Monday, September 29, 2014

Happy Autumn!

In case you weren't sure, summer is officially over as of a whole week ago. Already, the evidence is everywhere. Less daylight. More pumpkin spice. Temperatures in Florida in the lower mid 90s.
Before you know it, folks will begin the annual rites of dressing like whores (Halloween), hating their families (Thanksgiving) and bitching about how ridiculously early all the stores that are waging a war on Christmas put up their Christmas decorations (Christmas).
Those are all wonderful, heartwarming traditions. While we're at it, let's say we introduce a new one. I call it "Being Nice to Somebody". Not all the time and not everybody. Jesus, who has time for that madness? No, just sometimes, when somebody really needs it. Like this:

Now, the circumstances might be different. It might not be a kid without a winter coat planted at a bus stop by somebody with a hidden camera nearby. Also, there probably won't be a hot, blonde Norwegian girl around. It's entirely possible that nobody else will even know you did something. Still worth it, though. If you keep your eyes (and your mind) open, opportunities similar to this one will present themselves frequently.
I don't know. Just something to think about,

Friday, September 26, 2014

Free plug Friday!

Recently, my friend and colleague (via Raw Charge) Cassie McClellan made her Facebook page available to writers who wanted to plug their stuff. I thought it was a great idea and a very nice thing to do so naturally, my first impulse was to steal it and re-purpose it here. I happen to write along with other people at a couple of different outlets so I thought I would use this platform to share with you some of the stuff these other fine people are doing. Heaven knows I've plugged enough of my own crap here over the years. It's about time I spread it around a little...

I'm a contributing member of the Peevish Penman writer's consortium. As a group, we're kind of dormant right now but we're still connected. Here are some of my colleagues from there and what they're doing...

You already know that I'm one-third responsible for The Unbelievables. My partners are

I work with some wonderful people at, where we cover the exploits of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning. That enterprise is under the supervision of editor-in chief John Fontana. Staff writers doing other stuff include

There are others with whom I haven't had the pleasure of working (yet) but they're still eminently plug-worthy:

  • Nicky Westbrook and Angie Bailey are the creators of a comedy web series called, 82 South St. They describe themselves as "frustrated ex-theatre students turned stay-home-moms who needed a creative outlet." They have two season out there, the first of which consists of six stand-alone comedy sketches.  The second season is a mockumentary called, Fowl Play Chicken Daycare and is about two estranged sisters who inherit a day care center for chickens in the small, fictitious town of Fowler, Texas, home of the Fightin' Cocks. You can visit their Facebook page, their YouTube channel, and their web site.
  • Su Ring-Vitue, under the pen name Ann Brandt published her novel Steel Goddesses in 2010 and is working on new stuff we should see soon.
  • Sabrina Simon (aka Roxanne Wilder) published her first novel, In the Stars in 2012.
  • Relatively new to writing, Tara Shrodes is using her blog to figure out life's great mysteries to the sound of some great music.
  • Speaking of great music and figuring out life's mysteries, be sure to check out the wry and hear-rending musings of the legendary Ronny Elliott at his blog.
Are there any other great people and things out there that I either forgot or don't know about? Oh, absolutely. Feel free to share them in the comments below. If it's you and you're shy about that kind of thing, you can always post anonymously (You coward! Stand up and be incredible!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

There's no "i" in "winner"

Every once in a great while, when all the odds are against you, when there's no logical reason to think there's a chance you'll succeed, when everybody is convinced there's no way you can do it... 
you're going to have to accept the fact that those people are correct and that's just the way it is. Not all the time, not in every situation, but come on man. Just because your crane is workin' doesn't mean you're going to pull a prize, which sounds like a whole 'nother topic unfit for discussion here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Heroes for hire

It was announced this week that the Florida Department of Citrus has hired Marvel Comics (the home of Spider-Man, Iron man, Captain America, the X-Men and the Hulk, among others) to reboot their mascot Captain Citrus from an anthropomorphic orange to a traditional, costumed super-hero character. This is what happens next:
The new Captain Citrus will be fit and promote healthy choices, starring alongside the Avengers in a custom Marvel Comic. The comic will reveal Captain Citrus’ background (he is born and raised as John Polk, the son of citrus growers) and his challenge (to fight an evil enemy called the Leader alongside other superheroes, including Captain America).
Bill Rosemann, the creative director of Marvel Comics, said Captain Citrus is given a choice by the Leader: “Join me and we can take over the world,” said Rosemann. “Should he betray his family and the Avengers?” -- Tamara Lush, Associated Press for "Florida Today"

This is going to cost the Department of Citrus $1 million. My guess is that Captain Citrus has orange juice-based superpowers, like the ability to squirt it really hard and really accurately. Maybe he can make grapefruits really big. I don't know. My imagination is limited when it comes to the powers a citrus-based superhero might have at his disposal. The creative types at Marvel will figure that out. However, I believe I can visualize pretty accurately how a certain part of this whole process will work...

