October 31, 2003

Okay, people, let's try this again! You've already let me down on the whole my-sister's-birthday thing, but I'm willing to give you one more chance. Tomorrow is the birthday of a certain, special somebody, one of my dearest friends in the world, and a smokin'-hot dame, to boot. That's right, Jahna D'Lish. So how's about you head over there right this very second and wish the old bat a happy birthday, hmmm? It's really the least you could do.

As for me, I'm gonna throw on a weak-ass costume and head out to get hornsnackered on this little one-time-a-year candy-corn-and-vodka cocktail I like to call a Haunted Hoedown. Don't wait up.
I am totally giddy from sugar right now. Wheeee.

October 29, 2003

Boy, this is the time of year when winter really starts smacking you in the face, innit? (I guess it could easily be much, much worse, though.) Not to mention the time when I realize that, if I am going to a Halloween party, I should probably think about an actual costume, so I don't have to search my room on my way out the door and go as Five-Sweater Guy or The Human Office-Supplies Cabinet again. On a completely unrelated note, this is easily the single greatest invention of the past quarter-century, and I plan to buy one for each room in my house, just in case.
Boy, my plan to increase Belgian readership my focusing on bizarre local donkey-related contests was worked like a frigging charm!

October 27, 2003

Only one of you (Murph) wished my sister Nancy a happy birthday. That's all I asked you to do, and only one of you (Murph) did. It's not like it cost anything, or took a long time. Yet still, only one (Murph).

Thanks a lot, pricks. (Not Murph)
The Return of Koen: (Runner-Up) King Donkey of Kuurne! Ah, how time flies. Can it be only a month ago that we first heard from Koen Vermandere, who was seeking our help in become this year's King Donkey of Kuurne, Belgium, a title and position that I still only vaguely understand? And can it be only a scant three weeks ago that we found out that Koen lost the title in a closely contested final to Freddie "Boom Boom" Tytgat?

Well, we finally heard from Koen with the details, and while it may take a little while to post the shocking photos, we are proud to feature the following highlight from the competition. The contestants needed to write and recite an 'Ode aan de Ezel' ('Ode to the Donkey'); Koen's beautiful ode is presented below:
Ode to the Donkey

O Donkey,

As soon as I behold thee, my insignificant person disappears totally into nowhere.

When I look to your ears, how pertly they turn around in all direction of the wind, so that no novelty or gossip eludes thee.

O, out respect for thee I stop speaking.

When I look to your sumptuous brown eyes that are glistering from pleasure and shine from intelligence.

O, I don't dare to look at thee.

When I look to your magnificent head, perfectly placed on your muscular neck, I get tears in my eyes.

O, tears of jealousy.

When I look to your elegant feet, how brave they replace your weight in a stylish way.

O, there are not enough words.

When I look to your well-shaped hoofs, handsomely draped underneath your elegant ankles.

O, the are truly divine.

When I look to your mighty thorax, perfectly overflowing to your back, whether or not crucified.

O, heavenly, then I get quiet.

When I look to your skillful tail that chases flies away in a smooth way and when you are relieving yourself, how very clever you keep your tail clean by putting it proud in the air.

O, I fall silent, because I cannot do this.

O Donkey, with you everything disappears into nothing…
And if you don't have a tear in your eye after reading this touching masterwork, then you can just close the browser window and stay the hell away because I don't want you reading my site. Thank you, Koen.

October 26, 2003

Whoooo!!! Let's all take this opportunity to wish my sister Nancy a happy 25th birthday! Now, longtime Donk readers will know that Nancy is more than just one of my eight wonderful siblings, she's an integral part of my news-gathering team! Whether she's reporting on breaking crime stories, international sporting events, or fabulous superstars, Nancy has always provided readers with stories that just aren't available anywhere else. Thank you, tiny sister, and have a good one.
Is there anything sadder than when there's a guy at a restaurant who's in the process of being stood up for a date, and he knows he's being stood up but doesn't want to leave because there's still an infinitesimal chance that she's just running late even though it's like over an hour after the time he made sure to confirm and she has his cell number anyway, and because he's feeling self-conscious about the whole thing he orders an extra soda and drinks some of it and puts the glass over by the other seat just so it'll look like his date or friend or whoever just got up to go the bathroom and will be unaloning him any second? You cannot think of anything sadder that doesn't involve tiny sick infants.

