Wednesday, May 28, 2014

post 744: where 2014's first fake mailbag! ... and (believe in the best) potential "wait, what?" moment of my life, both happen at once ...

"She says, look baby!
I'm a rock star!
Grabs my old guitar.

Playin' it upside down,
Dancin' round,
In front of our TV ...

I can't see the ballgame,
So I just wave
My lighter around and say,

Rock on baby!
I'd rather watch you anyway.

But when you're done?
Can I come backstage,
And get you to sign 

That Zeppelin shirt of mine
You're wearing?
I'll never wash that thing again.

Yeah, she's my kind of crazy!
Little games she plays!
Lord, they never get old.

She's too cute,
To get on my last nerve!

The way she throws
Her little fits?
Poking out her lip

To bite my rambling kiss?
There ain't a fight that she
Can't win.

That's my baby!
And she's my kind of crazy ..."

-- "My Kind of Crazy" by Brantley Gilbert, the (at best) fifth best song he's ever done ... but gun to my head, it's my favorite.


Happy final week of May, peoples and peepettes!  I got an email from the Chiefs the other day trying to get me to add another ticket to the account, with the subject line “Only Ten Sunday Until Football!”

Which means we have fourteen – fifteen, with luck – of summer goodness to enjoy.  And enjoy the hell out of it?  I intend to do.

In honor of summer’s arrival, it's time to clean out the inbox, and post 2014's first "Fake Mailbag"!!!!!

(kazoo voice) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As always, these are (allegedly) legitimate queries sent by my (allegedly) loyal readers, regarding (alleged) topics of interest.  At least four of these, were legit, credible emails I have received, so ... enjoy?

* "The Moose is Loose!  (Pause).  That was horrible.  Your thoughts?" -- Heath C, Harrisonville.

That it's a month overdue?

Look it, the longer the Royals hang around .500 in this part of the schedule, is going to make it that much tougher, when the brutal stretch comes ... and that brutal stretch, is the entire month of September.  The last three weeks of the season, the Royals face the Yankees three times (all on the road), the Red Sox four times (all at home), the Tigers six times (three home / three away), the White Sox seven times (three home / four away), and the Indians three times (all away).  If this team isn't ten games over .500 when the Rangers arrive on Labor Day, you can reasonably kiss the postseason goodbye.

Furthermore, why did this take so long?  For pushing fifteen years now, the Royals have never been afraid to demote the hot shot new guy, if he deserved it.  And go figure -- it usually works!  They demoted Mike Sweeney; he returned in All Star form.  They demoted Tito Beltran; he's still playing in All Star form (albeit not for us).  The Royals demoted Zach Greinke; he won the Cy Young.  The Royals demoted Alex Gordon; he returned in All Star form.  Ditto Billy Butler. 

If you have something that has been proven to work for your team, why do you stop doing it?

* "Swept?  By the Astros?  Is it time to, in the words of Al Pacino, "take a flamethrower to this place?" -- Anthony R, Independence.

Wait -- you're asking the only person alive whose last name is not Pioli, that not just was ok with, but supported that man's return as general manager across the parking lot, you're asking that guy, about taking a flamethrower to a sinking ship?

It takes a lot -- and I mean a lot -- to drive me to the "fire that a-hole" column.  Ned's almost there.  Dayton isn't within a trip around the 435 loop, of being in the ballpark of that column yet.

Although as Mr. Pacino noted in his first line: this Royals season IS ... a crock of sh*t.

* "I am shocked the NBA didn't rig this (the draft lottery)" -- Drew K, Shawnee.

You're shocked?  You have three powerhouse fanbases, long-storied teams in this league, all sitting there with a chance at the top pick -- and all sitting there, in the same season, when between the 76ers, Celtics, and Lakers?  They combined see the lottery maybe five times a decade, and three of those are 76ers appearances.

To see the Bucks almost wind up in the spot their odds expected?  Was a stunning surprise.

To see the 76ers, Celtics, and Lakers, all wind up exactly where the odds say they should?  Was surreal.

* "Did you see the Star's Deal of the Day?  Half off at Don Chilito's!  Half off microwaved enchiladas ... and a chip trough to boot!  Who wouldn't want that?" -- Gregg G, Bonner Springs.

Me.  That place hates me worse than the Quaff or someone with the last name of Jones hates me.  (Although to be fair, the feeling is mutual in all three cases.)  

God, I hate the Quaff.  "You let him drive?!?!?!?!"  Never again, Quaff.  NEVER again.  

The last time I stepped foot in that slice of microwaved refried food heaven hell back in October?  Your car got (keyshawn johnson voice) JACKED UP!, and my dad dropped dead twice in an hour.  God, I hate Don Chilitos.  "You need to get your ass to Shawnee Mission as fast as you can, and I will meet you at the (ER) door."  Never again, Don Chilitos.  NEVER again.

But -- but! -- I will make one exception.  There's one, and only one, situation, in which Don Chilito's Authentic Mexican Restaurant, would be what I was seeking.  I can see it now ...

