Friday, June 27, 2008
The Crossroads June 2008 Comedy Tour
AL: Purim's a great holiday--it's the one holiday in the world where you're supposed to get hammered. Your Gentile neighbors see you walking out of the house with a Jack Daniels in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other--"Where are you going?" "To synagogue. Have fun at church!"
DN: Did you know that pumpkins are the only living organisms that have triangular eyes?
LS: I wasn't all that scared of coming here--I'm from Detroit. We kill more people by 6 AM then you do in a whole year.
HW: [taps mic several times] I'm sending comedy to a tribe in the Congo.
AL: With Bill Clinton, if you didn't like him, it didn't matter what he was saying, it could be "I am going to revitalize the economy", you heard: "Your wife looks pretty in that dress."
DN: My last girlfriend, she was kinda-- I met her in my apartment building, one day, I'm in the elevator, and the doors open and she's standing there, and she asks, "Going down?" And I'm like, "If you get in, we are."
AL: As the senior member of this tour, I'm usually the one doing the explanations when we visit places like Jerusalem. This is great because, I can totally make stuff up and nobody will, know, except sometimes somebody does know something--in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, "That's the cross of John the Baptist." "I thought John the Baptist was beheaded?" "...Well, they're contesting that."
LS: The Temptations, you could always tell what they were singing about, because they would act it out on stage. They were like singers for the deaf.
AL: The big difference between the American and the Israeli armies, in the American army they're very big on saluting and dressing properly and stuff like that, but the big stuff they don't care about. Can you imagine an Israeli soldier saluting? I can't picture that. But they're good on the big stuff. I was on a comedy tour in Iraq, I walk up to a soldier and, "Can I shoot that gun?" "Private! Give this man your gun. Tuck in that shirt, you're a disgrace! Here you go sir." K-chk.
DN: Most American high school students can't find Canada on a map. Of Canada.
LS: Them Bee Gees, they sounded like chipmunks. On helium. ["Sings" Stayin' Alive with nonsense sounds and words.] And then they start laughin' at you. "Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!"
HW: This is Arnold Schwarzenegger in a revolving door. [walks in circle] I'll be back. [circles] I'll be back...
AL: The Internet, now there's a technology nobody saw coming. In Star Trek, they didn't have Internet. Can you imagine Star Trek with Internet? "Mr. Spock, sets a cousre for Ceti Alpha V." "I'm googling it now, Captain." The Klingons never said, "You are outnumbered. Surrender now. LOL!"
DN: Barack Obama, a black man, is now running for president. And there is still racism in America, a lot of racists around. The other night I was in a bar, talking to a chick--I asked her, "Who you voting for?" She says, "Not Obama, not voting for some black guy." I was shocked. Shocked!... I was, however, also desperate, so I took her over to my place. On the way, I phoned ahead to my roommate: "Darnell, get outta there... and take that poster of Martin Luther King down from the wall... I'm having my own dream tonight."
LS: I'm not used to getting checked when I go into places. Usually I get checked when I go out. ... Nobody got checked comin' in here. I'm feelin' nervous!
AL: ...Then she "got in the family way". If I was in Tel Aviv, I'd use a different word here, because in Tel Aviv they're all a bunch of godless animals.
LS: We went to the Dead Sea... I can't swim. I didn't wanna go in. The guys are all like, "Come on, get in, you can't drown here, nobody's ever drowned here!" Do I look like I wanna be the first?... Get turned into some sorta tourist attraction: "After visiting the Western Wall, come on down to the Dead Sea and see the dead black guy!"
DN: You can always tell what kind of man a guy is by his watch and his car. ... 'Course, you can always buy a fake Rolex. I bought one of those, and one of my friends is like, "Wow, you got a Rolex?" "Nah, it's fake." "How can you tell? By the band?" "No, by the guy wearing it."
LS: I think Michael Jackson keeps grabbing his crotch because that's the last piece of original equipment he's got left.
HW: George Bush recently said that 60% of Americans didn't know where Germany is. To which I say, What about the other 85% of Americans who know where Germany is? And who cares about those Germans? Don't forget what they did to us in Pearl Harbor back in '73!
AL: Shavu'ot! What a great holiday, right? Only one day long?... You do know that the bit about staying up all night is a tradition not a law. I can picture, about 100 years ago, buncha rabbis sittin' around a table--"Here's Shavu'ot, nice short holiday, only one day long... how do we screw it up?" "People like eating meat, how about we say they can only eat dairy?" "Okay, I'm liking what I'm hearing here, keep it going... Yes?" "How about we make 'em stay up all night studying?" "Good idea, you mean like till midnight?" "No, all night. And that'll mess up the next day too." "Write that down, I'm hearing good stuff here..."
