First Episode Ever

I suppose y’all will find out sooner or later:

In the wee small hours of Friday morning, roughly four hours after the final bites of a magnificent three-hour Thanksgiving dinner, I had what the more prestigious doctors call an “episode”.

(Note to those of you who are so inexplicably fond of me: I am better now.)

I awoke from a fitful doze around 2 a.m., sweating profusely, shivering, breathing with some difficulty, and with the unpleasant sensation of a beachball being inflated under my sternum. I staggered off to the bathroom on rubber legs, flicked on the light, and was horrified by my own pallor. I looked like Uncle Fester after an hour on the Stairmaster. I noted my frighteningly bloodless visage, the increasing pain in my chest, and my rapid fluctuations in temperature, and recognized that there is no way to laugh off that particular grouping.

I decided to summon an ambulance, and took a few unsteady steps toward the phone. To travel from the bathroom to the phone in my apartment, one must pass through the kitchen. As I did so, holding the counter for support, I was inhaling through my nose, because it was somehow easier to breathe that way. I didn’t know why that was, but I now suspect it was Jesus watching over me, because as I passed the refrigerator an aroma hit me like smelling salts, and gave me an idea.

I needed to investigate my new hunch, but I was short of breath and needed to rest. I sat down heavily by my shelf of food books, and laboriously grabbed The Tummy Trilogy for a bit of critical research. I flipped to the chapter on the Nutritionist Convention and read Calvin’s description of the symptoms he suffered after an afternoon at Buster Holmes’. I matched and exceeded them. My worst fears had been confirmed: I wasn’t having a heart attack, I was going into garlic shock.

Following accepted Red Cross procedure for my condition, I immediately ate sixteen Tums, took frequent small sips from a large glass of frozen vodka, and lay on the blessedly cool kitchen floor until I felt better. (Medical Note: “Better” is not the same as “normal”. I felt normal again on Saturday afternoon.)

My friends, I cannot tell you this forcefully enough: After a long layoff, do not embark upon a serious program of eating without consulting your doctor first.

And don’t even get me started about so-called “recreational” garlic use.

The menu that nearly sent me to the ICU:

  • Garlic-sage brined roast turkey
  • Description-Defiant Dressing (Latest unworthy attempt: Imagine eating a plate of butter-saturated herbed garlic croutons and chopped Granny Smith apples, with gravy. Butter and garlic compose roughly 20% of the dressing by weight.)
  • Green & white asparagus
  • Mashed potatoes (5 pounds Yukon Golds, two heads elephant garlic, two pounds butter)
  • Cranberries Emily
  • Turkey gravy (Roux base, homemade stock, drippings, sherry)
  • Two bottles Champagne
  • Two bottles of red wine that would have been ridiculously expensive had the dinner guest that brought them not had them in his own collection since they were born in 1986.
  • Vanilla creme brulee
  • Oatmeal-raisin cookies
  • Kauai coffee

  • Oh, and I swept my weekend’s investing: Two Fantasy wins, two pool wins. Life is sweet.

    Al: 117
    Beav: 114
    Honey: 110
    bondgirl: 105
    j.ko: 105
    Stimpy the Control Monkey: 88

    (This week’s Result Foreseen By No One But Stimpy: Oakland 25, Denver 24)

    Week Five


    16. Broncos over Raiders
    15. Steelers over Redskins
    14. Colts over Lions
    13. Eagles over Giants
    12. Jets over Cardinals
    11. Falcons over Saints
    10. Chargers over Chiefs
    9. Packers over Les Mouflon
    8. Patriots over Ravens
    7. Titans over Texans
    6. Seahawks over Bills
    5. Bengals over Browns
    4. Cowboys over Bears
    3. Vikings over Jaguars
    2. Buccaneers over Panthers
    1. Dolphins over 49ers

    The pressure is on to continue her three-week win streak. A win here would remove any lingering doubt of coincidence and ruin her office productivity through Super Bowl Sunday.


