The Rundown

Three large spiral galaxies float in space, surrounded by hundreds of other, more distant galaxies.

Gooooooooooood morning America . . . are you still out there?

It’s been another week in which our sublime inner selves got reduced in saucy front page headlines bordering (okay, totally exceeding) ridiculousness. The country, and really, the whole wide world, seems one big mess of a traveling circus; the likes of which would have had P.T. Barnum hauling our asses into court for infringing on his not so intellectual property.

Good thing we have more treats from the candy bag that is NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. The above capture is from The Atlantic and it features something called the Cartwheel Galaxy. This masterpiece is a more finely complex spiral than anything Tom Brady can dream of cooking up. Alas, it lives more than 500 million light years from our front porch, which makes road tripping this magical place out of the question. But it’s okay, because it brings to mind Mark Twain’s crush on astronomy, in which he confessed he was a slave to its mysteries. He reveled in losing time to the primordial ocean above because it made him feel less confounded about the plight of humankind.

I do believe the stars speak the language of Twain. Bob Marley too.

Final shootout scene from Scarface except its Tony Montana vs 77 Seven Year Olds : r/whowouldwin

Oh God. Him again.

In a scene reminiscent of a really shitty action movie on Amazon Prime, FBI officials executed a search warrant on the Trump compound in Mar-a-Lago this week. They were after records and classified materials the former president took with him when he skipped town last January. Trump wasn’t in attendance for the ten-hour search party, so his mindless minions gathered outside as if it was ten cent wing night at Applebee’s. Because nothing says patriotism like waving flags and wearing merch that was made in China whilst defending a guy who incited a riot in our nation’s capitol . . .

Next up . . . Trump declares he’s running for president of Nicaragua!

Robert Pope: Guinness-fuelled man runs width of Ireland in a day - BBC News

Robert Pope is actually running for something that will make a positive difference. Nuts, right? Yeah, the guy decided he was going to run the width of Ireland-which is a majestically arduous 134 mile trek if you’re talking sneakers. And okay, so plenty of guys have made similar promises in pubs across the land of Joyce and Wilde and Beckett. After which they returned to their healthy pints and forgot all about it.

Not this 44 year old ultramarathoner, who made good on his promise in . . . are you sitting down? Twenty three hours; from Galway to Dublin with the goal of raising money for the World Wildlife Fund putting the wind in his sails. He drank a pint of Guinness before starting and then bent elbows with the locals for another one at the finish line.

That’s my kind of guy.

Dump the NFL Already! - Rampant Discourse

Once upon a time not so long ago, Deshaun Watson insisted he had nothing to hide and that he would never settle with the more than two dozen massage therapists who filed suit alleging he treated them like sex workers. And then he settled with most of them. After which he talked as if he was the one being victimized.

Then retired judge Sue Robinson- who had been brought in by the league to recommend his discipline- decided on a six-game suspension. Which is a slap in the wrist to Watson and a slap in the face to all the women involved in this sordid tale. But hey, she was following precedence after all. Because the NFL has a history of treating bad guys with velvet gloves. And then along came a deviant asshole quarterback and a woebegone franchise that was willing to hand him a quarter of a billion guaranteed dollars anyway . . and now Goodell and his bosses find religion. They’re vowing to make Watson sit out a year and the players are vowing to sue if they try it.

Stay tuned.

Reds vs. Cubs prediction: Odds and pick for 2022 Field of Dreams game in Iowa

The Field of Dreams game is the best idea the MLB has pitched (Pun Alert!) to the fans in a long time. Interleague play was simply an excuse for teams to jack up prices, and the universal DH hasn’t changed a thing. Iowa is different. The games feel important; the kind of important that used to breathe through transistor radios in the spring and summer before culminating in an operatic fall classic that captured the imagination of a rapt nation.