(tv show) (cue the "100,000 Pyramid" theme song)
(studio audience) (wild applause)

(dick clark) I must ask the audience, please, no talking, no hints.  Stevo, are you ready?
(stevo) Yes.  Yes I am.
(dick clark) Markie, are you ready?
(markie post) Let's do this.
(dick clark) Let's start the clock. For one hundred thousand dollars.  Go!

(stevo / markie post) (answer first five categories in :35)

(markie post) Upset stomach.  Uncontrollable bowel movements.
(stevo) Things diarrhea might say!
(markie post) Microwaved barely edible enchiladas.
(stevo) Things El Monterrey Frozen Mexican Cuisine might say!
(markie post) numerous health code violations.
(stevo) Things a Chinese buffet might say!  Things the Gates on 40 Highway might say!
(markie post) 1970s motif. 
(stevo) Things the Albertson’s on John T White and 820* might say!
(markie post) The laxative of fine Mexican dining.
(stevo) Things Taco Via might say!
(markie post) stale sopapillas.  A chip trough with molded, discolored chips.
(stevo) Things Don Chilito's Authentic Mexican Restaurant might say!
(markie post) YES!  YES!!  YES!!!
(hugs all around).

Now THAT, in the words of the legen ... wait for it ... dary Mr. Hugh M. Hefner, THAT?

Would be something ... REALLY special!

(This was one of the (at least) four real queries, believe it or not.  How did people manage to waste time in the office, before the advent of email and instant messaging?  (Pause).  What?  (Pause).  You're kidding me!  People used to be allowed to smoke and drink on the job?  Man, I was born at the wrong time!)

(*: that Albertson's was seriously, my favorite grocery store when I lived in Lake Arlington.  Sure, I could drive three to four extra minutes to the brand spanking new Tom Thumb, or a rock solid Minyard's.  But where else are you gonna find mustard yellow lettering?  Brown and green trim?  It honestly looked like something out of an episode of "Welcome Back Kotter".  Needless to say, they got my money.  Even if it was one of the most (jimmy johnson voice) poorly run grocery stores, known to mankind.)

* "Would you trade for Andre Johnson?" -- Anthony V, Overland Park.

I'm torn on this, for a couple reasons.

A small part of me says "yes", because for 2014 at least, it would move Donnie Avery into the slot as the third option (where he belongs), and the concept of Alex Smith having five weapons named Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe, Andre Johnson, Donnie Avery, and (insert fifth option here -- TE / WR / RB), makes me drool.  And a large part of me wants to say "yes", because after that 2014 experiment, we have DBowe's replacement in house, and can get some breathing room in dealing with the cap by releasing him.

A small part of me says "no", simply because what is it going to cost?  At least a 2015 first rounder, a third rounder sometime in the next two years, and probably a conditional pick as well.  I'm not willing to give up three of our next fourteen selections, to acquire one wide receiver, unless that receiver is Randy Moss circa 1998 or 2007.

But overall, I wouldn't do it, if for no other reason than go back and look at "Fat" Andy's teams in Philly.  Only once did they have a wide receiver worth a damn, and the TO experiment imploded on them spectacularly after twenty games.  Donovan McNabb's go-to guy was Todd Stinkston, for God's sake. 

So no, I wouldn't do it.  But if the price dropped, I'd at least reconsider.

* "Another month, another scandal at the federal level, another "I had no idea!" response from the President.  Your thoughts?" -- Scott H, Liberty.

To quote Mrs. Clinton: "what difference does it make at this point?"

And sadly, isn’t that fact?

Nobody cares anymore.  This man is such an utter, inept, aloof failure, that the nation cannot wait to replace him.  There’s a reason why the focus is on 2016 two and a half years out from Election Day, and it’s the same reason the nation had had enough of Mr. Obama’s predecessor thirty months out: because every person in this country with an IQ above room temperature, knows it’s going to get a helluva lot worse, between now and then.  It’s the “bury the head in the sand” mentality.

Nobody is surprised when another scandal comes out, because that’s all this administration has been the last two years.  Benghazi, IRS, Fast and Furious, the VA, the broken website for Obamacare.  The lie anyone with an IQ above room temperature the last four years knew was a lie, that “you can keep your plan if you like it”.  The fact 9 million jobs and counting have disappeared from the payrolls since January 20, 2009.  The out-of-control spending that will destroy this nation’s economy in the next fifteen years, unless the grown-ups in the room deal with it.  Sadly, there aren’t any grown-ups in the room in the Oval Office anymore, now that Mrs. Clinton saw the handwriting on the wall, and got the hell out of Dodge, as fast as she could after Election Day 2012.

I mean, what’s going to get better in the next thirty two months?  And yes, we still have THIRTY TWO MORE MONTHS of this!  

Iran will go nuclear.  Let that sink in: nuclear war in the Middle East is now on the table.  And not just in Iran – this man signed off on letting Russia “monitor” the happenings in Syria.  Is this a joke?  Is there a single person alive not named Barack Hussein Obama, who believes Russia isn’t going to arm Syria to the teeth, to increase his influence in the oil-richest area of the world? 

