November 30, 2003
We know that many of you folks who have recently joined us at The Donk might be asking yourselves, and us by extension, "Hey, just what the heck was that last post all about anyway?" Well, longtime readers understand that whenever such a cryptic, vaguely poetic and metaphorical, little note appears here, it usually means that something particularly annoying or distressing has occurred in our proprietor's personal life. And while he generally makes it a point not to discuss such matters in specific detail, he is hoping that you will all feel sorry for him nonetheless.
And hey, as long as we're all here, we proudly present this handy Clip-N-Save Guide to Regular Characters Here at the Donk!
We hope this brief look at our most-mentioned friends clears up any confusion you might be experiencing. And now, happy reading!
- Sidney Crackstein, aka Mr. Happy Crack: He sent me two t-shirts, so I mention him and his fine business every week or so; that offer still stands, by the way.
- Jahna D'Lish: My second wife (annulled), we've remained good friends. When things seem a bit boring over here you can usually head to her blog for a little more excitement, especially if the image "like a baby's arm holding an apple" piques your interest; otherwise you're pretty much out of luck.
- Paul Frankenstein, aka Frankie, aka P-Frank: The Watson to my Sherlock Holmes, seems like a decent enough sort, as long as he stays away from my sister (see Nancy Goldstein).
- Nancy Goldstein: My sister. Originally our regular on-site correspondent from the Winter Olympics, then our designated Vincent Gallo stalker (until those thieving Gawker bastards stole her thunder), and now the compiler of Monkeys, Donkeys, and Junkies, a regular foray into the latest news surrounding three of our favorite things. She is also an employee of the Federation of competitive Eating, putting her in direct contact with folks who have limbs larger than her.
- Anthony "Moo" Moussa of NJGuido.com: From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the symbol of all that is Jersey. Party like a rockstar.
- Mo-Skee: First came to our attention during Skee-Ball Week many moons ago, hence her snazzy nickname. A bit of a wild gal with some kind of bigshot academic job (a fairly frightening thought), we recently gave Mo-Skee her own feature, Mo-Skee's Search for Deep Throat, mostly to keep her off the streets and to focus her paranoid tendencies towards a useful goal.
- Sonya Thomas: Teeny-tiny American-eating champion. I recently saw her eat eight pounds of food in 12 minutes, and she wasn't even full. The official athlete of The Donk.
- Koen Vermandere: Our favoritest Belgian in the whole world, Koen contacted us back in October seeking our help in his quest to become King Donkey of Kuurne, a position we still don't even slightly understand, even after a half-dozen or so e-mails. Still, Koen's a lot of fun, he writes heartfelt tributes to donkeys, and there's a slight chance that at some point he'll help us get in good with some sweet Belgian dames.
- Mike Whybark: My former co-worker in Seattle, later my bizarrely obsessive stalker. Recipient of over 50 plugs. Strange blimp fascination.
November 29, 2003
That pretty much sums up the last 48 hours of my life, ever since I stopped by the Jahna D'Lish house Thanksgiving evening for some pie. Trust me: don't ever do that.
November 26, 2003
New York, NY, Nov. 26, 2003 — 100-pound rookie eater Sonya Thomas of Alexandria, VA, won the 2003 Thanksgiving Meal Invitational by consuming 7¾ one-pound plates of Thanksgiving meal (featuring Turducken, green beans, cranberry sauce and yams) in 12 minutes.And thanks to proud International Federation of Competitive Eating employee Nancy Goldstein, I was able to witness first-hand the sheer majesty and spectacle of watching nine folks down a collective 50 pounds of food in 12 minutes. As for the competitors, you're simply never going to meet a nicer or more gracious group of people in your life, just a great bunch of folks who can down huge amounts of food and look absolutely no worse for the wear. I chatted with Eric "Badlands" Booker, who I originally met at a Carson Daly taping, as well as with Marie "Changsaw" Chang, chili-eating specialist, rock/paper/scissors champion, and stone cutie-pie.
Edward "Cookie" Jarvis, the 409-pound mutli-title champion from Nesconsett, NY, took second place with 7½ one-pound plates, and 420-pound Eric "Badlands" Booker of Copaigue, NY, came in third with 5¾ one-pound plates.
