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Guest Kit: Curmudgeons On a Plane

The (Inevitable) Sequel to "Snakes on a Plane"

By Curmudgeon

From the IMDB Web Page: "Trivia: This film's title originated at an after-work happy hour among Hollywood colleagues to see who could come up with the most awful pitch for a movie. Producer David Berenson, who worked for DreamWorks at the time, gave his pitch for this movie based on a script called 'Venom.'"

Sometimes I have such good ideas I just amaze myself. For instance, it occurred to me this past weekend that the box office success of "Snakes on a Plane" would just naturally lend itself to a sequel! Call me brilliant, call me imaginative, call me a creative genius. I don't know where these ideas come from; I'm just grateful to the Muse.

Now, I know what you're thinking: Hollywood hates to do sequels, especially sequels to highly successful movies. That's why there's no "Casablanca II: Rick and Angelina Jolie in Brazzaville," or "Citizen Kane II: The Further Adventures of Rosebud," or "The Crying Game II: Guys and Dolls." Why, it wouldn't even surprise me if one day they did a sequel to "Rocky" or perhaps "Star Wars." I'm telling ya, I got a million good ideas, if only Hollywood would listen to me.

Anyway, back to "Snakes." Once again, I think I know what you're thinking I'm thinking: "Snakes on a Plane II: More Snakes on Some Different Airplanes." Maybe starring Samuel L. Jackson once again, since he had such fun the first time around, like Bruce Willis did in "Die Hard" (speaking of movies just waiting to be sequelized!).

But no! I've got an even better twist than just more scaly critters on aircraft. How's this: "Snakes on a Cruise Ship." It worked (in a rather pathetic manner of speaking) for the sequel to "Speed," reprising Sandra Bullock, sans Keanu Reeves but teamed up with...some guy, maybe from 'NSnyc or something, I forget. OK, maybe that's not such a good example. But here's my thinking: on an airplane, you've got at most, what? maybe 150 or 200 passengers, unless you get a 747. But on a cruise ship, you can have a cast of several THOUSAND people, all of them running around in hysterics as gaboon vipers and anacondas and pythons and cobras and icky sea snakes attack passengers all the way from the Lido Deck to the bilge spaces.

But hold on! I have not one but TWO TWO TWO terrific twists on this theme, like Certs being both a breath mint and a candy mint. First, about 10 minutes into the movie, a couple of snakes get loose on the ship's bridge and attack the helmsman, who accidentally spins the wheel so hard the ship rolls over and is now floating upside down. Imagine all the passengers trapped below in an upside-down world, struggling to get out, all the while battling hundreds of deadly snakes that got loose when the ship turned topsy-turvy.

And here's my second twist: Bring back Captain Stubing, Doc, Gopher, Julie McCoy (your cruise director), Vicki Stubing, and (of course) Ted Lange as bartender Isaac Washington, from "The Love Boat." Oh, I would pay some really serious money to see Bernie Kopell or Lauren Tewes slowly crushed to death by a 30-foot reticulated python, and then their corpses be swallowed whole and travel down the length of the python's digestive tract. Now THAT'S entertainment! Beats anything the Discovery Channel could put up any day of the week. And it has the intellectual heft of being highly post-modernistically ironic, to attract the French audience and the judges at Cannes and Sundance.

The beauty of this idea, of course, is that it combines no less than FOUR sequels into one giant blockbuster movie, allowing Hollywood to knock off sequels to both "Snakes on a Plane" AND "Poseidon Adventure" as well as the re-make of "Poseidon Adventure," AND to upgrade "The Love Boat" from a TV show into a movie sequel without ever having been a movie in the first place. Hollywood just loves to take TV shows and make movies out them: see, for instance,

"The Fugitive," "The Addams Family," "The Beverly Hillbillies," etc. In fact, now that I think of it, we could include among the passengers Dr. Richard Kimball, Elly May Clampett and Uncle Fester. Sometimes my ideas are so good they just take my own breathe away.

Rounding up all these ideas and plot lines into one gigunda blockbuster sequel has the additional benefit of freeing up a lot of other Hollywood actors, directors, financing, resources, etc. -all those who aren't engaged in my sequel, in other words -- to move ahead with other projects, such as some of the following:

-- "Snakes at an Amusement Park." OK, not a very catchy name, but after a location is negotiated the title can be changed to "Snakes at DisneyWorld," or "Snakes at Six Flags" or "Snakes at Coney Island," or whatever. (And just think of the marketing tie-ins!) Wouldn't you stand in line to see Gaboon vipers and bushmasters and black mambas and kraits attack Snow White impersonators and all those creepy little elves singing "It's a Small World After All"? Oh. My. God. Celluloid ecstasy.

And my cinematic masterpiece:

-- "Snakes at an Ann Coulter Book Signing: Reptile Smackdown." Oh, I know what you're thinking. Yes, this sequel features a shock plot twist when Ann Coulter is joined by Michelle Malkin, Bill O'Reilly and Karl Rove on an episode of C-SPAN's Booknotes show. When a crazed fan accidentally sets loose a passel of deadly snakes he brought to the show to have Ann autograph, Ann, Michelle, Bill and Karl swing into action, biting the snakes and killing several before they realize their common humanity...er, make that common herpetolamanity. They join forces and raid the studios of Keith Olbermann, Garrison Keillor, and Al Franken, wreaking havoc and finally devouring the three talk-show hosts. The best part: it'll be a musical.

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 31, 2006; 7:37 AM ET
 
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Comments

I take great umbrage at the insinuation that snakes are in some manner objectional. They have been my special friends for years. In fact, I keep several especially affectionate articulated pythons here in a special cage under my desk. They are named Maxie, Nikki, and Mr. Slithers.

Wait. Mr. Slithers seems to be missing.

Should be an interesting day.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 31, 2006 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I got sensory overload just reading your kit!

Posted by: slyness | August 31, 2006 7:53 AM | Report abuse

RDP;

Do Maxie and Nikki look particularly well-fed today?

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 31, 2006 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Slyness: Ernesto is dumping selectively on our region. I didn't hear it but the buzz is that there was a bolt-you-out-of-bed thunderstorm at around 4.30. The danes bowls had about 1/4 in. of HOH in them tihis am, and about the same when I fed them last night. Thus, by my estimation, approximately 1/2 to 3/4 in. precipitation in the past 12 hours. great Falls has been dumped upon, as has Tega Cay. Looks as if the Eastern Piedmont of NC is going to take a hit., I fear a repeat of the hog farm lagoon spill fiasco that trashed the Cape Fear River basin in Floyd's aftemath.

Mudge: I respectfully submit that you should consider titling you masterpiece Poseidon Snakes on a Fugitive Addams Family Love Boat: Revenge of the Hiss

Posted by: jack | August 31, 2006 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Of course, it'd only be appropriate to work "Steam Heat" into the score for the musical... All that ssssssssssssssibilance!!

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 31, 2006 8:10 AM | Report abuse

RDP: You are right. There's nothing evil about snakes, per se. Now, VENOMOUS snakes, yes, there's reason to avoid them. But most snakes aren't venomous (and, boys and girls, here's your lesson for the day: "poisonous" snakes aren't dangerous unless you eat them.)

List of things I'm not afraid of:

snakes
terrorists
air travel
strangers
small spaces
water
lightning
secular humanists
Communism

List of things I am afraid of:

heights
electricity
drunk drivers
very large crowds
my own bad judgment
fear, itself
Nazism

If you made a movie that combined all my worst fears, I GUARANTEE that I would not watch it.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 31, 2006 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm kinda afraid of clowns. I'm sorry. They just freak me out.

"Clowns on a Plane."

Now that would be scary.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 31, 2006 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Kber, those are two very rational lists you have there.

Posted by: slyness | August 31, 2006 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Ah heck. Looks my brilliant idea "Clowns on a Plane" has been thought of by others first. There go my dreams of riches.
Guess I gotta go back to work.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 31, 2006 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Now, "Clowns Flying a Plane" would be scary -- especially as a documentary.

Posted by: J. B. Moore | August 31, 2006 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Whaddabout "Mimes On A Plane," RDP?

Who needs dialogue?

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 31, 2006 8:31 AM | Report abuse

"Spiders, earwigs and/or Palmetto bugs On a Plane" would turn me into a babbling lump of mush. At least snakes don't crunch when you squish them.

Great kit Mudge!

