A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

30 August 2006

Goodbye My "Baby"

Well, I was going to write something yesterday...but someone ran over and killed my cat...he was also dragged about 20-30 feet. Now, we live in a very nice development that doesn't have a lot of traffic...has a road with barely a two-car width...and also has 25 mph posted speed limit signs. But, unfortunately, save for a few people, no one pays much attention to it...I can't begin to tell you how many times I've reported the Wetumpka school bus driver, who I've clocked from my car behind, going faster than 45 down this narrow curving wisp of a road. Just imagine him trying to swerve out of someone's way at that speed with no shoulder and with the "Montgomery overlook" drop-off up fast approaching around the bend. Good luck, especially not wearing any seatbelts...I don't want to see what you or your passengers look like when they finally manage to winch your car/bus from 80 or so feet below.

Anyway...cats aren't stupid - they don't usually go dashing across the street when a car comes...my cat was only two-years-old...a gorgeous Lynx-Point Siamese (named Balthazar...but we called him "Baby")...so I wanted to take this opportunity here in my blog to say "thanks" to the person who apparently couldn't avoid hitting (and subsequently dragging) my cat at about 10:00 yesterday morning in broad daylight with excellent road conditions and equally favourable visibility...and of course I am sure they were indeed following the 25 mph speed limit. Lastly, from the "point of impact"...it seems they did indeed have to swerve...nearly hitting our mailbox...to "avoid" him.

27 August 2006

Trivia Pursuit

"Did you know he's 6'5"...supposedly the tallest actor to star in a leading role...and was born in 1922?" "He tries to use a different accent in each of his films." "Oh...she died at age 26, of renal failure, in 1937...the same year the Golden Gate Bridge was opened for traffic...in fact nearly a week apart." What do these things have in common? They are all things that I blurt out for no apparent reason whilst I'm watching a film, talking on the phone, or otherwise engaged in some form of conversation in which I somehow conveniently manage to work them into...yes, I am essentially the bar know-it-all, the Cliff Clavin if you will...of nearly useless information gathered from years of watching films and years of reading the Internet Movie Database (IMDb)...years of watching The History Channel, and years of other things I must have done because it's in there...in my head...for some reason. Sometimes I don't know how it got in there to start with...believe it or not...it baffles even me.

I think it has something to do with being the youngest child of the family. I have a couple much older siblings...who were teenagers by the time I came along. My mother always said that I actually did 'The Twist' before I could stand up unaided...pulling myself up in my crib while watching my brother's and sister's friends 'cut a rug'...literally...I was also told of the many rugs that 'Twisting' wore holes into. So...this unconscious listening to late 50's/early 60's records in my very early youth must have somehow gotten in and stayed there. Sometimes, very late at night, coming back from a trip to Atlanta, I'll put the radio on "auto-scan" and the oldie station will come in and I'll listen. Not "oldies" as in Zeppelin, kids...this is "oldies" as in what oldies actually were when I listened to Zeppelin...yes, I'm afraid to say it's "them oldies". But I know every word practically. How can I know every single word? I never listened to these when I grew up. I grew up, because I also had a sister five years older than me (by this time my brother and sister were out of the picture, i.e., out of the house) listening to secret messages of "Paul is dead" on Beatles records. Yes, I strung my fair share of beads. This was the 60's...I also know the words to all of Donovan's songs, too. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing...I just know they're in there...somewhere...stored in there with Freddy Cannon's "Palisades Park"...and "This Diamond Ring" by Gary Lewis and the Playboys. The fact I also knew this without the aid of "Googling" is even more disturbing to me the more I think of it.

Being the youngest child of the family...you have to grow up faster to gain acceptance I think...and to do this, you have to be able to relate to those around you who are older...therefore you are subjected to things much earlier in life than had you been the first born. So, the youngest child's tiny little infant brain has to make hardwire connections that it normally wouldn't do...and I think that helps in the long run with memorization of things you never realized you had memorized from such an early age. This also helps you remember things without much effort...or perhaps you just have to listen much more intently being the younger child as no one is going to repeat it...to "the baby". Oh, that's my theory and I'm sticking to it...at least it sounds plausible as to how all these songs ended up my in head and stayed there.