Thomas' victory was a major upset. Jarvis has dominated the 2003 eating season, earning six major titles, and Booker, world matzo ball and corned beef hash eating champion, won the 2002 Thanksgiving Meal Invitational.
But the big story of the day was, of course, the unbelievable performance of new American champion, and great U.S. hope to unseat hot-dog champ Takeru Kobayashi next July 4th at Nathan's, Sonya Thomas. Folks, you'll have to believe me when I tell you, without a hint of hyperbole, that watching Sonya's performance today was one of the most unbelievable feats I have ever had the good fortune to witness. To watch this Virginia rookie, who tips the scales at no more than 110 pounds, down plate after plate after plate of food in less time it would take an average man to chew and swallow a bite of pumpkin pie...well, stunning would be the only word that can possibly describe it. It was truly stunning, and I was proud to be there to be a part of this historic event.
In the film Macy plays the ultimate "Cooler," a man of such unrelenting loserness that he can turn a winning player's luck cold just by standing near him. Macy is paying off some sizable gambling debts by working at the downtown casino owned by Alec Baldwin (although there might be other owners, an important plot point left fuzzy by the filmmakers), a longtime friend (another fuzzy point) and old-school tough-guy given to cursing out Steve Wynn and referring to panties as "muff confetti." Maria Bello is a cocktail waitress who apparently falls in love with Macy, causing his bad luck to turn. Livingston is a Harvard guy trying to get Baldwin to modernize the Golden Shangri-La Casino, though again, we're not really sure why he can do this. Along the way there's a bunch of ridiculous plot twists, slightly ludicrous Bello/Macy sex scenes, obnoxious characters we just want to go away, and Joey Fatone.
It's a damn shame, and not only because now my sister will hold it against me for suggesting it (and after she invited me to the Turducken Eating Competition!), but because I've been looking forward to this film for months. William H. Macy in the role he was born to play: the world's biggest loser! Alec Baldwin returning to "Second prize is a set of steak knives" badassness as a shady casino owner! Ron Livingston doing...Ron Livingston stuff!
But alas, none of it gels into anything decent. Hell, give me Macy, Baldwin, Livingston, a hot dame, and a casino and I think I could come up with a pretty good flick. But too often an "indie" designation seems like an excuse for the filmmakers to avoid basic storytelling and characterization rules, and that seems to be the case with The Cooler. One-and-one-half stars, for that opening sequence and because I did enjoy a few moments with Baldwin and Macy.
For example, who wouldn't be thrilled to find the following missive in their Inbox:
Yo, I came to your blog through Blogstreet's influential sites http://www.blogstreet.com/biq200.html (I'm ranked #149 BTW)My motivation is, of course, meeting interesting new people. I didn't think much of it until the always-scintillating Angua pointed me to this little comment over at Kesher Talk:
maybe it's the beer and fatigue, but I don't quite "get" your blog. What is your motivation? just curious
I came to your blog through Blogstreet's influential sites http://www.blogstreet.com/biq200.html (I'm ranked #149 BTW). I can't believe you're ranked higher than me. Your blog is really lame and also the argument that Hillary attended one funeral is right-wing horseshit — Bill O'Reilly was beating that dead horse about a year and a half ago. Get real.Of course, compared to those two, Scoobie's little note to Radley Balko, "The Agitator," is practically a love letter: "Your blog: mildly amusing. But I can't believe you're ranked higher than me." (Yes, I left out the ranked #149 part for space reasons.)
All I have to say is, it's a shame that BlogStreet hasn't instituted a Pathetic Loser ranking so a certain somebody could finally have that #1 he's apparently been dreaming of.
November 24, 2003
November 23, 2003
November 22, 2003
November 21, 2003
November 20, 2003
November 18, 2003
It's always sad when a legend dies, and never more so as when that legend is a trained comic monkey. Let's head off to Japan for the first stop on our MD&J journey.
Jiro, the Comic Monkey, Dies.So very sad, indeed, and not just the part about the monkey wedding being a hot topic. Now let's head over to the good ol' UK for a whiff of media scandal featuring — no, not Prince Charles — but rather... DONKEYS!
