Sunday, May 29, 2011

The World's Greatest Love Scene

Piwwow Talk




Maximilian took Gertrude by her good hand then spun her around like a dreidel, singing the dreidel song all the way until she nearly passed out.

“Now wet us kiss with tongues, my snookie-ookopus,” Maximilian bellowed with a glint in his eye. “How is my wittle sweet petunia this evey-wevey?”

“Wonderfully-wully as wong as you’re withy-ithy me, pookie wookie sauce,” Gertrude peeped daintily.

“Does my wittle sweet summer waspberry muffy-uffin want some kissywisses from her wovey-dovey?” Maximilian exclaimed engagingly, tossing woses and hydwangeas at her atop the beddy-wed.

“Your wittle honeydew meloncicle would simply adore some kissywissypoos from her big, strong, dewectable deary-weary,” Gertrude chirped elegantly.

They kissed passionately. Even the man across the street watching through the telescope could hear “Dreamweaver” playing from a disty-wistance.

“My wittle mellifluous sweetmeat’s lips taste so delici-ici-icious to me. I just want to eat you with a wittle spoony-woon,” Maximilian charismatically proclaimed.

“And your wittle nectarousy-wousy could eat up her special wittle confectionawy-wary bonbon with choppy wopsticks and a Kwazy Straw,” Gertrude squeaked fetchingly.

“Does my ambwosial sugarplum care for some womantic musi-woosic while she makes sweety wove wove with her wittle jar of pweserves?” Maximilian vociferated.

“Oh, yessy wessy, my comewy passion banqi-anquet,” Gertrude tweeted.

“What would my elfin dinky winky do do wike to wisten to?” Maxy-waxy howled.

“It matters not, my winsome inamorata-wata, my extract, my gelatin spready-weddy, my marmalade sandy-andwich,” Gertrudie-oodie-oodie cheepy-eepy-eeped.

“Full discwosure, Gertwude, my sweet,” Maximilian said. “I found out today that I have a touch of the syphi-iphillis.”

“Well, Syphi-iphillis is my vewy favowite Sesame Stweet chawacter, my muppy-uppet.”

Almost Through with this Crap




8. Debra “Madusa” Miceli




In the late 80s a beautiful, yet kick ass, lady appeared on the pro wrestling scene. Her name was Madusa Miceli and when the American Wrestling Association couldn’t contain her, she went to Ted Turner‘s World Championship Wrestling, ’cause that’s what super bad ass Italian babes do.

In WCW she went only as Madusa and won a famous bikini contest against Missy Hyatt due to the “heel” judging of Jesse “the Body” Ventura. She jumped to the WWF in 1993, taking the name Alundra Blayze, then went back to WCW, even throwing the WWF Women’s Title in the trash on live television. Today, she’s one up on former wrestling valets Sensational Sherri and Miss Elizabeth in that Madusa is still alive.






7. Valerie Bertinelli







Former Mrs. Eddie Van Halen, now a shill for Jennie Craig, Valerie was the beautiful and non-drugged out daughter on One Day at a Time. I would follow her like a dog through her horrible late 80s sitcom Syndey, which also starred Daniel Baldwin and a young Matthew Perry, and the equally bad early 90s comedy Cafe American.

Picture The Mary Tyler Moore Show in France, only completely shitty and unwatchable. By far my favorite Valerie film was the 1981 Comedy/Drama The Princess and the Cabbie, about a young woman (Valerie) who works to overcome her dyslexia with the help of a good-hearted cab driver (Robert Desiderio). She was absolutely adorable in that silly-ass flick, which also featured a pre-Cheers Shelley Long. Wolfgang’s mom has got it goin’ on.





6. Audrey Hepburn







This Academy-award winning Anglo-Dutch actress overcame growing up under Nazi rule to become one of the greats in all of motion pictures. The star of such films as Roman Holiday, Sabrina, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, in her later years she was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and still pretty darn hot (Hey, if I had it for 40-year-olds, why not 60?).

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Let Us Sing the Song and Continue the Countdown






I want this side to sing the Julio parts, and this side to sing the Willie parts. Ready? Go?


Hello! Is anyone out there? Hellooooo!!!!





11. Dian Parkinson








When I was a mere pre-teen I would watch “The Price is Right” every day during school vacation. Mommy thought it was because I loved Plinko or watching a yodeling mountaineer fall off a cliff.

No, it was Dian.

A full six years older than my own mother, Dian was the sexy “Price is Right” goer who went on to appear in Playboy and sue Bob Barker for sexual harrassment, prompting many a hack comedian to go to the “spayed or neutered” joke.

Where are they now? – Who cares?




10. Dinah Manoff










Yes, at one time, when I was in high school, I was madly in love with the daughter of legendary actress Lee Grant and one of the stars of the hit situation comedy Empty Nest.

While many favored lesbian and nutjob Kristy McNichol, it was sweet Dinah for me. I actually had a bunch of episodes of this miserable sitcom on tape for a while to enjoy over and over again. Anyone know the theme song? No? Good.

Dinah made many other TV appearances, including starring with Nell Carter in the 1992 TV movie, “Maid for Each Other.”

Get it?

They were maids…





9. Christine McVie






In another instance of passionate love for a woman older than my mother, I was a huge Fleetwood Mac fan at one point. But to hell with Stevie Nicks. I had it bad for John McVie’s ex-wife.

As a young high school boy, I didn’t as much go for the 1970s Christine. Present-day, menopausal McVie was what I wanted, as she sang like an angel on hit songs like “Little Lies” and “Everywhere.” She can collect social security now. I’ll bet you thought this list was gonna be hot, huh?





The list will continue whether you like it or not.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The List Mercilessly Continues...

Your votes have led us to the Top 14 in this "To All The Girls I've Loved Before" extravaganza. Willie and Julio are standing by, taking your phone calls, and both of them asked me to tell you it's none of your beeswax what they're wearing.



14. Ellen DeGeneres

This was to a much lesser extent than any of the others on this list. But, just as I do today with the likes of Sarah Silverman, Tina Fey and Nikki Glaser, I loved funny women who are also a bit cute. Creepy as it sounds, I was probably the first Ellen fan. This was when she was on a FOX sitcom called Open House and had her first half-hour HBO One Night Stand. She was kind of attractive back then. She was! And very funny. Seriously! I also had a bit of a thing for Pam Stone. Perhaps she should get honorable mention.

