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June 2008

All Over the Map
by Rob Grace
June 25, 2008

This POTUS4L (President of the United States for Life) campaign between myself and Newport resident Anne Pyle has gotten completely out of hand. To refresh, I wrote a few weeks back that I should be POTUS4L, and one of the first items on my agenda would be to imprison and possibly execute Barry Manilow for his musical sins against humanity. Ms. Pyle, who loves Mr. Manilow, suddenly took it upon herself to challenge me in the POTUS4L race should it happen.

Because of this, I've had people stop me in restaurants, and I've received various e-mails telling me how horrible I am to not only pick on Ms. Pyle, but also Barry Manilow! Barry bloody Manilow! This is the dweeb who released such "fingernails-across-the-chalkboard" audio poop as "Can't Smile Without You," "I Write the Songs," and heaven help me, "Mandy." To quote one e-mail I received last week, "You little booger! THE VERY IDEA OF EXECUTING BARRY! How can you be so cruel?"

You see dear readers, Pyle has started a vicious e-mail campaign against, me, your humble scribe. I've already received three e-mails from Pyle supporters since I started typing this piece. One woman from Florence, Mississippi (!) just e-mailed me and wrote, "I could never vote for someone who would be so cruel to Barry Manilow."

Do these Pyle supporters, who are solely female, not realize that the C.I.A. has utilized Barry Manilow music as a form of torture? Do these Pyle supporters not realize thousands of people every day purposefully drive ice picks in their ears whenever "Mandy" comes on the radio? Do these Pyle supporters not realize that many people walk in front of barreling freight trains simply because they vainly tried every possible way to get "Copacabana" out of their heads?

These folks supporting Anne Pyle are NUTS! Judging from the continual e-mails I'm getting, it's almost as if they are a cult, worshipping at the altar of Pyle and Manilow. Before you know it, they're going to be putting on their black shrouds, Nikes and having the Kool Aid party, if you get my drift.

That scares me. Cults are wacky, particularly if they're primarily made up of women because, really guys, we all know how off-kilter the girls are, right? Remember my fellow brothers, they caused the fall of man by eating that apple. With a chip like that on their shoulders, no wonder they're a little cuckoo.*

So, knowing all of this and knowing the potential danger of running against the Pyleontologists, I am withdrawing my name from the candidacy of the POTUS4L.

Goodbye.

Now leave me alone to my Bruce Springsteen and Ryan (not Bryan!) Adams records and my Slip n' Slide.

I'm done.

* * *

*To all the wonderful and beautiful females of the world: this is, of course, satire. Women make the world go around. They light our lives. They are angelic, and most of the time, smell flowery.

So, please know, I kid. I kid.

Now, put the paper down and get back to the stove. Your husband's waiting for his dinner.

(Heh...heh...I kid. I kid.)

Rob 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
June 18, 2008

Uh-oh.

I have some competition in my quest for becoming President of the United States for Life (POTUS4L). If you recall from last week, Anne Pyle from Newport protested one of my first acts that will be taken as POTUS4L: the imprisonment and possible execution of one, Barry Manilow.

Ms. Pyle has taken offense at my stance on this critical issue. Printed below is her latest e-mail, which, you will notice, includes a threat to your humble scribe.

In your latest column you said, (and I quote); "Let this be clear: When I am elected to the Presidency, Barry Manilow will be imprisoned and possibly executed for his horrific musical sins. If I decide to grant him clemency, he will be forced to listen to the entire discography of rapper Snoop Dog, 24/7."

 

Now, you shouldn't have said that!!! That would be CRUEL and INHUMANE to force anybody to listen to Snoop Dog, 24/7. I wouldn't last 15 minutes before they would be carrying me off to the loony bin. There are laws against torture, waterboarding and things of that nature. I can't be a party to illegal acts by giving you my vote, although I agree with you on the oil barons and some other stuff that you propose. I have sifted through my brain for some sort of compromise because I just can't bear to see poor Barry tortured. I came up with only one solution.

 

I will run against you for a lifetime Presidency. Of course, at my age, that won't be long. I have all the needed qualifications for Presidency: I was a PTA member for many years, a Cub Scout Den Mother, performed in the School Follies back when Newport had such. Plus, I can cook. Plus, I have a secret weapon that I can't tell you about now, but it will cinch the Presidency for me.

 

I hate to run against you, but you leave me no choice.

 

The future President for Life

 

Anne Pyle

OK, Anne: It's Hammer time! (Anne, since you despise rap, you might not get the "Hammer time" line. It comes from a rap song from long ago.)

