Saturday, July 30, 2005

My Experience With Reporter's Angels

As a charter member of Reporter's Angels, I have been developed a relationship with a major media reporter who was stationed in Baghdad. I won't disclose the reporter's name, I will just call her H.A. Anyway, we've developed a long distance relationship and she is just as interested to learn of us and our ways as we are of her. Here is an excerpt from an e-mail to me:


Interesting to see the spate of parody songs you and your friends have recently been propagating. I've tried my hand with a version of the Johnny Cash classic, "Understand Your Man," at the bottom of this e-mail. Wouldn't it be neat if I could somehow work this into one of my dispatches? Death to America! Oh, and next time send more expensive booze.

"I'm Mainstream Media, Man"

Don't tell me to go outside the Green Zone, you neocon
I would never risk my head.
Don't send Mark Yost to ask me for no real reportin'
My by-line's done, like I said.

I'd rather report the same old things
That I've been sayin' allll along,
Just read my newspaper and keep your mouth shut, I'm not wrong.
Don't ask me for the truth or cry and fuss and moan

I'm mainstream media, man.

Now I don't care 'bout truth and I don't like the Army,
I'd hope they lose their behinds --
I ain't writin' nothin' that'll show there's any progress
I've already made up my mind.

Now, I'm gonna repeat
What I say forever more.
I made up my mind that the U.S. lost this war
Gotta run, I've got an appointment for a pedicure

I'm mainstream media man. Meditate on it --
I'm mainstream media man, I love to do bad-mouthin' --
I'm mainstream media man.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Top 11 Items being Collected by Reporter’s Angels

Numerous organizations have been set up to help support our troops in Iraq, for example: Soldier’s Angels. Unfortunately, no one seems to care about another group that is forced to live under conditions every bit as difficult: the journalists tasked with undermining our mission in Iraq.

Saint Paul at Fraters Libertas points out some of the hardships claimed by Hannah Allam, the Knight-Ridder Baghdad bureau chief. This interview of Ms. Allam by Brooke Gladstone especially brought a tear to my eye:

BROOKE GLADSTONE: You had described this, this remarkable incident at the American Society of Newspaper Editors convention last week. What was that story?

HANNAH ALLAM: There was a salon in Baghdad where I used to go after stressful days to get a manicure or just to relax, and it was run by two really funny Iraqi women. And we've become friends in the past two years. And I was in there three weeks to a month ago, and my cell phone rang, and instinctively I just picked it up and said hello - in English. And there was just this silence that fell over the room. People stared at me, and I realized what I had done. And then my friend, the Iraqi owner of the salon, came over and said - you know, it breaks my heart, I'm sorry to tell you this, but you put yourself in danger. You've put us in danger. Now they know that you're a foreigner - the other customers, and it's not safe for you to come here any more. That was the, the last refuge for me, and now it's gone as well.

Fortunately, Ms. Allam’s heartbreak has had a positive effect. It has lead to the creation of a new charity for the true heroes of Iraq: Reporter’s Angels. Reporter’s Angels collects donated goods that will help make life a bit more tolerable for reporters in Iraq. For those who would like to make a donation, here are the top 11 items that are most needed:

11. Decent non-fat soy lattes
10. Gift certificates for a day of beauty at the Spalon Montage in the Baghdad Green Zone.
9. Kerry/Edwards bumper stickers (so the insurgents will know not to target reporter’s vehicles)
8. The e-mail addresses of anti-war members of the military in Iraq.
7. French flags (in case they have to surrender to insurgents)
6. Anything from Barneys
5. Tapes of the Al Franken Show
4. Karaoke machines
3. Dirt on Mark Yost
2. Bootleg copies of the “Dukes of Hazard” movie hidden inside “Fahrenheit 9/11” DVD cases.
1. Muffins

A Big Thank You

Scott Johnson congratulates fellow PowerLiner John Hinderacker on being named "Super Lawyer of the Year" by Minnesota Law & Politics Magazine and adds a personal note:

And as his long-time friend, I would add that among the things he's taught me is the highest form of charity -- helping others without letting them know that you're helping them.

I agree with Scott that it is indeed most noble to help others without letting them know that you have helped them. And since I am not aware of John ever helping me or my young protege Sisyphus either, I can only conclude that we have benefited from his most righteous generosity. In fact, I'm sure I speak for most of the Minnesota blogosphere when I sincerely say: thank you John Hinderacker for not ever giving us any inkling that you might have have helped us in even the smallest of ways.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Top 11 Better Threats Helen Thomas Could Make to Keep Dick Cheney from Running for President

Helen Thomas has threatened to kill herself if Dick Cheney runs for President. Presumably she made this threat in an effort to DISCOURAGE Dick Cheney from running. Here are the top 11 better threats she could have made if her true goal is to keep Dick Cheney from running for Presient:

11. Threaten to wear only a KAR thong at every Cheney campaign appearance.
10. Threaten to buy a KAR thong for Molly Ivins.
9. Pledge to pose for a Playboy spread.
8. Pledge to start living a healthier lifestyle in attempt to live to one hundred.
7. Threaten all Republican voters with a big smooch.
6. Announce that she will take a job at Hooters.
5. Threaten to wear a KAR thong at all White House press briefings.
4. Announce that she will appear on “Real World, Austin” in a KAR thong.
3. Threaten to break up Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
2. Threaten to release the video from her honeymoon with Tommy Lee.
1. Don’t make her play the KAR thong card.

Top 11 Things Hillary is Doing to Try to Appear More Conservative

11. She has purchased 100,000 shares of Halliburton.
10. She’s supporting a troop.
9. She has memorized the names of ten NASCAR drivers.
8. She has bought an H2.
7. She will now only ride Jane Fonda’s anti-war bus at night.
6. She has joined the Federalist Society.
5. She’s gone on a hunting trip with Dick Cheney and Antonin Scalia.
4. She now claims that she did once meet a tax she didn’t like.
3. She has started telling people that she is Hugh Hewitt’s former law school roommate.
2. While visisting Guantanamo, she tried her hand at torturing prisoners.
1. She’s been showing off her KAR thong at every opportunity.


Chad the Elder & wife just welcomed their first child last weekend. In naming him Nathaniel, they avoided the curse of my (30-something) generation: ridiculous baby names. No other generation has given their offspring more awful names than mine. The offenses are many: butchered spelling, cutsie, trend following, surnames as first names, and dredging up names from the books of the bible that no one reads like Numbers or Judges.

