Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Coincidence? Maybe Not…

Just when you thought the Brewers’ injury situation couldn’t get any worse, it did. The Brewers’ deluge of injuries went from the sublime to the ridiculous on Monday when it was revealed that catcher Jonathan Lucroy suffered a broken right hand in a bizarre accident in his hotel room. It seems, the night before, while reaching under the bed for a missing sock, a suitcase fell on his hand and broke it. 

Honest, I’m not joking.

Joining Lucroy on the disabled list are pitchers Marco Estrada, Brandon Kintzler and Chris Narveson, two shortstops, Alex Gonzalez and Cesar Izturis and a pair of first basemen, Mat Gamel and Travis Ishikawa. Narveson, Gonzalez and Gamel are all done for the year.

I told you this wasn’t funny.

Unbelievably, the Brew Crew isn’t the only team stricken by the “injury bug”. The Red Sox currently have thirteen players on the DL. The Padres have an even dozen with three of those gone for the season. The Yankees, Phillies and the Royals all have ten on the DL.

As I write this, there are over 200 players unable to play due to a variety of injuries and illnesses. Currently, 27 of those players are out for the rest of the season.

You could easily assemble an All-Star team from the players that are on the DL. Again, I’m not kidding. Consider these names: Chipper Jones, Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, John Lackey, Scott Rolen, Travis Hafner, Grady Sizemore, Victor Sizemore, Jered Weaver and Vernon Wells.

You want more? Okay…

Emilio Bonifacio, Jason Bay, Mariano Rivera, Joba Chamberlin, Chase Utley, Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, Jim Thome, Brian Wilson, Pablo Sandoval, Lance Berkman, Chris Carpenter, Jon Jay, Evan Longoria and Neftail Feliz.

Is this inordinate amount of injuries purely happenstance? Is it simply serendipity? Perhaps it’s a twist of fate. Or maybe it’s just a coincidence.

Maybe not.

Think back to last season. Ryan Braun, last year’s NL MVP, tested positive in October for elevated testosterone, which was revealed by ESPN in December. His sample was collected on October 1, a Saturday and the day he and the Brewers opened the NL playoffs.

The collector, Kenosha’s very own Dino Laurenzi, did not send the sample to the laboratory until the following Monday, thinking it be more secure at home than at a Federal Express office over the weekend.

According to MLB’s drug agreement, “absent unusual circumstances, the specimens should be sent by FedEx to the laboratory on the day they are collected.”

You know the rest of this story.

Braun appealed and when arbitrator Shyam Das threw out his ban, MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred said management “vehemently” disagreed with the decision, which made the Brewer slugger the first major leaguer to successfully challenge a drug-related penalty through the grievance process.

Since then, MLB and the players’ union have made some changes to collection procedures as a result of Das’ precedent setting decision.

Another significant thing has happened since Braun’s appeal was upheld. In May, MLB management reportedly released Shyam Das.

While this story is still developing, it is evident to me that MLB wasn’t happy with the Braun decision and what it did for their image. They are going to do everything in their power to maintain a league free from performance enhancing drug (PEDs) users.

Presently, there are only three players serving suspensions for the use of PEDs – Manny Ramirez, Eliezer Alfonzo and Guillermo Mota. Ramirez and Alfonzo received their suspensions prior to the Braun fiasco. Mota is the only juicer to be busted since.

Hmm, it looks like the players have finally realized that MLB means business and they are steering clear of PEDs. Is the current barrage of injuries a result of players laying off the juice?

There is a reason athletes use PEDs. While they may have many side effects, they also have a lot of benefits. These benefits allow athletes to play better and keep their careers going.

PEDs help the body build muscle faster. This makes the player stronger with less effort. Some PEDs increase muscle mass, energy and endurance. Some believe these drugs also enable the body to recover quicker from injuries.
Let’s recap.

Since the Ryan Braun decision, MLB has seriously flexed their muscles and have ramped up their war on PEDs. Players have apparently taken heed to this, as is evidenced by the lack of suspensions. Conversely, the 2012 season has seen a disproportionate increase in injuries.

Coincidence? Maybe not…

Until next time…from the booth.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of May and is a day to remember ancestors, family members, loved ones, friends, and neighbors who have given the ultimate sacrifice: dying in wars. Initially known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades.

Memorial Day is now celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. It is also customary for the president or vice-president to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. About 5,000 people attend the ceremony annually.

Now the battle hymns are playing, report of shots not far away

No prayer, no promise, no hand of God could save their souls that April day

Tell their wives that they fought bravely as they lay them in their graves

As the train pulled in the station and the families gathered ‘round

You could hear the first car echo with a loud triumphant sound

But the last car it was silent, they listened close but they couldn’t hear

It was laden down with coffins, that didn't speak and couldn’t cheer 

~ Dropkick Murphys  from  “Broken Hymns”

The reason we observe the Memorial Day holiday is to pay tribute to those who have passed on while preserving the peace for our nation, so that we can enjoy the blessings of freedom and liberty. Thank you, each and every one of you.

I would also like to take a moment to honor some of my family and friends that have passed on – people that I think of frequently.

I will miss the guys that I worked with at Koos – Larry, Cecil, Jesse, Ziggy and Gary. They were all part of a very special fraternity.

Kathy and Karen were two wonderful ladies that were taken from this world much too early. I was blessed to be have been their friend while they were still with us.

Uncle Dino and Uncle Jimmy were two of the kindest people that I ever had the honor of knowing. I will never forget sobbing outside of Holy Rosary Church after Uncle Jimmy’s funeral while hugging his son David. 

On the Matrisch side of my family, there is Grandma ‘Trisch, Uncle Eddie, Uncle Wayne and his son Davie. My cousin Davie was a kind soul that also left this earth tragically at a young age. They are gone but will never be forgotten.

Members of the Vagnoni clan that are no longer with us are Grandma and Grandma ‘Noni, Auntie Bay and my cousin John Dean. It’s hard to describe how closely knit the Vagnoni family is. It is a true blessing to be a part of it.

Growing up, John Dean was like my third brother. We played, fought and got in trouble together. Twice we unwittingly attempted to burn down the family “cottage” at Camp Lake. Fortunately, we were unsuccessful. Unfortunately he is no longer here to laugh about those days.

I have fond memories of all these precious people. They each played a role in my life, some more than others. They are all missed very dearly, but none quite as much as the most beautiful man I ever knew – my Dad. I can’t put into words how much I miss him. It hurts too much when I try. I love you so much, Dad.

Dear God, please remember our brothers and sisters who have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again; may you bring them and all the departed into the light of your presence.

Have a happy and blessed Memorial Day and please remember why we celebrate this holiday. Until next time…from the booth.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

More Pigskin Movies!

