Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Slippery thief still making clean getaway

These boots were made for walkin', but apparently those ruby slippers were made for stealin'.

That would probably be Nancy Sinatra's take on recent events at the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. It was a $1 million dollar heist that didn't net any cash, just a 66-year-old pair of shoes.

But the shoes were much more valuable than a pair of Air Jordans. The ruby slippers, used by Garland in the classic 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, walked off from their exhibit the weekend of August 27-28. Someone broke an emergency exit door window and then shattered the glass display case to steal the slippers, failing to set off a state-of-the-art burglar alarm in the process.

It was as if a flying monkey had swooped in and swiped them. Police still have no solid leads and no yellow brick road to follow to solve the crime.

This is a troubling crime for both Minnesotans and The Wizard of Oz fans. Lutheran women have stopped making hotdish. The Mayor of Munchkinland has declared martial law.

The thief's trail is now over a month old, and starting to get as cold as International Falls in January. Minnesota Nice could use the help of Miami Vice, but it's a long drive for Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs. I'm no CSI guy, but am willing to add my 2 cents to try to keep the shoe snatcher from slipping away scot-free.

Here's five - other than the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy cast - who I think can be crossed off the suspect list already:

Scarecrow - At some point, you have to try to find the brains of the whole outfit. In this case, you wouldn't find any. No matter how the movie ended, he still had no fucking brain, and you needed one to be smart and cunning enough to pull off this theft. Besides, there would have been a trail of straw leading back to the cornfield if it was him.

Tin Man - He wouldn't have had the heart to do such a thing. Not the kind of heart that pumps blood, or that weird necklace fake heart The Wizard gave him, which looked more like some sort of big-ass bling alarm clock Flavor Flav would wear. The Tin Man would have been too loud and slow, clanking around the crime scene. Prowlers and metal suits just don't mix. Also, he would have needed an accomplice to oil his hinges if they became stiff or rusty.

Cowardley Lion - Even though the Wizard gave him a medal for bravery, this cat will still always be a big pussy, and way too chicken-shit to pull off such a big heist.

Toto - This little dog probably hasn't been able to get his mind off of humping munchkin legs since his little trip to Oz in Dorothy's picnic basket. Even if he did break into the museum, he only would have been able to fetch the slippers for his master, not steal them.

Wicked Witch of the West - She'd defintely have a motive as the slippers belonged to her sister before Dorothy's house landed on her wart-nosed, pointy hatted ass. Then Dorothy got the "hot" slippers. But remember, the Wicked Witch of the West ended up melting like a green army man in a microwave. And bad guys (and gals) only started coming back from the dead in the 1980s. If those had been Jason's mom's slippers, Dorothy would have ended up with an axe in her head in an Oz sequel.

But I wouldn't be so sure about these folks...

3 Wicked Stepsisters from Cinderella - These three hags are still bitter that the glass slipper didn't fit them, preventing possible hook-ups with Prince Charming. If a glass slipper could get a prince, they probably figured a ruby slipper would score a king.

Imelda Marcos - Sure, she was rumored to have over 3,000 pairs of shoes, but she didn't have any ruby red slippers. Just dozens of ballet slippers, bedroom slippers, sheepskin slippers, monster feet slippers, Elmo bedtime slippers, etc. A shoe yahoo like this might be tempted to add one more rare pair (there were only four known pairs of the ruby slippers in existence) to her collection, provided she has room in her shoe organizer.

Winona Ryder - She was once busted at a Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue attempting to get a five-fingered discount for $4,800 worth of clothes, bags and accessories. Maybe kleptomania set in again when she realized the key to a clean getaway would be to simply yell "Bettlejuice!"

Old Woman Who Lived In a Shoe - She was bitter because the only shoe she ever owned was the one she lived in. After raising all of those kids, she figures she finally deserved to own a pair she could actually wear. She went through at least $1 million worth of bullshit inside that shoe (odor eaters did nothing for the smell), so society kind of owed the slippers to her.

Dorothy - Police did say they thought it could have been an inside job. Maybe it was Dorothy herself. Maybe she's "somewhere over the rainbow" and pissed off because the shoes don't fit any more. Maybe she wanted the slippers back because once she clicked her heels and did the whole "no place like home" thing, she realized that Kansas sucks and she really wants to be back in Oz.

Whoever swiped them, now the museum is being forced to potentially plan its Oztoberfest celebration without one of its main attractions. That would be like releasing all the "inmates" from HBO's Oz, yet continue filming the show. Or doing Ozzfest without Ozzy. It's just not the same.

