Labor Day: A Time to Unwind and Spread Your Commie Rhetoric (?)

I went on record back in March that the combo of St Patrick's Day/NCAA Tourney was putting the weekend of 3/17 high in the running for weekend of '07. It officially has some competition: St Louis is bringing it this weekend. Air Show/Blues Fest/Japanese Fest/Greek Fest? That's more than this sleepy little burgh can normally muster in an entire year, all crammed into three days of late summer wonder.

Throw in a Cardinals team in the middle of a playoff mosey (I refuse to call the NL Central a race anymore) limping back into town to take on the Reds and the return of the Illinois - Missouri football rivalry, and that is one packed weekend.

Personally, I am the most excited about the start of college football (although eating my own weight in gyros down at the Greek fest is appetizing as well), however I am not nearly as excited for the Illini-Mizzou game as I should be. The Busch Braggin' Rights game is well documented as being close to my favorite day of the year (Summer solstice), this contest should really be getting my spirits up. If I had to gauge my actual interest level, it would be somewhere between tepid and mild.

Why? Well, one: Illinois is going to get smoked, and two: There are no rights on the line.

Instead of getting sponsored by a beer favored by rednecks, the powers which be sold the rights to State Farm and decided to name it "Arch Rivalry."

Get it? "Arch Rivalry?" It's in St Louis! We have an arch! Fuck, that's clever.

(Current list of hates: 3. Hee Seop Choi, 2. Ragtime Music, 1. Arch. God, I hate the fucking Arch.)

So instead of putting rights to another local product (I personally like "Imo's Impressin' Rights," Liam once suggested the "Sub Shop vs. Jimmy John's Cut Above Game" -- feel free to drop off any other ideas below), they went with a pun. Great.

Unless, of course, they are subtly putting access to the arch on the line, which would be fine with me seeing as I want nothing to do with that deathtrap until they put some doors on it and Illinois is going to get destroyed anyway.

Man, this post really veered off topic.

So, in conclusion: I could not be looking forward to this weekend anymore. If you're in Dogtown this weekend and smell some sweet cherry wood burning, it is I, smoking a pork shoulder, probably drunk and most definitely without pants. Come on in and grab yourself a bloody mary and a round of good time on the house. Just don't hit me with your cucumbers.

[have a great labor day weekend everyone. seriously, illinois is going to get killed saturday.]

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The Cucumber Saga Continues

We have a follow up!

Putting produce to bad use
By Phil Luciano

Ricky Dean got beat up pretty bad, walloped by bricks and jabbed with car keys.

But what really hurt was the cucumbers.

Dean ended up in the hospital after he was pummeled by two alleged cuke-wielding carjackers.

"It was wild," says Dean, 45, smiling while rubbing various bruises all over his body.

Early Tuesday, Dean, who lives near Northwoods Mall, was with his girlfriend, Sara Peterson, 22, who lives in Far North Peoria. About 2 a.m., they were "just driving" near Harrison Homes, he says.

With Dean in the passenger seat, Peterson was at the wheel of her souped-up '93 Ford Escort. In the 2700 block of North Trewyn Avenue, they heard two women scream, "Help!"

Peterson stopped the car. Dean stepped out, telling her to stay put while he went to talk to the women. They were standing outside a car, which apparently one of them owns, Dean says. He says he does not know the women.

Dean now thinks the pair had been looking for an easy mark.

"They were looking for somebody, I guess," he says.

He started to ask if they needed help. But they yelled at him, "Get away from your car!"

They were packing heavy ammunition: Bricks, apparently swiped from a nearby construction site. Each flung a brick at Dean, with one bashing him in the left shoulder.

Bereft of more bricks, they reached into their car and hoisted out a grocery sack. It was stuffed with cucumbers.

In recollection, Dean's eyes widen and he holds his hands about two feet apart: "The cucumbers were this big."

They rushed Dean and started pounding him with the cukes. He ducked and turned, but the women belted his back with the gargantuan gourds.

Dean, who stands about 5 feet 9 inches and weighs a robust 325 pounds, did not hit back.

"They were ladies," he says.

As the beating continued, he tried to get them off him. "I kept pushing them," he says. "(But) they were pretty big women."

They then noticed Peterson had stepped out of the car. An attacker dashed over, grabbed the keys from the ignition and yipped, "We're taking this car."

But first she sprinted to Dean and poked him hard with keys "all over my body," he says. For reasons he doesn't understand, the two women ordered Peterson into the backseat of the car. Then they sped off.

Dean dug his cell phone out of his pants and called 911. Soon, police found the car, with the women still inside. Absent was Peterson, who'd been forced out not far from Harrison Homes. Police found her walking nearby a while later.

Police arrested two women: Martella M. Brown, 19, 2719 N. Trewyen Ave., and Nicole S. Bailey, 23, 2414 W. Malone St. Both have been charged with aggravated battery. Brown, whose residence is on the same block as the attack, also faces a count of vehicular hijacking.

