Gut Rumbles

May 28, 2010


Originally published October 20, 2002

San Fransisco 49s' wide receiver Terrell Owens is disgrace to himself, a disgrace to his team and a disgrace to football, a game I still love with a passion.

Owens has spent much of the week defending his behavior following his second touchdown catch in a 28-21 victory over Seattle last Sunday. After the score, Owens reached into his sock and pulled out a pen to sign the ball. He then handed it to his financial adviser sitting nearby.
The All-Pro receiver was not disciplined by the NFL for the unprecedented stunt, only warned. The league did send a memo to all 32 teams saying similar celebrations would result in a penalty and possibly an ejection -- but only because carrying a pen could be a danger to players.

It was a "stunt," all right-- an egotistical display of selfish asininity that has no place on ANY athletic field. Terrell may believe that he is the greatest asshole receiver of all time, but he is suffering from sheer delusion if he thinks he scores touchdowns ALL BY HIS MARVELOUS SELF. He ran a route and caught a football. Ten other guys on that field occupied the defense, blocked the pass rush and delivered that ball. Let them lay down and see how great Terrell truly is.

Somebody wise should stick a sweatsock in Terrell's mouth and sew his lips shut, too. "Racism" had nothing to do with people taking offense at his purile antics. Most people don't like shitwits, and his self-aggrandizing display of absolute fucktoolery in a professional football game, coupled with his mealy-mouthed excuses afterward surely qualify for a nomination to the Shitwit Hall of Fame in my book.

Terrell Owens is a prime example of why I seldom watch professional sports any more. The term "professional" should mean more than just "I get paid for doing this." A professional should behave as one, and not set the kind of example I would strangle my son for following. Most "professionals" don't see it that way. A few class acts still exist, but the thugs, hoodlums, gangsters and shitwits are taking over. I just wonder how long the PGA Tour can last before golfers contract the Idiot Fever that has infected almost every other professional sport and THEY start doing wookie-dances on the green, fist-fighting over who is "away" on the green, choking coaches and charging for autographs.

They can have that kind of game; I want no part of it.

May 21, 2010


Originally published October 21, 2002

I remember that great American martyr LENNY BRUCE explaining why the Catholic Church had resplendent, opulent cathedrals in some of the poorest areas of the world, where the worshipers lived like wretches. I am paraphrasing here, but Lenny basically said, "Hey, if you live in a shithole, would YOU want to go to a shithole to worship God? No! You want to see something better than the shithole you live in every day."

I believe that Lenny's philosophy applies in THIS CASE, too. According to Lecturer Trond Andresen of the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim:

"Ugly people should be spotlighted in the media in the same way that the media wishes to emphasize persons from ethnic minorities," Andresen, a lecture at the Department of Engineering Cybernetics, said to newspaper Bergens Tidende.
Andresen blasts journalists, photographers and TV producers for concentrating on beautiful faces and bodies and accuses the press of choosing attractive interviewees from schools or the workplace, and avoiding others.

Andresen compares the phenomenon with racial discrimination. "Ugly people are as ignored today as dark-skinned people. They are told daily that they are inferior. This isn't done openly, but indirectly, by overlooking them, by focusing on appearance in advertising, TV-series, magazines, schools and in groups," Andresen said.

I think that most people, the vast majority of whom will never make People Magazine's 50 Sexiest issue, don't want to look at people just as ugly as THEY THEMSELVES are all the time. Gawd! Didn't Andresen ever hear of living a rich fantasy life? Just because I'm eating fish-heads and rice every day doesn't mean I don't want to see a picture of a mouth-watering chunk of Prime Rib every chance I get. Even though all my logic tells me differently, I still can look at that picture and imagine that one fine day, I just MIGHT get to sink my teeth into something like that.

That's what keeps people who eat fish-heads and rice every day from hanging themselves from the most handy tree limb. That's what fuels their desire to live. That's also what sells a lot of fancy cars, cool clothes, alcoholic beverages and credit cards. Save your money, buy THIS, and you just might get to sink your teeth into some juicy Prime Rib for once in your miserable life. That's a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Looking at ugly people telling you that I AM JUST LIKE YOU AND THAT'S ALL YOU'LL EVER SINK YOUR TEETH INTO is bound to send people like me to rummaging through the tool box, locating the rope and searching for a handy tree limb. I may not be handsome, but I DO NOT want to be surrounded by ugly people all my life. I shave every day, so I get all the dose of ugly I need before I leave the Crackerbox in the morning. PLEASE assure me that I'll see something better before I go to bed at night.

