Saturday, June 30, 2007

Skoal Ring

Recently, I was approached by a gentleman who was looking at my ass. Since I live in Massachusetts, I was not that surprised, being that The Commonwealth is the home of gay marriage and Provincetown, the self-proclaimed "Gayest Town in America."

At first, I was concerned, then I was flattered, then it all became crystal clear.

Him: "Hey, I was looking at your Levi's and I noticed Ring."

Me: "Yeah, so?"

Him: "My wife (motioning to a smoking hot blonde) won't let me buy dip, and I hoped that you might spare one."

Me: "Berry Blend Long Cut okay with you?"

Him: "Absolutely."

Like secret societies, such as the Masons, the Order of the Ring binds cowboys, rednecks, doctors and lawyers who have embraced the gross and disgusting habit known as "dipping." Identified by the white ring worn into the back pocket of their blue jeans, the bulging lower lip, or the cup or water bottle filled with a foul-smelling brown liquid, the Order of the Ring lives in the shadows, not accepted by polite society.

And even though the Order of the Ring has an anthem (Gretchen Wilson's "Skoal Ring") and a large membership--encompassing both sexes--the membership must hide their habit from the public, their loved ones, and employers and co-workers. They risk scorn and ridicule, and horribly disfiguring surgery, in the event of mouth or throat cancer. It is not a safe alternative to cigarettes, and disposing of a spitter (the cup or bottle into which one spits) is sometimes difficult.

And while the habit, for me, is occasional--playing golf, working in the fields, or playing baseball--some people are hooked on the ground tobacco. They just can not quit.

Minor league baseball has banned the use of tobacco products (which is ridiculous, since Major League Baseball has not). College and high school sports have also banned the use of such products. There is, however, a resurgence in the use of smokeless tobacco products as smoking cigarettes is banned in ever more places. I note that Spring Break 2007 was sponsored, in part, by Skoal Citrus; and, even though tobacco companies can no longer sponsor sporting events, just take a look at the fans at any NASCAR race and one will see spitters galore. The use of smokeless tobacco is here to stay, even if it must remain in the shadows.

Oh, and by the way, the guy really was looking at my ass. And the blonde wife? A dude.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


The Massachusetts town of Stoneham, a blue-collar burg just north of Boston, needed $3 million dollars in a Proposition 2 1/2 Override. They got dick, coming up 237 votes short, because voters believe that the problem is not too little taxation, but too much. As a consequence, the town has eliminated inter-scholastic sports.

Stoneham joins 33 other communities in voting down the tax increases "for the children."

Rather than fucking over the kids that participate in sports (and who stay fit and trim in the process), the school board should do a few unconventional things. Things that would not only help the children, but the school, the town, and the bottom line. For, as the Duke of Wellington noted, the battles of life "...are won on the playing fields of Eton and Harrow." And, ostensibly, Stoneham.

So, this is the plan, free of charge, for the pointy-headed intellectuals that sit the school board.

First, reinstate the sports programmes. Immediately, before any of the star athletes move to other towns' schools, or to prep schools. Keep them in the system.

Second, where there is more than one assistant principal at a school, fire him (or her). There is no need for two (or three) assistant principals in a school. If need be, give the remaining assistant a pay rise to make them shut the fuck up. Ten (10%) percent should do the trick.

Third, snacks in the school vending machines. Coke, Pepsi, or Polar Beverages could pay the schools a small sum to get the machines in, then the school can realise some revenue from the sale of sodas, energy drinks, and the like. Similarly, candy bars, chips and other snacks go into the other vending machines. The schools lose money when the machines are filled with inedible shit. Also, the schools should get corporate sponsorships for their athletic fields.

Fourth, every student participating in inter-scholastic sports pays an additional $100.00 activity fee. Believe me, the parents will pay the scoots to have the sporting programmes in place. It is a hell of a lot cheaper than prep school.

Fifth, if the school system is still short, make up for it by cutting administrators. In fact, every school system is top-heavy with administrative staff, so separate the wheat from the chaff, and save some dough.

After all, it is for the children...and, as Governor Deval Patrick's campaign slogan noted, "Together we can..."

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bitches? We Don't Need No Stinking Bitches.

The Massachusetts General Court ensured that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would remain the paragon of punchlines (supplanting even New Jersey), voting to ignore the will of at least 170,000 voters.

The Supreme Judicial Court created a right to homosexual marriage in February of 2004, by a 4-3 vote, and ever since then, opponents have sought the right to have a vote on the issue. Unfortunately, the proponents have cajoled, threatened, and outright bribed legislators to ensure that the will of the people would not be heard.

