Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dear Kentucky Jim

You have been reticent since you left for parts unknown for your new job.  I don't remember if it was with the government, the carnival, or an all male burlesque show, but I remember you said there was a grueling training period and that you anticipated being very sore.  None of this means that you can't return a text message or an email to the greatest friend you've ever known, but somehow you still manage to ignore all communications.  Then, like the teasing trollop I am sure you are at The Stripmaginarium of Dr. Peenasus, you told me you would call me last Saturday.  Even though I was on vacation in Atlantic City, I carried my bluetooth around all day, taking up valuable cigar space in my pocket, just so I could talk to you and see how the accommodations were for you at Wiggling Willyzs Weinerz Warehouz.  Alas, you never called, so I am forced to send this letter to update you on the goings on back home.

I've been well, thanks for not bothering to ask, jackass.  Since you've left, I save money not having to travel over the bridge to visit you, and I can eat at any Indian, Mexican or Asian restaurant I want because I don't have to have dinner with someone who is racist against any culture that has rice as a staple food.  My workouts have been goings well, but I'm sure they are nothing compared to the exercise they put you through to keep you in shape at your new job at Urethra Franklin's Rhythm and Boobs Revue.  Everything else is fine too, so enough about me.

As you surmised, when you left town, The Angry Scholar lost his only support system.  Adrift in a sea of angst and academia, he can be found nowadays wandering the halls of his campus library, muttering facts about long gone cultures and stats of Pokemon characters.  He's also taken a fancy to performing interpretive dances to Fine Young Cannibals songs at coffeehouses.  Not during open mic nights, just at any point he feels like it, during regular business hours.  He has been deemed not quite the entertainment spectacle I am sure you are at Kim Dong Il's Imperial Penis Palace and Neverending Omelet Buffet, so he's been banned from every coffee house in town except for the one called "Cofee Beens" run by a guy whose legal name is Ketchup.  I'm not really clear on if that's a first or last name, or if this is some sort of Cher or Sting situation, and frankly, I don't care to find out.

Your former roommate, Mr. Estevez, has been doing a valiant job trying to clean your old apartment since your departure.  You left an alarming amount of scratch paper lying around crumpled in various rooms.  Most seem to be failed poems from your goth phase, as well as several sheets of paper with variations of the signature "Master Lucien Oblivion".  They are dotted with stains of eyeliner, your unmistakable shade of Midnight Misery, dripped from tears of unfathomable sorrow.  He did find something in the heating vents of your room that you may not have meant to leave though.  I'm not sure what any grown man would need with hidden stashes of over three hundred My Little Pony dolls living painted with personalized names on their chests, but sure enough The Angry Scholar has taken possession of all of them, except for the blue one with green hair you named "Rambling Roger".  The Scholar says he doesn't trust Roger, and gets very defensive when the name is brought up.

Your mother and father are doing well.  Very well in fact.  One gets the feeling that you might have been dragging them down this whole time, and that since you have left, they've finally come into their own.  It's nice to see them smiling again mostly.

Anyway, I'm sure you are busy with your next shift at Barbara Ehrenriech's Nipple and Dimed, so I guess I probably shouldn't wait for you to call this weekend either, even though you said you would since you missed last weekend.  It's cool.  It's only Sunday night.  There's still plenty of weekend left.  You'll be calling any minute. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Dear Superbowl Commercials

This might as well just be an obituary for the golden age of Superbowl commercials as much as it is a condemnation of the current classless class of dreck that was trotted out last Sunday.  Superbowl Sunday used to be a night of championship level football interspersed with the best that advertising agencies had to give us.  Now, the commercials seem indistinguishable from one that you would catch premiering during a rerun of Shark Tank.

There were only two commercials all night that I heard any positive reviews about.  The first was the Budweiser Clydesdales with the puppy.  Yeah, sure.  No one is going to hate a commercial with a cute little puppy, so that was a gimme.  More surprising was the second, the Brady Bunch commerical with Steve Buscemi and Danny Trejo, mainly because it was a rehash of an idea they stopped doing two or three years ago.  So, those were the best ideas that the supposed best minds in advertising could come up with, and that companies felt were worth shelling out millions of dollars for a prime slot.  Yet, the two most non football related topics discussed from the broadcast were the weird and uncomfortable Dead Kid commercial, and that freaking shark at halftime.  Let me tell you, I definitely want to hire a life insurance company that feels like bumming out millions of people that are busy shoveling guacamole down their gullets at a friend's house.  Maybe for my birthday, the company will come out and psychologically torture my housepets while I'm forced to watch.

There are still good commercials out there.  I still laugh every time I see the Value City coffee table commercial, and Blake Bennett playing straight man to the children in the cell commercials got some great mileage.  Somehow, though, on the biggest night for commercials all year, we get nothing of substance. 

There may never be another Terry Tate, Office Linebacker ever again, and I weep for the future.