Anyway, bring it on! The fellow Manilow haters of this country will crush your puny coalition of "Mandy" lovers. And we will show the world the power and majesty of a POTUS4L Rob Grace administration full of Presidential Slip n' Slide parties and mandatory attendance of all U.S. citizens to Bruce Springsteen concerts.

Speaking of which...

Arkansas Weekly also received this anonymous e-mail this week:

Tell Rob Grace we are sick of Bruce Springsteen stories and music. Bruce is about as old fashioned and out of date as that Members Only jacket hanging in Rob's closet.

OK, first: I'm going to refer to this e-mail author as "Chicken Man" because he doesn't have the GUTS to give his name.

Second: Springsteen is more relevant today than he was 15 years ago, and he still sells out concerts all over the WORLD.

Third: My Members Only jacket is not hanging in my closet. In fact, I'm wearing it as I type. In fact, I wear it ALL THE TIME, even when I sleep. In fact, I still have a mullet that looks damn cool with the Members Only jacket and parachute pants I wear.

You, Chicken Man, are simply jealous of the fact that I can still pull off the Members Only/mullet/parachute pants look in 2008.

So, bug off. I'm getting in my t-topped Pontiac Firebird, turning on my Alpine radio, popping in my cassette of Born to Run, and cranking it up.

Chicken Man, to paraphrase M.C. Hammer again (something I thought I never would do twice in one of my columns): U CAN'T TOUCH THIS!

Rob 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
June 11, 2008

Odds and ends this week...

First, in response to my column regarding my future reign as President-for-Life Rob, Anne Pyle from Newport e-mailed these suggestions:

Dear Rob,

 

I enjoy your columns, although I have never written you before to say "Thanx." I especially enjoyed the May 28 column where you are considering your lifetime presidential White House. I have a couple of small suggestions to make though before you get my vote.

 

1) Why not pick Carrie Underwood as the VP instead of Hugh Hefner? We need a female in the White House.

 

2) Do you have to imprison Barry Manilow? Couldn't you put one of those rappers in there instead? I like Barry Manilow. I am 74 years old, and I can't get into rapping or whatever they call it. I grew up with Elvis, Dean, Barry, Neil, and others like them and they wrote the songs the whole world sings.

 

Keep up the good work.

 

Anne Pyle

Anne:

Thanks for reading and your comments.

I thoroughly agree with Suggestion #1, however, there would still have to be a place for Mr. Hefner in my cabinet. I believe I would create a new position specifically for Hugh: Secretary of Partying. That way I would have direct access to the Playboy Mansion and all Playmates, past and present.

Unfortunately, we strongly differ on Suggestion #2. Each of the artists you listed as your favorites display your wonderful musical taste -- with the exception of Mr. Manilow. Let this be clear: When I'm elected to the presidency, Barry Manilow will be imprisoned and possibly executed for his horrific musical sins. If I decide to grant clemency to Mr. Manilow, he will be forced to endlessly listen to the entire discography of rapper Snoop Dog, 24/7.

***

Speaking of Neil Diamond, here's some amazing trivia. Diamond is smack dab in the middle of a terrific comeback. His last two albums have been produced by Rick Rubin, the mastermind behind Johnny Cash's late-career renaissance, and they have supplied Diamond with endless accolades from fans and critics alike.

The amazing trivia is this: Diamond's latest CD, Home Before Dark, entered the Billboard Top 200 in album sales at number one, and believe it or not, it's the first number one album Diamond has had in his long and highly successful career.

***

Re Construction on Batesville's Harrison Street:

Here are some ways one can navigate the traffic jams the widening of Harrison St. has caused.

1) Take Neeley St. or a leisurely drive through the Goff neighborhood, then hit an access road to Harrison that has a stoplight.

2) Purchase a Secret Agent Jet Pack and fly over Harrison St., maniacally laughing at the puny fools stuck in traffic below. If you do this suggestion, however, it's strongly suggested that you wear a helmet.

3) Buy helicopter.

4) Install police sirens and lights on vehicle that strongly resembles a police car. When on Harrison St., flip those babies on and watch cars and highway department workers scatter out of your way. It should be noted that this suggestion is illegal.

5) If none of these options appeal to you, then purchase a book on CD. It will pass the time away while you wait. In fact, it's likely that you could make it through an unabridged audio version of War and Peace by the time you hit Wal-Mart.

