Some lying scumbags have used this trick to say that they don't have any access to email.

Every day in corporate America, you get one of those emails.   You spent hours honing your message, dressing it up with the proper 3 count of bullet points, miscellaneous links, and attachments.   You reread your message for grammar, check it for spelling, making sure you really nail it.  You hit send and off your message goes to a group of colleagues.   Immediately, you get a response from someone’s Out of Office Assistant.   That piece of drone software that has become the choice weopon of cowardly communicants.     

The auto reply tells you something on the order of: 

“Hi, this is John.   I’m Out of the Office this week.  I will have NO ACCESS to Email or Voicemail.   I will return your message on Monday when I get back.” 

Yeah right?   No Access to Email?  Where is this place that has NO Access to email and voicemail?  Is everyone spending their weeks off in remote Amazon jungles or isolated islands in the South China Sea?    Now Congress wants to know, too. 

“We want to get to the bottom of the fraudulent use of this tool,” said Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee.   “It’s not enough to just say you have no access to look at an email .” 

Of all the lies perpetrated in the corporate world, the negligent use of the  Out of Office Assistant is perhaps the most egregious yet. 

“This is fifty times more damning than the accounting fraud perpetuated at Enron,”   Waxman said, comparing the negligence to the corporate accounting scandal that led to anti-fraud measures such as Sarbanes-Oxley.   “This makes AIG’s Credit Default Swap trickery look like childsplay. and that doomed our entire economy.”

With a Congressional investigation under way on the misuse of the Miscrosoft Outlook tool, some say it’s not about to change their behavior.   

“Yeah I get it, ” said James Lampley, an oil rig analyst at BP.   “I haven’t went away on a trip in seven years, but when I’m on vacation I want people to think that I’m thousands of miles away, and not sitting here like I am now on my couch reading these emails on my blackberry.”

Henry Waxman is really annoying most of the time, and a little bit funny looking, too. The map above shows areas covered by email and areas not covered by email. If you live or vacation to one of the areas in red you can say that you have no access to email.

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The National League was getting the hint.   It was falling behind in the battle for the Sports Fan mind share.  The League has been in freefall years after being stymied by an anti-drug culture and a noisy congressional backlash to its once ballyhooed steroid era.   Many had suspected that the NL would change things up, perhaps even adopting the Designated Hitter like its American League rival.  Instead, the NL Rule Change Committee shocked the sports world yesterday when it announced that it would arm middle infielders with Tasers to help mitigate security concerns of idiot fans running the bases between innings, but as an added bonus, they could also use the devices to debilitate base runners trying to get from first to third on sharp liners to the outfield.

While his form is not bad. It is not good for the game of baseball to have all the Tasing done by unathletic looking security guards like this guy at Philadelphia's Citzen Bank Park.

“This is a first in sports.  We have combined the practical nature of fan safety, while creating excitement on the playing field.    We hope this brings back the excitement of baseball that we really haven’t had since we looked the other way why our guys used steroids,” stated Commissioner Bud Selig.  

And it was just in the nick of time for Selig, who will forever be known as the Commissioner that was really turning around the game until he allowed investigators and critics to pin him down on a new performance enhancing drug policy that he never wanted and that he knew would ruin baseball. 

“What we were able to do for the game in the late 90s and early 2000s can’t be denied,” Selig suggested.  “We let some of our more fundamentally sound – yet skinny – players like Bonds, McGuire and Sosa transform themselves into home run record destroying Goliaths.   That can’t be argued – we created a lot of buzz, and most people without the last name of Maris loved seeing it.  We think we will be able to create the same electricity with the new Taser rule.”  

The idea behind the Taser is simple.  When a ball is put into play, middle infielders at second and short can now either make a play on the ball with their glove or let the ball get by them, but zap a runner trying to advance to the next base.   Many in the sports world think it will be the most interesting innovation since TV producers created the imaginary yellow line that illuminates football’s First Down.  

It's a shame that Phillies Shortstop Jimmy Rollins has to get so much dirt on his uniform. Now that he can carry a Taser he will likely let this sharply hit grounder through to the outfield.

But, not everyone is impressed.   The move hasn’t come without its critics, like Hall of Fame Shortstop Ozzie Smith.  “When I played it was enough to be able to cover your position, scoop up grounders in all directions and put out the advancing runner.  It’s kind of a stake to the heart of the purity of the game,” said Smith.  

All of this comes in the wake of a recent spate of fans running onto the field between innings.  It is rumored, but cannot be confirmed yet, that some of the incidents may have involved fans drinking too much alcohol at the game.   If this is true  than the decision could not have come at a better time.  The idea of fans being so bored with baseball that they have to drink excessive amounts of beer at the ballpark can’t go unchecked.   Baseball once tried to mitigate the excessive fan drinking problem by charging twice the minimum wage for a 12 ounce beer.   Now the product on the field with the new Taser Rule could perhaps change the need for that excessive cost of beer.   This could be a win for everyone.

