No Jacket or Modesty Required

It's hard for me to figure out hot to articulate this gripe without sounding like a fussbudget or one of those fellas on those fashion shows: "Ugh... White shoes after Labour Day with a pin stripe halter top? Girl, go back to Idaho." The other risk is that that I might sound like an geriatric fart: "Why in my day, seeing a girl's ankles would send my flagpole a-quiverin.'"

Basically, modesty, class and public decorum has gotten the old "Heave-ho, 'ho" treatment and in it's wake we find a skankified and casual wardrobe that leaves us either cringing or salivating.

On the whole, we're all right. Same ol' business suits, same old WalMart turtlenecks and polyester slacks. Where we're lacking, though are in the public arena. When we were kids flying was a big deal. Everytime we had to travel my mom put on a nice skirt and matching jacket and we kids were jammed into slacks, oxfords and clip-on ties. It's a habit that I haven't abandoned (well, I finally figured out how to make the rabbit go around the tree and through the hole, so the clip-on's been sh*tcanned), but I find myself in a sad minority as everybody else is decked out in shorts, those goofy f*cking track suits that the ladies are wearing and even pyjamas.

Yes, pyjamas.

In fact, I recently stopped by a neighbourhood drugstore to get a pair of sweatpants to wear for the gym. I couldn't find any, but in their place I did see a whole pile of PJ bottoms. They seem to be all the rage.... Some girls have even managed to wear them to school, as their mothers (wearing either a similar pair, or those aforementioned sh*tty looking track suits) drop them off.

As if those moms aren't fashion-less role model, you can make matters worse by filling up Tiffany's toybox with those little Bratz trollops. That's nice. Give them a little leg up to hussy-dom so when they get to college they can wear those tasty sweatpants that sit right at the edge of the pube-line in the front while a nice thong peeks out the rear. That might bring your attention to the hot and "original" tattoo they just got.

It's not just the ladies, either, though in place of thongs are a pair of boxers - while pants that are obviously a few waist sizes too large sit precariously, ready to drop to the floor. It's nice that all the accomplishments of the prison inmate who's had to remove his belt can be honored by so many.

I don't know. Maybe it's just nitpicking and I'm just a being a blowhard. I've got to go out to dinner with the wife tonight anyway.

Prego Woman? We're late! Where's my tank-top? You know the one with the palm trees in the front and the chili stains I got at the last church lawn fete

Wife It's on the laundry pile, with the pyjama bottoms
Prego You didn't wash it with your thongs, did you? You know my 'no tops with bottoms' rule.
Wife Groan.


O-Dog & the Fletch

Money well spent at Cheryl Gorski's studio. They're going to have to beat the hussies off with a stick. Damn.


Tune in Tokyo... In the name of the father, and of the son...

There are several universal truths in music. The first, of course is that Van Halen sans David Lee Roth is just not Van Halen The second is that Paul McCartney, as talented a songwriter as he might be, was the biggest pussy in the Beatles. I have come to add a third one that just might usurp the first two:

Religious music sucks ass.

(Speaking of pussies, I just watched that latest Star Wars film. I couldn't wait for Anakin Skywalker to turn into Darth Vader.... Ooops. I'm going off on one of those classic fuquad-esque tangents. Back to the topic.)

Where was I? Oh yeah. Religious music. It sucks... With the exception of Handel's Messiah and Blake's Jerusalem, it SUCKS. Okay, so I'm risking 850 jiggawatts of lightning-bolt up my rusty sheriff's badge talkin' religification on the lord's (sic) day and all, but I just spent a week in the goddamned South, and I've about had my fill of Jebus (not that I was that religified to begin with. By the way, while I was down there, I actually heard a woman call her child by name: "Messiah." I admit, I culled my firstborn's name from mythology, but "Messiah" is just a bit creepy to me.)

I'm not going to antagonize christians (sic), because those freaks have very little sense of humor about their sh*t... but do me a favor. If you're going to write a song to beat the Jesus drum, at least write a good f*cking song.