In case you haven’t noticed, the local baseball teams aren’t exactly setting the world on fire. As I write this, the Brewers are 18-26 and seven games behind the Cardinals in the Central division of the National League. The Cubs are 15-29 and trail the Cards by ten full games. When the Brewers lost Prince Fielder to free agency they not only lost their cleanup hitter, but their personality as well. The Cubs are in a “rebuilding mode” and aren’t even worth loathing. The White Sox are currently hovering around the .500 team, but I’m not much of a fan one way or the other.

If you were to extrapolate the records of the Brewers and the Cubs for the full 162-game schedule, it gets even more pitiful. The Brewers would end up with a record of 66-96. The Cubs would finish with a 55-107 mark. Pretty bleak stuff, huh?

This season is so lackluster I have no problem “flipping the channels” during a Brewer game. If the Crew should somehow miraculously regain their mojo, this could all change, but I’m not holding my breath.

Because I am so uninspired by baseball, I have turned some of my sports attention to football. I know it’s early, but the Packers and the rest of the NFL held OTAs (organized team activities) this week and Donald Driver won Dancing with the Stars.

Football has even made its way into my recent poll questions. Last week’s poll question was “Favorite Football Movies” and was divided into two brackets with 12 movies in each one.

This week’s poll question continues in the football mode with the finals of the “Favorite Football Movies”. The top two teams from each of last week’s bracket are in the finals – The Longest Yard (1974), Brian’s Song, Rudy and The Blind Side. The rest of the results are directly below this week’s poll.

I promise next week’s poll will not be about football. It won’t even be about sports. It will concern something hot and tasty. Now go cast your votes now and let’s find out what football movie is the favorite among From The Booth readers.

Until next time…from the booth.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Best I Ever Saw

Recently, a friend of mine told me that I think too much. Think too much?!? Moi? Okay, perhaps I might, but is that such a bad thing? I guess it depends on what you’re thinking about. Admittedly, a lot of the stuff bouncing around in my oversized noggin is mostly useless sports trivia. I am constantly mulling over all-time lists and trying to recall the jersey numbers of players from the ‘60s and ‘70s.

My propensity for sports minutia was evidenced a couple weeks ago in a facebook “conversation” with 540 ESPN radio personality Bill Johnson. I asked him who was the best player of each of the four major sports that he saw play in person.

He came up with an interesting list: Baseball - Bo Jackson (Royals), Football - Barry Sanders, Basketball - Moses Malone, and Hockey - Chris Chelios at age 47 with the Chicago Wolves.

Here were my selections:

Like Bill, my hockey choice deserves an asterisk. In 1978, I saw NHL Hall of Famer Bobby Orr play, but it was in a charity softball game at historic Finney’s West. The fundraiser pitted a team from St. Catherine Hospital against the Chicago Blackhawks. Admittedly, I was a bit star-struck sitting within spitting distance of one of the greatest hockey players ever.

A couple of things about that game will be forever etched in my mind. One was that Orr’s wife was very pretty, but not Hollywood starlet gorgeous. She could have been the “good-looking girl” in any Kenosha bar. What would have set her apart is the diamond wedding ring she was wearing. It could have choked a horse. A large horse.

The other thing was the condition of Orr’s knees. Both were covered with a web of thick, ugly scars. Only 30 years old, the hockey icon had already undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. As bad as his knees looked, they must have felt even worse. When he batted, a young boy would run the bases for the hobbled superstar. Looking back, it was kind of sad.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the greatest basketball player I ever saw in person. In ninth grade, I was a statistician for Lance Junior High’s basketball team. At the end of the season, the team was rewarded with a trip up to Milwaukee for a Bucks game. On February 20, 1972 I sat in the nosebleed seats watching Abdul-Jabbar’s Bucks take on the Chicago Bulls.

Abdul-Jabbar did not disappoint me and the other 10,745 fans in the Milwaukee Arena. The 7’2” center poured in a game-high 44 points as the Bucks knocked off Norm Van Lier, Jerry Sloan and
the other thugs from Chi-town, 103-100.

The only blemish on that special Sunday afternoon occurred on the bus ride home to Kenosha. Jim Lehman, one of the players from our team, borrowed the souvenir program that I had purchased at the game. As we got off the bus in Lance’s parking lot he returned it me – folded in half with a big crease right down the middle. Already anal-retentive, I was less than pleased with the condition of my program.

Friday, April 11, 1975 was a day of firsts. It was the first time I ever skipped a day of school. It was opening day for the Milwaukee Brewers and it was the first Brewer game that I ever attended in person. To make the game even more memorable was that it was also the return to Milwaukee for home-run king Hank Aaron and his first as a Brewer.

While most of my schoolmates were in class back in Kenosha, I was freezing my considerable rump off in the upper grandstand of venerable Milwaukee County Stadium. But it was well worth it as I watched the Brew Crew dispose of the Cleveland Indians, 6-2. Not only did I witness Aaron’s first game in the AL, but also his first hit and first RBI as well.

Also notable on that chilly day was that it was Frank Robinson’s second game as Cleveland’s player-manager. Three days earlier he had become Major League Baseball’s first black manager in a game where his Indians team defeated the New York Yankees.

Not a bad day of firsts that began with me skipping school. Oh, I forgot to mention one other first. On the way to the game we stopped at Marc’s Big Boy for breakfast. Afterwards, we picked up some beer at Town ‘n’ Country for the trip up I-94. April 11, 1975 was the first day I ever drank a 12-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon before 11:00 AM.

The best football player I ever saw is a tie. Deadlocked for that honor are Joe Montana and Brett Favre. When the “experts” discuss the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Montana and Favre are always in the discussion. I was fortunate to have been in attendance when both of these high-profile NFL stars had historic games.

On Sunday, December 6, 1987 I was seated one row from the top of legendary Lambeau Field with Will Meurer, Chuckie Haubrich and Jeff Schantek. On that day, Montana led San Francisco to a 23-12 victory over the Packers. In the game, Montana passed for 308 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 33 yards and another touchdown on the ground. 

All that wasn’t even what made the Hall of Famer’s performance noteworthy.

Montana had completed his final five passes the week before against the Cleveland Browns. On this extraordinary day, he would connect on his first 17 passes against Green Bay, setting a then NFL record of 22 consecutive completions. Although the Pack lost the game, I had witnessed history.
Another historic performance that I was privileged to experience took place on September 20, 1992. Again it was in Lambeau Field. That day, Brett Favre, a kid from Kiln, Mississippi, became a hero in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In the years to follow, he would go on to become the face of the NFL, being named NFL MVP three times in the process. 

What I witnessed that day with Vern and Janet Fisher, my brother Mike and Reenie Orth was the start of a storybook career.