Unfortunately, for me, my siblings were not rocket scientists and literary scholars...as, frankly, I'd much rather be able to rattle off complex mathematical equations, Quantum physics principles and quote Keats and Thoreau...more thoroughly than I can remember the fact that Marilyn Monroe was born in 1926 and died in 1962...as the last two numbers are transposed. That's about as mathematical as I get...altho I do know that Marilyn Monroe badly wanted to be in a production of Dostoyevsky's 'The Brothers Karamazov'...sadly, that's about as literary as I get as well...but she also reportedly had sex with Albert Einstein...so I've now nicely linked math, science AND literature in one fell swoop. Let's see your average physicist do THAT!

So, I will have to remain content with the realization that my entire family never wants to play Trivial Pursuit with me...that 'Jeopardy!' comes on some weird time here...if at all...and that one day, probably in the not too distant future, I will have memorized the IMDb in its entirety.

By the way, in case you were wondering, regarding my opening paragraph...in order...I'm referring to Christopher Lee, Gary Oldman and Jean Harlow. Cliff Clavin was, of course, John Ratzenberger's character he played in Cheers...which, upon not doing well trying out for the "Norm" role, supposedly turned on his way out and asked "You guys do have a bar know-it-all, don't you?" They didn't...and he ended up getting a key role he himself created. Not at all bad for an irritating trivia buff.

25 August 2006

Our Plutonic Relationship

Well...Pluto has been demoted. No, nothing to do with Walt Disney or Mickey Mouse...the planet...or the "dwarf planet formerly known as a planet" is just too tiny a cosmic speck to be ranked up there according to the International Astronomical Union (IAU). For the next week or so prepare yourself for the onslaught of "planet envy" and obligatory "Uranus thrown in for good measure" jokes.

Now this is nothing new...planetary science has changed their minds lots of times...the Earth is not flat...the sun doesn't revolve around the Earth...Neptune has more moons than originally thought...but this changes everything. The effect is literally of cosmic proportions...Clyde Tombaugh will now be stripped of the honour bestowed upon him in 1930 of discovering the 9th planet...textbooks will have to be rewritten...those $8.99 glow-in-the dark mobiles they sell at all science stores will have to sport "take out the tiny one...no, not that one, that's Mercury...the other tiny one...throw it away" stickers...the very boring guy at the planetarium who's recited the same speech he's memorized and rattled off to visiting 3rd grade school groups since nearly 1930 will have to be "reprogrammed"...or worse...or...uh...maybe better yet - replaced.

But the thing that the IAU failed to take at all into consideration when they voted poor little Pluto off the solar system was the fact that the "My Very Excellent Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas" mnemonic acronym will now have to be totally revamped. Oh...this is not a very simple undertaking whatsoever...just imagine having to erase that "Roy G Biv" thing out of your head...or "Every Good Boy Does Fine"...sure we've all heard the alternate versions, "Deserves Fudge" and "Deserves Favour"...but it's like that "i before e" thing...or the "It's a Small World" song... it's IN there...it cannot be taken out or altered...it's just NOT done...what on EARTH were they thinking there in Prague today?

So, I call upon everyone out there to make up a new "planet order" version and send it to the IAU...well you can send it to me, too...but maybe a flood of emails to this scientific group will get them to rethink their decision...and revote. Come on, it IS a union after all, right...aren't they supposed to deal with changing demands...sometimes even on a universal level?

20 August 2006

The DVD Conspiracy

I had a dilemma I faced a while back...if you've kept up with my blogs you're going to hear it again for the benefit of those of you who haven't. The story goes a little like this: I never watched The X-Files when they first came out...by the time I wanted to, too many people were gaga over it and it would seem like I was going along with them all...like I was just another donkey going around in circles turning that millstone. So, I bade my time hearing my friends say they had to be home by whatever time and day it came on so they didn't miss the next episode. One by one my buddy list on my computer would trickle down to just one or two...talk about "spooky".

