1-29-2004 Mom's Isetta

It is the first step the city needs to do to take care of the problems of the past. It allows us to go forward and prepare to turn the city around financially.--Mayor Tom Leighton

I'll tell ya' what. I'd never date Ann Coulter. I don't think I could handle what she might say when she finally got pissed at me. This chick is brutal. She's intelligent and very pleasing to the eye, but she's a like a rabid mongoose when she finds herself annoyed by the assholes of the world and I certainly fall into that category. The Dems stumbling towards the 2004 election make her attacks even more vociferous. Just a gigolo

Every time I hear the word 'gigolo,' I can't help but to think of David Lee Roth and the narly rock outfit he turned his back on to make mostly putrid, commercialized music.

Did anybody watch the American Idols auditions last night? Wifey hooked me up with that and after seeing it, I wished that I had captured it all on VHS. This was some of the funniest stuff I have ever seen, but what made it even more hilarious was the fact that the folks that made complete fools of themselves actually thought they were the next big thing. Scary. This show topped even Andy Kaufman's adventures in professional wrestling. Or McTommy's last two mostly feeble years as the top McDog in Wilkes-Barre. Whatever. The auditions resume on Monday night, so do yourself a favor and check it out.

Thank god. The Voice reported today that AMBAC came through for us. I, was were many others, were confident that Tom Leighton's presentation to the folks at AMBAC would convince them that fiscal responsibility has returned to Wilkes-Barre, but with this city's troubled recent track record, ya' just never know. Thank Jesus that the elections went the way they did. One short year ago, we were defaulting on loans and our mayor at the time was hauled in front of a county judge that was demanding not only answers, but that a few overdue payments be made.

Here we are in January 2004, and there seems to be an actual plan in place. One could get used to this. By restructuring the city's debts, Leighton has given us the opportunity to pay off our massive overdue debts in one fell swoop and start clawing our way back to where we should be without being totally broke while trying to do so. The adults have finally assumed control. If we had not received this bond insurance, I would have shuttered to think what Plan B might have entailed.

The self-appointed taxpayer saviours ought to come to council chambers loaded for bear during the next meeting go-round, but if they tried being honest just this once, they'd admit that this debt restructuring was not only necessary, but the best move we could have made right now.

Onward to a brighter future, Mayor Tom II.

I read Private Sector Dude's comments about the "Worst Cars" debate on WILK and figured I should add my two cents. Once past the age of thirty, my mom was going it alone and owned only complete junkers. But...there was a time when she was young, pretty, and married to two consecutive guys who both earned a helluva lotta money. So what kinda cars did she own and drive back in the good old days? Even worse junks.

The only brand spanking new car that she ever owned was a 1967 Datsun station wagon. We could have gotten from point A to point B faster if we had cut holes in the floor and used our feet exactly as the Flintstones had thousands of years before. We used to drive out to Harvey's Lake with her, me, my sister, and my grandmom in that dog and it barely made it up the hill at Bonomo's bowling joint just past Dallas. That's pretty sad.

I was embarrassed to be seen in that Japanese imitation car. Other kid's Dads had 57' Chevys, 67' Chevelles, or Chevy IIs, but not me. I had a friggin' powder blue Datsun station wagon brought to us by the good, but mostly short folks at Zilla-God Motors. I don't know what she paid for it, but even if the asking price was ten full books of S&H Green Stamps, it was way too much. And to make matters even worse, the very last trip I ever took in that rice burner just about killed me. After my step-dad was released from the VA Hospital for going flashback on us one too many times, he and my mom decided to forever part ways and put their dream home on the market. The year we spent in that home were the happiest days of our lives up to that point and it was traumatic for mom, my sister, and myself the day they staged an open house and sold just about everything we owned. She cried for days afterwards and quite often I felt like chiming in. When everything was said and done, we packed our clothes into that Datsun and headed for our new home: Wilkes-Barre.

