Daily Limerick
Archives: September 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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***

DAILY LIMERICK 9/1/2003:

At Christmas parties, chicks who played

and racked up a mistletoe lay

are now celebrating

with pain, rather grating

a dual-meaning for Labor Day.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/1/2003:

This one's sorta labor-related:

Due to the Chicago South Side workplace shooting this month, my newspaper ran one of those "men/women on the street" quote sections asking regular folks what should be done to prevent such things from happening in the future.

One guy, a marketing cat, recommended that fired employees be given "outplacement counseling."

If you are fired from a job, offered "outplacement counseling" and you actually GO to it... Well, you may wanna keep yourself constantly lubed, if you catch my ugly little drift...

My Alma Mater, Columbia College Chicago, has become the only undergrad poetry major in the nation.

Perhaps they should call the major, "Fast Food"...

I've been keeping an eye on toothpastes lately and found out that one of mine is a "CLEAN mint" flavor.

Which gives the brand a definite edge over all those dirty mint flavored toothpastes...

Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Michael T. Battle.

He spent a lot of time at the youth hostile.

(Ugh.)

(Make that Double Ugh.)

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/2/2003:

A drunk chick gave out shots of bourbon

to a Sikh, who found it disturbin'

Since her hungry rump

was really quite plump

shielded his SMALL head with a turban.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/2/2003:

Okay, so I'm a day late, but here's my annual ritual of primin' your mental soundtrack with:

"September morn... We danced until the night became a brand new day... Two lovers"...

The Chicago Park District will be showing scary Halloween movies at (the Bears') re-worked Soldier Field. Much of the reason (and this is straight from the PR folks' mouths) is so that people "who can't afford to see the Bears" can check out the re-design.

There was once a time when stadium PR folks wouldn't touch the affordability of their venue with a 100-yard pole. But now that even THEY are admitting it, well... Gather 'round, grandkids, and I'll tell you about a time when non-millionaires and non-celebrities could afford to take the family to a sporting event...

In the "back-to-school" package of my newspaper, I read that the Chicago Catholic schools system will not release the student test scores for its various schools, unlike its public counterpart.

Suppressing data, hmm? Kinda like... Well, YOU know...

I've been seeing an ad in the newspaper lately for a bank that's headline reads:

"Finally, Windy City Checking that Doesn't Blow."

I am disturbed. But not for the same reason do-gooder busybodies might be.

The use of the phrase brings a "hipness" to marketing that, well, just shouldn't exist...

Tomorrow's DL, and the following ones through Sunday, will be brought to you "Live! From Philadelphia!" (With TWO exclamation points, they've gotta be good, no?)

Well, of course, not "live," as I won't be instant messaging you simultaneously, but, well, you know what I mean.

There's the Liberty Bell to be seen. Other historic stuff, I'm sure. A long-ass train ride to take (wife's not fond of flying and... well, look forward to more angry smoker rants soon).

But what I'm most looking forward to?

Having an authentic Philly cheese steak sandwich.

As a tourist, the food is what I remember most. "Did you hit the Guggenheim in New York?"; "No--but I hit the Carnegie!"; "Carnegie HALL?"; "No, didn't have time--Carnegie deli!"

But, don't worry. I will make sure to make the most of the Philly trip.

Of course, I'll have a grinder or two, as well.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/3/2003:

It could drive most people insane

trav'ling cross-country in a train--

sleeping in those seats

is no meager feat--

more impressive than David Blaine's.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/3/2003:

Thanks to the Goddamned lawyers and the idea of personal responsibility vanishing with the old millennium, McDonald's has now unveiled "apple dippers."

I guess you can buy pre-sliced apple and some dipping sauces at McDonald's now. Because, of course, it's so difficult to actually slice an apple and open a jar of "dipping" sauce.

"You want a Big Mac? Quarter Pounder?"; "No, since I'm eating out, I want something tasty I can't get at home--slice me some apples and dipping sauces."

Next up: McPeanuts!

No, er, peanuts have become politically incorrect because one out of 100,000 kids are allergic.

Next up: McWater!

No. We've long been scammed into paying for water.

Next up: You figure it out...

I'm writing this aboard a cross-country, overnight Amtrak train. (Well, the "overnight" part is now over.)

I guess I can say that it's all I expected it to be: A lower-classed version of the airlines, with just as poor a concept of customer service and just as much ignorance of the fact that smokers constitute 1/5th to 1/4th of the general populace (and even higher for Amtrak, as most stats point to lower wage-earners as the bulk of the smoking population today).

It's had me thinking of a parody song/lyric/poem, "White Trash Paradise."

The conductor comes on the loudspeaker to make announcements, as the airplane captain does. Only he uses double negatives and words like "ain't."

The scenery is nice. I suppose. But I will not be taking a cross-country train again. I hope. Not without kicking and screaming. Well, not without even MORE kicking and screaming.

Speaking of kicking and screaming, I don't know how the hell anybody can sleep on these seats, which seem designed by whoever whips out the furniture at Starbucks.

I have learned something, though. White Trash has the uncanny ability to sleep in almost any situation. And snore in most any octave or tone of animal impression and/or endangered primitive mating call, much to the "entertainment" of those of us who need to have been awake for a week straight to sleep in this situation...

Feature writers: Stop calling jazz singers "smoky voiced."

Stop it. Just stop it...

Now! I mean it! Knock it off!...

Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Marie Jack.

Never heard of her? Well, then you don't know...

And now for a new feature, which I guess I'll call--

Laughing at Familiar Folks, Places and Etc. Whose Names are So Common That You Don't Think About Their Inherent Silliness:

(Admittedly, the title of this one needs to be a tad more catchy.)

Pittsburgh.

A "burgh" is a town. Consider the prefix.

Funny, no?

C'mon, laugh!...

I mean it! NO MORE "SMOKY VOICED"!

***

LETTERS TO THE IDIOT 9/3/2003:

> Grinders are so sub-par. :p

Although the implied definition of a "pun" is that it is "bad"... We need another word for whatever the hell THIS is.

But grinders are most certainly not Du-par.

(Whoops. That's an inside joke. And be glad if you don't get it for you may catch your death of groaning.)

A good pun should be magical. It should contain a dose of hoagieus-pocus.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/4/2003:

Pro football is here once again

the league, chasing yesterday's trends

has Britney perform

ensuring fan swarms

will focus upon one tight end.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/4/2003:

LIVE FROM PHILLY!...

I've read in the locals that Philadelphians (or do they have a catchier name for locals that I'm unaware of) are seeking to establish Sept. 12 as "Interdependence Day." I guess because, nowadays, we're all dependent on each other--we need our fellow citizens to blame for our own screw-ups!

Do we really need new holidays? I mean, we're already giving Arbor Day the short shrift, at least outside of Nebraska...

I'm still not done blabbing about that train trip. And the horror movie's sequel is coming out Sunday and Monday.

I'm stuck wondering, "Just who the hell takes long-distance trains these days?"

There are, of course, the poor. Then there are those afraid of flying--which is part of the reason my wife ended up planning the train option, although even she is now saying, "never again."

And of course, there are those who have no problem sleeping absolutely anywhere and who snore like Wildebeests issuing a mating call and just figure, "What the hell? I fit in!"

I'm just not so much amazed that Amtrak is flirting with bankruptcy. I'm just amazed it didn't happen 30 years ago...

In my hotel elevator, a posting informed me that this establishment is hosting a "Navel Reunion."

I hope it doesn't descend into the same old crap from the old days. You know, innies in one clique, outies in another, dwelling in old lint...

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/5/2003:

John Kerry (probably pre-planned)

bawled to stick out from the Dem Clan.

A campaigning error--

'Mid backdrop of terror--

elect Chief Exec Girly Man?

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/5/2003:

I know this is "LIVE FROM PHILLY!" but DL is a Central Time Zone thing, so this is still timely and quasi-professional and stuff...

Today, I had the ironic fortune of passing underneath Blueball Avenue.

Delaware, I think it was?

I hear it's a hard road to drive, but not very satisfying.

(By the way, I changed things up a bit for this one. This was, of course, an edition of "Laughing at Strangers (and Strange Landmarks) for No Real Good Reason.")

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/6/2003:

A hot piece of ass--but a tease--

never put out--even with "please!"

'Til one stud named Nagel

made like a big bagel

and spread her legs just like cream cheese.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/6/2003:

Note the reference to Philly Cream Cheeze!...

Speaking of tie-ins to the "Live From Philly!" special editions, the only reason I sent an extra cheezy Friday edition this week was in honor of Philadelphia--a whole cheezy weekend, in honor of the cheeze steak sandwich!

Now that I have the cheeze, I suppose I should add the meat.

