Invariably, when I travel, or when I see a friend I haven't seen in a while, and I tell someone I live in New Orleans, I always get, "what's it like there?" Most of that is genuine concern from the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. People who know, know, and people who don't, wonder if New Orleans is the first ring of hell, or if it is just a continuous on-going party.
The power outage at the Superbowl last night, just made me laugh. My reaction was, welcome to New Orleans. In reality, the power outage surprised absolutely nobody who lives here. What's it like living here? Well, that is hard to quantify. I will try. First, there are 4 bridges into the city. If any of those bridges are closed, you really can't get there from here. You can, but you really need to circumvent the entire city to cross one of the other bridges. Now, there is a challenge with those bridges....2 of them are toll bridges, one of which is a perpetual traffic clusterF, and the other is deeply tied to the elements, meaning if the fog is too thick (often) or the wind blows too hard (often enough), you aren't using that bridge.
The other 2 bridges have been the subject of building/refurbishing projects that have seemingly gone on since the last century. As a result, those bridges are often, randomly closed, without warning or notice, unless you count the blinking sign at the bottom of the bridge. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have been going to point X, only to be thwarted by a bridge closure, which invariably adds an hour to your destination.
Second, if you don't want to use the bridges, ferries are an option, if they are running, which, they may, or they may not be. Again, you will not have notice if they are, or aren't. They might not be running, just because of an impromptu fireworks display on the river (it happens).
Third, your trip to anywhere, may be delayed because of an endless pothole in the road, the stoplights just aren't working, a city bus is broken down in the middle of the road, or, your street is randomly closed because of a parade, lingerie run, marathon, jazz funeral, second line, or a donkey died on the street.
Then there are the most efficiently run aspects of the city. New Orleans is great at 3 things. New Orleans does three things better than any city in the universe. Tows cars, write parking tickets, and write stop light tickets. These cops are the ninjas of the law enforcement industry. You won't see them, but if you are parked illegally for more than 2 seconds, you will get a ticket. Now, challenging the ticket...that is impossible. That is like getting elected pope impossible. You know people have done it, but you don't know how or why, and you cannot get any city employee to explain it to you. And if you do, they will be under indictment by the end of the month, and their replacement will not be able to explain it to you.
When these things happen to you, time and time again, you just become defeated, and just sort of write it off as some sort of soul tax for living here.
But why is it then, that you do live here? And why is it that when people move here, like me, they never leave? I hate New Orleans. By god I do. But I've been here for 13 years, and it does not appear I'm going anywhere. Why then? Well, it is because we have random fireworks displays. It is because, there is always something to do on Sunday night, or Wednesday night, or any other night. It is because the food here is better than anywhere else. It is because, despite the daily murder, the kid who lives next to the murderer can play the trombone better than anyone else on earth.
It is because the tattooed hippy chick you wouldn't pay any attention to in Iowa, makes the best sauce picante you can imagine. It is because you can be black, white, asian, or whatever, and nobody cares. It is because, nobody cares who you marry, or why, they just love what you've done with your house. It is because everybody has a costume in their closet. It is because on any Wednesday in the spring you can hear Grammy winning artists for free, and drink cheap beer in a park, and look at amazing art.
It is because in 8 days, this city will throw the world's biggest free party, and encourage everyone to be as drunk, obnoxious and decadent as possible, because that's what this city does....and New Orleans will do it, and everyone will look at this place, and say, wow, those folks are nuts, and we will look at you, with a coconut in one hand, a big ass beer in the other, a neck full of beads....and say, oh yea, that's right, for you, its Tuesday.
Several of you who follow me on facebook, know that when I'm not beer commissioning, I work as a legal eagle, and I frequently post my Tales from the Courthouse. I have literally received hundreds of emails from people asking me to write a book, which I've pretty much knocked out. Of course, it isn't published, and there isn't exactly a line forming at my door seeking to publish it, but in any event...it exists. For those of you who are interested, I'm going to post just one little story from the book. Feel free to comment, good, bad or indifferent. I hope you enjoy!
I see my son dealin’ DRUGGGGGGGGS!
I was appointed to represent a man who was charged with distribution of cocaine. He had just been released on parole after serving 8 years on a 10 year sentence. When a person is on parole, they are in effect, on probation, and if they get in trouble during their parole time, they risk being revoked and having to do the balance of their sentence.
This particular client was arrested for distribution of cocaine a day or two after he was released from jail on his previous sentence. When I went to see my client in jail, he told me, he wouldn’t deal drugs, because he just got out of jail, and ‘he’d be stupid to commit another crime and go right back.’ One thing I always believe is when my clients tell me they are stupid. If they ever raise the stupid argument, I just assume that is in fact what we are dealing with, and start working from there.
