Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Luckily their TVs were washed away,
so she couldn't make them watch tapes
of 'Britney & Kevin: Chaotic'

OK, so the bad news is that many victims of Hurricane Katrina still have no homes, their area remains devastated and their aid is running out. But the good news is -- Britney Spears has taken them shopping!

Well, four of them, anyway. But give her time: As Britney herself said, "Rome wasn't spilt in a day!" OK, I'm just assuming she'd say that.

Anyway, here's a quick rundown of what she bought for the flood victims:

  • Gum, which she helpfully pre-chewed so they could sell it on eBay.
  • Copies of "Oops, I Did it Again" (only $4.99 in the bargain bin at Target).
  • Their own personal Kevin Federlines.
  • Baby safety seats for everybody!
  • Matching outfits.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

This week's column:
Their best shot at dumping Dick

Of all the ways Dick Cheney could have picked to get himself out of office, one that I wouldn’t have predicted is shooting a lawyer. Not that it was a bad idea; it just seems a little obvious.

Of course, they have to find some way to appoint somebody like Mitt Romney vice president before 2008, to give a Republican an incumbents’-eye view in the next presidential election. After those initial weasly accounts about how Harry Whittington had jumped in front of the quail like an overprotective Secret Service agent, it looked like Cheney might have found his way out.

But then Dick took the blame and is soldiering on for now, so it’s up to Karl Rove and the Republican political machine (motto: "Leaks? We got ’em") to come up a new way for Cheney to step aside for the "right reasons." Preferably something that will result in the vice president leaving office but still looking decent and manly, like getting run over by a team of stallions.

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

Friday, February 24, 2006

Another reason to go for the milkshakes
made of vegetable byproducts instead

OK, let's play "Guess the real headline." Which of these turned up on abcnews.com this week?
  1. Household cleaning products may explode, say scientists
  2. Study: Soft drink 'fizz' can lead to brain aneurysms
  3. Fast-food ice dirtier than toilet water
  4. New breed of lice grow to size of dimes

Yes I know, all seem pretty much equally unsettlingly possible, but the correct answer is 3 -- turns out fast food ice is dirtier than toilet water, at least according to a Florida seventh grader's science project, which found E.coli bacteria in the ice from five restaurants in South Florida. "These [bacteria] don't belong there," said Dr. David Katz, medical contributor to "Good Morning America," proving once again why he deserves his astronomical salary.

Anyway, three cheers to the seventh grader, and I was wondering if he could next test the fries to see what they're dirtier than. I'd make some guesses, but I'm afraid you might be eating.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I guess chanting 'Harvard Sucks!' at the
pep rally must have been the last straw

Soon-to-be former Harvard President Lawrence Summers, we hardly knew ye.

They're like Sam and Diane,
except much, much less attractive

Donald Trump and Martha Stewart: When will you two just admit it? You're in love with each other! Stop torturing yourselves and just allow yourselves to be happy!

As you've probably heard, Martha Stewart complained that her "Apprentice" floundered because Donald Trump reneged on a promise to take his version off the air; then Trump fired back that Martha's show "lacked mood, temperament and just about everything a show needs for success." Is it getting hot in here?

Alas, it's bound to take a few more rounds before these lovebirds finally get from the boardroom to the bedroom. But if Trump winds up suing her for $5 billion, we'll know they're close -- for him, that counts as foreplay.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

This week's column:
A very merry unschooling to you

Say what you want about CNN, I’ve always been reasonably sure they weren’t making stuff up. Somehow I can’t picture Wolf Blitzer and Christiane Amanpour high-fiving and yelling "Suckers!" every time the camera goes off.

And yet I saw something on CNN.com this week that I’m convinced can’t be real. They were talking about a new trend called "unschooling," wherein kids, not parents or teachers, decide what they want to learn. These are presumably the same kids who, if given their choice of vegetables, will pick McNuggets.

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

Friday, February 17, 2006

Says here you got the bargain plan, so
we'll just be saving the first floor today

Disturbing Public Safety Trend of the Week: Fire departments that will only save your house if you've paid your membership dues. I'm not sure if there's a firefighter's code, but if there is one, I'm guessing that ain't in it.

Apparently Bibaldo Rueda of Monett, Mo. offered to pay the dues as the fire gutted his home, but the Monett Rural Fire Department does not have a policy for on-the-spot billing. I'm sure they called him the next business day to set up an account, though. Well, they would have if he still had a phone.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

'Death to Denmark' just
doesn't have the same oomph!

Offensive Muhammad cartoons update: Angry mobs have now taken to the streets in Pakistan, where they've burned down a hotel, two banks, a KFC restaurant and the office of a Norwegian cell phone company. Although that last one may just have been because of all those roaming charges.

Apparently this crowd was working itself into a frenzy by chanting "Death to America," even though the vast majority of American newspapers have refused to print the cartoons. This leads me to believe that "Death to America" must just be the go-to catch phrase for radical Muslims -- it's their "Yankees Suck!"

Meanwhile, for some reason there continues to be next to no protest over a truly offensive cartoon.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Next week, Alberto Gonzales
will be in front of the Senate to
explain why it was perfectly legal

So Vice President Dick Cheney has shot somebody. Franky, I'm shocked. That it took this long, I mean.

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

It’s time once again for "Mr. Holiday" to answer your holiday queries. This week: Valentine’s Day.
Dear Mr. Holiday:
Is it true that Valentine’s Day was made up by the people at Hallmark just to sell cards?
Curious in Cambridge
Dear Curious:
Let’s face it: When it comes to shady, covert, possibly paramilitary organizations pulling the strings of national policy from behind the scenes, there are none more ruthless than Hallmark. And they aren’t just determining what holidays we should celebrate; word has it they received a no-bid government contract to distribute "Thinking of You" cards in Abu Ghraib prison.
For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Actually, we're pretty sure
the baby was driving

LOS ANGELES -- Britney Spears has released the following things she is sorry for, to go along with her apology for driving with her infant baby on her lap:

  • "The time I let him ride the giant boa constrictor I wore at the VMAs."
  • "The whole skydiving incident."
  • "The time I dangled himout the balcony window. Wait ... that wasn't me."
  • "Allowing him repeated face time with his crazy hillbilly father."
  • "The nine months I let him listen to my music while he was in the womb."

Monday, February 06, 2006

This week's column:
Everybody wants to get into the facts

I have a confession to make: Some of the claims I've made in my columns over the years may have been slightly exaggerated. For instance, there's a chance I may actually be a large Latino man named Carlo "The Bull" Esposito.

I figured I should disclose this in the wake of what happened with James Frey, who with his memoir "A Million Little Pieces" ruined it for all the other "non-fiction" writers (former junkies, abuse survivors, humorists) who had been planning to make things up.

Of course, Frey (who at last check was claiming he thought "memoir" was French for "memo") has been in big trouble since The Smoking Gun Web site revealed his story was embellished a tad. Not that he's in hot water with his publisher, especially, although it's rumored they have serious plans to wade through the ocean of cash he's made them and give him a semi-firm knuckle-rattling.

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

Friday, February 03, 2006

Also, Steve Jobs will come to your
house and turn it down himself, just
before he smacks you with an iBook

Well, it was bound to happen: A California man is suing Apple because he says the company didn't warn him that using their iPod to pipe extremely loud music directly into his ear canal could possible have an affect on his hearing. We can only imagine what will happen when he realizes that leaving the headphones in 24 hours a day causes them to graft on to your ears, turning you into a half-human cyborg. I smell class action!

The kicker is that the iPod manual does in fact warn customers about the potential for permanent hearing loss if the player’s earphones are used a high volume -- but the complaint alleges that Apple "did not specify what constituted a high volume." Thus future versions of the manual will include the phrase, "loud enough to keep you from hearing the crickets chirping in your empty head, you &%$#! moron."