Tuesday, May 22, 2007

All The News That's Fit to Blog

From Paul

Lately, our posts have brimmed with gravitas, angst, and pessimism. Politics, war, the human condition, even the disappearing newspaper book sections. Honestly, it could make you scream.

I'd like to lighten up today.

I'm looking for good news.

Short sentences.

Noun, verb, object. Boy meets girl. Man bites dog. I like "The Simpsons."

Now in its 18th season, "The Simpsons" recently broadcast its 400th episode. Four hundred! That's good news. Especially for Matt ("Richer than Croesus and a Great Guy, Too") Groening. College courses are devoted to the philosophical questions raised by the show, and not just whether Homer should eat all the doughnuts. It's smart and funny and laced with social commentary. Long may it live. ("The Simpsons" feature film is due in July).

Paris Hilton will spend about three weeks in jail. We here at Naked Scribblers absolutely, positively refuse to post any pictures of Ms. Hilton. However, cartoons are permissible. Here's how Newsday's Pulitzer prize-winning Walt Handelsman sees it.

A 17-year-old male student at the ritzy Harvard-Westlake School here in Studio City allegedly hit a female classmate 40 times with a claw hammer, breaking her nose, shattering her leg, and splitting open her scalp.

Are you nuts, Paul? How could that be good news?

Let me explain, chronologically.

The boy and girl take an Advanced Placement exam. The boy drives the girl to a nearby Jamba Juice for a snack.

(He drives her in his Jaguar. For now, I'll refrain from commenting on parents who buy their brats Mercedes, BMW's, and Jaguars, which daily clog Coldwater Canyon in front of the school).

The boy parks the Jaguar on a side street, says he's going to kill himself and take someone with him. He reaches into his backpack...

Now, if you didn't already know what happened, you'd think: HE'S PULLING OUT A HANDGUN. Right?

But he doesn't t have a gun. His parents -- both Beverly Hills physicians -- apparently don't own a gun. So he grabs the hammer. Okay, he inflicts some damage, but according to The Los Angeles Times, the girl is getting out of the hospital and hoping to attend her prom.

So the GOOD NEWS is that the nutty kid (now confined to a psychiatric facility) didn't have access to a gun. Otherwise, there might be two dead teens.

The national drink of Miami is the mojito, the Cuban cocktail. (I say "national" drink, inasmuch as Miami is a foreign country). As regular readers know, I am an aficionado of the drink, made with light rum, fresh lime, squeezed sugar cane, club soda, and fresh mint leaves.
Now, my Miami friends say, "Move Over Mojito." The Caipirinha has come to town. It's pronounced kai-pur-een-ya, which sounds like something Al Gore would try to dance to. The Caipirinha is made with an aged Brazilian rum called Cachaca, mixed with various fruits (strawberry or blackberry puree seems popular), and no mint. It sounds heavier and not nearly as refreshing as a mojito, but I will report back to you after further research and investigation.

And that's the news from Lake Hollywood, where all the women are Botoxed, all the men are in meetings, and all the children are in therapy.

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  1. My brother-in-law loves mojitos. I promised when he comes to visit I'd make him one using the mint we have growing out of control in our yard.

    I even promised to rinse off the dog pee.

  2. What? No recipe.

    Sad story about the teen with the claw hammer but the incident is a perfect example of our sliding scale of justice. Rich parents put their troubled attempted-murderer son in a private psychiatric facility instead of lockup where the rest of us would be by now. I'm not saying he shouldn't receive treatment, but seriously...

  3. I have seen every Simpsons episode. I think that is the only show I can say that about.


  4. I always suspected fellow scribbler Jim Born subscribed to Homer Simpson's philosophy:

    "There's nothing wrong with hitting someone when his back is turned."

    "Good drink... good meat... good God, let's eat!"

    "Trying is the first step towards failure."

    "What's the point of going out, we're just going to end up back here anyway?"

    "That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!"

    "Beer. Now there's a temporary solution."

    "No, no, no, Lisa. If adults don't like their jobs, they don't go on strike. They just go in every day and do it really half-assed."

    And, of course, "Donuts. Is there anything they can't do?"

  5. "No, no, no, Lisa. If adults don't like their jobs, they don't go on strike. They just go in every day and do it really half-assed."

    Damn, how'd I miss that one?

    Of course, I'm a fulltime freelance writer. So should it say? "I just go in every day and do it half-naked?"

  6. Bart (prior to a planned exercise in vandalism): "Dad, is there anything more important than being popular?"

    Homer: "I'm glad you asked that question, son. No, there isn't anything more important than being popular."

    Mojito, Schmojito. Sounds like a mint julep with rum instead of bourbon. A recipe for a hangover, if you ask me.

    My favorite rum drink is Meyer's and soda on the rocks with a lime twist. Simple and effective. And no umbrella.

    Good news: I spoke with Ray Bradbury on the phone a few days ago--he was declining my invitation to do a guest blog on Criminal Brief. (All right, that's not the good news.) The good news is that Ray says he's won a Pulitzer Prize.

    Now abideth Faith, Hope, and Charity.

  7. Yes, James, but technically it's a Pulitzer "citation." Sort of like a lifetime achievement award.

    "A special citation to Ray Bradbury for his distinguished, prolific and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy."

    John Coltrane also got one,
    posthumously for his "masterful improvisation, supreme musicianship and iconic centrality to the history of jazz."

    Two very deserving recipients. But as for the late John Coltrane, I agree with Woody Allen who said, "I don't want to achieve immortality through my art. I want to achieve immortality by not dying."

  8. Oh, my, that cocktail looked really, really good ...

  9. I do loves me some rum, but that mojito thing looks a lot like work. If I wanted to work, I wouldn't be drinking.

  10. Dusty,

    That is precisely why you should only order those kinds of drinks in a bar.

    If it has more than two ingredients (not counting the lime), get someone else to make it.

  11. Its a bit of a worry when the good news is that she was only beaten with a hammer.