Sometimes you go to the well of ideas for the next 2,500 word piece and nothing really jumps out at you. The world does not need another "here's how to fix the BCS" article. The "Lions Road to 16 Losses" stories are so played right now (I'm looking at you, Michael Rosenberg) that I think the Free Press could just re-print the same front page article every day and nobody would bat an eye. Was contemplating the inevitable 35-paragraph breakdown of the Bruce Willis masterpiece "Striking Distance," but that really can't be forced. So in lieu of all that, here are a few things that have been trickling through my mind of late...
Cheese Sticks...Just Keep Doin What You're Doin
As I sit here on a cold, snow-filled, Michigan winter night, I search for the right words to describe this life-changing appetizer. Cheese sticks have done so much for the world and humanity itself. Ever been pretty hungry at lunch, but you feel like that tuna melt and fries aint gonna cut it?? What`s always there for you?? A big group out to dinner in search of the perfect "appetizer we can all share"?? Cheese Sticks shows up again, and it just flat gets the job done. You're under so much pressure, Sticks, and you come through every time.
I know it must be real hard to have that sizzling cheese inside you while a crisp breading is attached to your body. But you withstand it for the pure love of your customers, and I'm here to say "Thanks, fellas." Yea, sometimes your cheese might flow out a little too much and we're left with an empty fried stick, but hey, nobody's perfect and we totally understand. Hey, I dip that empty stick in the Marinara and I'm a happy guy, anyway. Name me another appetizer that can flawlessly interchange the end of its spelling with a simple "X" and get away with it. Admit it, it's just a little more fun when it shows up as "Cheese Stix" on the menu.
Truthfully though, I just want you guys to know how much we appreciate all that you do. Potato Skins, Chips and Salsa, and the depressing new "it" item, Lettuce Wraps, have all tried their best to be the appetizer of our dreams. But only one can lay claim to that immortal shrine: it's you, Cheese Sticks. And for that, we are forever grateful.
(Note to all establishments serving this timeless classic: enough with the bed of lettuce underneath the Cheese Sticks. It's highly inappropriate. The lettuce is usually wet and it's always that weird kind of lettuce where you're not even sure if it's edible. This can ruin the whole experience for me, so please refrain from this unlawful procedure in the future. All of America thanks you.)
Worst Birthday Present of All-Time...Hands Down
There is no debate on this...the worst birthday present ever handed out was 'The Game' that Sean Penn gave to Michael Douglas in the highly underrated 1997 thriller "The Game." I mean, who wants a gift certificate to Circuit City or a new Polo shirt when you can have your own 'Game,' replete with traumatic events of your childhood being re-lived and several near-death experiences?!? Sounds like a blast!
No need to recap the entire film, as everybody has seen it. Briefly, the whole movie centers on Connie (Sean Penn) buying older brother Nicholas (Michael Douglas) this "Game." The game in question consists of a number of hired actors royally screwing up Douglas' life at every turn, threatening his life numerous times, all while he basically has no idea why/how any of this is happening. Of course, there's the classic staple of "all money in bank account is now gone in the blink of an eye for no apparent reason." (Also seen in various forms in Changing Lanes, Enemy of the State, and Unlawful Entry) The movie borders on terrifying and hilarious. Terrifying when people from the Game put on a stunt to mimic his father's suicide. Hilarious when Douglas returns home one night, only to be greeted by a sign simply reading, "Welcome Home, Di#*face." The movie finally culminates when Nicholas leaps off a building, intending to kill himself, only to drop through some breakaway glass onto a giant target and into his perfectly planned birthday party. With my birthday approaching in January, I will be reminding all those around me that the only "Game" I want for the big day is one that involves Reverses, Skips, and Draw Fours.
(We all know how girls can be in selecting movies. Whether it's renting or going to see one at the theater, many females are only comfortable seeing something with the words "Music" or "Lyrics" in the title. Perfect example is my girlfriend Emily. REFUSES to see anything with any hint of action or adventure. I think one weekend we might have seen "Devil Wears Prada" and "Waitress" back-to-back...I'm pretty sure I blacked out at some point. (I think it was during the scene in 'Waitress' when Keri Russell gets yelled at by her husband...oh right, that was the whole movie.) You get the point...any bullets, explosions, or things that "will give me nightmares" is off-limits with my Emmy. Well, I get a call from her one night after she finished watching a movie with some guy friend of hers. I ask her what they watched, expecting to hear something "Ya-Ya Sisterhood" related.
"We watched 'THE GAME'!! It was pretty good!!" she tells me.
I know it's good...damn! After months of chick flicks and Sex and the City re-runs, I found out she finally gave in and watched a "scary" movie, and I wasn't even part of the equation! Talk about one dude warming up the slot machine, and another brother swooping in, pulling the lever, and hitting the jackpot. Not that I'm still bitter or anything...)
Will Tyler Hansbrough wear the Double Zero as a Tribute to his Hero?
When I close my eyes, I can almost picture this exact scene. Eric Montross, laying on his couch in podunk, North Carolina...frozen Tombstone 'Za cooking in the oven, half-full Keystone Light in his hand...watching Tyler Hansbrough on TV with a big grin on his face, thinking, "Enjoy it now, Big Fella. Within 4 years, you'll be averaging 4 points and 3 boards, traded twice, and announcers will only bother mentioning you so as to point out 'there's another 6 fouls to use on Dwight Howard.'" In other words, Tyler, enjoy this Senior season as much as possible.