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appshirt.jpgOr at least I hope it does. You may remember that during last year’s run-up to the NCAA tournament, I wrote a post called “Who the Hell are the Appalachian State Mountaineers?”. I bet the Appys that they wouldn’t be able to drive me into the WordPress top 10, and if they did, I said I’d buy and wear an App St. shirt during the SoCon tournament.

They did (with some help from Deadspin, but still) so I bought a nice shirt. I remarked at the time how odd I thought it was that the bookstore only took phone orders. Well, now that the Fightin’ Yosefs have beat Michigan, I know that poor lady who sold me my shirt is being drowned in a sea of phone calls from the vicinity of Columbus. So I thought I’d offer up my barely-used bet-settling shirt in the service of schadenfreude. And hopefully my wallet.

So here it is.

Let your Buckeye lunatic fringe know where to find it.

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Go Marcus, it’s your birthday. Gonna sip Bacardi like it’s your birthday!

As my friend Ben said this morning: “What kind of a world do we live in when Marcus is the good Vick brother?”

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If you’ve ever wanted to know what a bunch of no-talent assclowns would do if they were GM’s, all you have to do is read just about any blog around. But if you want to know what no-talent assclowns would do, and then watch Awful Announcing make fun of their “acumen”, then you really need to go check out the AA Mock Draft. I hear we’ve been graded.

I was in charge of adding pieces to Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat, and I kept having the urge to go foreign, because the Heat have NO overseas dudes. And that’s not cricket, mate. I’ll say two things about my first and second round picks, and then leave you to follow the link: “Who wants to sex the Splitter?” and “Honka Espoo”.

Now, run along, you little scamps.

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Some of you may have awakened this morning to check out the Ladies… Hot Blogger Brackets.  You may have seen me matched up with Monday Morning Punter from Kissing Suzy Kolber and thought “Wow, that sucks for him!”  You don’t know the half of it.  When I see MMP gazing out at me, turning all pruny from the bath with suds in his chest hair, I don’t fear for my chances of advancement.  I fear for my very soul.

It was 1971, and we were in the Cambodian jungle.  I was a buck private, straight out of Fort Riley, but my natural talents at subterfuge, backstabbing, and not taking a shower for weeks had been recognized during training, and I had been assigned to an elite Black Ops unit.  Our job was to penetrate the Cambodian border and destroy illegal NVA staging areas.  This was my first such mission.

We were illegals in Cambodia as well, and if captured, we would be left to almost certain torture and imprisonment.  To guard against this possibility, none of us were allowed to use our real names.  My Sergeant was a terrifying, soulless man I knew only as Monday Morning Punter.  My callsign?  Extrapolater.  Because they let us pick our own names and.. well… I’m kind of a dork.

Anyway.

We moved at night and slept holed up in the foliage during the day.  I was awakened one sultry morning by an unaccustomed chill running down my spine.  It was Sgt. Punter, pissing on my back.

“Wake up, Rookie.  It’s rainin’!”  He threw his head back and laughed.  The long, descending laugh of a bald-headed loon.

We shouldered our packs and began to walk.   Time was of the essence, but we couldn’t afford true speed.  Every broken branch was like a shout to our North Vietnamese adversaries, like A-Rod shouting “Mine!  Mine!  MINE!” at a sinewy ecdysiast.  Usually we skirted around the villages, but today MMP had a different plan.

“I smell varmint poontang” he said, gritting his teeth as he peered at a collection of hovels.  “Let’s go drown some kittens.”

You see, animal death is nothing new to the boys at Kissing Suzy Kolber.  Today they’ve worked their way up to alligator vs. Dik Dik, but back then the balance was not always in the animal’s favor.  Back then it was man vs. beast in the jungle, and Sgt. Punter hated kittens.  Just hated them.

“Goddamn, I hate Kittens” he grunted.

We moved into the village hard and fast.  As the locals cowered on the ground, we spared only a few poorly-aimed kicks in their direction.  MMP wasn’t hunting humans that day. 

We burst into a hovel that housed a few motley chickens.  From the corner came a piteous mewing.  Sarge looked straight at me.

“Time to prove yourself, kid.  Sack ’em up”.

Time stood still.  I wish I could say that I had displayed the kind of plucky courage shown by Michael J. Fox as he stood up to the brutal Sean Penn in the 1989 classic Casualties of War.  But I didn’t.  I was weak, and I did not yet understand that the chain of command is subordinate to the steady drumbeat of morality.

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I sacked ’em up, but I couldn’t drown them.

Sarge spat on me, kicked me bloody, and then gave me one of Big Daddy Drew’s poopy towels to clean myself up with.  When we returned from the mission, he declared me “unfit for duty” and transferred me to China Beach medical station.  There was a hot nurse there from Kansas, so I didn’t mind so much.

I had forgotten about my harrowing experience.  Shoved that hateful memory so deep down in my subconscious that I thought it would never see the light of day.  But then I pull up my browsing window this morning and there he is, staring back at me with mockery in his eyes, and bubbles on his chin.  We are adversaries once again.

Well, I’m not a sack of kittens, MMP.  This isn’t Cambodia.  Prepare yourself for a fight.

If you’re out there, getting ready to cast your vote, and you’re thinking.  “Yeah, I’m going to vote for the younger, hotter, more popular writer from the bigger blog”, just think about what I’ve told you today.  I gave it to you at great cost, and I would not sell myself so dearly and have nothing come of it.

