Would You Like A Cadillac Car?

When I am efforting* weight loss, I find myself paying a lot more attention to food on the TV. With the exception of the Food Network, especially Lynne Koplitz, I am annoyed by food-related television during my periods of binge starving.

I am annoyed by commercials for food that make trendy health claims about food that predates the trend in question. I am especially annoyed by these claims when they are made via elaborate disclaimer. Here I am thinking of Burger King.

I witnessed yesterday a spot espousing the Whopper as a sandwich containing “only five-point-(something) grams of carbs!” While this proclamation was made in both graphic and verbal form, there was a disclaimer at the bottom in about four point type reading “*Does not include ketchup, mayonnaise, or bun.**” Yes. It actually tried to disclaim the bun as a part of the burger being shown, with bun, AT THAT VERY MOMENT.

I am excited for the Lie Big, Correct Small ad strategy to spread:

  • “*Warranty period is not actually ten years.”
  • “*Actual car for sale is not a Lexus as pictured.”
  • “*John Kerry is not, technically, a convicted camel rapist. Also, the real Senator Joe Lieberman is not black.”
  • I am annoyed by food items that should be satirical throwaways on the fucking Simpsons. Here’s a quiz:

    Which of the following is not a real item currently being video-pimped?

    a) A breakfast sandwich composed of bacon, egg, and cheese betwixt two maple-syrup flavored pancakes.

    b) A burger topped with bacon, ham, and a fried egg.

    c) A special sale price on an extra shot of hot fudge in every milkshake.

    It’s “b” – the Good Morning Burger – but still, two of those are freakin’ real. Lawdamighty. No wonder we are a nation of 747’s, your narrator included.

    I am annoyed by the emergence of low-carb diets as an Official Fad. While I am totally in favor of this method, as it works like all hell for me, I liked it better when everybody wasn’t getting after it. While it is nice to be able to buy low-carb bread at the Jewel, it isn’t worth the eureka-style advertising, the lectures from bandwagoneers and from the low-fat disciples, and the inevitable appearance of Oscar Mayer’s Jared Equivalent.

    I am annoyed by the accompanying bad science reporting. Here’s a lesson in TV News “Science” Reporting 101:

    Life Cycle Of A Science Story

    1) Every January 1, every Assignment Desk in the nation seeks diet stories. (Or quitting smoking, or exercise. Resolution stories.)
    2) 20/20 Producer notes that, technically, the Montignac Diet allows foie gras and chocolate.
    3) Story runs about “The Foie Gras and Chocolate Diet” with accompanying photos of luscious pate and enormous desserts. Story implies that this is all one eats on this diet. Nutritionists who have a lot invested in the food-is-poison philosophy attack the method.
    4) Montignac issues statement correcting 20/20, pointing out that the diet is mostly green vegetables, whole grains, and meat; and that foie gras and chocolate are allowed only in small amounts and once one has finished losing weight.
    5) 20/20 runs smug followup story, “Montignac Revises Diet Guidelines After 20/20 Exposé!”

    I am annoyed by a Taco Bell commercial that I’ve heard twice an hour all week in which it is implied that if one doesn’t eat lavishly of the offal served at Taco Bell, one must be a feeble and sickly old woman. This insult has no power over me. I mean, it would if it were somewhere like Carson’s, or Caponie’s, or Famous Dave’s, but Taco Bell? Jesus. Why not just kill and eat rats? You’d at least be sure of what you were putting in your mouth.

    Expect more of this as Operation Fifty Pounds soldiers on.

    *Word “efforting” appears courtesy of Phil the Showkiller

    ** Some people apparently put mayonnaise on their burgers. Some people don’t deserve to eat.

    Something Kinky

    In accordance with the Laws Of Blogging, my Mandatory Monthly Lyric Posting:

    People Who Read People Magazine (God Bless John Wayne)
    Kinky Friedman

    Well, I’m here to say I got turned away from Studio 54
    Back to neon lights and lonely nights and saw-dust on the floor
    And if she ever loved me, she don’t love me anymore,
    And if anyone should ask me, here’s who I’m singing for:

    For the people who read People Magazine,
    For the soap opera lovers, for the home-town bowling team,
    For everybody everywhere who’s ever lost a dream,
    For the people who read people who read People Magazine.

    Now if you’re too New York for Texas, too Texas for L.A.
    You been chasing trends like rainbow ends but you’re always just a song away
    And if the White House wouldn’t have ya, play in every little honky-tonk and bar
    The good Lord made the Heavens, ah but He never made a star.

    No, its the people who read People Magazine,
    It’s the soap opera lovers, its the home-town bowling team,
    It’s everybody everywhere who’s ever lost a dream,
    For the people who read people who read People Magazine.

