Friday, December 30, 2011

Good Intentions For 2012

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, the traditional day for making year-end lists and those dreaded resolutions. I’m not doing any lists. I have done enough of those throughout the year on this blog. Nor am I going to make any resolutions. They usually end up being broke shortly after you make them. So, there will be no resolutions. There will be no pledges, commitments or promises. There will be nothing that resembles the classic resolution.

What I am willing to do is make a list of good intentions for 2012. This list will not be specific in nature. Instead, it will serve as a guideline to help me be a better person.

That’s all I want to accomplish in 2012. To be a better person. Better in the eyes of God. Better to my family and friends. Better to casual acquaintances. Even better to people I have never met. And lastly, better to myself.

This might seem vague and fuzzy, but that’s okay. I know that I want to be a better person. Here’s my list of good intentions that will help me achieve this.

1.    Pray on a more consistent basis. Succeeding in doing this will help the rest of the list to fall into place. It is the most important thing on this list.

2.    Be more patient and learn not to lose my temper, starting with those closest to me.

3.    Eat better and be more active. No-brainer here. A plan is in the works.

4.    Become more organized. People that know me might think that I’m already too anal, but I have areas that need work. Trust me on this.

5.    Read more books. I have at least a dozen books waiting to be read. As the immortal Emil Faber said, “Knowledge is good.”

6.    Get the “Cottage Book” project completed. I think this will make the people closest to me happy. I know it would make me happy.

7.    Make my savings account grow. It would probably be a good idea to start a savings account first…

That’s my list of good intentions for 2012. If I make a sincere effort to make these things happen, I honestly believe that I can be a better person. And that’s important to me. We shall see.

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The results from the Favorite Dad Poll:

Rob Petrie and Andy Taylor – 17% each
Ray Barone and Peter Griffin – 13% each
Al Bundy, Ward Cleaver and Homer Simpson – 8% each
Howard Cunningham, Red Forman and Tony Soprano – 4% each
Jim Anderson, Jack Arnold, Tom Bradford, Mike Brady, Steve Douglas, Hank Hill, Heathcliff Huxtable, Charles Ingalls, Steven Keaton and Ozzie Nelson all finished with no votes.

Now that we know who the most popular TV Dads are, it’s time to find out who the favorite Moms are. Make sure you cast your vote in the poll located to the right of the blog.

Until next time…from the booth.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Scary Political People

This blog deals with a topic that I usually avoid like the plague – politics. You can count the number of times that I have mentioned the p-word in this blog on one hand. To me, politics is a necessary evil that I would just as soon never hear about. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. You can’t turn on television or the radio without being subjected to an avalanche of political posturing presented by scary political people. And with next year’s Presidential, recall and local elections looming, it’s only going to get worse. There will be a lot more scary political people.

Trust me, these political people are scary. Scary is an adjective that is defined as frightening or causing fear, and these people definitely frighten me. These people cause me fear for a multitude of reasons.

One obvious way is how they vehemently regurgitate their party’s rhetoric, concentrating on one specific issue that is, more often than not, taken out context. After being exposed to these people ad nauseum, they can become more than scary.

Another reason these people are scary is that they expect you to naively accept their mindless reciting of party talking points without even thinking. Just because they blindly believe whatever their party tells them, they arrogantly expect others to do the same. That’s scary.

What’s even scarier is that they become overbearing and pompous when you don’t agree with and march in lockstep with their parties’ ideologies. How dare you think for yourself or have a different opinion. The audacity!

It gets worse when these people go from being self-important and pretentious to being malicious and nasty. I don’t particularly like malicious, mean people. They are much worse than scary people.

I seriously believe these people hurt their political parties more than they help them. When someone is unpleasant and obnoxious, I am inclined to turn that person off and not listen to him or her, no matter what his or her point might be.