This is Roger Goodell’s America, and behavior counts.

Vote for me, Extra P.

Paid for by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth In Blogging

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I was out wandering around and decided that since Shorty and Ted had covered pretty well around here, I’d go write something hateful about SEC football at Loser With Socks instead.

Read it.

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Ladies & Gentlemen, I invite you today to join me for the inaugural class of the Flautist Hall of Fame. I wouldn’t exactly say that we have a physical location picked out for the actual building yet, but we have some really promising leads, and in the meantime, the corner of my unfinished basement will do.

Outside of classical music, the flautist doesn’t get much credit. We’re here to change that. I give to you, the inaugural class of the Extrapolater’s Flautist Hall of Fame!

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iananderson.jpgIan Anderson

The genius behind Jethro Tull knew that rock n’ roll is flute music, pure and simple. He was a pioneer and iconoclast who resisted the siren song of “It’s a rock band, Ian, why don’t you just add another electric guitar?”. It is a little known fact that Mr. Anderson penned Thick As A Brick as an acid-tongued rebuke to his detractors. I dare you to listen to the roaring flute breaks in such classics as Aqualung and Locomotive Breath and not feel a tear trickle down your cheek and into the bodice of your tunic.

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bjornlindhsmall.jpgBjorn Json Lindh

Known as much for his sound as for his pioneering use of the flute “power stance“, Bjorn Json Lindh contributed the haunting flute riffs to Murray Head’s 1985 hit One Night in Bangkok. His courageous and engrossing life story will be brought to the silver screen in early 2008, with the primary role played by veteran British actor Michael Caine.

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menatworkham.jpgGreg Ham

Would Men at Work have been able to score a huge U.S. hit with Land Down Under without the stirring flute work of Greg Ham? I think not. Mr. Ham is also honored for his crossover work as an actor, including his appearances in the Australian TV series While You’re Down There, which certainly sounds like it may have included some sort of skin flute performance. I’ve never seen it.

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burgundyflute.jpgRon Burgundy

Perhaps the most enigmatic of our inductees, Mr. Burgundy was a master of the flautist’s art who never truly reached his full potential. Devotees blame his egotistical infatuation with television newscasting for drawing him away from his gift. His marriage to fellow talking head Veronica Corningstone drove the final nail in the coffin of his career. At least we have this rare video of a live performance to show us what might have been.

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And how can we mention Ron Burgundy without paying tribute to his teacher, the master flautist…

herbie-pushpush.jpgHerbie Mann

No other player personifies the raw sex appeal of the flute like Herbie Mann. He announced his presence with authority on the 1955 release The Mann With the Most, and followed that triumph with classics such as Et Tu, Flute?, High Flutin’, and Supermann. But nothing can trump the erotic flute-fest Push Push. Legend has it that this 1971 album ranks second only to Barry White’s Greatest Hits as a conception aid for infertile couples. Words fail me, just listen.

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I am truly humbled to be in the presence of these great ones who serve as the inaugural class of the Flautist Hall of Fame. If you know of a small municipality that might be willing to give us a tax break on exhibition space, let me know. And please don’t forget to leave your nominations for next year’s class in the comment field.

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Update: A reader named Stacey turned me on to this budding genius – he covers the theme songs to “Inspector Gadget” and “Beverly Hills Cop” while beatboxing into a flute!!!!!  I don’t know if this can be topped:

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the_residents.jpgI had a great email conversation with a friend of mine who went to the same High School as I did. She reminded me that my 20th reunion was coming up (a freaky thing to type, indeed), and said that I should go.

Now, she and I both hated high school and moved far away from our hometown, so I couldn’t imagine what her line of reasoning would be.

She said, in part: This is your one opportunity to completely jack with people. It’s like adult halloween! You can hire a spanish-speaking woman to play your wife and argue with her all night in two different languages about drugs, cousins, jail time, whatever!

Needless to say, I saw her point. I only kept up with a couple of friends from High School, and they would totally be willing to play along with something like this. The rest of them don’t know me from Adam, so I could tell them anything.

Some ideas:

  • Bring my four-year-old son with me. When someone asks “Is this your son? He’s so cute!” I look down at him, say “Nope”, and walk away.
  • Tell them I spent three years in the minors and made it to spring training with the Phillies. I had to quit after Lenny Dykstra nailed me with a water cooler and gave me post-concussion syndrome.
  • I was on President Bush’s Environmental Policy team. We were let go because we didn’t have a cool alert chart like Homeland Security.
  • I was James Frey’s fact checker. That didn’t work out so well for either of us.
  • I’m the green eyeball guy in The Residents. No, really!
  • Head of marketing for Pepsi Clear! Damn glad to meet you!
  • I’m Bjork’s wardrobe consultant.
  • I own my own bail-bonds business in Cincinnati. I was thinking about closing up shop, but the Bengals are making it too lucrative to quit. I do miss Bob Huggins, though.
  • I founded the Tri-County Society for Creative Anachronism. We really saw a surge in recruitment after Lord of the Rings came out.
  • I’m an animator on South Park.

All of these have a memorable quality, and share the benefit of being nearly unverifiable. Sure beats the hell out of telling them what your real job is. If you have some good ones, feel free to share.

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