Sunday, February 27, 2011

Nurse the Hate: The Academy Awards

As a known degenerate, I look for opportunities to gamble on things that might slip under the radar. Like my triumphant Miss USA grand slam a few years ago (Thank you Miss Texas!), you can find lines on events you never dreamed of. Tonight, the Academy Awards presents a sterling opportunity for savvy bettors to make a quick buck. The key to this awards show is to understand what these people are looking for in giving the award. What has happened in the past. And the golden rule of giving the award to characters with physical afflictions...

I have put a tidy sum on Colin Firth to win best actor in the otherwise forgettable "King's Speech". This is one of those movies that people giving these types of awards get VERY excited about. A character with a stutter? It's ideal. It gives the person casting the ballot the opportunity to feel good about themselves by casting a vote for someone with a physical disability. "Oh, what a horrible affliction. Can you imagine how poorly others must have treated that poor man!" At the same time, they can also pontificate about The Craft being exhibited by the actor. "Why, if I didn't know better, I would think that Mr. Firth had a speech problem. Jolly good!"

Now let's throw in that this film is a period piece. Somehow, movies seem more important if they are based in the past. They are more important still if everyone has a British accent. Everyone you know was more entertained by The Social Network, which wasn't even that good either. However, since it is about some nerdy guy with a shitty personality that made a kazillion dollars, no one wants to give that any more notice. "Hmm... The Social Network was good, but why does Mark Zuckerberg live in a mink castle and I live in 2000 square feet by a former cast member of Saved By the Bell? Best Picture my ass! What was the name of that movie with the stuttering British aristocrat? That's the vote..."

It's just like the all time example of "The English Patient". Only now years later can we admit that nobody liked that movie. It was about as pleasant as a rectal exam given by a thick fingered army doctor. However, everyone voted for it because it seemed "important" somehow. Trust me, it's that god damn British accent that tricks people.

I will also take a flier on Melissa Leo at -200 on best supporting actress in "The Fighter". Folks like to feel good about voting for someone that represents "The Common Working People". While everyone that attends that event and makes the votes likes the idea of lower class neighborhoods, salt of the earth, shot and a beer people, in fact this is about as close as any of them will ever get. Well, that would not include if they talk to their landscaper, but you get the idea. The ballots will swing "Working Class" instead of "The Kid" from True Grit. Kids don't get awards as they figure, "She's just a kid. She's happy just to be here. After she earns her stripes, we'll give her an award." Love that Melissa Leo at -200.

I don't know if I will actually watch the awards show. It seems like the best way to watch this show is with some extremely bitchy flamboyantly gay men that will make fun of everyone's outfit. However, let it be known that my interest level will be the same as theirs thanks to the never ending goodness of the online sports book. I wonder what Melissa Leo will be wearing...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Pre-Planning

I very seldom open direct mail that comes to my home. It’s like a little game I play. If I even think it may be a piece of junk mail, I toss it without opening it. This policy may have something to do with the fact I have claimed to have “never received” my pharmacy card from my health insurance company, my last three car insurance bills, or any magazine subscription renewal. Those were undoubtedly thrown away with hardly a glance. However, yesterday I couldn’t help but open the hard paper stock Memorial Gardens offer of a free cemetery plot, a $650 value the brochure breathlessly exclaimed! If I would just respond to this offer, I would also get an absolutely free “Pre-Planning Guide”.

My “pre-planning” is pretty much relegated to insisting that no one dresses my corpse up in a 1972 Oakland A’s uniform for a wake, and not having any Jethro Tull played at the service. This is because I am a practical man with good taste. I’m not really too concerned about a grave site, as I have a hard time envisioning a grieving widow or my brother swinging by after the box was dropped in the ground. That's not so much a reflection of me though. There’s just not a lot of action at Memorial Gardens. Maybe they should put some sand volleyball courts and a tiki bar in over there. That would greatly improve visitation I would imagine. “Hey, let’s go visit Greg’s grave, play some volleyball, and have a mai tai! Losers buy!”