In this particular case, the client happened to sell his cocaine to an undercover police officer, and the entire crime, was conveniently on video tape. “Fortunately” my client had an alibi. He had his momma, who swore up and down her son was with her, when the crime in fact went down. His momma told me, “she was braid’n his hair”.
I watched the video of the crime with my client, and the video was not great quality, and the guy in the video had a big afro, and my client had braids. I certainly couldn't tell beyond a reasonable doubt it was my client. My client continued to insist it wasn’t him in the tape, and momma continued to insist my client was with her at the exact time the alleged drug deal went down.
The assistant DA offered a plea deal of 2 years, essentially allowing my client to revoke his parole, do his remaining 2 years, and then drop the new charges. I recommended to my client he take the plea deal, in light of all the other evidence against him. The risk of going to trial and being found guilty meant getting as much as 50 years on a sentence. My client, of course, rejected the deal, because that was the stupid thing to do, and we went to trial.
The trial was a disaster in every way possible. The police had done everything perfectly. When they arrested my client he had their marked money on his person, the officer positively identified my client. My only hope was that momma could sway the jury. I put momma on the stand, and she testified she was braid’n her son’s hair, and he was with her at the time of the crime. On cross examination, the district attorney played the video tape for the momma. The district attorney asked momma, what do you see in that video? Momma responded, “I see my son dealin’ druggggggs!” My client is eligible for parole in 42 years.
Your Beer Commissioner just returned from his annual pilgrimage to Missouri to visit the Commissioner-in-laws, and to otherwise celebrate Thanksgiving. On the beer related front, we stopped at the Schafly Brewhouse in St. Louis, had a great lunch, and sampled some beer.
I know what you are thinking? Beer? The Beer Commissioner doesn't write about beer, the beer commissioner writes about strippers. Everyone knows, a visit to my in-laws is not complete without a visit to the Fantasy Ranch. Sadly, my dear readers, August 28, 2010 is a day that has changed the visits to my in-laws forever, or at least until a more pagan administration overtakes the governor's mansion in Jefferson City.
You see folks, on August 28, 2010, the fine people of the Show Me State, decided they didn't want strippers to show me anything. The Show Me State, decided that strippers are no longer allowed to strip. There is absolutely no nudity allowed in strip clubs within the state of Missouri. Of course, I didn't know there was no nudity allowed in strip clubs in Missouri until Mrs. Commissioner and I dropped $40 to gain access to the Fantasy Ranch.
As you can see, from last year's epic trip to the Fantasy Ranch, Mrs. Commissioner and I were more than eager to get back. Mrs. Commissioner attempted to pull the free coupons off the Fantasy Ranch website prior to making the journey, as she and I are both loathe to pay cover charges at strip clubs. A combination of a dial up connection at the commissioner-in-laws, a dot-matrix printer, and we had no luck getting the free-coupons printed. Mrs. Commissioner decided she would just show the door guy the coupons on her i-phone when we got there. Turns out there is no 3g network in the middle of nowhere Missouri, so we had to drop $40 to get in the door. The disappointment level didn't stop there.
The first thing I noticed upon walking in the door, were the absence of glowing neon signs reading 'Totally Nude Bed Dances'. I figured, since we were there early, maybe they hadn't turned them on. It turns out however, they were just gone. Mrs. Commissioner and I sat next to the stage. The first young lady was twirling around, and I noticed, she was wearing pasties. Never, EVER a good sign. Again, I figured this was a day shift thing, maybe? But, again, no.
Anyway, after a short while, the night shift girls took the stage, and things started looking up. First on stage was the lovely and talented C.J., the star of last year's trip to the fantasy ranch. C.J. did her two songs, and not one article of clothing left her body. Not a single one. She literally could have walked off the stage and into a Sunday school class and nobody would have said anything.
At this point, my disappointment is overwhelming. I ask the bartender, what on earth is going on. She then tells me than on August 28, 2010, the State of Missouri made it illegal for strippers to take off their clothes in strip clubs. No nudity allowed whatsoever. She then told us, the Fantasy Ranch was the last operating 'strip club' in the state. Mrs. Commissioner and I sat around for another hour or so, and watched what turned out to be the worst burlesque show ever conceived. Several girls asked us if we wanted "VIP lap dances", but informed us, they wouldn't be getting naked. This is like asking me if I want to drive an Indy car and then telling me I can't take it above 55 mph. What's the point?