    And to tell you the truth this telephone booth gets lonesome in the rain,
    But son, I’m 21 in Nashville and I’m 43 in Maine.
    And when your mama gets home, would you tell her I phoned, it’d take a life-time to explain
    That I’m a country-picker with a bumper-sticker that says “God Bless John Wayne”.

    And bless the people who read People Magazine,
    Bless the soap opera lovers, bless the home-town bowling team,
    Bless everybody everywhere who’s ever lost a dream,
    For the people who read people who read People Magazine.
    Bless the people who read people who read People Magazine.

    La La La, I Have No Ideas

    “Rather than simply managing a franchise by adding and releasing players,
    Owner Mode allows you to control the financial aspects of your franchise.
    Details can be seen about fan attendance, support, and even your net profit.
    The whole idea of making money is accounted as well. You can set ticket prices,
    concession stands, and even renovate a stadium during the off-season.”

    1) The Wheel
    2) The Germ Theory Of Disease
    3) Madden ’04
    4) Flight

    ***

    “Without sports, this wouldn’t be disgusting” has entered the B&T Search Term Top Five. How pissed are those surfers? (Not as cranky as those seeking “Ellen Degeneres blogs”, I grant you.)

    ***

    I was lax last week. Therefore, in keeping with tradition, I hereby motivate myself by committing to the following for this week:

  • A review of the past weekend’s skiing. There may even be bonus coverage of my purchase of replacement pants. If you’re good.
  • Things That Have Annoyed Me In The Past Eleven Days: A Memoir
  • Compliance

    I’m also taking requests.

  • Bart With An Art

    For those who haven’t seen ESPN’s latest commercial: Tight closeup of a couple, making out lovingly, murmuring sweet nothings at each other, looking deeply into one another’s eyes, etc. Camera pulls back, revealing couple from the waist up. He is wearing an Ohio State t-shirt, she a Michigan t-shirt. Caption: “Without sports, this wouldn’t be disgusting*”.

    I have no vested interest in either team — not even fiscal, as one should NEVER wager seriously on traditional rivals — but for some reason I find it a little disturbing. Gross, even. It should be funny, and it is, kinda, the same way it’d be funny were your grandma killed when a mid-hoist piano fell on her as she was walking down State Street. You don’t want to laugh, because it’s horrifying and foul, but you probably wouldn’t be able to help it. Same thing.

    * Nonfans: Imagine a passionate love affair between…no, there is no comparison. Osama bin Laden could be caught on the receiving end of a Dick Cheney reach-around and it’d be less shocking. Less outrage from their respective fans, anyway.

    ***

    A local couple of whom I am fond have obtained a child. As a general rule, the New Baby Comedy Goldmine has been cleaned out.

    However:

    These friends are working within a nontraditional gender matchup, which leaves me brimming with questions:

  • When the child is old enough to be tattooed — I have already been warned against abetting — will the ink of choice be a red heart inscribed “MOMS”?
  • Do they lie awake at night, wondering if, at his first Thanksgiving dinner home from college, there’ll be an uncomfortable stiltedness until he throws down his fork and says “I can’t live this lie anymore, Moms. I’m not gay! I can’t help it! Please don’t hate me!”
  • Will they insist, twenty years down the line, on referring to his live-in girlfriend as “his friend”?
  • Does the early choice of blue or pink leisurewear commit him to anything?
  • Was it hideously insensitive of me to give him a football? Should I have hooked him up with a My Little Pony or two, instead, and saved the football ’til they get a girl?

    ***

    Important Link: The International Church Of Pie

    ***

    Lyric Driving Me Insane Right Now So I’m Passing It On To You:

    The next thing you know Mom & Dad are home;
    the kids disappear and I’m all alone.
    Everything’s silent except for my moan
    and the low bluesy tone of a saxophone.
    They look at me, then they go into a huddle.
    Get the sinkin’ sensation I’m in deep deep trouble

  • ***

    Please tell me you caught Howard Dean Monday night, testifyin’ on behalf of the It Is Best To Occasionally Get Some Sleep Foundation. Here’s my absolute favorite review of that magnificent Al’s-support-winning performance:

    “Man, it was a little too close to a wrestling speech for my taste. If he had leveled with the people, saying, `I am disappointed (and) things are going to be tough down the home stretch…’ but instead we got a full-fledged WWF wrestling promo and that’s not what I’m looking for in my president. . . It appears to me like he was a guy who had lost his mind, and I don’t know if `president’ and `maniacal’ are supposed to be words that go hand-in-hand.”

    — Mick Foley

    Cactus, I don’t know about you, but the number one thing I’m looking for in a President is entertainment value.

    All A's!

