Chaiming In: Reader Participation Required

Today dear reader, I assault you with a variety of trivial questions, to be responded to in kind via the 'magic comment' feature. I expect, of course, the sounds of crickets and an orphan gently weeping. On to the show.

-The Cubs are faltering more than my old 1980 Ford Granada. Get the D-Bags out of my life. Something about them just ain't right. They reek of an Independent League team (Schaumburg Flyers) that crashed Bud Selig's non-alcoholic kegger. Now I'm saddled with flashbacks of both Nam' and the 07' NLDS. These kind of annual hitting slumps are usually reserved for the blustery throes of April. Also, either every honkey on the Diamondbacks has a goatee or they're showing an inordinate number of shots of Chad Tracy. Either way, I'm filing a grievance.

-The details shall emerge soon (I'm confounded as to why they haven't already), but the first weekend in August marks an epic gathering in Chicago of nearly all of the Saloon bartenders, dubbed 'Thunderfist 08'. Everyone from Tommy Buzanis to our California brethren will be in attendance. Cubs vs. Buccos, bleachers on Saturday, August 2nd. If you're a local, or happen to be in town, we encourage you to meet up with us at The Gingerman Tavern after the game so that you can buy us a round of beer and breathlessly tell us what your 'favorite column EVER' is. We'll make sure we all wear Cubs shirts so that we're easy to spot.

-Ladies and gentlemen, Tommy Buzanis is about to dock the Orifice Penetrator and come straight into your living rooms (Literally. Look behind you He's passed out standing up behind your curtains.) Look for Tommy's account of his recent trip to England (for reals) tomorrow. It's short, filled with mishaps, and contains lots of laughs, much like his sexual endeavors.

-If you still have that damn Mamma Mia! song stuck in your head (thanks Funk), re-read my review of The Dark Knight. Judging from the box office numbers, many of you probably saw TDK. What did you think? Did you need to wear a jock strap to keep your dick from getting dirty?

-Apparently everyone is going ga ga over this Watchmen trailer. It peeks my interest enough to make me think about my first graphic novel purchase. (Nerd siren sounding.) Has anyone read it? I even noticed on iTunes that the Smashing Pumpkins song used in the trailer is one of the Top 10 downloads of the week.

-My overtly creepy man-crush on bearded comedian Zach Galifianakis has been documented on this site before. His three new web commercials for Absolut Vodka are a study in subtle humor. Genius! (And suitable for work viewing) Watch them here, here and here. On the not-so-subtle comedy spectre, I'll review Step Brothers later this week.

-Finally, I leave you to chime in on a debate that has raged amongst the Saloon bartenders via email thread for a solid month now. Chicago Style hot dogs. Yep, that's right. It started months ago, when Governor Gray Davis outed himself (in more than one way) as a ketchup sympathizer, slathering the red sauce all over his juicy wieners. As both a Chicagoan and someone over 5 years of age, I cried 'blasphemy'! A raucous and rather mean-spirited debate followed, with lines drawn in the sand and brass knuckles polished. It had seemingly died down until I mentioned that for our Thunderfist 08' meal at my humble abode, the menu would include, yes, 'Chicago Style' hot dogs. I was chastised (mostly by the Californians) for the use of the term 'Chicago Style'; as if I had somehow made it up on a pretentious whim and that it hadn't originated as far back as 1929. I mean c'mon. Chicago style pizza. New England Clam Chowder. New York Style Pizza. Philly Cheesesteaks. Kansas City BBQ. Iowa Tenderloins. Listen California, I'm sorry that you're more famous for silicone (not that we Midwesterners can't appreciate that) than good cuisine (LA Style Red Bull? The Hills Style Parliaments? The California Roll? Rice A Roni?); but until you can contribute more than just Cobb salads and Tofu burgers to the national consciousness, you have no say in the palettes of grown ass men. So I open it up to the floor. How do you like your wieners? That seems like a good question to end on.

Rants: The Cubs lack of hitting, the post 9/11 recession

Raves: The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth, American Teen, MGMT, Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee, Palermo's frozen pizza

*In keeping with the 'reader participation' idea, feel free to share your rants and raves too.


Now here's a background template that I can get behind. Hi-Yo!

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