Where are they now? – Read a magazine, for Pete’s sake.








13. Sylvia Plath


Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. Poetess, author, and a verb for shoving your head in an oven, Sylvia, born in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, was every boy’s dream: smart, beautiful, and out of her freaking mind.

Yes, in my dark period I was obsessed with Ms. Plath. Some might say I still am. Her awesome, and only, novel “The Bell Jar” was made into a movie in the late 70s, and the lovely Gwenyth Paltrow played her in a biopic, aptly titled Sylvia. She’s number 13 because women married to Ted Hughes found out just how unlucky he was, as Ted’s second wife also killed herself in 1968.

Where are they now? – Still dead












12. Elizabeth Montgomery

Tell me Jeannie was sexier and I’ll tear your arm off.

Star of one of the greatest situation comedies of all time, Bewitched, Lizzie was every man’s dream: smart, sexy, and a frigging witch. A young Liz made numerous TV appearances prior to this classic, including “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “The Untouchables,” and “The Twilight Zone.” She would later star as Lizzie Borden in “The Legend of Lizzie Borden.”

Where are they now? – Also still dead











Honorable Mention: Miss Henrietta Pussycat from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.


Come on. Just look at her.









Until next time...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Julio and Willie II: Electric Boogaloo

The scientists responsible for putting together the Top 15 "To All The Girls I've Loved Before" experienced what da Vinci used to call a "fuck up." In doing so, our list begins with a tie and also has one honorable mention. But I haven't trusted science ever since it blinded my sister. So we'll just roll with it, baby, like Steve Winwood said.


15. (tie) Steffi Graf/Oksana Baiul


We'll just pretend the scientific unpleasantness never happened and begin with these two bombshells. The former probably sounds a little like bestiality, and the latter like I’m a pedophile, but my oh-so-brief stints as fans of their respective sports was due to these lovely gals. Graf, the half-brother of late Police Academy star David Graf, cleaned up nicely back in the day, and Baiul was an adorable 16-year-old Ukraine chick who made everyone forget about Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 Winter Olympics. This makes her only three and a half years younger than me. So shut up.

By the time Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharpova showed up, I couldn’t have cared less about tennis. As for figure skating, that Sasha Cohen is a cute one, especially in that Borat movie.









HONORABLE MENTION: Kari Michaelson from Gimme A Break


As a youth I watched this show starring Nell Carter and Joey Lawrence. I don't
remember any of the other girls on this show. I just recall digging Kari A LOT
and erroneously thinking that if I married her I'd be Michael Michaelson. What a
little tool!







And that's it...Damnit! The scientists messed up Kari's picture and the aligning of the text! Hopefully by #14 we'll have beaten these wisenheimers into submission.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Julio and Willie, Part I, Redux

Originally published in some form on The Buzz Media








Whether it’s Cheryl Tiegs, Lillian Gish or Sharon Tate after the murders, every young boy has a handful of starlets he’s pretty keen on, dames with stems for miles or huge gazoongas.

He may write this gal a fan letter; he may write her a poem. He may Rebecca Schaeffer her right on her own front porch. Who knows? Life is silly.

In honor of lists, and the ladies who once served as my own Farrah Fawcett posteresque pseudo-fantasies dating back to my little league days, I’ve compiled a list of 15 such broads. Whether it was the twins from the series Double Trouble, teen singing sensation Debbie Gibson, or DIRECTV pitch girl Heather O’Rourke, they all meant something.










Wow. Three dead celebrity references in one intro. Am I that much of a morbid hack? Anyway…For the next how many ever days or until I get sick of doing it, this site will be dedicated to the Top 15 or so of such gals.

Starting later.

Coming Soon...

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Seven Favorite Deceased Wresters

In honor of Randy Savage, and the tribute paid to him and other deceased wrestlers - plus with the anniversary of the tragic death of Owen Hart being today - here are seven favorites of mine who went way too soon. Most of them don't get mentioned among the Andres and the Junkyard Dogs. (By the way, Chris Benoit, minus taking two others with him, would have been on this list.)


7. Gino Hernandez







6. Terry Gordy






5. Chris Candido







4. John Kronus






3. Louie Spicolli






2. Brian Pillman






1. Eddie Gilbert


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Summer Mixtape - "Me So Horny" | 2 Live Crew

Originally posted on FlakMag.com








There are many great summer songs. Some point to the Lovin' Spoonful's "Summer in the City." Heavy rockers may cite Alice Cooper's "School's Out." Still, others sing the praises of "Summer of '69," Bryan Adams's love ballad about the Tate-LaBianca murders. As for me, I always think back to the summer of '89; the season of the Tiananmen Square protests and the death of Ayatollah Khomeini. But that summer there was one group who caught my attention like never before; a group who took on a nation; a group whose love songs touched a generation. That group was 2 Live Crew.

See, the summers of my pre-teen and teen years were spent with a friend — platonic, of course — named Robbie. He would come up to Massachusetts every summer from Florida. Each year we would hang out, play RBI Baseball on Nintendo, watch filthy movies on cable late into the night. Whatever.

In years past, Robbie had proven to have questionable tastes in music. Not that my summer of '88 playlist of Cinderella, Europe and Britny Fox wasn't itself atrocious, but Robbie, a full two years older than I, was somehow really into Rick Astley and Johnny Hates Jazz: yes, the deep-voiced, marionette-looking redhead (to be "Rickrolled," click here) and the one-hit wonder who gave us "Shattered Dreams." Come the summer of '89 it was more hideous hair bands for yours truly — White Lion, Mr. Big and Danger Danger — and whatever it was Robbie was listening to at the time.

Earlier that year, 2 Live Crew released their album As Nasty As They Wanna Be, along with the single "Me So Horny." What followed was an embarrassing, Lenny Bruce-like witch hunt about censorship and obscenity. Needless to say, that record touched two young boys in a very special way, in a way that nothing else could — until Andrew "Dice" Clay's comedy double album The Day the Laughter Died came out a year later. But with songs as delightful and catchy as "Put Her in the Buck," "Dick Almighty" and "The Fuck Shop," how could this not have been the album Robbie and I would listen throughout the summer?

