Monday, September 3, 2007

Bush surprised to visit Iraq

President Bush made a surprise trip to the Al Asad Air Base in the Anbar province of Iraq Monday morning.

“Shit yeah it was a surprise,” said a top White House aide under the promise of anonymity. “We told him he was going to Texas. He was completely shocked when he woke up in Iraq.”

Reportedly the President had a tough time distinguishing between the two because both places “are flat, sandy, and everybody hates me.”

Aides said they wanted to take the President to Iraq before his report to Congress on progress there so he could see the “remarkable turnaround” in the Sunni area west of Baghdad.

The President told his aides the only remarkable turnaround anyone was going to see was how fast his ass got back on that plane.

Bush was scheduled to meet with Iraqi Prime-Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who the clever President has nicknamed “Flaming Douchebag.”

The President balked at touring the pro Sunni Anbar region despite his aides telling him what a success the surge has been there.

“My colonoscopy was a success too,” Bush said. “But that doesn’t mean I want to tour my own anus.”

The president stopped in Iraq en route to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Sydney, Australia, although aides have told the President after Iraq they were going to be a big park to play catch.

Fear and Loathing in the Bronx

I was taking my Yorkie Blind Toothless Jordan out to take care of her business when I saw my neighbor Tommy.
“Red Sox suck,” he said.
“I didn’t even watch the last two games,” he said. “I’ve given up on them.”
Ah, to be in New England now that the pennant race is here.
Red Sox fans have been called a lot of things lately, obnoxious, intrusive, but the best adjective to describe my people is bi-polar, and at no time is this condition more identifiable then when they play the Yankees.

To help layman better understand this condition I will break the thoughts of Red Sox fans into two different categories Bi (this is, after all Massachusetts) and polar.

Bi Thinking: Before the series began the Sox were up eight games, and even if the Yankees swept, the lead would still be a healthy five games. The Sox had scored 10 runs a game against the White Sox so they were due a slump, the Yankees looked pathetic against the Tigers and were bound to bounce back strong. If the Sox escaped with one game they would be fine.

Polar Thinking: We have to crush those Yankees now, not let them win a game. If they win even one game its 1978 all over again. Finish them now while they’re weak or they will rise up twice as strong to destroy us.

Bi Thinking: We have Daisuke Matsuzaka against the 48-year-old Andy Pettite. You have to like that match-up.

Polar Thinking: The Red Sox players hate Matsuzaka and don’t even try to score when he’s pitching. Plus he can’t win close games. They should have signed Pettite.

Bi Thinking: The Yankees get two runs off Matsuzaka in the first combing a walk a hit batsman and a double. Had to know the Yankees would come out strong, and Matsuzaka is still being dogged by that one bad inning.

Polar Thinking: Here we go! Another one inning Hari-Kari by Kamikaze Matsuzaka. It’s a sweep. The season is over.

Bi Thinking: The Sox tie it with a David Ortiz sacrifice fly plating Lugo.

Polar Thinking: Here we go! Stick a fork in the Yankees they’re done.

Bi Thinking: After homeruns by Derek Jeter and Jason Varitek Manny Ramirez leaves the game with back spasms. Hope it’s only for a couple of games.

Polar Thinking: It’s over. We can’t win without Manny. Danm those vengeful baseball gods. How could you take Manny from us now? And he is going to be out indefinitely. It’s like giving Juan Epstein an open-ended hall pass. Lord knows when we will see him again.

Bi Thinking: Well we knew they wouldn’t go quietly. Johnny Damon shows why we should have kept him putting the Yankees up two.

Polar Thinking: Nice job Epstein. Can’t wait until Damon is being covered in confetti in the canyon of heroes after another Yankees Series win. I’m going to bed.

Bi Thinking: Mariano Rivera gets them 1-2-3 in the ninth. Hope Manny’s back quick. Never figured we’d sweep. Got Josh Beckett tomorrow so I’m not losing an sleep.

Polar Thinking: Is that the morning paper? My God I’ve been up all night. Better shower.

Bi Thinking: I would rather have Josh Beckett pitching than old Roger Clemens.
Polar Thinking: I would rather have wise old Roger Clemens pitching than young punk Josh Beckett.

Bi Thinking: Man Clemens looks tough tonight. And Damon strikes again with a two run single to put Yanks up 3-0 after two. We better start hitting.

Polar Thinking: We’re never going to hit. Clemens is older than my father for god’s sake. Beckett was nothing but a flash in the pan. Julio Lugo playing short instead of Hanley Ramirez. Burn in hell Epstein!

Bi Thinking: Clemens gets J.D. Drew to pop up and has a no hitter after four.
Polar Thinking: J.D. F’n’ Drew. They should play Christina Aguilera’s “Candyman” when he comes to the plate.