The worst of Obamacare?  Hasn’t hit yet, because Barry violated every tenet of the Constitution by rewriting the law on a whim, exempting large employers from compliance until after the 2014 elections.  Just wait until the GE’s, the ExxonMobil’s, the auto makers, the major insurance and banking institutions, just wait until they get a chance to dump us onto the public payrolls, by paying a fine and saving billions of dollars, over providing insurance plans. 

Our economic growth last quarter was 0.1%.  0.1%!   A monkey flinging his dung around a cage for three straight months, can generate 0.1% growth for your local zoo’s bottom line!  Hell, if I wanted to, I could pimp this site, put a few ad generators on it, and generate 0.1% growth in my bottom line for a three month period!  One tenth of one percent.  That’s our nation’s economic growth to open 2014.  Hell, I'll go one further -- the man in the room dumber than said monkey flinging his dung (that would be Vice President Biden)?  Even he could create 0.1% economic growth, simply by people buying televisions and tablets and what have you, just to listen to his gaffes!

My head hurts.  This was supposed to be a fun post.  Let’s move on.

Because God knows 65% plus percent of the country, wishes to God we could do that with this man, at this point.

* “Ten tailgates upcoming this fall!  Rank them from “least excited for” to “most geeked about”, and why!” – Russ H, Raytown.

Hey, when the Bus Man asks a question, his eyes and ears for the drive home answers!

(And to think people wonder why we wait until the parking lot empties, before leaving.)

In descending order (and note: my hoped for roadie to Miami, or fall-back roadie to San Diego, are not included; only games I know I will attend, are in this ranking.)

10. Chargers (Sunday, December 28 – Week 17).  The last one is always the saddest … if only because it’s usually so damned cold, not even I will show up in shorts.  And anyone who has ever tailgated with me can tell you – I wear shorts until it’s really, really, really cold.  Not (rest in peace) Bill Williams tolerance of the cold impressive … but I’ve worn shorts out there when it was in the 20s, and felt perfectly fine.  Hell, one of the pictures I have up in my cubicle, is me coming off The Bus (with the crappy “mistletoe” to steal a kiss or four from “The Crush”) for the Packers game in 2011.  It was 22 at kickoff.  Me?  A sweatshirt, a hoodie, a Santa hat, said “mistletoe” … and the black Chiefs shorts with tennis shoes.

9. Bengals (Thursday, August 7 – Preseason Week 1).  It’s on a Thursday, for starters, so half our group won’t be there to tailgate, and if we want to do it up right, I’ll have to take two vacation days.  The only redeemable thing is that August tailgates pretty much ensure I get to do what I do better than any human being to ever draw breath: sit outside in the sun, enjoying a cold libation, with the t-shirt nowhere in sight.

8. Rams (Sunday October 26 – Week 8).  As annoying as donkey and raider fans are?  Rams fans might be worse.  Assuming they have any left, now that the bandwagon “Greatest Show on Turf” days are over.

7. raiders (Sunday December 14 – Week 15).  The positives: all six raider fans I can stomach, will be there, and it’s one of two chances I get this year, to plant that mistletoe on that Santa hat, and go for it.  The negatives: every other damned thing.  The cold, the raiders fans, the fact oakland has won 6 of 7 at Arrowhead, and we haven’t had a double digit win at home against them since 2002 (and even that was 20-10 in the rain) until last year.

I mean, let that sink in.  There are fifteen year old Chiefs fans -- there are freshmen in high school Chiefs fans! -- who have never seen a comfortable win over the raiders at Arrowhead.  1998 was the last one, the Sunday night home opener, 30-8.  Since then?  Losses in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.  A ten point win in 2002 in a monsoon.  (Beats the 24-0 loss at oakland in 2002 in an even more impressive monsoon.)  A last second win in 2003 and 2004 via field goal, 2005 via LJ's touchdown, and 2006 via Jarrad Page's end zone interception.  And last year's 24-7 victory?  Was 14-7 into the fourth quarter.  Oy.

6. Jets (Sunday November 2 – Week 9).  I am so looking forward to the “wait, who is this tito cheering for?!?!” looks all day long.  (I always cheer for the Chiefs, no matter who they face, unless (a) the Chiefs are mathematically eliminated from any postseason consideration, and (b) a Chiefs loss will get the Jets into the playoffs.  That scenario has yet to ever manifest itself.)

5. Titans (Sunday September 7 – Week 1).  Whoa!  The home opener is fifth?!?!?!  Yup.  It should be a decent weather day, with a very beatable opponent.  The exact kind of game I like: prop the feet up at halftime, ditch the t-shirt, enjoy a gigantic Jacked Up!, and watch the Chiefs take care of business 38-13, then dance on that freaking ceiling afterwards.  Although in the interest of fairness, you could flip 4 and 5 on this list, and I wouldn’t complain.

4. Vikings (Saturday August 23 – Preseason Week 3).  Should be about 95 when the gates open at 3pm, should be in the mid 80s when we exit the gates a little before 11pm.  A perfect late August Saturday.  I live for those days.

3. Seahawks (Sunday November 16 – Week 11).  Defending Super Bowl champions?  Check.  Guaranteed fish fry for tailgating?  Check.  Should be a perfect “football weather” kind of day – high 50s and comfortable?  Check.  What’s not to like?  (Other than the Chiefs odds of winning, of course)?