Years passed...and what I thought was just a passing fancy didn't pass...in fact it attracted even more people to it...it was like a horrible accident...people just had to stop and look. One day I thought I'd find out what all this fervor was about...I tuned in to an episode. All I can say is that it must have been the "Jersey Devil" one...because there was just no intrigue. THIS is what's been captivating the public for years now? THIS? I turned it off never to turn it back on until the Sci-Fi channel had it on a couple years ago. "Eh...why not...I've already seen the "Megastructures" show on The History Channel...let me have a quick looksie." I wasn't going anywhere...I was now hooked...only the dilemma I spoke of earlier reared its ugly head. The imdb stated that it ran for nine seasons...I looked up the one I was watching and it was smack in the middle somewhere. But wait!...FOX is also running their shows...and so is that TBS channel! This is great! Or IS it? Oh...season five at midnite, season two at 1:00 a.m...and season eight at 2:00-5:00? I'll NEVER be able to figure it out this way...maybe I can just buy them all? No, not at $90.00 a seasonal pop. Then someone suggested Netflix to me...I checked and for a mere fraction of the cost I could have them delivered to me and I could play them when I wanted and I'd have the added bonus of being able to watch the show for the first time without any influence of anyone saying I "have to watch"...and now I could be the one to disappear mysteriously off buddy lists. Payback time...and all for the low price of $17.99 a month for 3 dvd's out at any one time...most delivered to you the following day. Or so they claim...

So...I fill out all the little online forms and I'm going to get my three dvd's in the mail the next day! And lo and behold they come...The X-Files - Season 1 - disc 1, 2 and 3. This rules! I send them back...in the prepaid envelope they enclose (clever design by the way) to my "Nearest Netflix Shipping Facility" - in my case this means Birmingham, Alabama. By my calculations...given the fact that I could watch at least one of these 4-show dvd's in one night...and return it the next day...I could be finished viewing all 69 dvd's in...uh...well...did I mention the return envelopes were designed really niftily?

Now, please keep in mind these shows have a reason for the way they were released...one episode after the other...as they follow a plot and timeline (or at least 85% of their shows do)...so the one thing that you don't want to do...is watch them out of order. So, what's the first problem with Netflix that I encounter? They said they shipped the next disc, let's call it "disc 4" for the sake of easy identification purposes...to be due to me on Tuesday...and then I return disc 2 on Monday...which supposedly will allow the next disc on my list, disc 5 to be sent when they receive disc 2. I wait. Tuesday comes and goes...no disc 4...Wednesday...no disc 4...now I send out disc 3...and what comes in the mail? You got it...disc 5 on Thursday. Sill no sign of disc 4 by Friday and it's been sent out prior (supposedly) to disc 5. Netflix offices don't mail anything out on weekends...I am at a stalemate...I have the whole weekend and with no disc 4 to watch, I am not going to jump the gun and watch disc 5 out of order. Hmmm...a mail problem or done on purpose? I am from Jersey...we're skeptical there...so naturally I opt for the "on purpose" reason.