DN: In Chicago they're pretty weird. You know what they call soda in Chicago? Pop. I was visiting Chicago, went into a store, "You got anything to drink?" "Yes sir, we got pop." Only I thought he said 'pot'. "You do?" "Sure, we even got Coke!" "...Man, you are the worst drug dealer I have ever met!"
AL: I don't get soccer around here. Like, I'm from California--over there, we expect the score to be 0-0 only at the beginning of the game.
LS: At the airport, my name always changes, to Random Check. "Random Check, will you please step this way..."
AL: Imagine Israel hosting the Olympics--"Welcome to Olympic Village, do you have a place to stay?... You don't? Come, you can sleep on my couch."
DN: I was coming here when no other comedians were--"No, I can't come, I've got a previous engagement at the Chuckle Bucket in Baghdad."
LS: When you got to go to the bathroom on the plane--that's when the oxygen masks should deploy.
HW: We are here tonight to benefit those poor, helpless, shivering children who are breaking into your houses right now...
LS: Last year, I got a snorkeling certificate. In Mexico. I can't swim and I got a snorkeling certificate! The guy was like, "Put your head underwater. If you don't breath in, you pass." ... Saw a shark down there, he wouldn't go near me. He was probably thinkin', "Black guy... stickin' his head in the water... this has got to be a setup." ...I'm going back to Mexico next year for my helicopter license.
AL: Internet terms aren't the same everywhere. I was once text-messaging with an Egyptian friend of mine (real nice guy), and I sent him a joke, and he replied "FOCF." I asked him, "What's that mean?" "It means 'Fall-Off-Camel Funny'."
LS: I went to a tough school. The teacher would go, "Who shot Lincoln?" "I ain't sayin' nothin' until I talk to my lawyer. ... I swear, he was lying there when I came in."
And the best part of Williams's entire routine:
HW: Ma'am, where are you going?
Audience member leaving room: I'm pregnant. I live in the bathroom.
TODAY'S BOOK: "Dragonsong", by Anne McCaffrey ((c) 1976)
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tales from my Log
Here it is, here it is, my first game ever at mythical Shea, oh joy, oh what fun, o Happy Day!
Oh bummer, it looks like rain.
This was supposed to be the culmination of a dream. A lifelong dream, in a way, because my life can be rather neatly split into two pieces: before and after discovering baseball and the New York Mets in mid-1999, possibly the best time for someone my age to become one. In America on a vacation trip that had been postponed for one year, I was ecstatic over the news that not only would I finally get to visit the nigh-legendary (in my mind) stadium, but I would be able to do so on a day that both included the unveiling of the Top 10 Moments In Mets History As Voted By The Fans and free giveaways of posters of said Moments.
The weather was not cooperating.
The morning ought to have dawned crisp and sunny. Instead it was gloomy, overcast, and--according to the radio--with a chance of rain. True Met fan that I was, I openly defied the elements themselves: nothing would stand in the way of my special moment!
Happily, all the posturing was unnecessary. The skies cleared somewhat, the precipitation left an IOU, and off we were to Shea, glorious Shea, wonderful Shea!
Of course, there had to be a price exacted; and despite leaving early we still came too late to witness any of the Top 10 Moments except some vague images on the far-off DiamondVision screen. (Four years later, I would chance upon the Moments stored on the Mets' website and finally, rapturously watch them.) Oh well, small matter. On to the game!
We got to our seats and watched Bobby Jones, the Mets' fourth starter and former farmhand, mow down the St. Louis Cardinals. I always liked Bobby J, stats notwithstanding--coming into the game he was 4-5 with an unlovely 6.19 ERA. In those days I tended to like people because of their names and looks, and wanted the Democrats to win all the elections because they had the color blue.
Bottom of the first, and up came big Benny Agbayani, one of the few Hawaiians to make it to the Majors, another Met farmahand and a particular favorite of mine because he always seemed to be smiling. Why he usually batted leadoff was a puzzler, since he didn't have any particular speed--understandable, at well over 200 pounds; then again, none of the Mets were really burning up the basepaths that year.
Cards starter Garrett Stephenson reared back and threw his first pitch of the game. Big Benny's bat met the pitch and redirected it into the left-field bullpen.
Everybody was immediately on their feet, applauding Agbayani's eighth homer of the year (out of an eventual fifteen). I was going absolutely wild with happiness. One thought kept running through my mind: We are going to win this game. Oh, yes, we are!
After Bobby J set down the Redbirds 1-2-3 once more, the fireworks show started again. Todd Zeile, the converted third baseman who had the unenviable task of succeeding John Olerud at first, worked a leadoff walk off Stephenson. Jay Payton, yet another Met farmhand who was a revelation as the starting center fielder in his first full season, singled. Two on, no out, and up stepped Bubba Trammell.
