Thursday, March 30, 2000

Gene Simmons

Gene Simmons of Kiss was on my show today, talking about the band's farewell tour, which endorsement deals he would never sell out for, and what they said to the record company executive who told them to forget the makeup if they wanted to be famous.

Listen.

Tuesday, March 14, 2000

Pork, The Other White Fuel!

Bio-tech Bulletin!! First, they cloned a sheep. Then, a monkey. Now, finally, they have gotten around to cloning a pig. Woo-hoo!

The scientists say they are working toward the day when pig parts -- heart valves, livers, kidneys -- can be transplanted into humans. Apparently, while you and I weren’t looking, we somehow became sow-compatible.

This little piggie went to market, this little piggie went to the operating room. No longer will you have to buy that bacon, bring it home, cook it up, and eat it. Soon, you’ll have it growing inside you!

I know, you’re as excited by this accomplishment as I am. But have you considered the ethical questions this scientific breakthrough raises? Think about this: if you’re a Muslim or an Orthodox Jew, and you’re not allowed to eat pork, are you allowed to have it implanted in your body? I’m no biblical scholar, but there’s a question that’d keep Solomon up a couple of nights.

You can’t stop progress, so I say let’s embrace and encourage it. Keep these scientists working 24/7 around those bunsen burners until they develop a ham sandwich that can make itself!

We’ve been a nation of hogs for a long time, and we’ve been very effective at spreading our piggishness around the world. Just last week, the Worldwatch Institute released a report that claims that there are now as many overweight people in the world, 1.1 billion, as there are underfed people. For every Calista Flockhart, there’s now one Camryn Manheim. Ironically, they made the announcement on Fat Tuesday.

This makes a confusing message for parents. As children ourselves, we were always told, “Finish everything on your plate, because somewhere in India, there’s a starving child who needs that food.” No, it never made any sense. Mom wasn’t going to send your old deli leftovers to the untouchables in New Delhi. But what are we supposed to tell our kids now? “Don’t finish everything on your plate, because somewhere in India, there’s a fat kid who doesn’t need that food.”

We’re not going to stop being pigs, either, because we’re Americans and we want it all! We want to eat a magic powder that helps us lose weight, but we don’t want to do a minute of exercise or change our diet. We want to use credit cards, but we don’t want to incur debt. We want to ogle Jennifer Lopez, but we don’t want to make Puffy Combs mad.

Sidebar: Jennifer has admitted that she kept her skimpy scarf dress in place at the Grammy Awards though the use of some strategically placed toupee tape. Which explains why later that night, she found William Shatner stuck to her nipple.

We want it all! We don’t care how high gas prices go, we’re not giving up our SUVs and we’re not going to slow down just to get better mileage. The right to drive fast in a big vehicle is in the Constitution, isn’t it?

That’s why this proposed Gas Out next month has no chance of success. It doesn’t matter how many e-mail pals you forward that message to -- and please stop sending it to me, I’ve received it over a hundred times this week alone! -- even if everyone who gets it doesn’t purchase gas for those three days, it won’t have any impact on the price. They’ll have to fill up either right before or right afterwards, instead.

The price of gasoline will only stop its upward spiral when the OPEC Sheiks have raised enough money for their big Harem-Aid benefit later this spring. Evidently, they’re running low on “I Dream Of Jeannie” outfits for the various Mrs. Sheiks.

There is one group of Americans who seem a bit peeved about the cost of fuel. There was a picture in the paper today of a convoy of 150 truckers who are driving from California to Washington, DC, where they’ll meet up with a couple thousand fellow truckers on Thursday to protest rising fuel prices.

This makes perfect sense. How better to show how upset they are about all the extra money they have to spend than to log a few thousand extra miles, using up hundreds of gallons of fuel along the way? That’s like protesting higher meat prices by staging a pork-chop eating contest!

Oops, that’s no longer a valid analogy. Now that we can clone pigs, we can have an unlimited supply of pork-chops. If only our intrepid scientists could develop an internal combustion engine that runs on hog meat.

Pork, the other white fuel!

Kids, be sure to clean your plate. Somewhere in Saudi Arabia, there’s a kid who needs that oil.

Monday, March 06, 2000

Olympic Ballroom Dancing

I was flicking around the television remote the other night when I went past the PBS station and saw that they were airing yet another of their ballroom dancing competitions. Although I only paused for two seconds, it was long enough to hear the announcer report that ballroom dancing has been accepted as an exhibition sport by the International Olympic Committee.

Ballroom dancing as an Olympic sport? I don’t think so. It makes about as much sense as Larry King giving Rick Rockwell marriage advice.

I'm no expert on athletic endeavors, but I'm fairly sure that if it involves participants in formalwear, it's not a sport. The Olympic motto is "Swifter, Higher, Stronger." It isn't "Honey, can you help me with this cummerbund?"

On my show the next day I asked my listeners, “If ballroom dancing is in the Olympics, what else should be on the roster?” They came up with a pretty good list.

First, the beer sports, naturally. The sorts of events where training must involve a six-pack-a-day. Darts. Fishing. Horseshoes. Limbo. These are the ones you can play while holding a cup/can/bottle of beer and never risk spilling a drop.

Then, there are the camp sports. Where outside of camp have you ever seen anyone play Tetherball? You don’t hear anyone quitting work for the day and heading for the gym for a good game of Tetherball. I’m fairly certain it's illegal outside of licensed summer camp facilities due to the danger inherent in that rope getting wrapped too high up the pole.

While we’re there, add Ultimate Frisbee to the list, along with its sunny day park-pal, Hacky Sack. I’m sure that somewhere in the world there’s a Full Contact Hacky Sack competition of some kind, but it doesn’t sound Olympic to me.

Wiffle Ball. Stick Ball. Stoop Ball, for you urban dwellers. Dodge Ball -- the sport where only your very best friend would dare leave a huge red mark on your leg after throwing that gym ball at you with all their might.

Trampoline!! Studies have shown that there has never been a human being who didn’t enjoy the trampoline. But you never get a chance once you’re out of school, do you? I'll give away a million dollar idea here: a health club with trampolines in the floor -- not raised like the old ones, where you need spotters around the sides, but flush with the floor (they have them at kiddie play-gyms). Who wouldn’t love to spend some time just bouncing up and down, trying to work up the nerve to attempt that twist-your-legs-around-and-land-on-your-tush move in front of other adults?

You say the Trampoline doesn’t deserve Olympic status? Remember that they already have an event called Rhythmic Gymnastics, the rules of which require several 13-year-old girls with no actual bone structure to roll around on a mat twirling a stick with ribbon on the end. Then they toss it in the air, do a quadruple somersault, and catch the stick again. If that’s a sport, so is being a drum major.

Table top games come next. Paper football! The one where the triangle hangs over the edge for a touchdown, followed by the extra point attempt through your friend’s finger-goalposts, which inevitably ends up going in someone’s eye, thus ending the game. It can also be played as penny football, for you rich kids who can’t handle the origami involved in folding paper into a triangle.

Tiddlywinks. Marbles. Jacks. Washers. Thumb Wrestling, a game that doesn’t get boring until well into the second minute.

Jigsaw puzzles. Mancala. Chinese Checkers. Pop-A-Matic Trouble. Yahtzee!!

Pool (controversy: which game do they play, 9-Ball or Stripes & Solids?). Ping pong -- please, don’t call it table tennis -- which we haven’t seen televised since the US team went to China many years ago in a desperate attempt to create a historic moment that could later be replicated as a scene in “Forrest Gump.”

Back outside now for Hopscotch. Jumping Rope. Double Dutch. Hide And Seek. Kick The Can. Yo-Yo, with expert analysis by Tommy Smothers.

Bocce Ball. Shuffleboard (an Olympic sport for seniors only). Miniature Golf -- let’s see those Romanians take a shot at some American windmills!

Bring on the mutant sports. Truck pulls. Dwarf tossing. Bungee jumping. Bull fighting.

Rock, Paper, Scissors! Who can forget the scandal when the Bulgarian team faked the scissors and brought out the rock instead, just as the buzzer sounded? Do you believe in miracles?!?

And don’t forget the sport most feared by adults all over the world. The one that would cause spectators to exit at top speed from poolside at the Olympic swimming venue. Yes, I’m talking about Marco Polo, Olympic-style.

Lest you think any of these suggestions are too outrageous to be considered by Juan Antonio Samaranch and his Council Of Easily Bribed Officials at the International Olympic Committee, keep in mind two simple facts: 1) the Winter Games already have Curling, a sport that consists entirely of a bunch of people sweeping up the ice around one of those bombs Boris Badenov was always throwing at Rocky & Bullwinkle; and 2) they are seriously considering adding the card game Bridge to the roster of Olympic sports.

Sadly, I’m not making that up.

Okay, that’s enough. I have to get back to working with my daughter, who I hope to have ready to play in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Look for her as captain of the US Crazy Eights team.