Jiro, a trained monkey known for getting a laugh by posing in "remorseful reflection," died Saturday. He was 18 years old, which is equal to about 50 years in human years. The cause of his death is unknown.
Jiro, a Japanese macaque, was the second trained monkey to be called Jiro. He made his debut in June 1989 after the first Jiro died. He was famous for his unique pose of lowering his head when told to "think about what you've done" by his trainer, Taro Murasaki, 42. The popular comedy act "Taro & Jiro" often performed on television programs.
Murasaki received the prestigious Arts Festival Award from the Cultural Affairs Agency in 1991. In March 1998, Jiro "married" Kaname, a female monkey seven years younger than he was. Their wedding reception was one of the hottest topics of the year.
PCC Investigates Star Donkey Story.Yick! I think we'll all be happier if we head on back home, or at least to LA, for the final stop of our tour...JUNKIES!
The Press Complaints Commission is investigating a front-page story in the Daily Star headlined "Asylum seekers eat our donkeys" following a complaint that it inaccurately claimed donkey meat is a delicacy in Somalia. The watchdog is acting after a Somalian complained the story, published on August 31, was nonsense because eating donkey meat is forbidden in Somalia under Islamic law.
The Star's headline was based on a comment about the investigation of the theft of nine donkeys from Greenwich royal park. The story said: "Asylum seekers have stolen nine donkeys and police believe they've killed and eaten them." A police insider is quoted as saying: "One of our main lines of inquiry is that they may have been taken by immigrants who like eating donkey meat as a delicacy."
The PCC said: "The commission considered that, in the context of the article as a whole, the allegation was clearly presented as comment from an attributed source and readers would not necessarily have been misled into thinking this was the only possible explanation of the matter."
Jerry Lewis in Rehab for Steroid Use.Wow, check out that huge melonhead in the photo. Somewhere, Mike Wolf is laughing; and by somewhere, I mean Connecticut. Well, that's all for now! Be sure to check back soon for another globe-spanning edition of Nancy Goldstein's Monkeys, Donkeys, and Junkies!
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17 — Comedian Jerry Lewis has been hospitalized for several weeks as he weans himself from a steroid that was prescribed for a chronic lung ailment but led to his gaining 60 pounds, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Against my better judgement, I am seeing [this guy who contacted me last night] for a coffee on Sunday. [...] [H]e has sent me a dozen instant messages today, letting me know he is going out, he is coming back, he is eating lunch, he is going to the loo... This man does not know from Adam, he's had no chance to find out my wonderous personality and fall in love with that, he hasn't even seen my picture. But just the idea that he has someone with boobs to talk to makes him develop all the gravitas of a six-week-old puppy with a new toy. "Ohmygod, ohmigod, ohmigod! Here I will run up an lick you and try to hump your leg!!! And now I will run around in cricles! And now I will widdle in the excitement!!!"I'd quote more, but I totally got distracted right around the part where she mentioned her boobs. And besides, I'm sure that her comments only apply to Canadian Jewish men.
November 17, 2003
November 16, 2003
Mr. Ken has requested that I periodically resurrect the Deep Throat Challenge, first posted here on October 18. As previously noted, I whiled away many a marijuana-fueled afternoon during those heady years while pondering "Throat’s" identity. Yes, there are photos of me from that era engaged in "Throat-Think,” but they are much too incriminating to post — think “front row at a Grateful Dead concert after three days of rain."
But back to the business at hand. First, I present some background information from various informed sources.
