Archive for the ‘People’ Category

It’s true. I don’t always drink beer. I don’t care. I prefer wine. But what kind? I don’t much care about that. Your kids are sick? Too bad. No, that’s not right. I just don’t care.

6314300858_17c0be6411 Not me. Who cares?

As I said, it’s true. I could care less. There isn’t much of anything I do care about. My investments perhaps, but they are so many and so large, I just don’t care anymore. My trophy wife? Take her! She’s already my fourth one – they’re all the same anyway.

If I sneeze, no takes notice. Mosquitoes don’t fear me. I’m not on the Pope’s Rolodex either. And that’s all OK.  I’ve never excelled in sports, educational attainment, work, you name it. You see, I just don’t care. What I did care about at one time was that I’d been very good at making money. Don’t bother asking how, my attorney says it’s none of your business. Did I hurt your feelings by saying that? So what? I don’t care. Money can have that effect on one.

The funny thing is that at one point in my unbelievably fortunate life, I did care. Almost, but not quite bleeding heart liberal care. About everything. But after a while, a certain sameness crept in. I kept looking for greater thrills and stimulation. Oh, I found it and wallowed in it dirtily and happily. I had it all and I didn’t care any more. At this point if you’re still with me, and if you’re not, who cares?, I’ll tell you what happened.

Pure and simple, I ran for elected office and won. Would you expect anything else? I was able to convince the electorate that I cared. Isn’t that a joke? But I did. Deeply. And they believed it. And now I had to make good on all those bloated but hollow election promises. Do you know how impossible that is?  I’m surprised no one has been hung for some of the things we are forced to say in order to get elected. I guess it’s not perjury unless there’s a crime involved. Even then.

So, the first day in office, I was inundated by sycophants wanting something or to attach themselves to what they perceived as a newly minted seat of power. It was flattering at first but became tiresome rather quickly. I had my issues I wanted to advance. But, nooo, they had their issues too. They wanted snow removal; new pet pooper laws; real estate reassessments; zoning variances; that kind of crap. Before long, I started not to care any longer. It was that easy. And believe me, that quick.

So, while I know there’s a beer company advertising it’s “World’s Most Interesting Man”, the truth of the matter is that’s not me and I don’t care. He’s never been elected to office. He probably knows better than that. However, if he was, he wouldn’t care. And neither do I. And neither should you.

I just can’t stand to read the news anymore. Somehow or another, I’m terrified that the media will find out about my misdemeanors, felonies, and general poor behavior and have a field day with it. When one who is so famous and yet shuns the media spotlight, one lives in constant dread of being found out. One does. Really.

So, while waiting in the ne plus ultra waiting room of some mid-America airport, I happened upon the worst purveyor of such treacle, nay, trash – USA Today. While the paper itself has shrunk in on itself in size, it still harbors ambitions, however misplaced, of being a real newspaper. But one read of it will inform you otherwise. Unless you are entertained by the state-by-state snippets in the back of this publication passing for news, everything reeks of low-level sensationalism. Such is the fodder of the masses.

But read it I did for I am always in dread as mentioned before of being found out. Happily, there was no mention of my name or any of the aliases for which I’ve been known. Yet, I fear it is only a matter of time before things not perpetrated by me are soon ascribed to same. So it is with that in mind, I wish to inform all dear readers of the following:

I did not get Kate (or Pippa) Middleton pregnant. While an enticing proposition, I am innocent.


I did not get anyone elected. For that, one would have to vote. I categorically did not. Nor am I responsible for the “fiscal cliff”. That’s just hearsay.

I did not bench Mark Sanchez – whoever he is.

I'm just gonna dance right over there, and tackle your ass...

I have no friends with benefits. But they are grateful for universal healthcare.

I have never seen a trilogy of anything nor will I. I do have some pride left after all.

That is not me in those nude photographs, but I wish it was. Whoever it was was having a good time and looked really good.

I am not the love child of Dr. Phil and Roseann Barr. The resemblance, while remarkable, is accidental and unfortunate.


I did not, have not, will not leak any information to any intelligence gathering organization ever…unless a substantial advance is provided. And even then, I reserve the right of exaggeration as a negotiating tool.

I will never have a phone smarter than me.

