.

(For our Canadian pals, check out this beautiful story at Interracial couple marries decades after being torn apart)

Vengeance (2022) - IMDb

Forty five minutes into the movie Vengeance and I knew it was one of the best movies I had seen this year. Right under the wire, but hey, it still counts. And does it ever, with B.J. Novak of The Office fame performing triple duty; he wrote, directed and stars in this black comedy that is, in a word? Fucking brilliant. That first word is on the house and very much what I was feeling as I watched this one. Because Novak writes the hell out of it and nails every single little thing- from the cast to the pace to the sense of hope and despair (both) that weaves one moment into the winning next.

If I had an Oscar vote, Imma give Ashton Kutcher all the love in the world for pulling off a modern day Benjamin Willard so perfectly. And then Imma give Novak a vote for writing, directing and starring in it . . . the whole damn thing.

2022 World Cup final odds for France vs Argentina

I’ll be breaking my self-imposed exile from the World Cup this Sunday morning, and for good reason. It’s the kind of finals matchup that has fifteen rounds written all over it: The defending champs from France are the most graceful chainsaw ever made. Lionel Messi on the other side, is hoping to get into the conversation with Maradona by lifting Argentina to their first Cup win since 1986.

Roger Goodell wishes he had a matchup like this1.

Bad news Vector Art Stock Images | Depositphotos

  • Yes, Trump is keeping a low profile with his enemies list growing by the minute. No, he’s not done making a mess of things. And neither are his cronies, led by Marjorie Taylor Green who can’t stop spewing dangerously stupid shit. When asked recently if she was behind the Capitol riot, she laughed it off before adding (Are you sitting down?) “. . . if Steve Bannon and I had organized that, we would have won. Not to mention, it would’ve been armed.”
  • The Fed is raising interest rates again. It’s the seventh hike this year and there’s more where that came from. But there’s good news! Chairman Jerome Powell says the rate hikes won’t be as painful with inflation falling. Granted, it’s some pretty shitty good news . . . but it still counts.
  • The flu is spreading faster than gossip at a covered dish social.
  • Dua Lipa is dating Jack Harlow and okay, maybe it’s not bad news. But it’s not good news either . . .
  • If you want a true sign of the times, here you go: Big Bird Boss Elon Musk is selling everything not bolted down at Twitter headquarters in order to pay the rent; from office chairs, desks and televisions to espresso machines.

I put in a bid on a 6 foot tall planter before realizing it was Musk’s CFO.

 

 

The Why Not? Post!: Glutton Free!

In light of the overwhelming popularity (sic) of my Annoyances and What If posts, I decided to add one to the arsenal of my misspent thoughts by playing matchmaker with Why and Not. Be advised, this post comes with zero guarantees so if you’re not completely satisfied with the results, please contact the RNC. Mention Raymond Shaw and get a coupon for a dozen wings at your local Hooters!

Don Meredith was 'Dandy' on the field – and in the Monday Night Football booth - CSMonitor.com

Why Not . . . make football announcers fun again? For the first time?!

This one was inspired by my last annoyances post where I bitched and moaned about the overpriced mouths on sports telecasts. It got me thinking about how the networks are wasting our time and their money by importing brand names like Brady to call games when the reality is, they already have talented personalities on the payroll. NBC can stick with the traditional play by player to provide the nuts and bolts. But why the overpay on color analysis?

I’m assuming the only reason NBC employs Chris Collinsworth is because air horns weren’t available. Why not use a rotation of color analysts that run the gamut? From news anchors to morning show hosts, comedians and actors who are already cashing NBC checks? Every single streaming platform and television network should be doing the same. This way, they’re keeping it brand and they’re expanding their audience since the casual viewer who doesn’t give a wit about the game might tune in just to hear Costner, Cowell or Hilary Swank . And this would put a stop to the requisite staffing cuts that come with each new big name hire.

Why Not . . . keep a fork on standby when using chopsticks?

Why Not . . . stop pretending you can’t have dark chocolate for breakfast? Have you noticed the shit show of a world that’s happening right outside our doors?

