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February 2010

 

All Over the Map
by Rob Grace
February 24, 2010

I have three questions.

First: If I'm not mistaken, Batesville is not a major metropolitan area, correct?

I ask this because it takes me 30 minutes to an hour to leave work, pick up the kids at school, take them home, and then return to work.

Granted, the daughter sometimes prefers a Sonic Happy Hour Dr Pepper, but that's 10 minutes tops.

Leaving the high school campus is usually a long slog, particularly when the vehicles are practically lined up from the Harrison Street outlet by the fire department all the way back to the school.

In fact, the bleeping Harrison bleeping Street bleeping construction is the bleeping culprit in my after school transporting. I know there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I know there's a chance the two lane madness currently clogging Harrison Street will likely cease by year's end when, it's hoped, all lanes will finally freely flow like blood pumping through Lance Armstrong's arteries. And I know I'll be happy.

But, for now, driving on Harrison during rush hour is like riding a giant turtle.

Of course, I take side routes many days to bypass the congestion, but when your kids live past Wal-Mart, you have no choice.

I know, I know. Waiting in traffic is a trivial gripe that pales in comparison to other problems. (Waaaahhh! Robbie hates waiting in traffic.) And since it's small town traffic, that makes complaining even more ridiculous.

Actually, I enjoy the long after school hauls simply because that gives me more time with the kids and the 14-year-old daughter more time to crack dry jokes at my expense.

(Seriously, Dad...Do you color your goatee? Hey, Dad? What's it feel like to be an old man?)

Another Harrison Street question: When did the middle lane of Harrison become a passing lane? Did I miss this? I just love it when you're fuming at the pace of traffic, and some smart bleep comes zooming past you in the middle lane, and keeps going and going and going.

Note to smart bleeps who utilize the middle lane as a way to skip to the head of the line: You're nothing more than bleeping jerks, and I hope all of your wheels fall off at the same time. Play by the bleeping rules.

Question number three regarding Harrison Street: What, exactly, is the purpose of dancing Statues of Liberty outside that tax preparation place? Initially, I thought these poor folks lost a bet. Then I realized they seemed to be enjoying themselves. The way they dance you'd think they were auditioning to be a Solid Gold dancer. (Readers under the age of 30: Google search Solid Gold.)

Do people pay any attention to them? Or, is it an effective marketing tool? It must be because they emerge from hibernation every January like clockwork. Next thing you know, some Mexican restaurant will have dancing burritos on the sidewalk. The local proctologist could have dancing hemorrhoids outside his office. And the local urologist could have dancing...uh..., never mind.

Rob Grace is the president of W.R.D. Entertainment. Feel free to e-mail him at rgmax99@yahoo.com, and check out his blog: www.suburbanvoodoo.blogspot.com.

All Over the Map
by Rob Grace
February 17, 2010
 

You know I'm hurting for column topics when I resort to writing about my facial hair.

But don't turn the page yet.

Hear me out. The crosswords can wait for a bit.

See, since I was in elementary school, I've always wanted to grow a beard. For some odd and now completely embarrassing reason, when I first saw pop singer Kenny Loggins with a beard, I thought I'd look cool with one as well.

Hey: stop laughing. I was 12, all right?

Are you finished? Good.

Anyway, when I was 12, I thought I'd look cool with a full Kenny Loggins beard and shoulder-length dirty blond hair and --

Wait. I can tell you're laughing again. Stop it.

Okay, so, I couldn't wait until I could grow a beard. When I finally made it through puberty at the age of 21 (don't you laugh!), I said to myself: it's beard time.

I put the Norelco away and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And it was with deep regret that I finally realized I would never achieve my goal of looking like Kenny Loggins.

In fact, I looked more like this:

 

If my hair was dirty gray back then, I could've been mistaken for a young Robert Bork. (Readers under the age of 35, do a Google image search.)

Yet as the years passed, I realized my body chemistry was changing. I could now grow a mustache and lots of chin whiskers, and for the exception of one baby smooth stretch, hair even sprouted on both of my cheeks. (Facial cheeks, people. Facial cheeks.)

With my newly found wells of untapped testosterone, I knew I didn't want a trimmed and perfect goatee because, really, that's so 1996. No, I now wanted to grow a scruffy, unkempt, "who cares" patch of facial hair because I now realized that, at heart, I'm really a care-free, anti-GQ kind of guy. (See, that's how the current crop of models appear to be in recent issues of GQ: scruffy, unkempt, anti-GQ, etc. Somewhat of a paradox, no?)