I did see the movie ABBA, but I don’t talk anymore with the people who took me there. No use in encouraging them further.

I have never been caught in a compromising situation with Lindsay Lohan. Yet.

I have never made an illegal campaign contribution to a candidate who lost.

I have never cheated on a test unless you count paternity tests.

I do not believe in digital technology without latex gloves.


That’s about it. I could of course claim innocence for so much more and maybe some of that would be true, but it’s getting late and there are people outside with cameras and lights. What in hell do you think THAT’S all about?

You’ve got to keep this under your hat. but I’m about ready to give Bruce his walking papers. He’s just not pulling his weight which by the way is quite considerable. As I wrote the last time, it doesn’t seem like it’s working out. But, I can’t do this myself. Between my daytime responsibilities as a senior citizens crossing guard and part-time mercenary, my hands are pretty full. I have a full-time, unpaid position available for another to help me with this load. I’ve listed the qualifications here.

At work.

1. Must be able to construct sentences using the Ludovico Sentence Structure Construct. This consists of nouns, verbs, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives, participles, punctuation, and of course, correct spelling – no spell-check allowed. Compound sentences allowed only with poly-syllabic words.

2. All posts must use injunctive reasoning. If you do not know what this, do not bother applying.

3. No use of crayons allowed. What do you think is? Kindergarten?

4. Plagiarism is not permitted unless it actually enhances the post.

5. The use of legalese is discouraged. No “whereas’, “party of the…”, “wherefore”, “henceforth”, or anything that might be construed as a subpoena. Hell, we got enough of those already.

6. Correct use of tense and gender a must. This is not a PC blog and I don’t want it to be, ever. The goal is to call it as we see it. Tenderness is prohibited.

7. Cliches are encouraged. The more the better.

8. Check your snark index. If you border on being polite, try writing for the Christian Science Monitor. Politeness is for church, not here.

9. If you’ve won any awards or prizes for journalistic excellence, think twice about applying. This would probably end your career and I don’t want that on my hands.

10. If you’ve aspirations of moving up in this organization, then you’ve got more problems then I willing to handle. Walmart would be a better career move. Come to think of it, you would probably look good in one of those greeter’s vest.

11. If you are an illegal alien, that is in your favor since the pay is non-existent anyway.

12. Any political affiliation can be a problem. That’s just more baggage you’ll have to lose.

13. Do you have a record? If so, call…now! (This is for felonies, misdemeanors, grand theft, embezzling, etc. Any other need not apply.)

14. What is your favorite pizza top[ping? This can be a deal-breaker.

15. Are you currently under a restraining order(s)? If so, please list the name(s) of that/those person(s)? This is the kind of character reference we’re looking for. The larger the restraining order, the better your chances are to considered.

A valuable asset.

16. And finally… Is your name Bruce?

So, that’s it. Most of you reading this blog probably meet some of the qualifications already. But, I am going to be quite specific this time around. The last Bruce… well, if you’re hired, I’ll tell you over drinks. Your treat of course.

I called like I usually do to see if the other Bruce was ready to have our regular morning cappuccino, but there was no answer on his Star Flight 89 phone. That was odd as the Star Flight 89 is supposed to be capable of receiving and answering calls even when off. This didn’t distress me too much as Bruce was probably sleeping it off after being out the night before celebrating our housekeeper Mrs. Crosby finally getting her GED. Now we can probably expect her to ask for a raise as she is now a high school graduate or some such paper equivalent. Fat chance on that one! She came highly recommended but still is a thorn in our sides.

Mrs. Crosby before the party.

Anyway, I did not pay it much attention until lunchtime rolled around and Bruce didn’t show up for our daily stir-fry lunch of radicchio and tofu with a little Prego sauce tossed in for color. He never misses that one. So I tried calling him again but to no avail. I went to his home but his wife wasn’t there as well. Where the devil could they be? I must admit I was getting worried as Bruce had earlier testified in the trial of a politician who had sent incriminating photos of his nether region to the National Enquirer in hopes of getting a photo spread for his re-election. No surprise it didn’t work; but he did get an offer as a back up singer to Lady Gaga. He declined as he swore he didn’t know who she was – more proof that the electorate once again sent a total doofus to Washington. The politician swore Bruce would pay for his testimony. Could it be the Washington insider had already wreaked his revenge on Bruce, his wife and their beautiful children Taffy, Tad, and Milo?