Perhaps for the Perhaps Too Darn Beefy Sunday Edition...

Perhaps...

Okay, do you want the good news or the bad news first?

Good news? Why, of course:

UMG has decided to lower its CD prices, which means that somebody in the record industry is getting a fucking clue as to why they're all headed toward bankruptcy...

And the bad news:

ABC is actually planning an awards ceremony (we need more of those) for "reality" shows...

This all feeds a new theory of mine: Entertainment Industry stupidity cannot be created or destroyed (it just shifts itself around some).

******

SUNDAY DAILY LIMERICK 9/7/2003:

There once was a man in a kilt

who... well, lower bod 'twas well built.

He walked through a sprinkler

which tickled his dink-ler

and prompted a spunky ol' jilt.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/7/2003:

The final day of the "Live in Philly!" special editions!...

I just read that the Fed is going ahead and bailing out Amtrak.

Evidently, nobody involved is on the DL subscriber list...

This week, some of the "peacekeeping" duties in Iraq were turned over to the Polish military.

There's gotta be a million jokes here.

Send me your best.

(By the way, being of 1/4 Polish descent, I'm allowed to spearhead this activity, under the Code of Political Correctness)...

(Or do white people lose out altogether--with the exception of those repressed Italians, who are sorta allowed to moan and groan about such important social issues as "The Sopranos"?)...

Have you heard about these "flash mobs"?

I read about one in the Philly press that occurred or was to occur here recently. The concept is still relatively new to my awareness.

Hordes of people organize via the Web and such, name a time and place and designate some silly, "prankish" activity--and then they disperse.

And example would be: Have a crowd gather at Washington Square in Philadelphia, have everybody do three jumping jacks and then disperse.

Hmmm.

Let me get this straight. We have a generation (s) prone to inaction. At the same time, we have a very screwed up world/system and could really use some intelligent activism. So we get a rare bunch of people willing to go through all the trouble of organizing large groups of people to gather in various locations across the country... Only to conduct some meaningless--and, might I add, not usually even humorous--prank for the purpose of drawing attention to... Well, themselves and no real cause at all.

Does "art" imitate "reality" TV, or does "reality" TV imitate "art"?...

Passed a store the other day called, "Bauman Rape Books."

Actually, it was "Bauman RARE Books," but the font was Old-Englishy and that's what I thought at first.

Perhaps you needed to be there. (Always a phrase accompanying "fine" humor)...

What is a "bumpkin"?

Did I make it up?

I just often use the phrase, "whack the bumpkin" for, well, you know, and wondered, well, this is stupid...

I wrote this in my idea notebook the other night: espresso and apple juice.

See, I got espresso and wanted a thirst chaser but, being opposed to purchasing water in a bottle when I can get it for free from the faucet, opted to buy apple juice.

Which struck me as bizarre and, yes, possibly a funny topic for S&Y or something.

Perhaps not...

Is this the stupidest "Perhaps Too Darn Beefy" Sunday edition yet?...

Or am I the Dali of humor?...

Huh?...

Single guys, beware of The Great Stripper Scam.

Countless women you date will tell you, "I'll do a strip tease for you--some time."

And then they never will. ("I'd feel silly." Blah blah blah.)

Which, of course, is why men pay good money for that.

Well, that's one of the reasons...

Oddly, a young (emphasis on "young") waitress the other day called me "sweetheart" and, later, "hun."

All of our diversity programs must be working.

"Sweetheart" and "hun." Terms not just for the beehive-hairdo'd anymore...

In this Philly coffeehouse outside of which I'm penning this edition (before hitting the Hell Express Train back to Chicago), I was just hit on.

By a guy.

I didn't mean to lead him on or anything but... He was nice and all and I have no regular "exit strategy," being a hetero guy.

I guess, if you ever have reason, being a professional spy or whatever, for stalling somebody for long periods of time, and the somebody to be stalled is a straight guy (who's also not some gay-hatin' hot head or something), throw a gay guy his way to hit on him.

I think a gay guy would work better than a chick. Well, perhaps a chick would work better if you know the guy would find her attractive.

Oh, I don't know. But, having a hard time ending the conversation and perhaps being too much of a "nice guy," I was starting to wonder if I wouldn't end up face-down, getting my prostate checked, so to speak, before saying, "I really should get back to my hotel room"...

Sunday Story Time: The Three Pizzas I Have Met that I Didn't Like.

I saw an ad here in Philly for "Philly's Best Peelboard Pizza."

This excited me. Peelboard pizza? What is it?

I asked around. Checked the Web.

Turns out, it isn't really a Philly thing. It's an authentic Italian thing and, well, that's really of no concern.

What is of concern is that I love pizza and have even found value in some of the most pathetic forms of pizza, including California Pizza Kitchen style. (Far from a favorite but, well, not such a bad meal when backed into a pizza corner.)

The first pizza I met that I didn't like was in alcohol rehab. Which is another long story.

This was about 12 years ago and the unit had a kitchen. One day, a fellow inmate found a bunch of pizzas in the freezer.

It should have teed us off--a bunch of untouched pizzas.

There was good reason all those pizzas were awaiting us.

A few years later, White Hen (kinda like a Seven Eleven in some regions) had a deal on 2 pizzas for $5.

Same deal.

And then... Well, I lived in L.A.

And after that pizza, only bought frozen ones in California until moving back to Chicago.

***

MIKE'S ACCURSED VERSE 9/7/2003:

A SPECIAL SUNDAY EXTRA SECTION

(IN BLAZING COLOR... IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT JUST RIGHT)

BY MIKE "BOOM" CHMIELECKI

TODAY'S POEM: A memory without distraction

She left bootprints in the snow.

Overnight they put on ice.

Smooth and shallow imprints.

I watched them taste the sun.

I still can see her stride,

left graphed out in the white,

the smooth path of her travel.

The surety of her way.

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

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/8/2003:

A girl-watching, tech nerd, Joe Faulkman

glanced hot chick jog by with a walkman.

Then engaged in trailin's

with tools of surveillance

and turned that device to a stalkman.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/8/2003:

LIVE from CHICAGO!...

(Which is the usual procedure, but bold caps and an exclamation point sure render things exciting, don't they?)...

The ALL-AMTRAK Edition!

(Since the feds have decided to bail out the incompetent management of Amtrak, which is, if possible, even more pathetic than the airlines', somebody needs to point out just how in need of bankruptcy Amtrak really is!)...

(When we last left our hero on the Amtrak topic, he was looking around at fellow sufferers on the train ride and wondering, "What the hell is up with these folks?" "These folks," admittedly, include my wife--although she has also declared that she'll never take an overnight train again and declared the whole thing a mistake on the order of the "New Coke" campaign)...

A lot of Amtrak riders must be afraid of flying, correct?

You can't tell from looking at people how "well-to-do" they are, I know, but I got the impression that, while many riders were, indeed, po', many were not. Hell, most were not.

This is not about simply saving a buck. It's saving a buck at the cost of a decent night's sleep, which comes in a combo package including a sore ass, neck and back (with the exception of midgets, of whom I witnessed none). At the cost of a 17 FUCKIN' HOUR ride instead of a mere two and 1/2 hour ride. Oh, it goes on and on. And it's not as big of a cost savings as you'd think.

So, I can only conclude... Well, see the first sentence of this nugget if you're that forgetful.

Although a fear of flying is generally perceived as a mostly harmless little fear, being about as common of fear of heights, I maintain that it's a psychosis.

Yup.

You see, most of us don't have to go up on the roof or fight off criminals atop skyscrapers regularly. Yet flying is a part of modern life. If you're afraid of that, you might as well be afraid of computers. Or microwave dinners.

Unless you're Amish. But I'll also maintain that the SERIOUSLY religious--not just those going through the motions to "instill values in the kids" or to shut up the parents--and I'm talking about those following ancient, dogmatic organized religions, not necessarily the bong-happy Tao hippie master--suffer from psychosis as well.

But that's another topic altogether.

Why ARE their cross-country trains in 2003 anyway? Have some not heard of the invention of that newfangled airplane thingie?...

I traveled out to Philly on the train with Wifey. Traveled back alone earlier than she, as she was on a business trip and I had things to attend to.

To my dismay, I was not given a pair of seats to myself. I had a seatmate.

I was working on some stories on the way back home and my seatmate was no jabberjaw (thankfully), so we exchanged little more than a few minutes of conversation. Seemed like a nice enough guy. Did not seem gay at all, and thus I can only conclude that he's a full-on girly-man.

He was drinking a Diet Snapple.

A diet fruit beverage.

"Diet" beverages should really be re-named with monikers like "Chick Coke." Or, to be P.C., perhaps "Chick and Gay Guy Coke." "Chick and Gay Guy and the Occasional Fat Hetero Guy Coke" is even more precise.