Last Thursday, legislators voted 151-to-45 to deep-six the efforts to place the issue on the 2008 ballot. At least nine members of the General Court, who were thought to support the right of the people to vote, changed their votes at the last minute. His Excellency, the Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, made some back-room deals to ensure that the Gang of Nine voted their consciences, and not their constituencies.

And, truth be told, the opponents of same-sex marriage got (their pole) smoked by the supporters, for failing to define their opposition, for failing to ensure that they didn't sound like a bunch of bigoted freaks.

Now, frankly, I would think that the supporters would want a vote, to show how many citizens support homosexual marriage. But, they are afraid--deathly afraid--that the citizenry will take away their illegitimate right. The one created out of the constitutional ether.

My opposition to same-sex marriage is this: Marriage is a union--traditionally, Biblically, empirically--between one man and one woman. Not a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, or a man and eight women (hence the fact that bigamy is a crime, and polygamy is outlawed). Marriage is also a word. One word that describes the aforementioned union.

If I can not use "gay" (to describe my feelings when I am happy) or "fag" (to talk about cigs, when I am in the UK) without going to a rehab, then the homosexual community can not have "marriage."

Civil unions, maybe. Marriage, no.

Not to mention the fact that, with some planning, a same-sex couple has all of the rights as a heterosexual couple (save for the Marriage Tax that the Democrat party wants to bring back). All they have to do is make their wishes known, through a lawyer, and they will be able to ensure financial stability for their mate, to ensure care, maintenance and support for their adopted children, and to pass wealth along to their partner. They don't need marriage. They don't even need civil unions, for that matter.

They do need to have a vote, and to let the chips fall where they may.

And, for those of you idiots who think that this is like holding a referendum on slavery, it is not. 600,000 Americans are not dying anytime soon to preserve (or eliminate) this so-called right. Same sex marriage is not a civil rights issue, it is a lifestyle issue, and to try to make it a civil rights matter is to denigrate those that fought to eliminate discrimination based upon race and colour.

The bottom line is that there is only one way that this should have gone down (sorry--poor choice of phrases): The General Court should have allowed the matter to go to the ballot in November of 2008. They should have voted unanimously to let it go to the ballot, because they ultimately represent everyone in their district, not just four or five percent of the populous. Instead, they showed their hubris, their absolute disregard for the legislative process. They have taken a massive dump on the Constitution of the Commonwealth, and of the American way. In so doing, they have shown their contempt for the proponents and opponents alike.

Same-sex marriage remains legal, but tainted. A right crafted by four appointed justices, immune from any vote on their fitness for their office, supported by a legislature secure in the knowledge that the idiots in Massachusetts will continue to send them back to Beacon Hill and, a governor who has two hands and can not find his ass.

Had the matter gone to the ballot, and same-sex marriage been affirmed, I would have accepted it as the will of the people. I would have at least had a vote, a chance to be heard. (Unfortunately, the other side would not have expressed the same grace had they lost.)

In the meantime, I am going out to smoke a fag, and have a gay old time this glorious day. Hell, if they can have "marriage", I want all of my words back.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Religion of Peace, 1
United States of America, 0

Ali al-Marii, a former Bradley University student, got a win from the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, stating that the government must charge the Qatari citizen (and legal U.S. resident) or release him from military custody. The three-judge panel opined that the Military Commissions Act does not strip al-Marii of his rights; and, in a 2-1 ruling, noted that "...the Constitution does not allow the President to order the military to seize civilians residing within the United States and then detain them indefinitely without criminal process, and this is so even if he calls them 'enemy combatants.'"

The case of al-Marii is interesting, in that all that he did was have credit card numbers on his computer, along with ties to al-Qaida. As such, his case was transferred to the military courts, given that the government did not care so much about the fact that he might use your credit card to buy goat food at Agway as they did about him using your credit card to buy fertiliser and diesel fuel.

The great irony, of course, is that for all of the supposed trampling of the rights of ordinary citizens by the Bush Administration, the steps taken by Abraham Lincoln (16th President of the United States) to preserve the Union were far worse. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, imprisoned dissenters, and had the military put down rioters. All President Bush did was have a guy with a mullet arrested for ties to a terrorist organisation.

As a final aside, think about this in terms of the amnesty proposed to the millions of illegal immigrants. Once they are in possession of their Z-Visas, they will get the same rights as al-Marii, so don't even think about detaining these guys if they are arrested for acts of terror against the United States (or, the planning of such acts).