Banged up, Dean took up the cops' offer of an ambulance ride to Methodist Medical Center. He suffered multiple bruises, but otherwise is all right. He was released later that morning.

Peterson was unavailable for comment. Dean says that her mother, after hearing about the assault, drove to Peoria and brought her daughter to the mom's home in Champaign - where, apparently, law-abiding citizens are free from the risks of vine-ripened weapons.

Dean just shakes his head and grins at the weirdness.

"It was crazy, man," he says.


1. People don't go "just driving" near Harrison Homes, especially at 2 in the morning. Why? Because you get attacked with fucking cucumbers.

2. "The cucumbers were this big." That's what she said.

3. I'm still pretty flustered. This story is just too awesome for it's own good.

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Probably the Only Time "Beaten With Cucumber, Car Keys" Has Ever Been Written. Ever.

This is the type of story which I would normally provide some sort of commentary on. I, however, can not. I'm beyond flustered right now. I'm just really fucking proud of my hometown.

Peorian reportedly beaten with cucumber, car keys

PEORIA - A Central Peoria man was hospitalized early Tuesday for a back injury allegedly inflicted by women armed with bricks, keys and a cucumber.

Ricky D. Dean, 45, and Sara E. Peterson, 22, also of Peoria, were driving in the 2700 block of Trewyn Avenue about 2 a.m. when three women yelled at them to stop their car.

When Dean pulled over, two of the three women, later determined to be Martella M. Brown, 19, and Nicole S. Bailey, 23, approached and started throwing bricks at the car, police said.

Dean got out of the car to confront the women, but continued to be battered by the them. One of them reached inside the car, stole the car keys and then used them to hit Dean, reports said.

As he was hit with the keys, the other woman struck him on the back with a cucumber.

The trio then got into Dean's car and drove away, with Peterson still inside.

Police stopped the car about 30 minutes later in the 3800 block of Southwest Adams Street, but Peterson was not in the car. She was located elsewhere in Harrison Homes uninjured.

Brown, 2718 N. Trewyn Ave., and Bailey, 2414 W. Malone St., were arrested on charges of aggravated battery. Brown also faces a charge of vehicular hijacking for the crime.

The third woman, whose name was not available, was not arrested because she did not partake in the brick-throwing and beating, police said.

Dean, who complained of back pain, was taken to Methodist Medical Center, treated and released.

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The State

I make references from "The State" all the time (particuarly sandwich feet/penis face jokes), but I don't think many people ever get them. Which is a damn shame, really and makes me look like an even bigger dolt than normal. Anyway, here's some good youtubage of the ol' MTV classic:

$240 Worth of Pudding:

Monkey Torture:

And my personal favorite, Old Fashioned Guy (I wish I could find more of these):

[have a great weekend, kids. enjoy the balloon race. (?)]

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Cubs are Blue and Stink

This is a birthday card I recieved from my eight year old niece:

I could not be any prouder.

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Four Nights and/or Days in August

Last night in Forest Park, in my softball leagues championship game, I was playing third base with my team holding a 10-3 lead, with two outs in the top of the sixth inning, I caught a liner to end the inning (more, commas, please,). I jogged off the field and into the dugout. A few moments later, the game was called on account of darkness. We won, and I had caught the final out.

I just checked with the good folks at Elias Sports Bureau, and it was officially the most anti-climatic championship of all time.

Speaking of bad championships, the tallest midget contest which is the race to win the NL Central heats up this weekend in Chicago. After pronouncing the Cardinals dead not even a month ago, I gots to wondering why weren't actually dead yet, Larry noticed the team may or may not actually be zombies, and some (odd looking) kids came on up, and all of a sudden, don't you know it, we got ourselves a pennant race.

(I apparently wrote that last paragraph with a strong country accent. What the fuck?)

May the most mediocre win!

Anyway, if all goes according to plan, the Cards will be in first come Tuesday. Of course, since God hates plans and Mexicans, the Cards will get swept. Either way, I get to get drunk, eat brats, and watch meaningful baseball this weekend.

In the dark. By myself. Without any pants on.

That's all I can really ask for.

[have a great weekend kids. remember, todays game is floppy hat day at wrigley! because everyone likes looking like a douche!]

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Yet Another Example Of Why Having A Ridiculous Knowledge Of The Simpsons Makes My Life More Enjoyable

"I saw this in a movie about a bus that had to speed around the city, keeping its speed over fifty. And if its speed dropped, the bus would explode! I think it was called... 'The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down.'" - Homer

"I saw good action movie last week but I can't think of the name of it... it was about this guy that was a fugitive who escaped in a train crash and was wanted and this other guy was looking for the fugitive in Chicago... I wish I could remember what it was called." - The bagging lady at my friendly neighborhood Schuncks who is a few cocks shy of an orgy (back by popular demand!!), during a conversation I overheard last weekend.