On the way down to 'Dixie' to visit my old man, the FM transmitter for my iPod went on the fritz. It lasted for the first leg of the trip, but dissed us on the most painful 400 miles. You know the ones... with the freaky crosses on the hillsides. Ever since the film "Children of the Corn", Jesus radio gives me the willies. Ironically, I've come to the conclusion that religion is not for children. It's just too darn violent and spooky. One of these lunatics kept enunciating the word "flesh" for some reason. Then my wife kept egging me on by saying sh*t to my kids like, "Today is the day the saviour has risen."

"Stop that!"

"Lamb of god..."

"AAAAAAAAuuuuughhhhhhhh" (screeeeech... swerve....) "Come on! I'm driving!!!"

Along with those f*cked up preacher-men came an onslaught of vapid religious tunes that gave me one of those 'ice cream headaches' and caused me to tap anxiously on the seek button on the radio. I don't know if it's a chicken or egg thing, or a horse before the cart thing, but I can't understand why worship songs are just so laaaame? Is it because I'm not down with g-o-d, or is it because these 'songwriters' are afraid if they write anything saucy they'll spend eternity licking the underwear lint from Satan's red-hot ass crack?

Among the gems I was slapped on the ass with:

"blaahh... blahhhh... blahh... Jesus is the sweetest name...." (Actually "Shaneequah" is the sweetest name. Homegirl got an ass that could lead a gift horse to water...)

Another of my faves was some backwoods sh*theel lamenting how bad god feels, and that you would, too "if noone believed in youuuuu...." When I think of all the other things we do that bums the deities out, I would put that song about eighth on the list of sh*t that makes god cringe.

And to make matters worse, 90% of my other options consisted of those brutal, nasal abominations they call country these days. It's like having to choose between the runs and the bends. It got to the point that when I finally came across something somewhat palatable, I turned to my wife and said, "I never thought I'd say this, but I'm actually glad to hear this crappy Phil Collins song."

Up here in the North, radio only gets jesufied on Sunday mornings, and country is thankfully relegated to one station to the extreme right of the dial (imagine that). It's not like radio's much better here anyway, seeing that it is instead littered with the phat bass of the urban ilk, the stale bongwater stylings of classic rockers or disposable pop pap. Seven days a week of gospel, though is just too much for this heathen to handle.

So in closing, I'd just like to say this. If you're going to pen a religious ditty, fire up a fatty, take a couple swigs of Glenfiddich, tear a piece of ass first... then (making sure you have about three days' growth of facial hair) write that sh*t at 2:45 in the morning. If you're not going to play by my rules, at least have the decency to keep it off my airwaves. Take a page from that stinky hippy textbook. Trade tapes with each other after Sunday mass.

"Dude, I just recorded 'the King of Glory' on my Garageband."
"Cool. I'll trade you for my ukulele rendition of 'Are You Washed in his Blood' with a phat Jeremy Camp beat."


Back in the saddle...

Long drive... I've got some reading and writing to catch up on...

Nothing like hours upon hours in a car and a week in the South to whet the creative appetite.



Awesome Relief by a Yield Sign

My "no chain restaurants" rule doesn't apply while on the road. You never know when you'll end up at an eating establishment whose house chef is a modern-day Typhoid Madge or Sal Monella. I abandoned the practice of supporting local eateries in little shit-villes when I drove across Canada years back and dined at an Italian/Chinese establishment. The first clue that I should leave came when the waitress (obviously not Chinese) grimaced in disgust when I ordered the egg drop soup.

No. I usually wait until I've reached a major metropolitan area before I resume my culinary elitism. Until then, I'll join the massive masses of massive Americans at the ubiquitous corporate restaurants that dot the landscape. In fact, I commented to my wife that one of the prime reasons I wouldn't live in one of these insignificant burgs is the lack of diversity in restaurants. Here, Perkins is actually a treat while... Creme Brulee? Isn't that one of those French porn stars?

The other prime reason is that I am an ethnic variation that probably wouldn't be too popular in middle-America. A dozen years ago my brother and I drove across the country. While eating at a locally owned restaurant in the middle of Michigan, my brother looked up from his omelette, gasped and said "Come rapido!" (eat fast). I looked up to see a calendar, featuring Ronald Reagan with an American flag backdrop. We high-tailed it out of there, leaving our 6'5" Germanic looking waitress a reasonable tip.