He's a one stop shop, makes a pop up
He's a swing and missin’, sugar coated candy man oh
A swing and missin’, sugar coated candyma

Bi Thinking: Thank God for Big Papi. Broke up the no-hitter and the shutout with one swing. Maybe we can get back in this thing.

Polar Thinking: You think Papi’s put on weight? You think he’s limping? You think he can make it to the plate without oxygen?

Bi Thinking: After the Yankees get another run Kevin Youklis brings us within one with a one out two run homerun. We’re into the Yankees bullpen their real weakness.
Polar Thinking: Oh please pinch hit for Drew, please hit for Drew.

Bi Thinking: Danm. Drew strikes out, he’s having a tough season

Polar Thinking:
Sweet sugar candy man
He's a one stop, not hot, making his panties drop
Sweet sugar candy man
He's a one stop, not hot, hitting a popup
Sweet sugar candy man
He's a one stop, not hot, hitting a popup
Sweet sugar
Candy man

Bi Thinking: One, two, three in the ninth. Lead down to six. Need to win tomorrow.
Polar Thinking: Honey, where did you hide the anti-depressants?

Bi Thinking: Did you see that the nitwits in the commissioner’s office checked Terry Francona to make sure he was wearing his regular jersey while the game was going on? What is going on with them?

Polar Thinking: First of all, nobody wakes up Tito during a game. Secondly, it was obvious a conspiracy between the Yankees, MLB, and the NYPD to steal the Yankees a win. Typical New York behavior. If the Yankees can’t win the Commissioner’s office needs to come running in and save them.

Bi Thinking: Robinson Cano homers off Curt Schilling while the Red Sox are being held hitless again.

Polar Thinking: Robinson Cano? Robinson Cano? Who the hell starts a 40-year-old guy in a game anyway? Where’s the vodka?

Bi Thinking: Only down two and the first two guys on in the seventh, let’s go Sox.
Polar Thinking: Oh sweet fancy Moses it’s JD Drew. Pinch-hit someone, anyone.

Bi Thinking: Perfect double play ball but A-Rod starts being A-Rod, Youklis avoids the tag and the Sox are at first and third with one out.

Polar Thinking: Another A-Rod screw up He helped us win in ’04 and he is going to do it again.

Bi Thinking: The Umpires are talking but they can’t reverse the call, the second base Umpire had the best view

Polar Thinking: Cry all you want Torre the call ain’t changi

Bi Thinking: Oh come on they changed the call. He was no out of the baseline, that’s a bad call.

Polar Thinking” What….I can’t… can you????? You bastard’s….cheating….I see light….Is that you Grandma???? Is that my dog Skippy?

Bi Thinking: Of course it was Drew. He’s a one stop, not hot, hitting a pop up
Polar Thinking: Candy man! Candy man!

Bi Thinking: Everything comes apart in the eighth as the Yankees score three more to make the sweep official.

Polar Thinking: Why can’t we get Asian players like that?

Bi Thinking: Hey Joba Chamberlain just threw two pitches at Youklis? It isn’t enough to sweep you got to headhunt too? God: it doesn’t matter. The game’s over. Probably the season too. I tried to hang in there but it’s ’78 all over again.

Polar Thinking: Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

Bi Thinking: Well what the fuck we supposed to do you moron? Torre dropped the big one. We can’t stop them

Polar Thinking: What the fuck happened to the Red Sox Nation I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Polar Man, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Chamberlain, he's a dead man! Jeter, dead! A-Rod...

Bi Thinking: Dead! Polar Man is right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now give me the Vodka and the anti-depressants I haven’t slept in four days.

And so a Yankee sweep brings together the two sides of a divided nation. How will we ever repay you?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Owen Wilson explains suicide attempt

first posted at pug bus

LOS ANGELES – Owen Wilson has finally explained the reason for his suicide attempt on Sunday. During a conference call from his private suite in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Wilson told reporters he had been “kicking back doing ‘shrooms and bong hits” with his good friend Matthew McConaughey the night before.

Early Sunday morning as McConaughey left for home, the “totally trashed” actor said to Wilson, “Goodnight, Luke.”

“That majorly freaked me out,” said Wilson. “I started thinking, ‘Bummer, man. I’m not the blonde, tousled star, the dewy-eyed, sensitive while still ruggedly handsome dude. I’m his horse-faced, balding, loser brother.’”

Stunned by this case of mistaken identity, the star of You, Me and Dupree and Starsky & Hutch, who generously has allowed his brother Luke to be in movies like The Royal Tenenbaums so he could get off food stamps, decided death was preferable to living as his younger, less talented sibling.