So congrats to Chad and family on the birth of their son and double congrats on naming him a normal Christian name. In your honor, here is a list of the 11 worst names for a little boy baby in 2005 (and a big thank you to Sisyphus for his counsel on this post):

11. Sue
10. Engelbert
9. Finn
8. Keaneau
7. Ashley
6. Coleman
5. Shirley
4. Orenthal/O.J.
3. Osama
2. Adolph
1. Gaylord

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Finally a Practical Song Parody

There have been a lot of song parodies going around lately, but they’ve all had a fatal flaw: none of them really have any chance of making anyone money. Where is the money in writing song parodies, you ask? Well, unless you’re Weird Al Yankovic, song parodies have only one practical application: advertising.

I’ve always thought that Paul Simon was a fool for not turning his song “Mrs. Robinson” into even more cash. To help nudge him along, I present:

This Buds for you, Mrs. Robinson
This Buds for you, Mrs. Robinson,
You will love it more than you will know.
Bottoms up, please Mrs. Robinson.
Bub always tastes the same every day,
Hey, hey, hey

We’d like to teach a little bit about the King of Beers.
We’d like to help you learn about rice brews.
Look around you all you see are satisfied thirsts,
Sip it at the bar until it’s time for home.

This Buds for you, Mrs. Robinson,
You will love it more than you will know.
Bottoms up, please Mrs. Robinson.
Bub always tastes the same every day,
Hey, hey, hey

Hide your case in the place where no one ever looks.
Put it in your fridge behind your broccoli.It's a little secret just the Robinsons' affair.Most of all you've got to hide it from the kids.

Anheuser-Busch, Mrs. Robinson,
You will love it more than you will know.
Bottoms up, please Mrs. Robinson.
Bub always tastes the same every day,
Hey, hey, hey

Sitting on a bar stool on a Thusrday after eight.
Going to the trivia debate.
Argue about it, shout about it
When it’s time to choose
Every way you look the Fraters lose.

Where have you gone, JB Doubtless,
Fraters turns it’s trivia ears to you.
What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson.
Jokin’ Jay has left and gone away,
Hey, hey, hey

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Live Blog: My First Ever Episode of Real World

Yes, I’ve never watched an episode of “The Real World”. I wouldn’t now, except that the Nihilist made Real World watching a condition of my parole from Guantanamo. I know nothing about the show except what I’ve read from the Nihilist’s posts, but that’s never stopped me from opining in the past. I will be very surprised if it’s half as good (and less phony) than my favorite show, “The OC”.
9:00 PM: That was a lame intro.
9:01 PM: They’re in a bar, okay, so far it’s believable.
9:02 PM: Apparently one of the kids is too sick to party. Kids today are real candy asses.
9:03 PM: Oh sure, now he’s well enough to have sex with that slut in the shower, but not to go out drinking. Hey housemates, have you ever heard of giving people who are getting it on in the shower some privacy?
9:05 PM: Flee that clingy chick Danny! When you do get well enough to go out, she’ll break your kneecaps to keep you in.
9:06 PM: Now they are talking about making a film. They were just paid for doing apparently nothing.
9:08 PM: I made it to the first commercial. Danny still hasn’t decided whether or not to dump the slutty chick and go after the groupies. These Real World guys have groupies? My faith in society has already plummeted and I’ve only watched ten minutes.
9:14 PM: I finally agree with something said by one of the characters: Sex in the City night at a bar is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard of. How would that even work? If you complain to the bartender about your sex life you get 50% off your drink?
9:15 PM: Let me get this straight, Danny won’t go out because he’s embarrassed about people seeing his injured eye – BUT HE’S SHOWING IT ON NATIONAL TV! What logic! I bet they’re all lefties.
9:17 PM: The guys are now shopping for cheerleaders online.
9:19 PM: “Girls are sneaky bitches.” Don’t generalize Real World guy.
9:19 PM: Second commercial break. I must say, I haven’t been blown away.
9:22 PM: One of the worst things about watching MTV is the ads.
9:23 PM: I still haven’t seen a babe as hot as Summer or Marissa from the OC, although some of the cheerleaders they ordered via the internet are hot.
9:27 PM: How romantic, the clingy chick is holding Danny in the toilet as he’s throwing up. Danny would do the same for her she says. Is that a preview of next week’s episode?
9:28 PM: They’re going to their “job”. One of the chicks seems interested, but no one else is doing anything. Wow, that was a useful meeting.
9:29 PM: Do they need anyone else in the house besides Danny and his clingy girlfriend? Danny is the only name I’ve learned; they barely show anyone else.
9:30 PM: Next week’s preview: Danny gets bad news and bawls like a baby. I can’t wait.

WRAP-UP: I don’t see why anyone watches “The Real World” – “The OC” is far superior. But this was another successful live blog! Let’s see Captain Ed top this one.

Rock Solid in the Blogosphere, Summer 2005

It is my great pleasure to announce the first ever winner of the “Rock Solid in the Blogosphere” award for the Summer of 2005. There can only be one winner, but there are most certainly no losers among the many fine nominees. So without further ado …

The Rock Solid in the Blogosphere award goes to ……… Atomizer!

Yes, it was a difficult decision, but Atomizer has continued to distinguish himself since being nominated, first with his vivid description of his war against the chipmunks, and then with his spot-on evisceration of Wild coach Jacques Lemaire’s whining that he can’t think of a way to make a shootout just as boring as the rest of the game.

Congratulations to all nominees (especially myself) and congratulations to our deserving winner, Atomizer.

Dio Is Too Old To Rock

In early 2004, while looking for information on all the candidates running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, I came across the fact that heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio was in the field. According to his campaign site, Dio was born July 10, 1940. That means we just missed the opportunity to celebrate his 65th birthday.

Dio came to prominence as the lead singer for metal bands Elf and Rainbow. He went on to replace Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath and enjoyed moderate solo success in the 1980's. He still tours occasionally. However, I would argue that at age 65 Ronnie James Dio is too old to rock.

Here's a salute to the failing metal power that is Dio. Ironically, it is set to his own solo tune, "Rainbow in the Dark."

When I hear Dio
Nowadays it bring me down
Cause he's old and his music, once bold
Today lacks that metal sound
I think that it' tragic
To see that codger up on stage
When he used to rock out loud
In a heavy metal rage

His social security's coming baby
He's no longer in vogue
Dio is too old to rock!