In those days, Route 84 was still under construction, so we had to meander the length of Route 6 from Port Jervis to the 84 on-ramp at Hamlin. We headed due south from Hamlin and were about a mile from 84 when I started vomiting white foam all over the place and freaked out. Startled, my mom drove the Datsun into a corn field. I spilled out of the car and laid there still spewing mostly vile things. My mom tried to console me and before long a farmer came sauntering along and offered us refuse back at his homestead just up the road a ways. Once at his place, Uncle John drove up there from Wilkes-Barre and swapped cars with us after the farmer hooked his tractor to the Datsun and dragged it out of the corn field. The very next day, Uncle had a mechanic friend of his inspect it and he told us I was overcome by carbon monoxide and that Datsun's were known for that. Something to do with the manifold, or something. Needless to say, mom traded that car for a few groceries right quick.

I've driven past that farmer's house a hundred times since and I always wanted to bang on his door and ask if he remembered that night. I never did, but I always found myself slowing down and staring off into the corn field exactly where mom created her one and only crop circle. And I still hate that friggin' car.

But wait! It gets even sillier.

Back when Sputnik and the Russians had us all scared silly, my Dad worked for Minneapolis-Honeywell in Pinellas County, Florida. We lived in a trailer park right on the oceanfront near Clearwater. I don't remember what sort of nondescript vehicle my dad was driving during those days, but my mom was driving a 55', or 56' Isetta. Isetta's were made by BMW and I don't believe they were ever intended to be introduced into this country, but somehow my mom owned one. The front of the car was the only door, and the rear wheels were so close together it was practically a three wheeled car. I was too young to be embarrassed, but if I could have been mortified by it, I'm pretty sure I would have been.

I can't recall the year, but a hurricane blew into town and we hunkered down in the basement of a local high school. All that I remember about the hurricane was the god awful noise. Before heading to the school, some men helped my dad throw ropes over the trailer and the Isetta and they drove huge spikes attached to said ropes into the ground. With our most expensive possessions firmly secured, we headed off to the bomb shelter. We never saw that trailer, or that Isetta again. It was obvious that the trailer was completely destroyed, but there was no clue as to where the Isetta ended up at. It could have shown up in some red necks back yard in Georgia. Or it might have joined that sunken German U-Boat at the bottom of Tampa Bay. Regardless of where it might have gotten too, I'm happy that I was spared any further indignity.

Can anybody top an Isetta while wanting to bitch about sh*tty cars?

From the e-mail inbox:

I couldn't agree with you more about city council being way overpaid. Boy, was I dumb. Until recently I thought it was all volunteer.. out of the goodness of their hearts ! I also agree with you about the smoking ! I am sick of being treated like I have cooties !

Get this.. we've stay at a hotel on the beach in Wildwood Crest for the last 10 years. Last week I got their brochure and it is now a non-smoking facility ! We I have PMS real bad I plan to give them an extremely nasty call !!
If this farce about second hand smoke was real we wouldn't have so many old bar owners !*******

Cooties??? Holy frig! I haven't heard that one since the Bay City Rollers were the rage. I hear ya' though. It does get old. Why should I have to listen to someone's guff only because some politicos and their covert Ad Council decided to target me for some quick political points? What was it that Andrew "Dice" Clay responded with to folks that were outraged and yelped "Look, he's smoking!" when he lit up?

Yeah! And I'm jerking off too, honey. Ya' wanna watch?

I met the dumbest non-smoker in the bar at Grotto's circa 1985. Remember now, this was before most folks became politically correct victims whining about most everything 24/7. The joint was packed and nearly everyone in attendance was not only drinking heavily, but smoking like a chimney. Shocking, I know. Polly Purebread's twin brother waltzes in and parks his fanny on the bar stool next to me. After a few sips on his high-fallootin' cocktail thingy that had a parasol decoration in it, he leans over to us and says: "Would you guys mind knocking off the smoking?" I was cool about it. I responded by telling him to get real already. Then he got a bit more demanding about things. Dave leaned his way and said: " Would you mind if I crushed a few of your car's quarter-panels with your f**king face?" The spray of beer from my mouth hit the other side of the bar. The guy slipped back into his loafers and scurried away.

Forget the "Adopt-a-Block" program. When the crunchy water flies to any appreciable degree, Butchie goes into his "Backhoe-a-Block" program. We've got two homes for sale and a home for rent on Thompson Street right now. Wanna live on the best little street in Wilkes-Barre?


The best hoagies in the Nord End? Come on!?! Peter's Deli.

5 Italian, 1 Turkey, and 1 all cheese and veggies

I gotta blow this internet joint wherever it is. I've got important stuff to do.