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 31, 2006 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Isn't the title "Snakes at an Ann Coulter [event of any kind]" redundant?

Posted by: byoolin | August 31, 2006 8:41 AM | Report abuse

"Crickets on a Plane," where the passengers go half mad and tear the aircraft apart looking for whatever is producing that incessant chirping.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 31, 2006 8:42 AM | Report abuse

RD: Not to mention the effects of inhaling all of the cricket frass.

Posted by: jack | August 31, 2006 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I heard that, in the making of Snakes on a Plane, the problem was not so much with all the snakes, but with all the snake poop. It seems snakes are liberal relievers.

Posted by: notthatsuri | August 31, 2006 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Mudge: Another great kit, as always. You been channeling Carl Hiassen or something? Wish I had that kind of creative streak.

Posted by: ebtnut | August 31, 2006 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I was thinking "Lawyers on a Plane".

Now, where did I leave that PhotoChop...?

Hmm.
I'd pay even more ro see it if Bernie Kopell played a double role, reprising his classic role of Sigfried. Oh no, my muse has struck!

*****************************************

Script Sample:

FLYNN: We got to get these motherf***ing snakes off this mother***ing blue-bottomed boat!

[Cut to KAOS on-board control cabin, where SHTARKER and SIGFIRED are watching FLYNN battle the snakes on closed circuit TV]

SHTARKER: BOO-YA! [waving fist] Woo-woo-woooo! Zat Bad Mother***er whatshisname, er, yah, Flynn. Yah, Flynn's a goner zis time!

SIGFRIED: Shtarker! How many times do I have to tell you, ve *don't* "BOO-YA! [waves fist] Woo-woo-woooo!" in KAOS!

SHTARKER [meekly, eyes downward]: Zorry Sigfried. [looks up] By the way, what is ze plan for getting off zis leaky tub?

[SIGFRIED's monocle drops out of his eye]

SIGFRIED:

SHTARKER: Zere *is* a plan, is zere not?

SIGFRIED: In all ze excitement, I guess I forgot. I have an idea. You run down ze passageway screaming and draw all ze attention of ze snakes and ze goody two-shoes away from me, and I make a run for ze lifeboats.

SHTARKER:

SIGFRIED: Great plan, yes?

[Cut back to FLYNN in the engine room, with a cellphone in one hand, and a rattlesnake in the other, up to his knees in oily water, and smoke in the air. It is very loud with steam pipes erupting, alarm bells and klaxons going off.]

FLYNN [shouting above the din]: I just spoke to the Wolf, and he has a plan! We need a motherf***ing bushel of Mr. Stripey tomatoes, a friendly St. Bernard, a girl scout troupe, an empty bottle of Rolling Rock beer, a copy of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" and a motherf***ing dishtowel! NOW!

*******************************************

I'd pay money to see that.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 31, 2006 9:03 AM | Report abuse

What "Snakes on a Plane" needs most is a good, singable theme song, so that people leaving the theater can have something to hum. As it happens, I have come up with exactly such a song, and it goes a little something (pause) like this:

Oh, give me a flick where the plot line is sick,
Where the snakes and the reptiles play!
Where the crisis all hangs on some venomous fangs
And the skies are not friendly today.

Snakes, snakes on a plane.
Where the asp and the bushmaster play,
Where pilots are bitten, and rattlers eat kittens,
A plot lifted from Shakespeare, I'd say.

Sing the Moonlight Sonata to the order Squamata
An internal rhyme the Gene Weingarten adores.
(Except boas) they've got only one lung and aren't very well hung
Which is why they are testy, and bores.

Snakes, snakes on a plane.
Where the plot features terror and scales,
Where box office receipts come from filling up seats
And Samuel L. Jackson's charm never fails.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 31, 2006 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Lets make the cruise ship trip one of those themed ones people take to meet the cast of vintage TV shows. That gives us an excuse to reunite the original cast of Welcome Back, Kotter (I hear the Barbarino guy is so desparate for money, he'll do anything) and Charlie's Angels and Gilligan's Islands. Of course, only the Gilligan's Island cast will survive, setting up the sequel sequel: Snakes On A Cheesy Backlot Made To Look Like A Deserted Island.

This is just brilliant.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2006 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Reprise:

[Cut back to FLYNN, moments later]

FLYNN: Would you believe a cup of motherf***ing dwarf cherry tomatoes, a bad tempered bichon, Verne Troyer, a crushed bathroom Dixie Cup, an Archie comic book, and a square of toilet paper?

bc

Posted by: bc | August 31, 2006 9:11 AM | Report abuse

ebtnut, I think you can safely refer to it as a "creative skid mark".

bc

Posted by: bc | August 31, 2006 9:16 AM | Report abuse

bc,

I think MacGyver could make a decent thermonuclear device with those ingredients.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2006 9:17 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I think MacGyver'd need some Bazooka to hold it all together, but that was the general idea.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 31, 2006 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Bad Sneakers beat me to "palmetto bugs." Many are terrified of these beasts, which is probably why there's so much demand to trim cabbage palms so that there's not a single dead leaf base to be seen, nor more than a half-dozen leaves. Mere snakes probably have something to do with the popularity of lawns without shrubbery, ground covers, or anything else a snake could hide in. Regardless, I think every yard has a black racer hiding somewhere. You just hardly ever see it.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | August 31, 2006 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Palmetto bugs, now those are a worst fear for me. When I was younger, I awakened in the middle of the night to find a palmetto bug on my nose. They freak me out.

Mudge, have you been hitting the caffeine? That was hysterical! It improved my morning, which had gotten off to a rocky start when one of our garage attendants insisted that I park in the handicapped spot. I have MORAL ISSUES with that, people!!

Posted by: PLS | August 31, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

SCC: Awoke? Woke up? Ug, it's too early.

Posted by: PLS | August 31, 2006 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Crickets on a plane?

How about Styrofoam Coolers on a Plane?

They're all rubbing together and making that horrible noise and all the people are going crazy and can't drink the beer in the coolers fast enough....

Posted by: TBG | August 31, 2006 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Great kit, unfortunately Joel just had to ruin it with his title "Curmudgeons on a Plane", which I think would make a better movie concept.

Perky curmudgeons dressing up like whalers in lacy whalebone corsets and set to take over a plane with whalebone harpoons assembled from whalebone carryon backpacks "Hey it's cultural!", all intent to take the plane to Whalantis, the lost underwater whaler's colony....whoo, snakes are no comparsion.

MOST snakes are venomous, it's just that "non-venomous snakes" don't inject their poison and also aren't venomous enough to hurt us.

Besides that whole concept is silly, just change the temperature in the airplane and the snakes will go to sleep. So everybody else shivers, hey that's when you gotta use your mammal skills. But of course everybody was too freaked with the monkey-startle thing to even friggin' THINK.

Now, cross-dressing whalers are another story. No airplane peanuts shall sway them. It's only the little boy who smuggled a cheeseburger on board that has a hope of touching the wild-eyed whaler curmudgeons...
(black screen)
Now we return to the Adventures of Mr. Stripey. The nefarious Lycopersicon, that Abelard of the vegetable garden, was last seen in Paris throwing rotten baguettes against a certain window, yelling "Ne coupe pas Herr Joel!" Our next scene opens in an tawdry supermarket in Berlin....





Posted by: Wilbrod | August 31, 2006 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon, I am verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves.

Posted by: dr | August 31, 2006 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. Mudge, I haven't had coffee or anything yet, and reading your kit this morning has me laughing all over myself. You've done it again. Great, just great, kit. I don't know you Mudge, but I'm in love. Love the writing. Anything that can make me laugh, I'm all for it. I can be a real downer, but I guess just about everyone here knows that.

Storyteller, Tim, thanks a bunch. Will post that list as you requested.

Slyness, what you do is wonderful, and for the young woman in college a true blessing. We need more people like you.

And I want to thank all of you for listening, for putting up with me and my groanings. It helps a lot to have someone to talk to, and thanks for your patience with me.

american in siam, and dreamer, good to hear from you.

PLS, you are a product of your world, as I am a product of mine. Let's change the world.

Got to get the coffee, and did not walk today. Rain, and more rain here. I don't believe I need to get wet with the neck and back ache. Have a good day folks, and remember that God loves you so much more than you can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | August 31, 2006 9:57 AM | Report abuse

And BTW, I want to see a sequel "Snakes on Altars"-- some of those megachurches are HUGE. I'd like to see actors playing certain annoying fundamentalists running around like little girls from snakes.