With this controversial release, the group had far outdone their previous album, Move Somethin', and was battling the likes of Public Enemy, N.W.A., and even the Fat Boys (with their past summer hits, "Wipeout" and "The Twist") to become my favorite hip-hop group, and Robbie's as well. As Nasty As They Want to Be brought me closer to my best friend.

Long story tragically short, Robbie ended up being killed by a drunk driver the night of the Super Bowl in 1992. That was the day the laughter, and the music, died. And not just 2 Live Crew, but Astley and Johnny Hates Jazz as well. They all just dropped off the face of the earth. But, when I think of summer music today, I think of Robbie. And then I think of 2 Live Crew, and I sing, whether I'm in the shower, at Chuck E. Cheese's or at Sunday Mass with my wife and her family, "Me So Horny." The dirty version.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Notable Wrestling Deaths in History

Originally appeared on SlurveMag.com


Clarence Whistler - Talk about old school. Just 20 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, pro wrestling was more legit than most of today's Olympic sports. Clarence Whistler mowed down the competition and celebrated every victory with a glass of champagne. Then he ate the glass that had contained said champagne. Must have been damn good champagne. Well, it was only a matter of time before all that glass eating caught up with him, which it did on November 6, 1885, when he died of internal bleeding at 29 years of age.

Rudger Terry - Terry was a passenger in a speeding car one cold winter day in Tacoma, Washington in 1934, traveling to his next show like many wrestlers still do today. A state patrolman - not at all overreacting - fired a shot at the car, meaning to hit one of the tires. He instead hit Terry square in the head, and the wrestler died an hour later at a local hospital.

Kola Kwariani - Kwariani was not only a wrestler, but a chess expert and movie star, having appeared in Stanley Kubrick's The Killing in 1956. He was also a super bad ass, and in 1980, at the age of 77, he got into a bar fight with five young black men. Well, those aren't good odds for a man a third Kwariani's age. So he was beaten pretty badly and died from his injuries. Still, he was in a Kubrick film!






Gary Albright - Albright was the nephew of Fabulous Freebird Terry Gordy, a wrestler who himself died of a heart attack in 2002. But on January 7, 2000, while wrestling in Hazleton, Pennsylvania against a fellow named Lucifer Grimm, Albright suffered a heart attack and died. But he still won the match! A roll with the punches Grimm placed Albright on top of himself and the referee counted Grimm down for the pin. Now that's a team player!











Bruiser Brody
(above) - Brody was very popular with fans, but not an easy guy to work with. In 1986, not appreciating the arrogance of rookie grappler Lex Luger (who, by the way, was with his girlfriend Miss Elizabeth when she died from an overdose in 2003), Brody went completely against the outline of the match and stood still with every punch Luger threw at him, causing Luger to simply leave the ring in confusion. Brody had a reputation for not always playing ball, and it caught up with him on July 17, 1988 when, after a dispute over a match, wrestler/booker Jose Huertes Gonzales allegedly stabbed Brody to death in a locker room shower. Gonzalez was acquitted of the murder, though, like O.J. Simpson and Lizzie Borden, he'll always be considered guilty by the public.







Chris Adams (above) - "Gentleman" Chris Adams was one of my favorites when I was a wee lad, but it turns out this Englishman wasn't much of a gentleman at all. When his friend and tag team partner Gino Hernandez died of an apparent cocaine overdose in 1986, Adams was briefly a suspect. That same year he spent 90 days in the pokey for head butting an airline pilot. Then, in 2000, Adams and his girlfriend both overdosed on GHB and alcohol. His girlfriend died but Adams lived to be indicted on an unrelated manslaughter charge, for which he faced 20 years in prison. Lucky for him he was shot to death on October 7, 2001. Few in the wrestling business had anything good to say about "the Gentleman" after his death.

There are many, many others deserving of recognition, but these seven men are the standard bearers, and will forever serve as the measure by which every other grappler who dies an untimely death shall be judged.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Macho Man" Randy Savage dead at 58

R.I.P. Randall Mario Poffo (November 15, 1952 - May 20, 2011)

On May 20, 2011, Randy Savage suffered a heart attack around 10AM on a Florida highway before losing control of the vehicle and crashing.






My condolences to his family.


Some wrestlers who have died young since the Benoit tragedy on 06/25/2007:


07/04/2007 Moondog Nathan 37
07/15/2007 Devil Bhudakhan 32
07/18/2007 John Kronus 38
08/07/2007 Scotty Williams 44
08/13/2007 Brian “Crush” Adams 44
09/24/2007 Dave Diamond 51
10/02/2007 Sean Evans 36
11/24/2007 The Angel of Death 54
03/23/2008 Chase Tatum 34
03/28/2008 Ron Slinker 62
09/03/2008 Rick Renslow 53
10/26/2008 S.D. Jones 63
12/01/2008 Steve Bradley 32
12/14/2008 "Mad Dog" Mike Bell 37
12/26/2008 Rollin Hard 34
01/13/2009 Cousin Junior 48
01/16/2009 Paul E. Normous 43
03/13/2009 Test 33
03/22/2009 Abismo Negro 37
03/22/2009 Rick Crabtree 51
03/22/2009 Steve Doll 48
04/28/2009 Playboy Buddy Rose 56
06/13/2009 Mitsuharu Misawa 46
06/20/2009 La Parkita 35
06/29/2009 Espectrito Jr. 35
08/05/2009 DJ Rizz 26
09/07/2009 Butcher Brannigan 61
09/10/2009 Kerry Brown 51
10/18/2009 Ryuma Go 53
11/05/2009 Adam Firestorm 32
12/05/2009 Umaga 36
12/20/2009 Colt Steel 53
12/30/2009 Steve Williams 49
01/10/2010 Ludvig Borga 47
02/01/2010 Jack Brisco 68
03/10/2010 Jerry Valiant 68
04/01/2010 Chris Kanyon 40
05/03/2010 El SUpremo 59
06/18/2010 Trent Acid 29
06/24/2010 Toni Adams 45
08/12/2010 Lance Cade 29
08/19/2010 Ted Allen 54
08/27/2010 Luna Vachon 48
08/30/2010 JC Bailey 26
09/11/2010 Mike Shaw 53
09/12/2010 La Fiera 49
09/24/2010 Giant Gonzalez 44
12/05/2010 Skip Young 59
01/07/2011 Val Puccio 45
01/26/2011 Shawn McGrath 34
04/09/2011 Chip Fairway 38
04/11/2011 Larry Sweeney 30
05/20/2011 Randy Savage 58

