Thursday, March 31, 2011

Voting Error

*** All, when I checked Twitter on lunch, I saw that something happened over night that wiped out a lot of the votes. I'm unsure of the cause, but I will check it out as soon as I get home from work.

Sorry for the inconvience. I'm almost positive that Squatlo is laughing to himself right now... :)

I don't know if the votes will be restored just like this guy claims his were. When I shut my laptop down last night, both Brandon and Michelle had the lead. I wasn't aware of a problem until I read a few tweets about it this afternoon while on lunch.

I'll give the option to the contestants:

A) We can leave everything as-is and roll with the current votes (regardless if the missing votes return since the leaders are still intact).

B) We can have all four of you matched up at once for a winner-take-all one hour vote off to be scheduled for Saturday night (and I'll try to get set up with instead of Blogger).

C) We can restart the Fave 4 again with a shorter voting time frame.

I'd love to hear opinions from the contestants as well as the fans. I've heard from Brandon and Bob, but not Falen or Michelle. Ladies?


Is It Possible?

Is it possible that the source code being placed on another site caused the reset?

Click here for more.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Troll-Free Three Is Set!

Our Three-for-All is now down to the final three contestants in the Consolation Round!

Sonia of LogAllot
Jillsmo of Yeah. Good Times.
and newcomer, Charli, of Man, Wife, & Dog

Please get your final post to me as soon as you can so that the competition can start the finale on 3/31/11.  Please send them to  Thanks and congratulations!

Don't forget about the last 24 hours of Fave 4 as we approach the final two contests for The Stunner!

Fave 4 match-ups: Falen of Colorful Rants of a Fed Up Sista v. Michelle W of Mommy Confessions and Bob of Squatlo Rant v. Brandon of My Own Private Idaho.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why Did I Receive This E-mail?

I wonder what could possibly be in my cookies to warrant this spam e-mail?


Click to enlarge

Don't forget to vote, people! Tick, tock, tick, tock!

Fave 4 match-ups: Falen of Colorful Rants of a Fed Up Sista v. Michelle W of Mommy Confessions and Bob of Squatlo Rant v. Brandon of My Own Private Idaho.

Vote on the Consolation Round, too!

Torturing Telemarketers

A quick break in the action before the Fave 4 kicks off!

After reading A Daft Scots Lass' post and Thundercat's blog post on telemarketers, I decided to share a story myself.

Basically, I heard a story on the radio once about a guy who pulled this off, so I wanted to see if I could try it. I had no idea it would turn out as well as it did.

A lady calls my house. We will call her "Jenny." I don't even remember what she was selling, so we'll just say it was vinyl siding. She asked for the man of the house. I generally try to allow telemarketers to get their spill out since I know that most of them are used to hearing a "click" as soon as they start talking. She starts going on about siding and then the thought hits me to try what I'd recently heard someone on the radio did.


(She's still talking feeling I'm going to hang up.)


"Uh, yes?"

"I have to be honest with you. My wife is the jealous type. If she heard me talking to a woman, she may get upset. Is there a guy who works there that I can speak with instead? I know this is awkward, but I don't want to upset my wife."

Now, The Mrs. is far from the jealous type, but I had to get a guy on the phone to make this work.

"Wow. That's unusual, but I can respect that. Hold on, please?"

At this point, I can hear her explaining something to a guy and after close to 30 seconds, he gets on the phone. We'll call him "Steve."

"Hi, this is Steve."

"Hi, sir. Uh... This is really awkward, so I'm going to come out and say it, okay? Is Jenny nearby? I don't want you to say anything to her, just say 'yes' or 'no'."

Steve is completely confused, but complies. "Uh, yes, sir."

"Okay. Again, this is awkward, but here goes: Jenny called and we chatted for a bit. She sounded stressed, so I asked what was wrong. She then confided in me that she's been single for a while now and can't get noticed. I tried to pep her up, but it didn't work. She said the reason she's down is that someone at her job that she likes never seems to notice her. That someone is you."


"Don't look at her, Steve! She's vulnerable right now. Anyway, I asked her to find an excuse to get you on the phone with me and I would find a way to hint around to you asking her out. Instead, I just decided to come out and tell you that she likes you. Wait. How does she look any way?"

"Good," he briefly replied not trying to tip her off to the conversation.

"Just good?"

"No, really good."

"Alright. Well, the ball is in your court. I'm not one to play matchmaker, but she seemed really into you and I just wanted to help. She was down-and-out and no woman should feel like that, you know?"

"That is so nice of you, sir. I really, really appreciate it, but..."

"Now, act like you're closing the sale and put Jenny back on. Take care, Steve and good luck."

He goes through his spill and puts Jenny back on to finish the call and make her sale. "Hello, sir, are we good now?"

"Jenny, this is going to be very awkward. Were you listening to the call?"