And I want to see K. Harris grabbed by a python when she talks about God choosing politicans. And the huge python will talk in a demonic voice heard by a few.

"Blasphemy. Everybody knows it's the Devil who picks politicans. For hath they not been given the voice of the serpent to beguile?" And the whole thing ends with a scared humanist mob torching the church.

Of course this movie will cause a huge religious controversy and here's the kicker-- it'd make tons of money.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 31, 2006 10:04 AM | Report abuse

"Tomatoes on a Plane"
In which an assasination of a government witness with severe Lycopene allergy is attempted by a terrorist cell of crazed gardeners.

Posted by: RD Padouk | August 31, 2006 10:04 AM | Report abuse

C'mon, Wilbrod. Everyone knows that "perky curmudgeon" is redundant. It just goes without saying.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 31, 2006 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Of course, this plot could be woven into Snakes on Ships, just have a big fundamentalist convention on board with a few flaky politicans as speakers, and you get all that religious hysteria for free.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 31, 2006 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I swore this off (posting Andy's column in Joel's blog), but I can't help it, it's funny and it's appropriate. If Borowitz had comments, I would certainly be posting links to the Achenblog there.

Analogy test: Achenbach is to Princeton as ________ is to Harvard

http://borowitzreport.com/

Posted by: kbertocci | August 31, 2006 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I see you're not wailing about the rest of it, though, Mudge.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 31, 2006 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"I've had it with these motherf#%*ing cummerbunds on this motherf#%*ing cruise ship!"

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2006 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, when you consider Mudge's purchases from Elton John's Big Closet Blowout (the powdered wig, etc.) last spring, the rest of it really isn't a stretch.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 31, 2006 10:15 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I think that's "Cummerbuns on the Lido Deck". Or CLoD.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 31, 2006 10:17 AM | Report abuse

kb,

Answers to your analogy:

Conan O'Brien
Soledad O'Brien
Bill Gates
Peter Benchley
Andrew Card
Michael Crichton
Wallace Shawn
Phyllis Schlafley

Let me know when I'm getting warm.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2006 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Great kit (and a nod for the theme song as well)!

I've been thinking about a movie featuring all of kbertocci's fears (heights, electricity, drunk drivers, very large crowds, my own bad judgment, fear, itself
Nazism), but I'm thinking that if you threw in a few Nazis, you could just sit in the upper deck of the average football game.

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 31, 2006 10:43 AM | Report abuse

SonofCarl, you wouldn't even have to go through the extra effort if that's an Eagles home game at the Linc. Everything's already there.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 31, 2006 10:54 AM | Report abuse

For real, my brother breeds exotic snakes as a hobby. Since they don't eat kibbles-n-bits, preferring things like LIVE mice, he had to raise those as well. They also begged for vegetable table scraps like puppies. He had a nice, large McMansion with attendant acerage.

My sister wanted to use his house and yard to hold her wedding reception. The festivities were going according to plan until he decided (said decision by then being well lubricated) to drag out his prize collection of 10 foot long albino boa constrictors to show to the wedding party. Hilarity did NOT ensue. A wedding to remember, for some at least. That was more like a reality TV show than a movie.

Posted by: Don from I-270 | August 31, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon -- a tour de force. You are a Renaissance man. Just please don't go all Hollywood on us, if the big studios wise up enough to take your advice and start making sequals to Mission: Impossible or Die Hard.

Wilbrod -- the whole point of movies like SoaP(from what I'm told, never was a big fan of being terrified, myself) is that the *do* scare you. I heard the same story that Curmudgeon did, that SoaP was dreamed up by an informal, drunken focus group of Hollywood insiders based on what most Americans are most scared of (snakes, and flying). Judging from the box office, they clearly have their finger on the galloping pulse of our deepest fears.

So here's my personal harmonic convergence of horror: "Trapped with Snakes on a Plane While You're Realizing You Forgot to Put Your Clothes On While Giving a Public Speech About How Your 401(k) Has Lost 30% in the Past Two Years, En Route to an Exam in a Class That You Just Remembered You've Never Attended, Even Once, All Semester."

Title could be punchier, maybe. But you get the idea.

Re previous kit: Believe it or not . . . I actually *am* thinking about ditching corporate America. My dog walker is a friend as well as indispensable household mainstay. We were talking several weeks ago, and she let slip that she and her partner are moving next year. She actually proposed that I think about taking over their business when they go. They have enough of it to keep two people working full time, and (having done the math), I know that they do A-OK, despite the downsides (which are easy to blind yourself too) of being self-employed.

If I am fated for cleaning up the messes of others, which is pretty much what I do now anyway, I want them at least to be fun to play with! And yeah, I want to get home earlier, too.


Posted by: annie | August 31, 2006 11:10 AM | Report abuse

So, Don, snakes don't like Kibbles-and-Bits? I didn't know that. So, if you happened to be traveling in dangerous snake country, the thing to do would be to rub Kibbles-and-Bits all over yourself, and drop into a cube-like fetal position if a snake came by? (And pray like crazy no jungle cats smelled the Kibbles...)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 31, 2006 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Splendid, Mudge. Hollywood will be calling any minute now. No, wait -- they're too busy stealing all the story lines. Be prepared to sue for plagiarism after the new releases in a couple of years.

I like Annie's movie, "Trapped with Snakes on a Plane While You're Realizing You Forgot to Put Your Clothes On While Giving a Public Speech About How Your 401(k) Has Lost 30% in the Past Two Years, En Route to an Exam in a Class That You Just Remembered You've Never Attended, Even Once, All Semester", with a couple of changes. Instead of planes, try ships -- I know falling out of air is worse than falling into water, but still.

Also, I need to be trapped with something other than snakes. I like snakes, as does the Boy. We have a large (6 foot) harmless snake that lives in our attic in winter, and eats things around the outside of the house in summer. We'd like to have a reptile as an indoor pet but we have to cajole Ivansdad first.

Trapped with palmetto bugs (ick). . . trapped with two opposing candidates a week before the election (shudder). . . trapped with Ann Coulter -- Hah! we have a winner.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 31, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Of course, I'm a Rennaissance man, Annie--I think I was going through puberty back then.

I'm way too humble to "go all Hollywood" on you--at least, that's what my publicist, my make-up people, my personal assistant, my chaeuffer, and my agent all tell me. Have your people call my people--we'll go have drinks at Spago or something.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 31, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Dammit, Mudge, Spago is, like, SO OVER.

How about McCormick & Schmidt's instead? Say, 6:30 this evening?

Posted by: annie | August 31, 2006 11:27 AM | Report abuse

At least the snakes matched the wedding cake in color. Still, I think I'd prefer a wedding gone to the dogs instead of to the snakes.


Posted by: Wilbrod | August 31, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, you're a hoot. Dangerouse snake country would be my brothers house back then. Boa's, pythons, monitor lizards, gators, you name it.

Nobody has picked up on my remark about them begging for table scraps like little pups. "NO, SNAVELY, DO ... NOT ... EAT ... THE BABY. You may have a Mr. Stripey tomato instead. Now, be a good snake and go sit in the corner until we are done eating. Then we'll play with you. There, that's a good snake."

Posted by: Don from I-270 | August 31, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I have no time to participate in today's Boodle. No time. Pity me. Anyway, very good Kit, Mudge and bc. Strong work. Thank you.
.
.
Would snarky squirrels on a plane scare anyone?

Posted by: CowTown | August 31, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

We may be like two ships passing in the night at 6:30, annie--I'll be leaving M&S right about then to catch my bus. (Last bus of the day--no choice in the matter.)

You'll know it's me--I'll be the only Robert Redford look-alike weaving down the street due to the two Tom Collinses I'll have onboard and wearing both a cummerbund and a Charlize Theron bow on my shoulder. If it's raining, I may be tap-dancing and splashing in puddles.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 31, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

great kit mudge! i think i'd root for a different ending in the ann coulter scenario. remember, we 'mericans like happy endings. :)

true story: to catch a river boat in cambodia, a large group of 'mericans got onto one of those floating wood dock. except there were too many people and too many suitcases, so the dock began to sink slowly, going almost to the water level. little beknownst to us, there were many critters inhabiting this dock, and we were drowning them, so they ran like heck for dry land.

that's right, picture dozens and dozens of those palmettos running up everyone's legs and luggage, not to mention some other spiders, centipedes and what have you (they didn't go on to people thankfully). people were screaming and flailing their arms and running around and stomping on things. i was doubled over laughing so hard, i barely had the energy to the few off of myself and my duffle bag. that was one of the funniest things i've ever seen.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 31, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Spago is over? Why didn't I get the memo?