    16. Colts over Lions
    15. Patriots over Ravens
    14. Steelers over Redskins
    13. Broncos over Raiders
    12. Falcons over Saints
    11. Bengals over Browns
    10. Packers over Rams
    9. Eagles over Giants
    8. Bucs over Panthers
    7. Seahawks over Bills
    6. Texans over Titans
    5. Cowboys over Bears
    4. Chiefs over Chargers
    3. Vikings over Jaguars
    2. Cardinals over Jets
    1. 49ers over Dolphins

    Forced to abandon her system by the traditional Turkey Day games, a win here would mean extensive therapy in j.ko’s future.


    16. Pittsburgh over Washington
    15. N.Y. Jets over Arizona
    14. New England over Baltimore
    13. Indianapolis over Detroit
    12. Green Bay over St. Louis
    11. Philadelphia over N.Y. Giants
    10. San Diego over Kansas City
    9. Atlanta over New Orleans
    8. Chicago over Dallas
    7. Miami over San Francisco
    6. Denver over Oakland
    5. Cleveland over Cincinnati
    4. Tampa Bay over Carolina
    3. Jacksonville over Minnesota
    2. Houston over Tennessee
    1. Buffalo over Seattle

    Analysts believe her loyalty to favored players costs her occasionally, but that problem may be reduced with the promotion of Eli Manning over Kurt Warner.


    16. IND over DET
    15. PIT over WAS
    14. PHI over NYG
    13. SD over KC
    12. NE over BAL
    11. NYJ over ARI
    10. HOU over TEN
    9. DEN over OAK
    8. ATL over NO
    7. SEA over BUF
    6. MIN over JAX
    5. GB over STL
    4. DAL over CHI
    3. CLE over CIN
    2. TB over CAR
    1. SF over MIA

    Maniacal devotion to fantasy football leaves little time for pool picks, and it shows. (In both leagues.)


    16. Pittsburgh over DC
    15. Indianapolis over Detroit
    14. Eagles over Giants
    13. Jets over Cardinals
    12. Broncos over Raiders
    11. Texans over Titans
    10. New England over Baltimore
    9. Atlanta over New Orleans
    8. Buffalo over Seattle
    7. Cincinnati over Cleveland
    6. Vikings over Jaguars
    5. San Diego over Kansas City
    4. 49ers over Dolphins
    3. Packers over Rams
    2. Tampa Bay over Carolina
    1. Bears over Cowboys

    Not accustomed to picking without spreads, and prone to overthinking upset potential. A lethal combination.

    Stimpy the Control Monkey: 95

    16. Indianapolis over Detroit
    15. Dallas over Chicago
    14. Cleveland over Cincinnati
    13. Jacksonville over Minnesota
    12. Philadelphia over NY Giants
    11. Kansas City over San Diego
    10. Carolina over Tampa Bay
    9. Houston over Tennessee
    8. Pittsburgh over Washington
    7. Atlanta over New Orleans
    6. Baltimore over New England
    5. Buffalo over Seattle
    4. San Francisco over Miami
    3. Jets over Arizona
    2. Oakland over Denver
    1. Green Bay over St Louis

    Looking to prove that Week Three wasn’t a fluke. A distant sixth-place finish might be the beginning of the end for the Simian Parity Hypothesis.

    G Units


    Pride Pool, Week Four Results:

    The Streak is officially on.

    bondgirl: 123
    j.ko: 122
    Honey: 121
    Beav: 119
    Al: 110
    Stimpy the Control Monkey: 95


    In other NFL news, Thanksgiving has become Throwback Day, with teams to wear old-fashioned uniforms and old logos on the home page. TMQ suggests this menu for your own personal Throwback Thanksgiving:

  • Wild turkey, shot with a musket and hand-plucked
  • Dried maize; no corn-on-the-cob
  • Ample, overflowing servings of lobster. (The Pilgrims considered lobster tasteless and complained in their diaries of having to eat it so often.)
  • Seal meat
  • Hard apple cider. (Till the early 1800s or so, hard cider was in rural North America considered the only totally safe beverage, because the alcohol killed waterborne pathogens; children often drank diluted hard cider and went through the day slightly tipsy.)
  • For dessert: plums, grapes and stewed pumpkin. (There is no chance the Pilgrims ate pie at the first Thanksgiving, because they had no refined sugar. Until the 1800s, most Americans rarely tasted anything containing refined sugar.)