Baseball card packs, Vintage baseball, Baseball cards

Why Not . . . offer baseball fans a couple of traditional double-headers every season?

Oh shit, I forgot! MLB owners can’t quit quilting the quid since they’ve got all those high def checks to cut. But here’s the thing, how do they expect to make new friends if they ain’t providing any benefits? So throw the fans a couple bones now and again, and no, interleague play isn’t a gift . . it’s just another bill.

Why Not . . . bring back Steve Martin and Martin Short for the SNL series finale? Add Eddie Murphy, Tina Fey, Bill Murray and Myers, Sandler, Chase, Fallon , Crystal and any other star that made Saturday nights worth staying in for.

Flying Cars Impractical | Starloggers

Why Not . . . chill on the flying cars talk already?

I realize that Back to the Future released our inner Yuri Gagarin, but there’s a reason car companies relegated all that space aged chatter to a storage unit. Okay, their reasons were mostly logistical and cost conscious since they have a bottom line to answer to, but their common sense also had a say in this. And do you know what it was saying?

The idea of flying cars is nuts.

People haven’t come close to mastering solid ground. And doesn’t the FAA have enough shit to worry about without getting calls about ‘drivers’ that went off the radar? Maybe in a million years when humanity finally solves the ten o’clock meets two ‘o clock tango, but not a day sooner. What’s that? We won’t be around in a million years?

Perfect!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coffee Shop

I first wrote this piece several years back, after which I tinkered with it somewhere else until it didn’t look or feel the same. So recently, I breathed it back to life. You can find the original here.

She whittles the simplest thoughts into rhymes, the words folding seductively into her conversation as my eyes are held ransom to the truth of it all. She casts spells in her adult lullabies and I am lost when she chases this with a look that brings to mind Rita Hayworth’s sacred blush. She’s a danger to the universe of logical things as she plies her witchcraft. I’m fixed to my seat like a lonesome traveler, endeavoring the stitch-work of her words on the unspent void. She steals my silence and spends it on the blustery stars and I feel like a boy on his first day of school.

We chew on saucers of bone china as they spill over with hard coffee and sugar milk onto our white paper placemats. I opine on how the moon landing was a hoax and the gaze she hits me with is a reminder of our very first conversation, when I bore witness to her Celtic summons that breathed life into my heart; I remember how I leapt inside her every word as if a dragonfly to water lilies.

She’s a classic love story whose legend is being written inside her every breath as the sun emits scandalous lashes across her ivory features. And then she tells me how Gene Rodenberry gets his mail sent into orbit so there must have been something to that moon landing after all.

I believe in magic as she weaves her song; a magic which yields its luscious sweetness into the ordinary pieces of my day. When she fixes on something in particular, I am the happy fool to her narration. She tumbles a heap of loose thoughts that behave very much like a runaway mosaic, after which she irons through the harmony until it’s swimming in the deep of me. She possesses the ambition of newborn planets and the despair of runaway galaxies and it always occurs to me too late that I have no defense when it comes to this brilliant reckoning.

Where once I ran with bloodless descendants of famous novelists who purchased heartbreak at wholesale prices just so they could doom the open market, now I spend my pockets clean with her. She has transformed all monochromatic obligations into a carnival whose tapestry bleeds with open roads and furious music and outrageous mysteries and mad, mad love.

We dine on this madness like tourists on Jupiter, and then my eyes and ears return to the cramped little brick and mortar nothing of a coffee shop we’re sitting in. The streets are a crush of stories fighting the predictable ironies of mortality as they march to work in the hopes of finding their Broadway while whispering to themselves anywhere but here. An odd foreign song emanates from a wanderer who manages to loose the purpose of this circus tale. This wise soul buys his time differently, in miniature panoramas of Everest whose peaks transform the gritty concrete plains with a reckless bass whose soul belongs to the true things of Shakespeare and Vincent. His melody skims stones across the elements that lord the visible world, painting ripples on the face of water in the same way Mother Nature flirts with Camus.