It was a warm autumn day and the Packers were playing the Cincinnati Bengals. The home team fell behind early and to make matters worse, quarterback Don Majkowski was knocked out of the game in the first quarter. Down 17 to 3, the sellout crowd grew restless, sensing impending doom.

Enter number four. It wasn't pretty; he fumbled four times and was sacked five times. Favre did, however, manage to throw for two fourth-quarter touchdowns. The second, a 35-yarder to Kitrick Taylor with 13 seconds left, ended a 92-yard, 54-second drive that Favre engineered with no timeouts remaining. The legend was born and the victory was instrumental in helping the Packers build a streak of winning seasons.

Bobby Orr, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hank Aaron, Joe Montana and Brett Favre. Four Hall of Famers and a future Hall of Famer. Not bad. And I saw each of them play in person. They were the best I ever saw.

Until the next time…from the booth.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Why All The Hate?

Interleague play began this weekend with American League and National League teams that don’t normally play each other during the regular season are doing battle. Typically, geographical matchups like the Yankees vs. the Mets, the Dodgers vs. the Angels and the Cubs vs. the White Sox are featured. 

Because of proximity, these are natural rivalries and the competition can be intense at times as illustrated in the photo to the left. That is A.J. Pierzynski of the White Sox and Michael Barrett of the Cubs squaring off back in 2006.

As heated as the competition has been between the players on the two Chicago teams over the years, it might be even more passionate among the fans of their teams. Plainly put, these people don’t like each other. At all.

Listening to the folks calling in on the WSCR last night and today made this point abundantly clear to me. The vitriol and venom reminded me of what a Packer fan hears when venturing into a Bear bar. It ain’t pretty.

On facebook, I asked longtime WSCR producer Herb Lawrence for his take on the animosity between the two factions. He replied:

“In my experience I believe that Sox fans concern themselves with the Cubs and Cubs fans. Inferiority complex is why I believe they do it. I haven't had many conversations with Cubs fans about this, but they seem to be concerned only with their team when they are not playing the Sox.”

This is coming from a Sox fan that is levelheaded and it makes sense. However, his sensibility is the exception rather than the rule. Most Cub fans intensely despise Sox fans and visa versa.

While this is a meatball mentality, I can understand it with people who live, or have lived, in Chicago or one of it’s many suburbs. What I don’t understand is why Cub fans from Kenosha, Racine or Milwaukee would automatically hate the White Sox.

That doesn’t make sense. That mindset is even more meatball.

Based on that way of thinking, is it mandatory for a person from Akron, Ohio, who happens to be a Yankees fan, to hate the Mets? It makes as much sense.

Because this truly perplexes me, I posted this question on facebook:

“A question for my friends that are Cub fans AND those that are White Sox fans. With the two teams squaring off in interleague playoff this weekend, I am reminded that many of you, that not don't live in Chicago, HATE the opposing team. Why? I can understand it if you are from Chicago, that I get? But those of you who don't, what gives? It has befuddled me for a long time. Discuss…”

The response was meager and did little to solve my conundrum.

Jimmy “Mr. Clean” Wilson, a life long Sox fan, echoed Herb’s inferiority complex theory.  He said,

“Paulie, back in the day the Sox, like now, didn’t have the cash flow the Cubs had. We would pick up a lot of leftover players and be happy with beat-up Comiskey. The Cubs always with a big pick, spending like drunken sailors.”

Randy Lain, one of the most impassioned Cub fans that I know, had this to say:

“I don't hate the Sox but I do have a good-natured "ribbing" fest with my son-in-law. He’s a Sox fan and he gives me "the business" pretty well. I tell him he's gonna get a call from world renowned divorce attorneys… Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe. LOL”

He continued with:

“I think a lotta people sort of take their cue from what they see on TV. If someone says they gotta hate the Sox, they hate the Sox. When I was growing up the Sox were really like a minor league team, as far as fan interest. Even now, with the Cubs in rebuild mode, there are far more Cub fans in the Midwest than Sox fans, and in K-Town it's not even close. So to me they're not much of a factor…”

Randy’s comment reinforces the thought that Cub fans feel their team is superior to the Sox. But it still doesn’t tell me why people from Wisconsin should care so much about the OTHER team from Chicago.

Maybe, like so many things with sports, there is no good reason for this phenomenon. Like the “unwritten rules of baseball”, it’s just another meatball institution. It is what it is.

That being said, unless someone can give me a better explanation, I’m going to go with Patty 4-Names’ hypothesis. In her own unique style she commented:

“I deduced from years at the Board of Trade that it all goes back to the old North Side/South Side Irish feud. As for those who don't and never did live in Chicago, I have no idea. They oughtta get their OWN team!”

Makes sense to me!

Before you leave the site, please jump on my poll and vote for your favorite football movies. There are two polls so you can vote twice! Sort of like being in Chicago. Until next time…from the booth.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Survivor Contest Results

Way back on February 6th in my “Survivor Time!” blog, I noted that Survivor: One World was season 24 of the award-winning reality show. It was also the eighth of my yet-to-be awarded Survivor blog. To honor these milestones, I decided to run a Survivor contest for all of my Fellow Survivor Geeks. I laid out the ground rules and announced these fine prizes:

On Sunday, the less than thrilling season came to an anti-climatic end with Kim, Sabrina and Chelsea finishing in the top three. That finish was what determined the very interesting results of the contest.

In fact, the contest results may be more interesting than the actual season was.

Remarkable as it may seem, one of the contestants picked ALL three of the finalists! That’s right, Jo had a perfect score! She chose Kim, Sabrina and Chelsea back on February 18th. This was truly an amazing feat. Congratulations, Jo, you are quite the prognosticator. Want to go to Vegas?

Here are the final standings. I have included the castaways they had when the season ground to a halt Sunday night.

1. Jo – Kim, Sabrina, Chelsea
2. Greg – Kim
3. Karen R. – Kim
3. Sue – Sabrina
5. Jamie – Chelsea
6. Patty 4-Names – none
7. Jeff – none
8. Alaskan Karen – none
9. Mary Beth – none
10. Auntie Janet – none

Karen R. and Sue tied for third place. They will both receive something for their efforts. They edged out Jamie because they both chose the nefarious Colton as the earliest castaway to be eliminated after week one, while Jamie selected Christina. That was the criteria for the tiebreaker.

While on the subject of the tiebreaker, the second place finisher, Greg also deserves kudos for his tiebreaker prediction. His second place finish in the contest was based on his selection of Nina. Incredibly, she was voted off on week two – February 22nd.

Patty 4-Names was the next best forecaster in the tiebreaker. She chose Matt who went the following week after Nina. Unfortunately, Alicia was the first to go in the big finale Sunday night. For this Patty 4-Names receives the proverbial pat on the back. Hey, Patty gets a pat! Ha!