Sheesh. I'm always the last to find out these things. I'm going to have to give my publicist a stern talking-to.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 31, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I think you've missed it as far as the great sequel opportunity, Curmudgeon.

I think the public would embrace "The Three Senior Stooges at the White House." Instead of Larry, Moe and Curly, just update the three principles with George (frat boy who loves fart jokes--we learned from Froomkin), Dick (paranoid delusional whose judgment is distorted by heart medications and his pacemaker), and Don (hubristic martinet who wants eveything cheaper, faster, leaner--put him in charge of menu planning for a State dinner). Comedic opportunities abound!

Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! Or is that "Nuke Iran, Nuke North Korea, Nuke Syria!"?

Or there's a reprise with a twist, "Dick and Don's Excellent Adventure in Iraq:

Dick: "We got rid of Saddam and did away with more than 100,000 Iraqis in the process. And we lied to the American public!"

Don: "Gnarly, dude!"

And to think the White House is again trudging out, according to the Washington Post headlines today--for the umpteenth time--the fib that al Qaeda had something to do with Iraq. The White House doesn't need its speechwriters as much as it needs fresh Hollywood screenwriters. That tired storyline is leather-brained and out of gas and runnin' on empty, pure and simple. Karl Rove and his minions need a new script--desperately.

Posted by: Loomis | August 31, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Celluloid Ecstasy! To see Snow White and the Creepy Little Dwarves attacked by all those snakes. I think it was these three sentences -- "Oh. My. God." that got me howling.

You'd better copyright this kit quickly Mudge -- especially the alliterative title "Snakes at Six Flags."

Oh. My. God.

Wish I could come tonite and eat greasy cheeseburgers.

Posted by: nelson | August 31, 2006 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm flattered, CowTown, but today's Kit is all Mudge.

See you there, annie.

LA Lurker, LOL, that's quite an image.

Speaking of this evening, it's a shame that omni won't be there, but I think he took a couple of weeks of personal Carnival to celebrate Shakira's visit to DC. A week of warmup and at least a week of post-concert recovery.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 31, 2006 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, nelson, but I can't copyright it. According to Achenblog Rule 6 ("For any content that you post, you hereby grant to washingtonpost.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.") WaPo already has the copyright on it. The ba$tard$.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 31, 2006 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Aww, Mudge, you promised me you were going with the Bjork Swan dress tonite!

http://www.eonline.com/Features/Awards/Oscars2001/FashionPolice/index2.html

bc

Posted by: bc | August 31, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

In a tour de force of timing, they've located "The Scream"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/5303200.stm

Posted by: dr | August 31, 2006 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you should be glad WaPo owns the content. They'll be the ones dealing with the Disney lawyers, who are very zealous in protecting the corporate image. Expect a subpoena soon.

Posted by: Ivansmom | August 31, 2006 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, you need to add this to that story line. Think of the drama.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5301172.stm?ls

Posted by: dr | August 31, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

bc, wouldn't that bind with his cummerbunns?

Posted by: dr | August 31, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

There's nuthin' like the "reel" news...from today's paper, page A2:

Photo cutline:
Incoming 'CBS Evening News' anchor Katie Couric says she likes the original photo at left because 'there's more of me to love.' The altered version, at right, appears in the September issue of Watch!, a promotional magazine with a ciculation of more than 400,000.

News Brief:
Camera doesn't lie, but photo can

No, Katie Couric didn't suddenly lose 20 pounds. The incoming "CBS Evening News" anchor appears significantly thinner in a network promotional magazine photo, thanks to digital airbrushing. CBS News President Sean McManus said he was "obviously surprised and disappointed when I heard about it," although he joked that "I've asked that 3 inches in height be added to my official CBS photo."

Well, he11, if it's just a matter of airbrushing, why not have Helen Thomas anchor the CBS News? She's certainly got more gravitas than Katie, who is certainly losing it with this stunt.

Think of the repercussions and the air-brush possibilities! Charlie Gibson can now throw away his Grecian formula and his the different shades of his fake-o hair color. He, at 62, has appeared in the last few months au natural with all white, with white at his temples, and with locks as dark as a 45-year-old. (Wouldn't it be nice if Robin Roberts gave up her fake eyelashes, that make it look like she has Asian DNA in her genome?)

As for Brian Williams, can NBC add a little weight to his cheeks and straighten to horizontal his eyebrows? Can we get him to ask better follow-up questions of President BuSh?

Really, networks, no "Stepford Wives and Husband" anchors. Just the news--pleeeaaasee!

Posted by: Loomis | August 31, 2006 12:31 PM | Report abuse

On the WaPo home page:

California Unveils Warming Plan

California doesn't need no warming plan. They're warm enough as it is! *w* Stupid headline...*muttering to self*

Posted by: Loomis | August 31, 2006 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I had to look up Palmetto bug. Nicer name than cockroach, but a cockroach by any other name smells as sweet, I'm sure.

dr, I think our Palmetto bug -free status is one of the perks that goes with the snow shoveling.

Now snow snakes...there's something to fear: http://www.naturenorth.com/winter/snwsnk/snwsnkF.html

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 31, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to disappoint, bc; I can't wear the Bjork dress tonight; it isn't back from the drycleaners. I wore it last weekend cutting the grass and changing the oil in my car (got a little 10W40 on one of the wings--hate when that happens!). Besides, you always said you like me best in the Elton John bathrobe and the Ford-me Manolo Blahnik pumps.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 31, 2006 12:42 PM | Report abuse

so who are the bph photographers for tonight?
i'd like to start putting in some requests...

Posted by: L.A. lurker | August 31, 2006 12:52 PM | Report abuse

*raising hand*

I'll be doing me damndest, L.A.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 31, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, your kit today was so good, and so evocative, that it got me immediately reminiscing about good times long since past. Because of that, I completely forgot to give you your "props", as they say these days.

Bravo Zulu, shipmate, BZ!

Posted by: Don from I-270 | August 31, 2006 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Don, but...poisonous snakes got you reminiscing about "good times long since past"??? Upside down ships? Ann Coulter sunning herself on a rock? What am I missing here?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 31, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Ann Coulter sunni...


MY EYES!!!!!!!!! AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! MY EYES!!!

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 31, 2006 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey, comparing Ann Coulter to a snake is an insult to snakes. I'm taking umbrage!! My first umbrage, and it's in defense of snakes, my snake-owning daughter would be proud!!

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | August 31, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"Besides, you always said you like me best in the Elton John bathrobe and the Ford-me Manolo Blahnik pumps."

That is very true, but I'd prefer it if you kept that outfit for our special camping trips.

"Ann Coulter sunning herself on a rock?" Funny, but Bah! We all know AC would burst into flames the moment any real sunlight hit her.

Bet you could sell that shedded skin you'll find next to the rock on eBay for a pretty penny though. Ya never know what some NeoCon would pay for that, probably more if you would inflate it for him.

Still, would you rather find Helen Thomas sunning herself somewhere?

Loomis, it's only a matter of time before Max Headroom and S1m0ne are delivering the FOX evening news. Digital news personalities are so much easier to deal with than those nasty old unreliable meat puppets anyway. And they don't try to interpret the Adminstration PR Team's Press Releases with any "journalistic judgement" or spin, they just deliver the text as written.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 31, 2006 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Ernesto...booo.

We're supposed to go to the beach this weekend for the family reunion type thing. I've been looking forward to it for weeks...now we can't decide whether or not to drive through the storm tomorrow to get there. Any opinions? It would be nice once we were there (northern coast of South Carolina).

Posted by: PLS | August 31, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I've got pretty much the same dilemma, PLS. We're going on vacation all next week, starting Saturday, driving south to Charleston and Savannah. Gotta decide if I want to drive into/through that storm. I think it'll be a lot weaker by then, but still, who needs to drive in six or eight hours of rain?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 31, 2006 2:20 PM | Report abuse

PLS, it looks like Ernesto will be up here (DC) by tomorrow night. What that means for the weekend at Myrtle, I don't know.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 31, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

...eight hours of rain with a 2 year old. Then again, it might be better than the alternative - 3 days of rain at home with a 2 year old.