Law has it that an adult is not missing until 24 hours have passed. With Bruce’s notorious short attention span, that 24 hours may as well have been 24 weeks. Time passes both slowly and quickly simultaneously for Bruce. Maybe Einstein was right about his theory.

Dinner came and went and still no Bruce. I called the police and inquired about an Amber alert but was told it was only for children. I tried to convince them of Bruce’s childlike wonderment of the world which made him eligible, but they would not cooperate. If anything happens to Bruce, I will personally hold them responsible. In the meantime, I think I’ll call Liam Neeson for help – he’s been down this road a couple of times.

Not the Liam Neeson I envisioned, but hell, he’ll do.

It was a sleepless night for all of us. Bruce’s lawyer called for whatever reason we’ll never know. Perhaps he was psychic. He wanted to know how Bruce was. How did he know? Was he involved somehow? Very strange until we found out he was looking for Bruce for an unpaid invoice. Typical lawyer.

This absence of Bruce carried over for a full week and a half with no sign of Bruce. And then we got a postcard from Bolivia. It seems he was taken hostage by a bunch of striking Bolivian tin workers demanding a ransom or they would separate Bruce from some of his vital organs. Needless to say this would put a big crimp in our plans for the upcoming opera season. It’s always something.

In a masterful stroke of diplomatic genius, I took over all the negotiations. It seems after a week and a half the tin workers were more than willing to turn Bruce over, ransom or no. Between his demands for a bed made properly, food cooked to his liking, and a general overall non-stop week and a half of whining, they had seen the folly of their undertaking. But they were not going to get off the hook so quickly. Oh, no.

While it’s true we wanted him more than they did, we would parlay this into a positive and come out smelling like roses, though when we did retrieve Bruce, he smelled nothing like any rose we’ve ever seen. Our negotiations went quickly, so desperate were they for relief. We got everything we demanded and probably could have gotten more but why be greedy?

Suffice to say, they paid royally for their misadventure. We now have: a lifetime subscription to Opera News, unlimited car washes for the Pignasaurus, five years worth of those entertainment coupon books, and a promise that sometime in the next couple of months they will take our housekeeper, the insufferable and over-paid Mrs. Crosby off of our hands. Hah, and they thought Bruce was a handful! I can hardly wait to see what she’ll get us!

Edible idiocy.

Posted: August 13, 2012 in Movies, People, Television
Tags: ,

“People are stupid. They have no couth. They also have criminally small vocabularies. I don’t want to talk with them any longer.” So sayeth the other Bruce. Come to think, I’m the other Bruce too. Who is writing this then? But I, the other other Bruce, digress.

So, so uncouth! (

We were traveling through middle-class, middle-of-the-road, mid-size, mid-America the other day when it dawned on Bruce that the language some use in a pejorative fashion tends to categorize the lesser thinkers among us as nothing more than poor food substitutes. And the longer he prattled on about it, the more convinced I became he might be on to something. But then again, it might have to do with the air-conditioning in our Pignasaurus doing its best impression of global warming and I was in the early stages of heat stroke and thus not in complete control of my faculties.

Now unless we or you are strolling along the African veldt, it’s highly unlikely that any of us would be mistaken for dinner. So why do some persist in putting others down by naming them as food? Unless it’s their secret intent to have us for dinner and I don’t mean over for dinner.

How about meatball: a tasty ball of indeterminate chopped meat usually accompanying spaghetti in a marinara sauce. This was a favorite name for Archie Bunker’s son-in-law Rob Reiner who now looks like a meatball. Life imitating art we suppose. Go figure.

Meatball! (

Or that man is a cold fish. Scaly with dead eyes? Smelly after a few hot days? Not really very nice unless you’re a sushi aficionado or do a mean Christopher Walken impression. Even then as a term of endearment, it falls very short of giving as a goof gift around the holidays. After a while, you too would also smell very badly.