"No, sir. I was nearby, but not actively listening. I apologize..."

"No," I interrupted. "It's good that you were not listening. This is awkward, but, uh, Steve has a thing for you."


"Don't ask how it came up because I couldn't tell you. But, I told him that I would try to find a round about way of getting you to notice him without being obvious. Well, since I suck at beating around the bush, I decided to come out and tell you. Is he still in the area?"


"Do you like him? Is he cute?"

"No, not really."

"You don't want to hurt his feelings, Jenny. He's in a weird place right now and you being nice to him could mean the difference in this man's life. Turn around and smile at him."

"Okay, this is a little weird. Is this some sort of..."

"Jenny, are you going to be another one of the selfish women he has to put up with regularly!!??? I didn't ask you to kiss him, I asked you to be a caring human being!"

Jenny sighs. After a couple of seconds of silence, she whispered, "I did it and he's looking at me all weird."

"Jenny, you just made that man's day. Going forward, you be nice to Steve and give him the confidence he needs to find himself a woman, do you understand me?"

"Sir, this is..."

"Jenny, do you understand me? Stop being so selfish! I just met you and I'm starting to not like you."

"Okay, you're right, you're right. I will be nice to him. I promise."

"That's what I want to hear. Think of someone other than yourself. You never know who needs just a little encouragement in their life."

"You're right, sir. So, about finalizing the sale for the vinyl siding for your home..."

"Yeah, not interested."


Sunday, March 27, 2011

TQRS Welcomes Chaplain Donna!

The Thank, Q Radio Show was very honored to spend 30 minutes with Chaplain Donna of!

She gave her insight on a lot of topics that can be stepping stones to helping someone find what they crave in life. We all want something out of our existence, but some don't know where to start looking. If you don't have direction, then you can easily be led astray and never reach your destination. can help you towards your destination. Not by pointing the way, but helping you to initiate positive change within yourself so that you are able to find your own way.

I think you will really enjoy this discussion I had with her regardless of your age, gender, race, or beliefs.

Click here to reach the podcast.

Chaplain Donna can be contacted at:

Who Are You Calling "Psycho?"

I wanted to take a break in the E8 action for a bit to thank my man over at Squatlo Rant for giving me The Psycho Carnival Award For Originality!

I've had it for a few of weeks now, but with this blogger tourney going on, I haven't had a chance to acknowledge and thank him for it. In fact, once I finish this tourney, I may take a blogcation for a bit and see if The Mrs. still remembers me. Don't worry though, I still have a few posts to tie you over while I'm gone. :)

When I first started blogging, it was politically-motivated. Rush Limbaugh said something to piss me off and my first blog post was born. Over time, my blog became a reflection of me. I'm very diverse and although I'm not an expert at anything, I try to know a little something about everything. I pride myself of being able to have a fun conversation with an 18-year old about Nicki Minaj or have a serious conversation with an 88 year old about the evolution of family structure. My versatility gives me the range that allows me to show contempt at how Corporate America preys on us yet show a vulnerable side of myself being caught in a compromising situation.

Anyway, let me step off the soapbox a sec. Squatlo gave the award to me on the condition that I publish a picture of myself and give the award to three other deserving bloggers. I've decided to bestow this award on three bloggers. Two of them I've just recently started following:
This "half-American and half-crazy" Filipino piece of dynamite has blown me away with her rants. She can make you laugh and make you think in the same sentence. Now that's talent! Check her out here! This award goes out to you, Michelle!

Wanna hear the truth? Then you definitely need to check out The Writing Assassin. This young lady reveals the world through her eyes and exposes a lot of hard truths. I think any woman would learn from this blog and any man can appreciate the talent she types with each click of her keyboard. Check her out here! This award goes out to you, Tameka!

This last recipient I've followed on Twitter for a minute, but recently got deep into her blogosphere during the 1st Annual Thank, Q for Bloggers Tournament (hey, it's my site, I can plug it whenever I choose). This site asks questions that some people are afraid to broach. EmDottie is a site where the author speaks her mind, so if you're offended by tweets like, "Fat men are so unattractive. . . No offense..." then this site isn't for you.

Luckily for me, I'm married and don't have to worry about being rejected by her for having some extra lbs. around my mid-section. LOL! Besides, blogging is all about free speech and opinions. Remember that the next time you get ready to comment on someone's site. Check her out here! This award goes out to you, Mone't for actually saying what other people only think!

So, just like I did, you ladies will have to pass this on to three other people that are worthy. Oh, I almost forgot! The photo that I have to include for being presented this award baffled me for the longest. What photo should I place here for my followers to see? For the most part, you've seen my ugly mug in a few posts here and there, but if you want to see me, then you have to earn it. Click here. While you're at it, you might as well go ahead and "Like" my FB page while you're there.

LOL! Marketing myself = "Duh, winning!"

