THE OBTUSE ANGLE More Ramblings... February 8, 2004
by Jeb Tennyson Lund OnlineOnslaught.com/CitizenScholar.net
"On Monday night, they threw a huge celebration at the Reliant Center, capped off by Nolan Ryan symbolically passing a football to Roger Clemens, who was standing a few feet away.... Clemens caught the ball, searched it to make sure there wasn't any cash stuffed inside, told the football that he would never throw it to anyone else because he wanted to retire with the football, then threw it to his buddy Andy Pettitte. And everyone went crazy. Apparently it was a great moment I couldn't see it that well with the blood pouring out of my eyes." Bill Simmons, ESPN.com's Page2
Before we get to the Ramblings, here's something that's been kicking around my head. Is Benoit's title match at WrestleMania the worst case of "waiting for the other shoe to drop" in modern wrestling history? I mean, it's as if nothing that happens between now and the end of that pay-per-view is going to matter even the slightest bit. Not until we know, not until we're sure it is or isn't a waste.
Granted, I'm still pumped about Benoit winning the Rumble match from #1. No one can take that away from me. If he jobs at WrestleMania to a half-animate garden gnome, it still can't rob me of that memory. Whatever the outcome, that was a purely good moment.
But WWE's creative guys are putting me and a lot of others through a nearly two-month gut wrench. We have the good moment to fall back on; but, if he wins, suddenly everything that came between the Rumble and 'Mania falls into place as part of a interlaced sequence of greatness. All those awkward promos or weird matches or interference whatever happens will be immediately integrated into The Greatest "We've Been Waiting for This Forever" Run in history.
What if he loses? It can happen. Knowing WWE, it will happen.
What do I do? Do I doubt what's going on, on Raw now? Do I trust it? When all is said and done, will it instead be a part of two months of slowly stabbing me in the back? Can I just sit back and enjoy this run for what it is? Can I slough off the little mistakes? Or is it all going to be like a coach calling for an onside kick in the second half and then not recovering it: disappointing and innocuous at first, ultimately ignored if you win; but, if you lose, it's the first moment in the progression of loss and shame and misery.
Why does wrestling do this to us?
The Ramblings If there's a flattering picture of Tori Amos, I haven't seen it.
I don't know about you, but seeing Raven go head to head with Don King would make for the most vicious syllable-filled Scrabble game ever. And you just know that King would drive Raven crazy, forcing him to ask himself questions like, "Is that a word? Do I challenge it? What if it actually is a word, and I lose a turn? Can I stab him then?"
Nothing sucks the joy out of Super Bowl commercials faster than watching them with three people writing an Anthropology thesis.
More dread from watching ESPNews: hearing Pat Boyle say,"Putcha hands togetha for Tenacious D." Wow, how out of date is this hip reference? Tenacious D's album has been out for two years. Cool. Shall I look forward, in 2006, to such fly-ball-catching quips as, "Look at that cold play. No need to have a radio head wired into a U2 pilot there to see that those offensive players in Boston know that Chicago, Kansas and America are feeling some moody blues. Hey, it's a big country"? Ugh. I can't keep this up. I'm such a whiter shade of pale that I'm a hazy shade of winter. Let's fade to black. Star-wipe, and we're out.
And while we're at it, Pat Boyle, "Don't disrespect the bing"? What the hell is that? Funny, my half brother called a pacifier a bing when he was two. Can you guess what I want to give you, you batter-filled suit?
If staring silently, banally and sort of crosseyed into the distance is what passes for great women's acting these days, where is Liv Tyler's Oscar?
The American Armed Forces really need to develop an Elite Tactical Hot Bitch Squad, just so Hollywood can make a bad war movie where a righteously indignant officer screams at his commander, "How many Hot Bitches have to die for your crusade, general?"
Does anyone doubt now that Britney v. Christina was just Madonna v. Cyndi Lauper again? The talented one lost again. Twenty years from now Britney will be marketing her women's magazine while Christina does interviews on NPR about her album of Ella Fitzgerald covers. (You and I both know that at some point during that interview, Christina will let out a wet phlegmy hack, and the interviewer will fall uncomfortably silent.)
The Mutual Admiration and Respect Society promos between Triple H and Shawn Michaels are becoming so unsettlingly affectionate that they're reaching "DeForest Kelly Doing Voiceovers For Porn"-levels of discomfort. "You're great, Hunter." "You're great, Shawn." "Dammit, Jim, I'm a meaty man-stud, not a doctor. Arrrrrrggghhhh!"
Between playing Sergeant Lipton in Band of Brothers and a detective on Boomtown, no man is trying harder to erase the terrible mark of sin from his youth like Donnie Wahlberg. Please don't go, girl.
Anthony Kiedis: put on a fucking shirt.
The more I go back and read the February 2001 Onion article, "Bush to U.S.: Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity is Finally Over," the more I realize that they got everything right except for a tax hike.
Am I the only one who thinks Kirsten Dunst's teeth could be molded and used to make a Halloween mask that would scare the Sugar Babies out of small children? And if not her, why not Shannen Doherty? Kiss me, Shannen, my tonsils itch.
The longer Chris Jericho goes without a major injury, the more I think that one day he's going to twist his leg and then suddenly explode.
Does anyone understand the internal logic of erectile dysfunction commercials? I mean, have you seen the one where the guy is trying to find his wife at the party? Everyone comes up to him and says, "Hey, Bill, did you get a new haircut?" "You working out?" "Is that a new suit?" Do these people subconsciously know that he now can have an erection, but they can't quite consciously make the connection? There's a reasoning at work here that I can't comprehend. They need to settle this once and for all with a new 15-second spot.
(Bill goes into party, finds his wife, gets about two feet from her when a buddy intercepts him.) Buddy: Hey, Bill. Dick hard? Bill: Yeah. Buddy:(high-fiving him) All riiiiiiight!!! (Bill and wife smile. Buddy smiles too, in a creepy "why is he pleased about this?" way. Cut to shots of Bill and wife running playfully in a sunny glade, with Bill holding a Trapper Keeper over his groin area, while Voice Over Dude does his spiel.)
I know I swore I wouldn't make this joke, but did Steph knock up Triple H during the honeymoon? Did she ram her ovipositor down his throat and lay her eggs in his belly? Eight months from now, Triple H is going to be in the middle of a match and suddenly pull a "John Hurt Just After Dinner" face.
Sure, we all think that Vince McMahon's Big Gulp of Fear is funny as hell, but somewhere, right now, someone in a psych ward is being held down and injected because he thought pulling that move would make it look like he was taking his meds.
I wish I could make bets on things like, "Warren Sapp will swell to 400 pounds within 18 months of retiring."
Years ago a friend of mine coined the term "The Roulette Wheel of Idiocy" for another friend's habit of blurting out seemingly randomly selected bizarre conclusions during any pause in the conversation. For instance, our friend once claimed that the water in his apartment was giving him odorless gas. I think we were talking about girlfriends at the time. Anyway, after a while, whenever the room would fall silent, we'd start to think we could hear the wheel spinning, then the clicking of the ball across the numbers... then our friend would speak. Does anyone else think this is exactly how Scott Steiner's mind sends commands to his mouth?
Sometimes I upset myself when I ask myself questions. Unhappy Question of the Week for this week: "How many people hate Paul Heyman because he does a great job of getting them to hate him; and how many people hate him because he's Jewish?"
When having to do your business in a bathroom stall, nothing terrifies and clamps the bowels shut more than another man, somewhere in the bathroom, repeatedly saying, "Unnnghhhhh! Nice. Unnngghhhh. Nice."
There's a very good reason why there aren't any live webcams of wrestling fans.
The moment anyone you know starts to refer to their cat as a member of their family is the moment you have carte blanche to never speak to them again, without explanation.
You're officially suffering Terminal Narcissism when you Google your own name more than once in a week.
It would be totally acceptable if from now on, instead of putting up Ks every time Pedro Martinez gets a strikeout, they put up a profile of Don Zimmer's head.
You'd think at this point that the Spanish Announcers would secretly reinforce their table with nails, concrete and duct tape because that one "surprise" would at least keep wrestlers away from their table for a year or two.
If the stark failure of NBC's Coupling isn't a huge pimp-slap to the notion that Americans can water down British comedies and still have them be funny, then I don't know what is.
I can't tell if I want to make the argument that Mike Martz is the Dick Cheney of football, or if I just think he looks exactly like that weird German guy in the Bugs Bunny cartoon who wanted to cook Bugs and kept screaming, "HOSSENFEFFER!" Anyway, I'm drunk again.
I wish I had the time and money to buy a Ford F1-2000 Truck, wash it weekly, wax it twice a month and never haul a goddamned thing with it or drive over an unpaved road just to understand what it's takes to be exactly like 60% of the goddamned arrogant Status Asshole truckers on the road in America today.
Why hasn't Bryant Gumbel ever been given an award for the Best Female Anchor of a Sports Journalism Show?
Every time I think of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman's children, I start to get a bit jealous. Then I remember that they're going to spend the rest of their lives and their inheritances maintaining upkeep on L. Ron Hubbard's hermetically sealed coffin, and suddenly my pittance and mortgage seems like a great moral victory.
Someone out there knows the exact point at which a hole turns into a ditch. Knowing my luck, I will meet this man when he's drunk and angry.
I'm pretty sure that every now and then the big guys in the Raw locker room are sitting around and then start betting with each other over who can bench press Spike Dudley the most. And I'm pretty sure that, when this happens, Spike starts backing out of the room veeerrrrry slowwwly.
Why is it than 99% of guys' apartments are equipped with a toilet so old, shallow and short that sitting down always involves "the tuck"? Can we agree that all of these toilets need to be replaced by something large and roomy enough to avoid the Accidental Dip?
Admit it. If you had a laugh track following your own life, you'd commit suicide for either sweet release or the preservation of common decency.
The day Rosie O'Donnell is shot by a lone gunman is the day that no arch-liberal in the world ever breathes word of passing more gun-control legislation. (Ditto Roseanne Barr. Although the game wardens would be hard pressed to explain how poachers breached security on her preserve.)
The greatest offense-v.-defense struggle would be Ray Lewis and Michael Pittman vying for who gets the top bunk in prison. Yet we'll never get to see that. What's the real crime here?
If a Hemi engine is so manly, why does it look like I could knock out every guy in the Dodge commercials with one swing? And if big engines make you so manly, why do about half the men in Italy ride Vespas?
If Jay Leno ever retires and gets a two-hour highlight special, I hope they manage to put together a five-minute montage devoted to the eleven minutes when he was funny.
Whenever you go to the grocery store for a couple of unrelated "I forgot I needed these" items, are you ever tempted to tell the cashier that they all go together? You know, just to seriously mess with someone's head? Like you're getting peanuts, ice cream, milk and Guinness, and you want to look the guy dead in the eye and say, "We're having Nut-Beer Floats for Arbor Day!" I think of doing this all the time.
I don't think I even need to worry about my moral sense stopping me: when it comes right down to it, I think I'm just far too lazy to bother having an extra-marital affair.
It must be an unwritten rule that all hairstylists have the most over-wrought hair possible. I suspect it's the result of having too much free time and too many hair-care products lying around. Do you get the sense that two really slow days in a row would force everyone at the local Regis/Supercuts to shave each other bald and start painting racing stripes all around their heads?
Whenever my phone rings, and it's a call from someone with an unlisted number, the Caller ID says, "Private Caller." Am I the only person who looks at these words and thinks, "Soft-Core Porn title"?
If there's a God, one of these days, Triple H is going to be swishing his Aquafina around his mouth, choke, and then start puking all over himself.
I'm fond of beer. So much so that when a girlfriend asked me what sort of sexy costume she should wear for Halloween, I didn't say nurse or French maid. No, I said, "St. Pauli Girl." Beer-label art is terribly underrated. Someone needs to get the good people behind La Fin du Monde an award for having the chutzpah to make all label art relate, in some way, to Satan. And everyone loves the Steadman drawings for Tire Bite and Snake Dog and Road Dogg and Billy Gunn you know, the dog brews. So anyway, why is it that the only person that I resemble on a beer label is the skeleton from Dead Guy Ale?
You'd be surprised how many people instinctively reach for their hearts when you start chanting, "Kali! Kali-maa... Kali-maa schucktinae! KALIIIII!"
Speaking of Temple of Doom, no self-respecting video game-playing male between the ages of 22 and 35 should fail to get the joke if you get out of a car and say, "We walk from here." I must insist on this.
Don't show me your tattoo unless it's a picture of me.
If there's a cure for watching Law & Order six times per week, I'd really like to take it. At this point, one out of every three times I close my eyes I see Jerry Orbach.
If you ever needed to get a hardcore biker to beat you up for only saying one word, I think looking at him sort of catercorner and purring, "Nibbles," would do the trick. And you know you could just sue the hell out of him afterward. I mean, how's he going to defend himself without sounding totally insane? Judge: And what did the Plaintiff do to provoke you, Mr. Tire Iron? Biker: He said, "Nibbles," your honor.
If you've been hanging out at a bar for a long time and still have to pay for all of your drinks, you are not a regular.
I'm willing to bet 100 bucks that Billy Gunn has at one point in his life looked a hot woman straight in the eye and said, seriously, "Well, I am an assman."
Do you ever get the sense that Fantasy Sports were created by statisticians to get every macho male in America to: (a) start thinking like them; (b) do math recreationally; or (c) sink to their level?
Friday's has gone so officially far off the deep end that within two years I expect them to put cilantro in everything and serve "Tex-Mex" Bloody Marys.
I defy anyone to tell me what it was that Regis Philbin ever did to get himself on TV.
Any day now, Terri Runnels is going to be interviewing someone, give off a shimmering radiant light, blacken, and then collapse in a pile of ash.
I'm certain that, at some points when Dean Rasmussen's writing a booze review, he's taking dictation from God.
Jeb Tennyson Lund decided it was time to return to the Ramblings format when three people at the Super Bowl party he attended all started paraphrasing Bill Simmons. When "Levels of Losing," "12 Rules for Post-Season Football Betting" and "no Super Bowl should be played anywhere other than New Orleans, Miami and San Diego" were quoted, it just seemed like destiny.
Jeb, nice job man. A few of those ramblings there have been bugging the shit out of me for a while too. I just don't have the skill or the will to put them into words. I'm still laughing about the erectile dysfunction commercial thing...
"The whole Dean anger thing is a bum rap. This guy has his emotions under control," Jon Stewart said as a clip of Dean shouting state names rolled. At the end of the list, Stewart added, "Dean will be driving to all those states - apparently in Truckasaurus, and he will do it on SUNDAY, SUNDAY SUNDAY!"
Originally posted by Santa SangreI'm still laughing about the erectile dysfunction commercial thing...
That apparently struck a big chord with a lot of the OO readers, in terms of email. All from guys, too. Maybe the OO readership skews a bit older. The only other thing I got a lot of email about was the Tori Amos line. I got so many "flattering" pictures of Tori Amos that my mailbox ran out of space.
Anyway, glad someone here liked the piece. Thanks.
Originally posted by Jeb Tennyson LundThe American Armed Forces really need to develop an Elite Tactical Hot Bitch Squad, just so Hollywood can make a bad war movie where a righteously indignant officer screams at his commander, "How many Hot Bitches have to die for your crusade, general?"
Originally posted by Jeb Tennyson LundAnd while we're at it, Pat Boyle, "Don't disrespect the bing"? What the hell is that?
It's a reference to The Sopranos. The name of their mob-fronted strip club is called the "Bada Bing" and after one of the characters beat his girlfriend to death in the parking lot, their reply to him was "to not disrespect the Bing"
What about the Show's domination of the Ambiguously gay duo on Heat a few weeks back? Oh wait, he lost the first match. To Billy Gunn. Nevermind, that's enough shame in itself... I love it when a plan comes together