Tuesday, October 31, 2006

'Well, people kept ringing the bell!'

The thing about bus hijackers: They're always doing things like blowing the bus up or putting a bomb in it that will go off it it drops below 60 mph. But very few of them continue making all the stops. That's why our Bus Hijacker of the Week award goes to 15-year-old Ritchie Davis of Florida, who not only stole a bus from the Orange County, Fla., fairgrounds, but took the passengers on their route without a hitch, except for the part where one of them called 911 and he was pulled over and arrested.

An apparent serial bus stealer, Davis is on probation for stealing a charter bus and driving passengers around. "This happened like three times, so I guess he really do like driving buses," said his father, who at least now knows what to get him for Chrismas. I hear the Trailways ones are pretty nice.

Monday, October 30, 2006

But don't worry, the chickens
will still be bound in tiny pens
and painfully slaughtered

I don't know about you, but when I go into Kentucky Fried Chicken, it's not for the tender, crispy chicken strips, the juicy boneless wings, nor even the whipped-to-perfection potatoes and gravy. No, I go there for the trans fats ... those sweet, golden vats of oily heaven.

So what am I to think now that I hear KFC is going trans fat free, effective this spring? Is nothing sacred? What's next -- McDonald's hamburgers that won't cause an immediate shutdown of your gastric system?

I know, I know: KFC President Gregg Dedrick says there will be absolutely "no compromise" in the taste of their food -- everything from their Original Recipe to their Extra Crispy will taste exactly the same. But ... We'll know, Gregg. We'll know.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

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

It's time once again for "Mr. Holiday" to answer your holiday queries. This week: Halloween.
Dear Mr. Holiday:
I had planned to dress as a straightjacketed maniac this Halloween, but then I read that the National Alliance on Mental Illness is upset about costumes like this. Should I change my plans?
Going Crazy in Canton
Dear Going:
Absolutely not! Mental health professionals are notoriously touchy, but it shouldn't be a problem as long as we make it a point to be sensitive in the way we portray nut jobs and wackos. It would be a shame to get rid of those types of costumes and attractions altogether, because Halloween is really the only day of the year we have to celebrate raving psychopaths. I mean besides Election Day.
For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

This is why more and more financial
advisors are recommending death

A hearty congratulations to Kurt Cobain, who knocked Elvis out to take the top spot on Forbes' annual list of top-earning dead celebrities! On the down side, of course, he's still dead.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

This week's column:
Never too early to fall into winter

You may have noticed that the days have started getting darker and colder, and yet for some reason your drawers are still full of tank tops and bathing suits. This is because you're in a very profound form of denial and -- like the residents of Buffalo, N.Y. -- will soon leave your house without so much as a windbreaker and walk directly into a 6-foot snow bank, not to be discovered until you're thawed out by archaeologists in the year 7012.

Yes, despite the odd 70-degree day, winter is bearing down on us. This is why I spent my vacation last week preparing my household for that unavoidable eventuality, as humans have been doing for centuries. We're just like the Pilgrims in that regard, if the Pilgrims had needed to figure out which screens went into what windows after they removed their air conditioners.

So with that fresh in my mind, I thought I would offer up the following winter preparation checklist. Like the squirrels foraging for nuts in between their attacks on park rangers, you are not ready for winter unless you've done each of the following:

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

Thursday, October 19, 2006

He should have sprung
for the shatterproof glass

Another good reason not to be a billionaire: You might accidentally poke a hole in your $130 million Picasso with your elbow.

Looking around my house, the most expensive thing I'm in danger of poking a hole in with one of my extremities is my $200 TV set, and that's only if I get really, really mad at Bruno Tonioli.

Luckily for billionaire casino owner Steve Wynn, that's just a drop in the bucket, and I'm sure he has plenty of other art to hang in its place while it's being restored. Meanwhile, he may want to consider getting his elbows trimmed.

Monday, October 16, 2006

What would Li'l Kim say?

For those of you concerned about our nation's prison system, never fear: They're finally forcing female visitors to wear bras. This is apparently coming as a major disappointment to all the women who enjoy flashing their naked bosoms at their convict boyfriends. And you thought you were in a dysfunctional relationship.

Officials at the Vanderburgh, Va. County Jail (motto: "Where the Visitors Don't Expose Themselves") hope the new dress code "will create a more family friendly environment." Presumably the next step will be teaching the guards how to fold balloon animals.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

This week's column:
Space elevator plan on the up-and-up

You’ve probably heard about how scientists, at this very moment, are coming up with a plan to build an elevator into space. Now, you may ask, why do we need an elevator into space? Well, the obvious answer is, because it makes more sense than an escalator into space.

Still, I’m concerned the scientists may not have thought this thing through. It seems to me they’ve spent far too much time developing the carbon nanotubes necessary to haul passengers and equipment 62,000 miles into space, and not nearly enough time considering something equally pressing, namely, what music do you play in an elevator that travels 62,000 miles? That’s a long time to listen to instrumental versions of "I’ll Never Fall in Love Again" by Burt Bacharach.

For instance, it seems to me an elevator trip that long could easily accommodate entire concept albums, like Pink Floyd’s "The Wall," "(Music from) The Elder" by Kiss and Styx’s "Kilroy was Here." Although hopefully not all of them in a row, or you’ll have people opting to jettison themselves out of the airlock and explode.

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

Sunday, October 08, 2006

This week's column:
Coffee: The fuel of greatness?

I turned 38 last week. It’s worth noting that by the time George Gershwin was 38, he had composed songs for John Coltrane, Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday, written "Porgy and Bess" and won the Pulitzer Prize. He had also died, so if I can just make it to 39 I’ll at least have that over him.

Even if I manage that one, however, I can’t help but wonder why I haven’t notched such accomplishments during my 38 years on earth. Yes, yes, I have the loving wife and the two great kids and all that, but let’s face it, none of those are going to get me an entry on Wikipedia. I’m talking about the kind of achievement that would garner the notice of history, preferably the type of history that has the authority to write me a certified seven-figure check.

With that in mind, this will be the first in a series of columns looking at what I could be doing to better motivate myself toward achieving greatness. And in an effort to start things off slowly, the first suggestion I have to myself is: Drink more coffee.

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

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Who's your daddy?

This just in: All men between 18 and 89 may be required to submit to a mandatory DNA test to show whether they're the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby. I think I stand a pretty good shot -- granted, I've never met her, but I think it kind of looks like me.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Not good news for Limp Bizkit fans

Freelance projects have been keeping me from blogging of late, but I felt I had an obligation to take the time to point out the following: After years of intensive research, science has finally developed the musical condom. Because nothing attracts the ladies like interrupting an intimate moment to unveil a singing prophylactic. Word has it that's how Wilt Chamberlain did it.

The best part is, the company predicts a booming secondary market in people picking the tunes for their condoms, much like cell phone rings. The most popular so far:
  • "Big Rock Candy Mountain" by Peter, Paul & Mary
  • "Hard Habit to Break" by Chicago
  • "Down So Long" by The Doors.
  • [Insert obvious sexual reference here]