November 2006 Archives

friends in low places

The inevitable happened: Mel Gibson issued a statement of support for Michael Richards. Said Gibson in Entertainment Weekly:

"I felt like sending Michael Richards a note. I feel really badly for the guy. He was obviously in a state of stress. You don't need to be inebriated to be bent out of shape. But my heart went out to the guy."
I flip back and forth on who this speaks more poorly of.

ed update

She's hospitalized for at least one night. She's severely dehydrated and she's lost a ton of weight this week, so they have her on an IV drip, which means the return of her personal antichrist: the Cone of Obedience. Photo of most recent encounter:

The Cone of Obediance

The vet rattled off a bunch of theories, from the treatable to the terminal. We'll know more tomorrow. I'll post info as it comes in. Thanks to all who've expressed their concern.

great moments in mindless phone service

My vet's receptionist jotting down notes this morning:

"Okay, so Ed has bloody vomit, diarrhea, hasn't eaten in two days, can't take a step without falling down, and can't stand on her own. Okay! Great! See you this afternoon!"

a little music, if you please

As I was listening to Jesse Jackson make an obsequious Michael Richards apologize for, among many things, the lack of black executives in Hollywood, I felt a curious sensation: satisfaction. Yeah, I knew it was grandstanding nonsense. I didn't care. Few deserve the humiliation like Richards does. Make him dance, Jesse. And when you're tired, we'll send in Al.

Is anyone else finding themselves making TV choices other than Seinfeld lately? I'm not protesting so much as uninterested. I know when I see Kramer, I'll hear that damned tape in my head, and that's not why I watch sitcoms, so I make another selection. I wonder how this will affect its DVD sales.

remember that morning?

Remember that morning where you woke up at 5am because something seemed wrong, and you went downstairs and heard water running, and you went outside into 16 degrees and found that the garden faucet you'd carefully insulated had burst anyway, so you grabbed your tools and flashlight and threw them in the car and drove down the driveway to the water shutoff, only to find that overnight three trees had fallen across your driveway, so you had to carry all that crap on foot through the black tundra and then dig out six inches of snow, trying to find the water main in the dark, and a bramble whipped your face and gashed it, causing blood to slowly trickle into your mouth while you shoveled, and then after an hour you found the water main and turned it off, and then you four-wheeled through Percy's lawn and down his driveway, and you drove past all the abandoned cars to the rental place and got a chainsaw, and then you cleared the driveway so that the plumber could get in tomorrow when he "might" be able to squeeze you in, and then you went back inside and your dog, unable to get outside because her door was frozen shut, had deposited noxious, runny diarrhea all over three rooms of the house, and you went to clean it up and, oh yeah, the water's off, so you did the best you could with paper towels and Aquafina but the vile stuff was tacky like orange epoxy, so you were left to smell its noxious smears until God knows when, and then you went to clean your hands and the gash on your face and, oh yeah, there's no water, and then you looked at your dog and her entire back half was matted in orange epoxy? Remember that morning? No, you don't. Only I do. Just me.

the quotable dorkass

"If you break up with a girl, she gets to be your friend. But if she dumps you, she gets 'Fucking' forever prepended to her name."

whiteout

From the Midwest, I'm no weather wimp. But living in the mild Northwest, I'm ill equipped for what slapped Metamuville yesterday: 6 inches of snow in a couple hours, punctuated by a blackout and temperatures of 15 degrees. Mind you, I own no winter coat anymore. No hats, no gloves, no snow shovel. No chainsaw with which to remove the trees now blocking my driveway. But hey, you need sandals? I gots sandals.

Here are two photos, taken six days apart.

contrast_sm.jpg

howdy, doody

A while back someone gave me a jerky maker. Skeptical, I finally got around to using it. One of its innovations is a hamburger gun—very much like a caulk gun, only it squeezes off a stream of ground beef. The idea is that jerky made from ground beef will be tender. The result? Well. You eat it.

jerky 002.jpg

I'd assumed the hamburger would flatten. I was tragically wrong.

