Just Sit in a Circle and Enjoy Yourself, Dammit.

Now I want to tell you all a tale of ULTIMATE TERROR. This is the story of the serial killer known as THE HOOK, whose severed hand was replaced by an INSANE SURGEON with a DEADLY HOOK...and then, after a prolonged lawsuit, a fairly useful plastic hand. But he remained a MADMAN bent on MADMANNISH deeds. When Stan picked Judy up and drove her to the local lover’s lane, THE HOOK followed in his orange 1978 Plymouth Duster. But as fate would have it, THE HOOK lost them when Stan made an unexpected right turn out of his driveway. THE HOOK, deciding to call it a night and start fresh the hext day, cruised around L.A. for a while---suddenly remembering that it was Oscar night and he had to rent a tux before he picked up Angelina Jolie!

The air was frosty outside the star-studded pavilion, and SATAN watched Hollywood’s finest shuffle into the Academy Awards ceremony with ghoulish delight. You see, this would be HIS year to shine among the movie industry’s glitterati!

The Oscars began with a tasteful musical salute to the boom microphone, with Harvey Keitel’s seductive tenor voice ringing out proudly to one hundred million viewers around the globe---several of whom would die of natural causes just weeks later. Then the master of ceremonies, Steven Hawking, took center stage to present the award for Best Supporting Actor. But suddenly, EVIL descended upon the program, and there appeared in a haze of blue smoke the SUPERNATURAL BEING OF DARKEST NIGHTMARES---Mr. Roy Scheider, who handed things over to Satan.

Yes, BEELZEBUB would be deciding who would win the Oscars this year, whose butts would be kissed, who would soon grace the cover of Vanity Fair wearing nothing but a cowboy hat and a diaper. And as the crowd SCREAMED IN TERROR he kicked things off by awarding the first statuette not to Matt Damon or Daniel Day-Lewis or Morgan Freeman, but to the star of 1988’s straight-to-video release Night Breasts 3, Mr. Wings Hauser, who thanked both the National Rifle Assocation and the Bessemer Process for his success. SHRIEKS OF FRIGHT echoed around the auditorium, and Mary Steenburgen, flattered by a blue off-the-shoulder Dior, WRENCHED A FIRE EXTINGUISHER off the wall, hurling it through the closest window to escape! Next came the Best Screenplay category. The critic’s choice this year was David Mamet’s adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s classic novel Brave New World, but it wasn’t happening tonight, baby! Satan offered the prized award instead to the cogent script of the Flintstones movie! Harrison Ford was SEIZED with a MASSIVE HEART ATTACK, but had the rare poise to stay in his seat and applaud politely. Then Mephistopheles passed over Kate Winslet and Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett to give Best Actress to....are you ready for this….well, actually, I think it was Meryl Streep, whose touching performance as Bill Murray had won the hearts of the nation.

The night of a thousand horrors had JUST BEGUN! Incoherent Dutch animators listed their family members onstage, low-budget films were ignored, vacuous actors talked about social issues--events ONLY THE MAD GENIUS LUCIFER could have summoned! And once again the Best Documentary category caused heated debate when Satan gave the Oscar to an old episode of Alias.

Neither the reporters nor the lightning wits who wrote the show could keep up with the atrocities Satan staged! Best animated short: Goodfellas! Best director: Whoever re-made The Longest Yard! Lifetime Achievement Award---Dick Vitale! But then came the most mindbending terror of them all, the midnight bestowment of the Best Picture honor. And the nominees were: Tommy Boy, Cabin Boy, the opening credit sequence of Cops, Tommy Boy again, and, in a surprising nod to a public favorite, a key still frame from the sex scene in Wild Things.

No one knows which of these controversial choices would have won the award, as the pavilion was suddenly firebombed by a secret Jesuit air command. But witnesses who wandered among the rubble claimed to have seen David Spade’s hand clutching a gold-plated object which was either an Academy Award or Brad Pitt’s dentures. There would never be another Oscar night! The world’s attention from that time on was focused on cable’s Ace awards, and, ten minutes after they started, on anything else.

