Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Introducing Jie Jie

His name is Jie Jie.

He has a crazy third arm.

Jie Jie is a Chinese baby who is believed to be the first human to be born a fully developed fifth appandage. And doctors want to amputate it.

As you may expect, I consider this a bad idea. I could go on about my fascination with evolution and how this relates ... but I'll spare that for another time.

The real reason I am against this amputation is because Jie Jie could be destined for so much more. Consider the lucrative career possibilities.

  • Professional Boxer - A three-armed boxer would be unstopable. Not even Evander Holyfield in his prime could defend a left-right-middle combo.

  • Drummer - Def Leppard's Rick Allen gained fame as rock & roll's only one-armed drummer. If he had had three arms, who knows what "Hysteria" would have sounded like. Along the same lines, Jie Jie might want to try out the piano, as well.

  • Porn Star - Ah, use your imagination here. But let's say he gets his start doing group scenes. There's lots of Jie Jie to go around.

  • Spokesman - Two words: Speed Stick. Jie Jie's first deodarant commercial would be at the end of the 1st quarter during the Super Bowl. It would dominate the Monday morning water cooler talk.

  • Running back - Did someone say, "Double stiff arm"?

  • Actor - Jie Jie's big role would be the oddball sidekick to the serious cop. His crazy third arm would always be getting in the way, resulting in hilarious consequences.
Seriously, everyone at Blowing Smoke wishes Jie Jie the best. Our prayers are with him.

We'll just ignore the fact that God is trying to allow humans to evolve a third arm.

It's evolution, baby.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My Top 5 Favorite Sports Injuries

Welcome to the big leagues, Barbaro. Whether you like it or not, you've entered my list of greatest sports injuries.

Move over, Joe Theismann.

There's no question about it. When a woman I work with compared Barbaro's injury to Tyrone Prothro's broken leg, and, I realized CNN was running constant updates on Barbaro's condition, it hit me.

Barbaro will be remembered for a long time.

Anyway, in the spirit of the first animal to join the fraternity of legendary sports injuries, I give you my top 5 sports injuries of all time.

5. Tim Krumrie’s broken leg, 1989 - Nothing beats a Super Bowl, unless it’s a Super Bowl with a hide-your-face injury. Super Bowl XXIII had that. Cincinnati nose guard Tim Krumrie got his foot stuck in the turf and his ankle and lower leg spun around in a nauseating 180-degree rotation as both bones in his calf were shattered. They even had super slow motion replays, which precipitated millions of living rooms across the U.S. to simultaneously scream “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.” Krumrie had a 15-inch rod inserted into his leg (stop laughing) and was never effective in comeback.

4. Barbaro’s broken leg, 2006 - Do you think more people would be upset this week if Barbaro died, or if Barry Bonds died? If it was Barry Bonds in the Preakness, he probably would have been shot in the back of the head on the track. Not Barbaro. A horse who shattered his leg in over 20 places on national TV in one of the biggest races of the year gets a second chance. Of course, his sperm is likely worth millions of dollars, so you really can't just kill him. I guarantee you prior to his 7-hour surgery they withdrew a couple of loads from him to freeze just in case.

3. Dave Dravecky’s broken arm, 1989 - Boy, 1989 was a great year to be alive, eh? Dravecky, a San Francisco Giants pitcher, was making his second start in his return from cancer. It was a moving moment. However, in the sixth inning at Montreal, he gave up a home run to the leadoff batter, hit the second batter, and in his first pitch to Tim Raines, his humerus bone snapped. The bone in his arm basically shattered while he was pitching. His arm flailed and he tumbled off the mound in his follow-through. Sadly, Dravecky broke his arm a second time during the celebration of the Giants winning the pennant later that season. He would eventually have the arm amputated due to a cancerous tumor.
2. Tyrone Prothro’s broken leg, 2005 - This one gets a 9 on the puke-o-meter. The first time you saw it in slow motion you felt that swiss melt from lunch lurching back up your esophagus. It was downright nasty. The injury occurred in the fourth quarter of Alabama’s 33-3 win over Florida last October in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide were trying to run the score up late when Prothro, one of the best receivers in the nation, came down awkwardly on his leg. The skin was completely broken where his leg snapped. In some shots you can see the white of his bone protruding out. The most fascinating part of it, however, was the slow motion replay provided by CBS. As Prothro lands and realizes the bottom half of his leg is dangling like a slinky, the cameras are zoomed in on his face. He looks like has just been shot. His face looks of total shock. Almost panic. Amazing.

1. Clint Malarchuk’s sliced jugular vein, 1989
- Malarchuck, a goalie for the Sabers in 1989, had his jugular vein slashed open in a freak accident when St. Louis’ Steve Tuttle slid skates-first into his neck. Malarchuk’s blood gushed like a fountain creating a pool of blood on the ice. The incident caused nine fans to faint while two suffered heart attacks. Two Sabers players vomited. Malarchuk, miraculously, survived after a St. Louis trainer, a former Vietnam vet, slowed the bleeding by applying pressure to the wound. Doctors sewed Malarchuk’s jugular back together and he played later that season. Atta babe, Clint!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

I Work Out With Hilary Duff

I worked out with Hilary Duff today.

She danced in front of me singing her hit song, "Wake Up" as I did dumbell curls.

Hilary and I, sharing a moment. It was thrilling.