Enough people have asked me about this, so I might as well post about it—knowing what I know now, would I switch to HDTV again? No, I wouldn't. It's little bang for a considerable buck, but worse, the net result is that I watch the vast majority of programming in lower definition than before.

Actual high def programming looks, of course, spectacular. Football is utterly gorgeous. When teams line up to kick a field goal, I can make out the facial expressions of the crowd in the stands. Unfortunately, this constitutes a small fraction of the programming I watch. Most of the shows on the major networks aren't available in high def, and the cable networks? Forget about 'em. You're watching low-def shows on a high-def display, which looks slightly worse than it does on your low-def TV.

Worse, though, is the aspect ratio. You're forever dicking with it. Most programming requires vertical letterboxing, so you have black bars on either side of the picture. But since the bars will permanently burn into a plasma display, you have to distort the picture such that it takes up the whole screen. What was 1 pixel is now smeared across several. Yeah, this is why you drop a few grand on HD: to distort the picture and make it even lower def.

• • •

The Cocksucker of the Year award (and I mean that in the non-gay-slur way, thank you very much) goes to DirecTv. They charge me $10 a month for HD programming. They charge me $250 for the NFL package. And when the season started and I went to turn on the Steelers game, I was denied access to their HD channel. "Oh, you have to pay another $100 to get NFL games in HD," DirectTv helpfully said.

Already several billion dollars invested, I cursed and paid the extortion money. And then the next week, I looked for the Steelers on HD, and they weren't among the selections. "Not all of the games are available in HD," DirecTv helpfully said.

It's happened three times now. Fills me with all sorts of warm tinglies inside.

this just in: and water is wet

When I scanned my RSS feed this morning, I saw that the great Leonard Pitts had written an article with the headline "Richards' rant leaves no doubt he's a racist."

Wow, really? Why ever would you say such a thing?

But for my respect for Pitts I would have just ignored the link, but I just had to know what he was thinking. And it turns out he wasn't just stating the obvious, arguing with thin air. In a web poll that asked if Richards was racist, 40% of respondents actually said "No." It wasn't exactly a scientific sampling, but even if that number is 20%, it's astoundingly high. I, for one, would love to know the respondents' rationale.

new york pizza, redux

This is a variation on the previous recipe, but with slightly different proportions and a more hydrated, less kneaded (read: foldable!) process. This is what I've been using for two months with great results. I won't go back.

1 c. warm water
1 1/4 t. salt
2 3/4 c. high-gluten (KASL) flour
3/8 t. instant dry yeast
7/8 t. olive oil

The temperature of the water should be such that the finished dough temperature is 80 degrees F. In my kitchen, that means nuking a cup of cold water for one minute.

  1. In mixer bowl, dissolve salt in water, then knead in flour and yeast. Using only the low setting throughout this recipe, knead until flour is all taken up, and then two minutes more (or until ball is smooth and elastic in appearance).
  2. Add olive oil and continue kneading until it too is taken up into the dough, about another two minutes (or until the dough ball is smooth and satiny without any tears on the outside skin of the dough).
  3. Shape the dough by hand into a ball, put it in a mostly-sealed ziplock bag (so as not to develop moisture), and refrigerate immediately.
  4. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Two hours before use, remove the dough from refigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.

Sauce, baking portion of recipe

the dying is easier to take

One of us near life's mid-point, the other near its end, Miss Sue and I had an unusual conversation last week. Her lifelong best friend just moved to Arizona, and Sue's socially decimated. She described their relationship at length, especially its irreplacability and the big hole left in her life now. I asked why the friend left Spokane. "Her kid lives in Arizona," Sue shrugged. "And he wanted his mom near him."

She picked at her salad a bit. "That's what it's like when you're old, you know. All your friends move away. Or die. The dying is easier to take than the moving away."

The parallel was obvious. "Is that the geriatric version of all your friends having kids and disappearing?" I asked.

"Yeah. It's exactly the same feeling."

Great. Something to look forward to.

Sue pressed on. "And there's a middle stage. When the grandkids come along, they all disappear again."

"Jesus Christ. Any other cheery nuggets to share?"