Posted by: PLS | August 31, 2006 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon: //That's why there's no "Casablanca II: Rick and Angelina Jolie in Brazzaville,"//

How about snakes at a Casablanca showing:

http://superfrenchie.com/?p=926

Posted by: superfrenchie | August 31, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm about to puke. If we all know about it, then is Katie's visit to tonight's CBS Evening News show really a "surprise?" Oh, how I sicken of media manipulation! It's a perky turkey dud.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/31/business/media/31cnd-katie.html?

August 31, 2006
CBS News Choreographs a 'Surprise' for Schieffer
By JOHN HOLUSHA
Look for Katie Couric to perk up the "CBS Evening News" this evening.

According to several print publications and web logs, Ms. Couric, who is scheduled to take over the anchor seat next week, will handle a segment honoring Bob Schieffer on his last day as the interim anchor of the broadcast.

A representative of CBS News confirmed that Ms. Couric would make a well-planned "surprise visit" on the program.

Ms. Couric, best known as the co-host of the NBC News program "Today," is to become the first woman to be the sole anchor of a network news evening broadcast starting next Tuesday.

Tonight's segment is to be a symbolic passing of the baton to Ms. Couric, 49, from Mr. Schieffer, 69, who improved the program's ratings when he filled in as anchor for 18 months after Dan Rather resigned under pressure.

Executives of the network said they wanted to try something different than the traditional "voice of God" sonorous male anchor and settled on Ms. Couric, whose work on NBC ranged from hard news to soft features to some [sic...many] moments of clowning around.

Mr. Schieffer has said he approves of the selection of his successor [hmmm...how much say did ol' Bob really have?], noting that her singular status [she's a woman, fer cryin' out loud] has attracted a lot of attention to the broadcast.

In remarks quoted today by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Mr. Schieffer said of the handoff ceremony, "I don't have a baton, but I'm sure we'll exchange pleasantries." [Sports metaphor alert--Katie is now running track and field! That'll take off that extra 20 pounds quicker than you can scream "Airbrush!"]

In the 1970's, Barbara Walters was a co-anchor of the ABC News evening broadcast with Harry Reasoner, and in the 1990's Connie Chung was teamed with Mr. Rather. In both instances, the co-anchor format was generally regarded as an unsuccessful experiment.

Posted by: Loomis | August 31, 2006 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Awww, quit yer bellyachin' about Ernesto! Plants here are dying for (lack of) Ernesto.

Posted by: Loomis | August 31, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

LindoLoo, wish we could send some of Ernesto your way. Our plants have been dying since the monsoon in early July--been almost 2 months since most of us had significant rain here.

BBH-ers, I'll be there in spirit tonight. Too much happening on the home front.

Posted by: ebtnut | August 31, 2006 3:20 PM | Report abuse

the funniest (or most pathetic) storyline to come out of Katie Couric's slimmed down photo in the "Match" publication is it's being blamed on "an overzealous staffer . . ."

One person could have done this all by him/herself? It cleared the final galleys approval by so-called editors?

Please -- I'm with Loomis -- digitizing Helen Thomas and giving the news the gravitas it's supposed to have.

Brian Williams acquitted himself very nicely during the Katrina one year anniversary filings. If I happen to actually watch the news on TV (a rarity) I'll stick with Williams.

On a much darker note (yes, I'm bringing politics in to the boodle)I heard part of Arbusto's speech at the VFW convention while at the doctor's office. The man is beyond demented. I want someone of import to stand up and say this loudly.

I want many people of import to stand up and cut down, point by point, the crazy fiction that el jefe is spouting.

the majority of Americans now see no link with Iraq and terrorism. It's safe for timid politicians to climb our behind the pollsters and speak.

I guess I'll have to settle for an afternoon nap dreaming of snakes and Ann Coulter.

Ernesto is near hurricane strength again. Oh well -- we need the rain here in SE Virginia. I hope he keeps his damage to a very minimum. May no one lose a life or sustain severe damage to home or business.

Speaking of Grecian Formula -- much as I like Olbermann, I'm sad he's decided to do away with his gray. I like silver-maned gentlemen.

Posted by: nelson | August 31, 2006 3:20 PM | Report abuse

PLS & Mudge: The storm will be past your area and on its way north by Friday evening. Assuming you're taking 95 south, hyou'll be well out of harms way. C'mon down...we'll leave a porch light on for you.

Posted by: jack | August 31, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Traveling folks take note, though. Even if Ernesto is flying past by Friday afternoon, keep close attention to what he may have left behind. Floods may occur if enough rain comes quickly, which can damage roads and bridges.

Posted by: ebtnut | August 31, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I think the "surprise" is going to be that Katie will be wearing Bjork's swan dress.

I used to enjoy watching Harry Reasoner and Babwa Wawa, especially considering how much Reasoner loathed her and could barely remain civil.

Starting to feel a touch of scurvy coming on...only 68 minutes to departure...

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 31, 2006 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I just MIGHT be the first Boodler there, 'Mudge, and if so I'll have them put the limes out.

Frankly, I think Katie's gonna pull a Lucretia Borgia and get to that chair a SMIDGE earlier than expected.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 31, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

nelson: //the majority of Americans now see no link with Iraq and terrorism. It's safe for timid politicians to climb our behind the pollsters and speak.//

Hum. As of last July, 64% of Americans said that it is true that Saddam Hussein had strong links to Al Qaeda. That's a month ago.

http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=684

Posted by: superfrenchie | August 31, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Are we still on for tonight?

Posted by: superfrenchie | August 31, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Far as I know, SF.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 31, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Nice kit, Mudge. Very well done.

Posted by: pj | August 31, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Off to M&S! See as many of you there as possible! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 31, 2006 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Have a great time at the BBPH, Boodlers. Wish I could be there, too.

As always, those of us on the outer outer fringes of Boodledom would appreciate lots o' pictures of the festivities.

Posted by: ac in sj | August 31, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Everyone have a good time at the BPH. I'm stuck here in the office this time, but I will clear my tab soon.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 31, 2006 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Those of you who can't attend may enjoy this devastating critique of Bush's Katrina speeches that Sidney Blumenthal wrote in Salon:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/blumenthal/2006/08/31/katrina/index_np.html

My scurvy's really flaring up. Gotta get outta here. Will report in later tonight, perhaps.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 31, 2006 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Finally out of a 4-hour meeting and to my reward of reading some very funny comments.

Hmmmm. Really scary things on a plane. How about the "Thank-you-for-choosing-us-for-your-travel-needs-oh-by-the-way-the-lavatory-is-not-functioning-so-please-do-not-use-the-facilities-for-the-duration-of-this-2-hour-flight-to-Chicago-plus-the-40-minute-circling-while-stacked-up-over-Ohare-and-the-10-minutes-wait-for-the-jetbridge-and-the-frantic-search-for-where-Ohare-hides-their-restrooms" announcement after they have served us coffee on a plane?

Truly frightening.

Posted by: notthatsuri | August 31, 2006 4:31 PM | Report abuse

hello!

I can't believe I missed this today!! I've been having a rough day. My daughter has her Kindergarten orientation tonight.

Wilbrod, I saw this and thougth I'd share with you. It is part of a campaign to improve Colombia's image around the world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXgVaTSI2gE&NR

Posted by: a bea c | August 31, 2006 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Somebody has already made "Snakes on a Train." This is really true.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2006 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I found the OTHER salon article

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2006/08/31/beyonce/index.html

To be really good.

It's about African-American music undermining Islam. The links to Ruby and Inul's videos are a must-see.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 31, 2006 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I hear the rattling of in sabres emanating from various podiums about the country. I'm guessing that the next thing we'll hear is that Iran has secretly constructed a Death Star.

Posted by: jack | August 31, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

PLS, come on down! Myrtle Beach will be fine tomorrow...lots of rain on the Outer Banks overnight but then Ernesto goes north. My porch light's on too.

Posted by: Slyness | August 31, 2006 6:21 PM | Report abuse

a bea c, great, I just wish they had filmed it a bit faster so I could playback it slower. I think I caught the sign they used for "Columbia". The rest is very understandable, some of it would be good ASL but it looks to be international sign. The sign matches the meaning of the spanish, that's for sure.