“You know, I was thinking,” Wilson continued, “here I am, this loser who can’t open a movie, has to ride on Vince Vaughn’s or Will Ferrell’s coat tails, played some chick’s boyfriend in his only number one movie, and my brother is just the most beautiful guy. I couldn’t stand it, so I took some pills and tried to cut my wrist. Luckily, because I thought I was Luke, I fucked it up like he’s fucked up everything in his miserable life.”

When asked if his breakup with former lover Kate Hudson had anything to do with his suicide attempt, Wilson admitted that it did.

“How would you feel if your brother got to fuck Kate Hudson, but she wouldn’t let you fuck her if you were the last man on earth? I mean the best Luke ever did was a quick reach around from Kate Hepburn at Sundance, which was most likely an accident. I, of course, did old Kate right up the chute. She told me she liked my eyes.”

Wilson said that even after he had had his stomach pumped at Cedars-Sinai, he was still crying and begging the staff not to tell his brother Owen what he had done.

“Finally, somebody slapped me and said, ‘You are Owen, you douche.’

“I said to myself, ‘Goddamn, I am. Those must have been some wicked ‘shrooms.’”

When a reporter asked if Wilson had discussed his experience with his brother Luke, he said, “Nah. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and have him rushing out and sucking on the tail pipe of his Volvo.”

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Man Who Killed Baseball (Notes from an alternate universe

The Man Who Killed Baseball

“1918,” my father said, coughing, a soft spray of blood coming out of his mouth, and he heaved one more time, as if all the pain of those years was released from his body, and he could finally rest, no longer cursing Harry Frazee, who Dad called “The man who killed baseball.”

It was January of 2004. My father, a lifelong smoker, a condition he blamed on “those god danm Yankees,” had finally succumbed to the lung cancer he had been warned about his entire life.

When we sat in the doctor’s office the previous July, when he was given the news, and told his condition was terminal, he looked up to the heavens, and said “just let them win this once.”

I was sitting with him in the hospital late that night when his dream died. Bret Boone took a Tim Wakefield knuckle ball into the right field stands at Yankee Stadium. His spirit disapeered into the early autumn night with that ball; it took his body three winter months to catch up.

I got my love of baseball from my father, and my love of science, and may I immodestly say brilliance, from my mother. What brought these two mismatched lovers together I do not know, but when I was 12, and the plane carrying her home from a conference in Vienna disapeered into the Mediterranean, my father and I weren’t just conjoined through baseball, but mutual heartbreak

It was at that time that I first began to dream of time travel, to appear in that airport, to stop her from getting on that plane, that would make everything right again.

I stopped playing baseball then, I stopped playing everything. My worried father would tell the therapists I spent all my time with my head in science books, unless I was at his side watching a ball game. He thought I was trying to escape into a world of my own.

But the world I was escaping into wasn’t one of my own, but our own, where we would be together as a family again. Despite my devoting every free second to the pursuit of time travel, I made no progress.

I did, however, keep my grades high enough to be admitted into MIT where I fell under the tutelage of Professor Zeigler, a brilliant man who had secretly worked in the field of time travel to bring back his parents, lost in the holocaust.

I will not bother you with the details, there is no way to begin without following it to the end, and it would take volumes. Suffice it to say that slowly the Professor and I made progress.

Our goal was to move an inanimate object a few seconds ahead in time. We decided on a pencil. We laid it in our time traveling chamber, set the coordinates for ten seconds ahead, and then turned the dial, and waited, but nothing happened.
We tried for several weeks. Occasionally the pencil would fade, but come back. Professor Zeigler, a man blessed like my father, with a beautiful, intelligent wife, began to doubt the wisdom of continuing the project. “If there is one thing playing with time has taught me is that there is so little of it,” he said, as he put his scarf on one day and left me alone.

I continued to make slight adjustments to the machine. I worked for weeks alone. Occasionally Professor Zeigler would stop by, but my lack of progress caused him to lose interest.

I was alone, late at night, holding the pencil, when I realized that we were going about it wrong, we couldn’t go forward into something that hadn’t happened. We needed to go back.

We had assumed going forward would be easier to prove, but, if I bit this pencil, then sent it back five minutes, I would have two pencils with identical bite marks and would have proven time travel possible.

With shaking hands I put the pencil to my mouth and began to chew on it. I then placed it in the machine. It was 11:45 PM. I set the coordinates for the pencil to appear at 11:40 PM in Room 213 of the MIT main laboratory, next door where I was working. I prayed for success. I clicked the mouse to send, and looked down at the pencil. It shimmered once, twice, and then was back, and I thought I had failed.

I got up and opened the door to the room 213, turned on the lights and began searching. After a fruitless 20-minute search I turned to leave when I saw something lying under the instructor’s desk. I had to get down on my hands and knees to reach for it.

It was a pencil, I could tell that, and when I brought it into the light, I saw the teeth marks. I stood using the desk to keep me from swooning. I knew it was the same pencil, but to be sure, I had to compare them.

