Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Balloonheads of the World, Unite

Random, scattered thoughts from Paul Levine...

YOUR LOYAL SLEUTH has uncovered a SECOND hoax in the "Balloon Boy" escapade. Cash-strapped TV stations did not send remote crews to the scene. Instead, they photographed a runaway Jiffy Pop container in the newsroom kitchen.

begins now. Who's the worst parent of the year? OctoMom or Richard (Balloonhead) Heene or Jon & Kate Gosselin? Lifetime Achievement Award to Joe Jackson, Michael's old man. Special posthumous award to John Phillips, father of MacKenzie.

Dear Random House: Yes, I know the manuscript for the new Jake Lassiter novel is overdue. You're not going to believe this, but I was building this helium balloon in my backyard. I planned to sail over to Oxnard to buy some salsa at the Farmer's Market and edit the m/s on the way. Unfortunately, the balloon took off with my m/s, and I think it's somewhere over Catalina right now...

"THE DROUGHT," Jim Born's Barry award-winning short story, could be the basis for a short course on how to write a character study. Young writers (and old ones like me, too) constantly fret over how much "interior" to give their POV characters. Jim hits the perfect balance with the interior life of his homicide detective protagonist investigating a tough, politically charged case, a cop's shooting of an unarmed man.

REMEMBER THE TITANS? If my arithmetic is correct, and I got a C in Math 2 at Penn State (there was no Math 1), Mark ("Brr, It's Cold") Sanchez had a QB rating of 8.3 yesterday while Tom Brady had a 152.8. A perfect rating is 158.3...impossible to score higher. Sanchez (10 of 29 for 119 yards, no TD's, 5 INT's) and the Jets lost to the Bills, 16-13, while Brady (29 of 34 for 380 yards, 6 TD's, no INTs) and the Patriots buried the Titans, 59-0. Speaking of winless Tennessee, is this the NFL's biggest collapse compared to the prior season? "Remember the Titans?" No, me either.

STOP DISSING THE BIG TEN: Prediction: Iowa will be one of the teams playing for the B.C.S. title. Iowa is #6 in the first week's standings. Yeah, go ahead and snicker S.E.C. and Big 12. I'd like to see Florida, Alabama, or Texas play the Hawkeyes in Iowa City on Jan 7....instead of the Rose Bowl. Let's see those southern teams play in wind and rain and slush. (Exhibit A: Mark Sanchez item, above).

BASEBALL TAKES TOO DAMN LONG: I'm not just talking about the 162 game regular season and the two sets of playoffs to get to the World Series, and the series itself, running nearly to Thanksgiving. We've had a 4 hour nine-inning game in the NLCS and a 5 hour, 10 minute extra-inning game between the Angels and Yankees. Jeez, my first marriage didn't last that long. If I were king of the world or occupied Bud (Light) Selig's chair, I'd pass a rule. No baseball game can run longer than the director's cut of "Lawrence of Arabia"...a healthy three hours, 47 minutes.

Paul Levine


  1. James O. Born10/20/2009 8:12 AM

    Thanks, Paul, that's very nice to say.

    But I think you're mistaken to the point of delusional about Iowa.

    Although I was at B-Con Saturday I managed to catch a few games, notably the Gator's narrow escape from the razorbacks, USC's similar feat with The Irish, Perdue's upset of Ohio State and a litle of Alabama and South Carolina.

    Pretty god football day.


  2. From the people who brought you," The dog ate my homework," it's the new and improved, "The balloon floated off with my ____."

    Hey this Henne guy actually believes he was bourne by aliens------that he met his parents when taken aboard a spaceship. Obviously not being the sharpest tool in the proverbial shed.....I think the tie in with Jiffy Pop is that he believes that they are ACTUALLY mini-spaceships filled with Alien seeds (which YOU call popcorn) that after ingestation, gestates and take over the host body......................or that the story Richard "Richie" Henne is blogging today. Now he goes down as the inventor of the brilliant excuse: the baloon stole my homework.

    Jim...yes it was an exciting day for college football


  3. I hate reality TV.

    Congrats, Jim.

    USC will be back in it.

  4. Jon, are you sure Balloon Boy's father wasn't implying a familial relationship to Born--James Born?

  5. GOOD ONE Patty...I am howling with that one

  6. Oh its really so nice ..we thanks to you....from heart.

  7. How do I get a copy of Jim Born's "The Drought"? I'd like to read a "good example of a perfect balance" re interior thoughts of a character. I am an author and a teacher of the craft of writing. Maybe I can use the story as an example.