Sonia is probably so proud of me right now. :)

For those of you who are lazy and without Facebook accounts (believe me, people like that actually exist), then here's a little something...

(Just keep scrolling until your hand gets tired...)

(Just a little further...)

Diego Maradona better be glad I was only 10 when he won the World Cup or his career may have finished differently.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mommy Dearest!

Michelle W (Mommy Confessions) cruises to a 1st Round victory over Michelle (Rantings of the Reckmonster) by a score of 100-71.

Mommy Confessions will move on to face The Ranter's Box in the next round which will start as soon as I get both post submissions.

Props to The Reckmonster for her participation! She will now go to the Consolation Bracket in a "Three-for-All" round against Writing Assassin and Diana Dishes.

Can all of you submit your 2nd blog links for the next phase as soon as you can, please? (If you haven't already.)


*** Check out the Entertaining 8 battles that are going on now! Consolation Round will start 3/29 if all post submissions are received. ***

*** Also get your first small peek at the coveted Stunner Award at the bottom as the full brackets are revealed for the first time! ***

List of 1st Round / Play-In match-ups, blog post entries and results here!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Cereal Killer

Back in my college days, food was a very precious commodity. The average college student is flat-broke, so anything you can do to prevent losing what you had, you took action to make sure of it. But there are some people who don't care about your lack of funds...

Meet Dre. Dre was notorious for freeloading. If he could get any item of food from you, he would. He claimed that he never had any money or groceries, but was the fattest guy on the hall. Dre's food drug of choice: cereal.

Like clockwork, Dre would stalk the 3rd floor dormitory hall on Saturday mornings with an empty mixing bowl. He would knock on doors to try to bum as much cereal as he could to fill his bowl. Sometimes by the time he made it back to his room, he would have four different cereal mixes in his bowl from multiple people who were generous enough to spare a little of theirs. Dre was a cereal killer living amongst us.

I was two doors down from him, so normally when I heard him knocking next door, I knew the deal. Now at first, I didn't mind donating a little cereal for the cause, but after a while, I started to feel like I was being part of a "morning meal shakedown."

(sounds of someone banging on the door)

"Q? Tim? It's Dre!"

"What do you want, man?"

"Let me holla at some cereal, dog!"

That was his famous quote. How can you "holla" at cereal? Anyway, this went on for a semester and a half until one day, Dre overdid it. I was home for the weekend this particular Saturday morning and Tim allowed Dre into the room. Tim was not paying close attention to the portion size Dre was getting and he took advantage of Tim's distraction to ironing clothes and made off with 3/4, yes that's 75%, of my Fruity Pebbles.

I returned to school Sunday evening and immediately noticed the carnage. "Tim, why is all of this cereal on my desk?"

"Dre probably did that."

I shook the box only to see a few lonely crumbs that were hardly enough for a couple of servings. "You let him eat this much cereal, man? This box was unopened!"

"My bad, Q. I wasn't paying attention. I'll get you some more."

"Nah, this has to stop! We're going to the grocery store before next Saturday."

Dre had to be taught a life lesson. That following Thursday evening, Tim and I drove into town and went to the grocery store. I bought a box of Captain Crunch and a box of King Vitaman. I'm sure all of you have heard of Captain Crunch, but very few have heard of King Vitaman. King Vitaman is a very cheap cereal that has tons of fiber. One bowl of KV would send you to the bathroom for hours. It didn't just contain fiber, it contained more fiber than raw twine. Also, it looked and tasted almost identical to Captain Crunch.

The plan was to swap bags from the Captain Crunch and King Vitaman. But, roomdog, Tim, wanted to take things a bit further. Tim bought a box of laxative gel caps. We used a knife to split the gel caps in half and squeeze the contents onto the KV cereal. We laughed like school kids as we squeezed the contents of six laxative gel caps onto the top of the cereal kernels and let it absorb its way inside. We then shook up the box to mix it in. We couldn't wait until Saturday morning!

That next Saturday, Dre shows up like clockwork with his bowl and shovel-sized spoon. "Let me holla at some cereal, dog!"

I didn't want to let Dre in the room because I knew I wouldn't be able to contain my laughter. Besides, I needed him to take the entire box of cereal without arousing suspicion. If he came in and I just said "take it," he would know something was wrong. So, I barely cracked the door and looked out at him and whispered, "Look, my girl is in here. I'll let you have some cereal, but if you get more than just a serving, we're moving some furniture up in this dorm! Don't kill all of my cereal, Dre!"

For the slang-impaired, "moving furniture" indicates a very physical and fast-moving fight.

I knew that he would not be able to control himself when it came to eating a reasonable serving size. I was counting on it. I pushed the box of cereal through the opening of the door and Dre happily took it. Was my girlfriend in the room with me at the time? Nope. I just needed Dre to think that I'd rather pass him the box than be bothered right then.

