Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has announced plans to write a book. In related news, Chinese gymnast He Kexin announced plans to color a book.
The CEO of Warner Bros. has written a letter to fans, apologizing for the postponement of the latest Harry Potter film. However, Horn only made things worse when he began the letter “Dear Nerds.”
Today, the U.S. signed a deal with Poland to build a missile defense base in the country. President Bush praised Poland’s cooperation, and also said how much he enjoys their spring water.
President Bush went out of his way to praise John McCain’s experience, foresight, and leadership qualities. In response, McCain asked Bush to “please shut up.”
John McCain told Politico he was unsure of how many houses he owns. McCain said he’s forced to buy new homes on a regular basis because he can never remember where he lives.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a wind energy plan that would place windmills on top of New York City landmarks. This would explain why the Statue of Liberty’s torch has been replaced with a hairdryer.
In Las Vegas, a television news reporter was caught soliciting men on Craigslist to have an orgy—thus providing yet another answer to the never ending question, “How low will Dan Rather stoop?”
In Louisiana, an undercover cop says his chief told him to have sex with prostitutes so he could catch them in the act. And when he heard this, Charlie Sheen enrolled in a police academy.
British paper the Daily Mail reports the creators of Dora the Explorer will give the character a makeover to make her more appealing to older children. As a result, Dora will now have breast implants and a coke habit.
Hallmark has unveiled a new line of gay wedding cards. On the card, there is an illustration of two matching tuxedos holding hands—which means it could also be used for lesbian weddings.
THE BRONX IS MOVING NEXT DOOR
There are a lot of visuals from my college years I wish could be erased from my mind, most notably the unbelievably awful images of 9/11, as well as my very first standup set—at which I actually left my body to view myself bomb. But right up there with the worst of them is Aaron Boone hitting a ridiculous home run off Tim Wakefield to shatter my dreams for yet another year.
That’s one of the many memories that will be swirling in our post-Manny minds as the Red Sox head into Yankee Stadium for the final time this week. There’s no denying the amount of history that has taken place in the House That A-Rod Ruined. No-hitters, World Series, Pope visits, rat infestation. And let’s not forget George Costanza’s compartmentalized office desk.
From my perspective, nothing is more fascinating than the drama that once hung over the Stadium, thanks to Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner. In fact just last summer, ESPN aired an eight-part miniseries cakked The Bronx is Burning. The series chronicles the 1977 New York Yankees’ tumultuous World Series run, while simultaneously detailing the city’s efforts to capture the now-infamous .44 Caliber Killer, a.k.a. Son of Sam. The series got good ratings and received glowing critical acclaim.
As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I didn’t want to like the series, but found myself being very impressed and engrossed in the saga that was 1977 New York. However, I couldn’t help thinking, why couldn’t they do a similar movie about a Boston sports team? Why couldn’t they follow one of New England’s great teams, while also documenting a well publicized news story? So, about a year ago, I came up some ideas for follow-up films to The Bronx is Burning, each set in the city of Boston:
The Hub is Giggling: Boston falls in love with the Impossible Dream 1967 Red Sox, but feels the wrath of lesser-known serial predator, The Boston Tickler.
It’s Electric!: The Bruins take home the 1973 Stanley Cup as the swinger community mourns the tragic electrocution of Sid Henderson, an unknowing clubber who mistook a motorized disco ball for a piñata.
Big-Bang-Moon: 1969 marks a special year for the Celtics, as they win their 11th world title, then stage the moon landing in Tommy Heinsohn’s garage.
It’s All In The Name: The 1984 Boston College football team’s influence exceeds athletics, as the popularity of Doug Flutie spurs an increase in flute-playing.
Wait, Who?: The 2005 New England Revolution is the runner up for the MLS Cup, while Bostonians react with surprise to news the team exists.
Wait, What Now?: The 2006 New England Revolution is again the runner up for the MLS Cup, while Bostonians react with surprise to news the team still exists.
Last Banner, Fast Stammer: The 1986 Boston Celtics win their final NBA Championship of the 20th Century, while Bob Lobel forms a complete sentence for the very last time.