Ronnie James Dio
Used to rule metal you know
His fat butt and his distended gut
Should no longer in leather go
He's geriatric
He's no longer young and spry
I could cry
When I spy
Him taking stage one more time

His social security's coming baby
He's no longer in vogue
Dio is too old to rock

Sunday, July 24, 2005


TO: Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
FROM: You Know Who
SUBJECT: Everything is going according to plan

My Dear Neocon Minions,
Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh. Everything is going according to the plan I outlined in our last communication. Our dupes in the MainStreamMedia and left-wing blogosphere are falling for my Plame-leak mis-direction hook, line, and sinker. Some of you doubted me. Some of you said, oh no, master, they will never fall for such a transparent scheme. Well – hah! Most of our enemies have barely noticed that we are on the verge of packing the Supreme Court with ultra-right wing nominees. And when they do notice, they only concern themselves with the sexual preferences of his four-year old (allow me a heh, heh, heh, heh, heh).

In fact things are going so well it may not even be necessary to arrange my own indictment. Oh, I will probably go ahead with it in a vain attempt to stave off boredom; some days I almost wish the Democrats would come up with a worthy opponent. I’m starting to feel like Dr. Evil in a world without Austin Powers.

If things continue moving along so smoothly, we may not even have to carry out the staged disappearance of another nubile college co-ed (or rather, we can save it for the next time we need to distract the cable news shows). I do plan to go ahead with the next framing of a minority celebrity for a capital crime (you won’t believe who I have lined up!) not so much because we need it, but as a favor to Rupert.

Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh, no one can stop us from achieving our goals, certainly not those meddling Kos kids.

Defend Roberts, defend me, attack all liberals, even if you have to make it up. (Yes, I know, same old, same old.)


P.S. I hope all of you took my advice and bought some Halliburton. We are now up 28% since January. Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh.

Movie Review: The Terminal

I just watched the DVD of the “The Terminal”. Tom Hanks is a foreigner stranded in the international terminal of an airport from which he is not allowed to leave. He meets flight attendant Catherine Zeta-Jones and a romance ensues.

I can honestly say that this movie has changed my life: Tomorrow I move into the airport.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Top 11 Indications that John Roberts’ Four Year Old Son is Gay

11. His conservative mother rolls her eyes whenever his name is mentioned.
10. He is upset that the NHL strike is settled because now there will be fewer arenas available for figure skating shows.
9. His favorite Teletubby: Tinky Winky.
8. He is the child of arch-conservatives, and they all turn out gay.
7. He has worn plaid pants.
6. He is engaged to Liza Minelli.
5. He redesigns the interior of his tree fort on a weekly basis.
4. His gaze lingers a little too long on Sponge Bob’s square pants.
3. He throws a tantrum every time the family goes on vacation somewhere other than Key West or P-Town.
2. He organizes his friends in games of “Gay Eye for the Toddler Guy”.
1. He thinks Wonkette is funny.

Bald Headed Paper Boy

It's been a long time since we did a classic rock parody. So here's one based on the Charlie Daniels Band's "Long Haired Country Boy."

People say he's no good,
an ugly liberal goon
Cause spews hate in the morning,
and writes lies all afternoon.
Kinda writes like a liberal hack,
with lotsa bombs he loves to lob,
He got lots of money,
'Cause his mama got him a big job.

And he's all for raising your taxes,
and taking everything you own.
And he don't like the way you're livin',
Bald headed paper boy: leave us alone!

President appearing on T.V.,
Talkin' 'bout the Iraq war.
Wants to stay the course,
Believes in what we're fighting for.
Old baldie says he's a liar,
says none of that is true.
But you and I know that the biggest lies
appear daily in the StarTribune.

Cause he thinks we're fightin' for nothing,
He wants to bring the troops back home
he don't think freedom's worth defending,
Bald headed paper boy: leave us alone!

A poor man, he's a victim,
And a rich man must be bad.
He says he ain't a rich man,
Despite havin' a big shot dad.
He'll spend his columns crying and whining,
and shilling for the DFL vote.
He claims he's nobody's monkey,
but that's a big old joke.

While he says that he's nobody's monkey,
There's just one song and dance he knows.
He loves to do his master's bidding,
Bald headed paper boy: leave us alone!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Top 11 Bad Things Happening in Iraq as a Result of the American Presence

11. Childhood obesity is becoming a problem.
10. Iraq has become a breeding ground for whiny journalists.
9. Country music is becoming popular there.
8. The new Iraqi constitution doesn’t protect a woman’s right to choose something or other.
7. Reality TV shows are starting to appear on Iraqi TV.
6. Traffic jams are appearing.
5. Baghdad is trying to land a NASCAR race.
4. Iraqis are learning that with democracy comes politicians.
3. It is just a matter of time until a Wal-Mart or Starbucks appear.
2. The presence of so many reporters has lead to a bottled water shortage.
1. Iraqi legislators have already taken to calling their tax increases “user service fees”.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

My Contest Entry

AM 1500 KSTP and the Minnesota Twins are sponsoring a "My First Ballgame" contest. The radio promo is a little more descriptive than the web site. If you haven't heard the ad, it basically says, "Tell us about your first ballgame and you can win tickets to take someone to theirs." Attached is my entry:

My first ballgame was when I was seven years old and my dad took me to see the Twins versus the Kansas City Royals on May 4, 1975. It marked the return of Harmon Killebrew to Minnesota after the Twins unceremoniously dumped him toward the end of his career. I was just a kid at the time and didn't understand what was happening. In the first inning, Killebrew hit a 2 run home run to put the Royals up 3-0. The entire crowd stood and gave Killebrew an ovation. I was puzzled. I asked my dad why the crowd was cheering the other team. He said something about being a good sport and showing appreciation for a great play. The Twins came back and won 6-3.

About a month later, I was at my second game with my Cub Scout troop. The Twins were playing Boston. Late in the game, Jim Rice broke a 7-7 tie with a three-run shot, that ultimately sent the Twins to their defeat. Remembering how the crowd reacted to Killebrew's homer, I stood and cheered. That didn't go over well with the drunks in the crowd and they pelted me with beer and hot dog wrappers. Some of the older Cub Scouts were angry too and they gave me a wedgie. I had to be removed from the game for my own safety.