Merry Thoughts

Posted: December 16, 2009 in It's the Thought that Counts

1:  In a public statement Santa Claus took responsibility for crashing his sleigh into a neighbor’s tree at 2:30 AM.  Asking for privacy, he also revealed that the nude photos of Mrs. Claus circulating on the internet are not real.

2: To entertain the other reindeer on Christmas night, Vixen will often belt out her hit song “Edge of a Broken Heart”. All the reindeer love it, except for that jerk-wad Prancer who claims that Vixen is no Lita Ford.

When the Grinch and Eric Holder square off in a New York court, many of the opposition party are saying that reckless secrets could get out on Just How the Grinch stole Christmas. And, what might that effect be on our national security.

3:  Bending to Republican pressure, Attorney General Eric Holder has changed course and will now seek a military tribunal on charges that The Grinch Stole Christmas. 

4: In a lead-up to next weeks Global Environmental Summit in Copenhagen, Santa Claus has announced that he will use only Clean Burning Coal in naughty kids’ stockings this year.

5:  I’m fed up with always mistiming the investments in my portfolio.   I’m pretty sure Gold is overvalued right now, but I’m torn on whether I should invest my Christmas Bonus in Frankincense or Myrrh. 

6:  With news that Santa’s Workshop has been closed and transported to factories in China, many are blaming recent gains made by the Elf Union in fatter pensions and expanded milk and cookie breaks. 

7: Early settler kids used to hang their own diminutive socks from the mantle.  Kids today hang stockings so large that a Shaq O’Neil suffering from Gout would find them comfortable.  

8: When Grandma got ran over by a reindeer she was frustrated that the reindeer had an expired license and no insurance card.

9:  Santa Claus has filed an Intellectual Property claim against the musical group The Killers for asking: “Are We Human or are we Dancer?”  The claim states that unless you have 4 hoofs and eat buckets of oats you are not a Reindeer. 

10: Elin Woods said that on the Second Day of Christmas Her True Love Gave to Her news that maybe she might want to have some blood work done…and an Escalade in a Tree.

11:   When Blitzen let Dasher know that he thought the other reindeer had a “Nice Rack” he never thought it would land him in hot water with the HR Department.  

Little seven year old Douglas Fir had it all. A caring family that seeded him. Plenty of nutricious food. Until that day he was chopped down in the prime of his life.

12:   I just had a heated argument with The Ghost of Christmas Past.  He is still acting like a little girl over not getting a name drop in October’s 31 Spooky Thoughts.  So no way will I mention him in this series. 

13: I’m stoked that my wife signed up for the Adopt a Family program this Christmas. I think some kids will be really excited about their new toys and I’m hoping I get a new set of screwdrivers.

14:    Children of the world are reeling on news that Santa Claus’ Sleigh Company is now charging him for the Second Bag.  

15:  Whenever I have business meetings in Bethlehem on the Palestinian West Bank, I’ll usually do the Priceline Negotiator. I read somewhere that it’s hard to get a room there.  

16:   It is an epidemic that wipes out 28 million every year, so the parents of seven year-old Douglas Fir are doing everything they can this year to save his life.  If you’d like to donate to this cause send me $20 via Paypal. 

17:   I stupidly stayed with Santa’s Reindeer as my fantasy Defense on Sunday, even though I knew the Budweiser Clydesdales would really expose them in the run game.  And the Clydesdales had a better kicker.  

18:   I’m notoriously bad with directions, but yesterday I nearly puked when the kids checked the mailbox and their Santa letters had been Returned to Sender because we had accidentally sent them to the South Pole.

19:  On a Christmas roadtrip this week and I’m kicking myself.  We were getting ready to Deck the Halls last night, but I stupidly forgot to pack any of my Gay Apparel. Fa La La La La, La La La La. 

20:   Who doesn’t love watching Christmas movies this time of year?   My favorite is the Rudolph story and how his hard work and determination allowed him to overcome his small size to finally get on the field and make a tackle in his last game at Notre Dame. 

21:  I was Roasting Chestnuts on an Open Fire last night.   I had hoped to find Jack Frost nipping at my nose, but I’m in California on vacation this week so I had to make due with Jack Daniels.  

22: Twas the Night Before Christmas and Homicide had another Crime Scene.   Earlier a mouse was stirring when his innocent peanut butter addiction led him to a slaughter execution style in the irons of a spring loaded mouse trap.  

23:   The Ghost of Christmas Future told me that in 2050 I’ll have to spend 3 months of Social Security buying gifts for 42 kids, grandkids, spouses and great-grandkids.  He suggested a new lifestyle of chain smoking, binge drinking and gluttonous levels of cholesterol.

24: I knew better than to hope for a White Christmas because I wasn’t raised that way. I don’t see color. I am not a racist.

25:   I was very excited this morning when Santa Claus got me what I wanted this year, a brand new shiny Quip Machine.   My old one was getting tired and running out of batteries.

