Daily Limerick
Archives: February 2003

Contains Mature (and immature) Content;If You’re a Minor, Go Away!


NOTE: DL has not yet taken the time to put "anchors" into the archives. Translation: You're gonna have to scroll all the way through the long-ass documents (use your "find" commands, squatlicks)!


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NOTE: A limerick is a humorous poem that is generally of a sexual nature. If you are offended by such a thing, please delete this message immediately and realize YOU WILL NOT BE ADDED TO THIS LIST UNLESS YOU SPECIFICALLY ASK TO BE--THIS IS MERELY A SAMPLE!

You'll find a sample limerick below as well as "Slappin' and Yappin'," our commentary section, of sorts, on our nutty, copiously-corporate-sponsored world! There's also our new "Letters to the Idiot" section! That's right, what began as simply a limerick service is now a full-blown... er, at least a lukewarm attempt at an e-newsletter!

So you've spotted that guy or gal who's causing a dance in your pants--but what, oh what can you possibly say to pick him or her up? "You've got more legs than a bucket of chicken" is nice, but it takes a special kind of person to appreciate it, mainly people who don't know English too well. Perhaps you should throw out a LIMERICK! For limericks truly soothe the soul and part the thighs. If that doesn't work, some quotes from "Slappin' and Yappin'" will surely break the ice.

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The Cincy mayorship of Springer

ended with "hired help" for his stinger

on government checkses.

Pol dreams he 'gain flexes--

but this time, the functions are "bringers."



I discovered something a bit troubling the other day.

"America's Funniest (Home) Videos" is still on the air.

This is one of those moronic pop cultural phenoms that makes a bit splash, seems to go away but lurks, like a worm in an apple, nestling itself firmly into the fabric of pop culture, trusting that we've forgotten about it, munching away at our collective brain, a secret warrior in the quest to continue lowering the already ground-skimming Lowest Common Denominator.

It plots, in a Secret League of Evil with allies including "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," the utter destruction of cultural intelligence, of... Oh, alright.

Enough of that.

You get the idea.



Today, shadow of the ground hog

tells how much winter's left to slog

through until we'll see

more flesh--and there'll be

more awkwardness from frequent logs!



Happy Groundhog Day! Just don't leave your Groundhog Tree and Groundhog Lights up too long...

Perhaps this was just a fallacy all along, a "grass is always greener on the other side" assumption, but I've been under the impression, for most of my life, that the British are much better at comedy than is Hollywood. I could name all sorts of examples, from Monty Python to Mr. Bean, but I think most people operate under the same assumption. I happen to get a U.S. BBC station on my cable and this assumption is usually confirmed--although, obviously, they show us their "very best" although, arguably, when we show them our "very best," does it includes stuff like "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Daughter"?

Anyway, my point is this: I was watching some "Britcoms" recently and noted that... Well, the one I was watching, anyway, was just as stupid as a U.S. sitcom. It prominently featured a "Dumb One" character--you know, a good-looking woman who's lines are all supposed to "surprise" us with her stupidity, and the trick is relied on far too often instead of more creative humor?

The dumbing down and Lowest Common Denominator Seeking is bleeding across borders, it appears.

Now, if THIS were why the terrorists hated us, I might not be so hard on the knucklehead poets laureate who find it fashionable to blame American for 9-11...

There was a guy riding the subway the other day who, with his hat and pony tail, looked more than a bit like Davey Crocket.

It was a really rough day for subway riders, as we were packed in much like sardines. I couldn't even turn pages on my newspaper, so it more than pissed me off to resign myself to simply standing there, squashed, simply wasting time.

Davey Crocket started bitchin'--aloud. "Goddamned mother fuck" and such.

I laughed at him. Then empathized a bit.

I've been Davey Crocket before. Thinking that bitching aloud is somehow going to magically do something about the situation. Or that maybe I will just be pitied--I don't know what one hopes for in this type of situation.

And I'll probably be Davey Crocket again. But it makes more sense to attempt to laugh at the world. And it's much more fun to laugh at Davey than to be all Crocket pissed off...

I've been shopping around my News Limericks since Chicago's RedEye cut them (and most of their freelance stuff). One editor said they wouldn't consider them because her pub is weekly, and it'd be harder to make them timely. But she did describe them as "cute."

I guess it's a compliment for, as I've mentioned recently in this space, "cute" seems to be a type of universal, women's thumbs-up.

But it's not often my limericks are described as "cute." Many other adjectives are used, but "cute" has me scratching my head--and other regions--a bit...

I've figured out what my problem is with politics these days, and my inability to relate to the current definitions of "liberal" and "conservative":

Everybody's ignoring some of my most pressing concerns.

One is the idea of finally ending the failed War on Drugs. Another is the First Amendment, which is still either a) directly under attack or b) indirectly under attack by misguided might-be censors like Ashcroft, Lieberman, etc. or extending copyright for the sole advantage of corporations like Disney. And there's also this matter of the War on Fun--turning every spot on earth into a "Smoke Free" haven, attempts to sue and tax fast foot, etc.

So you can say that my ideals, not represented by any major political parties or ever-changing philosophies are:

Pot, Porn and Apple Pie.

The American Way!






TODAY'S POEM: Calm rainbow

What she did was take a storm of pills to say hello.

What he did was count the specks of light in tv snow.

What she did was take another mote to drop the heat.

What he did was watch his hallway turn into a street.

What she did was spread her arms -- a sunning, wilting tree.

What he did was close his mouth, an offered urgency.

What she did was say I never wanted you to go.

What he did was think of a new color -- calm rainbow.

What she did was say the only left were red and black.

What he did was wait for her so she could take it back.

[If you'd like to physically thank or berate the poet, e-mail him at b_squirrel@hotmail.com. He will bite.]



A man felt his dink in cahoots

with his neighbors boots--which drew hoots!

Whenever she'd wear 'em

his eyes could just stare'em

so he dubbed 'em her "grow grow boots."



Short and sweet today, due to time constraints:

I was humming in the shower this morning--some sort of "alternative polka," I believe you'd call it, and I was somehow nominated under one of the new Grammy categories!



Hot Jaime Pressly and Tiff Thiessen

on "Fastlane," performed lesbo teasin'.

Reason's quite a task

of network's to ask

but least they indulge Voice of Pleasin'.



The Catholic Church has given it's okay to both Harry Potter and to some New Age trends, like yoga (provided you don't forget Jesus amid your mantras and such).

This is progress, I guess. Harry Potter mania is, what, not even 10 years old. And yoga actually started to come in and out with the Beatles. This from a group that took until the 1980s to pardon Galileo.

They spend a lot of time on this stuff at the Vatican. And I was baptized Catholic, although I wasn't raised Catholic exactly, but there's one thing I can tell you that is wonderful about Catholics: They don't care what the church says.

I always wonder why some people even call themselves Catholic, other than to keep their parents happy. I've heard, "Well, I'm pro-choice, I don't have a problem with pre-marital sex or birth control, or abortion, I believe in gay rights, I think women should have more to their lives than raising children and they should be able to be ordained... but I'm Catholic."

Why bother?

If you want statistics, here's as close as I'll get: There are often surveys published on Catholic attitudes, at least here in America. The last one I heard of said something like 85 percent of Catholics use birth control--to cite one example.

But for anybody out there dropping your Bibles and running out, after a sigh of relief, to join a yoga class, you have a lot to look forward to. The Vatican may get around to an opinion on television sometime soon...

It's been snowing a lot in Paris lately. Snow, I gather, is not common in Paris.

This, of course, is fuel for the arguments about Global Warming.


I've went off on the comic strip "Ziggy" in this space before. (In short, I can't imagine anybody actually enjoying the strip and, if you do enjoy it, well, you frighten me terribly.)

I mentioned that it vanished from the Chicago Sun-Times weather page and mysteriously reappeared nestled into the classifieds. (Since I worked at the Los Angeles Daily News when they cut "Fred Bassett," I speculated that the senior citizen outcry led to a decision to keep the lame, bald, so-saccharine-sweet-you-wanna-punch-him-in-the-nose Ziggy.)

At first, they put a note on the weather page re-directing Ziggy readers to the classifieds.

This was months upon months ago.

Just thought I'd report that the re-direction note is still running.

Evidently, senility helps a good deal in understanding Ziggy...

Joan Cusack is appearing in ads, print and broadcast for... One of the zillions of cellular phone providers out there. I'm assuming they're running nationally.

