News: Aug 29, 2011

A man suspected of throwing a breakfast sandwich at a Jack in the Box restaurant worker is now wanted by police. Lawrence Staley failed to appear at a court hearing Friday. Staley is suspected of throwing a “Breakfast Jack” sandwich in Forest Grove after he had a complaint about his food.

I can’t imagine that the restaurant worker was seriously injured by a flying sandwich. If you really wanted to hurt someone, you would throw an old fruitcake at them. You’d probably give them a concussion! But a SANDWICH? If Staley gets caught and goes to prison, what is he going to tell the other prisoners?
“Hey, what are you in for?”
“Oh, I threw a sandwich at a guy.”
If he’s caught, Staley faces prison time, and dinners in isolation. And I know just what they should serve him: Jack in the Box sandwiches. And whenever the prison guards bring Larry his food, they should refer to him as “Larry in the Box.” Hey, make the punishment fit the crime, that’s what I always say.Three teenagers started a fire at Woodburn High School. They used hand sanitizer in the arson, if you can believe that. It has so much alcohol in it, you can actually set it on fire.
Why anyone uses hand sanitizer is a mystery to me. What do people think when they use it? “Ooh, I love how this sanitizer keeps my hands so nice and flammable!” I guess people think that sanitizer will, you know, sanitize stuff, since it has the word “sanitizer” right there in the name. But it doesn’t, it just makes your skin so scaly that it actually collects MORE bacteria. So here is a health tip: anything that could double as lighter fluid is probably not a good skin care product.

In 1963, Peter, Paul and Mary performed at a civil rights march. Here is Peter singing “The Colonoscopy Song.”

That wasn’t the song they performed at the civil rights march, by the way. I think that would have just confused everybody.
The marchers had gathered in Washington DC to hear Martin Luther King Junior speak. Peter, Paul and Mary were there when King gave his famous “I have a dream” speech, this day in history. It was a brilliant speech about King’s dreams of a future without racism, a dream that inspired generations to come. As opposed to my dreams, where I show up naked at school and then take a math test I didn’t study for. My dream has never inspired anybody, it’s just embarrassing.

August 27, 1982, 30 years ago. The Oakland Athletics’ Rickey Henderson broke Lou Brock’s record. And what was that record? Well, it was a case of theft. In this case, 118 stolen bases. Henderson broke the record for most stolen bases in a season, in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Police investigated, but the bases have never been recovered.

August 24, 2006, 6 years ago. The International Astronomical Union declared that Pluto was no longer a planet, demoting it to the status of a “dwarf planet.” Short people everywhere were deeply offended. For example, the idea that Pluto is less important because it’s small, made Tom Cruise furious. Here is a video of Tom Cruise talking to the astronomers on the phone. (Caution: Cruise uses a lot of salty language here.)

2004 –”The Scream” is a famous painting by Edvard Munch. It shows a man holding his face while screaming. Here’s the painting:

Ha ha! No, just kidding, that was a photo of that kid Macaulay Culkin in “Home Alone.” Here’s the real painting:

It looks pretty much the same as “Home Alone,” doesn’t it? Ironically, the painting is a depiction of a man who put on aftershave too soon after shaving.
Anyway, this week in history, the painting was stolen at gunpoint from a museum in Oslo, Norway. The robber pointed the gun right at the painting, which is probably why it’s screaming.
It’s only a painting, so you can’t actually hear the scream. The painting could be called “The Hiccups” and nobody would know the difference. But it’s called “The Scream,” and if you could hear the painting, it would sound like this:


1851 – The first America’s Cup is won by the yacht “America.” So America’s “America” won America’s Cup. And America won America’s Cup every year from the beginning of the event this week in 1851, all the way up until the 1980’s. And then THIS happened:

Yes, the Australians won America’s Cup. That’s Crocodile Dundee there, rubbing it in. Oh, the shame of it! It’s America’s Cup, dammit! It should be won by America!
Ironically, nobody cared about the America’s Cup until we lost it. And then the next year we won it back. And everyone went back to not caring about it again.