The following week disc 4 shows up...but this already has put a delay in the whole "watch a disc...send it back...we send the next one to you the next business day" process. But, perhaps it is an isolated event...I will go against my better judgment and give them the benefit of the doubt. After all, they couldn't do this to everyone all the time and get away with it, right? Things start going again smoothly...for a little while...and then a disc I've returned to them goes missing. Then one they've sent to me does. By this time I'm figuring they are doing this on purpose...sure, it's one silly disc to me...but you multiply that by a million discs running around there across the country and X amount of customers...that's a whole lot of delay that adds up. Adds up nicely in their favour. So, I get on my "bud list" and query some people..."Do you have Netflix? You do? Has THIS ever happened to you?" The response I get is overwhelming...anywhere from missing discs to "at least one wrong disc appearing a month". Oh sure, they are nice about "rectifying" the situation...they send you out a replacement one...the correct one they should have sent all along - but they don't take in account the time delay. One time I had a broken disc sent to me - it was a clearly done from their end...the envelope was pristine...the disc wasn't. It's reminds me of that old joke about the guy who buys a broken vase very cheaply for a friend...thinking his friend will assume it was broken in the mail...so he tells the merchant he'll take it anyway and here's the address to send it to. His friend calls a few days later and tells him about the broken vase. "Oh, my...that's awful...can't trust the mail, can you?" His friend agrees that is indeed so true...but it was very nice of them to wrap each broken piece individually. Busted! The vase AND him. Same here with the broken dvd...no way I'm going to believe there was not the slightest indentation, the slightest bit of tear or wrinkle on the envelope - but the dvd inside is nearly cleaved in two.

So...even with claims of "throttling" going on and a class-action lawsuit, Netflix continues to maintain their innocence...even tho they did agree to "settle" by "upping everyone to the next level for a month". Wow...let's see...so instead of getting my typical 3 dvd's late a month...I'll get 5?? Wow! What a great deal, guys!

13 August 2006

My "Tag" Line

I've been tasked to drive my son around since he was rear-ended a few weeks ago and his car is now history...something that has good and bad points. Bad being I have to drive my son around since his car is now history; good being that it gives me the opportunity to talk to him some more...my captive audience, so to speak. That has nothing to do really with this blog...but it was actually the impetus behind it...I was actually behind it when I said "enough is enough in this town...I'm going to write a blog about it...I have the power...I have the three people who read this...I owe it to all of mankind". Well, I didn't exactly say all of that...which part I said is what they commonly refer to in the "business" as "a trade secret". That fact that I'm not actually "in" the business is of no consequence to this story...sometimes I just like to whine about it all...and technically YOU are my captive audience at this moment.

I used to live in Jersey (that's New Jersey to those of you who aren't FROM there) until I was 26...I grew up driving in Jersey...and Pennsylvania once in a while. I can honestly say that in my "driving" years there I don't ever recall seeing anyone without a license tag (of which we had both front and back plates)...even the "Temporary Tags" were very few and far between. We also had state Motor Vehicle Inspections once a year...there's nothing more comforting than waiting in a line halfway to the shore only to fail your inspection...which meant you had 30 days to come back...wait in line all over again...and hopefully not fail...again. Now I'm not at all insinuating that Jersey was so much better than anywhere...sure there were morons who had their mufflers strapped onto the underside of their cars with a length of rope...I had witnessed people having to push their cars out of the inspection line due to various reasons...and I heard stories of people knocking their driver's side window out because as long as you didn't have one...you wouldn't get cited for not being able to roll it down and back up again. For the benefit of those of you who don't know...Alabama has no yearly vehicle inspection...their inspection consists of someone coming out of the Motor Vehicle Bureau when you first get tags for your car...and visually verifying it's the vehicle...and that the windshield wipers and horn works. A godsend really if you've grown up in Jersey...and failed as many inspections as I have.

But the thing I cannot understand in this town is how so many people...and I saw it again today driving to the mall to pick up my son...in fact I made a concerted effort to look at each passing car after I jotted down the mental note to myself to use this idea as a blog...have no license plates on their vehicles. This fact apparently goes totally unnoticed to the Montgomery police...maybe it's okay to drive around without plates...I never looked it up, altho I would figure the purpose of HAVING plates to begin with would negate that idea totally. I do know that in Jersey they'd stop you in heartbeat (or at least they used to) if anything was amiss with your plates...and again we had a whopping two of them to keep up with. I was stopped once...well, three times actually...driving directly home...after someone had swiped my rear plate from a shopping mall...so I know they paid attention. How I wish they gave me the power to pull people over and fine them for this infraction...I would have made $301,260 for Montgomery County alone. This year alone...and it's only August.

