Saturday, June 28, 2014

Nurse the Hate: The "Rhythm To Swim" Idea

There has been a very exciting idea that has taken root in the Whiskey Wagon of late.  When Shatner decides it is time (to translate, when a Priceline “Name Your Own Price” bid is successful) and we stay at a good hotel on the road, they often have a pool.  Leo and Sugar will usually dart to the pool soon as we check in, much like 12 year olds on a doomed family vacation.  I usually feel sorry for the families that are trying to eek out a moment of relaxation on whatever travels they are on with their children, because when a very high guy that looks like a tatted up leprechaun jumps in the water, the “family time” has ended.  It is remarkable how quickly a pool can empty after those two show up and start splashing around.  One second you are on a family vacation at a high end hotel, the next your kid is floating around in the pool with a dangerous looking guy with a “celtic dragon” tattoo.  It’s a quick turnaround for folks.

After a few of these pool adventures, the two of them cooked up an idea to launch a synchronized swimming act.  They will jump into any pool, regardless of who is seated in the immediate area, and begin working on “moves”.  I should at this point note that neither of them have any actual swimming or dancing skills whatsoever.  This makes the actual execution of such created moves as “Welcome Star” and “Space Invader” as not quite as fluid as one would expect from a normal synchronized swimming duo.  I think that as long as you think of them as a punk rock synchronized swim team, or maybe an “indie” duo, then it’s not as bad.  It’s like their hard edges make them “grittier”, which after all is what you are really looking for in synchronized swimming anyway.

I was, admittedly, dismissive of this venture at first.  Then it hit me.  What if we took this a bit further?  What if we put just a little effort into making this really something?  I have a vision where we arrive at a decent hotel completely unannounced.  Maybe a dozen people are at the outdoor pool area.  I will walk into the pool area with a small PA set up, something very portable.  I will be dressed in a very out of style tuxedo, and will confidently plug an ipod and microphone into the PA.  Imagine C&C Music Factory’s “Everybody Dance Now” blaring out of a speaker with plenty of distortion and volume.  EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!  Dah! Dah! DAH DAH! Dah! Dah! DAH DAH!  EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!  “Ladies and Gentlemen!  Boys and girls!  The Ft. Wayne Hilton Hotel is proud to present… Rhythm To Swim!!!!!”

At this point Leo and Sugar will burst onto the pool area with matching swimsuits.  We are picturing Leo in a stars and stripes “mankini” (pictured above), and Sugar in something a bit more functional.  Blue bathing caps will really set off the swim suits.  They will jump into the water and begin their routine with “Welcome Star”, moving swiftly into “Swim With Porpoise” as the music blares.  These are very childlike and awkward "moves" that will certainly get the onlooker's attention.  Meanwhile I will be the MC.  “Wow!  Look at that move from Welcome Star into Swim With Porpoise!  Breathtaking!”

I don’t want to give away too much of the act, but at one point I will take two hula hoops and toss them into the water.  The music will segue into Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone”.  After exiting the water while perhaps doing The Robot, both Sugar and Leo will do a cannonball into their respective hula hoops. “Ladies and gentlemen, they are going to jump into The Devil’s Mouth!  Incredible!”  The Kenny Loggins song fills the room. RIGHT INTO THE DANGER ZONE!!!  They then disappear under water, leaping out with arms extended.  “Amazing!  They go from The Devil’s Mouth right into Birth of Poseidon!”  RIGHT INTO THE DANGER ZONE!!!

At this point, I would imagine hotel guests are thinking, “Why the fuck would the Hilton pay these unbelievably untalented entertainers to make us uncomfortable at the pool?  What is this?  What is going on here?  That’s when I will light two small, rinky dink fountain fireworks at the edge of the pool while John Cougar Mellencamp’s “R.O.C.K. in the USA” blasts out of the PA while Sugar and Leo do something Sugar calls “Free Rock Dance”.  It will be important to get the show wrapped up at this point as someone will have probably gone to fetch an authority figure of some kind.  This whole thing will be tough to explain, and most of these chain hotel people are a bit too serious for my taste.  With luck, Texas Pete may have already sold a “Rhythm To Swim” black print logo on classic 80s neon t-shirt.

As the song ends, I will boldly yell out “Ladies and Gentlemen!  Rhythm To Swim!  Rhythm To Swim!” over and over while they exit the pool.  I will then quickly unplug the PA, and swiftly walk out of the pool area leaving behind nothing but unanswered questions and confusion.  This is the future of entertainment, and quite possibly our next great revenue source (depending on how the merch moves).

