Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This Week's Picks!

I haven’t written too much this year of the Mighty Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs because our favorite sixth string wingback, BEN MANIS#38, has graduated and the Mustangs have started the high school season 0-4

Last week was the annual game with Harrison,the school down the street. Harrison and this is just being scientific, sucks.

That is just funny man humor. Harrison is a fine school but they were always a little better that Kennesaw Mountain in everything. If Kennesaw Mountain were a car, it would be a Chevy while Harrison would be a Lexus.

In school history, Kennesaw Mountain had only beaten Harrison once. That is, until last week when Kennesaw Mountain beat Harrison again. So hat’s off to the Mustangs! Time for This Week’s Picks.

The Other Bulldogs vs The Bees: Tech got its stinger back against UNC, which was no big whoop in my humble opinion. Mississippi State almost beat LSU. The smart people say Tech, I say Viva Stark-Vegas! MSU wins.

Bullydogs vs Bayou Bungels: UGA had to struggle to defeat the Solar Satans of Arizona State while LSU had to bow up against the other Bulldogs. If Georgia had a defense that could actually stop other teams from scoring, I would feel better about this game. As it is, I think the Tigers let the good times roll all over UGA. LSU wins.

Sooners (or Later) vs The Tropical Depressions: They (who ever they are) have Oklahoma 7 ½ points over Miami (Florida not Ohio). How do you score half a point in football? Hit the cross bar? Even though Miami (Florida Not Ohio) got killed by the Turkeys of Tech, I think they should bounce back against OU. Miami wins.

Our Lady vs Washington (The State, not D.C): Notre Dame has had almost as many close games as UGA while Washington was this year’s Oregon State. I can’t see Washington causing two upsets this year. Although it would be cool seeing Lou Holtz sputter around.

Eagles vs Terriers: Georgia Southern travels to Spartanburg, South Carolina (“The Crossroads of The New South”) to play Wofford. GSU is in the crossroads of Bulloch County. Georgia Southern wins.

Monday, September 28, 2009

More From "Mullet"-Your Kid's Coach

You and Your Child’s Coach

Now that you have bought your kid’s glove, bat, and shoes, you are now ready to meet the most important person your kids life: The Coach.

Coaching in youth sports is a highly stressful position that is filled with only the top men of the community. After a vigorous screening process (“Do you want to coach?”) a man is accepted into the Coaching Fraternity. Some call him names like “Hey you” and “That guy” and funny nicknames that rhyme with “gas pole”. But he is the man that will teach your son the game of baseball.

But, first he has to make sure that his KID is recognized as the biggest salami in the deli and guarantee that his KID is picked for “The All Stars” (yes, there are All Star leagues for kids that have graduated kindergarten. If you can round first base without pooping on yourself, you are a candidate for “The All Stars”)
He usually has an assistant coach known as The Assistant Coach and it is usually filled with someone of these qualifications: 1) he is a friend 2)his kid is a good player 3) his wife is hot.

Now other books on youth sports try to tell you to talk to the coach and get to know him. The truth is that most coaches don’t want you to get to know them unless, of course, your kid is a good player or your wife is hot. If your kid is a good player and your wife is hot, the man just may move in with you.

Here are the different types of coaches:

A. Major Pain: This is a guy that is either in the service or has just retired from the service and thinks elementary school kids are just like the grunts in the military. They usually run the kids a lot and try to establish a espirt-decorps by yelling at them. Most kids usually have nervous breakdowns the first week of the season and then get used to it and turn him off. Pros: Usually gruff but nice underneath everything. Con: May want your kid for a secret mission to Iran.

B. Old Yeller: This is a non military guy who has studied all of the great coaches and has determined the one secret that binds them all together is screaming at players. A lot of the instructions this guy yells, “Hit the bottom two thirds of the ball at the correct perpendicular” don’t make a lot of sense. Pros: Dead of a cerebral hemorrhage before the end of the season. Con: Before he dies, you always know he’s there.

C. Bi-Polar Bob: This coach begins the season as Barney the Dinosaur and ends it as Michael Myers. If the teams wins, he is happy and crying, hugging all the kids, promising to take them to Disney World. If the team loses, hide all sharp objects. Pros: On a good day you get ice cream! Con: You see him on the news in a watchtower.

D. Hurried Harry: This coach is usually the Vice President of his company and has decided that he has the time to coach a baseball team. Pros: Usually has neat gifts for the players because he can afford it, like a team bus. Con: Schedules all of the games late because of his work schedule. “Um, I hope you parents don’t mind a ten p.m. start time…”

E. Rather Be Somewhere Else: Occasionally, there are those people that are talked into coaching by this stirring argument: “We need other coaches”. Usually this happens at the last minute and the guy has not made any preparations to coach. So, if you ever hear the words, “I was not planning on coaching this year”, go ahead and stitch a “L” on your kids jersey.

F. Coach Big Shot: This coach is very wealthy, sometimes from jobs you would not think would pay a lot of money, like District Manager for “The World’s Finest Chocolate” or a speechwriter for Howard Dean. Still, this coach will shower your kid with gifts like batbags, windbreakers, Underarmor Gear, motorcycles, etc. One day, you will peer into the dugout and see him giving cigars to all of the players and lighting them with a $100 bill. What’s even better, he will pay for the names of the kids on the back of their jersey and if he is really loaded, on the back of the hats. Pros: Usually has some cigars left over. The post season team party is an all-expense paid trip to Aruba. Cons: Sometimes mistakes you for domestic help.