Not laughing? Yeah, neither am I. For some reason, I just don’t think I had it this week. It would take something pretty amazing to save this particular entry. Something that informs and comforts, that enlightens and entertains. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? That’s right, it’s time for…
CAUSE & EFFECT
Thanks to the world’s supposed “real” tallest man refusing to take a tallness test, China’s Bao Xi Shun has been named the World’s Tallest Man by the Guinness Book of World Records, at 7 feet, 8.95 inches tall. How is his life affected by this distinction? And what can you expect if you yourself grow into this distinction? Here now is a Cause & Effect breakdown of Being the World’s Tallest Man:
Cause: You can help the short people by reaching high places.
Effect: You’re startled to stumble upon your grandmother’s vast collection of Jenna Jameson films.
Cause: Immense size makes it difficult for people to see around you.
Effect: At screening of Disaster Movie, people pay you to sit in front of them.
Cause: You’re thrilled to be recruited by basketball teams and volleyball teams.
Effect: Less thrilled to be recruited by Senator Larry Craig.
Cause: Must be fitted for a custom bed.
Effect: One snide remark about her mother, and you’re fitted for a custom couch—am I right men???
Cause: Must shop at a Big & Tall store.
Effect: Angered when the suit you planned to buy is purchased by Janet Reno.
Cause: People continually ask “How’s the weather up there?”
Effect: Due to popular inquiry, Farmer’s Almanac predicts snow and baldness.
Yankees still suck…
Dead, Dead, Dead
As is the case with everyone, there are lots of silly things I wish I’d gotten to do. I never got to see Larry Bird play basketball. I never got to see Johnny Carson tell a joke. I never got to see Andre the Giant drink 100 beers (no joke, a lot of people got to see that—including my dad, I think). But I did do one thing I’m willing to bet nobody reading this got to do: see the Beach Boys, Roy Orbison, and the Fat Boys perform on the same show.
I bring this up because this Thursday, I’ll be going to the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom to see The Beach Boys, some 20 years after that fateful night in Mansfield. As many of you know, I’ve been a Beach Boys fan since I was three years old. I think the Celtics and ginger ale are the only things that predate the odd affinity I’ve had with “America’s Band.” It all started when my parents took me to Chuck E. Cheese’s the week we moved to New Hampshire, in 1986. Bird was MVP, Carson was King, and Andre was probably having a foursome. But none of this mattered at that particular moment, because I was enthralled with a quintet of mechanical dogs singing music unlike anything I’d heard in my short time on the planet.
Obviously, my musical taste was sorely underdeveloped at this stage. Outside of Mr. Rogers and those classic We Sing tapes, I had only been exposed to the likes of Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Chicago and other 80s soft rockers while I tried to fall asleep. So when I first heard a nasally voice belt out, “If everybody had an ocean…” my ears perked up. Not unlike those of the dog singing the line.
Imagine my shock when my parents told me that, in an instance foreshadowing the antics of Ashlee Simpson, the Olympic Opening Ceremonies and Deval Patrick, the dog was actually lip-syncing—to the recording of these guys called the Beach Boys. And that wasn’t all! It turned out my Dad owned all of their records. Like a cougar at a Boy Scout camp, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on all of them.
Within a year or two, I was all about the Beach Boys. I knew all their names. I knew their mannerisms. I had achieved a Rain Man-like state with this unlikely obsession. I was arguably the most knowledgeable five-year-old Beach Boys fan of all time. Or so I thought.
Most of my Beach Boys knowledge stemmed from a documentary my parents had videotaped called An American Band. To this day, it is still my favorite documentary—the true story of the band, as told by the band. However, the Jon & Nancy version had a very peculiar ending point; much the way Cry, Cry Again ended with the disturbing image of a lone dancer, American Band suddenly cut off smack dab in the middle. And it was a shame, because it deprived me of the opportunity to see my favorite Beach Boy pound on his drums.
