Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Pothole

I was almost knocked unconscious by the impact I made on a pothole on East 22nd Street on downtown Cleveland this morning. Being a responsible member of my community, I dropped my appropriate government employee a quick letter to get this situation resolved. I would think this will be handled by lunch tomorrow...


Randell T. Scott
Assistant Director of Streets
Cleveland City Hall
601 Lakeside Ave
Room 25
Cleveland OH 44115

Mr. Scott,

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to alert you to a couple of potholes on East 22nd Street between Woodland and Carnegie. I would imagine that you are probably already aware of them, as the only way two holes of this size could have been created is undoubtedly by some sort of mortar attack on downtown Cleveland. Truthfully, I don’t remember any media coverage of The City of Cleveland bearing the brunt of some sort of clandestine guerrilla military action, but I do travel frequently and perhaps it just slipped past my notice. The world is a dangerous place, and things happen in seemingly random fashion. How else can you explain things like credit default swaps, chimp attacks, and the continued musical career of Kiss?

Normally I don’t write letters to government offices. Frankly, who has the time? However, I did hit that nasty hole in the center lane at 25 mph this morning and became concerned I lost my left rear molar on impact. That would have been a real shame. Not just because it would have significantly lessened my ability to effectively chew food, but also because I have spent a ton of dough on a crown back there. It’s not like I could go into the dentist and ask for some kind of refund with my broken tooth in hand. Plus, I’m the kind of guy that likes to chew on an apple every now and again. That becomes much less enjoyable with a gaping hole in your jaw where your molar used to be comfortably anchored.

Incredibly, I consider myself somewhat lucky. Pothole number two is the one to have real concerns about, the one by the manhole cover next to the Juvenile Court. If a child falls in there, you may need to send out some sort of rescue helicopter with a winch, or maybe a team of expert cave explorers to get that kid out of there. Sure, some of those kids filing into court do have a real scent of lifelong failure to them, but you never know. They could turn it around. It probably does give those little rascals in their “court ties” a moment of levity before facing the music inside court though. “Hey, it could be worse. I could have fallen into that crevice and never be heard from again. Now let me go in that courtroom and turn my life around!”

Hopefully you can send a crew out there and get that taken care of. Yes, I know the city infrastructure is crumbling like downtown Havana. Yes, there aren’t enough resources. I know. I work in Midtown where I stare out the window at the mentally ill, economically challenged and the undeniable criminal element. Still, I have to think we can at least meet the standards of a Third World country in quality of roads, no? On a long list of priorities, can you move this particular issue closer to the top?


Greg Miller
P.O. Box 771101
Lakewood OH 44107

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nurse the Hate: The Chimp Situation

My number one concern right now is with this Chimp Situation. I used to be concerned primarily about heart disease, cancer, car crashes, and of course, giant squid. Now it's all about preparing against what is probably an inevitable chimp attack. Sure, many of you reading this think you are immune. "Well, I live in a small Midwestern city. There's no chance a chimp will attack me." You better wake and smell the coffee Brother. These chimps are out there, and they don't fuck around.

It was Krusty that re-alerted me to this Chimp Situation. We all know about that woman that had her face ripped off and went on Oprah. That's small potatoes. National Geographic had run some hour program focused on chimps and how they eat kids and attack anything they can get their hands on in Sierra Leone. You think I'm kidding? Everyone that lives out there is scared shitless of these things. Example: A guy named Melvin Mammah lost half his hand and if not for his friend Gary Brown in the car freaking out like the Incredible Hulk, he would have had his face chewed off. These guys were sightseeing at the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary and ran into a chimp in the road. The chimp charged and tore off the side mirror and broke through the back windshield. "It was like the glass wasn't even there," he said. Brown said he's 5-foot-9 and weighs more than 200 pounds, and the chimp probably outweighed him. "He had every bit two-inch fangs, and he was screaming like a banshee when he was charging us." The chimp "went across the top of the car, and that's when it was just a flurry trying to get away from it. Melvin got pulled out of the car by it." Mammah fought the chimp off but not before the chimp bit off half of his hand, Brown said.

Here's the part that's the real issue. The chimp fights dirty. Real dirty. Their first move is to rip your fingers off your hand so you can't fight back. Then they rip off your testicles. After that they plunge their fingers into your eyes and rip your face off. I don't know about you, but I'm not real excited about waving two bloody stumps around while a wild chimp rips my testicles off. After he rips off my nutsack, he plunges his fingers into my eyes? So the last thing I ever see is a screeching chimp holding my bloody bag in his hands? No way. Not me.