"Yeah. Just go ahead and make new friends. These aren't coming back."

the heartwarming demise of michael richards

If you haven't seen it, here's a portion of Michael Richards' recent onstage racist outburst. This is the tail end of the incident—if you've heard the audio recording, you know it lasted much longer and involved some 20 angry drops of the n-bomb. Almost as excruciating is his inarticulate, squirm-inducing apology on Letterman last night.

It's not often that you hope that someone is not a well person, but here we are. I'm actually hoping for mental illness. Skipped meds. A psychologically debilitating childhood fork trauma. Throw us a bone, Richards. Don't do it for yourself. Do it for Kramer. He's likely ruined for us now.

Much has already been said about Richards' career and social suicide. I have three observations of my own.

  • Is anyone happier about this than Mel Gibson? Fit him for his halo now.
  • I found it oddly affirming that Richards' audience uniformly rejected him and walked out. They could have just sat there like stunned sheep, waiting for Richards to leave, but they stormed out en masse. Fifty years ago, as they say, would that have happened?
  • In the segment after Richards' satellite-link post-meltdown meltdown, Letterman of course asked Seinfeld about his three kids. They're 1, 4, and 6. "That's remarkable!!" Dave gushed.


kkkramer.jpg

mailbag

Ally-and-I.jpg

From newbie Stank troll Ken: The college cheerleader of the week is Tara Warrens, from "The OSU". Now, she's a cute, athletic-looking young woman, and I fully realize that I'm old enough to be her father (shudders). My only problem is a photo in the latter stages of the pictorial, where she's with another cheerleader. What the hell is that metallic "sculpture" behind them? Is that on the campus of OSU? Is a representation of the sun's heliosphere? The solar system's Oort Cloud? If it's based on something on this planet, what is it? A piece of fruit? This curious mind wants to know. Can you help?

Stank: It's been a long time since I wondered what the hell a sculpture on OSU's campus was, but I remember the question was chronic. I used to name them. I'll see if I can find a photo of "Shit Angel." In the meantime, I have no idea what your sculpture is. I'd guess a buckeye nut, except that they have no protrusions. Which brings us to its name. I hereby christen it "Buckeye with stem and puffy areola."


Troll Joy: I just finished reading your "ballad of greg biekert". Now, I used to have a big CRUSH on Mike Tomczak, and when I lived in Chicago, I was mystified as to why my (now ex-) husband had a Mike Tomczak action figure cum voodoo doll. He used to attack the thing with ferocity during Bears games. He could not make me understand why. I think I understand better it now.

Stank: And I think I understand why your marriage failed. Your ex-husband sounds like a cultivated man. Unlike my readers.


Troll Jean: What's with the attack on liberals?

Stank: Several readers took exception to my term "the ditzy left," while others saw, correctly, that "ditzy" was a qualification. I'm not calling liberals ditzy. I'm referring to a feeble subset that's ditzy. To summarize: Joe Biden is not ditzy. Nancy Pelosi is not ditzy. Patty Murray? Ditz. Sean Penn? Ditzoli.

Paraphrasing the great P.J. O'Rourke, when I speak of the "ditzy left," I'm not talking about Democrats or liberals or even kind-hearted people. I'm talking about people who get genuinely excited about 2% of the proceeds from the sale of Ben and Jerry's going to promote world peace.

Which reminds me of another great O'Rourke line: "Republicans are the party that believes that government simply does not work. And then they get elected and prove it."


Distinguished Stank troll Bob: Do you ever feel so excited by an upcoming game that your thoughts turn to poetry?

Now for a cheer they are here, triumphant!
Here they come with banners flying,
In stalwart step they're nighing,
With shouts of vict'ry crying,
We hurrah, hurrah, we greet you now,
Hail!

Far we their praises sing
For the glory and fame they've bro't us
Loud let the bells them ring
For here they come with banners flying
Far we their praises tell
For the glory and fame they've bro't us
Loud let the bells them ring
For here they come with banners flying
Here they come, Hurrah!

Hail! to the victors valiant
Hail! to the conqu'ring heroes
Hail! Hail! to Michigan
the leaders and best
Hail! to the victors valiant
Hail! to the conqu'ring heroes
Hail! Hail! to Michigan,
the champions of the West!