Even at ages three to five, I could tell Dennis Wilson was the coolest guy in the group. He played what I found to be the coolest instrument; he had crazy hair; all the guys wanted to be him, and all the girls wanted to be with him. And maybe some of the guys, I’m not going to judge. Point being, he was the true rock star of the group. He was a man’s man, a guy who did what he wanted, and nothing was gonna bring him down. Or so I thought.
And so, when my Mom bought three tickets at MVP Sports in Danvers on a cold day in March 1988 for the Beach Boys show at Great Woods that summer, it seemed only fitting for me to say “Now I finally get to see Dennis!” And, in retrospect, it seemed only fitting for my mom to make a face akin to Hillary’s when she heard Obama was running.
As the day grew closer, I got more and more excited. All I could talk about was how I would finally get to see Dennis Wilson. And each time I did this, I noticed that my parents turned a progressively whiter shade of pale. Each time I said to a babysitter I was gonna get to see Dennis, they’d give me a puzzled look. But this, I reasoned, was because they were merely jealous—or, because I was wearing my pants backwards.
April passed. Then May. Every day I would mention seeing Dennis, and every day, my parents would glare at each other. At first, it was a glare of confusion and pity, but soon, it appeared to be a glare of resentment. The same glare my roommate and I give each other when it’s time to take out the trash—an unspoken “Make me.” Nobody ever wants to do the dirty work.
Pretty soon, it was June 17, 1988. On this day in a universe 20 years in the future, a 25-year-old version of me was about to witness firsthand the Boston Celtics destroy the Los Angeles Lakers to win their 17th championship—but at the tail end of the Reagan Era, it was all about the Beach Boys. There I was, in the driveway, in my little white pants with my little white sneakers and little red Hawaiian shirt. And, in the loudest of voices, I exclaimed “Time to go see Dennis!” My parents stiffened. As I sat in the car, I could hear them discussing something. “I thought you were going to!” “I thought you were going to!” Surely, they were arguing about who was going to drive. Or so I thought.
So we hit the highway. About 90 minutes from New Hampshire. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I was enjoying the lovely scenery on Routes 128 and 495 before entering what you may call the Comcast Center—but I, always, Great Woods. I can remember the taste of the pizza. I can remember the gleam of the sun through the pine trees. I even remember the “urinals” in the men’s room were actually a giant bathtub of communal piss. But it didn’t matter; I was going to see Dennis.
The show started with some local band, followed by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band. Then, after a brief intermission, the real show began when the late, great Roy Orbison took the stage. I can still remember exactly what he looked like—dressed all in black with his dark glasses, backed by a line of female vocalists that clapped along to the snare drum when he closed with “Oh, Pretty Woman.” Unbeknownst to any of us, Roy would pass on just a few months later. It would be a sad contrast to my true love, the all-still-alive Beach Boys—or so…well, you know.
After another brief intermission, the lights dimmed, and the crowd roared. And as the spotlights came up, we were treated to the mouth-percussion stylings of the Human Beat Box himself, as the Fat Boys busted out the first ever surf/rap record, “Wipeout.” That’s right; they flew the Fat Boys in to rap “Wipeout.” And as the rap drew to a close, the Boys let aside their Fatness, and there were The Beach Boys playing the opening chords to “California Girls.” And we were off.
A different dancer appeared, dressed as each girl mentioned in the song. “Sloop John B,” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” were next, followed by “Dance, Dance, Dance” and “Do You Wanna Dance.” At this point, I glanced over at my Dad—and noticed that he had a pair of binoculars. We were pretty far back, so the ‘rents had brought them along to get a better look at the guys who had in effect ruined their daily peace and quiet. So, when my Dad put the binoculars down, I picked them up and surveyed the stage.
And finally, I got to see them. In full view, there was Carl playing his guitar. There was Mike with his tambourine. Al on guitar, and Bruce on keyboard. There was only one left! I pressed the binoculars to my eye, tilted them upward, and had a thought crystal clear as the moment it first emanated from my five-year-old mind: Why the fuck is Uncle Jesse playing the drums?