I must say, however, that Joan has never looked goofier or dopier than in these ads.

Which I applaud, as celebrity shills most certainly should come across as goofy and dopey...

I was in Chicago's State of Illinois Building today (now called the Jim Thompson Center, after a prominently crooked ex-governor--but aren't they all?). I strolled the food court.

Keep in mind that Chicago is known for good food. Especially pizza and Vienna (brand) hot dogs.

But in the CHICAGO State of ILLINOIS building, the food court boasts a Pizza Hut and an Oscar Mayer hot dog restaurant.

Nothing like visiting a prominent Chicago establishment to try the subpar, cookie cutter foods you can find all across the nation...

More proof that spell-checkers aren't so dumb (and may in fact have their own agendas):

Mine suggested, for (Jamie) Pressly, "prettily" and "perkily." For Thiessen, it suggested "thinness."



>Your short slappin' and yappin' yesterday was almost zen. As in, zen will

>Grammy jokes ever be funny? ;)

It just goes to show you, Wink, that the less you have to say, the more people will pay attention to you.

I think.

Or something. Imagine what I just said to have been said in an eloquent manner.

See. Doesn't it blow your mind?



Some say that "Joe Bachelor" ain't fair

to gold-diggers shown on the air

but I'm mostly flummoxed

'cause that big dumb lummox

could floss with all their pubic hair.



Help me name you schmucks, the readers!

Yes, as you'll see below, every now and then I have occasion to refer to you folks and I have no standard word for it. I'll call you, "Grasshoppers" or "Slap and Yappers" or something but... Well, we need a catchy little title. Rush Limbaugh has "dittoheads," for instance. A radio guy in Chicago, Kevin Matthews, calls his listerners "Kev Heads." Star Trek has "trekkies" (although, proving that even the nerds have been bitten by the P.C. bug, some insist they should be called "trekkers").

So I'm issuing a call for suggestions on how to name you guys. If you don't, I will...

While (in case you haven't noticed) I try not to dwell in topics the rest of the media is all over, I just have to pipe in on the media circus surrounding Lee M. Pippin.

Alright. So there isn't much of a circus surrounding Mr. Pippin. But there should be. And there would be, if the rest of the world held the same prurient sense of humor as I do. Oh, the questions--How did he get caught? Just imagine getting caught doing that! There are oodles of details I'd like to hear and laugh at!

Pippin, a resident of the Chicago suburbs, is on trial for stealing panties. Panties that belonged to, and were worn by, women in his apartment building. (I believe the laundry room was the scene of most of his crimes.)

He stole over 200 pairs.

Two hundred pairs! Now, who among us hasn't stolen a pair or two... Okay, let me explain. I HAVE stolen panties--one pair. But before you go branding me sicko (which, I guess, if you haven't already...), let me explain myself.

It started when a friend of mine stole a pair. I have a feeling that it's a fairly common occurrence--at least when a "Golden Opportunity" (no pun intended) arises.

This friend of mine was pretty "normal." Well, he sometimes makes sick comments, enjoys a lot of porn, but... Well, that pretty much makes him a normal, single guy.

One day, he told me that he stole a pair of panties. See, this was many moons ago, and he used to occasionally buy marijuana from this seedy character who had a stripper girlfriend. And, as you may have guessed, the girlfriend was quite hot. A more piggish man than I might say she "had more legs than a bucket of chicken." (Then again, I just said it, so... But I swear--I say it only because it's funny!)

One day, he was at the seedy character's apartment, which also housed Miss Kentucky Fried Stripper, and something happened where the guy went to the bathroom or whatever just as my friend was getting ready to leave and... He saw a pair of panties on the couch or whatever. He wasn't looking to steal undergarments. He just saw the panties, thought "that's kinda kinky, and she's kinda hot..." and he took them with him as he left.

Last I heard, he still has them. I'm not sure if he's "done" anything with them... And I don't want to know. But I don't think he has. I think it was just the kinky thrill of taking a hot babe's panties.

I probably would have never stolen a pair myself if it wasn't for my friend's story.

I lived in an apartment building once with lots and lots of studios. There was a hot little number who lived there and, of course, I never worked up the nerve to talk to her, much less ask her out. I was even introduced to her once and only managed to mumble a thing or two.

So one day I'm doin' laundry, I notice she's doin' laundry, I think about my friend's story, open up the dryer after carefully looking around and... Bam! I snatched a pair of her panties!

Then came the big dilemma. What to do with them? It seemed I should do SOMETHING with them. But other than the thrill of doing something wrong, and of the fact that they belonged to a sexy woman... I couldn't find anything to do with them. I tried, and I'll spare you details, but they just did nothing for me.

I kept 'em a few months, just in case something would occur to me, I guess. But I eventually just threw them out.

It was a real panty waste.



Tall girls are the dream of most guys--

the leg games are great 'tween those thighs!

But don't discount shorties--

light, mobile and sporty--

for diff'rent games come with "fun size"!



I feel that I have to dedicate today's edition to, well, yesterday's edition.

For one, I want to drive home the point that I was, and am, ashamed of what would come to be known in my personal history as The Panty Incident.

But I thought of another story after writing it. A friend of mine in high school, whom I'll just call Bob, was once caught sniffing the bicycle seat belonging to one of our class' hot chicks.

The point, here, is that I could come up with dozens of these stories. Mind you, this is only an example of sick male behavior conducted in public (some other friends caught him)--so it doesn't even begin to enter the realms of things that guys do that we DON'T know about.

Today's limerick is an example of male thought. It's admittedly twisted--but honest. And that's my little point here today.

As far as I'm concerned, being a gentleman entails dishonesty. Perhaps not outright lying, but at least deception. "Penny for your thoughts?" she says. Now, you can't answer truthfully, ala "I was thinkin' about your fine breasts" or "oh, just wondering if there's a chance of a blow job later." So, you answer something like, "The stars are so lovely tonight!" or, more likely, "I'm not thinking about anything, really."

The pig is the guy who says what's on his mind. An attractive woman in a short skirt walks down the block and EVERY straight guy in viewing range is thinking... Well, something not wholesome

I know guys too well. I've met too many guys I've heard bitching about "that slimy porn" in front of their woman only to eventually see their stash (for some reason or another--although I'm against viewing porn with other guys around, once you're past 12-years-old). Seen too many guys, with their girlfriends, ordering a cup of coffee as a sleazily dressed vixen strolls in who, when their women "tsk," second the motion with an eye roll or something--only to take an obvious stare at the chick when his woman turns her head.

There's nothing wrong with this set-up. Women don't need to know all the details of how sick guys are and there's no good reason to let slimy thoughts escape the confines of your skull. Of course, many women--especially young and naive ones--should KNOW that men think this way if they ever hope to have a decent, understanding relationship and to avoid a lot of heartbreak.

But it's nonetheless amazing how many people go through life and marriages while living a charade.

DL has found a way to get away with a little more honesty than is usually prudent. But, outside of that...

I try to be a gentleman.

This all makes the term "Gentlemen's Club" much more interesting, no?



A saw this lame show called "Star Date"

where Eddie Munster got to mate--

and quite a fine score!

This proves he's got more

than geek conventions on his slate.



"People's" Spanish ed's plot is lazy--

of course for swimsuits, we'll go crazy.

With Fuentes on cover,

when photogs did hover

did they warn, "Please don't eat the Daisy"?



The standards of poor Britney Spears

fall as her Sixteenth Minute nears.

Hooked up with Fred Durst--

and it'll get worse

'til she starts her porno ca-rear.



A girl with eyes glued to the telly

goofed and brushed teeth with KY Jelly.

Since she brushed with vigor

strange physics did trigger--

the brush ricocheted off her belly.



Last night caught "Red Shoe Diaries"

(welcome dose of late-night, light sleaze).

Plot-wise, I'm not ravin'

but watching, I gave in

to weakness--not just in the knees!


SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 2/7-2/11/2003:

I'm heading out of town early tomorrow. To Minneapolis, because it's not cold enough in Chicago for me. (Actually, my wife has a business trip and my various jobs, if nothing else, provide flexibility.)

So, as you've noticed, you're receiving a bunch of limericks today. (I occasionally take off at the Daily Limerick--we're very college newspaperish that way--and you get a bunch of editions, tucked into one, ahead of time. Sort of.) Oh, and nestled into the steamy electronic folds of this edition is the Special Sunday Stuff...

Our new Department of Homeland Security has decided to raise our Terrorist Warning Level from Yellow to Orange.

