Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Season of the Comical Priest

The Missus and me were flipping around the dial on Sunday evening and we ended up on the Discovery Channel. We were likely looking for a Law & Order: CI repeat or some such thing but we wound up watching an episode of "Life", a rather visually spectacular study of all creatures great and small for which the narration is provided by Oprah (I was going to add "Winfrey" but it just seemed unnecessary. What other Oprah could I possibly be referring to right? Oprah O'Malley? Oprah Minskowitz?) I do not watch Oprah's TV show. In fact, having been gainfully employed and equipped with male genitalia during the entirety of her time on the emitting side of the cathode ray I have never seen an entire episode of her TV show. I did catch five minutes one afternoon on the day she gave a new car to everyone in the studio audience and like the rest of Battlefield Earth I have been subjected to the video replay of L. Ron Crazy Man jumping up and down on her couch proclaiming his everlasting love for one of his wives, present or past. I do not think that counts for much however in the larger, global Oprah-heavy universe that we all occupy. At least I hope it does not.

While I am familiar with her face, hearing her voice is a bit odd to me. Until hearing it on Sunday night I do not think I had heard it since "Bee Movie" in which she voiced the part of the Judge. Given that the last thing I remember her character was something about "finding in favor of the bees!" it seems to me as if every time I hear Oprah speak, she is championing the cause of some non-human organism - even when that organism has staked out a position contrary to that espoused by her fellow bipeds.

If recent evidence is any indication, the Big O just might be right. Every so often in this space I rail about the seemingly ceaseless desire we the humans have to reestablish a new subterranean zip code for our lowest common denominator. Often times it is our abject cruelty towards one another that gets my Irish up . Sometimes it is simply our astounding stupidity. A recent, sterling example of the latter is found right here within the geographical confines of my own State of Concrete Gardens.

For years physicians have been warning against the evils of fast food. And for those who did not believe the teachings and preachings of our own personal physicians we had the opportunity to see what happened to Morgan Spurlock - the gent who ate a McDonald's-only diet for thirty days and made a movie about how the diet made him fat and very unhealthy. The 100 minutes you now need not waste on a rather self-evident piece of film making you may bequeath to me in your will. But for those of you for whom Mr. Spurlock did not sound a clarion call, consider the example of Eduardo Liriano.

Mr. Liriano is a man who - according to newspaper accounts - resides in Hackettstown, New Jersey. In the wee small hours this past Saturday morning, Liriano who was intoxicated and apparently more than a little pissed off about something demonstrated that fast food can be unhealthy for more than just the poor bastard who is eating it. Liriano used his sack full of White Castle burgers (a/k/a "sliders") to try and beat the living hell out of a 14 year-old boy. Considering the chain's radio commercials advertise a sack of three of those bad boys covered with A.1 Steak Sauce for only $2.99, Liriano is perhaps to be applauded for - at the very least - the frugality he demonstrated in his choice of weapon.

Not surprisingly, White Castle burgers do not make the most effective weapon in an assault. Liriano fled the boy's home and was ultimately apprehended a couple of blocks away by the police. Fortunately the young man upon whom he went a whacking with his sack escaped with only an undisclosed injury to his wrist although one suspects the smell of onions emanating from his clothes and his pores will remain with him for some time to come.

I realize that Margaret and I saw the episode of Undercover Boss that featured the guy from White Castle. Of all the tasks we saw him perform poorly during his week incognito there was nary a clip from him attempting to learn the fine art of Slider Jujitsu. While it is doubtful that he would have been any better at that than he was at any of the other things he failed to grasp, it would have made for damned entertaining television.

A joke the whole flock would have roared at approvingly. Right up until the point they realized that the joke is on us. Or is the joke us? Too often it is a distinction without a difference.

-AK

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