G. The Hunk: It may surprise you men out there, but there are those men among us who do not go totally to seed after they get married. The guys that even after working 14 hours a day find the time to do 300 push-ups in fifteen minutes, run four miles a day and make love to their wives three times a night. They usually make as much money as Coach Big Shot, but these guys have their own TV show. Pros: Never needs help carrying the equipment from their car. Con: You hear your wife mention his name while talking in her sleep

Seriously, though, most coaches are guys like you that have jobs and families and other stress related activities like the male waste production system that insists you go to the bathroom after every meal or even gum chewing. They don’t receive any monetary reward. Just the thrill of knowing that their kid can play better than yours is payment enough.

I know what you are thinking. How can I help out? My answer is don’t even try. The reason for this is that you might get stuck in the worst job in Youth Baseball: Dugout Dad.

Being the Dugout Dad means you have to stay in the dugout and help remind the kids who’s turn at bat it is. After ages 11 plus, this isn’t that bad, especially if you find jokes about breaking wind funny. Before then though, you are just a grown up standing around trying to get kids to “pay attention” during a game. Let’s face it, it is hard enough to get the kids to pay attention if they are out in the field, much less if they are on the bench, where there are bugs, and gum, and burps, and the other. You people really need to discipline your kids better.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Mad Men Recap

Episode Six, “Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency”, begins with an announcement that the British are coming from the home office. If it were the 70’s, the office would have pronounced it a “bummer” because the British are always insisting that employees of Sterling-Cooper work instead of what they usually do: smoke cigarettes and drink booze.

Old Man Cooper meets with Don and Roger. He informs them that he thinks the British are impressed with Don (I mean, who isn’t?) and might want him to move to London. OMC also wants Don and Roger to bury the hatchet. Roger thinks Don is judging him, while I think Don just wants a trophy wife like Roger’s.

Which leads us to the Draper household. Betty, back from dream world , is holding Baby Gene Gene The Dancing Machine. Brother Bobby wants to “pet” his little brother, while sister Sally doesn’t want anything to do with him. This stirs something like a “maternal” feeling in Betty, that causes her to do something for Sally besides snarling put downs at her. Betty buys Sally a Barbie.

The Brits finally make it to the office and they bring in the new manager. A man named “Guy”. They take the older British manager in an office and give him a stuff Cobra as a token of appreciation for being transferred to Bombay with a stiff upper lip, old boy.

Everyone gathers in the conference room and Guy announces the big changes. The older Brit is going to Bombay and everyone will answer to him. They forgot to pencil Roger Sterling name in the Org chart because drinking booze is just not a position anymore.

The invasion (ha!) of the Brits, coincides with Joan’s last day at Sterling-Cooper. Joan, who put the Hubba in Hubba-Hubba found out the night before that her husband did not get the chief residency job at the hospital so they might have to move to, gasp, Alabama, and practice medicine on people there because dumb hillbilly Southerners don’t need no good doctorin’ cause we got Jeezus.

The Brits give the news of the reorg to the general office riff-raff and give a huge going away party for Joan. In the midst of all of this revelry, Don gets a call from Conrad Hilton to come for a face to face.

Don met Hilton at Roger’s Kentucky Derby party and impressed Hilton with stories of urinating on people’s cars for the crime of having money. Hilton presents Don with a couple of story boards for Hilton Hotels. When asked his opinion, Don said, “That’s hot” and proceeded to beg Hilton not to have grandchildren.

Meanwhile, back at Sterling-Cooper, minor male character goofball #1 is riding minor female character goofball #1 on a riding lawn mower that Ken Cosgrove got from the John Deere account. Somehow, the minor female character begins driving the lawn mover recklessly and runs over Guy’s foot spewing blood all over the office. Joan jumps into action by doing something medical, which safes Guy’s foot. Unfortunately, this couldn’t save Guy’s job because there is some rule in England that you have to have both feet in advertising.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This Week's Picks!

College football fans are very passionate. By passionate, I mean, mentally ill. For you younger text savvy kids: passionate = nuts.

I knew this gentleman at one time; I’ll call him Ed, because that was his name. To say Ed was Georgia Bulldog fan is to understate it. UGA is not as big of fan of the Bulldogs as Ed was. His apartment, and this is the truth, was decorated in Red and Black. Of course he was single.

But that was in the early 80’s. Now in the 21st century we have people who would make Ed seem like the exchange students that play tennis during the football games. The internet messages boards have made either everyone an expert or a jerk (the writer thinks he is an expert while the readers are convinced he is a jerk.)

Yet every now and then, there is a post on a message board which cuts through the clutter and says what needs to be said. This is from the AJC message boards of a Jeff Schultz column. This is from Mo Mo.

Mo Mo
September 20th, 20095:24 pm
Yuall got to quit talking about mR. Pal Johnsons offence. He knowed it work. Just because he don’t win game or score points, don’t mean it aint working. It do work and Mr. PAul Johnsen aint going to change it. If he catch you taking about his offence, he going to call you stupid. He a good man, but he have a mean streak.Them was 3 tough teams he play. dat defense is working good. They nobody scored points like on them georgis bulldawgs.Them tech fans know they going to win rest of games unless they loose some.Lets all have some oven-baked potted meat and we all feel better.