Now my daughter is old enough to go to her first game. I want to make sure she learns the proper way to behave at a ballgame. I hope you can give me tickets to see the Twins play the White Sox. If A.J. Pierzynski returns to the Dome to hit a home run, I assure you I will not teach her to cheer him on. She will learn to curse and litter the field with garbage. And if another little kid does cheer him on, she might just learn to deliver a proper wedgie.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Top 11 Indications that John Roberts is Out of the Mainstream

11. Not 100% sure Bush is Hitler.
10. Like John Ashcroft, doesn’t like being photographed under a pair of breasts.
9. Founded the Crab Orchard WV, branch of the Ku Klux Klan. (Ooops, this is not considered out of the mainstream by the U. S. Senate.)
8. He has two first names.
7. Doesn’t know pornography when he sees it.
6. He has refused to answer Schumer’s questions on both the OJ case and the Michael Jackson case.
5. He’s never once chased an ambulance.
4. He agrees with more than half of the Ten Commandments.
3. He was only selected to distract from Karl Rove, and that’s no qualification for the Supreme Court.
2. He graduated first in his Harvard law school class.
1. He has no uterus.

Bush Misses an Opportunity

I’m sure John Roberts will be a fine Supreme Court Justice, and I’m not complaining about Bush passing over Learned Foot (my sources tell me that Foot is being saved for Chief Justice). But, I am disappointed that Bush missed an important historical opportunity: appointing the first hot chick to the Supreme Court.

I know little about Edith Brown Clement, but you have to admit she looks pretty good for a woman in her late 50s (I would go even hotter and younger). I’m not saying looks should be the only consideration for a Supreme Court nominee – I would oppose the nomination of Scarlett Johanssen despite her hotness. But, after 216 years without a hot chick on the court (no offense to Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but they are not hot chicks) it is time for America to have a justice we would like to see in a wet t-shirt contest.

Yes, I am usually against tokenism, but in a nation of 250 million people there has to be at least one conservative hot chick who’s qualified to serve on the highest court of the land. Isn’t it about time we gave attractive young girls someone besides Britney Spears to look up to? I’m saddened to see President Bush pass up this opportunity.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Top 11 Revelations that would lead me to Call for Karl Rove’s Head

11. He leaked the plot of the latest Harry Potter book before the official release date.
10. He was foreman of the Michael Jackson jury.
9. He is secretly engaged to Paris Hilton.
8. He was personally responsible for sending Joe Wilson to Nigeria.
7. He orchestrated the Randy Moss trade to Oakland.
6. He stopped the Pentagon from giving fat contracts to Halliburton.
5. He failed to insist on the appointment of Learned Foot to the Supreme Court.
4. He had a cameo in “Wedding Crashers”.
3. He founded the Crab Orchard, WV branch of the Ku Klux Klan.
2. He introduced Brad Pitt to that homewrecker Angelina Jolie.
1. He advised Gov. Tim Pawlenty on how to handle the recent special session.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Top 11 Pieces of Dirt on Mark Yost

We have gotten about 15 or so google hits (many from the MSM) over the last couple of days looking for dirt on Mark Yost, the controversial Associate Editorial Page Editor for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. While we have plenty of dirt on Mark Yost, we hadn’t posted any of it because we were unaware of his colleague’s interest. So, for the benefit of his MSM colleagues, here are the Top 11 pieces of dirt on Mark Yost:

11. He served in the military.
10. He is from Brooklyn.
9. He wrote for that capitalist paper, the Wall Street Journal (and the J Peterman catalog).
8. He is a Yankees fan.
7. His wife is from a red state and his son is named after a bloodthirsty militarist.
6. Worse than the military, he served in the marines!
5. He lives in a palatial lakeside estate.
4. He has been known to associate with evil bloggers like David Strom and Captain Fishsticks.
3. He has come out against the Honeymooners movie.
2. He has focused interest on his newspaper, and there is nothing a small, humble, second place newspaper hates more.
1. He thinks Jeanine Garafalo is good looking.

UPDATE: We have had another visitor from the Pioneer Press whom arrived via the google search string: "mark yost" fat lady. Although we come up first in this search, we have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of any kind of relationship between Mark Yost and Molly Ivins.

Is That You Lance?

Since I ran this post, our site meter has been showing a small percentage of hits from France of all places. I don't recall ever seeing France before July. This can mean only one thing: Lance Armstrong and his team are avid readers of NIGP.

I haven't seen any hits from Scotland, so it is possible that Tiger Woods is not a reader. Or more likely, when he is chasing golf's oldest championship he becomes incredibly focused on his game to the exclusion of all distractions.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Top 11 Better Ways to Get Rid of Chipmunks

Atomizer documents his attempts at eliminating chipmunks from the grounds of Balsawood. If only he would have asked me, I could have provided him the Top 11 Better Ways to Get Rid of Chipmunks:

11. Sculpt plastic explosives to look like squirrels, once chipmunks become accustomed to their presence, blow them up (h/t: Carl Spackler).
10. Blast Air America through their holes.
9. Blast Iron Maiden through their holes.
8. Eminent Domain
7. Kevin Ecker and his M1 Garand
6. Dress up as an attractive female chipmunk and lure them to the next block.
5. Bring in non-essential state employees to dig them out.
4. Invite Tom Cruise over to brainwash them into marrying him.
3. Have Senator Robert Byrd burn tiny little crosses in front of their holes.
2. Every time you see a chipmunk, ask him whether he knows Alvin from “Alvin and the Chipmunks”.
1. Convince Jimmy Carter that the chipmunks are actually killer rabbits coming right for him.

Top 11 Possible Reasons Rabuse On The Right Is No Longer On AM 1280, The Patriot

11. Finally realized his show wasn't being broadcast nationally
10. Hugh Hewitt's staff quit doing his prep work for him
9. Disbarred and no longer needs to advertise his legal services
8. Stormed out after Mitch Berg bought the last Almond Joy from Patriot vending machine
7. Found a better deal on Air America
6. Didn't want to put up with all the freaks that show up at the fair
5. Margaret from Taxpayer's League Live had him offed in a power grab
4. Heard the Nihilist had written a parody theme song for him
3. Tired of doing a radio show every Saturday morning with a massive hangover
2. He had a change in political philosophy and went off to jihad
1. Lost a loser-leaves-town pose-down with David Strom

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Name Remains the Same

You have overwhelmingly voted to change the name of this blog to “Natalie Portman in a KAR Thong”. Unfortunately, Ms. Portman’s attorneys are not too crazy about the idea. While the Nihilist and I would gladly go to jail in defense of the wishes of our readers, the Nihilist’s wife was less enthusiastic about that plan, so our name will remain “Nihilist in Golf Pants”. I would be more disappointed that “Sisyphus in Golf Pants” came in last, but I voted for “Natalie Portman in a KAR Thong” myself.