STAN LEE (Marvel publisher): Say, kid. How's that new villain coming along? What are you calling him?
YOUNG ARTIST WITH BIG DREAMS: Oh! Yes sir! "The Leader". It's coming along quite well, actually. I can see him really being a major part of the Marvel Universe. I'd go so far as to say I think he could be the next Dr, Doom! You know, I've actually been writing and drawing this character since I was in high school and I just want to say what an honor it is...
SL: Why, that's just swell, kid. Listen, take what you've got so far and hand it all over to Jimmy or Dave or whatever that guy over there's name is. He's working on this one-off orange juice thing.
YAWBD: W-what? I kind of thought he would be an ideal new nemesis for Wolverine...
SL: Nah. Change of plans. We need to serve up somebody that OJ Man or whatever we're calling him can defeat without a lot of back and forth, you know? We're getting paid a million dollars!
YAWBD: Couldn't Captain Citrus fight the Red Skull or Dr, Octopus?
SL: What are you, nuts? Do you really think I would let any of Marvel's established, canonical villains suffer defeat at the hands of a man whose greatest achievement is inspiring the flavor of baby aspirin?
YAWBD: Well, that is the special book featuring The Avengers though, right?
SL: Huh? Oh yeah. The Avengers are in it too. But it's mostly Super Orange Julius's show though. He's gotta defeat and humiliate your guy in order to teach the kids that orange juice builds strong teeth or whatever.
YAWBD: I suppose this kind of limits the chances of The Leader showing up in a movie, huh?
SL: I picture your guy meeting his end by drowning in an inch-deep puddle of Minute Maid.
YAWBD: Motherf...
SL: Excelsior!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

No butts about it

Gone, not forgotten.
By me anyway
Tuesday morning, I fired off this impromptu Twitter monologue...

  • I feel like history is not going to be kind when it gets a look at some of the t-shirts people are wearing these days.
  • "Wow, you guys sure did like wings and skulls and flames a lot, huh?"
  •  "Also, why did you guys think it was a good idea to print 'JUICY' on your butts?"
  •  In exactly what social situation is it a good idea to give people something to read via your butt? "Man, this bus ride is boring. Oh wait!"  
  • I know it's the name of the company that makes the pants but your butt is not a billboard or a Kindle.
  • If you wear the "JUICY" pants, I guess you're probably glad they didn't put it in Braille.
  • I think if I wanted something printed on the butt of my pants, it would be "THIS SIDE DOWN". In case there was an accident. 
  • I guess what I'm saying is some of your clothes are stupid. (Whistles cheery tune while putting on polo shirt with corporate logo on it)

That's right; what started out criticizing those stupid t-shirts with the dumb tattoo designs on them somehow transitioned over to sweatpants with "JUICY" printed on the butt, which apparently hasn't been a thing since 2001 but I still think is topical because that's how in touch I am with what women wear as clothing.
Which is probably at least part of the reason why I can't find a woman who looks like this
But I know that pants with words on the butt still exist because I know I've seen such things more recently than 2001. For instance, there are shorts with "CHEER" or "BULLDOGS" or "GO COLLEGE" or whatever on them that are worn by cheerleaders. I find that either confusing or ironic because cheerleaders have been forever fighting a battle to be taken seriously and not seen as mindless sex bimbos. Look, I'm sympathetic. I think "slut shaming" is reprehensible and I will defend a woman's right to wear whatever she wants without it being seen as an invitation to crude, unwanted sexual advances... right up until you're upset about somebody staring at your ass while your wearing a garment that demands that people stare at your ass.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Good seats still available!

Hey, please pardon this really blatant plugola, but I'm involved in a sales contest at work and this is my platform to broadcast to the universe. Sometimes, like now, I'm going to use it to further my own self interests. That's what this is.