    As you dig into your turkey, stuffing and pecan pie, washed down with a $10 bottle of wine superior in quality to any wine available to the 17th-century kings of France, remember how hard your ancestors worked, and how they sacrificed, in the dream that someday their descendants would be warm, well-fed and secure against nature. Considering that your forebears just a century ago had an average lifespan of 46 years and often shivered during winters while eating mostly salt-preserved food, try to get through turkey day without complaining about anything, okay?

  • TMQ

    Gratifying and Guiltifying:

    The range of reactions to the Basty letters was startling. Pete flatteringly suggested I submit it to an online publication that apparently specializes in pieces that read the way a car accident looks. Pete, I owe you a drink.

    On the opposite end of the Reader Spectrum, there is a girl of my close acquaintance who has such a kind heart that she grieves for cut flowers, and she wept extensively for the tale’s blissfully unaware protagonist. Money Honey, this is for you:

    December 1, 2005

    Dear Bryne:

    You will not BELIEVE what has happened to me since I went for my appointment two weeks ago.

    When I got to the office for my adjustment, the nurse put a tag around my foot and led me outside. She put me behind the fence in the waiting room, and I had to stand around for hours in there. (Ain’t that always the way? All they had to read was CAT FANCY — it was like I was in a sitcom.)

    While I was waiting, a weird-looking car — like Old Man Budder’s tractor, but with a shiny roof — pulled up and a bunch of people got out. I was afraid they were going to cut in front of me at the doctor, but it turned out that it was the people who adopted me! It was the greatest moment of my life. I ran all around with excitement! They looked me over and petted me and said “He’s perfect. Scrumptious. We’re drooling over the chance to have him. We need to shoot this guy right now!”

    I was a little worried about that last — you know all the urban legends — but turns out I was going to be in a commercial! You’re talking to the new Wild Turkey turkey, mister! Can you believe it? I’m famous! I actually got applause last week when they took me to some big party. Who’d’a thunk it? I’m deliriously happy. (Don’t worry, pal — I’m still Basty from the block. I won’t forget where I came from. Tell the peeps I’m still real.)

    Speaking of which, everybody here gets together for Christmas dinner — just one big happy family, like I expected. Youu want to come? (Don’t worry — we’re having ham.)


    Pennies A Day

    “The Northwest chapters of the Slow Food organization want you to help save the heirloom turkey. Similar to the ubiquitous heirloom tomatoes, there are old-fashioned varieties of the turkey still raised in the United States. But, they’re close to extinction because the farmers can’t generate enough interest to continue raising them for commercial use. The cost is $3.50 per pound, which includes shipping. If you are interested in an American Bronze turkey for Thanksgiving this year, you have to place your order with Slow Food by April 1.”

    Does anyone else think this sounds disturbingly like the Sally Struthers thing wherein you adopt a child and then receive a photo and a letter once a month, detailing his progress and thanking you for your support?

    Budder Farm
    May 7, 2005
    Dear Family,

    Thank you for adopting me! I have received extra corn already, and they tell me that I’ll get to meet you when I’m big enough. I’m very excited. It’s a very proud day for me, to be sponsored by a real family. I hope you’re savoring thoughts of our first meeting as much as I am!


    Budder Farm
    June 18, 2005
    Dear Family,

    Soon I’ll be starting my exercise program, so that should help me grow up big faster. Lot of chest flies for the pecs, and I have to run some of this fat off my thighs. I’m up to 3.57 pounds! Look out Big Bird, here I come, ha-ha!

    (My trainer tells me if I don’t work hard enough, he’ll put me in the stocks! I know he’s joking, but I’m still motivated.)


    BF – July 24, 2005
    Dear Family:

    Happy summer! The weather here is beautiful; sunny every day, lots of bugs to eat — I know, I know, TMI — and the gentle perfume of the neighbor’s barbecue on the breeze — hardwood charcoal and something succulent I can’t quite put my finger on.

