Thursday, May 29, 2008

Nine blogless days later...

Dear everyone,

I wasn't going to blog today either, because you can fuck off, that's why. I'm cranky. This whole possible non-existence thing has thrown a wrench into my plans for world domination through the establishment of a highly successful global chain of frozen banana stands, an idea that was inspired mostly by watching the canceled Fox hit show, Arrested Development.

I'm also cranky because the Oscar campaign is going nowhere and fast. Big Bird backed out of VP talks, and we were counting on his electability with preschoolers to pretty much seal the deal. So now what do we do?

The best idea I've heard so far is to resurrect Mr. Rogers and the fabulous styles of his hairs, and put him on the ticket. But the campaign coffers are seriously adwindle these days. We consulted with a resurrection specialist named Jesus something (he had amazing references... Michael Jordan AND Frankie Avalon!), and it would appear that the best-known celebrity we can afford to resurrect is Eddie Rabbit, of "I Love a Rainy Night" fame.

Frankly, I don't think a Grouch-Rabbit ticket is going to get the job done.

So, as I said, I wasn't going to blog today either. (I believe I also mentioned something about fucking off, but I take that back.)

The reason that I decided to break my blogradio silence on this, the day of the Lost season 4 finale, is to make fun of this woman's pants:

I don't know how clearly you can see it, because I was laughing pretty hard when I took the pictures, and I'm sorry about that. What you can or can't see is that this woman's pants have flowers on them! But just on half! It's as if the designers themselves got halfway through and thought, "this is stupid. These pants are awful and ugly, and nobody in their right mind will ever wear them in public ever. Let's just make the top half black and call it a night." Seriously, these pants look like something the Salvation Army would reject.

This is how I imagine her train of thought went that morning:

Oh, boy! Another new day. But what to wear? Well, let's check that bag of clothes that the Salvation Army rejected and see if there's anything there... PERFECT!

I know, it's cynical and mean of me. I told you I was cranky. I also told you to fuck off, but again, I take that back.

Love and kisses,
Smokey Robinson.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This post probably doesn't exist.

If you have any existentialist friends, you probably already know that there are two things you never want to disclose in their company. The first thing you should never mention to an existentialist is that you "just happened" to catch a women's volleyball match on ESPN2 last night. It really doesn't matter what level it is - college, Olympic, even beach - nothing gets an existentialist's knickers in a knot like volleyball. It's seen as a refutation of some of Kierkegaard's mid-19th century critique of modern Christendom, particularly if Logan Tom or the Misty May-Kerry Walsh tandem are involved.

Two years ago at Dole, Ronny Balboa (yes, that's his real name) went after Rex "The Supervisor" Hymen with a can of sliced pineapple after Rex made a passing mention of the national championship between Nebraska and Stanford. We had to bodily haul Ronny back to Cannery Row, but he kicked and screamed the whole time about how there was no God in "team", and how Nebraska had obviously prevailed on the strength of individual achievement and personal responsibility, and how their collective fate had to be a moot issue for them to overcome Foluke Akinradewo and Cynthia Barboza, Stanford's First Team All-Americans.

The second unmentionable tends to be even more controversial and potentially explosive. Never - and I can't stress that enough - let an existentialist find out that you, or anyone else, has been debating your own existence. The reason that I'm at home right now nursing a black eye, a cracked tooth, and three bruised ribs is because I forgot this rule.

Here's what happened:

12:33 PM yesterday: an email arrives from my aunt Jane.
Hi everyone,
According to this site, see how many Hoobans there are in the USA.

Right away, I'm thinking this email has the odor of potential trouble hovering about it much the same way that a mysterious odor of Gouda cheese hovered over Grand Central Station last Friday, and not for the first time (A-Rod must be back in town, I suppose...). So in the interest of my safety, I decide to archive the email and maybe look at it when I get home. It's called "leaving well enough alone."

1:08 PM: A scant 35 minutes later, my aunt Mary Beth decides to abruptly end the practice of leaving well enough alone, and looks at the website. She replies to all,
0 Hoobans!?!? How can that be? I find lots of unknown Hoobans when I google [sic] the name -- and, of course, I am related to a few Hoobans!!

