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Tuesday, March 20, 2012


St. Paddy’s Day, short for Saint Padrick, is, let’s face it, pretty awful. The music is awful, the food is awful, and the only way to get through it is to drink to excess. What is corned beef for instance? I like regular beef- I don’t want people going around corning it. I also like corn, and if you should get the urge to corn that, it’s okay with me. Also all the food is dyed green, making it, a.) resemble vegetables, and b.) gross-looking. On the other hand, at least when you go out for a drink there are plenty of people there, and I can watch drunk people all day long- they are SO CUTE!

My wife made me promise to DRIVE CAREFULLY on the way home- drunk people are like little kids on a ski slope- they have no sense of danger, and it's inevitable that one will slam into you at some point. The whole way home I fantasized that instead my car would be hit by a deer, only the deer would also be drunk, on some frigging fermented berries or some crap, just my luck.

We WERE in a car accident on St. Paddy’s Day many years ago, hit by a drunk driver. We sustained some serious injuries, and of course some humorous ones. We settled a lawsuit with the other driver; this was in the days before lawyers came on TV telling me how they were looking out for MY rights. One TV lawyer wears a huge hat- have you seen this guy? It’s not raining or snowing, but this guy has a ginormous hat as though he might ride a horse into court, dismount and then brand the defendant after tying three of his legs together. Another TV lawyer looks like an undertaker, wearing a big handlebar mustache. Basically every lawyer is rooting for your bad luck.

But I went out anyway. On St. Patrick's Day your feet stick to the floor of the bar. Most of it is beer, but anywhere you turn could be spit, vomit, urine... I think I saw some amniotic fluid at one point, and some stuff that might have come out of someone's duodenum. Everything is dyed green so who the hell knows. I realize now where the Earth's crust comes from. God forbid there is a murder on St. Patrick's Day, because there is so much DNA on the floor you'd be testing it for months. Luckily there is my big fat footprint sitting in it so the cops could finger me that way, the least fun of all the ways they could finger me.

I tried to walk from one end of the bar to the other so I could go to the bathroom, but the bar was so crowded I ended up being extruded at the other end like from a tube of toothpaste. I was man-handled. I think I was also woman-handled, and possibly leprechaun-handled. I checked to see if my wallet was still there. Not only was it there, but I actually had picked up another one, too. I was touched in an inappropriate place, namely the coat-check room. I felt cheap, especially after looking in the wallet. Drunk girls were getting caught in an eddy of green, going around in concentric circles for about 20 minutes before the tide shifted.

There were a lot of firemen, I guess left over from the parade. I think it's good to have a day for the firemen to feel appreciated, because they could be in danger at any given time if somebody did something stupid like leave French fries cooking on an oven burner on high and walk away for about half an hour and start a nice fire in the kitchen cabinets. I'm not mentioning any names, but I don’t think I ever got full credit for sending my little sister through graduate school on the insurance money my father got. I thought I noticed some other weasels trying to ride in on the wave of good tidings for people in uniform. People were wearing bell-hop uniforms, gas station-attendant uniforms, I thought I saw a McDonald's uniform.... It's going too far if you actually have a medal on one of those. Or a rank- sometimes I see a doorman with three stripes on the uniform, and I wonder if he got a promotion from door-corporal.

It seems a shame to celebrate the heroism of firefighters on a day when everybody is too drunk to realize it. I scoured the calendar to find a different day that we could use. By the way, since when did Secretary’s Day become Administrative Assistant’s Day? Remember when you had to stop calling people stewardesses and start calling them aerial wait-staff? This seems like a rare case where all the male secretaries got together and wanted to seem a little less girly, and got them to change the name. Hillary Clinton is Secretary of State and she doesn’t seem girly, does she? You don’t hear her complaining that she wants to be called Administrative Assistant of State, do you?

I had a friend Dave in high school who was a volunteer fireman. He had to pay for his own scanner and emergency lights. When a call came over the radio he had to jump in his car and get moving- his emergency lights were a strobe and a UV light- I think they were from a discotheque. To this day every time I see those lights on the dance floor I pull over.

Anyway, I finally made it to the bar. There was a barmaid there who looked just like Sean Young- right down to those cute nostrils of hers. Am I the only one that noticed that Sean Young has cute nostrils? That's probably why she smells so good. However, Sean Young had that aura about her where she might be bipolar or even tripolar, like you might wake up and she would be hovering above you on the bed with a little-used garden tool, your whole life flashing in front of you and all you can think of is that if you had used that damned bulb pruner ONCE and left it out there to rust like all the others you wouldn’t be in this predicament. Plus the garden would look a little better than it does….

Incidentally, Saint Patrick’s Day is a celebration of the “Patron of Ireland.” Saints sometimes become “patrons” of the city or place where they were born, and unlike regular patrons, can get service even though they are not wearing a shirt or shoes. Often Spanish or Portuguese explorers named a newly discovered town after the saint who was born on the day they first visited the place. Saint Patrick’s Day is sometimes seen as the end of Lent, when you can resume doing whatever disgusting thing you gave up 40 days ago. Legend has it that Saint Patrick used a shamrock to explain to the Irish pagans what the Holy Trinity was. Knuckleheads STILL didn't get it. Finding a three-leaf clover is still considered lucky, as long as you don’t have to sit through the whole Holy Trinity story.

