Thanks to Mark for sending this to me. Click to enlarge and enjoy!
Lately, on Late Night with David Letterman, when Dave throws a blue card through the fake window that sits behind his desk, the sound guy has been playing the chorus from the song "Wildfire" by Michael Martin Murphy. The other day, Dave commented that his favorite verse in that song was, "We're gonna leave sod busting behind." I immediately thought this was funny since, as everyone knows, the verse is actually "We're going to leave South Boston behind." I have since discovered that I'm wrong and that it is in fact "sod busting." This changes the entire song for me. That "South Boston " line always led me to believe that the person in the song lives in Boston and is singing about a girl he knew when he was younger and lived on a farm. Now I realize that the song is in fact being sung by a boy who still lives on a farm.
This is a cute story. Interesting? Yes. Funny? Certainly. But it's only the lead up to the real story.
I told my dad that I have been singing the wrong lyrics for 30 years and he said, "Oh, that's nothing. What's that song by Credence Clearwater Revival?"
"Traveling Band..... Born on the Bayou... Bad Moon Rising?"
"That's it, Bad Moon Rising."
"What about it?"
"Well, until just recently, I thought they were singing "There's a bathroom on the right."
"You're shittin' me!"
"Don't go out tonight, cause it's bound to take your life, there's a bathroom on the right?"
Bobbi and's dad was in town last weekend so we decided to take the girls down to the Tampa Aquarium. It's a nice aquarium and has a great outdoors section for the kids with water fountains and sand boxes and stuff for them to play in.
Now that we have the "new hotness" we don't have to take two cars on a trip like this anymore. My new car will now carry four adults and two children so we packed everybody in and headed to downtown. On the way there I showed off all of the cool features I had installed in the car. I have a 10 inch DVD screen for the kids, siruis satellite radio, an iPod connector, alarm, remote start and a backup camera. Basically, my car will do everything but blow you, although you can get a hand job on the weekend if you're nice.
When we were done at the aquarium and walking back to the car I pulled out my remote. Looking at the little screen I noticed that the door was open. This meant that someone had attempted to open my door or had actually opened it. Quickly, I rushed to my car and found out the driver's side door was wide open. Had someone managed to foil my sophisticated alarm system and break into my car while I was off spending quality time with the family? No, I had in fact left the driver's side door wide open when we parked the car. That's right, all the fancy new technical gizmos and gadgets in my car did not stop me from being the idiot who leaves his car door open in a parking garage in downtown Tampa. (If I had bothered to look at the remote as I walked away I would have seen that the car door was open)
The Living Room...
The Play Room
My sister sent me an email yesterday that contained a long list of things that kids growing up in the 70's were exposed to that now are forbidden. By coincidence, I was searching for a photo today that my dad asked for and came across this shot of me on my 6th birthday (1970). I am learning to ride my new bike (never had training wheels) in the backyard of our house in Va. No shoes, no shirt, and definitely no helmet.
I just finished watching Avril Lavigne perform on the David Letterman show. They say that everything comes back around eventually and now I believe it. Watching her sing I might as well have been watching Debbie Harry or Toni Basil perform in 1982. Even the clothes the band was wearing were retro.
I've started working out with Bobbi's trainer (or as I like to call him, Hitler) twice a week. Yesterday we worked mostly on upper body and as a result I cannot put my arms above my head. Thank God I can still move my arms in front of my body. It occurs to me that if exercising prevented men from moving their hands in front of their body we would have a hard time getting anyone to exercise.
Bobbi flew to Pittsburgh this morning and won't return until late tonight. She claims that it is a business trip but I think that she is secretly meeting her lover. The reason I'm not upset about it is because having to meet your lover in Pittsburgh is punishment enough.
Am I the only one who thinks that NBC News should not have aired the video of the whack job who shot up Virginia Tech? It used to be that these chess club rejects who went crazy with a pistol in order to draw attention to themselves just got to be profiled on the nightly news. Now, they practically get their own sitcom. Wouldn't it be better if we sent the message that anyone who does something horrible like this will be buried? I don't even think they should release his name.
