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6:22 a.m. - 2005-01-24


So Saturday night we were given the opportunity to celebrate our birthday, the wife and I.

We started off at a wonderful restaurant that has been around for a few years but we had never gotten to try it because we have a four year-old who can only sit still for 12 seconds at best.

We then went to see a movie.

An R-rated movie so that we'd feel like adults.

Lemme tell ya something ... Movie Tickets Dot Com???

Take advantage of that shit if you ever go to a movie on a weekend night. The line was about a block long and we just waltzed to the front of the line, picked up our tickets and walked right into the theater.

So we went to see "Assault on Precinct 13".

I had seen the original in college in a Film Theory class. The professor of the class had taught (writer and director of the original) John Carpenter about a decade before I was there and he was so proud of that fact. I've only seen the movie that one time but I liked what I saw back then.

The update was good. Nowhere near a classic film, but decent for the night. Susie bit most of her nails off during the film, so that should tell you something.

Anyway, during the previews or trailers or whatever the hell you call them, this couple walks in and sits down in front of us.

This is only a guess, but I think these people lived in an ashtray.

The stale cigarette smell oozing from their pores was too much for the couple they sat down next to and the clean-smelling couple got up and moved down a couple of seats away from them.

The woman smoker looked offended that they would actually get up and move away from their stanky asses.

Susie never even smelled it, but I'm pretty sure her sinuses collapsed years ago because she was always able to change Andrew's diapers without breathing heavily through the mouth.

But for me, it just gave me another reason why I don't care to go to the theaters.

I can rent a DVD, go home and watch it without having to worry if Mr. and Mrs. Marlboro Light are going to sit down in front of me and force me to gag for 90 minutes.

Now then ... I know there's quite a few of you readers who probably smoke cigarettes.

Guess what?


You may not think so because you're used to the smell. Or you think the smell of your tobacco-stained clothes is sexy.


I don't feel bad telling you this. I truly don't.

Because ... and I've done my research here ... a large percentage of smokers first take up the habit of smoking so they can look cool.

Roughly 99.99 percent of smokers light up that first time to impress the people around them.

(The .01 of smokers start for medical reasons. Or something.)

So now that you've developed a habit that makes you smell like a walking dumpster, you're not so cool anymore are you?

I don't expect you smokers to do anything about this. You're content with smelling like a paper plant.

(That's a large mill that manufactures paper ... not a hibiscus made of paper)

But you know what, smokers?

There's a reason us non-smokers are making it tough on you guys to look cool in public places.

And that's because ... you guessed it ... your habit stinks.

I remember a time when you could actually smoke in movie theaters while watching a film.

I remember seeing "The Exorcist" at 14 and being extra super scared because the devil was peering at me through a cloud of cigarette smoke.

Granted ... this was in Greece at the time.

And things are a bit different there than they are here.

But still.

Smokers stink.

I really hate that Johnny Carson died.

I respect him for walking away from the limelight like he did. I thought that was really cool because it was unexpected.

My earliest memory of Johnny was in 1968 or so.

It was late one night and I had been asleep for hours when my Mom come and woke me up and told me to come to the living room.

I'm six years old.

I trudge to the living room where Mom and Dad are watching Johnny Carson.

Jimmy Osmond was on. I think we were about the same age. He might have been younger than me. I don't know. I didn't write his fucking biography.

He's singing some song and charming the pants off Johnny because he's young and a real chatterbox and is getting laughs from the audience.

I watch it in silence because I'm too tired to really comprehend why the hell my parents woke me up for this shit.

After Jimmy's little segment is over, I'm told to go back to bed.

I go back to bed and go back to sleep.

But not before realizing that the Power of Johnny is enough to make young parents wake their kids up to make them watch insane shit on TV.

I remember exactly where I was when Johnny said his goodbye in 1992.

On a bed in a hotel in Mobile, Alabama.

I was on a business trip and was sitting straight up in bed so I wouldn't fall asleep and miss the final show.

I remember thinking ... "Bette Midler's his last guest? Bette Fucking Midler?!?"

And now Johnny's gone.

Dead from a heroin overdose at the age of 79.

Who'da thunk it?

I'm slowly starting to remember why I left the newspaper job four years ago in the first place.

A week ago I told you guys that everything was pretty much settled on ... I just had to meet with the owner of the paper to determine what days he wanted me to work.

Two Fridays ago I tried to meet with him and he was "running out the door" and asked to meet me last Thursday.

I show up last Thursday and he's "running out the door" to go and check on their beach home that was apparently damaged heavily by Hurricane Ivan ... back in October or whenever that was. He asks to meet with me on Saturday.

On Saturday I call him and he's "running out the door" because his mother-in-law is in the hospital. He says he'll either call me Sunday (yesterday) or Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

No call yesterday.

The funny thing is ... every time I saw the guy for the last eight months, he mentioned that he wanted me to come work for him.

But actually pinning him down and forcing him to talk to me is the tough part.

And trust me ... the guy's not on the up and up.

I'd be SHOCKED if his mother-in-law was really in the hospital.

The truth is ... he's running out the door ... to the nearest bar.

And he doesn't want me hindering his drinkin' time.

So I'm not going to push it.

Because I'm not exactly sure I still want to work for the guy again.

The one perk in all this is that he's easy to work for because he's a fun drunk.

And he's drunk all the time.

But at least he doesn't smoke.

I definitely wouldn't work for him then.

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