Ann Coulter's (Possibly) Bizarre Sex Life

OK, I know it’s like beating the crap out of a dead horse, but is it OK to label Ann Coulter officially insane now? Is there paperwork required for this, or can we just come to a consensus.

When I first became aware of the ultraconservative commentator, from her appearances on the old ABC-TV version of “Politically Incorrect” (I never caught the cable episodes), I quickly came to the conclusion that she was just an arrogant, ball-busting know-it-all with a low tolerance for anyone who disagreed with her. Fair enough. I’ve known people like that all my life. Hell, I almost WAS one of those people (without the conservative part … conservatism is boring). And after seeing a few more of her appearances, I racheted up my opinion of her to “intolerable shrill harpy with man-hands”. Again, no problem. Been there, argued with that.

But since then?…Well, let’s just say I now realize that "dat bitch is fucking CRAZY, with a capital CRA!"

Her wacko levels have been off the charts for sometime now and most people with at least two functioning brain cells acknowledge this. But as much as people rant about her being a couple of roaches short of a nickel bag, she continues to probe new heights of nutballery, seeming to feed off the outcry like Dracula off the blood of virgins. Her recent attempt to label 9/11 widows as “witches” was not only unexpected (even for her) but hypocritical. Everybody knows full well that had those same widows come out and praised Dubya as the greatest thing since buttless chap, she would have hailed them as patriots and offered to spit-shine their silverware. But her latest wild-eyed proclamation is particularly bananas in light of what the entire COUNTRY knows about the subject.

She called Bill Clinton a fag.

OK, to her credit she didn’t say “fag” exactly, but everyone KNOWS she wanted to use that word, just as it’s obvious she’s been chomping at the bit to say “nigger” and “spic” to drive her point about liberals home. I would love to be a fly on her pristine white apartment walks at night to here her finally let it all out at night (“Goddamn fucking niggers and spics and wops and faggots and dykes and.. oh, that felt good.”)

And it’s not so much her suggestion that Clinton’s gay as it is the reason she thinks so. According to her, the former Commander in Chief is akin to an interior decorator because he likes the idea of sex with women. A lot. Which would mean most of the professional athletes in America, almost every male rock star, four out of every five Italian race car drive and your nephew Danny with the extensive magazine collection under his bed are all potential replacements for the policeman in The Village People.

This leap of logic (of which she holds a world record for I believe) actually says more about HER sexual habits that Clinton’s. Look, everyone knows the guy’s a major swordsman. If it wasn’t for Hillary yanking his collar like he was an overly inquisitive pug, he’d be on the cover of People every week hugging up with a different American Idol finalist. I’ve always thought Hill and Bill would be the first former presidential couple to get a divorce, so strong is his appetite for the ol’ poon tang.

But for her to conclude that because he’s on the hunt for the kitty cat and has a couple of notches on his ample belt he secretly desires to be tea-bagged… well, even a nun would laugh at say, “Damn, bitch, what YOU been smokin’?”

She says the tip off is his “rampant promiscuity”, which leads me to ask: Is there any other kind of promiscuity? Is it still promiscuity if you show restraint? Is there such a thing as “well-measured promiscuity”? Carefully thought-out promiscuity? Isn’t promiscuity, by the very definition of the word, SUPPOSED to be rampant? And what does she know about Clinton’s sex life that qualifies as “rampant” or “promiscuous”? Yeah, we’ve heard about the trailer trawling and assorted accusations here and there. And not all of those were actual conquests but maybe him playing a little grab-ass with some “political aide” who was really an in-way-over-her-head diner waitress. But even if we were to double the ones we know about, it would STILL either equal or fall short of the mattress-squeaking output of most men his age.

