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Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

I’m in the Lone Star State and I’m scared.

Texans are tough. I was in the service with a bunch and, in the street level vernacular, they “took no shit from the company commander. “

In those days, we were ammunition handlers, driving truckloads of bombs and bags of black powder and such from the storage point to a nearby runway where the bombs would be loaded on airplanes and then dropped on bombing ranges as practice for the real thing. I don’t know what happened to the black powder, but I always had a sneaking suspicion the Texans were rolling and smoking BP roaches.

My Tejas Compadres rode their trucks like they’d ride bucking broncs or bulls at the Houston Rodeo while the rest of us pussy-footed wimps inched along the road as if a single bump would blow us to hell and back.

Just to illustrate how really tough Texans are, practically the whole Arkansas Razorbacks football team was once made up of Texans who couldn’t make the Longhorns.  And Arkansas was perennially ranked among the Top Ten football teams in the nation.

Depending on their geographic locations, Texans wrestle alligators or rattlesnakes, gulp slabs of bleeding beef in a single swallow, and say “Yes, Ma’am” to women.  They drink their beer from longnecks while leaning against the bar, one booted foot propped on the rail and the other at the ready just in case some damned Easterner or Californian who needs an ass-kicking walks by.

Texas, parts of it, anyway, has always been a state of memories for me. My granddad was a foreman on a Texas ranch. So it is said. I’m always mindful, though, that two chickens equal a ranch in Texas.

My grandmother died of the flu in Texas. No one knows exactly where she lived at the time or where she’s buried. I’m still researching the mystery.

My mother loved Texas and Texas music. Her favorite kind was Texas Swing and her favorite song was San Antonio Rose. If anyone ever spoke ill of Gene Autry, she’d likely lay a skillet alongside their face. She had a hell of a temper and it didn’t take much to set her off.

I was trained in the arts of war in Wichita Falls, Texas, where, while undergoing basic training in the middle of the coldest winter in the history of the Earth, my testicles shriveled and turned blue on a 50 yard march from the barracks to the mess hall one February morning.

There is a great deal more that connects me to Texas, not the least of which is, one of my beautiful daughters lives there. As long as I’m with her, I can handle anything those tough Texans throw at me.

Her husband is a police officer. He owns enough weaponry to outfit an infantry division with some left over. I’m not kidding. A couple of months ago, he broke out his personal collection and just for the heck of it, I handled a few just to see if I retained any of the old feel. Not hardly.

One of them was a frontier rifle, a Remington something-or-other, I believe, that looked like a Red Ryder BB gun. I distinctly remember the old Red Ryder’s. Some dumb ass kid was pretending to be the Rifleman or someone by twirling a Red Ryder gun around and firing from the hip.

When I saw the gun pointed at me, I ducked behind a pile of cotton hulls. Too late. A BB hit me right between the eyes where the bridge of the nose meets the skull. A millimeter one way or the other and the tiny pellet would have gone in an eye. As it was, the BB felt like it was the size of a large marble. The thing broke the skin and blood started running down my nose. Other than that, the pellet did no harm. But it was a momentarily frightening experience.

That’s what I thought about as I handled that real, live lever-action Remington. I wasn’t afraid. The memory of Red Ryder just popped up in my mind and then just as quickly went away as we talked. I certainly would be afraid today if some adult dumb-ass shit-for-brains started playing Red Ryder, whether I was armed or not. Guns are dangerous toys, and Texans own a lot.

But guns are not my major fear when I visit Texas. The Texas cuisine is loaded with enough cholesterol to slow the water over Niagara Falls. A person in Texas is probably more likely to die of arteriosclerosis than from a gunshot.

But, Jay-Dus, Tex-Mex food is freaking Delicious with a Capital D. If I can make it back to Hawaii without crapping out at the Texas Generic Roadhouse, I’ll count myself a fortunate man indeed.

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As a product of the No Color Collar Class, I believe I can safely say that America’s kids prefer a Grilled Cheese Sandwich to any other sandwich 10 to 1. And when I say kids, I mean real kids as well as those of us who have never grown up.

I have no statistics to back me up. I’m relying on anecdotal evidence. Consider:

·        Have you ever been in a family restaurant that didn’t have a grilled cheese sandwich on a separate kid’s menu?

·        Think about how often you’ve looked over a menu and finally said, “I’ll have a grilled cheese.” You don’t have to add “sandwich.” Everyone knows what grilled cheese means without further elaboration.

·        Do you remember the many times your mom or your wife said, “We’re having grilled cheese tonight” and everyone cheered?

·        Or, you married men or men in a relationship, how about those rare occasions you were alone in the house and fixing a late supper was solely on your shoulders.  You fiddled around with a couple of slices of bread and a piece of cheese until you became disgusted and headed for Mom’s Eats (why isn’t there a Dad’s Eats?) for a grilled cheese.

·        And women, isn’t it great to be alone on a cold winter’s evening, all snuggled up on the couch in front of the TV with a steaming hot eggnog in hand and a grilled cheese on a platter on the couch next to you while you watch Viggo Mortensen bare his chest for the benefit of Diane Lane?

·        Or the time you first heard Dad utter a profanity? He pulled the old tan 78 Ford Fairmont 4-dr family sedan into the drive-thru lane and ordered a grilled cheese. “Shit!” he muttered when the attendant said, “Sorry, Sir, we’re temporarily out of cheese. Please come back again sometime.”

Why is grilled cheese so popular? My guess is that the answer lies in the American preference for simplicity. We’re a Gulp and Go society. We don’t like to sit around and suffer through the torture of waiting for the next course in a seven course dinner.