And while I’m no fan of the million and one uniforms most teams peddle on their shop sites, I have to admit I really love the vintage threads. Chicago’s baseball teams probably wouldn’t mind turning the clock back a hundred years, judging by their perfect record in Costner’s backyard. Hopefully the game is back after next year’s hiatus, because I’d love to see a wrong done right before the first pitch with an announcement that proves just how magical that cornfield in Iowa really is.

Put Shoeless Joe in the Hall of Fame

Vinyl Cool Sticker Funny Mickey Mouse Middle Finger Comics - Etsy

Disney+ has announced how it plans to celebrate now that it has surpassed rival Netflix, having clocked in with 221 million streaming customers. Mickey Mouse Inc. is going to be hiking prices come the end of the year (Just in time for Christmas!). The company cites production costs for the increase, and I believe it. But I also don’t care since I’m not a Disney fan. And I have to ask: Does this make me a communist? Or a person with common sense?

Russia bombs nuclear plant in Ukraine, sparks radiation fears - Rediff.com India News

Speaking of communists . . .

Russia is to nuclear reactors what the Kardashian girls are to love and romance. So the news that Russian forces went in hot in their takeover of a nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine should give the world pause. Putin’s idea is to bully/frighten all of his naysayers into submission with thoughts of the ultimate dirty bomb in the offing. I think we’ve given this guy too much leash for too long a period of time. But hey, dealing with bullies on the playground is much easier than dealing with bullies who have a nuclear arsenal at their disposal.

I wonder what The Expendables are up to?

And Imma tuck this week’s episode to sleep with definitive proof of life on other planets.

These other planets do not require a million lifetimes worth of navigation to reach them. They exist on every block of every street of every neighborhood of every town we call home. The stories might require some diligent research on our part, but I assure you, the wonders they provide will make you appreciate the time expended.

When Kaiden Shelton of Pearland, Texas lost control of a pitch to Isaiah Jarvis of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the crowd in Waco, Texas went silent. After Jarvis was able to not only brush it off, but continue playing, you could almost hear the collective sigh of relief that rippled through the stands. Excepting for Kaiden Shelton, who remained stuck on that runaway fastball as he struggled to regain his composure on the mound. When Jarvis became aware of this, he called timeout before walking over to his rival to offer him a hug.

And it was right then and there that another planet was discovered, right here on earth. A planet that was fat with hope and humanity and compassion; elements that are vitally important when it comes to life and living. Elements that we tend to lose sight of, even if they never stop showing up. And for the infinite shine those stars provide us?

I’d like to think we return the favor.

 

The Rundown

Stories You Should Know: Bill Russell in Game 7's - The Grueling Truth

Hard to believe we’re two thirds of the way through 2022, but hey, it means we are that much further removed from 2020. And okay, the spectacle of what 2024 might bring gets closer still. But maybe, just maybe, 2023 will be the best year ever? Please? Someone? Hear my prayer?

This week I’m talking legends.

Bill Russell didn’t have the the luxury of comparing himself to icons like Jackie Robinson. He was too busy paving roads that future generations of players would use to their great benefit. And it’s a common theme you hear from the greats who followed Russell that his example became their talisman- from Magic to Bird, Kobe to Shaq to Durant.

The greatness of the Boston Celtics was born on the day Russell came to town. He toted two collegiate rings to Beantown, after which he went 11-0 in NBA finals appearances (!). Add an Olympic gold medal to that Rushmore resume and you ain’t even scratched the surface of the life Bill Russell led.

In spite of all this, Russell was never embraced in a town that judged the color of his skin over the immense content of his character. This sad reality inspired him to remain a steadfast voice in the fight for equal rights, and he remained a civil rights advocate for more than half a century. Because he didn’t need to be the next Jackie Robinson.

He was the first Bill Russell.

French's® Debuts Limited-Edition Mustard Donuts in Celebration of National Mustard Day

I have put a lot of things in my mouth that I later regretted (I said that out loud, didn’t I?) but even I think French’s new mustard donut is a bridge too far. Hey look at that, I do have standard(s)!