It wasn’t the first time in history that Australia won a sports award that another nation thought would always be theirs. This week in 1934, Great Britain lost the Cricket Championship to Australia. Cricket is that British game that looks kind of like baseball, except it features terms like “wicket” and “googly,” words that are so silly that they have no business being sports terms at all.
Anyway, Bill Woodfull of Australia became the only cricket captain to win the Cricket Championship twice. And that means Woodfull was a multiple winner of The Ashes, which is the championship trophy for cricket.
It’s called “The Ashes” because it’s a funeral urn with actual ashes in it. I don’t know who’s in there. Maybe it’s always the remains of last year’s winner, which is why nobody ever won it twice in a row before. But legend has it, it’s a cricket ball that was set on fire, and the ashes were put in the urn. Which means all the athletes want to get a fiery ball. So congratulations, Bill Woodfull! You won a piece of burned sports equipment. Well, that seems like a rather morose prize to me. But I don’t play cricket, so what do I know. If Great Britain wanted to award the winner of their Soccer Championship a giant tombstone, it still wouldn’t be any of my business.

In other Australian history, this week in 1770, James Cook formally claimed Australia for Great Britain. This was back in the days when anyone could just sail anywhere and “claim” the land for some other country. Even if there were already people living there, which is a little bit like claiming someone else’s back yard.
Anyway, Cook named the claim New South Wales. And the name stuck. No, just kidding, nobody calls it that! We call it Australia, and we call people from Australia “Aussies.” If it was still called New South Wales, we would call them “Newies.”
Great Britain was so pleased with the new addition to its Empire, that it promptly decided to turn it into a penal colony. That’s right, Great Britain took one look at Australia and thought, “That would be a great place to send all of our thieves and murderers.” And then centuries later, those thieves stole our America’s Cup! Stupid Aussies!

We have news concerning the heavy metal band Judas Priest, the HIGH PRIESTS of LEATHER! (You may now stick out your tongue and make devil horns with your hand.)
In 1990, a judge in Reno, Nevada, ruled that Judas Priest was not legally liable for putting subliminal messages in their music, because the messages were not capable of brainwashing teenagers. But, the judge DID say the band’s music DID contain hidden messages. Which means that even though the judge issued the correct ruling, he was still kind of a douche.
Here is what Judas Priest’s music sounds like played forward:

And here’s what it sounds like backwards:

Personally, I can’t even understand Judas Priest when it’s being played forward, let alone figure out what it would be saying if I reversed the direction of the music in my head. But somehow, there were a lot of worried parents in the 1980′s, who were convinced that their stoned teenagers had this amazing mental ability. Of course, you could always play the song backwards to hear the message, but then it really wouldn’t be “hidden” anymore, would it? Anyway, since you can’t play CD’s or computer files backwards, the whole issue has gone away.
If a heavy metal band really wanted to be subversive, they would put backwards messages in their music like, “clean your roooom,” and “drink your milk!” It would certainly make them more unique, that’s for sure.

In 1966, Jerry Lee Lewis was signed to play Iago in “Catch My Soul,” a rock version of Shakespeare’s “Othello.” You’ll remember that “Othello” is that Shakespeare play about a black man who chokes his white wife to death.
By the way, the man hired to star in the film was singer Jerry LEE Lewis, not the comedian Jerry Lewis. They’re two completely different people. If Jerry Lewis did Shakespeare, he would yell, “Hey, OTHELLO!” the same way he yells, “Hey, LAAADY! Hey lady, Othello is going to kill you, with the CHOKING and the killing and the PAAAIN!”
Actually, I would watch that.

In 1994, John Denver was charged with drunk driving after he crashed his Porsche into a tree. And that brought him down from his Rocky Mountain High real quick.

Also in 1996, singer David Byrne sued his previous band, to prevent the rest of The Talking Heads from touring as “The Heads.” The suit was settled out of court. From then on, they toured as “The Talking.” And then they got sued again. So they toured as just “The.” And that was okay.

Also in 1991, Randy Newman won an Emmy award for writing music for the TV show “Cop Rock.” Here is some of his work from the show:

I think we should all go to Randy Newman’s house, and take the Emmy back. Randy Newman has written a lot of great songs in his career, but NOBODY should have won an Emmy for “Cop Rock.” People just like to give Newman awards for some reason.

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