While on travels, I usually hold out for a Pizza Slut. I justify this choice because a) it doesn't involve hambuger meat and b) you know exactly what you're getting when you order it. Forget KFC (Kill F*cking Chickens), Popeye's and Chick Fil A, too. Pizza Slut is usually the way to go on our venture through Virginia, though my wife was regretting the choice yesterday.

We got friendly service, the kids could sream to their heart's content, and the food was likely to be palatable. Everything went as planned until we started back on the road. I felt something brewing down below, making my stomach feel like one of those little push toys with the little colored popcorn balls in the glass dome. I turned to my wife and said, "This isn't good. I'm feeling one of those 'oooh-oooh' moments." The "oooh-oooh" moment alludes to a story my wife shared about my father-in-law and the turd that almost got away.

F*ck, I thought. I hate crapping on the road. It's bad enough taking a piss at one of those restaurants and looking down to see your loose shoelace sitting in a puddle of redneck urine. Now I had to press ham at one of these johns.

As we neared the exit I saw the choices. Hurriedly I asked my wife, "Where do you think? Taco Bell or McDonald's?"

"I don't know," came her terse response.

I reasoned that less people frequent Taco Hell, so chances were that the bathroom was in better condition.

"Why don't you just go here?" she said, pointing at Arby's.

Arby's - 0.3 miles. That's my baby. I hadn't been in one in over 15 years, but the situation was dire.

"Are you going to order something?" my wife asked as I dashed for the door. I shook my index finger to indicate "no" as I bolted through the door, and acknowledged the clerk behind the cashier as she said 'hello'.

I went right for the bathroom and unleashed what might be construed as an "intestinal clearance sale." Everything must go! The smell permeated the room with a scent that the devil's breath couldn't outdo. I flushed the transgression and wiped repeatedly. I had to work fast. The longer you spend in there, the more likely everyone in the joint knows you just came here to shit. Piss you could do in 45-60 seconds... Anything beyond that is defecation territory.

I washed my hands and sauntered out of the can, feeling obliged somehow to actually make a purchase. After desecrating the sanctity of their toilet, It was the least I could do.

"Ummmm, I'll have a Sprite."

"Any thing else?"

"Umm... No thank you."

On the way out, I noticed a bell by the door with a sign underneath that read "Ring the bell if we have made your day."

With a slight chuckle I returned to the car.

"How was it?" my wife asked.

"It was a Jabberwock shit. It burbled as it came."

"Eww. You're gross."

I think I'm going to my grave wishing I had rung that bell.


Ahhhh... Blasphemy.

I don't know who's going to hell first. The genius who shot this, or me for finding it so f*cking hilarious.

Enjoy your holiday weekend. We're on the road, currently peeling the kids off of the DC monuments. I'll write more about that later and throw some pics together.


PS - For a more traditional holiday fare, stop by here for this week's roundtable discussion.


'Ho - Re - Mi...

Dear Kim Cattrall,

I just wanted to drop a line to get something off of my chest. I have followed your career since Porky's. You really created cinematic history with your portrayal of Ms. Honeywell (Lassie), and your memorable 'howling' love scene is still the talk of the town in Boise, Idaho and Toledo, Ohio.

You followed that stellar role as lame-ass Steve Guttenburg's love interest in the the low-brow cult hit Police Academy. I give you credit, though for jumping ship before the onslaught of substandard sequels. Instead, you opted to give Timothy Hutton's Turk 182 character a reason to salivate.

Yes, you were riding a creative high when you made me daydream about a little sweet and sour action, starring you and that Asian looking fox in Big Trouble in Little China. Things started taking a turn south though, watching you roll around with ├╝ber-p*ssy Andrew McCarthy in Mannequin. What followed was a series of duds and supporting roles until your current incarnation as the skankiest of the skanks in Skanks and the City.

I realize car payments need to be made and groceries need to be bought. Regardless, you've relegated yourself from hot little biscuit to dried-up skeezer status. Furthermore, you have continuously polluted the cable airwaves with re-runs, featuring your half-naked 48 year-old ass crawling in and out of every mattress in New York. Sure, growing old's a bitch, particularly so for the ladies and even more so for the ladies in Hollywood -- but there are other more dignified ways to re-invent yourself. I don't want to sound judgmental, but you could've found roles for yourself as somebody's mother.... I know that's humbling, but Susan Sarandon seems to have adjusted well - and it's no more humbling than discussing the tawdry details of lascivious behavior with other actresses willing to sell themselves short.