Crackers? We like crackers with pate on them. But this is used in a couple of different ways. That guy is crackers. OK, maybe he is crazy, but you wouldn’t call him Triscuit, would you? And there is the “those crackers over there” use. Do not say this out loud near them. This is far worse. We’re not certain of the origin of this and are afraid to Google it as well. You can’t be too safe, you never know who is reading this. Nah, why worry, they’re just a bunch of dumb crackers anyway.

How about “That is a cheesy outfit.”? Or a cheesy mustache. On the mustache side, one runs the risk of looking like a seventies porn star. Cheesy indeed. Unless of course that is the desired look one is seeking in which case yes, it is definitely cheesy and we have some land in southern California we’d like to sell you. Cheesy outfits are inexcusable. They are usually found in Walmarts where most of the merchandise is Chinese. I don’t know about you, but my Levi’s better be made here…or at the very least Sri Lanka.

Some people are just by nature crabby. Is this due to a childhood deprivation or a nagging infestation that is not generally discussed in polite company? Or were their parents not really interested in finding Nemo after all? This being the Two Bruces, being crabby does not ever apply no matter what affectations we are displaying at the time. We are always of good nature and gentle heart and demeanor until our lacrosse team loses. Then just leave us alone unless you want some cheap sherry thrown at you.

Oh, yum! (

We of course could go on…and on. There is pork/pig, beefy, juicy, tomato, ham, turkey. Wait, that sounds like an awfully good sandwich. Maybe on a ciabatta roll? Stone-ground mustard please. But why bother? If one feels reduced to denigrating another by calling them a food name, go ahead. Breeding will always out. And so will the uncouth.

Everywhere I look, it’s Olympic this or Olympic that. It’s all Bruce has on TV these days. I think it reminds him of his halcyon days as an alternate for the Olympic Snipe Hunting Team. One could not see a sadder face than when Bruce was told he wasn’t going to the 1986 games. Crushed is too mild a word for his disappointment. He was in the best form of his life only to be beaten by some toothless guy from the Ozarks. So sad.

Winning Snipe Hunter! (the

But this year, Bruce and I have come up with a remedy for that – one that will open up entirely new opportunities for hopeful athletes everywhere. It’s one where a number of the cable networks will be clamoring for involvement. Just the sponsorship possibilities are staggering. We are certain at this time you’re asking, “What could this incredibly marvelous thing be? And how do I get involved?”

The Over the Hill Olympics (Othympics or OTHO for short) – pure and simple. Of course some of the current events will have to be modified to accommodate the increasingly fragile participants, but hey, no pain, no gain, right?

All events measured by time will now always have the time rounded up to the nearest minute. We’re not trying to fool anyone into thinking world records will be set by this, we’re just trying to be realistic. And fair. After all, these will be everyday Othympians.

The premier section of the games will be track and field. There will be an ambulatory set of events and a set for those Othympians with walkers. All walkers must conform to specifications lest anyone hold an unfair advantage, such as NASCAR-style drafting design elements. Some events will be shortened in time and/or distance in consideration of eventual darkness, commercial breaks, and nap time. Others will allow for some assistance as in the not-so-high jump. We are trying to be considerate of the injuries that may occur and the infirmities with which the Othympians arrive.

Other games will have new measurements. Take the shot put for example. Throwing it will not be the determining factor who wins. Rather, it will be who can pick it up the fastest without hurting themselves. This will be must-see TV.

Gymnastics will be reduced to one event, but one so important, it’s impact cannot be over-looked. This will the “I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up” competition. All participants will be bodily thrown to the ground. The one who gets up the quickest without using their Life-Alert (TM) wins. This will be incredible on slo-mo instant replay as it will probably be faster than the actual competition and will provide ample commercial opportunity.

Uh-Huh. Gold! (

So, you get the idea. If you have any events you would like us to include, shoot us a comment. We’re open to any ideas.

As we mentioned, this will be ripe for commercial sponsorship and participation. All events can be co-branded by their sponsor. We’ve already compiled a partial list of these. If you have any contacts within these companies, please let us know. Anything that greases the skids will help immensely. Speaking of greasing the skids, one sure-fire sponsor would be Metamucil. Others would include but certainly not limited to: Depends, Life-Alert, One-Touch monitors, Ensure, Beltone Hearing Aids, Flomax, Dollar Stores, the large print edition of the New York Times, Phoenix Life Insurance, the Lillian Vernon catalog, Gold Bond powders, Walk-In bathtubs, Denny’s, and much, much more. The possibilities are staggering. Corporate greed knows no boundaries.