Why Eric Clapton is still God | British GQ

The former President of Seinfeldania is still keeping late night talk show hosts well fed all this time later. He endorsed “Eric” in the Missouri primary race . . . and never mind that he didn’t specify exactly which Eric he was talking about. Because when did the details ever matter to this guy?

I put together a multiple choice quiz in order to find the right Eric and it is every bit as dumb as the guy who inspired it.

A) Eric Heiden- A five-time gold medal winner who became an orthopedic surgeon? He’s got my vote!
B) Erik Estrada- Come to think of it, Trump made no mention of spelling.
C) Eric Stoltz- I feel legally obligated to include him in any discussions about Erics based on the classic “Shot of Adrenaline” scene in Pulp Fiction.
D) Okay yeah, I know it’s not Clapton but I’m going with Clapton anyways.

And now for my Five Good Things . . .

Drew Bausman took his day on the job with UPS VERY seriously.

7 year old Drew Bausman’s dream of being a UPS driver was realized more than a decade ahead of schedule when some really good peeps made it happen. He was inspired by all that delivery traffic in the year of COVID, so he got his own uniform and a hot ride.

tiger | Facts, Information, Pictures, & Habitat | Britannica

The International Union for Conservation of Nature announced there are more tigers roaming in the wild than previously thought. Globally, we’re talking anywhere between 3,700 to 5,500 Bengal tigers. Which means humankind still has lots of work to do, because one look at these majestic creatures makes my whole day.

Ava Swiss is a survivor of the Oxford High School shooting that took four lives in Michigan last fall. And she’s making the most of her every day since, appearing on America’s Got Talent recently. (School Shooting Survivor Auditions For America’s Got Talent). And if this doesn’t bring a tear (or many) to your eyes, make an appointment to see an ophthalmologist, pronto.

Massiah Brown of Sacramento, California is seven going on Aquaman. When he spotted a three-year old boy sinking to the bottom of a pool, he lifted him to safety and a tragedy was averted. Superhero powers and those shades? The kid’s got style!

England vs Germany: Lionesses win first Women's EURO title in extra-time

The Lionesses Euro football tournament win is England’s first (male or female) title since 1966. The girls victory inspired something called “Football Rebooted” where cleats are donated to disadvantaged youths who dream of playing the game they love. How cool is that?

Juan Soto debuts for San Diego Padres; the Washington Nationals actually traded Soto... - Federal Baseball

I’m not talking about Deshaun Watson this week because Vin Scully’s passing and the Juan Soto signing matter more to yours truly. And hey . . . it’s my parking space.

First Soto.

The San Diego Padres became the center of the baseball universe this week when they pulled off the baseball equivalent of a lunar landing by trading for Juan Soto. The kid’s trajectory is squarely fixed on greatness and he’s only twenty-three. He makes an already formidable Padres lineup into something that steals a pitcher’s sleep. I tuned in for his first at bat in his new duds on Wednesday night and Imma be back for more. Because I love the idea of a small market team pushing all their chips to the center of the table and calling the bluff of the baseball establishment. This doesn’t make the Padres a sure thing, seeing as how super-teams have a sketchy track record. But what I do know is that a once woebegone franchise has announced its arrival at the high stakes table. In a market the Chargers left because they didn’t consider it big league enough.

I am there for that.

Vin Scully, legendary Dodgers announcer for 67 years, dies at age 94 - True Blue LA

Sixty-seven years. Vin Scully mastered his craft over that length of time as the voice of Dodgers games, providing a masterclass in how to call a baseball game. From sea to shining sea- Brooklyn USA to Los Angeles California- Scully was a fixture on summer nights, painting the scene in his uniquely classic style. Twelve presidents, four wars, a moon landing and the internet age all happened on his watch. He endured in an industry that has grown exponentially from the days of transistor radios, lapping his more educated peers by his insistence on letting the game do most of the talking. He didn’t rely on gimmicks when the game was the only thing that mattered.