And there really isn’t a meal much simpler and appealing to our fast-paced life styles than a grilled cheese. Two slices of bread and a slice of cheese. Slap the cheese between the two slices of bread and then pop it on the grill, turning it occasionally to get the bread evenly brown. Finally, squashing it a few times with a spatula to meld the melted cheese and the bread. Squashing also tends to push a little oil or grease into the bread, thus enhancing an otherwise bland taste. Serve it with or without whatever. Occam’s Razor in action.

My personal preference is to avoid adding anything to the basic ingredients. No ham, no tomato, no lettuce, nothing. When we add a slice of ham, for example, we have a grilled cheese and ham, not a grilled cheese. If you like additional ingredients, fine and dandy. It’s our individual taste preferences that count.

Just remember, if you add other items, you aren’t, technically speaking, eating a grilled cheese. Calling it a grilled cheese muddies the waters of gastronomical purity and evokes professional sensitivity among short-order cooks.

Moreover, serving a kid a sandwich of bread, cheese, tomato, pickle, and jalapenos, and calling it a grilled cheese is fine if you don’t mind a kicking, screaming, head-pounding temper tantrum.

Okay, I’m off to a little café I stumbled across on 24th Street near Vicksburg in San Francisco for a grilled cheese. And I mean Grilled Cheese with a capital G C.

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Open Salon recently put out a call for the sexiest man living. That’s patently unfair to heterosexual males like me because we don’t look at other men as sexy. Speaking only for myself, I view men in general as dorks. There’s no hotness, no sexiness to a dork.

Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is no dork. She is sexy as all get out and has more balls than most men I know. She’s strong and independent, with nerve above that of Nancy Pelosi, my runner-up selection in case a sex-tape of Sarah and Levi Johnston pops up.

Sarah epitomizes your American ideal of maleness. She’s an outdoorsman par excellence, a hunter, a fisherman, a camper, ready at a moment’s notice to fight a salmon until it tires and then slap it skin, bones, eyes, and entrails over an open-fire or eat it raw.

She definitely dominates the landscape around her, exuding charisma by the bucketful. Beside her, John McCain is a wizened, shriveled shadow of a real man. If I could bottle and sell her essence, I’d be a millionaire in short order.

And talk about testosterone, it shines from her forehead like a glinting diamond, catching the eye and holding it until she disappears from view.

As far as outward physical attributes go, she has an amazing skull. With her prognathous jaw, heavy brow, deep-set eyes, high cheekbones, and ruby red lips, she signals her genetic superiority to all potential mates.

Put all of the above together with a pair of legs to die for, and you have Sarah Palin as My Sexiest Man Living.

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Be honest now, men. If you had a chance, would you pose full-frontal nude in Playgirl Magazine if the editors invited you?

A lot of men have actually exposed all in the pages of that publication, including Burt Reynolds when he was still a hunk. Now, Levi Johnston, the father of Sarah Palin’s grandson, is getting ready for a nude photo shoot. His unadorned pecs and abs and er…equipment…are expected to grace the centerfold of Playgirl’s next issue.

Why is Levi opting for his 15 minutes of fame in the nude? He’s a hardened Alaskan male who, if he wants to pose, would make a more lasting impression as a really masculine guy shooting at a rabbit with an AK-47.

But standing or sitting or whatever in a position carefully calculated to demonstrate his manliness in another way is dangerous. A lot of men are going to see him in Playgirl. Men are not kind when assessing the endowments of other men. In fact, regardless of the size and appearance of his equipment, Levi is going to wish he were on the moon to escape the inevitable razzing.

Besides, his fame may be short-lived. It may dissipate long before his 15 minutes expires. America’s magazine buying public prefers female over male nudity. Playboy is still going strong after 35-plus years. Playgirl’s print version is already out of business. The mag is strictly an on-line publication now.

Which brings me around to the question I used to introduce this post: would any of you men pose full-frontal nude in Playgirl like Levi?

Here’s my take. Your courage would be directly proportional to the length and girth of your appendage. If you were well-endowed, hell, you’d catch the red eye to New York in a heartbeat. If you were lacking, you’d kill any son of a bitch who came within a hundred yards of you with a camera.

This is why I believe Levi is well-endowed. And I think we can expect an exciting Playgirl issue when it hits the internet.

I’m wondering, though, if money plays a role here. I’m sure Levi will be paid for his services. But in your own personal case, how much money would it take to get you to strip naked on a beach on Maui and pose in front of a bunch of gawking giggling tourists?

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In ABC’s new Wednesday evening Fall offering, “Cougar Town,” Courteney Cox plays a recently-divorced forty-something who decides to hit the jungle trail. Almost before we can say “sex” she latches onto a handsome stud and hauls him off to her pad.

That’s it. That’s the whole story encapsulated in the 30-minute pilot. Will this show last? Only if the audience likes the odd mix of sex between young and old with no apparent purpose other than watching Courteney under an undulating sheet with a new cookie-cutter stud every week

Don’t get me wrong. Forty-five year old Courteney is built like the proverbial outhouse. Either that or she had a hell of a body double and a pixel mechanic capable of placing Courteney’s head atop the body of the body double.

On balance, however, and after a little logical reflection, I’m willing to give Courteney the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the sterling condition of her aging bod. On a scale of one to ten, she deserves an eight in my playbook.

The problem in the pilot wasn’t her physical shape but her overacting. The word seems an apt summarization of her gesturing and other nonverbal histrionics, which might bring her stardom if silent films are resurrected.

Pending that unlikely occurrence, however, she might profit from observing real cougars in action. As a civic-minded critic, I’m offering a link to the hottest cougar hangouts in San Francisco.

And if Courteney needs a guide, my services are available free of charge. In fact, I can be cougar-ed myself. I’m in the Yellow Pages under Cougar Treks.

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