Friday, October 31, 2008

MoCo Lotion Exclusive: The Laziest Columnist In Print, Caught Red-Handed!

Usually, when we journalists screw up on our facts and are called out, we just suck it up, swallow our pride and run a "correction."

Or, given how labor-intensive it can be at times to write our columns, I suppose another solution is to take the original inquiry you messed up, change a word or two (along with the sender's name and location), and pray your readership has a short memory.

What Mr. Know-It-All didn't count on is MoCo Lotion's powers of recollection. Oh, yeah, I also haven't blogged in a few months, and my initial outrage at the original error still appears on the front page of this blog, just three stories below this one.

Here's the excerpt from today's column, as it appears in the Examiner.
And, just to refresh your memory, here's the first inquiry as it appeared nearly four months ago:
Shame, shame, shame.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Survived a Category 5...sort of...

Today I found myself in the men's room of a local restaurant. In spite of my non-employee status, I washed my hands before leaving, and immediately looked for the paper towel dispenser.

Hands dripping wet, I found neither paper towels nor the standard electric hand dryer. What I did find was the XLerator, a supercharged electric hand dryer. The XLerator delivers a blast of air so intense, the skin on my palm was visibly pushed into a perfect circle for the six or seven seconds it took to completely dry my hands. I couldn't believe it, to the point that I returned to the sink to wash my hands (and dry them) again. With the nifty foamy soap, to boot.

With the possible exception of a visit to Taco Bell, it's rare that I find a reason to use a piece of public restroom equipment more than once on a single visit, let alone dive into it's technical specs. But here's what I've learned about the XLerator:

The air velocity where your hands should be, four inches below the nozzle, is 14,000 feet per second. Some quick calculations translate that into a wind speed of 159 miles per hour, or a Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.

If you've never lived through such an intense storm (combined with a 135 degree air temperature to boot), this is your chance. For a brief instant, as the sole occupant of the restroom, my inner child even thought about moving my face under the nozzle to feel the sensation of a Cat 5 on my face. Then, I thought better of it--what would I tell the opthamologist who did my recent LASIK when he asks how my corneas wound up on the floor of a men's room (not to mention lightly toasted)?

If anyone is interested, I did find an XLerator on eBay. It's on my wishlist for Chanukah, along with a urinal and bathroom-friendly TV. 125 days to go...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Another Hollywood Fairy Tale Ends

I was a bit surprised to learn of the end of the six-year marriage of George Lazenby and Pam Shriver and the impending child custody battle. Surprised, in part, because I knew nothing of the beginning of their marriage. And even more surprised that Lazenby is not only still alive, but fathering children well into his 60s.

Lazenby, as I'm sure you recall, played James Bond on the big screen nearly 40 years ago. Played Bond one time. By my count, that's just one time more than I've played 007 on-screen. To say that his career has been in the toilet since his debut in OHMSS is a bit of an understatement. He hasn't even been the answer to a trivia question since the 1980s, when Pam was a highly-ranked tennis star.

So what kind of pickup line do you use to attract someone who wasn't old enough to attend the one notable movie you made without a parent?

Picture George at one end of the bar, Pam at the other. Pam catches his eye; George calls the female bartender over and loudly orders a martini. "Shaken, not stirred!" Pam doesn't even glance over. George loudly repeats himself, "That's shaken, not stirred!" Still no reaction from Pam. George settles his tab with the bartender by handing her $20.01: "Here you are, MISS, all the MONEY's yours, including the PENNY."Pam now cannot help but notice the intriguing, mature Australian putting on a fake British accent, and approaches him.

George: "You know, I was James Bond well over 30 years ago, and haven't worked steadily since."

Pam: "I was a top-ranked tennis pro in the '80s, and I'm Maria Shriver's fourth cousin."

The rest, as they say, is celebrity history.

What does this guy do all day while his wife is out making the bucks covering tennis? Enjoying the benefits of her hard work?

Out of concern for their three young children, the announcement was timed to coincide with the media focused on the Summer Olympics and the Russian-Georgian war. Unlike celebrity couples like Brad and Angelina, George and Pam have somehow managed to fly under the radar and keep the paparazzi at bay, refusing to negotiate to sell photos of their 2002 wedding or three young children to People and US magazines. Nor have they allowed themselves to be known by the unifying moniker "Peorge."
Stay tuned to the media, I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this one.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Mr. Know-It-All, In A Pickle

You must really be having a bad day when you can't even read properly. In fact, there's not a reference source I found asserting there was one and only one Pickles.

Pickles was portrayed by two actresses, Barbara Perry and Joan Shawlee, who did three episodes in Season Three.

In my book--as well as what you see lazily reading the results in Google--Shawlee was the prominent Pickles. Not only for her three appearances (vs. Perry's two), but for what she brought to the role itself. Perry's Pickles was a giggling bimbo; Shawlee was an aggressive match for Buddy's mischegoss. On top of her role as Pickles, Shawlee will always have a place in comedy history for her role as Sweet Sue in the funniest movie ever made, Some Like It Hot.