Hopefully this WhoDunit will be solved soon. On the off chance the foot fetish fiend is into reading blogs: Come on, dude or dudette. You've had your fun. Just give the shoes back, no strings attached.

Let's face it, you'll never be able to fill those shoes, nor will you be able to walk a mile in them. It would be best to give them back before munchkin thugs find you and break your kneecaps.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Just Plain Nuts

I've heard of wanting to be Zestfully clean, but this was ridiculous!

There was a sign posted on the Twin Cities etsablishment's bathroom wall that reminded its employees to wash their hands before returning to work. Leave it to me to walk in on a worker who was such an overachiever, he was washing his balls instead.

I wish I was kidding. I was not hallucinating on drugs, but I wanted to start taking them to help me "forget" the horrible image etched in my memory. One of some guy with his pants pulled down to the mid-thigh region, his testicles dangling over the sink, his hands working up a rich Lava-like lather to break down the grime, grease, graffiti or whatever it was he was trying to scour off his scrotum.

For the first time in my life I was speechless. I wasn't about to wait around and see if this guy used hand towels or prefered the blow job the hot air dryer could give him. I just did a quick 180-degree turn and bolted out of the bathroom. As horrifying of an experience it was, I also found myself oddly intrigued. What employee anywhere would have the balls to scrub his uglies in the bathroom sink while at work during working hours?

There was no warning whatsoever. The least he could have done was whistle the Irish Spring theme so people knew when he was damn near whistling dicksie. Instead, I bust the guy green-handed. Lucky me.

The look of shock on my face had to be priceless. However, the ball washer had no reaction. He shrugged off the activity as if he was simply trying to get some stubborn dirt out from under his fingernails, even though he was on his tippy toes giving his jewel case a power polishing.

The journalist in me hated leaving the room with so many unanswered questions, the most important ones being: Why didn't you lock the door?, and Why hasn't this place converted one of the toilets to a bidet, or better yet, a shower? But there was no way I was going to introduce myself and risk the chance of exchanging pleasantries, such as a handshake.

I was very confused. I had to follow up on this with someone. There seemed to be no need for this guy to freshen up his ball sack or primp the pubes while at work. After all, this wasn't a Chippendales club, it was a super-sized store, where everyone keeps their goodies in shopping carts and their junk in their pants. Or so I assumed.

As I staggered back out of the bathroom into the main area of the building, a passing group of worker bees seemed to notice I was distressed.

"Can I help you?" worker bee #1 asked.

"No, but there's someone in the restroom who needs help," I gasped. "Some guy's got his nuts wetter than that waterskiing squirrel in there."

"Oh, him," worker bee #1 sighed. "We've busted him a few times doing that. I think it has something to do with his religion."

I'm Catholic and had heard of the washing of the feet many a time. But never in religion classes or Sunday Masses do I remember a washing of the balls taking place.

"No, no," interrupted worker bee #2. "If he has an impure thought, that's when he must go scrub his balls right away to clean up the sinful area."

If that's true, I'm glad I am not a follower of his religion. I'd have spent half of my life soaping up my sack of potatoes.

"No, it's not about unpure thoughts," worker bee #3 shot back. "It's just when they go to the bathroom. If they soil any part of their body, they need to clean it up."

Whatever the reason, I just never expected to witness such brazen public bathing. The sign did specifically say "hands," not "balls." I highly doubt I misread it.

I didn't want this guy to get fired for practicing his religion, however, I did find it necessary to go on a men's room mission. I suggested the three worker bees tell their manager to figure out a way that dude could wash his privates in private.

It was also interesting that the business would go to such great lengths to ensure health and safety by banning smoking inside the building, while letting a serial ball washer run amok. That's great they care so much about my lungs, but what about my eyes? My baby blues don't need to be subjected to such nutty behavior.

It's a free country and I am 100 percent behind everyone's right to freedom of speech and religion. But this guy was washing his gonads. In the sink.

If he's going to be so ballsy in public, why not let it all hang out? Why didn't he go to the local bowling alley? I hear they have machines that polish your balls so good you can see your reflection.

Call me old-fashioned, but there's only one profession I can think of where it is acceptable to display your club and bag, then wash your balls in front of anyone who happens by. And while he may have even been practicing his grip and swing with his wood, this guy was definitely no Tiger.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Wednesdays with Maury

I've heard of couch potatoes. I think my cat Ringo is a couch potato curl.

One minute he's lounging normally, as in the picture to the left. But the next minute he "does the twist" (see photo below) and there isn't even a Chubby Checker song playing. He cranks the middle of his body around as if trying to transform himself into a feline pretzel.