We cheer them again
We cheer and cheer again
For Michigan, we cheer for Michigan
We cheer with might and main
We cheer, cheer, cheer
With might and main we cheer!

Hail! to the victors valiant
Hail! to the conqu'ring heroes
Hail! Hail! to Michigan,
the champions of the West!

Stank: You're on quite a roll, Bob. Please root against the Ohio State basketball team this March.

embarrassment of riches

If you need to find me January 8, I'll be in the fourth row behind the south goal post.

This has been quite a year for me, sports-wise. After the Super Bowl and this, I'm not sure where I can possibly go from here. Oh! Yeah! Ohio State's basketball team is ranked #4!

osu michigan.jpg

postscript

Thanks to Stank troll Dana for this link. The band does intend to break up.

dead schembechlers

"Dead Schembechlers" is the longtime name of a Columbus band, paying homage, of sorts, to the now-late Michigan coach Bo Schembechler. It was amusing enough in life, but can the band's name possibly survive Bo's death?

In a game that's too close to call any year, Bo's dying yesterday is the real x-factor. Word from Columbus is that there's a pall over the whole town. If this translates into a subdued crowd, that negates a considerable advantage. It also remains to be seen what effect Bo's death will have on the Michigan players. Will they be defeated and flat? Inspired? Do they even care about this guy who coached before they were born?

My prediction two days ago was that Michigan's defensive front would be strong early, then fade by game's end due to OSU's running quarterback and rotating offensive lines. I guess I'll stick with that.

• • •

Further proof, as if further proof were needed, that 1) there is a God and 2) He hates me: with scant hours to go before kickoff, I got a call that orcas were heading toward Metamuville. "How many?" I asked. "All of them," she replied.

This has never before happened.

Chained to the TV like on no other day of the year, I glumly watched them through my binoculars instead of from the boat. But I blared my Ohio State CD while I did. It was perversely thrilling to watch orcas breach and cartwheel to the strains of "Le Regiment" and "Buckeye Battle Cry."

one last shot

A random sign at last year's Fiesta Bowl game between Ohio State and Notre Dame

p1_osu_michsucks.jpg

Men do not typically converse when standing at urinals. The same is not true at urinal troughs, however. The ritual blending of excrement serves to break down otherwise insurmountable social barriers. Urinal troughs are rare in modern times, having been replaced by the more distinguished personal urinal and indoor plumbing. Except at Michigan Stadium, of course, which is where this story took place last year.

The man attending to his business beside me was about my age and wearing Ohio State colors, complete with a 5-foot buckeye necklace that put my own to shame. I asked him when he attended; we were there for some of the same years. We joked about OSU, but we saved our real venom for the Michigan fans. He asked me if I'd noticed anything about the racial composition of the crowd.

Of course not. White guys are oblivious to such sensitivities. I hadn't noticed the racial composition of a crowd since I was lost in in East St. Louis in 1999. "Check it out," said my black fellow buckeye. "It's like you're at the opera in Scandinavia. And we're what, 30 miles from Detroit?"

Michigan fans, lily white all, just stared at us, not knowing quite how to refute this.

Let's take another look at the photo from the other day, shall we? It'll be like "Where's Waldo?" only with uncomfortable these-people-just-voted-to-ban-affirmative-action? overtones. See if you can find the black guy a half hour from Detroit.

still doing whatever i can for race relations

SPOKANE - Upon my arrival, the first thing Sue asked me to do was set her VCR clock, which I accomplished in less time than it took her to ascertain the correct date. But first, I had to move the owner's manual aside. It was open to "Setting the time and date."

"That VCR is the worst thing I've ever seen. How are you supposed to do this?" Sue whined, not the least bit abashed by the ease with which I had done it.

"What kind of Japanese are you?" I replied incredulously. "Don't tell anyone about this. They're gonna kick you out of the club."