From Don Larsen’s World Series perfect game in 1956 to all of Sandy Koufax’s no-hitters to Hank Aaron’s record breaking 715th home run that passed the Babe to the Mets improbable comeback in ’86 and Kirk Gibson’s one legged miracle shot two years later . . . Scully is indelibly attached.

In his final sign off back in 2016, Scully was his typically humble self as he spoke with that signature eloquence and grace we came to know and love. He confessed that he had always needed us more than we needed him.

I respectfully disagree.

 

Both Sides

That’s a classic song by a classic artist. Joni Mitchell burst onto the music scene during my college days. Since then, her accolades include 10 Grammy Awards, induction into both the Rock & Roll and Songwriters halls of fame, a Kennedy Center honoree, and more – including being on Dale’s Mt. Rushmoor of Female Musicians (who sang and wrote their own songs).

“Both” is an interesting word – one that is on my ideas list for a future beach walk essay. Maybe I’ll draft it next winter at the beach – but I will leave those thoughts for another day. After all, I need the sand and surf to inspire my thoughts.

To me, Both Sides, Now is about perception – how we perceive something based on the situation. How something the same seems different. I think about it as two sides of a coin or two sides of a story.

Much of life is about both – then and now, past and present, before and after. Both sides are even about each of us looking back at something that happened to reflect. Maybe even realizing something totally different now than then – even both sides.

We can create a long list of events involving before-and-after thoughts, but that’s not exactly where I’m going. Anthony Mason of CBS News did this wonderful segment involving respect, will, grit, determination, appreciation, surprise, cheers and tears.

If you watched the story above, you understand my point. If you didn’t, watch below to see Joni Mitchell sing Both Sides, Now at the recent Newport Folk Festival. Joni – surrounded by friends – overcoming a stroke – and singing pretty darn good.

Not Wordless Wednesday

I took a looooong walk on Saturday.  It was so difficult to choose a theme for today.  I settled on the deer, but next week? We are all about the birds. Maybe. Probably.

Don’t move, I don’t know what she wants

Okay, Go! She’s not leaving!

Hurry up! Git!

I’m right behind you! Wait for me!

Bloody hell…

I’m cool.. Just move along, Human!

Oh. Em. Gee. She is STILL here!

Still Perfectly Frank: 01 Aug 2022

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

With one month ending and another starting, Imma asked to take a break from Beach Walk Reflections and pitch in for some random thoughts. Thanks to Marc for the space.

July’s headlines included more mass shootings, a former Japanese PM assassinated, college football losing its mind, a new UK PM, political unrest in Sri Lanka, failures of the Uvalde police, more unnecessary Russian attacks in Ukraine, Wimbledon, The Open, more Congressional hearings about January 6th, Bennifer marriage, my fourth dose of Covid vaccine, more fake news, and politicians saying stupid shit.

We also remember those who departed us in July 2022: the last Band of Brothers, Sonny Corleone, an F-Troop star, Sopranos actor, composer of the James Bond theme, the first ex-wife of an ex-president, a mouth on Big Mouth, an actor of tough guys, a climate scientist pioneer, an original Star Trek lieutenant, an NBA legend, and people dying from gun violence, natural disasters, and war.

On 12th July, NASA released the first pictures from the James Webb Space Telescope. I’m in awe of images of deep space. Here’s the first collection.

July marked my closest encounter ever with a tornado. Not one, but two! An F2 tornado was 4.5 miles (7.2 km) away and an F1 tornado 2.3 miles (3.7 km) away. Both were way too close for comfort.

This didn’t happen in July, but I learned about it during July, so that’s good enough for me. An Ohio man (my state) was the first person ever diagnosed with a whistling scrotum. As Steven Cobert asked, “Did it forget the words?”