But OK, Ann, he’s “promiscuous”…fine. It’s her conclusion that a man who likes sex with women a lot is gay open up all KINDS of weird tuna cans in the kitchen that is Ann Coulter’s sex life. What the hell is going on in HER bed, besides playing with herself to Rush Limbaugh podcasts, that leads her to connect sex frequency with sexual preference? Is this a glimpse into the chaste world Ann Coulter, one of firm handshakes at the door, polite offers of drinks being interpreted as blatant sexual come-ons (“A margarita? How DARE you!”)? Did her mom make the mother in “Carrie” look permissive? Having sex a lot = gay… hmmm.

I’d always thought, when she’s not thinking up new insulting names for liberals, that at some point in her life, Ann Coulter does have actual sex. With a human being, or at least someone from her home planet. But now, I’m not so sure. No one who has and enjoys sex, even the monogamous kind, can nod their head in agreement that having frequent sex means you have an unnatural obsession with yourself and therefore want to be with someone of your same sex and … my head is starting to hurt.

Coulter reminds me of those women I occasionally run into in bars: not exactly horrible looking (well I have had a few JW Reds), seemingly intelligent. They’re sitting there, usually by themselves, which should be a tip off. The conversation starts. You make small talk about some innocuous topic, when she calmly says something like, “Well, that’s only because it’s part of the Jewish/Chinese conspiracy.” Huh? Really? The designated hitter? Um, I have to, um, go over here now…

And then there is her well-documented obsession with Clinton, mentioning his name at every opportunity, in every book she, ahem, “writes”, during every interview, every column she scrawls out. She mouths his name with every discussion of everything past, present and future in this country. She… hey, wait a minute. Where have I seen this before? One person constantly badgering another member of the opposite sex, taunting them, teasing them, vehemently denying any attraction to them… I got it! Fifth grade… Wayne Terrell and Mary Finnigan… Sr. Paula’s class. On the playground. In the lunch line. Of course!

Coulter has a crush on Bill!

Ann and Billy sitting in a tree…


Things I haven't done, Pt. 1

Things that I haven’t done that I assume everyone else HAS done at some point or another

1. Seen “Brokeback Mountain”
2. Seen “Crash”
3. Listened to an entire Coldplay CD and liked it. Actually, just the “listened to Coldplay” part would suffice
4. Played beach volleyball
5. Went “clubbin’”
6. Watched “Desperate Housewives”
7. Started a chain email
8. Posed nude
9. “Experimented”…
10. Pledged money to public television
11. Sat on a beach in Mexico
12. Had a “fling” while traveling overseas
13. Paid cash for a car
14. Screamed my head off over a goal in a World Cup match
15. Went to a bar at 9 a.m. and drank while watching a World Cup match live


Have you seen that guy...?

People I like seeing/miss seeing walking around Chicago:

Walking Man: The guy who wears an out-of-date wide lapel suit (or maybe two – I think he has more than one) who is only seen walking around the city, from as far north as Uptown to as far south as Printer’s Row. Never riding the bus, never riding the el, never in a cab, never riding a bike… just walking, like he’s just a little bit late for something He looks like Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night (see photo), circa 1974, although a little bit weathered and leathery thanks to time. I’ve never seen him talk to anyone in the 15-plus (20-plus?) years I’ve seen him. People have tried but he just blows them off. Whoever scores an interview with him will become the most sought-after celebrity in Chicago.

Zoot Suit Guy: Pick a color of the rainbow and this guy appears to have a zoot suit in that color. Primarily seen around the Michigan Ave. bridge near Wacker, Zoot Suit Guy looks to be about in his late 60s or early 70s. He’s got a little fringe of grey hair around his head and looks like someone’s kindly old grandpa … until you catch a glimpse of that suit! Cherry red, shamrock green, royal purple…you name it, he’s got it. He’s friendly enough to actually talks to people. I never have and I suspect he’s a couple of deuces shy of a full house. But he seems harmless enough. I think I’ve even seen him talked to on television a couple of times.