In Honor of the Chicago Cubs Visting Boston This Weekend

9 Reasons to Hate the Cubs

(Previously published on SlurveMag.com)

9) The Great Chicago Fire: Might as well start from the beginning. The Cubbies painted themselves as losers and quitters almost immediately when they were the Chicago White Stockings at the birth of baseball in 1871. The Great Chicago Fire spread across the Windy City and what did these sad sacks do? They dropped out of baseball until 1874. It took them three years to recover from a little grease fire. While the Boston Red Stockings and the Baltimore Canaries were destroying the competition, these guys were licking their wounds. In fact, while they were away, the Philadelphia White Stockings came and stole their name right from underneath their charred little fingers.


8) Tinker to Evers to Chance: Some whiny New Yorker wrote a cute little poem about the double play combo that always seemed to beat the Giants back in good ole 1910. Well, guess what? Unless it's "Casey at the Bat," all poems stink. Maybe it's this brief verse that cursed the Cubbies. It happens. I have at least five Emily Dickinson poems haunting me. And, while we're at it, what about the "Go, Cubs, Go" tune? This song has been played at Wrigley after every Cubs win since its writer, Steve Goodman, died of leukemia in 1984. That the song sounds a lot like "Willie and the Hand Jive," and about a thousand other songs, is bad enough. But with lyrics like, "Hey, Chicago, what do you say/The Cubs are gonna win today," and "So stamp your feet and clap your hands/Chicago Cubs got the greatest fans," the idea that we'll likely be bombarded by this song if the Cubs ever actually win the World Series is enough for every citizen to pray that it never, ever happens.


7) Babe Ruth's called shot: This famous home run took place in the 1932 World Series with the Yankees the visitors at Wrigley Field. Only a Cub would have even let this happen. How about Cubs hurler Charlie Root maybe drilling the Sultan of Swat right on the noggin after all his hotshot pointing business? I'll bet that's what Dizzy Dean or Carl Hubbell would have done. But, no. Root lobs one right over the plate and Ruth spanks yet another homer, further cementing the Babe as some kind of god. Way to go, Cubbies!


6) Curse of the Billy Goat: Okay, so the Red Sox supposed curse came via the greatest player of all time. The White Sox curse was due to a really cool betting scandal. The Cubs-a goat? Legend has it that some Greek immigrant entered Wrigley during the 1945 World Series with a goat and was asked to vacate the park because his animal stank to high heaven. On the way out he did a little of the voodoo that you do, and the Cubs haven't even made the Series since. The team has tried everything to break this damned curse, including, of course, bringing more goats into Wrigley. According to Sam Sianis, the nephew-in-law of Billy Sianis, the wizard who placed the hex (or maybe it was the goat - who knows?), to break the curse, the organization needs to bring a goat onto the field not for publicity purposes, but because they have a sincere fondness for goats. Great, so now before signing every player, the Cubs have to ask, "Ever fucked a goat?"


5) They refused to realign: Those bastards. When Major League Baseball wanted to realign the teams so that they might make more sense geographically (Atlanta and Cincinnati - in the West?), the Cubs said no fucking way. The "Lovable Losers" told Fay Vincent to put teams in Boise and Cheyenne, Wyoming for all they care. They ain't moving to the stupid Western Division. So what did the MLB have to do? Create a Central Division in each league and make the Majors look like minor league lacrosse.


4) Harry Caray: Everyone knows this joker had the same name as a form of ritual suicide of the samurai, but he was also a bad, bad boy. St. Louis-born Caray was fired by the Cardinals in 1969, allegedly for not only dipping his pen in company ink, but in ink that belonged to the daughter-in-law of team owner August Busch Jr., of Anheuser-Busch fame. Way to go, stupid. This turncoat then went from the Oakland Athletics to the White Sox to, finally, the Cubs in 1981, where he, for some reason, became a legend to the point that a statue of Caray, complete with giant actual-size glasses, stands outside Wrigley Field.


3) Ronnie Woo Woo: Perhaps the only thing more silly that the goat legend is the local celebrity status of Ronnie "Woo Woo" Wickers, who, since the late 50s, has been standing inside and outside Wrigley shouting and making a complete spectacle of himself. He became famous for his chants of, "Cubs, woo! Cubs, woo!" and, overall, for just causing a ruckus. Wickers, a custodian for most of his life, and homeless for part of it, even had a documentary about his life called "WooLife" premiere at the Chicago Historical Society in 2005. Sure, nothing for Mr. T or Chaka Khan, Chicago Historical Society, but let's document every "Woo!" we can.


2) Steve Bartman: For those who ever compared the Cubs' plight to that of the Red Sox , and if the Ruth vs. Billy Goat juxtaposition isn't enough, take a gander at this. While the Sox's woes were highlighted by actual players, such as Johnny Pesky, Bucky Dent and former Cub Bill Buckner, it was a Cubs fan, Steve Bartman, who, in 2003, rained shit on the Cubs parade when they were five outs away from their first World Series since 1945. Bartman interfered with Moises Alou's attempt to catch a foul ball in the eighth inning of a Cubs-Marlins playoff game. What followed was the Marlins scoring eight runs, then going on to win the World Series over the Yankees, and Bartman being Public Enemy #1 in Chicago.