I closed the door and heard his lazy butt slide his house shoes down the hall and close his door. Tim and I went up and down the hall, knocking on doors, to inform some of the other cereal victims what we had done. Everyone was cracking up when we explained the plan. After notifying the other victims of the cereal killings, we sat and waited...

Roughly six or seven hours later while Tim and I were playing Super Nintendo, we heard a knock at the door. We answered it and it was our friend Kenny from down the hall. It took him 30 seconds to suppress his laughter just to get his words out. "Yo, Dre is in the bathroom, man, and he's blowing it up!"

We knocked on a few more doors and all of us ran down the hall to the west wing bathroom. We cracked open the door and were greeted by the sound of "Dre's symphony." Machine gun squirts brought us to tears of laughter outside of the bathroom door. (In fact, The Mrs. just asked me what I'm laughing at now as I type this because it's still funny to me.) Dude sounded hollow as his life force continued to be drained on the porcelain throne. I slowly laughed my way back to my dorm room.

30 minutes later Dre comes down the hall and knocks on the door. I open the door and see a dehydrated 6"3" figure standing in front of me. He looked as if he'd just finished a marathon, but he wasn't sweating. With a straight face, I said, "Where's the cereal I gave you this morning?"

"I know you did something to the cereal, Q. Bernard told me."

At the time, I didn't care someone told him. I tensed up as I feared that furniture would be moved at this point. But the code on campus was not to come off weak. So, with the straightest face I could make, I said, "I want a new box of Fruity Pebbles by next Saturday."

"After what you did to me you want me to buy you a new box?"

"Next Saturday, Dre!"

I slammed the door in his face and then turned around and exhaled. I was by no means a fighter and I didn't want to spend the rest of my college days looking over my shoulder for payback. But, I had to let him know I wasn't afraid of him. Although Dre was a sloppy, dorky, pear-shaped, short T-Rex-arms-having dude, I didn't want to throw down with him.

Next Saturday morning, I heard a knock at my door. I opened the door and Dre very aggressively shoved a new, and most importantly, untampered box of Fruity Pebbles into my chest and walked off. As he was walking back towards his room, I said with a smirk, "Yo, Dre? Let me holla at some milk, dog!"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tacky Tiki Returns

Tiki Barber is returning to the NFL after what has been almost four years since he retired. At 35 years old, the former New York Giants running back has decided to give it another try.

Is it his passion to play the game he loves so much that's bringing him back?


Is it the camaraderie of his team mates that he misses so badly?


Then why would a 35 year old man consider coming back to play running back in the game of football?

He's broke.

Yep. The former starting NFL RB and NBC correspondent is broker than a stopwatch in Professor Klump's back pocket. The man who earned over $28,000,000 in his NFL career and another $300,000 per year at NBC is now tapped out.

How could this be, you ask? Well, let me list the bad decisions that Tiki (what grown man is named this?) made that has him coming back to play:

He quit - Tiki was frustrated with his coach (Tom Coughlin) and his quarterback (Eli Manning). He didn't think the team was moving in the right direction and in the middle of the season, announced that he was retiring. It would later prove to be a huge distraction to the team. Most people speculate that he should have waited until the end of the year to announce retirement. When the season ended, Tiki left the team and his remaining two year contract totalling $8.5 million dollars.

He bad-mouthed his team - After leaving the NYG and getting a job at NBC reporting on football, Tiki let his former team have it. Mr. Microphone said Coughlin "stripped his desire to continue to play with his coaching style." He also insulted Manning stating he wasn't a leader and would never win anything. That very next year, the Giants and Manning pulled off one of the most stunning Super Bowl upset victories in almost 40 years. A championship for the people Tiki broke his neck to insult regularly on the air. And they did it without him. Guess who had to interview Eli after the Super Bowl? Poetic justice at its finest! Eli even took a shot at Tiki with the following quote: "We had the right guys playing that we could make it work."

Although Tiki held the mic and kept smiling, you could almost see the blood dripping from Tiki's lip as he bit it.

He cheated - Here's where the bank account starts to drain. Tiki already had two kids with his wife, Ginny of 11 years, and twins on the way as she was eight months pregnant. He decides to dump her a few weeks before child birth and leave her for a 23-year old intern at NBC named Traci Lynn Johnson (she was also the babysitter -- how convenient!). Traci was with him in Vancouver during the '08 Summer Olympics and was introduced to everyone as "his assistant." Yeah, right. Tiki fumbled away his marriage and was stopped, once again, short of the goal line when his ex-wife denied him entry into the delivery room for the birth of his twins. Ouch.

Ironically, back in 2004, Barber criticized his own father for leaving his mother. “Not only did he abandon her, I felt like he abandoned us for a lot of our lives,” Barber told the New York Post at the time. “I have a hard time forgiving that.”

Let's see what your kids have to say in 20 years about you, sir.

