Wednesday, August 30, 2006

'And did I tell you about the time Larry
King felt me up in the smoking lounge?'

In case you need further proof that it's Frank Drebin's world -- we just live in it, consider the sad case of CNN's Kyra Phillips, who brought her live mike into the ladies room Tuesday. Unlike Leslie Nielsen's hapless detective, she didn't broadcast her bathroom noises, which arguably might have been more riveting than the President Bush Katrina anniversary address she was drowning out.

Of course, she did malign the entire male gender except for her husband, who she told her bathroom companion was a "a really passionate, compassionate, great, great human being." That was a close call, although she probably wishes she hadn't called her sister-in-law a "control freak." On national TV.

Should be an interesting Thanksgiving at the Phillips house. They should sell tickets!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Lying and stealing? That
doesn't sound like our Lil' Kim!

It’s one thing to accuse Lil’ Kim of perjury, or of being a skank. Because those things are true. But plagiarism … well, that’s just nasty.

Still, a Jamaican singer is accusing Kim stealing lyrics from her song “Mi and Mi God” for the Lil’ Kim song “Durty.” The case will be decided in court, but one thing seems certain: Neither of them can spell worth a damn.

It’s worth noting, though, that if the claims are true, Kim apparently wasn’t capable of writing the lyrics “The feds pinched me for shootin', but instead they indicted me for my %$#@! music, this jealous mutha%$#@! and this prosecutin' %$#@! %$#@!” herself. That seems surprising for the woman who was able to single-handedly bring back the pasty as a fashion accessory.

Monday, August 28, 2006

He probably just forgot that
they drive on the right over there

Yes, much fuss has been made over the Chinese woman who crashed her car while teaching her dog to drive. (Well, technically the dog crashed it, but I don't the he can be charged, even in China.) But there are a few salient facts that the naysayers have been remiss about mentioning:
  1. In a country that's been known to slaughter 50,000 dogs at a pop to prevent rabies, it's about time someone started teaching them how to make a quick getaway;
  2. The woman was still operating the gas and the brake -- all the darn dog had to do was steer;
  3. At least she didn't eat him.

This week's column:
A doom with a view

The world has always been a dangerous place. Just ask the Cro-Magnon man who bent over to tie his pelt only to be unceremoniously trampled by a woolly mammoth. In fact, back then if you got into your 20s without having been trampled by a mammoth, people started looking at you funny. "What, he's too good to get trampled?" they would say. I think I saw that on the Discovery Channel.

The thing is, back then, peopleexpected death to come raining down at a moment's notice. This was true as recently as the Industrial Revolution, when one in three people was crushed by heavy machinery, and the other two drowned in the middle of the street and fell into a vat of sausage parts, respectively.

I had hoped those times were behind us, but reading the headlines lately I can't help but think that maybe disaster is still lurking around every corner, and that we'd all be better off never, ever leaving our homes. (Don't laugh, I think I could really make a go of it -- I have cable.) So before you decide to show your face in public again, I'd ask that you consider these five very important impending-doom factors:

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

Friday, August 25, 2006

In related news, Patti has
run off with Pete Seeger

I'm praying that the rumors about Bruce Springsteen leaving Patti Scialfa for a 9/11 widow are not true. One, because Bruce and Patti seemed like such a nice happy couple, up on stage warbling "Mansion on the Hill" into the same microphone like they did. But moreso, because if it turns out to be true, somehow, for some reason, my wife will be mad at me.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

At last we'll see which is the Master
Race! Wait ... that sounds bad.

OK, so "Survivor" can split up its contestants according to their race and will probably get millions of viewers and astronomical advertising revenues. And yet I do the same thing with the employees in my office, and I get slapped with a discrimination lawsuit. Life is not fair. ("OK, Hu, Lee, Nguyen, you're all over by the copier. What? What did I say?")

On the other hand, think of the future editions we now have to look forward to:

  • Religion Survivor (Christians vs. Jews vs. Muslims vs. Hindus);
  • Sexual Orientation Survivor (Straight vs. Gay vs. Bi vs. None of the Above);
  • Disability Survivor (Able-Bodied vs. Handicapped vs. Mentally Challenged vs. Severe Food Allergy);
  • Quirky Trait Survivor (Narcoleptic vs. Overly Affectionate vs. Prone to Panic Attacks vs. Painfully Uncoordinated).

Um ... That last one would be me.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Lest you be concerned that the health care industry is not attuned to the needs of its patients, I wanted to make you aware of the latest medical trend: Decorated needles for people afraid of shots. For instance, they'll put a big butterfly on the needle, so that when you see it headed straight for your vein you notice a big butterfly and not a sharp, scary needle. And you know what this will do, don't you? That's right: Make people scared to death of butterflies.

Why doesn't anybody ask my opinion before they do these things?

Monday, August 21, 2006

The greatest love of all? I think not

OK, let's get this straight: Osama bin Laden was plagued by an unrequited love for ... Whitney Houston?

Yes, according to a woman who was purportedly bin Laden's sex slave, "Whitney Houston's name was the one that would be mentioned constantly." Hmmm ... So that would have to mean he mentioned Whitney more than Allah. That little piece of news is not going to go over too well at the next Al Qaeda potluck.