2. broncos (Sunday November 30 – Week 13).  WHAT?!?!?!  How the hell is donkey day not numero uno?  And, I will grant you, most years, it would be.  For the second straight year, we’ve got them here Thanksgiving Weekend (my favorite weekend of the season, and no, I don’t know why that is, so don’t ask.)  For the second time in nine years, we’ve got them here that weekend, in the national stand-alone prime time slot (hopefully – although if NBC didn’t flex out the Steelers / Chiefs in this slot in 2011, when the Chiefs stood 4-6 and fading fast, I doubt they’re flexing satan’s squad out of this one).

triple noose donkey as a piƱata?  Always awesome.  It’ll be a great day, with fun times had by all, at least until kickoff. 

But it ain’t numero uno.  Which is …

1. Patriots (Monday September 29 – Week 4).  Part of it is hope and anticipation of one last great day of summer (late September in the KC area usually is really nice and “unseasonably warm”).  Part of it is the idea of a six hour tailgate via the early entry pass we should have all year.

But mostly, it’s the fact that this is highly likely to be, the final time a Tom Brady led Patriots squad, ever plays at Arrowhead.  He’s 1-1 here; the Pats won 27-19 on a Monday nighter in 2004 that essentially ended the season, the Chiefs won 26-16 on Thanksgiving Weekend in 2005 that set up “The Stand” seven days later against denver.

* “So, your three-month-out thoughts on the Chiefs?” – Damien J, Midtown.

Same as three months ago: 10-6, wildcard, lose at Indianapolis, or win at Cincinnati, and get pummeled at fake mile high in the divisional round.

Look it, I hate to be Debbie Downer here, but can we just deal with this place called “reality” for a moment?

The Chiefs, right now, are the second or third best team in the division.

Does anyone honestly believe, barring catastrophic injury, we can finish ahead of denver?

Does anyone honestly believe, barring catastrophic injury, San Diego can finish ahead of denver?

The Chargers and Chiefs are doing this right – they know they’re good enough in 2014 right now (and the rest of the AFC, outside of possibly the Jets, is so awful), that they’re a 70% bet, to be the two wildcards.  denver is also doing this right – they have at most two legit shots left with peyton at the helm.  They’re loading up for today, and will pay for it in 2017, and I can’t fault them for it.

The four key games are week three (at Dolphins), week 10 (at Bills), week 14 (at “Super” Cardinals), and week 16 (at Steelers).  If the Chiefs take 3 of 4 of those?  They’ll make the playoffs, because they’re going 6-2 at Arrowhead, and they’ll beat oakland in the ass crack of America.  That’s ten wins.  Take all four, they’re the top wildcard again.

Take all four plus upset either Seattle or denver at home?  Then we can talk about overtaking the donkeys.

* “Any thoughts on the new Brantley Gilbert “cd”?  I’m sure you’ve already bought it.” – Ginny O, Gardner.

Yes, I have a few thoughts on it.  And to convey my thoughts on it, allow me to quote, verbatim, from one of the single funniest moments I’ve ever seen, on a golf broadcast:

(johnny miller) Have you seen his lie?
(mark rolfing) Yes.
(johnny miller) How is it?
(mark rolfing) Bad.

It’s gonna take a lot of liquid courage to type up a review of this one … because this is the first “cd” he’s ever released, that I think just effing sucks, pretty much from start to finish.

And before you say well of course it does – how could he top “Prodigal Son” and “Halfway to Heaven”?  And granted, he couldn’t?

You will NEVER find a bigger defender and fan, of “Fairweather Johnson”, which was Hootie and the Blowfish’s follow up to their breakthrough effort?  You will NEVER find a bigger fan of “Fairweather Johnson”, than me.  And that’s the effort, that pretty much ended, Hootie as we knew them.

* “So, I’m picturing a sitcom with John Larroquette and David Leisure as two dirty old men.  Tell me you wouldn’t watch this!” – Brent S, Incorporated Johnson County.

This is how I pitched the show, in my response (with a little editing for hilarity):

A “Grumpy Old Men” style sitcom, where John Larroquette and David Leisure (two of the worst sitcom actors of all time, bar none), play the Max and John roles, fighting for the love and affection of Markie Post.  We have Harry Anderson from “Night Court” play the bartender, and Bull from “Night Court” play the bouncer.  And we cast that wily ol’ veteran Bob Eubanks, in the grandpa role.

Oh, and we cast either Della Reese, or that Roz chick from “Night Court”, as Grandpa’s fling.

I can see that one now:

(bob eubanks) Roz, where did you say, I’d like to take you on vacation?
(roz) (shows card that says “Mexico”)
(bob) (shows card that says “Hawaii”)
(roz, visibly angry) Mexico?!?!?!?!
(bob) Sure!  Because I’ve been to Hawaii!  A lot of islands there!  Like “Uwannalickydicky”!  “Imakindakinky”!  “Wannapeekapeepee”!

Plus, if you’ve ever seen “Roger and Me” (and if you haven’t, you should), then you know Bob Eubanks doesn’t think twice about dropping a racial blast or two, to liven the mood! 