I LIKE to look at beautiful people, especially beautiful women. And I don't care what that anal-retentive, envy-assed Andresen thinks about it, the ugly prick. I would not buy a sports car hawked by Rosie O'Donnel in the hope that I could take HER for a ride. I would not buy Budweiser in a bar and send one over to Janet Reno in the hope that she would come home with me that night. Hillary Clinton couldn't give me ice water in the desert.

Let Nichole Kidman, however, crawl half-nekkid and sultry on the hood of a Chrysler PT Cruiser and flash me some red toenails along with a come-hither look, and I'm ready to buy. I hate the fucking car, but I LOVE the sales pitch. It gives me hope that one day, just maybe...

Andresen must be one tortured sumbitch. And like most idiots, he wants YOU to be like HIM. You know... UGLY!

May 14, 2010


Originally published October 22, 2002

This story will make little sense to anyone who doesn't work in a chemical plant around all sorts of really neat operating equipment, but I saw something today that I had never seen before. We had a massive, disasterous plug-up of wet slurry in a thing called a "dryer." Obviously, even for the uninitated, a "dryer" is not supposed to produce fricking MUD. A dryer is supposed to DRY pigment, not make mud. This one made MUD today.

I checked all the obvious things first, and I could find nothing wrong. So, I had to put on my thinking cap. After talking to the operator and checking the trends on the DCS, I knew what had happened and I knew how to fix it. We ended up putting about five tons of wet pigment on the ground to unplug everything. Meanwhile, an electrician replaced the burnt thermal-coupling that told my brilliant computer-controlled system to do exactly what it did.

Anybody who believes that computers are "smart" should work around computers that control process equipment. A computer will believe a reading of vacuum on a 600# steam header, it will believe reverse-flow in a pressurized system and it will damn surely suck on a bogus temperature reading. That's why we still pay human operators to watch this shit.

Computers a great when they work. But they are merciless bastards when they become confused.

May 07, 2010

A life

Originally published October 22, 2002

The earliest memory I have is catching a butterfly with my bare fingers in the front-yard flowerbed by the fence in my Old Kentucky home. I may have been four year-old at the time. I remember a lot about living in the coal mining camp and I remember being very happy there, except for the trips to Dr. Begley's office for typhoid shots and polio shots and smallpox vaccinations, things my son will never know (unless terorists have their way).

I remember listing to my grandmother tell stories about her childhood (she was about 45 at the time, but she was OLD to me) and I recall vividly thinking about a path through the wildflowers on the other side of the railroad trestle where we lived, and how she had travelled a long way down that path where I was not allowed to go. I envied the memories she had.

I am five years older than she was then. I have travelled FAR down that path in my lifetime, not only through the wildflowers, but into the weeds, the briars, the poison ivy and the quicksand, too. I look back now and I really don't understand how I went from being Beaver Cleaver (although a lot of those traits still survive), to a high-school jockstrap, to a dope-smoking bohemian English Major in college, to an advertising copywriter, to a six-year professional musician, to a 23-year employee in a chemical plant. I had about one hundred "girlfriends" along the way and never contracted a single STD during my swashbuckling days. I never cheated on a wife. I am loyal, if nothing else.

I have two ex-wives and two ex-children to show for it. I really don't know whether I have been blessed or extremely unlucky. (BAH! As my late Daddy would say, "You make your OWN luck, son!") I have more stories to tell than the average man, whatever THAT is, but all the stories aren't pleasant ones. I don't like what the prostate surgery has done to me. I once swore that I could never become a heroin addict because I HATE NEEDLES! Now, I have a prescription for them, and I get all I want. And I use them, too.

Who would'a ever thunk THAT? Not ME!

I like living by myself now. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. The Crackerbox is a nice home (Joan? What would it cost to buy this place on 1/2 acre of wooded land where YOU live?). I own all the toys a man my age should own (except a trophy younger woman). I'm not rich, but I have more money than I know what to do with. I spend it freely; that's what it's for.

But I keep looking back and wondering how I fucked up everything in the rear-view mirror. It's too late to go back now.

I hate that.