THE PITCH: If I, as part of a team, can sell a certain amount of Tampa Bay Lightning season tickets before opening night (October 9), I get to go on a cruise! That doesn't mean you can't benefit, though.


If you care about sending me on a cruise (unlikely, I realize) or if you just want to have season tickets for a team that, honestly, should be pretty damn good this year (a far more realistic possibility), I can totally hook you up. Check it out:

  • Tickets start as low as $792
  • Payments can be spread over four months
  • You get a jersey! (which would cost you well over $100 if you just wanted to buy one)
  • The jersey has a chip in it that saves you 25% on food at the concession stands and 35% on merchandise at the team stores
  • Top secret perks
That last one sounds kind of mysterious, doesn't it? It should, because I can make certain "fan experiences" available to you that some poor jamoke who calls up on the phone isn't going to get. What kind of "fan experiences" are we talking about? Let's just say you might be able to scratch "ride a Zamboni" off your bucket list. I shouldn't say more than that, like mentioning that you could fire off our famed Tesla coils at a game. And as far as being able to introduce you to Lightning players, well no, I definitely shouldn't let that out.

But to sum up,
You could be wearing this...

While getting discounts here...

Riding around the arena on this...

Making THIS happen...

And then watching these guys (that you will have met in person) wreak havoc across the NHL.

And maybe, just maybe, I end up here...

If you're interested, or at least intrigued, let me know at or (813) 301-6583.

Monday, September 15, 2014

You can go your own way

There's something of an epidemic around here lately with people driving in the wrong direction. For example, this is a car I was behind not too long ago in downtown Tampa:
Yes, the car's left turn signal is blinking. Yes, the sign next to the stop light is telling drivers not to turn left. No big deal, right? Apparently not, based on something that happened last Friday night.
Here's what it looked like (thanks to my superior MS Paint skills):
I was coming out of a parking garage, attempting to turn right on to northbound Florida Avenue. As I was sitting there, see a car come out of another garage exit, driven by one of the valets at the nearby Marriott Waterside Hotel (I could clearly see his uniform). He drives south on Florida in the northbound lanes, with a car coming at him, before sliding over to the southbound lanes, making his way to the Marriott (the orange square on my sweet map). He was a valet so that means he was driving someone else's car and he chose to drive in the wrong lanes instead of waiting to execute a safe left turn or turn right and drive around the block.
This struck me as bad judgment on behalf of this valet and I thought I would bring it to someone's attention.

ME: "I'm sorry, is this the Marriott Waterside?"
ME: "Oh. Hi, I thought you should know that I just witnessed one of your valet parking guys driving a customer's car in the wrong direction on Florida Avenue."
DESK CLERK AT THE MARRIOTT: "Okay. So do you want to complain or...?"
ME: "Yeah, I guess so."
VALET PARKING GUY: "Valet parking. Can I help you?"
ME:  "Hi. I was just telling the desk clerk that I just witnessed one of your valet parking guys driving a customer's car in the wrong direction on Florida Avenue."
VALET PARKING GUY: "Do you want to talk to the manager."
ME: "Well, I think somebody should know about it so sure."
ME: "Hi. I just witnessed one of your valet parking guys driving a customer's car in the wrong direction on Florida Avenue."
VALET PARKING MANAGER: "I'll take care of it. Thanks."

There you go. Something to think about if you drive in downtown Tampa. And something to really think about if you're going to let the valets at the Marriott Waterside park your car.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Are you in or are you out?

The other day, I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from work. I was part of a small crowd of people trying to go in and there was an older man with an armful of groceries trying to get out the same door. He was clearly frustrated, trying to fight the incoming traffic and I heard him mutter, "this door needs a damn traffic light".
I thought, "Yeah, or you could, you know, try to get out through the exit door, you asshole. Why are you getting mad? Everybody else is just minding their own business and all they want is to come inside and shop, but you're the one getting mad. Meanwhile, right over there is a door set up just for you, the shopper who who has completed his shopping and is ready to go home. Look at that. 50 years ago, or whenever they built this store, without knowing you would ever exist, they anticipated this exact scenario and actually built a whole separate door. They even labeled them with the words 'ENTRANCE' and 'EXIT'. That's right, somebody took a look at the blueprints and said
'Okay, we've got a floor, ceiling, four load-bearing walls, a loading dock and a door so people can come and go... you know what, go ahead and add another door.'
'Just trust me. I have a feeling about this.'
Seriously, how could a merchant possibly be more proactive in terms of resolving a customer service issue than that? Yet, somehow, against all odds, you've managed to find a way to be dissatisfied and now you're angry. You know what, screw you, you grumpy old bastard."
And as I'm kind of lost in the internal reverie, I glance over to where the 'EXIT' door is and I see people streaming in from the outside.
So never mind.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Funusual Shopping Experience!

