American Idol is Over Already?!

What the — American Idol is over already?! Ah man, I was just getting into it. At first I thought it was kind of stupid, you know, how so many people were getting killed in such a small town? But one day I just decided to go with it, and after that I was totally hooked. Angela’s great (although I don’t know when her character found time to write books!), I like Sheriff Metzger a lot, and the endings always surprised me. But then, today, someone tells me that the last American Idol episode was yesterday. What a bummer.

Oh well, at least my other favorite show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is still on the air. I love dolphins!

Axe To Grind

Do you think run-of-the-mill murderers get upset about the undue recognition axe murderers get? Man, I would. It’s all so unfair. You shoot someone and you’re not a Gun Murderer, or you cook your roommate some Drano Waffles and you’re not a Household Cleanser Murderer, but you whack one measely guy with a hatchet and suddenly you’re in a class of your own. I guess cannibals get singled-out too, but, you know, if you’re willing to go that extra mile and eat someone, I figure you’re entitled to some extra credit. Axe murderers, though — those guys are getting something for nothing. They’re a bunch of glory hogs, that’s the real problem.

All Your Basedow Are Belong to Us

Most afternoons I go to the gym to to get a healthy dose of exercise and an unhealthy dose of daytime tv. They have six or seven sets on the wall, which means you can watch pretty much anything from “Fifth Wheel” to “Lou Dobbs Moneyline.” (Note: Watching C-Span while listening to the audio of Jerry Springer, or vice versa, is vastly more entertaining than watching either of the programs in their original forms.). The nadir of daytime tv, of course, is daytime tv advertising, a huge wasteland of Shady Characters Trying To Sell You Stuff You Obviously Don’t Need. Garlic choppers, 14-volume “Best of the 80’s” CD sets, liability lawyers — you know what I’m talkin’ about.

Of particular interest to the patrons of the gym are the endless ads for “Get Fit Fast!” schemes and paraphernalia . You can’t help but feel a sorry for some chump who would buy a geegaw in the hopes of losing twenty pounds in two weeks, when you yourself have lost half that amount by using the stationary bike every day for six months. And everyone in the lockerroom gets a big laugh out of those vibrating whatsits which, when strapped to your stomach, promise to melt away the fat like it’s a crayon on the dashboard of a Louisiana Hyundai.

But then there’s John Basedow. His commercials run all the time on every station, and they never fail to strike fear into the hearts of everyone in the midst of working out. The man looks, for all the world, like a living, breathing, poorly-done Photoshop job: the head of the class geek clumsily pasted onto the body of the class jock. He is a terror to behold. And whenever his visage appears on the television screens, you can almost hear people in the gym thinking “Good gravy! Am I going to look like that when I’m totally ripped?!,” as they set down their barbells and slowly back away from the Nautilus machine. Men stop in mid-sit-up and head to the showers, realizing that the ladies would prefer them with beer guts rather than looking like something Frakenstein stitched together from the corpses of Bob Saget and Rambo.


At the gym I frequent there is series of televisions mounted on the wall, so if you find running four miles to be insufficiently taxing you can also watch “Fifth Wheel”. All the programs have captioning at the bottom, allowing you to read the dialog as it’s being said. Noises and other non-verbal communications is shown in brackets, e.g., “I think, like, Terry is, y’know, totally hot and [giggles] like HOT!”

Today I saw an ad demonstrating a new X-box game called “Bloodquake.” During the entire commercial the caption read “[Sound of guns firing]”.

Catchy Name

I’m terrible with names, but I have no trouble remembering the name Enron . Maybe the origin of this moniker is trivial — the founder’s name being Karl Enron or something — but I like to imagine that, like many big corporations these days, the energy company let a cabal of marketing guys intentionally cook up a name that would be easy to say and impossible to forget. And it’s thanks to those guys that people like me, who know very little about the specifics of this boondoggle, can still say “What’s the name of that company, the one that imploded and implicated the Bush administration of all sorts of shady dealing? Oh yeah: Enron!”