One Final Pointless November Entry

Thanksgiving busy-ness has come to an end. Two quick items and a preview:

The writers of Sunday night’s Simpsons have been reading my blog. I am, of course, flattered. Also litigious. Just a fair share of the royalties, Groening, and we’re quits.


Staley Update: At today’s game, Staley reached new heights of inadvertent entertainment. While demonstrating punt reception during a halftime contest, Staley was bowled over by a high hanger. The bear landed on his back, which somehow caused him to fumble his own head.

Security recovered the head after a gain of ten. Props: The man behind the Bear did a bang-up job turning it into comedy. However, he failed, again, to savagely rip anyone’s face off during the game. (Specific face not savagely ripped off this week: David Terrell’s.)


This week: Thanksgiving, Costco, and the Woodfield Report. The last of those will probably elicit extra wincing from the better-behaved among you.

The Patience Of Wizards

The final Barbecue of 2003 is this afternoon. I felt it was wrong to waste a sixty-degree day in November, as it was obvious, at least to me, that Jesus was doing us a solid. As plans coalesced, I realized that there’s an unacknowledged pattern to merry-making amongst the usual suspects. As unjust treatment of me figures prominently, I feel it’s time to codify the Merriment Policy.

At events where raucousness is expected/hoped-for/encouraged/planned, I generally offer to bring a potion of some kind. This offer is more often than not accepted graciously. (If not, it’s not going to be That Kind of party, something which I can usually tell in advance.) Acceptance sets the stage for a new performance of It’s Al’s Fault I Took My Pants Off. It’s a traditional piece, not unlike Hamlet, in that deviations can be made in terms of staging and style, but the content and script remains virtually the same from show to show. Here’s the reduction:

(Al enters, bearing container. General Outcry.)

Player One: No! He bears drink! Let no one partake of this evil! Last time I sipped of these hideous potions, I did try to fuck my own beloved Cat.

Player Two: (proudly) I have a rule of never drinking anything the Dark One hands me. I share this rule with others, in the manner of the Mormon.

Player Three: For certain! Though I asked for drink, I cannot pass up an opportunity to wail, and to remind everyone that just requesting someone make you a drink does not render the maker blameless for your subsequent behavior. Even though I asked for the drink. Then drank it. On repeated occasions.

Player One: Anything you do whilst under the power of the Dark One’s potions is his fault. I have Decreed this, for without this Decree, I’d be way embarassed about the cat thing. Also, verily, the pictures of mine own pair of fairly personal body parts.

Player Two: (To company) Drink not what this one hath brought! He is an evil wizard with powerful magic, and his power is reduced only by annoying chiding and tut-tutting. Tut-tut, I say!

Player Three: Let us repair to the room of couches, where we may approvingly discuss sushi, foreign film, and Howard of Vermont. Away!

(Another round of diet soda. Exeunt. End of Act I.)

(Act II. One hour later.)

Player One: This is more boring than church.

Player Two: Al, did you bring anything to drink?

Al: I did. Will we have to go through this crap again next time?

Player Three: Of course not. We’re asking!

Company: Hit me!

(Improv merriment ensues.)

Michael Jackson…Nah, Too Easy.

I haven’t been posting much lately, as my hands hurt quite a bit from all the medical poking they’re taking. I should have my surgery date by Monday. In a related story, two levels of Crash Bandicoot are all that stand betwixt you and Boredcon Two.


Modifications are being considered to the officially sanctioned schedule of the High Holy Days Of Al: Formerly beginning with the celebration of Thanksgiving, I have such a ball shopping every year that I may be defining First Night as “the day upon which the first shopping trip is made for the express purpose of obtaining ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner.” (Also in the definition running: “When the Food Network goes wall to wall with Thanksgiving coverage”. Oh how I love the Good Eats turkey episode.)

The High Holy Days still wrap with the bookend meal on Super Bowl Sunday, of course.


In the works: Rob and I are hoping to go pick out our turkeys live and strutting, like a lobster out of the tank. Anybody else’s interested, shoot me some mail.

I Am Flush With Fine Ideas

My beloved Bears — formerly an NFL team, now a comedy act — have a new mascot. Goes by ‘Staley‘.

I watched Staley quite a bit yesterday at the game, as there wasn’t much point in watching the team. Staley incites fans, does the Butt Dance, hugs kids, signs autographs, hassles security guards; the usual mascot routine. I believe he’s also supposed to join the celebration after touchdowns, but he’s not going to get to use much from that bit just yet.

Nothing any more special than your average guy in a bear suit, really. (And a thousand levels below the legendary Guy In A Bear Suit on Letterman.) He’s a mascot. Every team has one. Man in suit doing schtick.

I have, however, a fine idea for Staley. I think I can turn things around for the Bears, too.

