Wednesday, November 26, 2003

The Must-Have Toy this Christmas 

New from LKPeteCo.!

This adorable plush toy will delight children as it teaches them about a potentially dangerous respiratory disorder. Sleep Apnea Ernie features the beloved Sesame Street® character singing a little song. As you lie him down, he closes his eyes and drifts off to sleep, begins to snore gently, then stops breathing for a moment and jolts himself awake with a comic snort, and the cycle begins all over again! Hours of fun! Ages 3 — 8. Seven programmable songs. Batteries not included.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Mother of Mercy, is this the end of Jacko? 

I'd always figured it would play out this way: One of Michael Jackson's former "playmates" would return, all grown up (and more than a little twisted), knock on Neverland's front door, say "Hello Michael. Remember me?", then pull out a large caliber handgun and empty a full clip into the gloved one. At the subsequent trial, hordes of fellow former child companions would come out of the woodwork — like so many Boston archdiocese altar boys — and, to no one's surprise (except maybe Jermaine), the full breadth and scope of Jackson's weirdness would finally be confirmed.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Gateway, McDonald's in Fierce Bidding War for Event Sponsorship 

The Welsh town of Cowbridge plans to host its own version of Pamplona, Spain's famous running of the bulls but with cows instead of bulls.

Idea du Jour 

Bowling Trophy Wife.

Answers to Last Week's Quiz: 

1) Occam's Razor

2) No, I don't come here often

3) Eric Blair

4) Maize

5) Mt. McKinley

Friday, November 21, 2003

Ab Fabulousness 

While watching a TV commercial for a fitness program that promises to give you "rock-hard abs", I wondered if rock-hard abs are really an entirely good thing. Couldn't there be a downside?

DOCTOR: "I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do. Your husband is going to die."

WOMAN: "But it's just appendicitis. That's not fatal, is it?"

DOCTOR: "No, not usually, but our puny medical instruments are no match for his rock-hard abs. There's no way we can get in there."

WOMAN: "What about lasers?"

DOCTOR: "The buff, granitelike surface of his torso would cause the laser beam to ricochet all over the operating room, killing everyone in it. We just can't take that chance."

WOMAN: "Sob."

DOCTOR: "There, there."

Besides, if you could make any part of your body "rock-hard" would your abs really be your first choice?

Thursday, November 20, 2003

And the Rooms Cost an Arm and a Leg 

Recovered leprosy patients are angry after a Japanese hotel cancelled their group's reservation out of concern that other guests wouldn't want to share the resort's popular communal hot springs with them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

KFC Chickens Out 

Amid protests and complaints of misleading if not deceptive advertising, KFC pulled the plug on its recent ad campaign that bragged its fried chicken was "healthy" (albeit only when compared to a Burger King Whopper with cheese). The company stands by its previous claim that their product "tastes like chicken".

Imagine That 

John Lennon's handwritten lyrics to Beatles' song Nowhere Man sell for $455,000 at Christies Auction House.

Meanwhile, down the street, sidewalk vendor selling Yoko Ono CDs gets nowhere, man.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Can You Hear Me Now? 

Cell phone rings during funeral, from inside the closed coffin. No word on what tune the ring was set for.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Answers to Last Week's Quiz: 

1) The Treaty of Ghent.

2) False.

3) The surgeon was the boy's mother!

4) C. No, wait. D. Yeah, D.

5) Yes, I would like fries with that.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Critic's Notebook 

From the Tri-County Courier-Journal Weekend Arts Update

Briefly Noted
by Elliott Nook

As any visitor to the Tri-County Courthouse Annex can attest, the walk from the East Main Street entrance to the south wing hearing rooms is a long one, whether you're reporting for jury duty or coming in to surrender your drivers license, no matter how many times you've done it. The exhibit currently adorning those walls, "Art of the Ages: Expressions of the Young and Old" (November 10 -- January 30), and whose premise is to juxtapose artwork by five-year-olds with that of senior citizens, serves only to make a long walk seem even longer.

While I didn't arrive at the opening of this show expecting to discover a Grandma Moses among the residents of the Shady Rest Retirement Village or a wunderkind in Mrs. Tobler's kindergarten class from Tri-County Elementary, I was still grossly disappointed.

This exhibit is the second in a trio on the theme of "Compare and Contrast" inspired by the recent spate of New York museums playing Famous Artist Dream Date (Matisse-Picasso, Manet-Velasquez, etc.). The first of these local offerings, "Seascapes or Landscapes: Which is Better?" closed a few weeks ago and the third, "Poker & Pool: Dogs at Play" is set to open in the spring. The stated purpose of these ghastly curatorial exercises is, according to the catalogue, ". . . to reveal something important through the contrasting visions of different artists."

Well, I don't know what's important but all that comparing the paint spatters of the very young and the very old revealed to me is: 1) Both groups favor bright colors and possess sub-par motor skills; 2) At a quick glance (the only sensible way to see this show) you can't tell which picture is by a child and which is by a senior; and 3) Since they all stick close to the same short roster of sappy, sentimental subjects -- home, family, pets, thieving night-shift orderlies -- it doesn't really matter.

The deeper into this show I waded, the darker my mood became. No sooner had I remarked aloud that "My grandmother could do better," than I came upon my dear old Nana's mixed media entry (egg tempra, raspberry Jell-O) entitled "I Wanted Pudding!" and realized that, no, she couldn't.

As for the opening night festivities; since my role in the unfortunate melee has already been widely reported and is part of an ongoing civil matter (though no longer criminal), I can say nothing more. With hindsight, however, I realize that I probably should have been a tad more sotto of voce when speaking into my tape recorder, at least while standing within earshot of the artists' families and friends.

My advice for anyone needing to traverse this corridor in the near future is to insist on a court date after the exhibit has ended or, failing that, to pull your coat up over your face, perp-walk style, and make a run for the parking lot. That's my plan, anyway.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Missionary: It's What's for Dinner 

Fijian villagers apologize to descendants of missionary they ate.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Random Thought No. 61 

When it happens (and you know it will) should rap music for little kids be called "hippity-hoppity"?

Answers to Last Week's Quiz: 

1) Video Killed the Radio Star

2) Club Soda

3) Some guy, you don't know him. Always wears sunglasses.

4) True Grit, although he really deserved it for The Searchers. Or Red River.

5) Take the 1, 9, A, B, C or D train to Columbus Circle (59th St.), walk two blocks south to 57th, turn east and walk to Seventh Avenue. It's on the southeast corner. Or "practice". Is that how you meant it?

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