Thanks, Mo Mo. I could not have said it better myself. This week’s picks!

Puppy-wuppies vs Solar Satans: Remember last year when the UGA-Arizona State game was a big deal? Me neither. The Desert Demons haven’t really played anybody and The Dawgs are lucky not to be 0-3. UGA wins, but I think Solar Satans would be a good name for a band.

Rambled Wreck vs Heels of Tar: Paul Johnson basically said Tech, um…..looking for a Baptist deacon word, looking, looking, *inhales*. UNC is going through their every other year talk that the football program has finally turned the corner and will be like the basketball program. I’m not buying it. I’m taking Tech with some oven baked potted meat.

Old Mess vs Clucks: USC, given a bit of luck, could have been going into this game 3-0. The Rebs haven’t really played anybody. I’m picking them because all of the cool kids are picking them. Ole Miss wins.

Eagles vs Phoenix: Just as we are arriving to see old number 38 BEN MANIS, Georgia Southern heads to Elon University to play a tough Southern Conference match up. Elon, which describes itself as “the nation’s top university for engaged learning” matches up well against Georgia Southern which describes itself as PARTY”. Eagles win.

Birmingham Southern vs Rhodes: Attention! We have another great#38. Old pal Cole Rudder, plays for Birmingham Southern and wears the number 38! Anyway, I hope Birmingham Southern beats the tar out of Rhodes. Birmingham Southern wins.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

More From "Mullet"

This is from chapter two of my saga, The Umpire Has A Mullet.

CHAPTER TWO: Skills Test and Hypothermia

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Must be recreational baseball time!

Youth baseball is not a spring sport.

Youth baseball starts somewhere between the last out of Fall Ball (more about this complete waste of time later) and the last present being unwrapped at Christmas.

Maybe it is just around here. Here in Cobb County, Georgia, people are baseball crazy mainly because it is a great way of achieving some sort of status. When I was a kid in Cobb County, Georgia you had status if you worked at Lockheed or if your kid appeared on “The Popeye Club”. (“The Popeye Club” was a kid’s show on WSB-TV that featured “Officer Don” a policeman that introduced Popeye cartoons and a puppet named “Orville The Green Dragon”. You didn’t learn anything about math, spelling, or tolerance. It was great.
And for the record, my Dad worked at Lockheed Georgia and I made my television debut on “The Popeye Club”. I am not a total loser.)

Now you can be a nuclear scientist in this county but if your kid is not on an All-Star team, the people who can barely wipe their rear ends without video instruction will look down their noses at you because their little Shane was on the Soap Creek Pony All-Star team with his friends Hunter, Taylor, and Tyler. “Sure, he can split an atom, but he never taught his kid how to hit.”

Take a guess when you first register for youth baseball. Early January. Parents around here wait in line for hours to get their little Tater a place in the local park’s baseball leagues. The good news is that once you get Tater in a park, you will never have to wait in line again to sign him up for baseball. Each year, around Christmas, you get a little reminder in the mail to send in the registration for the spring season.

The park we played at had a great way of making you work the concession stand.

Parks do not make money with the various leagues they provide. They make money with their concession stands. Sometimes I think youth league baseball is just a way to bring people to the concession stands like country music is what radio stations play in between commercials for tires.

Our park said, Ok every parent on every team has to work in the concession stand. If they don’t, we will not send you a registration in the mail and you will have to wait in line like you did when you signed Tater up in the first place.

To my knowledge, every parent worked at least one shift in the concession stand each season.

Once you get Tater signed up, the park sends out a postcard listing the date and time of “The Skills Test”. One time, our “Skills Test” was two days after one of our famous Georgia ice storms.

In Georgia, it rarely snows, but we do have storms which we call snow. Real Georgians will have a running duck fit when there is a threat of snow. We buy all of the bread and milk at Kroger’s (or as we call it, “Krogers”) and listen to the Yankees laugh at us. Then the storm hits, knocks out all of the power and we stay home from work. The Yankees look outside, get into their cars, and drive into a ditch because we have ice not snow. We call it ‘snow’ just to throw Yankees off.

“The Skills Test” is when the various coaches sit in lawn chairs to evaluate the skill level of each kid that is signed up for the season’s league. They are usually dressed in heavy overcoats and lacking their gluttus maximus because they have frozen their butts off.

When your little Tater arrives, you go to a table with the only civilizing force that can be hoped for at a park sitting at it: a mom. She finds Tater’s name and assigns him a number. Unfortunately, 400 hundred other Taters are there too.

“The Skills Test” is usually three pitches from a coach to see if your kid can hit. Then the kid runs to first base to see how fast he runs. Finally, the kid grabs his glove and the coach throws three grounders to the kid to see if he can field and three high pops to see if the kid can catch.
Then you go home. This takes hours.

In my son’s first skills test at this park, he was in first grade. In first grade baseball, you can win or lose based solely on skill-the skill of an adult to throw a pitch to a kid that at most is four feet tall. The coach pitching this skills test was very good. Kids were whacking the ball very well. However, since he had pitch three pitches to four hundred kids, his arm was worn out and about three kids before mine another fellow took over.