He sucked in front of a camera - The Tikster wasn't that great on the mic. NBC shifted him from the studio to sideline reporter in very little time. He also made a few appearances in '08 Olympic coverage, but he made a huge mistake that kind of sealed the deal on his already declining popularity: he tried to say “total medal count” and left out the "o" in "count."

Not good.

Tiki admitted he was broke in the summer of last year. With alimony payments and child support on four kids (get him, Ginny!), Barber's funds are leaving his bank account quicker than fans can leave the arena at a Jackson 4 reunion tour.

Hence his come back to the game. Barber hired 5WPR, a public relations firm, to help change the perception of his affair with Johnson and get his image back. They will probably have to drain whatever is left in his piggy bank to fix his image. Being on the biggest media stage in the city of New York and dissing their coach and QB won't be easily forgotten. Neither will leaving your ex-wife in the stirrups delivering your twins while you're "bumping uglies" with the young, hot, blond babysitter / "assistant."

If he is fortunate, then some team will pick him up and give him a veteran minimum salary of $800,000 or something. He may even get to play a year or two if he's lucky. The only downside for him is that his twins will still need about 15 more years of child support to be paid after those two years are up.

I wonder if UPS is hiring? Happy Job Hunting, "Tacky!" Pray that your mistress-turned-girlfriend doesn't dump you for a player with more money coming in than going out.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Boonies Aren't For Me (Part Deux)

Okay, so back in my college days, I decided to head home for the weekend with my roommate. He lived in Booneville which is right outside of Tupelo in NE Mississippi. We hop in his yellow, raggedy, '81 Ford Escort and make the three hour drive from Valley State. We arrive late Friday night and he wants to roll to his older sister's house as I described in my last post. If you don't read it, you may be lost on this post.

Well, now it's Saturday afternoon and things went from bad to worse...

Tim calls up an old flame and she has a friend who want to hang out with us. The ol' Escort is up and going again (cranked on the first try the following morning), so we roll out to pick up the ladies.

Tim's ex is named Teresa. She's skinny, light-skinned, with funny-shaped eyes. Not in a bad way, but in a stare-a-few-extra-seconds type of way. My date is named Tiffani. A dark-skinned, full-lipped doll who was "thick in the waist and cute in the face." Immediately, Tiffani notices that I'm too short for her taste. "I only date men who are 6'2" and up."

"Oh, is that why you are available on a Saturday night?" I replied without missing a beat. "Because the Bulls are playing in Portland tonight?"

I was cynical long before I started blogging. I blame "Golden Girls" reruns. :)

Tiffani smiled at the humor and got in the cramped, back seat of the car with me. After riding around for an hour and listening to the radio, we grabbed something to eat at Pizza Inn. Tim decides that it would be a good idea to ride out to a lake near his sister's place. I didn't take the time to consider how bad of an idea it was because I was too busy trying to make moves on Tiffani the Giant Lover.

We roll out to a a body of a water that was closer to a pond rather than a lake, but it was still a decent, clear area. After about 30 minutes, I notice that it's roughly 6:15 PM and dusk is settling in. "Tim, do you think we need to head back? Maybe go catch a movie?"

"Nah, Q, we're good. Besides, I have some wine coolers in a cooler in the trunk."

"Wine coolers?"

Tim gets out and grabs some coolers from the trunk and Teresa and Tiffani appear very excited. Go figure.

Two hours, 11 coolers, and many conversations later, it's dark and the only light is coming from the extremely bright digital clock on Tim's dashboard and a full moon trying to peek from behind the clouds. I sit up and realize that I've fallen asleep. A quick survey of the car indicates that I'm not the only one. Despite not having one cooler myself, everyone else had three or four, got talked out, and fell asleep listening to the radio. Before I can get my focus back, I hear Tim whispering, "Q, don't move or say anything."

I'm very good at following instructions when fear kicks in, so I sit still and then cut my eyes towards the window to my left only to see a pair of eyes looking into the vehicle at me. They appeared to be the eyes of a wolf.

I felt more uncomfortable than Snooki at a convent as I slowly slid back in my seat only to see the eyes following me. "Tim," I whispered. "They don't have wolves in Mississippi, man!"

At this point, I'm thanking my lucky stars that it was a cool night, so we had the windows cracked only a bit. I then realize that Tim is not looking out of the same window as I am. His back is to the driver's side window and he's looking out of the passenger's side window. I cut my eyes to the right and see another set of eyes, a bit further off, but close enough. I then notice up to two or three more shadowy figures circling around the front of the car.

"Tim, crank the car and get us out of here."

Teresa wakes up and starts screaming. Tiffani is startled by the screaming and wakes up panicking herself. Once she sees the pack of animals roaming around, she screams, too. As the ladies do their best "Friday the 13th" victim impersonations, you can now smell the distinct odor of "passed gas" filling the car. At that point, I realize how thankful I am that we had pizza and not Taco Bell for dinner!

