Saturday, September 01, 2018

Donald Trump is threatening Google with prosecution because of all the insulting search results of his name. "Yeah, me too," said O.J. Simpson.  

A survey claims men believe women achieve orgasm with them 85% when women say it is more like 52%. Gentlemen, do you realize what this means? Women are worse at math than we thought.

The Glow of Having a Great Teacher 

Here is a cute little nugget, I think.

As my tome about the Sixth Grade 220 Yard Sprint Championship ended with the happy story of my winning the 220, 440, high jump and long jump at the Junior High Track Championship, we, Carlton Washburn, also won the 1972 team championship. And our coach was a great guy, Dave Flahive, a great science teacher and a damn good track coach. 

Mr. Flahive, as we called him, was a young, fit guy and about as cool as a teacher gets because he was not trying to be cool. He just was. How many can name the first name of a teacher you had in 8th grade? 

OK, now that I think about it, I can name a bunch of Junior High teacher’s first name, but only the teachers I liked. Mary McMahon, Clint Burgess, Joe Pomponi, the gym teacher, even though he once choked me and threw me against the wall.  

Pretty sure it was justified, but Joe had a temper.

(Also loved/crushed-on Miss Brodie, later, much to my heartbreak, Mrs. Greenspan, but I can't remember her first name. She personally, one-on-one taught me about iron oxide) 

Our track team consisted of some damn good 13-year-old athletes including Bruce Barkwell, Rob Schoeder, Jeff Lipe, Sam Detmer, Pete Wagelmouth and Phelps Hoyt. Am still friends with Jeff, Bruce and Phelps.

So I am a big fan of the Netflix show “GLOW” (Whoa, where is this idiot going with this?) Relax, I will show you. 

“GLOW” was recommended by people on Twitter who are damn good comedians and it stars one of my favorite comedians in Marc Maron. It also features the talented Alison Brie, she of “Funny or Die” and “Community” fame. Check her out in the “Bad Dog” “What Can Brown Do For You?” skits on “Funny or Die.” 


The show “GLOW” is about the real ’80’s show, “The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.” Like “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Nobodies,” “Maron” -  starring, you guessed it, Marc Maron -  “Barry,” “You’re the Worst” and Judd Apatow’s “Love,” it is a show about making it or trying to make it in Hollywood.

There are two types of people, most people who hate pro wrestling and those who love it way too much. Those, like me, who hate it hate it because it is fake. Those who love it think it is real. 

“GLOW” does a great job of pointing out the truth is somewhere in between. Yes, the matches are choreographed, but there is real athleticism and real injuries. In the real “GLOW” one woman grotesquely broke her arm during a match.

“GLOW” also gave me more empathy to the people who love pro wrestling. We all are fairly good at suspended disbelief. Look at the the “Star Wars” fans, they are smart as hell, nerds, but smart as hell, and they almost completely believe “Star Wars” is real.

That is what the fans of pro wrestling do. Plus, the wrestlers really do fly through the air and land on each other and bleed and get hurt. So, if anything, pro wrestling  is far more real than movies.  

One night while eye-guzzling "GLOW", I noticed the co-creator and co-head writer was named Liz Flahive. Since eighth grade, that is only the second time I have seen the name Flahive.   

As I am not a believer in coincidences, especially duplicating five jokes in a row, I had a strong feeling there might be a connection.  

So, sure enough, Liz Flahive is on Twitter. So I tweet to her asking, due to the uniqueness of the name, if she is any relation? T'was not (first time ever using T'was) expecting a response because Liz is a big-time TV writer. Was a writer out of NYU for "Seventeen" magazine and on the hit shows “Nurse Jackie” and “Homeland” and others. (Thank you, Google)  

But, no she, Liz Flahive, responded quite sweetly. And guess what? 

Dave Flahive is her dad. Slap my face and call me Betty. 

Liz tweeted me she would say hi to her dad for me and the above mentioned track team. Not sure if he will remember me, but he should remember that track team. If he does remember me, I regret to think it is because my hormone-to-brains ratio in eighth grade was running about ten-to-one.  

Especially in Miss Golden’s class. Her long blonde hair, perfume and her cute little knit mini dresses? Two words: damn it.

