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Archive for January, 2008

The Britney Motorcade

Is it just me, or is the Los Angeles Police Department the biggest bunch of fame-enablers on the planet?

Every time someone decides Britney Spears is acting nuts and has to go to the hospital, the crime rate in Southern California skyrockets. Because the entire police force has to escort her to the hospital. If I lived in L.A., I’d sure love the idea of paying taxes so Britney Spears got a parade every time she needed a mental health evaluation.

If I was a criminal, I’d sit across the street from the Spears mansion and wait for the sirens and bells and whistles to go off. Then I’d hightail to the nearest jewelry store with a brick.

It’s amazing. I was in L.A. during the riots. I drove home after curfew the second day, when the whole city was practically in flames. I drove up La Cienega Boulevard just after the sun went down, with buildings on fire on either side of the deserted street. There wasn’t one cop or emergency response vehicle to be found. Granted, they were all pretty busy that day, but I also know that they were under orders to stay out of certain areas.

Yet they sure snap to when Britney Spears freaks out. The stories on Thursday morning described her row of police escorts as being as long as a football field. Britney Spears can’t be half as insane as the person who decided that was necessary.

And, of course, before the motorcade rolled to a stop at the hospital, Dr. Phil leaped out of bed and into action, sticking his nose into the mess by offering up his opinion this morning on “The View.” It’s almost like someone has a huge searchlight, kind of like the bat signal only with the silhouette of a bald girl holding a tiny dog in one hand and flailing an umbrella with the other. Dr. Phil sees it from his bedroom window, pulls aside the covers, and races for the secret button, exposing the shrink pole, He slides down and arrives in the Cave of Syndication, fully dressed with TV make-up already applied.

Give up on her, Phil. She’s just not that into you.

More exciting information is breaking on the Britney Spears situation as we speak, including one report that Britney is accusing her mother of sleeping with her “boyfriend.” Whether that means the photographer guy with the silly chin hair, Dr. Phil, Sam Lutfi, Kevin Federline, Justin Timberlake, the local Rite Aid clerk, or that guy she married in Vegas for 15 minutes, we’re not sure. Please return to this blog later in the day for all the latest developments.

Posted on Thursday, January 31st, 2008
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Drama in the Friendly Skies.

Finally, a trained pilot realized what I’ve always suspected: that there’s no way in hell a giant steel plane should be able to fly.

So the pilot freaked out and had to be dragged from the cockpit kicking and screaming. I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often. That’s why I do my best, whenever I’m on an airplane, to try not to think about being in a big metal tube that, instead of plunging to the ground like it’s supposed to, somehow travels 500 miles an hour while suspended 35,000 feet in the air.

I’ll never get that. But I also don’t understand how the pictures get from the TV studio into the little box in my living room.

Posted on Wednesday, January 30th, 2008
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Criminal Dwarves

A colleague just mentioned to me that certain managers around here consider me to be a juvenile-deliquent type.

Seriously. He said that. About me.

 I think I’m offended.

But never mind that – you have to hear this AWESOME story about criminal dwarves in Sweden.  Gangs are jamming dwarves into suitcases – presumably with their permission – so they can get into the cargo holds of passenger trains.

Once the little thugs get in there, they unzip themselves and root through everybody’s else’s luggage, stealing cash, jewelry and other valuables. When the train gets to its destination, they zip themselves back into the luggage and make their escape.

A police spokesman in Stockholm said “We are looking at our records to identify criminals of limited stature.”

I’m assuming that includes Mini-Me, the guy who played Simon Bar Sinister in the “Underdog,” movie, and Tom Cruise.

Meanwhile, I think I’ve come up with a new “hobby” for my six-year-old.

Posted on Friday, January 25th, 2008
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Are There Really Beavers in Martinez?

So three times this month I’ve taken my daughter to see the Martinez Beavers. I did my  research and found out they usually come out when darkness falls. One time we stood on the sidewalk for an hour, watching the front of their den.