Friday, March 2, 2012


Every year around this time Ash Wednesday takes me by surprise, when I walk up to somebody at work and go, “You have some schmutz on your face,” and I try to wipe the ashes off their face with my shirt sleeve, thereby almost compromising their religious beliefs. Just before my sleeve makes contact with their forehead, I notice that the schmutz is in the shape of a cross, and I think WOW: what did this guy stick his face into that resulted in a perfect ash-cross?? This minor holiday, of course, signifies Jesus’ inability to locate an ashtray. It is considered a “moveable fast,” meaning that alternate-side-of-the-street rules may be in effect.

In the NFL, players are now sporting plastic stick-on “lampblack,” those ashes that they put underneath their eyes to avoid the harsh glare of public opinion following their DWI or handgun arrest. I was wondering how long it will take for someone to come up with stick-on Ash Wednesday ashes. Let’s face it: if you live in the City, what are you going to have to go through to get your hands on some ashes when the nonfunctioning fireplace in your apartment is a planter, and even the planter doesn’t work that great? I fantasize about what had to lose its life to become that black cross on somebody’s face: a hastily burned Valentine’s Day card from your mistress? An evidentiary stack of documents implicating you in insider trading? Part of one of my Mom’s potroasts?

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, when Jesus fasted in the desert for 40 days. They make Jesus look like a big hero for fasting- it’s not like there is a food court in the desert by the way. If you’re lucky you might find a cactus or something, and you can squeeze some moisture out of it if you can endure more pricks than a Hummer showroom. You can pinch off the rear end of a scorpion and pop it right in your mouth; it tastes like a poisonous chicken. Saw it on “Man vs. Wild,” where the guy can remove the ass of just about anything and eat it. I can’t even remove the packaging from a candy bar.

Nowadays, since Americans don’t want to give up being fat, you can symbolically fast by giving up something that you really love during Lent, such as “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” since it’s in repeats anyway, or Brussels sprouts. Many people give up alcohol, and by extension, sleeping with ugly girls, aiding & abetting, passing out on golf courses, jumping naked into the Trevi Fountain and hitting on their mother-in-law.

Like most of the stuff in the Bible, it’s probably meant to be taken figuratively, but people are always stupid enough to plunge right in. It’s a lot of tall tales that got stretched WAY out of proportion as one person tells another, and before you know it, it’s a friggin’ miracle. A guy does a perfect can-opener from the high-diving board, and all of a sudden it’s the parting of the Red Sea. You’re on vacation and the weather sucks, you’re stuck in your hotel room for what seems like 40 days and 40 nights, even though you were only there a week.

What an idea to think that you could line up animals two-by-two on an ark and think that they are even going to get along, much less repopulate the Earth. I have two cats that haven’t stopped beating on each other since the day they were whelped, if cats are even whelped. Walking up the gangplank 40 days worth of animals bickering and carping begins… Is it my imagination or does everything in the Bible take 40 days? Nothing really gets done in a great hurry.

What would happen if Jesus lived in our time? Would the Bible ever be written? No, because the truth would be out there on video. There is Cain loitering around wearing a red Yankees cap. The video is grainy but you can tell it is him. You don’t see the actual smiting on the video but you can see Cain fleeing, and it looks like he has just smoten somebody. And for god’s sake don’t wear a RED Yankees cap- if you want to wear red move to Boston.

Video is everywhere, waiting to rat you out. God forbid Jesus should have some cellulite on the beach, the next day it’s all over the tabloids. “Jesus & Judas show up at the Last Supper in the same toga! See who wore it better!”

I read that they are soon going to require video cameras installed on the back of all cars. That way, you can find out if where you just were was as boring as you thought it was.

All the prophets and disciples are watching their every move, lest they be crucified in the Twitter-sphere. The Twitter-sphere has more helium than oxygen, which explains why the thinking there is so addled. And of course, Fox News putting a nefarious spin on every move Jesus makes. “Today Jesus turned water into wine, throwing a temporary monkey-wrench into the Alcoholics Anonymous fund-raising car wash. A spokesperson for Jesus did not return our calls.”

Incidentally, in Ireland, National No Smoking Day is on Ash Wednesday. So when you snuff out your last cigarette on Fat Tuesday evening, you can snuff it out right on your forehead. I read that you are actually supposed to use the ashes from palms that you burnt the week before. How they knew that I burnt my palms the week before I'll never know, and THEY will never know how I burnt them- that's my little secret. The Bible says you're also supposed to wear sackcloth, but you're going to have to buy a hell of a lot of whatever is in that sack to get one in your size- try Costco. Ash Wednesday follows the last day of Mardi Gras,
famously celebrated in New Orleans. I haven’t seen anything in the Bible about flashing your tits for plastic beads, but I haven’t finished it yet.