***

Besides cleaning out the office refrigerator and being the blue vested greeter at our front door (we stole that idea from Wal-Mart), I also program the music for Classic Rock 93 KZLE here at W.R.D. Entertainment.

So, imagine my surprise when I received an e-mail from one Aaron Gonthier in Springfield telling us he was enjoying our station one afternoon.

It seems he briefly picked up our signal while he sat in his driveway in his "old rusty truck."

Crazy thing is Aaron was not in Springfield, Missouri. He wasn't even in Springfield, Illinois.

He was in Springfield, Vermont.

Extremely wacky atmospheric conditions can do incredible things to radio signals, and this, apparently, was one of those days.

Rob 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
June 4, 2008

Had my first Bloody Mary the other night.

Tasty, I thought. A buddy I was with told me how they made Bloody Marys and the different variations the drink can have.

Two days later, some pals and I are having a chat. One friend decides to have a Bloody Mary.

"I want all the mix," she says to Andy, who's making it for her and had only poured half of the little can of Bloody Mary mix into the stainless steel shaker.

"Whooah," Hank says, laughing. "Gotta have the whole thing."

"And it's gotta be the gooood kind of mix," Lawyer Man says. "You can't make a decent Bloody Mary with no V8."

Hank nods. "That's right. That's right."

Ms. Ruth, sitting next to her husband, is taking it all in. "Well, V8 is tomato juice, lots of shredded celery in there too, you know? Yes sir. Yes sir."

"Boy, I would love a Bloody Mary," Ms. Ruth's husband says.

"Well, Andy, make him one," Hank says.

"No," Ms. Ruth's husband says. "No, no, no. It'll tear my stomach up. Ulcers."

Ms. Ruth nods. "Yep. His ulcers will act up."

"The best Bloody Mary has to have horseradish," Lawyer Man says. "What you do is, you use it as the base."

"You know what I like in mine?" Hank asks. "Heinz 57. Now that's great in a Bloody Mary."

Andy squirms. "Heinz 57? That's not right. That's just not right."

"Heinz 57," Ms. Ruth says to no one in particular. "Hmmm. Never heard of that. No. No. Never heard of that." And she lets loose a laugh as she turns to me.

"What do you like in yours, Rob?"

I shrugged my shoulders. "I really couldn't tell you. I had my first one two nights ago."

Ms. Ruth's eyes almost pop out of their sockets. "What? Hey, everyone, hey...hey...listen, listen. Rob just had his first Bloody Mary just the other night. Iddn't that something? Iddn't that something? Hmmmm...Yes sir. Yes sir."

Lawyer Man looks to me with a somewhat surprised face. "Reeeally? Huh?"

"I'll be," Hank says.

"Why were you having one at night? Best time to have a Bloody Mary is in the morning," Lawyer Man says.

"I don't know really. My buddy wanted one, and I had always wanted to see what the fuss was about, so I ordered one, too."

"And?" Ms. Ruth asks me, as she moves to the edge of her seat.

"Oh, it was good. I enjoyed it."

"Good. Good. That's great," Ms. Ruth says.

"Did it have horseradish in it?" Lawyer Man asks.

"Umm...you know I really couldn't tell."

"You have got to have horseradish in it for a deeecent Bloody Mary," he repeats. "It acts as the base."

"I would've put some Heinz 57 in it," Hank says.

Ms. Ruth's husband, looking glum, lets out a sigh. "Man, I would love to have a Bloody Mary right now."

"It'll tear up your stomach, babe," she tells him.

"Now, some Bloody Marys have celery salt around the rim, like a margarita," Lawyer Man says.

"Really?" Ms. Ruth says. "Hmmm."

"Oh, heck," I finally say. "Make me one, Andy. All this talk has me wanting to try one again."

"Whooo-hooo!" Ms Ruth says with a clap of her hands. "There we go! There we go!"

"Now, Andy," Lawyer Man says, "put some horseradish in it for him."

Every ingredient Andy plops in the shaker is met with an "Ooooh" from the gang.

Finally, he places it in front of me. I take a sip. Everyone is looking at me without a sound.

I put down the glass.

"Well?" Ms. Ruth says as she moves back to the edge of her seat.

"That's very good," I finally tell them. "Much better than the one I had the other night."

"Great! " she says with a smile.

"That horseradish makes it, doesn't it?" Lawyer Man asks.

"I just may have one," Hank says.

I smile, take another sip and glance over to Ms. Ruth's husband who happens to be eyeing my glass with a wistful look.

"Man," he finally says with another sigh. "I'd love to have a Bloody Mary."

Rob 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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