I, as the mindful, watchful eye of license tags since my arrival to this state 15 years ago, like to think I was wholeheartedly instrumental in getting Alabama State University's tag changed to something that the human eye could read. I don't know how many of you remember, but their tag used to have gold letters/numbers with what looked to be black scratch marks superimposed over the whole tag. Even when you were 10 feet behind this plate you couldn't make out half the alpha-numerics...certainly speeding away at the scene of a crime you couldn't get even one. I took it upon myself to write Alabama's "license tag" bureau addressing this fact and they were nice enough to write me back stating that they were happy to hear from me and letters such as mine were the ammunition which was instrumental in their taking a more in-depth look into the matter which ultimately resulted in the plates being redesigned. Chalk one up for being able to actually help make a change in this world...even if it was only a tiny one.

I also feel compelled to point out a major design fault with most license plate holders...you know, the ones that have your college, a saying, etc., which "picture-frame" your tags...why is it that most seem to crop the "state" right off? I don't know how many of you have taken a look lately...and I think I've mentioned it before in an earlier blog...but I believe Alabama is the state with the most differently designed tags out there (also look at the "License Plate Information" link at the top...then to "Distinctive Plates" menu). A whole slew of tags in fact that you'd never be able to identify again at a crime scene. "What state was it, ma'am?" "Uh...I don't know...I think it had an apple or a spaceship on it...I'm pretty sure it was blue or green." Used to be, long ago...that you knew what a Jersey tag looked like, what a Pennsylvania tag looked like, etc. without having to second guess yourself. I can still spot those...and the very boring blue on white of Virginia (whose DMV site sports the fact you can now get 180 different specialized plates)...but Alabama?? I just saw one today I had never seen before and I make a habit of looking at plates...then to make it even more difficult, they had that "tinted window" convex license tag covering obscuring the whole plate. Again, good luck making a tag ID as they are speeding away from you.

I know that Alabama is a lot more trusting of people than we ever were in Jersey...where we are not only born a skeptic...but we also marry it with cynicism, but you can't tell me that crime doesn't happen in this state or town...Montgomery already has had 18 homicides alone this year; Birmingham, 60. Most I know probably weren't driving cars when they occurred...but you have to ask yourself who would drive a car without tags constantly...and why? I don't think asking for a little step up on the vigiliance of non-plated cars is too much to ask...in fact it just might be the first step in stopping Montgomery's 20th...or 21st...or...

07 August 2006

Pride...Without Prejudice?

I am going to attempt to show an analogy...brace yourselves. I am a late owl...I might have mentioned this a few times before in my blogs. Now, if you've ever eaten very, very late (I do all the time)...and have been starving for hours, when you finally do eat...your ravenous appetite usually belies whatever you are eating and everything usually tastes remarkably delicious. In this same way, when you are up very, very late...everything gets funnier...I think the brain kicks it down a notch with the IQ points and you get a little drunk off the effect...if you've ever been drunk...things people say are funnier...unless you are male and in a bar...then apparently they tend to make you fight. But that part's not really part of the analogy...so you can disregard that. The point I'm FINALLY making is that, usually, when I'm up and it's late...things that aren't inherently funny...suddenly are fodder for all sorts of things. Just ask my son...we love to stay up, watch bad flicks and "MST3K" them. We are sheer comic geniuses. Trust me.

One would figure, given this adage, that anything I watch at 4:00 in the morning would be hilarious...or at least slightly amusing, right? Think again. I wasn't into putting on a Netflix DVD of MillenniuM (I am determined to watch every spin-off of The X-Files)...so I decided to flip thru the channels to see what was on. If you've ever been up at 4:00 in the morning...there's really not much choice other than infomercials and old films. I have absolutely no problem with old films...there just wasn't one on I wanted to catch...and I have an extreme aversion to infomercials. Not everyone with a fake British accent is an expert...altho they'd have you believing it's so. Ironic that I'd end up watching the BBC America channel, after that comment, but I did. I hit the guide and it showed "game show" for a program on titled "Without Prejudice?"...given the fact I've seen British game shows before...they are usually much fun indeed. So are the ones on the Spanish channel (complete with donkey and confetti)...and any Korean one I've seen...but that's neither here nor there...so I switched the channel to watch it.