I had never said fuck before. I don’t even think I’d heard it, but I swear (no pun intended), somehow, that was the word that popped into my brain as John Stamos played the drum solo in “Be True To Your School.”
The band played their car songs, and for the first time in recorded history, some unknown song from this Cocktail movie. And when the show ended with “Fun, Fun, Fun,” we headed back to the car. “Mom, I don’t think I saw Dennis.” This was it, I could see her thinking. Here, we go and do something loving for our only son, and now we’re gonna have to be the bad guys. To which I added, “I bet he’s somewhere surfing.” With that she relaxed, and almost appeared grateful. Her only son, instead of being broken and disappointed surely sensed her unmistakable heartache, and had decided to take the high road.
When in reality, I was just really damn stupid. And it took my always honest, matter-of-fact Aunt Marie to say “You know Dennis is dead, don’t you?” later that summer to snap me out of said stupor.
It turns out Dennis was indeed dead, and years later, I finally realized was why my parents cut that documentary short. I never did get to see Dennis Wilson, but I saw the aforementioned four as well as Brian solo in 2006; and, I got to see Roy Orbison, the Fat Boys, and Uncle Jesse playing the fucking drums.
And it will be the music that carries on the tradition this Thursday night, from the large-scale Great Woods to the intimate Casino Ballroom. No, Roy Orbison won’t be there, and obviously, neither will Dennis.
But man, I can’t wait to see that Carl!
* * * *
CAUSE & EFFECT
According to reports, Barack Obama is set to announce his running mate tomorrow morning. “So what??” you ask, as you suck down a Yoo-Hoo. Well, what if he chooses…you??? Just in case, here is a Cause & Effect breakdown of Being Vice-President of the United States:
Cause: You must inquire daily to the health of the president.
Effect: President spends 10 minutes showing you his cankers.
Cause: You are called in to break a tie in the Senate.
Effect: Thanks to your authority, Terminator now officially better than Robocop.
Cause: For security purposes, can no longer travel with the President.
Effect: Say goodbye to that romantic weekend on Nantucket.
Cause: Called on to advise the president on matters of your expertise.
Effect: Are surprised to learn there’s no pressing concern over slinkies.
Cause: Are asked to serve as commencement speaker at college graduations.
Effect: Are asked to leave after opening with, “So where yo’ tits at??”
Cause: You are one heartbeat away from assuming control of the free world.
Effect: Secret Service codename: Hank Steinbrenner.
- - - - - -
Oh jeez… the hilarity is about to reach an insane level. Shield your eyes, protect your young…it’s time for…
Michael Phelps is now the proud owner of fourteen gold medals—which puts him just five behind Mr. T.
A Swedish nurse is under fire for publishing surgical pictures on her Facebook account. One of the patients found the pictures using the Organs You May Know feature.
Barack Obama’s campaign announced that Obama raised $51 million in July. And in response, John McCain’s campaign announced McCain found three dollars in change with his metal detector.
The McCain campaign has written a letter to NBC to protest what they’re calling biased coverage of Barack Obama. NBC said they would air an apology to McCain during Obama’s new weekly variety show.
There are reports Barack Obama may select John Kerry to be his running mate. Analysts say this is all part of Obama’s new plan to get out of politics.
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos said there is at best a 50-1 chance Hillary Clinton will be Barack Obama’s vice-presidential pick. To which Hillary said, “I accept!!”
For the second straight Olympics, American sport shooter Matt Emmons forfeited a gold medal when he completely missed his target. Afterwards, he received a congratulatory phone call from Dick Cheney.
His gun actually went off too soon, to which Emmons said, “I swear, that’s never happened before.” Bet you wrote this one too, didn’t you?
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the U.S. will not allow a new Iron Curtain in Europe. But President Bush said he was still willing to consider some nice Venetian blinds.
The Mayor of an Australian town has created controversy, by suggesting that unattractive women move into his town and take advantage of its shortage of women. Apparently, the mayor made the announcement while wearing a shirt that said, “Yes Fat Chicks.”