Miss Golden must have thought I was quite a dedicated student as many was the time I sat there after the bell rang with my face buried in a book while actually reciting the Cubs lineup in my head.

But I digress. 

To all the great eighth grade teachers out there, like Dave Flahive - and they have to be dedicated considering the psycho, hormone-raging, acne-having and braces-wearing little nut-jobs they have to teach - your effect on your students is everlasting.

Or I should say ever-glowing. 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Lace up your Chucks and skattywag out this shadoobie, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers  

They decided not to let Madonna repeat her "VMA" tribute to Aretha at her funeral. They were afraid the sound of Aretha spinning in her grave would drown everything out.

In France, a beach was closed due to swimmers being attacked by a horny dolphin. Side note, Elton John's song, "Tiny Dancer," was originally called "Horny Dolphin."

What probably gave Aretha Franklin the serenity and peace to slip away was the knowledge Pete Davidson would be at her funeral.

Fashion Week in London will feature the world's first robot fashion model. It is like a regular fashion model only it eats more and is more compassionate to humans.

Eminem's new album is titled "Kamikaze." It is aptly named because, after listening to it, you will want to crash into something.  

A study claims no amount of alcohol is good for you. This study was conducted by people who have not had to have a drink after a 5:00 PM writing deadline with nothing written at 4:15 PM, you snotty, judgmental rat-bastards.

(Sorry, that got away from me there at the end) 

Since you asked:

Tried my daughter's chili and lime-flavored Lays potato chips. How truth-in-advertising laws do not force them to call them vomit-flavored potato chips, I do not know. 

Does anyone else find the brilliant and hilarious Sacha Baron Cohen's humiliation of even the worst people on the planet, like OJ Simpson, hard to watch? I sure do. 

Having said that, Donald Trump likes to brag he is the only one smart enough to have figured out Sacha Baron Cohen's Ali G ruse and walk out on him.

Like most things Trump says, that is a revised lie. 

We, the audience, are in on the fact that the brilliant Sacha Baron Cohen's rapper-wannabe, Ali G, is a mouth-breathing idiot. 

As a result, you see very famous and important people stifling laughs, showing impatience and indignation, but nobody was rude to him.

While interviewing Buzz Aldrin, Ali G asked why we haven't flown to the sun. Buzz, notorious for being thin-skinned like Donald Trump, patiently explains why that would not work. Ali G replies,

"But we could try and go at night."

The people being interviewed have no idea Ali G is a gag. Including Donald Trump. Donald Trump was just the first person to be rude enough to get up and walk out on what he thought was simply a dim-witted interviewer. Just like he mocked the handicapped reporter.

What is that old saw? You can measure a man by how he treats people who cannot benefit him? By that and each and every other barometer, Donald Trump is righteous trash.

Underrated word-smith comedian, Gary Gulman, does a hilarious bit about the documentary of the meeting of people responsible for abbreviating all of the states to two letters for the Post Office. (Dottie, the lush minx, wise-cracking secretary, is hilarious) 

He talks about how when they got bogged down on Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota, and Mississippi, shots were fired. Enemies became friends, friends became enemies. To say nothing of all the states that start with New.

So they brought in a pro. They hired a contractor. Not a CONtractor, a conTRACTOR. The wizard of apostrophesation, the god of the sky comma. He came up with O’Clock. Before that, everyone was saying “Off the clock.” He said, “I can get rid of the ffthe.” 

Would’ve, could’ve and should’ve became the holy trinity of regret. (Also modal auxiliaries) 

His most controversial was using an apostrophe to contract will not. They said he would not dare contract will not without an L. He said, “I won’t? I just did.”

It got me to thinking, slang already takes liberties with the apostrophe. Didn’t, which already as an apostrophe from did not, has been shortened again to d’n’t. As in, “Oh no he d’n’t.” Yes he did. Or I should say, yes he d’d. 

So, I thought, why not run with it? Just use an apostrophe, or the sky comma, when you feel like it. 

Donald Trump would be D’n’ld Tr’mp.  

You could write someone is a m’th’rf'ck’r and get away with it. Or a c’ck s’ck’r.      

And Tomi Lahren would be a c’nt. 