A het guy drinking a "diet" beverage is immediately a suspect for girly-man behavior.

None of us are perfectly manly. So it could be overlooked except... It was a Diet Freakin' Snapple! Found in the grocery aisle next to the low-fat rice cakes, I imagine...

I must give Girly Boy points, however, for bringing his own meal--as I did for the return trip after having such fare as a tiny $3.50 greasy, microwaved pizza.

Here's perhaps my favorite moment of the trip:

After witnessing him placing pepperoni and cheese pieces onto crackers for his dinner, I whipped out a full-on Italian hoagie! I was the envy of the entire train car!

Then again, I'm not sure if girly men enjoy hoagies...

And I'll say farewell to the Amtrak topic with a small lesson in civil disobedience aboard the trains of these money-wasting, corporately-retarded bastards.

As mentioned before, they give a big middle finger to 20-25 percent of the population by not opening a bar car, or even an open-air section, for smokers trapped on board for 17 FREAKIN' HOURS! They stop for a half-hour in Pittsburgh and allow you to go out on the platform and smoke--and that's about it.

It's quite easy to get away with havin' a puff, however.

There are hand-dryers in the bathrooms, which disperse scents quite nicely. A little drop of hand soap on the inside of the dryer vent goes a long way, too.

And if you bend over and blow downward (and if you do, send me a picture of yourself), a flush of the toilet yanks all of the air downward.

And, for those who've never attended college, some wet hand towels placed by the crack at the bottom of the door can be used for extra security, although I didn't need to go that far.

Jihad on Amtrak! The mental infidels!

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/9/2003:

A hot-headed, chick-beatin' Viking

was not to most Norse chickies' liking

but one serving wench--

childhood monkey-wrenched--

of course still found him rather striking.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/9/2003:

A Chicago-area priest, John Powell, is now being accused of sexually assaulting multiple women.

All of the alleged victims were adult women--or minors old enough that they look more like women than kids.

Progress. Baby steps, but progress...

The Israeli army is employing a philosopher to help decide the moral questions of killing off Hamas leaders.

Hmm. So, perhaps there is still hope for those opting for Columbia College Chicago's first-in-the-nation undergraduate poetry degree...

A local, live comedy show is hosting a "September 11 Tribute" show this Thursday.

Yes, "tribute." Expect "How many infidels does it take to change a candle?" type jokes...

Bravo is running a "Reality of Reality" (TV) series. One episode this week was called, "How Real is Real?"

Although the show will take an half-hour or more to answer the installment's question, I can answer it in seconds:

Did you wake up this morning to find a gaggle of near-brainless, willing-to-do-most-anything-to-land-you, gorgeous women in YOUR Jacuzzi?...

I glanced at my TV grid today and found out that "Good Morning Miami" is still on the air.

We can put a man on the moon but still can't kill some of the most Godawful shows in history efficiently...

I read this weekend that an arsonist is targeting the historic Iowa bridges made especially famous by "The Bridges of Madison County."

Some guy has evidently been dragged to one too many chick flicks...

The Environmental Protection Agency screwed up.

Amid much evidence that the air quality around Ground Zero has been harmful since the attacks, it failed to warn New Yorkers and tourists.

However, our government has been more than adequate in cracking down on unproven sources of bad air quality--namely, secondhand smoke.

As the Governmental Moron Alert Level remains at "red"...

A Johns Hopkins study on the effects of ecstasy has had to issue a public "whoops" because the studiers were actually studying speed all along.

The scientists, however, have a great future ahead crafting government PSAs.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/10/2003:

Confirmed by all studies and stats:

Americans are freakin' fat!

Our kids, too, grew plump--

and now grow the rumps

on even our damn dogs and cats!

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/10/2003:

A new study, probably costing millions of dollars, finds that exercise helps prevent breast cancer.

Uh, guys. From now on, let's just assume that exercise pretty much helps prevent everything bad...

Hate 'em or kinda like 'em, you won't be hearing much of Coldplay for much longer.

The lead singer's starlet girlfriend, Gwyneth Paltrow, will be singing backup on the band's next album.

Has the guy heard of Yoko?...

When I was hauling an insane load from the train station to the bus stop Monday, I noted a store called, "My Favorite Muffin."

If I weren't so weighted down, I might've stopped in to see if they REALLY had a hot, fresh Beyonce for me, but I doubt it anyway...

We need a universal, T-shirt ready symbol for hate. Or at least intense dislike.

You know, kinda like the one for "love" in "I [heart] New York."

I shouldn't say any more about this topic. It could be perceived as insensitive at this particular point in time.

But we need the symbol, anyway...

Hooray!

A federal judge has ruled that relatives of the 9-11 victims can sue the airlines!

"Boo-hoo," some may cry. "The airlines will go bankrupt!"

Let's see... As early as 1994, intelligence reports indicated that Muslim extremists were plotting to fly planes into buildings like the Eiffel Tower. ("Unforseen circumstances," my ass.) Also in the '90s, studies warned the airlines that they'd better get tougher on security but, alas, what's a few thousand lives when profits are at issue?

What was I thinking? The only logical thing to do is reward the mismanaged airlines with another fed bail-out!...

(By the way, I do have a personal bias regarding this issue--but it runs in the opposite direction. My father's medical insurance is through United Air Lines. So on one hand, I of course, don't want to see UAL bankrupt. But for the good of the people, well, I'd have a hard time crying foul)...

Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Martha J. Livergood.

Not a big drinker.

And:

Elizabeth Doody Gordon.

What a shitty name!

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/11/2003:

I see the label "bootylicious"

on chicks' swimsuits, but it's suspicious.

I've also seen "hottie"

but only on bodies

that'd cover up--'least per our wishes!

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/11/2003:

An ABC News report was set to air tonight in which an investigative team was able to smuggle uranium (albeit spent uranium) across one of the U.S. borders.

This is why they call the media the "Fourth Estate" of government--reports like this can serve to point out dangerous problems in our system of government and, ideally, lead a push toward correcting these flaws so we all can enjoy a safer society.

So what do the Feds do to reward ABC News?

They're considering filing charges against them for smuggling uranium (albeit spent uranium) across the border.

The Department of Homeland Security sure ensured that we'd get tough--on anybody making our government look bad...

I was reading today about a "suicide bombing," of sorts, in Columbia.

Only the Columbian rebels strapped a bomb to a horse.

Perhaps they should send a press release to the knuckleheaded Islamic militants the world over. Oh, that's right! Knowledge doesn't please "Allah"...

I read today about a new "trend" in which many "hip" men are buying women's clothes.

Now I'll admit that I have a pet peeve against the modern girlification of heterosexual men. And, given, these are mostly the androgynous clothes--we're not talking stiletto heels here. But, you gotta admit... Well, at least when women buy men's clothes, they have the excuse that it's CHEAPER.

What number Horseman of the Coming Cultural Apocalypse was I up to again?...

As part of a semi-regular contract job helping with a small newspaper's production, part of my duty is typing in classified ads. (I think I have been somehow cursed to do this indefinitely, since having a job doing mostly that at the LA Daily News in 2000.)

I typed in one ad from an artist who makes slides of "2D, 3D and 4D work."

I've gotta check out some of this Fourth Dimension art...

Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Nora Herting.

I feel her pain.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/12/2003:

The airlines think they shouldn't pay

for "unforeseen" 9-1-1 day.

But what of old studies

that dubbed screening cruddy?

(Guess dollar signs got in sight's way.)

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/12/2003:

Progress in the War on, er, Terror?

Tommy Chong was sentenced to 9 months in jail today for marketing and selling marijuana smoking paraphernalia.

In answer to critics who argue that this sentence is a tad harsh, the U.S. Attorney said that Chong, "grew wealthy glamorizing drug use and trivializing law enforcement."

So, although he was convicted of doing real things, part of the sentence's justification is involvement in, well, expressing himself in a way that could have encouraged crime.

Hmm. Retro. This goes back to "1984"...

By the way... "Glamorizing" marijuana use? Cheech and Chong? Glamour?

Well, the fictional pair did manage to bang some hot chicks. I guess that's glamour enough for me...

Is it really supposed to be spelled "glamour"? Seems British and/or snooty to me, but that's what my spell-checker says...

I read today about Imam W. Deen Mohammed, who recently resigned as leader of the American Society of Muslims. It seems that, at least partially, he was driven out of the job due to internal ASM tensions.

The only source of tension mentioned, however, was over his push to open the group up to the Sunni Muslims of the world.

You know, as a recovering guilty white liberal, I want so bad to say, "There's nothing about the Muslim religion that makes it any different from other religions--all those hateful types are more influenced by their political and economic conditions."