    Annoying: Weather trends never count until they get to New York. The entire Midwest could be in a new ice age and nobody’d notice. Temperature dips below 25 in New York City and all the news outlets are trumpeting the end of the world. Matt Lauer has to wear a hat on his way to work and suddenly we’re deluged with How-To-Survive-A-Cold-Snap stories.

    ***

    Appalling: I like octopus. I like oysters. I like beef tartare. I like blood sausage. I like foie gras. I like bone marrow. I even drink Scotch if there’s nothing else around. This, though…no.

    The brains are mixed in a batter of flour, salt, pepper, eggs and baking soda and fried in a cast-iron pan for about 20 minutes, the concoction puffing up like a fat pancake, about 6 inches in diameter and 1 1/2 inches high. “You want to make sure it’s well-done,” said Don Snyder, owner-operator of the Hilltop Inn. “No one wants a medium-rare brain sandwich.”

    “Lecter, party of two? Your sandwiches are up.”

    ***

    Admiring: Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith, in his inaugural press conference: “Our number one goal is to beat Green Bay.”

    And you read the prediction here first: Mike Singletary or Richard Dent will wind up Defensive Coordinator.

    ***

    Aroused: I think, now, when people ask me why I have a blog, I’ll have an answer. Yes, I have a goal now.

    Just Like Wiri Kyoti

    Many years ago, a friend claimed that America’s Funniest Home Videos would more properly titled The Take It In The Nads Hour. I thought of his suggestion the other day, while savoring a three-episode set of Compound Fracture Time!

    Most Extreme Elimination Challenge, aka MXC, can be seen on “Spike TV” whenever the network’s not running wrestling or Star Trek. This is the greatest thing to happen to television since Man vs. Beast.

    MXC is a Japanese game show in which contestants try to hurt themselves in the most spectacular manner possible. This goldmine is further exploited — I use “exploited” admiringly — by the redubbing of all the voices into Olympic-class tasteless comedy. Good dubbing, too, as the fart jokes and Astroglide gags are slid into — sorry! — the outlandish video seamlessly.

    Points are accrued by winning, on behalf of your team, “challenges”. These “challenges” generally demand the contestants possess the sort of skill set vital to the survival of someone sucked into a Gameboy.

    Example: There is an event redubbed “Brass Balls”. Contestants must cross a very narrow, very tippy rope bridge while carrying a gold-painted volleyball. If he loses his balance, he falls ten feet or so into a net. So far it’s Double Dare, right? Get this: While the player tries to cross, the pit crew position themselves in front of the bridge and, using other volleyballs, shoot at him. How great is that?

    Example Two: The highest rated event in my house is “The Rotating Surfboard Of Death”. (Ungainly, yes, but there is no other name for it.) Contestants leap onto the Death Surfboard — occasionally successfully — and have to dodge a series of obstacles as it makes a complete circle, bringing them back to their original starting point. Should (when) the obstacles dislodge the contestant, the contestant falls eight feet or so into chest-deep muddy ditchwater. I would say four of five tries result in an amazing splashdown.

    Rotating Surfboard Of Death can be played with a partner as well, wherein you tag off to your partner halfway through. Yesterday I saw an overzealous contestant “helping” his wife onto the surfboard by throwing her entirely off the platform, missing the board completely. I sensed ulterior motives.

    Also an event: Swinging over a mud pit on a rope and flinging oneself bodily into a wall, in the hope that one sticks. Failure to adhere (90%) results in a painful and hilarious rebound-drop into the mud pit, whereupon the staff adds to the comedy by gleefully spraying the contestant’s head with a garden hose.

    God Bless Television.

    In Memoriam

    I couldn’t be more pleased by the response to Never Trust A Skirt unless Mickey’s read my blog and reinstated my beloved.

    This pain in mind, I have involuntarily begun composing a list of my life’s lost loves. I am aware that some of the items on the list are available elsewhere, but it ain’t the same.

  • Square ice cream cones at Cock Robin, obtained on foot on summer nights when three blocks was still a looooooooong walk.
  • The Cheese Cellar, mostly for the ambiance. I still love dark restaurant booths.
  • Bub City. I weep for Bub City even now. Openly. Involuntarily. Copiously. The tears taste like crab claw juice.
  • Las Fuentes, located conveniently. Carne Asada, rare, and the world’s best Queso Fundido, obtained without an expedition.
  • Olive Garden’s Ghiardelli cheesecake.
  • Pagliai’s all-you-can-eat pizza and pop late-night special for $3.95.
  • The unknown restaurant off a highway, somewhere in the triangle between Cleveland, Ithaca, NY, and Olean, NY. Best restaurant-made apple pie ever.
  • The Cookie Loft in Kennebunkport, Maine.
  • Set Back North and Cattle Company. My introduction to steakhouses. Cattle Company is still the restaurant I picture when I read a scene set in a steakhouse.
  • Tutti Frutti’s. First sports bar. There was surely gambling going on, and I wasn’t aware of it. Consciously.
  • Bambi’s. Especially the shuffleboardlike bowling game.
  • Annie’s Santa Fe. God bless this restaurant where I learned about deep fried ice cream.
  • Shakey’s Pizza. Urban Legend News Network reported it closed for using homemade stray sausage. I don’t care, because the slice-eating contest invented in the very early eighties with an eye toward getting my brother to eat is a cherished memory. (Also probably why today I shop for clothes at Big & Tall retailers.)