By Your Royal Highness Anthony Liebrandt

I’m still not King, but it will happen.   I predicted it a few months ago in If I Were King…   Nothing in recent events have persuaded me that I should not plan for that eventuality.    As a subject in my kingdom you might as well get used to my new rules, so consider the following an Edict Draft for the proper behavior I will expect out of my many subjects as you travel in my airports and on my planes.The empathy that I’m showing You the Subjects by penning these Edicts now is that once I have ascended to the Throne, I will no longer care about these peasantry behaviors, but if I can record it now while I’m still just a commoner it will be fresh and ready to go.      

The lady on the left standing still will make a nice meal for some hungry sharks. The old man on the right will need to pick up the pace or he could be eaten by my alligators. A GETTY Photo.

EDICT 1:    No Standing on a Moving Walkway

(or as Brits refer to it,  The Travelator – and yes my kingdom will include you too, UK)

There will be nothing more despised in my Kingdom than standing still on a Moving Walkway.    If airport foot traffic consultants had wanted people to do anything other than walk on the Moving Walkway they would have named the hundred yard long conveyor belts Block-The-Right-with-your-Big-Ass-Block-the-Left-with-Your-Gigantic-Roller-Bag-Way.    

Confirming my suspicions, researchers from prestigious Universities like Princeton are now suggesting that it actually takes people longer to get through the airport using the Walkways.   I will be benevolent as King in many charitable areas, but not in this particular area.    Violators will be placed on a mile long walkway and forced to run in the the opposite direction of the belts.   If they are in good shape they will be fine.    But, if they can’t keep up, at the end of the belt there will be a slow flowing stream stocked with alligators.   That stream will flow into a shark tank, guarded at its banks by a family of lions.   

EDICT 2:   No Exiting the Plane Out of Turn

Planes have rows and while different airlines have different procedures on what order people board the plane.     When exiting the plane, you will debark from the first row to the last.   No exceptions, no cutting.   A few years ago I had only sired one male offspring and the future royal family traveled about a lot more than we do today in the era of the Many Dancing Princesses.   Traveling with only one kid is pretty much a piece of cake by comparison.   (As an aside, cake – and bread – will both be bountiful in my Kingdom, as a student of history I know what happened to Marie Antoinette).    

As we exited a plane in the Carolina territory of my future kingdom, this older couple traveling alone sitting in a row behind us quickly jumped out of their seats and stood in front of us in the aisle where they then had to wait for the door to open.    They just had to beat us to the door because we were Those People with a Kid People.  The horror!   As we waited for several minutes at the bag carousel, I look over and there They stood.   They didn’t even have a connecting flight.  Though I will make every effort as king to speed up the bag handling process, not once in the history of man have your bags been waiting for you as you arrived at the bag carousel so do not exit the plane before it is your turn.   

I have not yet identified these two culprits.   If they dare to still be alive during my Reign of Benevolence I will hire 1000 private investigators to search for them so that they can be made examples of throughout the land.  They will likely face a quick trial, a shorter appeal, and then they will be sentenced to serve 1000 hours of community service working in an orphan nursery changing diapers, reading stories and taking plane loads of children on cross-country field trips.     

 
 
 

A giddy Frank Buckles after being told that as the last living survivor of the First World War he gets an automatic preboard all my kingdom's flights. ...Okay vets of WWII and other wars may also preboard.

EDICT 3:   No Getting a pre-board pass for having an ear infection or a sore elbow

 

Just as you are to exit the plane in an orderly fashion you are also to conduct the pre-board process in an orderly fashion as well.     The proliferation of people in wheelchairs at airports is out of control.   While many folks are truly in need of a kind wheeled escort, there will be strict focus placed on its use.    If you are Frank Bruckles, who at 109 is the last remaining survivor of the first World War, you will get a pre-board pass and a guy named Ed will wheel you everywhere.    If you happened to fight in World War II, you will also get another guy named Ed to personally wheel you about the Terminal.   But, if you did not bear arms for our country and for every other activity in your life you walk about happily often with a skip, than you will be denied access to the pre-board pass, unless you have small children. (I still do, and I like playing that card).    When my children our older, I promise to keep the same policy.   Wink, wink. 

People who feign decrepidness and snag a preboard pass for illegitimate reasons will be wheeled down an eerie dark, damp jetway that is teeming with poisonous snakes.   Instead of being pushed by a nice guy named Ed, they will be pushed by a scary guy in a clown suit who could in fact be employed as an Ice Cream Man.     

EDICT 4:   Wearing flip-flops with jeans so that I have to look at your B.U.F. (Big Ugly Feet)

Of all the fashion trends that have destroyed American culture in the late 20th/early 21st centuries the proliferation of guys that wear jeans with open foot flip-flops is the most damning threat to our culture.   It’s a bigger threat than terrorism.   The foot is without question the most ugly and unsightly appendage on the human body, and especially on the male version of the species.    That’s part of it, but a flip-flop even for the male can be the proper choice of shoe in certain environs, like the beach, a resort, at a picnic – basically anywhere you are also wearing shorts.    If other dynamics force you to wear jeans, than you also need to get a pair of socks and some sneakers and cover those ugly things up.  

I’m sure that most people will quickly comply, but for violators of this Edict they should expect a quick judgement and the damnation of having to live in a giant shoe.   Picture Patrick Ewings shoe after a Knick game.   The foul odor of the big shoe will keep you up at night, which is a good thing because in the dark corners of the shoe lurks a denizen of black widow spiders spinning their silky deathtrap webs.     

EDICT 5:   Browsing your stupid People Sytlewatch magazine after 10pm on a late flight

When you are traveling late at night on a commercial plane, the roar of loud engines and the skyward thrust can be quite sleep inducing.   It is natural to nod off and sleep through the first call for service by the airline waitresses.   Maybe your long flight will be considerably shortened if you can sleep through most of it?  And then it happens, the lady behind you turns on her reading light.   Manufacturers of airline reading lights never quite grasped the importance of directional light flow, because when one lady is bored silly, her decision floods light in every direction across three rows of sleeping passengers.    Now oddly, some people are wired so that they elicit nary a flinch to the introduction of light over those three rows.    But, not your future King.      

It would be one thing if this culprit was right in the middle of an Oprah endorsed story that has all of the sisterhood a buzz, but instead she just pulled out People Magazine Stylewatch edition because she just has to know who’s wearing a puffy vest to Hollywood coffee shops.   At 10pm.  

Now my kingdom will have very high fashion standards, but you will not need to be piqued on them at 10pm on a cross-country flight.   If you have to violate this Edict, just understand that the penalty for turning on your reading light and waking up the entire plane is you will be taken to Shawshank Prison and lined up against a wall and subjected to torture by dozens of prison flood lights.    And further, you will be barred from ever getting to wear Carrie Underwood’s Puffy Vest.    

"Plaid Tights, Leather Jacket, Knee High Boots, Puffy Vest. What are the It Girls wearing right now? I'm going to turn on my reading light to look in People Stylewatch magazine to find out." ...Not in my Kingdom!!

Atlanta, GA.     In a stark contrast to the hardline that former anchor Lou Dobbs took on illegal immigration, his replacement John King wasted no time soothing immigrant relations as he announced that he would empoy a migrant worker force  in the back office production jobs that get the show to the air each night.   The idea is sure to turn heads.    It has long been common place to find immigrant workers employed in low cost manufacturing operations, crop harvesting, and in the lawn maintenance industry, but in this latest twist CNN hopes a Migrant workforce will solve its 7pm EST ratings dilemma.      

king

Breaking News! Mike Huckebee is a Hit in the Rural South!! Viewers would have never guessed that counties that Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty used to like to paddle about in were going to vote for Huckebee. But, John King’s deft touch confirms it.

For King, it started as a weekend landscaping overhaul in his back yard.     His new wife, CNN reporter Dana Bash, had demanded that he install a brick paver walkway in the back yard of their DC area home.    “I’m not a real handy guy,” King noted.   “The most I’ve ever done with my hands is move that gigantic maperotor thing around on election night.    When I drill into the 17th district of Ohio and make up stats about if Obama can carry that district it will be a very tough night for McCain, yada yada.   So I knew I needed help, or the job would have never gotten done.”    

And that’s when it happened.   King was picking out pavers at an area Home Depot well known for its street corner gathering of immigrants who are willing to put in a hard day’s work.    Landscaper and roofing contracters routinely pick up workers at the store.   King knew that the back breaking dirt moving and leveling in his yard would require some extra hands.   

“I met four nice guys and paid them each $50 for the afternoon.    Dana was out doing one of those fluff pieces on Obama playing basketball with dudes and not including girls.   So before she even got home, the crew had all the pavers laid out and compacted,”  King mentioned. 

“What I didn’t anticipate, however, was the attention to detail that the workers displayed.  I have my own video production studio in my home office where I will edit tape and do voiceovers on the weekends.    I asked one of the guys, named (REDACTED to protect his immigrant status) to come in and hit the record button and splice up a few tapes.    And really that’s when I figured it out.    Most jobs in television are very repeatable and training up a lower cost workforce would be a good first fiduciary step in getting my show off the ground.”

What he also knew was that the grumpy Lou Dobbs had alienated many viewers for his hard line approach on immigration.  Dobbs’ nightly diatribes over the immigration problem had made him a lightnening rod among the the very liberal production staff at the Atlanta based cable news channel.   So in a telling shift of the way the new King show will go, he  thought a good first step would be to have about 20 members of his staff be made up of migrant workers. 

“The biggest challenge is that my Ford Explorer only fits 6 guys.  But, Dana can probably squeeze 4 guys into her Prius.    If we each make 2 trips into the CNN offices each morning we should be fine,”  King said.

And once the workers get to the office, King expects results.   “What I noticed when we were doing the brick pavers.   Is that none of the workers ever took a break.  No one was standing around.   At CNN, you will see staffers hanging out by the watercooler, going outside to get a smoke.    Even Dana likes to waste time at her desk playing Bejeweled Blitz.   This new hardworking culture is really going to change things here.”

And maybe that’s what has some of the current staff at CNN so jumpy.   And fearing that their jobs may be on the line.     