In other words, I'd like to say that all organized religions are equally primitive, illogical and even dangerous but, well, some sure seem more primitive, illogical and dangerous than others...

John Ritter died today. Sad. Sniff sniff, blah blah.

But there is always a silver lining, as the cliché goes.

This should put an end to that Godawful "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter"...

"Fusion" cooking is all the rage now.

Couldn't you argue that interracial sex is "fusion"?...

Laughing at Strangers (and Strange Places) for No Real Good Reason:

Aurora, Illinois, a Chicago suburb made mildly famous by the "Wayne's World" flicks, has an art center on Downer Place.

A bunch of goofballs hang out in that neighborhood...

And:

Gabor A. Bushy.

I'd wax witty on that name a bit but, well, SHE'S the one who needs to do some waxing!

And now for Laughing at Familiar Folks, Places and Etc. Whose Names We've Become So Accustomed to that We Don't Think About Their Inherent Silliness (the feature still seeking a much better title):

Dick Butkus.

Does his middle name start with an "N," by any chance?

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/13/2003:

'Round 9-1-1, 'twas often said

into a New Age we've been led.

Folks less apathetic?

Perhaps MORE pathetic--

and irony sure isn't dead.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/13/2003:

You know how sometimes you get a song in your head but don't know the lyrics? And nonetheless it plays on your mental soundtrack so you end up crafting your own lyrics.

Destiny's Child spoke to me through this process:

"Say my name, say my name--

when no-one is around me, come along and pound me..."

Manson-esque, I suppose.

But the dinner invite, of course, still stands.

******

SUNDAY DAILY LIMERICK 9/14/2003:

A man liked his girlfriend bipolar

while hating having to console her

when she was depressed--

but felt he was blessed

for when manic, he would corn-hole her.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/14/2003:

Since DL made mention of the death of John Ritter, I got to thinkin' that it was ridiculous that I would take time out to "honor" Ritter (although, well, the quote marks around the word certainly belong there--don't you wish you'd read it, Sunday-only readers?) without honoring Johnny Cash, who died the same day.

I suppose there should be a joke here. But there's a fine line when you talk about people's deaths, and I Walk the Line...

The term "homophobia" has never sat quite right with me, although its acceptance is nevertheless quite an accomplishment for gay activists (hateful morons are usually more insulted in being called "afraid" than in being simply called assholes). For instance, those with agoraphobia don't go around kicking the ass of every member of society--they avoid them.

But, ironically, the gay-ification of our society is providing a semi-sound (in an illogical kinda way) basis for the "-phobia" suffix. (And now for the disclaimer that shouldn't be needed anymore--I am all for "diversity" and all that jazz but think it's actually harmful under the dictionary definition of diversity for the straight to act more gayish--I'm afraid society is descending into an overly PC Ring of Fire.)

I've mentioned "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" here before but I'm honing my philosophy, regular readers.

But things like QEFTSG do instill some fear in me. I already suspect the hell that is known as Home Decorating is all the worse because of recent trends, but will I be forced into getting a paraffin wax pedicure in another ten years because my wife's seen the show (and similar shows) too often?...

Words to live by: An empty refrigerator is a blank canvas...

And now I'm proud to present, with no books, no videos and now pills and/or supplements:

The Eat Everything Under the Sun Diet.

Granted, I have a decent metabolism. But I've mostly lived a life devoid of weight problems. (There are a couple short periods of slight chubbiness--such as in high school soon after discovering pot--but I've mostly been okay.)

I eat a whole lot--at least for dinner. So much so that almost everybody new to my dining habits makes a comment. But I'm wondering now if it's not only quantity, but variety. I eat pretty much ANYTHING. When my friend told me that the most popular taco in Mexico was the tongue taco, I ran out and ate some. Had escargot and also squid salad last night. Almost ordered the rabbit paella. I will try virtually anything edible--and, to boot, I usually like it.

One of our dinner companions last night was a woman who is really thin--and also eats just about anything!

Is there a connection? It doesn't matter! I'm sitting on a gold mine if I can somehow sell this diet!...

Sunday Story Time: The Pre-Stained Shirts.

I should not wear white.

It's that simple.

There's no way for me to make it through a day without spilling something or other on myself. Usually, it's right off the bat in the morning, with coffee--and that's actually a blessing, because if I make it past that time, I feel I'm "on a roll" and try to be extra careful for lunch, dinner, cigar-ash-filled smoke breaks, afternoon coffee and/or tea, etc. In other words, it's almost a relief once the stain's there, because I don't worry about further stains at that point. I should really only wear dark--be some sort of Man in Black--and it's not like I'm Tom Wolf, in white suits all the time, but most T-shirts are white.

One of the few benefits of a largely freelance career is the semi-flexible schedule and I have thus been the laundry guy for our household. Now that we've moved into our condo, and have our own crappy washer and dryer, my wife has been doing some of the laundry and I've learned that I haven't exactly been bleaching properly--avoiding the pre-soak portion of the process. So this development will be fixing the little problem I've had with T-shirts of "The Stains That Wouldn't Wash Away."

Which I'm going to miss. It left a lot of my wardrobe regularly "pre-stained"...

***

MIKE'S ACCURSED VERSE 9/14/2003:

A SPECIAL SUNDAY EXTRA SECTION

(IN BLAZING COLOR... IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT JUST RIGHT)

BY MIKE "BOOM" CHMIELECKI

TODAY'S POEM: Winter thoughts while watching her dance

Smoking deep and lazily,

I notice that she dances, floats

the same as the first snow of winter.

One bright crystal spinning down

through the dark, a moth in lights,

down to touch the waiting street.

Oh, the fog rises from fields,

the trees are cut-outs, gray signposts

lifting toward the remnant sun.

Their covered limbs in arrayed ice,

dripping frozen in remains.

Those trees lay straight into the rays

as she passes, dancing down.

Wanton melt is what she wants,

and as she touches down, receives.

She takes the ciggy from my hand,

draws a deep and playful taste,

and through her eyes, I know she knows.

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

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/15/2003:

Next up for our culture's disaster:

legal scalping by Ticketmaster.

Soon the average guy

to concerts says "bye"

wid'ning the rich-poor gap much faster.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/15/2003:

It seems that Chicago fans have already bought up all the (when hell freezes over) Cubs playoff tickets.

To anybody out there trying to sell Florida swampland and/or the Brooklyn Bridge: You now know where to go...

I read today of a new trend whereby doctors are treating patients over the phone.

Not surprisingly, HMOs are happy with this trend.

As a phone patient, what--do you wait on hold for an hour and a half first?...

Last week, I hailed Universal Music Group's decision to drastically lower CD prices.

Then I read more about it.

It seems that any record stores seeking to take advantage of the discounted price must set aside 25 percent of their stores for UMG product... And the list of qualifiers goes on and on.

But what did we expect them to do? Knock down the 10 executives to every performer ratio?...

Does anybody else find it metaphorically fitting that the Pope, leader of the world's Catholics, can barely stand at this point?...

There was a cartoon in yesterday's USA Weekend by Casey Shaw that featured a limerick.

A "News Limerick." Well, an "Entertainment News Limerick."

I'm not sure whether to take credit for a very small trend or to be appalled that somebody's possibly stole my idea.

As it's perhaps the crappiest national feature ever to hit nationwide newspapers (aside from advice columns), perhaps I'll remain appalled...

Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Sportscaster Beano Cook.

Dinner with him is a real gas.

And:

Psychologist/alcohol researcher Wendy Slutske.

Ahh. So they're calling it "alcohol research" now.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/16/2003:

For concert tickets, 'cross the nation

a monopoly has been ragin'.

It's called Ticket Master

but, faster and faster

it's become Ticket Master-bation.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/16/2003:

I was thinking this would be one of those rare S&Y's where my input is basically, "writer's block." (As hard as it may be for newer readers to believe from my oft David Foster Wallace-eque wordiness, it has happened more than once before.)

But then I read about London's reception to David Blaine.

Oh, I do my fair share of ripping the Europeans. (Then again, I rip Americans quite regularly, too.) But I have to hand it to the Londoners on this one--and can't see Americans reacting this way.

Blaine, as you may or may not recall (kudos to you, if you managed to get it out of your brain), has been hanging in a box over London since Sept. 5. He's not eating and... I think he's making other sacrifices, too.

This is allegedly "art."

But Londoners have jeered him, banged drums when he's tried to sleep and even pelted him with eggs. A tabloid newspaper actually grilled hamburgers under his box.

At this point, unfortunately, they've stopped bothering him. But they're not "oohing" and "ahhing." Which is as it should be. We need to stop encouraging this knucklehead.