Cassie McClellan is one of my colleagues (actually one of my bosses) at Raw Yesterday, she posted something on Facebook that reminded me that, oh yeah, I have an online store. And I will go so far as to say that some might find what's available for sale there to be kind of funny and unusual.

Funusual, if you will.

Go ahead, browse around. See something you want, feel free to purchase it! Relax and eat some delicious cookies as part of the experience (basically, this means if you have some delicious cookies, you can go ahead and eat 'em; I'm certainly not supplying any cookies, you freeloader)

A collection of the best articles from "A ridiculously inconsistent trickle of consciousness", the award-winning web site authored by Clark Brooks.

Humorous! Purple! Flammable! Everything you're looking for in a book that doesn't have anything to do with wizards, moody vampires or the exploration of erotiocism tinged with BDSM.

Actually, it fails to live up to the name in that it is actually quite reliable. It will always hold a beverage for you to drink unless you break it or otherwise render it unusable as a beverage container, dumbass. Hey, look how much purple is on it!

This handy, dandy item, adorned with the cover illustration by Jessie Stehlik from my book, "A Ridiculously Inconsistent Treasury", was originally produced in a very limited quantity as Thank You gifts for the team who helped produce the book. Now I'm going to have more made and sell them to you, if you want them. The illustration features a robot reading stories to lovable forest creatures. Impress your co-workers by having the weirdest coffee mug in your entire company. It will be a great conversation starter and a way to drive more traffic to this here blog and maybe even help sell some books.

Mug holds up to, I don't know, an average amount of coffee, pumpkin spice latte, soup, cottage cheese or whatever the hell you want to put in it. It's dishwasher and microwave safe as it is not made out of wax or tin.

Fresh hash brown potatoes; a breakfast standard. You want me to come over and make some for you? For $1000, I'll do it! I'll supply the potatoes, salt, pepper and special ingredients (hint: onions!). I can put cheese on them if you want (note: you supply the cheese). I can also make them into fun shapes before serving (note: "fun shapes" include choice of "pile" or "lump"). Don't miss out on this fantastic hash brown experience!

1 large (approximately 5 gallon) plastic bucket full of scalding hot water. I have no idea what you would use this for (NOTE: Seller does NOT condone scalding anybody!) but if you need it and you've been looking for it, here it is. The water IS clean, but not drinkable as it is scalding hot. You can see steam coming off of it and everything. I can't guarantee how long the water is going to be as scalding hot as it is right now (trust me: ouch!) but I suppose for an extra couple of bucks I could heat it up for you. If you'd just like a yellow plastic bucket full of lukewarm water, wait a while and if someone doesn't buy it, I'll sell it to you for $5, which is a bargain because the bucket alone is pretty nice. Cash, checks, money orders all ok. FREE DELIVERY! (NOTE: This item subject to availability)

THIS IS NOT A JOKE! As an officially ordained minister, I am qualified to legally marry the living daylights out of you and your spouse. Seriously, I will marry you so hard, you won't walk right for a week.

Wait a minute. We're getting off on a weird tangent here. Let's focus.

The point is if you're straight, gay, lesbian or any other combination I'm not immediately aware of, it doesn't matter. It's all good! I don't care! I can commit weddings of ALL kinds. You find somebody you love who loves you back? Beautiful! We're in business. I'll make sure the necessary paperwork is taken care of and I'll perform the service. I'll even write the vows or incorporate yours into the ceremony, if you're writing your own (which I think you should because that's a really sweet and thoughtful thing to do). And here's what may be the best part: I work cheap! Check it out: All I require is an invitation to your wedding reception, seated at a table with one of the more morally casual bridesmaids.

