Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Red (Shirts), White, and Blue

Monday was Memorial Day. Said so on my 365 Days of Dave Barry calendar, so it must be true. Memorials, of course, are more memorable when you actually remember the person you're commemorating.

For example, I noticed my 6-year-old son, Nicholas, reading my t-shirt at breakfast this morning, the one emblazoned with "That Pat Boone Is A Lovely Man," an actual quote from Sharon Osbourne (wife of Ozzy) on that family's TV show in reference to their former neighbor and my still-current uncle. Here's how the conversation ensued:

Nicholas: "Where did you get that shirt?"

Me: "Mommy got it for me at Dillard's a couple of years ago."


Nicholas (incredulously): "Is Uncle Pat famous?"

Me (credulously): "Yes. In fact, he's a very famous singer."

Nicholas: "You mean like Kira?" (the yellow ranger who fronted a garage band in the TV series Power Rangers Dino Thunder...but you knew that already)

Me: "Well, she's a TV character. Uncle Pat is a real singer, one of the most famous ever."

(As I tried to make a connection, I realized he never listens to the radio and has virtually no clue what a recording artist even is.)

Me: "Have you ever heard of Elvis?"

Nicholas: "No."

Me: "How 'bout The Beatles?"

Nicholas: "Are they the ones who wear red shirts?"

Me (puzzled): "I think you're thinking of The Wiggles."

Nicholas: "No, they wear different colored shirts."

Me: "Oh, yeah."

Nicholas: "Are most of The Beatles dead?"

Me: "As a matter of fact they are."

Nicholas: "I think I saw them singing one time, and they all had on red shirts."

I'm sure the extant Beatle, Paul, would be pleased to know his group's legacy is secure with the next generation: the mostly-dead band with red shirts.

I hear a growing number of God-folk who are convinced war is summarily evil and that Bush is either the Antichrist or at the very least next of kin because he sent so many Americans and others into battle. I have serious concerns, myself. But there are those in uniform who actually believe it is the essence of Christ to defend the defenseless, even to the point of giving up their lives.

Better than a token "thank you" to those selfless souls, I hope all of us can celebrate this holiday by giving up our lives for someone else. No matter what they're wearing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Air Pollution

I may have to give up my hip hop music. The lyrics are getting quite bawdy.

This should be of great interest to those of you considering a romantic relationship with a rapper. He may not be willing to make a long-term commitment if the words of Ludacris in 2004's Song of the Year, Yeah!, are any indication:

Forget about game, I'm a spit the truth
I won't stop 'til I get 'em in they birthday suits

For those of you without street "cred," let me interpret. That last line includes not only disturbingly poor pronoun usage but also a not-so-veiled reference to nudity, a condition that afflicts all of us at some point and an attribute many "rappers" actually look for in filling out a "posse."

Yet these hip hop stars, what with their "bling bling," seem never in want of "shorties." Perhaps these women are the same ones who're attracted to the guy with the naughty mudflaps or the amateur mammographer. Don't say I didn't warn you if some night you ain't cuttin' and he puts you on foot patrol. Do you understizzle, my shizzles?


Move over, Bill Shakespeare. You've got company, and it's coming from an unlikely source: that's right, country music. Specifically, Gretchen Wilson. Her poetic genius abounds in this tasty lick from her hit song "Homewrecker":

Now, honey, I'm a Christian
But if you keep this up
I'm gonna go to kickin'
Your pretty little butt

Credit where credit's due.


I've held off on this next supposition for a long time. But having spent the better part of the last four months in airports, I'm finally ready to say it.

There are two kinds of men in this world: those who wear red pants, and those whom women find attractive.

Controversial? Perhaps. Accurate? Absolutely. Moving on.


Speaking of airports, it's always awkward to witness customers berating innocent employees, but the behavior of a woman I encountered at DFW the other day was especially appalling and merits public censure. Upon deplaning, this woman - 60ish and obviously not from around here - began badgering an American Airlines agent. She was all, "I'm flying to Zurich, but they told me my bags had been sent to Frankfurt!" Calm down, lady. Zurich, Frankfurt, what's the difference? Be glad you were among the fortunate few to step foot in the greatest country God ever made. The same American ingenuity that lost your luggage also rid the world of an evil dictator, who was probably plotting an invasion of Zurich or Frankfurt or wherever your luggage is erroneously headed. A lost bag is a small price to pay. In case you haven't noticed, we're still at war here. America is tightening its belt, such as opting for the Grande Latte over Venti at Starbucks and refusing to reduce our gasoline consumption despite the fact that it's roughly equivalent to the minimum wage. How 'bout a little sacrifice on your part?