My favorite part of the whole direct mail piece was the smiling family. The parents were elderly, yet still active. The children are middle aged, ghoulishly looking on with a grin. “Hey Pop! Why don’t we make sure you and Mom are buried together, and while we’re at it let’s update your will. Carol and I would hate to see any confusion with your estate if you were to die unexpectedly. Heaven forbid…” Meanwhile the kid is clearly running plans through his head about turning Dad's workshop into a man cave with 53 inch high def TV. I also liked the photo in that it subtly implied that if the kids were to pass away (insert “Heaven Forbid”), the parents would remain their upbeat smiling selves. It's all good at Memorial Gardens! Plan now and laugh it up later!

Still, it does point to an existing problem for me. I really need to get a will together. That way I can handle "pre-planning" my own way. Off the top of my head, I will have myself cremated while my "estate" pays for Roky Erickson to play "Fire Engine" live. I'd even let him sell merch afterwards to help defray costs. "Dude! Killer Roky Erickson shirt? Where'd you get it? Greg Miller's funeral! Kickass! I read about that in Scene!" Well, who am I kidding? That might be out of my "Estate's" budget. Maybe getting a Jimi Hendrix impersonator to play "Fire" would be more pragmatic. Still, that's better than a bad cassette recording of "Amazing Grace" tinnily warbling out of two wall mounted speakers. Nobody is buying merchandise at that gig.

I would then insist my ashes be scattered in a series of horrifyingly inconvenient places by "dear friends" as indicated in my will. My lawyer will contact people I was once close to, and send them on wild missions across the Globe with mini Glad sandwich bags filled with my ashes. It's almost like I would take these select few on a mini vacation to a place they never would have gone to otherwise. If we remained close up until the last revision of the will, I'd send you out to the Cinque Terre in Italy , St Emilion in France, or Horseshoe Beach in Bermuda. Hell, I'll pick up the tab and put you and a guest up in a nice hotel. You can make a long weekend out of it.

However, let's say I have an axe to grind. If we might have fallen out of touch, or perhaps had some unresolved conflict, I would send you to a Godforsaken town in Uzbekistan or maybe someplace equally horrifying like Daytona Beach during Bike Week. In that case I would make it contingent that you stay in a pop up camper or discount hostel in the case of Uzbekistan. I am envisioning the kind of hostel where even if you wore boots in the shower, your toes would get a black fungus just because you were in the general area. (You may not want to cross me in the next few weeks while I get this Last Will and Testament together. Unless you enjoy the splendors of the Mexican City ghetto that is...)

There are probably some key details I have forgotten about in making all this happen after my untimely demise. That's why I am going to be just like the .03% of Americans that respond to direct mail and send away for my Free Pre-Planning Guide. It is for my convenience and piece of mind you know... While you have that nagging feeling in the back of your skull that not everything is just right, I will be serene. Thanks to my Free Pre-Planning Guide that is.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nurse the Hate: The Dog Decision

The search for the new basset hound began last October. There is something about having this particular breed of dog around me that helps keep me in possession of being "myself". I have always found that when the world around you tumbles down, these dogs will keep you together. It's a very calming influence on me. I have had three basset hounds now, and Dexter, my last one, was the best dog I ever had. I loved that dog so much. Losing him was a much tougher blow than I could have imagined. I was more crushed when I lost him than almost anything I have ever been through. I felt responsible somehow. He depended on us for everything, and there was certainly nothing more we could have done to improve his time with us. Still, it felt like I had failed him.

Time has passed, and I felt ready for a new basset. I miss the rhythms of having a dog in the house. Frankly, I need one. But why the basset you ask? These dogs are unlike any other breed. As I have noted before, the basset considers himself to be someone that is equal to you, but is in no real hurry to actually press for being the one that handles any projects in the house. It's like having the weird Uncle living in your house that offers everyone advice on how to handle everything, but has been living in the basement unemployed since the Carter Administration. Throw in the fact that bassets are kinda crazy looking, and are very loving, and you have a winner of a dog.