Moral: 77 years old trumps Japanese.

straight outta spokompton

SPOKANE - I'm visiting Miss Sue, who has yet to tell me what my problem is, but it's only 9 am. I knew I was nearing Spokane when country music and jesusing began dominating my radio. I knew I was back when I heard the Gonzaga pep band playing Whitesnake songs.

My trip includes, as it always does, a phone call to fellow Spokane escapee Katrina.

"Hello?"
"To the editor..."
"Stop."
"As I sit and look at my flag waving in the wind..."
"You're making that up."
No, I wasn't.

But that letter wasn't the main event. After I finished reading her a second, Katrina predicted that if I published it, no one would believe it was real. Fortunately, the Spokane newspaper thoughtfully posts this stuff online. I hope you enjoy it as much as Katrina didn't.

Comparison backward

Mr. Tui Lindsey's comments linking the Bush administration to Hitler are backward ("Hitler would be proud," Nov. 9). Let's compare the policies of the Democrats to those of Hitler:

Hitler banned all firearms from citizens. The Dems ban guns. Look at the crime rates where liberal bans are in place. Baltimore, for example, has already surpassed its homicide rate for all of 2005. Stupid liberals don't or won't understand that gun bans only affect law-abiding citizens.

Hitler banned religion. The ACLU, backed by the Dems, sues people who mention Christianity in public. It seems Islam is exempt from this.

Hitler was a proven liar to his people. History has on record the proven lies by Clinton and his ilk. Hitler put the German state above its people. "We know what's best for the American people." That is a Bill Clinton quote. The American people know what's best for themselves – not the government.

Gee, Mr. Lindsey, Hitler sure has more in common with the liberals after all. Liberal socialism is not the American way. Hitler squelched public opinion. The Dems discredit any opinion they disagree with. Truth hurts, doesn't it?

Mark Dana
Colburn, Idaho


rum runner

rumsfeld.jpgSpeaking of things sailing over my head, I'm at a loss to explain the delirium over Rumsfeld's departure. He needed to go, and I'm glad he's gone, but that's the sum of my feelings on the matter. The ditzy left, however, is orgasmicly elated. To whatever end, they got their pound of flesh, and they've been celebrating on Rummy's grave just a bit more than dignity should allow. Me, I'm chewing on a known unknown of my own: what of consequence was accomplished that merits all of this delight?

At last year's game in Ann Arbor.

jim tressel


Can someone explain this to me? It afraid it sailed right over my head.



Harvard, Stanford slapped with restraining order

ANN ARBOR, MI  (Stank Press) - This weekend, University of Michigan president Delores LeChanel filed a restraining order against Stanford University and Harvard University. "As president, I must protect our brand," LeChanel said in a statement. "While we're flattered that these institutions and their alumni are referring to themselves as the Michigan of their respective coasts, it ultimately diminishes the value of a Michigan diploma and creates confusion in the consumer's mind."

Michiganders are quick to point out they're not heartless and that she's not asking for a total ban. "Harvard and Stanford can confuse black recruits all they want," said Cooter P. McNugget, leader of the recently-passed Michigan initiative to ban affirmative action. "Go Blue!"

 

michigan week

Always a big week, Michigan Week is on steroids this year, as for the first time in history #1 and #2 will meet in their last game of the regular season. Time to get my game-finger on.

fuck Michigan

today, i get to sit in the sun

No. No no no no no no no.

Those of us old enough to remember Eddie Van Halen naming his kid "Wolfgang" are made to feel positively ancient by this development. Now if you'll pardon me, it's time for Super-Bingo down in the activity room.

into the craven mind of the american male

A few years back, Dorkass had the distinct pleasure of watching her boss (me) start hanging out with her little sister. I fondly remember the accusations of untoward intentions, accusations that usually bubbled up during our weekly 1:1s. Dorkass' delight peaked when li'l sis and I started getting on airplanes together. To Dorkass, this collision of worlds was decidedly unwelcome. I can just imagine her parting words to her sister: "Never forget he's a complete dog! If he gives you something green, for the love of God, don't drink it!"

Worse, though, was when I started carousing with Dorkass' ex-husband, Jim. "Usurper!" she charged.

I have no idea why it so bothered her.