The screams spook the pack and they back off from the car. For once in its miserable life, Tim's Escort cranks up on the first try when we needed it! He stepped on the accelerator so hard that the tire starts to spin and for a split-second, we think we're stuck. As my jaw starts to drop, we finally get traction and the Escort scurries back up to the dirt road that brought us in.

As we drive off, I turn around and look out the back window as the moon peaks through. I must have counted six or seven lean figures scattered across the open area. The ladies most definitely want to be taken home at this point!

We journey back towards Booneville and drop both of the ladies off at Teresa's place. As I walk Tiffani to the door, I felt the need to apologize. "I'm sorry about tonight."

"Don't worry about it. Just be taller next time."

I crack a smile and reply, "Well, I am drinking milk now. So, we'll see."

She gives me a brief kiss and turns to walk inside before I asked one last question to her: "Hey, did you want that leftover pizza that's in the car? I think there are three or four slices left."

"Oh, no. I dumped that out back at the lake."

(record scratch) Gears start winding in my head. "Dumped them out when, Tiffani?"

"Right before we fell asleep -- oh, (bleep)!"

Now, to this day, I honestly don't know what we saw out there. The only wolves ever spotted in Mississippi, to my knowledge, are red wolves, but they're endangered and almost never seen. It could have easily been a red fox standing on his hind legs against the car, but my focus wasn't sharp at the time and it was dark. Mix fear with recent thoughts of panther attacks and I may have told you that I saw Bigfoot if you asked me that very moment.

What I do know, is that there were quite a few of whatever they were roaming out there and they obviously loved the smell of fresh pizza on the ground (thanks a lot for trying to get us eaten, Tiff)!

Now that I think about it, that was the last time I visited the Booneville area.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Boonies Aren't For Me (Part I)

Okay, so back in my college days, I decided to head home for the weekend with my roommate. He lived in Booneville which is right outside of Tupelo in NE Mississippi. We hop in his yellow, raggedy, '81 Ford Escort and make the three hour drive from Valley State. We arrive late Friday night and he wants to roll to his older sister's house.

She lives deep in the woods. Deep! Far enough from civilization that she has to order sunshine via FedEx. There's a long, windy road that leads to her home. It's a gravel road that is roughly two miles long. The road is narrow to the point that if another vehicle is coming from the other direction that you would almost have to pull into the ditch to let it pass. The road is so narrow that the trees hang over it and meet from opposite ends creating a tunnel of woods that block out the full moonlight.

About 1.5 miles from his sister's house, the unthinkable happens... the car stops. "Tim, stop playing."

"I wouldn't play like this, Q"

"How far are we from Sherelle's house?"

"About another mile. Let's wait a few minutes and see if it restarts. It may be hot."

After almost 10 minutes of waiting, he tries to start the car and it refuses. "We're going to have to walk."

"Walk where?" I asked already knowing the answer.

"To Sherelle's."

Keep in mind that we're broke, college students, so neither one of us had a cell phone. We wait another 10 minutes and decide unless we plan on sleeping in the car, it was time to hoof it to his sister's. We turn on the hazard lights and start walking. The trees overhead do not allow any light from the moon whatsoever, so once we get 200-300 yards from the car, the hazard lights do not offer any assistance in vision.

After walking for almost 10 minutes, I heard the most creepiest sound come from the woods that haunt me to this day. It was the sound of a baby crying. At least I thought it was a baby.

"Tim, do you hear that?"

"Keep walking, man!"

"Tim, that's a kid! It's coming from back that way," I said pointing behind us not realizing it was too dark for him to see my finger anyway.

"That's not a kid, Q. That's a panther! They sound like that."

"A panther? You have panthers in Booneville? Panthers belong in the jungle, Tim, not Booneville!"

"Man, just keeping walking!"

So, now I'm walking shoulder-to-shoulder with my roomdog because at this point, I realize that the slowest of us will be the meal. The sound was distant, but seemed to follow us. The cries seemed more like screams of a woman being beaten. This was way before Blair Witch, so I guess it's good that I didn't have that on the brain as we turned our brisk walk into a light jog.

After what seemed like an hour, we saw the porch light on Sherelle's house glistening from a distance. By now, with the screams appearing closer, Tim and I are doing our impersonation of Usain Bolt as we sprinted for what had to be almost a quarter of a mile. Although we were putting distance between us and the screams, we were leaving nothing to chance. Tim was taller and faster than me, so he set the pace, but best believe I was running so fast behind him that I almost had to turn sideways to keep from taking flight.

We arrive to his sister's crib and after banging on the door like the police, she lets us in. She has a panicked looked as Tim spills into the room sweatier and more tired than a hooker at a prison rodeo, but as she looked at me, she just started laughing. "What?"