    I swear, if I God forbid died right now, heaven’d smell like hickory smoke. (But don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere for a long time, thanks to your generosity!)


    BF – August 14

    I’m at camp!

    Well, sorta. They let us spend all out time outside these days, ’cause it’s sooooooo nice out. All the fresh air and exercise, I’m really growing up fast — 9.84 pounds as of this morning! My wattle’s starting to fill out, too! (One of the counselors told me that nothing is as important to my future as strong bones and big muscles, and the rest is just gravy, but still, I’m excited.)


    Dear Family,

    I got sunburned at camp, so I have to stay inside for a while. Don’t worry, It’s not serious. My skin got a little crispy, is all. It’ll turn tan in a day or two. My family’s always had good skin — my Uncle Stupher used to say everybody thought it was our best feature!

    Next time, I’ll remember to put some of that oil on so I don’t burn!


    Dear Family,

    Another major step for Basty! I have a girlfriend! She’s beautiful and exotic — her family’s name is Tetrazzito or something like that — and when I asked her to the end-of-summer dance she said yes! We had a great time at the Budder Ball, and hung out in the loft with a bunch of friends for hours afterwards.

    High Point: My buddy Bryne slipped at one point, and fell out of the loft, and landed upside-down at the bottom of the ladder, half-buried in the straw. Funniest thing I ever saw.


    November 19

    I GOT THE NEWS TODAY! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! I GET TO COME TO YOUR HOUSE! I’m very excited to finally meet you and to be a part of your family’s holiday! I’ve always wanted to have a big old-fashioned family Thanksgiving! I’ll bring the wine, but I need to match it with the food. What are we going to have?


    PS- Sorry for the sloppy handwriting on this, but I’m just so excited I had to knock out a quick note before I go to my first appointment with the chiropractor. Nothing serious, my regular doctor is just sending me for a neck adjustment. He said it would be quick and painless, and that’s all I needed to hear! See you soon!


    Stimpy the Greek

    bondgirl: “This is the best I’ve got.”

    16. Eagles over Redskins
    15. Colts over Bars
    14. Steelers over Bengals
    13. Ravens over Cowboys
    12. Chargers over Raiders
    11. Packers over Texans
    10. Patriots over Chiefs
    9. Falcons over Giants
    8. Buccaneers over 49ers
    7. Les Mouflon over Bills
    6. Vikings over Lions
    5. Seahawks over Dolphins
    4. Jaguars over Titans
    3. Jets over Browns
    2. Arizona over Carolina
    1. Broncos over Saints

    (Two-week win streak.)

    Al: “I warn you, friend: I do not know what I am talking about this year. I have proof.”

    16. Indianapolis over Chicago
    15. San Diego over Oakland
    14. Philadelphia over Washington
    13. Atlanta over New York Giants
    12. Tampa Bay over San Francisco
    11. St. Louis over Buffalo
    10. Minnesota over Detroit
    9. Jacksonville over Tennessee
    8. New York Jets over Cleveland
    7. Seattle over Miami
    6. Baltimore over Dallas
    5. Denver over New Orleans
    4. Packers over Texans
    3. Arizona over Carolina
    2. CIncinnati over Pittsburgh
    1. Kansas City over New England

    Stimpy the Control Monkey: “Isn’t it usually only 14?”

    16. New England over Kansas City
    15. N.Y. Giants over Atlanta
    14. Oakland over San Diego
    13. Seattle over Miami
    12. Tennessee over Jacksonville
    11. Buffalo over St. Louis
    10. Tampa Bay over San Francisco
    9. Cincinnati over Pittsburgh
    8. N.Y. Jets over Cleveland
    7. Indianapolis over Chicago
    6. Green Bay over Houston
    5. Philadelphia over Washington
    4. Minnesota over Detroit
    3. Denver over New Orleans
    2. Dallas over Baltimore
    1. Arizona over Carolina

    Honey: “Not being able to relax on Sunday is very important.”