So my new theory is that even the vaguest semblance of phone etiquette will be completely gone within a few years, and not for reasons having anything to do with any increase in rudeness or business, but rather due to the increased use of cellular phones. Basically, for about 90% of the personal calls I make, not only do I know that only one person will possibly be answering the phone, but because of their Caller ID they already know that I'm calling. Hence, most of my conversations begin with the other person saying "Hey" or "Ken," and there's just no reason for anything but the most perfunctory pleasantries.
Via The Morning News: Collection of 26 Beanie Babies from Ex-Wife for sale on eBay.
Ladies and Gentlemen...Mr. Johnny Cash.
Well I woke up Sunday morning
With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt
And the beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad,
So I had one more for dessert.
Then I fumbled in my closet through my clothes
And found my cleanest dirty shirt.
Then I washed my face and combed my hair
And stumbled down the stairs to meet the day.

On a Sunday morning sidewalk
I'm wishing Lord that I was stoned
'Cause there's something in a Sunday
That makes a body feel alone.
And there's nothin' short of dyin'
That's half as lonesome as the sound
Of a sleepin' city sidewalk
And Sunday mornin' comin' down.

October 23, 2003

Can somebody out there please tell me just what it is that I'm doing wrong?

October 22, 2003

Boy, if there was anything that could have gotten me to turn the TV off and the radio on (even with the absolutely horrific Harold Reynolds announcing) it was McCarver and Buck palling around with Bud Selig, who was listening to them on his headphones. Click. Meanwhile, I have to admit that I felt a little teary-eyed when Roger Clemens, who I have watched and admired for most of my baseball life, closed out the 7th inning with a K and walked off the field for perhaps the final time. And is it safe to say that Alfonso Soriano is officially the Rick Ankiel of the 2003 World Series? And my body can't take too many more of these post-midnight finishes; don't these people know I work for a living. It definitely makes me miss my time on the West Coast, when even the lastest finishes still allowed for plenty of shuteye.

October 21, 2003

A Whole Bunch of Little Bits and Stuff with Dots in Front of Them!

October 20, 2003

if i don't get on a plane and fly very far away very soon i am going to go crazy go nuts

October 18, 2003

Speaking of which, my World Series prediction is Yankees in five. No money on this one, though; betting sports is a mug's game.
[Submitted for your approval, below is a timely repost of an article I wrote during the All-Star break, taking a look at home-field advantage during the World Series.]

With all the hullaballoo over the new plan of awarding the All-Star Game winner home-field advantage in the World Series (which is shockingly creating even more buzz than the powerhouse matchup of Esteban Loaiza vs. Jason Schmidt), FOXSports went and did a quick check to find out just how much home-field really means in the World Series.

Interestingly enough, they found out that it means a lot. In the 98 World Series played since 1903, the home team has a 56-42, for a .571 winning percentage. Continuing the theme, I did some research on my own and found that in the 35 Game 7's (one of them was actually a Game 8, caused by a tie in the Series), the home team has a 19-16 record, for a similar .543 winning percentage. This slight but not overwhelming advantage seems in line for a sport where home-field advantage probably means less than it does for any other major sport.

Now, these stats are actually hiding a fairly massive shift in the game during recent years. From 1903 through 1981 there were 78 World Series played (there was no Series was played in 1904), and the teams with home-field advantage were actually at .500, 39-39. Continuing this theme, for the first 31 Game 7's the visiting team counter-intuitively had a winning record, 13-16.

I hadn't actually heard too much about this subject before the last few weeks, when people began to really think about the ramifications of the new All-Star Game rules, and it got me to wondering just what could have caused such a massive shift in the very foundations of the game. And once I started looking into it, the answer was fairly obvious: the Designated Hitter.