For some reason I feel like I lost a family member. All my future tales of adventure from Cole Camp, Missouri are now going to be limited to going to the Elk's Lodge, and listening to stories from the good old days at Cole Camp High and the Fighting Blue Birds. I have no earthly idea what knucklehead thought it was a good idea to get rid of strip clubs, but they ought to be thrown out of office immediately. My personal entertainment is at stake. If any other state tries this stunt, I'm organizing a boycott. Thank goodness I live a stone throw from Bourbon Street. Surely they won't try that stuff here.
I have noticed a trend whenever I post something remotely political on my facebook page, I lose about a dozen 'friends' and usually get a hate email or two. Mind you, I never post a political view, I just post an article, usually about someone being stupid, or hypocritical. I had one person deem me a toothless redneck for posting something about global warming being made up, and I had someone accuse me of a being a country, destroying liberal for naming President Obama the most-pro beer president ever.
Someone once told me, never to discuss politics or religion on a first date, or in business. Well, I'm not on a date, and I haven't sold a t-shirt in about 6 months, so really, what customers am I about to upset? Friends, I'm about to talk religion. I'm going to blaspheme. This morning a read a saddening tale about a teenage girl in North Carolina who was suspended from school for wearing a nose-ring. She said she is required to wear the nose ring as a bona-fide religious belief. Is she a hindu? No. She is a proud member of the Church of Body Modification. Folks, I'm not making this up. You can read the article here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100916/ap_on_re/us_rel_piercing_church
This lucky lass, even snookered the ACLU into representing her. I got to thinking, if there can be a Church of Body Modification, then by Beer, we can have a Church of Beer. In order to have a bona fide church, you need to have bona fide beliefs. That part is easy. I believe I'll have another beer. I believe I'll buy more beer. I believe I'll serve my friends ice cold beer. I believe beer should be sold for less than $8.42 a bottle at Larry Flynt's Hustler club on Bourbon Street. I believe instead of serving wine at communion we will serve beer and pretzels. Beer will represent, essentially the blood of Beer. Pretzels will represent, Beer's favorite food, served by a host.
Everyone knows you cannot have a religion, unless you have a celebrity get amped up for it. Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and the woman from Cheers that does the Jenny Craig commercials are already taken by the scientologists, but, as best I can tell, George Wendt, who played Norm from Cheers is available. Perhaps the Church of Beer could have Norm talk about the benefits of the Church of Beer communion.
Another great benefit of the Church of Beer, tything. Yes, we get to guilt people into giving 10% of their beer money to the Church of Beer. This would be for no other purpose than for me to build a big house, buy a fleet of Bentley's and a Gulf Stream, but any legitimate religion needs to raise funds. And as the founder of the Church of Beer, these funds would all come to me. I'm sorry folks, that's how it has to be.
Lastly, as Grand High Ayotollah of the Church of Beer, it is my intention to send the Little Deputies, who would immediately be ordained Bishops of Beer, to school with coolers of beer to hand out on the play ground. Afterall, it is a firmly held belief that we are to serve our friends ice cold beer. I'm thinking there is no way the ACLU can't find
A week or so ago, a friend of mine, who is in beauty school, sent out an all-points bulletin that she needed models to come to class for a haircut. I sent her an email and volunteered for said modeling duty. It turns out, 8 X 10 black and white photos were not necessary. In fact, the only thing that was necessary was that you were willing to get a haircut from someone in beauty school. I was more than game for that. Your Beer Commissioner doesn't lose alot of sleep over his hair. I have no products, and don't know where my wife's blow dryer is. In fact this morning I washed my hair with Mr. Bubble 3-in-1 no tears shampoo. My basic hair concern is that I'm not bald, which for someone on the Express Train to 40, is really my only bow to vanity, much to Mrs. Commissioner's consternation.
I do not have a haircare regimine, and Mrs. Commissioner half-heartedly jokes with me, EVERYTIME I get a haircut, not to come home looking like I got a free bowl of soup with my haircut. Needless to say, I was more than happy to volunteer to model, and let the lovely and talented Lara loose on my locks. Mrs. Commissioner was not as pleased with my plans. Now, she didn't tell me NOT to do it, but she just politely suggested it might not be a good idea. I went anyway, because I gave Lara my word. As an aside, at the same time, my wife was getting her hair done, at her regular stylist, who charges upwards of $38,000.00 for a haircut. Apparently today, he was giving out cherry cake to ease the pain.
I showed up at the salon at the appointed time, and was met by a very beautiful woman, who immediately asked me, "are you a model?" I'll let you guess how many times I've been asked that question upon walking inside ANYWHERE...I politely replied, Yes, yes I am. She asked who I was there to see, and I said the lovely and talented Lara. I saw Lara, there were hugs, and I was seated. The first thing she did was give me a release form. Really. I had to sign a release. Honestly, I didn't read it, but I'm pretty sure I absolved the Aveda Institute from anything they may ever do to anyone, any time, anyplace.
All in all the haircut turned out great. Lara is well on her way to being the next Christoph. But, seriously, if you've ever seen my hair, you know it is pretty hard to screw up. So, afterwards, I called Mrs. Commissioner and asked her if she wanted to have lunch. She told me she was about 45 minutes away from being done. I told her I'd wait, and I actually went to the mall. Seriously, the mall. About 45 mins. later, Mrs. Commissioner calls, and says she's going to be a little while longer, and we decided not to do lunch. So, I went to the food court....then things got funny....Apparently after Mrs. Commissioner hung up the phone, she decided, oh shit, I have to see my husband's hair. She started text messaging me like a fiend, telling me she NEEDED to see me for lunch. I think the only thing I currently like more than being called a model, is to be told I'm NEEDED by my wife. WOOHOO! So, I called her, and it turns out, she just wanted to see my hair.
My wife just wanted to see if her husband looked like a 5 year old was let loose on my hair with garden shears. So, we went to lunch, and I just drank some ice-cold Peroni's while she had some crab claws and stuff. She decided my hair looked 'nice'. I'm not sure what she was expecting, but she sure as hell didn't treat me like a model. (sigh)
In my 39 years on this blue rock, I had never been to Disney World. My parents never took me there when I was a kid, but then again, we did live just a very short distance from Hersheypark, so I've been there alot (and it is better than Disney World). A couple of weeks ago, me, Mrs. Commissioner and the Little Deputies headed to see the Mouse.
I'm not sure what I was expecting. You win the Super Bowl, apparently you immediately NEED to go to Disney World. Figure skating gold in the Olympics, express flight to the Mouse. I think I was expecting an amusement park the size of the Grand Canyon. I was surprised it wasn't that big.
We spent a day at the Magic Kingdom, and one day at Epcot. The lines were not oppresive, as I had been led to believe they were. There were surprisingly few roller coasters. The little deputy and I rode Space Mountain. As we got off the ride, I asked my blossoming 5 year old roller coaster enthusiast what he thought, and he replied, "it didn't go upside down".
When I told some of my friends about going to see the Mouse, EVERYONE suggested I drink beers around the world at Epcot. As Beer Commissioner, they just thought that I should drink 13 different beers in 13 different pretend countries. That is an excellent idea in theory. There is only one small problem in practice. I simply forgot to get a second mortgage on my house before I left on the trip.
We went to Epcot on the first day. Mrs. Commissioner, who is simply the greatest wife on the planet, made reservations at the German Biergarten. She knows how much I love Germans, and she knows how much I love beer. And she knows how much I love the chicken dance. All of those things were at the German Biergarten. There were 6 people in our party. The Biergarten is an all you can eat buffet, which means the little deputies ate chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. I had exactly 1 beer, 2 potatoes, some sauerkraut, 3 sausages, and a piece of chicken.
We heard some great German beer drinking songs,and then they brought the bill. There were no prices on the menu, and in fact, there was no menu. I was thinking the bill would be in the $120 ish neighborhood. Sadly, I wasn't even in the neighborhood. I had to pawn my autograph book to a 7 year old to pay the bill. After getting the bill, I did get more pudding, but didn't dare order another beer.
That night, when we got back to the hotel, I immediately checked my stock portfolio. I secretly prayed the market went up. I didn't know how I was going to fund the rest of the trip. After buying dinner, lollipops, a spray bottle with a little helicopter propeller on it, and 227 bottles of water, I calculated I spent the Gross Domestic Product of Andorra. I did figure out why they call it the happiest place on earth. They aren't talking about the parents. They are talking about the big smile Mickey has when he walks to the bank every day.
The Little Deputies had fun, which in the end is all that counts. I did not drink the beers from around the world, as I determined, it would actually be WAY cheaper to actually travel all around the world to buy the beer, but I had a good time watching the boys have a good time.
Life is filled with mystery. Some are more intriguing than others. The Bermuda Triange is very mysterious. Where is Jimmy Hoffa? Back in the day, the biggest mystery was who shot J.R.?
Speaking from a hopsian point of view, I am constantly in amazement at people who drink light beer. Really, what is the point? If you are on weight watchers, a light beer still accounts for 1200% of your daily allowance of points. I'm not on weight watchers, deal a meal, or any such other diet, so I drink the real stuff.
There are other things that amaze me personally. Things I don't get, don't understand. You may get them, or understand them, which is fine.
I don't get Sarah Jessica Parker. She isn't cute, isn't talented, isn't funny, yet she is famous and makes millions of dollars doing what she does. On the flip side of the coin, you have Gal Holliday and the Honky Tonk Review. You probably haven't heard of her, which is a shame, because she and her band are incredibly talented, gifted and wonderful entertainers, very easy on the eyes, and probably don't make millions of dollars, but really should. The band has more talent than anyone in Nashville with a record label, yet they aren't famous, and I don't understand why.
I don't understand soccer. Everyone was entranced with current World Cup. Watching 22 guys kick a ball back and forth for 90+ minutes to finish in a 0-0 tie just isn't my idea of compelling sport. Billions of people think I'm wrong. So be it.
Professionally, I do not understand why my clients lie to me. Happens ALL the time. In many cases I'm the only one that can help them, and they lie to me. Seems silly, but it happens all the time.
I don't understand how my 4 and 5 year old can run around and play all day in 95 degree heat, and literally go full-blast for 12 straight hours, and I spend 8 hours in an air-conditioned office, sitting in a chair, and I come home exhausted.
What I really don't understand though, is the exercise we just finished at the Beer Commissioner World Headquarters. It is an exercise that takes place every other Wednesday evening. It is called the clean the house for the housekeeper exercise. We have two very lovely ladies that come to our house and clean it. They do a great job and even fold the toilet paper into little flowers. When they are finished you can eat off the floor, the walls, or any other surface you desire. You can do all the white glove tests on this house you desire, and you'll find nothing. They are wonderful. Yet, every Wednesday we clean the house for the women that come to clean the house. I'm not complaining. I for the most part do what I'm told, when Mrs. Commissioner tells me to do it. The exercise just makes no sense to me. I certainly don't clean the gutters before the gutter guy comes. I don't wash my car before I take it to the car wash. I'm only asking the question rhetorically, as I don't want an answer, especially from Mrs. Commissioner, because I imagine the answer will be something along the lines, because she lives with 4 guys are we are all slobs, or something of the sort.
I was reading the news, and saw a story a few days ago that Stephen Hawking believes in aliens, but believes we shouldn't try to contact them because they may hurt us. First, why is this news? and second why do we care? My guess is Stephen Hawking is about to start selling some type of alien detection system at $599.99 a pop so that you will be the first person to know that you are going to be vaporized by aliens. This kind of alarmist news is what gives the Beer Commissioner a viagra induced hard-on. The only problem with Stephen Hawking's prediction, is that you can't blame EVERYTHING bad on it, like global warming.
So, I sat down in the chair in my butter colored office, and came up with a global crisis that nobody can do anything about, that will cause the destruction of everyone, that can be blamed solely on Republicans, and be a financial boon to Al Gore. Otherwise, what's the point of having a global crisis?
What is this crisis you ask? Excessive gravity. You heard me. Excessive gravity is the cause of everything evil in the world. I can prove it too.
To start a true global crisis, you need a scientific study. I have one. The study was done by the Rand Corporation, entitled Weight Gain Trends Across Sociodemographic Groups in the United States, by Khoa Dang Truong, M.Phil and Roland Strum, P.hd. This study looked at the weight gains of Americans from 1986 until 2004 in the United States. Other countries were not looked at, because if there is a global crisis, it can only be caused and/or fixed in the United States. So, who really cares if people gained weight in Chad? Excessive gravity isn't likely to excessively impact Chad anyway, as there isn't alot of stuff in Chad.
Our study concluded that poor people gained weight each year from 1986 until 2004. The study also concluded black and hispanic folks gained more weight than rich republican types of people. So, clearly we have different dynamics at work here. Either the study is racist because otherwise it seems unfair that black and hispanic people would gain more weight than rich republican types, or there is a natural cause....a REASON people actually gained more weight. The reason...excessive gravity. People didn't really gain more weight, they stayed the same, it is just that the earth's gravitational pull weighed on those persons more than the rich republicans. Why not the rich Republicans? Well is it a coincedence Ronald Reagan was president when this study started? I think not. Is it a coincidence Rush Limbaugh started his radio show shortly after this study began? I think not. Conspiracy types call up Governor Ventura, his book needs another chapter.