While running behind Tim on a gravel road, I was literally "eating his dust." With all of the sweat on my face, there was also dust that apparently was flying from Tim's shoes, that my face was white from dust.

Sherelle and Tim laughed as I proceeded to wipe my face of the evidence that I was the slower runner.

Well, I've told this story to whoever would listen for the last 20 years. Tonight, I finally decided to myself that I would go online to find an audio clip of what I heard that night. I searched all over for panther audio, but I started to notice that the clips I found were nowhere near Mississippi. Was I right after all? Panthers weren't in Mississippi?

Yep! What I heard on that night was not the "dark knight of the jungle" (I told you, Tim!) What I heard was a freakin' fox. A FREAKIN' FOX, PEOPLE! For two decades, the story I've told to countless people was not about an animal five feet in length with three-inched fangs. Instead, the YouTube clip that I found(which made my hair stand on my arms as it played) is of an animal roughly three feet long and 20 lbs.


What makes it even worse is that was only the beginning of my weekend in the Boonies. I had another run in with a four-legged creature, but this time, it was face-to-face and more than one...

(to be continued here...)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

7 Facts (About Me)

Nobody does it like "The Iz," my brother from another mother over there at Israel Carrasco Monologue Jokes. Thanks for the props and the award. I'm going to pass it on just as it was passed on to me.

Here's how the rules work:
* Copy/paste this award to your blog.
* Thank and link to the person that tagged you with it.
* List 7 facts about yourself.
* Give the award to 5 other bloggers and tell them to pass it on.

My 7 Facts:

1- I wake up every morning to a Pop/Rock song. I have my playlist set on my phone so that every morning, I'm hopping up to Maroon 5, Wham!, Duran Duran, etc. Pop/Rock is up-tempo enough to get my attention, but doesn't startle me senseless as it wakes me.

2- Like, Iz, I used to play an instrument as a kid, too. I was an alto saxophone player for six years. Shortly after high school graduation, I turned down an opportunity to try out for a band that was to perform for a local Luther Vandross concert. I wasn't a huge Luther fan and although it was just playing with him for one show, I was too young (17) to appreciate the opportunity I was being given. Whoops.

3- My favorite food is Mexican. I have a neighborhood restaurant named El Cazadores where I'm there quite often getting carnitas or carne asada. I rarely eat at other Mexican restaurants because it almost feels like cheating on Cazadores.

4- The very first celebrity I ever met was Mr. T. I was 12 years old and ran into him at a Minneapolis mall. He smiled, winked, said "hi," and walked on by. As a 12-year old, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Whenever I watch "Rocky III," I still think it's kind of cool.

5- I used to be a sportswriter. Small-time, but a sportswriter for the local newspaper. My favorite event that I covered was a minor league hockey game. Being a black man in the South with an appreciation for hockey freaks a lot of my friends out. LOL! Hockey is football on ice and anyone who likes football should appreciate it. It's one of the most exciting sports to watch live.

6- I went to middle school with Faith Hill. She was Faith Perry at the time and four years older than me. She was the best friend of one of my friend's big sister, so I won't act like I knew her well. Heck, it was just six or seven years ago someone told me that Faith Perry was even Faith Hill. LOL!

7- I can't enjoy watching any crime-time drama (Law & Order, CSI, etc.) without The Mrs. present. She got me into those shows and now if she's not on the couch with me, I don't watch them.

Those are my seven! Now, I will pass this on to the following five:

1- Chaplain Donna from Empowered Peace
2- Tameka from The Writing Assassin
3- Erin from The Life of Ann James
4- Sonia from LogAllot
5- Alice X from Guys, Boys, and Men

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bad Boys, Bad Boys...

Let me give a disclaimer for the idiots who half-read: I'm an American and I love living here.

Let me go even further for those who read well, but can't process it: Just because you complain about something doesn't mean you hate it.

Now, let's get started, shall we?

When will the U.S. realize that it can't be the World Police? When will we mind our own business? Every month, I see a new headline of us trying to intimidate some small country. Libya, Afghanistan, South Korea, Iraq, Iran, iPod, you name it, we have a beef with them.

Long story, short: we love telling other leaders how to treat their people. It doesn't matter that our own affairs are jacked up, you just better get your affairs in order!

So, who polices us because we definitely don't police ourselves. Who keeps the U.S. in line? We're so perfect that we're above being told what to do? What if Russia had called Obama or Bush and told one of them to stop allowing corporate greed or get out of office? They would do just like Khadafi has done and laugh, right?

Our country is delusional. We're that bad child that the parent thinks can do no wrong. Anyone who speaks against that child will be shunned.

Our country is arrogant. Any time we give credit to a man "discovering" America when people were already living here shows our warped sense of entitlement. If that's the case, I just discovered a new mall near my house recently.