In my blog, “Rivalry or Hate?” I wrote that I had come to the realization that it wasn’t the Cub, Cardinal, Bear, Viking and Bull teams that I despise. I said that it was their media and fans that made me cringe when they won and rejoice when they lost.

I feel the same way about political zealots. When their party “wins” I cringe and when they “lose” I rejoice. Zealots, whether they are religious or political, tend to repulse people rather than attract them.

When it comes to religion, I prefer to try to practice rather than to preach. The same goes for politics with me. I am much more comfortable doing both that way.

And heaven forbid that you mix religion and politics. That’s when the political people are at their scariest. Bigotry wrapped in prayer is still bigotry.

I don’t intend on writing another blog concerning politics any time soon. I really didn’t want to write this one, but I like I said before, it is a necessary evil and the current political climate moved me to do so.

Here’s a closing thought for all the scary political people - “You don't have to blow out anybody else's candle to make yours shine brighter.” Quit being so scary. Please.

Until next time…from the booth.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Koos Christmas Story

On a bitter cold Saturday night, late December in 1976, the men of Koos Inc. gathered in the backroom of Mario’s Red Arrow Club on Sheridan Road in Kenosha. The reason for this get-together was a Union Christmas party. UFCW Local 73A was good enough to sponsor the much-appreciated gathering for the workforce from Koos. This night was going to be an event to be remembered. This celebration would be a first. Never before had the Union workers at Koos Inc. had an official Christmas function. Tonight that would all change.

The year before, not only was there no party, the employees had to work until 11:00 o’clock on Christmas Eve morning. Of course the beer that was smuggled into the plant created a somewhat cheerful atmosphere, but it still wasn’t a party. Not even the numerous pints of blackberry brandy purchased from the nearby Beer Depot could do the trick. It just wasn’t a party. 

The people in management always had a nice little soiree each year, but nothing for the guys in the Union. This year was going to be different. The guys in the plant were finally going to have a bash of their own. 

And what a bash it was! 

The backroom at Mario’s Red Arrow Club was dimly lit, long and narrow, with a chest-high wall at one end that separated a small kitchen from the rest of the hall. This might have been the back of a smoke filled neighborhood bar, but it was perfect for this inaugural event. 

The good people from UFCW had provided the guys from Koos with enough money for the hall, food, a keg of beer and a couple of bottles of hard liquor. Several of us had even brought festive holiday deserts. What more was needed? Let the party begin! 

Because we were new to this Christmas party thing, most of us had neglected to bring a date. The only females present for the event were Ziggy Gutowski’s wife and the aunt of Danny Fliess who brought her two daughters. Other than that the guest list was strictly male. 

It was still going to be quite a shindig, trust me. 

While the sloppy joes warmed in the crock-pot and the hot dogs simmered in a large pot of oiling water, we decided to start playing cards. While Ted Nugent blared through the speakers hung on the walls, the collection of partygoers broke into two separate games of cards, one at each end of the room. 

Located at the east end was a boisterous group of Koos veterans, consisting of Danny Fliess, the legendary Arno Schubert, Jim Weber, Munk Ekern, Harry Leipzig, along with several others. They were playing poker for cash and the shots of Wild Turkey were flying. 

Joining me at the other end of the hall, near the kitchen area, were Chuckie Haubrich, Chuck Huck and some of the newer employees. Rather than gamble, we had opted to play drinking games where the loser had to guzzle a beer. The card playing was sloppy, but the suds were cold. 

The party was in full swing and everyone was having a high-spirited time. That is until our group spotted a humongous can of black olives.  
As we were attempting to get the can of olives open, the group from the east end informed us that they wanted some of the olives. The diminutive Chuck Huck put a handful on a paper plate and brought it over to them. 

Evidently this was not good enough for them. 

Several members of their contingent made their way over to our table and demanded the whole can of olives. We would have no part of that and we all grabbed a big handful and told them that they were all ours! 

