Saturday, December 3, 2011


Nobody is more serious about shopping than women.

But now it's become a blood sport. I'm talking about no mercy, take no prisoners style of shopping. During a Black Friday shopping spree, some woman at a California Wal-Mart diminished the competition by pepper spraying her fellow shoppers.

Her assumption must have been that any woman who's coughing her guts out and blinded by the tears gushing from her eyes will be less inclined to shove her into a wall or elbow her in the ribs on the way to a 50% OFF SALE on bath towels.

Excitement generated by shoes and jewelry I can understand. I mean I do live and breathe, and I have watched numerous episodes of “Sex and the City.” But getting an adrenaline rush over stuff like sweaters, scarves, jeans and blouses still baffles me.

At stores in Ohio and Michigan, women shoved, threatened, screamed, and exchanged punches with other women over items like discounted sheets and pillow cases.

A marketing expert recently noted that once a woman decides she's in the mood to buy something, decorum is temporarily put on hold.

Every year at Filene's Basement, a clothing store in New York City, they have great deals on wedding dresses. The event is called, “The Running of the Brides.” It's something like “The Running of the Bulls” in Pamplona. Except you're slightly safer on the streets of Spain than in the basement where a major sale is taking place.

When an $8,000 wedding dress is selling for $400, terrible atrocities are committed by soon-to-be blushing brides. Some trampling, salty language, and a healthy dose of foul play is bound to occur when the doors are opened at 8 in the morning and the women are finally released.

While there are many wonderful things you can do with women, shopping with them during a sale isn't one of them.


Sunday, March 13, 2011


With revolts erupting in the Middle East, nuclear plant meltdowns, devastating earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, oil spills, forest fires, home-grown terrorist threats, gang rapes of teenagers, and murders taking place in high schools and on our college campuses … it's a swift kick in our core values that Charlie Sheen has become Breaking News.

Sheen is in awe of Marlon Brando's character in “Apocalypse Now” and likes to quote his favorite line from the movie: “You have the right to kill me, but you do not have the right to judge me.” Of course this is a Charlie fave. It supports his lifestyle of engaging in destructive activities and never being called on it.

It's hard to comprehend the worldwide coverage and morbid fascination of Charlie Sheen, formerly known as Carlos Irwin Estevez. It's like watching an 8-car pileup on the highway. You want to look away, but can't. The ugliness is riveting and maybe, just maybe something will blow up and you'll be able to tell people you were there and saw it.

The long-term use of crack cocaine can cause severe mood swings, hostility, flitting from topic-to-topic, irrational irritability, extreme paranoia, and God-like behavior. Ring any bells, Charlie?

As for the constant reminder to his disciples that he has a mind of boggling brilliance, that same belief is also held by Moammar Kaddafi and Gary Busey.

If you have a serious drug problem, you can't cure it with the power of your mind, as Charlie insists he has done with his imposing and dominating thoughts. And if his brain had any juice left at all, he would certainly use it to remove the cigarettes that continually dangle from his lips.

Anyone watching his Ustream webcam videos will be struck by his manic delivery. He twitches, puffs away, bobs ups and down, runs his fingers through hair that looks like it's never been shampooed, all while spewing out chunks of gibberish masquerading as a highly evolved mind.

“They picked a fight with a warlock.” Charlie revels in this phrase about himself. Apparently the real warlocks of Salem have taken umbrage to his faulty claim and worry that Charlie has given them a bad name. Right now in some sinister and undisclosed location a powerful potion is no doubt being brewed to turn him into a warty toad.

The twits that tweet on Twitter have shown up in record numbers to put Charlie in the Guinness Book of Records. This unfortunate encouragement will not be helpful in bringing his drug-gorged brain back down here with the earthlings. BTW, there's a buzz on the street that Charlie's 140-character tweets are written by a ghost writer.

“DUH, WINNING!” Sheen's “winning streak” began a few weeks before graduating from Santa Monica high school when Charlie was kicked out of school for limited attendance and lousy grades.

Making frequent and increasingly disturbing appearances on his home-based Ustream webcam, Charlie did a hatchet job on the other man in “Two and a Half Men.” Jon Cryer, the excellent comic actor who starred in the movie, “Pretty In Pink,” was verbally assaulted on “Sheen's Korner” and branded a turncoat, a traitor, and a troll for not contacting Charlie in his hour of need.

Troubled that he might have gone overboard in his condemnation, Charlie later offered Jon a half-apology, an apol, as he playfully puts it.

My guess is that Jon didn't want to make a public spectacle of himself or add to the already humiliating circus that calls itself Charlie Sheen. Or maybe Jon wasn't comfortable chatting with a gaunt and blathering man who drinks from a bottle labeled “Tiger Blood” and climbs to the roof of an office building to wave a machete at the confused crowd gathered below.

Such conduct might make one wonder if the “high priest Vatican assassin warlock” had become completely unhinged.

They say that the first step toward self-healing is admitting that something is wrong, that your deck might be missing a few cards.