With the pencil in my left hand I ran into the lab and opened the machine with my right, holding the two pencils near one another, and then I saw a blinding light, and felt myself falling into darkness.

When I awoke my father was sitting by my bed. He began to hurriedly gather doctors and nurses who asked me hundreds of questions then consulted, then talked to my father, who came back smiling. “They say you are going to be all right,” he said.

“What happened?” I asked trying to sit up in bed, and then going back down as my head throbbed.

“The building exploded,” my father said. “Danmdest thing, they can’t figure out why.”

I tried to clear the fog in my mind. “The pencil,” I said.

“A pencil?” my father looked at me quizzically. “A pencil did not blow a hole in the side of that building.”

Yes it did.

I asked him if Professor Zeigler had been by to see me.

“Only every day, he’s really concerned about you.”

“Find him, tell him I need to see him,” I said.

“The Doctors say what you need is rest.”

“Dad, please, find him, and tell him it’s about the pencil.”

My father looked at me shaking his head then stood. “If you would rather spend time with your professor buddy than me,” he said.

“Dad, please, after I see the professor we can spend the rest of the day together, I just need to talk to him about the explosion.”

My father put a comforting hand on my knee and then left.

I fell asleep and when I awoke the Professor was next to my bed, a scowl across his face.

“You sent the pencil backwards didn’t you?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said.

“We were only going to send things forward.”

“But I thought it would be easier to prove, and it was, I did it.”

The professor sighed. “Yes you did, and when you brought two pencils both made of the same matter together you caused an explosion that blew up the lab. You were very lucky to survive.”

I began to ask and he held up his hand. “The machine is gone, there is nothing left.”

I sunk down on the bed, my eyes filling with tears. He put a hand on my wrist. “It’s all right, you proved something to me, we can’t go back to a time where we exist. I was born during the holocaust, if I met myself, the explosion would be much larger than one caused by two pencils, it could be of nuclear proportions.”

“So it’s over,” I said.

“I’m afraid it is.”

We sat in silence. “What if we went back even further?” I asked.

“Once we begin to change history the ramifications could affect the entire world, both good and bad.”

I sat up in the bed, ignoring the pain. “What if we stopped the death of Arch Duke Ferdinand, stopping World War I, no Treaty of Versailles, no reason for Hitler to rise to power. We could stop the Holocaust. World War I, World War II. We have in our grasp the power to bring peace to the world.”

“We don’t know what power we have,” he said. “What history would be written if Ferdinand did not die?”

“But we could find out,” I said. “At least let me return to work on the machine, chances are I won’t get it to work again anyway, but if I do, then we can decide.”

“This would be a full time proposition, then is no money in it, how will you survive?”

“My Dad will let me stay with him, there’s still money left from my mother’s estate.”

He rubbed his beard. “You were doing this because of your mother, the pencils have proven you cannot save her, why are you still obsessed with its success?”

I hadn’t realized that, and spent several minutes thinking. “But I could see her,” I said quietly. “See her before I was born.”

He shook his head. “We will talk later of this my friend,” he said rising. “Your father is in the hall, acting like a jealous boyfriend, I shall let him back in, and I shall think of your proposition, although I think it will be the ruin of us all.”

My father came in and sat down, sulking, until I began to talk about the Sox, which started him on one of his rants, and I could continue to brood over the time machine.

Two days later, as I was about to be released, Professor Ziegler returned, and placed a check for $250,000 on the table. “Use this money to build your machine,” he said. “Under the condition that you do not use it unless I am there.”

I picked the check up with shaking hands, unable to find the words to thank him, but he was already moving towards the door.

“And one other thing,” he said. “Make it large enough for a human to be transported.”

He passed my father on the way out, who did not acknowledge the professor. He asked me what was in my hand but I quickly shoved it into my pocket and told him it was just a note.

I spent two weeks at home, convincing my father that I was resting while I put together every bit of information I had backed up on to my personal computer about the time machine.

I found a classified advertising a tanning salon that was closing and I rented it and moved my computers there. I told my father I would be managing it, and while he found it an odd choice, I knew he would never visit.

Truthfully the doors were never unlocked. For 14 hours a day I would stay locked inside rebuilding the machine, and using one of the tanning beds as the transporter.
Looking back, I realize it took three years to build. During that time I was unaware the passage of time, only the Sox season.

Finally it was ready for testing, and I called the cell phone number scrawled on the back of the Christmas card I had received from the Professor, who now lived in Cape Cod, having retired.

Before I could say a word he asked if it was ready and I said yes. He told me he would contact me again and not to touch it.

I spent the next week in the empty saloon, with the machine, being more tempted to use it every day, until one night, just when I was going to close, there was a rapping at the door.