1) The Perfect Strangers opening theme: What better reason to hate this club than the fact that Wrigley Field, and the Cubs-adorned Balki Bartokomous, are prominently displayed throughout the intro music to the horrible situation comedy "Perfect Strangers?" It was during one of the middle seasons of this inexplicably long running sitcom that, while the cheesy, "Standing taaaaalllll!" theme song played, the adorable Greek sheepherder Balki appeared running across a Chicago street with his cousin Larry, all the while wearing a Cubs jersey with suspenders over them, a stupid hat with a bear face on it, and clutching a tiny li'l bat, no doubt with Ryne Sandberg's or Ernie Banks' li'l signature on it, all of which he'll later show to the two blonde, nitwit neighbors the viewers were supposed to believe he and Larry were banging. Ecch! And people ask where all the good sitcoms have gone?

Thus, dear reader, I, for one, will not be rooting for the Cubs anytime soon. It's fun to still have one team that hasn't won anything since Taft was elected. There are, of course, plenty of other reasons to hate them. They traded Lou Brock, for Pete's sake! So, if we, as a nation, can join together and root, root, root for the Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers (both of which have ties to America's favorite pastime - beer!), and maybe spill a little goat's blood at Wrigley here and there, or put "Perfect Strangers" back in primetime, whichever is worse, the Cubs will remain "the Lovable Losers," just like Balki, Larry, and John Wayne Gacy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Lost Stories: Basil vs. The Gecko

The following is another one of The Unpublishables. This story is mostly true and has mutated back and forth in size anywhere between 500 and 5,000 words. It rests here at 2,200. Dedicated to my former best friend, Basil.



Basil vs. The Gecko
by Michael Frissore






Jack lifted the dumpster lid slowly, with his elbow, car keys in his lifting hand, and dropped the plastic bag of cat feces into the dumpster with his other hand. He turned around to see one of his neighbors, a young blond girl, a college student no doubt, with a bag of her own to throw away. Probably not of cat poo. Surely college things, like empty beer cases and boxes of Top Ramen. They each said, "Hi," and Jack then speed walked to his Mazda 3.


Jack moved to Tucson from Massachusetts after losing his human resources job at a healthcare company due to a series of lay-offs. His parents had retired there a few years earlier, and he decided giving up cold New England winters was just what he needed. Thirty-two years old and unmarried, there were no job or relationship prospects for Jack back in Massachusetts. So why not? He had visited his parents since their move. Tucson was a beautiful city. Nothing like grilling outside in December and putting Christmas lights on the cactus in your front yard


So Jack took his two cats, Basil and Tandy, and made the move out to Tucson, renting a nice little place with no lawn to mow or leaves to rake. And he could throw his snow shovel away. Wouldn't need that. On nice Arizona winter days he could sit and read, look for work, and admire the cactus, or saguaro, in his backyard. Jack picked the right time of year to move. December. The local newspapers didn't start scaring readers about preparing for the scorpions, snakes, bees and spiders until March. The dry heat everyone talks about wouldn't be around for a few months. He'd have Christmas with his parents. And these students would all be history come summer. Everything would be great. His parents had even explained to him the names of the various types of cactus and saguaro in his backyard; though, he would never remember what was what. Names like prickly pear, beaver tail, and bunny ear cactus were cute, but he would soon forget them. There was also this one tall saguaro Jack kept staring at. It didn't have arms like so many of the ones he had seen in photos. It was just a tall, straight line. His mother told him it took 70 to 100 years for a saguaro to grow arms. Every morning Jack would make himself some coffee, grab his newspaper, and step outside, occasionally sneaking glances at his unarmed saguaro.


"Seventy to 100 years, eh?" he would say, and continue reading.
 
It went on like this for a few weeks. No jobs in the paper. No arms on the cactus. Was it too much to expect a cactus with arms? If a man can't find a job in this city, can't he at least have a saguaro with arms? Even if they're just short, stubby dwarf arms and not the ones that point way up like they're saying hello. He would have taken that. Jack finally got so angry he stood up and actually spat at his disappointment of a saguaro.








"Grow arms!" he shouted. "What the hell kind of fucking cactus are you?"
 
He didn't even stop to think what he was doing. He just kept screaming.
 
"Grow some fucking arms!"
 
And this became the relationship between Jack and his saguaro. Maybe it was being jobless or the getting used to a new home, but Jack took it out on the cactus. It just stood there, unable to move or defend itself, while Jack berated it day after frustrating day. The cats would observe from behind the screen door. The other, smaller cactus could only sit idly by, never standing up for their much taller brother. Jack was making himself crazy from screaming. What would his neighbors think? It got so that he started driving up the street to Reid Park and doing his newspaper reading there. The saguaro there, with or without arms, would be of no concern to him.

Those first few weeks Jack would rarely venture out to Oro Valley, where his parents lived. They were about a half hour north. He liked the space this gave him, and he kept his visits to a minimum, no matter how often they asked him up. As long as he knew they were nearby. No need to see them all the time. His parents had gone into early retirement, and, having taken several family trips to Arizona in years past, they fell in love with the place. So they moved, and, over the next five years, casually tempted the rest of the family to move there. Their other son, Steve, was not nearly as amorous. He was a New England boy through and through. That's where his children would grow up. In fact, due to Steve and his wife's work schedules, they had yet to visit his parents.

Jack was a different case entirely. He felt displaced being in Massachusetts without the guiding force of his mom and dad. Despite his lack of visits thus far, he needed to know they were around. He didn't have a family of his own like Steve. And, when he lost his job, he didn't know what else to do. So he prepared to face something he was never a fan of: change. There were fears, of course. Getting a job, meeting people, skin cancer. Everyone told him if you're going to walk around Tucson in the summer, wear a hat and suntan lotion, and carry a bottle of water. Always. This city was one big tanning bed for at least a quarter of the year.

Of no less danger were the desert critters. He hated snakes. There was nothing he feared more. And Africanized bees, once a silly and racist idea, were now a concern. There were also the lizards, from the cute little ones to the dreaded Gila monsters. Jack was not prepared for any of them. These critters he had heard and read about were scarce those first few weeks. It was mostly just Jack and his saguaro. He continued to scold this plant like a drug-addicted teenage son. He didn't even necessarily know why. Maybe it was to match his neighbors, a Mexican couple, the masculine of which kept referring to his mate as a "puta," which Jack recognized as Spanish for "whore."