One of the real plus sides of the Internet is to be able to check out dogs and breeders online, instead of driving three hours to discover that the "basset breeder" you were going to see was in fact a hillbilly with some inbred beagle/basset mixes. It's actually sort of amazing what some people are trying to pass off as "pure bred basset hounds". Having had a long history with the breed, I know what the dog is supposed to look like. It didn't take long to narrow the field down to two potential breeders. As luck would have it, one of the two breeders was scheduled to have a litter in late December. After being vetted by the breeder and her extended family, it was agreed that I could get the first choice of the boys. The litter arrived, and it was a huge one. There were 13 puppies in total with 7 of them being boys.

Selecting a dog isn't like picking an item from the Extra Value Menu at Wendy's. This decision will effect you for the next 10-14 years. You better make sure and not blow it. We've all been to friend's homes with lousy dogs. Nobody wants to have the dog that humps everyone's leg while the guests nervously laugh "Heh-heh-heh" while hoping someone stops the spectacle immediately. Or how about the skittish dog that barks at guests from the other room, while the owner yells "Rosie! Stop!" to no effect? You want a dog that is interesting, and can hang out. A dog that greets guests, gets a pat on the head, and then chills the fuck out.

I made the seven and a half hour journey to select the basset last Thursday. The seven boys had been narrowed down to three for serious consideration. My plan was to sit in a room with just those three, interact with them, and make the call based on what I saw.

This is JJ. JJ is the best looking of the three. He already looks like an old man with a membership to an Old Guard social club like The Union Club. He seems like he would be at home in a place with high backed leather chairs, where he would sip expensive scotch brought to him by starched white jacketed waiters that would call him "Mr. JJ". Something about this guy seemed a little too aloof for me. He wasn't as engaged by me as I would hope an 8 week old puppy should have been. For God's sake, I've been around the world and done a few things in my time, you know? His biggest accomplishment was going outside to the backyard one time (1) where he searched out kibbles. Maybe he should cut the attitude a bit, huh?

This guy is Smiley. Smiley isn't for everyone. His coat has been designed by Salvador Dali, and makes him seem crooked. On top of that, he has a birth defect which is an underbite which makes his snout look small. However, he has an absolutely HUGE frame. His father was 75 lbs of muscle, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him top that. He also has a great attitude. He's like the Patrick Swayze character in Point Break, that all time great cinematic achievement. He is a confident surfer dude that would love to kick whatever "Johnny Utah's" ass he comes in contact with. (By the way, how did the character name "Johnny Utah" ever get past the first couple script meetings for that shitty little movie?) Smiley knocked both of the other dogs out of the way to get attention, or chew on my pant legs/Chuck Taylors/hands/etc... Great dog, but ultimately, that snout was his undoing. If you go to the trouble of going 500 miles for a dog, you really shouldn't take one from the "Scratch N Dent" bin.

This is the dog. He is currently known as Jamal, but since I am not a fan of the late 1980s Lakers or The Bill Cosby Show, I sense the name will change. I liked him for a few reasons. He looks like a basset is supposed to look. The face is very expressive. His frame looks nice and big, like he will also approach his father's considerable stature. Look at the mitts on him for God's sake. He's 8 weeks old, and those paws are bigger than your common Golden Retriever. Most importantly though, he kicked to crap out of JJ when the two were fighting it out on the carpet. I want a dog that thinks he's in charge, despite the fact there is no evidence to that point at all. He gave me the big sell job, felt confident he won me over, and then stretched out for a nice nap. TCB 24/7 just like Elvis.

The nightmare of house training begins when I pick him up next week. It is hard to believe that I will willingly bring an animal into the home that will be focused almost exclusively on destroying anything he can get his teeth on. Let's not even get into the urinatation and defication thing. I am hoping to have him not only house trained, but also grasping the basics of rolling over, getting the paper, and search and rescue operations by March 1st. I will devise breakthrough dog training techniques until I pick him up. The new basset is on the way...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Nurse the Hate: True Las Vegas Story #2

In my early twenties I went to Vegas as part of a four man group under the auspices of it being a Bachelor Party for this guy I kinda knew named "Rick". (I had the change the name as you will soon see...) Rick was marrying some girl he had been dating when college ended. Like most college graduates, Rick had followed the playbook. Go to college. Meet a nice girl. Get a good job. You and the girl move in together. Get a dog. Get married. This occurred in the usual 6-7 year span from freshman year to wedding planning. The one thing that is a little different in this particular scenario, was Rick was completely out of control. I had no idea how out of control when I went on this junket. Hell, Rick was a guy I hung out with at bars and a baseball game once in awhile. It was his roommate I knew. I went on the trip to gamble and hoped something interesting would happen. I brought one of my old college roommates just in case the trip went off the rails at some point. But, Rick seemed like a pretty fun guy, and his fiance was really nice too. It looked to be a great long weekend.