It is a fact, people gained weight. It is a fact, these people didn't try to gain weight. It is a fact these people are surely not the cause of their weight gain, so something had to happen. Excessive gravity is the only conclusion. What other effects does gravity have? We know that gravity controls the tides. Because the gravity is excessive the tides are higher and more extreme. These high and extreme tides caused the tsunami in Indonesia, Hurricane Katrina and are the reason the Maldives are soon to be completely under water.
Excessive gravity has also caused all the recent earthquakes. The excessive gravity is pulling on the earth's tectonic plates too much, and is causing the rumblings all around the ring of fire, and is sole cause of the recent spate of geological activity. The excesssive gravity is also the cause of the volcanic eruption in Iceland. The excessive gravity caused the magma to just squirt out from under the earth and blow to the surface.
Lastly, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Corporate ineptitude? Negligence? Malfeasance? No, a platform collapsed. Why? Excessive gravity. If we don't do something soon, excessive gravity is going to cause every other oil platform in the world to collapse, possibly as soon as tomorrow afternoon.
Kids are also doing poorer in school. The cause? Excessive gravity. Kids are getting headaches from the extra force put on their brains by the gravity, and they are unable to complete their work. Democrats of course, have been warning us for years that the kids have been doing poorly in school. Republicans have ignored this excessive gravity hoax, and blamed the poor results on crappy schools, teachers and unions. Democrats argue the Republicans indifference has caused yet another generation of kids to go uneducated through no fault of their own.
Polar bears are dying at alarming rates, because the seals are sinking because they can't swim with the excessive weight caused by the excessive gravity, and if something isn't done to increase the bouyancy of seals, our great, great, great grandchildren may never see a polar bear.
Fortunately it is rumored, Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore have a plan to stop excessive gravity. Supposedly they will propose a 9000% percent increase on sugar so people will actually lose weight. This will have the effect of the earth not putting so much weight on the tectonic plates, causing fewer earthquakes. They have also suggested that all new buildings should be built with bamboo products. Surprisingly, Al Gore and Harry Reid have formed a company that will import bamboo from China, and have cut deals with the Chinese government to import all the bamboo we need so that lighter buildings can be built, easing the burden on the tectonic plates. Republicans, of course, oppose this.
Al Gore and Danny Glover are making a movie about excessive gravity. The movie shows what the earth looked like during the Carter administration, when everyone was skinnier, and what it looks like now after 20 years of Republican presidents. It is foreboding. Rumor has it, they are going to win Oscars.
President Obama also weighed in on the excessive gravity issue. Today he issued an order stopping all offshore drilling. Of course, it was Republicans who so eloquently stated, drill baby drill!, thus firing the first salvo in the anti-excessive gravity movement. Well, apparently they aren't believers that excessive gravity is going to cause every oil platform in the world to collapse. The President however is. Just remember, you heard it here first.
It's been awhile since I blogged, as I've been quite busy working. But fear not, your Beer Commissioner is here. Many of you may not know it, but your Beer Commissioner fancies himself a bit of a presidential historian. Dan McCollough I am not, but his books are wonderful, and I highly recommend you read them.
As many of you know, President Obama has been in the news alot lately. Something about the healthcare system, or what not, but President Obama also made some beer news. I certainly understand if you missed it, but it's true. President Obama made a bet with the Prime Minister of Canada on the USA-Canada Gold Medal Hockey match. Probably one of the best hockey games ever played, or so everyone says, but I was at a little kid birthday party (without beer) and missed the whole thing.
Last week, the President paid off the bet. I'm not making this up. President Obama sent the Prime Minister of Canada 2 cases of Yuengling. Two cases of the Beer Commissioner's favorite beer. Being that I'm a minor league presidential historian, and being as I AM THE Beer Commissioner, I got to thinking, maybe President Obama is the most 'pro-beer' President of all-time? Hell, the Norweigians gave him the Peace Prize after he had been in office for a month, I think after 14 months, I can declare him the most pro-beer president ever. After all, I'm the Beer Commissioner, and if I can't declare President Obama the most pro-beer president ever, who the hell can?
Let's look at the record. I think its best, we eliminate presidents first. Rutherford B. Hayes would be eliminated immediately. His wife was called lemonade Lucy because they were famous teatotallers. Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover are also eliminated. Any president worth his salt would never preside over an era of prohibition where booze couldn't be sold at all. Thomas Jefferson is eliminated, because everyone knows he was a wine drinker. George W. Bush is also eliminated. Poor guy gave up drinking. Richard Nixon was a world renowned scotch drinker, and Kennedy is out, because his family were all scotch people. Millard Filmore is also elminated, because, frankly, nobody named Millard can't be the most pro-beer anythingt. President Clinton is out, because we all know he preferred cigars. Jimmy Carter is a possibility, because he was afterall, a peanut farmer, and beer goes GREAT with peanuts, but he was also a Southern Baptists, and any good baptist knows there is a fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning (all credits for that line go to Jimmy Buffett). William Henry Harrison is eliminated. He was only president for a month. That can get you the Nobel Prize, but not the coveted most pro-beer president ever award.