Sirens feed the urban canals with a preternatural howl that announces the tragedy of it all as midday traffic paints vibrations in needy movements like manic piano keys . . . punching through the darkness like feral children running wild in a strange forest. The seeds of guilt and dejection, confusion and hopelessness and rage sprout up from the cracks of the city like fiery trees out of some obscene nursery rhyme; the skyline provides convention in the form of a gilded frame as time births the angry sound that forever makes when it loses its way.

And now I turn to find her looking at me, her face is the same and different all at once. Her eyes are the first and the last and the forever of my dimension. Her voice drowns out the death of everything around us and my ears pluck the accent of her timeless melody. The conversation turns to me and her as outlaws, hopping from one unmentionable locale to the next and living on the American dollar and exotically named drinks. We spin a candied dew from borrowed scripts of long distance conversations as we toast to Warhol and Mother Theresa and wonder if their roads ever met. We come to the conclusion that everyone’s road meets somewhere.

Bowie’s voice scoundrels its way through a musty transistor radio behind the counter that’s nestled between a black and white photograph of Joe DiMaggio and a crucifix. In the song Bowie is telling us we have five minutes to live. We just don’t know it yet. That’s because we never know it yet until we catch up with it. A breeze soaked in midnight slinks its way across the cold tile and laminated floors of the coffee shop as Bowie’s tale lets us know the rumors are true.

All of them.

The Annoyances Post: Volume #755

There are too many shopping days until Christmas.

I came to this conclusion after someone teed up their minus with “Are you all done with your Christmas shopping?” and then followed that up by reminding me how many shopping days I had left before the clock struck Santa while I constructed homicidal scenarios on the fly. After which I decided to work up an annoyances post since I don’t really feel like becoming the next Netflix murder docu-series star.

Let’s do this thing . . .

  • There’s some intrigue as to whether US soccer coach Gregg Berhalter will be back after his club was ousted in the Round of 16. If he decides to leave, good for him . . otherwise, who are the suits going to bring in that’ll do a better job than he did? Is Andy Reid available? No? That’s annoying!
  • You know the people who blow through stop signs in a parking lot as if they’re just for show? They annoy the fuck out of me.
  • People who assume I love gadgets because I’m a dude are annoying. I don’t.

  • “Survival Kits”- Duke Cannon offers peach men’s grooming products and I have no issues with a company that churns out quality products while donating 5 percent of all profits to military causes.. But the packaging annoys the fuck out of me. Take for example the “Survival Tube” shown above; it includes hand balm, lip balm, face lotion and cooling towels. In other words, if you ever found yourself stranded in the Yukon and alls ya got is this boy boutique bundle? You’re going to become a grizzly sandwich right quick. And yes, I understand why companies pimp their merch with this terminology because I’ve done it. And I always hated myself just a little bit more in the doing.
  • People who say “I’m keeping it 100 percent” annoy me.
  • Billboards that implore you to pay attention to the road because distracted driving can be fatal are not simply annoying, they’re dangerously annoying!
  • Hard seltzers . . . annoying.
  • You know when you go to the store for one item and then you start buying other shit? And then you get back home and realize that the one item you went to the store to buy is the only thing you forgot. How annoying is that?

Pin on You've got Red on you

  • “Gear”- Everything is gear now. The proliferation of tactical terms speaks to a society that looks in the mirror and sees a badass staring back at them when in reality we are closer to Chuck Barris than Chuck Norris. I realize calling a winter jacket or a pair of sneakers or hell, even a wristwatch something more physically imposing is all about maximizing profit and burnishing a brand, but hell if it’s not annoying as all get out.
  • People who don’t say “Thank you” when you hold the door for them. Hey, I ain’t looking for a Nobel Peace Prize for holding the fucking door for your ass. Just a simple thank you. Two words . . it’s not hard people!
  • The Tua apologists who act as if the kid’s struggles in his first two seasons were entirely the fault of former head coach Brian Flores. I seem to remember a QB who was stuck in a similar situation to what Tua went through; he had a defensive minded head coach who was a genuine hard ass and didn’t have any use for his QB either. And yet, Tom Brady did pretty okay during his time in New England . . .

