Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Two Tickets to Paradise Lost

So I'm at home last night, trying to prove my theory that Pink Floyd's Animals syncs up perfectly with The Apple Dumpling Gang, when the phone rings. Caller ID displays "Florida," so I figure it's my folks. But the 850 area code is not theirs -- it's strange and foreign. I pick up the phone and find myself trading Hellos with a gravelly voiced woman dripping cigarette-smoked drawl. Her area code is the Florida panhandle, hundreds of miles from my folks or anyone else I know in the Sunshine State.

"Ah'm callin' 'bout the two FSU season tickets fuh sale..."

Whoah, wait a minute, sister. Whoever ran the ad misprinted the area code as 856 instead of 850. This is New Jersey. No one's got FSU season tickets here.

According to the Florida State Seminoles Web site, a pair of season tickets runs $430. Why didn't I tell her to wire me the cash and then send her those unused passes to the Gordon Lightfoot laser show?

Because I'm too honest about area codes. Always have been. I get an inordinate amount of wrong numbers, yet I decline to take these rubes for all they're worth. I could've had 430 easy smackers.

But what price my soul?

Why not a drinking reality show?

They've done just about everything else. I propose Leaving Las Vegas: The Reality Show.

Host: "Jim-Bob, you've been voted off; please leave Las Vegas."

Jim-Bob: *stumbles* "Fuck you!" *breaks bottle in half and chases

Thursday, August 23, 2007

'73 Super Bowl + '77 Topps = 4-Year Hangover

Billy Kilmer was an All-Pro quarterback who threw 152 touchdowns, stands fifth on the Redskins list for career passing yardage, and led Washington to an appearance in Super Bowl VII.

But this is how I like to remember him:

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ruling With an Ironic Hand

If Title 7, Chapter 54, Section 2156(a)(1) of the United States Code has taught us anything, it's that every dog-killer has his day...in court.

If Michael Vick is found guilty of—or plea bargains to—the dog-fighting charges on which he’s been indicted, I say he should be suffocated in a vat of Vicks VapoRub.

There’s no justice like ironic justice…

(Photo copyright Reuters.)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hearing Is Believing

I watched on live television Carlton Fisk's 12th-inning "body english" home run that ended Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Likewise, Reggie Jackson's three home runs on three consecutive pitches in the 1978 Fall Classic. Ditto Cal Ripken's breaking of Lou Gehrig's "Iron Man" record. As well as many other wildly celebratory sports moments that have become landmarks in public memory.

I was not in front of the television last night, when Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run, surpassing Henry Aaron and claiming the most hallowed record in all of sport. In fact, I didn't even learn of Bonds' achievement until this morning, during my commute to work.

And lemme tell ya—the three seconds of indistinct cheering supplied by NPR indelibly brought home the moment. If anyone ever asks me where I was when Barry Bonds became the all-time home-run king, thanks to National Public Radio, I'll be able to reminisce, "I was in my car...twelve hours later."

(Photo on left copyright Reuters.)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Why Did the Owl Cross the Road?

So I'm driving into work this morning when traffic comes to a dead stop near I-95's Academy Road interchange. But I'm driving north—there's rarely major congestion driving away from the city during morning rush hour. An accident must lay ahead. As cars inch along in their maddening dance and the minutes tick toward a late arrival at work, I see that the southbound lanes are also at a standstill. In the distance are parked police cars in the left-hand emergency lanes straddling the median. Though their red lights are flashing, there's no apparent disturbance—no disabled or wrecked car, no apprehended violator, no sign of distress whatsoever. What's going on?

Two policemen are standing on the other side of the median, in the emergency lane, seemingly doing nothing. For a second, I thought they might actually be conducting a really-ill-conceived seatbelt check. But as I slowly approach the police cars, I see that the two officers on the other side of the median are positioned about six feet from an owl standing on the side of the road. They're safeguarding it...and presumably awaiting the arrival of animal-protection personnel.

I believe this to be the first owl-related traffic jam in the history of the Pennsylvania highway system. (Unofficial confirmation has come from PENNDOT...if you consider their response of "You're an idiot." as verification.) Although this lazy bird of prey added fifteen minutes to my commute, I suppose I should feel a part of history...not to mention a bit of kinship—as a Temple Owl, I once interrupted traffic by lying down on Broad Street to show my solidarity for Switzerland's struggling longshoremen.

And as owls are not normally indigenous to interstate roadways, I suggest this to be a new species of owl, whose name and taxonomy I submit as the "speckled commuter owl" (Ninox commuterii).

(Photos courtesy of PDPhoto.org)