Simple Man - Lynyrd Skynyrd - Lyrics HD

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Wallace T. Cornwallace, T. Bone Wallace and the confederacy of Wallaces, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

The Feds are investigating if a crooked financier used laundered money to pay off Chris Christie and a Donald Trump lawyer. Trump has to be worried. The last thing anyone wants is Chris Christie rolling over on them.

In France, a dolphin caused a beach to be closed because it tried to mate with swimmers. The dolphin sexually harassed so many people, it was hired by Nike.

In HBO's "Hard Knocks," the Cleveland Browns have a large trailer home for napping. Much better idea for the 0-16 Browns than napping during the games.

Give comedian Louis CK credit for his comeback attempt. Now he is trying to be a jerk onstage, but a nice guy off. Before he was a nice guy onstage, but a jerk off.

Man, I was so worried when I saw Aaron Rodgers was trending on Twitter, but it is because he signed a deal with the Packers. Because anyone who broke up with Olivia Munn who was charged with sexual harassment, I could never forgive.

Aaron Rodgers signs a six-rear, $174 mil. deal with the Packers. In a related story, the rest of the Packers will be payed in bitcoins and groupons. And cheese and cheese by-product. 

Donald Trump is threatening to sue Google because when you Google Donald Trump, negative things come up. "Can we make this a class action lawsuit?" Asked Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein.

Since you asked:

The Sixth Grade Championship 220-Yard Race

When I was in sixth grade, the school championship race at Skokie School was a 220-yard straight race on the block-long grass between Skokie School to the east, which had sixth graders, and Carlton Washburn Junior High to the west, which had seventh and eighth graders. 

We had no track, so the race was just a straight line on the grass for 220 yards. And it was as big deal. The winners of the last 20 years had their name engraved on a big plaque hanging on the brick wall between the boys and girls gyms. 

This race was timed during all the PE classes on the Friday two weeks before the end of school. The winner had the best time of the day. 

At the end of the day, yours truly had the fastest time, but just barely ahead of Bruce Rockwell and Pat Hayes, both long considered the two fastest kids in all of Winnetka. 

Look out, kids, there's a new sheriff in town.

To say I was ecstatic does not describe it. This was my proudest moment in sports to date. The coveted Skokie School 220 Championship race was mine. My name was going on the plaque on the wall for posterity and eternity.

The was a crowning achievement in my transition from fourth grade dork to sixth grade jock.  

But, alas, it was not to be.

Because the three of us had such close times, some genius decided to change protocol and hold a championship race at the Field Day, one week later, which was one week before the last day of school. And, as always, they would proclaim the champion at the awards assembly held in the afternoon after the last day of school.

Angry bitterness does not begin to describe my resentment. Since I had the fastest time, I should have been given the championship. But I put on my big-boy pants, swallowed my disappointment and prepared for the big race on Field Day.

It turns out the decision to hold a championship race on Field Day was decided by the head gym teacher, Mr. Anderson, a white-haired athletic man who called everyone “Tiger” rather than learn their name. 

Mr. Anderson used to hold a private wrestling class in the wrestling gym above the basketball gym after school. It was invitation only and he would invite a select group of the most muscular young boys to wrestle against him, with their shirts off. Once I was invited, but I politely declined. Mr. Anderson seemed to hold that against me. (Glad that was the only thing he held against me)

How Mr. Anderson did not go to prison for his pervy wrestling sessions, I do not understand. But I digress.

So Field Day finally rolls around. 

How adorable, a bunch of 11-year-olds getting excited about running on the grass, you’re probably thinking. Pure Norman Rockwell, right? No, this was the Olympics as far as we were concerned. There were colorful streamers, balloons, the smell of popcorn. It was a festive carnival, but a deadly serious race.

And Bruce Rockwell and my rivalry was really taking shape. Bruce came in earlier that fall from fifth grade as close to a rock star as a sixth grader could be. He was handsome, blond, the best at football, baseball and track. And he played drums in a band. And he was quite the lady’s man. But I had caught up to him in both football and now track. 

My friendly but serious rivalry with Bruce would extend through high school and eventually extend over the favors of a beautiful cheerleader. Now, I won’t tell you who won. (I did, I won) 

Bruce and I are still friends. He still plays the drums and I am sure is still a lady’s man. But again, I digress.