I found myself watching intently. Just a few hours earlier I had been reading in the papers of yesterday's exploits of Mike Bordick. On the 28th, Bordick, Trammell and reliever Rick White had arrived in two separate trades that sent six Mets packing, including Melvin Mora, the converted outfielder who had done a horribly subpar job as that year's replacement for injured shortstop Rey Ordonez. It took a few years, but Mora eventually became a star in Baltimore. Bordick, however, was a defensive whiz who would later break the record for consecutive errorless chances at short. Mets management must have figured that with a lineup that included Piazza, Alfonzo, Agbayani, Payton et al, they could afford to trade in a bat for some decent D...
Anyway, back to the paper. The Mets had beaten the Cardinals 4-3, with Bordick's bat being the difference as he became the first player since Todd Pratt back in '97 to hit a home run in his very first at-bat as a Met.
Now here came Trammell, acquired on the very same day, giving regular right fielder Derek Bell some rest. Bordick and Trammell, Bordick and Trammell, the players inextricably linking themselves in my mind, until finally the thought bubbled up: He's gonna do it, too.
And he did. 24 hours after Mike Bordick did so, Bubba Trammell hit a home run in his first Met at-bat, sending the ball skyrocketing beyond the right field fence.
And that was that. The Mets' vaunted offense had stalled after a mere two innings (ending up with just seven hits, plus three walks), but I was young and carefree. Stats? What were stats? Just numbers on the backs of baseball cards. Totally irrelevant to actual play. There was simply a knowledge I had that the Mets couldn't possibly lose. I would do anything to have that innocent certainty back today.
And, indeed, they didn't. Fernando Vina scored on a groundout in the sixth but otherwise the enemy didn't threaten much. St. Louis trotted out three relievers, including Dave Veres, which made me happy because he was one of the players I had in my nascent baseball card collection (now growing well and thriving, thankyouverymuch). Meanwhile, Bobby Jones was pitching his best game of the year so far, striking out eight and allowing just three hits and one walk. Once Veres had departed after his one inning of work, Jones was brought out for the ninth and final inning to thunderous applause--from me, anyway; it was already fixed in my mind who the Player of the Game was, Bubba Trammell's semi-grand slam notwithstanding. One down, two down, I'm already on my feet--but oh, Ray Lankford just has to spoil my fun, launching the ball in the vicinity of Trammell's shot and delaying the inevitable, which finally arrives in the form of Fernando Tatis becoming Jones's ninth strikeout victim of the day and giving him his first complete game of the season, sealing the three-game sweep. Mets win! Mets win! Proclaim it from the rooftops! Met win!
Bobby J would go on to upseat this game as his personal best of 2000 by tossing a one-hit gem vs. San Francisco, sending the team to the NLCS. He, Mike Bordick, and Bubba Trammell would no longer be Mets once Opening Day 2001 rolled around. The posters would get folded, spindled, mutilated, or simply lost. Eight years on, not one member of that Mets team still plays for them, and Shea (glorious Shea!) is about to go under the wrecker's ball.
But the memory of that one perfect, happy game is still locked up here, nice and safe.
Who says "you can't take it with you"?
TODAY'S BOOK: "Walk Two Moons", by Sharon Creech ((c) 1994)
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Background: at the height of our class's preparations for Purim festivities, Yitz was hit in the face by a thrown book during an argument. The book was newly-wrapped, and a still-sharp plastic corner did a number on his eye. He was rushed to Sha'arei Tzedek Hospital (sound familiar?) while the rest of us prayed and said Tehillim. Doctors told his parents they would have to remove the eye altogether. Then, they found the only place in the world that could possibly save his sight: UAB. They flew there, and now Yitzchak has one oddly discolored eye that can vaguely see with the aid of a powerful contact lens.
TODAY'S BOOK: "The Story of Mankind", by Hendrik van Loon ((c) 1921)
Friday, June 20, 2008
150. That's how many characters (letters, numbers, spaces, etc.) you can put in a post title on a blog like this.
TODAY'S BOOK: "Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession", by Erma Bombeck ((c) 1983)
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Nobody Cares Day
The Mets just fired Willie Randolph, but I don't care.
I saw a wall-eyed man on the bus tomorrow, but I don't care.
Iran wants to nuke us, but I don't care.
The school year is over, but I don't care.
The Teen Titans Go! comic book has been cancelled, but I don't care.
Obama's leading in the polls, but I don't care.
William Shatner wears a toupee, but I don't care.
I set a new record for hits in a week and two new records for hits in a day last week, but I don't care.
Gay marriages have started in California, but I don't care.
Wakka wakka, but I don't care.
The polar ice caps are melting, but I don't care.
Jimmy cracks corn, but I don't care.
Josh Hamilton wears #32, but I don't care.
There are children starving in Africa, but I don't care.
Gilad Shalit is still kidnapped, but I don't care.
