7-5-2005 Intemperate musings

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.--Thomas Jefferson

Well? How was your extended weekend? I had a blast. I enjoyed three bikeabouts, put the Zippo to a ton of rather 'spensive fireworks, let the stereo loose and damaged the neighbor's foundation, and I didn't even get arrested. Although, I did damage quite a lot of my few remaining intact brain cells. Oh, well. Oh, and what did the state legislature go and do? Why, they went and legalized the selling of case lots of beer on Sundays. Intact brain cells...here we come!

I knew better, but I managed to get myself talked into dragging the entire pack of grandkids to watch the fireworks display real close like. I have skipped just such a misadventure during the past few years. And if last night was any example of what I've been missing--I'll never, ever do such a thing again.

Sorry, but the entire park was too damn crowded. By 8 pm or somewhere thereabouts, it was damn near impossible to even move the Radio Flyer wagon without causing Medic 5 to get toned. And treating the rodents was next to impossible. Snow Cone? Sure, I'll wait in that 3,000-deep line. Cotton Candy? Why not? I don't need that hour of my life that'd be required to obtain one. And forget the potato pancakes. Remember where we live, heyna?

Which is not to say that all of those involved in organizing this big-time event did not do a bang-bang job. They did just that. It's just that it was too darn crowded for my tastes. So, I informed my entire entourage of over-heated kiddies that we were going to retreat to the relative safety of the Market Street Bridge and view the proceedings from afar with the flying insects that swarm all over the streetlights. But what I could not envision was being surrounded by folks that seemed to lack the intelligence of those very same single-minded insects.

It's one thing to have a bunch of slackers blocking the view with their very special frisbee display, but it's a whole other thing to not be able to hear the fireworks over the folks that came to the bridge to argue about their ongoing marital infidelities and whatnot. Throw in the gang of red-haired kids that kept locking up the coaster brakes of their bikes right in front of us, and I felt a growing hankering for leaving the scene long before I took the 16" inch baton to anyone's parents for procreating without a license. About the same time a gaggle of squealing teeny-bopper girls sat next to me all with a cell phone mashed into the sides of their under-developed brains, I wanted to teleport right the hell out of there.

And what's up with the 300-pound, 40-something women wearing shorts smaller than mine, a strip of Scotch tape for a top and jiggling from Point A to Point B? C'mon, man! I can only take so much. Plus, you're gonna frighten the dickens out of the wee little ones.

The fireworks display was really great. The police presence was even greater. But...this will have to be my very last foray into the sea of mutated humanity. If I wanna be stuck at the wrong part of the Bell Curve for hours on end again, I'll take a ride to Shea Stadium, thank you very much.

Take that, Met's fans.

Live8 performers asked, "If we can spend billions of dollars to kill people, why can't we spend billions of dollars to feed people?" The sad reality is that sometimes you have to do that first part in order to make the last part possible.--Doug Powers

Did anyone bother to check out the Live 8 tomfoolery? What a bunch of fu>king nonsense that was. Bob Geldof is going to save the world. Yeah, right after he pulls that well-worn straw out of his nostril. And then there's Bono, the self-appointed ambassador to the struggling masses everywhere. Fu>k him and the stretch limo he rode in on. If he had a clue at all, he wouldn't be hammering the G-8 world leaders until they promise to send even more copious amounts of money to the murderous warlords, the maniaical despots and the tinhorn revolutionary leaders in Africa that live high on the hog while their entire continent starves to death. What a bunch of bunkum!

When I got out of work on Saturday, I turned on Rock 107 just as the announcer was practically creaming his jeans while waiting on Green Day to play a few basic chords for the world. And then he went berserk with this Live 8 gibberish: These 155,000 people gathered here today as total strangers, but now they've bonded together and are demanding that hunger be stamped out worldwide. I'm so thrilled to have been a part of such a historic..."

Forget the traffic. I sprung towards the tuner knob and immediately switched over to WILK. Ah,...whew, America's Favorite Gardener. Thank goodness.

Listen to me tell it. I still love the Beatles and I always will. And being the driving force behind the Beatles, Paul McCartney will always hold a special place in my heart. But...when Mr. Billionaire himself wants me to open my checkbook to end world hunger, I'm thinking maybe he ought to try playing with the other hand so as to shock one of those unused brain lobes of his back into action.

Together, Geldof, Bono and McCartney could probably pool their assets and buy the entirety of Africa! But they want me to fix it?

Bleedin' wankers all, rot mate?


Wifey was watching that stupid run-up to the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest which, unbelieveably, was broadcast "live" on ESPN, (?) and she kept buggin' me about what she was seeing and such. Being mildly annoyed with her blow-by-blow accounts, I reached for the remote and put the damn thing on my personal video advertising box.

So there they were. A line of 12 people or so trying to consume the most hoddogs in 12 minutes flat. More to the point, they were trying not to puke all over the folks next to them. There were folks quivering all over. There were folks fighting back a robust puke. And the lot of them were dipping their hoddog buns into their drinks before stuffing them into their distorted faces. So...this is how Rosie O'Donnell carrys herself when she's not spewing a different type of puke on the advertising box.

Needless to say, I had seen enough and was ready to turn this garbage off when the announcer called these idiots, "athletes." Now, I was all but ready to puke. And it got worster and worster. (Sugar Notch speak) Catch this quote-unquote: "He's the Lance Armstrong of our sport."

Sport? Lance Armstrong? How many hoddogs did this fool snort? Hoddogs aren't exactly known for being a brain food, no?