kansas city chiefs Memes & GIFs - Imgflip

  • Money Mouths- As Phil Mushnick of the New York Post has pointed out many times, sports fans tune in for the game, not the voices calling it. I would tune in to a Chiefs vs Bengals game if my uncle was calling it, and he’s been dead for years. Conversely, nothing and no one is going to compel me to watch a Lions vs Jaguars tilt. And yet, the networks keep throwing good money after really bad by signing names like Romo, Aikman and now Tom Brady to obscenely extravagant contracts to be the voices of their most valuable product. I think they wear suits and spout inane football jargon to justify the silly money. They can shout that a player is “running north to south” instead of running in an open field, and that he is “high pointing the ball” rather than saying he jumped higher than the other guy to make the catch, but you ain’t selling me on it. As if all this isn’t bad enough, after the networks hire these guys, they lay off a bunch of working stiffs whose profiles don’t come with a Q rating. It’s not just annoying, it’s awful.
  • Hallmark movies.
  • Hallmark cards.
  • Okay, anything Hallmark.

You know what annoys me to no end? People who don’t take a hint when you start walking away because you have used up all the small talk you can muster and you just want to get on with your day but noooooo, they keep right on talking. They don’t care that you’re done with the conversation . . they never stop to think that maybe you’ll hate them for wasting your time . . . and then they hit you with, “Are you all done with your Christmas shopping?”.

I take back what I said earlier. Maybe a Netflix murder docu-series is in my future.

 

 

 

The Rundown

2022 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree selected

Shit if we’re not in December!

Sorry but that’s about all the Yule I can unspool for the time being. I’ll get back with y’all if and when I happen to come across more of the stuff . . . as long as it’s not painted in 80 proof. But seriously, the Rockefeller tree is a fine spectacle no matter what spirit(s) you happen to find yourself in. The peeps who schlep an 82 foot tall Norway Spruce through the rivers of midtown Manhattan are akin to brain surgeons and rocket scientists in my book.

Let’s get to this thing! . . . .

Idaho quadruple student homicide: 'Crime of passion,' 'burglary gone wrong' among possible motives, mayor says

Two weeks in and the quadruple homicide in Moscow, Idaho remains a tragic mystery. Law enforcement officials seem to be going backwards, having returned to the scene of the cold crime this week to lift more prints and repossess vehicles for investigative purposes. They’ve backtracked and sidetracked and basically, they’ve gone off the fucking tracks at this point. And the “we haven’t had a murder in these parts in seven years,” excuse ain’t gonna bring those four kids back. Unless the cops are giving a master class in Columbo, things might just be heading from horrible to even worse.

Japan made the bullet train famous . . . Don Cornelius was the professor of getting down when he hosted the legendary Soul train . . . the O’Jays classic groove had us punching a ticket onto the Love Train the same way Ozzy reminded us how crazy of a ride it really was. And now here come the peeps at the Dartmouth Steam Railway in the UK. These kids at heart are busy unwrapping their Train of Lights for the Christmas season. Check out their practice run.

I folded.

When I got home on Tuesday, there was time enough to catch the second half of the US vs Iran soccer match. I know I had sworn off the Cup because of the locale and the stench that comes with FIFA’s money grab. But this tilt had too much going on. On the one side you had a US men’s team trying to buck history. On the other, you had an Iranian national team that was being threatened by its despotic regime for supporting the protests in Iran. It ended with the US winning a nail biter 1-0; a bittersweet outcome in that we win but those kids on the other side lose more than just a soccer match.

Big props to US men’s captain Tyler Adams for kicking this question to the curb with smarts and class. Nicely played kid.

House Dems finally have Trump's tax returns - Wisconsin News

The House Ways and Means Committee said “Way!” after they finally found the means with which to grab six years worth of Trump tax returns. And no silly, this latest find has absolutely nothing to do with the train wreck of a campaign run that 45 has been warning us all about and which is actually maybe kinda gonna happen now. Nah, the fact that he’s been screwing people over for decades wasn’t important until, oh . . . just now.  The timing of it all is just a coincidence.

Peter Eigner to continue family tradition at BGSU | The Blade

Frank “Beach Walks” Angle is doing double duty for this week’s episode by providing me with our next story as well as the capper that sends us into the weekend. Thanks Cincy.