For the past three weeks, I've managed to grow my first thick beard-ish kind of thing. Here's my artist's interpretation of how I now look with my fresh facial hair:

It may not be everyone's cup of tea. My mom says I look 100 years old, and my daughter isn't too fond of it (but then my daughter thinks Dad lacks anything resembling style). Yet, I like it.

I particularly enjoy not shaving in the shower anymore, and when I take a drink of soda or beer, I can suck some more out of my top whiskers. It's like instant gravy.

(Blowing my nose, however, is a different story.)

What's really odd is the fact that my whiskers are multi-colored. You can spot red, white and even some black in my beard. And with my white hair -- or as I like to call it: my arctic blond hair -- it really stands out.

So, I'm keeping my facial hair for the time being.

I might even let it grow out to where I can braid beads into it like Brad Pitt recently did with his. Think of it: me with a Brad Pitt kind of look.

Wait. You're laughing again.

Rob Grace is the president of W.R.D. Entertainment. Feel free to e-mail him at rgmax99@yahoo.com, and check out his blog: www.suburbanvoodoo.blogspot.com.

  
All Over the Map
by Rob Grace
February 10, 2010

 

The recent Batsville arrest of fashion model Nick Snider, 21, of New York City has conjured some shameful memories that I've tried in vain to suppress over the years.

First, a re-cap: A profile of Snider on New York magazine's website notes that he was discovered in 2005 while he worked at Walt Disney World and quickly ascended to the prestigious slot of becoming the "face of Prada," the famous Italian fashion house. The profile also notes that Snider is known for his stylish hair and his "pout." And in May of 2008, Snider was named one of the World's 10 Most Successful Male Models by Forbes magazine.

About three weeks ago, a front page story in the Batesville Daily Guard noted that Snider was in the Batesville area visiting his friend, Southside resident Deanna Castro. The article featured a picture of a beaming Snider "redneck sledding" (which, apparently, is the act of sliding down a snowy hill in a plastic laundry container), and it noted the good friendship between Castro and Snider.

Well, apparently the friendship hit a bump while Snider was visiting. According to another front page Guard story involving the model's Batesville visit that was printed almost two weeks later, Independence County Sherriff's deputies were dispatched to Castro's home early in the morning of February 1 where they found an allegedly intoxicated Snider in Castro's front yard. Apparently, the two had been arguing, and Castro kicked the face of Prada out of her house.

Deputies arrested Snider on three misdemeanor charges, including intoxication and influencing a police officer -- the latter of which the less said, the better. (Cough, cough.)

Now, one question that immediately popped into my mind regarding this tale was this: What in the flaming blazes of hell is one of the top male models in the world doing hanging out in Batesville, Arkansas? Two weeks in a small Southern town is a long stay for a bona-fide member of the jet set. I mean, I'm not knocking my hometown by any stretch of the imagination, but this dude frequents catwalks in Milan, Paris and New York City. Batesville's a gorgeous mid-America jewel, but I imagine most of the crew from Project Runway would faint from shock if they ever had to be here for more than an hour.

"There's no Thai food here?" Tim Gunn, the host of Runway, might dramatically complain. "Well, at least book me in a hotel that has high thread count sheets and a restaurant with fresh sushi."

Three strikes there, Timmy.

Regardless, as I noted above, Snider's career and his Batesville arrest have reminded me of my past.

As many of you know, I was the face of Tuf-Nut overalls when I was in my early twenties. I was discovered at the Thida Feed Mill loading bags of weed killer into my daddy's El Camino. As was the custom in 90 degree-plus weather, I was not wearing a shirt with my overalls. The modeling agent who was at the mill looking for "rough, manly-looking men with 12-packs" immediately signed me, and soon I was walking the runways at agriculture trade shows across the mid-south. The shirtless overall that I started look soon became the rage at farms and in 4-H clubs, and like Snider, I was also known for my pout.

As my overall modeling fame grew, I hobnobbed with rich and famous. I counted among my friends the great actor Joe Don Baker (Walking Tall), Jerry Reed, the Hagar twins from Hee-Haw, four of the Hee-Haw Honeys, pro wrestler Tony Atlas, comedian Jerry Clower and George "Goober" Lindsey from The Andy Griffith Show. I never had to wait in line at any Stuckey's or Waffle House, and I made a memorable appearance in the drive-in classic Moonshine County Express as "Inbred Teen #2."

Because my performance in Moonshine County Express had been so vivid and remarkable, I was afraid I would be typecast, so I abandoned acting. However, I still partied with all types of celebrities, and sadly, it would be my undoing.

