Archive for February, 2018

Dante Had It Right

February 27, 2018

I had to stop by the DMV earlier and – just what the hell is it about that place? It sucks the life and hope right out of a body. I mean, I opened the door and saw the dregs of humanity … a sea of soulless eyes staring back at me. I couldn’t tell if they were silently pleading for help or warning me to run while I had the chance. (I did the latter.) And I’m by no means a snob but is there a DMV where the educated and cultured go? Because all the folks I’ve ever seen in line at my local DMV seem like the type of mouth-breathing yokels who’d be more at home in back alley crap games or juvie hall reunions than taking in the latest Indie flick at an art house cinema. Perhaps it’s just everyone, no matter what the breeding or the bearing, take on that look when entering that purgatory of public service. Like a virus or a plague, the DMV’s negativity is infectious and lethal. Hell on Earth. In fact, Dante’s “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate” may have been more apt over the doors to this sucking portal of Weltschmerz than the gate to hell. I’ve still got to go back and renew my driver’s license and I know that I’ve bloody well abandoned all hope.

Screw it! I’m chucking my car and Ubering everywhere from now on.


Night Heirs

February 23, 2018

I was woken up at about 3:30 this morning by muffled cries coming from my son Jake’s room. I grabbed the cricket bat I keep by the nightstand and rushed in, expecting to find him half out the window in the midst of an alien abduction or something. Instead, he was just sitting there, rocking back and forth on his bed, tears streaming down his face. He picked up his pillow and screamed into it and I sat down and asked him what the problem was. He just looked at me through red eyes and said – in pretty much the same voice that kid in the Sixth Sense used to tell Bruce Willis he saw dead people – Who would win in a fight – a bear with an assault rifle or shark with a hand grenade? I got up, went downstairs, poured him a glass of water, came back up and gave it to him. It’s moments like this that I’d like to comfort myself with the knowledge that he’s adopted or that Moira was unfaithful but I can’t avoid the stone cold fact that he’s mine and my genetic code runs through his DNA like a bacteria-resistant infection. “The bear,” I told him. “I worked it out in storyboard last week. I’ll show you tomorrow. Now, go to sleep. You’ve got ice skating drills in a few hours.” Armed with the solution to his dilemma, he settled in and was fast asleep as soon as he fell back onto the Teen Titans Go! bedsheets. Yep, he’s my boy all right. I can always recognize my particular brand of wacko.

February 21 Trivia Rankings

February 22, 2018

Thanks, Quizlings, for making it a great evening of Tomato Jake’s Wednesday Night Trivia! The weather was cooperative, we learned about the Winter Olympics and we had the first dog of the year in attendance (yay, Woodley!).

Along the way, we sussed out some cephalopod species, found Friends follow-ups and gobbled gross gaming agates. And there was this celluloid masterpiece of yesteryear…

Now let’s check out the rankings for the week and see how your team stacked up against the competition.

Off The Podium 67
Salchow Nip Slip 66
We Started This Cher S#!+ 65
The Crew Crushes Trivia 61
Sparky Still Won’t Follow Me On Twitter 59
Clothes Aren’t The Only Thing Being Stripped In Louisville 58
Army Of Two 57
We’re Hoping To Do Better Than Fergie 56
Two Kids In An Overcoat Posing As An Adult 55
Francis Scott Off-Key 54
The North Korean Olympic Cheerleaders 53
Destroying Trivia Like Fergie Did The Anthem 51
Pyeong F. Chang’s 51
I Can’t Explain Witchcraft 51
Trivia Athletes From Russia 51
Mr. Musk: Mars Magnate 48
No Collusion 47
Periodic Table Dancers 47
My Drinking Team Has A Trivia Problem 43

Chemical Reaction

February 19, 2018

How do you get rid of old batteries? I used to flush them but I didn’t think that was good for my septic system. Sometimes I like to drop them in those kettles that those bell ringing dudes have out in front of the Walmart, primarily because it’s convenient and they always thank you with a smile, but that’s only a few weeks out of the year so it’s scarcely a solution. Do third world countries need them? They seem to need a lot, you’d think old batteries would be on the list.

