Who smells smoke?

One last all-bloggage day as things wrap up on my horse-eating project:

My friend Ron French has a pretty good story in today’s DetNews, a tick-tock on Flight 253:

Passengers throughout the midsection of the airplane stood up to investigate a noise some described as a popped balloon, others as a firecracker. A flight attendant, unable to locate the source, asked passengers to sit down and buckle up because the airplane was traveling through turbulence.

Jay Howard could tell the noise was close. He asked his seatmate if he smelled smoke, but Abdulmutallab said nothing. The Nigerian still had the blanket pulled up to his chin, but something was different. Small wisps of smoke wafted from below the blanket.
Howard lifted the blanket, and a billow of smoke rose toward the ceiling and spread across nearby rows.

One thing I don’t understand: What did they feed the guy — or what the guy fed himself, before or during the flight — that would overcome the natural pain response even a brainwashed terror-zombie would feel with his pants on fire. I mean, when you read this…

Abdulmutallab’s hands were inside the front of his pants. Abdulmutallab pulled them out. Both hands were on fire.

…you gotta wonder. The other passengers said he looked “like a zombie.” I don’t doubt it. However, the line between “stoned enough to feel no pain while setting one’s pants on fire” and “still alert enough to carry out the plan” has to be pretty fine.

Bart Stupak is getting hate mail, and it’s not even from his constituents. Has this ever happened before in the history of the House of Representatives? I don’t think so.

Fun fact to know and tell: Rough population of Stupak’s district, i.e., the Upper Peninsula of Michigan: 300,000 and a smidge. Area: 16,452 square miles. And you thought all the wide open spaces in this country were west of the Missouri River.

Why I never donate to telethons or benefit concerts: It’s like wetting your pants in a navy-blue suit, only less effective for alleviating suffering.

Finally, a link to the newest trailer for “Treme,” the new David Simon series on HBO. This one features John Goodman as Ashley Morris a foul-mouthed college professor who bears a passing resemblance to one who used to hang out in our very group, plus, as Laura Lippman points out, the obligatory HBO-show pole dancer. It is, however, safe for work, i.e., the Ashley-swears are snipped and the pole dancer keeps her bra on. Enjoy.

Posted at 9:45 am in Current events, Television |

26 responses to “Who smells smoke?”

  1. Dorothy said on March 18, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Oh that clip from Treme was great! I’m so looking forward to enjoying the acting talents of so many folks from The Wire again. I’m not sure but I think I spotted Ron Glass (Barney Miller series) in the clip. I’ll be checking his credits at imdb.com to see if it was really him. April 11th can’t get here soon enough, boy.

    edit: No, Ron does not have Treme listed among his credits.

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  2. John said on March 18, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Ron Glass was spectacular in the Firefly series a few years ago.

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  3. nancy said on March 18, 2010 at 10:35 am

    My favorite Ron Glass scene, from “Barney Miller,” of course:

    RG: Address?
    Some guy being booked: 2937 Honeybear Lane.
    RG: [A look]
    SG: It’s in the suburbs.
    RG: I guessed.

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  4. MarkH said on March 18, 2010 at 10:39 am

    For you oldsters (like me) who remember: great, gravelly-voiced Alex Chilton, lead singer for the Box Tops, has died at 59.


    Didn’t realize he was so young (17) when he recorded “The Letter” and “Cry Like A Baby”. RIP.

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  5. nancy said on March 18, 2010 at 10:39 am

    I think the guy you think is Ron Glass is actually Allen Toussaint, Dorothy. Lots of musician cameos in this one, I b’lieve.

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  6. Dorothy said on March 18, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Yes that might be him, Nancy. The person I saw went by awfully fast in the clip. Time will tell.

    I still catch some Barney Miller episodes once in a while on WGN out of Chicago. I see it via DirecTV on Sunday evenings. We still like to do the lines from the show where the guy thought he was a werewolf (character’s name: Mr. Kopechne!). Breathing heavily, scratching his armpits, bellowing “My teeth HURRRRRRRRRRTTT!” and Nick Yemana hollering for Barney.

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  7. Jeff Borden said on March 18, 2010 at 11:07 am

    “Barney Miller” was one of my favorite comedies of all time and it was reportedly the most popular cop show among real policemen who appreciated the ironic humor.

    I recall an episode where Wojo brought in a plate of brownies baked by his girlfriend, who had laced them with pot. Old, anciet Fish ate a couple, then later sprang into action, running across a rooftop to capture a burglar, who professed amazement that such a decrepit guy could catch him. Fish was beaming until Barney told him about the marijuana brownies. In perfect deadpan, Fish said something like, “The first time I’ve felt great in 30 years. And it’s illegal.”

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  8. LAMary said on March 18, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Schleswig-Holstein has a Festival Orchestra?

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  9. Jason T. said on March 18, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Bart Stupak wanted to be a martyr. So, he’s a martyr. He ought to be happy.

    My heart bleeds for him.

    Luckily, I have health insurance, unlike 46.3 million people, so I can get my bleeding heart treated.