“Jesus” About To Be Crucified Guy: I first saw him when I started hanging around North Broadway, about 1985. Back then, the strip between Diversey and Belmont was a hell of a lot skuzzier that it is now: transvestite hookers, bikers, drug dealers, drunks, etc. It was a great place. But every now and then, “Jesus” would walk down the street to save the day! Usually you’d see him on weekends during the afternoon – I suspect Jesus had a regular job during the week. He had the sandals, the robe, the crown of thorns (plastic?) and the life-size cross that he’s drag up and down the street over his shoulder like he was on his way to Calvary, just like you’d see in the pictures and movies! He’d only make about two or three passes, but it was a hell of a sight (no pun intended) when you’re sitting in a bar on the street sucking down a Budweiser. There was actually an interview somewhere, the Chicago Reader I believe, where a reporter talked to him. He was actually a sane guy but said he did it because he was “saved” from a life of drugs, etc. and wanted to help others.

Black Power Fist Guy: Mostly seen downtown in the Loop, he was definitely a wack-job, but a wack-job with style. With no visible show of fear, he’d march up and down the middle of the street on whichever block he chose that day with his tattered-gloved fist thrust into the air like John Carlos on the medal platform at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Mexico. Back and forth between bewildered drivers he’d march, occasionally shouting something inaudible. He didn’t ask for loose change like most of guys who walked between the cars at a stoplight, nor did he try to clean your windshield without being asked. Just marching up and down the street, arm pointed toward the sky, fist clinched as if he was the last Black Panther on earth.

Soon-To-Be-Famous-Artist Woman: I didn’t see her too often, but she hung out along Clark Street between Fullerton and Diversey, trying to sell these crappy drawings of hers for a couple of bucks, crude sketches of people and places on the streets of Chicago that looked like a five-year-old drew them. They were a couple of steps above stick figures. When she died, there was an obit in the paper and everyone who had seen her wondered, why the hell are they writing about her. Then you read further and find out some local art bigwig decided that she was a genius, a classic practitioner of outsider art and her original drawings now sell for thousands. That day, everyone who walked by her and said “no” to her sales pitch gave themselves a good, swift kick in the ass.

The Human Statue Guy: Drive down Western Avenue near Foster and look on the west side of the street near the bank. You’ll notice one or two pigeons walking around. Nothing too unusual. Then you’ll notice a few more. Then a few more. Finally you notice him. A guy sitting there on a fire hydrant (ouch) covered with pigeons, like a human statue. You wonder why the pigeons are walking all over this guy, figure he must spread birdseed or bread crumbs over himself to get them to flock to him. Then you start thinking about what happens to those birdseeds and breadcrumbs AFTER they’ve made their way through the pigeons’ digestive tract. You picture real statues and recall that pigeons are not known for their sanitary bathroom habits. You conclude that when a pigeons’ gotta go, a pigeons’ gotta go and they pretty much don’t care where. You vow never to get too close to Human Statue Guy.

Hanging out on Madison

There’s gotta be a name for it. That period where nothing is going right, but nothing going horribly wrong, “horribly” being a completely subjective word. I mean, you haven’t won the lotto, but you haven’t lost your wallet or locked your keys in your car. You haven’t gotten that great new job, but you haven’t been fired from your current one either.

I’m in that period right now, that limbo between shouting “Wow, I can’t believe this has happened! Terriffic!” and yelling “Mother-FUCK this shit!” over and over again. If it was a series of bad things happening I would have a name for it: a string of bad luck, a dry spell, etc. And if things were hunky-dory, I’d have words for that too: batting 1.000, on a roll, in the groove, etc.

But I don’t know what to call this period, where things are just….there. For instance, I’ve been lucky enough to get a few freelance graphic design jobs on the side, apart from my regular job. But I haven’t been paid for them yet. So I’m not sure what category to put it in: good luck or bad luck. Or is it something different altogether. I’m behind on a few bills, but not so much that I have to panic; they’ll get their cash in a few days. And there’s this woman I’ve been hanging out with who sort of fun and it’s something to do to keep me from flipping through the TV channels on the weekend, but she doesn’t want to get “involved” with me “that way” and I figure why hang out with her, but I do. So what the hell do I call that?

