Friday, March 21, 2014

Ten Things Of Thankful: Fred Phelps, NCAA Brackets, Starbucks & Fruit Flies ... but no missing plane!

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Four score and seven years ago …

(No, damn it, I’m not that old.)

… just one of those nights when my attention is diverted elsewhere.

This is the most distracting time of the year for me, being a college basketball die hard fan.  The NCAA Tourney, even though some of the games outcomes are already set up by the NCAA and CBS as to which team will win (in order to keep ratings high for all the advertisers), takes my thoughts from the dimension they normally lie within and scatters them all over the television screen.

(Yeah, like it’s any different than any other time.  Right?)

I can’t help myself.  I am a college basketball fan freak!  The cold sweats and nervous twitches go crazy as the tourney begins!  I’ve loved it all my life and will probably continue to do so until the day I die (which will hopefully come after a tourney championship has been decided, as it would truly suck to end up in Heaven or Hell not knowing the winner).

“Hey, St. Peter … before we go any further with this question and answer sh*t, do you think you could let me know the score to last night’s game?  I’ll make it worth your while … seriously!”

I remember my childhood days of going outside after a huge snow and dribbling the basketball on the snow on my driveway court until it was nicely packed down.  Then, I’d take off my coat and play for a couple of hours, or until my mother came out screaming about being outside without a coat, whichever came first.  And, now one wants a mad, raving, raging Italian mom chasing you outside in the snow.  You might later find yourself nursing a sore butt and eating a dish of pasta with triple garlic or onion powder administered.

So, as I sit here, recollecting what it was like to play basketball in the snow, the 60” television is showing dunks, 3 point shots, and college cheerleaders bouncing breasts up and down that shouldn’t belong to college cheerleaders. (Where were these girls when I was in college?)  And aren’t the uniforms getting more and more skimpy?  (The cheerleaders’ uniforms, that is!)

(God, I love this time of the year!)

And, for those of you that could care less about basketball and are anxiously awaiting a part 2 of the missing plane story I wrote last week, let me just say one thing:

The plane is still missing.

Now, there’s a couple of things for sure by now.  Somewhere, the plane came down, either by crashing or landing.  There’s no damn way it’s still up in the air.  The other thing is that everyone is constantly contradicting what everyone else is predicting.  So, let’s be honest.  No one knows where the hell the plane went!!!  There’s only one thing for sure.

The plane is still missing.

If they’re sitting somewhere, you’ve got to be sure, there’s some really pissed off NCAA Basketball Tourney fans there.  I wouldn’t want to be one of their captors right now.  There’s nothing worse than a NCAA Basketball Tourney fan that doesn’t get a chance to watch the tourney games.  (Well, maybe the Navy Seals or USMC special forces that have to stop watching the games to go rescue their butts, but, besides that, nothing worse.  Well, maybe a mad wife going through the change of life on a hot, summer day, but, besides that, nothing worse.  Well, maybe a mad Italian mother ...)

However, I have the games available to see.  For that, I count my ten thankfuls for the first round of games I get to see.  Ten times I watch the shots, ten times I witness the upsets, ten times I enjoy the games that some cannot see.

The plane is still missing.

Again, Lizzi (who has been stumbling around on one hell of a drunk the last few days) and her stoic squad of hearty supporters (do they still make girdles) bring forth the time of the week in which we can all be thankful, as it is now time for


This week, I’m thankful for:

So what if it's retro!  The damn thing's comfortable!
1)  Waterbed mattresses.  My wife’s mattress, after a torrid affair with her boyfriend (of which she denies), finally decided to share its internal moisture with the outside world.  Yeah, it let loose with hundreds of gallons of water from a split seam!

Now, we still love our waterbeds.  The heater in the Winter, along with the way they contour to one’s body to give proper support, make sleeping a pure blissful experience.  A quick search of the web found a replacement mattress almost immediately.  Even though I’m having to put off getting brakes for my truck (for the second straight year), I was able to order her another motionless one for only $200.  Now, if I can just keep her from dropping pens and combs down inside of the frame (and keeping her boyfriend’s activities at his place), she’ll soon have a mattress to once again enjoy.  (What the hell am I saying???  I’m going to be the one sleeping on the couch while she takes my bed until the replacement gets here!!!  God, the things we do for love.)

2)  Teenager atop WTC.   A sixteen year old boy slid past security guards and climbed ladders and such to arrive at the top of the World Trade Center Sunday.  Why did he do it?  To take pictures, of course!  Police arrested him once they found him and charged him with trespassing.  Police couldn’t believe he’d done it because they had “No Trespassing” signs posted.  (I’d say these are the same cops that couldn’t believe the 9/11 jets hit the towers because they had a “No Hittting Tower With Jets ” sign posted.)

"I wonder if they can bury me with my
cowboy hat on?  Don't I look like that guy
from the Village People???"
3)  Fred Phelps Dead.  The Westboro Baptist Church founder died Friday.  Of course, the church is well known as being the least compassionate church in existence as they obnoxiously protest at funerals of service men, gays, and others throughout the United States.  

We extend a hearty invitation for all gays, bikers, servicemen, and anyone with a shred of common decency to come to the funeral services and protest to their hearts desire.  We’re hoping for a crowd of at least 400,00, whose voices in unison will drown out any of the words spoken at his services.  We wish it to be a true demonstration of Christianity, as it truly is better to give than to receive.  (I just hope he was a NCAA Basketball fan and no one in the afterlife tells him the scores!  muhahahahaha!)

"Whatever happened to the days
 a guy could earn a
quarter the right way ... in
the men's restrooms?"
4)  Man Steals Quarters.  Thomas Rica, a former public works inspector, stole over $460,000 in quarters over a 25 month period of time.  The Ridgewood, New Jersey official would go into the room where they kept money from the parking meters and fill his pockets with quarters.  He’d then go to his bank and deposit them.  (I suspect that one of the bank tellers said, “No, we never questioned how he got all those quarters.  We just figured that he gave one hell of a blow job!  After all, he was a politician!”)

5)  President Obama fills out NCAA Bracket.  So, he likes basketball.  Big deal.  He should be doing more important things.  Who’d he pick to win it all?  Who cares?  Like, he’s going to save the country if he hits a free throw or something.  “Hey, you’re making big bucks.  Get to work!”

6)  California targeted by Cyber-Gangs.  So what?  Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition tells everything there is to know about California every night!  Besides, by the time the criminals get through all the “Hey, Dude’s”, it's old news anyway!  Go to the beach and wait on the tidal wave, folks.  Be happy!

"Wait until next time when they catch us for serving
food that is declared inedible!
Oops!  You mean they already did?   
7)  McDonalds to pay back pay.  New York came to the rescue and got 1,600 workers back pay for work done while clocked out, overtime pay, and uniform cleaning allowance.  When asked what they were going to do with the settlement money, one employee stated, “I’m going to McDonald’s!”  (Now you know why they worked off the clock to begin with!)

8)  Samsung releases new Ultra HD TV’s.  Okay, so it’s curved and is supposed to give you even a better picture.  Next, thing you know, they’ll be coming out with Ultra HD Blu-Ray players, which will make all your current Blu-Rays obsolete.  So, you’ll soon be replacing all of them once again.  From VHS to DVD to Blu-Ray to Ultra Blu-Ray, one might ask, “How many damn times am I going to have to buy the same movie just to watch it when I want?” 

And someone on the missing plane goes, “Hey, you got a different movie?  Do you know how many times they’ve shown us “The Croods”?

9)  Starbucks to sell wine.  Starbucks is going to start selling wine to its evening crowd in select locations soon.  They’ve been experimenting in different markets and find it to be a big seller.  So, they get you drunk, and then make a mint sobering you back up with $4 cups of coffee.  Damn, maybe they’re on to something!

"Okay, Okay!  So some of us can't fly!
Big F***in' Deal!"
10)  Why don't Fruit Flies fall out of the sky.  Scientists have spent thousands of dollars researching Fruit Flies.  More defined, the reason Fruit Flies don’t fall out of the sky.  After all their research, they’ve found out what most of us have known for years.  “The Suckers Fly, Damn It!  They Fly!!!!”

*     *     *     *     *     *

That’s it for another week of Ten Things of Thankful.  I appreciate your attention and effort in getting through this week’s effort.  I honestly can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped to watch the games.  So, until next week, don’t forget …

The plane is still missing!

And, if my wife does have a boyfriend, the S.O.B. had better be on it!



  1. I got hopped up on NCAA while going to UCONN....It was the Calhoune years...spemt all my time and money for tickets over at Gampel was it worth bombing a few anatomy exams! Its not like the class content could change...I caught up!

    I always found waterbeds uncomfortable. ..maybe I didnt have the right boyfriend. ..I will have to chat with your wife about that.

    In college one of my work study partners did her thesis on the reproductive habits of fruit flies...she actually had to castrate them under a microscope! Well she didnt need the microscope for the really well hung ones!!! Haha HAHAHA I crack myself up!

    1. Zoe - I had no idea you were a hoops fan! I'm sitting here getting ready to watch UCONN defeat Villinova tonight! I wish them the best of luck. I hate the full motion waterbeds. However, motionless are fantastic. Plus, where else can you get a nice warm bed in the wintertime for only $200? lol Oh, my wife says to call her anytime. I love the fruit fly story. Just curious ... did she keep any trophies? :) Maybe to compare with her husband? Just a thought. lol You crack me up too. Many Thanks!

  2. I have lots and lots of boyfriends and I can get them to pay for my waterbeds at the drop of a nail file . Tell your wife if she needs a bunch of waterbeds to call me while you are busy watching hoops, or whatever. I will send her over one of my extra waterbeds and some more boyfriends if she wants any of that. Have a nice day you insane insane yet funny man, jean and get those darn brakes fixed!!!

    1. Jean - Ah, you remember me this week! lol I've already ordered one that shipped last night, but I'll remember that for the future. She'd probably call you for some pointers, though, as I think she's only got one (that she still won't admit to). lol The brakes will have to wait a while. I'm getting ready to cut through the floorboard so I can stop it Fred Flintstone style! Yabba dabba doo!!!! Many Thanks!

  3. I'm glad researchers are busy working on fruit flies rather than things like cancer or where the f*ck is that plane. But seriously though...where do those damn things come from. I work in a hospital and they came out of the drain pipes.
    Didn't waterbeds go out in the 80's? My husband had one. We busted it back in the day where headaches and kids sleeping in the other room didn't take precedence. He was pretty proud of that moment.

    1. Kimberly - Isn't it great that they still find ridiculous things to spend tax dollars on? lol When I was in college, I found out the government was giving grants to study the mating habits of the South American tree frog. I just wonder how much Social Security money they're using for the studies today? I gotta say I never liked sex on one, Always awkward as hell. Needless to say, we used to take a lot of overnight trips and stayed in many hotels over the years. I'm not even going into your story. There's so many things I could say .... nope, I'm gonna be a good boy and just say, "more power to the both of you". (Now I just have to control my imagination.) Many Thanks!

      Actually, I managed a waterbed store right after I quit stand up comedy in the early 90's. I got hooked then, and am still hooked. The warmth of a motionless mattress in the Winter is a godsend.

  4. Your life-long fanaticism for basketball mirrors my own for football (or soccer to you guys across the pond). I remember as a child going out alone onto the school playing fields opposite our house, where they'd left the goalposts and nets up, and I would spend hours smashing the ball into the roof of the net and imagining it was the winning goal for England in a World Cup Final - (I was a strange child!).

    Great list as always, Richard. I enjoy reading your take on the modern world, through your distinctive lens.

    1. Gary - Another sports fan!!!! Yay!!!! I won the world championship many times by counting down the last seconds and shooting the ball at the hoop! I can so relate to your story only too well. Wasn't it great to be a kid and have an imagination? Sometimes I wonder what today's youth are doing since they have none to enjoy. So sad. Really good to have you come back week after week. I do look forward to what you have to say. Many Thanks!

  5. I worked at McDonalds in the late 70s and early 80s, during college. Think I can collect on any of that settlement? I certainly wasn't given a cleaning allowance for my uniform (which was snake green with a white collar and a snappy white hat and always smelled like french fries, no matter HOW many times I washed it).

    So you have the 70s-style, feels like you're lost at sea kind of waterbed? Personally, I'd rather have a featherbed.

    The morons at WBC picketed a Taylor Swift concert in KC last summer. I was a little confounded by it.

    So, did the kid on top of the World Trade Center get any good pics?

    1. Dyanne - Hello, my friend! I spent two days working at a Burger King in the early 70's. The store I was at had a policy where you had to eat one of everything on the menu your first day there. Their philosophy was that if you made yourself sick eating everything, you wouldn't sample the food the rest of the time. It worked too well with me. After the first day's feasting, I couldn't stand the smell of it the second day and quit! Took me year's before I could go back to another Burger King. lol

      Actually, that was the only picture I could find of a waterbed without copyright restrictions. I have a king and a queen size in the house (my wife's room has the king, which burst). Ours are the motionless style, and I still love them. That's why I've ordered a new mattress instead of taking the opportunity to get a California King regular mattress to fit inside the frame. My grandmother used to have featherbeds. I liked them, but the sharp ends of the feathers always seemed to find a way to stick through the mattress top and poke me.

      The WBC is comprised of morons, for sure. I think they look for a reason to picket just to get publicity. Maybe they'll flounder somewhat without the founder. We can only hope!

      Oh, and the WTC kid ... well, the police confiscated both the camera and his cell phone. So, it's kind of a question mark as to the quality of photographer he really is. At least if he fails shooting pictures, he always has a second future career in breaking and entering! :) Many Thanks!

  6. I don't like the feeling of being glad people are dead, but for Phelps I may make the exception. I suspect that not only do the scores not await him, but a millstone DOES.


    Still sad about the plane *sigh* I hope they find it soon.

    And I LOLED about the teenager and the signs. Honestly, some of the signs you see are tantamount to an invitation. There's one on the Isle of Wight, which I love, which says "No Parking or Mining" and I just ITCH to get my hands on a JCB and have a good dig around and see what there is to be dug up there...

    1. Hey, Sis! What's with the change of profile picture? Loved your new hairstyle ... seriously!

      Phelps was a very sad excuse for a human being. It's so ironic that he picketed those that fought to give him the right to picket. Clearly an example of ego going wild and compassion being lost. I normally don't celebrate a person's death, either. However, this is one that barely classifies as a human being.

      The plane ... well ... I think it's really all over but the crash site discovery. Whatever happened will never be known ... for sure.

      I always like the signs that say, "Violators will be prosecuted." I often wonder why none ever say, "Violators will be rewarded and praised for their bravery in disregarding the social norms and traveling outside the box into an area of true discovery." I guess it's because it would take a really big sign to say all that. lol Good to have you back, but really happy you had a great break. Many Thanks!

    2. Yeah I doubt they'll find it. But closure would be good. And less expensive.

      I didn't update my profile pic on Google yet. Should do that...

    3. Definitely update. It shows a different side of you ... a good side, for sure! There's more stuff been found in the last day or two. Maybe closure is on the way. Remember, smile. There's only so much a human can take on. :)

  7. Heard about Phelps in the news. A controversial fell low, a certainly judgy..and that plane. Poor organization from the start.

    1. Michelle - Hello, my friend. We don't see enough of each other since I got these crazy hours at my job. Phelps was a sorry excuse for a human being. I normally wouldn't talk about a person after death, but he definitely deserves no courtesy as he showed no respect for others or their families in the same situation. The plane ... really could've been organized much better. Too many wanting to be the "locator" and take the credit, instead of working together, I believe. Many Thanks!

  8. Rich, as always, I so enjoy reading your posts with my coffee on a lazy Sunday morning. I'm still in my bed at 11:30 am (NOT a waterbed...they still make those?) and cannot really say I'm wasting my day since I'm getting a real education.
    I am not a fan of basketball so I don't jump on the March Madness train but I'm happy you're getting to do something you love.
    It is awful about the plane and I wonder what the news stations will find to talk about when or if it's ever found.
    I love your idea for Phelps funeral. Wouldn't that be fitting for the hate monger?
    Another week of greatness, Rich! Thanks..and have a great week!

    1. Sandy - Good of you to visit again! Gee, I was in bed too when you wrote this comment. I wish you'd type a little more gentle. You almost woke me up! lol Yes, they still make waterbed mattresses. I've got a new one ordered. The motionless ones are great for sleeping as they mold right to your body and eliminate all pressure points. Cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Can't beat them!

      I'm really judging the referees more this year. I watched two games yesterday where teams with smaller audiences had games stolen from them by the officiating. It's a true shame that ratings are so important that honesty in officiating is secondary.
      The plane ... well I'm sure they'll find something to ramble on about. They always do, even if they have to sensationalize it to make it interesting. :) As far as Phelps is concerned, well, if it's good for the goose ...
      Many Thanks ... and you have a great week, too!

  9. Enlightening and hilarious as usual. Mostly the fruitflies and the Don't Fly Planes into Towers Sign.
    But it's the waterbed that I find most amusing. I don't think I've even seen one since the early 80s. FIELD TRIP!

    1. Jen - Hello, old friend! Glad you enjoyed this. Yes, we still have waterbeds in the house. Love them!!! I actually managed a waterbed store right after getting out of comedy and got hooked on them. No pressure points, warm in winter and cool in summer ... what more could you ask for? Gotta be motionless, though. Full motion is only for the ocean. Many Thanks!