DISCLAIMER: I reserve the option to NOT do the Electric Slide or the Cupid Shuffle.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Blowing my own horn

Hey there.
Things are going pretty well for me these days. I hope that's the same for you. If it isn't, I hope things change and soon. Let me know if I can help. As I mentioned, I'm doing okay so I don't need anything.
If you've ever seen the movie "Groundhog Day", I feel like Bill Murray's character Phil Connors toward the end of the film. Not at the very end, but about 15 or 20 minutes before the credits roll. It's not that he's given up really, but more like he's finally accepted what he has come to believe is his lot in life. He's no longer angry about every single thing or holding expectations of everything going his way or trying to scam his way through the day and get over on people. Instead, he is dedicated to making the best of the one day he has and he's at peace with it. As a result, good things happen to him and around him. It sounds really simple but for whatever reason, it's been a difficult lesson for him to learn. Now though, it's finally starting to sink in and if there's no reward above and beyond that, it's all right. It's good enough. I kind of feel like that, if that makes sense. If not, watch the movie and enjoy it on its own merit and forget I said anything about it, okay? Cool.
Anyway, there seems to be lots of really pretty good things happening for me right now. Such as this...
Recently, I interviewed former Tampa Bay Lightning general manager (and current Executive Director of Community Hockey Development for the same organization) Jay Feaster on behalf of Raw Charge. I like to think that we as a group at RC conduct ourselves professionally and have established some credibility. Still, it's a blog, we are bloggers and unfortunately, there's still something of a stigma that comes with that in the minds of some people (specifically, many of those in, and who support, the mainstream media). Jay was the NHL's executive of the year in 2004, the year the team he built brought the Stanley Cup to Tampa Bay. He's a well-respected figure throughout the game so this was a pretty big "get" for us, which was reason alone to feel pretty good. Then, the day the interview was published, this showed up on Twitter:
Positive feedback is always tremendous but you simply can't expect or even hope for an endorsement like this. You can bet there are more than a few established mainstream journalists who can't say they have been granted full access to somebody like Jay Feaster.

So yeah, pretty great. But wait, there's more!

Because then Pro Hockey Talk got involved:
"Over at SB Nation, Bolts blog Raw Charge has a lengthy, interesting Q&A with former Lightning GM (and current executive director of community hockey development)..." 
Pro Hockey Talk is a direct offshoot of NBC Sports. The NBC Sports that covers the Olympics, Notre Dame Football and Bob Costas's sweater vests. No, my name doesn't appear on Pro Hockey Talk but there's a direct link back to the story I wrote. There are hockey bloggers out there who will never sniff recognition from NBC Sports. Not that I'm better than any of them but there I am. Which is also pretty damn great.

I don't know. I think this stuff is kind of a big deal and it makes me feel good about myself, so I figured I'd share it.

Friday, September 05, 2014

My hot house

Four years ago, I was living in the shittiest apartments in Tampa and my air conditioning failed. Monday, that happened in the house I moved into last year.
This has proven beyond any possible doubt, once again, as if I didn't already know, that it is better to be too cold than too hot. If you're too cold, you can always pile more stuff on top of yourself in order to get warm. When it's too hot, there is no escape.
My first plan of action when I knew there was a problem was to look for a sticker with a phone number on it from the installer. I bought the house less than a year ago; maybe the AC is under some sort of warranty. I found the sticker, dialed the number and a little old lady answered and told me I had a wrong number. How often do little old ladies get a new phone number? How often does anyone get a new phone number? Clearly, any warranty there had been expired a long time ago.
So I knew I was going to have to shell out but that wasn't the worst. No, as was the case last time, getting through the nights was the worst. I find it impossible to sleep when it's too damn hot. The thermostat in my house, struggling against all hope to do its job, actually read "01" for most of Tuesday night, and that, by any sane person's definition, is too damn hot. It got down all the way to a comparably frosty 83 by the time I gave up any hope of trying to sleep and got up for the day at 5:30 AM.
It's utterly disgusting. You lay there in bed and sweat just forms on your skin and dribbles over your body, like a rib roast. You try to find temporary relief by taking frequent showers, but that doesn't really help. When you're that sweaty and you climb into the shower, when that water first hits you, it's kind of hard to tell where the sweat stops and the clean water begins. Gross. And of course, if you're jumping into the shower every two hours, you're not exactly generating a lot of REM sleep.
Then there's the smell. When your air conditioning stops working, it's like your house becomes a Greatest Hits collection of every heinous odor that ever occupied space there. I live in an older house and I would guess that elderly people used to get together there by the dozens to murder each other with fried assholes. That's really the only possible explanation for the fumes that were wafting around in there.
The combination of that vintage stench and not getting good sleep produces some interesting unwanted thoughts in the middle of the night. At one point, I had convinced myself that giant spiders had laid eggs in my walls, eggs that would finally hatch with the extreme spike in temperature. That made me nervous about trying to take showers because I was convinced that spiders the size of lobsters were waiting to roll their googly eyes at me while clicking their giant mandibles. Take all of that and remember, as I mentioned, I was really sweaty.
For the first time since I moved in, my house was not my happy, safe place. Normally, I start to relax and unwind the second I put the key in the door. Now, I was trying to come up with ways to spend as little time there as humanly possible. Getting up at 5:30 in the morning was one way. Not coming home until 11:00 at night was another. I almost... almost!... missed living in an apartment, where things like that are usually solved by calling someone and making it their problem. Then I remembered that I used to live in the shittiest apartments in Tampa and that they had let me simmer in my juices (literally) for over a week before fixing my problem. In this case, I only suffered for two days and nights. Sure it cost me money, but I still feel like I came out ahead.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Football: it's just not that great