Some say Satan is not done with his work---that the Blockbuster Awards and even the Daytime Emmys proceed under an ominous cloud of darkness. (Still others claim the devil is more of an intellectual concept, a result of secular group consciousness rather than a spiritual being.) At any rate, it’s about time Jeff Bridges was given something, which was my whole point to begin with.



For Whom the Splidchik Tolls

Oof. Ack. I mean, I’ve taken baths in Vegas before, but not like this. Not like this, man. I am seriously tapped out. I got up $20,000 at the blackjack table, and then like an idiot I got cocky and went over to try to double it in the security room at Ikea again. Mickey decided to take me on and we sat in front of monitor D and I just went for it. I bet four thousand that within the first thirty seconds, a nerdy twenty-six year old guy would nod silently again and again at a woman at least fifty percent better looking than he was as she ran her hand over a tri-color duvet cover, and wouldn’t you know it, the ideal couple came in right on schedule but she ran her hand over a regular tri-color quilt instead as he nodded silently, and the money went bye-bye. Then I took a deep breath and I put five grand on the sure thing that no more than sixty seconds would pass before a girl with blonde highlights wearing a Penn State sweatshirt that had been bought before she even started her freshman classes would put a meditative hand to her cheek as she and her mother stood in front of a white futon, and dammit all, the girl showed up well within the time frame but her shirt said Swarthmore instead (I can’t believe I missed that one---and to think, I was only worried that the futon would be eggshell and not white). I decided to go double or nothing on one of my traditional bets, that the first guy to appear in a NASCAR cap would grunt wordlessly a total of exactly four times in response to his wife’s comments and that neither one of them would physically touch any of the products before they left within ten minutes, but of course the gods made the guy reach out and just kind of brush a $4.99 table lamp with the side of his hand, so I tanked it again, and then Mickey piled on by betting me a whole ten thousand that the guy would take a moment to say the cutesy Swedish product name for the lamp out loud with a hint of bemused contempt, and I said he wouldn’t, and you know what happened then otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation (did I really think the guy wouldn’t say the cutesy Swedish product name out loud? What the hell was I thinking?). Finally I put all the money I had left on the most obvious bet of all, that at exactly 12:35 there would be no less than three guys visible on the monitor pretending that the model rooms were real rooms in an attempt to make a joke for their live-in girlfriends in the hopes that being patient for an hour and a half inside the store would result in forty minutes of sex after dinner. But I blew it COMPLETELY because Mickey goaded me into betting that a minimum of two of these same guys would look longingly at the cheap hot dogs on the lunch menu before wimping out and ordering the Asian salad instead, and I bit on it, and here I am asking you for nine bucks just so I can put enough gas in the tank to get back to L.A. tonight. I’m not exactly proud of what happened, but seriously, whatever you have, I’ll pay you back on Thursday. And do me a favor, don’t tell anyone about this, okay? I don’t need people going around saying, “Oh, that crazy Nick Nolte, he’s so messed up he’s addicted to gambling now too.” I’m just not in the mood, know what I’m saying?


Me in the Biz? It Could Happen.


Lord of the Rings
Frodo discovers Sudoku halfway through the adventure and from that point on can’t even be bothered to look up from the goddamn page once in a while

It’s found out that Peter didn’t get his powers because he was bitten by a spider; he got his powers because he had sex with one. Spends rest of movie pretty much alone.

Disinterment of Richard Burton’s corpse stretches boundaries of good taste a liiiiiiiiiittle bit too far

Apocalypse Now
Outdated MapQuest directions make Willard so mad he’s just not in the mood for Kurtz’s babbling when he gets to Cambodia; tells him to zip it, drop forty pounds, and get a job in e-mail marketing

Casino Royale
Villain with European accent and weird eye replaced by a more subtle form of treachery: stagnant third world wages

The Natural
Roy Hobbs sees manager calling for a drag bunt at the end, reluctantly tries to lay one down, fouls away a third strike to end series, blasts teammates in the media

To Kill a Mockingbird
Atticus cuts a plea deal, gets his client’s charge down to aggravated sexual assault, calls it a day

DeNiro gunned down by Pacino not in field behind airport but in Intro to Spanish class at local community college (turns out DeNiro’s character only needs six more credits to get an A.A. degree)

Little Miss Sunshine
Kill off the best actor in the cast halfway through the movie just for the sake of some cheesy dead-body gags (oh, wait, they actually did that)

March of the Penguins
Keep first half intact, change second half into a shot-by-shot remake of the remake of Psycho

The Shining
Insert forty-nine minute prologue depicting management gently coaxing a very drunk Martin Mull from third floor suite

My Dinner With Andre
Halfway through the main course, Wallace Shawn starts going off on how much the Yankees rule; Andre Gregory, Pirates fan, throws extremely hot coffee in his face

Saving Private Ryan
Make Private Ryan re-define the word “flaming”


Abbey Road. (What Do You Mean, "Someone Already Used That Title?")

Hey kids! Before thoughts of summer vacation start to roll around, make sure you’ve asked Mom and Dad to reserve your spot at the coolest sports camp ever!

Yes, Soren Narnia’s Soccer Violence Camp for Boys 9-14 is a three-week trip to scenic Syracuse, New York, where real life pros will teach you the skills necessary to become an unpredictable, remorseless, and racist soccer hooligan! Let superstar rioters Davy Bland, Nigel Lurthington, Cesar Casparosa, and Lupe Haldeza teach you all the basics of soccer violence, from the finer points of throwing stones to the subtle techniques of psychological intimidation to the dos and don’ts of fashioning your own smoke bombs. There’s archery, crafts, and swimming too! Don’t just sit around and watch soccer violence videos from CNN or Setanta Sports all summer---get in the game! Why, you might even get to meet twice-convicted hooligan THIS BLOG ENTRY HAS BEEN CANCELLED BY A MYSTERIOUS STAR CHAMBER OF SHADOWY AUTHORITIES WHO ARE PRETTY SURE THAT SOMEWHERE, SOMEONE MUST HAVE ALREADY WRITTEN THIS GAG PRETTY MUCH VERBATIM. AS PART OF HIS AGREEMENT WITH THIS SECRETIVE CABAL OF RETIRED JUDGES, HANGMEN, AND PHARMACEUTICAL EXECUTIVES, MR. NARNIA HAS PLACED FIFTY CENTS INTO THE PLAGIARISM JAR AND WILL NOW BE ALLOWED TO GO ABOUT HIS BUSINESS, WHATEVER THAT ACTUALLY IS. THE REST OF TODAY'S SPACE WILL BE DEVOTED TO A REVIEW OF "GHOST RIDER."

Ghost Rider
* 1/2

Ghost Rider's no good, man.