I opened it and saw the professor, balder, now walking with a cane. He hurried past me without saying hello and put his hands on the transporter.

“You used a tanning bed?” he asked.

“I needed something for human transport, with an electrical base.”

He nodded then sat down at the computer. “Do we set the coordinates the same way?” he asked.

I said we did and he began opening windows, setting his time of leaving, in five minutes!

“You are going to use this now?” I asked.

“What better time?” he asked setting his landing point in Warsaw Poland, at a certain longitude and latitude, in 1924.

“We should test it on an animal, a pencil, something!” I said, partly in worry for my mentor, partly because I felt like a father watching someone play with his child for the first time.

“There is only one way to prove this works,” he said setting his return time for two minutes. “And that is to do it ourselves.”

He walked over to the tanning bed and opened it. “I have never climbed into one of these, it is like a coffin isn’t it?”

I grabbed his frail arm. “Hold on. I can’t let you do this.”

“Young man,” he said sternly. “I funded your little project, now it is my time to see if it works, that was our agreement, now are you going to help me get into this contraption?”

I took his arm and he climbed in and lay on the bed. “Does the top have to be closed?” I looked at the computer, and told him yes, but we still had two minutes.

“Why are you doing this? Why Poland? Why 1922? Why two minutes.”]

He lay back, as if, indeed, he was in a coffin with his arms crossed over his chest.

“Miriam is dying,” he said, his eyes staring upwards, filling with tears. “Pancreatic cancer, there is nothing to be done.”

“And what can be done in Poland in 1922?”

“She was born on the land I will be visiting, and she has told me of a lily field outside her window there. The most beautiful lilies. When the Nazi’s came and took her they trampled those lilies. What she would not give to see them again. What I would not risk to make it happen.”

I felt my eyes moisten. “We don’t know what will happen,” I said.

“Whatever happens will be for love, how can something done for love be wrong?”
I nodded, and shut the top. I watched with one eye the clock count down, and the other on him, waiting, to go back to a time before he was born.

The count down hit zero and then the tanning bed began to glow. I heard the Professor gasp. His entire body became rigid. I went to open the tanning bed but I couldn’t. Then in horror I saw him disappear.

I went to the computer as it counted the time until his return. Each second crept by as I turned from looking at the bed to the computer until the clock read 0:00.

I looked back in the bed. The Professor lay in the same position he had left, but on his chest was a beautiful lily.

I grabbed a hold of the top and ripped it open. His eyes were shut. I called out his name. I felt his hands, which were warm. His eyes opened. He saw me. He began to laugh, and continued to until tears fell from his eyes.

“Get me out of this thing!” he said. I reached down. “Be careful of the flower!” he shouted. I got him standing, and held on to him, as his balance had been affected.

A bright smile came across his face. “It was surprisingly cold,” he said. My brow furrowed. “In Poland, in 1922, very cold, I really didn’t dress for it.”

I pulled out my chair and told him to sit. I then squatted before him like he was a religious icon. “Tell me everything,” I said.

“At first, I thought you had killed me. I floated, for five, ten seconds, and then I slowly began to focus, on the cold ground, the blue sky, the grass, and I looked to my left, and there were the lilies. I could reach out and touch them; they were so golden, so beautiful. Then I plucked one. It smelled perfect.” He held it to his nose. “It still does, smell it,” I tentatively did. “I did not know how much time had elapsed, and I didn’t want anyone to see me, so I laid back on the grass and waited, and began to float again, and landed in your marvelous contraption.”

He stood and wrapped me in a hug. I had never known him to show such affection. “I have to go see her now, I have to bring her this,” he said. He then grabbed my face and kissed me on the lips. I was too stunned to say anything. I fell back in the chair smiling. Then I too began to laugh. I had done it.

I opened a word document and began to type out ideas of changes we could make with this wonderful machine, and also safeguards we would have to take to make sure it was never ill used.

I didn’t know how long I had been sitting there when the door opened and the Professor, his suit disheveled, entered, his eyes filled with tears, his face red with anger. “What did you do?” he yelled rushing at me, and then he began to hit me with his frail hands.

I took his blows then grabbed his hands. I carefully spun him around and lowered him until he was seated. “What happened?” I asked. His face collapsed. He put his face in his hands and he wept.

I patted his back and tried to talk to him, then got him some tissue, and water. He sat back, then saw the machine and began pounding on it. I had to hold him again and his feet began to kick at the computer. “Curse that machine, destroy it, destroy it now!” he yelled.

I wheeled the chair from the machine and put my arms on either side of him as he began to weep again. “You have to tell me what happened. Did Muriel not want the flower?”

He looked up at me coldly. “There is no Muriel,” he said. “There’s a Harriet, there’s a Harriet in my home, in my kitchen, in my wedding pictures. There’s no Muriel!” he screamed hysterically. “There’s Harriet, I don’t know a Harriet!” he began to weep again.