In a tiny cobwebbed corner of my mind, I like Charlie Sheen, find him amusing at times, and don't want to see him buried under the babble and rubble of his own making.

A series of interventions from family members and close friends could be his key to salvation and sanity.

But it's hard to imagine Charlie allowing such an invasive procedure when his brilliance is so dazzling and the rest of us are mere trolls that exist for his scorn and amusement. Charlie is a brain surgeon operating on himself. Which is why the cards in his diminished deck are so heavily stacked against him.

Sorry, Charlie, but the troll you so flagrantly slander and malign is you! You're the dwarfish dolt who should be residing under a bridge.

Your oafish behavior got you fired from the most lucrative job on television. You selfishly risked trashing the careers of other actors. You ruined three marriages and lost custody of children you claim to love. You beat up prostitutes. You menace ex-wives. You refuse therapeutic help, and believe for reasons that can't logically be defended, that you can cure yourself with a mind that is slowly but surely unraveling.

While wearing your silly hats, you defiantly utter nonsense like, “Firing me is the work of infants.” “I was banging seven-gram rocks because that's how I roll.” “Dying is for amateurs.” “I will cut your head off, put it in a box, and send it to your mom.” “The run I was on made Sinatra, Flynn, Jagger, Richards and all of 'em look like droopy-eyed armless children.” “I'm tired of pretending I'm not a freaking rock star from Mars.”

Whatever planet you're from must be happy you're not coming back. Face it, Charlie, it's time your tiger's blood had a transfusion.


Monday, February 14, 2011


Now we've got one more way to label and stigmatize people for looking or acting different from the rest of us.

It's those poor unfortunates who breathe through their mouth instead of their nose – the much maligned “mouth breathers.” This is a pejorative term suggesting that the unfairly ridiculed have IQ's in the single digits.

There's no denying that it's healthier to breathe through your nose, since the nose acts as a filter while warming the air before it enters the lungs. Maybe sucking in air through your mouth does make you look like a goober. But it's not an accurate indicator of a person's intelligence or ability to function at a higher level.

Unfortunately, some people – due to abnormalities of the upper respiratory tract – are unable to get enough air through the nose and are forced to breathe through the mouth so they don't feel like they're being suffocated.

And yet, there are people out there like IMUS, the sarcastic talk-show icon with his trademark cowboy hat sitting atop his horsey saddle-bag face, who rarely misses an opportunity to mock and pass judgment on those who would certainly take advantage of their noses if they could.

Frankly, I'm surprised that Charles McCord, his long-time sidekick, seeker of enlightenment and the show's “voice of reason” hasn't called him on it.

Every so often Charles, whose main job besides doing the news, is to support and pay homage to the Chief, will occasionally rant for a full minute at the top of his lungs when the crabby cowboy goes over the top on someone or something.

Whether it's real or contrived, it's a funny bit and I'd like to hear him sound off more often. Like maybe the next time Don tosses off a nasty dig about something he knows nothing about.

But since the Imus mantra is all about reveling in the agony of others, I guess I shouldn't expect too much from this whining collection of wrinkles neatly assembled under a big hat.


Sunday, January 9, 2011


While I'm constantly looking for things that add challenge and stimulation to my life, there is a tedious and growing collection of individuals who would rather discuss paper clips, tie collections, bus routes, or the patterns on their wallpaper.

In London, a group of boredom zealots recently attended a conference called, “Like Listening To Paint Dry.” The inert audience seemed listlessly transfixed as the tiresome narrator, a Mr. Barrett, droned on about the 415 colors in a paint catalog.

“It is quintessentially English to look at something dull as dishwater and find it interesting,” said a Mr. Thompson, who claimed to be mesmerized by the evening's lack of excitement.

For seven hours, surprisingly few nodded off as speaker after speaker covered a dreary range of subjects with just the right amount of apathy.

Included among the night's topics were: “Reflections on the English breakfast,” “The joy of warm beer,” and “Pondering doorknobs.”

Now the boredom craze has spread to America. In fact, there is currently a “Boring Institute” in South Orange, New Jersey. On opening night, pens, the letter x, and electric sockets were discussed at great length.

But the highlight of the evening occurred when a young woman brought in and shared photographs she had taken of random marks left on walls, and of chewing gum stuck under school desks and park benches.

It's quite obvious to me, and it should be to you, that the bores are satisfied with the life they've chosen. They can spend hours with a good friend without exchanging a syllable. And they are completely at ease in the peace and silence of a crowded elevator.

With an increasingly complex world that is changing gears at an alarming rate, the practitioners of boredom pride themselves on keeping things simple.

They don't obsess over Facebook, Twitter, crooked politicians, sobbing politicians, Wall Street avarice, Wikileak updates, airport pat-downs, lawbreaking athletes, escalating rudeness, unworkable diets, screaming commercials, or the absurdity of 5-day forecasts.

It just might be that the bores among us are onto something that the rest of us, in our ceaseless quest for information, have completely overlooked.

On the other hand, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that some marbles could be missing. Or that the marriage of first cousins might be a factor.