John Dean, the White House counsel whose testimony broke the Watergate scandal open in the spring of 1973, in an interview with Salon:
Throat first surfaced in 1974 when Woodward and Bernstein published All the President's Men. When I first read the book, I thought that Woodward’s friend and source was probably a composite…I happened to state publicly in a speech, not long after his book came out, that I thought Throat was a composite, and that was picked up by the Washington Post. I had first met and had dinner with [Woodward] not long before the speech, and when he sent me a message assuring me it was not a composite, I believed him.Lisa Todorovich, deputy political director of ABC News, in a report for the Washington Post:
Only four people on the planet are known to have the name — Woodward; his partner, Carl Bernstein; Ben Bradlee, the former executive editor of The Washington Post; and of course, Deep Throat himself. [S]ome bits of information have been disclosed over the years: Deep Throat is one person, not a composite of several sources, he is a man and he is still living. Woodward noted that Deep Throat was a smoker and that he drank Scotch. ‘Aware of his own weaknesses, he readily conceded his flaws,’ the reporters wrote. ‘He was, incongruously, an incurable gossip, careful to label rumor for what it was, but fascinated by it.... He could be rowdy, drink too much, overreach. He was not good at concealing his feelings, hardly ideal for a man in his position.’From a CNN report:
Woodward has said he will not identify the source as long as the person is alive, or until he releases him ‘from our agreement of confidentiality.’ But he did indicate, during an appearance today on NBC’s Today Show, that he remains in touch with him. Woodward also said that Deep Throat deceived his colleagues in denying he was the source.”And finally, those of you with time on your hands will certainly want to check out Deep Throat Uncovered, which presented a University of Illinois class's theory that Nixon deputy White House counsel Fred Fielding is Throat.
Previously, Mr. Ken has chided me for prematurely anointing a number of recently deceased individuals as “not Deep Throat”; thus, I am reserving judgment on Bobby Hatfield and Art Carney. I can, however, state with a reasonable degree of confidence that the following individuals are officially Not Deep Throat:
Let’s first eliminate the most obvious suspect: John C. Holmes, aka Johnny Wadd (died March 15, 1988). [Scroll down to “Wadd: The Life of John C. Holmes” (safe for work).]
I always thought this wizened creature was capable of the most nefarious deeds and I agree with Christopher Hitchens’ caustic assessment of her life; thus, it was wrenching to eliminate her as a possible “Throat” candidate: Mother Teresa (died September 5, 1997).
And finally, a prime suspect whom I only recently (and reluctantly) eliminated:
Morton Downey, Jr. (died March 12, 2001).
I would be interested in your contributions to the ongoing search for Not Deep Throat.
And then the phone went dead.
Boyer spends a decent part of the article more or less documenting how pretty much everybody who's worked with Clark thought he was an arrogant, though brilliant, prick. Boyer summarizes the general view of Clark as having "a certainty about the rightness of his views which led to conflicts with his colleagues and, sometimes, his superiors."
Kaplan counters that this arrogance, which led to numerous conflicts, missed promotions, and a final brutal firing, is pretty much a non-issue:
I have met a fair number of generals, and I can't think of a single one who did not have "a certainty about the rightness of his views." There may have been a couple of one-star generals who expressed this certainty in a modest tone, but above that rank—and Clark retired as a four-star general—their confidence easily became belligerent if their opinions were challenged.Well, wouldn't this, in fact, make it far more damaging, since what it's really saying is that in a culture of self-righteousness Clark was so above and beyond that it managed to piss off all the other self-righteous folks? It's like drill sergeants criticizing a colleague for being too tough on the recruits.
November 12, 2003
Ads I don't expect to see when browsing through the last few pages of The New Yorker: anything involving our old friend Sidney Crackstein and his friends over at Mr. Happy Crack...but damned if there isn't one right there! That's right: Dorothy Parker , Joseph Mitchell, James Thurber, Harold Ross, E.B. White, Pauline Kael...and now Mr. Happy Crack. William Shawn would be so proud...
November 11, 2003
So why did several thousand of us walk out of the Town Hall feeling like we just got taken for a double-sawbuck scam by some Coney Island carnies? Maybe because you decided that you would be the first band since Bill Haley to put on a concert and not play a freaking encore! You're a rock band! That's what you do! You come out and play another two songs! If you don't want to play two more songs, well, then you leave the goddamned stage with two songs left on the setlist, and then you come out and play the last two songs! Thanks a frigging lot...deeks!
November 10, 2003
- Dear Connecticut Tourist Board: What kind of cheap shell game are you running up there in Richie Richville? You send me your weekly e-mail update saying that all of Connecticut is at peak foliage season, when you know goddamned well that that's a stinking lie, sending me and my friend Jahna D'Lish and some wild leaf chase looking for some stupid scenic highway (okay, I'll admit that I shouldn't have let her handle the navigation), only to find 20 miles of dead trees! Thanks a frigging lot...deeks!
- Dear New York City Transportation Folks: Hey, no problem, just shut down the upper level of the George Washington Bridge for no good reason on a Saturday night. And hey, while you're at it, why not shut down two of the three lanes leading to the lower level?!?! I'm sure me and the other million cars had nothing better to do at one in the goddamned morning than go on a crawl through the upper reaches of Manhattan. Why not just close both levels and sell sleeping bags you miserable cold-hearted bastards?! Screw you all...deeks!
- Dear Assface Mohegan Sun Pai Gow Dealer: Gosh, I couldn't figure out for myself that my wrongheaded decision to split two low pairs cost me a win and I had to settle for a push. I mean, sure, everybody else at the table had already let me know, and even Jahna, who had never even heard of pai gow poker until ten minutes earlier, had told me, but I guess I wasn't 100% sure until you opened your dumb mouth. Thanks a frigging lot...deek!
- Dear Mohegan Sun buffet and guy out on the parking deck who let us use his binoculars to check out the lunar eclipse: Um...you were both actually very cool. Especially you, Mohegan Sun buffet, with your quickly moving line and bottomless array of yummy freshly sliced meats, delectable side dishes, and sweet, sweet desserts. Thank you.
President Bush Signs Bill that Takes American Women BackwardsSo, in other words, the new legislation steps backwards while it's stealthily rolling to the right and subsequently forward? Is this a bill or a square dance? And unfortunately, there was no word on whether the bill had the common decency to buy the American Women a nice dinner beforehand...
"President Bush has signed legislation that takes a step backwards for women as his stealth agenda to roll back the right to choose is pushed forward."
November 07, 2003
It's a Turducken Holiday!While you're over at the IFOCE site you'll definitely want to check out their official table of records (including seven sticks of butter in five minutes and eight POUNDS of mayo in eight minutes), as well as some of their more notable contestants (including the delightful Sonya Thomas, the future ex-Mrs. Goldstein).
Thanksgiving, and the International Confederation of Competitive Eating's [IFOCE] Thanksgiving Invitational, will never be the same.
Turducken.com, the world’s leading provider of turducken (a semi-boneless turkey stuffed with a boneless chicken, duck breast and layers of sausage stuffing), will be the exclusive sponsor of the IFOCE Thanksgiving Invitational to be held on Wednesday, November 26 at Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant on Central Park South in Manhattan.
Turducken.com is the home of Cajun Stuff, the world’s foremost provider of turducken. Bob Hanna and Kevin Trahan, co-owners of Cajun Stuff, offer authentic Cajun fare – like gumbos and Louisiana-style Po-Boys – and sell Cajun spiced and stuffed meat and other foods. For several years, they have sold specialty meats such as turducken to a nation-wide customer base at turducken.com.
“Americans love quality food too much to limit themselves to turkey, duck or chicken at important meals,” said Bob Hanna. “Turducken is a way to enjoy all three at once, bringing the holiday meal to a whole new level.”
“The turducken is the first real advancement in Thanksgiving in the nearly 400 years since the pilgrims sat down for dinner with the Indians in Plymouth,” said Richard Shea, President of the IFOCE. “Turducken is a much-needed shot in the arm for Thanksgiving and the whole holiday season.”
The Thanksgiving Invitational, which will feature winners of the IFOCE’s Harvest Series events, is a 12-minute all-you-can-eat contest featuring one-pound plates of mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and sliced turducken.
“Turducken is not simply a food -- it is a lifestyle,” said IFOCE Chair George Shea.
Eaters who will face off at the Thanksgiving Invitational include Cookie Jarvis, Sonya Thomas, Badlands Booker and Hungry Charles Hardy.
November 05, 2003
November 03, 2003
You thrilled to her on-the-scene exclusives from the Winter Olympics, and you recoiled in horror at her Galloriffic updates from the files of Vincent Gallo. Now, after a lengthy absence, Nancy presents the first edition of Nancy Goldstein's Monkeys, Donkeys, and Junkies: a regular foray into the latest news surrounding three of our favorite things!