What's not to love?

And in season two, we could add some other washed up 1980s sitcom star nobody thinks about anymore, like, uum, hang on, I’m sure I can come up with a couple … well, we could find someone, to romance whoever Markie Post didn’t choose!  Or bring in Fred Dryer (aka Sergeant Rick Hunter) as a third wheel for Ol’ Markie!

Sadly?  Every person reading this who is in my age bracket (and I am 37)?  Is nodding their heads, and saying “Yes!  This is better than ANY sitcom in development right now!"

Even sadder?  They're probably right.

* "So I hear you have a new toy you like to use, that gives you a lot of pleasure?" -- Megan K, City Market.

Hey now, it's not a toy like you think it is (rimshot)!

I actually came across it quite by accident.  The building I work in has been undergoing renovations for the last year, and it's been kind of crazy in this place.  In the last eighteen months alone, I have moved four times -- from the fourth floor to the seventh, from the seventh to the second, three aisle down on the second, and now finally, from the second my current place on five (which hopefully is permanent).  It was the last move, that led to the discovery.

I was cleaning out my cubicle drawer a couple days before the move, and there, buried in the very, very back of the second drawer, was THE greatest thing, I've ever seen in an office I have occupied, that didn't involve mocking the Missouri Tigers, or satan's squad.

The Unacceptable Stamp.

(You didn't believe me, did you?  Image: me, via my iPhone.)

No, really -- look at that thing of beauty again.  It's a stamp that in all capital red letters, stamps "UNACCEPTABLE"!

(dick vitale voice) It's awesome baybee!  And it got me to thinking, who in the hell would use one of these things?  I mean, how God awful of a direct report do you have to be, to drive your manager so bat sh*t crazy with disgust at your job, that he or she not only rejects your work, they mark it in large block letters UNACCEPTABLE?  And more to the point, how God awful of an employee have you got to be, that some manager years ago, not only was so fed up with you they bought the stamp, but they convinced whoever the AA or PAA or insert your office secretary title's initials here, was, that it was a justifiable expense billable to the company?

Where has this thing been all of my life? 

* "I loved your post on the Indy 500.  Great stuff.  But seriously, Florence Henderson over Jim Nabors?  And "Taps"?  Are you insane?" -- Ryan J, Springfield.

Am I contractually obligated to answer the end of your question?  Because I'm not sure I want to know the answer.

As for the rest of it ... let's do this right.  Cue up whatever theme song Nick Bakay goes by nowadays, it's time for the "Tale O' The Tape"!!!!  Take it away, Mr. Bob Jenkins!!!!

(bob jenkins voice) Thanks, Stevo!  In this corner, from Indiana, everyone's favorite television mom, Carol Brady herself, Mrs. Florence Henderson!!!!  (crowd going wild!!!!)  And in this corner, from the lovely state of Hawaii, everyone's favorite mentally challenged Marine, Gomer Pyle himself, Mr. Gomer Pyle!!!!  (crowd going wild!!!!)  Lady and gentleman, you know the rules.  Seven questions, three possible answers, two indisputable contestants, and one amazing winner.  And now, to start the festivities, let's throw it down to the Bombardier Pagoda, where Jimmy Lennon Jr. will kick this off.  Mr. Lennon?

Thanks guys.  Here we go.

1. Played an iconic, well known television character that nobody under the age of 40, knows much about.

Ms. Henderson: yes, Carol Brady on "The Brady Bunch".
Mr. Pyle: yes, Gomer Pyle, on "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Gomer Pyle USMC".
Advantage: push.  They're the losers here.

2. Not only had an affair with the actor who portrayed her oldest son, but also an affair with former New York City mayor John Lindsay, which is where they claim they contracted their crab lice.

Ms. Henderson: hell yes.
Mr. Pyle: probably not.
Advantage: Ms. Henderson.  Sleazy, sure ... but sleaze sells.

3. Musical career best known for performing songs of the Christian faith.

Ms. Henderson: yup.
Mr. Pyle: yup.
Advantage: push.  We're all something here, depending on what your faith is.

4. Caused many of those religious folks who purchased their music to nearly choke to death in cardiac arrest, by revealing that not only are they gay, but they married their partner of thirty nine years.

Ms. Henderson: nope.
Mr. Pyle: yup.
Advantage: Mr. Pyle.  Good for him.

5. Was asked five minutes before performing their iconic number at Indy for the first time, to step in at the last minute and perform.  Forty two years later, they still have the gig.

Ms. Henderson: not that I am aware of.
Mr. Pyle: this is a true statement for.
Advantage: Mr. Pyle.  To nail that song like he has with no practice and no prep, is incredible.

6. Starred in the music video for the best song "Weird" Al Jankovic ever did, "Amish Paradise".

Ms. Henderson: ja.
Mr. Pyle: nein.
Advantage: Ms. Henderson.

Go figure, through six questions, we're all knotted up at two's across the board.  And now, Question Seven -- The Question of Great Significance.

7. Will still be performing their standard next year.

Ms. Henderson: yes.
Mr. Pyle: no.
Winner: Florence Henderson!!!!

