Sounds funny.

I had a colleague back in the day. Southern guy. Had a way with profanity, which always sounds better in a drawl. “How you doing, Steve?” I’d ask.

“I’m busier’n a dawg with two dicks, that’s how I’m doin’,” he’d say.

One day he answered, “Wahl, I really wish I hadn’t put a hunnert pounds o’ Turf Builder on my lawn this year.”

Yeah? Why is that?

“Cuz I’m mowin’ twice a week. It’s growin’ like Cambodia.”

Whenever I consider my lawn in spring — untreated with Turf Builder, I might add — I consider that phrase. Growin’ like Cambodia. For six weeks it’s done nothing but rain. I’m watching a robin hunt at the moment, and it’s the size of a chicken, so plentiful are earthworms at the surface of the saturated turf. The world is so green it’s positively Irish, and even though I know it won’t last, I’m going to enjoy it a while. If nothing else, it’s too wet to mow.

Not that that will stop the lawn services. Thursday is the day my neighbors on both sides have their appointments, and for about an hour, you cannot have a conversation in my bedroom with the window open. It’s maddening. I tell myself to consider the alternative. I tell myself that with a four-man crew, they’re done quickly. I tell myself many other things, many featuring swear words. If I really wanted peace and quiet, I’d move to the ghetto. Gunfire makes far less noise than you’d think, and it’s over faster.

Since Alan got into shooting, that’s been the big revelation: Real gunfire sounds nothing like it does in the movies. In movies, shotguns go boom; in real life, they go crack. In fact, all guns crack, pretty much, at least the ones I’ve heard. I remember Westerns of old, when in gunfight scenes every fourth shot was sweetened with that ricochet sound effect — pop pop pop p-chew. Actually, Westerns are veritable aural forests of wrong sounds. The guns sound wrong, and the horses are always neighing. Spend any time at all around horses, and you realize they’re actually pretty quiet animals. They nicker at feeding time and blow their noses from time to time, but you can go weeks without hearing one neigh. A few of the mares would whinny when they were in heat, but once I moved to a professionally run barn, where the mares are given hormones to keep that sort of thing in check, you never heard it.

(Lest you think this sort of thing is cruel to the mares, I can say only this: Wait until one stops dead in front of you, spraddles her hind legs, raises her tail and “winks” at the gelding you’re riding. You’ll change your mind.)

And lest you think I have the wrong shotgun, one sunny afternoon in Fort Wayne the cops shot a charging pit bull with their cop-issue pump-action shotgun, and it also sounded like a crack. A very loud one, but nothing like the throaty boom you hear on TV.

Good lord, where am I going with this? You can tell it’s Thursday, the most sleep-deprived of the week. I keep pouring coffee in, but only nonsense comes out.

So let’s check in with the writers who got more sleep last night, shall we?

Daily Mail love: The UK tabloid says John Edwards is very mad at his baby mama, for not destroying their sex tape. It further says the tape was made in Indianapolis, and helpfully includes a shot of the downtown skyline, with this cutline:

Sex and the city: Edwards and Hunter made the sex tape in a hotel room in Indianapolis

I would have written something different:

Sex and the city: Bad things happen in Indianapolis hotel rooms. Ask Mike Tyson.

Or maybe:

Naptown: The Edwards sex tape was made in Indianapolis, because there’s nothing else to do there.

I know, I know: Not true. Just teasing the next Super Bowl city.

The boy who shot his neo-Nazi dad to death speaks. Big surprise: Dad was a violent shit. I don’t know what sound that one made, but maybe it was that of his family’s souls being freed from bondage.

Jon Stewart rounds up your NewtNews of the week. Includes the glitter bomb and angry Iowan.

Any Detroiters interested in biking the bridge? Fifty-five bucks seems a little steep, unless it’s for charity or something. And presumably, as with all things bridge-related, Mr. Moroun will take a big taste. And I have to carry my passport…to go halfway across the bridge? Nothing about this makes sense.

OK, time to salvage what I can of this day. Enjoy Thursday.

Posted at 10:04 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

51 responses to “Sounds funny.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 19, 2011 at 10:20 am

    And to cross the Mackinac Bridge, you can just walk across on Bridge Day, Sept. 5 (but no bikes).

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  2. alex said on May 19, 2011 at 10:23 am

    My neighbor who does ChemLawn has a dog with two dicks. (One of them’s just a pendulous tumor, actually.) And my yard’s looking like Cambodia.