The New York Post reports that Michael Jackson’s brothers have been unable to reach him about $840,000 he owes them in royalty fees. The men vow to track Michael down, even if it means going to every Jonas Brothers show in America.
In order to help her mate, zookeepers in Jerusalem have strapped a paralyzed turtle to a skateboard—which, incidentally, was a tactic briefly tried on President Roosevelt.
Hasbro is updating the board game Clue to include new weapons. Instead of a lead pipe, the game now features a Chinese toy.
The Internet Movie Database has published a list of the 100 worst movies of all time. They then proceeded to congratulate Rob Schneider on making his 100th film.
Gotta keep those lovin’ good, Vibrations happenin’ with you…
Have a good one, everybody.
“GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR SEARCH!”
Well, this one is going to be a shorty, because a certain dork named me must get some rest ASAP. Why you ask? Because I have an interview, that’s why. And there are only three kinds of people who have interviews: suspects, celebrities, and the unemployed. Mark me as the latter.
Just how did I become unemployed, you ask? Did I oversleep and miss a day? Did I put a picture of John Edwards on the screen when referencing Jamie-Lynn Spears’ baby? Was I refused a night off to go to the Celtics, causing me to cuss out, storm off, and set sail? Sadly, no. There was no dramatic conclusion to this endeavor in my life. And admittedly, it was a bit anticlimactic. Everybody else at that place seems to have a great end of the line tale, but, simply put…the job got worse, the hours got worse, and I decided emphatically it was time for something different. So, I resigned.
It’s been a while since I’ve been unemployed, but the situation never really changes. For instance, when you’re unemployed, everybody’s got suggestions, particularly your parents. Because proud parents, if you’re lucky enough to have them, literally believe you can still do any job they once dreamt of you doing. “You’ve got morals, you hate crime—maybe you could be a superhero! You’ve got that cape we bought you still sitting up in your room, and there’s always plenty of crime…”
Of course, you can’t underestimate the value of support from others, especially if they’re a reference—assuming they really exist. It’s often tempting just to make up a reference to see if anyone notices. “I feel I’m the ideal candidate for a position with your investment firm, and one of your employees, Kim Jong-Il, has volunteered himself as a reference.”
But I don’t do that, because I can’t. I’m proud to say I have never lied in a resume or cover letter. Because why should I? All it would do is waste their time, waste my time, and set me up for failure. When I met with a career counselor in college, I was told it’s important to target places, not positions. In other words, find a company you want to work for, then sell yourself for the job you want—advertised or not. After all, just because I refuse to make up information about myself doesn’t mean I can’t make up the job I’m going for. So, I’ve decided what the heck—I’ll do it. Here for your consideration: my cover letter.
August 15, 2008
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Jon Rineman. I am a 2005 graduate of Emerson College, and have spent the past nine months working as a promotions producer in Boston. I have recently to pursue opportunities elsewhere, and am applying for the job of werewolf-tamer not posted on your jobs site.
Prior to my time in promotions, I worked as a production assistant for NBC Universal’s Mastersons of Manhattan pilot in Studio City, CA, often delivering scripts to houses on Mulholland Drive, where werewolf activity is heavy. As a student at Emerson, I earned a bachelor’s degree in media studies, with a minor in marketing/public relations/advertising. This has provided me the skills to publicly relate how f*cking scary and dangerous werewolves really are. Additionally, I consider myself an expert in recognizing full moons, and people becoming animals.
I feel that when it comes to werewolves, one word speaks volumes: tolerance. For in order to defeat the werewolf, you must first understand the werewolf. How deep is their hatred, and can they be weakened by a dog whistle? These are the answers we must aim to uncover, and I feel my work ethic, enthusiasm, and proven track record with humanoids make me an ideal candidate for the position. In fact, one of your employees, Kim Jong-Il, has volunteered himself as a reference.
A DVD reel of my work can be made available upon request. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to the opportunity to further introduce myself.
Jon R. Rineman Jr.