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

In case you missed it, here are a few July headline gems from The Onion:

  • Extra-Mad Wife Forces Husband to Sleep on Ottoman
  • Skeptical Doctor Asks Woman Flattened by Steamroller to Rate Pain
  • Wings in Basket from 3 Chickens Who Were Friends
  • Archeologists Discovered “Big Dog” Shirt Christ Wore to Sleep In
  • Insurance Company Swears They Will Get the Next Round
  • Scattered Deaths of Elderly Floridians Expected Throughout the Week

Here’s a blast from the past. Try the Combo Challenge. By using only the words in the above headlines, create your personal headline, then share it in your comment. My combo appears later in this post.

For those desiring information about monkeypox, The Onion provides answers here.

Because we live in the age of “smart” products, readers should consider the Woodbridge B0990S Smart Toilet. It features a built-in bidet, motion-activated open-and-close lid, auto flushing, a heated seat, night light, and a multi-functional remote. Sorry to say, it doesn’t offer a wiping function. But if you have a spare $1200 and Marc won’t give you his address, you may want to consider it.

I always enjoy Steve Hartman’s positive stories on CBS News – but this one about Dexter the dog is amazing … and it delivers a message for everyone.

Because today starts a new month, it’s time for an overview of some of the celebrations on August’s plate. For a complete list of July celebrations, click here.

  • Monthly celebrations for August include cowgirls, goat cheese, panini, crayon collection, and happiness happens.
  • Weekly toasts include Psychic Week (1-5), Buttons (7-13), Weird Contests (14-20), Chef Appreciation (21-27), and Chuckwagon Races (27-9/4)
  • Day celebrations include underwear (5th), root beer floats (6th), prosecco (13th), spumoni (21st), waffle irons (24th), go topless (28th), more herbs-less salt (29th), and many more. See for yourself.

Besides their on-the-field accomplishments, professional athletes tend to make the news after doing something stupid. Unfortunately, that tarnishes the many pro athletics who are good people and even better citizens. Click here for a local story of one of Cincinnati’s finest – Reds second baseman Jonathan India.

I knew I had to use this story when I first saw it. Crescencia Garcia is 102 years old, a Covid survivor, and a member of an all-Black Women unit during WWII – the 6888th – the Six Triple Eight – the only unit of its kind to serve in Europe. This past June, CBS Mornings interviewed her, which they aired a few weeks ago. See it for yourself.

My Combo: Skeptical Steamroller Swears Big Dog Flattened Extra-mad Chicken Wing

Here’s one of my favorite covers of a classic song from a great show I attended years ago. I’m out of here. Merry Loafmas!

How I Learned Church

Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

As far as days of the week are concerned, Sunday is the difference. You can just feel a Sunday without much effort, in much the same way a singer can identify a pitch out of thin air. Whereas Michael Corleone’s first wife- the lovely Apollonia- easily confused the other six days of the week with their bunkmates, she always nailed the one day that was common language, from Sicily to Flatbush.

When I was ten years old, I was an awkward mess of buckteeth and bushy hair and the most geometrically absurd pair of glasses. I was shy, painfully so. If shyness had been a contest, my closet would’ve been full of blue ribbons. The safe haven for me came in the form of books and baseball and music. I could lock the rest of the great big world out of my room and daydream about a future time and place when I wouldn’t feel so out of place.

These love affairs in miniature gifted me liberty from my clumsy toiling through all the nascent lessons my too young self couldn’t yet grasp. My habits were the better chances, delivered from the mysterious belly of a universe whose plans for me were kept in escrow until I grew out of my sad little britches. And Sunday was when all my hopes and dreams came calling, in peaceful little drips.

I happened to be a fledgling explorer when it came to the religion of Café con leche. My method was equal parts a charming ignorance and an earnest deconstruction; I possessed a rudimentary blueprint that substituted espresso with Folgers and scalding hot milk with a cold, heavily sugared alternative. If you grow up with any kind of Latin influence, you understand your serving sizes when it comes to sugar as heaping and diabetic. It’s how I stayed honest enough to the recipe.

