Monday, October 31, 2005

Also, it would be nice if
his name rhymes with 'burrito'

Acquired exclusively by this blog -- President Bush’s (new, improved) Supreme Court nominee checklist:

__ Don’t know him
__ Smarter than me
__ Smarter than lots of other people who are smarter than me
__ Wicked conservative
__ Has been overheard in public saying “Abortion is evil … eeeeeeevvvviilllll!”
__ Makes Democrats itchy
__ Causes James Dobson of Focus on the Family to feel oddly aroused
__ No reason for the lefty senators to flillib … fribble … fibill … vote against him
__ Isn’t secretly in love with me
__ Was actually a judge at one point

Sunday, October 30, 2005

This week's column:
Trolling for treats is
tricky for grownups

The thing I've always liked about Halloween is how it truly gets everybody involved, from the smallest trick-or-treater going door to door collecting Tootsie Rolls to the grumpiest old curmudgeon pulling down toilet paper from his oak tree Nov. 1 and thinking about finally getting that gun permit.

Personally, I'm now right in between those two extremes - not old enough to humbug Halloween, but too old to trick or treat or even go out on the town in some crazy getup, like when I was single. (By the way, single guys: Based on my experience, it turns out having a cool costume doesnot make it easier to meet women. At least when that cool costume is Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy of the original "Star Trek." Let's move on.)

But just when I thought my enjoyment of Halloween would continue to be limited to gnawing arduously on rock-hard Mary Janes from my kids' candy bags, I saw some survey results that have made me reevaluate my stance. According to, more and more adults - including an astounding 42.1 percent of people over 75 - are planning to trick or treat on Halloween. (Sample over-75 survey response: "Of course I'm planning to expectorate on Halloween - all this phlegm doesn't just go away by itself!")

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

Thursday, October 27, 2005

On the plus side, at least
I'm not nicknamed 'Scooter'

Ten other things that went wrong this week, by President George W. Bush:
  1. Rotisserie baseball team tanked.
  2. Remembered that Harriet's coming for Thanksgiving -- awkward!
  3. "Family Guy" preempted by World Series.
  4. Shoelance broke this morning. Gotta remember to get more loafers.
  5. Missed "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" again ... Damn the Joint Chiefs and all their darn meetings!
  6. Google image search turned up 47 more goofy pictures of me on the Internet.
  7. Dick asked if I thought the other prisoners would find him attractive -- awkward!
  8. Somehow erased "My Sharona" off my iPod.
  9. Dad said he'd love to come visit, but he's going to Martha's Vineyard with Clinton.
  10. Looked at calendar -- more than two years before this stupid job ends.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

So that's why I'm obese!

If you're anything like me, you're having trouble containing your excitement over the fact that McDonald's is going to include nutritional information on its food packaging. Or it may be your lunch you're having trouble containing. One of those two things.

Well, I'm happy to report that you don't have to wait until the new policy takes effect, since this blog has acquired a copy of the new labels. For instance, following is what will be printed on the packaging for the Big Mac:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 Big Mac
Calories: One meeeeellion
Calories from fat: You mean there's another kind of calories?
Total Fat: Yes
Saturated Fat: Hell, Yes
Trans Fat: If you're referring to the kind of fat that can cause a heart attack almost immediately upon consumption ... Yeah, we got that
Cholesterol: You've seen a 2 liter bottle of Coke? About that much
Sodium: Enough to keep a herd of cows licking for a month
Total Carbohydrates: If you're on the South Beach, you're in the wrong place
Protein: Protein? Get yourself some carp, for crying out loud
Ingredients: Two all-beef patties; special sauce; lettuce; cheese; pickles; onions; sesame seed bun. OK, not really. It's actually mostly lard and chemicals, and possibly, although we can't be positive about this, rat feces. Don't quote us.

Monday, October 24, 2005

We can assume she breast fed

Well, it seems that Janet Jackson -- you may have seen her left bosom perform at the Super Bowl last year -- may have birthed a secret baby with her then-secret husband 18 years ago. If this turns out to be true, all I can say: Why, oh why, couldn't Britney have showed the same discretion?

In fact, I contend that we'd all be better off if celebrities kept pretty much everything they did a secret, in many cases including their albums and movies. Do you hear me, celebrity America? The new code word is "stealth."

Meanwhile, please e-mail me if you'd like copies of Britney's stolen baby photos.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

This week's column:
What a difference a month makes

We are currently in the midst of National Toilet Tank Repair Month. This strikes me as odd, given that if there was something appreciably wrong with your toilet, I would think you wouldn't want to wait until October to fix it. (I don't know if there's a National Toilet Seat Repair Month, but similarly I wouldn't let the problem go for too long, unless you want to end up the subject of one of those stories EMTs laugh about when they drink together.)

I bring this up because I recently learned that October is home to a veritable potpourri of official observances that nobody ever heard of, except possibly toilet tank repairpersons.

For instance, did you know that October is International Starman Month? This is apparently meant to honor not the forgotten 1984 movie in which Jeff Bridges plays a naked space alien, but rather the subsequent forgotten TV series starring Robert Hayes, who may or may not have been naked, or an alien -- you'd have to infiltrate one of the International Starman Month cotillions to find out for sure.

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

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

And if they could make 'Family
Guy' dirtier, we're sure they would

When I heard that the Parents Television Council had slammed six Fox shows on its annual list of the least family-friendly programs, I couldn't help but think: Only six? Fox must be losing its touch. I remember the day when it could fill all 10 slots just with "Married With Children."

Anyway, I'm sure it will do better when it launches this year's mid-season replacements, including:
  • Shasta McSex
  • That Sex Show
  • Who Wants to &%$#! a &%$#! &%$#!
  • The O-Sex
  • Sex Sex Sex Sex Sex
  • When Animals Devour Small Children

Monday, October 17, 2005

There ain't gonna be no
rematch! Oh, OK, just one more.

As you’ve probably heard by now, because I’m sure it led all the newscasts, Sylvester Stallone is taking time out of his busy schedule to make "Rocky VI." Although he’s actually calling it "Rocky Balboa," presumably because he assumes most people’s Roman numeral skills only go up to V, and even then it’s iffy – a lot of people still think the last movie was named "Rocky Vee."

Anyway, this blog has just acquired exclusive rights to the trailer for the new film, which we transcribe here:

Announcer: His whole life was a million to one shot ... Like that time he went the distance with the world champion. And the time he beat the world champion after running after a chicken. And the time he beat Mr. T after Mickey died and he ran on the beach with Apollo in a very manly, heterosexual way. And the time he beat that big blonde Russian and then gave the speech ("If I can change, you can change") that sent movie audiences across America scurrying under their seats in embarrassment. And that time he beat whoever he beat in "Rocky V," which was viewed only by the guy who played Paulie.

But now he faces his biggest challenge ever ... beating the guy who keeps taking his socks in the assisted living facility.

Rocky: Who took my socks?
Clubber Lang: I pity the fool who thinks I took his socks!
Mickey: This guy ain't just another fighter! This guy is a wrecking machine! And he's hungry! He'll knock you to tomorrow, Rock!
Rocky: Mickey, I thought you was dead!
Mickey: I am, you idiot – you’re talking to your potted plant again.

Announcer: "Rocky Balboa" -- It's his biggest challenge ever. Well, except for that enlarged prostate. And the whole thing with the fiber, but the Metamucil pretty much took care of that. But it's a big challenge. Um ... Is this thing on?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

This week's column:
The Columbus you never knew

More than 500 years after his death, Christopher Columbus remains one of the most controversial figures in history. Some think of him as a great seaman, others as a ruthless imperialist, and still others as the reason we didn't get mail on Monday.

Thanks to an important recent discovery, however, there is no longer reason to conjecture. This newspaper has learned that the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem has found the long-lost diaries from Columbus' initial voyage, hidden behind a box of old fans and a rare 17th century La-Z-Boy recliner.

But does the diary resolve all of those burning historical questions about Columbus, such as: Why would anybody wear tights on a ship? For answers, we turn to the following exclusive excerpts:

July 26, 1492 -- Just a week to go until I embark on my expedition to find a western route to India. Starting to regret making this bet with King Ferdinand. Reminder to self: No more wine coolers at Isabella and Ferdinand's mutton parties.

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

Friday, October 14, 2005

Although since I'm a guy,
I'm thinking the buttocks
might make more sense

OK, I've given this a lot of thought, and here's what I've decided:

Breasts -- good.

Breast implants -- bad.

Breast implants that store and play a person's entire music collection -- good.

OK, I'm glad I got that off my, well, you know.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

You should have given me
that extra treat, a&%$#@!

This just in: A criminal in Germany has been turned in by his own dog. Most likely a criminal who made his dog wear sweaters and a little helmet. I'm just guessing.

Meanwhile, in other crime news, a man in Italy has chosen jail over putting up with his wife's nagging. Now, what man in his right mind would do that? I'm married so I'm not allowed to say.

But most likely she made him wear sweaters and a little helmet.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I will also strongly consider adding
a little 'i' to the front of my name

OK, it seems that Apple made $1 billion in profit in fiscal 2005. Just to put that into perspective, that's more than a million, although still slightly shy of a kajillion. Regardless, it's what economists tend to refer to as a "buttload" of money. And yet, they somehow have not seen their way into sending me a free iPod. Can anyone tell me why that is?

In the interest of moving the process along, I'd like to remind Apple that it would do their company a lot more good if people were to spot me grooving to one of their hip machines than to the 5-year-old Sony Discman I'm currently employing for my portable music needs. But if they need more incentive, I promise once I receive my free iPod I will post the banner ad of their choice on this very blog, and keep it there until I die or the blog is acquired in a hostile corporate takeover, whichever comes first.

Meanwhile, I will continue to work on Plan B, which is to buy one. I just have to convince my wife it's worth going two weeks without groceries first.

Monday, October 10, 2005

These are bound to go
over big in coal mines

Plus they have the added bonus of
making mice think that a train is coming.

October's Invention of the Month award goes to Brightfeet Lighted Slippers, which are slippers with little flashlights inside of them. This is the product that I predict will finally stem the tide of people waking in the middle of the night, slipping on their non-lighted slippers, and walking off a cliff to their gruesome and painful deaths.

I know personally when I get up at night I'm constantly stepping on things that have been left carelessly in the middle of the floor, like trucks, Barbie dolls, dogs, furniture and closed doors. These would definitely help me to avoid such obstacles, if only there was a light that could help me find the slippers in the first place. Maybe something that would make my toes light up like 10 little radioactive isotopes. Get on it, Brightfeet!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

This week's column:
Family a-fair -- a Topsfield Fair diary

3:48: Arrive at the fair late in the day, when we figure it will be less crowded. Jockey for parking spaces with the thousands of other visitors who had the same idea.

4:01: Enter directly into Kiddie Land. Make mental note to next year find entrance closest to vegetables.

4:13: Kids get $8 face painting; for that price I wonder if the paint is guaranteed to still be visible at their high school graduation.

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

Friday, October 07, 2005

Better stick with the pork

You may recall how last winter, when I warned everybody about the Asian bird flu, everyone laughed at me. But now, the entire world is in a panic and scrambling to deal with it before it kills millions. Ha! Although I kind of wish I'd been wrong.