I actually did meet a deaf woman from Colombia once, 5 years ago or so, and we had a conversation. She was a graduate student, that I recall, majoring in a science field I didn't know much about, she explained it to me.

Couldn't be the same woman in the video, but the deaf world is so small and as she looks vaguely familiar, I wouldn't rule it out.

English translation of the sign as it looks to me, remember the video keeps moving so there are gaps in the dialogue.

blurred "Man/boy"....

Woman: ...right, (it's a) tragedy

Man: Moon! (tone says fool/wrong)

Woman: Why?

Man (fast and obscured by angles): "Look (at sky) Like that, Columbia's beautiful and draws into your heart, and (untranslatable gesture of spreading his emotion to the world-- "I love it", sorta).

Woman: yes, (intl sign for people) (many-good thumbs up-- intl sign, very understandable), "also food is cool"

Fields/landscape? (intl sign) beautiful, Columbia (three C's in a chain)

Man: Oh, gorgeous!

Camera pans out as video ends.

The man and woman are talking very differently, they seem to be native signers of completely different sign languages, but understandable enough.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 31, 2006 6:24 PM | Report abuse

You know how it is when those heinous things happen, and you are caught with your proverbial pants down, and things get reeeealy seriously fouled up? Well dagnabit, I am having one of those days, and I just want to go home and cry my heart out over a nice liter of Bailey's.

Ok that might be pushing it a little too far, but I have out stinkered the world today. I tell ya, sometimes, I wonder how I stay employed.

Half an hour and I am going home, my two left feet, and all 10 of my thumbs.

Posted by: dr | August 31, 2006 6:30 PM | Report abuse

See, there you go, I did it again. I've killed the boodle.

I tell ya, I am batting 0.

Posted by: dr | August 31, 2006 7:03 PM | Report abuse

"It's dead Jim"

Posted by: dr | August 31, 2006 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Aw, dr, it can't be that bad. You know your fellow boodlers *heart* you and you didn't kill the boodle. It's just that everybody is either eating cheeseburgers in DC or brooding about being left out here in the boodle boondocks.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 31, 2006 7:24 PM | Report abuse

It's not dead, it's resting!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H6DSoqZz_s

Posted by: ac in sj | August 31, 2006 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I like that: Boodle Boondock Brooders

Posted by: SonofCarl | August 31, 2006 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Did you notice the link to Obermann's on the WaPo Opinion page? Here's the link:

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/08/30/keith-olbermann-delivers-one-hell-of-a-commentary-on-rumsfeld/

You can watch the video (6:41 min) or read the transcript. Way to go, Obermann!

Posted by: maggieo'd | August 31, 2006 7:49 PM | Report abuse

SoC-- "Boodle Boondock Brooders" sounds like a breed of egg-laying chickens to me, Eh?

Bawk bawk cluckcluckcluckcluck Bawwwwkkkk

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 31, 2006 7:56 PM | Report abuse

DISCLAIMER -- DISCLAIMER -- DISCLAIMER

No that is *not* me in the BPH/BBH (my first ever) photos. Snuke and Mo were blasting away with their cameras and I just couldn't escape. So, pretend (as I often do) that I am somewhat more photogenic than what might appear in my "mug shot."

It was fun, though.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | August 31, 2006 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm the REAL boodle killer!

Posted by: maggieo'd | August 31, 2006 8:18 PM | Report abuse

The clouds were slate grey overhead at our middle daughter's soccer game this evening. The wind was blustery and the air thick. I hope the forecast is correct for our area. Batten down the hatches in the eastern regions of NC, Va and Md, including DC. A hard rain's gonna fall...

Wilbrod: Thanks for the translation. Pardon my ignorance, but is there a universal set of signs that are used between people of different nationalities in order that they are able to converse at some level?

Posted by: jack | August 31, 2006 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Jack--There is an "international sign language" kind of like Esperanto. Gesture has its uses but it gets limited.

So what happened was that deaf at international assemblies started working out which signs from which sign language seemed to be the most "transparent"... so for instance, one country's sign for "government" might be picked for international sign because it looks like a crown and is easily guessable by as many as possible.

I once had a 2 hour conversation, more a monologue with a german guy using a combo of ASL, Deutsch sign, and international sign. For "woman" it was cup hand where his breast would be. Okay. For "man" it was cup his hand where his balls would be.
THAT I understood first go although I certainly wouldn't be caught dead using it in public (even if I'm in the mood for exposion, SoC).

I don't think those gestures are part of any actual sign languages, but let's say it gets the point across and then the two signers can exchange what their actual terminology is.

Using sign for that can be confusing. For instance, Danish sign language has signs that look similar to ASL for "boy" and "girl" but the meanings are reversed.

The folk etonymology for those in ASL is boy from cap, girl from strap on bonnet on face (although this is probably more likely related to the Italian gesture calling somebody a enunch= hairless cheek).

The Danish signs has the "derivation" according to the signer I met of women wearing bonnets hence the "boy" like sign, and beards on men, hence the "girl"-like sign. They have gender grammar similar to ASL but reversed. That would be dead confusing to use such signs in an international group. The japanese/korean signs for man and woman are totally different from the Danish or ASL.

So I can see the need for pretending to grab body parts. Even that can be misunderstood, I know an athlete who said "oh I saw that sign but I thought they just had itchy balls."

Many ASL signs are part of international sign, probably because it's the most established sign language and it's given many loan signs to other sign languages in one way or another.



Posted by: Wilbrod | August 31, 2006 8:44 PM | Report abuse

There is a documentary about the plight of being deaf in France (Superfrenchy, one area France is not evolved in) that was popular among deaf audiences here in America around 1993, 1995.

It's called "In the Land of the Deaf."

There is a documentary about being deaf in France (Superfrenchy, one area France is not evolved in) that was popular among deaf audiences here in America around 1994

It's called "In the Land of the Deaf." Interesting note for francophiles: Old French Sign Language is one of the foundations of ASL, as Laurent Clerc, a deaf man from France came over here to help Thomas Gallaudet set up a deaf school in Connecticut, then later Gallaudet University.

That sign langauge was pretty much wiped out in France by the Milan convention forcing out sign language from deaf education. Modern LSF (langue signes francais, pardon the spelling) borrowed somewhat from ASL vocabulary when it was once again allowed more widely.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Sign_Language

Interesting note for francophiles: Old French Sign Language is one of the foundations of ASL, as Laurent Clerc, a deaf man from France came over here to help Thomas Gallaudet set up a deaf school in Connecticut, then later Gallaudet University.

That sign langauge was pretty much wiped out in France by the Milan convention forcing out sign language from deaf education. Modern LSF (langue signes francais, pardon the spelling) borrowed somewhat from ASL vocabulary when it was once again allowed more widely.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Sign_Language

As a consequence, I was able to watch this documentary and really follow and go "whoa, what's that sign" and want to watch it again and again to pick up all the novel LSF vocabulary. But it was really comprehensible, and there is certainly a very cute kid in the movie.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 31, 2006 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I followed some of the links to BBC posted earlier, and then found this article about Karen refugees coming over from Burma. Please scroll down and look at the picture with the caption "The camp residents are taught the basics about American life." Sad, very sad. Those poor people aren't here yet, and they're already gearing up for obesity, diabetes, and heart problems.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5301736.stm

Posted by: a bea c | August 31, 2006 8:59 PM | Report abuse

We can only hope they're told what the foods actually are. I know if I was in a foreign land and they were serving eyeball soup I'd want to know if they were pulling my leg or really, REALLY.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 31, 2006 9:25 PM | Report abuse

So where are the pictures?? Hope all of you DC people had fun.

I was at my daughter's Kindergarten orientation. My son had a major breakdown when he realized he couldn't follow his sister to her classroom. It is probably the first time in his life he's been left behind by the fearless older sibling.

School may be closed tomorrow if the rain gets worse than it already is in our area. I hope not. Still have tons to do before the kids show up on Tuesday.

Wilbrod, thanks for the translation. There are several versions of the same ad. I was wondering if the subtitles were really following the signing. I guess it is close enough.

Posted by: a bea c | August 31, 2006 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, the posters that are supposed to teach them the basics of American life have pictures of TV dinners, donuts, burgers, and all sorts of other junk food. Yuck!