“Of course you do dear,” a woman said.

I turned to see an elderly woman, with a cane, standing in the doorway. “We have been married for 45 years,” she said.

“No!” the Professor shouted, stumbling backwards, holding up his hands, until he was in the far corner of the room.

“Tell him!” she said looking at me, her face contorted in fear. “Tell him I am his wife.”

But I couldn’t. I had never met the woman before.

She kept walking towards him. “Keep away from me, keep away from me!” he cried sinking to the floor and weeping. I went to him and lifted him, but his eyes had glassed over, and he stared ahead. I carried him to the tanning bed, the only place I had to lie him down, and called 911.

They said they would be there shortly. I bent down over the Professor, who stared into space, while the woman claiming to be his wife begged him to speak. “Tell him, tell him!” she said to me.

Then her face grew angry. “He said he was coming here to see you, and then he comes back with some flower, and he doesn’t know me. What did you do to him? What is that contraption he is in?”

“It’s just a tanning bed,” I said to the stranger. “I don’t know where he got the flower, we just talked about my future, that is all,” I said lying. I wanted to tell her the truth, and if I had any idea who she was I would have.

The paramedics came first, followed by the police, who took his “wife’s” statement first, and then mine. The police asked me about the tanning bed attached to all the cables. I said I was doing a study on the effects of tanning. While I didn’t think he believed me, he was also not interested in discovering the truth.

I visited the Professor the next day. While his wife was cold to me, rightfully blaming me for what had happened to her husband, I was able to find out that his brilliant mind had suffered such a shock that it had shut down, perhaps forever. I wanted to say goodbye to my old friend, and to assure him, even if he couldn’t understand, that I would never use the machine again. But the wife stood in the doorway, making certain I understood my presence was not welcome.

I went back to the salon with every intention of destroying the machine, but I couldn’t. I did unhook the cables and carefully store them in the back room, and then moved the table away from the bed when an envelope fell to the floor.

I picked it up off the floor and saw written in the Professor’s flowing script “Miriam.” I opened the envelope, and took out the blank card. I opened it.

“My dearest Miriam:

“If I do not return I am sure my able assistant shall return this to you. I went on a mission of the utmost urgency, to make you smile that beautiful smile once again, and if I shall not return, then take comfort that your days are numbered too, and when you enter the brilliant light of eternity, it will be I waiting for you, holding one perfect lily from the world’s one perfect garden, and then we will eternally sleep together.”

I don’t know how long I stared at the card. I went to shred it, and then stopped, and slipped it into my jacket pocket, just as proof that she did exist, once, and as a beacon of hope that someday that love could return.

I could destroy it all, the computer, the tanning bed, even track down all the back up discs I had made, but I could never erase the ability from my mind. The only way to thoroughly destroy the machine was to destroy me, and I was far too much a coward to do that.

I did need to know how the Professor’s two minutes in 1922 caused Miriam to never be born. It took days of internet searches until I found a reference.

It was on a poorly written site dedicated to the paranormal that said an Ethel Grossman, of Warsaw, a 24 year old woman, at home with her husband, was sitting by a window looking out a the lily fields, when, she swore, a man appeared, dressed in a suit. He picked a lily, and just as quickly disapeered.

Young Ethel could not convince her husband of what she had seen, and he, worried that her fantasies would interfere with his business interests, had her put in a sanitarium where she remained the rest of her days.

There was a picture of the couple just after their marriage posted besides the story. I knew the picture well. It had sat on the mantel at the Professor’s home. A perfectly preserved picture of Miriam’s parents.

I shut down the computer, gathered my belongings, and left the tanning salon, planning on never going back. I continued to pay the rent each month from my mother’s trust, and would still tinker in my mind of modifications I could make.

The Professor died a year later, and at his funeral I met Greta, his daughter. The professor had been childless until his trip to Poland, so we had somehow created a life.

And that life changed my life. She told me stories about the Professor I couldn’t have possibly known, and I did the same. Soon we were inseparable. Despite the prostrations of her mother we were married less than a year after the Professor’s death.

I took a job teaching at the University, and never told Greta about the empty tanning salon that I was still renting, what it contained, or the trip her father had taken that had changed all our lives.

Six months after my son was born my father was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. I spent hours every day at the hospital as he slowly wasted away, until the day he finally passed, with 1918 on his lips.

I stood at the internment next to Greta holding my son, two gifts given to me by that machine, while looking at the box that contained my father’s discontented soul, and I heard a voice whispering through the leafless skeleton trees. “Go back.”

That night I told Greta I needed time alone. I went to an old cigar box and took out a key. I also took out a small purple bag. I kissed her goodbye.