No can do.

We went again Tuesday, braving minus-32 degree temperatures and Arctic snow flurries. We were the only people standing there, shivering as it got dark. Homeless people were pointing and laughing at us. We went down to the Bull Dog grill (I think that’s what it’s called) and had some yummy food, and came back after dark.


I can understand why the little monsters don’t want to come out on a late Saturday afternoon, when people are crowded around the creek, some fool is letting his kids tromp around the shoreline yelling for the beavers to come out, and drivers are yelling intelligent questions from their cars as they drive by. You know, “Uh, HEY, are them BEAVERS still in the crick?”

I just want to see one dang beaver. Apparently they emerge to perform when I’m not there. They sing, jump through flaming hoops, and stage epic gladiator-style battles with a clan of river otters who live just down the creek. At least that’s what they tell me.

They’ll probably read this and bite me next time I show up.

Posted on Thursday, January 24th, 2008
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Tom Cruise Parody

I was going to blog about the irony of everyone sitting around waiting for Britney Spears to explode, only to be stunned at the seemingly-drug related death of serious actor and supposed good guy Heath Ledger.

But then I saw something really funny.

Jerry O’Connell – whom I still can’t believe was the fat kid in Stand By Me – did a parody of the insane Tom Cruise Scientology video, which appears on I almost choked when he first broke into the berzerk Tom Cruise laugh.

We can be serious about Heath Ledger another time.

Posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008
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Illegal Bull Testicles

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had it with overzealous government officials telling me I can’t hang fake animal testicles from the my car.


Virginia lawmakers are considering banning ornamental bull testicles that dangle from trucks’ trailer hitches.  They say it’s a safety issue; that the ornaments are a distraction to other drivers, though the official pushing the idea admitted he was prompted by a constituent, upset her young daughter noticed the ornament dangling from a truck.


That’s right – I just twice called a pair of bull nuts “ornamental.”


They say it’s not a matter of indecency or bad taste, but that these things really are hazardous to the health of drivers who should be otherwise focused on the road. Using that logic, I now write my congressman, asking for hot women and funny bumper stickers to be outlawed from automobiles.


Because if you criminalize bull testices, then only criminals will have bull testicles.


As stupid as this seems, it was only a few years ago that Virginia banned baggy pants. It always warms my heart to see politicians focused on the issues that really matter. Next week they’ll ban cows with testicles, also known as “bulls,” from actually having testicles. Unless they wear pants … non-baggy pants.

Posted on Monday, January 21st, 2008
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R.I.P. Sam the Butcher

It’s a sad day around the Hicks household, as Sam the Butcher, AKA Sgt. Hacker, has passed on.

To be honest, I had no idea he was still alive.

Allan Melvin’s character was only on a handful of episodes of the Brady Bunch. But the fact that Melvin, a character actor for decades on a number of shows, is best known as Sam, the boyfriend of Brady maid Alice, shows how big of an impact the Brady Bunch had on popular culture.

I’ve always had questions about those two, some of them pretty obvious and nothing I want to ponder on a full stomach. Among the most obvious, though:

Why did they make Alice wear that horrible blue uniform?

Did Alice ever get days off?

Did the kids ever catch Sam sneaking out of the house in the morning?

Did they ever catch him sneaking out of their father’s den in the morning?

Did Alice actually live in the laundry room?

Was Sam’s jolly demeanor a front for his serial killer ways? After all, the man was a skilled butcher. Did he have any involvement in the death’s of Mike’s first wife and Carol’s first husband?

And why, when there are two NFL conference championship games on today, am I spending so much time pondering the nature of the relationsip between Alice the maid and Sam the butcher – especially since I haven’t blogged for days?

Posted on Sunday, January 20th, 2008
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Singers on Steroids

I’m surprised no one figured it out sooner, but apparently entertainers are gobbling steroids like they’re pro wrestlers.