Okay, folks. Start acting orange...

What is the point of CD/cassette/what-have-you singles?

They're only released for "charted" songs, right? So there are people who don't hear Avril What's-her-name's "Complicated" enough?...

There is a classified ad that has been running in the Chicago Sun-Times. It's placed by a music biz guy, or a wannabe music biz guy, seeking female talent. It starts out with:

Young Male Manger.

I didn't know they came in sexes. Nonetheless, no word on whether applicants should have immaculate conception in their recent history...

And now it's time for another edition of my "reality" show, "Duh! Factor." (In which I present to you real, dumb headlines I've come across.)

The Chicago Tribune-published RedEye, Feb. 5 edition, declares, "For Those With Lives on the Line, Risk Part of the Job."


And today I'll also leave you with an edition of Laughing at Strangers for no Real Good Reason:

I went to college with a guy named Jim Boozer.

Here's mud in his eye!






TODAY'S POEM: The Worst Cup of Coffee


as the plane lurched away from Vegas --

that collection of bright pinpoints

amidst the desert waste --

I realized that the same woman

whom had sat next to me on departure

was the same woman sitting next to me

on the return.

She had long, tanned legs

in high leather boots.

Her eyes were the color

of maple sugar,

her lashes soft frames

housing that light.

I never asked her her name,

a sound as anonymous as a thousand quarters

being fed into the mouths of a thousand

blinking slot machines.

I imagined her mouth

would hold the same sweet tang

as strawberries

about to turn.

Then the hostess handed me a Styrofoam cup

filled with the worst coffee I have ever tasted.

It was around then that I noticed

my seatmates' eyes were,

in reality,

the color of eggshells

submerged in the sea.

[If you'd like to physically thank or berate the poet, e-mail him at b_squirrel@hotmail.com. He will bite.]



New drug ads do subtley bleat:

"Take this, and your life is complete!"

Show meadows, and bliss

but something's amiss:

They don't mention what the drugs treat.



Today's edition is a rip-off.

Or as much of a rip-off as a free e-newsletter can be.

See, I should have included today's limerick in the last rip-off you got--where I tucked a bunch of days ahead of time into the edition because I was going away to Minneapolis for a few days?

(By the way, there's reason people generally don't vacation farther north during the winter, unless it's a ski vacation.)

Anyhow, I thought I'd be ready to fire up a delightful S&Y today but... Well, you can see the time on the e-mail. Ain't happenin'.

So, enjoy the rip-off.



The Corp'rate Sponsorship Palm Grease-a's

been mulled for the cars of police-a--

like sports stadiums!

The day just might come

to face DaVinci's "Mona Visa."



Man! Do you realize how taking a brief vacation (and a much un-earned one, at that) takes a toll on someone whose income is half freelance--and thus, not privy to "vacation days"?

Well, anyway. Here are some short ones, for now...

Osama has released another audio tape, evidently trying to cash in on the popularity of those audio books. What I found especially interesting was the fact that ol' Goat Lover first calls Hussein and his government "infidels" and then proceeds proposes a partnership against the U.S., so to speak, in a merger of evil.

Perhaps I should engage in this marketing technique. "Hey there, liver lips! Why don't you subscribe to my e-newsletter?"...

Here's another thing that gets me: The FBI or Homeland Security Dept. or whoever feels compelled to explain, of course, exactly WHY Goat Lover's gone purely audio. And one reason they give is to "mask his location."

I guess using a simple backdrop makes one an "infidel," or something...

Shafal Mosed is an important terrorist (or alleged terrorist) who's been held by the government. Why? He works part-time as a telemarketer.

Ah-ha! We finally have the connection!...

Speaking of that, though, should the government really be ear-marking $16 million for a national "do not call" list considering, well, look around you--and the fact that most of us have answering machines and/or caller ID?...

Freudian slips in action:

Watching one of the cable news channels, I heard an astronaut on board that space station talking about the recent tragedy, etc., and part of what he said was, and I quote, "...It's time to shed some beers... er, tears..."

I read that Fred Durst, in an interview for some magazine parading as journalism while primarily kissing ass, threw out a comment about how he liked Angelina Jolie's ass.

Which, of course, should go without saying.

You get the impression that he knows he's on his Fifteenth Minute and is just fishin' for all he can get while it still lasts?...

It's funny that they've made a race issue out of the fact that Pepsi bounced Ludacris as a spokesperson but kept Ozzy, considering that both of them are highly prone to profanity.

But I'd like to point out that, although Ozzy's profane, he's lovably profane--you know, in a way that's not so heavy on "ho's" and guns and such...

Saw a Molly Hatchet (SIC?) shirt in Minneapolis.

On a chick!

And a young chick, not some old groupie who's stuck in the past!

Make of that what you will...

I don't think I'll ever reach a point where I don't read the "Help Wanted" ads. But there was one that made my day recently, even if it wasn't anything I'd ever apply for.

These are the type of ads that bold the first three words. So here's what got me gigglin':

"Great Opportunity, Oral..."

I read something about how Southwest Airlines is going to stop transporting penguins due to new regulations on carriers and animals.

There were PENGUINS on Southwest Airlines at some point?

They gotta be cheerier than most flight attendants!...

Shouldn't they just rename "Will & Grace," "Will & Grace and a Special Guest Star or Two"?



Today, all good lovers feel glee--

many drop down to one (or two) knee!

Fire your arrows off, cupid

but still, don't you be stupid

(for today's also known as "V.D.").



Happy Valentine's Day! Or Happy Anti-Valentine's Day, if that's your thing this year ...

Some viewers are organizing a boycott of "Joe Bachelor" after Fox ran an all-clip show and didn't clue viewers in on the lack of a new edition ahead of time.

Really. People are actually ticked off and taking action.

Seems that many viewers feel that taking time out to watch the all-clip show was a "waste of time."

If you're a regular "Joe Bachelor" viewer, it's a little late to worry about "wasting your time" now, don't you think?...

I saw a few minutes of this new "reality" show, "The Search for America's Sexiest People" (or something like that). Some self-appointed beauty experts rate the wannabes according to face, body and "sex appeal." Of course, the show comes complete with a resident "mean guy," jumping on the success of "American Idol's" bitter, British music exec--who, lacking a creative bone in his body, but really, really upset about it, makes a living lording power over people with talent, or something like talent, anyway.

Funny, but this is a long-running bit with Howard Stern. It was funny once or twice with Howard--and Howard never made an entire SERIES out of it...

There's a new crop of busybody people--who should probably be forced to volunteer for something, ANYTHING--who are saying we should stop the space shuttle trips and/or the space program overall because of, well, an incident I'm sure you've heard about.

Ahem. I think when anybody makes a decision to go INTO FUCKING SPACE, there is a general agreement that danger may, in fact, be involved.

Here's my message to these Michael Bloomberg-esque folks: Until the government is forcing YOU to go into space, shut the hell up and, please, please get a hobby...

Okay, I'm a little late with this one, but there was a recent controversy over Shaquille O'Neal saying some words to Yao Ming via an interviewee, which happened to be a bunch of "chow hun ping pong" type words.

It was a joke, of course. A little dumb, given the current P.C. climate, but a joke.

I basically used that same joke in high school. You see, I was somehow appointed to read special announcements over our loudspeaker, which were bought by students and dedicated to other students to raise money for some student council stuff. I wrote some of my own to be "funny" (and some chick from my class, whom I don't remember well, used to always tell my grandma how funny I was when granny ran into her at her job, at Wendy's--guess granny brought me up more than I would like her too).

So I did the same thing for Laura Davidson. (A high school hot chick who, of course, wanted absolutely nothing to do with me, other than the occasional use as a fun-making, human prop.) Who wasn't Asian or anything--I just found it funny that Genghis Khan, or whomever I made up, would send her a message of indecipherable, faux-Chinese words.

So, in my quest to be hailed as a "Comedic Genius," I can now say that, as early as high school, I had the comedic talents of Shaq!

Back to the drawing board...

Wise readers may have guessed that I'm beginning to catch-up on a backlog of S&Y ideas from my little vacation to balmy Minneapolis...

On onto another story that's getting old:

There is a Tiger Woods/Phil Mickelson "controversy."

It seems that Mickelson slighted Woods. Well, he actually slighted Woods' SPONSOR, Nike.

This became a big controversy. Mickelson's been apologizing profusely.

The Mob ain't got nothin' on Corporate America...