And don’t tell me to call it just “life”. That’s too generic and dime-store Zen’y. The other occurrences are “life” too. I need some thing new. Is limbo OK? Midfield? The ozone? Maybe I can say, “I’m just hanging out on Madison right now,” Madison being the midpoint in Chicago separating the north and south sides of the city.

Yeah, I’m hanging out on Madison right now.

My new gay 'hood

My neighborhood is now gay-friendly. Or at least for the Gay Games, which wrap up tomorrow (Sunday, July 23). Up until now, it’s been pretty non-descript as far as sexual orientation goes for the almost-20 years I’ve lived here. I mean, I knew there were gay people here, but the community fathers and mothers never really made the grand gesture to embrace it like Boys Town or Andersonville. It was just something that was there, along with all the other subcultures around (ethnic, mentally disabled, gangsta, etc.)

But since the arrival of athletes and other out-of-towners for the Games, Edgewater has become, I guess, one of the Official Neighborhoods of the 2006 Gay Games (sort of like Coke or Ford is for Major League Baseball). There are a couple of flags hanging from the street poles touting the games, signs on the former grocery story/beauty supply store on the corner of Winthrop and Bryn Mawr not only welcomes participants to the games, but flaunts the historic buildings of the area, which I didn’t even know.

I guess it makes sense to try and scoop up some of that disposable income that folks coming here to see the games will bring with them. And who knows, they may decided to stay once they see the surge of condos, fancy French restaurants, tanning parlors, bakery cafes and, of course, Starbucks. Hey, we’ve even got a big pink apartment building to use as a handy landmark. And the beach down Ardmore has long been a gay gathering place, or so I’m lead to believe. So why not ride on the coattails of Andersonville and no-so-quietly promote the area as a new gay-friendly area? Why not change the name from Edgewater to Andersonville East? After all, the name “Edgewater” is so generic that any neighborhood along the lake could use it.

If anything, it would make people who hang out on the corner a little more interesting.

Leaving Andersonville...

I saw a guy hurl the other day in an Andersonville bar in the middle of the afternoon.

I suppose that’s nothing unusual in Chicago, the land of the 4 a.m.-close-for-a-few-hours-back-open-again-at-11 a.m. bar. But it still caught me off guard that at this early point in the day, a person could already be to the point of rejecting anymore alcohol into his system.

It was the day before July 4 (which I guess would make it the 3rd) and since I took this beautiful, sunny day off I naturally went to a dark, semi-smoke-stained bar. It was just a little after noon. The Sox were playing a pre-holiday game at The Cell and I got the rare chance to see a weekday game on television rather than listening to it on my crappy little radio at work. I usually stop in this particular bar on weekends and sit with one of the lone Sox fan bartenders on the North Side and laugh at how pathetic the Cubs are (we’ve been a quiet lately now that the Sox are stinking up the joint a little more). But this was a weekday so it felt a little like cheating on work, which is always fun. Instead of my weekend Sox cohort, one of my favorite female bartenders was working, a regular, down-to-earth woman with little pretense. She’s a breath of fresh air compared to the slacker-with-a-purpose types that get hired at most of the other places, who work there in between getting another tattoo that will have little or no meaning later on in their lives.

This particular bar has a back door that a lot of regulars use in lieu of the front, which announces itself to anyone walking down Clark street. I like to think the back door is used more for convenience than shame, but I find it hard to believe that ALL of them live on streets that only exist behind the bar.

A sudden shaft of light erupts from that rear entranceway. Someone’s coming in, of course, but the light temporarily blinds everyone looking in that direction. When our eyes adjust, we see a guy taking tentative steps into the bar. I think I see him weave a little, but I chalk it up to my eyes readjusting to the darkness of the bar.