It got more bizarre. Hillary left and was replaced by Sheryl Crow. She strummed along to her break-out single "All I Wanna Do" as I grunted through bench presses.

All I wanna do
Is pump my guns
I got a feeling
We're not the only ones . . .

Ugh. It was actually horrid. Truth be told, I did not work out with Hilary and Sheryl. Not literally, of course.

You see, the gym where I work out has installed 13 new television sets above the free weights. As a result, I now lift weights as the most wretched music videos of all time are being slammed into my face.

The gym, once my place of salvation and safety, a place I could go to play basketball and work out and escape from the world, has been infested. It is oozing with televisions. And my life now suffers because of it.

Who decided that I needed to watch music videos while working out? Was someone doing lat presses one day and said:

“You know what, Gene? It would be fucking awesome if I could work out while watching TLC’s 'Waterfalls' video.”

And then Gene responded with: “Yes, Garry. It would be completely badass if someone played the video for 'Walk Away' by Kelly Clarkson while I shocked my deltoids.”

I know the rationale. My gym is huge and makes way too much fucking money, so they tried to enhance the “image” of the gym with flash and dash. When people take the free tour, they will subconsciously feel comfortable because TV is around. Humans have been conditioned that way.

It still doesn’t change the fact that I have to work out to Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” video.

Strangely, this new dynamic actually helps the workout along. As I’m lifting and listening to Hilary Duff sing lyrics she didn’t write to music someone else wrote, I’m getting angry. I’m getting angry at her and TV and this propels me through several more sets.

In rare instances, one rocking song like “Even Flow” by Pearl Jam or “Show Me How to Live” by Audioslave will come on. Even that turns tragic.

At some point the song will climax and I get into a rhythm. It’s me, the weights and the music in a big giant orgy. Suddenly, without warning, the sound is abruptly muted and a woman yells this over the PA: “Jim Rivers. Jim Rivers or any other member of our training team, please report to the front desk. Jim Rivers or any other member of our training team, please report to the front desk.”

SHUT UP!!!! Fuck. The announcement is incredibly drawn out and long-winded. When the woman is done making her announcement, the music cuts back in and Dave Ambrusezze is completing the ending of the song by destroying his snare.

Fuck Jim Rivers.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cities I Have Gotten Really Drunk In

Here are the U.S. Cities I have gotten really drunk in:
(Updated 7/03/07)

St. Petersburg
Clearwater Beach
Lake Awesome
Fort Lauderdale
West Palm Beach
Daytona Beach
High Springs
St. Augustine
Fort Myers

Colorado Springs

Hilton Head
Myrtle Beach

Yosemite National Park
San Francisco
San Diego
Los Angeles



Cape Hatteras



Salt Lake City
New York
Las Vegas
Atlantic City
New Orleans
Rehoboth Beach, Del.
Fayetteville, Ark.
Oklahoma City
Des Moines, Iowa
Omaha, Neb.
East Troy, Wisc.
Biloxi, Miss.
Albuquerque, N.M.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A lonely drive through Checkers

I no longer eat at Checkers.

It’s officially over.

I pronounced our long-standing relationship over at about 2 p.m. this past Sunday.

So long, double champ with cheese.

I know what you’re thinking: He finally realized how terrible the food is. Incorrect. I’ve known for the past 10 years how awful their food is. I still eat it. I’m not sure what they salt their fries with, but I’m pretty sure it’s crack.

The reason I stopped eating at Checkers is because of it’s twin drive-thru. I always get baited into going through the unorthodox left-side drive thru where the cashier's window is on the other side of my car. With no passenger in my car it becomes a lonely moment.

Adversity strikes the moment I pull up to the window. I immediately realize the roof of my car blocks my view of the person serving me.

The cashier asks me how I’m doing and I have to twist my head down toward the gear shift to get a glimpse of his face. My contoured body now resembles Corky from the TV show "Life Goes On."

Turns out I could have skipped the exercise altogether. The cashier's face is wide, his glasses large and his overall appearance unsightly.

Now I must exhibit the flexibility of 2004 U.S. Olympic gymnastics gold medalist Paul Hamm as I lean across the passenger seat and attempt to stick money out the passenger window while keeping my right foot on the break. Unless you are Manute Bol and possess a 7-foot wingspan, this task is impossible.

At best you can reach the plane of your open window. It's at this moment I become concerned about how my seat belt is cutting off the circulation to my lower extremeties. My change comes back and I return to my normal, upright position. (Note: If any change spills onto the curb, you can forget cracking your door and looking for it).

I now sit waiting for my chili dog and 32-oz Moutain Dew Code Red, which will served to me in an official NASCAR souvenir cup. This excites me.

I glance back inside the window. The Checker’s kitchen looks more cramped than the Keebler Elves treehouse. Except this isn’t a cool fucking treehouse. It’s the kitchen of a fast food restaurant. That is depressing.

I receive my chili dog and 32-oz NASCAR souvenir cup filled with Mountain Dew Code Red from my headless server. I lean downard to ask my cashier one final question and throw my back out in the process.

"Does it bother you when cars without passengers come through here," I ask.

"No," he says.

I am now humiliated, alone and nursing a wicked hernia.

Fuck you, Checkers.

FOR FUN: Next time you order fries at the drive thru, ask if each fry can be placed in it's own separate carton.