Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's enough to make a dead guy vote

I haven’t written about politics on these pages because I figured you didn’t want to hear more mundane views but with the terrible economy, the banking disaster, the threat of Iran, Health Care and climate change I feel compelled to jump on a soap box and take sides on something so vital to our health and well being and say, “Damn! They have some hot chicks in politics these days”
As a teenager I admired Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, even Lindy Boggs. I thought for her to run for her husband’s senate seat, after her husband was never found following a tragic plane crash, and be elected to the office was impressive. I admired the female leaders of yesterday, women who made me feel safe and secure, unthreatend. Who the hell would screw with any of those ladies? Not me. Not in the biblical sense.
Today, we have female politicians that look like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, and Michelle Obama, ladies who take care of themselves and know looking good is important. I do have to admit, I wouldn’t run from Mary Landrieu at a crawfish boil if she sucked the heads and pinched my tail.
Times have changed and so has the look of the female politician. Like any leader the better looking you are the more you’ll be watched and admired and that of course is what you want when you’re running for office. It doesn’t necessarily say you’re going to do a better job then a less attractive person but looking good gets us to remember their name or at least, make us remember “the hot one,” and that translates into votes.
The first thing good-looking politicians should do for the country is get rid of the ugly people, to hell with the homeless. Politicians should get rid of the homely. They seem to be starting with themselves.
Scott Brown the senator from Massachutees posed semi-nude for Cosmopolitan in 1982. That, I am certain got him more votes then not and when the girls talked about it on “The View” and conveyed how hot they thought he was I’m sure millions of women goggled the image and saw for themselves he would be an “upstanding” senator.
Posing for cheesecake photos wouldn’t work for female politicians. It would be the death of her. It’s a double standard.
Sarah Palin was photographed as a beauty contestant as a young woman and her critics used it against her. She was also on the cover of Runners Magazine in running attire, she looked great, healthy and fit, as though she just closed the library and was going for a jog. Newsweek Magazine put the same photo on their cover and I wondered why they didn’t use a picture of her in something more appropriate for a news magazine. Maybe they didn’t have “Time” to get a better picture. You be the judge.
When I ran for freshman class president in high school I ran against two hot chicks, friends that were very popular. Luckily, the two hot chicks split the vote and I became freshman president. I now wonder what would happen if Sarah asked an up and coming female republican to run along with her for president, a fiery redhead would be ideal. I would call it, “ The Mary Ann-Ginger Ticket.”
Or possibly, if Hillary runs and picks a young female democrat to run, another blonde would be ideal. The staff could all be blonde and I can call them “Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends.
Imagine the fun we would have if only women were running for the top office in the land. Not only would we have the first women president and vice president of the United States we would have Nancy Pelosi third in line and the estrogen would be oozing out of the oval office. A picture of one of them in a blue dress, in the Oval Office would be worth a thousand words. Invite “The View” and tape from the White House.
That’s highly unlikely but it would be a hell of a build-up to November 2012 but even better the critics of both sides couldn’t bring gender and “bimbo-ism” into the mix if it was all girl power.
I like my politicians to be attractive. They don’t have to be but it’s a plus and with television it’s almost a certainty that they look good. Not necessary “hot” but good.
Look at the work done on the older politicians. Plenty of them have done it. I don’t blame them and if they go under the knife, especially while they’re young we won’t notice the difference, because the trick to plastic surgery is to start young and hope you don’t live long enough to look like you’re stretched tighter then a regular Joe’s dollar in today’s economy.
I hope I live long enough to see Sarah Palin at eighty and the on going tweaks to her face she would have had done. I guess I could compare it to Joan Rivers. You see I’ve never seen an “old looking” Joan Rivers. I know she should look much older than she does but without seeing a transformation backward I have nothing to go with.
Hot politicians are here to stay and maybe that young “lady”, and I use that word loosely, in the “Girl’s Gone Wild” video will not he hampered by the decision to raise her top and yell very enthusiastically, “Woo! Woo! Par-ta! Woo! Woo! Girl’s Gone Wild.”
May it never come between her, her hotness, and being a pillar of her community. This is Louisiana; if it doesn’t, the dead guys would give her the vote.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Valentine's Day Story

A Valentine’s Day Story

The two lovers, after a long road trip from Louisiana, parked the car before the tall line of protective trees that no others have disturbed. He turned off the engine and they both smiled at one another knowing their secluded spot, the sun setting and the time they would share would make for a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift to each other.
They opened their doors simultaneously, and she felt the cool breeze escaping through the trees, hitting her face, and while smelling nature all around, finding it a bit sharp for February was always a little cool and winter had not yet released it’s grip.
They each proceeded to the rear of the car and grabbed from the trunk the blankets and a tent, a lamp, a picnic basket with their last name written on top, full of things she prepared that were his favorites, a bottle of Merlot and the two appropriate glasses. Today was a very special Valentine’s Day, a day for these lovers to unwind and entwine in a place they feel in love.
With the things they needed they proceeded to walk through the trail, the trail only they have forged, him slightly in front and she only steps behind, taking slight moments to hear the birds, take in the stark winter woods and notice how the narrow dirt path has changed over the years. As they walked, he, her hero, would move for her the lower pieces of stray branches or tiny limbs that have overgrown their way and mention all the rocks or chancy footings, for he loved her more than life itself and to see her fall would be so sorrowing.
When they got to the small rushing creek he carefully grabbed her waist, helped her over, and as their faces met, stole a quick kiss that she readily returned and the two once more remembered in their woods what it was like to love and be loved.
After some time the clearing behind the trees could be seen in the distance and the way to their destination they enthusiastically anticipated. Looking back smiling, he mentioned, “We’re almost there, just a little bit more.”
“Yes, I know”, she confirmed. “I can hear the water.”
On the final ascend he grabbed her hand tightly and they trekked upwards to view what she enjoyed the most, their steps larger and more forceful to make the climb and when they reached the crest they were awed by it’s magnificent power, again, together, they saw the view of the ocean.
The water, far and wide is what she finds tranquil and serene, and to relax on the beach whatever time of year with the white tipped waves moving in and out touching her life, even if but for only a moment, lets her mind subside.
“It’s beautiful” she sighs, “God, I love the beach.”
“And just look at that sun, setting over the water,” came the reply.
“Thank you for bringing me here,” she said, and without a word he grabbed her forcefully but only with passion and drew her tightly toward him.
They kissed, deep and long, for they were in the world all alone, a world only for true lovers. They fall to the sand still embraced and looking up he notices the streaks of orange light, clouds of white and the sparse yellow rising from the horizon to above their heads. He is convinced that something so breathtaking can only be for him and his love for this woman who makes him complete.

They start to un-pack, slowly now, because they’re together for a night in the place she loves, so to rush now would spoil the mood. They cheerily pitch the tent, speaking of the dunes, the waves, and shape of the landscape, and how the sunset, which they both sat on the beach and witnessed, has made this Valentine’s Day perfect.
With the beach now dark and the moonlight shining on the water, “Hey, let’s take a walk,” he says as he drives the last steak and secures the ropes on the tent, “We can speak to the moonlight as it follows us along the beach.”
She laughs saying, “Well, as long as it doesn’t tell anyone what I’m going to do to you later when we get back to the tent.”
He gives a large grin and says, “ In that case I’ll whisper.”
Walking alone on the beach, hand in hand in the now starlit night they spoke of love, of life, of a future, and how each place an intricate part in what they are and what their relationship through the years has become. They speak of the times in their lives when things worked and didn’t, but forged on to create something that together could beat any odds that came. It warmed their hearts and made this special day so much more a part of their togetherness.
Back at the tent, a tent just big enough for two, the wind had picked up and they went inside. Still clothed from a chilled evening they opened the wine, poured it, toasted to Valentine’s Day and to lovers across the world, the sound of the touching wine glasses solidifying their love rang through their beach but for no others to be a part of.
As they lay side by side, facing each other he reached over and lightly kissed her, she opening her mouth slightly to feel his lips and to absorb his intention. The tent went warm and the moonlight through the thin fabric was enough to see each other’s shadowy form.
He slowly caressed her face and kissed her more passionately, she pushing back and letting their tongues explore. He let his hands slide from her neck to her shoulders and slowly pushed off her coat, she in-turn arched her back and it fell to the tent’s floor. He kissed her again, harder now, she hungrily returning his advances, this time her hands moving to his belt and undoing his pants. He hurriedly pushed them the rest of the way anticipating more and while kissing her, with one motion went upward with the bottom of her sweater and pulled it above her head. Another quick motion lifted her bra and before it came completely off, buried his head in her chest to taste her skin, his tongue darting over her breast with licks and caresses.
His shirt was next and with her two hands she gripped his collar and pulled in opposite directions, buttons popping, adding to the passion, and now it was her turn to taste her lover.
As the tent grew hotter, she then wiggled out of her jeans and in moments they were naked, bodies meshed, in their tent, on their beach, under their moonlight, and in each other. This is what their Valentine’s Day was to become, hot, unbridled, and crashing together with the sound of the waves.
This was their moment in time, true love enriched through intimate thoughts, intimate places and intimate knowledge. An unveiling love enriched through, marriage, kids, grandkids, and time, a love that has lasted 50 years, you see, this is the place where these two lovers came their first Valentine’s Day.

May one's love last forever.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Just Get After It.

