Friday, April 29, 2005

No, I don't know what an Exhausted Rapunzel is either

For the eight of you who enjoyed listening to the late, lamented Family Talk Radio program, I'll be returning to the radio airwaves this Sunday at 1 p.m. as the guest host of the Exhausted Rapunzel Family Hour on WBIX AM 1060 in Boston. I've recruited two old college buddies to come on with me, where we're ostensibly supposed to be talking about family issues but will probably just wind up reminiscing about the days when we could eat a tray of buffalo wings at 1 in the morning and suffer no ill effects. Plus, prizes! Call in at 888-528-7438.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

I blame the Patriot Act

Mark my words: First they're banning smelly people from libraries, the next thing you know they're regulating how you smell in your own home.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

As signs of the pending apocalypse go, this one's pretty funny

We can only presume that scientists the world over have stopped what they're doing to concentrate on solving the mystery of Germany's exploding toads.

Suggestion: Somebody should ask my childhood neighbor Steve Mancuso if he has an alibi. Give that kid enough M-80s and who knows what he's capable of.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Isn't that the first thing they teach you in Joint Chiefs of Staff school?


Of course, that's just a rough estimate.

OK, repeat after me, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: "I will not pose for pictures that will allow bloggers to poke fun at the size of my ... er ... Pentagon."

Monday, April 25, 2005

Another deadly pandemic solved

As you know, I've been somewhat concerned about the impending Asian bird flu pandemic that no one seems to care about. Well, now you can count me among the happy-go-lucky, what-me-worry-about-deadly-pandemics crowd. Because I've discovered the Nano Mask, the device that for only $6.99 will protect me from all viral and bacterial contaminants. And it comes in five attractive colors!

Not that the mask doesn't have its drawbacks. For one, if you wear one you run the risk of people thinking you're a lunatic. Also, "Due to health concerns and high demand, there are no returns." That's too bad, because I would think they could get a pretty nice turnaround on some of these babies.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Of course, Bruce is funnier

Springsteen was brilliant on VH1's "Storytellers," but did anyone else notice a disturbing resemblance that seems to be developing?

Might be time for Bruce to return to the headband.

Friday, April 22, 2005

It's a bird ... It's a plane ... It's a man with zero percent body fat!


What would you call that cape? Burgundy?

Well, they've released pictures of Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel in "Superman Returns," and despite a new belt and a slightly different color scheme (whither the fire-engine red?), he seems convincing. But I can't help but wonder: Why the lo-rise briefs? That's not good for anybody.

Also, I think Christopher Reeve's "S" was bigger.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

'And don't even get me started on the Jews'

Well, Harvard president Lawrence H. Summers, known in academic circles as “Crazy Larry,” is at it again. Fresh on the heels of his comments about how there may be a biological reason women don’t do as well as men in the sciences (something about missing that nerd gene), he apparently made remarks about Native Americans that some, according to the Boston Globe, thought sounded like “an effort to downplay Colonial violence.” Next thing you know he’ll be saying nice things about Columbus.

What is to be learned from this? Well, for one thing, Larry should probably avoid speaking in front of crowds, at cocktail parties, or to his barber. I say this because of some other comments I’ve found in transcripts of his speeches which are bound to come back and haunt him sooner or later. Here’s a sample:

· “Has anyone considered that maybe the Nazis were just misunderstood?”
-- April 12, 1998, at a Hadassah luncheon in Newton, Mass.

· “Studies have shown that there is very real evidence that Polish people, while loveable, are not especially bright.”
-- Jan. 26, 2002, addressing a conference on the Euro in Uppsala, Sweden.

· “I wouldn’t say I have empirical data, but it’s certainly worth studying the obvious natural predilection of Latinos toward the janitorial sciences. And baseball.”
-- March 12, 1996, in a keynote speech to the Society of Latino Janitors and Baseball Players.