Final Results:
Nihilist in Golf Pants Classic: 23%
Sisyphus in Golf Pants: 5%
JB in Golf Pants: 6%
Misanthropic Frat Boy in Golf Pants: 13%
Fuzzy Nietzsche in Golf Pants: 8%
Natalie Portman in a KAR Thong: 46%

Thought of the Day

I'm not sure who told me this gem, but I'm sure they will remind me. This thought crossed my mind while picking up a burger for lunch:

The sole reason for the existence of Wendy's Triple Cheesburger is to allow the eaters of the Double Cheesburger to feel less guilty about their choice.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Top 11 Opponents Ron Reagan Jr. Could Beat in a Debate (maybe)

11. Kato Kaelin
10. Amy Carter
9. Paris Hilton
8. Ashton Kutcher
7. Barbara Boxer
6. Jim Boyd
5. Finn
4. A brain damaged dolphin
3. Alec Baldwin
2. A half rotted turnip
1. Katie Holmes

Monday, July 11, 2005

Born on 9/11: A Film Treatment by Oliver Stone

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have obtained an early film treatment for Oliver Stone’s upcoming 9/11 film from an anonynous source at Paramount Studios. We will never give up our source even if ordered to do so by a court of law (but all bets are off if the judge threatens to send us to one of the scarier prisons).

Put your mind at ease, I don’t do propaganda; this will not be a George W. Bush approved patriotic jingoistic rah-rah-rah Top Gun II kind of a film. I will not take the simplistic view. I will begin by examining the motivations of the 9/11 insurgents. The film will open with the Supreme Court selecting George W. Bush to be President in 2000. I will show how the stealing of the election by the son of the man who invaded Iraq transformed a group of peace loving students of the Koran into 9/11 insurgents (don’t worry I will make it clear that they had no connection to Saddam Hussein). I will show how they were exposed to incessant anti-Muslim discrimination and were constantly shocked by decadence of the strip clubs they frequented.

Don’t get the wrong idea; I will be plenty hard on the insurgents. I will strongly criticize them for targeting New York City and Washington D.C., places where George W. Bush is despised, rather than say, Alabama.

Next: the destruction of the buildings. I will show an investment banker rhapsodizing on the joys of greed just before his office erupts into a cauldron of fire and brimstone. I will balance this with sadder scenes of oppressed members of the underclass tragically caught in the crossfire.

I will follow the rescue efforts through the eyes of an idealistic young police recruit assigned to help evacuate the towers. He will be horrified when a senior police sergeant begins massacring Muslim-Americans trapped in the tower. Later in the film, he will “frag” the sergeant and police captain who did nothing to stop the atrocity.

The key romantic subplot of the movie will be Mayor Giuliani’s homosexual affair with Bernard Kerik, which will be touchingly portrayed with class and dignity.

I will then move on to the aftermath. I will view the investigation through the all too fictitious eyes of a crusading district attorney. He will show that it would be physically impossible for one airplane, not to mention two, to thread through the buildings of lower Manhattan and strike the World Trade Center Towers. He will thoroughly discredit the “magic airplane” theory and expose the 9/11 commission as lackeys covering up for the President. He will then shine the light of truth on the conspirators who duped the poor Muslims into making the attack. I have not yet decided on who these conspirators will be, but they will probably be some combination of the mafia, Halliburton, Karl Rove, the CIA, the FBI, the Mossad, the Chamber of Commerce, Diebold, the Religious Right, anti-Castro Cuban-Americans, and of course the Texas connection of George H. W. Bush, Jerry Jones, and Lady Bird Johnson.

This film may be too nuanced for Red America, but think of the money to be made in the more sophisticated European and Middle Eastern markets!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Great News From The Tour De France

Like most Americans, I don't give much thought to bicycle racing. Sure, it is a grueling sport. Sure the races require superior athleticism, teamwork and strategy. But I'm a stick and ball kind of guy, so watching the races is right out.

That said, the last seven years of Lance Armstrong have caused me and most sports-loving Americans to pay attention significantly more than we would have without Lance. Without Lance, I would have thought a Peloton was just the goofball who took over the Attic last week. Now I know it is the main group of riders in a race (the goofball is Poetellect. Rumor has it he's an alter ego of Scott Johnson's.) The point is now I read the daily Lance updates and snicker that the national sport of the country I love to hate is being dominated like never before by an American, even better a Texan.

This year is special to me. Not because seven Tour titles would be an unprecedented feat likely to never be broken, at least within my lifetime. This year is special because Lance's team is sponsored by the Discovery Channel, after years of sponsorship by the United States Postal Service.

For years as I checked up on Lance, I had to ask myself, "Why is the USPS sponsoring a racing team?" For years I burned the slow burn that consumes me when I see blatant government waste arrogantly paraded past my face. Can we agree on one fact: that government shouldn't advertise its services? The monopoly power should be good enough. Advertising can only do one of two things: crowd out private competition that would be more efficient or simply exacerbate the inefficiencies of the government function that already exist.

Further, as I said above, Americans really don't pay attention to cycling. The Tour De France is held overseas. Therefore, the majority of the ad spend is creating awareness of people who do not and can not even use the USPS.

I don't know why the USPS pulled their sponsorship of Armstrong's team. Likely they are spending the ad money anyway, in forms less obvious to me. But at least I won't have to fume up for the next two weeks as I read the sports page.

It’s an Honor Just to be Nominated

When I first proposed the “Rock Solid in the Blogosphere” awards, I never dared dream that I would be nominated, let alone be nominated by the likes of Chad the Elder. A cynic might say that my nomination was an attempt by Chad to water down the field to grease the skids for his co-blogger, Atomizer. Or some may suggest that he was attempting to hijack our “OC”, “Antonia Bernath”, and “fake breasts” google hits. But anyone who knows Chad knows that he is incapable of such Karl Rove-ian behavior.

In addition to myself and Atomizer, Kevin Ecker has been nominated by Martin Andrade; he will be a very formidable candidate. JB Doubtless has been anonymously nominated (but I suspect a prank). Nominations remain open.