Of all this extraordinary prognostication, there is one thing that I find more phenomenal than anything. As unbelievable as it was, it wasn’t Jo nailing the entire final three. Nor was it Greg accurately guessing that Nina would be the second person sent packing.

Something else stands out from all of that.

What I found most astounding was that Sue finished in third place and never watched one minute of Survivor: One World. She couldn’t. Sue lives in London, England!

Sue has been a faithful follower of From The Booth for several years now and has always commented on the Survivor blogs. She based her predictions solely on what she read in the Survivor Trilogy! Pretty astonishing, huh?

Her strong finish is an obvious testament to the fine writing skills of Mary Beth, Jamie and myself exhibit every Wednesday night. Okay, maybe she got lucky. But I choose to think it’s our excellent Trilogy.

Either way, Sue not only has the honor of finishing third in the Survivor Contest, she is now an official Survivor Greek. Not bad from a lady from England that has never seen an episode of the show.

Again, congratulations to Jo, Greg, Karen R. and Sue, along with much appreciation to the rest of those who entered the contest. I would also like to thank all of you who take the time to read the Trilogy each week. Don’t worry, it will return in September.

Until nest time…from the booth.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Survivor 24.14

Mary Beth’s 2Cents on the Final Episode:

Well, that's it then. Season 24 of Survivor is finally over. I am a true Survivor Geek and I have watched every single season of this show since the very first season. That's why I can honestly say, with a sincere heart, that this season – Season 24 – has been the worst season ever. There was not one single person on this season that I had even the remotest interest in watching. Yet, because I am such a Survivor geek I would tune in every week with the same hope that someone would step up and grab my attention.

Sadly, no one did. So, okay… let's recap tonight's finale episode.

It's been abundantly clear for a while know that Kim was the front-runner and ringleader among the women. Others made claims about their great strategizing and made statements about how they were the one calling the shots but it was Kim and had been for weeks.

So, then there were five – Kim, Chelsea, Alicia, Christina, and Sabrina. Kim started scrambling a little trying to find her perfect plan for Final Three for a short time. They went into an Immunity Challenge which consisted of untying some knots, running along a balance beam maze and putting together yet another puzzle.

Alicia made a good show of it but indomitable Kim took the win. Alicia got the axe (ding dong the witch is dead!) and then there were four. Christina spent some time thanking her lucky stars for making it this far without really doing anything at all.

Next came the ubiquitous Torch Remembrance Walk. Now, normally I think this contrivance is over the top. I mean these people are together for just a little over a month and they start to reminisce about people as though they are long lost relatives. Still, in the past, I have appreciated this portion of the finale because, frankly, I forget those first poor suckers that get voted out before the jury starts up so it always helped me remember who they were.

This time, however, I didn't really care who they were so didn't want to remember! It seemed as though the ladies were struggling with the pretense at some points as well. They were heard to say things like, “Oh Jay… yeah, he was sweet… yeah… yeah… he was… sweet.” Then they'd move on to the next torch! And frankly, I could have done without that one last shot of Tarzan lounging around in his nasty bikini underpants! EW!

Final Immunity Challenge was a bowl-balancing thing that suddenly made Christina wake up and try to win it! She was neck and neck with Kim for a while. I started to sit up in my chair and cheer her on thinking this would be a game changing moment but, in the end, she fell back and Kim won a guaranteed spot in the Final Three.

I stopped trying to figure out what exactly Christina thought she was doing out there. She had no game from the start, yet seemed to think she was always playing “hard” and “making decisions for the group” and “playing a strategic game”. She was mostly just sitting there. Looking stupid!

Kim had to determine her best chance on who she should take to the final. At the end of the day, she stayed true to her original word and took Chelsea and Sabrina. So it was bye-bye Christina! So, to the Final Tribal Council, off went Sabrina, Chelsea and Kim – an all woman final that is something to be said for this season. But that's about the only good thing I can say about this season!  

The Booth’s Bits on the Final Tribal Council:

The Final Tribal Council was, as could be expected, less than stellar. Why not? The entire 24th season has left Survivor Geeks longing for more and this segment was no different. This truly disappointed me. Since Sue Hawk ripped Kelly Wigglesworth and Richard Hatch “a new one” twelve years ago in the first season, I have always looked forward to the Final Tribal Council.

Tonight there was no impassioned Sue Hawk tirade. Nothing even close.

Instead we got Jonas’ feeble attempt at comedy, which only confused Tarzan. Then he annoyed Chelsea by hitting on her. I don’t think Jonas is her “type”.

As bad as Jonas was, Christina, Jay and Mike were even more vacuous.

Christina continued to be uninspired. Jay, while mighty purty, had nothing to say. Mike did little more than timidly calling Kim stupid. Huh? At least he shaved that face beard before it reached his forehead.

Tarzan wasted more time by using a bunch of words that nobody understood, thanking God and crying. I am sure that this performance did little to convince Fellow Survivor Geek Jamie to reconsider going to him for a procedure.

Leif, Alicia and Troyzan continued the regrettable snoozefest.

Leif was offended that Kim even wrote his name down. He was lucky she even noticed he was on the island. Alicia declared herself one of the game’s kingpins and said little else. I really had hoped for more from her. I think she was drunk. The best thing Troyzan had was a poem – Uno, dos, adios. That was it. Honest.

The final juror to “interrogate” Kim, Chelsea and Sabrina was Krazy Kat, who announced that she was hurt by all three. She said Kim had destroyed her. Aww…

Then Kat “stunned” everyone by revealing that she had a secret. At age12 she had had two open-heart surgeries. She went on to say that she was told at that time, if she wanted to have children, she would need another open-heart surgery in twelve years.

With tears streaming down the face of everyone, Kat stared straight ahead, pointed at herself and said, “ Which means 22, baby! So I’ll be going again next year.” Huh? Doesn’t 12 plus 12 equal 24?

We knew from day one that Kat was a lunatic. Later, during week six, we learned that she didn’t know what appendicitis was. By the way, this was the same episode that she mentioned that she had dreamt “Alicia killed her at the mall”. Now we learn that, along with all of these idiosyncrasies, she is also mathematically challenged.

Mercifully, that was it for the Final Tribal Council. Before I turn things over to Jamie and her prognosis, I have to mention that Emmy award-winning host Jeff Probst summed up my feelings on this dreary season perfectly.

Before reading the votes for the final time, he proclaimed, “Let’s finish this season off!” Amen! You must have been reading my mind, Probst.

Jamie’s Prognosis of the Reunion Show:

As usual, the Reunion Show started with Jeff Probst doing the big morph from the real island to big city set. I think I said this before, but I miss his cheesy faux helicopter rides and dramatic entrances. Oh well.