The DH was first introduced in 1973, and made its World Series debut in 1976 (Dan Driessen of the Reds holds the odd distinction of being the first NL DH). For the first ten years of its World Series existence the DH was alternated like home-field advantage (though, perhaps in an attempt to even out the factors, it was only used in seasons when the NL had the advantage). Starting in 1986, however, the rules changed, with the DH being used in all of the games played at the AL team's park.

What this means is that starting in 1986, for perhaps the first time, the team playing at home actually has a real advantage in the World Series, since fundamentally different games are being played in AL and NL parks. The home team gets to use players and play a style of game they are intimately familiar with, with the visiting team being forced to learn a new game at precisely the most important time of the year.

Perhaps because of this, in the 16 World Series played since this rule went into effect, the team with the home-field advantage has a 14-2 record, including an 6-0 record in deciding Game 7's. And for this reason, the fact that home-field advantage has become such an important part of the World Series, I can't be in favor of it being decided by an exhibition game. In this case, I think that alternating is fairer.
Deep Throat. The true identity of the anonymous figure who served as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's chief source of Watergate information has long been a subject of speculation and mystery. Among the dozens of names floated have been Pat Buchanan, G. Gordon Liddy, and numerous White House staff members, but so far the truth has not been revealed.

Woodward has publicly stated that he will reveal Deep Throat's identity upon the source's death, itself providing an important clue, one which we here at The Donk hope to explore fully. So without any further ado, let us present the first edition of what we hope will become a regular series here at The Donk: Not Deep Throat.

Veteran actress Florence Stanley passed away on October 3 at the age of 79. While perhaps best known for her TV work, including the roles of Bernice Fish on "Barney Miller" and Judge Margaret Wilbur on "My Two Dads," Stanley also appeared on Broadway in "Fiddler on the Roof" and in numerous films. She is survived by her husband, two children, two grandchildren, and as can be indicated by Woodward's silence, she was not Deep Throat.

Thank you. This has been the first edition of Not Deep Throat, a new series here at The Donk.

October 16, 2003


October 15, 2003

Speaking of poor bastards whose brief moments of carelessness will haunt them until the day they die, what do you wanna bet that Bill Buckner will be sitting at home tomorrow night praying that, say, Todd Walker lets a bases-loaded, game-winning grounder go through his legs in the bottom of the 9th?
The Marlins just defeated the Cubs 9-6 to advance to the World Series and ruin this poor bastard's life forever. Coming up tomorrow night is ALCS Game 7, Yanks versus Sox, in what should easily be the greatest event in the long history of mankind. They could stop playing baseball after the game because, seriously, what would be the point of staging thousands of pathetic anticlimaxes annually? Tomorrow night Jesus Christ could make his second coming at the surprise wedding of Ben and J-Lo, and Fox would just run the news as a little text crawl on the bottom of the screen so as not to distract viewers from the Pedro/Rocket rematch. I can't wait.

October 14, 2003

On a completely unrelated note, I'd really appreciate it if somebody could tell me why I'm suddenly getting dozen of referrals for Jim and Jennifer Stolpa, who were the subject of my "10th Anniversary Edition of The Greatest Quote Ever Regarding the Loss of One's Extremities Through Frostbite by Somebody Who Was Portrayed in the Movie Dramatizing His Ordeal by TV's Douglas 'Doogie' Howser." It just seems a little strange, that's all.
Baseball is an amazing game, innit?

October 12, 2003

Not that I didn't have a lovely time with D'Lish driving around Vermont and visiting an amazing and highly recommended haunted house, but why oh why did I have to miss that game! I couldn't even get it on the radio (and what the heck is up with that?!)! At least the last time something like this happened, when I was on a long Vermont weekend back in October 2001, I was spared the sight of my Mariners being crushed by the Yanks.

But the trees were really spectacular. I'm sure D'Lish will have more about this, but unfortunately no pictures.