Writin' Gon' Be My Ticket Outta Here

Welcome, everyone, to February’s edition of THE ADX-FLORENCE TATTLER….let’s get right to the dish! Yours truly was most surprised to see JERRY D in the lunch line on Wednesday sporting a NEW forearm tattoo depicting a bloody phoenix rising from the ashes….I wonder whose idea THAT was, Jerry---certainly it couldn’t have been MIKE MIKE, whose recent stint in Solitary reportedly gave him some great new ideas for body art….according to a reliable Tattler source, NATE EGGS is none too happy with his new roommate, a saucy arsonist from Wisconsin who ruffled Nate’s feathers merely by suggesting he try Sudoku….lighten up, Nate, it’s going to be a long forty years here in ADX City! Meanwhile, everyone’s favorite Native American gang down in Block 7 has a new leader thanks to a mysterious moonlight burial orchestrated by lead screw ROBERT “HARD BASTARD” TALLMAN. Everyone shout out a big Welcome and Good Luck to TERRY REDFEATHER---he’s gonna need it, though at least he’ll always have a friend in the Tattler as long as he remains so delightfully accessible for interviews…Feed-up has a new face, in case you haven’t noticed, as assistant cafeteria server (NAME UNKNOWN) has moved on from the prison service after just two weeks of working here to take a grounds maintenance job at Ridgely Nissan, just a mile or so outside the wall…(NAME UNKNOWN) is best remembered for his infectious grin and his role in breaking up the January 30 riot in which JACKET BOY took a fork in the eye---an injury which has only boosted Boy higher up the list of ADX-Flo’s Most Intriguing Newcomers (amazing what a little danger will do for you)! Finally, even though our inmate population has one of the most tragically low rates of family visitation (me included, faithful readers---wonder where that mother of mine disappeared to since that single drive over here seven years ago?), ADX-Florence did have one very special guest on the 14th, as CUPID decided to fly in and shoot his mischievous arrows into the heart of none other than the perennially feared WARDEN FRANKLIN, who, claims super snitch RALPH THE NECK, proposed to his fiancée over the weekend. Congrats, Warden---and we hope Betsy will lighten your mood somewhat and maybe even convince you that your Month of Darkness and Silence decree may be a little over the top, even for you!

That’s it for this month, folks---can’t wait till March, when I’ll start taking votes for the Annual Tattler Awards. There’s two new categories this year, Most Misunderstood Loner and Biggest Screwing By The System. Dropped from the awards list is Best Actually Available Board Game On The List Of Board Games We Can Supposedly Check Out From The Library, as Risk has pretty much vanished without a trace. Hey, serial killer and Risk aficionado BOB GANT, you wouldn’t know anything about this, would you---or is it just human feet you like to hide from the authorities (did I say that???)


Misty Watercolor Memories. Of Things.

Wow, it's hard to believe that it's been about twenty-five years since the Rubik's Cube craze. That little gadget had the entire world fascinated! I remember walking to school with my grade school chums and just trying to get one side of it aligned with the proper color. I never even knew anyone who got it entirely figured out! And then of course there were the Rubik's spinoffs...I even had a Wheat Chex cube I got from sending in box tops, and a Rubik's Cube book cover for my English textbook. It was certainly good times, and fun to remember, as things always are when they really sweep the nation to that insane extent. Anyone here remember the Rubik's restaurants that popped up everywhere? Plus, there was the Rubik's Cube movie, the less spoken of the better---thank you very much for your phoned-in performance, Mr. Irons. "Rubik's Rock" was a pretty good album, and I still can't believe it outsold Abbey Road and Thriller combined, yet the numbers don't lie. And how about the Rubik's Buicks that were painted red, yellow, orange, red, green, blue, and white? Oh, and the Rubik's public transit buses! Remember Rubik's Wednesdays, when all citizens were given liberal leave to pursue the hobby, and the Rubik's Education Centers which eventually became mandatory for children under fifteen? And God, whatever became of the Rubik's Army, that demogogic band of fervent thousands who attempted to invade the capital of Serbia in an effort to capture the buried secrets necessary to solve the riddle of the four-minute cube solution? And don't tell me you don't remember the Whitfield Act of '84....I still remember my mother's tears as she was led away in chains and placed into the back of that miltary transport jet, her only crime being patriotism as she tried in vain to rally millions to return to their once-productive lives of labor and family....who among us can forgive the sight of the mass graves hidden in Australia's cruel Outback desert, and the awful triumvirate of deceitful United Nations secretaries feeding us lie after lie as the Rubik's Cube became an almost religious talisman of hatred, racism, and genocide, used by dictators and democracies alike to spellbind and enslave once free peoples? Where were you when the Orwellian world which our feverishly working hands were complicit in creating came crashing down with a single round from an AK-47 held by a young Egyptian revolutionary who had never so much as taken a Rubik's Cube in his palm, yet who had recognized its evil power to warp man's mind from infancy? Does the bronze fountain bearing his shrieking, decapitated likeness give you chills whenever you traverse the sidewalk in front of the Rubik's Memorial, and do you still take a moment on Shame Day to remember his selfless sacrifice? Or are you too busy sleeping in and shopping for discounted DVD players? (Sorry. I get a little emotional remembering it all.)