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  3. 4dbirds said on May 19, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I wonder what the shots sounded like that killed this young veteran.

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  4. Dorothy said on May 19, 2011 at 10:44 am

    We’ve had to cut grass at least twice this year when it was still damp because the opportunities to let it dry are just not happening. In fact as I was heading out the door yesterday to go back to the office after eating lunch at home, I turned around and walked right back inside, emailed my boss and said I was taking a half day of vacation because I had to cut the grass. My neighbor was on his tractor and I thought if he was cutting, so should I. And I’ve been referring to the greenishness of the surroundings to Ireland for at least 3 weeks now.

    I got the pantry all organized, too. I was sick and tired of not being able to find something like a jar of peanut butter, I’d buy a jar on Saturday and when putting away the new one, I’d suddenly spot the same item behind four cans of soup or something. I just kept staring at it off and all evening, I was so pleased with my project. (I lead the most boring life ever, don’t I?)

    Last year we went to a quilt show in Indianapolis. We stayed at the very nice Hilton with the most deluxe hotel bathroom I’ll probably ever see in my lifetime. At around 3:45 in the morning our next door neighbors were auditioning for their very own sex tape at very high decibel levels. In the morning I got my revenge and took the Do Not Disturb hanger off their door as we were checking out.

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  5. coozledad said on May 19, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Foley artists must have had some contract that filled Westerns up with pointless noise. I’d think the desert Southwest would be even quieter than it is in the country here.
    Right now, there’s this constant whirring in the woods that could either be cicadas (the ones this year are black, with red eyes) or tree frogs. It sounds like the arrival of an alien ship from a Roger Corman movie.
    I (stupidly) ate some psylocibin mushrooms when I was well past thirty with some friends of mine at our previous house, which was also rural. The waves of noise from the crickets and cicadas caused one of the imbibers to decompensate pretty early. She held her hands to her ears and began screaming “It’s too loud here! I can’t understand your reality!”
    I was too busy with my own psychotic reactions to thank her for the compliment.

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  6. ROGirl said on May 19, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many dandelions as I’ve seen this year. They’re thick and just about everywhere, except maybe where Agent Orange-like subtances have been applied liberally.

    Talk about Cambodia.

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  7. Dexter said on May 19, 2011 at 11:09 am

    “Too wet to mow.” Still, even though it’s raining steadily here, as always, it seems this spring, I hear mowers. My lawn is a disgrace in my eyes but I refuse to mow in the damn rain.
    I have done it before and I hate the cleanup, and it makes my Toro Personal Pace mower work too hard. My lawn is too small to justify a rider, but perfect for the Toro. Even with a bum hip I can mow the lawn when I don’t have to provide all the locomotion. Just sayin’.

    I have walked Mighty Mac four times, all in the 1980s. One year I walked the five miles in sixty-six minutes. The governor that year made in about 50 minutes, a great pace. Even old fat Gov. John Engler and his fat wife, pushing a triplet stroller, made it under an hour. That is a fast pace, and I doubted it, but clock don’t lie.

    FWIW, you can ride across the Mackinac Bridge at certain times of the year, most famously at the conclusion of DALMAC.

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  8. Suzanne said on May 19, 2011 at 11:11 am

    John Edwards–Another Indiana Legend.

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  9. Dexter said on May 19, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I am in duplicate copy limbo. I was saying, yeah, it’s too wet to mow; my lawn is a disgrace but I won’t mow in the rain, and I also typed how even though I have walked the Mackinac Bridge four times I have not ridden across it, but for those who want do so, it’s possible.

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  10. Dexter said on May 19, 2011 at 11:14 am

    For those who feel a need to ride across the Mackinac Bridge…

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  11. nancy said on May 19, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Sorry, Dexter, somehow you ended up in the spam filter. Freed.

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  12. nancy said on May 19, 2011 at 11:39 am

    4dbirds, that story is awful. I know in the past few days we’ve touched here and there on the issue of police raids gone wrong. That’s a rather sobering reminder of what the stakes are.

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  13. Jeff Borden said on May 19, 2011 at 11:57 am

    The courts are going to continue to give the cops more leeway, too, as the recent decision by the Indiana Batshit Supreme Court ruling underscores. And we know that we’re looking at a hard-right SCOTUS for a good 30-plus years or so, given the relative youth of Chief Justice John Roberts, so appeals about this kind of egregious behavior are likely to fall on unfriendly ears.

    My time as a police reporter gave me enormous empathy for the vast majority of officers. They do a tough, dangerous and dirty job that exposes them constantly to the ugliest parts of our society. But this is beyond the pale. . .to allow a critically wounded man to lie untreated while his wife and child watch. This should occasion a serious investigation, maybe even a grand jury, into what went wrong. But this is Arizona and I won’t hold my breath.

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  14. brian stouder said on May 19, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Under the heading “Sounds funny”, there’s this headline from today’s Chem.Info email newsletter, regarding a BBC Youtube video:

    China Farmers Face Watermelon ‘Land Mines’

    The lead sentence is:

    All of those with exploding melons apparently were first-time users of the growth accelerator forchlorfenuron, though it has been widely available for some time.

    Aside from that, 4dbirds’ article is indeed terrible. The piece doesn’t clearly report whether the fellow actually had an AR-15 in his hands or not, which will be the key piece in the story, I think.

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  15. prospero said on May 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Coozldad: Why wonder? It’s the frogs. No shit. How do you get a job as a Foley Artist? It’s that schwing ricochet sound from Bonanza.

    What is so painfully wrong about USA gun laws. That is not in the fucking slightest what the 2nd Amendment says you fucking aholes. Try learning English, Scalia. Study up in the duck blind at the caged shoot, you girlie-gun ahole chickenhawk.

    Every way possible to avoid getting drafted, aside from proclaiming his obvious, Cheney just wishes he was J Edgar, homosexuality. This asshole was the ultimate chickenhawk. I’d say he got off on young men dying, and I wouldn’t take that back. A true scumbag, worse than anybody. And ya know what? This greatest generation shit is annoying as crap. Did Viet Vets get comparable treatment regarding housing and education? Not even fucking close. This was a generation of Murricans that actually fill the legions of Teabaggers and insist that the government providing for veterans of the PNAC War of Choice is somehow welfare, but their massive subsidies weren’t. Interesting take, you fatass assholes. It wasn’t anything like the greatest generation. It was a bunch of normal folks faced with something heinous. Did they do something more heroic than invading VietNam? Pretty sure. Did they deserve better treatment? not in a fucking million years The disparity in the treatment is revolting. And the most disgusting thing is that Nixonians blame normal Americans. people like the Swiftboat Liars claim people spit on returning soldiers. this is a flaming lie. Never happened. A myth of the chickenhawks. That never served.dd

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  16. prospero said on May 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    These aholes are up one end of the sazoo and oden the other. The war everybody knows and admits was bullshit, those vets get fucked over. W basically shat on all of those legaies when he signed on for the SwigtBoat bullshit, He personally slandered an Anericab soldier, and despite his bullshit hazy remembrance of Tejas and Bama, he lied his ass off. and, to this day, the fucking idiot thinks it’s funny. Here’s the deal America. You’d vote for an idiot instead of the guy that exposed Rayugn as a criminal piece of shit? You get the government you deserve, you dumb motherfuckers.

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  17. Julie Robinson said on May 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Dorothy, I love the image of the mild-mannered pantry organizer yanking off the Do Not Disturb sign!

    In that vein, this article is about little creative subversion:

    If you have already exceeded your NYT quota for the month, here’s an example:

    Variously known as yarn graffiti, yarn bombing, yarn storming and guerrilla knitting, it is mostly practiced by women, who make yarn cozies for any public object they want to cover. I love that it is subversive yet creative, causes no harm, and by its very nature, transitory. What do you think Dorothy, shall we join the trend?

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  18. Bitter Scribe said on May 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    From the Daily Mail article:

    ‘[Edwards’] worst nightmare is that the tape will get on the internet, and destroy what little reputation he has left.’

    A little late to be worrying about that, pal.

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  19. Joe Kobiela said on May 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Just wondering what everyone has planned for Sat with the end of the world scheduled. I thought I might run up the credit card debt this week. Anyone else have any plans???
    Pilot Joe

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  20. Rana said on May 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    cooz, you’re right about the desert – that’s one of the things I love about it. Birds chirping or cawing, an occasional insect hum, the sound of wind blowing… that’s pretty much what you hear. At night, you might hear a coyote or something small scrabbling around in the scrub. Toss in an occasional rainstorm or the sound of very distant traffic or airplanes these days, and there you go.

    I’ve long thought that it says something about our culture that movie makers can just toss in any ol’ random animal sound (“hawk screams” and tropical bird noises are infamous) and not have to worry that a good chunk of the audience won’t sit up irritably the way they would if, say, a guy from the Deep South spoke with a New York accent, or if a Harley drove by sounding like a VW bug.

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  21. Dexter said on May 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Apparently certain pdf copied links trip the spam filter? Thanks for freeing me.
    Here in NW Ohio, I just attempted to herd my two doggies into my dog-haulin’ minivan (rear seats removed for easy dog movement) but the torrent from the skies only allowed us enough time for quick dog-pee and back to the house.
    Ever run into a good friend you haven’t seen for a few years and you just embrace in a hug and nobody gives it a second thought? Happened to me just two hours ago. Before and after our meeting, the kind of meeting held at noon in a church basement with a coffee pot , we caught up with each others’ lives. George is a role model for me, a little older, with sad traumas endured in his lifetime, and throughout , always, sober for the past thirty-nine years. That’s like way more than twice the time I have.

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  22. Connie said on May 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Joe, why bother to shop? You can’t take it with you.

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  23. Jeff Borden said on May 19, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I’m with Pilot Joe. I intend to hit Gold Coast Bentley and grab a giant, quarter-million-dollar turbocharged Bentley convertible, then enter it in a demolition derby.

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  24. moe99 said on May 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    If you don’t get raptured, you can loot to your heart’s content.

    My favorite southern saying is a response to, “how are you?”
    “ah’m fine as frog hair.”

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  25. Little Bird said on May 19, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    This Saturday I will be toasting the birthday of a one year old. I think it’s the perfect way to celebrate “Judgment Day”.
    As far as the explosion of things growing, I think I am allergic to dandelions. They are so thick by the lake in the park that when Deborah and took a walk there a week or two ago I was a sneezing sniffling wreck until we got well clear of them!

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  26. hexdecimal said on May 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Joe – This is what I posted on my facebook page a couple of days ago:

    “Are you attending the rapture on May 21st, 2011? I expect to be left behind when it happens, so if you aren’t going to need your worldly possessions; be they money, cars, canned food, durable goods, etc; I would gladly take them off of your hands.” (I stole the quote from a Craigslist ad and thought I’d have some fun.)

    I got one offer to take what I wanted provided I fed the dog. To that end I pointed the person to , who for a fee, will take care of your earthbound pet.

    Everybody else said they’d see me at the bar.

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  27. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Jeff B., I have trouble imagining any theological schema that makes it likely a Bentley owner would be among the Raptured.


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  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 19, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Oh, and the world doesn’t actually end, says Brother Camping, for another five months. Why five months after the Rapture I haven’t investigated enough to figure out.

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  29. Dorothy said on May 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I’ve seen some of that stuff before, Julie! I can’t see me donating knitted items to tie it hither and yon all over a city when it takes me so long to get the knitting done. Now crocheting – that’s another story. I’m Speed Racer on anything crocheted.

    We are all just giddy in my office this afternoon. My boss just got off of an hour long phone call with an alum who today, out of the blue, called and made a $2M gift. My boss is dancing on air, she’s so excited. We made our campaign goal of $230M about 6 weeks ago so this is just icing on the cake. What a day!

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  30. beb said on May 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Jeff TMMO: “the world doesn’t actually end, says Brother Camping, for another five months. Why five months after the Rapture I haven’t investigated enough to figure out.”

    I think it’s in Revelations. Those not raptured will be audited by the IRS, screened by the TSA, and suffer torments of locust and infomercials. By the way, I think anyone who is so concerned about the post-rapture health of their pets isn’t into God enough to be taken up.

    I’ve got to read th article about exploding watermelons. I had assumed they were just splitting from growing too fast ut if they are really exploding that gives new meaning to the Portal 2 rant about exploding lemons.

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  31. Bryan DeVasher said on May 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm


    You must be talking about none other than Steve Austin. I can hear those words coming out of his mouth.

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  32. Jolene said on May 19, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    The Arizona Daily Star has more detail about the shooting in 4dbird’s story. Sounds a bit murkier, but still sounds like a shooting that probably didn’t have to happen.

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  33. Catherine said on May 19, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Dorothy, crocheting is definitely done:

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  34. Joe Kobiela said on May 19, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    All right, five months, we can spend spend spend, I knew Obama could figure out a way to get the economy back on track!!!(tee hee). By the way does anyone else have their skin burn when you get hit with holy water, Just checking.
    Pilot Joe

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  35. Matt the Ocoee River Guide said on May 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Lawns and guns. I love this blog.

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  36. nancy said on May 19, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    I hope Matt the Ocoee River Guide is not spam. That would be a simple script to write, wouldn’t it?