Maybe Jack regretted his move. He hadn't quite known what he was getting himself into, being all alone in this desert town. Yelling at this cactus was the only stress relief Jack had been enjoying. But he kept telling himself he was better off. It would take some getting used to. It was Jack and his cats against that saguaro, and all of Tucson. But he was ready for the challenge. He wasn't quitting.










One afternoon Jack got the excitement he needed. While sitting in his living room, watching television and eating Dots and a Banquet frozen chicken fried rice and egg roll dinner, both of which he had somehow become addicted to, he noticed something moving by the front door. For a second he thought it might be someone or something outside, but then he saw that it was indeed inside the house. It was a gecko. A tiny little gecko had made its way into Jack's abode. He tried to shoo the lizard out the door, but this was a stubborn creature. After slithering away from him, the gecko stood still, as did Jack. It was like a showdown from an old spaghetti western. Jack was Clint Eastwood trying to win his first duel with one of Arizona's many pests.

Jack thought he would try to trap the thing. He had an old container that had once housed some Christmas cookies. But the gecko had placed itself right beside the cats' scratching post. So he wouldn't be able to trap him perfectly, as one side of the container would be upon the feline toy. Damn, this was one smart reptile. Finally he decided if it was going to be done, it should be done quickly. He moved towards the gecko and tried to place the container over it anyway, but the creature kept moving. It was like a demented shell game, Jack trying to trap him, but always coming up short. Soon it was gone, hidden underneath the couch. Jack cried out some curse words then sat down to think for a second. Maybe he needed to take a drive, get out of the house for a while. He felt like the saguaro outside was taunting him. The whole city was taunting him. So Jack went out to buy some gecko poison.

When he returned, after learning that, even in Arizona, they didn't sell lizard poison, Jack concocted a plan in placing a piece of cheddar cheese doused in Drano on a Tupperware container lid. He had to be careful that his cats didn't get at it. But the unwelcome guest was not falling for the trap. Jack was getting nowhere. He dropped the Drano and the cheese into the garbage disposal and began thinking of another plan.




A couple of hours later, Jack finally spotted the gecko hiding amid the shoe pile by the front door. It was right on the end of the rug, thinking itself invisible. Jack moved quickly, snatching up all the shoes and placing them on the couch. He grabbed the little shoe rug, preparing to rid himself of Gary, as he began calling it, with the ole rug-cleaning-on-the-front-porch move, or sort of as a magician removing a tablecloth with full dinner placings. As he did so, Gary the Gecko hung onto that piece of carpet like Harold Lloyd onto a giant clock. Jack turned around to see that the gecko hadn't landed outside as he planned, but rather was flying through the air behind him, almost in slow motion, landing on its back on the floor. The agile Gary then flipped himself over and crawled back under the couch.

It was then that Jack began berating his cats. The anger they had seen thrown at the big, funny-looking tree outside was now directed at them. What good were they? "Earn your keep!" Jack scolded them. "Be mousers!" But they just sat around licking themselves obsessively. They were thus far oblivious to the new arrival, simply scratching and eating like there wasn't a Code Red in the house at that moment.



Jack went to bed with Gary still in the house, as far as he knew. He spent the night wondering if the visitor would stay under the couch or journey into his bedroom. He did not want to wake up to a creepy, crawly thing all over him. There were other questions. Would Gary eat the cats' food? Would the nocturnal boys kill Gary overnight? He thought about waking up in the morning and frantically moving the couch to catch it. He did not want any gecko poo in his home. Or worse. Gecko eggs.










The next morning Jack went about his business, all but forgetting about Gary. He wondered if maybe the gecko had found its way out the way it found its way in. Basil and Tandy went about the house as they always did - still no signs of knowing there's a creature among them 

That afternoon, as Jack was eating lunch, he noticed Basil swatting at something by the front door. It was Gary. Jack got excited and began clearing the way again after Gary crawled back near the shoes. He, again, put the shoes on the couch, and rolled up the rug, giving Basil a clear shot at him. Jack was ecstatic, shouting, "Finish him!" at his beloved pet. He felt so proud, like a father, watching this lopsided battle. When Basil lost sight of Gary, Jack positioned the cat and pointed. "Right there, Basil," he said. The little bastard would get away, only to have Basil smash him again. He saw Gary struggling, and could hear Basil's claws scraping the door. He knew the gecko was feeling some of that. At this point, Jack had mixed feelings. He could see Basil was having fun, and he didn't want to end that. However, Jack was worried about poor Gary, what after naming him and all. And he didn't want Basil playing so much that Gary would get away. He knew the cat would tire of his new toy and just walk away, leaving Jack where he started. The priority was to get Gary out of the house.


So while Gary was hiding underneath the front door, Jack opened the door and pushed the gecko outside with a magazine. Gary was gone, and Jack felt like a bad daddy. For the rest of the day Basil stood looking around the door for his play thing. But he didn't have Gary to worry about anymore. When it all was over, Tandy strutted in like a cavalry showing up way too late. Jack gave Basil some special cat treats for his bravery. After seeing Basil take on a gecko, Jack was suddenly ready to graduate to something much more life-threatening, like a scorpion. Jack awaited a Basil vs. Scorpion showdown like he did a Tyson fight when he was a kid. He may even have to arrange a battle, like with a cockfight. Invite all the neighbors. Basil had given Jack a sort of renewed life. He hadn't even been yelling at the saguaro lately. For the first time since he arrived, Jack was excited.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Interview

Full interview from Heavy Hands Ink, should you give a turkey:


Q: What should we, the readers, know about Michael Frissore the man?

A: When I told my wife my first poetry chapbook was going to be published, she said, “But you’re not even a poet.”

I glared at her and said, “In the words of Spandau Ballet, ‘This much is true.’ But I am a black ninja.” Then I karate kicked the cup of tea right out of her dainty little hands.

So that’s the only thing – that I’m a black ninja.


Q: Who are some of your favorite writers?