"Ya know what Dorkasses's pwoblem is?" he began every drunken sentence, as I set my pool cue down to take notes. This shit's pure gold. I'll sneak this material on to her performance review.

The friendship didn't last, however. Jim was in full-blown post-divorce womanizing mode, and I lost interest in that pretty quickly. He was in that unseemly zone where every woman, regardless her status or interest, was a prospective Next! This especially applied to exceedingly young women. When a middle-aged guy is shamelessly trolling for 18 year olds, eventually dating at least one, you do wonder why you're hanging out with him.

I shared these concerns with Dorkass one night, and she revealed that Jim had mentioned his taking out a personals ad. After a pregnant pause, we lunged at my laptop. And there it was, a preening pack of lies aimed at disguising what a lump he was. We debated whether "adrenaline junkie" or "I love to read" was the funnier line, and then I had my brainstorm. I invented Sam.

SamLuvsYa was a sweet, simple 18 year old high school student who found his ad intriguing. She had little to say except that, although he's really too old for her, she thought he sounded fun. She made a token attempt at small-talk. "Who r ur fave writers?" she asked. She was, by any measure, an utterly unremarkable child with horrible spelling. And then I attached this photo.

mel.jpg

"Yes, I'm older," Jim replied at considerable length, trimming a few years off his age. "But one of the things the wisdom of time has given me is the insight that love is ageless."

"How generous of him!" Dorkass howled, both of us doubled over in laughter as we read his overwritten, deliriously fawning response. It turns out he, too, found Sam intriguing. It must have been the "r ur." I don't know what else it could have been. Oh, and his favorite author? There are too many to mention, but if pressed, he'd have to say "Shakespeare."

"Not unless it's Steve Shakespeare of Men's Health," Dorkass snorted.

We never came clean. And Sam? She went away to college. Damn kids today.

random thought as the dems take over the senate

Wasn't it just six months ago that the Senate Republican majority tried mightily to get rid of the filibuster and other minority rights that inconvenienced them? How forward-thinking that notion was. How conservative.

pelosi rises

Remember when I ridiculed Newsweek for selecting Danica Patrick over Nancy Pelosi for its "women in leadership" feature?

Advantage, Stank.

I'm bracing for the inevitable feel-good Pelosi Newsweek cover, now.

open-mindedness

Sign at the Kingston Christian Church this morning:

ONLY THING A CHRISTIAN NEEDS TO DO: BI

election headline

Tuesday morning, I passed a newstand and glanced to see what the election day headline was.

WORST MAY YET BE COMING

Turns out it was about the weather. Oh.

creeping realization

Whenever I'm in an interview and I'm asked what my preferred working environment is, I always lie. Hiring managers seldom want to hear In a dark bar with deep booths and an exceedingly generous definition of a "shot."

Venues are limited in Metamuville, which is to say, there are none. Some 25 minutes away is the only decent restaurant within a 45 minute drive. It's a tiny, "Best Places to Kiss" type restaurant, lousy with doilies and candles. It's also exceptional in that it grows its own produce and shapes its ever-changing menu around whatever is available. Last week, my lunch was flank steak in a cherry-port reduction sauce. The week before, rack of lamb. The week before, crab louis.

I've become a regular, visiting a few times per month. As such, I've gotten to know the staff who've kindly brought me an endless supply of food and drink. It's a part of my routine to which I've really come to look forward.

My favorite server, Olive, sometimes eats her own lunch at my table. She shares restaurant recipes, which I enjoy, and speaks and thinks in complete sentences, which I enjoy enormously. Inevitably, she recently quit. I've found myself making lunch plans with her, plans where I'll meet her at the restaurant and all will be right with my universe again. It was this last thought that gave me pause.

Remember the creepy Jack Nicholson character in "As Good As It Gets?" Remember how he was a reclusive loner writer type? Remember how when the waitress called in sick, he showed up at her house to implore her to go back to work?

Remember how much you hated that character?

kanye south

Longtime Stank favorite Kanye West continues to cement his Nobel Laureate status, at an awards show.

things to give a rest, already

Hitler comparisons. Every week, we hear that some tyrant-of-the-week is "another Hitler." Enough. Damned few people are actually responsible for 62 million deaths.