How often does an opportunity like this come along? With the increased amount of baby-boomers going on Social Security, they have more time on their hands to compete or watch on their big-screen TV’s complete with audio assistance. It’s a marketers dream. Who’s with us?

This is the moment of truth. How many of you out there have purchased one of those “_____ for Dummies” books? Don’t sit there and deny it. We’ve seen the sales figures and we know what you’re up to. Get the hell over yourself already! That book ain’t gonna help you! If we can’t help you, then no one can and you’re just SOL. (Look it up, Einstein!) See what we mean by Dummies? Jeez!

Aww, c’mon! Really? (

The publishers have pretty much made their statement as to what they think of you. It’s simple – to them, you’re all dummies. Why else would they keep printing these books?

There is a “Dummie” book for just about anything in the world or so we thought until exhaustive research proved that these, so-called smart guys, (the publishers), over-looked some categories that without these books, you’d all be real dummies. With the exception of course, the two Bruces who will now happily join those so-called smart guys. So before long, you’ll be able to get these new books and enrich your wretched little lives. (Sorry about that, Bruce sometimes forgets his very humble beginnings.) These will be available at all popular book stores not including Borders.  Hey, we’re not dummies here!

For those of you who have mastered writing or some such approximation, take down these titles and buy these books if you want to move up to the position of shift manager of your local Dollar store. That guy in front of you isn’t any smarter than you, he’s just the owners’ idiot offspring from his second wife.

“Breathing for Dummies” – You’d be surprised how many schools have private remedial breathing classes. This should be mandatory to achieve citizenship. It has an advanced section on exhaling which should be read several times to perfect this activity.

“Walking for Dummies” – Left, right, left, right. How hard could that be? Amazingly, not following this can lead to serious and sometimes fatal tripping. The book comes with many simple to follow diagrams and one syllable words for easy reading. (Special discounts offered on crutches.)

Yeah, this is what we’re talking about. Read the “Walking for Dummies”” one first so you can then strut like a pimp. (

“Blinking for Dummies” – Once you get the hang of this, it’ll take forever to read.

“The Dummies’ Guide to Drinking Water” – This is not to be confused with the advanced book “Drinking for Dummies” which is all about alcohol consumption. This, through extensive research and illustrations, will demonstrate the correct way to consume water. Such chapters as “Not through your nose, Dummy” and “Ears are for Hearing” are must-reads.

“Hair-growing for Dummies” – Just look around and you decide who you want to give this book to as a gift. Special six-packs available.

After all of this, if you’re still struggling with life or whatever, we have just the book for you. Do not attempt to read it while walking, talking, eating, any natural process, or for you really big dummies out there, reading.

Let’s be careful out there. (

Stalkers beware!

Posted: June 4, 2012 in People, Politics
Tags: , , ,

Stalkers get a bad rap and with good reason. They don’t contribute anything to the economy with the exception of an increase in ski mask sales. Additionally, one can’t define stalkers by one stereotype. No, there are many different types. Bruce and I, or more properly for this entry, me and Bruce, have done breakthrough research on stalkers. It was eye-opening.

A long time ago, what is now considered stalking and a punishable crime, was what shy people did harmlessly. They were too afraid to approach the really pretty girl or guy and would hide behind trees to steal a glance. Right, Bruce? You remember that, I know you do! Oops, digression here.


Sometimes, they would eventually get up the nerve to approach the other person and ask them out on a date. Harmless so far, right? Absolutely. Every now and then they would succeed, get married, start a family, and then run for office for which they are completely unqualified for. Still, really pretty harmless. Look at Dennis Kucinich. Have you seen his wife? Major babe! Dennis ran for office and succeeded. Big time. See?

But the fly in the ointment, for which many of these shy people wound up needing (the ointment, not the fly!), is when they were rejected. They simply were not equipped to handle this and that led to some really off-the-wall behavior. The kind of stuff you see on Access Hollywood, supermarket tabloids, Fox News, and 60 Minutes. Oh yeah.