But as is always the case, there are some bright sides to the downtimes. For instance, the opportunity to watch the Olympics…a tradition topped only by the one following this very paragraph…a little something called…
CAUSE & EFFECT
Of course, the Olympics are well underway, and Michael Phelps and his crazy diet are cruising to an all-time record gold medal count. Just what will life be like for Michael Phelps and all the other goldies, post-Beijing? Here is a Cause & Effect breakdown of being an Olympic gold medalist.
Cause: To maintain eligibility, must undergo frequent gender tests.
Effect: Embarrassed when doctor asks your girlfriend how long she took to find it.
Cause: Offered the chance to appear on a Wheaties box.
Effect: Startled to receive threatening phone calls from a drunk Count Chocula.
Cause: You stand atop podium to proudly sing along to the Star Spangled Banner.
Effect: Embarrassed to learn it’s actually “…that our flag was still there…”
Cause: Invited to appear on numerous talk shows.
Effect: Try to give medal back when you learn you have to meet Kathie Lee.
Cause: Proud to wear gold medal around your neck.
Effect: Flavor Flav asks if you’ve thought about a clock.
Cause: New clout gives you confidence to flirt with Chinese gymnasts.
Effect: Irked when girl’s apartment looks a lot like the set of Dateline: Predator.
- - - - - -
Uh-oh!! Strap on your chuckle helmets…we’re headed deep into…
At the Olympics, spy planes are flying over the coast to scan for “suspicious activities”—like the U.S. winning at soccer.
There are allegations that several of the Chinese Olympic gymnasts are underage. These rumors only intensified when one of the girls was seen leaving with R. Kelly.
The other clue was when they asked one of winners what she was gonna do next, and she said, “I’m going to kindergarten!”
The New York Post reports that Michael Phelps’ success could be attributed to his daily, high-calorie diet which includes three fried egg sandwiches, a five-egg omelet, a bowl of grits, three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar, three chocolate-chip pancakes, a pound of enriched pasta, two large ham and cheese sandwiches slathered with mayo on white bread, and an entire pizza. This could also explain why several of the women’s medals have been won by Kirstie Alley.
Michael Phelps is being called the greatest Olympian of all time. But today, President Bush said he wasn’t ready to close the door on Tonya Harding.
President Bush took time to meet with the United States fencing team. There was one awkward moment, though, when he asked how things were coming at the Mexican border.
As Russia’s invasion tactics intensified, President Bush vowed immediate aid to the Republic of Georgia. He then spent the day deploying troops to Atlanta.
George Clooney is set to host a fundraiser for Barack Obama in Switzerland next month. I guess this is to lock up that all important Swiss vote.
The Wall Street Journal ran an article claiming that Barack Obama may be “too fit” to be elected President, as two-thirds of the nation is overweight. See? Al Gore could still have a shot.
CBS News did a feature story on Barack Obama’s campaign plane. It comes equipped with a four-seat booth for eating, four Lay-Z-Boy style chairs, and an ejector seat in case Hillary makes it onto the plane.
According to ABC News, a plane carrying Barack Obama nearly had to make a crash landing last month. Aviation experts say this is the most frightening incident involving a candidate since John McCain had to leap from the Hindenburg.
At the Sturgis Motorcycle rally, John McCain joked about entering his wife Cindy into the Miss Buffalo Blue Chip contest, the beauty pageant in which many of the participants parade topless. This would mark the first time a potential first lady has participated in the pageant since Barbara Bush.
In England, a man has been ordered to stay at least 110 yards from his girlfriend’s apartment, after people complained about them having loud, profanity-laden sex. And today, John Edwards strongly denied using any profanities.
A Rasmussen Poll shows that 47% of those surveyed support a “fairness doctrine” for television; apparently, the other 53% work for Fox News and MSNBC.
Some news outlets are reporting that many immigrants may be forced back to Mexico if the U.S. economy doesn’t improve. And when he heard this, Lou Dobbs advised Americans to invest in VCR companies.