A: Bill Shakespeare, Jonnie Swift, Mark Twain, Bret Harte, Stephen Crane, James Joyce, S.J. Perelman, Ernest Hemingway, Groucho Marx, W.C. Fields, Donald Barthelme, Bob Dylan, Sylvia Plath, John Lennon, John Kennedy Toole, Phillip Roth, Joseph Heller, Woody Allen, George Carlin, Anthony Burgess, John Cleese, Carl Hiassen, Ann Coulter (I’m kidding. Calm down, you bloody lib.), Rik Mayall, Bill Hicks, Quentin Tarantino, Chuck Palahniuk, Christopher Moore, Marc Brown, Larry David, Michael J. Nelson, Arthur Bradford, David Sedaris, Jeffrey Ross, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Hillenburg, Augusten Burroughs, George Saunders, Charlie Kaufman, Louis CK, Jules Feiffer, Katie Schwartz, Dan Yaccarino, Jim Norton, Chris Jericho, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, the guy who wrote that Rebecca Black song, Lanny Poffo, Charlie Sheen, and my buddy Rick in Massachusetts.


Q: Describe the typical process you go through when writing a poem.

A: There’s nothing typical or remotely process-based other than it’s always ridiculous. Just looking at the poems in LBB, they came from me thinking about episodes of Cheers and The Young Ones; finding a disgusting, chewed up dog toy in the backyard of our new house; a stupid political bumper sticker; and ill-followed sore throat advice received from an obnoxious radio personality. So poetry, for me, comes from the dumbest places imaginable, and sometimes I write it in my car on the way to work. I think it’s safer than texting in general, and sexting in particular, which I also do while driving. Other times I’ll write while looking at a sunset and ramming a fork into my head repeatedly. Still driving, by the way.

I had a poem in my first chapbook that’s still online somewhere. Here’s how I wrote it: Back in 2001-2002 I used to record parts of The Opie and Anthony Show off the radio, and I would write on the tape jacket what was on each cassette. About five years ago I found those tapes and decided I was going to take every topic I’d written on the jackets and throw them all into one, stupid, nonsensical poem. And it’s out there. It’s called “This Poem is a Disaster (“It Stinks, and I Don’t Like It”). Everything in that poem is something O&A discussed circa 2001-2002, and the parenthetical part in the title comes from a line in the first Spiderman movie. So that’s how poetry can be created, as an imbecilic “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”


Q: Would you say that there is a certain theme to this chapbook? If so, what is it?

A: Yes. Betrayal, alienation, man’s struggle against nature. It’s also a pop-up book. Aside from that, it’s not much in terms of being a concept album. Or maybe it is. Maybe the theme is poetries. Maybe the theme is “Treat this book like an album by Floyd or Yes or Joe Dolce, and read it frontwards and backwards.” Backmask that sumbitch and listen to what it is telling you, which is that the boomerang isn’t blue. It isn’t even long, but it is coming back and hitting you in the face. Or maybe it’s not coming back at all. Maybe there never was a boomerang. Stick that in your bong and smoke it.


Q: What are your favorite unpublished pieces in this collection?

A: My two favorites are the ones about my son, “Alexander” and “On Being Hit on the Nose with a Toy Train.” Those might be just for me and my wife. Or maybe not. Maybe if you don’t like those poems, you’re nothing but a bully. A big cyberbully bullying my little boy. Hope you’re happy, cyberbully.

I also like “Stiff,” because a.) I’m a sick man, and b.) It sums up my poetry career nicely. And I like “Love Haiku,” again because of the “sick man” part.


Q: How is this chapbook different from your others?

A: It isn’t. It’s exactly the same as the others, except there are more graphic sex scenes in this one.

Actually, versus Poetry is Dead, these poems are more polished. Not hugely so, but at least somewhat. I don’t think I’ll read these poems two years from now and cringe like I do now with PiD. But we’ll see, eh?

Versus The Gingerbread Gang, it’s totally different. GBG is a chapbook, but it’s neither a book, nor is it very chap, honestly. It just kind of sits on this one Web site, like so many of my other writings. It’s also prose, GBG is. Really fantastic and funny prose, but it isn’t as poignant and rad and gnarley as being down with LBB.

Q: What is it that made you want to do this chapbook through Heavy Hands Ink?

A: Heavy Hands Ink? Those bastards. They’re publishing this?

(I keed.)

Let me make another list for you: Barry Orton, “Cowboy” Bob Orton, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, King Kong Bundy, “Leaping” Lanny Poffo, Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart, the Ultimate Warrior, the Honky Tonk Man, Jake “the Snake” Roberts, Hulk Hogan, Owen Hart (twice), El Gigante/Giant Gonzalez, Ric Flair, the Undertaker, Andre the Giant, Haystacks Calhoun, and half the alleged Russian wrestlers from when I was a kid, including my favorite, the lying “Russian Nightmare” Nikita Koloff, AKA Scott Simpson from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

These are all wrestlers who I reference in this book of poetry. So, a publisher called Heavy Hands Ink, despite the connection more to boxing than to wrestling, is absolutely perfect, much like “Mr. Perfect” Curt Henning until he died from an overdose of cocaine, steroids and various painkillers.


Q: Both of us are pro wrestling fans. Who is your favorite pro wrestler of all time?

A: If I can be serious for a moment, all of my favorite wrestlers are DEAD!!! Okay, not all. Some, amazingly, still live, like Shawn Michaels and Rob Van Dam. Others roam the planet as zombies, such as Sabu and the Dynamite Kid. But imagine growing up a baseball fan and everyone you watched play, from Dwight Evans and Jim Rice to Dane and Garth Iorg was DEAD!!!

Guys I idolized as a kid: Eddie Gilbert, dead in 1995 at age 33; Brian Pillman dead in ’97 at age 35; Louie Spicolli, dead in ’98 at age 27. And it didn’t stop! 1999: Rick Wilson shoots himself in the bean, Rick Rude ODs, Owen Hart plummets to his death. The 2000s were like World War II for wrestling, a Dead Wrestlers Society (Google that phrase for a wonderful read, by the way), culminating in the Benoit tragedy in 2007. In May 2007 I might have listed Benoit as one of my favorites, but now that’s like saying Gacy’s your favorite clown.

So, to answer your question: Either Shawn Michaels or Rob Van Dam.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

THE UNPUBLISHABLES - SPECIAL EDITION

Things That Happened in Massachusetts




I.