If you haven’t nominated a worthy blogger because you are unsure of how a nominating statement should look, use this example from the Pioneer Press’ “Rock Solid” awards as a template:

Sex, sex, sex. It’s not easy writing about sex offenders, abortion or gay marriage, especially since these divisive social issues elicit strong visceral responses from readers and those with a dog in the fight. But Rachel Stassen-Berger covers these issues with scrupulous fairness, and she always treats some not-so-friendly folks with the utmost respect.

Her balanced, insightful reporting makes her a credit to our newsroom and industry at a time when our credibility is under attack. Plus, she’s always willing to help other reporters, she’s diligent and really knows her stuff.

I nominated Rachel for Rock Solid over news hero because she’s consistently produced good work in the six years she’s been here. I became particularly impressed with her when she helped bring down Rich Stanek, the state’s top law enforcement chief who had a history of using racial slurs in regard to black folks. During my recent stint at the capitol, I was impressed with the way she dealt with advocates on both sides of the hot-button abortion issue. She’s very patient. I, on the other hand, let’s just say I’m not.

Pat Sweeney adds: “More than most of us, Rachel feels, and demonstrates in her copy, the necessity of being scrupulously fair about reporting how advocates argue their positions. She allows them to feel that they have been heard and had a chance to make their cases, and she does it without allowing either side to control what she writes. It’s very difficult to cover abortion — the hottest of the hot-button issues — and her coverage gives the Pioneer Press credibility with both sides.”

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Return of the Man

Fraters guest writer "Man From Silver Mountain" returns after a long absence with a counterpoint to John Hinderocker's Weekly Standard commentary on Kelo v. City of New London.

Can he see or is he blind? (Oh, wait that's Iron Man.) Read the piece and find out. For my part, I don't think I could have said it any better myself.

Top 11 Ways Unessential State Employees Kept Busy during the Government Shutdown

11. Gearing up to “Bork” Bush’s Supreme Court nominee.
10. Watching and re-watching The Real World: Austin.
9. Suing the state for the blow to their self-esteem at being labeled “unessential”.
8. Writing letters to the editor comparing the shutdown to the holocaust.
7. Hanging out at the White Castle at Lexington and University in hopes of being interviewed by Nick Coleman.
6. Oprah! Oprah! Oprah!
5. Preparing for the upcoming Fantasy Football season.
4. Nominating their favorite blogger for a “Rock Solid in the Blogosphere” award.
3. Looking into whether North Dakota could use another non-essential state government employee.
2. Calling Air America and arguing that the shutdown is an attempt to distract attention from Karl Rove.
1. Looking for a more essential job.

Top 11 Musicians that Inspired Johnny Depp's Portrayal of Other Characters

This article points out the similarities between Johnny Depp's portrayal of Willy Wonka and Michael Jackson. It also points out that Depp admittedly based his "Pirates of the Carribean" character Captain Jack Sparrow on Rolling Stone Keith Richards. But did you know that Depp bases all of his characters on musicians? Here's his top 11 roles and their inspirations:

11. Willie Wonka - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Michael Jackson
10. Don Juan - Don Juan De Marco - Dean Martin
9. Glenn Lantz - Nightmare on Elm Street - Sid Vicious
8. George Jung - Blow - Bob Stinson
7. Ichabod Crane - Sleepy Hollow - Mick Jagger
6. Wade Walker - Crybaby - Elvis Presley
5. Cap'n Jack Sparrow - Pirates of the Carribean - Keith Richards
4. Tom Hanson - 21 Jump Street - kd lang
3. Edward Scissorhands - Edward Scissorhands - Robert Smith (of the Cure, not the Vikings)
2. Hunter S. Thompson - Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas - Phil Collins
1. Ed Wood - Ed Wood - Michael Stipe

Friday, July 08, 2005

Rock Solid in the Blogosphere

Over the past couple of years, many have been predicting that the blogosphere would take a major dent out of the Main Stream Media’s market share. While initially inroads were made, the MSM now seems to be holding its own. I believe I know the reason for the recent sluggishness: the blogosphere does not bestow enough awards upon itself.

Sure, we have some major awards (for example, the Blogs of Distinction awards at Frater Libertas) but how about a quarterly recognition for the day-to-day heroes of the New Media?

The St. Paul Pioneer Press regularly recognizes staff members who’ve successfully done their jobs by bestowing upon them the “Rock Solid” award. We in the blogosphere shouldn’t be afraid to steal their good idea. Therefore, I recommend instituting a quarterly award: Rock Solid in the Blogosphere.

Allow me to make the first nomination for the third quarter ’05 award:

ATOMIZER (by Sisyphus)
Atomizer is one of the blogoshpere’s unsung heroes. He epitomizes everything that a blogger should strive for. Furthermore, as a licensed architect, he knows the importance of “Rock Solid”.

His productivity is extraordinary, especially since he must balance blogging with work, family, and drinking.

Atomizer is willing to go the extra mile for the story whether it involves the musical ignorance of a national talk radio host, praising the assault on a comet with a space probe, plugging his Dad’s book, or exposing the architectural fraud that is Ralph Rapson.

Atomizer also was quick to investigate all manner of Minnesota sports debacles to bring to the reader his unique and sensitive insights. Atomizer has pursued the Matthew LeCroy and Luis Rivas stories with a balance of compassion and doggedness.

His passion shines through all the time, and I consider myself honored to be one of his readers.