First it was celebrities being stalked by star-struck fans who only wanted to marry them. Hannibal Lector, where are you now that we need you?

“I’ll have some fava beans with that please. And a nice Chianti.”

Ah, the price of fame. Everybody wants to be a star or at least married to them or have their children or some such other depravity.

Don’t forget ex’s as a category. Getting a divorce and don’t really want one because you’re still mooning over that totally incompatible spouse of your? What do you do? Right… stalking, in the hopes that this misguided attention on your part on their behalf will win you back into their hearts. You are such a loser! That’s why they’re divorcing you. You need to pay more attention to your Beanie Baby collection.

One could call political candidates stalkers and be justifiable. They show up when you least expect them to; take you by surprise with their faux friendliness; and then screw you as soon as they can. Yeah, they’re stalkers alright!

And the biggest tool stalkers have now is Facebook. Oh, yeah. Admit it. You’ve been guilty of this. We know ’cause we know who’s been looking at us on FB! If you’re reading this, you better cop a plea because the next knock on the door won’t be a “Friend”, but he or she will know your name and will even kindly inform you of your rights.


Now if that wasn’t enough, there are miscreants out there stalking complete strangers because they like the way they look or smell or dress or… well, you get the idea. Not a bad premise, but a totally stupid action. To those who do this…did you ever think that maybe these people are stalking you? Think about it. Why do you keep seeing them? Everywhere? It’s not coincidence. No, you are now the stalkee. How does does it feel now, loser? Yeah, right. Deal with it!

What do you do when your best friend blogs behind your back? It’s a tacky question and one I’ll be inquiring of my attorney about. So to get even, here’s my version of the story and I’m sticking to it!

So, Bruce and I get into the time machine and head down to the annual Memphis in May Barbeque Fest. This is a paean to all things pig, all things pork, and all things excessive. In other words, just the kind of stuff we like to comment on.

All things pork and wonderful.

Imagine if you will, acres of riverfront park given over to the wholesale worship of porcine cooking. No, it’s not the Oscar Meyer cafeteria, but there were two Wienermoibiles! Who knew there was a fleet of them? We asked if we could drag race them down Riverside to see if the red hotdog Wienermobile was faster than the everyday one, but they declined. They didn’t relish that idea (yeah, we know!) and something about there being a mustard shortage. Hmmm.

So we wandered around in search of free food and drink. Never let it be said that either Bruce is not a resourceful sort of guy. Read this as us being really cheap and wanting to score some gratis grub. What you got to know about this is that these people are very friendly but serious. They have a competition to see who has the best ribs, best pulled pork (conjures up images of…better left unsaid), best cole slaw, really. They have judges and blue ribbons and Pabst Blue Ribbon and these guys work hard at this. Almost as hard as they do partying. Almost as hard as they do coming up with their team names. Our favorite is Aporkalypse Now. I love the smell of bacon in the morning!

We were in luck. We were able to con our way into a few booths and sample the goodies. Free pig, free beans and slaw, free beer! What’s not to like? It’s all good. Some different from the set-up next door, but still good stuff. There’s nothing like seeing a pig/hog (what’s the difference?) being gutted, sewn up and stuck on a spit for its final indignity before becoming a version of Anthony Bourdain’s favorite food. Yeah, good stuff.

So, hopefully you get the picture of this swine soiree. But this has been just about the hosts and their fare. What about the guests?

Indicative of the crowd.

Without a doubt, some of the guests, no, many of the guests could qualify for being stuck on a spit. And should be. With absolutely no exaggeration, here are some of the things witnessed at this pork party. One guy, covered in many tattoos, smoking a cigarette, was driving golf balls into the Mississippi River. He was quite proud of the one he drove onto a coal carrying barge, this coughing up a small plume of coal dust when his ball struck. Hope the captain saw it and rang the emergency bell. What fun!

Then there are the attendees intent on becoming as red as the pigs over the open flames. They were succeeding. And like the aforementioned pigs, they had just a little, stress little, more clothing on them than the pig. The scary thing about many of these is that they were almost as large of the porcine roasters. This is what drives people to vegetarianism.

