Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Improve Olympic Ratings: Just Add Shooting

Here’s how I like to spend my winters waiting for the equipment truck to pull out of Fenway and fly south: I like to strap on a pair of cross country skis, sling a rifle over my back and trek across town shooting at paper targets. I know, except for the skiing and the work involved there, it sounds fun, right?

Mesmerizing as they may be, the Winter Olympics sure can dream up the craziest fukkin events and call them sports. The biathlon is most intriguing to me over any of the other snow events. Certainly not because of its excitement or watchability (is that a word?) – the biathlon is a yawner worthy of a full bottle of Ambian. No, I am intrigued by the event because it just seems to me that someone a long time ago looked at cross country skiing and thought to themselves: “I know what this sport needs – GUNS!” I say let’s take that theory to the other events. Give the front man of the bobsled teams a shotgun and he must knock over a certain number of moose and bear targets on the way down the track. Or let’s turn ski jumping into paintball skeet shooting where athletes from other countries try to cover the flying skier with as much paint as possible before landing. Now you’re talking ratings!!!

With no disrespect intended toward the Georgian luger who tragically lost his life in Vancouver (I am just satirizing here and I really do respect the risk of the ride), the danger/thrill of the sledding events palls in comparison to the real sledding that we as kids would partake in every winter. Bobsledding, luge, skeleton: All are sleds with razor sharp blades flying down a man made track at speeds close to 100mph. At first glance, these events look like some crazy ass shit that would take balls the size of curling stones to even attempt. But this is a man made track with turns and walls that direct the sleds and their helmeted riders to the finish line. Some people like to think that these sliders are the risk takers of the Winter Games. I say fuck that! If you want a true thrill-seeking winter event, lose the helmet; sit your over-sized snow pants down at the top of Christian Street on an aluminum saucer that is only slightly larger than a wok and with nothing to steer with except two handles and a prayer. Throw in parked cars on both sides for this helmetless ride into oncoming traffic and now you are talking an event worthy of gold medals!

And then there is curling. I don’t understand this game, but isn’t it just cornhole on ice, where the drunks with PBR singing Bocephus songs are replaced with skips yelling at the dudes with brooms. Yet I have several friends who are captivated by curling. You have seen this – the “skip” slides a big rock along the ice while two teammates sweep along the path like ADHD housekeepers on Red Bull until the rock reaches its destination, hopefully somewhere near the big red bullseye. I have no fukking idea what the brooms do, but those in the know tell me that it helps direct the path of the stone. HOW??? Are they sweeping so friggin fast that the ice melts? Are they creating snowbanks that act like the inflatable bumpers in a bowling alley? With apologies to my easily amused friends, I cannot be captivated by this snoozefest. However, if there was a way to incorporate guns, I may watch.

Friday, February 12, 2010

MessFest (aka Guys Weekend) at the Lake

“No, no, no. I meant to say we were at Cash Bingo,” was the text message on his Blackberry. 9 guys from Lowell stood inside the Looney Bin, faces pressed against the cold plate glass window, watching the entertainment unfold in the Fun Spot parking lot across New Hampshire Route 3. Wait for it…. Wait for it… THERE HE GOES!!! The crowd cheered and 18 arms were raised simultaneously signaling touchdown as Rosco’s black hat came into view through the parked cars and made its way across the parking lot to the Cash Bingo building, his second stop on his search for his friends. The no-strings attached puppet show came courtesy of one really hungover friend and some careful text messaging. It was 2pm and Rosco had awoken from a temporary detoxification slumber in the back seat of a Nissan while the rest of us continued the beer swilling inside the Looney Bin with Michele the bartender and the rest of the regulars. By way of texting, Rosco asked if we had eaten yet. The opportunity was too good to resist. Although we were a mere 50 yards from his car, inside my new favorite bar, the text reply told Rosco that we had gone across the street to Fun Spot. And quicker than Oprah can make a meatball sub disappear, Rosco took the bait. While we all ducked out of view inside the cozy pub, our new puppet slid out of the car and began the 300 yard stroll to the front door of the Fun Spot. The laughing was such that my cheeks started to ache. Why bore you with this story? These are the kinds of things that happen when a group of guys in their late 30’s and early 40’s get together with no wives or kids in sight. Most mature adults might wonder where the entertainment value is in making a grown man walk around in circles – if you can’t see the belly busting humor in that, then you probably don’t laugh during the French castle scene in Monty Python’s Holy Grail and you should probably never come near our WinterFest.
I can only handle it every other year, and at that I cannot even last a full 24 hours. It taxes my system and clouds my thinking. It leads to stories which, if heard by the wrong ears, could destroy careers. But it is worth every fukkin’ moment!! Every year, a bunch of guys, most of whom I have known since high school, meet up at a lake house in February. It has become known as Guys Weekend or WinterFest… but the more accurate name would be Mess Fest. Beer can towers and midnight pizza runs; chili farts and cheeseburger flavored Doritos; Scary Movie 2 and Hangover. It all blends together for a fukkin hell raisers symphony!