Peter Eigner is living his dream. He’s a walk-on goalkeeper for the Bowling Green Falcons and he’s never seen a lick of action to this point and that doesn’t matter nearly as much as the journey he took to get here.  Start with the fact Peter was a decent forward at St. John’s Jesuit, but he lacked the speed it takes to play Division I collegiate hockey. This was the opinion of none other than his father Ty, who was an assistant at Bowling Green when Peter was taking recruiting trips while still in high school.

Dad wasn’t being a hard ass, he was just being honest. He was and is damn proud of the young man his son has become and he’s thankful beyond words to have this time because well, it almost never happened.

Peter was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when doctors found a grapefruit sized tumor in his abdomen; after which they discovered the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes and bone marrow. He was four years old. He lost the next two and a half years of his life to chemo treatments and tests and more chemo treatments. There were bad days and there were worse ones. And through it all, his father Ty learned the two most important things about being a dad; always be truthful with your kids, and always say good night.

All these years later, Peter doesn’t remember much about losing kindergarten and first grade, but he does remember the fight that got him here. And maybe he gets a shot as the starter one day, and maybe he doesn’t. All that matters is that he is going to have the one thing that matters most of all.

A chance.

Just in time for Christmas, the Ralphie Parker house is up for sale and if you’ve got 10 million Red Ryders to spare, it could be yours.

The house that A Christmas Story made famous is being sold for that princely sum and no, Elon Musk is not interested in buying it, seeing as how he ain’t interested in anything outta Cleveland. The 1.3 acre property is living its best life as a museum and any prospective owners would have to be cool with keeping the history alive.

If you’re interested, you should . .  wait for it . . . get a leg up on putting in a bid.

Bullies suck.

Melvin Anderson, a seventh-grader at Buffalo Creek Academy Charter School in Buffalo New York knows this all too well. He was getting the worst of it from some of his classmates because he had the nerve to come to school in a worn out pair of sneakers. Name brand sneakers have been a source of bullying and worse in schools for decades, and so it really wasn’t a surprise that the poor kid was on the wrong end of this status war.

Enter classmate Romello Early, who decided he was going to do something about it. No, Mello didn’t challenge these kids to a fight. He didn’t even choose to shout them down with some trash talk, as much as they would have deserved it. What Mello did instead is why this story meets the second day of twenty-five special ones.

The kid discussed his classmate’s predicament with mom and asked if he might be able to use his allowance money to buy Melvin a fresh pair of sneakers. Mello was willing to go further if necessary, letting her know he was cool with less presents if it came to that. Mom said dipping into his allowance would be just fine, and you know she had to be thanking her lucky stars to have a son who doesn’t just believe in the spirit of Santa Claus.

He’s also the big guy’s sub-contractor.

 

 

 

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner: Das Reboot

The club dining room at Mar-A-Lago is opulence on crack; gold leaf trim adorns every loose corner and cornice. Painted frescoes drape every wall. Persian rugs swim snugly along the floor and million dollar chandeliers float above the space as if silent witnesses to the grandiose pomposity of its owner. Tucked behind a velvet rope so as not to be bothered by club members, former president Donald Trump, Kanye West and white supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes dine together. As we catch up with the terrible trio, Trump and Ye are embroiled in a heated conversation about a chillingly dystopian scenario. 

Trump: You can’t run for office! There is no way in hell the American people are going to vote for a reality show celebrity who says crazy, hateful shit. Hashtag DISASTER!

Ye: It worked for you! Once!

Trump: Fake rebuttal Ye! I was winning in a landslide in 2020 until they kept counting the votes. Totally illegal!

Fuentes: Boy, boys, boys . . . you’re carrying on like a room full of Jew lawyers! And Ye, our Leader is right about winning the last election. I was at the Capitol on January 6th and every single person I talked to agreed that it was stolen.

Trump: And there were millions of Americans there that day, but the liberal media wouldn’t show THAT. My people tell me there were 75 million fans in Washington that day! How many votes you think Sleepy Joe got?