    16. Philadelphia over Washington
    15. Baltimore over Dallas
    14. New England over Kansas City
    13. Pittsburgh over Cincinnati
    12. Atlanta at over Giants
    11. Detroit over Minnesota
    10. N.Y. Jets over Cleveland
    9. Seattle over Miami
    8. San Diego over Oakland
    7. Carolina over Arizona
    6. Green Bay over Houston
    5. Tampa Bay over San Francisco
    4. Denver over New Orleans
    3. St. Louis over Buffalo
    2. Tennessee over Jacksonville
    1. Chicago over Indianapolis

    (Won Week One.)

    j.ko: “It is a challenge to wind up with ties in my system. This week, I wound up with three statistical ties: one each at the exact top, middle and bottom of the pack.”

    16. Eagles over Redskins
    15. Seahawks over Dolphins
    14. Bucs over 49ers
    13. Ravens over Cowboys
    12. Vikings over Lions
    11. Jaguars over Tennessee
    10. Broncos over Saints
    9. Colts over Bears
    8. Chargers over Raiders
    7. Steelers over Bengals
    6. Panthers over Cardinals
    5. Packers over Texans
    4. Patriots over Chiefs
    3. Browns over Jets
    2. Falcons over Giants
    1. Bills over Rams

    Beav: “You think Miami’s gotta win a couple?”

    16.Seattle over Miami
    15.Phildelphia over Washington
    14. St. Louis over Buffalo
    13. Indianapolis over Chicago
    12. New England over Kansas City
    11. Green Bay over Houston
    10. Denver over New Orleans
    9. Pittsburgh over Cincinnati
    8. San Diego over Oakland
    7. Tampa Bay over San Francisco
    6. Atlanta over Giants
    5. Baltimore over Dallas
    4. Minnesota over Detroit
    3. Jets over Cleveland
    2. Arizona over Carolina
    1. Jacksonville over Tennessee

    The Incorrigible Gamblers are facing a serious challenge to their eight-week unbeaten streak. My boys are facing a team led by Peyton Manning, Tony Gonzales, and the Ravens’ D. I send to the field Marc Bulger, Corey Dillon, Onterrio Smith, Keenan McCardell, Muhsin Muhammad, Ken Dilger, Phil Dawson, and the Pittsburgh DST. Make me proud, men.

    In short-season fantasy action, I send the newly assembled “Las Vegas Iron Men” into battle. The squad at this point: Drew Brees, Jerome Bettis, LaDainian Tomlinson, Marvin Harrison, Andre Johnson, Eric Johnson, Jason Elam, and the Baltimore D/ST. (Some modest roster-shuffling is anticipated.)

    Have I mentioned how much I love Fantasy Football?

    More Cowbell!

    Hey ladies in the place I’m callin’ out to ya
    There never was a city kid truer and bluer
    There’s more to me than you’ll ever know
    And I’ve got more hits than Sadaharu Oh
    Tom Thumb Tom Cushman or Tom Foolery
    Date women on T.V. with the help of Chuck Woolery
    Words are flowing out just like the Grand Canyon
    And I’m always out looking for a female companion
    I threw the lasso around the tallest one and dragged her to the crib
    I took off her moccasins and put on my bib
    I’m wheelin’ and dealin’ I make a little bit of stealing
    I’ll bring you back to the place and your dress I’m peeling
    Your body’s on time and your mind is appealing
    Staring at the cracks up there upon the ceiling
    Such and such will be the bass that I’m throwing
    I’m talking to a girl telling her I’m all knowing well..
    She’s talking to the kid to the kid
    I’m telling here every lie that you know that I never did

    Hey ladies!
    “All the ladies in the house”
    “The ladies the ladies”

