Archive for March, 2004

March 30th, 2004 Comments off

Just 23 Weeks To Go

Who cares about opening day? Let’s concentrate on the real sport, shall we? The exciting pro-football news of the day is that the 2004-05 season will open with the Super Bowl Champion Patriots hosting the Indianapolis Colts in a Thursday night game Sept. 9. That looks to be an amazing match — assuming there are no big pre-season injuries that throw everything off (a big assumption) and assuming the Pats find a replacement for Ted Washington, the run-stuffing nose tackle who, in my opinion, was the biggest difference between the team’s 9-7 finish in 2002 and their championship run in 2003-04. (Big Ted went to my Raiders as a free agent. He’ll be joined on the line there by Warren Sapp, making for what might be the toughest run D in the league.)

It would be tough not to be psyched about a season opener with that much potential for great football. Keep in mind, the Pats’ most important regular-season win in 2003 was the win over the Colts. Plus, according to the “experts,” the Colts were supposed to beat the Pats in the playoffs. Indy fell short, of course. And the Pats took it all the way. Should be interesting watching the Patriots try to extend a 15-game winning streak against Manning and company. I predict that unless injuries change things, the defending champs will go into that home opener as one- or two-point underdogs. Just as they went into the 2002 season opener against Pittsburgh (also played in Foxborough) as underdogs. That’s just how it is with New England and the oddsmakers. I also predict the Pats will win by a touchdown.

Opening weekend will also include a Sunday night game that pits Kansas City against Denver (should look like an old AFL airshow), and a Monday night matchup between Carolina and Green Bay. I can’t wait. And, sure, it’s a late start to the season. One would normally expect those first games to happen a week earlier. But as I count it, doing that would land Wild Card weekend on Jan. 1 & 2, and I’m guessing the league would rather have its final regular season games fall on that weekend than put the first week of the playoffs there. That’s just a guess, though. And, you know, whatever’s behind the delay, for a start this big I can wait the extra seven days.

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March 23rd, 2004 Comments off

What’s Wrong With People, Part 5,689

Here’s one more reason to stay home, away from the idiot humans. (Link via The Obscure Store.) That’s a link, by the way, to a story about a 51-year-old man in Michigan who was severely beaten by some loudmouth whom he’d shushed in a movie theater. The talker reportedly got louder after the shushing, then went on to assault the shusher. The attacker is under arrest and facing pretty serious criminal charges.

In case you, too, are unclear on how it’s supposed to work, here’s a little primer on being shushed in a movie theater:

Rule 1: Don’t get shushed in a movie theater. That is, keep your stinkin’ yap shut. You’re in a movie theater with a bunch of other people who have paid to see and hear a movie. No one wants or needs to hear your conversation. If you’re not enjoying the movie, or if you’ve got something that needs discussing immediately, amble on out to the lobby and talk to your heart’s content.

Rule 2: If you put yourself in the position of having to be shushed in a movie theater (or at a quiet concert, or at a reading, or at any other event or function at which you’re supposed to shut up and listen), your job is to be embarrassed. You say to the shusher something like, “Oh, I’m very sorry.” And then you shut up. That’s it. Maybe you apologize again after the movie is over if you’re feeling particularly like a jackass. But you’re done talking until the movie ends.

Rule 3: This is a big one, so try to pay attention. If someone shushes you in a movie theater your reaction should not be to get louder, harass them and then beat them. This is extremely bad form. If you are the type of person who is inclined to beat someone for shushing you in a movie theater, here are some things you should think of doing instead: A) Get help. Psychological help. With your anger. You need it. B) If you can’t bring yourself to get help, think seriously about throwing yourself off a bridge. A big bridge. No one will ever miss you. Not for a minute. But be polite for once in your useless, meaningless life: Make sure no one is passing under the bridge when you jump. We want to be rid of you, not some unfortunate, random passerby. C) If you won’t get help and can’t throw yourself off a bridge (are you absolutely certain you can’t throw yourself off a bridge?) lock yourself in a little box. As small as you can fit into. Because people like you should be locked in little boxes. Only, no one’s gonna do it for you (cruel and unusual punishment and all), so you should really think about doing it yourself.

Rule 4: If someone shushes you in a movie theater, and your reaction is to beat him severely and then flee, threatening the theater manager as you depart, please spare the rest of us the nonsense about how the shusher attacked you. You’re not fooling anyone. You’re going to get locked up (if, sadly, not in a little box) and with any luck the nice fellows in the Aryan Brotherhood will teach you some manners once you get to prison. You made your bed, now lie in it.

That’s our lesson for today, class. You may return to what you were doing (so long as it wasn’t talking in a movie theater or beating some poor, innocent guy who was just trying to enjoy a movie with his wife).

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March 12th, 2004 Comments off

Three Days, Three Pieces

I’ve had three pieces show up in print in Boston over the last three days. First, on Wednesday, there was a Globe feature on the band British Sea Power.

Then yesterday, the Phoenix ran an essay on why I’m voting for Ralph Nader as part of a package of stories about Nader.

And in today’s Globe, I have a feature on singer-songwriter Rocky Votolato (whom you might know as the frontman for the band Waxwing).

Happy reading.

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March 2nd, 2004 Comments off

Think First, Then Speak. Think First, Then Speak. Think First, Then Speak
Loman on the Totem Pole

This is the story of how I confused an innocent bystander by failing to remember that you don’t just say whatever pops into your head.

I work on the third floor of an office building. The men’s room is on the second floor. About 20 minutes ago, I made the walk down the stairs to, you know, see a man about a horse. So I’m in the stairwell heading down and I can hear someone whistling. I open the door to the second floor lobby and the elevator door is open. The whistling is coming from inside the elevator. And in my head I’m going, “What’s the thing about whistling on an elevator? What’s the thing about whistling on an elevator?” I look into the elevator and there’s a white-haired guy — mid-60s, I’d guess — standing there holding some kind of sample case. And the salesman thing must have tripped whatever mechanism in my brain hadn’t been kicking in. Still looking at the guy, I blurted out, “Biff.” And as the elevator door closed, I saw this man give me a look that said, quite simply, “What?” Fearing he’d hit the door-open button, I quickly scurried into the men’s room, locked the door and spent a little while splashing water on my face and trying not to burst into hysterical laughter. There’s something really, really wrong with me.

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