So what exactly defines a good guys weekend? It is not a guys weekend until someone drops trow and slaps his pasty white ass cheeks to celebrate a win in 45s. Nor can a guys weekend be complete unless someone falls sound asleep with his forehead on the kitchen table and his knuckles nearly reaching the floor. Guys weekend is 10 grown men sitting in the same room watching Holy Grail, quoting each line out loud in horribly drunken English accents. Guys weekend is 3 crockpots full of chili that are nearly empty by the first night, followed by three days of what always follows chili. Guys weekend is scraping the crusty remains off the bottom of the crockpot on day 3 for breakfast because the Pop Tarts and Devil Dogs are all gone. Guys weekend is bribing the bowling alley clerk to let us borrow the scale so we could declare a winner in the “How Much Does Tiny Weigh This Year” pool. Guys weekend is laughing our asses off as a 50-something bar hag makes the moves on one of us. And guys weekend is trying to decide if the bar hag’s friend looks like the Cowardly Lion or Witchy-Poo from HR Puffinstuff. And guys weekend is celebrating with one of your buddies when he finally has that 50th shot at the Looney Bin and gets his “free” sweatshirt (that cost him $250 in shots).

Not sure if I’ll make it next year – these stories all happened in the 17 hours I spent there. Three days and I might need to hang my liver out to dry.

The stories in this blog are completely true and only the names were changed to protect the fat, drunk and stupid. Well, Rosco and Tiny are made up names, but Oprah really can knock back a meatball sub. Don’t worry Mac – no pictures… Jimmy dropped the camera in the chili.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Geaux Saintes.... le screw le Manning!

Just some observations from the Super Bowl yesterday....

This may not be the popular angle, but is anyone else tired of this whole friggin "the Saints have brought New Orleans back" bullshit? I mean, I understand the tragedy of the hurricane and the devastation of the biggest drinking town in the country. But what exactly does a Saints victory have to do with bringing the city back? It's as if the Saints not only scored more points than the Colts in a football game in Miami, but they apparently also rebuilt the French Quarter, restored electricity to the poorest neglected parts of the city and raised Nawlens above sea level so that a hurricane can never wash them down the drain again. We thought it would take money and miracles to restore Nawlens to its original beauty. Who knew it really only needed a pick six in the fourth quarter?
Here's an idea for Drew Brees and his MVP money.... get some spackle and fill up that New Jersey shaped scar on your cheek. Good lawd it's distracting.

Super Bowl Entertainment: Queen Latifah should NEVER wear jeans when she knows she is going to be broadcast on wide screens acround the world. Holy shit, that denim could not have stretched out more if it were being pulled from both directions by a couple of Budweiser clydesdales. Cousin Carrie did a fantastic job with our National Anthem - not much more to say about that. And then there was The Who. I for one thought they were simply great. But I must admit it was a bit more disturbing with each belly shot from Pete Townshend. And the grey stubble did not do him any favors - looks like just about every sex offender mug shot in post offices around the country.

Peyton Manning could not win his second championship, lending more credibility to the fact that as great as Manning and Tommy F'ing Brady may be, neither one of them have ever won a Super Bowl without Adam "My Wife Still Thinks He's Hot" Vinatieri. Coincidence? I'm laying dollars to crullers (better than simple donuts) that #4 hits that 51 yarder. That aside, the look on Seyton's face after he pulled his ass off the grass once he threw that pick was perhaps the most enjoyable part of the game for me.

I wish I could comment on the commercials, but I was in a bar and I could not hear them. So with that being said, my two favorite commercials, in no particular order: Meghan Fox in the bathtub and Danica Patrick on the massage table. Who the fuck needs a script for those scenes?