You'd think a position like this would require a trip to the vet, or even cause paralysis and permanent confinement to a kitty wheelchair. But it's normal for Ringo. When he achieves his most "comfortable" position, he'll either snooze or just hang out. Sometimes he'll watch TV.

I've tried to broaden Ringo's horizons by reading some really great stuff by my favorite authors David Sedaris or Chuck Klosterman, but he's more into visual stimulation. I'm more Tuesdays With Morrie while Ringo is more Wednesdays with Maury - as in Maury Povich's TV show.

He solidified this belief Wednesday morning at 9:23, when he relentlessly rubbed up against me, nudging his head under my arms and hands, and meowed constantly until I was completely conscious. Normally, he'll let me sleep in a little longer, especially considering I only got to bed around 5 or 6 A.M.

But Ringo was on a mission. It seemed like something needed my urgent attention, like he wanted more food in his dish, a refill of his water glass, or his cat shitter cleaned out. As I was trying to decipher what he wanted to bring to my attention, he collapsed next to me and spun himself into a licorice twist. Then he gazed toward the TV and let out a really weird "meow" while yawning. It almost sounded like he had said "Meeaurrry!"

I looked up at the TV and saw Maury Povich. Apparently, Ringo wanted to watch Maury's most recent trainwreck. Although the TV was muted, I needed no volume for the show's topic to catch my attention: "You're the 13th man tested, are you my baby's Daddy?"

I turned up the volume and Ringo immediately started purring. The only thing that would have made him happier would have been to cook him up a little Kitty TV Dinner featuring fish sticks and a tasty catnip cherry cobbler for dessert.

I guess it's only natural he would be interested in people who cat around. Maury's special guests must have been in utter and complete "heat" because it sounds like every Tom, alley cat and stray were after those pussies.

The first guest was back on the show for the fourth time, bringing a sixth man-slut in to prove he was the father of her 2-year-old son. She was 200 percent sure he was the daddy. Coincindentally, her percentage that she was sure who the father was increased with each paternity test (thanks to flashbacks to past Maury shows).

"Maury, I'm 100 percent sure he's the father... I'm 120 percent sure this time... I'm 150 percent sure he's my baby's daddy!" she blabbed in the clips leading up to this episode. "It's different this time. This time I'm 200 percent sure I brought the right one!"

Wrong! Of course, he wasn't the father. Maury didn't even have to open the big-ass results envelope to tell us that. So now she has to go find a lucky seventh guy who might be her baby-daddy. Maybe she'll be 250 percent sure next time, since being two times 100 percent sure isn't sure enough. I've heard of playing the percentages, but this woman was out of control.

The only conclusion I came to was that she was 100 percent for sure a "Ho." Hell, who am I kidding? I was 200 percent sure!

The final part featured some hillbilly chick to have a 13th guy tested in hopes she would figure out who the father of her child was. Around the time of conception, maybe she was cruising guys at the Dunkin' Donuts to snare her fabulous baker's dozen boys.

Then again, it's possible she wasn't a total skank. Maybe Maury's paternity testers were just struggling with that tricky DNA what with all the inbreeding in the hills.

It was an amusing half hour, but watching 30 minutes of paternity testing was really draining. I spent 177 percent of the time laughing, 22 percent of the time asking the question "Are you fucking kidding me?", and 1 percent of the time feeling sorry for Connie Chung.

I needed another cat nap, so I put the remote control next to Ringo so he could watch whatever he wanted.

Ringo looked like he had seen enough, too. Maybe after that episode of Maury, he'll decide to stick with watching Tom & Jerry cartoon reruns and Animal Planet programming (he's a huge fan of shows featuring lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, etc.). Then again, maybe he'll wake me up later for Jerry Springer.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Fantasy Island Football

There was a time when men talking about fantasies didn't involve football. Maybe that's the reason I have yet to participate in a fantasy football season.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a football junkie. I watch the college games every Saturday and the pros all day Sunday and Monday night. I used to play in high school at Bismarck (N.D.) St. Mary's. I was a sportswriter for 8 years, and my favorite beat was football.

My current mental state does not allow me to hook up the word "fantasy" with "football," unless some of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders, pom-poms, and a hot tub are involved. Then I could probably deal a little better. I just can't shake the potential sexuality of the word.

Several guys I know have a spirited discussion about who was going to make their fantasy list every August. This year, the hot names on the list included Peyton Manning, LaDamian Tomlinson, Priest Holmes, Daunte Culpepper and Marvin Harrison. Meanwhile, my fantasy list consisted of my wife, Sela Ward, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Teri Hatcher and Tanya Memme, thus totally shutting me out of the conversation.