“Well we never appreciated Lou Dobbs taking such a polarizing position on immigration,” said Chelsey Campbell a production assistant at the network.    “I guess we thought that our jobs would never be effected.”

Somewhere in a little used storage locker in Langley, VA’s CIA headquarters there is a perfectly good Water Board.    It hasn’t been used lately.   Earlier this decade it was in high demand.  I have a mental image of the Water Board being checked out by the guys on the CIA Facilities staff, much like they would check you out a laptop projection machine. 

Of all the things that George Bush got wrong during his tenure as Chief Executive, the use of torture was clearly not one of them.    Lament if you must his handling of the ill-conceived WMD scavenger hunt boondoggle along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates otherwise known as the War in Iraq.   …Decry if you must that no special forces were sent up that mountain at Tora Bora when we had Osama pinned down in his cave.   Instead we relied on Afghan drug-dealing warlord thugs to do our bidding for us.  …Scorn if you must over the slow-footed Federal reaction to Lake Katrina.   

And then there is that final Bush blowback.   He was such a lousy President that the American public felt it was necessary to swarm the 2008 polls and vote for the most unlikely and unprepared President in American history(or at least since the last one we elected in 2000).   Eventually we will all be paying for that American overreaction.

2

Andy Sipowicz, a member of the Small Ball Report TV Character Hall of Fame. He was always good for a short sleeve shirt with a tie interrogation slap down on an unsuspecting perp. Tragically the show missed the mark whenever it gave one of its famous discretionary "tonight's show includes brief nudity" warnings and the brief nudity ends up being of Andy's ass and not one of the hot girl cops that they rotated through the show.

The one thing Bush did get right was the use of torture.   You didn’t hear the Small Ball Report publicly condone torture… mostly because we are not available via podcast.  It is something that we should only do in private and not talk about.   When NYPD Blue’s Andy Sipowicz needed to solve a case he’d loosen up his tie, roll up his sleeves (err, no he wore short sleeves and a tie like your math teacher) and perform the proverbial beat down.    Fifteen minutes later out came the note pad and the perp was singing like a canary.   

When the CIA memos were released earlier this year it detailed with a great deal of specificity the statistical number of times waterboarding was used on 9/11 mastermind K. Sheik Mohammed and his two terrorist scumbag friends.   (We could google their names to provide accuracy for this report, but that is more effort than they are worth).  Oddly, the interrogators must have their own team of statisticians on hand and you would almost wonder if one interrogator also has to sign the other interrogators score card at the end of a beat down like they do in golf.  

While the American media took exceptional umbrage to this event the majority of People on the Street Americans didn’t seem to care much.   Perhaps it’s a little hard to feel sorry for the personal liberties of thugs that were responsible for the most heinous crime ever committed on American soil.  Perhaps it’s difficult to play slow violin songs when hearing that 9/11 planners had a little bit of water dumped on them to simulate a drowning sensation – that they are still alive somewhere under the protection of due process is both what makes our country great, and at the same time perplexing.  

Even though the verdict has apparently been rendered and the water boards have been put back in the storage locker, there are a few candidates that the Small Ball Report would nominate for the technique.   The following five are are not exactly KSM heinous but these are very serious crimes against humanity in their own right.

Hippy Iran Hikers.     We should do our best to get the three hippy hikers that wandered into Iran freed from that authoritarian state.    And then after we send over George Mitchell or Jesse Jackson or Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton (you know its coming) to win their release we should waterboard them each 5 times for 30 seconds each.

Hippy Hikers in Happier Times. What would happen if three Iranians were hiking in Canada and they accidentally walked across the US border? Its likely they would be suspected of being up to no good.

Tour Company with the John Wilkes Booth Placard.    The Liebrandts recently visited Washington DC.   As we were walking across the street to the White House a slow-moving tour bus came to a stop.   In the window was your standard 8×11 paper placard as this tour company must have had multiple buses about town.    It said “John Wilkes Booth Bus”.   Are you kidding?  Were the other buses named Lee Harvey Oswald and Adolf Hitler and Devil.   You are talking about the guy that killed our second best President ever.    The owner of that bus company should be brought in and waterboarded 6 times for 25 seconds.

Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth. The Bad Actor. If you want your name on a Tour Bus 150 years from now, become an Assassin.

Miss California  USA Pageant Organizers.   This wholesome bunch of puritans are defending their honor in US court, they say “The integrity of the Miss California USA organization and the values it represents requires us to respond and present the truth.”     They want the $5200 back that they forked out to have former Miss California Carrie Prejean’s left and right boob augmented.   If a baseball team spent $5200 roiding up their clean-up hitter I would see a similar level of integrity.   So they are apparently not real afterall, but they are still spectacular.      The pageant organizers should be waterboarded 50 times for 10 seconds.   Double for Donald Trump. 

miss-california-carrie-prejean-lawsuitjpg-92ad0ba89ff48bf6_medium

With her $5200 breast investment all Carrie Prejean needed was a softball question where she could call for World Peace and Feeding Hungry Kids. Instead, the goofy gay guy asked her about gay marriage. That didn't turn out well.

Inventor of BCS College Football System and any current University President that still supports it.   As a fan of NFL football I will sometime see some sportswriting goofball post their NFL Power rankings on the internet.   It’s a rather ridiculous exercise because it doesn’t mean anything.   Smartly, the NFL has divisional champions and wild card teams that actually play each other on the field and determine two conference champions that square off in the Super Bowl.    College Football, however, is a popularity contest where pollsters create their own Power rankings and propel teams up and down.   If Bear Bryant once wore a fedora on your sideline its worth 20 imaginary points.   If Earl Campbell won a Heisman for you during the Ford Administration thats worth 35 imaginary points.  The whole system is only slightly less corrupt than the last Afghan vote.    We should round-up all the Presidents of the six BCS conferences and You Too President of Notre Dame and form a water board assembly line.

horns

Take it easy Bevo. Don't hook me with those horns just for thinking that maybe you haven't played anybody good this year.

Nancy Grace, of course.    Of all the smug cable news media personalities, Nancy Grace is over the top.   She fakes more compassion in a day than Mother Theresa exudes actual compassion in a week.    Her recent interview with Elizabeth Smart illustrates that perfectly.    Luckily, Elizabeth Smart for her part exudes as much toughness as Andy Sipowicz and beats down the news media perpetrator with her rolling eyes.                 

To those dedicated Small Ball Report readers, we are sorry we’ve been away for a couple of weeks, blame it on the very distracting allure of College Football and its evil twin Pro Football, and its equally evil 3rd twin (eh triplet) that was eaten in the womb by the other evil twin Fantasy Football.

We should ban all football, but let’s wait until February.  It’s not just us, if you hadn’t noticed our nation’s GDP teeters a little in the 4th quarter of every year, and it is directly attributable to football season.

While we were out we created a first volume of Spooky Thoughts for the the Small Ball Report’s favorite month, October! 

Why do all the Hot Chicks have to fall for the Bad Boys?

Why do all the Hot Chicks have to fall for the Bad Boys?

1. In the remake of Bridges of Madison County, writers plan to insert Trolls under the bridges this time to make the movie watchable.

2. In an effort to sooth racial tensions. The head Ghoul sat down with the leader of the Goblins. The Goblin community didn’t appreciate the Ghoul suggesting that all Goblins look alike.

3. Five little Headless Horsemen were jumping on the bed. One fell off. But because he didn’t have a head to bump his mommy would never call the doctor.

4. In yet another signal that she wants to be a Bad Girl, my daughters American Girl Doll has been seen about town dating Chucky.

5. The latest Rasmussen Poll confirms that Americans are no longer in favor of Anything, and children no longer fear Ogres. Damn You Shrek!

6. A Soccer Mom picked her way through her kid’s yet again messy room…Just then…Noticing It she screamed, dropping her Pledge can, as she saw scribbled on the mirror in her son’s handwriting: “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the Light?”

7. Breaking news! Jack-O-Lantern steps out on wife Jill. Jill-O-Lantern takes 3 of her 8 Baby Gords to Dude Ranch to film 108th consecutive boring-ass episode, a new TV record.

8. I’m OK with wearing an outfit that is well used, but I can’t decide if I should go to the Halloween Party dressed up as a Pirate or Michelle Duggar’s Uterus.

9. I’m really fed up with my drinking buddy the Headless Horsemen. Whenever we go on a bender together, he’s always so cocky about how he never gets a hangover.

10. Weather Report: Frigid record low temperatures across Midwest cause massive panic of a prolific spawn of Abominable Snowmen. Al Gore changes mind on global warning, to return Nobel Prize.

11. In a surprise turn, Birthers Movement nut jobs have conceded on Obama’s birth certificate, but are now attacking Shrek’s claim that he was born in Far Far Away Land.

Casper may now marry his boyfriend in about 10 US States.   California is not one of them.

Casper may now marry his boyfriend in about 10 US States. California is not one of them.

12. Knowing that the Nina and Pinta were haunted, Christopher Columbus would often yell “I’ve got Shotgun” as he walked past the Santa Maria’s boat slip.

13. I wasn’t surprised yesterday when Casper The Friendly Ghost became the latest to call for an end to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. I always thought he was that kind of Friendly.

14. When I read the email from my boss I dropped my wireless mouse. All it said was “I Know What You Did Last Summer”. Had he discovered my middle of the work day blog entries?

15. I was given permission for October only to add someone Spooky to my List. Sadly Elvira Mistress of the Dark is not what she used to be.

16. Spooky Thoughts goes to Washington. I’ve decided to wear an outfit for next weeks Marine Corp Marathon. I’m going to dress up as a nearly forty, fat, out-of-shape white guy who should have trained more.

17. You know they shouldn’t do sequels when you hear that in the next Field of Dreams Shoeless Joe Jackson’s all stars are going to scrimmage with the Children of the Corn.

18. Whenever the young Witch would eat her bowl of Witches Brew, it was quite common for her to save a few of the delicious eye balls for last.