Commencement Speech to the Havard Class of 2000
by Conan O'Brien
I'd like to thank the Class Marshals for inviting me here today. The last time I was invited to Harvard it cost me $110,000, so you'll forgive me if I'm a bit suspicious. I'd like to announce up front that I have one goal this afternoon: to be half as funny as tomorrow's Commencement Speaker, Moral Philosopher and Economist, Amartya Sen. Must get more laughs than seminal wage/price theoretician.
Students of the Harvard Class of 2000, fifteen years ago I sat where you sit now and I thought exactly what you are now thinking: What's going to happen to me? Will I find my place in the world? Am I really graduating a virgin? I still have 24 hours and my roommate's Mom is hot. I swear she was checking me out. Being here today is very special for me. I miss this place. I especially miss Harvard Square - it's so unique. No where else in the world will you find a man with a turban wearing a Red Sox jacket and working in a lesbian bookstore. Hey, I'm just glad my dad's working.
It's particularly sweet for me to be here today because when I graduated, I wanted very badly to be a Class Day Speaker. Unfortunately, my speech was rejected. So, if you'll indulge me, I'd like to read a portion of that speech from fifteen years ago: "Fellow students, as we sit here today listening to that classic Ah-ha tune which will definitely stand the test of time, I would like to make several predictions about what the future will hold: "I believe that one day a simple Governor from a small Southern state will rise to the highest office in the land. He will lack political skill, but will lead on the sheer strength of his moral authority." "I believe that Justice will prevail and, one day, the Berlin Wall will crumble, uniting East and West Berlin forever under Communist rule." "I believe that one day, a high speed network of interconnected computers will spring up world-wide, so enriching people that they will lose their interest in idle chit chat and pornography." "And finally, I believe that one day I will have a television show on a major network, seen by millions of people a night, which I will use to re-enact crimes and help catch at-large criminals." And then there's some stuff about the death of Wall Street which I don't think we need to get into....
The point is that, although you see me as a celebrity, a member of the cultural elite, a kind of demigod, I was actually a student here once much like you. I came here in the fall of 1981 and lived in Holworthy. I was, without exaggeration, the ugliest picture in the Freshman Face book. When Harvard asked me for a picture the previous summer, I thought it was just for their records, so I literally jogged in the August heat to a passport photo office and sat for a morgue photo. To make matters worse, when the Face Book came out they put my picture next to Catherine Oxenberg, a stunning blonde actress who was accepted to the class of '85 but decided to defer admission so she could join the cast of "Dynasty." My photo would have looked bad on any page, but next to Catherine Oxenberg, I looked like a mackerel that had been in a car accident. You see, in those days I was six feet four inches tall and I weighed 150 pounds. Recently, I had some structural engineers run those numbers into a computer model and, according to the computer, I collapsed in 1987, killing hundreds in Taiwan.
After freshman year I moved to Mather House. Mather House, incidentally, was designed by the same firm that built Hitler's bunker. In fact, if Hitler had conducted the war from Mather House, he'd have shot himself a year earlier. 1985 seems like a long time ago now. When I had my Class Day, you students would have been seven years old. Seven years old. Do you know what that means? Back then I could have beaten any of you in a fight. And I mean bad. It would be no contest. If any one here has a time machine, seriously, let's get it on, I will whip your seven year old butt. When I was here, they sold diapers at the Coop that said "Harvard Class of 2000." At the time, it was kind of a joke, but now I realize you wore those diapers. How embarrassing for you. A lot has happened in fifteen years. When you think about it, we come from completely different worlds. When I graduated, we watched movies starring Tom Cruise and listened to music by Madonna. I come from a time when we huddled around our TV sets and watched "The Cosby Show" on NBC, never imagining that there would one day be a show called "Cosby" on CBS. In 1985 we drove cars with driver's side airbags, but if you told us that one day there'd be passenger side airbags, we'd have burned you for witchcraft.
But of course, I think there is some common ground between us. I remember well the great uncertainty of this day. Many of you are justifiably nervous about leaving the safe, comfortable world of Harvard Yard and hurling yourself headlong into the cold, harsh world of Harvard Grad School, a plum job at your father's firm, or a year abroad with a gold Amex card and then a plum job in your father's firm. But let me assure you that the knowledge you've gained here at Harvard is a precious gift that will never leave you. Take it from me, your education is yours to keep forever. Why, many of you have read the Merchant of Florence, and that will inspire you when you travel to the island of Spain. Your knowledge of that problem they had with those people in Russia, or that guy in South America-you know, that guy-will enrich you for the rest of your life.
There is also sadness today, a feeling of loss that you're leaving Harvard forever. Well, let me assure you that you never really leave Harvard. The Harvard Fundraising Committee will be on your ass until the day you die. Right now, a member of the Alumni Association is at the Mt. Auburn Cemetery shaking down the corpse of Henry Adams. They heard he had a brass toe ring and they aims to get it. Imagine: These people just raised 2.5 billion dollars and they only got through the B's in the alumni directory. Here's how it works. Your phone rings, usually after a big meal when you're tired and most vulnerable. A voice asks you for money. Knowing they just raised 2.5 billion dollars you ask, "What do you need it for?" Then there's a long pause and the voice on the other end of the line says, "We don't need it, we just want it." It's chilling.
What else can you expect? Let me see, by your applause, who here wrote a thesis. (APPLAUSE) A lot of hard work, a lot of your blood went into that thesis... and no one is ever going to care. I wrote a thesis: Literary Progeria in the works of Flannery O'Connor and William Faulkner. Let's just say that, during my discussions with Pauly Shore, it doesn't come up much. For three years after graduation I kept my thesis in the glove compartment of my car so I could show it to a policeman in case I was pulled over. (ACT OUT) License, registration, cultural exploration of the Man Child in the Sound and the Fury...
So what can you expect out there in the real world? Let me tell you. As you leave these gates and re-enter society, one thing is certain: Everyone out there is going to hate you. Never tell anyone in a roadside diner that you went to Harvard. In most situations the correct response to where did you to school is, "School? Why, I never had much in the way of book larnin' and such." Then, get in your BMW and get the hell out of there.
You see, you're in for a lifetime of "And you went to Harvard?" Accidentally give the wrong amount of change in a transaction and it's, "And you went to Harvard?" Ask the guy at the hardware store how these jumper cables work and hear, "And you went to Harvard?" Forget just once that your underwear goes inside your pants and it's "and you went to Harvard." Get your head stuck in your niece's dollhouse because you wanted to see what it was like to be a giant and it's "Uncle Conan, you went to Harvard!?"
But to really know what's in store for you after Harvard, I have to tell you what happened to me after graduation. I'm going to tell you my story because, first of all, my perspective may give many of you hope, and, secondly, it's an amazing rush to stand in front of six thousand people and talk about yourself.
After graduating in May, I moved to Los Angeles and got a three week contract at a small cable show. I got a $380 a month apartment and bought a 1977 Isuzu Opel, a car Isuzu only manufactured for a year because they found out that, technically, it's not a car. Here's a quick tip, graduates: no four cylinder vehicle should have a racing stripe. I worked at that show for over a year, feeling pretty good about myself, when one day they told me they were letting me go. I was fired and, I hadn't saved a lot of money. I tried to get another job in television but I couldn't find one.
So, with nowhere else to turn, I went to a temp agency and filled out a questionnaire. I made damn sure they knew I had been to Harvard and that I expected the very best treatment. And so, the next day, I was sent to the Santa Monica branch of Wilson's House of Suede and Leather. When you have a Harvard degree and you're working at Wilson's House of Suede and Leather, you are haunted by the ghostly images of your classmates who chose Graduate School. You see their faces everywhere: in coffee cups, in fish tanks, and they're always laughing at you as you stack suede shirts no man, in good conscience, would ever wear. I tried a lot of things during this period: acting in corporate infomercials, serving drinks in a non-equity theatre, I even took a job entertaining at a seven year olds' birthday party. In desperate need of work, I put together some sketches and scored a job at the fledgling Fox Network as a writer and performer for a new show called "The Wilton North Report." I was finally on a network and really excited. The producer told me the show was going to revolutionize television. And, in a way, it did. The show was so hated and did so badly that when, four weeks later, news of its cancellation was announced to the Fox affiliates, they burst into applause.