If he comes to Chicago for his, er, "art," you can bet I'll figure out something better than eggs to pelt him with.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/17/2003:

Soon, once you've found a path to fame--

music, TV, film, sporting games--

you'll thrive, any genre--

whichever you wanna--

books, porn, politics--all the same.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/17/2003:

A California federal court has reversed itself, sort of.

Originally, it wanted to stop the recall election because, well, those too stupid to work the traditional punch-card ballot properly are expected to fare better with newer, more stupid-friendly voting machines that are not fully up and operating throughout the state.

So, this means they've recalled the recall of the recall.

The Golden State is just exercising its now legal prerogative to change its mind.

And change it back. Then change it again. Then change it back...

The saga of John Ritter, who died this week unexpectedly at the age of 54, grows more tragic.

TV executives have decided to continue with "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" (itself a tragedy for Ritter's career) despite the fact that, well, John Ritter was the only reason to watch. And, might I add, not a good enough reason to watch, given the preternatural nature of its suckitude but, anyway, that's beside the point.

So, the show continues.

Alas. He died in vain.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/18/2003:

A fetish specializing pimp

found fast food love putting a crimp

when his perfect record

was lost 'cause some pecker

insisted on 21 shrimp.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/18/2003:

Today's limerick puts forth one of life's eternal questions: How did the popcorn shrimp basket become universally referred to as the "21 shrimp and fries" basket? I've actually counted--and they're not even exactly 21 shrimp!...

Another question: Why do the Chicago Bears have no cheerleaders? I'm a borderline sports fan and, well, let's just say that it would make a difference...

I've mentioned here before that the Chicago Sun-Times' "help wanted" section should be re-titled, "The Driver Pages" because "driver" ads constitute the vast majority of ads.

This is a retraction.

They should be called, "The Driver and Healthcare Pages"...

It's time for a DL/S&Y Consumer Report:

If you have an option in cable-TV service, choose whatever's not Comcast.

A lot of the cable companies, most of which have little local monopolies in their regions, are behaving just like the Baby Bell local phone monopolies did (and still do, somewhat, as they lobby and scheme to return to monopolyhood). Got a complaint? So what. Try livin' without cable, pal--and we're your only option.

We had Comcast at our last apartment. Comcast is one of our choices in the condo, so we kept paying the monthly bill regularly and assumed we'd just pick up service after moving in. Well, we more than assumed--Comcast told us as much.

We moved in Aug. 25. We do not have cable yet. Just thank God the new season of South Park hasn't started.

A Comcast guy came by soon after we moved in (late). Said there was some problem; we'd need a new appointment.

Two new appointments have been blown off. There have been numerous phone calls. A lack of basic customer service attitude (like the phone companies. One worker even said that Comcast was not available here, although further calls proved that idea wrong.

Comcast has not returned one call, although we've been told to expect a call-back numerous times.

And this is all happening since the Chicago City Council passed legislation forcing cable companies to give shorter "time windows" for installation. In the past, they say, "We'll be there between 10 and 4"; now, they say, "We'll be there between 2 and 4."

And they show up late. Or don't show at all.

Consider yourself forewarned.

We're supposedly having RCN cable installed tomorrow...

While The Wife and I were dining with another couple over the weekend, the topic of fat wives (and girlfriends) came up.

It started when my wife said, "I'd hope you'd tell me if I were getting fat, or at least tell me not to wear certain outfits."

Me and the other guy agreed: no fuckin' way.

If your wife is in fact so damn huge that she'll die of a heart attack any minute... You're still better off keeping quiet. Too much trouble awaits. It's rough enough swinging regular consummation of marriage; mentioning her weight is going to increase your wait.

Someday, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s visions may come true. We will be one race and we won't even have to consider whether or not women and men are equal in, say, the workplace--we'll have achieved full civilization and it will no longer be an issue.

But, still, nobody's gonna tell his woman she's fat, if they have any clue whatsoever. Even King was practical...

I read that Details magazine is re-hashing the whole "bi is happenin'" argument again.

Only this time, allegedly, male-on-male is part of the equation.

I don't know what to say about this. I largely doubt the credibility of this assertion but... Why do I care?

It just puzzles me. To me, being bi is kinda like enjoying the opera AND monster truck rallies. It doesn't compute. Oh, for women it makes sense. But that's another topic altogether and women are less straightforward, sexually. (From the stories I've heard and read, most guys know they're gay from a very early age and most women find out they're lesbians later in life.)

When I worked at a gay-themed magazine briefly a few years ago, every guy there doubted the whole bi thing. They viewed "bi-curious" to mean "still in the closet." They also said that most guys they knew who identified as bi were in fact gay. (For societal reasons. As my mom once said of Elton John, "He is NOT gay. He's just bisexual.")

Well, I'm just puzzled over the whole thing. Enough and good-bi.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/19/2003:

With religion ruling their hands

a crack down on freedom's their plan.

Ashcroft's path is Christian;

Bloomberg's: P.C. mission--

our American Taliban!

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/19/2003:

It's a Three-Day Weekend at DL! (Which means that I'm extending the Cheezy Edition to include Friday as well--but far for it as you would any other "marketing" scheme!)...

When we say something "blows," shouldn't that mean that it's good? Very, very good?

***

LETTERS TO THE IDIOT 9/19/2003:

> They're really no Bear's cheerleeders?! I've been to alot of NFL game's for

> a bunch of different teams and I never seen a team without cheerleeders. I

> guess that's a good thing I've always hated the idea of cheerleeders but I

> always find myself staring at them for some reason, which isn't too

> different than watching huge men in gladiator unifoms jump on top each

> other.

Perhaps this is the first instance of a reader being clued into something borderline "newsy" through a source known as Daily Limerick. (The leader, of course, in cheerleader news.)

Women in short skits and belly shirt with pom-pons, men in armor and elaborate sandals--potato, potahto.

How'd someone from Details magazine get on the subscriber list?

And we must be blessed. A second letter says:

> Those insights on what not to say to your wife were phat.

Glad you think so. We make great efforts here at DL to remain hip to the jive, so anytime we're doing a good job of being the cats pajamas, or even the bee's knees, it's totally cosmic. Tubular, as well.

If the letter writer were physically before me, I'd ask him to slide me some skin.

Catch you on the upslide. Clyde.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/20/2003:

Here's the real low-down on Gepetto:

Annoyed with Pinoch'yo's falsetto

he made one more toy--

this one was no boy

(but looked much better in stiletto).

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/20/2003:

Here's a frightening thought for today's Cheezy Saturday Edition:

I became aware of the fact this week that some people not only watch "reality" TV shows... but tape them to re-watch for the "subtle nuances."

(My apologies to those who may have had a rough week and were looking for signs of hope this morning/afternoon.)

******

SUNDAY DAILY LIMERICK 9/21/2003:

If, since the whole 9-1-1 mess

with law enforcement, you're impressed

here's reason for fright:

one front in the fight

is manned by the USPS!

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/21/2003:

The National Hockey League reported that its teams lost a total of $30 million last season.

Hmm.

Let's see. The regular season is still a joke, eliminating something like a mere four teams from the Greedy A$$ Playoff Fe$tival. Locally, the Chicago Blackhawks black-out home game coverage under the mi$taken a$$umption that this will increa$e attendance at home games and also increa$se overall intere$t in the team.

Don't count on my dollars helpin' you out anytime soon.

So... Well, boo fuckin' hoo...

I mused earlier this week about the fact that the cable guy who came out to unsuccessfully hook us up was not exactly fluent in English. (The ordeal was related this week, to the indubitable chagrin of Sunday-only readers.) I thought the situation was familiar, from past cable hook-ups, but wasn't sure. My theory was that the cable companies purposefully put those with questionable English skills out in the field, so they'll waste less time on that pesky (and SO last century) customer service and, to boot, score the evil company Diversity Points.

The story of our cable service is long and allegedly amusing. We ended up going with a different cable company. (This week's Special DL/S&Y Consumer Report on Comcast is another feature you Sunday-only bastards missed.)

When the new cable company's man-in-the-field arrived, guess what?

His name was Boris. My theory is showing promise.

This tactic could backfire. See, Boris tried to shill RCN's high-speed Internet after installation was complete.

Then again, the fewer customer questions answered pre-purchase, the better, I'm sure...

By the way, did I ever previously mention my theory that customer service is dead in this age of monopolies?

Well, there you have it...

And it's time for YET ANOTHER DL/S&Y Special Consumer Report:

Dump any services you have through Citibank/Citi Cards.

Last night, my wife's purse was stolen and/or lost.

Of course, this leads to a lengthy circus of card cancellations.

The "customer service" rep (I need a catchy pun on CS to relate it's true nature, by the way) actually tried selling us THEFT INSURANCE on the card. TWICE!