19. The planned Spooky Celebrity Wife Swap between the Munsters and the Addams Family has been cancelled in the wake of publicity hound Herman Munster faking son Eddie’s getaway balloon incident.

20. Sadly the babysitter would never be warned that “The Call is Coming From Inside the House” because her little brother had sold the family’s antique rollover minutes at the yard sale.

21. Sarah Palin continues to take fire on whether Going Rogue was written by a ghost writer. I don’t believe that because it would be very hard for a ghost to type with a sheet over his or her head.

Courtney_Gains

If Malachi can throw strikes like he did in Children of the Corn, Shoeless Joe might have a tough time at the plate.

22.   Seemingly late weighing in, my HOA was the latest to condemn the Salem Witch Trials. They say burning Witches at the Stake is actually a violation of the new No Burn rule and a $50 fine.

23.   In a blatant attempt to appeal to male readers, the next Twilight book will be called Blue Moon. It features a family of Umpires named the Cullens. …Tormented by a Hops Culture, they only drink Wheat Beer.

24.  Organizers of the Spooky Miss California USA pageant are taking fire for reportedly paying for the Wicked Witch of the West’s nose wart augmentation surgery 

25.   I finished today’s DC Marine Corp Marathon just in time. Arlington National workers had chisels out getting ready to etch my name on the Tomb of the Unfinished Marathoner.  

26.   I rubbed my head as I awoke from my Flash Forward. It was November. Iowa was 12-0. All they needed was Texas to lose the Big 12 Championship game to… …Iowa State. NOOOOO!!!!  

27.   Schools close, workers call in sick, vaccines run low, and now the latest from the Swine Flu pandemic – the Big Bad Wolf reportedly told Morley Safer of 60 Minutes that he is now a Vegetarian.

28.   When the beleaguered sports franchise’s marketing department decided to fill empty seats by giving away tickets to Ghosts, the players complained about being booed even when they scored.   

29.   I know that a female Black Widow will eat the male after mating. What I’m not sure about is what happens when two lesbian Black Widows frolic about in the Web.

30: Proving we learned nothing from 9-11, the Wicked Witch of the Northwest falls asleep on her broom over Minneapolis and not one fighter jet is scrambled.

31.   A guy goes into the woods in search of an infamous local Witch.  He is never seen again.  Search teams comb the area, but find only a notepad with 30 Spooky Thoughts.  On the 31st page Someone, Something in a barely legible scribble, writes:    BOOOOO!   

 

In an incredible series of events, Roman Polanski spilled his margarita and tripped over patio furniture as he fled from Chris Hansen of Dateline NBC’s To Catch a Predator.   He became yet another victim of NBC’s trickery as they dupe the unknowing Predator into pouring himself a cocktail while the lady with the iCarly school girl voice in the next room yells out, “Make your self comfortable, I’ll be right out.”

Chirs Hansen of NBC Dateline's To Catch a Predator enjoying a cold margarita with a Predator.   Once they get a few minutes of footage there will 12 cops pinning this guys hands behind his back.

Chirs Hansen of Dateline NBC enjoying a cold margarita with a Predator. Once they get a few minutes of footage there will be 12 cops pinning this guys hands behind his back.

The Dateline NBC staple then features the Predator in Headlights look when – instead of the teeny bopper popping her head around the corner – there is the ever smug arrival of Chris Hansen with his “What are you REALLY here for, you’re here for sex aren’t you” interrogation.

The rouge works every time and Polanski should have known better, especially after that “large misunderstanding” that he had 30 years ago at Jack Nicholson’s house during his youthful mid 40s when he accidentally gave a 13 year old girl the wrong dosage of Quaalude and Champagne.  The 1977 episode was a real bummer for Polanski, the Chinatown Director, and it took a toll on his choice of movie sets.   Pleading guilty to the rape charges was a real pain in the ass and fleeing in the dark of Hollywood night was not ideal, but he would not let it get him down.   Instead, he decided to get away to Paris to blow off steam and scout out movie locations across France.  

His hard work and determination would pay off as movie audiences adored Natassja Kinski milking her English Dairy Farm cows in 1979’s Tess.   Polanski must have chuckled to himself as unsuspecting audiences had no idea that the scenes were shot from France, not the authoritarian pre-Lockerbie era UK regime which would have hassled him with a US extradition had he set foot on the English Island. 

Back in France he would have a wonderful canvas of French country sides and Parisian street for him to shoot his art, but Polanski’s real challenge was the dwindling choice of movie scripts to appeal to the American audience.    Undaunted, Polanski helped pen the 1988 Frantic, the story of – wait for it, wait for it – an American doctor visiting Paris, only to discover that his wife picked up the wrong nuclear bomb igniting suitcase at the airport.  Harrison Ford, having played the exact same role in a dozen other movies with different titles happily played the lead role.  

Roman Polanski circa 1977 Predator look.

Roman Polanski circa 1977 Predator look.