Because they had to run three heats, they somehow came up with this brilliant decision: instead of having the three fastest runners in the last heat like all normal races, they decided to divide the three fasted kids, me, Bruce Rockwell and Pat Hayes, into three different heats. That way, they could dramatically announce the winner as a surprise at the awards assembly.

In track terms, this is beyond idiotic. But as drama, it was pretty good.

So Bruce wins his heat by five yards. Pat wins his heat by six yards.

My turn. 

No lie, I pull a Secretariat-at-Belmont and win my heat by 20 yards. Second in my heat was my good friend, Steve Lewis, a great big kid and a strong athlete, maybe the best athlete, but a tad slow of hoof.

The last day of school before the awards assembly, there is a knot in my stomach the size of a shot put the entire day. But I was 95% sure I had won. Make that 96%.

At the hot and muggy assembly, the announcement of the race results was torturously the last award. With much drama, the boys-wrestler, Mr Anderson, since he had done everything else ass-backwards, instead of announcing third to first, announces the winner first:

It was Bruce Rockwell.

The entire assembly went crazy, because, as I mentioned, Bruce was the most popular kid in school. 

My heart sunk. Bruce walks up and collects his medal and returns to his seat. Just when I felt I could not feel worse, Mr. “Wrestler” Anderson announced second place was Pat Hayes. 

In shock, but furious, I stood up and started walking out of my row to speed up and get over with the agony of collecting my lousy third place medal, angrily and rudely knocking against the knees of the seated people in my way, I quickly made my way down the aisle toward the stage when Mr. Anderson announced, 

"And third place goes to Steve Lewis."  

The entire assembly laughed at me as I stopped dead in my tracks, frozen, I had to turn around and slink my way back to my seat. My face was on fire. 

From having won the championship time in gym class to having won my heat on Field Day by 20 yards, somehow I had not even placed. 

My only source of pride that day was I did not break out sobbing like I so desperately wanted to. 

My embarrassment and anger was so overwhelming, to try and comfort myself, I made a vow to train hard that entire summer. This humiliation would not stand.

And I did. Workout.  

Almost every day that summer, I would ride my bike to the high school track a two-mile workout on it's own - and run one mile as fast as a I could, and ride the two miles back. 

And in doing so, I fell in love with these summer training sessions. They were character developing. They were therapeutic. It was the first time I fell in love with running just for the sake of running. And I learned I liked being alone and working out. Looking back, it was a key turning point in my life.  

Two years later, at the Junior High Track Championships, which was not just the championship of my Carlton Washburn Junior High, but all of the juniors highs in the New Trier high school district, comprising six schools representing the towns of Winnetka, Glencoe, Wilmette and Kenilworth, I won the 220, the 440, the long jump and the high jump.

Nobody had ever won more than two events before. I won a record four.   

There is no doubt seeking revenge from my humiliation at the sixth grade awards assembly and losing the 220 Sixth Grade Championship caused that to happen.

Four years later, I ran into an old friend from elementary school, Bob Long, who went to our sister high school, New Trier West, so I had not seen him for years. 

Bob told me he was one of the timers of 220 on Field Day. In keeping with the theme of the worst organized race in history, they had assigned a timer to each runner instead of timers for first second and third. 

Bob told me that the guy who timed, me, Jim Swenson, had forgotten to start his watch. 

The guy who got third overall got second in my heat, Steve Lewis, the guy I beat by 20 yards.  How could I have not figured out that if the guy who finished second to me by 20 yards was third overall. 

Of course I really won by ten yards.

But I didn’t figure it out. And I got mad. And I got even. Revenge is for suckers. But working hard for a reckoning? That is spiritually uplifting.  

Thank god Jim Swenson ruined my time. 

Another 2,000 words written today with another 1,000 sent on Twitter, Facebook, and emails. Back-to-back 3,000 word days.

And the money is flowing in as a result... 

One would think all the brilliant minds in the NFL would start to notice the discrepancy between successful NFL QB’s picked relatively late, like Aaron Rodgers the last one in the green room picked at #21, to Bart Starr and Tom Brady picked in the very last rounds, versus all the top picks who were busts. Too many top pick busts to mention, but team-destroying picks like Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell, Johnny Manziel and Matt Leinhart spring to mind. 

There is something about being a hardworking underdog versus a spoiled diva that is the difference between success and failure in the NFL. Talent is never enough in the NFL. If you don’t have talent and work hard, you are toast.