Thanks for playing, everybody.  And ... hang on, let me do this right.

(howard lederer voice) Jim? 
(connie chung voice) Thanks for the memories

(In all seriousness, thank you IMS, for the awesome way, you sent Mr. Nabors out.)

* "Please tell me you're bringing back The "Insert Ounces Here" Ounce Tailgate this summer!  The last time we had one, your nieces were being baptised, it's been so long!" -- Chris N, Quality Hill.

Wow, has it really been since 2011 since we had one of these?  (good ol' jr voice) Good God Almighty!

I'll send this one to the Stevo's Site Numero Dos Sub-Committee on Fun Tailgating Opportunities, to allow for debate as to whether or not, to hold the ... hang on, the last one was 460,001 ... now I gotta think.  August 2011 to today, how many more ounces ... (scott parks voice) Oh God ... carry the four ... 700,001st Ounce Tailgate.

* "Wow.  700,001?  You're my hero." – Phil S, Overland Park.

The sad thing is, my Know Your Numbers health scan, came back with all normal numbers, save for my blood pressure.

And yes, that scares the crap out of me too.

* "So what do you really want to say?" -- Stevo, South KC.

That sometimes, people just aren't worth knowing anymore.

Five years ago, the person whose friendship with me, that was in ruins, that this tailgate was "established" by mutual friends of ours, to try to fix?  Was worth saving a friendship with.  Today?  He's not worth knowing, let alone remembering, let alone "honoring" with a tailgate.

It is what it is.  Sorry, but that's how I feel.  Deal with it.

(God, those last two sentences sound even more offensive and repulsive in print, than they do when said to your face.)

You all want a summer tailgate just because?  Let's do it; hit up the comments, hit up my email / Facebook / Twitter, and let's plan this.  Again -- Stevo Rules 8 and 15.  (And wow, does Stevo Rule 7 apply as well, as to this "tradition"'s founding.)

But to honor "that"?  

Never again.  


* “How long until Aaron Murray is the starter at One Arrowhead Drive?” – Dustin H, Olathe.

Welcome to your Fake Mailbag debut, sir!  

And to answer your query, I’m setting the over / under at Week Four, 2017. 

And I’m taking the under.

By at least a year.

Speaking of over / under’s …

* “Ranking the tailgates by potential, that was cool.  But come on, there’s only one thing we want a ranking on – what’s the over / under in the “how many libations in will Stevo be when Gregg arrives” game!  Give the readers what they want!  Give us a Rich and Rare experience!” – Phill R, Shawnee.

No problem.  For those unfamiliar with this classy contest, it started back in 2007 on the old site (aka “The Herm”) as a joke in a recap of the Vikings game.  It’s caught on like legalizing weed is catching on.  The "game" is to guess how many libations in will I be, when Gregg arrives at the tailgate.  An over / under is set, and you guess "over" or "under".  I'd say there's some rich and rewarding prizes that await you if you're right, but there aren't.  Oh, and we're all winners here, with this contest.  (stevo's liver begging to disagree ...)

Preseason Week 1 vs Bengals: 2.5.  I’ll probably work at least a half day to avoid taking a PTO day (hooray exempt status!).  (My play: under.)

Preseason Week 3 vs Vikings: 10.5.  This factors in time spent floating in the pool, before heading out to Arrowhead.  (My play: over, slightly.  This one is gonna be close.)

Week 1 vs Titans: 4.5.  With the caveat that jello shots, alcohol-fused whipped cream shots, and straight up shots, do not count as a drink.  A drink must be consumed in more than one take.  (My play: over.)

Week 4 vs Patriots: 8.5 if The Voice of Reason works all day, 2.5 if he doesn’t.  (My play: over either way.)

Week 8 vs Rams: 5.5.  (My play: under.)

Week 9 vs Jets: 5.5.  (My play: over.  WAY over.)

Week 11 vs Seahawks: 3.5.  (My play: under.)

Week 13 vs broncos: 10.5 if no broncos fans are at our tailgate; 14.5 if even one donkeys fan is within 30 feet of where the Mixology Playlist © is playing.  (My play: over either way, especially if 14.5 is the official line due to that unfortunate potential development.)

Week 15 vs raiders: 5.5.  Unlike denver, I know raiders fans will be at our tailgate – at least six of them.  Ugh.  (My play: under.)

Week 17 vs Chargers: 7.5.  With the caveat that benchwarmers do count as a libation.  (My play: under.)

You’re welcome.

One last denver hating question …

* “So it’s basically KC or Denver for the 2016 RNC.” – Steve D, Blue Springs.

So allow me to answer this way, and I would say the same thing even if it was the DNC that Kansas City was seeking to land in 2016.  (Especially since, if the favorite for the Democrat nomination actually gets it this time, as she deserved it 5 ½ years ago, as a Clinton Democrat, I’m voting Democrat in November 2016, if she's the nominee.  Anyone else?  I'll probably vote for regime change.)

Kansas City?  For too damned long, we accept being the red-headed stepchild of that bastard city across the state known as St. Louis.  For too damned long, we accept being a second class citizen, an after-thought, the heart of fly-over country.

It is up to each and every one of us – conservative or liberal (or in my case, moderate), Republican or Democrat (or in my case, Independent that leans left a lot of the time), crazy or sane (let’s not answer that one, in my case) – we need this convention.  Just like the All Star Game two years ago put the focus of the nation on our fine metropolitan area?

The Republican National Convention will demand the nation, put its’ attention on our fine metropolitan area.

Plus, irregardless of which party is here, I have always wanted to see what a convention looks like.  I know, I know – I’m a political geek.  I’m Ezra Klein without the built-in bias … or the stature, salary, or prestige.  So be it.  But as someone who actually takes PTO to watch every moment of each party’s convention (and pathetically, I’d do the same if the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, or (Insert Party Here) Party, got CSPAN coverage), I’d be thrilled to see the RNC here in our fine home town.

And every establishment of commerce downtown – especially the one that controls this city at 11th and Oak – should be doing everything they can, to make that (chris matthews voice) thrill up my leg, happen.

* “How about that dude buying a trough from the Old Metrodome!  Your thoughts?” – Jason S, Olathe.

I loved it.  When I lived with The Champ, I lobbied for us to purchase and install one of the old urinals from the K or Arrowhead.  Needless to say, that never happened.

Oh, and we’re in range.

* “Did you see this awesome article on Deadspin?  Thoughts?  Opinions?" -- Brett H, Harrisonville.

Saw it, read it, loved it.  If only because the author and I share the same mentality most of the time.

But mostly I loved it, because it's the exact opposite of what most people's reaction to our nation's latest tragic shooting has been.

What, I ask, is so damned wrong with stating the obvious?  That if you make a decision, you have to own every element of it -- good or bad, right or wrong, pleasurable or painful?  Have we really so collapsed as a society that nobody feels the need to engage in a thing called "personal responsibility" anymore?

Like it or not, there is such as a thing as absolute right and wrong, and it is based on morality, not how something makes you feel.  Stop blaming movies, or portrayals of white dudes in them.  Stop blaming TV shows, music, or pop culture influences.  Start blaming the perpetrators, who commit these acts.

Elliot Rodger did this because he was a selfish asshole who didn't give a damn how his actions impacted anyone else, all that mattered to him was how his behavior, his decision, his choice, would make him feel.  And now seven people, six of whom didn't deserve to die, are dead, because of his decision.  That isn't the victim's fault; it's his.

Until people in this country once again own their failures, own their mistakes, own the outcomes of their actions, things are only going to keep getting much, much worse.  

* "Two months later, you're still OK with the "HIMYM" finale?  Really?" -- Shannon T, Hyde Park.

If anything, I'm more firmly dug in.  I defend every word in that post that is not improperly conjugated, or properly spelled.  And even those?  Come on, they're par for the course on this site!

Was my favorite scene of that episode Ted and Tracy finally "meeting" for the first time?  Of COURSE it was.  Did I cry like a baby seal seeking that fish that mean, mean trainer is withholding from him at some craptacular show at SeaWorld San Antonio?  Of COURSE I did.

Does that mean the ending wasn't the right one?  Of COURSE it doesn't.

"HIMYM" isn't the first show I loved, to kill off a main character at the end of said character's run.  "NYPD Blue" offed Bobby Simone (sadly) and Danny Sorenson (thank God above).  And nobody's figured out in twenty one years what the hell coffee shop Sgt. Licalsi vanished into thin air in.  "Roseanne" killed off Dan Conner.  "Good Times" killed off James Sr.  "The Wonder Years" not only killed off Kevin's father, Kevin and Winnie never wound up together!  At least we got Ted and Robin out of this!   Be grateful, "Mother" fans!

* "Really?  SeaWorld San Antonio?  I can only guess why." -- Julie T, KC Metro Area.

Anytime you can have a group of friends, on a senior trip, a thousand miles from home, with one of them armed with a camcorder and an incredibly awesome sarcastic sense of humor ...

... and anytime that group of friends, is leaving said SeaWorld San Antonio, with said camcorder, in said smart ass' possession, and turned on ...

... and any time a (and no -- this is NOT an exaggeration), any time a 400 lb black woman in very revealing white shorts, white tank top (neither of which come close to covering anything any straight man or gay woman would want to see), pushing a stroller with multiple kids, waddling towards the exit ...

... any time said smart ass, with said camcorder, with said friends, who all spot said patron at the SeaWorld in San Antonio, in that getup ...

... any time that said smart ass can deadpan, on the fly, again -- at SeaWorld San Antonio! -- anytime he can deadpan on the fly "even Shamu has left the building!"?

(Pause).  Do I even have to say it?

Yup ... these are my "readers".

(And for the record, that last "email" is not only a one hundred percent true story, a couple years afterwards, G hauled it out for us to rewatch ... and there wasn't a dry eye in the house, we were all crying so hard, at the visual, the memory, and the times we had that week in south Texas.)

(Oh, and for the record?  "Shamu" heard the comment.  It just added to the hilarity of the moment.)

And since that demands I close on one slightly final last note ... and since this is a fake mailbag ...

* "Texas Forever." -- Tim R, Dillon, TX.

If you understand why those two words truly matter (hint: they have NOTHING to do with the great state of Texas)?  

Amen brother.  A bleeping men ...


OK, I choose NOT to close, with that either.  I had planned to.  I finished "The Fake Mailbag" on the ride home tonight.  

And I chose to stop off in Waldo, because (a) today sucked, because (b) I needed necessities of life, and between the Target at Ward Parkway, and the CVS and Walgreens and Dollar General at that slice of heaven known as 75th and Wornall, between them all, you can get everything you need (even liquor!)

But mostly because sometimes, life just happens.  I gave two friends I once cared about more than certain members of my family, one last chance last weekend.  They told me to go (bleep) myself.  So be it; that's their legacy.

And what tonight means, I don't know ... but, here's the truest of true "emails" -- since it was the best actual conversation, my life has gotten to enjoy, in a really, really, really, really, really long godd*mned time ...


* "Hi!  What can I get for you?" -- Meg(h)an, who to bastardize the great Dan Dierdorf, did NOT look happy, to be there.
"Double vodka tonic, two limes please." -- me.
"Rough day?" -- Meg(h)an.
"Yeah, but it happens.  It's audit, it's a crappy job, it's ... (pause).  Who gives a sh*t about that.  How was your (day)?  You look kind of down." -- me.
"Really bad.  (starts crying.)  My boyfriend dumped me last night." -- Meg(h)an.
"Really?  What the hell's wrong with that guy?" -- me.
"Aw!  That's really sweet of you!" -- Meg(h)an.
(awkward pause).
"Hey, can you tab us out?" -- the only other two people in the bar.
"Sure, just a moment." -- Meg(h)an.
(to myself) "Don't p*ss this away.  Don't be Stevo.  Do NOT be Stevo!" -- me (to myself).
(pause as she returns).
"So, just you and me now, huh?  Well, you had a bad day; I'll understand if you just want to drink.  Just let me know when you need a fresh one." -- Meg(h)an.
"Don't be stupid.  I'd love to talk to you." -- me.
(awkward pause).
"Hi.  I'm Steve." -- me.
"I'm Meg(h)an" -- her.
"It's really nice to meet you." -- me.
"You too.  You know ... (pauses, and stevo panics ...)  you know, you look really nice, every time you come in.  And you tip well!  What do you do (for work)?" -- her, beginning the conversation ...


That conversation, peoples and peepettes ... occurred tonight, on the way home from work.

I know her name is Meg(h)an.  I'd be lying if I knew the spelling of her name, but I figure there's an M, an E, an A, and a N in there.  (Pause).  Come on, even "Wheel of Fortune" would give me three more consonants, and a vowel, to guess!

I know she is a bartender at my favorite bar in town, and hasn't been there super long ... but I stepped up my frequency from maybe once a week, to two or three times a week (boy, that sounds "classy", doesn't it?) once she started.  I'm guessing, she's mid 20s.  And I don't have to guess, that looks wise, she knocks every damned Stevo statistic to (reggie jackson voice) second f*cking base.

Where this goes, noone knows.  But damn, is she cute, and damn, is she funny, and damn, does she not immediately draw me in in a way, few girls ever have.

And damn, if even my gutless chicken sh*t coward exit, didn't blow up in my face ...


Her shift ended at 6, the replacement bartender was late, and I had a bus to catch to get home, to do work on said audit (which is almost over!  Wohoo!)

There was nobody at the bar to close out the tab.  I had a $20 on me, for $6 in double vodka tonics.  

And I needed to mosey; for once, the 6pm Metro ride was on time.

So I did what any classy gentleman would do ...


"Thank you for letting me get to know you.  And thank you for being you.  Your boyfriend is a (bleeping) idiot, for letting you go.  Use the tip to get over him.  Hope to see you soon.

Then I signed said napkin, I wrote that on, on top of the $20 I left for the tab, and prepped to leave.

I didn't leave a phone number though.

That seemed classless, on a day like this, for her.


Do y'all remember that classic "HIMYM" episode, where Ted plans (and executes) the "two minute date" on Stella?

My exit from said bar tonight:

"thank you Steve!  Thanks for letting me vent." -- meg(h)an.
"not a problem." -- me.
"hope to see ya soon.  (pause).  I like you." -- meg(h)an.
(for once, not utterly clueless ... just partially.) -- me.
"you working tomorrow?" -- me.
"yeah, until 6." -- her.
"then I'll see you tomorrow." -- me.
"I'd better!" -- me.
(cue the first hug).


For the record?

My brother married his neighborhood bartender nine years ago come July ... and hasn't regretted it for a moment.

And for the record?

Even if this is a one-off, one-night deal, that leads to me threatening patrons of said bar for five minutes of time with this chica?

For the first time in pushing five years, I've met a girl I am looking forward, to being in the presence of, for something other than a friendship.

If you had told me that when I woke up this morning?

I'd have laughed myself back to sleep ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What's the update on the bartender?

the third thursday thirteen ...

"So you're dancing on the ocean -- Running fast, along the sand. A spirit born, of earth and water -- Fire flying from your hand...