Polanski would have to thank his old friend again in 2002, when there was a mixup on which night the folks at the Academy Awards were handing out the Oscars.    Polanski must have had the wrong night in his Franklin Planner because when Ford read his name as Best Director winner for The Pianist, Polanski was no where to be found.   The Director must have been relieved to catch the telecast via satelite, though, and see that based on the lengthy ovation that the rest of Hollywood didn’t have any values, either.    And good old Harrison Ford would later personally deliver the Oscar to his old friend.   

Being a Predator in current day America is a very traumatic experience.   Chris Hansen humiliates you on TV.  You go to jail for several years to do hard time.   You get released, and you can’t live in certain places.   When you move into a new neighborhood the cops knock on your neighbors door asking them to be careful not to send a housewarming apple pie over to the new Predator living in that green house on the corner. 

One can only hope that this will not now be the fate of the great Roman Polanski.  We should thank Roman Polanski for escaping his 1977 encarceration, otherwise we would have never been blessed to see his great movies produced while under French protection.     Hopefully he continues to have the support of his many Hollywood friends to help him get through this difficult time.

For more half-truths and outright lies visit the Small Ball Report at www.smallballreport.com

Charles Barrett, an extra wearing a white doctor coat on Grey’s Anatomy has filed a grievance with the Screen Actor’s Guild, he was the only actor on the Grey’s studio lot to not do one of those touchy-feely voiceovers in the opening episode.  

The coveted Grey voiceover is the narrated life lesson snippet at the beginning and end of each episode.   It is like the takeoff and landing for the viewer, serving as an introduction, and then a review of what happened.   These bookended narrations were once the exclusive role of lead character Meredith Grey (played by Ellen Pompeo).   However, early on the hit ABC show discovered that the Grey character was often pouty and whined endless dribble about father abandonment, an overbearing mother, and her on again/off again/on again/what’s the script say this week/quest to shag McDreamy.       

Charles Barrett (far left in doctors coat) with his meaningful role in the Season Premier of Grey's Anatamy.    The was he struck a posed for a third of a second should have been rewarded with a voiceover line.    Maybe he could have lamented about Bus Safety.

Charles Barrett (far left in doctors coat) strikes a meaningful pose as an extra in the Season Premier of Grey's Anatamy. Writers slighted his stoic half second effort and refused to give him a voiceover line in last nights seasons premier.

And so the show branched out and taught us new life lessons from the voices of Yang, O’Malley, and Izzie Stevens, as well as that ghost that was following Izzie around for an entire season.

The writers had a tough decision to make for the Season Six premier:  Who would do the voiceover?   It was made difficult by the realistic portrayal of O’Malley’s demise, where he succumbed to that American epidemic and now the 46,084th cause of death – man gets run over by bus and dragged liked OJ’s Nordberg character in the Naked Gun.    Who had the right moxie for the voiceover?  

The writer’s decision to let every bit character who ever scrubbed into the Seattle Grace operation room share the voiceover role has likely landed them in a big mess with the SAG.   The lack of sensitivies for leaving out Charles Barrett will likely sting the show with viewers.  

He was an important part of the show as he deftly positions his left hand behind his back and stands still while Yang and that doctor that gets laid a lot gallop past with beeping pagers.   Though an Emmy bid for Barrett seems unlikely, slighting him and not unmasking his feelings over O’Malley’s loss leave a gaping hole in this seasons narrative.

For more half-truths and outright lies visit the Small Ball Report at www.smallballreport.com

A week after a Clemson football fan’s nationally televised tirade went viral on the internet American Pie star Jason Biggs is speaking out against the backlash that he has received over the fact that the kid had copied his no parting hair style.

Jason Biggs above in 1999's American Pie gave the green light for young males to stop parting their hair.    Below a recent photo of Biggs with curls trying to distance himself from an insane look-a-like Clemson fan.

Jason Biggs above in 1999's American Pie gave the green light for young males to stop parting their hair. Below a recent photo of Biggs with curls trying to distance himself from an insane look-a-like Clemson fan.

The hair style where young males with really short straight hair choose to not part it to either the statistically most popular right, or left, or even down the middle, was made popular by Biggs, in his portrayal of desperately trying to get laid Jim Levinstein in the American Pie movies.

“I’ve taken enough abuse over the 3rd and 4th American Pie Movies and I wasn’t even in the 4th one, and now this,” Biggs told ACC Football Insider. “Just because a kid looks exactly like me and goes nuts over Clemson blowing a football game, doesn’t mean me and the dozens of other Americans that choose not to part our hair to the left or right need to get beat up over it.”

The Clemson fan, identified as Timmy Wilson of Greenville, SC had idolized Biggs performance in the American Pie movies. One would have guessed that was before he saw the debacle of the American Pie Wedding.   Wilson’s tantrum was caught live on tape by ESPN’s booth team of Chris Fowler, Craig James and Jesse Palmer.

Biggs remained defiant over his Clemson fan twin making a mockery of his monk like haircut, but meanwhile, in a move that may have been made to distance himself, new tabloid photographic evidence suggested that Biggs had started to grow and curl his hair.   This technique is popular with young men who have an aversion for combing hair parts to the right or left, in compliance with the rest of society.

For more half-truths and outright lies visit the Small Ball Report at www.smallballreport.com