Seeing that we were not giving up the olives peacefully, the “east-enders” grabbed the can and made off with it and the remaining olives. We were outraged and shouted, “You want all the olives?” With that the war was on. Olives were flying from one end of the hall to the other. 
Unfortunately, the olives were only the beginning. Soon cups of beer were being flung across the room. Being near the kitchen area, our group decided to “escalate” the battle. Using cooking tongs, we began plucking hot dogs from the boiling water and used them as projectiles in our efforts during this now epic battle. The frankfurters were flying!

This melee resembled a scene from any Three Stooges film. At this point it was pure chaos. 

Then something happened that momentarily brought the frantic food fight to an abrupt stop. For some unknown reason, Chuckie Haubrich grabbed a big handful of raw ground beef, wadded into a lump the size of a baseball and hurled it across the hall at Arno Schubert’s oddly shaped head. 

Before I go on, for those of you who don’t know Chuckie Haubrich, he possessed an extremely strong throwing arm. The man could throw a ping-pong ball through a brick wall. 

Now back to the story. 

Splat!!!! The sphere of uncooked ground beef had found its’ target – the right side of Arno’s scarred face. Chuckie Haubrich would have made Nolan Ryan proud with that toss. 

Seeing what happened, we started chuckling as Arno staggered while trying to regain his bearings. It didn’t take long before everyone in the room was roaring with laughter. Well, everyone except for Arno. 

With the glob of raw meat still stuck on his face, he picked up a pan up of orange Jell-O topped with whipped cream. Fuming, with the desert held at shoulder height, he unsteadily made his way over to our end of the room. 

As he got closer, he spat out, “You think it’s funny?” Everyone continued to snicker, wondering if he would actually retaliate against Chuckie Haubrich. After all, he was the one who had tattooed him with the beefy missile. When he finally reached our cluster, Arno walked right by the 6’4” 250 pound Haubrich. 

Instead, he turned to the 5’7” 150 pound Chuck Huck and hissed yet again, “You think it’s funny?” At that point you could have heard a pin drop. 

Huck stared the irate German right in the eye and blurted out, “Hell ya it’s funny!” 

You guessed it. Chuck Huck was now wearing the pan of orange Jell-O and whipped cream all over his head. Needless to say, the war was on again. Only, now cakes and various other creamy delights had been added to the arsenal. 

When all was said and done, the backroom of Mario’s Red Arrow Club was declared a disaster area. Food was not only on the walls and floor, but on the ceiling as well. As we scraped our holiday meal off of our clothes, the manager of Mario’s kindly asked us to leave. Okay, maybe it wasn’t so kindly. He told us to get out and never come back. 

It should be noted that the Union didn’t get the deposit back for the hall. And there was never another UFCW sponsored Christmas party. That Christmas party was the first and last for the Union guys at Koos. It was the only Christmas Party. Ever. 

But what a bash it was! 

May you all have a Happy Holiday season and a very Merry and Blessed Christmas. Until next time…from the booth.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Eve At Koos?

On Wednesday December 24, 1975, 6:00 AM came much too early. Besides being ungodly cold, it was Christmas Eve and I was sitting on a picnic table in the filthy Jap Shack at Koos Inc. Something was wrong with this picture. Let me recap for you. It was way too early. It was bitter cold and I was working in an old and decrepit building with no heat. And most importantly, it was Christmas Eve morning. Yikes, how was I supposed to handle spending Christmas Eve at Koos?

The solution was simple. Drink alcohol.

Before you get the impression that I was some sort of juvenile delinquent with a drinking problem, please keep two things in mind. First of all, In 1975 it was legal to consume alcohol at the age of 18 in the state of Wisconsin. Secondly, isn’t it traditional to celebrate Christmas Eve by having a party featuring adult beverages? See, it makes perfect sense.

There was only one small detail. I was at work.