Posted by: a bea c | August 31, 2006 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Kbert, I lost most of the contents of my inbox and school, and that one message you sent me a while back is gone. Could I please have it again? Thanks in advance. This time I'll write it down somewhere safe.

Posted by: a bea c | August 31, 2006 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Wow, maggieo'd, that Olberman speech was really something! Somewhere Rumsfeld's ears are really burning.

Just got home and turned on the TV a few minutes ago to discover I've missed almost the entire first half of the Redskins game, and they are losing 14-0 at the half, so looks like I've missed nothing but more pain and abuse. Time to switch over to Grey's Anatomy and watch Dennie break Izzie's heart (really good series of episodes between them).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | August 31, 2006 9:43 PM | Report abuse

>I'm kinda afraid of clowns. I'm sorry.
>They just freak me out.

Many yrs ago we went to Cirque de Soleil. Before the show started, some clowns came into the audience, and one sat just a few seats away. They had carrots fastened on their noses, and I was thinking, How neat, we'll get to see this mini-show up close. Four or five-YO daughter was freaked out and spent the rest of the show on my lap, not really enjoying herself, worried whether one of those monsters would reappear.

Posted by: jg | August 31, 2006 9:52 PM | Report abuse

BPH was fun. We welcomeed newbies Firsttimeblogger, Annie and Superfrenchie! (I also dragged along Mr. TBG--whose name was shortened pretty quickly to Mr. T--so I guess technically there were four newbies.)

And I want you all to know that I will soon begin reading my copy of Captured by Aliens.

Posted by: TBG | August 31, 2006 10:43 PM | Report abuse

//*//There is a documentary about the plight of being deaf in France (Superfrenchy, one area France is not evolved in) that was popular among deaf audiences here in America around 1993, 1995.
It's called "In the Land of the Deaf."

There is a documentary about being deaf in France (Superfrenchy, one area France is not evolved in) that was popular among deaf audiences here in America around 1994
It's called "In the Land of the Deaf."//*//

What did you say?

//*//Interesting note for francophiles: Old French Sign Language is one of the foundations of ASL, as Laurent Clerc, a deaf man from France came over here to help Thomas Gallaudet set up a deaf school in Connecticut, then later Gallaudet University.

That sign langauge was pretty much wiped out in France by the Milan convention forcing out sign language from deaf education. Modern LSF (langue signes francais, pardon the spelling) borrowed somewhat from ASL vocabulary when it was once again allowed more widely.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Sign_Language

Interesting note for francophiles: Old French Sign Language is one of the foundations of ASL, as Laurent Clerc, a deaf man from France came over here to help Thomas Gallaudet set up a deaf school in Connecticut, then later Gallaudet University.

That sign langauge was pretty much wiped out in France by the Milan convention forcing out sign language from deaf education. Modern LSF (langue signes francais, pardon the spelling) borrowed somewhat from ASL vocabulary when it was once again allowed more widely.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Sign_Language//*//

Can you repeat that again?

Posted by: superfrenchie | August 31, 2006 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod: I thank you for the enlightenment. Sorry it took a couple of hours to get back to the boodle. Homework, baths and our nighttime gig with the children intervened. I suspected signing was a lot more utilitarian than speaking, particularly in the instance of being a stranger in a strange land. One of my coworkers is married to a wonderful woman who is deaf. Their children will be at least bilingual. I always feel like a geek when I go to visit, as I cannot sign. She lip reads very well, making my iliteracy a bit more benign. She teaches at the SC SFDB in Spartanburg, like youself, a truly gifted person.

Posted by: jack | August 31, 2006 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I hope Olberman does a lot more speeches like that. That is some good speechwriting. Me like, and his delivery looked good to me as well, very clear.


Posted by: Wilbrod | August 31, 2006 10:55 PM | Report abuse

OBX Update:
Redskins losing 14 - 3
Torrential rain! Power just got knocked out! telephone pole across the street caught on fire. Emergency vehicles everywhere. 15 people, 11 kids in the house can't see... well, except me. I got my wish.. No TV! Laptop works, so does dialup.

Can I have a vacation without 6 inches of rain?

San Antonio?

I'm an aquarius, makes sense to me.

the sky is black, all black!

Signing off now, gotta preserve the battery for a real emergency.

Once again, missing the BPH!

Post when I get power!

Posted by: Pat | August 31, 2006 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Can hardly wait for the BPH pictures. Did superfrenchie and Curmudgeon collide? How many cakes did you all eat? I'm sure a festive time was had by all.

Snakes on a Plane is my worst nightmare. I hated the promos, had to be quick with the remote. What an awful idea - was glad to see it pretty much tanked. Ann Coulter is quite reptilian - no wonder she repulses me.

Oh, Pat - you are a rain magnet, apparently. Quick, you must visit San Antonio!

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 31, 2006 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I see he's a journalist. Hmm, that didn't sound like journalism to me, more like Op-Ed.

Posted by: Wilbrod | August 31, 2006 11:30 PM | Report abuse

kbert - I'm doing the silly thing andinserting a comment before reading through the 'boodle, but (re: your "list of things that you fear/don't fear") I'd suggest one small change:

"Nazism", to the extent that it was ever anything other than standard-issue tribal xenophobia, is a rather specific term, and using it as a generic term is somewhat disrespectful to the victims of that particular set of scumbags. Using it to refer to neo-uber-haters is giving hateful clowns MUCH more than their due.

I'm sure that there's a more clever and amusing generic term for tribal xenophobes.

Posted by: Bob S. | August 31, 2006 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I heart Keith Olbermann. He used to be on ESPN, but now is a smart aleck news guy along the lines of Tom Snyder. He is unabashedly liberal, which I figure means his days are numbered. I think he's very funny, and he does serious outrage very well too.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 31, 2006 11:33 PM | Report abuse

More Olbermann info for those who don't know him - he does a show on MSNBC called Countdown - news, oddball stories, worst person in the world (often Bill O'Reilly).

Adrian Higgins did a column on the miserable gardening outcomes in the DC area this year:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/30/AR2006083000783.html
Favorite tomato name - Cosmonaut Volkov! No mention of Mr Stripey.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 31, 2006 11:50 PM | Report abuse

OK, now I've done a reasonably thorough reading of the 'boodle!

I'm disappointed that I couldn't join the BPH tonight. I was working a bit late, and would probably have arrived just in time to walk out with the last Porchers. Next time, I hope!

(kbertocci - a minor edit to my point above [which is, of course, completely debateable anyway]: I think I meant to say that, "... using it as a generic term is somewhat dismissive of the victims ...". At any rate, it's both minor and debateable. I liked your list a lot!)

Posted by: Bob S. | September 1, 2006 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, friends. I'm up so early. Couldn't sleep. I went outside to see the trees bend over, and feel the tiny droplets of rain. Forecasters are calling for six to eight inches of rain near our area. The creeks will certainly run over, and flooding is in the mix. I had a headache when I got up, but took something, and it has eased off.

Wish I could make at least one porching event. Oh well, perhaps in the future. I'm glad you guys and gals had a good time.

I believe some of the people here think that when I rant about issues concerning the races, and talk about poverty as it impacts African-Americans, I'm in a sense begging or trying to get a hand-out. Not so, just trying to bring another perspective into play. Just trying to be the voice of that other world in this rich country that we live in. And not trying to be rude or ugly or any of that, just trying to speak for those that cannot speak and know nothing of this existence. Any assistance or help that the boodle gives is greatly appreciated, and not felt to be a way of looking down or anything of that nature. I feel deeply for the plight of my people, and I try to speak that in what I say and do. I am not loved for that character nor do I expect to be loved, just feel it and know what it is like. I have lived it, still live it, and guess what, would not have it any other way. It is my life. And I don't mean the poverty and the racism, not those things, but the culture and the heritage.

I hope your day is good, good morning to those of you that went to the porching hour. Please know that I consider all of you my friends, and love you dearly. And please know that God loves you so much more than you can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | September 1, 2006 2:51 AM | Report abuse

dr, hope today is better than yesterday. Look up, and thank God. We all have those days where nothing seems to go quite right. And I don't believe you could kill the boodle, that is usually my job.

Posted by: Cassandra S | September 1, 2006 2:57 AM | Report abuse

Bob S.: I can't remember a time when someone has objected to something I said or wrote in such a civilized, inoffensive manner. Well done. I will take your comment under advisement. I am sensitive to the possibility of offending people and I avoid it when possible. I understand your point, that, for example, American "neo-nazis" are pathetic wannabes, not worthy of any respect or awe.