Audiences in the early '60s didn't see this without the benefit that I--as a doctorate of 1960s and '70s television--know from a lifetime of daily reruns (or DVD box sets) that allow you to see the different Pickles a few days or hours apart. And with only a small part in five Pickled episodes, the Pickles switch is not as obvious as more prominent TV land hijinks, such as when Elizabeth Montgomery swapped Dicks.

But my vote for the best Pickles ever: the Rosoff Half-Sour. Mmmmm.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sometimes A Blog Is Just A Blog

I had a really great story to share the other night, but truth be told it was little more than a quick one-liner that didn't lend itself to blogging. One of those "you had to have been there" stories better conveyed in person rather than in writing.

So I shared it with a friend, and he provided some additional observations. Observations that made the story all the more bloggable--just not from my keyboard.

So instead of borrowing his observations to tag onto my story, I promptly relinquished all blogging rights to the tale to Mr. Moose's Story Book. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Shameless Self-Congratulation

Literally overnight, my allegiance has shifted.

The Examiner is out; the Express is in. As if I haven't mentioned it in practically every post to this point, you know why I prefer the Examiner--their superior puzzle page and the chance there will be an especially lazy, plagiaristic column by Mr. Know-It-All so I can create an equally lazy post here. On the rare occasions when I'm in the mood for superior, free-of-charge editorial content (or the Examiner is unavailable), the Express, a lightweight version of the Washington Post, is what does it for me.

This morning began with a check of my e-mail, and a congratulatory message from a recently honeymooned fellow blogger.

Huh? Congratulations for what? Thanks to B&T, I learned that I finally hit the blogging big time after three arduous months of occasional blogging by having bestowed upon me the mother lode of blog shout-outs in the D.C. area--a quote in Express' daily BlogLog. I did get a shout at DCBlogs a few weeks back, but in the blogosphere, that's sort of like getting a Golden Globe when what you've really got your eye on is the Oscar. (Oh, well. So much for future shouts from DCBlogs.)

B&T posts a lot more regularly and gets these fairly frequently, so it's not such a big deal to him. We share some common DNA, especially the blogging and height genes. He is usually the one to clue me in to happenings in the blogosphere. But given my status as a loyal reader of the Examiner, with no Express accessible to a honeymooning B&T, and with none of Express' 284,899 other readers aware of my real-world identity, I was totally unaware of the shout-out until his return to cyberspace a week after publication.

So I downloaded the .pdf (much as you can for the next week or so here) and was a little disappointed to see that what was quoted wasn't what I would consider to be my best work. If I had to bet, I would have thought the Express (as the top newspaper read on the Metro every morning) would have taken something from my Metrorail piece a few weeks ago, particularly the bit about the smelly old 1000-series cars. No such luck.

I rushed to catch the Ride On, and on my way to the Metro, I thought about what I could have done on my commute last Wednesday had I known about this. I could have watched fellow Express readers on the train as they turned to page 36 and gauge their reactions for myself. The theatre has legendary stories about playwrights sitting in the audience incognito to gauge reaction and solicit feedback, and I was a week late for my once-in-a-lifetime chance to do the same.

Then things took a surreal turn. I arrived at the Metro station rushed to get to work and overdosed on ego. I grabbed the first paper shoved in my face by the two competing paperboys at the station (who are both easily in their 40s), assuming it was the Examiner. Nope. I got the Express instead. So, resigned that there would be no Kakuro this morning, I stood on the platform, and rapidly turned the pages to get to the inferior puzzles.

And in quickly passing by today's BlogLog, something stopped me in my tracks.

No way. This is too weird. (And you can download it here for the next two weeks or so to see for yourself.) Shakespeare, Hemingway, Stephen King and J.K. Rowling have yet to make the BlogLog two weeks in a row, how did this happen to me?

I boarded car #1125, and (having had a nice rain yesterday) took a whiff. Yuck. Fate suddenly turned me into a disguised Neil Simon in the back of the Plymouth Theatre during previews of The Odd Couple, sharpening up the script based on the audience reaction.

It didn't occur to me how many Metro riders read the Express until I had a vested interest in its circulation this morning. And from my vantage point, I could see that practically all of them were favoring Express over Examiner. Based on my limited survey sampling of one subway car, the fullsize, "big-boy" paper, The Washington Post, is a distant third.

I was actually close enough to about a half dozen Express readers to see what page they were reading. So I discreetly kept a watch on them as, at various times, they each reached Page 36 and the BlogLog.

Some smiled. One pointed it out to his Examiner-reading seatmate. All of them took a noticeable sniff to verify my olfactory assessment of conditions in the antique 1000-series cars.

Now I was no longer Doc Simon in the back of the theatre. I was Clark Kent, standing idly by with that cocky, knowing smile as Lois and Jimmy marvel at Superman's latest and greatest feat at the end of every episode.

Do I take this ego trip full-tilt on my ride home tonight and rip open my shirt in full view of the Express readership to reveal the large "M" tattooed on my chest? Naaaah. Just knowing that this blog is read and apparently found to be engaging by at least one reader is enough to keep me posting on a semi-regular basis.

Thank you for your support and continued encouragement. Doors closing!