He moves past the four people (myself included) seated at the far end of the bar, away from the front door, and takes a seat about 10 feet from the door. He’s blonde, short-haired, about 6-3, 230 pounds and is wearing the official male uniform of Wrigleyville in summer: polo shirt, shorts, deck shoes with no socks. He sits down with an audible plop and rests his head on the bar for a second. It appears he realizes this is a universal bar no-no and he jerks his head up and looks in the direction of the bartender.

The bartender, being the steady seen-it-all type that she is, walks over to him, sizes him up for a second and seems to conclude that she’s seen worse. He orders a beer, she brings him a bottle and walks away.

I watch him out of the corner of my eye, between pitches in the Sox game. I have a thing about people visibly drunk in bars, which would seem kind of unusual since that’s where most of them either begin or end up. But I like to watch them, half for the amusement factor (gotta admit, a lot of drunks are train-wreck funny) and half for safety factor. Drunks like to fall down, fight and hug and I try to avoid all three with strangers. But this guy seems content to stay in his area and rest his head on the bar so that’s cool with me.

After a while, the bartender notices that his head’s been resting on the bar for longer than should be allowed. She walks over, just close enough for him to hear her and she firmly says to him, “Sir.. Sir… there’s no sleeping at the bar.” He jerks his head upward and gives her a nod of acknowledgement. I can see him fighting to keep his head aloft, but it‘s like trying to keep an block of cement afloat in a swimming pool.

A minute or two pass and his head goes back down like Buster Douglas in the third. Some one alerts the bartender and now everyone wonders just how drunk this guy really is. Like I said, it’s only about 1 o’clock in the afternoon, way to early to be shit-faced in my book. Three or four is a more appropriate time.

The bartender ignores him for a while, conceding him time to rest. Figures it might do the guy some good. But I keep watching him out of the corner of my eye. The top of his head seems glued to the edge of the bar. I forget him for a second and watch as a Sox pitcher mows down some hapless batter. As Hawk Harrelson gives his trademark “He gone!” strikeout call, the guy spews forth a gusher straight down to the floor of the bar between his deck-shoed feet. It lasts a good 10 seconds and he does so without lifting his head, which I consider a very economical move. No one else seems to notice and just as I’m about to alert the bartender, I can see his body heave and he goes for the second round, another forceful stream of the contents of his stomach, hitting the floor and splashing like water hitting the bottom of Niagara Falls. Other than his jaw, he doesn’t move a muscle, like this is the way it’s supposed to be done.

I start to wonder how the hell someone gets that drunk so early in the afternoon. The Cubs are out of town, so the pre-game bar-hopping isn’t a reasonable excuse, though it’s one that a lot of people could and have used. It’s too early for a backyard barbecue; I mean, most people don’t really get the grill going until 2, right? The World Cup is going on so maybe he was celebrating some 1-0 win by Unknown Foreign Country over Other Unknown Foreign Country that started at 8 a.m. I entertain all of the intriguing possibilities, but the sight of a puddle of vomit brings me back to the situation at hand.

By this time I don’t have to alert the bartender. She either sees it, hears it or smells it. She gives a sigh and walks over to him and with much more restraint than is warranted, she politely tells him he has to leave. She has to jostle his shoulder to get his attention, but he finally looks up at her, down at his intestinal artwork on the floor and stands. He goes to finish the beer but she stops his hand and tells him again that he has to leave. He steps away from the bar and calmly pulls his cell phone from his pants pocket. He punches in a number. A few second later and he’s talking to someone on the other end in a rational voice. “Hi… yeah, I’m in Andersonville…Yeah, I just threw up… Ha ha, yeah… no, I’ll meet you there… how do I get there?…OK, see you then.” He turns to leave (I can’t see if he left a tip or anything other than last night’s beef stew for the bartender) He steps in the puddle on his way out and leaves vomit tracks as he walks to the front door, pushes it open and light fills the place again. I have to fight the urge to follow him out of the door and see where he ends up next. I watch him as he stands for a moment in front of the bar’s window, seeming to decide which direction to go. He walks left and into oblivion.