One night after an International Harvester convention in Warrenville, Illinois, famed character actor Jack Elam and I hit the town. After 12 bottles of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill wine, I began arguing with Elam over who was better looking: Misty Rowe (one of the Hee-Haw Honeys I had not yet dated -- but on whom I had my sights set) or country singer Barbara Mandrell. I said Rowe while Elam chose the latter. Before you knew it, fists started flying and I ended up in the drunk tank in the Warrenville jail, ashamed and depressed because I had just lost the friendship of Jack Elam. The next day, Tuf-Nut cancelled my contract.

Based on the strength of my Moonshine County Express performance, I briefly went back into acting by winning the role of the banjo kid's son in a sequel to Deliverance, but the project never got off the ground, in part, because the banjo kid turned out to be a prima donna. The fame from the first film had gone to his head, and he apparently wanted a fully-furnished trailer and, for some reason, daily access to a goat.

Dejected, I moved back to Arkansas and put all of my energy into aerobics instructing and writing completely nonsensical columns. And though I lost touch with my friends from the high life, I was at peace and fulfilled, particularly when I was in my unitard.

So, Nick Snider, if you're still in town and you're reading this, hold your head high. I know your incident was just a fleeting moment of youthful abandon, and it will soon pass. Do not worry whether or not you're still the face of Prada this time next year for the future is always full of possibilities.

And though you never tasted the stratospheric level of fame like I did as the face of Tuf-Nut, also know and appreciate that you never slugged the man forever remembered from films such as Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County, Hot Lead and Cold Feet and The Cannonball Run II.

Your episode here pales in comparison.

 

  

In Memoriam: William Scott "Jack" Elam

1920-2003

Rob Grace is the president of W.R.D. Entertainment. Feel free to e-mail him at rgmax99@yahoo.com, and check out his blog: www.suburbanvoodoo.blogspot.com.

 

All Over the Map
by Rob Grace
February 3, 2010

 

When word spread that Oprah Winfrey was ending her television show, a devastating malaise smothered the United States.

"I'm not sure America will ever recover," said Sen. Harry Reid. "Sure, the economy has been in tatters and President Obama's health care plan is in peril, but the prospect of Oprah's show not on in the afternoon is something I don't think the American people can handle."

Indeed, the announcement of Winfrey's decision prompted riots in most suburbs. From Connecticut to California, many housing divisions erupted into flames as housewives took to the streets and cul-de-sacs despondent over Oprah's choice.

"What are we going to do?" cried Margie Winters, a soccer mom from Plano, Texas, to a CBS reporter. "I can't fathom the prospect of not pulling the mini-van into the garage after picking the kids up from school and not having Oprah waiting for me on my HDTV!"

There were at least three incidents of housewives self-immolating themselves, including one in front of Harpo Studios, Oprah's home base, in Chicago. The image was broadcast live to horrified viewers during a broadcast of Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN. Cooper attempted to save the victim, but was held back from the flames by Fox News reporter Shepard Smith -- who asked, "You been working out, Coop?" while restraining the silver-haired reporter.

The two then went to Dave's, a popular cabaret off Michigan Ave., for mint juleps.

Winfrey herself refused to personally calm the waters, and instead asked Dr. Phil to make a statement.

"People," Dr. Phil stated in a live broadcast on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, "you have got to control yourselves. This is not the end of the world. In fact, please remember that my syndicated program will still be broadcast in most markets. I just ask that you check your local listings."

From the crowd, one agitated housewife shouted, "Yeah, but you suck!" And with that, Dr. Phil lost his composure and jumped into the crowd to beat the housewife with his microphone. Unfortunately, Dr. Phil was then attacked and his body torn apart, limb by limb, by the crowd of angry Oprah fans. Authorities later found his left arm -- his hand still clutching the microphone -- near the Lincoln Memorial. His head is still missing.

President Obama, on vacation in Hawaii, was briefed on the unfolding chaos, hour by hour, at a snow cone stand outside the Kahala Hotel in Honolulu.

Vice President Biden, sleeping in his recliner at the vice presidential residence, was awakened off and on throughout the situation, but only so he could use the bathroom.

According to sources, "Has my video with Pelosi leaked yet?" was the only consistent question Biden asked Secret Service agents accompanying him to and from the vice presidential toilet.

Finally, after a Toyota mini-van armed with eight suicide bombers/Ohio housewives exploded outside a suburban Cincinnati mall, President Obama decided to address the American people.