I think you need a firearm with some real power to knock down a chimp. I'm thinking a .44. Something that is at least a semi automatic so you can keep pumping shots into him because he's gonna keep coming. But what if you miss? That's when our graphic artist Will Ruocco came up with the idea of a "Chimp Cup". I see it as some sort of metal cod piece that will protect against the fevered low blows of a crazed chimp. That's a pretty good stand alone idea, but what about your hands and eyes? Really, we need to develop some sort of anti-chimp suit. Maybe a helmet like an astronaut would wear that would have a really strong visor. You'll probably also need some metal mittens. A glove would leave the fingers exposed, and who wants to look like a three fingered guy that survived an industrial accident while he was high from smoking weed on his break. Plus, the thing has to be comfortable. You don't want to get caught changing into your chimp suit in a downtown parking lot by three wayward chimps. You want to be able to walk around town at all times with your chimp suit on, and have your sidearm strapped comfortably on your side.

The Giant Squid has long been a great concern of mine while on my kayak on Lake Erie. There are attacks that go unreported every year. I am certain of it. However, this chimp situation is much more dire. It was then I thought of the spectre of a chimp in a kayak rowing like a madman towards me, pissed off and hungry to rip off my testicles. I mean, they train these things to ride bicycles and pretend to play guitar in TV Shows like Lancelot Link, right? How much of a stretch would it be for them to learn to kayak? It's not like flying a plane for God's sake. Plus, these chimps usually act in groups. So now I'm out in my kayak, previously only concerned about Giant Squid, and suddenly I have three pissed off chimps paddling like crazy towards me. They allegedly have five times the upper arm strength of a man, so I'm guessing they can make some pretty good time in the water. I just hope I can blow a hole in their chimp kayaks with my sidearm before they get to me. I like my chances in a kayak, carefully shooting flailing chimps in Lake Erie while I glide safely out of their reach. I can't picture them as great swimmers, and the chance of them having life jackets on is probably pretty slim.

The key is to get that chimp suit built before Spring breaks. I figure I can get a sidearm in a few weeks after I fill out some forms and show The Authorities I'm not crazy, but just prepared. We can't live in fear of The Chimp, but we must be prepared for The Chimp.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Exciting New Band Concept

It has recently become crystal clear that to succeed in today's music business, you must cater to a very specific audience. While some bands zero in on such fringe groups as the goth scene, reggaetron, or death metal, I feel this is just too broad. The key is to "superserve" a small cult audience that loves your every move. That is why the idea has been floated around the van of late to become the #1 band on the planet for numismatists (or coin collectors).

We will call ourselves The Numismatists, and write coin collecting songs. That's the easy part. "Give Me Some Indian Head (Pennies)"... "Fill My Nickel Hole"... "You're Very Fine To Excellent"... and it's sister song "You're Fine Like a Mercury Dime". They practically write themselves. Why struggle to get good gigs at places like the Beachland, Northside, and Schuba's when you can start playing Coin Shows at VFW Halls on Saturday and Sunday afternoons? The audience is already built in! Now let's talk about merchandise.. We'll sell the CDs for $65. Now you might think that is expensive, but not when you factor in we will place a "rare and valuable coin" in every copy sold. I can visualize coin books with our logos on them. Official Numismatists Coin Price Guideline Books. We will stand at the back of the room at our merch table, which will also feature a rotating display case filled with Buffalo Nickels, Mercury Dimes, and the occasional 1909 S Lincoln head penny. Each band member will have a magnifying glass so we can offer free evaluations of fan's coin collections after shows. We'll build strong personal relationships with fans, putting our arms around a shoulder while asking, "How's your collection Joe? Did you find that 1943 steel penny yet?"

Krusty thought all this was a good idea, but he became concerned about carrying large and bulky coin displays. "What about my plantar fasciitis?" Yes, a long history of wearing boots on stage will catch up with you in pesky foot problems. It was evident that we would have to bring a podiatry specialist with us on the road. But why pay to have him there just to tend to Krusty's feet? Why not use this as yet another revenue stream? The logical thing to do would be to do ingrown toenail removals back by the merchandise area. That way a coin collector could get a nasty ingrown big toenail chopped out while having his entire collection reviewed by Leo at the same time! Why not get a foot exam while Gary determines if your 1971 Kennedy half dollar is "good" or "very good"?

There is probably a downside. We would have to get a trailer for sure. Those podiatrists chairs must be bulky as hell. Plus the coins aren't going to be easy to load in and out at every show. Then there is the question if Ken's podiatrist will fit in with us on the road. The last thing I want to hear if we're listening to the Stones "Exile On Main Street" driving around in the van is a podiatrist leaning in from the backseat saying, "You know, Bill Wyman actually has very wide feet. Not a lot of people know that." That's going to ruin the mood, you know. Plus there might be some legal issues with a podiatrist drinking beer, injecting people with local anesthesia and then performing minor foot surgeries in a setting like an old VFW Hall. We'll have to figure that part out. The rest of the plan seems really solid though.

Quick Note: Jay Cutler sure caught a lot of crap, and even some from me yesterday as I had my hard earned money on him in the NFC Championship game. I don't doubt the guy got hurt, but he sure doesn't do himself many favors as he waltzes around the sideline with a bored expression and frat boy smirk on his face. It's hard to root for a guy that is transparently a douche, and I don't like to use the word "douche" since I think it's lazy. Still, that is the word that really seems to fit him to a "T", isn't it?... I hit the Steelers hard on the money line on the late game. Boy, they sure do win ugly, don't they? Regardless, a win is a win.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Health Care

I spend most of my time getting coughed on and sneezed upon from early autumn until about Easter. I am surrounded by as many sick people as a guy pulling a Bubonic Plague death cart in Elizabethan England. Shockingly I recently acquired an annoying sinus infection. A guy like me can't have these sort of infections, as I need to scream into microphones every now and again, and then immediately walk outside into 7 degree weather with a sweaty head. You do that with an existing sinus problem, and you become Tom Waits with a horrific fever. Then you die alone in a room with a rubber privacy curtain. The flickering images of the Ellen DeGeneres Show on a TV mounted on a wall bracket will be the last thing you see. This is a scenario I am actively trying to avoid.

A guy like me has health coverage. No worries. I will just stop on in to see the doctor, get some pills, and get right. Bam. It's just that easy.

Instead I did the following. 1) I go to see my primary care physician so I can get a referral to the Ear/Nose/Throat specialist. 2) I call the office to set up an appointment with this doctor. I am placed on hold for 20 minutes. I get an appointment 3 weeks later. 3) I wait 3 weeks and go to the appointment. The office visit lasts approximately seven minutes. He prescribes a spray for me, and calls it into my pharmacy. 4) I go to the pharmacy. They don't have any record of the medicine being called in. 5) I call the doctor's office. I am placed on hold for 20 minutes. They promise to call it back in. I leave the pharmacy without the medicine 6) I go back to the pharmacy the next day. The medicine is there, but they have no record of my insurance coverage. The spray, made by Bausch and Lomb, cost $54 without insurance. I leave without the spray and attempt to find my new insurance card. 7) I cannot find my new insurance card. 8) I talk to the HR person at work to find out how to get a copy of my card. She refers me to an 800 number. 9) I call the 800 number. They direct me to a website. 10) I go to the website. I can't log in to print out a temporary insurance card because I don't have my group number, which is, of course, on the insurance card. 11) I call the 800 number again to get the group number. 12) I print out a new insurance card. 13) I go back to the pharmacy to get the medicine. The insurance card is presented, but according to their printout, I don't have coverage for any prescriptions. This is incorrect, as I know I have coverage. That means I have to 14) call the 800 number again to find out why this is showing up that way on my plan. I am told I have to call yet another 800 number for the company that handles this portion of my health coverage. 15) I call the other 800 number, and put them in touch with the good people at CVS. 16) I get the medicine. It costs me $39 out the door. It probably costs 48 cents to produce. It took 31 days from the onset of the first symptoms.

I got sick in France once. In France, they have pharmacies where a person is on staff to give you what you need based on your problem. The idea is to have someone with medical training on hand in the same place as the actual medicine so you can make it a one stop trip for smaller medical problems like say, a sinus infection. Here is the process... I walked in, described what was wrong, and she gave me pills. It took about 15 minutes and cost about 15 euros.

People get real worked up about the health care situation in this country. I have no idea if the Obama Administration is trying to fix the problem the right way or not. I'm not really sure how to even install a light switch, so I have no idea about a complex issue like this. All I know is that anyone that is not trying to fix the situation is either getting paid really well by lobbyists, or is making a kazillion dollars with the current game. Does it really have to be so fucking hard to get medical attention? I can literally buy anything I can dream up and have it delivered to my house in 24 hours. A bass boat? Check. A gorilla costume? Check. Angry German pornography? Check. The exhumed corpse of Gavin McLeod? Probably. Yet, I can't get simple medication until I complete this Chinese Fire Drill. There has to be a better way.

Quick notes: I like Pittsburgh at home as long as you can get them at -3. That extra half point could kill you at 3.5... Everyone I hear thinks the Packers are going to win on Sunday. Seriously, is there anyone outside of Chicago that is talking up the Bears? Yes, Jay Cutler is probably a big douche. Yes, they are not an impressive team on paper. But everyone is on the Packers. That is why I am on Chicago +3.5 at home. The Bears with points at home in a Playoff game? Why not?... I got a great deal on some bottles of 2005 Ahnfeldt Merlot at $22 per. I guess the winery wanted to move some cases quietly, and made this superdeal price available online at a few places. Really big complex merlot for the money... Kudos to the folks at Sam Adams for the seasonal Pils they have just released. Having drunk my way around Bavaria, I gotta say that this beer can hang with the good local stuff from there. Highly recommended to fans of Pilsner Urquel.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Nurse the Hate: True Las Vegas Story #1

We were staying at the Stratosphere in Vegas, after a comp 2-day run at Caesars. I was with Stacky, the most degenerate gambler in a town filled with people so sick that gambling at a video poker machine at a gas station isn’t considered a cry for help. Stacky was on quite a roll, even for him. He had really committed to his philosophy of vacationing, staying awake for as long as possible since he could “sleep when he gets home”. This lack of sleep and copious alcohol intake had led to some rather dubious choices on the tables of the Vegas Strip.

For the past two days Stacky had wandered over to any game and wagered heavily, despite the fact that in many cases he had no idea how to even play the game, much less a strategy to win. There was Pai Gow Poker at 330am in the Bellagio with a table full of chain-smoking Cambodians. A horrific run at baccarat in the Mirage with two stone faced Japanese couples. Massive losses at “Let It Ride” with coked up Southern California frat boys. A small ass beating at “War” in the Imperial Palace with dry wall hangers and their peroxide blonde girlfriends. He even admitted to losing $50 on that money wheel, which I believe is exclusively played by Eastern European group tours and senior citizens on portable oxygen tanks.

After 42 hours awake and losing money, he finally hit the wall. He shuffled out to the pool with an armful of sports book info and promptly passed out on a lounge chair in the searing May sun. It should be noted that Stacky has the pigmentation of a cavefish or pasty member of the Pogues. This is a guy that really should have committed to the strongest sunscreen available to consumers, or perhaps even a HAZMAT suit. He had neither. Regardless, he slept for a strong 2-3 hours without stirring. By the time night fell in Vegas, the red glow coming off Stacky was slightly brighter than the glow of the signage at the Flamingo. Undaunted, he kept his evening appointment in the spa for a “salt scrub”… Can you imagine?

We were forced to move to the Stratosphere (or “Strat-Mo-Fere”) after bungling our reservations. For some reason, we didn’t book Saturday, and by the time we figured it out, all the plum properties were gone. We even took a hard look at some hotels in the proximity of where we wanted to be like Circus Circus and the Frontier. What was the difference where the room was since Stacky was just keeping his shitty Shockenstien suitcase in it anyway? Certainly a place somewhere near Caesars or the Bellagio would have availability. No dice. It was the Strat-Mo-Fere for us. Stacky decided he should probably get out of town that night on a red eye since he was down so much money American Express had threatened to cut off his mother’s ear if he didn’t show back up at home with some cash soon.

We decided to build a firm base for heavy drinking and get an actual meal in us. We ate at some horrible faux 50s diner in the hotel that immediately upset our stomachs. Why we decided to head to the observation deck and ride the “Big Shot”, I’ll never be sure. The Big Shot is described as a “thrill ride that catapults 16 riders from the 921-foot high platform up the Tower's mast to a height of 1,081 feet and down again. Before you catch your breath, you'll be shot back up again at forces unmatched by other Vegas thrill parks! Experience a gut-wrenching four 'G's of force on the way up, and feel negative 'G's on the way down as your legs dangle in the Las Vegas skyline.” This is not a good idea for a couple of guys that are concerned about the potentially explosive gastrointestinal situation rapidly developing in their bowels.

As we were strapped into the ride, I remember Stacky saying to me, “I’m gonna shit.” I said, “What? Are you freaking out about the ride?” He then looked at me like I was crazy, and said “No, I’m really going to shit!”. Seconds later we were shot 1,081 feet into the air with the force of 4 Gs. Moments after that, the ride stopped and he ran like a man late for a flight at an airport and yelled “Where’s the men’s room? Where’s the men’s room?” to anyone in the general vicinity. When he finally emerged from the men’s a long while later, he had a look of complacency I hadn’t seen on him in days. He was back.

We hit the casino, and I lost Stacky instantly. God knows where he was blowing the last of his cash. Keno? Scratch off lottery tickets? I hung out at a roulette wheel with a couple lady friends of mine and had this bizarre run of four spins in a row where I predicted exactly what the number would be in the resulting spin. I was like a low rent Nostradomus, but a really stupid version. I didn’t actually play the wheel since I am more of a blackjack/sportsbook man despite the fact it felt like I was watching a TV show that I had already seen. The ladies did win a staggering amount of money at a 36-1 return. Oh well.

It was almost time for Stacky to hightail it to the airport, and I went to find him to toss him in a cab. He was at a roulette wheel with a decent sized stack of chips. Of course, he didn’t want to leave. “C’mon man. I’m getting hot!” After a conversation that was reminiscent of those that must have been held at a Leif Garret intervention, he finally agreed to leave. “One more bet though before I go.” He moved his entire stack of chips to “33” in honor of the 5017 Rolling Rocks he had drunk that weekend. And the fucking thing hit… An avalanche of chips was moved to him and he colored up. He walked over to the cage to cash in and walked towards me counting off a stack of crisp 100s. He finished counting, stared and me and said flatly, “I’m up $36 for the trip”.

I jumped in the cab with him to make sure he actually got on the plane. He had to be handled like Johnny Thunders in a major city before a big concert. “OK Stacky…What are you going to do? You are going to walk right over to the gate, sit in a chair, and get in the plane. You are not going to be a fucking chump and blow your money on the slots in the airport. Right?”

I left him at the front doors of the airport. He lost $200 on the airport slots and got on the plane.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Car Trouble

I went to see PiL at the Cleveland Agora in 1987. I was pretty excited about it because I had never seen Jon Lydon before, and their new record at the time, "Happy?" I thought was pretty good. I don't think I have listened to it since 1987, but at the time it seemed cool... As a student at Kent State, my roommate Brian and I would have to drive the hour or so from campus to Cleveland to the venue. This would not be an issue as Brian had just recently acquired a car from his Uncle. Named "The Sock", for the unmistakable odor that hit you like a 2X4 when you entered the car, it was still a big upgrade from his previous car. I believe it was a Chevy Citation, but it's hard to recall exactly. It was hard to think about anything but the odor. The car smelled like a pile of sweaty clothes abandoned in a small gym locker. There was some back story about how the car had been involved in a monsoon, but a more likely explanation was his Uncle may used it to transport dead hitchhikers to shallow graves. After the police started nosing around his house, he probably gave the car to Brian as a "gift". Who knows? Still, it was free transportation and it had a Sparkomatic cassette deck. We rocked out to PiL and mixed tapes on the way up.

The show was really good. As weird as it sounds, I think Steve Vai played guitar. Afterwards, I ran into an old girlfriend, and we had a horrible fight in the lobby of the Agora. It was a very dramatic thing in a 20 year old's life. When Brian and I drove home, you can be certain I referred to her as a "psycho". She was actually probably just self absorbed and focused exclusively on her immediate needs, much as I was then and arguably now. No matter, at that time I voiced my concerns about her mental stability and her inability to stop living in the past (or some other position I had taken planted firmly on the Moral High Ground). The drive home would be running The Gauntlet, because I know we had both drank about 74 draft beers at the show. Driving home was a real suicide run through every law enforcement target area in the State of Ohio. Still, The Sock seemed like a good craft and I assumed that Brian couldn't have possibly been as drunk as I was sitting in the passenger seat.

When the red oil light went on, we treated it like a minor curiosity. "Hey, do you remember that oil light being on before?" Having been driving around in his previous car, The Seedmobile, for over a year with every possible part broken, this oil light thing didn't seem like a big deal. Hell, The Seedmobile had no functioning steering and we drove it everywhere. The car was so out of alignment that when you pressed the gas, you literally had to wrestle it to the left or pile drive into whatever was on your immediate right. The gas gauge was so off that if you got in the car with a quarter tank and drove for a half hour, you then somehow left the car with a half tank of gas. Yes, it was a car that gained gas the more you drove it. When the entire electrical system failed in a cloud of blueish flame, we knew it was time to move on from The Seedmobile. I think it was a 2 door AMC Eagle... It wasn't a great car per se, but it gave us all it had.

So here we were in The Sock on I-77 South around Newburg Hts when the engine died at about 1am. We coasted off to the side of the highway and tried to re-start it. Nothing. Shit, this wasn't good. We had no idea where the next exit was, so we climbed up the embankment to see if we could work our way to a pay phone to call a buddy to come get us. (Editor's Note... This is 1987. Only Gordon Gekko had a cell phone. We weren't Gordon Gekko. We were two dudes driving around in a car that smelled like a soiled pair of underpants. We had to walk to a phone.) When we got to the top of the hill, we discovered a fence we had to climb over. That's when I sprained my ankle jumping the fence. Cursing and limping, we made our way to the Newburg Hts Police Station, right on the corner.

Why two drunk guys wanted to tell a building full of cops that they had just fucked their car up while driving on the highway, I don't know. But the Good Lord does look out for Fools. The tired officer on desk duty squawked through the bulletproof glass of the lobby to "use that pay phone and call a tow truck". We didn't have any money for a tow truck, so we called our roommate Jeff. Jeff came to get us in his girlfriend's two seat 300Z. With his girlfriend riding shotgun. That left no other option for Brian and I than to both climb into the back hatch and hope the hatch would shut. After 4 tries, it did. It was a long 45 minute drive back to safe harbor.

The next day was grim. We were both banged up. My ankle was swollen to the size of a butternut squash. The Sock was dead of a seized engine. I guess one of us should have put some oil in there. Brian tried to drop a new engine in there later, but it was never the same. He later sold it to some pimply faced kid with a Quiet Riot patch on his jean jacket for about $1000. After the argument incident in the Agora lobby, my old girlfriend started fucking one of my other roommates to get back at me. I remember hearing her orgasmic moans coming through the vents as I listened to the second side of The Replacements "Let It Be" in my attic room about two weeks later. Even though I knew she was putting on a show for my benefit, it still was pretty disheartening.

I never would have even thought about any of this if not for finding a CD copy of PiL's "Happy?" last week. I listened to it in my car. My car ran perfectly, and the sound system is really killer. Ironically, I drove right past the spot where we had broken down 23 years ago. But you know what? I think that PiL record sounded better in The Sock.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Fantasy Football Talk

What is more boring? Listening to people discuss their fantasy football team or listening to people describe their dreams? Please note, by "dreams", I don't mean "Walk on the Moon", "Play Bass with Reverend Horton Heat" or "Catch the World's Largest Fish". I mean the kind you have at night while sleeping. As in, "I was walking down a hallway that was like, this room kind of like my bedroom when I was a kid, but different... You know what I mean? And then Mrs. Wieslogal, my third grade teacher came in the room, and she told me to pick up my fingerpaints. The problem was I didn't have any fingerpaints, and then when I looked down at my hands, they weren't my hands but someone else's. The I heard a knock on the door, and my teeth fell out. Oh yeah, you were in it too. And you were naked."

Nobody wants to hear this, especially if you were the person naked in the dream. Even more so if the person recalling the dream is a co-worker or same sex friend. We have all politely nodded our heads while this type of story is told, and maybe even attempted to offer some armchair psychoanalysis. "Well, I think the fingerpaints represent your unhappiness with your relationship with your parents. Mrs. Wieslogal is your childhood, and the loss of teeth is the end of innocence. That part about me being naked is just really fucked up man..." Regardless of how this shakes out, it is interesting to almost no one, like a Yoko Ono record or Brendan Fraser movie. The whole topic should be avoided.

However this pales in comparison to talking about your Fantasy Football team. I have been at gatherings for months where men excitedly talk in great detail to other men about combinations of players they have in their quest for their mythical league title. You can tell when these conversations are happening because the female companions of these guys all have a glazed look on their faces like they have just ingested a roofie. Another sign is to look at the guy listening, because he is just pretending to listen until he can start rattling of statistics about his own fantasy team. No one cares about anyone else's fantasy team but their own. There is one exception to this, and that is when one of your friend's players has suffered a debilitating injury and you are the one that gets to break the news. "Hey Dave, you watching the late game? Oh, you're not. Hmmm.... I guess you don't know that Frank Gore just broke his hip then! HaHaHaHa!!!! (click)"

Make no mistake. When Frank Gore broke his hip, the only ones that cared were the Gores (Frank especially I would imagine), Frank Gore "owners", and maybe a few 49er fans. There were ten times that many people calling fellow Fantasy Football geeks and dancing on the X-rays. It's a sick world. I wish it wasn't, but it is.

Now that the NFL season is winding down, hopefully we will be rid of this pox for at least 8 months. Let's all channel this energy into discussing great books, music, or film. Let's discuss the merits of a 1975 Chateau Mouton Rothchild. Or perhaps a nice chewy Booker syrah. A Three Floyd's Gumball Head. The wait for a new Cormac McCarthy novel. Or maybe just the merits of Hillbilly Casino covering "Detroit Rock City" if Nic wants to grab a smoke. And I am not just saying that because Frank Gore was on my team.

Important Note: I love the Jets +3 over Indy this week and Baltimore -3 over Kansas City. That Jet line will move because of all the heavy NY action that will flood in, so grab the points now while you can. They will win outright. Also, this KC team is not ready to play a veteran team like Baltimore in the Playoffs. Baltimore wins a close game and covers (hopefully)...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate The NFL Week 16

The last week of the NFL season is what separates the real degenerates from the casual gambler. Most of the teams running out onto the field today have absolutely nothing to play for, and locker rooms are filled with plane tickets to Cancun and Hawaii. Guys in the final year of contracts are hoping not to snap a knee, and are not focused on scoring a late otherwise meaningless TD to cover the spread. Any sane human being would walk away from everything but that sorry ass Seattle v St Louis game today. Of course, with yet another horrible day of weather settling in here in Northeast Ohio, I expect to be in up to my eyeballs on ill advised action.

Let's take a look...

The New York Giants have folded up like cheap circus tent. It is well known that players all hate Tom Coughlin. Who wouldn't? He's one of those "if you are on time to my meeting you are 10 minutes late" guys. Hey man, if you want me here at 2:50 instead of 3:00, just tell me, OK? Coughlin is always walking around with the angry gym teacher look, and not too many people like hanging out with the angry gym teacher. I think the Giants get knocked out of the playoffs after the 1pm games, and then phone it in for a final nail in the coffin loss to Washington. The players will all secretly meet later at BW-3 to celebrate Coughlin's firing with chips and cheese. Take Washington +4.

It is believed Cleveland needs to win today to save Eric (formerly "Mangenius") Mangini's job. I don't think the players give a shit if he comes back next year. In fact, it is my understanding that the players don't care if he breaks his back in an off season para sailing mishap in the Bahamas. The Browns play hard every week though. It's too bad they don't play "hard and well". Because playing "well" is usually important when playing Pittsburgh. There is this weird public sentiment out there that the Browns are going to sack up and win today. I have no idea where that comes from. They are 1-6 in their last seven versus the spread. Pittsburgh needs to win this game and will. Take Pittsburgh -5.

The 7-8 Rams head to the 6-9 Seattle Seahawks to play for the NFC West crown and a playoff berth. This is merely a prelude to betting the house on whoever plays these guys in the first round of the playoffs. Both teams really blow, but when you are focusing on a terrible team, it is hard to take your eye off Seattle. Seattle has been outscored 294-174 in the second half of the season. Seattle is 1-5 against the spread in their last six. They are starting some guy at quarterback that was working at a Seattle's Best coffee shack two weeks ago, and was signed when he was seen throwing a Shins CD at some dude that ordered a "double skinny mochachino". Ok, I made that last part up, but you get the idea. Seattle=not too good. It should be noted however that the Rams aren't exactly the 85 Bears. Still, they are 6-0 vs teams with a losing record (which actually means they beat SF twice, Seattle, Arizona, Detroit, and Carolina). Hell, that's good enough for me. I'm taking St Louis -3 in an ill advised play.

As always, remember I have no idea what I am talking about.