The Jagermonsters are funy, but I don't care.
MegaMaid has gone from "Suck" to "Blow", but I don't care.
P.S. - Nobody cares.
TODAY'S BOOK: "Whatever", by Don't Know ((c) don't care?)
Monday, June 16, 2008
TODAY'S BOOK: "Raiders of the Lost Car Park", by Robert Rankin ((c) 1994)
Labels: the blog
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Even more Rister & Rob
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Randomly reprinted post (III)
TODAY'S BOOK: 'Getting Old is Murder', by Rita Lakin ((c) 2005)
TODAY'S MOVIE: 'The Guns of Navarone', from Columbia Tristar (1961)
WWWW2?: Joe DiMaggio.
TODAY'S WEBSITE: www.dilbert.com Everybody's favorite loser geek who works in a cubicle and appears in a comic strip has his own website as well. Get the daily dose, view past ones, get the lowdown on major characters and take part in the annual Weasel Poll."
--20th post, 11/20/06
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Well, still no reply on why last month's issue of the ShiurTimes didn't have me in it, but at least this month's does. (On the left are Israeli prime ministers Golda Meir, Yitzchak Rabin and Ehud Olmert, on the right Palestinian Authority leaders Yassir Arafat, Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud Abbas.)
TODAY'S BOOK: "Under Fire", by W.E.B. Griffin ((c) 2002)
Friday, June 06, 2008
I have just wasted 10 seconds of your life, which you will never be able to get back, no matter how hard you try. Thanks for watching.
TODAY'S BOOK: "The 13 Clocks", by James Thurber ((c) 1950)
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
I don't want to have kids. I don't even want to get married. Why, if I ever get married, I'll shave off my moustache! This is not the first I've stated that. Another wager I once made is that the Mets would win the World Series within 10 years. That was in 2002. Come on, pull yourselves together! And I still remain firmly convinced that I'm in the wrong leg of the Trousers of Time, and Beltran ought to have hit that ball... I'm rambling. Shush, me.
While the Nachshon Nonaccessability Factor may have been repealed, its Annoyance Factor has been growing in leaps and bounds.
Since I referred to it in the last post, there have been no more hits here via nobrand.awardspace.com, but no less than 6 hits (out of past 17) have been via Google searches for that website, showing that lots of people are just as clueless about it as I am. (Plus a hit from Korea--what's up with that?) One of those six was fellow Blogspot user and multiple blogger Melis, who says that the site is just advertising to try to get bloggers to sign up with them for webhosting or something, and they're hitting random Blogspot blogs to get traffic to their site. Which doesn't make much sense, but okay.
My, isn't the former Senator Nathaniel Dobbs-McDobb (D-GA) looking spiffy! But dude, what's with the long hair? And the earring? And the missing glasses? And, most of all, the spaced-out look in your eyes?
Writer's High: the state of being achieved by a writer when in full swing of composing; a heightened state of creativity and being. Thus, we can deduce that Samuel Taylor Coleridge was a talentless noob, because he couldn't finish his magnum opus "Kubla Khan" after getting started while stoned because he was no longer high, while all the truly great writer don't need drugs to reach that plateau artificially in order to write their masterpieces.
The Corridor of Mordor meets up with the Tower of Power. May we reiterate that all cheerleaders should remain seated on the sidelines.
TODAY'S BOOK: "Gentle Ben", by Walt Morey ((c) 1965)
TODAY'S WEBSITE: www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Lot/2636/crga.txt Going for the simple: reminiscent of the Freakazoid! Cultural Reference Guide, this is one for the Animaniacs TV show, in two parts (Part Two is www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Lot/2636/nacrg.txt). Look out for the entry on episode #65, which shows what a well-made "crazy credits" looks like.
EDIT: The edit is that: there is no edit.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
People, it's very nice that all of you (including my first visitors from Saudi Arabia and--yikes!--Iran) have come to push my "hits" list over 1,500, but you really should stay longer. Really. It's a nice blog. Trust me, I know. (And it hardly ever bites.) As it stands, the average visit lasts 1/30th of a minute. That's not very encouraging. (And what's with the seven hits via "nobrand.awardspace.com" over the last 24 hours? It only allows access via Firefox, and I don't want to bother downloading it.)
And once again, Matt Wise and Carlos Muniz have played flip-flop, with the 32-bearer returning again (2008 MLB line to date: 5.1 IP, 2 H, 4 Ks, 0 R).
TODAY'S BOOK: "Tools for Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Expanding Technology", by Howard Rheingold ((c) 1985, 2000)
TODAY'S WEBSITE: Just a removal this time. I really don't know why I bothered leaving the link to B'Kesher up all this time, having graduated from there a whole year ago (pictorial evidence here). Bye-bye and rood giddance to rad bubbish!