Trouble has a front row seat to the festivities at this point. I probably should have deleted the email, or at the very least, unsubscribed. But the trouble is, there are zero Hoobans in the United States, according to the website. So I can't unsubscribe, because I'm apparently not here.

The feeling of paralysis is extraordinary! Also, it's, well, paralyzing. At this point, my conversations with co-workers become jerky and halting.

2:14 PM: I'm caught between my desire to delete the email and my desire to crack jokes to my apparently nonexistent family members. The emails start flying fast and furiously, or perhaps not at all. I can't tell the difference anymore. Oddly enough, my uncle John's email address keeps bouncing the emails back as undeliverable because, and I quote, his "email address does not exist."

2:19 PM: The entire Dole Fruit factory seems to be fading in and out like Marty McFly before his parents kissed at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance in Hill Valley in 1955. I start to vigorously perspire, but then I remember that my sweat glands don't exist either, so my undershirt must be wet from something else.

2:28 PM: 10 emails have gone back and forth among my family members. I reply to all the only way I know how.
Who the heck keeps sending these emails?
Surprisingly, there are six more emails after this, none of which offer a satisfactory theory as to who is actually doing the sending.

3:13 PM: I break my silence and confess to Eustice "Not the Supervisor But Wishes He Was" O'Dowd that I might not exist. Eustice rates about a 440 on the Briggs-Goering scale of existentialism, so I'm thinking he is safe ground. Not that it matters, since technically I'm not telling him anything. The news of my non-existence should really be a non-event, since I'm not even there to be missed, as far as I can tell.

Of course, what does Eustice do? He looks for my name on the website. Then he leaves it open on his computer. Everyone who walks by his desk sees this:

Let me just highlight the salient part for you.

3:55 PM: I get a call from payroll, asking me for lots of money. I hear snickering in the background. I tell them, "there's no one here," and then I hang up the phone.

4:18 PM: Laughin' Pete swoops in after I put money in the candy machine in the break room. "Hey look," he says, "free peanut M&Ms from the candy machine in the break room!" Asshole.

4:40PM: Greasy Tony, who is just as greasy as the legends say, if not more so, moves into my cubicle with me. Only, since I don't exist, he's just moving into a cubicle. He argues this point among himselves. I think he might be schizophrenic, except that I apparently don't exist, so I don't really think that.

5:02PM: Smilin' Luke pushes me in front of a taxi on 45th Street. Or rather, he pushes nobody in front of a taxi. Nobody, of course, gets pissed and retaliates by slugging the crap out of Smilin' Luke, which he doesn't feel at all. Nobody and Smilin' Luke start a tussle in the Gouda-free afternoon that results in nobody getting pretty badly hurt. Also, nobody learns what pavement tastes like, all while getting told that ultimately, nobody is personally responsible for nobody's existence because there is no God.

So there you have it.

For a self-negating experience of your own, check out, unless of course, you too don't exist. I'm sort of relieved that I don't. It was always sort of unpleasantly like being drunk. What's wrong with being drunk, you wonder? Just ask a glass of water, Arthur Dent.

Friday, May 16, 2008

How ruuuuuuuude!

It's a slow Friday on Cannery Row, so today I decided to do a little spring cleaning. But since my workstation is more of a pulley- and lever-based operation, it seems, cleaning my springs didn't really take me that long. (rim shot!) So I decided to bust out the old can of Falcon brand Dust-Off®, the Original Compressed Gas Duster, and get busy on my keyboard. You know what they say, if it ain't Falcon, it's probably a different brand of compressed gas duster that might not work as well but will most likely be comparable!

Obviously, there's very little on this earth as satisfying as spraying compressed air into the crannies of your keyboard and watching the orgiastic burst of dust and hair that explodes from the teeny little canyons between the keys. And can I mention, for the record, how surprised I was to discover just how much storage room there is underneath the keyboard keys? Besides the dust and hair, the Falcon brand Dust-Off® also unearthed three dimes, a slice of very aged cheddar cheese, a die-cast model of the Millennium Falcon, and a pocket-size copy of the Magna Carta!

Needless to say, I was quite pleased with myself. My allergies, on the other hand, were not quite pleased with myself. They were quite angry with myself, as a matter of fact. I have no one but myself to blame, though, and I think my allergies knew that, and that's exactly who they're blaming - myself.