A Los Angeles man has been sentenced to two years in jail for murdering his girlfriend’s cat. The judge actually had to repeat the sentence, since the court couldn’t hear over O.J., Phil Spector and Robert Blake laughing.
An Ohio Burger King is under fire, after a video surfaced of a naked male employee bathing in a kitchen utility sink. Experts say this is the greatest example of fast food misconduct since Grimace was caught masturbating in a fry bin.
According to researchers, manatees are smarter than was previously believed. So that manatee who “accidentally” took your lunch out of the fridge at work—probably knew what he was doing.
A woman recently paid $1 to buy a home in Detroit. She has yet to explain why she overpaid.
British tabloid The Sun reports that to keep their long-distance relationship alive, Jessica Simpson performs strip teases for her boyfriend Tony Romo over the internet. Which sounds sexy, except that she spends the first 10 minutes telling her dad how to hold the camera.
Britney and Jamie-Lynn Spears’ mother is set to release a new parenting book. It can be found in the horror section.
Have a good one, everybody.
THE BENNIGEND OF AN ERA
I think everyone eventually learns that live isn’t all about what’s “ideal.” There’s more to this world than what you perceive to be right or wrong, and that in the end, a vast majority of the entities which we encounter fall victim to a plain and simple bottom line.
Yes, it’s all about business. It’s all about the Benjamins. Said bottom line rests firmly beneath what we hold dear, what we hope to savor for all eternity. And yet, it doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye. For it’s hard not to grow attached to familiar sights to which one’s grown accustomed; to reminders of normalcy and happiness. And it never gets any easier seeing one of these sights and reminders up and leave Boston. It happened with Mo Vaughn. It happened with Johnny Damon. Mainstays of our youth, abandoning the very spots which they for so long had rested. And it happened again last week. And still, no matter how many times I’ve been through it before…this time, I can’t help but find myself saying the same thing over and over:
I can’t f#ckin’ believe Bennigan’s is closed.
There’s a lot up in the air right now. A lot of decisions to be made. So imagine my reaction when I went on Drudge Report (yes, I do that), and found out Bennigan’s being forced to shut down. I had literally just been there two nights earlier, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The mozzarella sticks were cheesy. The nachos had ample guac, and the chicken was as sufficiently crisp. At no point did I get the feeling things were nearing an end. And yet—poof—gone.
While I enjoyed the food and, more than anything, the prices, Bennigan’s held a special place for me because of its location. Having gone to college on the other side of the block, Bennigan’s was the go-to destination from years 2001-2005. It was The Boston Garden of affordable dining. I think I’ve eaten there with just about everyone, in just about every imaginable circumstance.
It’s where I used to eat with my Dad when he was still flying and in town on a layover. I ate there with my whole family between EVVYs shows, wearing my trademark used gray, wool suit (in May). I even took one lucky girl there on a fake blind date, an endeavor immediately romantic but retrospectively on par with “closer by committee” and “Mission Accomplished.”
It was indeed the lazy man’s place to bring a date. It was hard not to make eye contact with and nod at each other, wondering which one of us poor pathetic bastards had any shot with the unfortunate souls who agreed to spend time with us. They never judged, and they never asked questions at Bennigans. Show up at midnight with your hair messed up and a girl you just met, looking for the takeout you ordered two hours ago? No problem. Cash or credit?
More than anything, it was a place to just sit back and relax—to order something familiar and spend time with familiar folks. It’s where I’d go with Steve to shoot the shit. It’s where we used to meet after EVVYs meetings each Thursday night. Every single person at the table had at least two people there who secretly hated them, but nobody seemed to mind. No Stefen. Cash or credit?
It’s also the place I went with Sam and Spak and the gang after we wrapped our pilot demo—and, essentially, our partnership. We came so close, yet never really did anything constructive ever again, and in our minds, I think we knew we wouldn’t—but the sticks were cheesy, the nachos flavorful, and the chicken as crisp as it comes. Why ruin the moment?