I first noticed that this trip would be different when Rick started drinking scotch heavily on the flight. Most guys in their early 20s aren't scotch drinkers, but let me tell you this guy was getting after it. In fact, he and his roommate had started a conversation with a woman traveling alone, and at one point Rick had his hand up her skirt. They were laughing and drinking like crazy. It was sort of like a nightclub in the back of that plane that day. You know those loud obnoxious people in the back of planes on Apple Vacations junkets? Yes, we were those asshole. If you were on that flight, I am sincerely sorry.

It was about 1pm when we landed, and Rick was already completely disabled. We were staying at The Flamingo (or "The Bird" as old timers call it). A college friend and I shared a room, while Rick and his best friend shared another. Within 45 seconds of checking into the hotel, I was at the blackjack tables. Little did I know that Rick and his roommate had gotten in touch with the girl from the plane, and invited her to their room. How those guys convinced this girl to have sex with them at 2:30 in the afternoon, I have no idea. It's not like these guys were models. But they had quite a scene at their room at The Bird. Personally, I would have been creeped out to have my roommate watching me have sex with a strange girl while he swirled ice cubes in a scotch glass, but everyone has their own thing I guess. It would have really creeped me out when she insisted on calling one of them "Daddy" when he entered her from behind. It's just a good thing those crazy kids found each other, huh?

I don't really remember how I did that night. I do remember when those two guys came downstairs to tell me the story of the girl, with her draped over Rick. "You remember Natalie from the plane, don't you?" She hang out with them and drank until she was almost comatose, and they tossed her in a taxi. We must have gambled for another 5 hours or so after that. The main thing I remember is getting called over by Rick's roommate, who told me "We gotta get him out of here. He's out of control.". We escorted Rick up to his room, and he was adamant about calling an escort service for a hooker. This seemed then, as it does now, like a bad idea.

While Rick's roommate and I went over our sports book info for the next day's college football games, Rick went into the bathroom and called some escort service from a leaflet he had been handed by a Mexican amputee. It couldn't have been easy for the operator to understand what the hell he was saying, as the conversation was slurred and rambling. However, he may have gotten his point across that he wanted to be met at the Flamingo pool by two girls, and he was expecting a full night of "service" from both. Rick then announced he wanted to go swimming in the pool. The idea that Rick wanted to go swimming at 130am in his condition reminded me of what it must have been like hanging out with Brian Jones the night before he drowned. However, Rick's roommate said it was best just to let him go to the pool, and hopefully the swim would get him back in line. OK, whatever. I'm in. So we go to the pool.

Rick swam around the pool. Well, not so much swam as sort of bobbed around while yelling things to us while we sat on lounge chairs ready to drag his drowning ass out at any moment. We were the only ones out there, and amazingly security didn't come remove us. They must have been busting someone's thumbs for card counting or something. Then I heard the click clack of two women's approaching footsteps in high heels. Rick perked his head up like a bird dog. The girls were young, and surprisingly wholesome looking for a couple of prostitutes. The girls kept talking to themselves, and walked by the pool, oblivious to Rick or us. That's when Rick said, "Hey... Are you girls looking for a guy at the pool?". They looked at him like an annoying bug and kept walking. "Hey! I'm the guy in the pool! I'm the guy in the pool!" I got it immediately, but Rick didn't. These girls weren't whores. They were normal girls probably in town for a convention. "Hey! I'm the guy in the pool!" Crestfallen, Rick went back to his room, his roommate convincing him it was time to call it a night.