Speaking of disproving my point, this Baker Mayfield dude looks like the real deal. Part of me wants to say he reminds me of a healthy Joe Namath without a drinking problem. (That is a scary thought) Good looks, charisma, funny, born leader, would rather die than lose. 

Now that I think about it, Baker Mayfield is like Namath with a scooch of Dan Fouts.  

For the rest of the NFL, that is a scary combination.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The real deal. Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Uptown funk you up, Uptown funk you up, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

In France, a beach was closed because a dolphin was trying to mate with the swimmers. 

"Leave me alone, I can stay in the water as long as I want," said Khloe Kardashian.

When asked about the accusation, the dolphin said he did not do it on porpoise.

San Diego Rep., Duncan Hunter, now blames his wife for the Chargers moving to Los Angeles.

For the first time since his horrible sexual misconduct charges, Louis CK performed stand up in New York. Ironically, the show had a happy ending.

"SNL" member Pete Davidson said he thinks Ariana Grande will dump him. "So do we," said every known factor in the universe.

A study claims Viagra can cause an early death. So some men won't know if they're coming or going.

It can also make it harder to close the coffin lid.

Donald Trump is in a feud with Google. He gets mad because every time he Googles Trump Administration it shows a picture of a dumpster fire.

Of course Trump hates Google, when you type something into the search it gives you the truth.

Western Illinois sent out a memo telling men that masturbating in the dorm showers is a violation of their health rules. In a related story, applications to go to Western Illinois are down 57%. 

This was a surprising memo coming from a college whose mascot is the Spanking Monkeys.

(Bill Snake) 

In France, a beach was closed because a dolphin was trying to mate with the swimmers. One victim, a  middle-aged woman, was particularly upset. "He lives in the ocean. How am I supposed to get in touch with him?"

Since you asked:

Watched  “The Big Chill” again after many, many years. Wow, that movie did not age all that well. Sort of  like mayonnaise in the sun. What a bunch of whining narcissists. Jeff Goldblum’s character is patient Zero for terminal douche-isim. 

Good music, though.

Great story from that movie. The opening scene looks to be a guy getting dressed. They brush his brown hair, wipe a smudge off his polished black shoe. Turns out it is a corpse getting prepared for a funeral.

The corpse was played by Kevin Costner. It was his first big movie. The director and writer, Lawrence Kasdan, decided to cut his part out. The first scene was Costner as Alex with his girlfriend, played by Meg Tilly. Kasdan decided, like “Jaws,” it would work better if you did not see the character Alex in the opening scene and used your imagination.

But Kasdan dreaded breaking the news to the starving actor, Kevin Costner. Kasdan said it was the toughest thing he ever had to do in movies. Kasdan braced himself for an emotional young actor-like meltdown. Actors have been known to throw tantrums because one scene of theirs was clipped. Costner’s entire role was out, so even though his behavior on set was excellent, he had every right to throw a tantrum. 

Costner could not have been more professional. He thanked Kasdan for the money and the big break and said, while sad, he understood being cut. He added he hoped to work with Kasdan again sometime.   

Lawrence Kasdan, like Judd Apataw,  is nothing if not loyal to his movie family. He has about ten family members in “The Big Chill” and the ensemble cast loved each other. Kasdan was so touched by Costner’s reaction, he vowed to find a movie for Kevin Costner to star in.

Thus became the movie “Silverado.” 

Kevin Costner, thanks to Lawrence Kasden, now has a 70 acre beachfront home South of Santa Barbara in Carpentaria. But when he needs to relax, he goes to his ranch in Aspen. 

If he had thrown a tantrum, he would have none of that. Loyalty and class always pays off. 

Also saw Showtimes documentary on Lynyrd Skynyrd called "If I Leave Here Tomorrow."

   Myths are the logs that stoke rock and roll's fires

Lord knows how I love both rock documentaries and I love Lynyrd Skynyrd. 

But this movie focused too much on the plane crash. We needed more about stories from the road and how songs were made.   

One of the things that hit me right away is that I thought, while lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, was the real deal, I figured the rest of them were sensitive musician types and they were just playing the role of a bar-fighting Southern redneck band.

That was only true of California kid, guitarist Ed King.