I know this fellow is faithful to his wife, works hard, and loves Jesus but he could not throw a ball into the strike zone of a six year old. I supposed he just wasn’t blessed this way.

The kids in front of Ben took literal hacks at the ball like they were chopping wood. Finally Ben’s turn comes and I wanted him to look good in front of all of the other frozen parents. So I mustered up all of the great parental wisdom I could and yelled, “Use The Force, Ben!” I thought this was fairly humorous and I got a bunch of stares from the other frozen parents. Maybe if it had been warmer I would have gotten a laugh. I would have settled for a chuckle.

Rule One of “The Skills Test”: Never make lame ‘Star Wars’ jokes while your kid is batting.

Rule Two: The kid that tests right before your kid will hit the three pitches to him over the fence and cause the coaches in the lawn chairs to scribble in mass his number on their note pads

Rule Three: Your kid will foul off the first pitch, miss the second one, and hit a dribbler to the coach pitcher on the third one. He will trip while running to first base. He misses the three grounders thrown to him and all three high pops will miss his glove and hit him in the head. You have to explain to the Emergency Room doctor that you did not beat your kid, rather he was at a baseball skills test and the bruises around his eyes are from missed high pops. He then wants you to explain the hypothermia.

After the Skills Test, you retreat back home where you wait usually a week or so for your child’s coach to call you. Nine times out of ten this coach will, A) Mispronounce your last name*, B)Mispronounce your child’s name C) Mispronounce your child’s team name, and finally, D) Give you the wrong date, time,and location of the first practice.

Before you actually go to a practice, it is important to buy your child the proper equipment. Some sports, this can be cheap. Wait, I take that back. There is nothing cheap about youth sports.

You would think that basketball would be cheap. Not if you get the kid the shoes everyone has to have. The AirAnswerOneJamesAndOneShox, which has its own motor and parachute. If your kid shows up with the Target on sale shoes, you might as well figure that the child is not going to amount to much.

In baseball you need a glove. Hopefully you have one of your own that you can give your kid. Or you can be like me and have a kid that is left handed. (If you have a kid like this, check with the hospital he was born at and see if they have a return policy.) So, we had to buy a glove.

Then you need shoes. Do not try to get by with soccer shoes or football shoes. Somehow, those shoes are different from baseball shoes. I’m not quite sure how the baseball shoes help, but it is always a joy to see a child, like my son, tie their baseball shoes once in the life of the shoe and then spend an average of thirty minutes trying to get the shoes back on.

And how could I forget the bat? Bats today can cost anywhere from four thousand dollars to two million dollars. I recommend taking out a home equity loan to buy a baseball bat.

To pick the right bat simply go into the sporting goods store and say in a loud voice, “I have four thousand dollars in my pocket and I want to buy a bat for my five year old.” The salesman will sell you a BAZOOKA BOMBER signed by Barry ‘Tater’ Bonds. It will weigh about 12 pounds. Your kid will not be able to hold it above his head and he will forget it at the park one day.

*This is as good place as any to advise you as to how to pronounce my last name. It is only FIVE FREAKING LETTERS AND EVERYBODY WANTS TO MISPRONOUNCE IT. The correct pronunciation of my last name is MAY-NIS not MAN-IS. I’ve had people, and this is the truth, tell me, to my face, that I am not pronouncing my own last name correctly. My father said MAY-NIS. My grandmother said MAY-NIS. My MAY-NIS kinfolk said MAY-NIS. When Moses came down from Mt Sinai, he said, “Hey MAY-NIS, look at these tablets!” Yes, it rhymes with a comical part of the human anatomy. While I’m at it, my first name has four letters: A-L-A-N. Just because there are several ways to spell it, doesn’t mean that when you refer to me you can spell it ANY OLD WAY YOU WANT . I know you had an uncle who spelled it A-L-L-E-N or A-L-L-A-N or A-L-A-I-N. That still does not make my name spelled that way. Don’t make me have to explain this again.

Mad Men Recap

Episode Five, “The Fog”, has Don and Betty visiting Sally’s teacher, Miss Future Hippie, because Sally got into a fight with a fat girl after recess. Betty looks like she is wondering what this has to do with the most important person in the world, herself. Don looks like he is trying to figure out her cup size. Miss Future Hippie puts two and two together when Betty tells her that her father died a week/month/sometime ago (time is not relevant in Bettyland) and comes up that Sally is upset about her grandfather’s death. Miss Future Hippie tries to be a comfort to Betty, but since normal human emotions are foreign to her, Betty goes to the bathroom.

Meanwhile, the New British bosses at Sterling-Cooper are trying to watch that budget and are nickel and diming the boys to death. Don tries to get the Brits to lighten up, but they are immune to his charms.

In seasons past, this would have caused Don to run in to the arms on one of his many trollops, but he goes home this time only to have Miss Future Hippie call. She said she was calling about Sally but I think she was calling about Don. Of course, Betty has to ruin all of Don’s fun by going into labor.

At the hospital, modern viewers were given a peak at what it was like to be born in the 50’s and early 60’s. It involved heavy drugs and Nurse Lisa Simpson. While in the waiting room, Don meets a regular Joe, a prison guard and they bond in a superficial way as only Don Draper can.