Of course all the players were cleaned up with hair and makeup on, but did ya’ll notice something different this season? No, it wasn’t the fact that Prince showed up for the reunion show. Usually the contestants look different because they were deprived of food and sustenance and so they look fatter at the reunion show, but these contestants looked exactly the same because they were FED ALMOST EVERY DAY! It was like a Carnival Cruise out there with a daily buffet of good eats, but I digress.

The “final three” were Sabrina, Kim and Chelsea. After 39 days it was no surprise that Kim, who while beyond boring as a TV personality was an AWESOME competitor, won the whole thing. Yeah!!!  I was rooting for her. She really was the only person out there who deserved to win.

Okay, now that the obvious winner was out of the way, Jeff Probst dove right in to the million-dollar question, so to speak, asking the guys how they could have allowed this all female finale to happen? Mike tried to form some sort of an answer but the truth is he wasn’t a strong player and he basically doesn’t know how it happened himself.

The bottom line is that Kim was the absolute best player out there and she pretty much pulled the puppet strings all the way through, perhaps allotting her a place in Paul Vagnoni’s Hall of Fame (?).

The next order of business involved the calling out of Colton, who is the President and thus far only remaining member of the gay Republican’s club, for what was perceived as his mean spirited, racist, bigoted, obnoxious behavior.

He explained that he took on that persona because he figured his default, as a Southern Belle wouldn’t fly with the other dudes. Probst put Colton’s poor mom on the spot by asking for her input about his shameful behavior. Duh, as if any mom would be proud of her kid acting that way.

The poor woman had to apologize to America for her son’s behavior. As much as I dislike Colton, he did point out that when he left, the game got really boring and helllooooo, he is right about that. Probst also dropped a giant hint that perhaps Colton would play again??? …Good Lord spare us please!

Next Probst tried to have an intelligible conversation with Dr. Tarzan, but it was pretty hard to do. It would appear that the good doctor is retired at this point and I would just like to breathe a sigh of relief for anyone on the west coast who might be in need of plastic surgery.

Kat, it would seem, was sort of pretending to be a huge flake. Once she showered up and put makeup on she seemed more intelligent and less crazy, and it sounds like she doesn’t need heart surgery right now as she alluded to at the final Tribal Council. Whew!

So too was Alicia feeling remorseful about her behavior on the show, shedding some tears for the camera. It seemed a little fake. She must have caught hell for her less than admirable behavior once she went back to the world and tried to pick up where she left off as a special ed teacher.

Not surprisingly when Troyzan opened his mouth, he is an egotistical narcissist. Not much to like about him then or now. And Christina is truly vapid, but to her credit I think she knows it. She tried to spin the tale that her innocuous follower behavior was actually strategy.  Uhm I don’t think so.

Kim was anointed the winner of the fan favorite $100,000, no surprise.

And now for the REALLY big announcement!!  Season 25 will take place in the Philippines, where the environment is hopefully less 4-star Hilton and a little more Survivorish.

Mr. Probst ended the show by flashing his pretty boy smile at the camera and encouraging all of us to send in our 3 minute contestant video’s for consideration because he would love to snuff our torches. Me too, Jeff Probst, me too. 

What’s Next?

As Jamie stated, there will be a season 25 and it will be in the Philippines. It is scheduled to start sometime in September. Before that happens, there is a bit of unfinished business for season 24.

Stop back on Wednesday and I will announce the winners and the final standings for the Survivor contest that I ran. Until next time…from the booth.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Points To Ponder

Like the graphic? A “good” friend of mine told me that it reminds her of me, so I figured that I would use it for this blog. Thanks, Patty. Speaking of thanks, I had better thank the good people at Absolute Computer Systems. Without them, you wouldn’t be reading about my pondering.

Let me explain.

This morning I was innocently surfing the web for a Detroit Tiger cap when my computer shut off. The screen went black. Nothing. I thought to myself, no, not this again! I quickly called ACS, even though I knew they weren’t open yet. I was hoping somebody would be in the office. After all, they bailed me out last time.

Office manager Tracy answered the phone at 8:40 and at 8:55, technician Brian was in my living room picking up my MacBook. She called him on his way to work. At 12:30 Tracy phoned me to say it was ready to be picked up – the power adapter was bad. When I asked how long they were open, she told me not to worry, someone would drop it off within the hour. Brian was back in my living room at 1:15 with a fully functioning laptop.

Obviously I highly recommend Absolute Computer Systems. That’s why I created an advertisement for them and placed it on the ride side of this blog. They are located at 8719 Sheridan Road in Kenosha. The phone number is (262) 942-8572. Let them know I sent you.

Back to what I am pondering.

As some of you know may know, I was recently selected to write a “My Turn” column for the Kenosha News on a semi-regular basis. Well, it’s every thirteen weeks, so I guess that’s a regular basis - just not often.

My first column appeared this past Monday and was titled, “North Side Syndrome”. In it, I referred to this syndrome as NSS. For those of you that missed it, here is a sample:

“NSS is an unfortunate disorder that has afflicted numerous residents of the north side of Kenosha, commonly known as northsiders. Luckily, this wretched malady does not plague all northsiders; many are able to lead happy and relatively normal lives.”

Evidently, some of the people who did read my column forgot to read that paragraph. Or didn’t comprehend it. Or chose to completely ignore it.

The paragraph that followed that one was the one they did read. And took seriously. Very seriously.

“It is fairly easy to detect someone suffering from NSS. The most obvious symptom is the afflicted person being extremely frugal. They are thrifty. People with NSS are exceptionally prudent economically. You could say they are miserly. Simply put, people smitten with NSS are cheap.”

Judging by some of the comments I received, this apparently irritated some people. Here is one such comment from facebook:

“Being a "lifelong" northsider you can only imagine how offended and disappointed I was when I read your column this morning. Hopefully you're next column will be more positive and uplifting to start our day with.”

I guess that person overlooked where I wrote “this wretched malady does not plague all northsiders; many are able to lead happy and relatively normal lives.” More importantly, they also missed the intended humor. I guess I should have used the tongue-in-cheek font.

Admittedly, the adverse comments did bother me a bit, but for every negative remark there were five positive ones.

Here are some of the more supportive comments made on facebook:

“You nailed it, buddy.”

“I was going to send you a congratulatory card, but stamps are 46 cents here on the north side… Looking forward to more of your writing my smart, funny friend!”

“Read it first thing this AM! You're going to have some “stingy” Northsiders upset with you! LOL”

“Great article today. The best My Turn article by far with the new group.”

“You are sooo sassy!! I love that about you!!!”