Eventually, though, I got a huge break. I had submitted, along with my writing partner, a batch of sketches to Saturday Night Live and, after a year and a half, they read it and gave us a two week tryout. The two weeks turned into two seasons and I felt successful. Successful enough to write a TV pilot for an original sitcom and, when the network decided to make it, I left Saturday Night Live. This TV show was going to be groundbreaking. It was going to resurrect the career of TV's Batman, Adam West. It was going to be a comedy without a laugh track or a studio audience. It was going to change all the rules. And here's what happened: When the pilot aired it was the second lowest-rated television show of all time. It's tied with a test pattern they show in Nova Scotia.
So, I was 28 and, once again, I had no job. I had good writing credits in New York, but I was filled with disappointment and didn't know what to do next. I started smelling suede on my fingertips. And that's when The Simpsons saved me. I got a job there and started writing episodes about Springfield getting a Monorail and Homer going to College. I was finally putting my Harvard education to good use, writing dialogue for a man who's so stupid that in one episode he forgot to make his own heart beat. Life was good.
And then, an insane, inexplicable opportunity came my way . A chance to audition for host of the new Late Night Show. I took the opportunity seriously but, at the same time, I had the relaxed confidence of someone who knew he had no real shot. I couldn't fear losing a great job I had never had. And, I think that attitude made the difference. I'll never forget being in the Simpson's recording basement that morning when the phone rang. It was for me. My car was blocking a fire lane. But a week later I got another call: I got the job.
So, this was undeniably the it: the truly life-altering break I had always dreamed of. And, I went to work. I gathered all my funny friends and poured all my years of comedy experience into building that show over the summer, gathering the talent and figuring out the sensibility. We debuted on September 13, 1993 and I was happy with our effort. I felt like I had seized the moment and put my very best foot forward. And this is what the most respected and widely read television critic, Tom Shales, wrote in the Washington Post: "O'Brien is a living collage of annoying nervous habits. He giggles and titters, jiggles about and fiddles with his cuffs. He had dark, beady little eyes like a rabbit. He's one of the whitest white men ever. O'Brien is a switch on the guest who won't leave: he's the host who should never have come. Let the Late show with Conan O'Brien become the late, Late Show and may the host return to Conan O'Blivion whence he came." There's more but it gets kind of mean.
Needless to say, I took a lot of criticism, some of it deserved, some of it excessive. And it hurt like you wouldn't believe. But I'm telling you all this for a reason. I've had a lot of success and I've had a lot of failure. I've looked good and I've looked bad. I've been praised and I've been criticized. But my mistakes have been necessary. Except for Wilson's House of Suede and Leather. That was just stupid.
I've dwelled on my failures today because, as graduates of Harvard, your biggest liability is your need to succeed. Your need to always find yourself on the sweet side of the bell curve. Because success is a lot like a bright, white tuxedo. You feel terrific when you get it, but then you're desperately afraid of getting it dirty, of spoiling it in any way.
I left the cocoon of Harvard, I left the cocoon of Saturday Night Live, I left the cocoon of The Simpsons. And each time it was bruising and tumultuous. And yet, every failure was freeing, and today I'm as nostalgic for the bad as I am for the good.
So, that's what I wish for all of you: the bad as well as the good. Fall down, make a mess, break something occasionally. And remember that the story is never over. If it's all right, I'd like to read a little something from just this year: "Somehow, Conan O'Brien has transformed himself into the brightest star in the Late Night firmament. His comedy is the gold standard and Conan himself is not only the quickest and most inventive wit of his generation, but quite possible the greatest host ever."
Ladies and Gentlemen, Class of 2000, I wrote that this morning, as proof that, when all else fails, there's always delusion.
I'll go now, to make bigger mistakes and to embarrass this fine institution even more. But let me leave you with one last thought: If you can laugh at yourself loud and hard every time you fall, people will think you're drunk.
By the way, just in case you missed it this week because of all the Imus business:
All sexual assault, kidnapping and other charges have been dropped against the three Duke University lacrosse players indicted for raping an exotic dancer, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Wednesday.
"The result of our review and investigation shows clearly that there is insufficient evidence to proceed on any of the charges," Cooper said. "Today we are filing notices of dismissal for all charges."
He added: "We believe these cases were a result of a tragic rush to accuse and failure to verify serious allegations. Based on these significant inconsistencies of evidence and the various accounts given by the accusing witness, we believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges."