All my allergies wanted was to be left alone, after all. They didn't particularly need or care for any additional stimulation. This morning, my brain was in such an allergenic haze that it didn't so much wake up as it subtly shifted from ruminations on air travel to a deep contemplation of the ABC Friday night television lineup in the late 80s and early 90s. I'm not sure which one of those I was asleep for. I'm guessing it was some of both.

Ultimately, I think both subjects stem from watching Lost, which has become an intense and soul-wrenching experience ever since the strike beards came off and the writers went back to work. I almost get the sense that the rotten-hearted writers or producers of Lost (or perhaps both) are pissed off at all of us, and that they therefore feel compelled to induce ulcer-like symptoms and mild coronary crisis in their audience members, which is not very nice.

But surely, you can see the connection, right? Because I'm very much aware of how flimsy the segue is from dusting my keyboard to what I dreamed about this morning to Lost to the heyday of TGIF, and I need you to make this journey with me. So here goes:

I dreamed about air travel, which obviously derives from Lost because of all the travel companies that sponsor it, and because the show is, to use the insider term, "on the air." And the Friday night lineup on ABC is because today is Friday, and because of my recurring adolescent fantasy that John Stamos and Dave Coulier die in a fiery plane crash somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, or that they land on a seemingly uninhabited island and get shot by the natives, much like what keeps happening on Lost.

My point, which is pretty much a non-sequitur despite the hundreds of words I've spent getting there already, is that while we're waiting TWO WEEKS to find out what happens to Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Ben, Gilligan, Ginger, and the Skipper, I think we can apply the lessons of Lost to the old classics like Full House and Perfect Strangers - both of which could really have benefited from some cliffhangers and plot twists.

Actually, Perfect Strangers was an impeccable example of sitcom, and should never be fucked with, ever. For six magical years, Bronson Pinchot and Mark Linn-Baker went together like cream and coffee, in that they were an ideal match.

Full House, on the other hand, could have used some punching up. There were chemistry problems on that show right from the getgo, mostly between John Stamos and Jodie Sweetin. Stamos and Sweetin went together like cream and coffee, in that they were hopelessly disgusting after a few hours together, even with frequent stirring and reheating.

So why not play up the conflict a little bit?

To this day, I still look back fondly on the episode where "Mister Stephanie" gave Uncle Jesse a pretend haircut that went wrong, happily resulting in the death of Stamos's ill-advised Elvis Presley-mullet fusion experiment (an experiment that continues to this day all over Tennessee for no adequately explainable reason). Uncle Jesse responded by giving Stephanie the silent treatment (reportedly not an act), but how awesome would it have been if, instead, he had dangled her off the edge of a cliff by her fingers, and then counted the piggies while she screamed.

UNCLE JESSE: This little piggy went to market...

STEPHANIE: NO! Uncle Jesse! Stop! Please! [She sobs violently.]

UNCLE JESSE: This little piggy stayed home...

STEPHANIE: Oh my god, I can't hold on. I'm gonna fall, Uncle Jesse, please save me! [She continues sobbing.]

UNCLE JESSE: This little piggy had roast beef...

[Stephanie's remaining two fingers, or "piggies," give out. She falls to the canyon floor, shrinking to nothing long before her inert, elementary school form thuds to the ground. Her piercing scream gradually fades to silence.]

Now that's good television!

Oh, Lost, and all you rotten-hearted writers and producers, you don't just make Thursday night television better, you make all television better.

Of course, it would be even better if they had dropped Uncle Jesse, that fuckwad wannabe hearthrob, off that cliff instead.

Have mercyyyyyyy....! Splat.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Blind Bowler Throws a 300 Game! Also, Walking Bananas Take Over Suburban Houston!

Question: where would you take a blind bowler to celebrate the fact that he just bowled a perfect 300 game? Why, you'd take him out to dinner to celebrate, of course! To a very nice Belgian restaurant downtown, if you can swing it! Because, after all, this is a bowler we're talking about! This is an entire group of people who are weaned from the teats of their mothers with foie gras and caviar. These are people whose occasional forays into the bowling alley menu for chicken fingers and bottles of MGD can be as easily overlooked as equally occasional forays into ultra-fashionable bowling shoes.

But I'm getting away from my point, which is about the blind bowler who bowled a 300.