    Me in the corner with a good looking daughter
    I dropped my drawers and said “welcome back Kotter”
    We was cutting up the rug she started cutting up the carpet
    In my apartment I begged her please stop it
    The gift of gab is the gift that I have
    And that girl ain’t nothing but a crab
    Educated no, stupid yep
    And when I say stupid I mean stupid “fresh”
    I’m not James at 15 or Chachi in charge
    I’m Adam and I’m adamant about living large
    With the white sassoons and the looks that kill
    Makin’ love in the back of my Coupe De Ville
    I met a little cutie she was all hopped up on zootie
    I liked the little cutie but I kicked her in the bootie
    Cause I don’t kinda go for that messin’ around
    You be listening to my records’ a number one sound
    Just step to the rhythm step step to the ride
    I’ve got an open mind so why don’t you all get inside
    Tune in tune on to my tune that’s live
    Ladies flock like bees to a hive

    Hey ladies!
    Hey hey hey hey ladies
    “Girls girls..”
    Hey hey hey hey ladies
    “One more time”
    “Ain’t it funky now?”
    Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey hey ladies

    You know,
    She’s got a gold tooth you know she’s hardcore
    She’ll show you a good time then she’ll show you the door
    Break up with your girl it ended in tears
    Vincent Van Gogh go and mail that ear
    Call her in the middle of the night when I’m drinkin’
    The phone booth on the corner is damp and it’s stinkin’
    Said come on over it was me that she missed
    I threw that trash can through her window cause you know I got dissed
    Your old lady left you and you went insane
    You blew yourself up in the back of the 6 train well…
    Take my advice at any price a gorilla like your mother is mighty weak man
    Sucking down pints till I didn’t know
    Woke up in the morning at the Won Ton Ho
    Cause I announce I like girls that bounce
    With the weight that pays about a pound per ounce
    Girls with curls and big long locks
    And beatnik chicks just wearing their smocks
    Walking high and mighty like she’s number one
    “She thinks she’s the passionate one”

    Hey ladies!

    Monkey Shines

    Week Three Pride Pool results:

    bondgirl: 79
    Al: 76
    Stimpy the Control Monkey: 73 (!)
    Honey: 69
    j.ko: 62
    Beav: 60

    Things are looking good for the Simian Parity Hypothesis. Also for bondgirl, who has back-to-back wins.

    Comedic-Mental-Image-Inspiring Headline of the Day: “Pope meets actor who will play him in TV series.” Tell me you didn’t already come up with fifty jokes from that one.

    Went to the Champagne Grand Tasting Night at Sam’s Sunday. It’s hard for me to figure out whether Champagne Night is more dangerous than WhiskyFest — the latter has harder booze, but that is offset by foreknowledge of same, allowing one to put one’s guard up. To me, Champagne doesn’t have the same subconscious flashing red warning light that brown liquor does. It’s bubbly, for Chrissake. It can’t hit that hard. It looks festive, it goes down easy, and it’s fizzy and cute.

    The same could be said of Courtney Love, of course, so bear Kurt’s headache in mind when you figure you can hit the good table one more time before you call it a night.

    Family Guy has held the #1 Ranking on the I Can’t Believe You Got Away With That On Television scale for some years, but might’ve been knocked down to #2 after Sunday’s Arrested Development. Did I correctly catch the name of the company boat? If so, I salute you, AD — the jaw-dropping comedy potential in discussions of the “Seaward” is virtually endless.

    Balance Restored

    Streak One has ended: I was right about the Lions.

    Streak Two has ended: I came in much higher than last in the office pool.

    Streak Three is tentatively still alive: Assuming Vinny Testaverde and L.J. Smith are not worth a combined 35 points tonight, the Incorrigible Gamblers will tomorrow be riding an eight-week unbeaten streak.

    The Bears won an overtime thriller at Tennessee with a quarterback who plays like his childhood football hero was Chevy Chase.

    Football-wise, life was wildly out of balance. So I wasn’t shocked too badly when I saw this:

    “LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) – The Chicago Bears say Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher will miss four to six weeks with a lower left leg injury.”

    It gets better. The Colts are at Chicago next Sunday. I believe the spread is Colts by forty.