Evanston, Ill., was considering giving a tax break to Borders for opening up another shop in town.

That poor, downtrodden little bookseller, Borders. Needs all the help it can get...

"Generation Y."

Y follows X. Get it.

No need to put much thought into naming an entire generation...

Is it just me, or does anybody else giggle uncontrollably over Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on Fire."

I picture a guy literally on fire. Up in flames. Sitting all calmly, singing the calm chorus.

He hee...

Our power company here in Chicago is ComEd. I just noticed the other day that, with the addition of one letter, you get ComEd(y)...

Astute readers (yeah, right) might like to know that I saw Davey Crocket again! In the same top-o'-the-head regalia...

And now for a TRIPLE feature of Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Virginia "Dinny" Butts Berger!

Gertrude Winston! (Which might not seem funny until you wonder if she's good looking, in which case Gertrude Winston would be "smokin'!")

And a French managing director of a radio station: Pierre-Jean Bozo...

By the way, thanks for all the ideas you've been sending for what to name you, the readers.

(P.S. That was a sarcastic remark.)



A retro dude--even used "tubular"

lit up a bit fat honkin' doob-ular.

And dreamt, coppin' feels

of Jennifer Beals--

an outing he'd later call boob-ular.



I see these roundups in the newspaper of the most watched, highest rated TV shows. I glance them over and yawn.

What I'd like to see is a listing of the LOWEST rated shows!...

Does anybody remember the Dungeons and Dragons witch hunt of the '80s?

I think there was something like, oh, one murder or something committed by someone who played D&D, which served to predispose the public against D&D players (myself included), who already had enough problems dealing with the Flaming Geek label. To top that off, busybody Christians with a loose grip on reality bothered us D&D players--I remember my high schools Fellowship of Christian Athletes head, a science teacher, occasionally lecturing us. About that and concert shirts.

Call me lucky, but I never ended up sacrificing children in my basement.

I was reminded of this craziness by a Lifetime movie recently. D&D is still around, although mostly a computerized version these days, and some Hollywood Genius (not too genius, penning movies for Lifetime and all) still found the D&D angle a great, stalker-ific angle, which Lifetime loves so darn much.

I love especially how these things always focus on a bunch of guys who dress up and play in tunnel systems.

Once, a woman (whom, on an unrelated note, I eventually boffed) found out that I played D&D (this was at the end of my D&D playing days, which progressively faded away over time--so, at this point, it was a pretty rare occasion, actually playing, anyway). She asked me if I dressed up in costumes and stuff.

I never knew anybody who actually did that.

But that doesn't make for good Lifetime fare...

People are often afraid of airing their political views at work. It's the Corporate American Way, of course, to discourage non-mainstream thought.

But usually, this involves a fear of airing personal views to those allied with the Right. Or, what used to be the right or... Well, the whole Right-Left thing is confusing, but I mean that you don't generally prattle on about "The Man" or decriminalizing drugs in the workplace, for instance.

Well, my current part-time job exists in a ridiculously Leftist (current Leftist, that is) environment. (Writing grants for a nonprofit. Oh, and by the way, nobody from there is currently on this list, although not a lot of people work their, and some I never even see.) So it's interesting to have people prattle about the Iraq thing, almost making it sound like Saddam is some poor little peacenik who we're just picking on. And I just sit and nod.

Not that I'm a hawk on this issue. It's just, as I've explained before, that with life's wisdom and the consequent increasing wishy-washiness, I can see both sides here. And I see both cookie-cutter sides as utterly out of their minds.

I just found it interesting that, in a way, I feel stifled due to radical liberalism.

Bizarre how all this stuff works.



We free and "lose" our sex offenders--

leave prisons as Drug User Tenders.

A metaphor flashes--

ignore deadly crashes

and crack down hard on Fender Benders.



New York and other states, Maine being one of them, is considering forcing restaurants to post nutritional information about the dishes they serve.

Smoker or non-smoker, take note as to what the Second-Hand Smoke Paranoia had led to. And you were warned here, first.

The Busybody, Do-Gooder Government War to Protect People From Themselves, Whether They Want it Or Not has only just begun...

Kelly Osbourne, a prime example of why fame should not be hereditary, backed out of attending one of the bazillions of award shows in England for fear of terrorist attacks.

Once again, celebrities (and, for that matter, "celebrities"): The terrorists are NOT after you.

Critics, maybe...

It has come to my attention that Daredevil (and I'm still wondering why, out of all the superheroes out there, there's a movie out about him) is an attorney by day.

Stop glamorizing lawyers, please, Hollywood...

I attended a seminar/conference/whatever thingy last night, which I'm covering for a freelance assignment, about art and the law. Mostly focusing on copyright law, and the recent Mickey Mouse act of Congress, declared constitutional by the Supreme Court (in keeping with the Mickey Mouse theme). There was a lot of frightening talk about how there has never been a time when fewer people owned more artistic rights for a longer amount of time and, well, I think you know the situation.

But while reading some of the materials I picked up there, about specific, sinister acts by various corporations, I noted that a lot of these corporations have grant-giving programs--something I know well through my part-time job as a grant writer for a nonprofit.

And it occurred to me: Nonprofits, seeking to change the system, are almost entirely funded by big corporations with a vested interest in making sure the system DOESN'T change.

Sorry for the downer...

Just a reminder: Don't buy chicks drinks. If you wanna get lucky with them.

In fact, spend as little as you can. Avoid the old-fashioned crap if at all possible.

Have you ever noticed, out at bars or clubs, how women cash in on many, many free drinks--and the biggest spenders of all generally go home alone?

If you want a chick to respect you--which can lead to being asked if you still respect HER in the morning--don't be a schmuck.

This has been a Public Service Announcement. Or perhaps a Pubic Service Announcement...

The Donna's form more evidence proving "Sloop's Spice Girl Law." Which says that the turn-on factor of a group of girls is far greater than the sum of the turn-on factor of each individual chick making up the group.

In other words, none of the Donna's are particularly hot. But together as a band--whoah, Donna's!...

A disturbing song flew into my head the other day, while reading--I hate to admit it, but it's right there in the paper so I have to check it out--Ziggy.

"Gettin' Ziggy Wit It--la la la la, la la la la..."

Here's a somewhat unconventional edition of "Duh! Factor," my own reality show where I relate to you real, stupid headlines I've come across.

Okay, this one is not a headline, but a Chicago Sun-Times story on Friday referred to "The Simpsons" as a "Springfield, Ill." family.

Even the least-fanatical of Simpsons fans will notice the problem with that--which highly disturbs me because, obviously, there was either a lack of copy editing or a lack of Simpsons fandom involved...

And now for Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Another unconventional feature, as today's edition concerns a company: Burgess & Niple.

Can't help myself" Rumor has it that the CEO is a real boob...

And one more Public Service Announcement, geared especially at the Entertainment Industry:

Stop the Mob Shows! Really, enough already.






TODAY'S POEM: Trade reception

words, need


under lights,

heavy hands

gripping for


ice letters


corporation's sign

sway and slicken


quite discrete.

settles low

on table laid

with business cards,

melting by

the platter stacked

with deli meats.

slivers, crumbs

for the suits

to feed on.

with movement sly

they mix remains

within their drinks.

[If you'd like to physically thank or berate the poet, e-mail him at b_squirrel@hotmail.com. He will bite.]



A man whose career lay in dental

at "Gentlemen's Clubs" just went mental.

His big honkin' chub

proved true the word "club"

but he was anything but "gentle-."



Happy President's Day!

And you know what? This is the first job I've had--ever, I believe--in which I've had it as a paid holiday.

So celebrate! Throw on a top hat, chop down a cherry tree, what have you...

I've pontificated here before about the idea of putting government in charge of things deemed especially important. How this is, of course, necessary for things like, oh, monitoring corporate racism and sexism, for instance, but how it should also be kept in mind that, just because something becomes a Government Function, it doesn't follow that it will be "done right."

In fact, when considering whether or not to make something a Government Function, I encourage the thinker to consider the Post Office and what a good job they do.

I threw this little "test" out in the months following 9/11, concerning things like airport security and this new Department of Homeland Security.

Our terrorist threat level was recently raised to Orange. And Homeland Security, trying to get things "done right," advised the public to do a number of things, including purchasing mass quantities of duct tape and plastic sheeting to defend against chemical, biological, etc., attacks.

As soon as the Dept. throws out the recommendations, a buttload of experts start voicing their opinion that duct tape and plastic sheeting won't do much good.