Our country is greedy. Everything we do is related to money. If you threaten our oil resources, we're taking action! If Canada has cheaper pharmaceutical drugs, then we're passing laws against them because they're obviously "unsafe."

Our country is a bully. We pick on small countries when they "get out of line," but China or Russia can spray paint gang signs on the White House and we wouldn't do a thing. "Oh, they're just playing. They didn't mean it."

To sum it up, we need to take care of our own. Stop dropping food overseas when people here are starving. Stop worrying about creating jobs in India when there aren't any here. Stop calling it a "defense" budget when we're always on the "offense."

I'm only complaining because I care. Consider it "good parenting." Instead of letting your child run amuck and terrorizing everyone within range, you keep him/her in line. Sure, it takes admitting that your child did something that needed to be corrected, but isn't that how it's supposed to be in order to better the child?

America is not above criticism. Let's stay out of other people's business and take care of self. We need to focus on the real terrorists. It's not someone wearing a turban and a bomb; it's someone wearing a suit and tie and carrying a pen. Corporate terrorists are the ones who scare me right now. They have more to do with the gas prices than any Libyan, that I can assure!

We're spread so thinly right now, how could we even respond to an attack on the U.S.? All of our troops are every where except the here! We still have troops in Germany, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and every where else we've ever invaded. Once we arrive, we stay. That's not defense, that's arrogance. Let's get it together before China or Russia calls us out.

Bad Boys, Bad Boys... whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just Put Me In Charge

If I controlled our judicial system, I guarantee you that crime would go down. It wouldn't have a choice because I believe that criminals should be punished. It wouldn't be "criminal justice" any more, it would be "criminal punishment". Just put me in charge and see.

The 8th Amendment (Cruel and Unusual Punishment / Excessive bail/fines) has been fine-tuned so much that you can't even put a crook behind bars without allowing him "recess."

(In a whiny voice) "Prisoners need an hour of exercise daily. Prisoners need air conditioning. Prisoners need pretty colors on the wall for morale. Anything else is just cruel and unusual punishment."

Garbage. They need to pay for whatever they did that got them thrown in the slammer in the first place.

Besides, what exactly is "cruel and unusual punishment?" If a man rapes and tortures someone, then what could Judge Q prescribe for him that would be considered more "cruel and unusual" than that?

Do you see how stupid it sounds when you put things in that perspective? You rape and torture someone and I reward you with three meals, A/C, and a free gym membership? Sure, I'm all for having guidelines, but make no mistake about it, you will be punished if I have anything to do with it. You will not ever want to see the inside of a cell again. Ever.

How would I do it? I'm glad you asked! :)

First of all, public humiliation would be a must! If you're convicted of a petty crime, then I'm not trying to hide you in some jail cell. I'm going old school and putting you on display. A cage right in the middle of town. That way, people who are like you and kids who lack direction can get a good look at what "criminal punishment" truly means.

Second of all, you will serve all of your sentence. No more of this "I sentence you to 20 years with a possibility of parole in 8" or "I sentence you to five years with four years as time served."

What's the point of giving you jail time you're not going to do? If Judge Q says "10 years," then you will be there for all 3,650 days and any extra days during Leap Years. If sentenced to 100 years and you die after 80, then your ghost will do the last 20. You're laughing, but I'm as serious as syphilis. I am not playing.

Third, you will read and learn a skill. Prisoners are habitual because that's all they know. They steal something and go to jail for a few years. Guess what they're going to do when they get out? They're climbing into your window to get your TV, that's what.

Is a criminal supposed to fly right when he doesn't have an education or a skill? His skill is stealing! So, in the evenings, instead of watching TV like today's crooks do, I would have them reading/writing while others learned skills like plumbing, electrical, or even being a barber. Something that will allow them at least an opportunity to make cash honestly.

Finally, prison will be prison. What a novel idea! No flat screens for you to watch music videos, no exercise room for you to become stronger/faster criminals, and no freakin' recess for grown folks. The only time you will leave your cell is to partake in that hard labor ol' Warden Q has in store for you at 5 AM, six days a week. And that hard labor would be necessary because they would be responsible for growing/raising their own food. No living off of the tax payers. They will earn their own keep or not eat. After 10-12 hours handling the farm, it's back to the cells (not a cafeteria) for a meal consisting of whatever they've raised.

It's not hard. Jail isn't for relaxing. Jail isn't for socializing and building new partners in crime. Jail isn't for getting buff or working on your rap CD. Jail is for paying for something ignorant you did on the outside. If you act like an animal, you should live like one. That goes for any criminal. I wouldn't treat the white collar criminals any different than the blue collar ones. If you embezzle millions from your company, then you can shuck that corn for your meal just like the bank robbers as far as I'm concerned.

The only true deterrent is to actually make jail a place people despise going. Just put me in charge. I'd make it happen faster than you can say "Bernie Madoff."

Search This Blog