Meanwhile I got a couple of boxes full of these things that are just sittin’ around collecting dust and leaking chemicals. That can’t be healthy. Should my hair be falling out in patches like this and should my eyesight be this blurry? If I didn’t have such debilitating muscle degeneration, I’d haul these boxes down to the curb and let the garbagemen deal with ‘em!


Tales From My Screwed-Up Childhood #17

February 16, 2018

I remember a trip to Yosemite back in ’89 when my sister and I were at that angry sibling/annoying sibling stage. We were in the back seat and, about every 30 seconds, she’d slam her fist into my tender arm and shout, “Punch bug!”

“Punch bug!” Bam!

“Punch bug!” Smack!

“Punch bug!” Thwack!

“Punch bug!” Wham!

All the way from Louisville to Peoria. Finally, when I couldn’t take another slug, I screamed, “It doesn’t count when you’re INSIDE a Volkswagen!”

She just giggled like a maniac while Dad pretended not to hear and Mom knocked back another Jack & Coke. Worst road trip of my life.


February 14 Trivia Rankings

February 15, 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day, Quizlings! It was a lovely evening of love-themed questions and one lucky Quizling gets to go to Angus Barn! We’ll do it again next week, folks, so spread the word and come back for more Wednesday Night Trivia.

What happened? There was talk of Winter Olympic gold medals, popcorn products and the sweetest game on Earth. Plus there were these two examples of seventies gold…

Now here are the rankings for the week. See you next time!

I Gave Up Lent For Valentine’s Day 71
Cher Is Glen’s Valentine – She Just Doesn’t Know It 70
Ashes To Ashes, Crust to Crust 68
Florida Bobsled Team 67
USA – Worst Place To Watch The Olympics 60
Ali Misses Her Mom 60
Gregory The Big Purple Dinosaur 59
Will You Kiss My Monkey? 57
Over 250 Years of Knowledge We Can’t Remember 54
Another Little Pizza My Heart 54
We’re Stoked For Trivia 52
Something Olympics? 47
It’s Not Valentine’s Day – It’s A Tide Ad 45
Looks Like I’m Going Solo 43

Claw Your Way To The Bottom

February 10, 2018

It’s happened again. Another kid got stuck in a claw machine.

I think it was Florida or thereabouts but it doesn’t matter if this was Mars because it’s one more time than it ever should have happened. Same applies to last time. And the time before and the time before and – well, you get the idea. In fact any time after the very first time is one too many. I mean, I’ll give you one. One time. Just so we can have something to talk about and recollect. “Hey, ‘member that kid that got stuck in that claw machine that one time?” “Yeah, that was sick, yo!” Now it’s all, “Daaaamn. Another kid got stuck in a freakin’ claw machine. Are these dudes messed up or what?!”

It really is getting to the point that we need to react not with amusement or scorn but with the cold discipline of logic. So once a child crawls into a claw machine we seal up the claw machine (as we systematically spay and neuter the parents) and ship it off to a special island or facility where the child can be adopted by people who can instill a modicum of common sense. Once there, we can raise all the claw machine children as a special army or workforce or volunteer corps or whatever the hell society needs most – and, before you protest with cries of slavery or injustice amid the throes of whatever liberal guilt or political correctness that grips you, just understand that whatever fate befalls these claw machine moppets it will be a damn sight better than anything that awaits them as children of parents who ALLOW THEIR DAMN KIDS TO CRAWL INTO CLAW MACHINES!

Seriously. Let’s just stop this crap before social services gets involved.


February 7 Trivia Rankings

February 8, 2018

Thanks to all the Quizlings who made it out to this week’s Wednesday Night Trivia! Always appreciated.