Cooper said not only are the players innocent of the charges they faced, but there is "no credible evidence that an attack occurred at that house on that night."
Jackson and Sharpton led the charge condemning these three innocent boys. Where's their apology?
Well, they fired Don Imus.
Let me sum up this whole affair with a few thoughts that I hope will clarify where I stand on the whole issue:
1. Try to imagine how stupid it would look if white people started protesting every time a black person used the term, "redneck." Imagine the outcry if white people said, "It's okay for us to say it and it's okay for country singers to sing it but it's not okay for black people to say it." This kind of behavior is the very definition of racism. Bottom line: Either everyone can say it or no one can say it. It's either wrong or it's not.
2. I do not believe that Don Imus was atempting to insult the girls at Rutgers. I don't think he was calling them sluts. I think that he made the mistake of being a little too comfortable on-air and forgetting that you are not allowed to speak about another race as if you are actually a member. You must maintain distance and seperation at all times. Only by doing this, will the races ever truly come together (that's sarcasm).
3. The real truth is this: Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson had Don Imus fired because white men are not allowed to say anything degrading about black women. Only black men are allowed to do that. Personally, I don't think anyone should do it.
In closing, I would like to quote Dr. Dre, from his album The Chronic (1993)
Bitches ain't shit but hoes and tricks
Lick on deez nutz and suck the dick
Dr. Dre topped the Billboard Year-End Charts as the Top New Pop Artist, Top Hot 100 Singles Artist - Male, Top R&B Artist (singles & albums), Top R&B Artist - Male (singles & albums), Top New R&B Artist, Top R&B Album Artist, Top R&B Album Artist - Male, and Top R&B Singles Artist - Male.
Dre won 2 American Music Awards for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist and Favorite New Rap/Hip-Hop Artist.
Dre won Source Awards for Artist of the Year (Solo), Album of the Year, and Producer of the Year.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"Putting on my makeup." Bobbi replied.
"You put makeup on your arms?"
""They're all red and splotchy..."
"So's my ass but I don't put makeup on it."
"Maybe you should."
#1 for the last 15 weeks on Billboards Hot Rap Chart: This is Why I'm Hot by Mims.
This is why I'm hot
Catch me on the block
Every other day
Another bitch another drop
16 bars, 24 pop
44 songs, nigga gimme what you got…
… We into big spinners
See my pimping never dragged
Find me wit' different women that you niggas never had
For those who say they know me know I'm focused on ma cream
Player you come between you'd better focus on the beam
I keep it so mean the way you see me lean
And when I say I'm hot my nigga dis is what I mean
Lyrics from the #2 song:
I'm a b pimpin
I don't be slippin
When it come down to these hos
I don't love em
We don't cuff em
Where's their 2-week suspension? How come they're not apologizing on Al Sharpton?
If you've watched any news program at all over the last few days then you have seen the trouble that Don Imus has gotten himself into:
IMUS: That's some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and --
McGUIRK: Some hard-core hos.
IMUS: That's some nappy-headed hos there. I'm gonna tell you that now, man, that's some -- woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like -- kinda like -- I don't know.
McGUIRK: A Spike Lee thing.
...ROSENBERG: It was a tough watch. The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the Toronto Raptors.
First of all, you need to understand that Imus calls everyone a ho.... including his own wife who he refers to as a "Green Ho" because of her environmental concerns. I'm not sure if the outrage centers more on the fact that he used the term "ho" or the fact that he used the term "nappy headed." I do know that Imus spent almost his entire show apologizing for it and then had to go on the Al Sharpton show and be dressed down by Sharpton, who is calling for him to be fired.
Personally, I think you are beginning to cross a line when you start to censor a comedian and commentator, which is what Don Imus is. But more importantly I think if you are going to start dressing down anyone who uses derogatory language regarding black women then Don Imus would have to get at the end of a very, very long line that starts with black rap artists. Do you want to know what racist is? Racist is saying nothing about a rap artist who sings "women ain't nothing but ho's and tricks" because he is black, but trying to get Don Imus fired because he is white.
I am in no way saying that what Don Imus said was right. On the contrary, I believe that a person who is in the public forum has a responsibility to the general public. What I am saying is that the responsibility that lies with Don Imus also lies with all of the people who are now calling for him to be fired. If you are outraged by the sort of language that Don Imus used then you should be attacking everyone who uses that language regardless of race.