I drove to the tanning salon. I booted the now ancient computer. I logged on to the internet. I did a search, looking for one day, when I could have one minute with the man, and change the course of my father’s life.

I opened the bag and tried to calculate to see it I had enough. I set the date, Christmas day, 1919. The place, an alley off of Park Avenue. The time 6:00 AM. Duration, six hours, most of which would be in hiding. Departure in ten minutes.

I used that time to write out a letter to Greta explaining everything if I did not come back. But it was a chance I had to take for my father.

I then laid down and waited, my heart racing, sweat dripping from my skin, and I began to pray, because I was breaking all of the Lord’s laws.

Then I felt myself floating, and then cold, extreme cold, and wet, and I sat up. There was snow and ice under me, it was dark, the wind slammed down the alley cutting through me. I was in New York. It was 1918. Across the street lived the one man who could make my father’s life complete, and hopefully, in my pocket, was enough to convince him to do so.

I stayed in that alley five hours, trying to keep myself from freezing, and from just going to that door and knocking on it, interrupting whatever Christmas festivities may be ongoing. I had one hour left, and I had to make a decision soon.

Then the door opened, and the man came out, bundled against the cold. I was, at first, too stunned to move, then I did, despite the protests of my cold legs and feet.

“Mr. Frazee! Mr Frazee!” I yelled.

The startled man stopped. “Well my God young man you came out of nowhere.”
I didn’t acknowledge my appearance. “Sir, five minutes of your time. I know you are going to sell Babe Ruth to the Yankees tomorrow.”

“And good riddance too! That man is nothing but a nuisance. Glad to be rid of the drunken buffoon, leaving my team on the last day of the season. I can’t have that. And I don’t want to listen to someone defending him either.” He turned to leave.

I took his arm. “Unhand me before I call a constable!” he said.

I let him go, reached into my pocket, and pulled out the purple bag. “There is $150,000 in gold coins in this bag Mr. Frazee, which I will give to you, on your word that you will never cut or trade Babe Ruth.”

“What is this foolishness?” he asked.

“$150,000 for nothing. It’s yours. I know the league is putting pressure on you, I know the Globe has taken out a lien on you for Fenway Park, this takes care of all your problems, and all you have to do, is not trade or cut Babe Ruth.”

Frazee took the bag and looked inside. “This is the most damn fool thing anyone has ever said to me you know that don’t you?”

“You do this,” I told him, “and you will be remembered as a hero.”

“Does it have to be Ruth, he is a drunk, he has no respect for the game, all he cares about is money.”

“Yes,” I said. “If you trade or cut him, I will take this money back, now do we have an agreement as gentlemen?”

He looked at the money. “If this weren’t Christmas I would have you locked up in Bellevue,” he said. “All right sir,” he took my bare right had in his expensively gloved one, and shook it. “I will not sell Babe Ruth to the Yankees, or anyone else tomorrow, nor shall I cut or trade him. You have a deal.”

“Thank you sir, you will not regret this,” I said. “I must now go, and you must never speak of this transaction or my presence hear again, do you understand?”

“Well who would believe me?” he asked. “You have yourself a Merry Christmas,” he turned and walked up Park Avenue.

I went back to the alley. I had more than 40 minutes to wait and they were the longest of my life. What had I done?

I don’t know if it was from the strain, or from the cold, but I fell asleep, and when I awoke I was in the tanning bed.

I opened it and ran outside. I got in the car and quickly drove home and what I saw made my heart stop. My father’s old Chrysler was parked in front of the house.

I ran inside. He was talking to Greta, sweet Greta, still there, looking at our son. Tears fell from my eyes.

“Son, I know I shouldn’t have just shown up,” but I cut him short as I wrapped him in a bear hug.

“Whoa,” he said. “After five years I wasn’t expecting you to talk to me never mind this,” he said.

I released the hug and held him by his frail shoulders. “Five years, what are you talking about?”

A hand went to his face. “Oh God don’t tell me you’ve turned out to be a drunk like your old man.”

“A drunk? You hardly ever drink.”

He pulled away from me. “There you go again with your wise-guy stuff.” He began to shout. “Let me tell you sonny boy it took me years of meetings to get to the point where I can face you and you’re just going to crack jokes at my expense.” He shook his head. “I’m sorry Greta, it was nice to meet you and the little fella but I never should have thought I could get through his thick skull.”

I was too stunned to move. “You have to follow him,” Greta said.

I did. “Dad!” I called as he was putting the key in his car door lock. He ignored me opening it. I caught up to him.

“Dad, help me understand, what was it that led to your drinking?”

“You know as well as I do that it was your mother’s death, and you’re ignoring me afterwards, always pouring over those science books. A man gets lonely at night. It’s no excuse for drinking, but still.”

“But what about watching the Sox Dad?”

He slapped me. I felt my eyes fill with tears. He had never hit me.