Just get after it

T’was the day after Christmas, early to most, about 4:30 in the morning. I’m up at that time because I’m a morning person, one of those optimists. “It’s a new day and what will the world bring me?” is how I feel as the sun comes up. It also comes from years of getting up early to host a radio morning show. Plus, I’m a firm believer; “if you get up and get after it” you beat half the human population. It’s a way of getting an edge without screwing over your fellow man.
This holiday season I was up to go to Wal-Mart.
I walked in and the place was buzzin.’ I noticed everyone in every department had on their blue shirts and blue and white name tags, busy stocking the shelves, taking down Christmas displays, and one was cursing about, “where the hell is Amber.”
I nodded to them as I passed, the typical Wal-Mart employee, all shapes and sizes, colors, hair lengths, and facial hair.
I’m there to pick up some things, one being toilet tissue and wonder if anyone I know will see me. Buying certain items embarrass me.
I pick up some Dawn dish detergent, go onward toward the donuts, which is completely out and grab some of the gooey cake, Paula Dean’s recipe. I’m figuring it’s the holidays and I’ll work it off later at the gym. I don’t start diets at the first of the year I start them one week before. After years of failure, I’ve resorted to the notion that it’s not how you begin a year. It’s how you end the old one.
With an armful of items and no cart because not a cart or “buggy” as the elderly lady called it was in view when I walked in, I proceeded to the front to checkout.
I sure as hell passed the self-check out because I have never gone through one without ticking off the people behind me and I noticed that none of the numbers at the check out were lit and yelled to a couple of female employees on the other side, in that front alley were you start to wonder on which side did you park.
“Are you guys even open?” I asked.
“No! We’re not open, baby,” came the reply.
“When do you open?”
My first thought was, “Crap it’s only 5 o’clock”
My second thought was why didn’t someone tell me they weren’t open as I was walking back and forth through the store with an armload full of merchandise. I must have passed twenty-five them. All of them looked at me but none of them said a word. What the hell, did they think? I worked here? I got on a pair jeans and a red sweatshirt. If I worked anywhere it would have been Target.
Shaking my head and contemplating what to do next I remember the wife of a colleague who is a Wal-Mart employee. She told me at a Christmas party a few days earlier that one on the worst parts of the holiday is putting the merchandise back on it’s correct rack, so I decided not to just leave it in the only aisle with the cigarettes and put it back myself.
The Dawn detergent was the farthest and as I passed the employees setting up a new counter by the produce, and the woman who was still looking for Amber, I had a different take on things. I wasn’t happy with Wal-Mart.
I was now trying to figure out why these people when they saw me shopping didn’t say, “Excuse me sir, you idiot, don’t you see there are no customers in here. We’re not open. It was Christmas yesterday and we’re not open yet. Yes, you sir with your toilet paper. Had a big meal did you? Up early? Needed paper? Did you have too much turkey and fixin’s?
I shot back in my mind “No! But when you got to go, you got to go. Everyone has to eventually and I’m glad I don’t need suppositories.
Wal-Mart employees have always interested me since I applied at Wal-Mart and didn’t get hired. I applied while I was working for a company I thought would go under because of bad times. When I didn’t get hired by the biggest retailer in the world, I wrote it off as, “At least I wasn’t fired by the biggest retailer in the world,” because I’m a guy who gets up early and gets after it.
Getting after it is very important. I tell that to all young people.
I went in the oilfield business for a short time when I got fed up with the radio industry sucking up my talent. I got out and decided to go for the money. I was amazed at how men would bullshit all day long and not work. It reminded me of my days in college when I worked for state government.
When a piece of work such as an oilfield drilling tool or even something someone had to paint, would show up in the different departments men wouldn’t “get after it.” These guys would stand around the thing and talk amongst themselves while it sat there. Someone might eventually kick it a few times, I guess to see if it was real.
Then they would smoke a cigarette and talk about it. Then answer their cell phone and then a have to go to the office or the bathroom to take the call.
I learned early you might as well just do what the hell you’re paid for. At this particular oilfield company this young guy said to me, “Larry, you always have your gloves on.”
I said, “I don’t want to lose my job. When the boss comes out of the office, I either just put something down or I’m about to pick something up.” I said, “Dude, don’t you think it’s harder to look like you’re working then not do what the hell is in front of you? At least I look like I’m getting after it.”
He said with a vague understanding, “Oh! Wow! I guess you’re right”
I bet he’s a CEO by now.
I walked out of the store and waved to the police officer that I recognized in the police car and as I passed without the tissue paper I was glad. I jumped into my car, started her up, left the parking lot and passed a few other places that were closed. I didn’t feel offended because they had their lights out letting me know I wasn’t allowed in.
I was headed home and passed the CVS. It was open. I got the Dawn, the good cookies with the caramel in them and the Scott one-thousand sheet roll that always seems to last longer. I was good to go and ready for a delicious breakfast of turkey and fixin’s.