That's right, this guy, Dale Davis (if that IS your real name...) who can only barely make out the dots on the floor, bowled a 300. I think that calls for a pretty decent celebratory meal, don't you.

On to the Belgian place, then!

Your table is right this way, sir.

Pretty swank, no? And check out the view from said swank table...

Like it matters.

Let's face it, folks, this is a bullshit story if ever there was. A blind bowler bowls a 300 game? Why not just tell him he bowled a 301, just to catapult the achievement that much further into the stratosphere of impossibility? They claim he has friends with him who inform him, after a throw, which pins are still standing because he can't see them himself. Boy, those friends must have been awfully quiet this time around, eh? Maybe it's because they were STANDING AT THE END OF THE LANE KICKING THE PINS OVER!

This is like that lousy skee-ball player cheater at the local Chuck E. Cheese who climbs up the ramp and slam dunks all the balls into the 50-points hole, sending a stream of ill-gotten paper tickets spilling out of the machine onto the floor until Chuck E. Cheese security has to come take him away and send him home so he never gets his reward dinner for finishing second in the 4th-grade spelling bee. Or something like that.

I'm just saying, this alleged 300 game has all the veracity of a scheme cooked up by Eric Cartman. And believe me when I say that that blind asshole bowler and his friends are going to get caught. If not here, then on the golf course next week when he shoots consecutive holes-in-one. And then we'll see who gets to go to Chuck E. Cheese.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Sad Story of Baskin and Robbins

As we all know, yesterday was supposed to be a celebration of the 10th anniversary of Kerry Wood striking out 20 Houston Astros to tie Roger Clemens' Major League record for strikeouts in a game. But that celebration was darkened by the death of Baskin Robbins co-founder, Robbins, who may or may not have had a first name (which may or may not have been Irv). It was the virtuous and well-regarded Robbins, after all, who so convincingly defended Baskin's Ice Cream Manifesto (not pictured) to the general public during the war-torn 1940s, persuading a divided America to spend their hard-earned greenbacks on treats made from frozen cow's milk and sugar, and eventually, raw chocolate chip cookie dough, and sold at franchises that sprouted up across the land like mushrooms - poisonous mushrooms.

Baskin was always the more notoriously headstrong of the duo, often launching into arias of idealistic fancy that usually had very little to do with ice cream. It was Robbins who kept Baskin's anti-Semitism in check, and Robbins too who did most of the scooping in the early days - a memory now lost to history and erased from the Great Baskin Robbins Corporate Record (ohmmmmmm). But Robbins' greatest contribution was tempering the genius that lay beneath Baskin's manic personality, usually through the use of heavy narcotics and a Ford Model T, strategically placed on Baskin's left temple. These later became known as the "Model T Sessions." It was during one of Robbins' Model T sessions that Baskin shouted, nearly incoherently, "Bananas!...Foster!...Britney Spears!" And thus was born the idea for the modern ice cream cake.

It was probably the last time Baskin and Robbins agreed on anything.

Robbins ultimately killed Baskin, first by arranging for the sale of Baskin Robbins to United Fruit, and later by actually killing him in 1967.* United Fruit went on to become a hateful and loathsome corporate empire, eventually changing its name to Chiquita and exerting a megalomaniacal grip on American banana imports. Baskin, whose first name was Burt, remained dead.

Gone, But Not Forgotten...And Then Later, Forgotten Too

But Baskin wasn't finished yet. He was gone, but not forgotten. And then later, he was forgotten too. Rumors abounded throughout the 1970s of the heated exchange between Baskin and Robbins as Baskin lay on his deathbed, with Robbins's ice pick poised inches from the left temple where the thin-waled tire marks from the Model T were still visible.** "You can't win, Darth," Baskin is reported to have said, adding "if you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."*** The alleged exchange is said to have inspired the screenwriting attempts of a young George Lucas, but that has never been proven.****

What has been proven is that Baskin was reincarnated in the Pine Barrens region of southern New Jersey in the late 1970s, in the form of an anthropomorphic teddy bear named Lollipop. He rides a Vespa Scooter (Not Your Everyday Ride!) emblazoned with a skull-and-crossbones, and carries a Soviet-made AK-47 assault rifle in a back-mounted holster. He currently works in New York City as a delivery guy for a Korean restaurant on 32nd Street. And he has patiently waited for old age to wreak the vengeance on Robbins that he never could, even as a bear, even with an AK-47, even with one of the most lucrative delivery jobs in the city.

