Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Guest starring Dustin
Hoffman as Ratzinger Rizzo

You dis the Catholics you get some a' this, know what I'm sayin'?

So let me get this straight -- You defy the Nazis, become the spiritual leader to millions, survive being shot and forgive your attacker, and are mourned by the world when you die, and you’re honored by ... being played in a CBS TV movie by Jon Voight? The “Anaconda” guy?

(Although granted, he was great in “The Champ.” “Don't die champ! Don't die! Georgie, wake him up!” … What? I’ve just got something in my eye.)

Anyway, I hear Voight is actually pretty good as the old Pope, and Cary Elwes is equally adept as the young pope, a role vaguely reminiscent of his turn as Lt. Kent Gregory in “Hot Shots!” If the real Pope were alive, I'm sure he'd be honored. Although that whole sainthood thing would be pretty good too.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

'Illegal' is such a harsh word --
let's just call them 'uninvited'

Details of President Bush's plan to deal with illegal immigration:
  • “Invisible fence” that triggers a mild electric shock as immigrants cross border.
  • Great Wall of China, except in America.
  • Start calling illegal immigrants who’ve already moved here “extra very special guests.”
  • Giant green door with sign, “Bell Out of Order -- Please Knock.”
  • Moat.
  • Offer huge tax cuts to illegal immigrants who agree to leave right away, no questions asked.
  • When Mexico and Canada aren’t looking, move America to giant crystal structure in the Arctic (“Operation Fortress of Solitude”).
  • Hire French guys to throw cows at them when they try to get in.
  • Teach all real Americans the secret password.
  • Giant invisible force field.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

This week's column:
And they all lived thankfully ever after

As you may know, every year about this time I like to sit down and remind people why, even though things may sometimes get rough, there are still plenty of reasons to be truly thankful. And not just because it's Thanksgiving. No, I do it because I have to fill this column.

So when life gets you down, just remember the following:

  • Tom Cruise has never referred to you as "glib."
  • Your job, as awful as it may be, probably does not involve cleaning up after hurricanes or potentially diseased chickens.

For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.

Friday, November 25, 2005

And this bloated post-Thanksgiving
feeling probably isn't helping any

This just in: According to Science magazine, new research shows carbon dioxide levels are now higher than at any point in the last 650,000 years.

Woo-hoo! Yes! I knew we could do it! We are the CO2 masters! Carbon dioxide rocks, baby!

Oh, wait -- that's actually really bad. Never mind.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Please, Chris Klein, get the 'American Pie'
guys together, get in there and rescue her!

Yes, you heard correctly. Tom Cruise has gone out and bought a sonogram machine, presumably so he can make sure the fetus isn't doing any psychotropic drugs while he isn't looking.

Now, I suppose if you're that rich you can buy anything you want -- sonogram machine, trip into outer space, elephant man's bones, whatever -- but is anyone else as creeped out as I am at the image of Tom slathering up Katie's pregnant belly with goo and rubbing the little sonogram device all over it? Uuuuuuuuuugh.

I've got to go shower.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Being mayor rocks!

This blog has just acquired the list of first-term goals for Michael Sessions, the 18-year-old recently elected mayor of Hillsdale, Mich:
  • Get city councilors to start referring to each other as “dawg.”
  • Pizza at all union negotiation meetings (stuffed crust -- sweet!).
  • “State of the City” address to be delivered via text messaging (“BTSOOM. L8R!”)
  • See how fast that city-issued Lincoln Town Car can go on a straightaway.
  • At least once a week, guys in assessors department to be given wedgies.
  • Lay off fleet of snowplow drivers; issue all residents snowboards.
  • Lower drinking age to 18 16.
  • Replace city department heads with buds from school; Murph gets to run DPW. (Free rides on the front-end loader -- sweet!)
  • Bring in sophomore cheerleaders as “interns.”
  • Change city motto to “Fo Shizzle.”

Sunday, November 20, 2005

This week's column:
So what's the deal with Thanksgiving?