NOTE: When submitting your nominations, no Viagra jokes please.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Top 11 Ways the Deep Impact Probe Damages the Horoscope, Ruins History

11. Liberals accuse Bush of nominating a Supreme Court Justice who is outside the legal mainstream before he even names his nominee
10. Frank Thomas becomes a selfless teammate; White Sox win World Series
9. Lindsay Lohan puts on disgusting exhibitions with Garrisson Keiller in Downtown St. Paul
8. No one notices Minnesota government shut down
7. JB Doubtless and Atomizer post during same week
6. Britney & Kevin divorce
5. Jo engages in a civil war over at The Attic
4. Paris loses bid to host 2012 Summer Olympics
3. St. Paul sighted with a woman who is not a supermodel
2. The kids from "The Real World: Austin, Texas" reveal themselves to be hosebags, layabouts and losers
1. Star Tribune confuses Sisyphus with Nihilist in Golf Pants in a front page article

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Top 11 Accusations I would make if I were Writing a Hillary Smear Biography

11. Chelsea was conceived after Hillary raped Bill.
10. She founded the Little Rock, Arkansas cell of Al-Qaeda.
9. Nearly left Bill to marry true love, Nick Coleman.
8. Had a lesbian affair with the ghost of Eleanor Roosevelt.
7. Has an iPod full of illegally downloaded music.
6. She ghost-wrote the romantic dialog in Star Wars 3: ROTS.
5. Has never been seen at the same time and place with Lyndie England.
4. Hillary is Paris Hilton’s real mother.
3. It is hard to find, but she once made a porn tape with Michael Moore.
2. Every Fourth of July she gets drunk on French wine, burns a flag, and urinates on the Statue of Liberty.
1. Used eminent domain to condemn an orphanage to make way for a new Wal-Mart.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Top 11 Ways The Star Tribune Has Been Padding Its Circulation Numbers

11. Nick Coleman dumps copies at the White Castle on University and Lexington.

10. Each section is counted as a separate newspaper.

9. Every participant in the Million Man March was counted as a subscriber.


7. Entire inmate population at Guantanamo Bay included as honorary subscribers.

6. Every fish wrapped in the paper is counted even if the fish no longer has a head.

5. Subscriber counts include all of Kim Ode's cats.


3. All the birds at the MAARS center who "use" the paper daily are counted as subscribers.

2. Includes the projected number of additional children and wives of Nick Coleman over next 30 years.

1. Over the objection of the editorial department, pregnant women are counted as two subscribers.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Top 11 Ideas Thomas Jefferson Didn't Have as He Wrote the Declaration of Independence

11. This war is all about oil.
10. You may not like the British, but you've got to admire their dental hygiene.
9. King George is worse than . . . Damn, I wish I had someone to personify a universal symbol of evil to compare with my enemies.
8. Once the war begins, I'll make a killing on my Haliburton stock.
7. Hee hee! Now George W. and I can enact our secret plan for a draft.
6. Now on to the next most important issue, gay marriage.
5. Under our new government, private property rights will be subject to the whims of local city councils.
4. I know we can win, thanks to the valor and heroics of our French allies.
3. This revolution has become a quagmire. We don't even have an exit strategy.
2. Oops! I used "God" in the first paragraph. What will the ACLU think?
1. Some day, I envision an America with a grand communications medium that can reach all citizens. And on that medium we will show programming that will inspire and enlighten the human condition. And we will call that programming "The Real World: Austin!"

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Top 11 Search Strings that Led to Disappointing Visits to NIGP

11. “reese witherspoon, ryan phillipe, divorce” Dream on. This is a match made in heaven.
10. “puritan pants” More like “Catholic Pants”.
9. “golf limericks” There once was a golfer from Nantucket …
8. “Kessel hockey weaknesses” Tough luck cheeseheads – Kessel has no weaknesses.
7. “"Antonia Bernath" nude” Hmmmm, maybe it’s time to reconsider our graphics ban.
6. “padme jumpsuit” It’s definitely time to reconsider our graphics ban.
5. “melinda austin real world fake breasts” Is the world really less fake than the breasts?
4. “How to be happy in a loveless marriage” Two words: fake breasts.
3. “karl rove nihilist” I’m guessing Lawrence O’Donnell did this search.
2. “nihilist books” I’m glad you asked. Watch for the upcoming “Nihilist in Golf Pants Guide to The Real World: Austin, Texas”.
1. “breasts in golf” Is there anything that isn’t made better by including breasts?

Top 11 Liberal Gals that an Undiscriminating Conservative Might Like to Shag

The Northern Alliance were having a nice little program for two hours and fifty five minutes. Then it happened. Guest Mark Yost brought up as a final topic the disgusting thought that perhaps Jeanine Garafalo may be, shall we say worth getting to know, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

The Elder and St. Paul voiciferously objected to that classification of the short, squat, and brain-damaged Air America Host. Meanwhile, Mitch Berg seemed to equivocate. King Banaian appeared to wisely run for cover.

In the interest of showing everyone the slippery slope that begins when you contemplate a rendevous with an unattractive liberal, we at NIGP have come up with our top 11 Liberal Gals that an Undiscriminating Conservative Might Like to Shag. Note that the slope gets progressively steeper. In my opinion, Garafalo is way too far over the edge:

11. Jeanine Garafalo
10. Jane Fonda
9. The Fat Dixie Chick
8. Linda Ronstadt
7. Katie Couric
6. Barbara Streisand
5. Amy Carter
4. Sheila Jackson Lee
3. Ruth Bader Ginsburgh
2. Hillary Clinton
1. Helen Thomas

Saturday, July 02, 2005

One Day in the Life of Sisyphus – (evening)

PART III: Can a woman who has a pint of Guinness understand a man who has no beer?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the final part of a three Part serialization. For part two, click here and for part one click here.

Sisyphus’ idea of a happy evening was when they got back to the hut and didn’t find Members of Congress swarming everywhere. One evening he’d returned to the hut and found that a donut left under his pillow was gone. A few minutes later he spotted Senator Kennedy – with chocolate sprinkles on his tie. As a result, he had carved the donut-shaped “Teddy-hole” into his mattress. Today, the “Teddy-hole” had once again served its purpose: the donut was still there! It would keep until after interrogation. But first, time for dinner.

Gang 104 was the second to last into the mess hall. Sisyphus spotted movement at the prime table near the fireplace, the one with the ocean view. Just as the previous gang was leaving, Sisyphus claimed the table. Gang 104 would enjoy a Caribbean view tonight as they dined on seven full ounces of Tandouri Chicken Breasts, Carrots, Brussels Sprouts, Strawberries, Rice Pilaf, and Whole Wheat Pita.

The enjoyment of dinner was tempered by the knowledge that there were to be interrogations tonight. Sisyphus wondered who his interrogator would be tonight.

It was Annie, his favorite. Annie began: “Excuse me, sir; if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, I’d like to ask you a couple of questions.”

“You know what might loosen my tongue a bit?” Sisyphus answered, “a nice pint of Guinness, and why don’t you join me.”

“Sorry sir, we’re not allowed to supply alcohol to detainees. I thought you Muslims couldn’t drink.” Can a woman who has a pint of Guinness understand a man who has no beer?

“No I’m not a Muslim, I’m here to fill in the non-Muslim quota insisted on by Congressional Democrats.”