Next up: Funeral homes (eventually bought up by Time-Warner, Viacom, et al) telling you, "Well, it's too bad about your grandma--but grandpa's not looking so hot himself, and boy do we have a deal for Frequent Funeral Club members"...

Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Nancy A. Dancy.

He hee.

She wrote a letter to the editor about seniors paying taxes to go toward schools.

In her opinion, it's time to stop the process. In other words, the jig is up...

Sunday Story Time: My Bangles Epiphany.

A daily TV grid this week informed me that the Bangles are performing again, as they appeared on one of those rare talk shows.

Which takes me back (doodle-doo, doodle-doo, doodle-doo)... I was my first, failed attempt at college. 1986 or 1987.

We had done a good number of tequila shots and many three- (or more) foot bongs. (At some point we had two "piggy-back" bongs to add to the smoke count on our baby, so I'm not sure what length we were packing at the time.) (We being, by the way, my dorm-mate Ravi, our dorm pals J.D. and Mark, and possibly other dorm floor residents.)

We were vegging out, watching TV. I believe, and am ashamed to admit this, it was primarily MTV, although this was a period when the "M" in MTV still meant something.

A Bangles video came on. I was nutty for the Bangles--primarily Susanna Hoffs (SIC?), but that was the band that led me to my theory which states that the "rrrow" factor of a group of chicks is greater than the sum "rrrow" factor of it's parts/individual chicks.

The room was spinning, my lust was purring, my buzz kicked into that brief, early, high-gear period... I had the closest thing to an "out of body high" that many others have described to me. I actually found it to be a religious experience, as a heavenly reference was involved, something on the order of "I'm comin' Elizabeth!"

What a story.

What a crappy ending to a story.

***

MIKE'S ACCURSED VERSE 9/21/2003:

A SPECIAL SUNDAY EXTRA SECTION

(IN BLAZING COLOR... IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT JUST RIGHT)

BY MIKE "BOOM" CHMIELECKI

TODAY'S POEM: The trail of smoke

Just one more touch,

in place.

Your image -- ice-

spun lace.

Cinder eyes

in warming glow,

inhaled,

exhaled

in one blow.

The trail of smoke

a distant scent.

It travails, breaks,

upon one spent.

I tremble, touch,

to taste the feel

of one last kiss

before we heal.

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

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/22/2003:

As the Retro Machine hits the '80s

when I see the nostalgic-dressed ladies

(I) recall sex'al antics

both lust-filled and romantic

(although most were but mere masturbatings).

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/22/2003:

Some high school girls have cause quite a hubbub with their desire to start a "Caucasion Club."

Although I am a vehement PC basher, I have to say that white people have no reason whatsoever to organize like minority groups do.

And, surprise surprise, these girls happen to reside in California, so even if this club does see reality, there's probably some way to "recall" it...

At a poetry slam last night, I witnessed some slimy, muscle-bound, wife-beater-wearin' poet who goes by the moniker, "The Chi-town Ambassador."

Mere use of the term "Chi-town" should earn you some sort of fine. Or widespread shunning.

Usually it's a term reserved for non-Chicagoans to, unwittingly or not, make buffoons out of themselves to the natives.

Somebody actually from Chicago has no excuse whatsoever...

There's this new Web site that... Well, I'll just give you the title. It's but one word that somehow manages to relate, as well as an encyclopedia set, much of what's wrong with our world today:

money4lawsuits.com...

Overheard some cable TV show the other day about celebrities with restaurants or food products. And I just have to say, Moby, Eddie Vedder, et al, that bein' all veggie is not "rockin'." Perhaps it's the direct opposite of "rockin'"...

I saw a mini-"Friends" write-up in my Sunday newspaper TV supplement.

Those who haven't given up on the soap/sitcom are now going to see Rachel and Joey hook-up.

I thought this was a good time to remind you of my "Friends" prediction: All those annoying "Friends" will be hooked-up with one another by the time the train fully derails...

USA Weekend's Casey Shaw is still at the news rhyme game, by the way.

(Sigh)...

S&Y has mused before about technology nearing its boundaries. That is, while things will continue to be invented, the age of the "world changing" invention may be past. In fact, today we're mostly inventing things that... Well, let's just say their "usefulness" is questionable. (Cell phones, for instance, are convenient but also can ensure that you never really leave the "office"; and things like digital ovens and electric can openers are, well, self-explanatory.)

So I'd like to throw out a prediction/theory that, overall, we're entering an age of boundaries.

Government and activist social initiatives have, for centuries, been able to make significant impacts. Since the Surgeon General announced that (duh!) smoking is dangerous, we've seen the smoking rate approximately halved. Public info on alcohol addiction, DUIs and such has likewise influenced our overall drinking.

But stats are about as low as they're gonna go. Once a vice is here, it never goes away. (We've been cracking down on opiates since, oh, China in 2000 B.C.) Despite the outright demonizing of smoking, about a quarter of the population is still doing it--and I'm not even getting into the "forbidden fruit" angle, which will probably give our children the highest smoking rates in decades.

I've already read reports that, although computer chips continue to get smaller and more powerful, we are nearing our boundary with them, as well.

I don't mean to be a downer. It's not like all innovation and social milestones are over.

So look on the bright side. Number one, I'm just a crock, and my predictions aren't even as reliable as Nostradamus. Number two, it'll be nice if they stop inventing new-fangled crap as we get old and, generally, more confused about new-fangled crap...

Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Lillian C. Gawlik.

I found this name on the obituaries page. But it seems she's well-protected against becoming undead.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/23/2003:

Which old Motown legends play Sodom

and Gommorah?--It's hard to spot 'em.

What if outing cops

did find the Four Tops

perpetu'lly seeking Four Bottoms?

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/23/2003:

I've finally figured something out:

Whiteys in power just love Jesse Jackson!

Jesse has been in the news locally because he's getting' all activist about the fact that the Chicago Police Department is about ready to pick a new chief of police and, of the finalists, no black folk are in the running.

There was a long, drawn-out process arriving at the finalists. Jesse was strangely quiet for that but, now, when it curiously benefits Jesse's image that there ISN'T a black involved and it's a little too late, he's all in our face.

So how can I say that Whiteys in power love him?

I was just thinking about the whole thing today and it hit me: An intelligent, effective black activist leader, ala Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X, etc., is a real thorn in the side of Whiteys in power. (Why am I capitalizing "Whitey," by the way?) But history's highest profile ambulance chaser is just perfect because, well, let's just say that the black community's best interests take a back seat to the best interests of Jesse.

And it helps that, when "black" issues are raised, one can point to the leader and say, "But he's out of his mind on this one!"...

Another bunch of take-the-easy-target half-motivated "activists" is pushing to get smoking banned on Chicago's beaches.

Why? Because of the costs of cleaning up the butts.

Hmm. I'd think that this enforcement nightmare would be better off averted by putting some ashtrays in strategic points but, hey, the new thing is discouraging smoking in any way possible so that it becomes even more rebellious and future generations are all the more likely to smoke, bringing in much needed wasting funds for government.

There are trash cans on the beach. And I haven't read of a push to ban food and drink before they were placed...

I witnessed yet another knuckleheaded argument that government should pay more attention to youth and youth issues so that more young adults vote. (This latest blast of moronity came on the "Letters to the Editor" page--a veritable bastion of moronity in itself.)

This, of course, is building the cart before the horse is born. Or something like that.

One more time: This is a democracy. Youth issues are not addressed because young adults don't vote--nobody is stopping them from exercising a political voice.

Congress bends over backward for old folks, and it ain't because they're so damn cute...

Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Arnold Feller.

He just missed attaining fame with Abbott & Costello.

"Who's warming up in the bullpen?"; "That Arnold Feller"; "Arnold who?"; "I just told you: Arnold Feller"...

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/24/2003:

There once was a fellow from Turkey

who did "penis tricks"--t'were quite quirky--

great in the bedroom

but foretold his doom

when in public, he did "beef jerky."

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/24/2003:

Read a news story today about a nasal inhaler form of flu shot.

Hmm. Hold that thought.

Flu shots.

Who the hell gets flu shots?

Perhaps once a winter, I catch a horrible flu.

A week, or a few days, pass. It sucks. I deal with it. It ends.

So the question remains: Who the hell gets flu shots?

Continue holding that thought. No, actually, throw that thought away...

So Hurricane Isabel came and went.

Isabel.

Do you think some guy at the National Weather Service, or whoever names the hurricanes, names them after exes?

If he did, I bet Isabel was one hell of an... er, oral performer.

Do you think that it works that way? If a hurricane looks like it will be a mild one, does somebody name it, say, Caroline, after a tooth-happy performer or something?