But What About The Kerry Wood Thing?

Baseball games everywhere were halted yesterday***** in observance of the death of Robbins, and tributes to Kerry Wood's masterful, flash-in-the-pan performance were reconsidered and ultimately shelved for another decade - primarily for thematic reasons, but also because, unlike Baskin and Robbins, Kerry Wood basically never lived up to his potential. Chiquita, meanwhile, announced plans to debut a line of commemorative poisonous mushrooms in honor of Baskin and Robbins, to be packaged in the familiar and friendly pink and brown colors of the ice cream chain.

Anything Else, or Can I Please Get Back to Work Now?

Yes. This post is dedicated to anonymous, who complained that I had never dedicated anything to him/her, apparently unaware that I am contractually obligated to dedicate everything on this site to Dole Fruit. Thank you, Laci and anonymous, for causing me to breach my contract. That's just grate.

* This is patently false. Please don't sue me.

** Also false. See * for suggestions about suing me.

*** This is entirely true. Those were, in fact, the last words of Baskin.

**** Also true. In fact, George Lucas co-opted most of the dialogue for Star Wars from the last words of American ice cream pioneers. It was reported that he was pushing pretty hard for the deaths of Ben & Jerry before he wrote the prequel trilogy, and that their failure to die might have been responsible for why the dialogue in those three movies sucked so fucking bad.

***** Also entirely true. Check (not pictured) for details.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Put a Banana in Your Ear, Banana King

Though mankind clearly reached its cultural zenith with Zac Efron's perfection of the popular "shaggy do" last year, there are still occasional bursts of ingenuity and art that stand out like pimples on the otherwise pimple-free and art-free landscape of human achievement.

There is, for instance, the banana. And the fine cinematic work of judd rinefart the blah, who seems to have no interest in whether I ever start capitalizing his name or calling him Judge Reinhold again. (For the record, all it would take is for him to endorse someone other than Bill Richardson, so I can know what to think.) There is also the unicorn. And broccoli salad. And the banana. And the paper clip.

It's also true that the unending quest of our species for self-actualization and greatness has occasionally produced some very decent television as well, as proven by the first 18 seasons of Little House on the Prairie. But then again, we've also managed to produce Ted McGinley, a force of nature so powerful and so deadly that he has his own category on, a website that, in an ironic twist of fate, jumped the shark during a very special episode starring Ted McGinley.

This, of course, all leads back to Zac Efron's hair, which has been strangely and sadly absent from major news cycles for months now, leaving us to focus on the aforementioned pimples.

And wow, did I just find a juicy one.

Feast your eyes on Charlie the Unicorn. And please pay particular attention to what happens at the 3:44 mark, as it is relevant to my cause of action against you under the Freedom of Information Act. Also, because it is awesome.

Dear Jesus,

Yes! We totally did it, Man! Or should I say, Son of Man! You can come back now and judge us. I think we finally have You beat.

Your pal in You,
The Smoke Monster.

P.S. Why does redirect to the IBM website?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Letters from The Corn Rebellion

Antietam, Maryland
June 17, 1864

Dearest Willamina,

There is no news from the front to-day. We held strong against the insurgency yesterday, though we were assailed by the enemy from mid-day till dusk, and our regiment lost about half its strength in men by the time we cleared the wounded and dead from the field of battle. Rain came in last night, and by daybreak today, only twenty-eight of us were fit enough to answer the muster call.

I am beginning to believe that war is not the noble enterprise it was during the time of our fathers' fathers, when this nation, now divided, fought for its very existence. The differences that separate us seem so slight as to merit little more than supper table conversation. To think that this country, and all these men, could be so torn apart by something as trivial as corn sometimes strikes me as utterly ridiculous. I would scarcely even believe it if, in fact, I had not seen with my own eyes the sight of grown men swearing blood oaths about their corn preferences before sticking each other with their bayonets. Indeed, my love, even you and I have been philosophically separated on this rather pivotal point, and so it pains me greatly to have to confess some of the deeds I have done in the name of defending the free eating of corn, as I am sure they will disappoint and disgust you.