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Orleans Saints Memories

“We’ll get ‘em next year” was 2010.

I was one of the now 3.9 million people cheering in Tulane Stadium in New Orleans in 1970 when Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints kicked the record-breaking 63-yard field goal to beat the Detroit Lions. That long a kick was so unheard of at the time that Alex Karras the football player who would became a celebrity on the sitcom “Webster” was the only one who tried to block it.
My father, sister and I had season tickets and were in the upper deck on the goal line at the end of the field that the kick was made. It was forth down with two seconds left on the clock and the coach thought the saints in heaven and the Saints of the field didn’t have a prayer. The “Hail Mary” play he felt wouldn’t work, so he sent in Dempsey.
My sister and I had torn up the program my father had bought us so we could have confetti to throw at the end of the game but with the Saints losing and figuring they weren’t going to win we threw the confetti prematurely on the ground and didn’t have any left for a kick we weren’t aware would come.
I remember the play being forth down and my father’s exact words, “Holy, shit! They’re bringing on Dempsey!” Then he looked at me as if he shouldn’t have cursed, something my father rarely did in front of us.
I remember the snap, the hold, the kick, and my eyes following the ball in the air from my left to the right. Since I was on the goal line, from my perspective I didn’t know if it was wide to the left or wide to the right but I could see it was just long enough. I seem to remember the official extending his arms upward to signal “good’ but what I definitely remember is my father going completely crazy. He jumped and yelled and smiled and laughed, it was one of the happiest and silliest I’ve ever seen him. My old man was giddy.
My father was a semi-pro football player in New Orleans, was a college umpire, football referee, and a NORD playground supervisor and coach. NORD is the New Orleans Recreation Department, the little league that played the major sports in and around the neighborhoods of New Orleans. He loved sports and the Saints and he would have loved to see the Saints win the Super Bowl.
When I got older, my father up-graded his tickets to give him a lower seat and ended up the first two seats in the aisle over the seam in the stadium where the players go on to the field. They would gather before they ran out some fifty feet below us and we would shout our pleasure and displeasure with the other team.
This one particular day we were playing the Chicago Bears and my hero after Archie Manning was the famous Dick Butkus who played linebacker. I thought the world of this guy. He was the hero I wanted to become on the football field, and I was going to watch him play.
Before the game as Butkus was going through the throngs of people below I was leaning over the railing, yelling to get his attention. I kept shouting and yelling but my voice just didn’t reach him. I was heart broken because I wanted him to wave back at me.
My older cousin, closer to my dad’s age, who was the crazy and outlandish one in the group was with us. He asked me, “Larry do you want me to get his attention?”
I said, “Please, Uncle Lloyd, I want to wave to him.”
My uncle leaned over the rail, and yelled very loudly, “Hey Butkus! Butkus! Hey! Up here!”
Dick Butkus casually waved his hand high as to just acknowledge the crowd.
My cousin yelled again, “Butkus! Up here! Hey, look man!”
I was trembling. I just knew he was going to wave at me.
My cousin said again, “Butkus, up here!”
Dick Butcus, my hero, in his Chicago uniform, looked up at me, an admiring nine year old and smiled. I waved like a kid whose dream had come true.
That’s when my cousin realized he caught his attention and said, “Butkus you’re a fucking sissy!”
My head swooned. I was mortified. I thought I was going to faint. How dare he say that about the most wonderful man in the world, the epitome of football, the man who I was going to become.
Everyone around me was laughing and giving each other high fives knowing he played right into my cousin’s hands. I didn’t see it coming.
Hurricane Katrina gave me another great Saints memory. The Dome was ruined for the season and Tiger Stadium at LSU was the venue for the home games. The tickets were cheap and I got to take my teenage stepson. The games were never sold out so at half time he and I would go and take seats closer to the field and I would watch the game like never before. I could hear the quarterbacks when the signals were called, the slap of the pads, the grunts and groans of the linemen and the cheers from all around me and not just from the seats below.
Try, at least once to watch a professional football game close-up with a person you care for. It is absolutely thrilling.
I’m from the beginning and the memories of the Saints, Tulane Stadium, The Dome, Archie Manning, Tom Dempsey, Super Bowl coaches like Hank Stram, Gilliam’s opening, franchise kick-off touchdown, the losing seasons, the Hesiman Trophy winning players, Buddy D, Bobby Herbert, the Dome Patrol, through Katrina, Drew Brees and Sean Payton, and of course all the other memories in-between too numerous to mention are flooding back into a man who never thought it would happen. I along with millions of people am astonished.
The Saints are finally Super Bowl caliber. “We’ll get ‘em next year” came to an end in 2010.
Now, its “we’ll get there again next year.”
I hope so, next year and many years to come.