The bartender barely blinks an eye. Not only has she dealt with this in her capacity as purveyor of alcoholic beverages, but she says she been a nurse. “I’ve dealt with worse,” she explains and I try not to think of what that could be. Instead of the usual mop, ringer bucket and seven-foot tongs (Ok, the last one is something I would use), she dons a pair of rubber gloves, gets a sponge and a small bucket and goes to work, her hands feeling the tactile chunkiness of the upchucked kibbles and bits through her rubber gloves, her nose getting a good, heavy whiff of his partially digested stomach chowder. “This is no big deal,” she calmly states and at once I both admire her and am stunned by her.

The Sox are winning 3-1...


Hey, I can see my Pee Wee again!

Pee Wee Herman is back on TV and all is right with the world.

Ok, fine, there are still people getting killed/maimed/decapitated/raped/etc. in Iraq. Everybody still shits in their pants when there's a loud noise in the subway. Guys are still hitting on 13 year old girls on My Space even though they KNOW it's probably a fat cop on the other end (and maybe they want that).

But Pee Wee's back on the air and for some reason that comforts me.

Cartoon Network's Adult Swim bloc was smart enough to put him back on the air at 10 p.m., unfortunately opposite "The Daily Show", but that's why God made the "Last" button on remote controls. Ever since "the incident" (involving a movie theater, his hand and his penis, among other things), Paul Rubens' appearances on television have been few and far between. A few guest shots on shows like Everybody Loves Raymond, but that was about it.

But for about four or five years, Pee Wee was my Saturday morning ease-into-the-day TV show, part of my hangover remedy. The staccato bursts of morning news only made my hangover worse (bombings, murder, corruption... forget it). But as I laid around there trying to find a comfortable position where my head didn't hurt as much, listening to the light chatter of Chairy, Globy, Konky (I sense a pattern here), Magic Screen, etc., helped a lot.

Of course, I know I’m too old for Pee Wee now. Hell, I was too old then. But I’m a sucker for a kids’ show that’s goofy enough for kids but smart enough to have an “edge” that an adult can appreciate, which hardly any of them have. I mean, you can be a dish of warm beef broth and “get” The Power Ranger or any of those Disney animated movie TV cartoon spinoffs.

But those little semi-mature jabs that they sneak into shows like Spongebob (OK, I used to watch that too, so fucking what?)? Thats' what makes it worth it. When Patrick and Spongebob find an abandoned baby clamshell or whatever the hell it was, and decided to raise it themselves, they automatically assume male and female parenting roles (Spongebob becomes the mom), which leads to a mildly amusing line at the end, as the now mature clamshell flies off and the two very close friends shed a tear over their little one flying the coop, Patrick gets all moon-y eyed and turns to Spongebob and says, “Let’s have another.”

(You may sound the nerd alarm now if you like.)

But Pee Wee was the king of the kid-show-for-adult approach to Saturday morning TV. Rubens toned it down a hell of a lot from the origins of Pee Wee, when the character was part of a late night stage show in L.A. intended for adults. ThereÂ’re a couple of videos out there somewhere of the show, which even then had some of the same goofy situations and
characters (Phil Hartman was Captain Carl from beginning to end), but it was a little more risque. He did stuff like "hypnotize" a woman and then have a puppet look up her dress while she was under the spell. Or the floating head Jambi receiving a packing containing the pair of hands he orders and saying, "There's been something I've been wanting to do with these for a long time.")

But on TV you had to wait for the little subtle jokes, the double entendres. (Like Jimmy Smits playing the Conky 2000 repair man and being asked seductively by Miss Yvonne to stop by her place afterwards and "fix a few things." Smits leered and replied, "Well, I always carry the right tool for the job...")

But Rubens just HAD to go and pound one out in a movie theater. That pretty much killed the show and I was left to watch the reruns on the 10-tape VHS collection I bought. Yeah, I was a fan.