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Nurse the Hate: Hate The World Cup

If you would have told me three months ago that I would be driving around listening to some Irish guys call a soccer game on the radio between Algeria and Belgium, I would have said you were out of your mind.  However, I was doing just that, white knuckling a foolhardy wager I had made on Belgium to soundly defeat the “Desert Rats” of Algeria.  It is important to note that I know almost nothing about futbol, and even less about these two specific national squads.  I do love having some action going on in International Events played in the afternoon like this though, where I can bet based on sound principals like beer preferences and random prejudices.

Let’s take this game for example.  I’m not even 100% positive where Algeria is located, but I’m pretty sure it is really hot and dusty with lots of Anti-American sentiment.  Meanwhile the good people of Belgium have given the world La Chouffe, Abbey Ales, French Fries, and excellence in the art of the chocolatier.  Most of the people I have met in Belgium have been exceptionally nice, and usually quirky in a fabulous way.  I picture them all gathered at some pub all jacked up on high alcohol ale watching this match.  Contrast that with the fact I don’t know anyone from Algeria, and I think of kids in rubber sandals throwing rocks at me (though I am pretty sure I am confusing Algeria with Yemen).  That’s right; I’m all in on Belgium.

I couldn’t bring myself to bet on Mexico, who are sort of the Chicago Cubs of international soccer.  I’m staring at their game vs Brazil right now, knowing full well like everyone else on the planet that Mexico will lose in heartbreaking fashion.  I have always loved traveling to Mexico.  The people are warm, have an unbelievable work ethic, and are about as libertarian as anyone in Belgium… though you very seldom find a dozen headless drug cartel victims hanging from highway overpasses in Belgium.  In Mexico people do what they want to do.  I like that.  Fellow wagerers take note:  I have noticed in very careful observation on my travels there that the Mexicans are not an athletic people.  Two things that one will rarely see while traveling in Mexico… 1)  Mexicans running.  2)  Mexicans lifting weights. 

These are for the most part a short hefty people.  Success on the pitch is probably not easy for players that are 5-4 and 210 pounds.  Their poor little legs can’t move that girth.  How can they hope to run around with all those tanned long legged Brazilians that do nothing but play soccer since birth?  Isn't Pele on that team?  See?  The key is to avoid the facts and embrace flimsy stereotypes.  Bam.  I’m on Brazil.

I am mostly mystified by the game.  I don’t understand most of the rules.  I don’t understand what they are trying to accomplish when they keep kicking it back to their goaltender.  The biggest problem I have is regardless of where a player is hit by another, he immediately grabs his face like acid was thrown into it.  A guy gets kicked in the shin, and his hands go to his face with a “Holy Christ!  My eyes!  My fucking eyes!  I’m blind!  I’m blind!”.  Then the trainers rush out and spray a mysterious chemical on his shin, and he walks off like nothing happened.  Meanwhile when a guy really gets hurt, like that American that got kicked in the face yesterday, it becomes immediately apparent what a real injury looks like when compared to flop acting.  Nobody seems to mind though.  It’s like when a batter walks out of the batter’s box 100 times in at bat I suppose.

I also really like how this is an international event where the US doesn’t just show up and destroy everyone else.  This places me in a fan position I am comfortable in thanks to living in Cleveland; being emotionally invested in a team with almost no chance of winning the championship.  There was probably no louder crowd than the one at the bar I was at on Monday when the US beat Ghana.  As NE Ohio fans, we all know that you have to take your joy when it makes itself available.  Crushing defeat is lurking around the corner.  Still, it was odd to be rejoicing like the Indians won the pennant when our enormous country’s team beat a tiny African nation that probably no one in the room could identify on a map (myself included).

As this nationalistic pageant unfolds, I am struck by how much better it is than the Olympics.  The Olympics were great when the USSR were the bad guys and we had someone to root against.  Now with my past travel and petty prejudices, I finally have a reason to root against nations I otherwise have no real beef with at all.  What could be better than seeing a nation of fans in a country that never crosses your mind like Uruguay leaves a stadium in tears?  Then, on top of that, be able to make a few bucks by betting against them?  Viva la World Cup!  When does that Russia v South Korea match go off anyway?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Nurse the Hate: Let's Not Consider Ever Changing Our Gun Policy