So, we are left with 30 presidents that are eligible for the prestigious award. And there are several good candidates. George Washington brewed his own beer, but little else is known for his beer advocacy. Lyndon Johnson kept beer on tap in the oval office, which is good, but he taxed the hell out of it too. Bad....He's gone. Gerald Ford had Coors shipped to the White House from Colorado. That's pretty impressive, but little else is known about his beer loving. No other president really has a pro-beer track record that I know of, which brings us to President Obama.
Who could forget the beer summit? I blogged about it. I was given special access to the President, Vice-President the cop and the professor's sit down meeting, over beers to discuss race relations. President Obama recently had a physical, and his doctor told him, to cut back on the beer. Not cut back on the wine, the steak, the cigarettes, but the beer. Look at the health care bill. Nobody knows how the hell this thing is going to be paid for, but there sure are alot of new taxes to help. Higher taxes on income, dividends, capital gains, taxes on tanning salon visits, sugar, tobacco, gas. There are new taxes on just about anything you can conceive of, but one thing. Beer. No new beer taxes. Are you kidding me?
And then, he bets the prime minister of Canada. There are lots of great things in Canada the President could have asked for. He could have asked for the other half of Niagra Falls. He could have asked for Michael J. Fox, or Caroline Rhea (and I personally think Caroline Rhea is a mega hottie of the highest order). He could have asked for polar bears to put in algore's movie. He could have asked to have the captain of the Canadian women's curling team to sit in on cabinet meetings. But no, what did he ask for? He asked for two cases of Canadian beer. I'm not kidding. It was a beer versus beer throwdown. Even if you lose, you win? Are you kidding me? This man is dedicated to his suds, and for that, I salute you Mr. President.
Folks I'm not saying anything about the man's politics. But, he has his beer priorities in line, and I'm all for it. The evidence is clear, and President Obama, is quite simply, the most pro-beer president, ever.
Today marked the end of the Little Deputy's first basketball season. Our team made it to the Final 4, before gracefully bowing out in a hard-fought contest. The day did not end without some fireworks from some little league parents. Before I discuss the idiot dad from my team, I think a little background information is necessary.
Several years ago, I coached my step-son's baseball team. I coached his team for 3 years, and for the most part had great parents, and great kids. I really LOVE baseball, and love teaching kids the game. About 5 years ago, I 'gave up' coaching because of the parents. My step-son was playing in a 7-8 year old, coach pitch league. Basically, the 'coach pitch' was a pitching machine. The league DID NOT keep score, every kid got a trophy kind of thing, which I think sucks, but that's another blog for another day. However, this was the first year the kids play with a REAL baseball, and not a hard foam ball.
Believe it or don't, we have a draft for these kids. There isn't a try-out, all the coaches get in a room, and just pick the kids. I employed a rather simple draft strategy that has two components, 1) do I know the kid, or 2) does the kid have a hot mom? Answer yes to either of those questions, and chances are you will be playing for my team. Anyway, 5 years ago, I drafted a kid that fit into category #1. The kid played on my team the year before, and I liked the kid. I liked the kid alot. He hustled, he tried really hard, and he loved to play. Well, apparently, his parents had a problem with me. This kid's dad went nuts when he found out his kid was on my team. The dad felt that I 'wasn't competitive enough'. And the dad declared himself the 4th assistant coach of 'the competitive coaches'' team, so therefore his son had to play for that team. So, anyway, the league arranged for a trade, without discussing it with me...whatever...let's just play ball. However, the kid they traded to my team, had the little league parents. Little League parents, are parents that have visions of grandeur for their child. They see their child as the best at ANYTHING they attempt to do, and do not like facts, or reality question their vision for their child. These parents however, do nothing whatsoever to help their child achieve the visions of grandeur, but they do have no problem whatsoever casting blame on anyone that comes in contact with their child that they feel is either impeding upon or hindering their child from their own vision of greatness.