The premise of this show, which ended up not really being a game show...but more like one of those reality shows where they vote people off...in fact this was precisely the case. They had a panel of five people and then they had six contestants...a female host presided over the whole affair. The object of the "game" was each one of the people would be voted off systematically until the final person was left to claim the prize of £20,000...roughly $40,000. How they did this all was the catch. I decided that they had indeed baited me enough and I was temporarily hooked.

How did they plan to crush each person's hopes and dreams, one by one? I'm glad I asked. They planned to do it by cunning...they planned to do it by methodic rationalization...they planned to do it basically based on looks alone.

First up they get each to tell a little about themselves...about 45 seconds of "impress the would-be dater who's watching this"-type of introduction. Then they had each member of the panel of judges explain who they wanted to shelve and why. One did indeed state that the bald-headed man she (a British transgender journalist named Sasha) was choosing to vote off was based solely on the fact that he wasn't "naturally" bald and had purposely shaved his head...and she believed that everyone who did this type of thing were of the "supremacist" mentality. Hmmm...and all the while I thought this gameshow was going to be about the contestant's prejudicial thoughts...boy was I wrong. The contestant with the most votes would be made to face the judges and tell a little more about himself and what they ultimately planned to do with the money, had they won it. This man, who looked to be in his early 40s, stated that he wanted to give a portion to his friend for some reason and had hoped to kick-start his lagging career as an offshore fisherman...possibly having enough left over to buy his own boat and make an honest living. The judges, especially Sasha, were utterly ashamed of what they did...hung their heads in desperation and shook them in total disapproval of their actions. They had just judged a person based on looks alone...even tho they had all heard that old adage..."never to judge a book by its cover".

Next up...a little more detail...cameras rolling on the individual contestants...their trying to win the panel over by sucrose-coating their growing up periods. One woman, named Geo, irked me from the start. Why? Solely based on my discriminatory hatred of her...but it was purely based on a very good principle...she was stating her father was some grand astrophysicist or something...and her mother held some other job that surely paid the bills...and she was always jet-hopping back and forth from their posh "north England" 10,000 idyllic farm to their lavish Miami Beach home. Then on top of it, her husband was an architect. Oh...she really needed the money, huh? C'mon...give it to someone who scrapes bottom from the get-go...give it to the deserving. You, my dear...aren't. So...if it were up to me...she would have been sent home packing...her Louis Vuitton luggage. I sat and waited...in mild anticipation (this show wasn't doing it for me...even given the late hour)...for them to draw the same conclusion as I did. And I was appalled! Sasha and the annoying git of a woman next to her (yes, I am going to toss out as many British words as I can think of)...the one with the multi-coloured spiked hair (I have spiked hair...I can talk) were on her side...they loved her! So...they voted someone else off. I forget which...the impression they forged in my brain...well, just wasn't very ironclad after all.

Work & Education: Well...lookie here...seems a few contestants have some issues..."I don't like kids...when I have to hold one, I'll do it for a while...but can't wait to give them back...I'm really selfish, really"...said one...to which the clean-cut young panelist remarked "she was very selfish and looked like an Oompa-Loompa" because, I figure, she was short and quite busty...and a tad overweight. Everyone let out a collective groan...in unison. But...he didn't mean it THAT way...or did he? Hmmm....prejudice again, huh? Next up: He's an accountant by day...a competitive body-builder by night! Well, Sasha is impressed...so are a couple others...but one or two think he's really self-centered...and how could he describe himself as "shy" in the earlier interview...he's only wearing a Speedo, for heaven's sake! Geo continues to annoy me...she needs to be voted off...NOW! My wish is about to get granted...I am doing well...I feel like I'm watching the Miss Universe Pageant...but as with that one...I know I'm just going to get disappointed at the end. I rather like the guy who has tried his hand at lots of jobs but keeps failing, the best...plus he likes to cook for his friends...fate has certainly dealt this man a raw deal. This poor guy needs a break...or at least his on-camera persona leads me to believe.