You'd think this immense new government department would consult a variety of experts, wouldn't you?

If everybody were to listen to S&Y, and apply the "Post Office" test, a much safer world it would be...

How in the hell is it legal for commercials to use that small print--that is, small, as in, unless you have a 20-foot TV screen, and you can process a few sentences in a nanosecond, there's no way in hell you can read it.

I know there are advertising regulations, that you have to "inform" the public of side effects and qualifiers (ala "Jared's results not typical - losing weight requires a process of exercise and diet, of which Subway sandwiches can be a part"). But, if this is how it's done, what's the point?

Then again, in many cases--ala the Subway example--you'd have to be a moron to think you're gonna lose weight just by eating at Subway three times a day.

Then again, usually "The System" goes out of its way to protect Moron Americans.

For side effects commonly associated with DL, please inquire.



A guest watched the maid do her biz

and chemistry started to fizz.

She changed his room's sheets,

he plundered her sweets

(which left his fresh sheets stained with jizz).



Mike Meyers is working on technology to "sample" old movies.

I understand it works like this: You'll see, for example, "The Pink Panther," only Meyers will appear in a scene doing one of his far-from-patented bodily function jokes.

I guess it wasn't enough to serve up ancient gags in a series of movies that made fun of a form--the James Bond-ish spy stuff--that saw its prime about 30 years ago. And might I add, was parodied amply--and in a funnier manner--about 30 years ago.

At this rate, Hollywood will be re-making Meyers' samples by around 2006...

While pondering the frightening nature of occurrences like the above, a thought occurred to me--a thought that at first might appear culturally blasphemous:

All the remakes and sequelizings and re-treadings of old forms (ala "neo-punk"--without all the anti-establishment stuff of original punk so as to be more consumerism friendly)--could these trends actually be GOOD for the future of art?

Now, before you go thinkin' that I should perhaps be Slappin' the OTHER head while Yappin', let me explain myself.

I pondered in this space recently upon a seminar-type thingy I attended that gave me more than a generous dose of pessimism. It was more-or-less on the current state of art and copyright ownership in this age of media conglomerates.

I started wondering about the fact that art seems to somehow survive despite its odds--there is an Iraqi art show in Chicago that seems quite moving, communist China and Russia couldn't stop some great artists from emerging, MAD Magazine was born while the draconian Comics Code was in effect, etc., etc. So although things have pretty much never looked worse--never have fewer people controlled more artistic rights for longer, etc.--maybe those like the panelists are Chicken Littles. Or perhaps it's more like as long as there ARE Chicken Littles, all is not lost.

And I started thinking about how The Man, in some ways, can never truly win. We won't be worshipping the Backstreet Boys as we do the Beatles, for instance, decades from now. The Ramones and Sex Pistols will trump Blink 182 and The Donnas in the long run. Etc., etc.

And then the thought occurred to me: There is only SO much they can remake, update, sequelize, etc. They're obviously doing these things because there is a shortage of "good stuff" today--thanks, of course, the The System. In other words, Entertainment Execs will eventually have stuff like "Charlie's Angels 17," "another update of 'I Spy'" and "a parody of the Austin Powers James Bond parodies" on their "to do" lists and... Well, the public is stupid, but not THAT stupid.

Like communism, the system will eventually defeat itself.

Or is this just the mumblings of a hopeless optimist?...

A recent study concluded that, percentage wise, the children of single parents have more problems, are less successful, blaggity bloogity blah.

This morning, one possible reason occurred to me. You see, my wife was in a minor "mood" while getting ready this morning, and she crabbed at me a bit--even when I went to give her a loving morning kiss (a little late, as she rises later than me and I don't always catch her before she hits the bathroom).

Then I noticed her come out and be really nice and friendly to the cat, proving that SOMEBODY bears the brunt of a crabby spell while others don't have to--that it's a selective process, to some extent.

You see, I've noticed that women enjoy having a man to take their troubles out on. And if you're now thinking, "What a sexist," knock it off--I'm on to women. My wife even recently admitted as much, thanks to my prodding. (We were late for something, but I was dressed and ready to go before her--with no extra puttering or taking a whiz after she announced that she was ready. She was in a pissy mood about it and I flat out asked her, "Don't you wish it were my fault, so you could blame me?" She laughed. I pressed the question. She admitted.)

So single mothers (it's a fact that most single parent homes involve mothers far more often than fathers), having no man to rip into as a way of assuaging life's little problems, may tend to take it out on their kids.

Hold off! Not every woman! I'm not saying women can't control it! And, even if they have some gene that makes the Crab Factor a reality, I'm not saying that they couldn't tame it a little, or get a punching bag, or take it out on the boyfriend, co-workers, etc.

Just saying what I'm saying...

And now... Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

I read yesterday about a military man, Brig. Gen. Taco Gilbert.

(I hope to hell he wasn't named after the '80s...er, sort-of phenomenon.)

Don't let that crisp exterior fool ya'. He's spicy and has a lot of meat to his character.




>Side effects to reading DL? Well, my scrotum fell off and my eyes have gone

>milky-purple, like the dregs in a bowl of Fruity Pebbles. But I thought that

>was normal...

I wouldn't worry too much about the scrotum--at least, as long as you still have the rest of the device.

And "eyes...like...Fruity Pebbles"? Thanks for new the pick-up line! Take those lyrics and start the new trend of Stoner Country music!



The Gay Soccer League was Rick's dream

but joining left him sopped with cream.

Each play'r had his way

with Rick his first day--

took much more than one for the team!



In reading a story about the perpetual Mid East Violence (perhaps they should just figure out a violence icon--like forest or desert--for globes and put a bunch of them there), I came across "Mount Arafat." I then realized that, if you take this as a sentence, maybe we have a solution!

If not for Mid East Peace, at least for Mid East Piece...

Often, throughout my day, I call people names--inside my head. Usually, it's for no good reason. Somebody's walking too slow in the subway transfer tunnel and I'm in a hurry, etc.

Today, some guy took a turn that temporarily blocked my access to an Onion newspaper box and I called him "dick cheese." But this time, I actually let it out of my mouth.

He didn't react. I'm not even sure if he heard me. But this is a dangerous step toward becoming one of those foul, ranting old men who amble around muttering, having given up on the ol' "brain-to-mouth filter"...

I bring an apple to work every day. Not because it keeps the doctor away--my HMO does a fine job of that (try the perch!)--but because, well, it's my attempt to be healthy. Sort of. I eat a load of healthy stuff early in the day, figuring it will counteract all the greasy crap I indulge in later.

Recently, I've noticed that my apples tasted...spicy. Yep, that's the word I'm looking for. And I wasn't sure why. I figured that maybe I'd spilled some spices on them when I made Indian food a while back.

Today I figured it out: The apples were right next to some jalapeno peppers in the fridge.

I unwittingly invented applapenos.

Not that I'd recommend them. But they taste much like jalapeno flavor from Jelly Belly--and somebody's buying THEM...

Does anybody else find it ironic, in keeping with the Five Corporations Who Pretty Much Own Our "Culture" theme that's been popping up a lot here lately, that the greatest threat to Freedom of Expression today might just be the Entertainment Industry?...

Ever notice how, on sitcoms, every single person from the appointed "group" (of friends, family members, co-workers, etc.) happens to end up together wherever they're at? Coffeehouses, bars, lunch rooms, what have you? Some times the writers get nutty, mix it up a bit--one or two AREN'T there at first, but they come in a little later in the scene, etc.

Of COURSE you've noticed this.

Now, I'm not quite sure why I even bothered typing that thought out.



The Dell Dude sought pot for to chill

was busted, and that might just kill

career dreams so fickle

inviting a pickle

could say, "Dude--you're gettin' a dill!"



Now scientists are saying that Botox can actually cause wrinkles, in different places as the wrinkles it is used to fight--as your face fights the whatever-the-fuck in an effort to make some sort of expression.

Remember, S&Y's been telling you all along that there's a price for these things, whether we know about it or not at this point in time. We're gonna have some truly freaky looking people walking around in a couple decades.

And despite the fact that common sense should tell us that "if it fights off a natural process, there must be an equal and opposite reaction somewhere, somehow" the lawyers will still have a field day in a couple decades, as well...

Gephardt is officially running for president! Woo-hoo!

Ahem. Can anybody really get excited about Gephardt?

