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May 2010

Visit Rob's blog for slightly different versions of his Arkansas Weekly columns and other stuff:

All Over the Map

by Rob Grace

May 26, 2010


Here's my -- uh, I mean T. Blanston, Jr.'s "One Headlight" from this week's Arkansas Weekly:

Award-winning journalist, award-winning film director, award-winning author, award-winning rock climber, award-winning Mixed Martial Arts champion, award-winning hot wing cook and award-winning ladies’ man T. Blanston, Jr. recently announced his intention to run for Constable of Prim, Arkansas on the Democratic ticket for the May 18 primary.

Blanston, tanned, relaxed and sipping a Bloody Mary, made the announcement at a press conference held at Rancho Paradiso, his 7,320-acre ranch overlooking Loch Greers Ferry near Prim, on May 19.

When told by a reporter for the Prim Daily Nickel that the Democratic primary was held the previous day, Blanston took off his Ray-Ban Aviator glasses, sighed and uttered an expletive.

“You’re kidding me?” he asked the reporter. “Yesterday?”

He then took a sip of his Bloody Mary and asked a bikini-clad companion standing next to him why she didn’t tell him this sooner.

Blanston then announced his intention to run as a write-in candidate for the Constable of Prim for the November election.

“As we all know,” Blanston said, “the community of Prim is God’s country. We treasure the beauty and peace of our home, and we all desire to be a tolerant and shining example to our neighbors – particularly to those people over in Drasco who really need to just stay out of our area if they know what’s best for them. And don’t get me started on the riff-raff that comes in from Fairfield Bay.”

Photo of probable -- but unconfirmed -- Fairfield Bay riff-raff.

Blanston paused for another gulp of his Bloody Mary.

“Did you put fresh horseradish in this?” he asked another bikini-clad companion standing on his other side. “How many times do I have to tell you I do not want horseradish from a jar?!?”

“Anyway,” he continued, “because of my extensive experience as a journalist in war-torn countries, my gift for looking really cool holding a .357, and my Mixed Martial Arts ability to hold a man’s neck in a leg lock while sipping a vodka tonic at the same time, I think I would be more than able to protect the good citizens of Prim. Um, except for Dickie Stang over at Dickie’s Auto Repair. My Range Rover HSE Lux still smells like Pall Malls and peanuts since he serviced it the other day, and I’m not too happy with the guy.”

Blanston paused for another gulp of his Bloody Mary.

“Did you use Grey Goose or Stoli in this?” he asked the bikin-clad companion again. “Please tell me you used Grey Goose. The Stoli is only to be used for the Stoli and tonics. The Goose goes better in the Bloody Mary. Do I have to do everything around here?”

“Anyway,” Blaston continued, “this country is under siege from special interest groups, lobbyists, political correctness police and Oprah. As Constable for Prim, I vow that I will make Prim an Oprah-free zone. Not only will Oprah be banned from entering Prim, but I will make sure that her cronies – Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Tyler Perry, and that swishy interior decorator that’s always on her show – will be banned as well. I will make an exception for Stedman, Oprah’s quote unquote boyfriend, because, really, any guy who can put up with Oprah on a daily basis is a tougher man than me.”

Blanston paused for another gulp of his Bloody Mary. This time he drained it.

The Situation. Pic taken by Blanston while on vacation in Thida, Ark. with The Situation, Tara Reid, Roy Clark and Yakov Smirnoff.
Good times!

“Wow! I needed that after last night,” he said. “Lindsay Lohan would not leave, then The Situation from Jersey Shore and Regis kept wanting me to explain how quantum physics predicted the Greek financial crisis, but Regis kept downing Jagerbombs then his old lady, Joy, kept banging his iPhone wondering why he was still in Arkansas, and then P. Diddy flew in with his posse, and on and on and on. Regis can pack ‘em away, though…Where was I?”

“Oprah,” the reporter from the Prim Daily Nickel reminded him.

“Oh! Right,” Blanston said. “So, yeah. Those are some reasons why I need to be elected Prim Constable. I’ll be responsible, I’ll use force only when absolutely necessary and I’ll be responsible.”

“You said that twice,” the Daily Nickel guy reminded him.

With that, Blanston pulled out a Taser gun and tased the reporter.

“See,” Blanston said. “Force only when absolutely necessary.”

The candidate then burped, asked for another Bloody Mary and promptly passed out.



All Over the Map

by Rob Grace

May 12, 2010


The London-based newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, recently published an article regarding the tasty menu in space for Chinese astronauts.

“Many of my friends are curious about what we eat [in space],” the article quotes astronaut Yang Liwei as saying. “Actually we ate quite normal food.”