So, the kid that gets traded to my team, I'll call, Lupus. I'm not going to say Lupus is the worst player that ever set foot on a baseball field, but he was way up there. Lupus couldn't catch, had no clue what base to run to, which turned out not to be a problem, as he wasn't in any danger of ever hitting the ball. Lupus's main problem was, he didn't want to play baseball. His parents MADE him play. Lupus was dutifully assigned to right field, where he would sit down in the grass and play with the clover. If a ball was hit to Lupus, he didn't run after it, he didn't get up from the clover. Lupus's parents however thought their son was the second coming of Joe Dimaggio. Lupus's mom and dad HAD NO PROBLEMS telling me how I should coach Lupus. His dad suggested to me that putting Lupus in right field discouraged him so much, he didn't want to play. Lupus's mom and dad BEGGED, REQUESTED and ultimately demanded that Lupus play the pitcher position. I wouldn't let Lupus play the pitcher position, because 90% of the balls were hit in these games went straight to the pitcher, and 1) the kid couldn't catch, and 2) he didn't pay attention. I calmly and politely explained to the parents I feared for their son's safety, and would not put him in harm's way. After a 15 game season, Lupus's dad was just getting downright nasty with me, and at the last game did everything but threaten me with a lawsuit if I didn't let Lupus play pitcher. I relented. God loves me, and wants me to be happy.
As God, Lupus's mom and dad, Mrs. Commissioner and everyone on the field as my witness, the FIRST PITCH OF THE GAME, my favorite batter of all time hit a glorious line drive right off the bridge of Lupus's nose. Blood, crying, agony, pain, followed by Lupus's parents walking their child to the car and off the field. He is now on the swim team, and rumor has it, won't even watch baseball on tv. Despite the glorious end to that season, I retired from coaching.
Fast forward 5 years, and suddenly I'm Brett Favre, out of retirement and coaching again. The little deputy wanted to play basketball, and I decided to coach. I have 11 kids on my team. The league has a rule, that EVERY kid on the team must play one full quarter, start to finish. Fortunately, we had a really good team, and had several blowouts, so I had to put my best players on the bench in the 3rd and 4th quarters. So, virtually every game this year, every player on my team played nearly 2 quarters. The little deputy, wasn't the worst player on the team, but I would say, at least at the start of the year, was the least enthusiastic. Consequently, no child on the team played less than MY CHILD. Another child on the team, who I will call Junior, was probably 9 out of 11 in skill level on my team. Junior is a good kid though, and I like him alot. I do not like his dad, Senior, or his mom, Bitchzilla.
Earlier this year, Bitchzilla approached my assistant coach after a practice, and complained to her about Junior's playing time. She said, she wanted him to PLAY MORE. My assistant coach, pointed out, that in the previous game, we only had 6 players, and her son had in fact, PLAYED THE WHOLE GAME, just how much playing time did she want him to have? They then got into a discussion about his playing time in practice. To quote, Allen Iverson, "we are talking about practice"....My assistant coach was confused, because we don't play games in practice. We do drills, we shoot baskets. So, we don't hear anything else from them again, until today.
We are playing our quarterfinal game, and we are winning the game, 14-5. Junior had played the entire second quarter, and he had played the last 2 minutes of the third quarter. I put in an entire new lineup to start the 4th quarter. Seconds after the 4th quarter starts, Senior gets up off his 400 pound ass, and waddles ACROSS THE COURT, during the game, and sits on the bench. He says to me, "hey coach, you need to put my son back in, he hasn't played enough." I looked at him and told him, I was coaching the team, and told him to go sit down and watch the game. I sat there and just stewed for the rest of the game, which we won. We had about 4 hours between the first game, and the second game, so I was at home, and I got a copy of the league rules. I highlight the portion of the league rules that show each kid is to play a minimum of one quarter. When we get to the second game, I walk up to Senior and show him the rules. I tell him, this is what the rules require, your son played more than that. He looks at me, and says, I don't need the rules. I tell him, I don't need any more coaching advice. He says to me, 'did I offend you?' I say to him, yes, you offended me, when you walk across the court and demand that I put your son in the game. I told him, if he doesn't like how his son's team is coached, then next year he can volunteer to coach.' He then says to me, I don't like how aggressive you are, you need to get out of my face.
I have spent the rest of the afternoon just furious pissed off. I can't stand these little league parents, that don't practice or play with their kids at home. They do not offer to help at all at practice or games, and then feel they are entitled to demand playing time for their kids. If you are one of these parents, do everyone a favor, and have the neighbors bring your kids to the game, or better yet, don't sign them up at all. However, if your kid really wants to play, and you are either a bitchzilla mom, or, as a dad, you can best be described as an insatiable dick, sign up to coach your kid's team. I assure you, no other parent wants to deal with you, or your coaching suggestions.