Hello I Must Be Going

Everybody wants a superpower, but nobody wants to pay those dry-cleaning bills.

Personally, I think most of them are overrated. Can you imagine the shit you’re going to be subjected to if your co-workers found out you have the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound and you didn’t pick them up on the way to work?

So forget time traveling or possessing superhuman speed. Don’t give me telepathy, flight, shape shifting or even having Catwoman’s number on speed dial. Because while those superpowers are nice, they ain’t got a thing on mine.

I rarely run into an ex.

That’s it. That’s my superpower. And while it ain’t ever gonna put Iron Man out of business, it works for yours truly. And it’s my great good fortune to have it, seeing as how I’ve got plenty of Rico but precious little Suave for these situations.

Running into Ex

This isn’t to say I haven’t experienced an awkward conversation in line at the grocery store. But more often than not, I’ve been able to avoid the calamitous “Oh heeeeyyyy!” . . which is the single dude preamble to that John Milton novel. Okay, all of ’em.

I found myself behind Red in a Starbucks drive through last week. There she was in her adorable little Fiat, fussing with her fiery red curls as I leaned down to search for something in my glove box in order to escape detection. Red was married, which is why we lasted as long as we did.

Rosemarie was my disco lemonade crush back in the ’80’s, and I really thought I was going to marry her someday, maybe. This was mostly due to the fact a Survivor love ballad always seemed to make the scene when we were skin deep in negotiations. I actually came across her a couple times over the last few years before I was certain it was her, seeing as how she chopped her mane and lost her infectious smile thanks to parenthood. And it’s even money she was thinking the same thing about me.

Ms. Borinquen gifted me an Ireland soccer t-shirt on St Patrick’s Day 2007 after we decided to double down on the merry making at her crib. I spotted her in a downtown cafe a few years back, looking as creamy as ever. After which I switched seats with my coffee pal, just in case the dude she was with happened to be her gun toting baby daddy.

I’m expert at spotting an ex before the ex spots me. As with Mel the poet at Hershey Park . . . Val the therapist at the mall . . . Diana the parole officer in a Jimmy John’s (after which I got Chinese takeout instead) . . . Lisa the perpetual saint of unemployment at a bar . . .

Awkard Ex Conversation

Which brings me to Miss What’s Her Name. She was a teacher who had worked with Red for a while, and we once ran into her at a pub near Red’s condo in town. She was several drinks south of the meridian line by that point in the evening, but she still remembered the chance acquaintance when speaking to Red a few days later. And it was somewhere inside their conversation that Miss What’s Her Name made a rather tawdry suggestion that maybe the three of us could, yanno, have a round table. Sans the table.

Discretion was the better part of Red’s game, so it never happened. And thank God for that, because this woman would end up in a 50 Shades-like scandal a few years later. Seems she had been playing bare naked Hades with several prominent names when a scorned spouse cried foul.

So of fucking course I ran into her. And it was the strangest thing, to run into someone I didn’t sleep with only because the woman I was sleeping with had more sense in her pinkie than I have in . . . umm, mine. Because you know what’s more awkward than running into someone you went Hello Dali with behind closed doors? Running into someone who suggested such an encounter to your married girlfriend.

She asked if I still talk to Red and I told her I didn’t. And then I asked her something to which I have no recollection, because I just wanted to extricate myself from the situation as quickly as possible. And I know she was thinking the same thing, because she was fidgeting like a pitcher with the bases loaded. Thing is, for someone who is locked and loaded when it comes time to find trouble, my arsenal is weaker than the french army when attempting to flee the scene.

Catwoman would have a field day with me.

Matters Of Little Consequence

The 800lb Gorilla met its inglorious end on August 8th, 2008. Dan said goodbye with a video. Of course.

By then I was writing with the Dame, on her blog. I was trying to provide her with the muse and doing a lousy job of it. Her readers weren’t all that receptive to me either, as evidenced by the dearth of comments. I’d get the occasional “Where’s Dame?”, to which I provided a cursory explanation that the Dame was busy gardening or tending to the kiddos or backpacking in Tibet.

The truth of the matter is, I was sans blog for the first time in years and I didn’t know whether it was a blessing or a curse. What I missed more than anything was the ability to slice something up with four lettered particulars, because my jam wasn’t playing in the Dame’s crib. I was like the new age bistro that replaces the landmark steakhouse; peeps wanted the sizzle she provided and were much less interested in my rap, so to speak.

Still, I loved keeping her seat warm because I knew when she got back to it, she was going to wreak havoc on the somethings and lay waste to the everything elses. And without a blog of my own, I felt plenty fine playing the role of David Carradine from Kung Fu . . wandering the literary stars, plucking ransoms out of the minutiae. It’s just what you do when you’re in love with someone’s pen. You wait by the window, shining that light until they make it home.

October of 2008 was a revelatory caterwaul whose presence I could have done without. But life never speaks to us with permission. And so it was that in October, the shit collided with the proverbial fan when Dan confessed to having an affair with bat shit crazy poet girl from Seattle. Yeah, the same writer the Dame had accused me of messing around with the year before. And when Dame wouldn’t stop shooting at my kneecaps with a smoking gun that wasn’t mine, I had turned up my snark index to ten plus and let her have it with something like Of course I took a flight from Chicago to Seattle . . because I have all the fucking time in the world to travel all over the fucking map banging bloggers! Admittedly, I might have tried tact on for size, seeing as how we ended up burning our relationship to the ground thanks to exchanges such as this.

Almost a year later, I was vindicated. Again. That lovable ape the poet girl would write sonnets to wasn’t me, it was Dan. And it made sense that the guy who whined about having to live vicariously through my social life now that he was married, was the culprit. It explained the vibe I was getting from him and Chris, and it explained all the mysterious shit he would post on the blog; which I was thankful was six feet under now.

I’m not gonna lie. I expected an apology from the Dame. I mean, it didn’t have to be served on fine china or anything like that. But I’d been unfairly accused of something, and I figured now was the time to close up that forgettable chapter with some mea for my affected culpa.

That wasn’t how the Dame ticked, though. Because what I got instead served to tear those sutures plumb off the scab of the previous November. After she got done scorching the patch of earth Dan stood on, she directed the rest of her bottle of Jesus towards me for having the piss poor judgement to be friends with such a cad. Never mind that I wasn’t pals with the fucker on the level of vault stories. Never mind that I was left to roast on a spit as he fucked the blog into the ground. Never mind that the Dame, oh by the way, had been married to a serial womanizer and I wasn’t holding it against her.

Needless to say, I was feeling the tremors as another November moved into focus. All of a sudden, the ground we walked on felt as sturdy as gossamer. But this time would be different, because I was going to be spending Thanksgiving week in Chicago. Which would guarantee that we would make it out of that scarred month intact as a couple. Probably . . .

And this is where the Dame showed herself to be one of the most beautifully complicated individuals I’ve ever known. Because that visit will live with me from the moment I touched down at O’Hare until I take my final breath. It speaks to who we are, as human beings, that I can think back on that time and be as in love with her from right here as I was right there without wanting any of it back, ever again. If you look up the definition of complicated in the dictionary, that’s what it looks like.

The Dame’s family had forged an empire in a small Illinois town once upon a time, before sickness and death claimed the progenitors. Her father’s passing had taken the biggest toll on her, after which she kept an arm’s length relationship with her siblings, but she had always remained close to her kid brother.

As in many prestigious families, excess and intrigue are sewn into the seal, and hers was no different. Her kid brother had been a hot shit equities trader until the bottom fell out thanks to a heroin crush that wouldn’t quit. And so me and the Dame went over to his apartment on Thanksgiving morning to get him, because she was afraid he was going to run.

We found him walking down the street and I got out of the car and let him take the front seat. Before he moved inside the car, I could tell he was higher than the planes that were circling above us waiting for their turn to land at O’Hare. He tried his best to play it straight on the way back her place, but he was a mess and I watched in awe as she kept it all together.

Back at her place, we played catch with her son while the Dame finished up her Thanksgiving feast. And then she got him to wash up and refresh himself, and by that evening when we were playing cards, he was the hot shit kid who’d been going places again. Only, he was much more than that. His smile was infectious and his laugh was original and he could talk on anything and I loved him. Just like that. And it was her, it was all her; holding together the last remaining pieces of a family that had gone away. And it just so happens to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed in my entire life.

I can still taste her smile inside the crisp advent of a winter’s breath that promised snow and far worse things. And maybe I knew we were a mistake by then, but it didn’t matter. Because that moment and that smile thrust me into the places of this universe that do not yet have names. And at least once in your life, you need to feel that kind of Longfellow in your bones.

As if the universe calls only you.

Heroes Of An Echo’s Strength

 

Pat Tillman

 

And I have nothing to give . . .except this gesture, this thread thrown between your humanity and mine: I want to hold you in my arms and as your soul got shot of its box of flesh to understand, as you have done, the wit of eternity: its gift of unhinged release tearing through the darkness of its knell.

The Dead of September 11th (Toni Morrison)

History books provide lessons, sans the muddy footprints. They present a narrative on the destructive nature of hatred, but only those who live through that history can truly speak to its ghastly dimensions. Eighteen years have removed us from that clear blue sky morning when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center and changed everything. 

We are eighteen years removed from United Airlines Flight 175 banking hard and ramming into the South Tower and providing us with the horrible answer to all our many questions. Eighteen years removed from American Airlines Flight 77 breaching the west wall of the Pentagon. Eighteen years removed from Flight 93 plowing into a field in Pennsylvania as fighter jets raced to intercept its final destination.

The following are but a few of the mighty answers to the evil that men do. I chose stories that I’ve written on and read about, stories that moved me to tears and stories that left me knee deep in thoughts about forever. Stories whose afterglow provides me an eternal warmth.

Betty Ong and Madeline Amy Sweeney were the flight attendants on Flight 11 that morning. In the face of unimaginable horror, these two women managed to contact the airlines and thus provide authorities with crucial information on their attackers. And they stayed on the call from around the time their plane was hijacked until it lost signal moments before the attacks began.

Wherever the city needed him, that’s where you could find Father Mychal Judge. And that Tuesday morning was no different, as he arrived at the Trade Center shortly after the first plane hit. The NYFD Chaplain entered the North Tower with firefighters and rescue personnel, intent on climbing those stairs right along with them. He was killed by an avalanche of debris when the second plane hit.

Welles Crowther was an equities trader who was working on the 104th floor of the South Tower that morning. He called his mother after Flight 175 struck the South Tower to let her know he was okay. A volunteer firefighter, he had designs on joining the FDNY one day. September 11th became that day, as Crowther descended twenty six stories to the sky lobby, where he directed people to the one working staircase and then delivered them to firefighters before heading back up to save more. “The Man in the Red Bandana” is believed to have saved as many as eighteen people. Inside his final moments, he realized his dream so that others might live.

As head of corporate security for Morgan Stanley, Rick Rescorla had warned his company about the security weaknesses at the Trade Center. So when he was told by the Port Authority to keep all employees at their desks, he told them in no uncertain terms to “piss off”. After which he went about saving more than 2,700 people. He made it all the way down to the tenth floor of the South Tower with survivors, before turning around and heading back up for more. His body was never found.

At the Pentagon, Army Spc. Beau Doboszenski was working as a tour guide on the opposite side of the Pentagon when the building was hit. The massive structure is a city unto itself, so Doboszenski didn’t even realize there had been an attack initially. But the former volunteer firefighter and trained EMT sprang to action when a Navy captain asked for anyone with medical training. He ran around the building but was prevented from entering by police, so he gave first aid at a medical triage station. Later, he was part of a six man team that went back in to look for survivors, with the building still in flames.

It was due to the efforts of survivors and first responders that so many of the injured were able to make it outside of the Pentagon. That’s where Lieutenant Colonel Patricia Horoho went to work. Armed with nothing more than a first aid kit initially, Horoho tapped into her experience in burn care and trauma management. She cared for seventy five people that day.

The passengers and crew of Flight 93 knew full well they were not making it to Wednesday. They’d learned of the plot through friends and loved ones, which is when they decided to take matters into their own hands before the hijackers could deliver another wicked payload into another national landmark. And their actions speak not to some politicized t-shirt slogan, but to the better angels in us all.

The better angels are what Luis Alvarez believed in, because to believe otherwise would have been to leave his fallen brothers behind. And it was the fight in him that prevailed over that hopeless pit at Ground Zero for months on end after the attack; a painstaking search for any simple thread of humanity inside that hell on earth. And he would keep on fighting, into the final days of his life, along with Jon Stewart, to invoke that humanity on all the simple minds who prefer to forget.

Pat Tillman refused to forget. The California kid who busted it to get the last remaining football scholarship at Arizona State in 1994, was full of plans that were bigger than his 5’11” frame. And it was destined, really, that he would excel at college ball and get a shot at the NFL. He was picked by the Arizona Cardinals with the 226th pick in the 1998 NFL draft, and he was so thankful for the opportunity they had given him that years later, he turned down a big contract offer from the St. Louis Rams. Out of loyalty. Who does that?

Pat Tillman, that’s who. Because the kid never met a promise he wouldn’t keep, or a cause he wouldn’t stand behind. A gritty, hard nosed linebacker, Tillman was making an NFL life for himself when September 11th happened. And never mind that he was thousands of miles removed and times zones away . . because to Pat, Manhattan and Virginia and Pennsylvania were every bit as much his home as the place he laid his head. And all those people lost, his neighbors.

So the kid from central casting who was busy making bank playing the game he loved, decided to enlist in the Army. And dammit if he missed the fucking memo about athletes being self absorbed jerks. And dammit if the world is not the most unfair thing, because the kid from central casting didn’t make it home. And dammit but those numbers lie, because the casualties did not end at 2,977 on Tuesday, September 11th. Those numbers keep crawling upwards, like a furious rage of ivy into a sleepless sky.

Maybe there is no rectitude to the catechisms. Maybe faith is found inside the footprints of those who prosper the darkness so that we may gain the light.

Damn Patriots

I was talking to a friend after the AB circus was cancelled in Oakland, leaving the deranged diva as the most toxic free agent since Kim Kardashian filed for divorce five minutes after marrying some NBA player.

“As long as Brown doesn’t sign with the Patriots, I’m good,” I joked.

“Dude . . Brown just signed with the Patriots . . ” My friend replied.

Of fucking course he did.

If there was any debate as to the most reviled franchise in professional sports, the New England Patriots just won it, again. Seriously . . gimme a more hated group than the boys from the 508. And no, ISIS doesn’t count.

Once upon a time, my beloved New York Yankees held that title with a seemingly eternal grip. In a swath of history that began with the Murderers Row lineup of 1927 and plowed through war torn lineups in the ’40’s, the golden age of baseball in the ’50’s and expansion in the ’60’s, the Yankees remained the most recognizable symbol of enmity in sports. They were immortalized on stage and screen as Damn Yankees, harmonized in Simon and Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson and despised by opposing fans everywhere.

They answered an eleven year championship drought- from 1964 to 1975- with a bunch of mercenaries and sons of bitches when the “Bronx Zoo” iteration won three straight pennants and two World Series titles in the late ’70’s. After which came ever more creative rivals to their most hated throne. The Los Angeles Lakers held a time share for most hated team in sports in the eighties, but Magic buffered any possibility of nuclear enmity. The Dallas Cowboys took up Mickey’s mantle in the ’90’s, but not for long enough a time to breach the gap.

The Russian hockey team was hated whenever the Winter Olympics came calling, but that was a matter of Stalin and Sputnik more than sport. The Edmonton Oilers were hated until Gretkzy was traded to America, after which all was forgiven. The Mets moved out of the Yankees basement in the mid eighties and became a renegade team of hate-worthiness, but their hard partying ways derailed any chance of a long term reign.

By the time the James Gang Miami Heat went Banksy on the Association in 2010, it was too late. The Yankees had already lost their Evil Empire to the New England Patriots. And it wasn’t even close.

The nexus of this changing of the guard came in the fall and winter of 2001-2002. The Yankees were at the height of their villainy entering a campaign in which they had added ace pitcher Mike Mussina from the rival Baltimore Orioles to a team that was favored to win a fourth straight title. When September 11th happened, it muted the national hatred for the pinstripes. Some fans even forged a temporary alliance with the Yanks on account of a city’s gaping wound. When the Yankees lost the World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks, it signaled both the end of a dynasty as well as their title as the most hated team in sports.

We just didn’t know it yet.

In February of 2002, the Patriots upset the heavily favored Rams in Super Bowl 36. To that point, Bill Belichick had been a middling disappointment as head coach and Tom Brady was a little known backup QB turned starter. The irony is that the Patriots shouldn’t have even made it to the Super Bowl that year, but for the “Tuck Rule Game” in which a Tom Brady fumble was ruled . . get this, an incomplete pass. Oh, and the team they beat in that infamous game? Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders. You really cannot make this shit up.

Fast forward seventeen years and the Patriots just screwed Gruden and the Raiders again with their signing of Antonio Brown. Unlike that first Super Bowl victory, the Patriots are no longer a feel good story. They have presided over an unprecedented run of success and scandal in the time since, collecting 6 Super Bowl titles, 9 Conference titles 16 division titles and more -Gates than the poshest neighborhood in Hollywood.

So now the most hated team has the most hated player. It’s the sporting equivalent of the Manson family adopting Pennywise. And okay yes . . Tom Brady is probably going to start acting his age this season and the Patriots can’t possibly make it back to the Super Bowl again and oh wait . . hold on I’ve got a phone call. Hey! It’s me calling, from this time last year!

Hey what’s up? Oh really, I said the same shit this time last year? 

Umm . . . never mind.

It doesn’t seem possible that a team birthed by monarch butterflies on a farm (I read it on the dark web) . . a team that once wore uniforms straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting . . a team that calls itself Patriots, could elicit the sort of rage my Yankees once took for granted.

It’s gotten so bad that after my pal Big Papi’s Orioles were basically eliminated from postseason play back in June, he told me he would be rooting for my Yankees to win it all. To which I replied with “Fuck you,”

I wonder if Antonio Brown plays baseball.

 

 

 

 

Matters Of Little Consequence

By the time spring started tickling the air with a dusty fever, the eight hundred pound gorilla had lost most of its weight. Dan was writing sporadically, leaving me to pick up the slack. Meanwhile, me and the Dame were figuring it out. And, because there is no such thing as simple math, a great big matzoh ball of a mystery was being played out, the results of which I wouldn’t learn until the blog was six feet under.

Me and the boys convened at McCleary’s Public House- a river town pub whose patrons were a funky soup of factory workers, college peeps and small business owners. It was the weekend and some cover band was pissing on the platinum sage lyrics of Cobain. When you make Lake of Fire sound like a boy band ballad, you should be brought up on charges.

It was my first and only time meeting Richie, and all those first impressions I’d collected were proving correct. He talked higher than his ass, about everything. When Chris and me started riffing about our ideas for the podcast, Richie had to interject his thoughts on the blog. The dude was floating more bells and whistles than a degenerate gambler on safari in Vegas. So far, he’d delivered shit.

We let him go on for a while since he’d sprung for the first round, but things were getting nowhere at the speed of light. It devolved into him talking about some chick from Jersey, and his businesses and his brilliant mind. His hairline was receding faster than the arctic glaciers, his paunch had more keep than a Rockefeller trust fund and his personality was a flailing strike. And somehow, Dan thought this asshole was a good idea for us.

Speaking of Dan, I couldn’t shake the feeling something was going on, to which Dan and Chris were holding tight. It wasn’t unusual to feel like the third wheel around those two, but this was different and I was pretty certain it had to do with the blog. It was doing nothing to assuage my suspicions that Chris and Dan were planning a mutiny. It didn’t matter that I was the only erstwhile scribe the fucking thing had going. By this point, nothing about the blog was making any sense. 

“So what’s this about you writing on that chick’s blog?” Richie asked me out of the blue.

The question felt like a punch to the face once I realized what he was talking about. It took a few moments to put together where this line of questioning could have come from. Dan.

“What in the blessed fuck does that have to do with getting us a website?” I asked.

“She hot?”

“She’s not pregnant or your cousin, so you wouldn’t be interested,” I said. The guys all cracked up after which Dan changed the subject quickly.

I was devoting more of my time to the Dame, sure. But that was because she’d stopped writing on the regular and without that steam vent, things could get menacingly perpendicular for us. My involvement in her writing life was equal parts wondrous fascination and self preservation. And it was nobody’s business but our own. 

At this point, I knew I had to take a breather from this catastrophe of a get together or there was going to be a scene. So I told Dan I was going out to call the Dame and gave him a look as if to say If your asshole friend has any inkling to join me, Imma need bail money. 

I called Dame, who cut our chat short because her oldest daughter was visiting, so I delayed my return inside by talking with Till Tuesday and her new friend- a construction worker who’d done work on Lincoln Financial Field. I was starting to feel the buzz of the shots, the Guinness and the smokes. It’s that peaceful, easy feeling when a certain time of the evening goes plush to necessary solutions. I was having such a good time chatting it up, I almost forgot about the miserable shit that awaited me when I went back inside. And then Dan made the scene.

“What’s wrong with you tonight dude?”

“Me? I’m listening to Richie sell us on ground floor real estate to a blog we built, and that you couldn’t care less about writing on now that we have a podcast with Chris. Never mind that it came about only because of the blog,”

“Sorry . . . It’s just, I’ve been going through it and my mind has been shit for,” Dan confessed.

“What’s going on?”

“Me and Em are fighting. I know it’s not fair to you or the blog . . . and maybe that’s what I need to do, you know? Just fucking write again . . take my mind off everything else?”

I almost felt badly for suspecting him of mutiny. Almost. But the more questions I threw his way, the more he ducked and ran. And while I knew this wasn’t about the blog, I also knew it was adversely affecting it.  So I got to pressing before . . .

“You fellas going to Haydn Zugs?”

Standing directly in front of us was a breathalyzer test’s wet dream and this asshole wasn’t taking no for an answer.

“Sorry man, but if we were going there . . why would we be here?” I asked with a straight face. The irony was lost on him.

“I need a ride there! I got a date!”

“So . . what was the plan exactly? Get drunk here, with no ride to the place where you have a date . . . ” I smiled.

“It’s not your fucking business,” He slurred.

“Incorrect. Because you made it my business when you asked for a ride, Sparky,”

“Fuck you then . . I’ll just slash your tires!”

“Hey fuckhead, get a cab!” Dan bellowed, stepping forward and opening his jacket to reveal his revolver. He had a permit to carry, but I’m pretty sure he still would’ve carried it even without one.

“I’m calling my brother, man . . . he’s a state cop!”

“Call him and tell him you’re drunk and you’re gonna slash some tires . . and then tell him to bring donuts. Chocolate glazed . . .” I laughed.

“I should fucking call him right now . . .”

“Call him . . . ” I said calmly. “Tell him that I prevented you from slashing some tires by kicking your ass. After which my friend here put you down after you reached for his gun when he was trying to pull me off you before I put you in a coma,”

“You guys are fucking nuts!” He shouted as he walked off into the night as me and Dan laughed our asses off whilst popping the top on another pack of smokes.

The episode was a microcosm of the blog: An accident of misbegotten times and places that was blatantly offensive and downright stupid. A bat-shit crazy run on sentence that was destined for nothing good.

Full of bluster and fire until it stumbled off into the night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

Joker

Welp, the NFL decided to come back for another season, so I would be remiss if I didn’t give you some quick shot predictions for betting purposes only. A top five? Why not . . .

1- Antonio Brown will be traded to the Hollywood Wives
2- Jerry Jones’ quest for a Super Bowl comes up short again. So he buys the Patriots.
3- A 350 lb lineman who’s somehow faster than Carl Lewis is suspended for PED’s. Fans and commentators are shocked!
4- The Dolphins win the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in peaceful co-existence on the field of play after winning one game, by accident.
5- Roger Goodell announces the league will eventually have teams in London, Madrid, Paris and any other European city that doesn’t give a fuck about American football

Autumn Johnson has one cool name, but his outlook on life is even cooler. The six year old South Carolina boy was saving his birthday money for a trip to Disney World when Hurricane Dorian hit Florida. So he took his money and used it to feed evacuees instead- one hundred in all. Run for office, kid . . please?

An American woman tried to board a plane with a six day old baby in her carry on bag. Authorities at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila detained the woman, who claimed she was an aunt. If only all human traffickers were this dumb.

Prez Tweet Funny

Sarah Yerkes just published her first collection of poems (“Days Of Blue And Flame”) at the tender age of 101. Proving that time can be a prison or a gift. The choice is ours. (Shout out to the Delectable Q for this get.)

On April 12, Emmanuel Aranda threw a five year old boy over the third floor railing at Mall of America. The boy suffered head trauma and multiple broken bones but is recovering. Aranda was sentenced to first degree attempted murder and will serve nineteen years in prison. Imma pick him up when he gets released . . .

Disney Streaming Service
Disney Streaming Service! Just Shut Up And Take My Money!

I didn’t realize Popeye’s chicken sandwich fever was a thing until I read about the imbecile in Houston who pulled a gun on an employee when he was informed they had sold out. This follows the imbecile in Tennessee who sued Popeye’s, alleging “deceptive business practices” after driving all over town looking to score a sammy but coming up empty. Here’s an idea, eat a fucking salad.

Bria Montes pens hand written letters. I dig the posterity of her austerity but I really dig the recipient in this instance: An Odessa, Texas police officer. Montes left the handwritten note along with some flowers on his police cruiser to show her appreciation for his service. The good guys won a day, thanks to Montes.

NY POST Cover

On Wednesday, Google agreed to pay a $170 million fine after YouTube was found to have been collecting information . . . from children. Which led to this brief conversation:

Me: Shit like this really pisses me off, because I love YouTube.
Mellow Harsher: You don’t have to use the site, you know.
Me: Are you out of your mind?

Police in Glasgow, Scotland foiled a game of hide and seek that was to be played out in a local IKEA after three thousand people signed up on Facebook to participate. They stopped any customers who looked as if they were there to play a game of hide and seek, which is the funniest Goddamn case of profiling I’ve ever heard of.

Crazy cat ladies best move over and make way for Chella Phillips, ’cause she’s got plenty of company. When Hurricane Dorian touched down in the Bahamas, Phillips took 97(!) dogs into her Nassau home, providing them with food and shelter. Just call her the patron saint of paws.

Coming up next week, I’ve got a special September 11th issue featuring nothing but heroes. Because when the good guys win the day, it feeds the world.