Smile Politely

A perfect place for a dog to go

Hey, the date today is 10/11/12. Neat. Those sorts of things are fun. You know what’s also fun? Thinning the herd. The end of the world is drawing very close, especially if you believe in that whole Mayan calendar thing. I don’t personally know any Mayans, so I’m not sure they can be trusted with making such a big decision for the entire world. Still, I might get a little nervous on December 21st.

The thing is, I won’t be nervous on December 21st because of the end of the world. I’ll just be nervous because I will have done nothing but drink for ten days in a row by then and I will still have about twelve more to go. Either way, you might as well enjoy the rest of October and November, just in case. In the meantime, let’s get it on.


The best part about walking the dogs this time of year is that I get to peruse the neighborhood and see who all the folks who live near me are voting for. I don’t have to break into their house and rummage around like usual either. All I have to do is look at the political signs in their yards. Those signs are fantastic because they give me something to think about and give the dogs something to pee on.

I know candidates have to get their names out there, but it’s just so little information. I see a candidate’s name and I know nothing about his or her policies. I do, however, know everything I need to know about their preferences in fonts and graphic design.

Ideally, seeing a sign will make the passerby want to learn more about the person and hopefully he or she will spend a little time on research to find who is best for that particular office. Sadly, my guess is that they walk into a voting booth and say, “Oooh, I’ve seen that name somewhere before. He must be good.” It’s the most obvious subliminal advertising ever.

Anyway, every time I see them I recall one of the lower points of my career in television news. It was around this time of year, obviously, and a reporter was working on a story about political signs — who puts them up, who picks them up afterwards, where do they come from, that sort of thing. Of course, this is a wonderful idea for a news story and really takes the voter’s mind off of things like facts and thinking.

The reporter wanted to do a montage at the beginning of the story where she would show rapid-fire video of all the signs around town. She wanted to also add music to this montage, you know, so the viewer wouldn’t drift off during the ninety seconds the story was on the TV. What was so vexing, apparently, was that she couldn’t think of a song that would go along with such a thing.

I mockingly suggested that “sign, sign, everywhere a sign” song, sort of assuming such a thing would be too trite even for local television. It turns out such a suggestion was just trite enough for what she had in mind and so that’s what she went with. I felt sort of ashamed now being part of the problem, and it was also around that time I started using the phrase “lowest common denominator” quite frequently.


Rush has been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That is awesome and they are magnificent, but I have to wonder if what they play is even classified as rock and roll. I mean, I know technically it probably is, but it just seems so different and unrock and unrolly. I suppose, if nothing else, it gives me a reason to pretend I care about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for five minutes.

Public Enemy, NWA, and Kraftwerk are also nominated. Strangely, that sounds liked one of the best concerts I could ever imagine. They should just all get together and form a “supergroup.” I’m sure they’d get in the hall that way. It’s probably sort of a dubious honor anyway.


Usually these are fun, but this one is just painful. It’s something called the “Tough Mudder” and I have some friends who are doing it next year. The training has begun and they still haven’t pussied out, so good for them, I suppose.

From what I can tell, it basically involves running about a half marathon, which would suck on its own. Judging from the video, it also involves going across the largest set of monkey bars I have ever seen, running through fire, and jumping into what looks as though it may be the reservoir where porta potties are dumped. Oh, there is also something that shocks the piss out of you thrown in there somewhere and probably some more fire. Seriously, it freaking shocks you and shit is on fire.


The funniest part about the whole deal is that they asked me if I would like to be on the team and do this. Long story short, I laughed so hard I peed my pants and fell on the floor. After that, I took a long drink of beer, followed by a long drink of whiskey. I then rubbed my cigarette out and said, “I’m not doing that. You guys are fucking stupid.”

I think it would be much easier to just join the army and go fight a war somewhere. Actually, that sounds way easier and at least you get to shoot a gun, too.


  • You know how sometimes you see a movie and it really sticks with you? Usually this is a good thing, but I saw a movie called Tiptoes that has stuck with me and I really wish it wouldn’t. It’s just so bad and miscast and stupid, and apparently, memorable.
  • My buddies and I will be doing a theatre production of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Penthouse Forum” in my garage sometime in the next few weeks. Tickets are not available and you shouldn’t want to attend even if they were.
  • I have a feeling that political attack ads will reach a new and terrible level very soon. You may even get a glimpse of this next week in this column.

Buona sera, senorina, kiss me goodnight.

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