"Friends," the President said as he stood behind a podium outside the snow cone stand, "this American nightmare has gone on long enough. Let me be clear: Oprah's show has ended, and we must now focus on two of the most important issues facing our country so we can emerge from this nightmare. First, it is absolutely essential that we pass health care reform. If we don't, all of you who oppose this critical piece of legislation will likely go to hell when you die. So, keep that in mind. Now, look: I'm not sayin' you will, but the odds are you will likely spend eternity on the Lake of Fire completely engulfed in flames. So...just think about that.

"Second, when I return from Hawaii, I will introduce legislation that will proclaim me the savior of the world. Now, let me be clear: I am not implying I am Jesus...or Mohammed, or the Dali Llama, or that Xenu alien guy from that wacky religion Tom Cruise likes -- I'd never compare myself to those folks because I am human. But -- and let me be clear: I am the smartest person on the face of the earth, and anyone who disagrees with me, who disagrees with my policies, is an idiot and is also likely going to hell. So...I think that's all that needs to be said, and now if you'll excuse me, my two beautiful daughters, Malia Ann and Sasha, are waiting for their sixteenth snow cone. Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America."

It is now February, and the riots have ended. The world is finally coming to terms that Oprah will no longer be part of our daily routine. Some isolated riots occurred when Simon Cowell of American Idol announced his decision to leave that popular program, but those were quickly calmed when it was announced that the "Pants on the Ground" guy would have his own afternoon show replacing Oprah.

Vice President Biden, sleeping in his recliner at the vice presidential residence, was awakened at the news.

"Aww," he told Secret Service agents, "that's really neat. I love that song. Oh, by the way, has my video with Pelosi leaked yet?"

Rob Grace is the president of W.R.D. Entertainment. Feel free to e-mail him at rgmax99@yahoo.com, and check out his blog: www.suburbanvoodoo.blogspot.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

All Over the Map
by Rob Grace
February 24, 2010

 

I have three questions.

First: If I'm not mistaken, Batesville is not a major metropolitan area, correct?

I ask this because it takes me 30 minutes to an hour to leave work, pick up the kids at school, take them home, and then return to work.

Granted, the daughter sometimes prefers a Sonic Happy Hour Dr Pepper, but that's 10 minutes tops.

Leaving the high school campus is usually a long slog, particularly when the vehicles are practically lined up from the Harrison Street outlet by the fire department all the way back to the school.

In fact, the bleeping Harrison bleeping Street bleeping construction is the bleeping culprit in my after school transporting. I know there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I know there's a chance the two lane madness currently clogging Harrison Street will likely cease by year's end when, it's hoped, all lanes will finally freely flow like blood pumping through Lance Armstrong's arteries. And I know I'll be happy.

But, for now, driving on Harrison during rush hour is like riding a giant turtle.

Of course, I take side routes many days to bypass the congestion, but when your kids live past Wal-Mart, you have no choice.

I know, I know. Waiting in traffic is a trivial gripe that pales in comparison to other problems. (Waaaahhh! Robbie hates waiting in traffic.) And since it's small town traffic, that makes complaining even more ridiculous.

Actually, I enjoy the long after school hauls simply because that gives me more time with the kids and the 14-year-old daughter more time to crack dry jokes at my expense.

(Seriously, Dad...Do you color your goatee? Hey, Dad? What's it feel like to be an old man?)

Another Harrison Street question: When did the middle lane of Harrison become a passing lane? Did I miss this? I just love it when you're fuming at the pace of traffic, and some smart bleep comes zooming past you in the middle lane, and keeps going and going and going.

Note to smart bleeps who utilize the middle lane as a way to skip to the head of the line: You're nothing more than bleeping jerks, and I hope all of your wheels fall off at the same time. Play by the bleeping rules.

Question number three regarding Harrison Street: What, exactly, is the purpose of dancing Statues of Liberty outside that tax preparation place? Initially, I thought these poor folks lost a bet. Then I realized they seemed to be enjoying themselves. The way they dance you'd think they were auditioning to be a Solid Gold dancer. (Readers under the age of 30: Google search Solid Gold.)

Do people pay any attention to them? Or, is it an effective marketing tool? It must be because they emerge from hibernation every January like clockwork. Next thing you know, some Mexican restaurant will have dancing burritos on the sidewalk. The local proctologist could have dancing hemorrhoids outside his office. And the local urologist could have dancing...uh..., never mind.

Rob Grace is the president of W.R.D. Entertainment. Feel free to e-mail him at rgmax99@yahoo.com, and check out his blog: www.suburbanvoodoo.blogspot.com.

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