Picture, please:

Late first half, Bears driving. Third and six. Chandler under center. Dez White split left, Marty Booker near side, Terrell the slot receiver. Chandler takes the snap and drops back. He needs six yards for the first. Chandler looks left, pump-fakes, and fires over the middle to David Terrell.

Terrell catches the ball. For a drive-killing gain of five. Again.

Cue Staley.

Fifteen hundred pounds of angry slavering death bursts off the far sideline and makes straight for John Shoop. The offensive coordinator tries to run, but he is no match for the terrifying Staley. The mascot pins Shoop to the turf with one massive paw, clamps his jaws around a forearm, and with a roar of triumph rips the limb from the playcaller’s body. Blood dripping from his fearsome jaws, Staley rears, bellows, and — amid a thunderous standing ovation — drags his meal from the stadium.

How Windy Was It?

“Wind out of the northwest at thirty-three miles an hour, with gusts up to fifty-five miles an hour”

–Weather report, 6:24pm

Wind Effect Awards, 11/12/03

3rd Prize: My grill blew over on my balcony. This is a full size kettle grill. It was laid but unlit. Tonight, I think, pizza.

2nd Prize: I saw a seagull flying in the manner that usually ends with augering in. He looked confused, as though vaguely aware that this was usually handled differently but unable to recall exactly how. (Picture Dave Wannstedt with a beak.) “Flying” might actually be too generous a term. The bird was a Jewel bag with stabilizers.

1st Prize: I’m walking down the hall of my (6th and top floor) apartment and I hear splashing. Investigation. Sound source: The water in the toilet is sloshing. Possible causes swiftly analyzed. Hypothesis: My building is swaying.

This would bother me quite a lot more in a high-rise, I think, but as it was I felt faint and had to pour a restorative cocktail. While I did, I tried to feel the sway. I’m on finger four of frozen Finlandia, but I cannot yet detect the motion of the building. In the noble cause of science, I shall soldier on with my inquiries.

Now Serving Three Readers!

A bunch of students at Northwestern are planning to give extra attention to an attention-seeking vandal by wearing black and not speaking. This is a fine breakthrough in student activism, and I cannot back it strongly enough. I hope that ‘Shutting Up For The Cause” catches on as a form of protest. In fact, I encourage everyone with a deeply-held grievance to immediately vow not to speak of it until their problem is cleared up. Bravo, ye silent Wildcats. Lead the way.


Disability Update: We are at Boredcon Three. Keep canned goods in the basement and freshly-charged flashlights close at hand.


Why aren’t you watching “Pardon The Interruption“? This might be my new cause. (In accordance with endorsed policy, I will not advocate PTI again until you admit to watching it. Also “Insomniac“.)


The Class X substance “Happiness Juice” was a significant hit in the stuff’s first public testing. Large-scale evaluation may have to wait for barbecue weather, as HJ is really more of a warm-weather drink. (Also it may take that long for some people’s flashbacks and hangover aftershocks to dissipate.)


I told you she was the Nookie Superfecta. (Not work-safe. Only marginally home-safe.)

Second link. Grab it while you can.

Beat The Moron!

Straight up, no spread.

Kansas City over Cleveland
Steelers over Cardinals
Seattle over DC
Bucs over Panthers
Colts over Jags
Giants over Falcons
Cincinnati over Houston
Bears over Lions
Tennessee over Miami
Buffalo over Dallas
Raiders over Jets
Chargers over Vikings
Rams over Ravens
Packers over Eagles

I have a bad feeling about this weekend.

I been lax this week. Busy days. I’ll make it up to the two of you next week.

Rise Of The Machine

The tease at

“Cincinnati OF Dernell Stenson was found dead Wednesday in suburban Phoenix after he was shot and apparently run over by his own SUV.”

Calling all cars! Be on the lookout for a homicide suspect. Suspect is described at six-feet-five-inches tall, black, and heavily built. Suspect is believed armed and dangerous. Approach with caution.

More from the AP:

“CHANDLER, Ariz. — Cincinnati Reds outfielder Dernell Stenson was found dead early Wednesday on a residential street after he was shot and apparently run over in a Phoenix suburb, police said.

Chandler police said the death was being treated as a homicide.”

(In police radio code, that’s referred to as a 19-duh.)


Can’t blog. Reading.

Here’s my legally mandated Monthly Lyric Posting, to tide you both over ’til tomorrow:

I asked your mother for you
She told me that you was too young
I wish to the Lord I’d never seen your face
Or heard your lying tongue

Irene goodnight, Irene goodnight
Goodnight Irene, Goodnight Irene
I’ll get you in my dreams

Sometimes I live in the country
Sometimes I live in the town
Sometimes I have a great notion
To jump into the river and drown

Stop your ramblin’, stop your gamblin’
Stop stayin’ out late at night
Go home to your wife and your family
Sit down by the fireside bright

I love Irene God knows I do
Love her till the sea run dry
And if Irene turns her back on me
I’m gonna take morphine and die

— Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter