I’m always the last person to learn the important things. In the course of killing my comment spam — once an occasional chore, now a daily chore — I noticed they all seem to end up in the same entries in the archives. So I took a look at them, and found the key phrases (which I’ll try to modify to foil the spam-bots): “Ru$# L1m8augh’s drooog problem,” “n0n-pr3sc1pshun sl33p a1ds.”
Anyway, the comment spam’s coming fast and furious the last few days, as are the e-mail viruses. Pity you poor PC types, I do. Today I killed an appalling 52 spam-comment entries for ch33p p!11s onlyne. Mofos.
OK, then. A few weeks ago, on Memorial Day, we drove back to Ann Arbor listening to NPR. They were doing one of those hey-maybe-we-went-to-Brown-but-we-are-hip-to-the-hoi-polloi stories, about a song they promised would be the radio hit of the summer of ’04, something called “Redneck Woman.” (Warning: Link contains embedded sound.) This piece, which I think covered a 10-minute segment, went on and on and on and on, to the point that I thought, OK, it’s a holiday weekend and the pickin’s are slim, but this is ridiculous.
Now it’s late July, and Alan’s been working around our house like a field hand, earning his keep and more. So when he wondered the other day if I’d mind if he took a 36-hour fishing vacation, of course I said no, and that’s what he did, hauling the pretty green boat off to the Muskegon River for some badly needed R&R.
Only it wasn’t entirely blissful. Even though it was a Monday, he was besieged all day by drifting tubers, all of whom were, in his words, “drunk and ugly and with ugly, drunken children. Also stupid.”
Now, the habits of Michigan river travelers have been well-documented — you’ll recall the famous cussin’ canoeist case of a few years back. Alan reports that the threat of prosecution has not cut down on anyone’s willingness to scream profanity at the top of their lungs while canoeing and tubing.
Also, to sing “Redneck Woman.”
“They kept singing that part about And I ain’t no high class broad / I’m just a product of my raisin’ / And I say “hey y’all” and “Yee Haw” / And I keep my Christmas lights on, on my front porch all year long,” he said. (Actually, he said “they sing that part about ain’t being no high-class broad,” but I added the lyrics for clarity; I think they sum up a certain southern Michigan demographic like none other.)
I hasten to add Alan is not a priss about drunks or profanity, but “Jesus Christ, Nance, this is a river 75 yards wide and every goddamn one of them ran into my boat! Ran into it!” And then said, the way drunken tubers everywhere do, “You catchin’ anything?” And Alan said, “I was.” But they never took the hint.
Note that this hardship did not stop him from spending 13 hours on the river. As they say, a bad day fishing is better than a good day doing pretty much anything else.
I’m pleased to say my writing project is going better than I expected, and I’m perking right along. So, bloggage:
My fellow Buckeyes may enjoy Slate’s look at our home, the swing state. We spawned Jerry Springer and Harvey Pekar — can Indiana make the same claim? I think not.
An offbeat Tour de France feature on the man who was thought to be Lance’s greatest rival, Jan Ullrich. Turns out he maybe has a motivation problem, also a fluctuating-weight problem, and a party problem, and a no-worries-mon problem: “Look at it through his eyes. He says, `I can screw off, gain a lot of kilos over the winter, get serious for a month, finish second in the Tour, and make $3 million a year. What’s so bad about that?’ ” former Telekom teammate Bobby Julich said. Well, when you put it that way… More here.
Finally, some people think college towns get boring when all the students leave in the summer. Well, they’re wrong. Especially about Ann Arbor, where the rash of seminude cyclists continues unchecked.
You’ve been a great audience. See you tomorrow.