Admittedly, drinking while at work isn’t the brightest thing to do. Okay, it’s a pretty idiotic thing to do, but I wasn’t alone in this stupidity. It was actually a plant wide event that was planned the night before at Slim’s Tap after a city league basketball game. Everyone was instructed to bring their favorite spirits.

Hey, I was young and impressionable and everyone was doing it. Honest. Well, almost everyone.

On that particular Christmas Eve, everyone in the plant at 4500 13th Court was consuming alcohol; even the supervisors. Everyone, that is, but the iconic Arno Schubert. It seems the crusty old Kraut had picked the holidays to go on the wagon. Who would have guessed?

After punching in, the group of us trudged across the ice-covered yard armed with brown paper bags that concealed every type of booze imaginable. Beer, wine, whiskey… You name it, we had it. My contribution to the party was my favorite flavor of beer – Pabst Blue Ribbon.

At first we tried to be discrete around the bosses, we weren’t quite sure how they would react to us drinking on the job. We were afraid of potential repercussions. Those fears quickly disappeared when bagging supervisor Russell Thompson offered us a hit off of the bottle of Wild Turkey he pulled out of his coveralls.

The party was on.

Eventually all of the liquor we smuggled into the plant was consumed. That, however, didn’t stop the crew at Koos. We would simply pass the hat and send Sven Sievert over the railroad tracks to the Beer Depot on Sheridan Road for pints of blackberry brandy. When those were polished off, the process was repeated. Sort of like shampooing your hair.

Over and over again…

Ultimately the intoxicating refreshment took its toll on the employees. Forklifts were traveling a little slower and production began to sputter. The only one who wanted to work was the tee-totaling Arno. But as drunk as we were, nobody really was paying any attention to the foul-mouthed German.

At one point, Harry Leipzig turned to me and announced that he was going to the Jap Shack to take a piss. He never returned. Later he was discovered passed out on a picnic table. Without Harry, Line 3 needed someone to seal bags. Munk Ekern graciously volunteered to help out and keep production going.

Regrettably, the result of the gallant gesture was less than spectacular because Munk never actually sealed any bags. You see, I was the bagger and looking back, the whole scene was somewhat comical. The conversation went something like this:

Drunk Puddles (me): “Okay Munk, here they come.”
Drunker Munk: “Wait Puddles, you seal.”
Drunk Puddles: “Okay, but who’s gonna run the bagger?”
Drunker Munk: “You are.”
Drunk Puddles: “Okay, then who’s gonna seal?”
Drunker Munk: “You are, Puddles.”

That nonsensical exchange went on for about five minutes. Eventually, Munk would stumble off to join Harry in the Jap Shack. Did Line 3 ever start up again on that drunken Christmas Eve at Koos? I honestly don’t remember. Things were kind of fuzzy at that point.

Before you knew it, it was almost noon and the second shift crew was arriving to a plant full of intoxicated first-shifters. There were guys spread out all over the plant, a small number were standing, others were sitting and a few were laying down. But nobody was working.

Not even Arno. By this time he had given up hope of getting anything accomplished. He was just standing against the wall fuming with his arms folded across his chest and a crooked frown on his face. He was so upset he wasn’t even cursing anymore.

When the clock finally hit noon, we wobbled out of the plant and went home, having spent Christmas Eve at Koos. Remarkably, the alcohol impaired six-hour shift ended without incident. Although, not much work got done, no one got in trouble or was hurt. Everyone was fine.

Until the following Monday.

Despite the supervisors being cool with our Christmas Eve party, plant manager Frank Niebling was not. No one was quite sure how he found out, but he did. And he was furious.

Determined to show us that this type of behavior was not acceptable, he called our union steward, Danny Fliess into his office. He immediately told Danny that he was going to make an example of him and proceeded to suspend him for a week with no pay.

When Danny objected and tried to plead his case, Frank exploded. Pointing a finger in the startled union steward’s face, he blurted out, “Don’t think for a minute that you guys can get away with this shit just because I wasn’t here!”