The best commercial on television right now is the one in which the family tries to save its collective cell phone minutes by speaking fast, like an auctioneer. Very funny.

And it brings to mind some of my favorite songs about auctioneers. There's "The Auctioneer" by Leroy Van Dyke (no relation) and..."The Auctioneer" (instrumental version) on the flip side of that 45, just to name two. Good stuff.


America - nay, the world - will have its newest American Idol by night's end. It's down to the lead singer from Krokus and the girl who looks like a melange of each of the last 15 one-hit divas. Methinks Bach isn't nervous about losing his legacy.

You have to admit Idol is exceptionally emblematic of America, circa 20-aught-5. Let's sit around doing nothing except deciding who among those who actually got off the couch long enough to audition best tickles our big, fat fancy and who should go back to their jobs as cooks at a mini golf course. We've as a nation become the dudes from Mystery Science Theater 3000.


Finally, I've tried to get into Tejano music. I really have. But I think my inability to speak Spanish is a hindrance. Guess it's just not my "thing." Maybe some of the Tejano singers could rap! Then they could say whatever they wanted, and I wouldn't be offended.

Sunday, May 8, 2005

Garden Variety

Sports weekends like this one are why people garden. Let's recap:

*Tiger Woods, in his first appearance since that epic Masters title, flopped at the Wachovia Championship. Tiger tied for 11th but never contended, his weekend lowlighted by an approach to the 14th Friday which landed just past the hole...and promptly spun left, off the green, and into the water. The winner was Vijay Singh, second to Tiger in the world rankings and about as popular with golf fans as a rash in one's nether regions. Of course, Vijay, himself, arose to stardom from golf's nether regions, namely Fiji, which helps explain why he's not especially interested in yukking it up with galleries or kissing babies...though he did extend that now-famous invitation following his 2000 Masters victory, "Kiss my (nether regions), everybody." He just keeps laughing all the way to the bank, which in this case was sponsoring the tournament. Saved him a trip.

*Meanwhile, on the tour distaff, Annika Sorenstam could've set a new LPGA record for consecutive victories had she won in Williamsburg. But instead of making history, she was history after an opening 76 (her first over par round since the Clinton administration). She never got closer than 7 shots all weekend to eventual winner, Cristie Kerr, whose Extreme Makeover 5 years ago included the elimination of 60 L.B.s and the addition of a bunch of "oh, boys!" When Kerr contended at the '01 U.S. Women's Open, NBC analyst Johnny Miller could hardly contain himself and kept drooling, "Cristie Kerr is so fffffff...it." It was like he wanted to say, "FFFFine!" or "FFFFFFFun to look at!" or "FFFFreaking hot!"

Still, Kerr's visage was merely a consolation prize. We wanted to see history, and the best Williamsburg could give us was the dudes with muskets in the colonial costumes.

*At the track, Giacomo (pronounced "giacomo") won the 131st running of the Kentucky Derby in an upset of epic and (to the bluebloods in Louisville) dyspeptic proportions. A 100-to-1 shot, as highly esteemed as Mr. Ed among the horse racing cognoscenti, Giacomo's victory ranked right up there with the great party crashers of all-time. This was Billy Carter as America's First Brother. John Daly winning the PGA. Fonzie at the country club with new love interest, Adriana, and her friends. (Snob to Fonzie: "A leather jacket. How gauche." Fonzie to Snob: "Yeah, well how gauche it with you, too"). The caddies storming the pool at Bushwood. After Giacomo crossed the finish line first, you could actually hear Churchill Downs denizens screaming, "Doody in the pool!" It's always good fun to see a little mud splatter on the rich and famous.

*And finally, the suits at TNT must've been thrilled to see both of their NBA first round Game 7s decided by roughly 426 points. The Pacers and Mavs both won blowouts, then were routed themselves in the opening games of their respective second round series Monday night.

TNT says, "We know drama!" So do we, and this weekend we didn't get it. Of course, you may have loved what you saw on the sports tube. And if that's the case, I'll gladly retract all of this and admit, like The Fonz, "I was wrrrrrr...I was wrrrrr..."