Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Three Ryans a-Vyin'

As of this morning, the top three National League leaders in home runs comprised a trio of Ryans: Philadelphia's Ryan Howard leading the league (and tied with Adam Dunn), followed closely by Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Ryan Ludwick of the St. Louis Cardinals.

There were 400 players on the National League's 2008 Opening Day rosters. Of those 400, 16 were named Ryan—and of those 16, six were pitchers. Thus, there are only 10 Ryans realistically capable of leading the league in home runs. Excluding Howard, Braun, and Ludwick, the remaining seven Ryans have, as of this morning, hit a collective total of 40 homers, with no player hitting more than Ryan Doumit's 13—hardly making any of these Ryans a threat to win the home-run crown.

Furthermore, Ryan Howard is the only Ryan ever to win a home-run title (2006) since the inception of the first professional league, in 1871, which illustrates the futility of a Ryan competing with the Hanks, Willies, and Gavvys of the baseball world.

According to, whose data are derived from the US Census, Ryan is the 49th most common male name in the United States, with only 0.328% of the American male population possessing it. And Ryan currently is near its peak of popularity as a name for newborn American males—it has never appeared anywhere near the top ten most popular names since baseball's inception. Thus, the odds of three Ryans simultaneously leading the league in such a butch category as home runs is—well, my abacus is missing a few pegs, but it's gotta be in the zillions. Statistically, the chances of such an occurrence must be about as infinitesimal as Saving Private Ryan, Saving Ryan's Privates, and Shaving Ryan's Privates finishing 1-2-3 for an Oscar as Best Picture.

Which might have happened had Tom Hanks trumpeted comical war wounds and erotic hair removal as much as he did World War II veterans...

(Graphic wizardry courtesy of Mount Drinkmore's Dave.)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dude, Where's My Sequel?

I just had the idea for Ashton Kutcher's next film, based on an incident that I experienced not twenty minutes ago. Exiting my local bank, I walked to my car and opened the door. (I always lock my car door, even when popping into the lobby just to use the ATM...except for this time.) As I opened the car door, I hear, "Dude, that's my car," coming from a very portly gentleman who had exited the lobby a few steps behind me. I looked down and realized that I was absent-mindedly opening the door of the car adjacent to mine (I didn't need my key, as I'd left it unlocked, but by coincidence, his door also was unlocked).

Dude, That's My Car! would make the perfect sequel to Dude, Where's My Car?, Ashton Kutcher's career-defining epic. A two-hour film based on an insignificant five-second incident? Well, it's still more to go on than the original 2000 flick.

Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott drive to the bank to get money for their twin girlfriends' second-anniversary presents, only to find that they don't possess enough collective brain-power to operate the ATM. Frustrated and broke, they decide to go home, eat pudding, and watch their DVD of G.I. Jane. But as they're getting into the vehicle, a portly man (optimally played by William H. Macy, who puts on 90 lb for the uncredited cameo) informs them, "Dude, that's my car!" Further failing to possess enough collective brain-power to identify their own car, Ashton and Seann are forced to stand outside the bank for six hours, until the bank closes and the parking lot empties...during which time they discuss such compelling topics as what was their car's license-plate number to how awesome it would be to be back in their car.

When they finally get back to their car, Ashton and Seann realize that not only is it too late to buy presents for their girlfriends, but that they forgot to write their twin girlfriends into the sequel. Lamenting their lack of brain-power, Ashton and Seann become further despondent when they realize that their DVD of G.I. Jane probably isn't showing again tonight. They drive off to go home and eat pudding, leaving the door open for yet another sequel..."Dude, Where's My Pudding?

Also starring Stifler's mom as the lascivious bank teller who posts interest in her own special way and Rain Man as the automated change counter with a personal touch.

(Dude, Where's My Car? photo copyright 20th Century Fox.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Saving the Last for Best

Forty-six years after being kicked out of The Beatles, the first album of original songs by Pete Best is scheduled for release in mid-September. Don't be surprised if it's titled F*ck You, Ringo!

I'd also wager that the track list goes a little this:

1. Can't Buy Me Bread
2. I Should Have Played Better
3. While My Snare Gently Weeps
4. I'm Only Sleeping in the Alley
5. Hey Judas
6. I Want to Hold Your Hand (Over an Open Flame)
7. Baby I'm a Poor Man
8. You Forgot My Name (Look Up Welfare's Number)
9. I Want to Tell You That You Ruined My Life
10. Lonely Peetah
11. Komm, Gib Mir Deine Royalty (bonus track)