Here’s a sample of cuisine that our astronaut friends in China consume while in orbit: pork ribs, crispy tofu with spring onions, poached egg in fermented rice soup, braised yellow croaker fish, dog, spinach with minced garlic, and spicy beans with dried tofu.
Yum! Sounds like normal food to me – particularly the dog.
Oh, and it’s Huajiang dog for those of you who would like to have a fun little dinner party with a “space menu” theme. Huajiang is a county in Guangdong if you’re going to order some dog through your local grocer. And apparently, chowing down on Fido is extremely nutritional and better for you than ginseng! Wow! Who knew?
I think some enterprising American restaurant owners are missing the boat. Everybody is into eating healthy these days, and if dog is as nutritional as they say, then there’s a market to be tapped.
Perhaps a steakhouse could start serving canine steaks. But, of course, these would have to be the big dogs: St. Bernards, Great Danes, maybe some bulldogs, pit bulls or German Shepherds. The smaller dogs – poodles, Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, etc. -- could have smaller cuts of meats that might be best served like chicken, fried or grilled.
Obviously, the latter dogs would be ideal for a fast food restaurant concept. You could call it, The Dawghouse. And each Dawghouse would be built to look like a giant – you guessed it! – doghouse! There could be a Big Dawg burger – maybe some ground bulldog with some special sauce. Or a Crispy Mutt sandwich, which would be like a catfish po’ boy or something because mutt meat would be inexpensive and probably best served fried.
Poodle strips would be an alternative to chicken strips, and with the other smaller dogs, various cuts could be fried (fried legs, breasts, thighs…you know) and they could be served in a Dawggie Bag.
With the growing Hispanic population, I think Chihuahua tacos and burritos would go over like gangbusters!
Hey, and let’s not miss the marketing opportunities for the kiddos! Remember, one popular fast food place makes a lot of money with something called a “Happy Meal” – which is squarely aimed at children. Well, The Dawghouse could offer a “Puppy Meal”! It would contain a “Puppy Patty” sandwich, fries, a drink and a small toy that could be tied into a blockbuster movie or television show like Benji or Lassie.
The more I write about this, the more excited I become! I need to be working on Madison Avenue. In fact, I just may put together a proposal myself and present it to some venture capitalists. I know there would be some firms that would jump at the chance to invest in such a promising concept.
So, don’t be surprised if four or five years down the road, Dawghouse restaurants are as prevalent as McDonald’s, Burger Kings and Taco Bells in American cities and towns.
Oh, and I can guarantee that once we go global, we’re gonna be HUGE in China.


All Over the Map

by Rob Grace

May 5, 2010


Let’s scan some of the recent headlines, shall we?

I found this little nugget in last Friday’s edition of The New York Times: “Neanderthals mated with some modern humans after all and left their imprint in the human genome, a team of biologists has reported in the first detailed analysis of the Neanderthal genetic sequence.”

This astounding scientific discovery now explains many mysteries of life as we know it. For example, now we realize why some people have large amounts of back hair. Neanderthal/human breeding also explains the existence of Kid Rock, Larry King, Rosie O’Donnell, the Kardashian clan and the entire cast of Jersey Shore. And I’m willing to bet that this news also helps to explain why certain people like Slim Jims, pro wrestling and Jager bombs.

The Smoking reports that a Transportation Security Administration screener allegedly went ballistic on a fellow worker. A TSA worker named Rolando Negrin was recently taking part in a training session for one of the new full body scanners that are being installed in major airports worldwide. The scanners, as you may know, are extremely detailed – leaving nothing to the TSA team’s imagination as passengers pass through the machine. Apparently, when Negrin passed through, his co-workers had a field day with Negrin’s apparent, um, shortcomings. His buddies at work continued to tease him on a “daily basis,” according to a police report, until Negrin apparently snapped and allegedly assaulted his buddy, Hugo Osorno, with a police baton after work.

Yikes. I must say that Negrin’s co-workers are quite the heartless bunch. I would imagine that’s a sensitive subject for Rolando and other men of his, um, stature. In fact, I sort of dread my first pass through one of these scanners.

“Luther,” the TSA guy might say after he stops laughing. “Get over here. Look at this guy. Does this thing have a ‘zoom’ lens?”

Actually, I’m kidding around. I’ll be a legend through all the airports. The TSA ladies will all be fighting to watch me go through the machine!

Cough. Cough.

That was a joke.


Anyway, where was I?

Oh, yes. Elvis!

Finally, a new book by Elvis Presley’s personal physician, Dr. George Nichopoulos, reveals that the King of Rock and Roll likely died of chronic constipation.

Yes, in his new book, The King and Dr. Nick, the good doctor says he believes Elvis had a colon 5 to 6 inches in diameter. That’s nearly twice the size of the average person. The colon was also a big ‘un: 8 to 9 feet!

Dr. Nick told Fox News that Elvis suffered from “bowel paralysis” – which made it difficult for the King to, well, you know…poop.

In fact, when Elvis died, his autopsy revealed that his, um, pipes had been clogged for months.

Which would explain why he stopped doing his karate moves in his later concerts.

I mean, come on…one wrong roundhouse kick during “Burning Love” at the Des Moines Civic Center, and there’d be one heck of a mess.

Cough. Cough.

That was a joke.


I think I better stop now.


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