It's time once again for "Mr. Holiday" to answer your holiday queries. This week: Thanksgiving.
Dear Mr. Holiday:
I understand that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals want us to give up eating turkey on Thanksgiving. But I love turkey! Juicy, succulent, recently deceased turkey. What should I do?
Hungry in Holliston
Dear Hungry:
PETA is a very well-meaning organization, in that same way that your crazy uncle who thinks he's a founding member of ABBA is well-meaning. But mostly they're just looking for an excuse to parade around naked and get arrested.
For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Nein! Nein! Nicht in der
Kindereisenbahn Geschäftsbereich!

The good news: A court has declared that Wal-Mart is not allowed to ban romances between employees. The bad news: It's still allowed to pay slave wages, offer little to no health insurance, import billions of dollars in cheap merchandise from Chinese sweatshops and put thousands of smaller stores out of business. But as long as there's no smooching in Aisle 12, we can live with that other stuff.

Wal-Marts ethics code also attempted to ban "lustful glances and ambiguous jokes," presumably either together or separately. No word on unambigous jokes, but if they're about a fellow employee's bosoms, that's probably out too.

Of course, this was a German court, so here in the U.S. we can assume that it will be business as usual in our local Wal-Marts, otherwise known as the twisted fiefdoms of retail hell.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Hmm ... sauerkraut, death ...
sauerkraut, death ... I'm thinking!

To think, after all the worry about bird flu -- President Bush's $7 billion plan, hundreds of column inches in the national media, the five pounds of peanut butter and cartons of toilet paper squirreled away in my basement -- it turns out we were all worried about nothing. Well, nothing that a little sauerkraut can't fix.

Yes, that's right, Korean scientists are reporting that several bird-flu stricken chickens that were fed German cabbage made a full recovery. Of course, more tests are needed: The scientists still can't be positive whether that was due to the sauerkraut or to the Oom-Pa-Pa band playing a continuous loop of "The Beer Barrel Polka."

Anyway, I know all this is true because I read it at Which I'm starting to think is just trying to mess with my head.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

This week's column:
Everything's coming up iPods

Well, it took a lot of soul searching, but I've made my decision: I'm not going to buy an iPod. But not for the reason you might think, namely that my weekly personal entertainment budget covers nothing beyond previously read copies of the Boston Herald. (Oh, that Marmaduke!)

No, it's because every time I feel myself about to break down and buy one, Apple comes out with a new iPod with new features on it. I can only assume they do this to perpetually frustrate the people who just bought the last version -- I'm sure this is the source of much hilarity among the techies at Apple, who are still trying to get back at us for giving them wedgies all through high school.

In fact, just in case you haven't been following at home, here's a quick review of all the iPods you could now own if you'd started buying them when they first came out:

For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Of course, most undergraduate males
have been minoring in that for years

If you know anything about college, you know that many of the courses involve subjects you'll never actually use in real life. Philosophy. Ancient history. Electrical engineering. You get my drift.

That's why it's reassuring to hear that the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong has finally added something practical to its curriculum: a degree in bra studies. Yes, it's hard to believe that up until now most bras have been designed by people with no formal university training in that area. No wonder women are so cranky.

And the program's graduates will probably be pretty much guaranteed jobs, given that China's biggest lingerie manufacturer, Top Form, has a bra lab right in its factory. If there are rats involved, I don't want to know.

Meanwhile, to whomever designed the front hook bra -- we smell Nobel Prize!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

That's what you get for
taking a ride with Billy Joel

Poor Paris Hilton. First there was the sex tape, then the big fight with Nicole Richie, then the breakup with the other Paris ... No wait, first was the hamburger ad controversy, then the breakup ... wait, somewhere in there was her stealing her own sex video. So it was the sex tape, the fight with Nicole, the hamburger ad, the sex video stealing, the other Paris breakup ... Oh, forget it.

Anyway, now she's been caught on tape in a car crash outside a Hollywood nightclub. Oh, Paris, when will you give up this wild, fly-by-night lifestyle and settle down, have some kids, go through a messy, public divorce, pose naked in Playboy and star in a reality show in which you and your filthy rich kids go clubbing together? And also, when will we stop caring?

I vote for right now.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Or perhaps they'll recruit the
talents of one Mr. Air Bud

Hats off to the players on the Hanna, Okla., High School basketball team. Hopelessly outclassed by their arch rivals, the Earlsboro Wildcats, they could have just given up. But they hung in there, and what happened in the end? They lost 112-2. But that one basket was beautiful, baby.

Besides, I'm sure they'll pull together and, after overcoming obstacles both personal and athletic (lack of coordination, distant fathers who come around just in time for the big game, an ambivalent coach who comes to realize that yes, while he'd love to still be playing professional basketball, it's here with these lovable losers that he'll find true satisfaction), will come from behind to win the state championship against all odds.

Or there's always the math team.

Monday, November 07, 2005

And then JK Rowling comes out at the end and admits that, yes, she is trying to convert the world's children to satanism

Secrets of the new "Harry Potter" movie:
  • Hermione officially switches to her Kaballah name, Esther.
  • A strange spell turns all the major characters sullen and lanky.
  • Key line of dialogue: “Goblet of Fire … Goblet … Of course! Ron, Hermione -- it’s not Goblet … it’s Giblets!” (Cue giant, three-headed turkey.)
  • Voldemort reveals he is Harry’s father; mother was Natalie Portman.
  • Something fishy about that new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher …
  • Actor who played Ron (above) replaced by guy who played Napoleon Dynamite.
  • Hagrid … gay?
  • Turns out the lightning-shaped scar actually a temporary tattoo.
  • Climax is battle to the death among Harry Potter, Col. Potter from "M*A*S*H" and Mr. Potter from “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Harry wins, mostly because the other guys are wicked old.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

This week's column:
What I actually meant to say was ...

OK, I'll admit it: I feel bad for Harriet Miers. For the first two weeks after her nomination to the Supreme Court I had a vague inkling that she might actually be Bea Arthur, and by the time I'd gotten that thought out of my head, she'd withdrawn her nomination and gone back to her regular job as President Bush's valet.

But I can't blame her for pulling out, given the way people were combing through every word she'd ever said in public, from speeches to women's clubs to comments in front of the Texas Bar Association to, presumably, call-ins to sports talk radio. ("Ms. Miers, is it true that you once referred to Roger Clemens as a 'big, fat, over-the-hill American League loser?'" etc.)

So best of luck to the new guy, Samuel Alito. I know I wouldn't want to be in his shoes; I can only imagine how some statements from my younger years might come back to haunt me. In fact, just in case, I figure I better clear the air now:

For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Hmm ... Maybe that's what
happened to Shelley Winters

You may have heard about how Tyra Banks donned a fat suit to find out what it feels like not to be a gorgeous supermodel and talk show host. What did she find out? That it doesn't feel nearly as good as being a gorgeous supermodel and talk show host. Duh.

But it's interesting that Tyra would take that route, because as it turns out -- I, too, have been wearing a fat suit! I'm really 150 pounds rather than 195. I'm also actually 6-foot-3, and only appear 5-10 1/2 as a result of my fat suit's accompanying short suit. So all of you who've been calling me the Pillsbury Dough Boy behind my back can just stop it.

As for Tyra, apparently she's now planning a Nov. 18 segment on pursuing "a beautiful booty" on which she will reveal her own "dimpled butt" and receive an on-set endermologie treatment, which is definied in the American Journal of Medicine as an advanced scientific procedure involving Tyra Banks' butt.

Proving once and for all that Tyra has stopped asking herself, What Would Oprah Do?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

When they start selling the home
version, then it's time to worry

See, this is why the Dutch have the stellar reputation that they do. Where else in the world can you go lingerie shopping and find an entire store-full of men feeling up a wall full of fake bosoms? I've certainly never seen it, and I've shopped on Canal Street in New York City.

According to Ananova, the fake breast wall is designed to help male shoppers buy bras that fit their wives or girlfriends. "By look and touch, male shoppers can work out the right size," it reports. Just like in real life.

The question remains, however: Is the wall of fake breasts more or less revolutionary than the Dutch library that lends out gay people, gypsies and muslims? And also, whatever happened to the days when Holland was known pretty much exlusively for its windmills? I vote we go back to that.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

There but for the grace
of God goes Vanilla Ice

Ladies and gentlemen, get out your checkbooks! MTV is reporting that MC Hammer is selling the music publishing and copyrights to his entire catalog. Yes, now you can own 62.5 percent of "Turn This Mutha Out," 75 percent of "Addams Groove" and 90 percent of "2 Legit 2 Quit." So what do I hear? Anyone? Hello?

OK, how about 40 bucks for his pants?