I butted in and told her it was "The Guy Nobody Could Catch."*

*No I didn't, I just shook my head and walked away. Like I talk to people who work at grocery stores.

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Since I Need to Write Some Crap Before I'm Overrun by Blog Squatters or Something:

Looooong weekend of baseball a few days back. A handful of thoughts:

1. The return of Rick Ankiel. For the first time since last October, Busch Stadium was electric again over the weekend. This has been a long season, ridiculously so actually, and it's nice to have something to cheer for again without having the looming fear that some guy named Kip is about to give up 19 runs or remembering that one of the relief pitchers fucking died not four months ago. This season has dragggggged; It has seemed to torture just about everyone involved: players, media, fants, et al.

All of a sudden, there's something to cheer for. There is some life in the room.

It's easy to hearken Rick's return to the bolt of energy Larry Walker put into the team in '04, but that team was already good, and Larry Walker kind of stunk (for Larry Walker, at least) down the stretch. But hell, he was like 87 years old and roamed the outfield on a lil' rascle. No, Ankiels return is reminding me of one Will Clark (his play down the stretch that year still nearly gives me a boner). Of course that acquisition propelled the Cardinals into the playoffs, where Rick Ankiel promptly threw his career to the proverbial backstop, thus completing the circle. Creepy, huh?

(Also, the irony that Ankiel was called up to replace a guy who had to go to rehab with a coke addiction is surprisingly tasty, thank you very much.)

2. With Ankiel getting the call up, the Cardinals rotation all of a sudden deciding to become stable-to-good, Adam from accounts receivable somehow developing a good case of the bad knee, and Bo Hart Brendan Ryan being recalled from Memphis, this team is starting to take shape. While they still may be craptastic, the NL Central is, at best, craptacular. Is it improbable for this team to make a push? Yes. Is it impossible? No. Nothing is impossible (except for dinosaurs).

At the very least, they've kept me tuned in. Stranger things, no?

3. While I normally enjoy cursing and vulgarity (hell, I cuss like a 27 year old former Marine with a substantial slight substance abuse problem), this weekend in the bleachers I sat next to a man who may have made me change my stance; he scared me straight. To paint the picture:

Shortly before the first pitch The Lady Friend and I sat in our bleacher seats, sweated profusely (great weather, St Louis!), and enjoyed some bad hot dogs and luke warm, shitty beers. Two gentlemen, both wearing jorts, sleeveless t-shirts and bandannas proceeded to sit down next to us (I just assume they're friends with this guy). The one sitting directly next to me (lets call him Mrs Buttworth, shall we) had been in his seat for approximately five seconds before -- you guessed it -- he went skins. So now I have a large, sweaty, shirtless man sitting next to me. Mrs Buttworth then proceeds to drink about eight beers, knocking over all of them before they are finished. Awesome.

By the seventh inning Mrs Butterworth was greased. Fuckingly so. I had noticed he did not have the most expansive of vocabularies earlier ("I GOT ME A HAT!" exclaimed Mrs Buttworth in the first inning; this man was clearly a few cocks shy of an orgy), but shortly after the seventh inning stretch, he let out one of the longest string of vulgar hate speech I (and, I presume, the many children around me) had ever heard. To paraphrase: "What the fuck do I care. He's just some fucking fagot who gets off but fucking other fagots. God damn queers are ruining this fucking place. Fucking fagots and butt fucking queers..."

This went on for quite some time.

(He also mentioned knocking over a little girl to get a foul ball during batting practice. He cursed a lot during that story, too.)

I sat there, prety much stunned. Here I was trying to watch a good ol' faashioned pitchers duel and allowing my man crush on Adam Wainwright to reach terrifying heights, and I had to listen to this fuckwad. I would have told him to shut up, but he was, as I mentioned, lubed. And about 285 pounds. And I am nothing if not a giant non-confrontational vagina. He left a few minutes later (they stopped selling beer), so the whole thing kind of resolved itself anyway.

I was, in a way, sorry to see him go. Such a pleasant chap.

4. The power at my apartment (I think I'm going to start calling it a flat) has been going on and off for the last week or so now. I would kindly like to request God and/or Ameren to cut it out. This summer was supposed to be about whiskey and NES; We already did this last summer and nobody likes reuns.



Just 'cause I can:

That show stunk.

That's it. See you assholes in a month or so.

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Dear Brewers and/or Cubs

Please win some games so I can stop having hope that the Cardinals will somehow miraculously win the division with this inconsistent, bad (actually, they're quite good at being inconsistent) fuckawful pitching staff / lineup. Also, would you mind trading for Aaron Miles and David Eckstein? That would be great.



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"I'll be dead in the cold, cold ground before I recognize the state of Missouri."