I've got to do something about this tunnel vision problem I have with the word "fantasy." It's fine that someone's fantasy is watching Edgerrin James rush for 175 yards and three touchdowns, ensuring that he will have enough points to beat fantasy league opponent Earl that week. Whatever gets you off. But that doesn't do it for me yet.

That's why I would suck at fantasy football. When the word "fantasy" comes into play, my mind would wander off the grid-iron in a heartbeat. I'd be thinking too much about silky smooth skin and not enough about pigskin, and would get my ass handed to me on a silver platter every week.

"Hey, Rocky, who's your top fantasy pick this year?" some 20-year-old kid frantically asked me at work Saturday night, on the brink of orgasm that a full slate of NFL games would be kicking off just 12 hours later, starting his fantasy season in full swing.

"Mr. Rourke without a doubt," I replied. "He's a stud. By far the best player on my board."

"Rourke?" the kid asked. "Who the fuck is that? Never heard of him. What position does he play?"

"I'm not sure of his position, but that guy can just take over the whole damn show," I said. "He'll make any fantasy wish come true. I think he even beat Satan once."

"He wasn't even picked in our entire draft," the kid said, wringing his hands over potentially missing a hot fantasy prospect. "I wonder if I could still claim him."

"As long as you're at it, you should also look into drafting that darkhorse Tattoo," I said. "He's really short, but that little fucker sure can run! He can do a 4.4 40-yard dash up a bell tower when he sees de plane coming in!"

My attempts at humor were totally lost on this kid, who obviously was too young to remember Fantasy Island, a Saturday night TV staple from 1978-1984 (Who didn't get stuck watching it right after The Love Boat?).

I was just a young pup when the show was on, but Fantasy Island was still a bit confusing for me. I wondered why more of the guys ponying up $50,000 to Rourke for their fantasy didn't just ask for a date with their dream woman. A few of them did, but most wanted to do something else for the weekend, like be a millionaire, a spy, or a famous baseball player. Even at the luau party thrown in the island guests' honor, my mind would have been focused on trying to get laid rather than leied by one of Rourke's hula chicks.

Back then, I would have told Rourke my fantasy was to lose my virginity during a roll in the hay with Jaclyn Smith.

Rourke would have shoved a jumbo margarita in my hand, then toasted me with his famous words "Smiles, everyone! Smiles! I'm Mr. Rourke, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island." Minutes later, fantasy would become reality, and I'd be the boss of a trio of female private investigators, barking the following orders over a speaker phone: "Jaclyn, this is Rocky. Bring Farrah and Kate. I have some privates for you to investigate."

Rourke would probably put an evil twist on my fantasy to teach me some sort of lesson for being so horny. Maybe he'd have that psycho bitch Farrah tell me she was pregnant five minutes after doing it.

Then again, maybe he'd double my trouble and send over the rest of the Angels (Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack and Tanya Roberts), but insist the only way to make the magnificient 7 fantasy happen would be to let Bosley get in on the action, too, and make it a crazy 8 (which would be like telling me the only way I'd get in Mrs. King's pants was to include Scarecrow in a threesome).

Then 45 minutes later, I'd be boarding the Fantasy Island float plane, smoking a cigarette with my brains fucked out, waving goodbye while Rourke fed that little perv Tattoo all the dirty details.

Just for the record, watching Tattoo race up the bell tower staircase and yell "De plane, de plane!" at the start of every episode of Fantasy Island was not a fantasy - I'm not that into little dudes. However, it was a recurring comedic dream come true.

Now, 20 years later, my taste in fantasies isn't so over the top, yet it's even better. Tops on the list would be to have my wife dress up like Wonder Woman. Sure, she's only 5-foot-3 and would need some really high red platform boots to reach Amazon status, but I'm sure she could score a costume, bitchin' bracelets and a golden lasso. She's every bit the beauty Lynda Carter was in the day, and would get me totally hot talking sexy about receiving contact lenses by mail.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Fair-y Tale

Once upon a time, a plump prince named Rocky went to the Minnesota State Fair and marveled at how many different foods could be served on a stick. First there were just corn dogs, but soon items you normally wouldn't envision on a stick popped up like cheese, pork chops, key lime pie and spaghetti and meatballs.

Needless to say for the past five years, all of this food on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair beckons me like it's a big-ass porch light and I'm a maniacal moth.

My wife (AKA My Fair Lady) and I usually take a free shuttle bus to the event because the idea of paying $10 to park 13 blocks away is about as crazy as paying $12 for a small plastic bucket of chocolate chip cookies. So we always do the sensible thing and take the free bus and buy the cookies for dessert on the ride home.