We walked by one team’s booth and one of the team members was flat on his back, sound asleep, lustily dreaming of pork. How do we know? Use your imagination. It wasn’t pretty. Government regulations prevent us from showing the lucky guy. Or at least he hoped he was going to get lucky later.

The decorations used by teams are worthy of any Fellini movie; Satyricon comes to mind. Gaudy, bawdy, oh lawdy, how trashy! Yeah, it is all good.

Next year, we’re going to a nun’s convention. We hear they have a lot of bad habits to kick.

The Worst Job In America

Posted: May 19, 2012 in Humor, People
Tags: ,

The 2 Bruces went to the Memphis In May International Barbecue Fest yesterday afternoon.   Why?  It was Friday, we live in Memphis, it is May, it was very hot and humid, and we were hungry.  Plus, the other Bruce had a free parking pass.

What is this world famous festival of pork?  As a Jewish kid from Brooklyn who came to Memphis in 1989 to get married, work, live, and procreate, I learned quickly that kosher would not likely be in my vocabulary anymore.; not that it really ever was.    Anyway, Memphis in May’s World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is held in mid May each year down by the beautiful Mississippi River at Tom Lee Park.  Hundreds of teams compete for over $110,000 in prizes and supreme bragging rights. Teams adorn their areas with elaborate decoration, trophies attesting to their boasting rights, and as one can imagine, clever and creative team names. While grilling is the main theme, the contest wouldn’t be complete without the Ms. Piggie Idol competition where the finest swine tests their vocal skills, and grown men dress in tutus and snouts and women kick their heels (hooves) up. There is also a t-shirt competition and even a best booth contest.   It is truly a lot of fun.  I never get bored watching people.  It is better than sitting on a bench at Times Square.   Each year I try and go down to the river before the tourists and big crowds make their way.  Plus, if you know some of the booth owners, Friday lunch is on them.

I have been noticing each year that security is getting tighter.  It makes sense on one level.  With the threat of international terrorism on the rise, it is conceivable that someone would want to do harm at the international barbecue festival.  Right?  Wrong!!!

What are the possible acts of terrorism that may occur at the Memphis In May festival?  Well, yesterday we saw one of those institutional garbage collection containers smoking, and I noticed a man with a small garden hose keeping it under control.  I asked what the problem was, and he stated “the usual, these rednecks do not know how to dispose of charcoal”.  As the water from the Mississippi flowed on the pile, I thought how terrible it must be for those in New Orleans having less water coming down that way.  Terrorism?  Nope.

I saw another guy, likely from Frayser, hitting golf balls into the Mississippi River from a makeshift putting green right at the edge of the river bank. First a cigarette puff, then a swing, then a puff, then a swing.   I asked him if he was keeping away the terrorist gulls that were trying to politely fish for food.  “Nope, just keeping up with my game”.  I had this thought of a bloated catfish in Vicksburg, MS, coughing up a golf ball.

Then why is it that on the entrance line, as I passed through the gate, that I was greeted with “show us your belt line”.  What the hell does that mean, as I thought for a second.  Oh, they want all of us to pull up our shirts to prove that we had nothing hiding in there that might be considered dangerous to the barbeque festival?  What?????   You’re shitting me????  They have enough propane, charcoal, lighter fluid, electrical wires, batteries, and booze on the other side of the fence to blow up Tehran.  Why would I carry a concealed weapon into the fest?  So, I was sure the next communication was going to be, “all laptops, liquids, gels, keys, shoes, money, must be checked separately”.  I did not hear that, and thanks for small favors.

So, I inquired to the guy; are you telling me that your job is to look at people’s guts all day; men, women, children?  Yes, sir.  I reminded him that Memphis and the mid-south has the highest obesity rate in the country.   Do we think the bigger danger to America is obesity or whether a terrorist may hold up a festival booth for its baked beans as in  “this is a terrorist act; I want all of your baked beans”;  yes, and I know you must have extra  molasses back  there……..!

I used to think that the poor shmuck who pats down people at the airport had the worst job in America.  I mean, seriously, touching people’s privates all day may seem fun, but it must get old.   Now I am convinced that the worst job in America is at the Memphis In May International Barbeque Fest.  Hats off to the guy who stands in the hot sun all day asking for people to pull up their shirts and show them their belt line (code for overweight, barbeque and fast food filled gut).