Of course hearing, “I’m proud of you” from a couple of dear friends didn’t hurt either.

My next column is scheduled to appear in the Kenosha News on August 6th. I’m not yet sure what the topic will be. That is something I will be pondering between now and then.

While suggestions like, “Hopefully you're next column will be more positive and uplifting to start our day with” are welcome, I’m not promising anything. If all goes well, it will be witty and entertaining.

Hopefully I won’t have to explain what is serious and what is whimsical sarcasm. If I do, I better develop a thicker skin - I don’t know that I want to start simplifying what I write. That wouldn’t be fun at all. Oh well, something else to ponder.

Until next time… from the booth.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Survivor 24.13

Here’s the Official Survivor: One World Recap Trilogy for week thirteen:
 Well, I almost thought for a moment that Tarzan had been pulling the wool over all of our eyes and that he really was smarter than I was giving him credit for. I mean, he clearly knew that he was the next to go but he made some pretty convincing arguments with the ladies and got them taking a much closer look at Kim (batting her big blue eyes, as they kept saying) and wondering how trustworthy she really was.

He got Alicia thinking that Kim really saw her as a threat and would not take her to the final. He got Christina thinking that her best way to top three was to work with him and Alicia. Well, okay, he tried to get her thinking. I don't think Christina does much actual thinking.

He managed to even put a little fear into the stalwart Kim who is ruling this game with those big blue eyes. I thought he might manage to pull off a win in one of the challenges too. He was up there almost at the finish. I felt something way deep inside that sort of felt like I was second guessing my complete hatred of this guy and I was almost starting to feel sorry for him, being the underdog and all.

And then he strained his dinner in his dirty buff, wore Kat's dirty tank top to tribal council and tried to wear her nasty used panties on his head. Nope, I was right all along. He's an idiot.

But then again, so are these ladies. If there is one of them who think they actually stand a chance against her at the end, they are sorely mistaken. Her only real contender for “outsmarting” people is Alicia and that might be interesting but I just don't think enough people liked her. Christina? She's gone first on Sunday. Sabrina? She's next to go. Chelsea? She'll be in the final three but will not get any votes. Well, maybe one but even that's not for certain.

Because I have tended to lose interest in much of the small talk that goes on in each episode I have started looking for those weirdly unusual moments that keep my attention. Tonight there were two.

First, Kat started weeping when Tarzan mentioned trying to wear her panties on his head and how it grossed the other women out. Through her streaming tears and runny nose, she pursed her pouty lips and whispered, “Bitches!” which was a priceless moment.

The second came at the very end of the show. You know, where the ousted person has their final say. Tarzan tried to do an impromptu poem about his time on Survivor. At the end, he ran out of rhymes and all he could do was a weak Tarzan yell. Pitiful. It made me long for Carol Burnett!

On to Sunday. The finale. And this torture will finally be over!!

 We are coming down to the wire on Survivor.  Tonight’s episode was another yawner though and I’m not sure why. By this time we should be invested in the process and feeling some excitement. It’s just not happening. I think it’s a combination of both annoying and weird contestants. These people have very little chemistry amongst each other, which is part of the problem.

Here is what I know. Kim is a great contestant. She has “angelic eyes” according to her fellow Survivors. She has great people skills and is exceptional at convincing the others to buy her story. I am sure she is a very successful human being in real life, but she is a major bore on TV.

Whatever skills she clearly has do not show up well on the plasma screen. I watched her “play” the ghetto Puerto Rican who in real life is entrusted to mold and shape the lives of special needs children (Alicia). I could see it! Kim is a good manipulator.

This week’s reward challenge made me literally nauseous. It involved spinning to the point of dizziness as contestants attempted to remove puzzle pieces that would ultimately reveal a numerical code. I hate being dizzy and watching them being dizzy made me dizzy, so I was grossed out by it.

Chelsea won and she chose to take Sabrina and Kim with her on what can only be described as a fantasy reward! They were taken on a beautiful sailboat onto pristine blue waters where they were pampered and plied with champagne and what looked to be delicious grilled shrimp. It’s kind of my dream vacation.

Back at camp Alicia continued to spew her meanness. She worked in her own weird mean girl way to try and form a new alliance with Tarzan and dumbass Christina. The bottom line is that Tarzan is just a freak. He’s too weird to deal with.

But blurry assed Alicia is a major opportunist. Quite frankly, she disgusts me. She is an angry big boobed… boob. Unfortunately she won the Immunity challenge. She has no loyalty so she flip-flopped back and forth between whom she wanted to eliminate (Chelsea or Tarzan). She thinks she is in charge of the game, but she is so clueless. Kim pulls her strings like a master puppeteer.

As they were ready to head off to Tribal Council, Tarzan sealed his fate by putting Kats left behind panties on his head (when she found out about this she oddly felt violated and cried). There was discussion about microbe misuse and general hygiene, but it’s a mute point.

Earlier in the show Tarzan alluded to the fact that he couldn’t afford to buy shocks for his car. Then during tribal council be hinted that he is indeed a millionaire. Regardless, he is definitely NOT someone who would do any surgery on me, even if I was stranded in the wilderness with him and suffering from a fatal malady. And even then I would boil him in disinfectant and dip him in Nair and pray to the LORD that he really does hold a legitimate medical license.

Not surprisingly, Tarzan was voted off. He is too disgusted for these chicks to keep around. As he exited he was flipped off by at least one of his male jury counterparts. Let’s just say that his last few days on the jury are likely to be uncomfortable.

So it’s an all woman finale. I just wish that they were better women. I still think Kim deserves to win. If Alicia wins, my fears for our great nation will be strengthened. Who should go next?  Alicia (please) followed by Christina. The final 3 should be Kim, Sabrina and Chelsea.

 The detestable Alicia loquaciously made a declaration tonight. As she wagged her head from one side to the other, she proclaimed, “Hell to the no!” For those of you who don’t speak ghetto-ese, allow me to translate. That was Alicia’s way of saying she wasn’t going to be fooled; she wasn’t falling for anyone’s bullshit. My reply to the amply bootied one’s announcement?

Hell to the yes!

Despite what she might think, Kim - the spawn of Martha Stewart, has been deceiving Alicia for quite some time. But she is not the only one; she is in good company. You see, Chelsea has also been hoodwinked by her “dear friend” Kim. Likewise, Christina has had the wool pulled over her rather exotic eyes. Although, with Christina, it wouldn’t take much more than a coconut to dupe her.

However, this trio of delusional dimwits shouldn’t feel bad. No, Kim has used her dulcet, hypnotizing monotone to get over on Tarzan, Kat and Jay. She has played them all like the proverbial fiddle.