Then, some up-and-comer, Joey Chestnut, started getting all green in the gills while trying to keep 32 hoddogs from exploding forth from which they were sent. And what did the Curt Gowdy of the "Competitive Eating Circuit" (?) have to say in response? "You can not have a reversal!"

A reversal? Is that, like, blowing one's cookies? Can you call a good puke a reversal while keeping a straight face? Hey! Who led the league in "reversals" last season? How 'bout saves? Who led the league in saves? It's no wonder the Arabs hate us with this bilge going out over the airwaves. After watching the hoddog pros, I'm not so certain that I don't hate us, too.

And some skinny chick went and ate her way through 37 hoddogs, and the announcer shrieked," A new American record for Sonya Thomas!!!"

And when he got to singing the pros praises with piddle such as, "regurgitating champions," and "dog-downing demons," the remote control was quickly engaged and the hopeless lunatics were forever erased from my imported television screen.

Tired of being a nobody? How many hard-boiled eggs can you swallow in 12 minutes? Or donuts? Deep-fried asparagus, perhaps? Have you got what it takes to be a pro? If so, call Coach Rosie O'Donnell at 1-800-SWALLOW.

If I had it to do all over again, I would have watched that toe-the-line-socialist Bono and his lightweight sidekick, The Edge, the best rythum guitarist to ever somehow pass himself off as a lead guitarist.

I'm at a place called Reversal!

Gage & Trainee

Get this sh*t! After years upon years of struggling against the corporate powers that be, (or something like that) from this day forward, I will enjoy every other Saturday off. Woo hoo!!!

Know what that translates into? Longer bikeabouts and an increase in sales for Corba Beverage. Woo hoo!!!

From the e-mail inbox I happen upon your site during a google search. Just wanted give a word of praise for your views on politics. You seem to put things in a prospective that I have never seen before.

Keep up the good work!

Good work? Wowie Zowie! Good work? That's not a phrase normally associated with anything that appears at this web locale. Just the same, thanks Yahoo Dude.

From the e-mail inbox Hi Mark,

When you out and about on your bicycle, swing on over to the East End section of town and take a look at our graffiti on Laurel and Jenks Lane. I assume someone went on a spray paint spree and decided to do a little art and deco work on the Mr. Joe Nardone building, which sets on the corner. In return, the corn fed kids with the prejudice parents retaliated and sprayed the home when a Hispanic family is renting. I can't believe this shit is starting up again! A few years ago a few kids of East End initiated a few beatings on the Hispanics for being what they are, Hispanic.

I'll tell you what! This has to be the most screwed up neighborhood! Within the last three years this area has gone to pot! Between the assholes standing on the corners to the shit heads wanting to sit on their door steps and porches like a freaking fixture of some sort. I think it's time to seriously put some thought into looking for a new homestead, somewhere in the country. I have had it! Anyway, if your in the area...

I know that you asked me not to post what you sent along. But now that it's made the newspapers, why not?

Maria! I just met a girl from East End named Maria!

Red, white, blue. cookies & Sunkist

Dig this! My daughter has been hired to coach a girl's high school volleyball team right here in good ole Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. So, like it or not, get ready for some volleyball recaps on these electronic pages of mine.

Ebon rocks!!!

Sorry. Coach Cour rocks!!!

As of today, June 5, 2005, it's been exactly seventeen years since I last interacted with my mom. The 4th of July holiday always ends the same way for my siblings and I. But, unlike them, I refuse to dwell on the past. Rather, I live for the moment. Have fun now. You never know when all of this fun might come to an abrupt halt.

Bikeabout, anyone?

Lemme know.

From the e-mail inbox What Starts with F and Ends with K

A first-grade teacher, Ms. Brooks, was having trouble with one of her students.

The teacher asked, "Harry, what's your problem?"

Harry answered, "I'm too smart for the 1st grade. My sister is in the 3rd grade and I'm smarter than she is! I think I should be in the 3rd grade too!"

Ms. Brooks had enough. She took Harry to the principal's office. While Harry waited in the outer office, the teacher explained to the principal what the situation was. The principal told Ms. Brooks he would give the boy a test. If he failed to answer any of his questions he was to go back to the 1st grade and behave.

She agreed. Harry was brought in and the conditions were explained to him and he agreed to take the test.

Principal: "What is 3 x 3?"

Harry: "9".

Principal: "What is 6 x 6?"

Harry: "36".

And so it went with every question the principal thought a 3rd grader should know.

"I think Harry can go to the 3rd grade."

Ms. Brooks says to the principal, "Let me ask him some questions."

The principal and Harry both agreed.

Ms. Brooks asks, "What does a cow have four of that I have only two of?"

Harry, after a moment: "Legs."

Ms. Brooks: "What is in your pants that you have but I do not have?"

The principal wondered, why would she ask such a question!

Harry replied: "Pockets."

Ms. Brooks: "What does a dog do that a man steps into?"

Harry: "Pants"

Ms. Brooks: What's starts with a C, ends with a T, is hairy, oval, delicious and contains thin, whitish liquid?

Harry: "Coconut."

The principal sat forward with his mouth hanging open.

Ms. Brooks: "What goes in hard and pink then comes out soft and sticky?"

The principal's eyes opened really wide and before he could stop the answer.

Harry: "Bubble gum"

Ms. Brooks: "What does a man do standing up, a woman does sitting down and a dog does on three legs?"

Harry: "Shake hands."

The principal was trembling.

Ms. Brooks: "What word starts with an 'F' and ends in 'K' that means a lot of heat and excitement?"

Harry: "Firetruck"

The principal breathed a sigh of relief and told the teacher, "Put Harry in the fifth-grade, I got the last seven questions wrong.