· “I just can’t understand these guys who have a thing for fat broads.”
-- July 14, 1991, opening for Andrew Dice Clay in Atlantic City, N.J.

If only they'd had the Internet during the Inquisition ...

This is what you'd call a good Catholic.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

New pope to Americans: 'There may be some wiggle room'

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- As Catholics the world over celebrated the anointing of a new pontiff, many wondered about the stances Pope Benedict XVI would take on a host of controversial issues that affect Catholics -- particularly American Catholics, who feel that John Paul II was too strict in his insistence that they abstain from pre-marital sex and attend Mass in an actual, physical “church,” rather than just think happy thoughts on Sundays.

“I consider myself a staunch Catholic,” said Louis Mesker, 25, of Somerville, Mass. “But I question how in touch with its constituents the church can be if it continues to tell us what to do all the time.”

Sarah Loomis, 32, of Great Neck, N.Y., agreed. “I think it’s good for the church to have rules against killing and things like that,” she said. “But I was really hoping the new pope would come around on things like abortion and homosexuality. This is not 1 AD anymore, people.”

“All I know is, something better give,” said Mark Venkman, spokesman for Lighten Up, Catholics!, an organization of sort-of Catholic laypeople who have grown disenchanted with the church the more it gets on their case. “If they’re not careful we’ll stop going to church. Um ... I mean, on Easter and Christmas Eve too.”

Memo to surgeons: Please use ashtrays at all times

As if all the usual things you have to worry about when you have surgery -- too much anesthesia, doctor falling asleep, retractors left behind in your chest cavity -- wasn't enough, now we apparently have to worry about catching on fire.

I'm sure there's a very logical explanation: People catching fire during surgery probably happens all the time, just like abductions by space aliens and spontaneous human combustion. Meanwhile, it's reassuring to note that in this case, while the patient died, "that was due to heart failure and not the fire, said Dr. Robert Caplan, medical quality director of Virginia Mason."

This would explain the hospital's new motto, "Virginia Mason: Where Patients Die From Heart Failure, Not Fires."

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Another excuse to eat more doughnuts

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one concerned about deadly asteroids. Luckily, rumor has it the government is training a rag-tag group of deep-core drillers to handle the situation as we speak.

Friday, April 15, 2005

But have they tried beating them to death with little shovels?

I get a lot of interesting press releases, but relatively few of them make me want to build a vacuum-sealed dome in my backyard. Here's one that did.

"Antibiotics Can't Stop Them," it read, "and They're Coming Our Way: ATTACK OF THE SUPER GERMS!"

Now, the first thing I noticed was that "ATTACK OF THE SUPER GERMS" was in all capital letters, presumably to drive home the point that, A) these are not your average, everyday, ordinary germs, and B) they are not just hanging around, possibly causing the occasional sniffle -- no, these germs are ATTACK-ing.

It goes on to say:

"You can catch them in hospitals, gyms, and health clubs, or even by shaking hands. They've already killed thousands in England, and they've infected victims in Australia, Russia, Egypt and Germany. Now, they are quietly spreading throughout North America, causing infections among military units, prison inmates, and sports teams. They are called Super Germs - infectious bacteria which have mutated and developed resistance to all forms of drugs, medications, and antibiotics." Granted, this is horrifying, but on the plus side it reinforces my decision not to join the army, go to jail or start a soccer team. Don't even get me started on health clubs.

Thankfully, there apparently is a solution, according to the press release: "Author of 'Natural Cures for Killer Germs' says Plant Oils May Be Our Only Hope Against Dangerous Drug Resistant Germs ." Well, that's a relief. All these years I thought I'd been squeezing the rhododendron for nothing.

Now, granted, this all may be trumped-up hyperbole by people who want us to run right out and by 'Natural Cures for Killer Germs.' Or, there may be germs percolating in this keyboard I've eaten hundreds of bags of pretzels over, just waiting for me to nod off so they can get a straight shot at my nostrils. I prefer to believe the former.

But just in case, if you need my I'll be in my dome.

Quick, they're catching up -- eat more fries!

First they corner the market on cheaply manufactured crapola, and now this.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

They've already picked out a little green bikini and boa constrictor for it

I'm so happy for Britney Spears and Kevin Federline! That baby is going to be so happy and well-adjusted. Unless of course it isn't abandoned in the jungle and raised by wolves, in which case it may have some problems.

Resistance is futile

Good news -- we're one step closer to seeing that unstoppable robot army.

Monday, April 11, 2005

We said one carry-on, dirtbag!

It's about time we cracked down on those pesky tourists.

On the plus side, it means my kids can go trick-or-treating without being bound in metallic duct tape

If you read my column this week on daylight-saving time, you know how it tends to leave me groggy and zombified each year. Well, no sooner did I file that piece than Congress -- specifically my favorite Massachusetts congressman, Ed Markey, whom I first met when he was buying a hot dog at a Brigham's in Medford, MA (long story) -- proposed extending daylight-saving time by two whole months!

There are many unanswered questions though: Will this make me more tired, or less tired? Will it have an even more drastic affect on traffic accidents if it comes a month earlier, since people will be exhausted from losing the hour and probably driving into a March blizzard? And will I ever be able to take a nap?

Stay tuned ...

Friday, April 08, 2005

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

OK, you can stop rubbing it in -- I couldn't get tickets to Springsteen's show in Boston this May. And now, thanks to Bruce's crazy wristbands-required, will-call-only system for picking up tickets, I won't even be able to get them from a scalper by spending ridiculous sums of money that would have otherwise gone to food for my children. Nice going, Bruce! Sheesh.

I will reiterate that there are still good seats left for Tom Jones.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

On the other hand, I think that's how most of the banking got done on 'Star Trek'

Reasons the new pneumatic tube at my bank drive-though is making me nervous:

1.) I figure if I choose the tube over the window, they’ll think I’m trying to cash a check I just found on the sidewalk.

2.) I find it difficult to carry on a meaningful conversation with the teller through that 2-inch speaker -- I always feel like I’m talking to Carlton the Doorman.

3.) I know that I will inevitably drive away with the little canister in my car, prompting a manhunt.

Other than that, it’s a great invention.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Which could explain why they're thinking of removing 'dark of night' from the motto

See! I told you the check was in the mail!

Basically, if you don't know the lyrics to 'Wild Billy's Circus Story,' we don't want your kind


Funny thing is, after a week in my house
most of my CDs look like this.

Attention conservatives! Please boycott Bruce Springsteen's upcoming tour! Also liberals. And all you people who insist on shotgunning jumbo beers and shouting "Bruuuuuuuce" for no apparent reason. Basically, anybody who might be competing with me for a ticket, it would be a big help to me if you'd stay home.

Friday, April 01, 2005

But we draw the line at those creepy Rugrats

I have tremendous respect for people who say they don’t let their kids watch TV, because it’s not easy for two parents to stand up for the courage of their convictions and lie to everyone they know.

Granted, there may be some kids out there living in some rarefied world without TV, but just think: One day those kids may inadvertently run into a guy in a SpongeBob SquarePants suit and be forever traumatized. Seem risky to me.

But even though my kids are fairly conversant in children’s television, my wife and I have never been ploppers, instead making it a point to actively watch TV with them. If you need proof, feel free to quiz me on the lyrics to any song that has ever been sung by Barney the dinosaur. You'll know by my glassy expression and the beads of sweat on my temples that I'm suffering Post-Barney Stress Syndrome, which you can't fake.

Fortunately now that my daughter is in kindergarten her Barney days are behind her (and thus us), and my son, who's 3, never had much interest in him - which is one of those little miracles that help parents get through their life, like when no one throws up on a major holiday.

No, my son is a Bear in the Big Blue House man, through and through. And therein lies my problem, as you’ll find out if you read this week’s column.