Nevertheless, my dear Willamina, whose hair is as yellow as the silk of the vegetable at issue, I must admit that I have partaken of several corn-only meals during the course of this war, and that I have, in many cases, thoroughly enjoyed them. Why, just yesterday, the regiment cooks prepared for our supper a meal of corn bread with corn soup and a side plate of corn. The day before that, we set to a table of corn pone and corn cakes. Worst of all was the evening, now a fortnight past, when we drank corn liquor from sunset till long hours into the dark. I got out of my wits and tried to heat corn in oil in a metal pan over our camp fire, to see if the corn would pop, as some of the legends say. My hand was gravely burned so that I could not properly lock the flint of my rifle for nigh on a week.

Of my adventures with corn, I know it must give you great distress to read them, and I am great pains to write them to you. But though many foods have crossed the transom of our national discourse during the long years of our troth, none have been so hard on us as corn. Because I have sworn an oath by God himself to defend the Republic, President Lincoln, and the freedom to eat or not eat corn as any individual may see fit, it would therefore be wrong of me not to confess all to you; for if and when I come home, you may find me a different man, a man changed by the ravages of combat, and by a diet that consisted mostly of those delicious yellow orbs which you find so detestable and loathsome.

I am not wholly unsympathetic to your point of view, Willamina, my love. Indeed, privately, there have been days during the recent past when I have come to despise corn for the bloody toll it has taken on the sundered brothers and cousins of this land. I hope to come home to you very soon, so that we can prolong our corn-fed rivalry in the comfort and confines of our own bedchamber, even upon pain of being barred from that room if the argument should get too stiff. Until such time as my return may be orchestrated, I shall remain

Yours faithfully,

How do you say, "I disapprove of you and your granola bar-eating ways" in Russian?

I was walking out of Dole yesterday in the 5:45 PM range, and when I say that I was minding my own business, I can't possibly fully convey the extent to which I was actually minding my own business. We're talking stepping over homeless people and dodging zephyrs of cigarette smoke - that kind of minding my own business. I didn't even interfere with the breeze.

Anyway, I was about to head out onto 45th Street when I saw this lanky blonde Russian chick - let's call her Saruman - walking in a lazy half-circle near the steps outside the Fruit Factory. Saruman's face was long but unremarkable. Her coat was similarly long, and similarly unremarkable. I was fully prepared to let Saruman fade into the tapestry of forgotten passersby when she looked me dead in the eye and said something like, "blegozhnyet skiyev p'tok."

(I'm paraphrasing. Obviously.)

I can't tell you whether those words were bad, or whether they possibly contained some sort of reference to bestiality or the suggestion that I copulate with a relative of mine. I don't actually know that it was Russian either. All I know is that, in preparation for spitting and hissing her cheerless message at me, Saruman had twisted her face into an unmistakably malicious sneer. I mean, it was like she HATED me.

I immediately suspected that perhaps she was a regular reader of this here blog here.

Granted, since I knew the whereabouts of all (both) of my regular audience, meeting a reader was a mathematical impossibility. But I had to ask myself, in what other manner could I possibly have provoked such unmitigated outrage? Saruman had narrowed her unremarkable eyes and pressed her unremarkable lips into a militaristic frown. She looked genuinely pissed off, which seemed all the more incongruous because of the great lengths to which I was going to avoid disturbing even a particle of the world around me. Remember, the thing I just wrote about dodging the zephyrs of smoke and stepping over homeless people? Yeah! And I got yelled at! In a foreign language that sounded vaguely Slavic, or possibly Finno-Ugric in origin! With no subtitles! By Saruman!

Could Saruman possibly have known that I was about to reach into my coat pocket for a granola bar?

Damned if I know. I'm used to offending people once I've opened my mouth, or once I've convinced them to waste another perfectly good few minutes of their lives on this website, reading the fruits of my latest expedition into the dark corners of my insanity and dementia. But I don't know if anyone has ever despised me simply from the very sight of me. I assume those people are out there, and that it's simply a matter of forbearance and decorum that keeps them from spouting off at me in their native tongues. Here's hoping Saruman didn't just break the seal.

By the way, this post is dedicated to Laci, who claims that he won't comment on any post not written about him. Oddly enough, though, he commented on one of my Pope-related pieces from last week, but only to point out that I'm a kid toucher. I'm telling you, my resume is PERFECT for that job.