Thank goodness that as a nation we have now become completely callous to random gun violence.  I mean, who wants to dwell on that fucked up kid that shot up UC Santa Barbara if it is going to lead to a conversation about the possibility of talking about maybe doing something to keep semi automatic handguns out of the hands of emotionally disturbed dudes?  So today a school in Oregon got shot up… Who cares?  It has already moved down to the bottom of my national news feed on my favorite news websites.  The good news was the police shot and killed the shooter in the school.  While one of the students died, the important thing is that since it was “only” one kid no one will get worked up enough to suggest that maybe the gun lobbyists don’t have the majority of the population’s well being in mind.  What’s a little collateral damage to insure we maintain a ratio of 88 guns per 100 people here in the United States?  What's with the industry not reaching a 1-1 ratio?  Who are the 12 pussies out of 100 not packing heat?  Frankly, I have my suspicions about my elderly Aunt Sandy in rural Wisconsin.  One thing that woman needs is a serious firearm.  Do they make .357s in pink?  A matching shoulder holster might be nice too.  Her birthday is coming up...
Once again, thank goodness we have gotten used to regular random gun violence.  Otherwise people might be concerned about two cops being shot for no reason in a Vegas Wal Mart a couple days ago.  And this school thing today?  Doesn't seem to be a problem.  As I recall after that Newton shooting, there was discussion about the need to outfit all schools and teachers with guns as a way to prevent that type of incident.  I, for one, am completely in favor of that sound idea.  For example, I would have felt confident to have been protected in high school by my obese English teacher Mrs. McClintock wielding a Glock 9.  While she was in her late 50s, had no muscle tone to speak of, and the intellect of a carp, I suspect she had the reaction time of a mongoose.  If a gunman had trotted into our school, she would have confidently flipped her desk over and traded shots with the assailant until landing that picture perfect headshot.  Ka-Pow!  Way to go Mrs. M!

While the US easily has the most gun deaths of any industrialized country, only 85 people a day die every day because of guns.  What’s the problem?  It’s only 85 people a day!  So let’s say that 31,000 people a year die because of a gunshot.  Hell, that’s nothing!  54,000 die from leukemia.  It’s not like leukemia is a big deal either.  People need to mellow out on this gun talk.  And leukemia too for that matter…  Let’s stop these cancer walkathons.  That’s not really an issue worth discussing either.  With the amount of time we can save by not walking around to cure cancer, we can all spend more time at the range!  Pow! Pow! Pow!

As we know, guns don’t kill people.  White boys with guns kill people.  65% of gun deaths are to 15-34 year olds, of which 85% are male.  What we really need to get serious about is confining 15-34 year old men.  Why is it that every mass shooter is a white kid in his twenties?  Too many video games?  Energy drinks getting them all riled up?  Too much sexual frustration?  Maybe we could pair these troubled kids up so they could jack each other off and talk about sci-fi films and shit.  As opposed to trying to account for guns, we need to account for all white loner kids in their twenties.  This registration would be useful for monitoring these fellas, and also serve as a great data base for bands like Eyehategod to sell merchandise.  Movie studios would pay a shitload to get that data base to market sci-fi movies too.  If I am a gun lobbyist, I switch the conversation to the real issue… young white men.
As we all know, if we even have a discussion about trying to solve these random shootings, it will lead to everyone losing their guns.  “They” will come and take every law abiding citizen’s guns.  I don’t know who “they” are, but I have heard a lot about “they”.  While as a nation we can’t seem to keep roads paved properly, it is important to remember that with this agenda “they” will act with swift precision and make it impossible for anyone to own a gun.  This type of black and white swift legislation is the way the country has run forever.  Look at the night and day change in things like immigration laws, environmental regulations, tax laws, and health care!  The government sees a problem, decides on an action, and Bam!  The ship has completely turned and EVERYTHING is different.  Remember when we quickly fixed everything that was wrong with everything last year?  

Guns cannot be discussed.  I will remind you all that the first thing Hitler did when he came into power was take away everyone’s guns.  I would also like to remind you that this analogy is totally sound.  For example, 1936 Nazi Germany is almost an exact replica of the United States in 2014.  Well, our bratwurst probably isn’t as good and we aren’t setting up death camps, but other than that it is exactly the same.  To suggest any discussion about even the possibility on changing our extremely effective current gun policy is exactly like embracing Nazism... or so I've been told.
I know that some of the people that read this will get crazy with rage.  I don't understand why.  I would like to remind you that I am NOT in favor of having any rational discussions that could possibly lead to anyone anywhere having to be accountable for owning a semi automatic handgun.  That is ridiculous as we all know those guns are for hunting.  Who amongst us doesn't remember those Hemingway "Nick Adams" stories of rugged outdoorsmen shooting ducks for their supper with their plastic concealable pistols?  It's as American as the Liberty Bell.  Let's not lose our stomachs on this thing now.  Let’s get those kids in Oregon armed and ready to go to school tomorrow.  Pow!  Pow! Pow!   