"I'm a diva." I would have thought this term played out already, but young women are still excusing their self-centeredness as being fashionable. Divas are liked, despite their selfish bitchiness. When no one likes you, you're just a selfish bitch.

"They're disrespecting me." Add me to the list. Especially grating when coming out of the mouth of a multimillionaire athlete who's not fulfilling his contract.

Blogs. God, people are just effervescing whine-holes, aren't they?

"Don't say merlot!" It wasn't funny the first time.

Girls posing with elbows back. What would Myspace be without this staple? Girls, you're not fooling anyone. Show some dignity.

Rednecks citing MLK. They think it's clever to use the "content of their character" line to argue against institutions that protect minorities, as if measures that redress inequities are themselves inequities. So lovely that they've come to support MLK's ideals when it suits them, though.

Terrible Towel knockoffs. Every team the Steelers visit think it's clever and original to give out towels to their fans. I have an idea: come up with a clever and original idea of your own.

bush fulfills campaign promise

tour de asshole

Three notorious assholes made me proud this week.

First, Letterman skillfully humiliated Bill O'Reilly, although I doubt the latter would admit it. O'Reilly was doing what he does best—overgeneralizing, inventing false dichotomies, introducing straw men only to beat the crap out of them—and Letterman deftly pointed out each. When a frustrated O'Reilly tried to trap Letterman, the following exchange occurred.

Bill: "So quick question, Dave. Do you want to win the war in Iraq or not?"

Dave: "Well, that's a complex question. By 'win' do you mean—"

Bill: "It's a simple question. Just answer it."

Dave: "There are a lot of things to cons—"

Bill (angry): "Do you want to win or not? It's a simple question."

Dave: "See, the thing is, it's not so simple for me, because I'm thoughtful."

Asshole #2 is one Bobby Knight, legendary college basketball coach, who kicked his leading scorer off the team because the kid wasn't studying for class. A bigger set of balls, you will never find. This is a man, after all, who once cut Charles Barkley from the Olympic team for merely having an attitude.

Speaking of whom, no asshole census would be complete without our checking in on Sir Charles, after whom this page is affectionately named. To my utter delight, Charles weighs in on bald white guys shaving their heads:

"I will say this, and not to sound racist, but one of the great travesties of American history is white men who are afraid to shave their heads, thinking they're going to have an ugly head. There's nothing wrong with their heads. But some of these hairdos, they've got to go, they've got to come on home. Shave their damn heads. There's nothing wrong with your head. Sometimes I see some of these guys with the comb-overs or the bad toupees, and I'm like, Hey man, do you think you should shave that shit? Ain't nothing going to be wrong with your head. The myth that white men can't shave their head is just that, it's a myth."

virgification

At EDS there was an older fellow named Virg. I didn't get a good sense of his age, because he was so seldom in his office. Virg drove us young bucks insane. We worked hard, did quality jobs, got paid little, and got no respect. Virg, on the other hand, apparently did nothing. He seldom came to the office, let alone to meetings. He blew off countless requests from his peers. And he was bloody exalted for it.

"Virg has seen it all," management would piddle. "He simply knows things no one else does. Is that too much work on your plate, Virg? We want to keep you happy. Give some of that to John. And here, take John's bonus. You deserve it."

The emperor was buck-ass naked, and I knew it. I had to expose him. I trumpeted the news to anyone who would listen, which was absolutely no one. Everyone adored that lazy schmuck Virg. I hated them. I hated Virg.

And then somewhere along the line, I lost my way. I started evolving into Virg. Today, I don't go to the office. I'm overpraised for contributing little. I couldn't care less about my peers if they were imaginary. I'm utterly resented, especially by young rising stars. And how does this feel? Bloody great.

I am of course no Virg, who's doubtless got his feet in warm sand at whatever beachhouse holds all the equipment he stole from EDS over the years. I can only aspire to be a percentage of him. Wherever you are, you lazy prick, hoist your mai tai and toast yourself. You are the wind beneath my wings.

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