First we're off to India for...MONKEYS!
Monkeys Terrorize India Workers, TouristsAnd now, a little hotter and closer to home...DONKEYS!
NEW DELHI - In a capital city where cows roam the streets and elephants plod along in the bus lanes, it's no surprise to find government buildings overrun with monkeys.
But the officials who work there are fed up. They've been bitten, robbed and otherwise tormented by monkeys that ransack files, bring down power lines, screech at visitors and bang on office windows.
The Supreme Court has stepped in, decreeing that New Delhi should be a monkey-free city after citizens filed a lawsuit demanding protection from the animals.
Rescuers Save Livestock From WildfiresHey, AP, a donkey ain't no small animal! But we can just stay in the greater L.A. area for our finally stop of the day...JUNKIES!
LOS ANGELES - Smoke billowed around Capt. David Havard and his animal rescue team as they swept into a San Diego canyon on a mission to evacuate six horses threatened by a raging wildfire.
[...] Throughout Southern California, animal rescue teams such as Havard's have risked their lives to corral horses, scoop up stray dogs and capture cats away from the advancing fire. Hundreds of rescuers — often volunteers — gather at staging areas near the blazes ready to step in at a moment's notice.
[...] But even Havard has never seen fires like those chewing through Southern California — so many at once and moving so quickly. He has worked incessantly since the first fires were reported, getting the call at 1 a.m. Saturday to help out in San Bernardino County. Since then, he has saved 250 horses and 50-100 small animals — cats, dogs, chickens, ducks, a donkey and a potbelly pig.
Scott Weiland Ordered to Drug RehabWe hope you enjoyed this little trip. Be sure to check back soon for another globe-spanning edition of Nancy Goldstein's Monkeys, Donkeys, and Junkies!
PASADENA, Calif. - Scott Weiland (news), lead singer for the Stone Temple Pilots, was ordered by a court official Thursday to immediately report to a live-in drug detoxification center and spend six months in a residential drug rehabilitation program. Weiland was charged Wednesday with a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence stemming from his arrest the day before in Hollywood.
Bidding currently stands at a mere three large for this wonderful conversation piece (though shipping will run about another grand), and while my brother sent me the link with the "Buy me this right now!!!" header, I had to explain to him that by all moral and ethical rights the Toad Car was mine.
You see, Mr. Toad and I have a history. For most of my childhood, my family used to spend two weeks in Florida every year, leaving Jersey on Thanksgiving (our traditional Thanksgiving feast was a chicken meal deal in a Roy Rogers in Virginia) for some quality grandparent time. Part of that trip always included a few days at Disney.
Now, this was always a great time to go, since it was the least busy time of the year, so that while the bigger rides (your Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise) would still have lines, the less popular ones would be veritable amusement ghost towns.
And Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was perhaps the ghostiest of the ghost towns. Based on a movie few had seen, with characters few could name, the now-defunct ride (replaced by some stupid hopefully-soon-to-be-sued-out-of-existence Winnie the Pooh crapfest) was still a hoot and a holler, fast=paced and funny, not the finely realized experience of the Peter Pan ride or the kitsch classic of Small World, but still worth the three minutes.
Which brings me to one of my fondest childhood memories: one year we made our customary trip on MTWR, though the line was a little shorter than usual...in fact, there was no line at all. We hopped into one of the cars (perhaps even the one on sale!) and rode, enjoying ourselves thoroughly. And when the ride finished up and we noticed that there was still no line...well, we asked if we could just go through again.
Folks, we rode that ride a dozen straight times, loving it a little more each time. And while it's looking more and more like I'll never be a billionaire, for that half-hour it was like we were the Rockefellers, rich enough to own our own amusement park and to ride the rides all day long, without a care in the world. And while a bit of my childhood died on my 27th birthday, when the last Wild Ride was rode, I believe that if my brother would only cough up a few bucks, that rare happy moment from my childhood could last forever. *sniff*
November 02, 2003
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