On the eve of the season opener (on a Thursday, which is dumb in itself), I'd like to declare once again that while I am fully aware that football is number one by a wide margin when it comes to sports fans favorites, to me it is and always will be a distant, distant third. I just don't like it as much as I like baseball or hockey.
You know what's wrong with the sport of football?
Lots of stuff. Do I feel like a hypocrite by being a participant in a fantasy league? Oh, you bet I do. That's a moral/ethical battle I'll need to resolve on my own.
But in terms of the actual game at the elemental roots of the way it's played? Here I go again, being old, but guys don't tackle anymore. I guess because mere tackles don't make it into highlight reels. Instead, players launch themselves like missiles, putting far more faith in their helmets than they should by leading with their heads, with the intent of a spectacular collision and not simply stopping the progress of the ball carrier. Naturally, that also lends itself to the alarming number of brain injuries these guys incur, but hey, fame has a price.
Need proof? Look at this highlight reel of Dick Butkus in action...

Notice how Butkus, who still holds the reputation of being one of the most fearsome players to ever play in the NFL wraps up ball carriers and drags them to the ground much more frequently than he initiates collisions.

A slightly more contemporary example can be found in the highlight reel of Buccaneers all-time great Lee Roy Selmon...
Selmon was an all-star who employed a similarly effective fundamental technique and ended up in the Hall of Fame.

Now, watch this dummy from the Arizona Cardinals look like a fool and fail to prevent a touchdown by choosing to try to "blow up" the ball carrier rather than simply push him out of bounds while he's in mid-air...
Yeah, I know I'm old but I'm right.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Sometimes, I'm a country boy

The other day, a friend asked me for help in obtaining tickets to an upcoming concert featuring somebody named Brantley Gilbert. She did this even though "you do not strike me as a country music listener". It's true, I'm drawn more to R&B, blues and what's known as "soul music", but I do enjoy some country and western. The problem is that when the movie "Urban Cowboy" came out way back in 1980 and John Travolta taught us that any jackass in a Stetson could self-identify as "country", country and western music's balls fell off. "Country" became a lifestyle option instead of a way of life and George Jones, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette and Johnny Cash faded away and were replaced by the likes of Randy Travis, Travis Tritt and Vince Gill. Songs stopped telling stories of woe and hardship and instead expounded on cliches found on bumper stickers. If these guys get drunk, you'll never find them heart-broken over some cheating bitch in a ramshackle, dive bar saloon, not when they have a perfectly good suburban ranch-style house with a backyard and a loving wife and children. Not one of these candyassed pretty boys would ever dream of shooting a man in Reno just to watch him die. Sure, once in a while some blowhard will rattle his plastic saber and talk about kickin' ass on behalf of 'Murica, but no self-respecting coal miner's daughter would turn around and sing a song about plastic goddamned cups. So, no, I'm not a fan of what they call country music today, but I do enjoy the twangy, old-fashioned, whiskey-tinged tales of woe that used to be the foundation of country & western music.
Besides, look how cool I look in this hat: