Sunday, February 26, 2006



I did not grow up with Don Knotts as Barney Fife, nor did I grow up with him as Mr. Limpet. The Don Knotts I grew up with was the one who played Ralph Furley on “Three’s Company.” God, I thought, Mr. Furley had to be a lucky man to live one floor below two gorgeous women, and be stupid enough to think Jack Tripper was gay. He hid his insecurity in his loud wardrobe and guffawing laughs.

Don Knotts was the running example of how laughter can be the best medicine. Like George Burns, who lived to be over 100 and outlasted his doctors who told him to stop smoking, and Richard Pryor, who battled his drug and MS demons to live as long as he did, Don Knotts leveraged his avuncular style, deer-in-the-headlights demeanor, and aw-shucks goofiness to bring us all a lot of laughter and tears over many, many years.

Thank you, Don.


Ain't this gnarly? I hate this music, though, this CD, like, plays only the Olympic hymn.

It’s late February, there’s no football in the horizon, and I find myself sinking ever-so-surely into my midwinter-induced narcoleptic stupor. The Olympics in Torino didn’t salve my fatigue, as I resolutely refused to watch the first week of the quadrennial event, and caved in only because Michelle Kwan quit, and I wanted to see the upstarts Sasha Cohen, Emily Hughes, and Kimmie Meissner perform on the stage. In spite of their falls and pratfalls, Hughes, Meissner and Cohen must be commended for their incredible performances in the Olympics. Placing 2nd, 5th and 7th, given their combined level of experience and talent, is nothing short of amazing.

So, if I’m VERRRY bored, what do I do? For starters, I thought – wouldn’t it be interesting to see what pictures I came up with, based on image searches of certain keywords? So I went to Yahoo! News Search to do my work (plain Google would have been a no-brainer, but there were way too many irrelevant results to make this worth my while, so I needed a controlled sample. You learn something in statistics class.)

I keyed in the word “funny” in the Yahoo! News Search and came up with those pictures:

A Dutch fan at the Olympic speedskating competition in Torino. They're nuts for this sport in their home country. I don't understand their fascination with speedskating, for the same reason I don't understand southern American men's fascination with NASCAR.

Funny car. Pretty easy find.

Now, the third search result for the word "funny" was this image of the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. If this Western-hating, Holocaust-denying, nuclear-loving leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran rates as the third image search result for the word "funny" in Yahoo! News Search, THAT is very funny. After all, his actions have even embarrassed many moderates in the Iranian government.

Hmm…. how about if I searched “beautiful”? Again, you’ll be surprised by the results:

Not sure why a Singapore Airlines plane rates as a beautiful image. Perhaps the absence of gum (illegal in Singapore) and governmentally-condoned canings of underage Americans have something to do with it.

Ummmmmm, okay. Beautiful? Moving on...

When Rachel Hunter isn’t even the first result in the search, something is very wrong.


The Olympic sport of tug-of-war has gone to the dogs.

Seeing as 8 of the 23 medals won by Americans (through February 23rd) are in snowboarding and freestyle skiing – all sports that originated in the United States – I have to wonder about the origins of some of the more recently introduced Olympic sports, and whether American-derived sports are dominating the Olympic scene. After all, baseball and softball got cut as Olympic sports in recent years.

I checked the official Olympic site for sports which were performed at past Olympics, but are no longer part of the Olympic scene. This is a very interesting list.

Cricket – Honest to God, I’ve never seen a cricket performance. I imagine it involves a paddle and a ball. Here in the US, paddles are used only in fraternity houses.

Croquet – One word: ZZZZZZZZZZ.

Jeu de paume – Basically, this is tennis without racquets. Try fielding a 135-mph Roscoe Tanner serve with your bare hand.

Lacrosse – Too American-oriented, and even then, it's popular only in the mid-Atlantic States. Love watching it, but it's not going to be an Olympic sport any time soon unless it has a truly global following.

Pelote basque – Found only in Basque regions in Spain and in select locations of southwestern Connecticut.

Polo – Who wants to see Prince Charles on the medal podium?

Power boating – If they allow this in the Olympics, what’s next, Indy car racing? Jeff Gordon winning gold medals will be too much for any sane American, let alone other countries, to swallow.

Rugby – Hey if the London 2012 organizers are gonna put rugby in the Olympics, let’s bring American football into THIS!

Tug of war – now HOW fun would that be? Put the U.S. on one side, China on the other, and hear ‘em grunting in English and Mandarin. If this makes it back to the Olympics, they’ll rename it “rope pulling.” No one in the Olympic movement wants a sport with the word “war” in it.

Ok, th-th-th-that's all folks!

(Nope, nothing about the NFL combine. Go talk to Creek.)


Creek! said...

No you go talk to Creek. I can't stand the cunt.

Watership2 said...

take your zyprexa!