The times, they are a changin’, and so is the neighborhood. I could take Tingle’s closing. I could take the Connection boarding up. I can bear the thought of some of my closest friends leaving town. But I draw the line at Bennigan’s. It’s just not right. Boston doesn’t feel the same. It’s almost enough to make a guy leave town.
But for now, chin up, and noodles (minds, not penises) ready. It’s time for…
CAUSE & EFFECT
Bennigan’s may be dead (for now) but this guy isn’t. A man thought to have died in a flood three decades ago recently resurfaced (no pun inten—okay, so it was). It turns out it was all a misunderstanding, and that he didn’t fake his death, because who would? This guy, that’s who. For six years, he and his wife led the world to believe he had peaced out—when in fact he was still very much peaced in. Before you go faking your own death (because who else’s death are you going to fake?), consider this Cause & Effect breakdown of…FAKING YOUR DEATH:
Cause: To avoid being discovered, forced to alter appearance.
Effect: Are irked when old friend says, “Without that mustache, you’d look just like the guy whose mother I bagged!”
Cause: When traveling, forced to use an alias.
Effect: Soon discover Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was at best a poor choice.
Cause: Upon recognizing you, people exclaim, “Ah! The dead person!”
Effect: You receive letter of commiseration from Joan Rivers.
Cause: You steadfastly refrain from any human contact and interaction.
Effect: Now qualified to be Vice-President.
Cause: You’re given the rare opportunity to read your own obituary.
Effect: Disappointed by header, “Beloved son, lifelong virgin.”
Cause: Can no longer go out to eat at favorite restaurant.
Effect: No Bennigan’s? no problem.
- - - - - -
But wait!!! It seems like we’re forgetting something…ah! Oh yes…it’s…
The Boston Red Sox traded slugger Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers. And LA fans are just ecstatic; in fact tonight, some showed up as early as the third inning.
Dunkin Donuts announced it will stop serving anything with trans fats, effective this fall. As a result, they will henceforth be known as Dunkin Napkins.
In a poll conducted by British tabloid The Sun, Hannibal Lector has been voted the greatest villain of all time. And today, Dick Cheney demanded a recount.
Rapper Ludacris has released a song attacking Hillary Clinton. Experts say this could be the worst politician/musician feud since John McCain went at it with Al Jolson.
A biopsy on John McCain came back showing no signs of cancer—however, it did show signs of the Black Plague.
In Missouri, police have busted up a pregnant prostitution ring made up of girls 18-22, each of them pregnant. To which Eliot Spitzer said, “Honey, there’s something else I need to tell you…”
In a recent Gallup poll, Americans said there should be more focus on the Afghan War. To which President Bush said, “Why we fightin’ about blankets?”
Police in Manila are converting their cars to run on a mixture of diesel and used cooking oil from McDonald’s—which would explain why today, one of the cars wouldn’t start since it was having a heart attack.
U.S. and Mexican intelligence forces seized a submarine packed with 5.8 tons of cocaine. They first became suspicious when they noticed the submarine parked outside Amy Winehouse’s apartment.
Amy Winehouse was hospitalized with what’s being called an “adverse effect” to a foreign substance. The foreign substance: oxygen.
A New Zealand judge has allowed a nine-year-old girl, named Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii to change her name. She’ll now go by a new name: There Once Was a Girl From Nantucket.
In Southern California, a woman walking her dogs was attacked by a bear, but managed to escape and drive herself to a nearby fire station. The bear called a cab.
Delta Air Lines will now be charging $50 for passengers to check a second bag—75 if the bag is packed by Jerry Lewis.
Lifestyle Condoms has asked Miley Cyrus to endorse its products. Parent groups are calling this the worst thing since Britney Spears’ kids signed a deal with Jim Beam.
There’s a controversy in Santo Domingo, where Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez announced plans to build a subway and turn the area into what he’s calling a “Little New York.” In fact, people there are already complaining about the smells coming from Little New Jersey.
According to a study out of England, 20 percent of scientists take performance-enhancing drugs. This could explain why Stephen Hawking has career highs in home runs and RBIs.
Peace, love and Bennigans,