Thursday, January 13, 2005

Oh it's on'r than a mofizzle, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers
But not much worse
Prince Harry got in trouble when a British tabloid picture showed him wearing a Nazi shirt to a costume party. It could have been worse. Apparently Harry's Osama bin Laden costume was still at the cleaners.

No? Really?
The U.S. diet guide has recommended more exercise and less junk food. What a shock. Did they also mention that jumping out of a twenty story window wasn’t so hot for you either?

Let me guess, shooting heroin with a rusty needle into your eye isn't good for you either?

The U.S. diet guide has increased their recommended amount of exercise from 30 minutes to up to an hour and a half a day. That’s just great. The amount I’m not exercising enough just went up.

Just in the nick of time
Major League Baseball has implemented a much stricter steroid policy. It's a safety issue. They decided to do something before Barry Bonds head gets stuck in the clubhouse door.

Maybe we should back off, is all I'm suggesting
Tsunamis, earthquakes, mudslides, volcanoes, floods. Do you get the feeling somebody up there is a little cross with us? Maybe we should tone down the reality TV just a notch?

And now for a really weak Walter Middy impression, here is a little something I like to call:
The Guitar God of Carmel Valley:

The other day I was driving around Carmel Valley and listening to the classic rock of the KGB – the radio station I occasionally write for - when one of my favorite songs from high school came on the radio: Free's "All Right Now". Music, like certain scents, can instantly transport one’s mind back in time, so, in a flash, there I was back to the end of my junior year at New Trier high school in the bucolic suburban Chicago, Illinois hamlet of Winnetka.

It was the night of the big End-of-School/Launch-of-Summer party in the festive lanterns-lit backyard of the palatial estate of the ultimate cool kids, fraternal twin brother and sister Bob and Ann Delaney. It was so realistic, I could smell the freshly-cut grass in the humid air mingling tauntingly with the sweet, floral-scented perfume of long-haired, barefooted and giggling high school girls. Hell, I could practically feel the condensation from the cool, plastic beer cup drip on my fingers and taste the icy Old Style beer fresh from the keg.

Except, unlike at the actual party, this time, in my mind, I was up on the stage with the band playing the guitar to "All Right Now." This was curious because, well, I've never played the guitar, but I decided to see where my thoughts would take me. Sure enough, it was time for my solo. Man, oh man, did I nail that. Not only all the right notes, but just the perfect amount of facial expressions: eyes closed and emoting, but in an Eric Clapton cool way, not too much like a spazzed-out Joe Walsh or Joe Cocker. Even with my eyes closed, though, I sure could tell one thing: the chicks at this here party? They are digging on me massively, OK? (Sniff, teeth-suck, sigh and chortle of smugness)

Now it was nearing the final chorus so I decide to have fun with the chords, ala Keith Richards. After all, they’re just chords and, for an accomplished lead guitarist like myself, chords are a mere cakewalk. So, as I jauntily hit the up-sweep strum and hold up the guitar to shake out every last erotic note, it happens: I catch the eye of the stunningly beautiful and cinnamon-haired Cindy Mathews. (Dammit) Cindy is - as are all the girls, actually - lovingly gazing at me, all dewy-eyed, her hands clasped adoringly against her rosy cheek. On the next heroic chord, sure enough, I turn my head, coyly smile, and toss Cindy a wry tease of a wink. For a second I’m worried she might actually feint dead away, but, no, being the brave-hearted little trooper that she is, Cindy caught and steadied herself in mid-swoon.

Ah, life is grand, but, alas, the song is nigh over. So, with the flourish of a matador raising his red cape, I mightily strike the last resounding chord and nobly hold the pose, guitar pick pointed aloft like some tiny Olympic torch. The applause, needless to say, is deafening. As I high-five the sweaty drummer and ready to hop off the tall stage into the loving arms and kisses of the adoring crowd - and, of course, the embrace of my new love, Cindy Mathews – in the distance, I hear something, at first merely grating, but then growing painfully loud and jarring.

"Are you ever going to take down the Christmas lights and get rid of that damn tree? The needles are spilling off and you aren't the one who has to vacuum them, like it would kill you if you did.”

Wha? Huh? (Cue: the screeching-the-vinyl-record needle)

Appearing out of nowhere, in the passenger seat of my now filthy Grand Cherokee, is my, sweet, lovely but, for some reason, somewhat annoyed real-life wife, Virginia, as she continues with her many complaints in a Charlie-Brown-cartoon-grown-up-blah-blah-blah way.

But, but, but where the hell is Cindy Matthews? Wh, wh, wh, where are Bob and Ann Delaney? I, I, I forgot to thank them for the party. I didn’t say goodbye to the band. Cindy? Cindy, come baaaaack.

For the love of humanity, I am a damn husband, father, home and two-dog owner. My idea of a big night is grilling steaks, drinking a good California red wine and playing Texas Hold E'm poker while listening to Junior Wells on harmonica. Am I ever going to grow up and stop fantasizing about being a guitar hero merely for the sake of stealing the hearts of long-grown-up, late-seventies suburban Illinois former cheerleaders? Am I the only idiot that still does this on a regular basis?

Just wondering.