Monday, September 15, 2008

Playing In The Heavy Church

Mercy, mercy on the love defenders
Have pity on the pretenders
A little help from all life's losers
A little truth from the mind abusers
Ooh I need them playing in the Heavy Church
--Three Dog Night

So we're driving down I-95 yesterday. We came upon a small, dented vehicle in the right lane with three items attached to the back. First, there was this bumper sticker:

Next, there was this little gem:

Aaaaand finally, this reallly caught our attention:

When we passed the car, it was being driven by a 250-pound suicide blonde with a beehive hairdo and wraparound sunglasses, talking on the phone. Not exactly what I expected. See what can happen when you allow preconceived notions to color your perceptions? I was expecting a 250-pound guy in a John Deere cap.

I suppose it's possible that this person was just trying to ensure that all bases were covered, but I have to wonder who would be more proud of her, Jesus or the good folks at Hooters.

What I'd like to believe is that this is some sort of new cult that I haven't heard about yet. I can certainly understand the attraction of belonging to a group in which one is fed buffalo wings by scantily-clad young ladies and can tell everyone else what they can eat if they don't like it. I believe they'd call them "Angel Wings" and just dare anyone to point out the obvious problems with eating body parts off of God's messengers. Communion would be a blast (beer and cheese fries, maybe?).

Oh yeah, and Jesus. Can't forget the Jesus part.

WWJD? The Jesus that this group advocates would definitely eat wings at Hooters and, if anyone had anything to say about it, tell 'em who to call to register a complaint.

I can see the flyer under the windshield wiper now:

"Won't you join us this coming Sunday at the First Christian Church of Hooters, Wings and Screw You? We at the FCCHWSY believe that karma will balance everything, and heartburn is just penance for what you were thinking about your server. The television will be on over the bar so that we can say our prayers before the coin toss.

"It won't be your 'Last Supper', but at 3:00 AM Monday you'll wish it was.

"A gratuity of 18% will be added to all parties of 13 or more, even if one of you leaves early. Also, please note that since the incident where a member ordered 5 wings and 2 stalks of celery, fed the entire church, and then returned 12 plates of uneaten food, sharing is not allowed. In the event that water is turned into anything else prior to consumption, the appropriate price for the final product will be charged.

"We hope to see you there!"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sometimes You Just Have To Reason With People (and other random stuff)

OK, I'm COMPLETELY blocked at this point, so here's a few small things that probably aren't really blogworthy in and of themselves.


This happened to me long ago. I was on a small road in North Carolina.

I approached an intersection that widened to allow for right turns (although it wasn't actually marked that way). There was a car in the left lane. It was a beautiful summer night and my windows were down. I pulled up next to the car and looked to see if there was any oncoming traffic before turning right. There was a gentleman driving the car to my left and a woman, who I presume was his wife, was in the passenger seat. The following conversation ensued:

Gentleman: HEY!!!

Gilahi: *turns to look*

Gentleman: I'M TURNING RIGHT!!!

Gilahi: Perhaps if you used your turn indicators this sort of thing wouldn't happen to you.

Gentleman: *looks at dashboard, looks straight ahead, passenger side window slowly goes up*

The best part of the experience was the expression on the wife's face looking at me as the window slooooowly eased shut. I don't know if she was happy that someone put her husband in his place or was just trying not to let him see her smile.


Bilbo should appreciate this one, if he hasn't already heard it: Did you hear the one about the prisoner who was told that he could get early parole if he just made a pass at the warden's wife? He turned it down because he didn't want to end a sentence with a proposition.


Mondegreen of the day: I'm driving my car so we're listening to my music. The current selection is Herman's Hermits' This Door Swings Both Ways. My wife says, "What does that mean?"

"What?", I ask.

"Disco swings both ways. I don't understand what that means."

I'm much more into '60s music than my wife, so I suspect that she's never heard this song. I tell her that it's "this door", not "disco"

The chorus comes around again. She insists that it sounds like "disco". I explain to her that A) the title of the song is This Door Swings Both Ways, so I'm pretty sure that's what he's singing, B) the song predates disco by at least a decade, and C) disco doesn't swing both ways.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

We'll Muddle Through One Day At A Time

Thought this was gonna be a political post, didn't you? Seriously, I have no insights that haven't been hashed around the blogosphere in the past couple of weeks.

No, today seems an apropos time to revisit my first-ever post and talk again about the Situational Awareness Quotient (SAQ).

A few years ago, I went on a lovely vacation to Santa Fe (which I strongly recommend to anyone who enjoys good food, good art and/or things Native American). While trying to pack lightly, my wife and I soon discovered that the smallish suitcase we had chosen had no room left for our toiletry kit. Rather than choosing a larger bag, we decided to simply count this item as a carry-on and take it separately (this was after 9/11 but before the days when liquids were being controlled). When we got to the airport, I dutifully put the bag through the X-ray machine and was asked to step aside. One of the security guys took us over to a table and immediately began to open the toiletry kit. Before thinking, as usual, I announced, "CRAP! There are razor blades in there and the shaver has a blade in it, too." Turns out that was just the right thing to say, because the security guy said that he could tell I was an honest man and that they hadn't even thought to check the shaver itself.

I can't tell you what a good feeling that gave me. Apparently, if you want to smuggle razor blades onto a commercial flight, a good place to hide them is in a shaver. I suspect it never occurred to the terrorists to try to smuggle plastic explosives in a box labeled "Plastic Explosives".

They took all my razor blades and, as it turned out, my little mustache scissors too. He offered to mail them to me, but at the price it was cheaper for me just to buy new blades and scissors in New Mexico.

So my SAQ was pretty darned low in that case.

As was my wife's.

Not that it matters.

So by now I'm sure you're thinking to yourself, "Gilahi, this is a fascinating and well-written piece of your history, as always, but what on earth does it have to do with MacKenzie Phillips?"

Well, I'll tell ya.

While it's true that I wasn't thinking ahead when I made the decision to carry weapons of beard destruction onto a plane, at least I wasn't, um, what, I dunno, carrying balloons filled with heroin, cocaine and also a few hypodermic needles.

That's right, the former "One Day At A Time" star was stopped at LAX because she was acting nervous, refused to stand still, and as soon as she was questioned, apparently blurted out, "I'm holding." She sat down in a chair and bags of drugs began falling out of her pants leg. I'm still not clear on where the hypodermics were. It's entirely possible that I really don't want to know.

Relative SAQ ratings -- Doing drugs: pretty darned low. Trying to carry bags of drugs and hypodermics onto a plane: abysmal. Acting all nervous, refusing to obey orders, and exclaiming your guilt to the authorities: Off the scale.

I feel sorry for her, I really do. The offspring of an enormously popular and talented musician and producer, early roles in movies and TV, and then nothing. It's a wonder she has enough situational awareness to get through a day.

On a peripherally-related note: I was a seething mass of raging hormones when this show first came out, I had a real thing for girls with long, straight hair, and I would've gladly gone to jail for the opportunity of spending one statutory evening with Valerie Bertinelli.

So, in remembrance of so many good things past, so many things we would have liked to have done differently, and hoping that Ms. Phillips is able to shake off her demons, I leave you with a stirring and hopefully inspiring piece of classical music.

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