Of course, we really don't want to know the answer to some of life's questions. The mystery of it all is what keeps it going...

I'm alarmed at all the Subways and Bed Bath & Boredoms and such popping up in cities.

Cities are supposed to have that one-of-a-kind feel. One-of-a-kind restaurants and stores and shops. The suburbs are supposed to have Chilis and Home Depot and what have you so that you can find your way around, ala, "Gee, everything around here looks the same--where is the city hall?"; "Why, my good man, take a left at the Bennigans, then go three Starbucks down and hang another left. It's right after the Wal-mart."

But I guess so many suburbanites have moved into the cities, which are still in that "hip area," that they long for a bit of their native suburban land--hence, Outback remains in business when there are many fine, one-of-a-kind steak houses all around.

I've asked this question before but... If you long for the Office Depots and TGI Fridayses so much, especially considering that you've probably brought your car thanks to the suburban aversion to public trans, why did you move into the city to begin with?...

Kudos to the comic strip "La Cucaracha," which hasn't impressed me much so far, but which sports a joke today about the "Latino Agenda" desiring, not just a sitcom, but a FUNNY sitcom.

The George Lopez show, for instance, has set Latinos back a few years, in my book...

And for anybody whose paper brings them "Arlo and Janis"... Was that an attempt at a limerick today?...

Last night I was thinking about the fact that most people desire a certain "tone" for their entertainment. Happy endings. Something funny. Etc. I like to think of myself as open--there are far too many happy fuckin' endings in Hollywood--and I was relating this in an imaginary conversation in which I said I just want a good movie/play/whatever, whether it makes me "Laugh, cry or whack-off in the aisles."

That may be a new DL mantra.

Daily Limerick: Laugh, cry or whack-off in the aisles.

You are all reading this in aisles, aren't you?

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/25/2003:

U.S drug prices just climb higher

but Feds feel cheap foreign drug buyers

break laws of our nation--

hurting corporations--

thus life-saving drugs are "to die for."

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/25/2003:

Here's my new TV show idea:

"Straight Eye for the Overly Girly Queer Guy."

Why not? It promotes "diversity" (although I know we're really not operating under the dictionary definition of the beloved term).

If it's okay to operate under the assumption that gay guys "know better" about certain things, and have the right to rile up our women and nudge us into doing things we'd rather not do toward the goal of straight guys better in touch with their feminine side, why can't we operate under the assumption that us straight guys "know better" about some things--and that's the beauty of "diversity," isn't it, that every group has its own strong and weak point?--and thus a better world will result when we rile up their partners and nudge them into being more in touch with their masculine sides? If straight chicks can benefit from gays making over straight guys, wouldn't gays be happy, too, if their lovers were a little more attractively manly? (Note the use of a double adverb, as E.B. White rolls in his grave.)

Can't we all just... Agitate each other equally?...

The comic strip "Life in Hell" quite frankly sucks.

Feel free to write in and defend it. But you don't have much to make an argument with.

I know. We're all supposed to give Groening a free ride because he created "The Simpsons." But I ain't buyin' it. I'm holding fast to my Utopian belief that there are good, unseen comics out there and we don't need another crappy modern strip taking valuable space away from the good comic artists.

I know, I know, the point is that comics don't have to be funny. But what's wrong with funny? And, granted, comics don't have to be funny but, call me old-fashioned, I still think they should be thought-provoking or have some sort of value. It's kinda like free verse--it's great to free artists from constraints, but the assumption is THEY'LL CREATE MEANINGFUL ART and not use the freedoms to SELF-INDULGINTLY TAKE LITERARY CRAPS ON SHEETS OF PAPER!

Oh, okay. To be fair, Groening does make his points. Three of them: 1. Bush sucks and stole the election, 2. Relationships are dysfunctional and 3. New-agey gurus rip people off.

And he makes them. Over and over and over...

***

LETTERS TO THE IDIOT 9/25/2003:

Yesterday, I remarked that you were "all reading this in aisles," which spurred this:

> Yes. That's why we're so quiet.

Aisle be the judge of that.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/26/2003:

A girlfriend turned "ex" on poor Martin

'cause his anal sex prep was Spartan.

Butt sex wasn't planned, he

threw it in her fanny

to stop the damn woman from fartin'!

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/26/2003:

Here's more evidence that, overall, we have nothing to worry about from our knucklehead enemies because their very philosophy renders them incompetent overall (and I need a quick, easy phrase for this theory, I know, but not now):

Amina Lawal, the Nigerian woman sentenced to death by stoning under Islamic law for having a child out of wedlock after her husband died, has been let off the legal hook.

Pressure from the international community get to the courts? Last minute dose of conscience?

Perhaps. But, officially, the court found that under Islamic law, a child can "gestate for as long as five years" and thus, technically, the child could have been her husband's.

But, remember, religion is the hot new hip thing we've gotta be all respectful about. While respecting the advances of science and their effect on our way of life.

Hmmm....

Here's from a statement by a Saudi, Turki al-Hamad, on the death of Palestinian activist Edward W. Said, on why Said's death is especially tragic:

"Us Arabs are not rich in such kinds of intellectual thinking."

Before you fire off a letter, realize that HE said it, not me...

And yes, I know that Palestinians aren't technically Arabs but... Well, again. HE said it, not me...

I fully support our courts' decision that the national "Do Not Call" telemarketing list is unconstitutional.

Yes, I know, this is an unpopular opinion. But that's not what this is about.

There's a thing called a Constitution. Which is, itself, full of many currently unpopular opinions, evidently...

I saw a help-wanted ad for a "Creative Insurance Specialist."

"Creative" and "Insurance" in the same sentence?

Must be for an HMO job.

***

LETTERS TO THE IDIOT 9/26/2003:

In response to my punnery in yesterday's LTTI column:

> Careful, sir! Your words may cause a row.

Perhaps. But I column as I see 'em.

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/27/2003:

A confused near-virgin named Kyle

did pose as a "pro" to beguile

one babe--sniffed her ass

which she found plain crass

while tryin' to bang "doggie style."

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/27/2003:

A Special, Super-Sized Edition of Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Albert Unites.

We could use a guy like Albert in government today.

And:

Chicago Alderman William Beavers.

Ah, someone already in government. For his sake, let's hope the old adage rings true: You are what you eat.

And:

Rick Bong.

Poor guy has John Ashcroft in his bushes half the time.

And last but not least:

Faith Score.

Exactly what Ashcroft's team is looking for. (The theme thus comes full circle--ah, the brilliance of LASFNRGR.)

******

SUNDAY DAILY LIMERICK 9/28/2003:

A fella made sure and announced

the Halloween skits he would mount:

The Dracula role.

All chicks, this he told

in hopes they'd go down for the Count.

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/28/2003:

Here's a headline from yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times:

"Palestinians Must Curb Terror: Powell."

You see, you need to be able to make the tough prognoses in order to land a position like Secretary of State...

Yesterday's paper also brought an extended photo caption bringing news of a couple of newlywed knuckleheads who held their unofficial "reception" at Wrigley Field during a Cubs game.

Nothing like kicking off a marriage in a Stronghold of Doom...

Okay, I realize that the Cubs have somehow won their division (curiously, the worst freakin' division in the major leagues), but, get real. They're the Cubs...

Jim Reynolds, the yahoo so devoid of any important motivation in life that he not only bought a Segway (brand idiot transporter) but actually started a form of Segway (brand idiot transporter) fan club, had an interesting quote in the newspaper.

(By the way. Who at Segway [brand idiot transporter] is blowing members of the media nationwide to keep this inconsequential waste of resources in the news?)

Okay, where was I?... Oh, it seems the Segway (brand idiot transporter) has some sort of defect--other than the ENTIRE FUCKING CONCEPT BEHIND IT--that causes idiot riders to be thrown from the idiot device when its charge is low.

So, Super Moron Reynolds says that the Segway needs tinkering but "you can't make it idiot proof."

Because, naturally, making it idiot-proof would ensure that A MODEL NEVER LEAVES THE FUCKIN' SHOWROOM!...

Whoo boy was yesterday's paper full of fun little nuggets. Here's a classified ad that speaks for itself:

THIS is to notify friends and relatives of MR. GARRET REIDY, "Ole Blue Eyes," of his tardy but safe return to the United States and the memorial service at Tuscuny Restaurant, 1014 Taylor St., Friday, 7 p.m., HAS BEEN CANCELED...

I know I'm a little late for this, but I was just thinking the other day that it was quite fitting to have N'Sync doing ads for Chili's...

I understand that Enron is now suing some of the companies who helped it screw the hell out of its employees.

This is an, er, interesting situation by itself, but the question on my mind is, "Enron is still around as enough of an entity to actually sue?"...