It all reminds me of Gephardt declaring a candidacy in 1986 or 1987. I was in a college dorm, my roommate--who was intoxicated in one form or another--was watching TV, saw the announcement, and began wildly cheering, gesticulating and generally celebrating the Gephardt candidacy.

Sarcastically. Of course.

Then again, I'm sure we all remember where we were in 1986 (or was it 1987?) when Gephardt declared his candidacy...

Oh no! Beyonce Knowles is getting married to Jay Z! Ahhh! Say it isn't so!

I'm already married. And happily so. But she shouldn't be doing this. I like to think she's available, just in case. If I can't have her, NOBODY should have her!

Once again, I'm throwing out my invitation to Destiny's Child to have dinner at my home. My wife okayed it, too (probably thinking it'll never happen--and probably figuring correctly), as longtime readers in need of hobbies may recall.

The offer still stands. But Jay-Z is not invited...

Look close at a coupon--the type that are featured in Sunday newspapers, with the notable exception of DL--and you'll see a blurb informing you that its "cash value" is "1/20th of a cent." (Actually, I just looked through some coupons and found many of that value and also one worth 1/100 of a cent, and assume there may be other value levels out there--keeping the Investigative Powerhouse reputation of S&Y intact.)

How exactly does this work? Is there some unseen purpose, use or party involved in coupon transactions I'm either not thinking of or am unaware of? Considering that the daily newspaper I usually pick up costs 35 cents, could I bring in 700 of those coupons as payment?

A 1/100th of a cent coupon I have is for a free Almond Snickers bar. Surely, if nothing else, some store clerk would take 35 cents from her own pocket for the chance to get 3,500 free Almond Snickers bars, right?

Although, since I clipped that coupon, I'm having trouble even finding ONE damn Almond Snickers bar...

At the check-out line in a pet store today, I  saw a product called "Dick van Patton's 'Natural Balance.' It's some healthy dog food packaged much like breakfast sausage.

Do people in check outs think, "If anybody knows dogs, it's Dick van Patton! I gotta buy some of that!" Or does any sort of "celebrity" angle sell pretty much anything, regardless of relevance?

There is, of course, the kitsch factor, too. For I recall my Gephardt-cheering dorm mate bringing home "Newman's Own" spaghetti sauce--the first time I witness the brand--and taking far too much amusement in the concept.



New "Drive-Thru 'Escorts'" was the chatter

of the town where its billboards were splattered

plugging diverse service--

what most made wives nervous

was the bargains on its "combo platters."



I'm guessing the E2 club tragedy in Chicago went somewhat national, but if you haven't heard, here's a summary: A fight broke out at this Chicago club, people started freaking out, exit doors were screwed up, security guards maced somebody and... In the end, 21 people died. And it turns out the club was under city scrutiny and probably in violation of all sorts of codes.

In Chicago, some of us are praying for less coverage of the event and its aftermath. It was obviously a horrible, tragic event, and it spotlights a need for greater code enforcement but, well, this is a prime example of the media going nutso and seeking comprehensive answers to something that was largely a freak accident.

As I've said, there are code violations in questions and such, but local publications are publishing goddamned GUIDES TO CLUB SAFETY, as if, all of a sudden, club stampedes are filling body bags across the nation and show no signs of slowing down. Politicians are pulverizing their pulpits about doing this and that, blaming, rightfully, the owner and his security system, but also promising to enact this law and that law, and Jesse Jackson is involved... But occasionally, things happen that are just freakish and quite fucked-up.

I won't contribute any more than that to the media fest...

I've got a great idea and am seeking investors:

Porn on Ice!

Why not? Everything else is on ice, it seems. I'm surprised nobody's thought of this before.

Porn on Ice!...

Can we stop referring to cigarette companies as Big Tobacco yet? I mean, c'mon. Are they really that "big" anymore? Haven't they pretty much been ripped to hell at this point? They're not even piping in on the discussion surrounding the public smoking witchhunt and suspicious "second hand smoke" studies.

And why, when someone like Mike Ditka chimes in on a city's proposed anti-smoking ordinance, can the label "Big Tobacco shill" be tossed about without any sort of evidence that somebody is taking money from companies?

And is anybody forgetting that, although Medium Tobacco has done some horrible things, it's now knowledge that's ridiculously public--perhaps a homeless guy in Zaire hasn't heard about it, maybe, at this point--and that also goes for the dangers of smoking.

But when it boils down to it, people are deciding to buy these cigarettes and smoke them. And it is these people who are largely paying the price for the lawyerly orgy that shows little signs of slowing down...

S&Y is one of the few sources that, for some time, has noted that smokers are fulfilling society's need to beat up on some minority, ANY minority.

But there are signs that more people are figuring it out, too.

An episode of "South Park" from the last season made a joke about it--actually, two episodes did. But, contrary to popular belief, "South Park" is quite progressive in that way. And, might I add, objective--the show made fun of smokers early on, perhaps backing off a bit when the creators realized that the Big Tobacco jokes were about as prevalent as Wacky Neighbors in sitcoms.

And then I learned that Penn & Teller's new show, which exposes all sorts of cranks and pseudo science, devoted an episode to the questioning the "second hand smoke" studies.

But I recently saw a joke poking fun at the smoker witchhunt on Saturday Night Live. And if the silliness has been noted by a mainstream source, we can perhaps anticipate society overall backing off a bit in the future. Maybe.

But even if this is the case, who will be the next minority that it's acceptable to push around? Fast food patrons?...

I read today of a New Punk band named Sum 41.

Is there a "How to Name Your New Punk Band" book out there?



"Reality" TV contestants

somehow miss the genre's main lesson:

The "winners" will gain

a future of "fame"

as answers to trivia questions.



How strange that, one day after ranting about the overdose of media coverage involving a Chicago club tragedy, a Rhode Island club goes up in flames and kills almost five times as many people.


But, once again, is using the tragedy to fill up 90 percent of cable news channels' itinerary a fitting tribute to those we've lost?

What also struck me was a lesson on the nature of humor demonstrated by the event.

If, for instance, the cheesy, who-knew-they-were-even-still-around '80s metal band Great White had played a club, as they did, and if the singer were now noticeably chubby and funny looking and prone to wearing a funny hat, as he is, and if they had pulled the Spinal Tap-esque maneuver of shooting towering columns of flame straight up into a low wooden ceiling, as they did--and if everybody would have escaped alive and lacking serious injury (the big IF here)... Well, there would be a landfill of joke material here.

But, alas, that was not the case. I wish it were.

I must admit that I actually SAW Great White in concert once, almost 20 years ago. They opened for Judas Priest which--and I feel a mix of emotions in admitting this--was the first live band I ever saw.

I guess I thought I'd never hear of Great White again. And I wish that were the case as well...

Here's an update on a story previously reported by Daily Limerick-- a story no other publication would dare cover!

(In other publications' defense, their reasoning would probably be that the story is so stupid. But, still.)

I reported here, approximately two weeks ago, about a "theater" classified ad which had been running for a while in the Chicago Sun-Times seeking female talent. The lead off: Young Male Manger... Yes, that's not a typo: Manger.

Well, as of today, the ad is corrected to "Young Male Manager."

Somebody's really on the ball.

Or perhaps he's just overrun with the influx of serious entertainers who seek fame and fortune in general newspaper classified ads placed by people who are too darn professional for proper spelling.



A man took home a total slut

who begged to take one in the butt!

Yet he was so green

in shedding his jeans

the mere thought made him bust his nut.



I was thinking today about the big Hollywood market these days for semi-celebrities, with the new "reality" shows featuring, well, semi-celebrities, and the following ditty started going through my head:

"How much is that Doogie (Howser) in the window..."

How much is that Doogie

I've figured out what bothers me most about anti-war activists. And, for that matter, activists in general:

The mostly don't know what's "going on." And, concerning current matters, "Peace" is Chapter One in the "How to be an Liberal Activist Bible" and I get the feeling that, were Pearl Harbor bombed today, and all other factors from 1941 the same, many of these people would be protesting going after the Nazis and Japanese. "Diplomacy! Call the U.N. into this!"

I suppose ignorance is a factor for a lot of people who support war or other policies, as well. But I guess they don't make their ignorance as well known, since there aren't as many groups who gather to rally and support causes as there are protesting them.

(And, to re-iterate, I'm personally wishy-washy on the whole Iraq thing, seeing both sides of the issue.)