The only one left that is on to Kim’s web of deception is Sabrina. She realizes that Kim is stone-cold assassin that can look you straight in the eye, tell you how wonderful you are and ten seconds later stick a knife in your back. And twist it. A couple of times.

But, because Sabrina is the only one who is aware how evilly deceptive Kim is, she really has her work cut out for her. The others have all drank the Kim Stewart Kool-Aid.

Highlights of the week:

Chelsea, while cruising on a yacht during her reward, remarked, “I have never been on a sailboat before and this is a real nice sailboat.” What a hick.

Loathsome Alicia, while once again wagging her head from one side to the other, stated that she is the “Queen of the social game.” Honey, you aren’t in Cabrini Green.

During the Immunity Challenge, Emmy award winning host Jeff Probst astutely noted that, “the dexterity of the hands of a surgeon is paying off” when observing Tarzan.

The crowning moment of the evening was seeing jury member Kat crying at Tribal Council. I’m not referring to when she was eyeballing Kim and the others that had blindsided her last week. No, I am talking about when she wept when she heard that Tarzan had been wearing her dirty panties on his head back at camp.

Now that’s good TV!

Hopefully the two-hour finale Sunday night will provide moments equally entertaining. I can’t wait. Go Sabrina!

Until next time…from the booth.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Memorable Beer Bust

In 1976 a bunch of guys that I worked with at Koos Inc. decided to form a softball team. We played for The Sands. We were sponsored by Charlie Huck and played in the lowest city recreation League possible. The makeup of the team was quite diverse. There were a few fellows that could actually play softball, a couple of decent athletes, a bunch of guys that needed a new reason to go the bar and a catcher of ample proportions who ran things. That last guy would be me.

The season was a combination of competing against teams that were as lousy as we were and getting destroyed by a team called Tappa Hafa Kega Dai. It would be the first and last season of The Sands team. The players who just wanted a night out found a new reason to go to the bar. Meanwhile, the guys who could actually play softball wanted more, and under the guidance of the catcher of ample proportions formed the legendary 400 Club.

In 1977, we would play as The 400 Club in city league and as Koos Inc. at historic Finney’s West. Forrest McConnell initially sponsored our Koos Inc. team, with Peter Lederer filling that role when he took over the business. The 400 Club had only sponsor – the late Vern Ekern.

Vern Ekern was a barrel-chested Norwegian with hands that resembled old catcher’s mitts. Despite his incessant reminding of us to “stop down and spend a buck”, Vern was the best sponsor a team could ask for. We always had full uniforms, complete with stirrups and entered all the tournaments we wanted. All Vern asked of us was to “stop down and spend a buck”.

And throw an annual Beer Bust.

Throwing a Beer Bust was never a problem for the 400 Club team. All that was needed was to set a date and give every player twenty $2.00 tickets to sell. It was always a sellout and every year something “special” would happen. Being a control freak, I always worked the door and collected the money and raffle tickets.

It was during a 400 Club Beer Bust that I threw the only punch in my adult life.  A greasy little fellow who had signed his raffle ticket “Stormin’ Norman” was the recipient of this memorable punch.

And he had it coming.

Norman was trying to become a bit too familiar with Vern’s oldest daughter Bonnie. Despite her polite rejections, Norman continued to accost Bonnie to the point that she finally requested my help.

Try as I might to explain to the slightly over-served patron that Bonnie wanted nothing to do with him, he persisted. Again and again. Then he stepped over the line and grabbed Bonnie by the arm. I grabbed Norman and pushed him toward the front door.

Maybe I was being kind when I described Norman as being slightly over-served.

The man was drunk on his ass.

That would be the only thing that could explain what he did next.

After just being shoved a good fifteen feet, he turned around and charged at me with a demented look on his face. Now I was by no means a tough guy. In fact I detested fighting. But I was eight inches taller and a couple hundred pounds heavier than “Stormin’ Norman”.

And the inebriated knucklehead still charged at me!

After getting over my initial shock, I did what any gentleman protecting a young lady’s honor would do. I hit him. Hard.

To this day I am not quite certain whether it was my fist or my forearm that connected with Norman. I am also not quite sure just where I connected on my intoxicated combatant’s body. What I am sure of is that he was once again headed toward the front door.

However, this time he was air born.

Norman landed on the hard marble floor with a sickening thud. He didn’t look like he was going to get up. I’m not sure that he could have. A couple of his friends who obviously had more common sense then he did helped him outside.

With Bonnie’s honor in tact and her would-be assailant gone, the Beer Bust continued without further issue.

400 Club Beer Busts were always a highlight of the spring season and this particular one was no different. They didn’t always feature violence, but they were always noteworthy. In fact, another time we had seven or eight Kenosha Police Department squad cars there.

Remind me to tell you about that one sometime, it was a doozy.

Until next time…from the booth.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Survivor 24.12

Here’s the Official Survivor: One World Recap Trilogy for week twelve:

Mary Beth’s 2Cents: As a woman, I am upset by watching the women on this season of Survivor because they have embodied all of the worst stereotypical “female” behavior from Day One. First, they bond together in a grandiose show of solidarity to take over the island from the men. Not one of them, except maybe for the eternally dimwitted Kat, thought to play even a simple social game with the men. Instead, they high-fived one another and congratulated each other on their great strategizing.

In their next breath, they are talking smack about each other. This entire season has been an exercise in pouting, whining, tantrumming and name-calling. These women wouldn't know strategy if it reached up and bit them in the ass.

Now, having said that all the women are idiots, there are some that are more idiotic than others. Kat, for one, makes my skin crawl. I'm so sick of her constantly apologizing for her age as a means to make excuses for herself. Yes, she is just 22 years old but I work with 22 year olds, who are alert, responsible, quick thinking and empathetic. Kat must have been raised in a cloistered convent because she doesn't seem to know anything about anything at all, least of all how to be a good person.

I was never so happy to see someone go, as I was Kat. Her reaction was priceless and, now I am sounding as petty as the women on the island, it couldn't have happened to a more deserving person. A blindside is never better than when it's perpetrated on someone who just moments earlier was reveling in the false confidence that they were “the one running the whole show!” Bye bye Kat… Go take a shower and put on your big girl panties. 

Alicia is another one that gives me the heebie jeebies! She is so crass and unpleasant; I shudder to think what must go on in her classroom where she is a special ed teacher! The banality that comes out of her mouth most of the time is so awful that I have to sometimes turn off the sound just so I don't hear her. Again, she believes she is the one running the show. Delusional much? She needs to go and I hope beyond hope that the next blindside has her name on it.

Have I said lately that I hate all of these people? Well, I do. If I had to pick a final three from this lot. I mean if someone held a machete to my head and made me do it – I would pick Kim, Chelsea and Sabrina. That's who I would want to see at the end at this point but with this lot, and all of the incredibly stupid things they've done, who knows what the end will be. And the truth is, in the words of Rhett Butler, “Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!”   