Oh, my, oh no. These other guys were from West Jacksonville. West Jacksonville is a dump's idea of a dump. These guys were dirt-poor, gritty fishermen, hunters, farmers and fist-fighters. 

They practiced in a red shed in the swamp. That was where all of their first songs were written exactly like they were on the first album, including "Gimme Three Steps", "Tuesday's Gone" "Simple Man" and "Freebird." There is not one bad song on that entire album and those aforementioned songs are legends. 

They would improvise a guitar solo while creating the song. But once they had a solo like they liked it, they were Eagles-like in playing it identically live. 

Because word got out that their gear was stored in this red shack they they called Hell House, due to the insane heat and humidity, thieves broke in and stole crap. So each night, one band member had to hang out in there battling the sweltering heat, swarming mosquito's and water moccasins and occasional alligator to guard it with a gun.

They had a demo fully recorded of their first album and shopped it around to nine record companies. Nine. All nine turned them down flat. And that is with "Freebird." 

Nine record companies turned down Lynyrd Skynyrd's first album.

And you want to become a musician?

The name is of the band is even a better story than I thought. Like everyone, I heard they were getting back at a mean gym teacher who hated hippies. Yes and no.

There was a popular funny song in the late Sixties I remember called "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah." It is a kid writing home from camp. It contained these lyrics:

"You remember Leonard Skinner

He got Ptomaine poisoning last night after dinner"

So Leonard Skinner became the joke name of anyone the band did not know. Who's on the phone? Leonard Skinner. Who is that guy standing there, Leonard Skinner.

Then, out of the blue, guitarist Gary Rossington is complaining his a-hole gym teacher wants his hair cut. They ask him the guy's name and he says Leonard Skinner. They thought he was joking. No. The guy's name was really Leonard Skinner.

Ronnie Van Zant considered that a sign from god and they never went back. Besides, their first name, One Percent, sucked. 

As tough, talented, motivated, hard-working as they were, like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, they needed luck. And they found it in the person of a certified musical genius, Al Kooper. (Not Alice) 

And with that luck of finding their music savior and guru, having already been playing for nothing for three years, they still had another four years of playing honky tonks, piled into one truck and slept four to cheap motel rooms. 

It is hard to imagine how much hard working, blue collar bands, like Lynyrd Skynyrd, love music because most of us do not even know anyone who loves something that much. It slides over into the crazy side. When they start out, they have nothing else. Food included. 

For comparison, take something that someone has to deeply love to keep doing: playing minor league baseball. Hot sweaty bus rides, two to a room in cheap hotels, bad food. That is luxury compared to a beginning rock band.

No bus, everyone piled in a van, four to six to a room, if they have a room at all and no food instead of bad food. 

If these guys had not been so damn tough and so young and so uniformed of their statistical chances of making it and so talented and so driven, there is no way they would have made it. No way. 

Someone put it really well in the documentary when guitarist Ed King quit in 1975 when they were at their peak. They said as hard as it is to make it in the music business, it is even harder to stay in it. The music business, especially in 1975's cocaine era, flew in the face of having a family, a wife, friends, and good health.

For seven years, they lived in gritty, bloody squalor just to play music in dive bars, drink, fight and do it again. You know how sleazy roadhouses have chicken wire to protect the band from the patrons? Lynyrd Skynyrd was the first band to need chickenwire to protect the patrons from the band.

While an unbelievably charismatic singer, lyricist, performer and leader, Ronnie Van Zant was a legit psychotically mean drunk. He was short, but strong and tenacious, he had trained as a boxer. Ronnie had been a damn good baseball player. They all were baseball players, that is how most of them met.

Apparently being a hippy in Jacksonville in the Seventies was like being a member of the Taliban at a Seal reunion. Hated does not come close. 

One night, Van Zant goes after his childhood friend and one of three great lead guitarists, Gary Rossington, the guy who gave them the rift on "Sweet Home Alabama." Van Zant breaks a whisky bottle and yells, "You'll never play guitar again." And proceeds to cut both of Rossington's hands badly with the broken bottle. 

Playing the next night with bandages on his hands leaking blood all over his guitar, the critics thought it was a cool special effect. 

Many of them were missing many teeth.   

Lynyrd Skynyrd seemed like overnight success to all of us because they were young when they made it, 24, but that was because they started at 16 and 17. 

Their motivation at 17 was to make it out of Jacksonville. So what did they do when they made it big? They all stayed in Jacksonville. Ronnie Von Zant had a one-story brick house by a river so he could fish. He added another third to it when they hit it big.

They did a ton of drugs, drank whisky, passed groupies around like joints and crashed cars. But the cars they crashed were used T-Birds. Not Ferrari's. They built homes on the edge of the swamp by the river. 

Hell, the reason their plane crashed was because it was an old piece of crap twin prop. (The one in "Almost Famous" is exactly like it) They could have, and should have, afforded a Lear Jet. 

But, let's face it, like Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis, their myth would not have grown if they had lived. 

And myths are the logs that stoke rock and roll's fires. 

(Oh, snap, Lex, buddy. Get over your damn self on that one. Kiss myself, so pretty) 

One of the most consistent themes I have learned reading all of my rock biographies is that rock and roll is not nearly as glamorous as we want it to be. The performance is slick, but nothing else is. Especially the groupies. It is not being too harsh to insert the word skanks. Or the words nasty skanks. 

When I saw Lynyrd Skynyrd at Comiskey Park in 1976, it was brutally hot, dusty and crowded with idiot drunks. And, it turns out, we were living like the royal family compared to the band members.

No, if it is possible, Lynyrd Skynyrd was even more than their image. Other bands, like the Stones and the Eagles and even Led Zeppelin, worked hard at creating an image of a wild rock band. 

But the truth is most of them were wimpy and skinny effete musicians.

Lynyrd Skynyrd had to play their real image down a notch or ten or they would have scared their audience to death.

These are few of my favorite smells:

Suntan lotion

Peanut butter

Ivory soap


Mount Gay Rum

The ocean

Thanksgiving turkey cooking

A Christmas tree

The mystical combination of eucalyptus trees, fog, ocean and tar that is the smell of Santa Barbara.

Grilling red meat.

Oak wood smoke

Wet dog (Yes, the smell isn't great, but it means you have a happy dog) 

Pool water with a tad of chlorine


Bread baking

A baseball mitt

New track shoes

Rice cooking

Bar room

Air conditioned air

The burning sugar cane in the sugar factory in Maui on the way from Kihei to go windsurfing at Kanaha. 

Fresh cut grass


Wet paint

Pine wood

Ski wax and surf board wax

Just about any and all women's perfume

Sauteed garlic, onions, peppers, shallots

Dearest Hollywood:

As I have mentioned before, you are missing some seriously easy slam-dunk movies. First, remake the awful “Semi-Tough” Burt Reynolds-ruined football movie and make it exactly like the great Dan Jenkins great novel, “Semi Tough.” 

Now make a bio-pic of Ronnie Van Zant. Name it "Kid Free Bird." This guy is a slam dunk. After watching the Lynyrd Skynyrd documentary, “If I Leave Here Tomorrow” and already being a huge fan, I had no idea how wild this guy and his life actually was. 

Dirt poor. Street fighter. Talented baseball player. Red neck with liberal views. Man of his convictions. True to his word. Unfailing gentlemen to women even with groupies at his feet. Devoted dad and husband as much as he could be. Did not give a flying hump about money or fame.

Oh, and he could write lyric or three. And sing.

It would have everything that is pertinent today. He was for gun control and civil rights living in the middle of a town that hated both. And yet part of their symbol was the Confederate flag. (They used the flag to identify they were from the South, not because of a reminder of the war) 

Apparently being a hippy in Jacksonville in the Seventies was like being a member of the Taliban at a Seal reunion. Hated does not come close. 

Then there is drugs, sex, rock and roll, loyalty, fighting, the insanity of the music business all wrapped up in a charismatic and funny guy who everybody loved. Even though he may have been the ugliest drunk in history. 

"Kid Free Bird." Coming to a theater near you.

See? Two thousand words. I write, on average, one thousand words a day. Usually most of it is 20 jokes. Today, two thousand, but less jokes and a lot of that was drivel about “The Big Chill” and “Lynyrd Skynyrd.” 

Total word output including emails, Twitter posts and two Facebook posts, 3,000 words.

It is two little things I like to call productivity and creativity. 

Uh, you're welcome. 

"Fat guy in a little cooooooooaaaaaaat"