At the office, Pete Campbell gets a phone call from someone even more slimier than himself, the comically named Duck Phillips. For some reason, Duck has never really made it big in advertising. Really Duck?! What do you think the problem could be, Duck? How come people do not take you seriously, Duck?

Pete agrees to meet Duck for lunch and who is there? Peggy, his baby’s momma from the first season. Duck wants them both to come work for him at his new agency. Pete walks out, but Peggy stays for lunch, no surprise there.

During her labor, Betty has a series of odd dreams, culminating in a dream about her dad, mom and Medgar Evens. Like most of the things in this show about Betty, it is long and pointless, but it did end with Betty waking up with the baby in her arms. She wants to name him, Gene, after her dad. Don, reverting back to the old Don (Yay!) isn’t too thrilled with this and asks Betty is she knows Miss Future Hippie’s phone number.

Pete, when he is not walking out on lunches, is trying to create a new ad campaign for Admiral and realizes that black people spend money too. This leads Pete to do market research on the only black person he has met-the elevator attendant. Armed with all of this information, he goes in the presentation with the message: sell to black people. This alarms the Admiral people who in turn go to both Sterling and Cooper to complain. Pete gets chewed out by both of them. Shows that’s how messed up the 60’s were: Pete is the only one trying to do the right thing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Early Pickings

For the first time in a long time, the Princess Bride and I did not go to a high school football game last Friday night. That did not prevent the mighty Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs from losing to the Etowah (pronounced: “Etter-wah”) Eagles. The Mustangs are now 0-3 since our favorite 6th string wingback BEN MANIS#38 has graduated. Just a coincidence? I might go to the game this Friday night. It has been one of those weeks, but if I do go, I may post about it in the award winning blog, Humor Me.

An early This Week’s Picks.

Bees vs Hurry-canes: Although they have won their first two games, Georgia Tech has not exactly been very impressive. Miami might be on their way back to good times and thuggy-ness. I know rooting for Miami is like rooting for Kayne West to yank a VMA out of Taylor Swift’s hand, but I think Miami will win.

Canine vs Swine: Here’s how bad things are in Arkansas-they think Bobby Petrino is the cat’s meow and not the Chicken Feed he proved he was in Louisville and Atlanta. Here’s how bad things are in Athens, the Dawgs are an underdog to Arkansas. The line is right. Dawgs lose. But the Dawg Message Boards will win with some of the funniest lines ever in the history of the Internet.

Number One vs Whatever Tennessee Is: Florida has played two pick up games while the Vols lost to UCLA last week. I think Pappy Kiffin might be able to figure out a way to slow down Timmah and the Gators. I just don’t think Kid Kiffin will be able to light up Jonathan Crompton enough to beat the Florida defense. As of this writing, the Line has Florida 28 points over Tennessee. Despite all of this, Kid Kiffin’s wife is the hottest in the FBS.

Mooshiners vs Boro of Eagles: Last week, our fears were confirmed when Georgia Southern went to Brookings, South Dakota and got whacked by South Dakota State. The bright lights of Brookings must have gotten to them. The Southern Conference schedule begins with Western Carolina, another “directional” school, so termed by nephew. (The only other directional school Georgia Southern plays all year). Anyway, the Battling Moonshiners come to the big city of Statesboro and will lose to the Eagles.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mad Men Recap

Episode Four, “The Arrangements”, begins with Grandpa Gene, Betty Drapers goofball dad, taking the kids for a drive. However, the person driving was the Draper’s oldest child and bartender, Sally, who is 10 years old, If there is going to be a shocking moment in “Mad Men” most likely it will involve Sally, for someone who is constantly whiny, is also constantly ignored.

Down at the office, Pete Campbell has landed this biggest sucker in the history of business. One of his old college chums wants to take his money and create a Jai Lai League. This is even too dumb for Don, who in the past few episodes has developed something of a conscience and ethics.

Later, it is learned that the director of the Patio ad has dropped out. Don taps Sal to direct. This leads to Sal working late at home with his wife, whom it can be said, “Hubba, Hubba”. A man that wouldn’t find this woman attractive must be….well we found out that answer a couple of weeks ago. To confirm it, Sal recreates the ad for his wife and did everything that except a Paul Lynde imitation.

Meanwhile, Grandpa Gene, when he is not giving driving lessons to Sally, decides to talk to Betty about his burial and his “arrangements”. Betty is her usual glum, narcissistic self. If this was in the late 90’s, she’d dress as a Goth.

Peggy has decided to move into Manhattan to ease her commute time. Two hours a day, sometimes late at night. This has no effect on her mother, who informs Peggy that she’ll get raped if she moves to Manhattan. Nothing like good old encouragement for Ma. But, she’ll keep the TV Peggy bought her.

Back at Casa de Draper, Grandpa Gene is bragging about the Germans he killed and the “clap” he defeated. I think it would have been cool if he had killed “fiddy men” like Cotton Hill. Anyway, he lets Sally eat ice cream before dinner and pays attention to her, which had to be a new to Sally. The only time dear old mom and dad pay attention to her is when she is making a Bloody Mary.

This being “Mad Men” nothing real and normal can last too long. Grandpa Gene dies at the supermarket. Betty’s brother and sister-in-law come down to finalize the burial for Gene. Someone laughs, Sally overhears and freaks out. In her maternal way, Betty tells her to shut up and watch TV. Sally goes and tries to come to terms with death and dying by watching the evening news that features a story of a Buddhist monk sitting himself on fire. Do you see a commune in her future?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This Week's Picks!

Last week, I went to another Marietta High School football game. Or as the P.A. announcer says, “Mayretta Hiskool”. They played Northview Hiskool which is in the ritzy part of Fulton County (yes there is still a ritzy part of Fulton County). Marietta pretty much dominated the game and our friends’ son, a sophomore, got into the game. He played 17 seconds. Oh, it reminded me of a time, not so long ago, waiting, hoping, praying, begging, pleading, pledging money to the booster club, to see if our favorite sixth string wingback, BEN MANIS#38 would get into a game.

But, that it the past and the future is now and now is the time for this week’s picks!

Pooches vs. Cluckers: In the most boring game of football played since men stopped growing handlebar mustaches, South Carolina beat Jonathan Holloway’s North Carolina Wolfpack. Georgia on the other hand, thought that the game against Oklahoma State was going to be only one quarter long. Turns out, they played three more. Postings were posted on the Dawg Nation message boards. A lot of them said bad things about Joe Cox and his momma. That and Coach Richt needs to shorten his quiet time. No matter, I think the Dogs are better that the Chickens, so I’m going with them. Dogs win.

Our Lady vs. Meechigan: Notre Dame is back, so says Lou Holtz. Then again, Lou wants to tell you about the time he dated Amelia Earhart. Meechigan plans to play four hundred students at quarterback. While I’m not thrilled with the Irish, I think Elon could beat Michigan. Notre Dame wins.

Rocky Toppers Vs The Hollywood Bears: Last year, you knew Tennessee was in trouble while you watched this game. I think they’ll give UCLA a run, but I think UCLA will win.

Trojan Men vs. Buckeye Boyz: Both teams have quarterbacks in Pampers. I’m going with USC because of Pete Carroll. USC wins.

Eagles vs. Jackrabbits: Honest, the Georgia Southern Eagles travel to Brookings, South Dakota (“The Home Of Endless Opportunities”) to play South Dakota State. In case you were wondering, they have a Perkins, Burger King, Quiznos, Ram & O’Hares, and a Zesto. The Jackrabbits play at the Cereal Bowl. I am not making that up. I think if Georgia Southern can ignore all of the bright lights of Brookings, they should be able to win this game. GSU wins.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Beatles

Today’s question comes from a 25 year old college graduate who asks, “Am I the only person who thinks The Beatles are slightly over rated?”

Before we beat this individual up, we should consider that this person was born in 1984, at the height of what musical historians call, “a real sucky time in music”. Let’s face it; the 80’s were one big blur of stupid music.

On top of that, this person was born at a time in which adults talked endlessly about “where they were” when something important happened. Usually, it started with discussing “where you were” when you heard JFK got killed and it ended with “where you were” when you first saw The Fonz.

Tucked in between was usually a long conversation about the first time you saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan.

Here is mine. We didn’t watch Ed Sullivan at my house. It came on at the same time as “Walt Disney” and he usually had a movie about a bear cub or some kids deciding to become pirates. Plus, I’m pretty sure my parents thought there was something medically wrong with Ed Sullivan.

I’m not sure when I become aware of The Beatles, but I can confirm that if you think they make a big deal out of Obama, you have never seen what kind of deal is until you saw the big deal they made out of The Beatles.

I think to understand why The Beatles are important, you really need to look at the evolution of The Beatles and the time it took to go from “Meet The Beatles” (their first album) to “Abbey Road” (their last; “Let It Be” was recorded before “Abbey Road” and released afterwards). The time: six years (1963-1969).

To put it into some sort of perspective, Michael Jackson released “Thriller” in 1982. His follow up “Bad” (aptly named in my opinion) was released in 1987. Two albums in five years.

To go from “Love Me Do”, their first single to their last “The Long and Winding Road” is an incredible achievement both musically and lyrically.

Frankly, I’m not a big fan of “Sgt Peppers”, although I’ve always liked “Lovely Rita, Meter Maid”, and “Penny Lane” is a great song. A lot of their later songs like “I Am The Walrus” sounds like they were on drugs, which, surprise, they were.

John Lennon, to me, was a big gas bag boor. In “Let It Be” (the movie) you can see how George Harrison got tired of Paul McCartney and his bossy boots ways. Can I get a witness in saying that Billy Preston be considered the fifth Beatle?

Despite all of that, you cannot over-estimate The Beatles. Paul McCartney was 23 when he wrote these words:

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far way
  now it looks as though they’re here to stay.

The Beatles over rated? Well, George Harrison said of Elvis, “When he was great, he was really great”. The same can be said of The Beatles.

By the way, I own only one Beatles album.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mad Men Recap

It is late to start a weekly recap of "Mad Men", but this is just as good as time to start because you are always kind of lost with "Mad Men". Not "Twin Peaks" or "Lost" kind of lost, but still, a little lost just the same.

If you want to know more about "Mad Men", here's a link to the Wikipedia page.

Last week's episode, “My Old Kentucky Home" features three things we got real tired of in the 60’s. Petty theft, pot parties, and the accordion.

Sterling-Cooper is working on the Patio soda account, which I guess is small enough for the home office (which last week nixed The Madison Square Garden account) in England, which fortunately wasn’t in this episode. Roger Sterling and his new trophy wife are giving a Kentucky Derby party at his estate in Long Island and the copy writers are not invited. This was okay with them. It meant they could actually begin the 60’s by smoking dope for inspiration. It turns out dope was one of the most over-rated things about 60’s besides Hubert Humphrey. This had to be one of the most boring pot parties in the history of drugs. The copywriters, led by Peggy, mainly sat around and ate.

Before the Drapers could go to Roger’s party, the Drapers had the great $5 missing mystery. Last week, Don, in an unusual fit of humanity, took in Betty’s daft Father, who ranges from being totally out of it to being sort of out of it. Now there is somebody new in the house Betty can despise seeing that she hates Don and the kids. Speaking of the kids: Sally, who mixes a mean martini, took $5.00 from Grandpa, who like all old people, immediately realizes it was missing. Of course, he blamed the African-American maid.

When Don and Betty get to the party, the first thing they see is Roger in blackface singing “My Old Kentucky Home”. This disgusts Don because although he assumes a dead man identity and cheats on his wife, at least he is not a racist. The party drags on and on is only saved by the dancing of Pete and Trudy Campbell, who for once in the show are not whining about everything. That goes to show you what a boring party this one was.

Let’s see, Betty gets her pregnant belly touch by one of Gov Rockefeller’s men. Over the past three seasons, people just want to touch Betty. Why? Who knows? The woman is as dull as dirt and dumb as a door. Roger’s trophy wife (who used to be Don’s secretary and one of the ten women in New York state not to sleep with Don) gets drunk and says something about the Draper’s separation in season two. Don and Roger have words.

There was another party. Joan and her wacko doctor husband held a party at their apartment for his doctor friends. Turns out Joan’s husband probably won’t make mega bucks by ’65 and he had a patient who died due to his malpractice. This party made Roger’s party seem like Mardi Gras. It ended with Joan playing the accordion. The Beatles can’t get here soon enough.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Unpublished Work

This is from a book I've been writing on and off (mainly off) since 2005 called The Umpire Has A Mullet. This is about the early years of Rec League baseball.

Chapter Five: Tee-Ball & Coach Pitch- Your child’s First Steps To The Majors or Psychoanalysis.

Your child’s first meeting with the coach of his team will go something like this: The coach will call the kids and the parents together. The kids will sit on their knees in front of the coach with the parents behind them. The coach will say something like this:

Um, hey, I’m Coach Bob and this is Coach Steve. And, um, I’m the coach of the Tigers. Is this where everyone’s suppose to be? Anyway, we are going to have a lot of fun and learn a lot about baseball, which is really cool game. Tater! Would you sit down and shut up! Um, sorry, that’s my son Tater. We need a team sponsor, this costs usually about $200. I would sponsor it myself, but I just lost my job last week. Tater! Put that bat down before you kill somebody!  Anyway, I cain’t do it and Coach Steve is going through a real nasty divorce. By the way, if you have a sister or know somebody for Coach Steve, bring her to the park. If she has a kid that can hit, that’ll be good too.

We’re here to have fun. The way we have fun is to win games. I have two rules: Have fun and win games. TATER, FOR THE LAST TIME ,IF YOU DON’T SHUT UP I’M GOING TO PUT GASOLINE ON YOUR PLAYSTATION AND BLOW’D IT UP.

Mah wife, Coach Vicky, is the team Mom.She is going to pass around the snack list. Also, we got to work the Concession Stand on Easter and Mother’s Day. Any questions?

After this rousing speech, Coach Bob and Coach Steve run the kids through some drills to assess the talent level of the kids. Supposedly, this was done during the skills assessement but, Coach Bob and Steve only remember that it was cold as a witch's, um, you know, and all of the kids became one big six year old blur.
The kids, talent-wise, at ages five-seven, breakdown into two groups.

One group: The hyperactive.

Other group: The rather be at home watching cartoons.

For some odd reason, the hyperactive tend to do better at baseball at this age, even though, baseball can be at times the polar opposite of hyper. This group of kids will always be moving. On the base, in the dugout, in the field. Motion,motion,motion.

The cartoon group tends to be the ones the coaches yell at the most in non-disciplinary fashion. These kids are looking up at the sky, kicking dirt, and asking to go to the bathroom because they drank a gallon of Gatorade before the game because Mom thought the little darlin’ might dehydrate standing in a field of grass fifty feet from her.

Some parks play T-ball. A ball is placed on a tee and the kid hits it. After the kids hits it, he waits for an adult to yell, “RUN”, unless, of course, he is part of the hyperactive group that when it was his turn at bat just immediately runs to first base.

Once the ball is hit, it begins to look something like baseball, if baseball is played by people barely out of their diapers and mostly interested in a dirt piles. Usually, the catcher, who is in full catcher’s gear, chases the ball, no matter where it is hit, even it is a foul ball into the parking lot.

Probably the safest position for your kid to play during this age group is catcher. Most parks requires that a kid wear a catcher’s mask,vest, and shin guards. And kids love to play it. My son, Ben, loved playing catcher. The first time a coach let into catch, he helped Ben on with the equipment. When Ben put on the mask, the coach said Ben started to breath heavily and say, "LUKE, I AM YOUR FATHER”.

One time, I was helping out with a team that had a set of twins and one of the twins came up to me and asked if he could catch. I told him to ask the coach. He asked the coach who said sure. The time for him to go on the field came and I grabbed him and began putting his gear on. I got him all dressed until I heard, “Hey I was suppose to catch!”. I dressed the wrong twin.

One thing about putting a six year old in catcher’s gear. The kid does not move and he does not help you. The mask and vest are no problems. But for some reason, it is a chore to put on shin guards on a six year old. One time, my wife was helping in the dugout. Usually, my wife stayed out of the dugout because it was much more interesting talking to the other moms then it is to watch the game. At this particular game, Lori was helping out, putting on the catcher’s gear on this little boy who decided to take up chewing sun flower seeds at this time. When Lori got down to do the boy’s shin guards, he began spitting sunflower seeds into my wife’s hair. Which, if you know my wife, is a particularly dangerous thing to do. I’ve been married to her for years, and I wouldn’t even dream of spitting sunflower seeds into her hair, even if an article in men’s magazine said so (“Drive Her Wild In Bed By Spitting Sunflower Seeds Into Her Hair: Adds Two Additional Minutes to Lovemaking”)

The games for t-ball can get intense, particularly since there’s usually twenty to a team which means each kid’s parents and grandparents come to the game to cheer.

Actually, they come to yell. Usually they yell useful instructions like ‘THROW THE BALL”.

I have notice this interesting phenomenon. When you yell “THROW THE BALL” to a six year old boy, your words go through the air, bouncing off of other “THROW THE BALL” molecules and enters the kid’s ear as, “HOLD THE BALL”. Sometimes, it enters as “HOLD THE BALL WITH YOUR MOUTH OPEN” or “HOLD THE BALL AND LOOK ALL AROUND YOU LIKE SOMEONE IS THROWING GRENADES AT YOU”. Still, “HOLD THE BALL” is all he hears.


Also “RUN” means stop and “NO DON’T RUN YOU BRAT” means run. “TAG HIM” means look at the boy with your mouth open. “CATCH IT” means run away from the ball crying at the top of your lungs.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This Weeks Picks!

This is it. College Football starts this weekend. Major games are on tap like Florida versus Charleston-Southern, which is followed by a massive Timmah Tebow Bible Sword drill.

Before I get into all of the pickin’ nonsense, let me tell you about something to happened to us last week. We went to a non Kennesaw Mountain High School football game.

As you all may remember, our son, BEN MANIS#38 was a fifth string wingback for the mighty Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs, coached by Spay’berry graduate Scott Jones. For the past four years, we have spent every fall Friday night rooting for our Mustangs, who were good, but, we never made it to the playoffs.

Since Ben has moved on to other pastures, we did not have any plans for Friday Night. Except maybe going to Cap’D’s, which is a great little seafood place.

Friends of ours from church has a son that plays for the Marietta Blue Devils and they invited us to the Home Opener versus North Cobb, which has (cue drums) a new offensive co-ordinator, which was Ben’s OC at KMHS.

We were taken to historic Northcutt Stadium and feasted on a pre-game meal of Five Guys Burgers. I love Five Guys. Their burgers, and I know this may sound forced from a native of Cobb County, are divine. During this time, we ran into our old Latin teacher from Wheeler, Noel Jenks. She pretended that I was not the worst Latin student she ever had.

The game was good. Marietta is small. North Cobb is not. Marietta has one big time player. North Cobb has several. North Cobb won. I told my wife that it was like visiting another church.

This weeks picks!

Dogs vs Pokes: UGA is playing Oklahoma State. Man, what mistake. OSU is for real. This is game is going to hurt our puppies. OSU wins.

Tide vs Turkeys: The big game this week is Alabama vs Virginia Tech. I’m not sold on ‘Bama this year and Virginia Tech may go to the BCS Championship game. I’m going with the Hokies.

Broncs vs Ducks: Oregon travels to Smurf Land to play Boise State. I would adjust my set because this combination of colors is likely to make you nauseated. Ducks win.

Eagles vs Hairdressers: Georgia Southern cheered on by former KMHS wingback BEN MANIS, plays Albany (from New York, pronounced “All ban e” as opposed from our way
Of saying it, “All Bennie”) in which should be a classic match up between two teams that didn’t know the other existed. Albany is supposed to be a good team. I just want to see their faces when they enter Statesboro for the first time. Go Eagles. You should win.


Humor Me is my blog and its sole purpose is to try to be a funny as possible. That’s it. I’m going to write a lot about College Football, politics, movies, and a bunch of other stuff.

I’ve got big plans for this blog. I’m running my weekly “College Picks” that I’ve been doing as a lark on the Wheeler Alumni pages. I’m thinking about doing a “Mad Men” update each week. I’m sure the President will be doing something for me poke fun at.

One thing: I’m going for laughs about 90% of the time. While I do hold strong opinions about many topics (Lima Beans-yuck), I don’t expect everyone to agree with me a hundred per-cent of the time. I can’t help it if you are stupid.