Jamie’s Prognosis: If there is one thing I have learned about my friend and Fellow Survivor Geek bloggist Paul Vagnoni, it is that he enjoys a good catfight. I had hoped that tonight’s developing “Kat fight” would supply him with some well-deserved birthday fun, and I have to say that the episode had its moments.

With all the skinny youngish chicks still surviving, the show has taken on kind of a bizarro jungle sorority atmosphere with Tarzan playing the creepy old delta nu house janitor. To start out the evening, the ladies were mighty happy that Troyzan was out.

The show brazenly jumped right into shameless product placement, courtesy tonight of Sprint, who supplied the video feed for the seasonal family reunion show. Is it just me or did the family reunion just go on and onnnn??? For a looonnnggggg ass time?????

Jeff Probst must be hoping for another Emmy nomination because he busted his ass trying to make the reunions overly touching and emotional. Christina’s dad was portrayed as being on his last legs due to a recent kidney transplant, but he looked pretty spry running out of the jungle. I was waiting for the slow motion replay but thankfully they didn’t go that gratuitous.

Tarzan has a funky, hippyish blond wife who, not surprisingly, forgot to pack her bra for her island adventure. I found myself admiring Chelsea’s attractive father, which then made me feel super old. I pondered aloud if Alicia’s sister was as big a beeeotch as her sister?

But then IT happened and all else paled in comparisons. Kat’s loved one was her cousin Robby. And when she saw him she dropped down on all fours and started crawling towards him. They hugged. They kissed! They live together! They are obviously closer than any of my cousins and me. Don’t ya’ll just love the south??

The reward challenge involved family pairs scampering through a rope maze. Kat and her cousin/husband easily sailed through to a victory. Somewhere a banjo was playin’…

Without putting any thought into it, Kat chose Kim and Alicia to come with her on her (more food) excursion because she wanted to get her drink on with her girls. The others, most notably Sabrina, were outraged! Clearly both Tarzan and Christina’s dad are on the verge of death and deserve to go drink margaritas with Kat more than bitchy Alicia and Amazonian Kim. Their time on earth is short!!

Kat is shallow? Gasp! Kat is selfish? You don’t say.

On to the immunity challenge, where contestants held onto a rope as they were slowly suspended into vertical position over the water.  The final two still hanging on after an hour were Kat and Kim, whose combined weight equals about 120 pounds. It should be no surprise that perfect Kim won, and Kat was pissed off because she wanted to win! She refused to high five Kim.

Kat is a sore loser?  Wha?????

Back at the jungle sorority there was an anti-Kat sentiment afoot, even though Kim seemed to want to save her for the end. So it boiled down to Kat versus Sabrina, whom the other women are now seeing as more of a threat as they get close to the end. They seem to have forgotten about poor old Dr. T.

A bunch of back and forth backstabbing ensued. Kat was clueless (huh?) to the fact that she was up for potential ouster. At Tribal Council she was all trash talkin’ “I love a blind side bring it on” swagger like… Until she saw her name coming up repeatedly on those little pieces of parchment paper.

One could easily read her mind… ”Well tie me to a pig and roll me in the mud I just got voted off!!”… Just like that the Kat fight was over. I guess Kat and her kissin’ cousin won’t be millionaires quite yet. Well… ever.

Let the banjo play on…

I’m still rooting officially for Kim but… wouldn’t it be a fun, crazy, karmic, quantum, smelly, wacky, American Medical Association supported surprise if hairy hipster Dr. Tarzan survived and won the whole thing????
The Booth's Bits: Alleluia! The dimwitted Kat has been dismissed and will no longer be around to annoy me next week. I’m reluctant to say this, but I chuckled when she started blubbering when Probst told her the tribe had spoken. How fitting was it that moments before they voted her cute little ass off she was giggling about how funny it is when someone gets blindsided.

You know what? Kat was right, a blindside is funny. Especially when it’s you Kat! You dunderhead! Ha ha ha ha!!!!

Season 24 has been somewhat of a snoozefest, a real yawner at times. But it did accomplish two things that I never thought possible. One was feeling a sense of euphoria when I saw another human being lying on the ground writhing in excruciating pain. The other was laughing when a young attractive female was sobbing uncontrollably.

I cannot say I that am ashamed with either one of these less than kind reactions on my part. That bigoted slimeball Colton had it coming in week six and Mensa candidate surely deserved it tonight.

I had another epiphany this evening. I finally realized why they have the “here are your loved ones” episode each season. It’s to create the illusion that some of these lying despicable cretins actually have some decent qualities. Some, not many.

They cry when they see their loved ones for the first time in a month and tell the world how much they love this person. For a brief moment I think, wow, they aren’t a miserable creep after all. Momentarily I feel compassion for them. Maybe they really aren’t that bad.

Then the “game” up again and I am reminded. Oh, yes they are!

I am reminded that Alicia is wicked, nasty and a bit delusional. Was she serious when she decided Kat should go because she tries too hard in challenges? Really? C’mon.

I am reminded that Tarzan is a demented 64-year old plastic surgeon that soiled his Speedos on national television. Plus, he used the phrase, “Quantum Entanglement” to describe his 30-year marriage.

It took very little to remind me that Kat is a petulant, immature brat. When she lost the Immunity Challenge to Kim, she was making the boo-boo lip because she didn’t like losing to someone 6 years older than her. Imagine her humiliation!

I am reminded that Christina, while very nice and genuine, is… How can I say this nicely? Well, I won’t mince words. She is STUPID! She acts as if she has never seen an episode of Survivor. Christina, you aren’t going to outplay or outlast anyone if you can’t outwit them first.

Even Kim has her faults. I am reminded that, while a very strong player, she has started to channel Martha Stewart when she speaks. She has the same hypnotizing monotone that is very subdued and at the same time, demanding and decisive. Maybe “it’s a good thing”, but it annoys me to tears.

I am hard pressed to find any faults with Chelsea. If I had to find a flaw, it’s that she thinks that Kim/Martha is her friend and loyal to her. I must admit that I was mildly amused when Kim/Martha totally played Chelsea while discussing strategy.

That leaves Sabrina. I am reminded that she has one MAJOR failing. She possesses that fatal combination of being honest and well spoken. People like Alicia and Kat don’t understand these qualities and Kim fears them. Sabrina is doomed. How dare she be both ethical and able to express herself intelligently!

With all that being said, tonight’s episode was pretty good. The only thing that would have made it very good was if one of the loved ones would have said, “Damn, you better get to the gym when you get back. You’re starting to get a gut on you.”

Until next time…from the booth.