Normally, the bus ride is pretty uneventful, but this year was different. While boarding, we met an old woman, and despite this story's fair-y tale beginning, she didn't live in a shoe or have dozens of children. She was our shuttle bus driver.

She was a sweet old gal, but something caught my eye on the way to my seat. I couldn't help but notice the large strand of shiny green beads hanging from her rear view mirror. These were the kind of beads you see college chicks get for flashing their tits at Mardi Gras. Maybe she lived at a really hip retirement community where they do Mardi Gras Night instead of Bingo Night. I was tempted to ask her what she did to earn the beads, but didn't for fear of being subjected to a live show of Old Lady Bus Drivers Gone Wild.

Upon arrival at the Fairgrounds, we decided to work up an appetite by walking around for a while. We browsed the animal exhibits as these have historically offered some of the best humor of the day. This year's entries didn't disappoint.

The Fair made me realize I'm totally behind the times when it comes to animal fashion sense. I know some rich bitches like dressing their Yorkies in little designer sweaters, but the fashion bug seems to have bitten the bigger animals now, too.

Take the black sheep wearing white covers and hoods. Some sheep shearer would probably tell me there's a reason for these duds, but my guess is the sheep are making a fashion statement: They're wearing white because there is virgin wool under their garments.

But nothing could compare to the new stylish sheep speedo. That flashy blue not only shows off the lamb chops, it's great for a dip in any farm pond.

With fashion like that in the sheep barn, it made me wonder why Joan and Melissa Rivers weren't on the red carpet as the livestock was being unloaded, shrieking "Who are you wearing?!" to the farmers. Sure, all the farmers would be wearing Wrangler jeans and Dickies flannel shirts, but the animals would be wearing the hottest styles by top barnyard designers.

Things were really heating up down the road in the swine barn. This picture doesn't show pigs in a blanket, but they could probably use one. When I saw this preliminary porking, I yelled "Get a pigpen!" Once pigs start spooning, it's only a matter of time before things start sizzling. My Fair Lady and I left because we wanted the term "makin' bacon" to remain a silly sex term instead of being tied to an image of actual screwing pigs.

In the cattle barn, stats were posted everywhere about how much bovines shit or piss. One sign read: "Fascinating fact: Dairy cows urinate 1.9 times more on average than regular cows." I'm surprised the sign in the picture didn't have a banner above it saying "You're not gonna believe this shit!" This was especially trying for My Fair Lady, who already has to hear daily how much I shit and piss.

Then I started to feel sorry for the poor statistician who had to do all the field work to come up with these numbers. How many cows taking a dump did he have to analyze to come up with his "average." Hopefully this poor bastard kept reminding himself "It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it!"

I was also fascinated by gamblers' ability to invade any event. Sure, we were 30 miles from the nearest casino, but some hustler had set up a "Moo-Lette" wheel for kids to spin. I have no idea what a "winning" spin would get, but I'm guessing anything from a glass of milk to a side of beef. I heard a rumor that one kid lost his ass playing this game, and confirmed this later when I saw the donkey eating hay in the horse barn.

In the poultry area, My Fair Lady took a picture of this goose doin' time. We couldn't find the warden to ask how long he was in for, but we assumed he was being held for trying to embezzle a golden egg.

In an adjacent dairy building, a different kind of gold was on display: Butter sculptures of several State Fair beauty queens. My Fair Lady lets me view this exhibit alone because when I see these buttery busts, I start talking dirty. This year, I mortified people within earshot by saying things like "make out with her, and your cholesterol will shoot up 200 points" or "I wonder where they keep their butter legs? I want to spread them on a piece of Texas Toast!"

The signs in the Horticulture Building said "Please do not touch the flowers." One kid didn't bother to read the sign and got to third base with all of them. He must have been part bumblebee. I swear he cross-pollinated most of the room singlehandedly.

Now it was time for My Fair Lady and me to chow down. We started gorging on cheese curds until something by the french fry booth caught my eye. I started looking for a gigantic salt shaker until My Fair Lady informed me this was just some teenager wearing a wild 'n wooly mascot suit, not a really fuckin' biggie size fries. My guess is this poor kid would have preferred to be submerged in cooking oil rather than wear this goofy get-up complete with the Antarctic-approved gloves in the 90-degree heat while standing next to the 150 degree french fry stand.

After eating everything but the kitchen sink on a stick, I was too full by the time we passed the German Roasted Nuts booth. That was OK because I was afraid to ask what these folks were really serving. The guy taking orders was wearing lederhosen and had a really high voice. Hopefully that was just coincidence. Still, I didn't have the balls to order them.