But regardless of what you call it, there is a trend in American history that goes back at least to the time when Hitler ruled Germany. Hitler and Mussolini had many, many admirers in the U.S. I think it was because we went to war that the American nazis went underground, because it was unamerican to support the enemy. Today there are self-proclaimed "nazis" throughout the American military establishment (and elsewhere), and there is widespread sympathy for their objectives, which include a totalitarian government and the curtailment of many of the rights I personally hold dear (equal protection under the law, freedom of speech, and so on). This situation scares me because of the knowledge of what happened in Germany, as well as observations of Americans in general. What Joel said this week is true, "There's so much ignorance, apathy, complacency. People have pampered themselves to the point of disempowerment. They don't rage against the dying of the light."

Sinclair Lewis wrote a book with the ironic title, "It Can't Happen Here." This is how he puts it: "the men of ritual and the men of barbarism are capable of shutting up the men of science and of silencing them forever." "We can go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and tolerance is so thin."

Posted by: kbertocci | September 1, 2006 5:52 AM | Report abuse

Power is on. Which means, with all the rain and 11 kids, it's gonna be all TV, all the time. I can't escape the TV! I think there is about 5 of them in the house we're renting.

The kids got pretty excited watching the power company fix the telephone pole last night. I sure hope those folks get paid well. Going out in the middle of the night in thunderstorms and working on power lines seems really, really risky. And to think, I'm afraid of steps.., at least when I'm at the top of them.

Cassandra, I look forward to your perspective on life, honesty, and the way you preserve the history of your people. I have a suspician that someday the Washingtonpost will gather your writings and publish them somewhere. I can see them as being very valuable to many people.

The rain is just pounding, so I'll hit the submit button while I'm still connected.

Posted by: Pat | September 1, 2006 6:40 AM | Report abuse

BBPH was great! Pics are in-process, so to speak... :-) More later.

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 1, 2006 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Isn't our friend Pat in the path of Ernesto? I just don't think he's had good luck with family vacations and the rain this year.

Pat.. if you're out there and listening, I hope all goes well with you and your family!

Posted by: TBG | September 1, 2006 7:37 AM | Report abuse

mostlylurking: //Can hardly wait for the BPH pictures. Did superfrenchie and Curmudgeon collide?//

I started by looking at him with my air of superiority, and rapidly switched to my air of inferiority to confuse him. Then I lighted a cigarette and proceeded to blow the smoke in his face after each puff.

After that, I went back to my air of superiority, shouted "Garcon" across the room, and ordered a glass of wine. Everything they had was American "wine" (I'm not sure that's the correct word, but that's what they called it) so I protested loudly with my air of superiority and demanded that they bring me a bottle of 1983 Chateau Bistouquette, which they finally found.

That's at that time that the poodle that I carry with me wherever I go decided that he needed to do his business. He is usually well behaved, but apparently he did not like Curmudgeon either. Well, Curmudgeon did not like what Tony (that's how I call my little poodle...) on his laps. Oh well!

I went on to criticize everything American, from the way you dress (funny!) to the food (yark!) to religion (ah ah ah). Then I opened the book from Jean-Paul Sartre that I always bring with me, and read it while ignoring everybody else (with my air of superiority).

Then, as though you could hear me thinking, I finally did something. I looked at my cellphone. Action in the cafe! I didn't make a call, let's be clear on that, but I studied the cellphone. It finally dawned on everybody: I was going over all the speed-dial listings of my mistresses.

When Curmudgeon finally left, I told him: "Vous en êtes un autre, Monsieur!" He thought I was being polite! *grin*

Posted by: superfrenchie | September 1, 2006 7:38 AM | Report abuse

TBG, we know it was really the time-warp.

No worries.

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 1, 2006 7:41 AM | Report abuse

The above message from me at 7:37 a.m. was actually written and submitted at 10:44 p.m. yesterday. I clicked "submit" set down the laptop and went to bed.

This morning I wake up the iBook to see a message that my submission was rejected for some reason or another, so I click "submit" again and it takes.

THEN I start reading the boodle and see Pat's entry at 11:01 p,m.

I look like a total doofus. Hope you're still OK Pat. "The sky is black!" I love it.

Posted by: TBG | September 1, 2006 7:42 AM | Report abuse

OK, more doofus. I didn't see the post practically RIGHT ABOVE MINE from Pat.

I still love "the sky is black!"

Now if we can just get Wilbrod and Cassandra to tell us what the rain sounds like we'll be all set.

I love you guys.

Posted by: TBG | September 1, 2006 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Now if THAT wasn't irony, I dunno what is!

*L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 1, 2006 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Of course, we only recognized superfrienchie last night because of his beret.

Posted by: TBG | September 1, 2006 7:51 AM | Report abuse


superfrenchie: I'm very glad you were at the rendez-vous, and I hope you had a good time. I went to your website several times to leave a message encouraging you to attend, but every time I got caught up reading your blog (very good stuff!) and your comments (you have a lot of readers!)and never got around to leaving my comment.

Did you have a cheeseburger with your "wine?"

Posted by: kbertocci | September 1, 2006 7:53 AM | Report abuse

kbertocci: //Did you have a cheeseburger with your "wine?"//

Cheese what? You have cheese in America?

Posted by: superfrenchie | September 1, 2006 7:56 AM | Report abuse

We have photographic proof of the BBPH!

:-)

http://www.monkeyview.net/id/2480/bbph/index.vhtml

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 1, 2006 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Every Greek Orthodox church in America has a youth basketball team. I see that it has finally somehow paid off in the Old Country!

Greece Shocks Team USA With 101-95 Win

By BRIAN MAHONEY
The Associated Press
Friday, September 1, 2006; 6:06 AM

SAITAMA, Japan -- The European champions are playing for a much bigger prize. The best the United States can hope for is yet another bronze medal.

Greece used a sizzling stretch of shooting across the middle two quarters to turn a 12-point deficit into a 14-point lead, and beat the Americans 101-95 Friday in the semifinals of the world championships.

Posted by: TBG | September 1, 2006 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Ain't tellin, Slyness... *VBG*

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 1, 2006 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I seem to have a lock on the time-warp today...

*rubbing hands together and giggling*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 1, 2006 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Rats, Snuke, I can't look at the BPH pictures at work, 'cause the City has restricted access to that site.

Are they really that bad?

Heeheeheeheehee

Posted by: slyness | September 1, 2006 8:45 AM | Report abuse

What a *horrible* picture of me! Yuck, yuck. I really (*really*) do look better than that. Hey, back me up fellow BPHers, will ya?

Twas fun nevertheless.

(yuck, yuck, yuck)

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | September 1, 2006 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I will certainly attest firsttimeblogger looks MUCH better in person.

I blame the flash. BAD FLASH!

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | September 1, 2006 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Great pictures, s'nuke.

I am noticing a trend that in all BPH pictures to date, Mo and bc have their hands all over each other. This is how rumors start.

Posted by: yellojkt | September 1, 2006 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I think its Ok, Yellojkt, they do have a chaperon.

Posted by: dr | September 1, 2006 9:29 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: dr | September 1, 2006 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Just a micro-kit. But check out that magazine, The Sun. It has the sensibilities of many of the people on the A-blog.

Posted by: Achenbach | September 1, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

True, Joel, but I didn't see much of the Nonsenseabilities.

bc

Posted by: bc | September 1, 2006 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Or "Nonsensibilities", if you prefer.

Posted by: bc | September 1, 2006 10:04 AM | Report abuse

superfrenchie, now THAT was funny!

Great photos. On behalf of the Brooding Boodle Boondockers, we're very jealous.

Posted by: SonofCarl | September 1, 2006 10:38 AM | Report abuse

But I'm not envious of the pix of firsttimeblogger...although if you enjoy meeting the ghost of Eleanor Roosevelt, the flash makes her look fanastic!

I'm sure Hillary Clinton would be happy to talk to her anytime.

(BTW, if I can get my picture that badly taken, no worries about showing up at the BPH then.)



Posted by: Wilbrod | September 1, 2006 10:16 PM | Report abuse

What does this word mean ? herpetolamanity ?

anybody that knows (and please don't make it up) lmartin@scholle.com

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2006 9:31 AM | Report abuse

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