But now I get to watch him again on television. There's something different about not having to pull a tape out, turn on the VCR, pop it in, wait for it to start up, watch the show, rewind the tape when it's done... no, Pee Wee is best just appearing on television on his own. Sure, I'm watching on a Wednesday night 10 p.m., but for that half hour, it's Saturday morning all over again.



Money makes the world go 'round...

Reason Why I'm a Fuck-Up, Part 173

It is the Fourth of July and I look out of my window and see people lounging on the beach, running in the park, kicking back on blankets in the grass, driving on the street below with their tops down (on their cars, not their body). There are boats anchored just offshore in the almost blue Lake Michigan water. Cars are in constant motion in both directions on Lake Shore Drive, either coming from or going to some holiday event, I'm guessing. There's the faint hint of burning charcoal in the air and little wisps of smoke rise above the park horizon like gastronomic smoke signals.

Me? I spend most of the day standing in the bland hallway of my building waiting on someone to let me into my apartment because I fucking locked myself out of my apartment ... AGAIN.

Maybe it was because I was distracted by the seemingless endless plethora of options I had in front of me on this day off: laying around on the beach, laying around on the couch watching television, laying around in a friend's backyard while they fired up the grill, laying around... well you get the idea.

But whatever the reason, I'm not paying attention as I leave the apartment for a second to run downstairs and throw something in the garbage. But right as I hear that click of the door lock I know something's wrong. I start slapping my pockets, hoping I feel the outline of the front door keys, hear something jingle that isn't change. Nope, the fucking keys are inside. I've been reminding myself time and time again to check my pockets before fully closing the door, ever since the last time I did this and had to pay the $20 the building charges to let me back into my tiny overpriced apartment. That double whammy of the loss of 20 bucks and the "what a fucking idiot" looks the guys at the desk gave me made me promise myself I wouldn't do it again.

But here I am standing outside my door, seriously contemplating kicking the stupid thing in, trying various other keys in my pocket to see if MAYBE they might work (hmmm. this key to the file cabinet at work looks about the same. I wonder if... FUCK!). And as an added bonus, it's about 9:30 in the morning, which gives me plenty of time to wander up and down the building like a derelect. I jiggle the door knob one last time to see if it has magically unlocked, then suck up my pride and head downstairs.

The Eastern European kid at the front desk is nice enough, but still manages to piss me off when he tells me that no one will be available to let me in until after 3:30 p.m. becaue it's July 4, after all and the maintenance guys want to lay around and stuff their face too. It's not the front desk kid's fault, I know, but he's pretty much planned my day out. My car keys are upstairs, so there's no chance of driving somewhere else to wait it out. I haven't had a chance to shower this morning, so I smell like Shaquille O'Neal's size 22s after a game. Luckily I have my wallet so at least I can give them the 20 bucks BEFORE they agree to open the door which is required. But I still have to wait.

I take a chance and leave the building. It's a chance because the key to the outside doors of the building are also on the same key ring. I can usually walk to the front door where they can see me, recognize me and let me in. But if there's no one at the front desk to see me, I'm stuck outside there too. This officially sucks.

Anyway, I don't get back into my apartment until 4:30. I make a few phone calls. Yes, hotdogs have been consumed, beer has been imbibed. They tell me there still have some stuff left if I want to come over, but there's nothing more depressing than eating a past-its-prime weenie. I needed it right off the grill, not all shriveled up like your Great Uncle Earl.

So, yeah, I made all the new promises to myself: get a second set of keys, maybe leave one in the car or at a nearby friends house, blah blah blah... It remains to be see if i follow through. I mean, crisis over, out of sight out of mind. Perhaps it would be easier to leave a spare grill outside my front door for emergencies...


Gotta have it

Who owns these things and when do they use them?:

A home cotton candy machine. Who eats that much cotton candy that they have to have it even when they’re at home? When are you eating this crap, while watching the news? “Hey, honey, you know what I could go for right now? Some spun sugar would really hit the spot.”

Those chocolate fountain things. Same as above.

A countertop hot dog roller grill that only makes hot dogs. Nothing else. How many hot dogs does the owner of one of these eat in a year? Why waste precious counter space or cabinet space in your kitchen with a machine that just makes hot dogs?

Portable DVD players. Other than on an airplane, where would you use it? At the beach? YouÂ’ve got sand, surf and bikini-clad women? Why are you watching a movie, you anti-social bastard? Go home if you want to do that. In the park? Hello! Nature over here! God wasted his time making this stuff so you could watch “Elf” in the park? On the bus? Hey, bozo, you’re gonna be home in 10 minutes, turn that stupid thing off. And here’s the kicker: the portable DVD player I’m looking at in the paper has a remote control. A remote control??? How much of a lazy ass do you have to be to need a remote control for a portable DVD player with an 8-inch screen? “Oh, man, the DVD player is all the way down on the other end OF MY LAP. Can’t … reach… it… Thank God I have this remote control.”

We'll be right back after a word from our t-shirt

I’m looking at a JC Penney Pre-Fourth of July Sale insert from the Thursday, June 28 edition of the Chicago Sun Times and there’s a picture of a young guy wearing a t-shirt. “Entire stock Young men’s Novelty Tees 50% off”. Ok, cool. ‘Cept the kid is wearing a red t-shirt with the KFC logo on it. That’s it. Nothing irreverent (“Hey, baby, I’m finger-licking good!”). No sly in-joke about KFC (“Lost one of our herbs and spices, now down to 10”). No protest slogan (“KFC Is Murder!!! Go PETA!!). Just a picture of ol’ Colonel Harlan Sanders and the letters “KFC”. And I’m wondering, who the fuck would want to wear that? Is there something cutting edge and cool about KFC that I don’t know about? Is that the new hip hangout place (“Dudes, let’s skateboard down to KFC and snag a couple of those new Chicken Snackers!”)? Why would a kid, a “young man” in the JC Penney parlance, want to wear a KFC shirt? Even if it is 50 percent off. If I had a kid that wanted to wear a KFC shirt, I’d probably smack him in the back of the head and yell at him, “Whaddya you wanna wear that dumb shirt for? What are you, a dork? You’re gonna get your ass kicked in school wearing that. Get outta here! Go march in a protest or something.”

Now, I have to admit I’ve worn my share of corporate product shirts, mostly beer shirts that I got free at bars. But in a sudden burst of maturity, I tossed them all out one weekend, figuring I didn’t want to advertise someone else’s beer anymore, at least for free. I’ve got one “beer” t-shirt left, but it’s for Tusker, a brand made and sold in African that a friend brought back from a trip there a few years ago, so that’s a little different. And I suppose the White Sox are a “corporation” like KFC, but a sports team t-shirt is a little different. I mean, baseball has its own song. No one sings, “Take me out to White Castle/Take out to the sliders/Buy me some Pepsi and onion rings/But I’m so drunk right now I’ll eat whatever they bring…”. Almost all of the rest of the t-shirts I have with writing on it have some sort of irreverent phrase that may or may not convey my sarcasm or outlook on life. “Thank you for not breeding.” “Elvis Shot JFK” “*&*$%*# - David Mamet” (Got that one for third place in the Mamet Write Alike contest), one with a small question mark on front and a big one on back. And I have about 10 plain black t-shirts, which I guess is a statement of some sort.

But only a loser would opt for a shirt that just reads “KFC” with a picture of Colonel Sanders on it. Why not just wear a Land O Lakes butter t-shirt? A Kinkos t-shirt. A JC Peney t-shirt. Are people supposed to look at the shirt and think you’re cool? What is the purpose? OK, maybe some product t-shirts can be inherently cool, just because of the product itself. Like a Mallo Cup or Pez t-shirt could be cool, I guess, because it’s so old school. Or maybe some Mountain Dew t-shirt because it also had a cool design. But just a picture of Colonel Sanders. The letters “KFC”. That’s it?

Once again, life confuses me…