Unwisely, Danny explained that nobody know he wasn’t there on Christmas Eve. Just like that his suspension became 2 weeks without play.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Stop back Saturday for another classic from the Koos Vault, the legendary, “A Koos Christmas Story”. More Arno, more Harry, more Munk and more Danny. Oh ya, Arno’s not on the wagon in this story. You won’t want to miss it.

Until next time…from the booth.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Survivor Season 23 Finale

This is it, your final Official Survivor: South Pacific Recap Trilogy for Season 23. Each one us will be concentrating on a specific portion of the 3-hour extravaganza.

Mary Beth’s 2Cents – Finale Recap:

With all the drama and splendor of a Hollywood blockbuster, the last episode of this season of Survivor began. First, Jeff Probst narrated a moving recap of the game thus far. Then, with drums swelling in the background, we were treated to a montage of notable quotes from this season, which finally led into the last episode. The prelude was appropriate because this was a quite good and very dramatic season.

Right away there was business to be done and we were quickly swept off to the Redemption Island challenge. This time it was for keeps – the loser went to the jury and the winner would get sent back into the tribe. It was Ozzy vs. Brandon, as they had to hang from a post for what seemed like an eternity.

Frankly, it pained me to watch this. The foothold they were given was a mere quarter of an inch thick and their toes were being twisted in some truly unnatural ways. Brandon gave it his all and there was a moment where Ozzy almost lost it but gravity and mangled feet worked against Brandon and he fell. Ozzy was headed back to the game having survived the longest time at Redemption ever!

Ozzy's presence at camp seemed to send everyone into a tizzy. Albert started “strategizing” which, for him, meant talking to everyone about anything and making no sense at all. Sophie stated her loathing of Ozzy and that led Ozzy to spill the beans on Coach to Rick.

Then something really weird happened. RICK SPOKE! I swear I'm not making this up! There were actual words coming out of his mouth! So… off they all go to the first Immunity Challenge.

In this challenge, they had to hold onto a pulley that made a plank balance and on that plank they had to build a house of wooden cards. Not as easy as it looked. Sophie got a little cocky when she told them she built houses of cards at home in her free time and even had a book on how to make them. My, what an interesting hobby… (Insert sarcasm here).

Anyway, Sophia was building a great card house but didn't have enough to make it high enough because of her fancy-shmancy design. Then she knocked it all down and started demanding that Albert leave his and come over there to pick up hers! Excuse me? What? Not sure what she was thinking but he didn't listen to her anyway. Ozzy managed to build a house high enough and did a little happy dance when he won.

At tribal Ozzy called Sophie a big whiney brat, which made her break down into uncontrollable sobbing for a while. She pulled it together. So, it was bye bye Rick who wouldn't give Coach a hug on the way out. Boo hoo.

Then there were four. Ozzy, Albert, Coach and Sophie. Off to the last challenge… the one that counts and this one was a DOOZY! It was a ginormous flower shaped obstacle course and they had to run through it to collect bags of puzzle pieces and then put that puzzle together.

Oz was off to a quick and steady lead followed closely by Sophie. Albert, for whatever reason, kept choosing the exact same path as Sophie which made no sense because he had to keep losing time waiting for her. It's not like there wasn't other areas or paths he could have taken. Like I said, this thing was huge!

Coach floundered around like so much tumbleweed. He couldn't get it together. I thought he almost got stuck in a mesh tunnel at one point. So head to head, Ozzy and Sophie were at the puzzle pieces and once Sophie figured out the first piece there was no looking back. Ozzy tried to cheat off her table but in the end, Sophie won the last immunity.

So, it was back to Tribal Council. Ozzy, knowing full well his fate was sealed, actually took it all in good stride when he was voted off. I have to give it the Oz man. He did give it a good fight and made this season interesting. But I still can't stand him.