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Candy Bar

I walked into the Starbucks intent on securing a trenta unsweetened iced green tea, as this is what I drink in the summer.  I like the routine at Starbucks as I stand there waiting for everyone else to get their Dairy Queen desserts that are masked as coffee.  Young women especially seem to enjoy Starbucks as some sort of secret indulgence, as if a beverage with the words “caramel” and “mocha” doesn’t have an inherent payback.    No matter.  I’m just a guy spending $3.00 on iced tea.  I'm in no position to judge.

Behind me a conversation was in midstream.  “…and that’s why she moved from Texas, because The Devil is there.”  The other woman she was speaking to nodded knowingly, as if it wasn’t odd to speak of the CEO of Evil as having a Texas mailing address.  Now, this woman spoke with great confidence, so maybe she knew something about Lucifer and his domestic habits.  The other woman certainly seemed to buy in.  "Yes, of course, The Devil lives outside of Houston.  He's got a nice little place with an in ground pool and three car garage..."  I never pictured The Devil living in Texas, as my money would be handily on Florida.  Just like with a carton of juice, all the sediment in the United States flows to the bottom.  In this case, that is Florida.   The muck is always on the bottom.  You ever been to South Beach?  Every douche, hustler, queen, and tweaked up cracker migrates there like id driven birds.  The Devil likes techno, bottle service, and bad restaurant service.  Florida is his kind of joint.   

It’s weird when you hear just a snippet of a conversation not intended for your ears.  I mean, who knows if this woman was talking about the actual devil, or if it was a nickname for some sort of nemesis like an unlikeable roommate, father-in-law, or unrelenting suitor?  I don’t even know for sure if she said “devil”.  Maybe she said something normal and I misunderstood.  There is such a short window to nose in there as an outsider and say "Excuse me???  What did you say?".  One time I could swear I heard some guy ask some other guy what kind of candy bar he would shove up his ass …if he had to choose of course.  I didn’t hear the answer, but the question has plagued me for years.  Why would a man ask another man this question?  Sheer morbid curiosity?  It is sort of a fascinating question.  The last thing you would want to have happen is to be put in that situation, panic, and say "Snickers!".  It needs to be thought through.  Preparation is a key to life.  It would be tempting to say “Twix”, but I think that while that is a thin candy bar, the fact there are two individual bars and these would remain rather rigid with that cookie interior, it would be a bad choice.  The last thing anyone wants is a Twix floating around in their large intestine.     

Butterfinger, or its more elusive cousin Fifth Avenue, both offer guaranteed rough edges, and that’s bad news.  I think for this particular question it wouldn’t be fair to cop out with something like Junior Mints or a Rollo, unless of course they were inserted into your ass with a rawhide mallet.  That would sort of even out the unpleasantness of the entire endeavor back to being on par with an entire candy bar.  The "mallet factor" would negate any positive of the small size of the Junior Mints I think.  Don’t even think about Starburst or Mike N Ikes.  Those aren’t even close to candy bars.  The question was “what candy bar”.  I have a feeling that if one found oneself in the predicament of having to choose what kind of candy bar was going to be shoved somewhere one had no interest in it being shoved, a spirited debate on what constitutes a candy bar would not be allowed.

This I know.  The worst without question would be a Zagnut.  A dry rough edged husk, it would take a team of medical personnel or very physically strong specialists in this area to get that thing inserted.  That toasted coconut would be very unpleasant, especially once you started struggling to get away, as would be the natural inclination.  Fight or flight.  It’s how we are programmed.  Someone starts shoving a Zagnut in there; it’s going to be “flight mode” every single time.

I think the way to go would be Three Musketeers.  It’s bigger than ideal, but I think that creamy nougat is going to have some give.  Remember, it’s got to come back out at some point, so I think the “nougat factor” is a big step to relative comfort in this horrible theoretical scenario.  The last thing anyone wants is a Baby Ruth chock full o’ nuts traveling in both directions.  Don't even allow the thought of a Chunky to drift into your mind.  That’s a tough go.

I'm sorry.  I got off topic.  So, as I was saying, I overheard this conversation about The Devil in Starbucks…