I walked downstairs; hearing the laughter and wondering what hilarious situation comedy my father was watching. We’re usually a Seinfeld or Simpsons family, but it was primetime on a Monday night. So I was thinking – No. Not Two and a Half Men! Not Big Bang Theory! I raised him better than that!

Then I stepped in front of the television and saw that it was worse than I thought. Holy shit. Not only was it Lifetime. It was fucking Reba! As in McIntyre! As in I had long since forgotten that anyone had actually given her a show.

If it had to be a Lifetime sitcom, I would have maybe understood Designing Women. You had those crazy ole gals – not quite Golden Girls old, but old enough to be practically unwatchable. Then they brought in Jan Hooks and super cute Julia Duffy, and the show really jumped the shark.

Now, I don’t like to go throwing terms like “Worse than Hitler” around lightly, which is why I save it for times like this. The ten minutes I saw of this show was maybe worse than Pol Pot. A half hour might have been Hitler.

I know it must have something to do with the theme of the show, but Reba had the last words of this episode: “We’re survivors.”

LOL! Great tagline!

I figure she’s a domestic abuse survivor like that Grace Under Fire woman, or she followed the band Survivor on tour like a Dead Head for years in the 80s.

When the show ended, I finally said to my Dad, “Dad, I’ve gotta ask why. Why Lifetime? And why Reba?”

He said, “What? It’s funny. I like the comedy.”

I had no response to that. In fact, I really have nothing more to say now. I watched ten minutes of Reba. I never thought that would happen.




II.
Sooooo. we're having an open house this afternoon to sell our li'l hut in the woods. And I'm picking up here and there before going off to a church in Stow for a Mass being said for my grampy n' grammy.

Suddenly, I say, "Shit. I need to clean the dishes in the dishwasher." Then I remember that I need to buy more dishwater detergent. "Fuck!" I whisper.

So, do I race to the store and buy some more detergent? Of course not. That would have been the smart thing to do. Instead I pick up the dishwashing liquid and poor that sumbitch into the little cup. All the while thinking, I wonder if you're supposed to do this.

Well, I just thank my Lord our God that I noticed this before I left, but suddenly our kitchen is slowly filling with suds. Damnit. And we don't have a wet vac or anything. So I'm scooping up suds with napkins and paper towels. My mom tells me to run the thing again. Good show, Mum. More suds all over the floor. It was only after scooping up all those suds that I saw I could just drain the machine.

I hadn't planned on coming back home after the Mass. So our realtor would have come in to suds all over the place.

Yep. That's me, the happy homemaker.












III.
For breakfast this morning I had a can of Hormel roast beef hash. And I microwaved it. Mmm. Sure, it comes out of the can like dog food, but it tastes pretty good once heated up. The problem is that hash begs to be coupled with eggs. You need a nice overeasy egg or two so the hash can mix with that delicious egg yolk). Without that, what are you eating? Heated dog food from a can. But I'm just too lazy to fry up a couple of eggs. I also suck at it, and who wants to clean that up? Not bloody me, matey!

On my own I've been eating cheaply, which means I've been eating like a child. My breakfasts are cereal. Lunches are Lean Pockets. Dinners normally frozen chicken nuggets, either supermarket brand or Banquet or Tyson, and French fries, always supermarket brand. I have plenty of pasta in the cabinet, but, again, the laziness. I keep getting nagged about how I need some vegetables, but I'm just too shy to approach the cute gal at the veggie stand. Aw, shucks.

I also frequent the Triple Dome of Terror - McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's - entirely too often. Just wait until my choices increase nearly threefold out west. But I realized that Morgan Spurlock missed the whole reason I'm sure many people eat at these troths: it's fucking cheap. Despite the fact that you have to wait an hour to get into any restaurant for dinner, many people can't afford to eat well, motherfucker. But, what? A double cheeseburger for a dollar? Holy shit! Gimme! So what if you feel like death fifteen minutes later?

I went through a Wendy's drive thru. This was before I heard about the new bit of ordering a shake or a soda, then, when the guy gives it to you, taking the cover off, yelling, "Fire in the hole!" and throwing it back at him. So, I've yet to do that. I saw a news report that said a kid made a Gatorade and hot sauce concoction and blinded a worker with it for a few minutes.

But I ordered my shit and pulled up to the first window, where I saw the person in front of me pay. There was no one in site. I sat there for 30 or 40 seconds until the person in front of me got their food and drove off. So I drove up to the second window, thinking I'll just pay there. Again, I waited 30 seconds. Then it occurs to me: I might get away with not paying here. I thought that for maybe three seconds, when the girl opens the window, hands me my food, and says, "Have a nice day." I was all, "Thanks," Then drove away, brandishing my free dinner. Mind you, this was after throwing away nearly an entire frozen pizza because it sucked. So I pretty much broke even here, which means I did nothing wrong.

Now I have to go to a bar tonight and not spend money, which is actually pretty easy for me. Get there before they start charging and order water when your friends go up.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May Dead Wrestler Anniversaries

A partial list of the wrestlers would died in the month of May








05/01/2003 Miss Elizabeth, 42
05/03/1996 Ray Stevens, 60
05/10/1963 Eugene Lipscomb, 31
05/14/2000 Jumbo Tsuruta, 49
05/15/1994 Ray Canty, 42
05/16/1984 Andy Kaufman, 35
05/16/1993 Little Coco, 40
05/16/2002 Big Dick Dudley, 37
05/17/2002 Davey Boy Smith, 39
05/23/1999 Owen Hart, 34
05/25/1993 D.J. Peterson, 33
05/28/2001 Brian Ong, 24
05/28/2005 Daniel Quirk, 22
05/30/1968 Espanto I, 35








Sunday, May 1, 2011

An Interview with The Author

That's right. There's an interview online at Heavy Hands Ink Press.

Things got a little hectic during the session and I had to punch the interviewer in the testicles. Nonetheless the print version of the interview with the author of Long Blue Boomerang is up...NOW.



For recent poems not included in LBB, go to:


the beatnik (London and Amsterdam poems)

twenty20 ("Liar" - an elimae parody)

Camel Saloon ("Winter Chill" - another elimae parody)

errant parent (another ode to Alex)