    Hope Springs Eternal


    1. Redskins over Bengals
    2. Les Mouflon over Seahawks
    3. Packers over Vikings
    4. Panthers over 49ers
    5. Lions over Jaguars
    6. Bears over Titans
    7. Cardinals over Giants
    8. Ravens over Jets
    9. Falcons over Buccaneers
    10. Chiefs over Saints
    11. Colts over Texans
    12. Steelers over Browns
    13. Patriots over Bills
    14. Eagles over Cowboys


    1. Cincinnati over Washington
    2. Tampa Bay over Atlanta
    3. St. Louis over Seattle
    4. San Francisco over Carolina
    5. Detroit over Jacksonville
    6. Kansas City over New Orleans
    7. N.Y. Giants over Arizona
    8. Chicago over Tennessee
    9. New England over Buffalo
    10. Green Bay over Minnesota
    11. Pittsburgh over Cleveland
    12. N.Y. Jets over Baltimore
    13. Philadelphia over Dallas
    14. Indianapolis over Houston


    1. Giants over Cardinals
    2. Rams over Seahawks
    3. 49ers over Carolina
    4. Jaguars over Lions
    5. Chiefs over Saints
    6. Falcons over Bucs
    7. Ravens over Jets
    8. Redskins over Bengals
    9. Steelers over Browns
    10. Eagles over Dallas
    11. Packers over Vikings
    12. Titans over Bears
    13. Colts over Texans
    14. Patriots over Bills

    The Beaver:

    1. Seattle over St. Louis
    2. Detroit over Jacksonville
    3. San Francisco over Carolina
    4. New Orleans over KC
    5. Chicago over Tennessee
    6. Atlanta over Tampa Bay
    7. Indianapolis over Houston
    8. Washington over Cincinnati
    9. Green Bay over Minnesota
    10. Dallas over Philadelphia
    11. New England over Buffalo
    12. Giants over Arizona
    13. Baltimore over NYJ
    14. Pittsburgh over Cleveland

    Stimpy the Control Monkey:

    1. Jets over Baltimore
    2. Tennessee over Chicago
    3. Detroit over Jacksonville
    4. Kansas City over New Orleans
    5. Indianapolis over Houston
    6. Pittsburgh over Cleveland
    7. St. Louis over Seattle
    8. Atlanta over Tampa Bay
    9. Cincinnati over Washington
    10. SF over Carolina
    11. Green Bay over Minnesota
    12. Giants over Arizona
    13. New England over Buffalo
    14. Philadelphia over Dallas


    1. Houston over Indianapolis
    2. Ravens over Jets
    3. Cleveland over Pittsburgh
    4. Kansas City over New Orleans
    5. Jaguars over Lions (The Streak stands at nine.)
    6. Bears over Tennessee
    7. Rams over Seahawks
    8. Cincinnati over Washington
    9. Cardinals over Giants
    10. San Francisco over Carolina
    11. Vikings over Packers
    12. New England over Buffalo
    13. Atlanta over Tampa Bay
    14. Philadelphia over Dallas
    (15. Stimpy over Me)

    The Incorrigible Gamblers are looking to extend their unbeaten streak to eight games. The Gamblers’ starting eight this week:

    David Carr, @ IND
    Edgerrin James, vs HOU
    Onterrio Smith, @ GB
    Muhsin Muhammed, @ SF
    Marcus Robinson, @ GB (Pending health – plan B is Larry Fitzgerald @ NYG)
    Daniel Graham, vs BUF
    Doug Brien, vs BAL
    Bears D/ST, @ TEN

    Happy Holidays

    The 2004-2005 holiday season officially kicks off tonight at 7pm when the Food Network launches their fabulous wall-to-wall coverage of Thanksgiving. (The holiday season wraps February 6th with Super Bowl Sunday.)

    Over the next two and a half months, the festivity will rise to such levels that the merriment will weed out the weak and slow like a pride of armed lions. The next nine weeks will pass in a twinkling blur of nog, dressing, mileage, fruitcake, cards, shipping, cookies, decorating, overindulging, drinking, shopping, growing, German food, spending, augmented hot chocolate, full shitters, tinsel, wrapping, cleavage, skiing, and playoff football. It’s great. I’m fired up. Season’s greetings — here we go.