I got up in the morning, ready to lay action down on Week 1 of the NCAA Football slate. I called over to Rick's room and got his roommate on the phone. We agreed to meet in the coffee shop in 30 minutes. I got down to the coffee shop (which in Vegas is always called something like "Raffles") and discovered no Rick. His roommate shook his head, and said he hadn't seen Rick since about 430a. It turned out that Rick had given the escort service enough information to go on. At about 400a the door was pounded on angrily outside. Bam! Bam! Bam! "Hey! We're here! Let us in motherfucker!" Rick was passed out cold, but his roommate shook him awake. "You've got to get rid of them!" Rick decides to do the exact opposite, and lets them in.

Now I didn't see these women, but I trust the account I was given. There was a bleached blonde with a smoky voice, and leathery skin from too much of everything. Her companion was an Asian girl so plump you might be tempted to put an apple in her mouth and roast her over an open fire. She was the one with the real mouth, calling Rick a "motherfucker/asshole jerkoff/cocksucking bitch/etc/etc/etc when Rick told them they were too late. That's when the real dust up started, and accusations and threats flew everywhere. Somehow, and it wasn't even clear to those that were there at the time, peace was restored. The Asian girl was given $100 to just leave, and Rick decided the blonde was the kind of girl that he should spend some time with gambling downstairs. That was the last report we had on Rick.

Like any good friends, we did what was expected of us. We gambled, drank, and forgot all about Rick. I don't think we really got that concerned until Sunday afternoon. We still hadn't heard from him, much less seen him since Friday night. That's what made it so surprising when we returned to the rooms to change and found him crashed out on the bed with the late NFL game on, his eyes as wide as saucers. What's up Rick? "Hey guys... I'm all good. Just really tired. I'm going to go to sleep." That didn't look likely as it appeared as if an electric current was running through his veins. See ya later man, we're going to the pool.

Rick had gambled with the prostitute for most of the morning. That's when they decided to go to her trailer in the desert. She made a call, and her friend the Samoan biker drug dealer came over. Rick had spent the next 18 hours or so with the two of them doing some sort of drug who's name was ever made clear, although I think we can assume it was something that isn't very healthy or recommended for a lifestyle choice. By Monday late afternoon Rick still hadn't slept, and the rest of us had made a killing on football and the tables. We still had one more day to go, but Rick's roommate said "We gotta get him out of here. That guy hasn't slept since Thursday and he's talking crazy." We changed our flights to leave ASAP, and got Rick loaded onto the plane much like you would a duffle bag. He finally fell asleep somewhere over Nebraska.

Leaving the Cleveland airport, it was the last time I ever saw Rick. I didn't go to the wedding the next weekend. Rick did though. He got divorced 7 months later. I think his ex-wife got the dog.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Super Bowl Commercials

This morning I watched every crappy morning news program recap and analyze the Super Bowl commercials. The interesting thing about these recaps is that almost none of these people have any fucking idea about what they are talking about. For example, the "talent" of a morning show knows roughly as much about marketing as your typical lowland mountain ape. These people are paid to be likeable and to be able to read a teleprompter. The only reason they ever drift to the sales and marketing departments of the television station they work for is if someone brought in bagels or doughnuts. Their so called "expert" guests that weigh in are usually creative directors of giant ad agencies that are so far removed from the actual selling of the widgets they advertise, they wouldn't know an effective ad if it bit them in the junk. These people generally focus on winning awards in ad competitions judged by other people that make ads so they can charge potential clients more money down the line for their remarkable creative input. The thought being, "Well, that ad agency won a lot of little trophies. They must be good. We'll use them."

The problem with this little parlor game of deciding which were the "best" ads is that people are under the impression they know what a "good" ad looks like in the first place. Sure, you watch a lot of TV, so therefore you must be qualified to determine what is a good ad. Well, let me tell you, I have watched my fair share of medical shows on TV, but that doesn't mean I am qualified to remove your spleen on an operating table. But I do know how to create a good ad...

Let me tell you what a "good" ad is... It's one that sells product for the advertiser. That's it. You spend X to get 4X back in return. It's not the one that entertains you for 30 seconds. At the end of a "good" ad, you should say, "Man, I gotta have that." I watched so-called experts throw around terms like "awareness" and "branding". You know what those words are? Those are words used by someone with no financial stake in the company they are making the ad for. I ask you, if you owned a car dealership, would you rather have consumers "aware" of your dealership, or would you rather have sold 27 pick up trucks after your ad schedule ran on TV? The idea that ad campaigns are judged to be successful or not based on how much they entertained the masses is a moronic notion.

