Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Veal Oscar and Other Movie Delights

Many of my co-workers think I'm up on all the pop culture scene (it's taken years of manipulation), including the movies up for the Best Picture Oscar this year. This leads to a very devious game I play with them in my synopsis of a movie they haven't seen and have no knowledge of. This is my rundown for my peers, so they can seem knowledgeable to their clients (is this a great country, or what?).

Milk — This is an epic tale of the dairy ranchers vs. the soybean farmers in a battle for the range rights in the fertile valleys of California. Skulduggery galore in the race to get their milk, cows or soy to market in San Francisco in the 1970s, when a whole generation is drinking Coke to make the whole world sing in perfect harmony.

Frost/Nixon — This ramped-up action flick about secret agent Frost Nixon battling the bad guys from Bucharest to Bangladesh never has a dull moment. No sneaking out to the bathroom or making a popcorn run if you don't want to miss the excitement!

The Reader — Timeless tale of the office nerd who reads the instructions for the copier, manuals for software, the phone system guidebook, and networks computers in his sleep. As the office tumbles into a nightmare, only the Reader can get things back to normal, so people can look at Facebook, circulate rude e-mails and shop for homes on He saves the day with all his fellow slackers, and unproductivity levels are finally back to normal.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button — This one may be headed for the crown of a classic. Pixar had Cars, now we have the Button, a story in which a button named Benjamin falls off little Danny's jacket. A journey begins through numerous perils, unforgettable characters and zippy tunes for a must-see movie with your grandkids. You'll be humming these songs in the car before you know it!

Last but not least, my prediction to win the Oscar...

Slumdog Millionaire — A rapper in Philly named "Slumdog Doggy Bling" is forced to attend church with his mother and meets Shinaka, who captures his heart instantly, but shuns him after he stands her up for a lousy gig in Detroit. His third-level career as a rapper is going nowhere, but he wins a million dollars in the lottery by getting a ticket instead of change when buying smokes. After blowing all the money on carp, parties, bad CD deals and his posse, Slumdog is a kicked pup. Then and only then does he realize that all he really wants is Shinaka and a Roto-Rooter franchise. I won't spoil the ending for you...

So, I guess if any of my co-workers watched the Oscars, they were totally confused. As a correspondent of culture, maybe truth is stranger than fiction. Ask about our updated guide to Interior Design Fashion (love those lava lamps!).

See you in the movies...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Habitat for Hamas

Well, sports fans — the new President, as one of the first things in office, signed an order to close Gitmo. Yep, Guantanamo Bay prison, where the prisoners captured IN THE FIELD war participants are housed, has been ordered to close by a certain date. Just where the heck do they go? Their own countries don't want these terrible guys back, other countries don't want them either. Let's look at a few of the options...

The San Francisco option — Folks, we need your pledge of support monthly by sending in only $23 for "Little Timmy the Terrorist" (Ahbad Khomboomba). With your adoption donation, you'll get a picture of him with Sally Struthers, a note from him four times a year (if you're brave enough to give him your address), and a certificate suitable for framing. Your money goes toward heavy black robes, cute little skull caps, a new nap mat and shoes with hollow pockets in the heels.

The Hollywood option — Bring all the terrorists to Hollywood with one of those gold-colored sheets from American Idol and put them up in the mansion used by the Bachelor show. Since a few of the attorneys from OJ's dream team defense group have passed on, you would instead give them the actors who play the parts (in a made-for-TV movie). Then all those Hollywood actors and actresses that don't think these people are dangerous can have them over to their mansion for a sleepover.

The Georgia option — Jimmy Carter has a lot of free time these days, so he can build a little prison village out of Habitat for Humanity homes (or Habitat for Hamas). After all, the peanut butter thing is scaring the do-dah out of everyone right now, so he could get those un-busy plant workers to pitch in. Just bring the terrorists in through the Atlanta airport (that's enough to scare the truth out of anybody).

The Chicago option — Send them to Chicago to become community organizers in ACORN. Then they could sign up all their fellow Arabs to vote, get political favors, bid contracts and jobs. After awhile, they'd give up terrorism for this gig because it's similar but they don't expect you to slap a bomb kit on, run into a crowd and blow yourself up.

The Arizona option — Send them to the desert in the county where the sheriff makes them wear pink undies, jumpsuits and tennis shoes. The sheriff feeds them beanie weenies, bread and a carrot stick. "Desert? They don't need no stinkin' desert!" And no smoke breaks...

The (name undisclosed) option — Hide them in a warehouse in New Jersey, but spread the rumor on the street that they are there to "take over the action" (numbers, bookmaking, drugs, prostitution, grand thieving and protection money). Feed the terrorists Spam and Kool-Aid until the "wise guys" settle this little problem for us.

Hey, maybe Gitmo is the place they ought to be. Wham! (I could've had a V-8!) Maybe that's why they are there — because it makes pretty good sense! Who'da figured???

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Random OKC Metro Ramblings

All those out-of-state or metro readers, please indulge me on this one. First out of the chute is the robbery at the Nichols Hills Cleaners of an "undisclosed amount of money" recently. For those not familiar with the cleaners' location, it's in the "ghetto part of Nichols Hills", in the Plaza (owned by Chesapeake) and directly across from the Nichols Hills Police Department. Are we safe at the salon, are we brave enough to go to the boutiques? If our noses are up in the air, then how can we spot robbers? Rumor has it, the police were tied up out giving tickets to people that had the gall to park a pickup truck in their Nichols Hills driveway.

Point number two — recently, four restaurants have closed on the Memorial Street corridor from MacArthur to Penn. That only leaves about 30 or so left. (Ha!) Oklahomans are a fickle lot — they know what they like and don't like. National chains do well sometimes, and often they are surprised that they don't pass the local muster. Barbeque is a strange animal, being that Okies consume a LOT of it. Smokey Bones (went out), Tony Roma's (went out two different times). Besides, didn't he have any old family Italian recipes to share with us instead of being a BBQ poacher? We like our BBQ from guys like Leo, Earl or George, who you know was up at night stoking the smoker. Carrabas never took off, but Bravo's is doing fine. Cheeseburger in Paradise was slow and mediocre but hey, everybody loves Jimmy Buffett (we forgive him because we know he wasn't running the darn thing anyway).

Lastly, all the TV stations are Johnny on the spot to cover a story (block the way at the scene, probably), but why if the "story" happens at 9 or 10 a.m. do they have a reporter standing in the same place at 10 p.m. (dark, so they have to have lights) reporting this story which is old news by now, because our interest is fixated on some other story that happened in the last 12 HOURS. If our legal system was better, then the perpetrators could be caught and had their trial by the late newscast.

Check out the Oklahoma League for the Blind — it's a fascinating story about what all they do and manufacture. Pretty awesome what these people are able to accomplish.

Chick-Fil-A is open in Moore now. Does that make Moore a Big League City???

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Postal Service (the dysfunctional family of bureaucracy) Needs More $$$$

The Ray Charles commemorative stamp is singing "It's Crying Time Again" for the US Postal Service, so get on your raincoats and waders...

As the pompous head of this mish-mosh testified before Congress (another dysfunctional family) with his glasses slipped down to the end of his nose, and looking over them at the panel, "With the rise in electronic communications driving profound and permanent changes in the MAIL MIX as we entered the new century, it became clear that this model was being rendered obsolete."

Wow! That's worth his hefty retirement package right there. The "model" he refers to looks like a model (car, airplane, train) put together by a young lad with glue that he's sniffed way, way too much of in an enclosed room.

The first thing that comes to mind is that every post office has four to six slots for customer service inside, but there are usually only two of them open at any given time. I challenge you to go into any metro post office and find the slots all being manned. The USPS (United States Postal Service) has 37,000 facilities with two or more slots open per place (or one if it's a two-holer service desk). These don't include the 400 large special-purpose mail processing plants used as sorting centers. USPS has 220,000 motor vehicles (of which many are driven from the wrong side — not too swift for resale value).

Let's look at the "model" further, my friend. They sell, stock and inventory a lot of "stuff", crap or junk. I realize they need to sell mailing supplies, but why pre-inked rubber stamps? What's the deal with games, puzzles, stuffed animals, NASCAR paraphernalia, books (let people go to Barnes & Noble or their local bookstore), a plethora of stamp collecting stuff (Hobby Lobby or the local stamp store might wonder why their tax dollars are competing with them), or all these bazillion different stamps of all prices?

Think about it — if there is $1,000 worth of all this inventory at every one of the 37,000 locations, that equates to $37 MILLION dollars of inventory just lying around gathering dust. All this crap needs to be bought at the Dollar Tree, not the post office. One of the post office's main functions used to be to display pictures of America's Most Wanted, but they don't even do that good anymore.

Do the postmen still wear pith helmets? Plus, the fashion police are "on the case" with those knee-high black tube sock thingies.

Hey wait — I just found an Elvis stamp with his hair not greased up. It must be a collector's item worth a zillion dollars! I'll donate it to the USPS if they just won't disappear to the back when it's finally my turn at the counter. 

I received a letter with a Kwanzaa stamp on it last July — what's the deal with that???