This stems from my general dislike of my generation, I suppose. In general, we don't follow local, national or world events much at all. I actually read a quote from some knucklehead from within my "coveted demographic" who said it was extremely important to vote--but he doesn't because he doesn't keep up on the news enough to feel he'd make an informed vote.

Respectable on one hand but... Well, you know.

It boils down to this little story from my college days: Everyone in a class was asked to write about the "Contract with America's" plan to significantly cut student aid. We were to interview a certain number of students. Most people pretty much handed in the same story, which could be summarized as, "Those evil Republicans!" And I pretty much agreed.

But I took a different angle. I asked ten students who were planning to protest, in one form or another, the cutting of financial aid, whether they had in fact voted in the elections that put these scissor-happy legislators in office.

My memory fails me know, exactly, but I believe that one or two actually had voted. At the very most, three.

So, why are politicians often unconcerned with the issues affecting the "coveted generation" again?...

I've noticed lately that the Chicago Sun-Times is fine with the word "got."

I was always told that it was "improper" English. At the same time, I use it regularly in speech, and most everybody does.

As an example from today's Sun-Times:

"Girl who got wrong heart, lungs dies."

Many would call this sloppy, saying that it should be "Girl who received wrong heart, lung dies" or something.

But here's more wishy-washiness on my part. I probably would have written the teaser that way, but it doesn't have me shaking my head and cursing the "loss" of concern for proper language these days...

From the classified ads today, I saw an opportunity for "bricklayer."

What is this new-fangled new career path all about, you may ask?

Well, it goes on to describe it: "Lays bricks in the construction of buildings."

Brains isn't high on the list of qualifications, evidently...

George Foreman grills.

George Foreman grills?

How the hell did this happen--how did we end up with a popular cooking product fronted by a former boxer? How the hell did they become popular?

As far as I'm concerned, George Foreman grills are one of the Wacky Wonders of the world...

An update: Still no investors for my "Porn on Ice" idea...

Women have "bad hair days." But what do we guys get--provided, of course, we're not bearing "rockin'" hair styles toupees (in which case life is a perpetual bad hair day).

But we have... And, if you're squeamish, you may skip this last item... Bad cock days.

That's right. Especially when it's cold, sometimes there's shrinkage involved. It's scrotally bogus, dudes.

Yesterday, I was relieving myself and I thought. "Wow! The little feller looks kinda full today. I'm having a 'good cock day.'"

So I announced this to my wife. And she didn't care.






TODAY'S POEM: written Valentine's Day, 2003

You wipe crumbs off your burgundy dress,

like wine and bread.

Surrounding stones engraved with old names.

Obelisks marked with time and place.

Your mouth parts slowly -- not to eat.

A kiss that shudders the cemetery leaves.

As winsome angels gather the view

of crow's foot fields, and I, and you

hold as close as clouds hold the sky.

Your hair falls just so over your eyes.

We watch late light lay breath on day.

Our shadows meander, and slip away.

[If you'd like to physically thank or berate the poet, e-mail him at b_squirrel@hotmail.com. He will bite.]



Scoldings gave by Madelyn Toogood

were more harsh than what me or you would.

Not sure how I'd weigh in

with what folks are sayin'--

but looking at her, nearly grew wood!



I picked up my newspapers today to see them splattered with coverage of Norah Jones, the big winner at this year's annual music industry self-love fest, the Grammy Awards. And I must admit that I hadn't heard of her.

Oh, the name rings a bell--I keep up on the news and I'd probably read or heard her name before. But her picture didn't ring a bell. And while I may have heard her music somewhere, I wouldn't be able to hum any of it for money.

So now I'm trying to figure out if this makes me off-the-beaten-path cool or really, really out-of-it...

MTV is going to be covering the Iraq war. Oh, sorry--I mean the Iraq "situation."

Geez. First the R. Kelly legal case and now this--they must really be scrambling over in the MTV "news" rooms to figure out what's going on in the real world (pun intended).

How will this play out? Will they find Iraqi girls in belly shirts? Rich Iraqis' "cribs" to make the viewers envious (and thus rushing out in a consumer frenzy)? Is a hip-hop soundtrack gonna go well with bombs and combat shrieks? Well, at least "sheik" rhymes with "shriek"...

United Air Lines CEO Glenn Tilton has a prescription for fixing the airline's financial woes: "Be more like Wal-Mart."

I hope this doesn't entail creating a position like the Wal-Mart "greeters." You know, somebody who has no real job other than to act friendly, but obviously just because he or she is paid to be friendly, and who just ends up, well, kinda frightening you.

Oh! They already have those! Flight attendants!...

From a classified ad (for sale):

Galvanized Steel Steaks.

For those pesky dinner guest who just keep coming back...

And now for an edition of Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Sharon Hussey is the senior v.p. for the Girl Scouts.

I read this in a story that mentioned how the Girl Scouts are doing fine with younger girls but brainstorming ways to recruit more teens.

And I must say, as one who occasionally tunes in MTV (but evidently not enough to know about Norah Jones), the "Hussey" plan may just work.



The U.N. Iraqi turmoil

is heated toward a war boil.

The reason the French

threw in monkey wrench--

they're already in on the oil!



Riding the train into work today, I noticed a woman reading Ladies' Home Journal.

What was shocking was that she wasn't some older lady with a beehive hairdo. She was a young woman and, might I add, kinda hot.

Who reads Ladies' Home Journal? Not that there's anything wrong with it, I suppose--I don't know much about the pub--but... It just got me a wonderin'.

She also held a Slim Fast. Which would go better with a Cosmo.

Nonetheless--in the same way the "librarian look" tends to do--seeing a sexy chick reading Ladies' Home Journal--which I rightfully or wrongfully perceive to be a bit prudent... Well, I just gotta say--and I'm not proud of this:

The whole experience kinda turned me on.

And, I imagine, that's something that actually reading Ladies' Home Journal myself probably wouldn't do...

Today I also took a stumble down memory lane in recalling the day where "accidental AC/DC" broke out. (Sorry, I can't make a lightning bolt between C and D--only "/".)

Yup, I was jamming with these crazy Italians I used to live above, and another friend, all along partying like a pre-Bally's-teeth whitening-personal trainer-bearing rock star.

I used to play bass. I suppose, as some street nut who struck up a conversation with me in Minneapolis advised, you can say that I STILL play bass, for I could pick it up and it'd be like riding a bike. Only I probably couldn't crash with the bass and skin my knees. Unless, of course, I were partying like a pre-Bally's-teeth whitening-personal trainer-bearing rock star.

Anyhoo, we never really jammed in an organized manner. Had no playlists or anything, and didn't play together often. This was actually our first session. There were varying levels of musical skills involved.

Joe Vito (I'm not making that name up for the purpose of adding color to the story) was just piddling around with some chords. Something sounded familiar to him. He tinkered a little more and...  It sounded to me like the beginning of "Hell's Bells."

Another guitar kicked in. And some bongos (the drummer--Dominick--whose name I am likewise not making up--didn't have a full set on the scene).

AC/DC is not known for their clever chord arrangements requiring expert musicianship. So everything came together.

I didn't know the words, but screeched out some stuff in an AC/DC-like voice and... Well, it was beautiful.

Or as beautiful as a bunch of knuckleheads playing AC/DC covers for no crowd (other than themselves) can be. While all involved are partying like pre-Bally's-teeth whitening-personal trainer-bearing rock stars...

I saw some of the "Best of Real Sex" over the weekend--I think it's on HBO.

I think I've mentioned before that the show generally disturbs me. There will be some footage that turns me on and then they inevitably cut to a bunch of fat, ugly hippies in some group situation. And, as a guy, you're afraid of being at the tail-end of a turn-on when some sort of funky footage hits the screen so... You become afraid of being turned-on even for the parts you're supposed to be turned-on for and... Well, let's just say I find the show disturbing.

Anyway, one of the on-the-street interviewees, a woman, was asked about giving oral sex and said, "I don't think girls should have to do that after college."

I've heard similar sentiments before. And it frightens me--not for myself, really, but for males everywhere.

"'Til death do us part"... With no oral homage?

When I was a younger man, I assumed that marital infidelity largely derived from some guy being just an asshole, wanting to get all he could.

But as time wears on--not in my personal situation, mind you--I realize that many unhidden reasons for infidelity exist.

And "Real Sex" just gets more disturbing all the time.



John Ashcroft's new crack-down is strong

on tools fitting of Cheech & Chong.

Though "Orange" alert level

has got us disheveled

the real danger's a "dirty bong."