Next week: It’s love, exciting and new! Come aboard, we’re expecting you to be apart of our Valentine’s Day massacre. (Wait, did I say “massacre?” That can’t be right.) We’ll have some love-themed questions and give away a $50 Angus Barn gift card. So save your Valentine’s revels with your sweetie for the weekend and join Tomato Jake’s for trivia next Wednesday.

This week? We took home medals at the Winter Olympics, ate some Girl Scout cookies and got filthy. Plus there was this marine chatterbox…

Now here are this week’s rankings. See how your team stacked up.

How ‘Bout That Parade? 68
Raining On Trump’s Parade 67
We Wish It Was Summer So You’d Give Us Free Ice Cream 66
For Sale: Used Tesla, Only 92 Million Miles 66
Not Clapping = Treason 65
That Halftime Show Really Could’ve Used A Nipple 65
It’s Quizness Time 63
Supercalifragilistic, Antibraggadocious 61
Space X – 1, Patriots – 0 59
Going For Trivia Gold 58
Fly, Pizza, Fly 50
The Slippery Oysters 48
Melania, Blink Twice If You Need Help 44
Bud Lite 24

Tales From My Screwed-Up Childhood #8

February 5, 2018

When booking entertainment for your child’s birthday party, do you go clown or magician? Maybe you could get a comic magician or a clown that does a few card tricks, but really it’s a basic choice that even the best of parents have lost sleep over – clown or magician? Clown or magician? Or, hell, you could do what my parents did and pay a homeless guy five bucks to make balloon animals and pull a rabbit out of his hat. Only he didn’t have a hat. And that was no rabbit!



Babe… I got you, babe…

February 2, 2018

Since February 2 is the day normally set aside for the quaint observance known as Groundhog Day, it occurred to me that most people don’t honestly give these little critters a second thought any other time of the year. Shame. The groundhog is a versatile, widespread mammal, deserving of attention. And so, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the animal.


1. Groundhogs are rodents of the family Scuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots.  They have thick fur, a stout body appearance and laser vision for stunning their prey. 

2. Groundhogs are also known as woodchucks, land beavers and whistlepigs. They are sometimes called “the libertarians of the forest.”  

3. Common predators for the groundhog include wolves, coyotes, bobcats, bears, hawks, owls, deer, foxes, turkeys, sea snails, tarantulas, cochlear implants and artists of the Romantic movement (1800-1850). Pretty much everyone hates the furry little bastards.

4. The world’s most famous groundhog is undoubtedly Punxsutawney Phil, fabled for his weather prognostications. Phil is looked after by a group of enthusiasts known as the Punxsutawney “Save the Bearded Owls” Club. A select group, called the Inner Circle, also plan the annual Groundhog Day celebration. Members of the Inner Circle are recognizable by their top hats and tuxedos. Yeah, these guys don’t date a whole lot. 

5. When alarmed, groundhogs use a high-pitched whistle to warn the rest of the colony of potential danger. This allowed the early Algonquians to use them as an primitive version of the whoopee cushion. 

6. Although many sports teams use animals as their mascots, no professional or college team uses the groundhog. There are beavers, wolverines, lions, bears, badgers, wolves, wasps, turtles, tigers, squirrels, rams, penguins, panthers, mules, owls, kangaroos, griffins, mastodons, eagles, falcons, ducks and cougars. But no groundhog. What? It wasn’t fierce enough? The University of California at Santa Cruz has the Banana Slugs, yet somehow groundhog doesn’t convey the appropriate amount of menace. Are you kidding me?   

7. The Bill Murray film Groundhog Day, which was set it Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, was actually shot in Woodstock, Illinois. As a result, the governor of Pennsylvania declared war on the state of Illinois. The resulting skirmish lasted for three months, killing hundreds of thousands of citizens on both sides of the conflict. 

8. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Two cords. Exactly.

9. Despite the name “ground-hog”, they are not made of sausage and are not associated with sausage products. Although the practice of “watch the sausage in the hole” exists, it bears little relevance to weather forecasting.

10. Broiled, poached or roasted, they taste like chicken!