No, I guess it wasn't all good times, but then, the PT Cruiser was huge for a while, and look how irritating that got.


The Arby's People Were Never This Finicky

Dear Mr. Rooney,

Please accept my apologies for the poster design my department submitted for KFC’s “Come On In For a Career Challenge” winter hiring campaign. I assure you that no one is more cognizant of our nation’s diversity issues than I, and that I am of course aware that all races and cultures can succeed as entry-level KFC employees. We will be more than happy to re-design the poster so that the wide variety of ethnicities you requested is pictured. May I suggest that the ethnicities are pictured in the following order, from left to right: Asian / African-American / Caucasian (blonde) / Mexican / Caucasian (brunette) / Native American / handicapped soldier / Polynesian. Let me know your thoughts and I can coordinate our art department accordingly.

Once again, I am sorry if our original poster design depicting a hypothetical KFC staff of eight black teenagers, a plump Spanish manager, and one retarded white dude caused offense to anyone at your corporate office.

Soren N.


Mean Streets

I hate to brag---you know I do. You know bragging is the last thing I want to do. I cry myself to sleep at night and go days without eating every time I have to do it. But there are just certain things I’m good at, and one of those things is getting along down on the street. I just have this certain sense for how to get by when I’m right there in the middle of it, surviving on my wits. Last weekend I was up in New York, just making it all happen, you know, in my town, like I usually do, and I came across two guys on a sidewalk running one of those games where they try to fool you about which card is going to come up. Three bean monty, I think it’s called. So I wasn’t born yesterday; I knew better than to get involved. I watched a couple of people get fleeced and I just stood there laughing and accepting the occasional compliment on the new T-shirt I’d just bought from the I Love New York shop, a bright blue cotton deal that has a huge colorful picture of the Statue of Liberty on it with glittery gold highlights---yes, thank you, it’s completely awesome. So at some point I was alone with these two guys who were running the scam, and they said, “Oh, we don’t want any part of you, you probably got us all figured out,” to which I could only nod sagely, of course. They pleaded with me to try the game but I played it cool. Finally one dude said he would bet me ten bucks that I couldn’t say a certain tongue twister three times fast. Now if you know me, you know for a FACT that I am the WORLD CHAMPION tongue twister sayer, so at first I pretended like I didn’t even know what a tongue twister was, to kind of hustle the guy, and then I finally said, real nervous-like, “Um, ten bucks….gee, maybe….well, what is the tongue twister?”, smiling all the time inside. (Wait till you hear how this turns out, it is so great.) So the guy says, “Well, it’s really tough---you have to say your checking account number forwards and backwards three times fast and not leave out a single digit. Nobody can do it!” And of course, I totally ACED it. The look on the guy’s face was priceless, poor bastard. Deer caught in the headlights. He was so floored that he begged me to go double or nothing with another tongue twister, and he took a moment to think of the toughest one he could, and he even conferred a couple of times with his buddy, who was looking me over and PLEADING with him not to go on (at least one of them had the brains to realize I was no rube), and finally he served up a real melon to me---all I had to say was my home address and date of birth backwards in fifteen seconds without screwing up, which I did to perfection in HALF the allotted time, walking away from the corner of A Street and 17th with a crisp TWENTY DOLLAR BILL, which I decided to blow in one of the Big Apple’s classic eating establishments, Johnny Rockets (the ORIGINAL one, not one of the lame spinoffs we have around here). So yeah, it was good times once again in old NY. The only thing that made the trip less than perfect was that there was some problem with my ATM card when I tried to buy my bus ticket home so I had to sneak onto one and it smelled like radishes and the banana I had got smooshed. But like I say, my belly was full of milkshake and fries, so who’s complaining?


Priorities, People. Priorities.

Citizens of the world, the time to heed our call is now. Scientists such as myself feel both fortunate that this global issue has finally captured the attention of world leaders and frustrated that despite the best available forecasts and statistics, not enough is being done to attack this problem at its core. For every alert and aware politician like Al Gore who has trumpeted the need for change, there are still five more who seem blissfully unaware that America’s future, as well as the planet’s, is in jeopardy unless we put aside partisan bickering and accept scientific fact for what it is---an inconvenient truth. As I write today, there are no less than forty accepted studies which prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that by the year 2030---perhaps even sooner---the Earth will have completely depleted its natural reserves of folksy, fond anecdotes of the New York Yankees of the nineteen forties and fifties. Our society is churning through golden memories of DiMaggio, Rizzuto, the Mick, Yogi Berra, and Casey Stengel at an alarming rate without any concern for the future---a horrible future where aging sportswriters simply won’t be able to reminisce with traditional dubious accuracy in print and in televised media about the mid-century Yankee legends which made their childhoods so cloyingly joyous. Because of a stunning profusion of documentaries, books, and articles about the golden age of baseball, original oral tales of the Clipper’s home plate heroics, Yogi’s timely quips, and Mickey’s good-natured carousing are disappearing left and right. How can we convey to our own children how freaking transcendent all these schmoes apparently were if we are unable someday to produce a single original story of Whitey Ford’s mound prowess or the way Yankee Stadium’s left field bleachers smelled on a summer afternoon? So I beg of you all, please do what you can to conserve every overly described moment of Don Larsen’s perfect game, every list of Bill Dickey and Red Ruffing’s favorite places to smoke cigars while in Pittsburgh, and every tale of a spoiled imp's sadness at seeing Brooklyn’s team move to L.A., no matter how implausible or discredited these stories might turn out to be. The world of tomorrow will thank you---and only you can make that world recognizable to us.


Weekends Are Long, THAT'S Why

As much as I hate to bring my faithful readers down, I find it necessary at this time, once again, to respond to the vicious negativity displayed by those ugly few who can’t help but naysay and find fault with seemingly everything I do. People, your glass-is-half-broken attitude is REALLY getting tiresome, and this most recent example of your cynicism has my blood boiling. As I could have predicted, you have all chosen to focus on the ONE thing that went wrong during the fashion show I decided to hold this past Sunday for all my condiments and spices. GOD FORBID you appreciate and celebrate the MANY aspects of the fashion show I held for all my condiments and spices which went FLAWLESSLY. No no, all you can do is harp on the fifteen unfortunate minutes at the end when things admittedly got out of hand. Why is it SO hard for you all to simply acknowledge that the shopping for miniature outfits at Total Crafts went perfectly and came in under budget, that the dressing of all my condiments and spices was carried out with style and whimsy, and that the ensuing presentation---including the adorable ‘talent’ competition---was just as much, if not more, innocent fun than I could possibly have expected when I dreamed up the concept during my nephew’s christening? Am I to have NO credit from ANYONE? I guess not. I guess the three and a half hours BEFORE the situation simply got beyond me never existed. Hmm. Interesting. I didn’t know TIME could mysteriously VANISH like that, MR. HAWKING. Tell you what, why don’t you all just write down the exact number of times you wish me to apologize for the awful end result of the fashion show for all my condiments and spices, and I’ll just get to work with a Sharpie and a big white piece of construction paper and we can all move on with our lives, okay? Because I am sorry. I am sorry that it all stopped being fun suddenly and erupted into something frightening and violent. I didn’t see it coming because I guess I don’t have futurevision. It turns out futurevision isn’t part of my basic cable package after all. Believe me, I don’t like being evicted from my apartment and spending the night in jail any more than you like hearing about me talk about you hearing about it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to make myself some tea and toast and think about trees for a while, which makes me genuinely happy. Good day to you.


That Sweet, Satisfying Crunch

Oh man oh man oh man, I saw the whole thing. Dorothy had gone into the kitchen to get me another Slim Jim, but I was watching. It was so bad, man---worse than the Joe Theismann leg break, if that’s even possible. And of course the network felt the need to show it over and over again, in slow motion, and every time they did they prefaced it by saying, “Oh, you don’t want to watch this,” which of course just guaranteed that I had to look. You just hate to see that kind of thing happen. I mean, football’s a violent sport and all, but still. Anyway, Marvin Harrison was lined up at wide receiver with Nathan Vasher covering him, and the play started, and the field started vibrating, and Harrison started to slowly cross to the center of the field, and Vasher bumped him---within five yards, so it was perfectly legal---and then just as Peyton Manning was going to pass the ball, Harrison got caught up in one of those little magnetic dead spots and he started rotating and rotating and not going anywhere, and then the little piece that was Brian Urlacher backed into him and their green plastic bases got locked up somehow, and Harrison got blindsided by some other Bears dude and his WHOLE BODY literally just snapped off the base and Urlacher fell backwards on top of him. As soon as it happened they pressed the Off switch on the field and stopped the play but it was too late, Harrison was toast. He just lay there, and I swear to God his green base was a full inch from his body. You won’t be seeing him on the field anytime soon, I bet. They say he has to be fused somehow back onto the base, maybe through some kind of melting process, because rubber cement won’t do a damn thing. Gack. Ew, if you watch the tape you can almost hear the snapping sound. You have to turn the volume way, way up and get your ear really close to the speaker, but I think it’s there. I’ve played it back about a dozen, maybe two dozen times and I’m pretty sure that’s what the sound is. I mean, I took the audio and I imported it into Sound Forge and I played with the equalizer for an hour or so, trying to reduce the excess noise, and it really does sound like you can hear the snapping. I know this guy out in Memphis who owns a recording studio, I might be able to send the file to him and he can maybe break it down even better---but it’ll cost us, I’m not going to lie to you. So if you’re in, just tell me now, because I don’t want to get stuck with a bill for six hundred bucks and then you listen to the tape and say to me, “Yeah, cool, I can really hear the snapping!” and then you don’t want to pay for half of the whole thing. That would just be, you know, sad.


Who Needs Friends When You Have CBS?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again---best show on television. It is the BEST show on television. Last week’s episode was the finest ever. Vortmann TOTALLY destroyed the serial killer’s arguments in the courtroom, just when it seemed like Vortmann’s crackerjack staff of legal eagles had finally come up short. Then Vortmann walked with his employees to share a victory drink at McTippy’s when he fell into the harbor! The last twenty minutes of the episode were just of the paramedics and the police and the fire department coming to rescue him from the watery deep. Good stuff. He felt so foolish for having fallen in, it really eased the tension of the episode and made you feel better about the world. That one was even better than last week when Vortmann reduced that corrupt sheriff to tears before a hushed jury, once again salvaging victory from the jaws of defeat. He went right back to his penthouse apartment to have it out with Joyce about her affair with Todd when he fell into his tub and nearly drowned! A full twenty-two screen minutes of edge-of-your-seat suspense ensued as the emergency squad arrived and pulled Vortmann from a watery fate. He looked so grateful. I have that one on Tivo if you want to watch it. Actually, if you want the complete truth, I wasn’t completely crazy about last season’s finale. The whole plot line with the seemingly innocent mother who couldn’t have possibly killed her husband had a few too many implausibilities for my taste, even though the way Vortmann devised that brilliant closing argument and tricked her into lying on the stand was great. The episode didn’t gel for me until the second half, when Vortmann was walking back from the courtroom and he took that wrong turn and stumbled and fell into that millionaire’s pool, and the police had to come and dive in and haul him out with the help of those EMTs. The whole process took so long, it felt like you were really there! I love that jittery camerawork when Vortmann has to be rescued and that documentary-style editing that makes it seem so real, like Vortmann really might not get rescued this time. And the fact that the rescue people always seem so calm, even bored through the whole thing---that’s so authentic, like they see this so often their hearts have become jaded. There was really only one time I didn’t think Vortmann was going to survive. There was an episode where he got into a verbal sparring match with an evil judge that landed him in prison overnight and then he had to dig deep into his own past for the solution to how he was going to cross-examine some terrorist guy. That time he didn’t even get out of the courthouse when fate struck---he slipped and went down into a big vat of warm dishwater in the state employees’ cafeteria and nearly didn’t ever get out! But the fire department really came through with an excellent response time and in the end everything was okay and they put Vortmann’s usual blue blanket that they keep in the truck around his shoulders and he was all shivery and apologetic but he lived to fight another day. The whole rescue part only took about a quarter of the show, but I was still riveted.

So yes, anyway, I would like to buy some marijuana from you at this time. I’m not really sure how this works. I’ll just follow your lead if that’s okay. I have a great deal of money on me and I’m willing to pay pretty much whatever you suggest.

What do you mean, you’ve never even heard of it? You’ve never heard of Vortmann in the Court? What is wrong with you? They don’t have TV in Addis Ababa?


Microsoft Vista Patches List, 2/1

Vista---worth the money? Well, it definitely is if you’re like me---well-connected to a very high-placed sales rep at PC Magazine who sold me his copy for $35 and my DVD of Leprechaun, which, friends and neighbors, I’ve had for so long that he’s forgotten IT’S ACTUALLY HIS (SCORE!!) But predictably, Bill Gates’s newest offering is full of problems. Simply right-click on each patch to download fixes for common problems with the latest over-hyped OS.

PATCH 32-D-9/8SH
Solves a common privacy complaint by stopping Microsoft Word 2007 from pointlessly predicting how many verbs a user will type in the coming calendar year and instantly posting this prediction on his or her MySpace page.

PATCH 73/LS.3.23
No matter what a user tries, Microsoft Vista will always greet him or her as “Tippi Gibbs” for the duration of the life of the computer. This patch cannot fix this bug, but it will block the name on the screen with a small .bmp image of the Peanuts gang.

Remote EyePoker 2.0 cannot support certain types of digital poking wands manufactured by Dell; this patch allows mutually consenting users to poke each other in the eye over the Internet with any company’s wand as long as it syncs with Access. Microsoft has announced its intention to discontinue Remote EyePoker for future Windows editions due to lack of interest.

Deletes the unfortunate “Post Social Security Number Directly to Google Search” command from Internet Explorer.

When attempting to create an archival subfolder for contact storage in Outlook‘s calendar, a double click currently cues a bug that causes the voice of Vincent Price to scream deafeningly through the user’s speakers, cackling “APPLE PIE FOR EVERYONE, APPLE PIE FOR EVERYONE, BOTH THE LIVING AND THE DEAD!” again and again. All this patch actually does is increase the volume of Price’s voice, should the user desire it.

PATCH 34/2/545
One of Vista’s more vital applications sifts through personal data entered by a user and isolates which of the user’s friends are most likely to start pestering them about maybe getting together next weekend and “throwing something together that we can post on YouTube.” This patch effectively blocks instant messages from all those deemed YouTube project risks.

Vista claims to be filled with features and programs that can help young people realize their dream of starting a web-based business. This patch identifies all such applications and wipes them off the hard drive immediately upon first boot-up, for the betterment of humanity.