According to the Times Union of Albany, there’s a steroid probe happening in the town that has turned up the names of 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige, Timbaland, Wyclef Jean and Tyler Perry.

Mary J. Blige? Does she take them to cry louder on stage?

The celebrities aren’t part of the criminal probe, as there’s no evidence they broke the law. Whatever that means – I thought eating steroids was illegal. But apparently the D.A. office in Albany is going after the suppliers.

Maybe we’ve finally figured out what’s wrong with Britney Spears. 

I’d like to suggest Michael Jackson try steroids. He’s got nothing to lose and it would be great fun to watch a pumped-up, ‘roided-out Jacko taking his angry revenge on the world.  

Posted on Monday, January 14th, 2008
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Political Correctness Gone Wild!

I think I’m starting to figure out why liberals get such a bad rap.  

I’m a fairly liberal guy. That said, it seems that there are some nuts out there who do nothing but sit around all day figuring out how they can be offended next.

Apparently you can’t say shuck-and-jive without being racist. At least New York politicians can’t. State attorney general Andrew Cuomo recently said it in describing candidates dodging the press. Of course, he’s a Clinton supporter, so some people immediately thought he was talking about Obama. Maybe he was, but I don’t think it was necessarily a race thing.

Then again, what do I know? I know I heard my white grandmother from Chicago say shuck-and-jive, at least once or twice. She was a jazz lover and I thought she was tremendously hip. Now it turns out she was a racist and I’d have to turn her in, if she wasn’t dead.

Can we still listen to the Bee Gees “Jive Talkin?'” I have that on CD somewere – I feel terrible.

I’m a middle class white male, so maybe I’m not best equipped to decide what’s racist and what’s not. Maybe I’m off-base in saying – even if the term “shuck and jive” originates from 19th century slave circles – that it’s not so bad. The meaning of terms certainly change over time. Even if it didn’t, I still don’t get what the problem is. If Cuomo said “bob and weave” instead, would boxers be offended?

But that wasn’t even close to being the most ridiculous thing to come out of PC land on Friday. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to the Texas jailers of a man accused of killing and eating his girlfriend. They want the suspect to be on a vegatarian diet while in jail, to limit the senseless killing of animals.


We don’t know this guy even likes eating animals. He does, however, like eating humans. So I don’t see what PETA cares. Is there a People for Ethical Treatment of Humans out there? I know people in Texas are a little different. Do they feed prisoners humans?

I’m glad these intelligent, driven people are devoting their time to worthy battles, instead of trying to do some real good in this word.

Posted on Friday, January 11th, 2008
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Presidents Don’t Cry?

I love how people are jumping on Hillary Clinton for supposedly getting choked up Monday while describing how tough the campaign trail can be. How this has become an issue is beyond me, especially concerning those screaming that a president can’t cry.

I watched the video and I still can’t find where she actually “cries.” There’s some emotion and a bit of hesitation at one point, but nothing coming close to real crying.

You want to see real crying, come over to my house when “Brian’s Song” is on.

This is a non-partisan issue as far as I’m concerned, because I wouldn’t be surprised if any politician conjured tears when they needed to look more human. But she just didn’t do it. But the outcry isn’t surprising, considering how polarizing Clinton can be. I’m not her biggest fan, to be sure, but to say she demonstrated a weakness a president can’t have sounds suspiciously sexist. And the people who are screaming loudest probably didn’t see the clip, or are kidding themselves.

But please, click on the clip above and judge for yourself. In the meantime, let’s talk about presidents who cry.

Hey, wasn’t this guy presidential enough to be elected twice?

Hey, wasn’t this guy the head of the CIA, a two-term vice-president, president, and liberator of Kuwait?

Wasn’t this guy a two-term president? Didn’t he beat this guy?

Hillary Clinton MAY have got a little emotional, once – big deal. First she’s not emotional enough, now she’s too emotional. Enough already. Let’s move on to the issues.

Posted on Tuesday, January 8th, 2008
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