Ye: Not 75 million?

Fuentes: It was reported Biden got 81 million but after you take into account the ballot stuffing, the twice counted votes, the dead people votes, the immigrant votes and all the lost votes for Trump, it was more like twelve thousand votes for Biden.

Ye: I ain’t here to stir up no shit, Boss. I’m fighting the same brainwashing socialist devil worshippers you are! All I’m saying is we should be working together. Hell, I’m Nikola Tesla, Jeff Bezos and Elvis all wrapped up in one mighty mutha! What if we ran as Co-Presidents? You take the Oval Office Monday through Friday and I’ll work it on weekends. I’ll turn the Lincoln Bedroom into a nightclub, I’ve been working on the plans.

Trump: Lincoln didn’t have a Co-President and I’m better than Lincoln so the answer is no. Maybe I can fit you in my Cabinet.

Fuentes: Well you know what they say Mr. President, the enemy of my enemy . . .

Ye:  . . Is a Jew!

The three crack up as the appetizer is served.

Ye: Is this what I think it is?

Trump: Chicken McNuggets.

Fuentes: The McNugget proves that whites know chicken.

Ye: I wanted to name my youngest McNugget but Kim wasn’t cool with it.

Trump: We raise our own McNuggets here at Mar-A-Lago. I have been assured it is a completely humane process, not that I asked!

Ye: But I thought they came from some kinda pink paste.

Fuentes: That’s the narrative the Jews and the media would have you believe, but it’s just not true. The McNugget comes from aborted chicks whose bloodlines were compromised by interbreeding. The poultry industry has an exclusive arrangement with McDonalds for this tainted but delicious product. The left has suppressed this information since the menu item was introduced in 1981 by creating this mythological pink paste. They would never admit that interbreeding is responsible for the downfall of mankind.

Ye: Damn, I wonder if that’s why my kids ain’t good at sports!

Fuentes: Your kids are an anomaly Ye, because interbreeding is usually a precursor to athletic prowess. It’s why I believe sports leagues should be abolished. They create the false impression that black people are superheroes while lining the pockets of the Jews who are only too happy to profit off this illusion.

Trump: Can you pass the honey mustard boat?

Ye: My man! How many McNuggets can you fit in your mouth at once!?

Trump: Fifty one. It’s a world record but they won’t recognize it! Just like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Fake Sciences refused to give me an Oscar for Home Alone 2! I have people come up to me all the time who say I’m a better actor than that Hanks guy. If I would have gone into acting, I would’ve been HUGE!

Fuentes: Hanks is a fallen Christian who sold his soul to the Jews, which is why he is exalted in Hollywood. They fall all over themselves when he plays a retard or a Jew.

Ye: My last manager was a retard and a Jew!

Trump: Hanks is completely overrated. He got paid not to talk in that Castaway movie!

Ye: I got paid not to talk by a lot of sponsors.

The main entrée arrives on a solid gold platter: Big Macs and French fries with a variety of milk shakes. Trump scarfs down the rest of the McNuggets before grabbing a couple plates worth of burgers and fries. 

Fuentes: How often do you eat like this?

Trump: Whenever I want a home cooked meal.

Ye: So who you gonna pick for your VP?

Trump: Marjorie is out, she’s too gassy. Sarah was dating her gardener, who’s Mexican, so I can’t take a chance with her. Boebert’s damaged goods with that whole foot fetish movie career she had going. I can’t understand what the hell that Herschel Walker is saying . . .  I’m suing De Sanctimonious for turning against me, Haley said something not so nice about me somewhere so I’ll probably sue her too, and I’m gonna murder Pence . . figuratively? Which one is that again?

Fuentes: It means not literal.

Trump: Oh, I mean literally.

Ye: What about that Kari Lake chick? She’s hot as fuuuu. . .

Trump: Voters think she lost . . she would just drag me down.

Ye: Hell, then Ima be on your short list the way it sounds!

Fuentes: What about me?

Trump: I don’t know you, (winking) remember?

Ye: Okay, how ’bout this? I’ll be your consiglieri, with the understanding that when you decide to step down I take over.