I read today about how, despite the fact that a judge rightfully threw out an early case charging McDonald's with making kids fat, some analysts think that, considering this legal movement (emphasis on "movement") is spearheaded by some of the same slimeballs who engineered the tobacco lawsuits, there will be more and more of these suits and eventually some will "stick."

What we really need in Congress is the "C'mon Amendment." Talk to average people and if the majority of them, when hearing about the development, say, "C'mon!" well, heavily fine the lawyers and, should it happen more than once, consider disbarring them.

The most frightening thing about these suits as that, once the lawyers make headway, second-hand stupidity overtakes people. When sick smokers first began suing tobacco companies, despite warning labels and a little thing called common sense, most people said (or thought) "C'mon!" But now, more and more people see the suits as perfectly justified.

Today, most people, when hearing about these sinister bastards further removing the idea of personal responsibility by pursuing McDonald's for gluttons' obesity, remark "C'mon!"

But, do you see a pattern?

Call your representative today and tell him or her to propose S&Y's "C'mon! Amendment."

And remember that, since my upcoming 35th birthday is the only milestone b-day I have coming until the retirement age of 65, my presidential campaign will kick in May 19. Sort of...

A prediction:

When we attack Iraq--notice there's no use of the word "when"--and are all focused on that endeavor, North Korea will launch a nuclear weapon somewhere. Probably at Japan--perhaps Osaka, because of the U.S. troops stationed there.

Pretty dire prediction, I know. But that's it.

We've predicted other things in this space before (see today's first nugget, for instance). But now we're kickin' it up a notch. Goin' for the "Idiot's Nostradamus" title.

If I'm wrong, I will be humbled, and will lay off the wallowing in "I told you so!" for a while...

Just a thought on American Idol: Isn't it basically karaoke? They do have a "quality" system, of thinning the ranks but, when it boils down to it, it's the same thing I shudder and do anything to avoid the second-hand effects of at my local bowling alley.

Considering that multiple installments of this show have aired, and we're watching it, and the networks are backing it, this is especially frightening.

Even MTV killed "Say What? Karaoke"...

I saw a sign on a building today: Managed by S&M Management.

There are all sorts of options in today's booming real estate environment, it appears.

Note, of course, in any S&M arrangement, there are two sides.

If this is hinting at a sadistic landlord then, well, it's pretty much your standard type of company.

But I wouldn't mind--just once--having a masochistic landlord, for a change...

If you ever see a strange, inexplicable reference to comedy duo "Cheat & Change," it may be due to careless use of a spell checker.



A strip club fanatic named Joe

wished that he could "go with the flow"

turned on by lap dances.

He took his "fat" chances

but still couldn't get one "to go."



The tale of Jessica Santillan is tweaking my opinion on illegal immigrants. (Talking here about the girl, daughter to illegal immigrants, who received the wrong transplants in the U.S., then got the right ones, then died anyway.)

I've never really thought too much about it. I've always been in favor of generally easy immigration, seeing as that's how America came into being and all. And after 9/11, I got pissed off at all the chowderheads saying "we shouldn't let anybody into this country" and crap. But I realized more fully the Fine Line--we've gotta keep track of these people more than we do while at the same time remaining the Land of Immigrants and a place welcoming most everybody.

I'm guessing those Santillans are hardening a lot of people's attitudes. First of all, there's the argument over whether or not illegal immigrants should get medical attention here. My gut reaction is that OF COURSE they should, how can the medical profession turn those in need away but, and perhaps this is more evidence of my increasing wishy-washiness, when I think about the fact that I wouldn't even be able to afford health insurance, if I didn't get it through my wife's "regular" job... Well, it's becoming another tricky question for me, when it used to be a no-brainer.

And then I hear that the Santillans wouldn't donate their daughters organs after her death. And, of course, you can't force people to do that, but all things considered... And then I read that her parents want to go off and bury her in Mexico, but only if they're assured that they'll be welcome back into the U.S.

Enter more wishy-washiness. I loath the idiots who, upon seeing signs of pride in their homelands by immigrants, have the attitude, "You're in the U.S. now--put that foreign flag away." But, well... Those wacky Santillans must be taking money from the anti-immigration extremists.

Just takin' a literary crap here, don't mind me...

There's this new "performance art" show in Chicago, perhaps in other cities, called "Puppetry of the Penis." In a nutshell, people shell out theater-sized ticket prices to see a couple of nutrods enact what's basically a very "adult" party gag--twisting their, well, penises into different shapes.

This, and stuff like "Are You Hot?" and TV in general... It disturbs me, because I'm now often on the same side of issues as a bunch of prudes.

I'm offended--but I'm offended because it's just stupid. That in place of quality, we're sexing up everything.

If quality is involved, sex it up all you want--in fact, that's about as good as it gets.

But it gets me that the Entertainment Industry is throwing around sex to say, "Look how we're boldly using our First Amendment" while, at the same time, political statements and progressive creativity are... Well, we might as well be living under Stalin on that level.

Just takin' a literary piss here, don't mind me.



Our Homeland Dept. saw fit

to recommend survival kits.

Calling for duct tape

experts would not ape--

why don't these folks check on this shit?



Happy Birthday to Rossini, by the way--although I'm not sure when it should be celebrated.

He was born on Feb. 29. So do it today, or tomorrow, or both. Or perhaps just for a nanosecond at midnight.

Had a party in college once for his birthday. Kicked out this one chick for not knowing who the composer of such works as "The William Tell Overture" was--but knowing full well all the members of such hideous bands as Great White--who, as we all know, made a name for themselves in a way they probably never suspected.

I think this was also the party where we successfully pulled off the much-anticipated Hamster High-Diving Act. No hamsters were harmed during the event, although little Engels did get wet. (He was named Engels because I would prop open books by his cage to "educate" him, and the only one he appeared to take notice of was the "Communist Manifesto," a required history text. He didn't seem to qualify for the name "Marx," for whatever reason, so Engels it was.)

Throwing somebody out is very unlike me (although I did it in a very mild mannered way, of course). But there was a lot of liquor involved. And other aggravating factors.

The chick in question had blue-balled me at a previous party we threw. I'll spare you the details--but suffice it to say that, were I to tell you the details, there would be no doubt in your mind that a blue-ball did in fact occur, in the classic sense.

Don't have to be good to be a classic...

Take time, as well, to mourn the anniversary of the death of Mr. Ed in 1979...

A Godawful reality show was on in the other room last night, and I swear I overheard a reference to "dangerous creditors."

Of course, it was probably a reference to "dangerous predators." But the idea of creditors scared me more.


Visit SLOOP CENTRAL: http://home.earthlink.net/~sloop49


In July of 1999, one month before the All Limerick Slam at the 1999 National Poetry Slam festivities, I was bitten by a radioactive Leprechaun and the Daily Limerick was born. Suddenly, my path in life became clear. I was born to be a crusader for uncensored truth, justice and Limerick! Actually, I wanted to get an AUDIENCE for the Limerick Slam I'd be hosting, but I was so amazed at the lack of enthusiasm for the project that I thought I'd send a Daily Limerick indefinitely! Plus, I won the Limerick Slam accidentally and wanted to give something back to the Limerick Community! (Not too much, as there was no prize in it for me!) (Oh, and what the hell is the "Limerick Community" anyway?) I then committed to at least a year of the limericks--a milestone I've already passed a few times! At this point, I'm not entirely sure why I'm continuing this, but I have no definite plans to stop--so perhaps I'll do this for the rest of my life, if we have enough subscribers!

In late 2000, I added the "Slappin' and Yappin'" section of commentary to the endeavor. I've been a humor writer since... Well, almost since birth, I had award-winning humor column in high school and college, I write for and interned at MAD Magazine, I've occasionally sold a column or op-ed here or there, but I've had no legitimate home for the things--so "Slappin' and Yappin'" was born, somehow. Via highly non-immaculate conception. Soon, the "Letters to the Idiot" section followed and, in 2002, we decided to beef-up the Sunday edition, just like the Big Boys, by adding outside contributor Mike Chmielecki's poetry with "Mike's Accursed Verse."

We'll probably keep on mutating from here!

By the way, I guarantee QUANTITY in limericks--one a day. I do not guarantee QUALITY in limericks.


If you want to be on Sloop Biederman's, e-list for comedy, sketch and/or poetic performances (in Chicago, Los Angeles, miscellaneous street corners or elsewhere), let me know!


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