    Meanwhile, yes, Brian, that was indeed Stone Cold Steve Austin I was quoting. What a guy. Miss him terribly.

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  37. Jeff Borden said on May 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Stone Cold Steve Austin is still going strong, having appeared in the over-the-top machomania of “The Expendables” with Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis.

    I pretty much stopped watching WWE wrestling when Austin and then The Rock left for higher ground. Those two guys were the best.

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  38. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 19, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Revelation doesn’t seem to be Camping’s home turf as much as Daniel & Ezekiel. Mix ’em up with an idiosyncratic reading of Genesis, and you’ve got . . . well, you’ve got a bunch of billboards.

    As with Fred Phelps, I keep wondering: who is paying for all this?

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  39. KLG said on May 19, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Pretty soon you won’t have to worry about the grass:

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  40. prospero said on May 19, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    What’s the difference between profanity and rude language?

    Mitch Albom is one seriously annoying weenie, but for unadulterated douchebaggery, you need to look to the Goldberg family. Try to make sense of this bit o’shit from Jonah, the so-called token conservative at the allegedly ultra-liberal MSM LA Times. Yep, somewhere to the left of the NYT and WaPo. Those vile liberal rags. Of course, David Brooks actually writes sentences, so his neocon bona fides are questionable.

    And Jeff, Dusty Rhodes nee Virgil Riley Runnels, Jr. was the American Dream. Don’t know what WW that was.

    And Pilot Joe, I’m scouting neighbors with vintage T-Birds. They won’t be using them anymore, right? And as a Catholic, I’d like to say, we were in on the ground floor. How did we miss the memo about Joy! Raptcha!

    Edit: And was the date the same before there were religions with apocalyptic holy books, or did God just get pissed off about that sort of presumptive shit about what She might do and when She might do it?

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  41. Rana said on May 19, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    I think profanity entails some level of blasphemy – so “Damn!” is profane, while “Fuck!” is rude. Or crude. Or both. Or something.

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  42. Bryan DeVasher said on May 19, 2011 at 10:09 pm


    I haven’t seen Steve since around the turn of the century. He worked with my wife at the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk. Nowadays he’s at the Savannah Morning News. He kept trying to lure me to Savannah, but the money just never worked out.

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  43. brian stouder said on May 19, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    If’n I can figure out how*, I’m a-gonna hit Nance’s Kickback Lounge for that 1861 book.

    And, even if it turns out to be the last thing I ever do, we’ll git ‘er done before the world ends this weekend, too. (and come to think of it, I have a pheresis thing Saturday morning. And further coming to think of it [so to speak], what the hell TIME is the world supposed to end, Saturday? And, if you know what time the world is supposed to end – would that be GMT or EST or CT or MT?)

    *best method: I’ll ask Pam to do it

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  44. Jolene said on May 19, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    6:00 PM EDT, Brian. Don’t ask me how they know.

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  45. brian stouder said on May 19, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Well, hell. There’s no F1 race this weekend, anyway.

    Way back in the day, Saturday night was THE teevee night, with All in the Family and Bob Newhart and Mary Tyler Moore all on. (I think Carol Burnett was Sunday night, yes?). The world ending at 6:00 PM EDT on a Saturday back in those days would have been practically sacrilegious*, I think

    *spelling that damned word is hard as hell

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  46. LAMary said on May 20, 2011 at 12:47 am

    I don’t think Carol Burnett was Sundays. Ed Sullivan was, followed by Mission Impossible. I think Carol was during the week.

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  47. Dexter said on May 20, 2011 at 2:28 am

    brian…a big black hole regarding all television shows on Saturday nights.
    I never saw any of them, I was out bar hoppin’, drivin’ from town to town, gettin’ my drink on.

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  48. alex said on May 20, 2011 at 7:49 am

    I’ve been looking forward to the rapture, actually. Please, God, take these people away so the rest of us can finally live in peace.

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  49. Connie said on May 20, 2011 at 7:53 am

    I agree with Alex. Saturday nights? The Muppet Show.

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  50. Jolene said on May 20, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Good point, alex. There’d be empty houses we could move into and more parking spaces, and we’d be spared self-righteous moralizing and anti-scientism. If only …

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  51. Kirk said on May 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    If there were a God hip enough to be God, I have this feeling that maybe he’d want nothing to do with the self-righteous, hate-spewing moralizers and anti-science nincompoops who seem so sure that they would be in the first rapturous wave to levitate.

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