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  10. Sue said on March 18, 2010 at 11:29 am

    “Luck­ily, I have health insur­ance”
    For now.

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  11. Sue said on March 18, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Apparently Stupak is so tone-deaf he’s even willing to piss off nuns. Nuns!

    ‘Congressman Bart Stupak, D-Mich, responded sharply to White House officials touting a letter representing 59,000nuns that was sent to lawmakers urging them to pass the health care bill.

    ‘The conservative Democrat dismissed the action by the White House saying, “When I’m drafting right to life language, I don’t call up the nuns.” He says he instead confers with other groups including “leading bishops, Focus on the Family, and The National Right to Life Committee.”’

    Because when you’re making decisions that affect your female constituents, the first folks you call are Catholic bishops and James Dobson. I hope those nuns go after him with a ruler or eraser, from the back, pronto.

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  12. MichaelG said on March 18, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    From what I see here and there Stupak is fast moving up in the laughingstock sweepstakes.

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  13. Jason T. said on March 18, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Sue, it’s funny you should mention that.

    There’s new video out of Bart Stupak and his brother visiting with a representative of the nuns.

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  14. beb said on March 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I think my favorite Barney Miller line was when Ron Glass was trying to explain to some juvie that the life of crime was no good. UnfortunatelyI don’t remember the actual line but it was someone like how he could do something that young boy couldn’t — sign a line of credit with dignity.

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  15. The Quiet One said on March 18, 2010 at 12:41 pm


    I think it was:

    RG: I have something that you’ll never have.
    Kid: What?
    RG: Credit. You ain’t nothing until you can sign for something with your head held high.

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  16. Cynthia said on March 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Barney Miller is being re-run every Sunday night by WGN in Chicago from 9:00 to 10:00 pm. I believe most cable companies carry WGN.

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  17. Peris said on March 18, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Nancy, did you arrive at that conclusion about the Prof. Morris role yourself? I had the same thought a few days ago.

    BTW, I spent the weekend in NOLA, and the lower Quarter and Marigny were basically shut down all Monday for shooting (including vehicular access to my lodgings). Watched a scene shot right in front of the hotel that night. I will need to find a friend with HBO ASAP to see it, though.

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    • nancy said on March 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm

      When I heard the character was a college professor, I had my suspicions. Simon confirmed them via e-mail, something he’d shared with some NOLA bloggers earlier. The character is “inspired by” — i.e., some verbiage and attitudes, but not a strict copy. Which I think is a nice tribute. If I could only hear the FYYFF speech, or part of it, I’d die happy.

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  18. Bob (not Greene) said on March 18, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    You get Barney Miller on WGN everywhere but in Chicago. Here you get those goddamn CW shows. Boo.

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  19. Sue said on March 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Along with WGN, I get another Chi station called “MeTV”, which also runs a lot of older shows. I’ve been watching Mary Tyler Moore, which was one of my absolute favorites when it was on, and I’m surprised – it’s not that funny. And Mary, fashionable gorgeous Mary, really needs a meal on that show. Someone feed her.

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  20. Peris said on March 18, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    And then there’s this on Simon and Treme in the NYTM: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/magazine/21simon-t.html?pagewanted=3&hpw

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  21. Dorothy said on March 18, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Mary Tyler Moore has been an insulin-dependent diabetic since a young age and she is now nearly blind because of it. She also had a problem with alcohol. Her weight was probably the least of her worries.

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  22. Julie Robinson said on March 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    After reading about Treme for months, I finally looked the word up, and include the link for others who didn’t know its meaning: http://www.citydictionary.com/LA/New-Orleans/Treme/3656/

    I felt a little dumb that I didn’t know any of this, even the correct pronunciation.

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  23. Kirk said on March 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    From yesterday’s thread (I didn’t check in until today): The Grumpy Gourmet, despite some health problems, is very much alive and kicking, and he still gets out to dine at numerous places. Hasn’t reviewed for The Dispatch for a number of years. He made the mistake of doing a radio endorsement for some restaurant, and that was the end of that. I still check in with him from time to time; he’s still the same irascible guy.

    He once took me to a place called Dave’s Exotic Grub, where we ate rattlesnake, buffalo testicles, crawfish, gator and other interesting critters. (The balls were sliced and tasted kind of like chicken liver.) The place also had bear, boar, moose, cobra, etc.

    The producer of the video indeed is his son, a talented photographer and videographer.

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  24. Dexter said on March 19, 2010 at 12:56 am

    Athens has a police presence in the streets tonight, reports Clarence Page on Facebook. Athens, Ohio that is…the kids are stunned cuz the Bobcats beat the mighty Georgetown Hoyas in the big basketball tourney last night.
    I had forgotten Mr. Page is an alumnus of OU.

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  25. Lex said on March 20, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Not to pick nits, but MI-01 is more than twice as large as that, Nance — about 658K, per Stupak’s Web site.

    All of the CDs that are not entire states have to be roughly equal in population, per the Constitution, so that figure kind of jumped out at me. Sorry.

    Lex, +3.

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