Still, suddenly, it all makes sense. Unable to have his one true love, bin Laden instead became a global terror mastermind. That's actually fairly easy to believe compared to what the woman says were his favorite TV shows; OK, "Miami Vice" and "MacGyver" I can see, but "The Wonder Years"? ("A little piece of my childhood died that day ... Along with scores of infidel heathens! Now bring me my sex slave.")

Sunday, August 20, 2006

This week's column:
Your face may be almost famous

Do you ever get the sense that society would be better off if it weren’t so hard for people to find a celebrity who looked like them? Yes, me too. It’s enough to make you miss the days, back in the ’70s, when it was very easy to find a celebrity you resembled: Ernest Borgnine.

But somewhere along the line that changed, and it seems like there are no longer any celebrities who look like real people. For some reason Hollywood has determined that we want our celebrities to be so unnaturally attractive that, if they ever happened to run into us, the viewing public, they would assume we were trolls and rub our wizened faces for good luck.

Fortunately, someone is doing something about this situation. The Web site has developed an online program to show us that, no matter how plain we may think we look, somewhere out there we all have a celebrity doppelganger -- that famous person for whom we might be mistaken, even if only in twilight by drunken people.

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

Thursday, August 17, 2006

OK, just put down that Mrs. Butterworth
and back away sloooooowly ...

Hold everything! Beyonce has announced that, contrary to her previous assertions, you should not -- we repeat, not -- try to lose weight by eating nothing but maple syrup. She recommends that you just go back to forcing yourself to throw up.

Wait, no, I read my notes wrong. She actually recommends that women "eat sensibly." Not that eating a combination of maple syrup, lemon juice, water and cayenne pepper up to 10 times a day isn't sensible. Especially if it's on pancakes.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

You have the right to remain stupid

For those of you who think there's no such thing as persistence anymore, take one look a the case of Kevin Holder, the Nebraska man who was arrested this week for the 226th time. A lesser man might have given up on crime after the first 150 or 200 arrests, but not Kevin, who seems convinced that if he keeps engaging in criminal mischief, violating restraining orders, assaulting people, resisting arrest and possessing cocaine and marijuana, eventually he'll get at least one of them right.

Kevin's predicament raises several salient points:
  1. That proposed "225 strikes and you're out" law is sounding pretty good about now.
  2. If Kevin keeps going he's bound to break the arrest record set by Otis Campbell of Mayberry, whose record is already in question due to the fact that he usually arrested himself, and was fictional.
  3. There really needs to be more to do in Nebraska.

Monday, August 14, 2006

This week's column:
Sportsmanship, schmortsmanship

You may have heard about the youth sports organization in Florida that has decided to require any parents who are disruptive on the sidelines to get official training in sportsmanship. Obviously, this is a very bad idea. How can we teach our kids the importance of winning if we're all going around being sporting to each other?

Apparently, that concept is lost on the National Alliance for Youth Sports of West Palm Beach, Fla., which is making parents sign a code of ethics that says they will "make only positive, encouraging comments to the players" and "place the emotional well-being of [their children] ahead of a personal desire to win." Next thing you know, they'll be asking us not to encourage our kids to think of opposing players as their mortal enemies.

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

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Funny, he didn't look kinkajouish

I'm still officially on vacation, but I had to take a moment to comment on the breaking news story that Paris Hilton has been bitten by her pet kinkajou. Immediately following, she reportedly yelled "F--ing kinkajous!" and blamed all the world's wars on them, at which point she was whisked into rehab and has since appealed to the kinkajou community to help her find the appropriate path for healing.

According to UPI, kinkajous are known for "their playful nature and their occasional spontaneous attacks on other animals," much like Nicole Richie.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

This week's column:
No kids TV? He can't Bear the idea

I went to the theater recently. It was a wry, moving production, reminiscent of late-period Shaw, if Shaw had written plays about talking animals. Think "Pygmalion," except with a real pig.

I’m talking of course about "Bear in the Big Blue House Live," which is just like the TV show "Bear in the Big Blue House," except it’s live, and the bear is right there in front of you. This garnered disparate reactions among my children; my daughter was enchanted, while her younger brother seemed concerned that the bear might at any moment walk into the audience and swallow him whole, which is much less likely to happen when you’re watching him on TV.

In the end, though, they both loved it, and I did too. But it did get me thinking about what kind of messages my kids are getting from some of these programs they enjoy so much. For instance, "educational" or not, I’ve always said I don’t want my kids watching a show featuring giant mutant space babies with TVs in their tummies. Yes, I’m referring to "Meet the Press."

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

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Or maybe he has to fight all the people who couldn't afford to live in Massachusetts

Well, they've announced the name of the new "Die Hard" movie: "Live Free or Die Hard." Plot details are sketchy, but we can only assume that it involves Bruce Willis' John McClane finding himself unexpectedly trapped in New Hampshire, where he has to take down a band of rogue bumpkins. And/or moose. (Well, if that's not the plot, it should be. I've been trapped in New Hampshire, and believe me, it was suspenseful.)

It's a good title, but not as good as some of the rejected names:
  • "Eat, drink and be Merry for Tomorrow we Die Hard"
  • "Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die Hard"
  • "If I Should Die Hard Before I Wake"
  • "Breaking Up is Die Hard to Do"
  • "A Die Hard Day's Night"

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

That's because James Blunt is
harder to scrape off your shoe

This just in! In a recent U.K. poll of things people hate, James Blunt was deemed to be "more irritating than stepping in dog poo." You're beautiful, indeed.

Clearly the respondents were fans of Weird Al Yankovic.