If both of the basketball teams had consisted of mostly white girls and Don Imus had commented that one of the teams looked like Barbie dolls and the other one looked like the East German swim team, would there have been the same outcry? No, there would not, because he is white and he would have been talking about white girls. This may seem like a radical thought, but the truth is that in order for racism to truly be stamped out in his country a person has to feel they can make fun of you regardless of your race. Every time a person has to stop and check themselves from saying something because the subject of their comment is a different race it serves to remind them that they are different. When in fact, we are not different. If a person is put into a position where they have to be constantly on guard whenever they speak to or about a member of a race different than their own, then they will never truly feel comfortable around other races. If you don't feel comfortable around other races you will avoid spending time around them, further separating the groups.
I have a friend who is Puerto Rican. He makes fun of everybody, including Puerto Ricans. When he makes jokes about white people I am not offended. When I make jokes about Puerto Ricans he is not offended. Because I am so comfortable around him I have been exposed to his family and his culture in ways that have made my life richer. When I look at him or his family I do not see race and I cannot help but believe that this brings me one step closer to not seeing race in anyone. The fact that we both are free to make jokes about our ethnic backgrounds only serves to make the stereotypes more absurd. The truth is this: You can never truly be friends with someone unless you are free to make fun of them as if you are a member of their race. Otherwise, you wil always be holding back.... always on guard... always seperate.
Well, another Easter has come and gone and with it any hope of maintaining a diet. Not that I'm actually trying to maintain a diet because tomorrow I have my first appointment with Bobbi's personal trainer. Consequently, I'm trying to pack on as much weight as possible. The way I see it, if I'm going to pay the guy, he's going to work for it.
In our house, Easter lasts much longer than just one day. It started last Wednesday when my parents came over and brought the girls some baskets. Then Lisa sent home some baskets for the girls on Thursday. On Friday we received presents and candy in the mail from Bobbi's mom and grandmother. Then on Saturday we went to the Easter egg hunt.... but first my sister stopped by with baskets. Finally on Sunday, the Easter Bunny showed up with, you guessed it, baskets (and eggs hidden in the front yard). Easter is pretty much a weeklong event in the Perry household. Sort of like an "Easter Hanukkah" where the presents are spread out over seven days of celebration. In fact, I'm sure that if the Jews celebrated Easter it would be very much like what we have here in our house. Of course they don't, because they killed Our Lord Jesus Christ and will face the wrath of eternal damnation and roast in the fiery pits of hell. Which sucks for them because those malted milk balls that look like tiny easter eggs are awesome!
Along with the Easter baskets that Lisa sent home she also sent home some books. She told Bobbi that she had read these books to her girls when they were growing up and she hoped Sam and Mac would enjoy them as much as they had. It's nice when someone can be so thoughtful and pass on something that has brought them joy from their family to yours. The first story that we read contained a teddy bear who was missing a leg and an eye, which led to one of his friends remarking, "I'll bet he would make a good pirate." What no one seemed to think to ask was, "Who was the sadistic bastard that ripped off his leg and gouged out his eye? Somewhere out there is a crazed teddy bear mutilator seeking his next victim and all you can think about is a good Halloween costume!?" There was also a bear in the book who lived on the moon and was very sad because he was lonely and no one came to visit him ("Look honey, this is what your life will be like if you don't make the drill team!"). The second story that we read was called "The Birthday Surprise" and it was about a teddy bear who woke up on his birthday only to discover that none of his friends had gotten him any presents. Surprise! My daughters only three years old and Lisa's got me reading her Old Yeller and The Diary of Anne Frank.
I read something interesting this week regarding future Vice Presidential Candidate John Edwards and his wife with all the cancer. While it may seem like a big deal that he's continuing to run for president despite the fact that his wife has got the big "C," it's not necessarily that monumental when you put it in perspective.
Rudy Giuliani had prostate cancer while he was mayor of New York City. In fact, while he was going through his second divorce his lawyer argued that he could not have been unfaithful to his wife because the cancer had rendered him impotent for a while. (See, cancer can be good!).
John McCain has had several legions removed from his face and other body parts.