I’d tote the brimming mug back to my room and then get lost in the brilliant math of a morning after baseball box-score. I sipped at my Café and pored over the out of town scores before fixing on the exploits of my Yankees. Bucky, Willie and Blair more often than not took the collar and that was alright since defense was their bread and butter. Nettles and Chambliss and Rivers were always good for the rest of it. And then there was Reggie, who served as the front man for a band of talented miscreants. I imagined his murderously quick wrists turning on a hanging fastball inside his church as the congregation roared its approval.

It was during this time when I kinda felt as if Sunday had been created just so’s Lionel Richie could sing his love letter on the radio. I would listen closely to try and hear that intoxicating scratch as the stylus teased vinyl before diving in. In a world full of sophisticated complications, this was one I never got tired of knowing. My senses crushed on that sound.

They still do.

The Rundown

Runners on an indoor track maneuver around a cameraman.

We got some relief from the furnace of Dante Alighieri’s worst plot this week, with temps easing up just a tad. This allowed yours truly to return to my road work, which I had announced my retirement from a couple months back. But hey, if Tom Brady can take it back, so can I. I’ve been on a low key running regimen for several weeks. It’s Easy Peasy Calabrese as she goes, but it still counts. And if you’re coo with leaving July behind in search of cooler pastures, check out Frank’s ode to August this coming Monday. Why he hasn’t been tabbed as the next skipper for the Cincinnati Reds yet . . I haven’t a clue.

The above photograph comes courtesy of The Atlantic and it inspires more questions than President Biden’s economic plan. This all went down last week at the men’s 3,000 meter steeplechase final in Eugene, Oregon. So I have a quick multiple choice quiz as to why in the holy ghost of Bruce Jenner this dude was crashing the party. Buena suerte!

A) He promised his mom he would take part in a World Championship race one day and this was the easiest way to keep the promise.
B) The new GPS app on his phone assured him he was at Wayback Burgers!
C) He’s blind. (That’s a photography joke).
D) He was supposed to be covering a women’s event and didn’t realize the men’s final was even going on when he happened onto the track.

The correct answer is of course, D. Which means this guy wouldn’t last five minutes as a pedestrian in Miami.

Let’s get to the roster . . . .

The life and legend of America's most famous wild horse

I’m a curious chap, so I scrolled back in history to find out how good we had it at the gas pumps back in a simpler time when all we had to worry about were terrorist attacks and waging wars with everybody else. Needless to say, I didn’t get very far . . .

2012- $3.60
2002- $1.12

I couldn’t get past the fact that we were paying less for a gallon of gas than I currently pay for a cheapie pretzel at my convenience store. One dollar and twelve cents per gallon? Are you fucking kidding me? So basically, when I filled up my tank (I’m talking a Dodge Ram pickup) in 2002, I still had plenty left to get a pack of smokes and some Starbucks. Whereas in present day, I would have to notify my financial advisor before doing such a thing. On a plus note, the above capture really could be my ride if gas prices continue to crunch my cojones. Her name will be Sally. Of course.

Shop - Forward Party

I don’t wanna be a (third) party pooper but this new political startup that calls itself The Forward Party is further out of serious contention than the Boston Red Sox. And no, that wasn’t a cheap shot aimed at a much needed change to our same old political structure. That was a cheap shot at the Red Sox.

Rescuers seek to warm and dry the osprey after its ordeal.

My next selection comes courtesy of the lovely Dale, who always brings the smiles with her stories. And this one is no different.

I say it all the time. The good stuff is always happening inside the quiet, far from the madding crowd of forgettable news gone wild. And so when an osprey got caught up in an angler’s line off an island in Brisbane, Australia recently, it took a full court press of compassion to rescue him. So it was that surfers and anglers teamed up to make sure this story would have a happy ending.

It was a long and not so easy process and it resulted in some of the rescuers getting their hands and arms scratched up but good by the desperate creature. Thing is, this group wasn’t going to take tragedy for an answer. And in the end they were able to extricate the bird from the tangle and deliver it to shore.

The catch of the day: Kindness always wins.

Greenland's ice is melting faster than it has in 350 years—what it means

As with most issues that beset humankind, results usually get tucked into a right and wrong sandwich. Whether you believe that climate change will change the way the next generation lives or not, you have to admit that what’s going on in Greenland this summer bears watching.

Over three days in the middle of July, an ice melt resulted in more than 6 billion tons of water being released into the ocean. That’s enough to cover the entire state of West Virginia in a foot of water. Research scientists were walking around in t-shirts as temps reached 60 degrees and now they’re wondering if the 2019 record ice melt might soon have company.

We don’t have to worry about the island of Manhattan being submerged in water. And we don’t have to worry about how farmers are going to be affected adversely, which will in turn affect our food supply. And we don’t have to worry about more power outages and flooding and a scarcity of potable water . . .

But we should.

Since nobody won the Mega Million lottery draw this week, the new jackpot has ballooned to over $1 billion tacos. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t win since I would have blown all of it on a once in a lifetime wager: I would’ve bet everything that Trump will end up behind bars. And while common sense and a mountain of facts are on my side, I fear I might have somehow lost that bet.

Our nation’s capitol had a visitor we can all rally behind when a statue of the legendary aviator Amelia Earhart was unveiled this week. And for bonus points, Congress members didn’t have to run for cover as a result! Kansas Governor Laura Kelly was there for the event.

“Amelia was a dreamer. Her dreams went far beyond the banks of [the Missouri] river and far beyond the prescribed gender roles of her time,” Kelly said. “Let it be an inspiration for all, particularly our young girls, for generations to come. Let them stare up at this work of art and think that they, like Amelia, can dream the impossible dream.”

If we’re gonna talk patriots, I’ll take Amelia.

The Circle' Season 2 Teases Contestant Lance Bass in New Trailer

My streaming diet wasn’t quite so FUBAR this week. For every episode of Snowflake Mountain, I returned volley with a slightly smarter reply like D.B. Cooper: Where Are You? When I went with Nailed It!, I lobbed in a George Carlin doc (Thank you Resa!) And my in between was the social experiment show, The Circle, which has given me a new appreciation for social media. And with Lance Bass joining the circle (?), I’m loving season 2 even more than the first one.

It’s the little things . . .

The Sorryless Interview: Marjorie Taylor Greene

On the Campaign Trail With Marjorie Taylor Greene | Time

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s first two years as the representative out of Georgia’s 14th Congressional District have introduced a fresh new hell to American politics. Greene didn’t take long to unleash conspiracy theories that resulted in a boom for the tin foil hat industry and a crash of our collective common sense. Her political positions scored a zero on Rotten Tomatoes and yet, she is a rock star in some circles- surprisingly none of which were written by Dante Alighieri.

Before my interview with MTG, I spend forty-five minutes talking to her publicist about topics that will be off limits. I’m warned countless times not to utter a single word about masks, vaccines, her rhetoric that involved killing political opponents, the border wall, sanctuary cities, Area 51, Motel 6, Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, Ayn Rand, Hitler, the Gestapo and Gazpacho, Taco Bell, QAnon . . or anything that begins with the letter Q, gun control, Jews, the harmonica or Chef Boyardee.

Once I’ve been cleared, I agree to meet Greene outside BLT Steak- a popular D.C. eatery for what she is referring to as a ‘road trip’. I notify my next of kin in the event I go missing just as a jet black stretch Hummer pulls to the curb. The tinted window rolls down and a driver dressed in Ray Bans and a bad tan asks me for the password.

“Let’s Go Brandon?”

“Good enough, get in,”

I climb into the passenger side seat and turn to find Greene in an orange dress, sipping a “Pimped up Pineapple Passionfruit Babay!”. I pray to God she keeps her legs crossed for the entirety of the trip as the driver pulls away from the curb.

Sorryless: I would like to start by thanking you for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit with us this morning. I was told you had some important meetings you had to push back in order to accommodate us . . .

Greene: No problem at all. Let’s face it, I’m getting paid whether I’m sitting in on those meetings or not, yanno?