So, at the end of the day, it was Coach, Sophie and Albert sitting on the hot seats and facing “THE JURY”! (Music swells, distant tribal drums, and a beautiful island sun setting behind them. Ha! Okay that really didn't happen!)

The Booth’s Bits – Final Tribal Council Recap:

The Final Tribal Council began with each of the three finalists making an opening statement. Traditionally not much is said during this segment and tonight was no different. Sure, Albert blasphemed, talking about a “higher power” and the overly pompous Coach pontificated which caused eyes in the jury to roll, but basically it was blah, blah, blah.

Then came the part of the Finale that I look forward to most – the jury taking their shots at the finalists.

Ozzy led off by basically reaming each of them out. He told Sophie she was a spoiled brat and then told Albert he did nothing to deserve being there. Ozzy gave Coach credit for using his experience to get to the finals and then called him out about being a “Christian man” playing with honor. This would be a reoccurring theme.

Jim was up next and he asked Albert why the other two didn’t deserve to win. Albert spewed some nonsense about how he and Sophie carried Coach to the finals. Really, Albert?

Dawn asked Sophie what her strategy was. Sophie explained that she wished she was a guy because the guy always picked two young unassuming girls that he could go to the finals with and that is why she picked Coach. She said he fit that criteria. Huh? Did Sophie just call Coach a chick?

Cowboy Rick’s line of questioning made it quite clear that he was pissed. He accused Albert of stabbing him in the back and yelled at Sophie until she almost started crying. Again. He did make Coach apologize after bashing him for claiming to be a man of honor.

In my opinion, the troubled Brandon was the star of the Final Tribal Council. He pretty much left the overly sensitive Sophie alone, concentrating on the way Coach and Albert used God to advance them in the game. His best moment came when he beat down Albert, forcing him to give a yes or no answer to a question about lying.

The lovely Whitney was straight and to the point, not bothering to ask any questions. She told Albert that he was sleazy and told Coach that he used his “Christianity” in a less than honorable way. She then told Sophie she was the most condescending person she had ever met. This made Sophie blubber. Again.

Edna didn’t ask any questions either as she continued the using of the “Christianity” theme. Only, she used big words and impressive phrases like, “inherit ingredient” and “the best way to manipulate is through religious intimidation.” She talked real good.

Pretty boy Keith asked Coach why he never used the Hidden Immunity Idol. In the middle of Coach’s feeble attempt at an answer, Sophie interrupted and pretty much threw him under the bus. Well, at least she wasn’t weeping…

The final juror to speak was the nebbish Cochran, who also chose to focus his attention on Coach. The subject of playing with honor and being a “Christian man”, once again surfaced. I have to give Cochran credit; he had Coach begging for forgiveness when he was done with him. I wonder if Coach’s religion has confession?

With the interrogation was completed, all that was left was the final vote for season 23. Who did the jury award the $1,000,000 to? Was it Sophie? Was it Albert? Or was it Coach. Only God knew. And Jeff Probst.

Jamie’s Prognosis – The Results and Reunion Show Recap:

Does anyone remember the days when Jeff Probst used to make a dramatic exit from tribal council? He would pretend to hop on a helicopter and then flash forward to presumably the same helicopter dropping him off at the reunion show moments later, where the cast would be sitting around the campfire awaiting him like he had just stepped out for a bathroom break.

And then we viewers at home would say, ”Oh wait, they are all clean and have gained thirty pounds what the? YES it was schmaltzy over the top drama, but now Probst just grabs the voting urn and bustles through some fake shrubbery. I liked the drama. And hey… when did Survivor get it’s own band?

Yet again I digress. So tonight’s episode showed a cleaned up fattened up final three - “Hall of Famer” Coach Benjamin Wade, Albert and Sophie. OK, here is where my personal bias jumps in. Ya’ll know by now that I love Coach. I haven’t deviated from that one iota all season. 

Sophie may have won more immunity challenges, but her social game was poor. Answer this question honestly. You are at a party, whom do you want to hang out with? Sophie? I think not! She is the ultimate coattail rider, and she rode on the coat tails of Coach.

Survivor is a game of physical prowess to some degree, but it is mostly a game of social skill! With all of that said, much to my dismay and surprise, Sophie won Survivor. I can only assume this was a major case of sour grapes on the part of the jury because really none of them seemed to like her bossy self.

As Paul’s astute Aunt Janet said; Sophie is not a good representative of the female player. And she needs to know that it’s important to shave and accessorize well when one is on TV. Enough said. She doesn’t need my advice or criticism. She just won a million bucks AND she’s a medical student.

The winner of the $100,000 fan fave prize went to Ozzy. What followed was a long and uncomfortable diatribe in which Ozzy extolled the virtues of Ozzy. Could this guy be any more full of self-love? DUDE you are a surfer, which to me means you are unemployed.

You recently sported a set of pigtails that would make Pippi Longstockings AND Cindy Brady jealous! And you’ve done porn on the Playboy channel! You can swing from trees and live off the land like nobody else. I will give you that. But as a human being, you’re kind of a shmuck. You’re going to blow through that hundred grand in no time flat, and then guess what?  Surf’s up Oz. 

The next player that Probst focused on in the Reunion Show was Cochran. This guy has a serious love of Survivor that may have extended above and beyond what we viewers at home knew. Apparently he even wrote a paper at Harvard that compares the Survivor jury system to our American jury system. 

I was a fan of Cochran as he played the game. I thought he would have gone farther with all of his Survivor knowledge and intelligence (he is NOT nebbish PV)! But as I said before, Survivor is a social game and he was up against it from day one.

Probst asked him during the show if he had found a girlfriend and he said no and encouraged anyone interested to “just come at me”.  I hope he finds love, and he should.  After all, this is a world in which the Kardashians have their own TV show. Anything is possible Cochran.

This season, Probst didn’t even bother talking to the back row. He pointed out that Keith and Whitney were now dating (say it with me “awwwwww…”) I just love it when beautiful people get together!! I am sure that Papa Bear, who at breaks was hopping around the stage like a crazy person, would have loved some airtime. But he didn’t get it. 

However, Brandon Hantz did. And I finally could understand and completely sympathize with this poor lost soul. I mean, none of his family was there EXCEPT his Uncle Russell, who was basically there to criticize him. 

Probst said that he would like to see a match up between the Hantz’s. But let’s face it. There would be no match. Brandon would just give Uncle Russell his necklace and it would be a done deal.

I would like to think that in the end good overcomes evil, but I am sorry to say that in the game of Survivor this isn’t always true. Lost moment on the reunion show? Mikayla confronting stalker Brandon about his creepy behavior with her. She deserved at least one minute to let him have it!

And finally, there is my big disappointment of the evening; the fact that Coach lost. I still think that the dragon slayer played a great game. I still think that he deserved to win. He kept that alliance together and I think he deserves his own reality show! Maybe something on “E”. Before the Kardashians. Love you Coach.

At the end of the show we learned that next season we will see something exciting, groundbreaking, cutting edge, avant-garde, different, fresh, innovative, newfangled, unique, unusual.

Yes, the next season will have two tribes sharing the same island space OMG!!! February CANNOT come soon enough for me! I want to take a moment to thank my dear friend and fellow Survivor Geek Paul Vagnoni for asking me to be a guest bloggist along with Mary Beth. I’ve been a fan of his blog for a few years now, so it was quite an honor!

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

There you have it! Sophie won the million and Ozzy took home the hundred grand. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. Hopefully, I will have recovered by February, because that’s when Survivor: New World kicks off!

I would like to thank Mary Beth and Jamie for adding their 2Cents and Prognosis each week. It has been a blast and I look forward to doing it again. God willing, they will both join me for the 24th season. Sorry, I had to.

Until next time…from the booth.