Trump: You might be onto something . . .

 

 

 

In The Darkness Came A Light

Imma take the wayback machine to the winter of 2020, before we reckoned there would be such a reckoning as what happened across a calendar year and more. This post happened after I watched a video of people singing in a small town 4,300 miles away from me. They took the void and filled it with a sound that reached through the darkness and filled it with light. And all that song asked of us was to find the greatness in simple things . . like kindness and understanding, and most of all, gratitude.

This post was born of 4,300 miles worth of string, and two tin cans. 

Kim Kardashian called. She wants her first world problems back.

Okay, maybe it’s not quite as dreadful or hopeless as Vladimir Putin was hoping it might turn out. Unless you hang out on the Twitter or Reddit sites, which I do not recommend you do unless dystopian soap opera plots are your jam. And just so you know, I’m not saying Vlad the Impaler of Hope had anything to do with this virus. His powers are limited to horse back riding without a shirt, eating cinnamon encrusted beef jerky without need for water and fucking with our elections.

Europe currently has a “Do Not Disturb” sign up as it has been hit especially hard. Tom Hanks and his lovely wife Rita are literally castaways as we speak. The Utah Jazz have gotten more pub than if they would have won the NBA title simply by having a couple of players test positive. Americans of all stations and status from coast to coast are providing an ever expanding face to this virus.

You know things have gotten serious when sports get shut down, because nothing gets in the way of our sports. Not two World Wars. Not the assassination of a President. Not even September 11th. But the dominoes which began with the cancellation of March Madness has crept into the NBA and NHL suspending play while the MLB has scrapped spring training and is moving back opening day.

Without benefit of games, ESPN has had to rely on journalism. Which is another way of saying that ratings have plummeted. Casinos are closing. Retailers are posting limits on toilet paper and hand sanitizer purchases. Web MD is currently a more popular site than Porn Hub.

If you’re young, consider this a vacation from the every day. Your immune systems are assembly line peach in comparison to us folks of a certain age. I’m in that notoriously provocative middle earth population of peeps who consider sneezing a four letter word. And if this tunnel doesn’t start giving us a little sunlight, we may have to resort to punching anyone who coughs inside our bubble. Nothing personal, of course.

And really, that’s the whole thing right there, isn’t it? This isn’t personal, unless we really want to make it so. Because right now, as a species, we still have the ability to stoke that fledgling spirit inside us that believes humanity is a pretty okay place to be. Even on its shittiest days, the world usually gives us something to latch onto. Hope really is riding shotgun, idiomatically speaking. And now more than ever, this is happening if we extricate ourselves from dark web searches for toilet paper and hand sanitizers. If we just let ourselves consider that human beings have been through a hell of a lot worse than this. Hell, we somehow survived the election of 2016, after all.

Let’s just sit back and take a deep breath, and let’s consider someone who has tested positive. Let’s think about what their families and friends are going through right now before we whine about not having picked up extra beer and chips in the event we’re holed up for a couple weeks time. Let’s just put ourselves in someone else’s head for a simple moment, and do something novel inside a time when looking out for yourself has become status. Let’s pray for them. That they make it through this thing with nothing more than a lousy t-shirt. Humanity is the only inventory we should be concerned with right now. Because to my way of thinking, the darkest of times is when the light is needed most. So it’s okay if our grocery list consists of a little humility, a little compassion and a whole lot of gratitude.

There’s a town called Siena, tucked inside a hilly region of Tuscany between the valleys and the clouds. Italy has been hit especially hard by COVID-19 and so the residents of this charming little medieval arrangement of castles and cathedrals have been relegated to their homes as a result. But rather than bemoan this solitary existence fraught with ever more daunting scenarios, the people of Siena fixed themselves on a different approach. On the night of March 13th, one of the quarantined residents let loose with a song that floated from one window to another to another . . until the entire street was draped in music.

So this one little song from this one little town, I gotta think maybe it was telling us something. Maybe it was telling us that to dwell on the bold font headlines of gloom and doom is to miss the point. Maybe instead of focusing on what we are inside these moments, maybe we should focus on something much more powerful.

What we can be.