“I may be a lot of things but I never raised you to be cruel,” he said, his voice breaking. “You can get treatment for being a drunk, but you get nothing for being cruel.” He got in the car. “Oh, and not that you cared, but it seemed I stopped drinking a little too late, my liver’s gone, doctor gives me two months, don’t make a special trip to the funeral.”

I watched him speed off. I could not move from the spot. Greta came to the door, and guided me inside. “I saw what happened, he shouldn’t have slapped you.”

My hand went to where he had hit me. “Yes he should have,” I said.

I walked into my office and called up a search engine, but for what? I typed in Babe Ruth and found a wikipedia reference.

“Babe Ruth was a pitcher outfielder for the Boston Red Sox who was suspended for life by Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis after allegedly throwing games during the 1921 season. Ruth long claimed that Red Sox owner Harry Frazee framed him but could not prove the charges. With the suspension of Ruth a year after the Black Sox Scandal baseball faded as the National pastime and Major Leagues folded during the second World War.”

I couldn’t breathe. My eyes were filled with tears. I typed in Harry Frazee.

“Owner of the Boston Red Sox who is long thought to have framed pitcher outfielder Babe Ruth for gambling. The suspension led to the collapse of the major leagues. Much suspicion has fallen on a mysterious man who Frazee met on Christmas Day in 1920 and gave the owner a purple bag with $150,000 worth of gold in it. The man was never seen again but is known as ‘the man who killed baseball.’”

I felt Greta’s hands on my trembling chest as tears fell from my eyes. “I’m sorry sweaty,” she said kissing my head. “Maybe if my father had lived long enough you two could have built that time machine, gone back and stopped whoever that awful man was, then your father could have his baseball back and would never have turned to alcohol.”

She stood running her hands up my body. “But I think my father was right, god knows what you could wrought if you went back in time.”

She shut out the light as she left the room leaving the man who killed baseball weeping softly as his computer.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Vatican Airlines flying the holy skies

First published at

Vatican Airlines, the world’s first airline for Catholic pilgrims had it’s initial flight on Monday, and one gleeful disembarking passenger said this was the first trip in a year he didn’t get stuck with the kosher meal.

The plane features Vatican logos on the headrests and nunardesses, nuns who serve needs of the passengers.

First class passengers have their sins forgiven, given absolution for any subsequent sins, an annulment if needed and a papal blessing. In coach passengers received a shot of wine and a ‘Nilla wafer.

There were several complaints of lost luggage and delays. Cardinal Camillo Ruini of Italy said all complaints are handled by saying: “It is God’s will my child. Hah-hah suck on that Jet Blue.”

Destinations range from the shrine of Fatima to Mount Sinai. “Oh, and Vegas baby!” added Ruini.

Religious messages are broadcast from the cockpit. They range from “Look at the beautiful mountains the Lord has made,” to “You are all protected on this flight by the Lord,” to “Jesus Christ the landing gear is stuck!” to “Holy mother of Christ we’re all going to die,” to “Goddanmit we landed safely.”

The Vatican is aiming to serve 150,000 pilgrims each year and also offer parachuteless jumps for hundreds of Jews each year.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Study Shows Nana and Poppa Still Get It On

Studies show that elderly people are as active, or more sexually active than their children, participating in vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and masturbation despite their advanced age.

The study is especially surprising given the sexual mores of the generation.

“Now that I’m already blind what the hell do I care if I masturbate!” Tom Dylan of Seattle said.

Jane Stacy, a 94 year old paraplegic who is cared for by her husband Van said that their love life was sparked after she showered and he placed her in her chair to dry and fell face down in her twat. “I said, ‘as long as you’re down there Van tend to the clitoris,’ which I was most happy to say he did,” Jane said. When asked what she tasted like Van shrugged his shoulders and said “Depends

Peter Roth of Detroit began to have sexual relations with his wife of 54 years when he was ordered to exercise. “Beats walking,” he said

Dr. Bruce Taylor of the Center for Erectile Dysfunction said that this news may be more shocking for children in their 50’s to learn that their parents are still rogering, or Dad’s doing Aunt Bessie since Mom’s passing. Bruce Young, a steelworker from Pennsylvania has been hospitalized since finding his 80-year-old parents buck-naked and in his bed in the 67 position. His mother said after her hip operation she can’t make it to 69.

Over 50 percent of the elderly between the ages of 57 and 75 say they still masturbate. Those that don’t say its because they can never find the batteries.

Among those who suffer from a sexual dysfunction 43% said vagina lubrication was a problem 39% said inability to climax, 34% said erectile dysfunction and 98% said it was because the were having sex with someone 92 years old.

That a'int no Baby Ruth in the pool it's a Gun Confiscation Rudy

Link to Fred Thompson's blog on Guiliani's gun plan here