Now here's where they get creative...they have, unbeknownst to the remaining three, placed a hidden camera in a room where they are filling out some forms. Of course they are set up individually...with the same set up each time. A group of actors are also filling out forms, making small talk with the contestant, when in comes another actor who happens to be a dwarf...who states that he hopes to get in the final mix as he really needs the money. He then walks out...and the sting goes into full force...the actors crack some "short jokes"...remarking "do you think if he wins they'll only pay him half??" The "selfish" woman says a few things that aren't very glowing...the body-builder chuckles a bit but gets back to pen and paper straight away...but to my chagrin "my" favourite doesn't even wait for the joke to be made...in fact he hardly waits for the door to close...jumping at the opportunity to make short jokes and a belittling line of others based on a full five-second encounter. A five-second encounter, which was, by the way, very congenial...he even ta-ta'd the man with a good-luck wave. My hopeful candidate is quite obnoxious...when the cameras aren't rolling he sure shows his true self...and contrary to his outward appearance, it's not very pretty.

All are quite taken aback...they are aghast...how could ANYONE be so horrid...and most annoying...how could they have gotten THIS far beguiling me? They are all in contention this time around...this man is history...and let's hear what he has to say for himself once we march him out in front for all to see. He, true to his nature, defends his actions and is offended they would take offense. He mutters some "you'll get your comeuppance"-type of nonsense before he leaves the stage...everyone realizing that you can indeed be duped and charmed...and all in the span of one hour.

Showdown time...a face-to-face meeting of the last two standing...where the panelists get to ask some questions point-blank to the contestant and the contestant, in turn, gets to hypothetically vote one of the judging elite off. First up...the "selfish" lady who was likened by the one judge to an Oompa Loompa. Hey, what do you know...she's nice...she puts up a front because she doesn't want to show how vulnerable she really is. The panelist she'd axe is the woman who has remained the most quiet...and she justifies herself by stating it's "only because she was the least vocal" and as such was wondering what was really on her mind...whereas the others "you kinda knew what they were thinking already". Sounded quite plausible...and didn't deride her or any of the others. The body-builder makes his entrance...his quiet mannerism is an indication that he was indeed shy all along. He doesn't come across very well...isn't spontaneous like the previous woman...and refuses to "vote anyone off" as he doesn't want to "hurt anyone's feelings". The writing is on the wall...he just isn't as open as his rival...he's not as friendly...he's too introspective...so he must be hiding something...she wasn't...therefore she's more trustworthy...a fate, ironically, she just doled out to a panelist only minutes before is the same that ultimately doomed the man..."just too quiet."

Now comes the part where they tell each the news...and it's also time to confront each about what they would have used the money to buy. The accountant/body-builder guy? Well...apparently he really didn't leave much of an impression on me either...or he was indeed too quiet...I don't even remember what he planned to use his money for had he won. The "selfish"...or should I say "newly redeemed selfish" woman wanted to use it to pay some bills and for breast reduction. Upon hearing that, the judges simultaneously remember the mean-spirited words of the young male panelist...and smile little awkward smiles that the winner won't "get" until she watches the taping later. Will those comments bother her? Well...she did also "get" £20,000...you be the judge.

02 August 2006

Write On

I've decided, for the short haul at least, to commandeer my son's laptop so I can go online instead of limping along with my daughter's dinosaur. I'm also determined to write more frequently...as I've been in a depressing little slump for a quite a while. Perhaps it will snap me out of it...and be cathartic. Not that I think it will...I just wanted to use the word "cathartic" in one of these blogs once. C'mon...it was a nice segue.