There was plenty of talk about the commercial today. Once again the company decided to be as outrageous as possible and push the tits and ass as far as they could. They want people talking about how scandalous their ads are, as they are under the impression that this buzz after the ad has aired will make it even more effective. I'm sure they are being very smug and self satisfied today after getting discussed on the Today Show and Good Morning America. Mission accomplished. But you know what? I have no fucking idea what is or what they do. They have spent millions of dollars over the years in the Super Bowl trying to reach men 25-54, and I have not been curious enough to even type that address into my computer. I'm sure they are busy high fiving each other in their trendy California headquarters today. Hopefully their investors will ask them what they are attempting to accomplish with those ads.

People seem to love that Doritos dog ad. The concept of that ad is that these spicy Doritos are so goddamn delicious that a dog will run through a plate glass door for them. You know what? I have a buddy with a dog that eats his own shit. I don't think we should trust the palate of your common dog. However, we can conclude that spicy Doritos taste better than dog feces... to a dog.

That Darth Vadar kid is getting a lot of run today too. Oh, he's just so precious in his little costume! And when his Dad makes the car respond to his Darth Vadar powers, it's just such a wonderful moment, isn't it? Of course, I have no idea why this will make you decide to buy that particular car. 999 out of 1000 people watching that will say, "How cute", and then price comparison shop a car that they feel reflects what they want to project to others. For those of you with a 5 year old that likes to dress up and play in costumes, perhaps this Volkswagon may be right for you. That agency that made the spot will gain plenty of clients from that ad, and they'll piss away those clients money too. Remember that ad a few years back with a toy Nissan 300ZX driving around in a house, and then GI Joe winds up with Barbie because he drives the cool Nissan? Everybody loved that ad. It won a kazillion awards too. Too bad Nissan was down something like 38% that year.

That Ozzy/Justin Bieber award was a big buzz too. I have no idea what they were even advertising. The only thing I will remember about that is how "The Prince of Darkness" will do anything as long as Sharon can make a buck off it. Remember when that guy was kinda scary? Now he's like a kooky Grandpa you wouldn't trust with the TV remote.

Why does Eminem have two sponsorships? Didn't he just get out of rehab? Didn't he used to beat up his girlfriend every 20 minutes? Now Chrysler and Lipton, who wouldn't dream of buying commercials in "controversial" programs, use this guy as their spokesman? Can you imagine how much money it cost to make that animated clay figurine commercial with him in it for Lipton iced teas? I read that Eminem alone made $1 million to do the spot. That's a shitload of canned iced tea you'd better sell just to get even. Meanwhile, when you walk into a 7-11, are you thinking, "I'll just bet that Eminem knows his non-alcoholic refreshments. I'll have a can of that Brisk tea!" Why didn't they just go with Charlie Sheen? "Hi, I'm Charlie Sheen. When I'm not smoking cocaine and banging hookers, I like to crack open a Lipton Brisk." Maybe it's just me, but Charlie does seem to know a good time, and that little Eminem fella seems pretty uptight. I'll have Charlie's tea. Celebrity endoresements are a real slippery slope. Just ask Nike about that Tiger Woods deal.

The real test of how effective these ads are will be when we can look at profit/loss statements for the parent companies next quarter. Until then, I would really appreciate all these Rubes on their talk shows stick to talking about something they know about, like how to solve the problem in Egypt, or the credit default mortgage crisis.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Nurse the Hate: The Butler Game

I was up late last night. Really late. But that does not mean I will not take advantage of a monster money making opportunity like today's Cleveland St v Butler game at Noon. I will be momentarily be changing into my viking helmet and furry boots to drive downtown to the frozen hellhole of the Cleveland State campus area. Of course, it will be dangerous to drive with my helmet on as I will have to stoop my head to avoid ripping the interior with the horns. This is only a minor inconvenience. While I am sure others will also be similarly attired, none will have the same passion I do. Why? Because they do not believe like I believe that not only will Cleveland State finally triumph over those pasty fucks from Butler, but they will do so by more than 4.5.

I was informed by sources that have drilled deep into the heart of the Horizon League information vortex that not only did Butler lose at Youngstown State on TH, but some kid on their team allegedly ripped his palm open on the scorers table. Those of us that know our way around Youngstown know that an "accident" in Youngstown is actually some sort of organized crime retribution. While this poor sap from Indiana tries to ignore the stitches in his palm today, Norris Cole and the rest of the high pressure Viking defense will rip the ball from him like he was a 4 year old. Let's enjoy this brief moment this afternoon and wager heavily on what is a Sure Thing. Now, where did I put my battleaxe?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Super Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is as American as apple pie. It’s as American as triple whoppers with a Diet Coke on the side. It’s as American as complaining about the cost of gas while slipping into a SUV the size of Rhode Island. (Well, you do have two kids. You need a vehicle the size of an aircraft carrier to move that kind of cargo.) It’s as American as watching pirated moves on DVD on your 78 inch hi def TV and wondering why the local movie house closed. It’s as American as watching the ESPN “Neck Snapping Hit of the Week” in super slow-mo, and then pretending to be concerned about NFL player safety. It’s pretty American, OK?

A few things to know as you head into the weekend…

1) There will be more calories consumed by Americans today than any other day of the year including Thanksgiving. With roughly 17.5 hours of pregame show, you have to do something. That’s why most folks eat some special wildass snack they created like Fritos wrapped in bacon braised in duck fat and root beer, nestled on a bed of Slim Jims with a nacho cheese sauce lovingly layered on top. This will be washed down with 18 cans of “light” beer.

2) If you go to a dreaded “Super Bowl Party”, make sure your host is focused. One year I went to a co-worker’s party to discover that she intended to switch the TV to HBO for “Sex and the City” at 9pm (or when New England drove down the field for the game deciding score). I wound up watching the end of that game on a TV the size of a Blackberry screen with two other pissed off guys on the porch. That party was a lot like the movie “Jerry McGuire”. It was a chick flick in sports wrapping paper. As I felt cheated at “Jerry McGuire”, I also felt cheated at that alleged “Super Bowl Party”.

3) The Halftime Show will be embarrassing for the participating artists. While they have moved past the catch all booking policy of the past (Ladies and Gentleman! Please welcome ZZ Top, Dolly Parton, and Lindsey Lohan as they sing a medley of songs from the Broadway Show “Cats”!), the fact remains I cannot forget the vision of a pasty white Pete Townshend’s belly as he half heartedly bashed out songs that sounded great when played by a 26 year old. The payday is incomprehensible for the musicians, but it’s an artistic compromise of Herculean proportions. Who is it this year anyway? Did they finally work their way down the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame list to get to Herman’s Hermits yet?

4) Oh, the game? I think the Steelers will win as they usually do. They will be seemingly outplayed for 56 minutes. Their defense will make a monster play late. Big Ben will make a big time pass, despite having horrible stats on the day, and they’ll win by 3. In the press conference he’ll talk about “the journey he’s been on, and personal adversity he’s overcome.” Maybe he’ll drop in a Jesus reference. If I was his agent, I’d tell him to, that’s for sure. Then he’ll take a shower, and fondle some willing/unwilling girls at some Dallas nightclub. Everything will be back to normal. Take Pittsburgh +3.

5) People get very excited about the ads. As someone that knows a few things about advertising, let me tell you something. The goal of an ad is not to be a clever little fun movie to entertain for 30 seconds. It is to move product. If you see a company that spends $2 million on a Super Bowl ad package, and you can’t remember what exactly the product was, immediately sell their stock. That company is run by Fools and Egomaniacs. Example: Those ads with the baby talking about his stock portfolio. Cute as hell. What is the product? I have seen those 14,879 times and I can’t recall. Neither can you. The only ads you’ll remember will be Budweiser, and you’ll laugh it up as you crack open another Bud Light to wash down your Frito Duck Fat Slim Jim Nacho Dip.