Betty Ford had breast cancer while her husband Jerry was president.
Nancy Reagan had cancer while her husband Ronald was in office.
So we actually have a long history of cancer in the White House. Besides, the only reason that John Edwards is running for president is so that he can get the vice presidential nomination once again. Let's face it, America may be ready for a female president or a black president but they are not ready for a female president and a black vice president or vice versa. Seriously, unless someone else steps into the ring, John Edwards has a lock on the vice presidential nomination.
I was getting onto the Howard Franklin Bridge yesterday when I noticed some people fishing in the big ditch that's in the middle of the highway. I've seen people like this my whole life. In Louisiana you couldn't hardly throw a rock without hitting a car full of people with cane poles and overturned white buckets trying to catch a fish. Looking at the people on Sunday it occurred to me: there has to be a better place to fish than in the middle of the friggin' highway. Seriously, they were about 100 yards from the ocean. Not to mention the fact that there are lakes everywhere in Florida. Yet, every time I go for a drive, there they are on the side of the road... in the median in the middle of the highway... at a public pool... if there's water, they're there with a pole. Do they know something we don't know?
When I was in my teens growing up in Louisiana my father used to get together with his buddies and go "yo-yo-ing." Since moving away from Louisiana I have discovered that no one anywhere else in the entire United States of America knows what "yo-yo-ing" is (also, the Louisiana definition of "statutory rape" bears little resemblance to the rest of the nation). The yo-yo is this little metal device about the size of a yo-yo (go figure) that you hang from a tree branch just above the water in a lake in Louisiana. The yo-yo has fishing line on it and a hook on the end of the line. You pull out the line and set a trip mechanism on the yo-yo, put a minnow on the end of the line and drop it in the water. The way it works is, the fish hits the bait which releases the trip mechanism which causes the spring-loaded yo-yo to pull tight and set the hook. It ain't rocket science but it is a handy little piece of engineering. Unfortunately, it really takes all the sport out of fishing as well as the fun. It's sort of like if you went bowling and pulled the ball out of the return mechanism, set it on the floor, then went to the bathroom and when you came back..... the ball had already been rolled for you. Unless you really get a kick out of going to the bathroom in bowling alleys, (and who doesn't) I'm thinking it would be less fun.
I would be wrong.
My father used to have a blast when he went yo-yo-ing for two reasons. First of all, my father was (and is) a horrible fisherman. He's totally incapable of catching fish. In fact, the only person who is a worse fisherman than my father is myself. The entire time we lived in Louisiana my father caught 50% more fish than I did, which is to say I caught two and he caught three.
The other reason that my father loved to go yo-yo-ing was because, after setting out the yo-yo's, you had to wait a while before you went out to see if you caught anything. In Louisiana there are only two things to do when you have time to kill: drink beer and oppress the blacks. My father chose the beer.
So, here's how it would work: My father and his buddies would drive down to a secluded spot on the lake, get into a little metal boat and spend about an hour hanging is yo-yos from cypress trees all up and down the bank. Then they would go back to shore and start a fire. In Louisiana, the way to start a fire is to carefully pick through the brush in the undergrowth around your campsite until you find a good handful of loose, dead twigs and sticks. You place these in a pile in the middle of the campsite. Then, you take off your jacket and lay it gently on the pile of sticks so that it doesn't get muddy while you are using an industrial chain saw to cut down an entire fucking tree. Once the tree is down you douse it in gasoline left over from the chainsaw, light it, and you're good for the entire night. (By the way, a good way to tell if you have a big enough fire in Louisiana is this: if five drunk rednecks can piss on it without it going out.... it's about right)
Once the yo-yo's were hung out and the fire had been started the true purpose of the fishing expedition could begin: the drinking. My dad and his friends would stand around a fire all night, drinking and laughing, stopping every hour or so to go out, pull fish off of the yo-yos and re-bait the hooks. By the time the sun came up they had an ice chest full of fish, a giant black burn spot on the ground and a good solid beer buzz. Good times.
Last night after much drinking, Bobbi lay on the couch on the verge of passing out.
"Hey," she asked, "why does the cable box say "$1.00?"
"What?" I asked.
"Why does the cable box say, "$1.00?" she repeated.
"It doesn't," I said, "it says, "1:00."