    I’ll add more as I remember them. I need a drink now. And Kleenex.

  • Pack It In

    How sweet was it to see the “Cinderella” Pack get beaten in overtime? Mike Sherman, bless your absent testicles. Brett Favre, thank you for throwing up a touch-football-kickoff of a pass. Seldom am I so pleased by the outcome of a non-Bear game in which I have no financial interest. If only they could have been beaten at Lambeau. Again.

    Happily enough, though, it was at Philadelphia. This might have bothered me had the cheating lowlife criminal scumbag Hugh Douglas not vanished into obscurity during the off-season. As it was, I was OK with it, because the losers had to stagger off facing the nastiest fans on earth.

    Philly fans, let us not forget, were responsible for one of the NFL’s all-time great comedy moments:

    Late December at the Vet. Second quarter ends. Halftime show special guest star is introduced by the PA announcer. Eagle fans rise as one and give the special guest star a thunderous and heartfelt standing boovation. Guest star attempts to entertain the crowd. Crowd responds by pelting star with snowballs and garbage. Pelted guest is escorted out of the stadium by security, fired-upon-President-style.

    The halftime show special guest star? Santa.

    These people threw beer bottles at Santa.

    So you see why I’m pleased to consider what they said to Mike McKenzie.

    (By the way, booing and taunting Santa is now an annual tradition at Philadelphia’s Christmas parade.)

    Thunder Fuck Horse Barn?

    I have site stats now, compliments of Dave the Wizard, who explains this kind of crap to me because I get him staggering drunk. Stats on your own self are always compelling, and I have been unable to resist a few excerpts. Here are the search-engine phrases that have led folks to me in this first week of January:

    vitaly nikolayenko
    putnam monkey disabled
    service monkeys
    service monkey
    where are they now? harry teinowitz
    service monkeys putnam county
    i on thunder.com
    raped and murdered
    www.magicalfruit.com
    versed medicine injections
    vicodin for root canal?
    nikolayenko
    watch ellen degeneres
    kamchatka bear attack vitaly
    thunder fuck horse barn
    kamchatka
    blood and thunder
    service monkeys putnam oliverio
    kleibold
    men are smarter than women
    service monkeys putnam
    bear nikolayenko
    disgronificator
    kodiak bear human remains pictures

    Blood And Thunder: Proud to be your service monkey info source.

    I got plugs, too, which astonished me. Most decent people would deny reading this yammering. God bless you, O my fellow blogreading degenerates, especially FOODBlog and WomanChild.

    (Oh, and Kyle finally got off his bony ass.)

    Crabby At Present

    For the first time ever, I know a number of people of my approximate age who tote around infants they got on purpose, and the trend appears poised to continue. These blessed bundles have kindled in me an awakening of sorts. Really. It’s like a Christmas special. It can be hard to sum up the sunshiney effect a smiling infant can have on an unregenerate dyspeptic drunk, but let me try to do my epiphany justice:

    My life is now more or less totally devoted to the buying of gifts.

    I’d tally the year for you, but then I would have to throw myself from my balcony. I would estimate that I have not gone three solid weeks this year without it being reported to me by a disloyal and freespending girl of my acquaintance that we needed to dispatch a present to someone. Everything that happens to someone else begets a capital outlay from me.

    I’m flush with questions. Where are the rules for this? How come only women understand the incessant gifting process? Do they teach ths crap in Girl School? Can I see the official gifting occasion tables? What can I get for the things I do? Can I have a Pizza Shower every time I’m joyously anticipating a delivery? What about soliciting donations when I pass my cholesterol test? (It’s just like the SATs, except that I usually score in the 600’s.)

    I do not, new mommies of whom I am fond, wish to devalue your children, here. (As if I could. Their net worth is greater than mine, once you tot up their new possessions.) Nor am I singling out any of your rug-monkeys. They are unusually clever and attractive. Plus, in at least two cases, when they are eighteen and huge, I shall be forty-seven and enfeebled, and they would kick the crap out of me retroactively for picking on them.

    Of course, when they threaten me, I can point out that I am soon to retire. They can opt to not hit me, in lieu of a present.