The government has asked the full Fourth Circuit to hear the case, with a possible appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Lifeguard will be watching this one closely.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Better Than Viagra!

Christopher "Morning" Woods, a New York man, bought (and drank) a can of Boost Energy Drink and woke the next day with morning wood that would not subside. Said Woods, "Usually, I have a piss hard-on first thing in the morning, but this was different, strange, magical."

"I went to take a leak, but pissed all over my face," Woods said.

He was ultimately hospitalised for treatment of his severe priapism, and has since had to have surgery on his wang. He has sued Novartis AG for giving him a long-lasting erection.

Funnily enough, Pfizer has made billions for giving men the same thing.

It reminds me of a weekend, many years ago, when my girlfriend, a Lufthansa flight attendant, asked if she and three of her friends could stay with me for the weekend. Hormones raging, I went to the pharmacist and asked for something--anything--that could help me stay aroused all weekend.

He gave me something that he said was potent, advising me to take only a small amount.

I figured if a little was good, then a lot would be great, and I took the entire preparation.

On Monday, I went to see him, asking for some Icy Hot and a bottle of aspirin.

He said, "Christ, if you put Icy Hot on your dick, you will die."

I said, "It's for my elbow. Their flight was cancelled."

But, that is a story for another day.


Tonight, I was behind a truck, emblazoned with a picture of a jar of mayonnaise, with the words "Mayonnaise: A Culinary Tradition Since 1756."

Is there anything else that needs to be said?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


The results are in, and my colon is "...amazing."

As I contemplated my navel, and the paper shorts with the tape-strip rear door, I scanned my iPod for appropriate procedure music.

At first, I thought about Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run. Then, I contemplated some Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Finally, I settled on a musical shuffle, songs popping up at random, and putting me in the mood for the invasion.

As an aside, I note the beautiful synergy of having a colonoscopy on the 63d anniversary of D-Day.

I also would point out that, at no time, was the song "Chances Are" playing while I was having the procedure.

I said that I wanted to have a minimal amount of sedation, so that I could watch the progress of the probe.

My nurse said, "Yeah, right. Everyone says that, then they chicken out about a third of the way through the [ten minute] procedure."

Me: "No, I want to watch. And, I won't be crying for drugs midway through."

Nurse: "Suuuure. [To the other nurse] How long before you have to give him more versed?"

Me: "I'll make it."

Nurse: "I'll bet you a hundred dollars you won't."

And so, I watched, the whole damn thing. It was not pleasant, but it wasn't horrible either. Ten minutes of my life, which could very well have saved my life, if there were any problems. Ten minutes that could have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in cancer treatment, and spared family and friends a great deal of anguish.

In the end, everything was fine. The music worked nicely (Jimmy Buffett's "Holiday" makes a neat contrast to a camera jammed up your ass), and I won my bet. Unfortunately, the nurse welshed on her bet.


And, I have proof, with a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that I am a perfect asshole. But, I knew that.
Rectum? Damn Near Killed 'Um.

On the whole, this has been a pretty painless experience. I have reached that stage of my life where, as a precautionary matter, I began preparing for a colonoscopy. Gone are the days when one had to make a drastic dietary change, then drink gallons of a bilious sludge. Now, one only need to take a couple of tablets, then drink a total of three ounces of something called Phospho-Soda. It is still bilious; but, the results are the same, and there is no need to suffer through hours of drinking the giant bottle of gunk.

The reasons for having this procedure are numerous, especially if one has a family history of colon cancer. Caught early, colon cancer is eminently treatable, and survivable. In the long run, it minimises the cost of health care; and, the procedure is quick and (relatively) painless.

Colon cancer afflicts more people annually than breast cancer; and, yet, breast cancer gets something like five times more research dollars than colon cancer. This is due, in large part, to the fact that tits are sexier than ass.

Really, breast cancer has a pink ribbon, breasts are soft and beautiful (or firm and perky), and right in front of our faces. Colon cancer has no ribbon (and if it did, it would be brown), asses are smelly and gross, and nobody wants one right in front of their face.

I always thought that one of the greatest comments about the colonoscopy came from comedian, Dennis Miller, who remarked that his colonoscopy was "...being shot in the IMAX format..." and that the hardest part was when David Breshears and his Sherpa, Lap Sing, filmed it.

Unfortunately, mine is being shot in the less expensive 35mm format, and it should be ready for Sundance 2008.

Check this space for confirmation that I am, indeed, a perfect asshole.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Diversity Day Comes To The Jury Pool...

There will be no lifeguard on duty.