I give President Bush credit, though -- he appears to know quite a bit about this issue, unlike some other issues that when he speaks about them he gives the distinct impression that he's reading off the back of a cereal box. But as if he didn't have enough to worry about right now (Iraq, Katrina, nominating Bea Arthur to the Supreme Court), Forbes reports that he blew it when it came to stockpiling vaccine: "If the Bush administration had placed the order a few months ago, Tamiflu maker Roche could have delivered much of the United States' supply by next year."

Hey, better late than never! Except not really.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Unfortunately, 'Kal-El' is already taken

Highlights from Tom Cruise's inevitable upcoming Today show interview regarding his impending baby with fiancee Katie Holmes:

  • "I know diapers, Matt. I‘ve powdered tushes, OK? Have you ever powdered a tush, Matt?"
  • "Please, Matt, Don't try to tell me about Barney. I know Barney, OK? I‘ve worn the Barney suit, Matt, I didn't just sit around talking about it. Did you ever wear a Barney suit, Matt? Or do you just talk about it on TV?"
  • "Don't talk to me about spit up, Matt. Have you ever even spit up? Because I've spit up, Matt. And for you to insinuate that spit-up is no big deal ... You're very glib, Matt. Very, very glib. And facile. Glib and facile. Matt."
  • "Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt. Do you even know what's in Gerber Rice with Apple Bits and Cereal Crisps, Matt? Have you ever done a chemical analysis of those bits and crisps? Because that's what I did. I built a lab in my basement and tested those bits and crisps myself. Until you've tested those bits and crisps Matt, I don't think it's responsible for you to be on the Today show talking about Gerber Rice with Apple Bits and Cereal Crisps."
  • "Now I'm going to jump up and down and sing a little fatherhood song. Don’t talk to me about jumping up and down, Matt. Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

And why don't we think
Siegel and Shuster are seeing
any royalties from this, either

Rejected names for Nicolas Cage's baby, Kal-El Coppola Cage:

  • Mr. Mxylplyx Coppola Cage
  • Funky Winkerbean Coppola Cage
  • Kudzu Coppola Cage
  • Marmaduke Coppola Cage
  • Hi and/or Lois Coppola Cage
  • Mutt and/or Jeff Coppola Cage
  • Dormmamu Coppola Cage
  • Barney Google Coppola Cage
  • Wee Willie Winkie Coppola Cage
  • Little Nemo in Slumberland Coppola Cage

Monday, October 03, 2005

Nipsey Russell is dead?
I didn't even know he was [BLANK]

He didn't make too many movies
And he was not often praised highly
but when it came to Match Game guests
He sure beat that Charles Nelson Reilly!

Rest in peace, Nipsey Russell. I'm sure there was a place waiting for you betweeen Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost at that great poetry roundtable in the sky.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

This week's column:
This Bible may come up short

When I heard that someone had come up with an abbreviated version of the Bible I thought, this seems a little bit backwards. In this age of the director's cut, shouldn't they be making it longer? I'm sure there are a lot of extraneous subplots they could insert, like maybe a part where Abraham and Ishmael form Abraham & Son Jewelers. (That's not to mention the bloopers -- you just try saying "Nebuchenezzer" right on the first take.)

Apparently the idea behind "The 100-Minute Bible" is to make it so the average person can read it in, yes, 100 minutes. This is in direct contrast to the actual Bible, which to read cover to cover would take you until the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood (approximately). Granted, I suppose even a little Bible is better than none, but it seems to me there's got to be a reason God included all that stuff in the first place, or dictated it, or however it got in there.

Besides, I'm sure it would be a daunting task to determine what to leave out. It probably took long, heated debates among biblical scholars, all of them weighing the import of each individual chapter and verse. Unless the publishing industry was in any way involved, in which case it was decided by randomly chosen focus groups made up of people who, given their druthers, would rather be rating shows for UPN.

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

Saturday, October 01, 2005

They'll always have
Paris. Well, not really.

THIS JUST IN: Paris Hilton and her fiancee, Paris not-Hilton, have broken up. I'm sure she's devastated, and would write about the experience in her next book, if it had actual words in it.