A DL/S&Y Special Consumer Follow-up Report:

Me and The Wife received our replacement Citibank cards in the mail this week. You know, the ones that, when we called in to report them stolen, prompted a hard-sell of their theft insurance service?

Well, in calling the 800 number to activate the cards, I was treated to two more hard-sells of the insurance. Pre-recorded pitches, too.

For those of you considering a new credit card. And those of you with balances who might benefit from switching about now, with all the deals on low-interest balance transfers these days...

Continuing with another DL/S&Y Special Consumer Follow-up Report:

The Comcast saga continues.

Now that we've given the bastards the ol' heave-ho, they tried to make US drop the cable box off at their offices.

As we refused that plan, Comcast set up an appointment to pick up the box from us.

They made an appointment, gave us the annoying cable-company "window" of time and... blew it off again...

Sunday Story Time: The Pizza Hut All-You-Can-Eat.

This week, a Red Lobster management employee was fired for wildly underestimating the average amount that would be eaten for its all-you-can-eat crab special. Which took me back... (doodle-do, doodle-do, doodle do... my, things are getting fuzzy...)

It was the mid '80s. High school.

Our local Pizza Hut had, as you may have guessed from the title of today's edition, an all-you-can-eat special. This included the salad bar, replete with marvelous chocolate pudding, and, most importantly, pizza.

A couple friends of mine had been attending the weekday all-you-can-eat night for some time when I first heard of it. I began attending with a couple of friends and protocol demanded that we partake of many bongs in the parking lot before entering. We generally took a bong break or two during the festivities, as well.

All along, I wondered how the hell they turned a profit with the all-you-can-eat. Over the years, I've noted that the average consumer doesn't partake in as much food as a bonged-up high school boy, and I suppose that explains the all-you-can-eat's existence.

But we pushed it. Oh, how we pushed it.

First, "Jewish Joe" (who was not Jewish but was given that name for markedly politically incorrect reasons) began complaining that the pudding ran out too quickly, making the management nervous of our posse (which we never called a posse at that point in time, as the phrase had not yet been in wide circulation among blacks, much less worn out and in widespread use among whites). Then, little by little, more and more guys from our high school began making the rounds. We tried to keep this our little secret, knowing that too many of us could possibly ruin a good thing, but of course each of us would tell another friend now and then about the treasure trove. Looking back, we should have organized better--reported just who we were each inviting, driven home the secretive nature of the event to newcomers, that sort of thing. But although each of us probably felt ourselves careful with the secret, the initiates added up. And each new initiate invited in turn more initiates and, quite frankly, some were especially reckless with keeping the secret.

Soon, suffice it to say, the average consumer at the all-you-can-eat out-munched the establishment's demographic. The all-you-can-eat was discontinued.

I suppose there's a lesson here about greed. A modern Aesop's fable, of sorts. Although the moral would be selfish in twisted because, really, we should have kept the secret to ourselves, so perhaps it could only qualify for Aesop uncensored.

But I just enjoy taking a walk down memory lane.

For a short while, we enjoyed a pizza pie slice of Heaven on Earth.

***

MIKE'S ACCURSED VERSE 9/28/2003:

A SPECIAL SUNDAY EXTRA SECTION

(IN BLAZING COLOR... IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT JUST RIGHT)

BY MIKE "BOOM" CHMIELECKI

TODAY'S POEM: Concert's end

Will you remember

the last note played

as it dies?

Will it hold

its final gloaming

in your view?

Will it shade out

new notes made

in your mind?

Will you recall

its grace and sprawl,

its silken weight?

How it spindled down,

apart,

upon sine waves?

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

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/29/2003:

When I perform live, there's a trend:

the lady spectators, they tend

to ment'ly undress

me then, unimpressed

they mentally dress me again!

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/29/2003:

For the most part, I'm a practical, skeptical, down-to-earth guy. I don't believe in psychics or ghosts or more bizarre superstitions, like organized religion.

But I've realized recently that I do believe in at least one instance of magic. Or at least black magic:

The Cubs.

Something must be off-balance in the universe, considering that they won their division, but, despite statistics saying that, eventually, they HAVE to win a World Series, well, that ain't gonna happen except, possibly, when this whole world comes to an end...

Speaking of Chicago sports stupidity, I was reading about the new and (allegedly) improved Soldier Field today and found it that it has fewer seats than the old Soldier Field.

Hmmm.

Millions of dollars in work. A big hubbub and spiel over the damn thing. Calculated public anticipation of the long-awaited unveiling.

And... It has fewer seats?

Perhaps they had an inkling as to how this season would pan out...

Charisse Strawberry--yes, the wife of you-know-who--is chair of the National Committee on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, Tampa Bay chapter.

I guess because she's seen, first-hand, the struggle from addiction to sobriety. Many times. And all from watching her husband!

And she's sure to see it many times more!...

Hollywood in Action:

There's an interesting saga coming from the filming of the movie "Proof" in London.

An old "beater" car was needed for filming. Would seem to be an easy find, no?

Well, they found a beater. In Chicago. And they had it delivered (via ship, I believe) to London.

Hmm.

This sheds a little bit of light on things, if you ask me...

I don't have much to say about this, don't have a solution or joke to offer, but what the hell is with all the blackouts?...

Saw a reference to a children's story called, "The Singing Bone."

An interesting twist on the, "No, really, it's just a funny-looking microphone" come-on...

I feel it necessary to assert that cooking is one of the most manly of behaviors.

I am obligated to announce this because, despite our age of "metrosexuals," cooking is still perceived to be "woman's work." Despite our alleged "age of equality" (in which we've went so far beyond a woman's right to work that both partners usually HAVE to work in order to make ends meet), women do the majority of the cooking (likewise, the cleaning, shopping and "kid stuff").

I'll occasionally hear it said that "most of the world's great chefs are male," but there's much more to it than that.

By and large, men like eating more than women. (You don't see too many straight guys ordering the "chicken salad" on dates, for instance.) And it appears that 99.9 percent of our female population is perpetually dieting in one form or another where guys, by and large, wait until the doctor tells them "diet or die" before they bother with such an inconvenient interference with one's eating habits (and even then many don't diet so well).

When I first found myself single, poor and out of my parents' house, I was faced with a decision: Eat crappy or learn to cook. The first option was no option at all. Since, I've gotten into cooking as an art form, going far beyond the basics of boiling water and breading fried chicken into all sorts of foods.

Most guys, it seems, when faced with the same decision, opt to eat crappy. "Women's work," they say.

Ahh, but doesn't that go against the "macho" ideal? Doesn't that counteract the independence that's supposed to come with being a manly man?

I declared once, upon cooking one of my first roasts, that I was "King of the Bachelors"--that I needn't a woman to handle my domestic needs, only my sexual ones, and therefore I wasn't a "sitting duck," vulnerable to the Marriage Attack from any pretty lady happening into my life.

I ended up married, eventually, anyway. And now, since I'm better at it, I'm stuck with most of the cooking duties.

What a second, here. Did I say that cooking was manly?...

Some chowderhead on the bus this morning asks me, "Is that your (news)paper?" to which I answered, "yeah," to which he responded by helping himself to the paper.

I was going through a special Soldier Field supplement and, naturally, was about to read the paper that a purchased, curiously enough.

What, would he have wiped his ass with it if it WASN'T my paper?

Just a reminder to any riffraff who may be on the DL subscriber list or who may find their way here via the Internet:

The Chicago Sun-Times, Monday through Saturday, is only 35 CENTS! And, other than the New York Times, I know of no daily papers costing more that 50 cents...

Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Lillian Pat O'Lone.

Somebody, please invite her to a party or something!

******

DAILY LIMERICK 9/30/2003:

A porn star, quite partial to rouges

enjoyed making flicks with deluges

of men; bringing bliss

through each orifice.

Her best-known flick was "The Three Spooges."

***

SLAPPIN' AND YAPPIN' 9/30/2003:

The Cook County (Ill.) Board, whose sphere of influence includes Chicago, decided to implement a tax watchdog commission.

The details are a bit fuzzy, but initial plans for the group had it watchdogging over Illinois taxes, prompting critiques and a possible court challenge over jurisdiction issues. So it seems that... Hold on.

A government commission? Tax watchdoggery?

Why let the wolf simply watch the henhouse when you can give him water and some napkins, too...

Laughing at Strangers for No Real Good Reason:

Josephine Beavis.

I understand that her best friend is a real butthead.

And:

B-Grade (or lower) actor Christopher Showerman.

Word is, Ashcroft's looking into the guy for aiding the Baath party.

***

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!) (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 an 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--hence, "Slappin' and Yappin'." 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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