In closing, I'd just like to say that I no longer wish to throw down with you. I'd much rather inject myself with STDs directly and save you the trouble.

Good luck with your future endeavors. I hear they might make a biopic about the oldest hooker in Vegas. Call your agent to get you a screen test before Karen Black or Pia Zadora beat you out.



And No Plastic Hangers, Either.

I've sealed my fate... made my bed.... stepped in the proverbial sh*tpile. Worse yet, I've done irreparable damage to the O-Dog's psyche. I pray to the gods he doesn't end up in a clock tower at the University of East Jahunga in Nebraska, picking off students with an arsenal of firearms.

Last evening, the O-Dog gets pissed because I made him remove his Batman costume for pushing the Fletch into the rocking chair. After running around the upstairs hallway for ten minutes, bemoaning the injustice he runs into his room. As the Fletch-Monster follows him, he yells "Get out of my room!" and throws the door shut, with the Fletch's two-year old digits in the doorjamb.

That breaks two rules -
1. It's not 'your' room. He's four years old. Officially, it doesn't become 'his' room until he grows one of those wispy adolescent moustaches and I have to start respecting his privacy a little - until then all family has all-access.

2. No door slamming. Unless you're a guest star on All My Children, there's no real good reason to throw a door in somebody's face (or unless they're Jehovah's Witnesses or canvassing for politicians).

After making sure all fingers were intact...

Medical Assessment
Papa Prego - Fletch, wiggle your fingers like this....
Fletch-Monster - Waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh (unenthusiastic compliance)

... I walked into the O-Dog's room, read him the riot act and bent him over and gave him a couple quick swipes on his bare fart cage.

O-Dog - Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh (breath) Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh (catch breath... lower pitch) Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh.

At this point, I felt a little bad. It's not the first time I'd had to give him a little slap on the ass. I'm not sure how I feel about corporal punishment, but the little f*cker is either flinging die cast Matchbox cars at his brother's head, smacking him or making him fall. At some point you have to take action beyond "Now O-Dog, your brother doesn't appreciate a f*cking 1981 El Camino thrown at him," or 'time out.' Depending on the severity of the offence, a swift crack on the rump is enough to get his attention.

Now I could have handled this in another fashion. Considering it was the Fletch-monster's hand that was hurt, I could have done the old trailer park method.

"(hic) Here. (burp) Put your hand here... (hic)" SLAM! "Do you like how that feelshhh?"

Or I could have gone draconian old school - "Come here. Put your hand in this vice." (crank. crank. crank. crunch.) "The lord sayeth, 'Thou shalt not raise thy hand against thine brother.' Now sit here until I get the bible so I can read you the story of Cain and Abel... After I beat you over the head with it, of course."

Instead, I opted a tried and true method of getting his attention, have him acknowledge that what he did was 'bad,' and demonstrated that there are such things as consequences -- all without bruises and with only a minor infringement on his delicate pain threshold. Not the kind of thing that'd open up a case at CPS.

The O-Dog stopped crying, sniffled a couple times and sadly said, "I'm going to grow up and do bad things to you because you do bad things to me when I do bad things to the Fletch."

I looked at him for a second as his utterance took a chance to register (and to make sense), and thought, "F*ck. They write songs about sh*t like this. I'm going to incur the fury of Pat Benatar!" I picked him up and gave him the biggest hug possible, trying to justify the spanking while rubbing his bottom.

Unfortunately, the damage has been done. I'm going to have to check my brake-line before every drive... Make sure there is nothing plugged in whenever I take a bath (Hmmmm.... I wonder who put the toaster in the bathroom?)... I'm going to get put in the sh*ttiest f*king nursing home in the Northeast, never have any visitors.... and the ultimate "F*ck You?" I'm going to be the villain in A Child Called 'Eso'.

From here on out, it's all "Now, O-Dog... Your little brother doesn't appreciate his fingers being mangled in the door."

"Yes, Daddy Dearest."