October 10, 2003

If I were a cheesy afternoon-drivetime radio DJ I'd definitely be playing that "I don't wanna work I just wanna bang on the drums all day" song, but since I'm not I'll probably just go into Manhattan and hang with my small sister. I bought my brother lunch today, will probably buy my sister dinner (I usually don't mean to, but the last two times the check came I pulled out my wallet and she thanked me, and I didn't want to look cheap about it)...am I a fine sibling or what?

In side notes before I go: Mr. Whybark has once again gone above and beyond in touching up the IllDonk logo to reflect Koen Vermandere's poor showing; if Murph is reading this, I was pretty excited to see that Entertainment Weekly used the expression "up in his grill" in relation to Mel Gibson and the Anti-Defamation League; Jahna D'Lish, who I will be road-tripping with tomorrow, thought that I didn't make it clear that the two bartenders making out by the light of the Statue of Liberty were both of the female persuasion (though it seemed pretty obvious to me).

October 09, 2003

A Disheartening Setback for Both Bumfighting and Bumhunting. Sure, Schwarzenegger, Bustamante, McClintock, etc. But who managed to finish 135th out of 135 candidates for the California Governorship, with only 172 votes? Todd Richard Lewis, the 27-year-old behind the wrong and wrong "Bumfights" videos. Kind of sad, really.

Lewis finished 23 votes behind #134 Gene Forte, who last week hired a professional Arnold-impersonator for his public appearances and filed battery charges against a Schwarzenegger bodyguard. Democracy totally kicks ass.

October 07, 2003

Whatever Happened To...? With all the posting and poetry and potpourri here at The Donk, sometimes it's easy to lose track of old friends. With that in mind, let's see how a few past subjects of merriment are doing these days:

October 05, 2003

Two Years of Laughter, Two Years of Love.

Yes, folks, it was exactly two years ago today that this here blog made its completely avoided debut. And while a lot has changed over these past two years — I was in a relationship then, I'm single now; I was stuck in the suburbs then, I'm living fancy-free in JC now; donkeys were allowed to roam free then; today they're subject to cruel discrimination and harassment — what hasn't changed here at IllDonk Industries is our commitment to bringing you folks the finest in inessential punditry and snarkyuks. We may get all the money and fame, but we know that without each and every one of you, we would be nothing.

And to continue what has been a longtime special-events tradition at The Donk...MONKEYS!!!

October 02, 2003

Beautiful sweet fall is here with the fresh chill swimming through my body slapping me awake grinning with dreams of bonfires and spiced cider. Ahhhh, lovely.
Mr. October. You know, folks, it occurred to me last night as I watched two extremely attractive bartenders making out by the glowing lights of the Statue of Liberty that I don't point you over to Paul Katcher nearly enough, so lets remedying that oversight with a whole bunch of Katcher-related links.

First, of course, is the indispensable PaulKatcher.com, which today is celebrating one of the finest moments in Yankees history (and one of the lowest in Red Sox), Bucky Dent's go-ahead three-run homer in the 7th inning of the one-game playoff for the AL East title. It doesn't appear that there will be a 2003 rematch, though, as the Red Sox are already down two games to zip in the best-of-five, while the Yankees have finally broken out the bats, scoring three big runs against the Twins as I'm typing this paragraph.

Continuing the baseball theme, Paul has put together a terrific World Series package for Time.com, with the ten greatest moments, an all-time starting lineup (though I would have liked to see more than two starting pitchers, which might have made room for Christy Mathewson, if for his 1905 performance alone: complete-game shutouts in games 1, 3 &5), the how-did-they-lose teams, and much more.

And finally, my friend Keith and I would like to thank Paul and his friend Kevin for the invite to the splendid New York City Bartenders & Patrons Booze Cruise. What better way to spend a lovely autumn night than with a few beers, some pizza, a delightful boat ride around the East River, and a trio of naughty barmaids. It made us happy just to be alive.
A Great Day for Funny.

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