Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cliche Suppository

Cliches are universal—born out of the wisdom of the people, not the philosopher-kings, playwrights or bards. Truth be sold, there is nary a mundane situation that cannot be matched with a blackeneyed phrase or saying.

However, these days, the use of cliches is a lost art—what with biting sounds and textbooking. So, before the cliche completely goes the way of the Moa bird, I have collected a few of my favorites, complete with the perfect situation in which to use them.

Feel free to print out this page and carry it with you always. “Be repaired”—that’s my motto.

Scenario 1: Unsure of the advertised special in the supermarket—
“5 will get you 10 of one, half dozen of the other”

Scenario 2: Lamenting the state of flamboyant gay culture—
“Remember, it takes the whole child to raise the Village People”

Scenario 3: Discovering the deceit put forth by your cleaning lady—
“You lied about your bed, so make it”

Scenario 4: Um...uh...something with pens and swords—
“A mightier pen might make a right, good sword”

Scenario 5: Considering landscaping options—
“A handy bush is worth 2 birds”

Scenario 6: Contemplating the groping you received at the Nursing Home—
“You are only as young as you are feeled”

Scenario 7: Deciding how much effort to put forth on an endeavor—
"Always give 100 or 10 percent"

Scenario 8: Self-explanatory—
“If you can’t stand in a heated kitchen, get out a chair"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Oh Yeah? Split This

The lowest common denominator in all of sports has to be bowling. There is likely not a single person in America (above the age of 16 months, of course) that has not partaken of the joys of rolling a heavy, plastic sphere across a very well maintained, hardwood floor.

..and some of those people have even gone bowling.

If bowling is ever to earn its rightful place among the more elegant of sports (I am thinking of curling, for example), it must consider implementing some significant changes first.

Let’s start with the bowling venue, A.K.A. "the alley". An alley is where drug deals go down, Junior High School students try their first cigarettes and informants get beaten up by gangsters in movies. It is no place for an athletic event.

Perhaps the name should be changed to The Field of Dreams or The Arena of Truth. I also am partial to The Thunderdome, but we can defer this decision until later.

Next, there are serious issues with the bowling ball itself. Given its inherent roundness, winging it at the target pins is far too easy. Now, if friction could somehow be introduced into the equation—say by making it a cube—then, we would be able to separate the men from the boys, so to speak.

Another sticking issue is the rather leisurely pace of the game. There is little need for athletic endurance when you are asked to exert yourself for 15 seconds, only to be allowed to sit for the next 12 minutes. This likely explains why many amateur bowlers are shaped conspicuously like the balls they throw.

That, and their prolonged exposure to curly fries.

Instead, bowlers should be required to start at Lane 1, throw, move immediately to Lane 2, throw, etc. until they reach Lane 60 or so, and then make their way back in the same manner. Bonus points could be awarded for anyone who completes “the circuit” in under a predetermined time limit. Oxygen tanks (and in amateur tournaments, beer) could be provided at every 3rd or 4th lane for restorative purposes.

There are many other possibilities for improving the quality of the bowling experience (replacing the pins with spectators immediately comes to mind) and you are welcome to leave your ideas in the comments section below.

However, bowling shirts and bowling shoes are non-negotiable. Trust me; this is based on irrefutable fashion sense.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Poetry Corner

I admit it. I lay claim to some of the worst poetry ever scribbled onto parchment with a quill. However, when I went back to analyze my poetic disasters, I came to a startling conclusion: I seemingly had mastered the form; it was the content that was sorely lacking. Or in the vernacular, it was lame-eth.

So, what was a budding poet to do? Perhaps write poetry about writing poetry. And after setting my mind to this endeavor for several minutes (at least), out spewed some of the finest—and perhaps only—examples of Meta-Poetry known to modern man:


Can’t write a Haiku
That fun, Japanese poem
Had too much sake

Lame, ridiculous!
Thinking, writing, erasing
Schmo, fool, idiot, ass!
Crinkling, tossing, quitting
Embarrassed, ashamed

What does it mean?
6 syllables? No way!
Now you want 8? Get out of here!

There once was a person from [place]
Who had an ordinary face,
The rest is quite wordy
And also too dirty
To be included in this family-oriented, rated-G space.

A clerihew once was written by Lenny
A type of poem not known by many.
Did the publisher pay him for this poem, I wonder?
Not for this poetical blunder.

A quatrain is a 4-line poem
How to write it, I will show ‘em.
You alternate rhyming lines you see—
Never use scheme AA BB.

Free Verse
A poet who cannot rhyme to save their life
Should try their hand at free verse.
This way, you convince the world you are genius
And no one can think worse—Damn!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fright At the Opera

Good evening, opera fans—and you know who you are! Yes, that would be both of you.

Tonight, we are pleased to present Puccini’s lost masterpiece, Gli Affamati Zombino. The Hungry Zombie. An opera in 5 acts and 16 cadavers.

Suggestion: One would more fully experience the true essence of this opera if they sang the Italian libretto while reading at home, using whatever opera-like melody they could think of.

Act 1—The beginning (what else?).

Che cosa è vento dal cielo?
What is that thing that came from the sky?

Colletta: Mi sento divertente. Voglio andare a mangiare il mio migliare amico.
I feel funny. I now want to eat my best friend.

Act 2—Mario and Colletta declare their devotion to each other.

Io vi amo, Colletta. La milza è così saporita!
I love you, Colletta. Your spleen is so tasty!

Colletta: Acko!

Act 3—The evil Sheriff Brutto confronts Mario and his clan.

Qui, prendere che...è che...è che!
Here, take that...and that...and that!

Act 4—Mario is victorious. He shares the spoils of victory with Colletta and others. Literally.

Mario: Sono certo godono avere amìci per la cena. Qui, prendere che...è che...è che.
I sure do enjoy having friends for dinner. Here...take that...and that...and that.

Colletta: Dove è che wishbone? Mi sento fortunati.
Where is that wishbone? I feel lucky.


Act 5—An unforseen plot twist: Something else falls from the sky and puts an end to Mario, Colletta and their friends.

Siamo finiti. Siamo pranzo.
We are finished. We are lunch.

...and as Bugs Bunny once said: "Eh, what did you expect in an opera, a happy ending?"