“Okay, so maybe your treasonous takeover of Nihilist in Golf Pants wasn’t an Al Qaeda operation, but you don’t expect me to believe you were acting alone, do you?”

Sisyphus shifted defiantly, “I’m not giving up my homies if that’s what you’re driving at.”

“Well then you leave me know choice but to whip out these”, said Annie gesturing to her chest.

“I’m no stoolie. Bring it on.”

After several minutes of torture, Sisyphus was released from interrogation and proud of the fact that he didn’t give up his accomplices (The Attic, Fraters Libertas, and EckerNet).
Sisyphus returned to hut 7 and his bunk. He carefully removed the stitches from his mattress and retrieved the donut he’d hidden there that morning. It was just what he needed to restore his energy after interrogation. He finished the last bite just as the lights out bell clanged.

Sisyphus felt pleased with life as he went to sleep. A lot of good things had happened today. His interrogator had been quite hot. He’d snagged four extra donuts. He’d enjoyed painting the lines on the soccer field. His gang had won the soccer game and earned an extra three ounces of Tandouri Chicken Breasts.

Just one of the days of his sentence in Gulag Guantanamo.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Top 11 Explanations for the Minnesota Senate Democrats’ Decision to Adjourn Before Reaching a Budget Deal

EDITOR’S NOTE: This top 11 list was tortured out of Sisyphus while he was detained at Gitmo.

11. Needed to leave immediately if they were going to get to Wisconsin before all hell broke lose in the wake of the Minnesota government shut down.
10. They were so excited about the next installment of One Day in the Life of Sisyphus that they couldn’t concentrate anyway.
9. Legislating isn’t very fun if you can’t tax and spend at will.
8. They had to get down to the Fitzgerald Theater immediately – rumor had it that Lindsay Lohan really, really likes old white liberals.
7. They all flew to Thailand to see that Giant Catfish in person.
6. Legislating was cutting into their “Real World: Austin, Texas” viewing.
5. They had a wedding to attend in Spain.
4. Depressed when they found out that despite the fact that they’re Senators, they won’t be able to filibuster the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor’s replacement.
3. They wanted to adjourn in time to celebrate Canada Day.
2. Had to get in line for “War of the Worlds”.
1. Why not? The Strib is going to blame Pawlenty no matter what they do.

CORRECTION: Thanks to Learned Foot at the Kool-Aid Report for pointing out that the name of the show is "Real World" not "Real Life". Your knowledge of MTV reality shows is clearly superior to that of the Nihilist in Golf Pants.

One Day in the Life of Sisyphus – (afternoon)

PART II: Can a man who has control over the air conditioner understand a man who has no control over the air conditioner?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Part II of a three Part serialization. For part one, click here.

Sisyphus’ glasses fogged up as he stepped out of the hyper-air conditioned hut 7 and into the humid Cuban air. He had often complained to the warders about the over-cold air conditioning, but the answer was always the same: petition rejected. Can a man who has control over the air conditioner understand a man who has no control over the air conditioner? Sisyphus wiped the condensation from his glasses and fell in with the rest of gang 104.

Nothing is more important for a zek than having a good activities coordinator. Sisyphus was fortunate to have just that in Saeed. Saeed had been captured early in the Afghanistan invasion and had been in Guantanamo ever since. He knew the ways of camp life like few others.

Saeed recited the day’s itinerary to the assembled gang 104: “All right everyone, here’s the plan for today. In the morning we convert the recreation area into a soccer field. After lunch, we have a match with gang 86. Then after dinner it’s time for interrogations.”

Saeed handed out the jobs: “Ahmed, Ziad, Samir, and Ibrahim you are to set up the goal frames. Mohand, Hamza, Ahmed, and Marwan go find the netting and attach it to the frames. Satam, Waleed, Abdulaziz, and Wail gather up the soccer balls and equipment. Mehan and Sisyphus, you are to apply the boundary lines.” Sisyphus was not surprised. The application of the boundary lines was the most difficult job, and as usual, it fell to the two most skilled workers in the gang.

It is very important for a line-painter to have a lime machine that has two good wheels and a lime reservoir that does not jam. But the rule was that all lime machines were collected at the end of the day and it was a matter of luck the machine you got in the morning. So Sisyphus had diddled the groundskeeper out of a good lime machine one day. He hid it in a different place each night and got it out each morning if there was line-painting to do. Now he only had to go behind the mops and brooms in the janitor’s closet, and there it was.

The large, round thermometer attached to the groundskeeper’s building read 89 degrees, but Sisyphus barely noticed the heat, so focused he was on the line he was painting. He was putting in the goalie crease when he noticed that the gang working on the adjacent field had put down their tools and started to lunch. Sisyphus was not about to put down his lime machine before the job was complete and he was too much of a perfectionist to rush through the final lines. But there would be hell to pay if he was late for lunch. Finally the last line was laid – a perfectly proportioned field lay before him. He stashed his lime machine behind a golf cart and hurried off to the mess hall.

Fortunately, he did not arrive too late. He quickly downed his Fish Amandine, long brown rice, pita bread, and finally his donut. Sisyphus asked Saeed, “Would you like me to fetch your prayer blanket, Saeed?”

“Only, if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, Sis’.” Sisyphus ran to hut 7, careful to avoid the safety officers. One of these bureaucratic, OSHA-rejects spotted him as he reached the door of the hut, but he was inside before he could be told to slow down. He grabbed Saeed’s prayer rug, tore back to the mess hall and presented it to Saeed. Camp protocol says that a zek fetching a prayer rug for another zek ought to be rewarded; Sisyphus stood there waiting, too proud to ask. Saeed looked up, “Thank you. Why don’t you take my donut, I’m stuffed.”

Sisyphus sat down and ate half of the donut and put the other half in his shirt to eat during the soccer game. Saeed led the gang out onto the field and assigned the gang to their positions; he made Sisyphus the goalkeeper to take advantage of his cat-like agility.

Some people with nothing better to do play soccer of their own free will. Silly devils should try playing for extra rations, after painting lines all morning, in this humidity.

Sisyphus had no trouble finding time to eat his half donut. He did not face a single shot the entire game. Gang 104 had managed to score on a penalty kick. There would be an extra three ounces of Tandouri Chicken Breasts. Life was a bed of roses, no need to die just yet.

TO BE CONTINUED (click here for part III)