Sorryless: You’re a true patriot, doing the people’s work.

Greene: I’m glad you think so. And umm, what do you mean by the people’s work? What does that mean?

Sorryless: Your constituency?

Greene: Is that one of those French words? Not a fan. The only French I like are fries, kissing and toast! Heck . . . I wouldn’t even watch the show Friends because it sounded too much like French!

Greene lets loose with a cackle out of Stephen King’s worst nightmare while eyeing me suspiciously. I have to change the subject quickly or risk her ditching the interview. I’m ashamed of myself for not choosing the latter but hey . . journalism! 

Sorryless: What are your thoughts on the Titanic?

Greene: Well, I’m not saying it didn’t happen but, where’s the video footage? All those survivors and they even made a freaking movie about the boat but not a single piece of footage? Something’s not adding up.

Mission accomplished. 

Sorryless:  A lot of things ain’t adding up, Ms. Greene. But let’s assume for a moment that the hundreds of thousands of verified reports are in fact true and the ship really did sink. Do you have any theories?

Greene: Well I have to be very careful about what I say because I know my detractors on the left are gonna be like There she goes again! and then the socialist late night talk show hosts are gonna use me in a bunch of skits and make me look really stupid . . .

Sorryless: You say that like it’s a bad thing.

Greene: I’m sorry, what was your question again?

Sorryless: The Hindenburg. Who killed the Hindenburg?

Greene: The French, probably.

Sorryless: Let’s change things up. Did Donald Trump win the election?

Greene: Fucking A right he won the election!

Sorryless: According to  . . . .?

Greene: Anyone who watched the early results where he was ahead by like a bazillion points and they kept on counting even though it was over, clearly.

Sorryless: You do understand this wasn’t a boxing match, right?

Greene: I would bet taxpayer money with you right now that Donald Trump is still President.

Sorryless: So who’s to blame for the economy? And gas prices?

Greene: The president.

Sorryless: In your words, then, Donald Trump is to blame.

Greene: No of course not.

Sorryless: But you just said Trump is president, and then you said the president is to blame.

Greene: I meant neither. And both. And the first one.

Sorryless: Alright, let’s try it this way. Will Trump run in 2024?

Greene: Yes, and this time he’ll win by more than he did in 2020.

Sorryless: So he’ll regain the office that you claim he already possesses?

Greene: Correct. And absolutely not.

I want the interview to be over because I’m running out of patience. And Xanax. Both. Greene chugs the rest of her vodka marinated passionfruit drink and then retrieves a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon from a cooler. 

Sorryless: What compelled you to enter the political arena?

Greene: Jesus came to me one night and we had a long conversation about it. I was depressed because I had always wanted to be an astronaut but an astronaut’s license is really expensive so I wasn’t sure what my future had in store for me. And then Jesus decided that he wanted me to be a messenger for all of the disenfranchised people who do not have a voice and I guess you could say, I answered the call.

Sorryless: Boy, that really resonates with me because I know that as a white man living in this country, it has been one hell of a struggle!

Greene: I hear you brother.

Sorryless: Wait . . a minute. Were you trying to impersonate Mary J. Blige just now?

Greene: Who’s she?

Sorryless: Sorry, she’s the other Mary. Anyway I gotta ask. Is there a special prayer you have to say to get an audience with Jesus? Some kind of religious equivalent to a cheat code that allows you to bypass all the regrettable shit you did before that life altering moment?

Greene: Well, you don’t actually see his face when you’re talking to him.

Sorryless: Oh, like Mickey Rourke . . .

Greene: It’s more like, you feel his spirit inside you and you’re consuming him but he’s also consuming you. As time passes, you are overcome with this feeling of euphoria and then you are powerless to light and music. It goes on for hours like that.

Sorryless: You just described the time I got wasted on Jack Daniels before going to see that Pink Floyd movie . . . to a tee.

Greene: Are you with CNN?

Sorryless: If I say yes, will that end the interview?

Greene: Get out!