Pete The Prognosticator

24 11 2010

Many people are familiar with the prophecies of Nostradamus, however, few are familiar with the works of his younger brother Pete. While Nostradamus is so often credited with the predictions of major travesties like the reign of Hitler or the Kennedy assassination, Pete’s prophecies, while stunningly accurate, are substantially less impressive as they accurately depict very mundane features of modern life.

The most common example academics typically point to is this quatrain: “The small Deborah fills the Danish with paste.” Most recognize this as the foresight of a crème filled Little Debbie snack. However, there are dissenters, small groups believe that this quatrain refers to an early episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” where Ray’s wife Deborah attempts to make a dessert. Still there is a handful of historians that believe this was a premonition referring to an invasion of Denmark led by the German General D. Borha, this makes sense because General Borha led an abnormally pale group of pasty white infantry, also, they glued all of the POW’s mouths shut with Elmer’s school paste.

Perhaps the most impressive of Pete’s foretelling comes from his work titled People will love Regis Philbin, and other predictions, from the future. in quatrains 4-9:

The boss rises to the dusk, but is without words
He will return in the dawn and rest with similar sentiments
Weary is the boss, weary and disinterested with himself
He will be in need of assistance.
The boss will be unable to ignite an inferno devoid of a flash
The weaponry will be employable despite the boss rollicking in a place without light.

This passage is particularly notable because Pete seems to author the first verse and chorus of ‘Dancing in the Dark’ by Bruce Springsteen almost a half millennium before Springsteen popularized the song.

These are perhaps the most impressive of his predictions, but they are just the beginning of a seemingly limitless list of prognostications. For instance, quatrain 12 “The men of light red hue are named Floyd and harmonize as light erupts through the artificial sky,” is almost certainly in reference to the popularity of laser light shows in planetariums set to a Pink Floyd soundtrack. Another hotly debated verse: “The four will be apprehended based on biblical law, former friends will turn on them, and they will be imprisoned.” This was originally accepted as a prediction of the four man plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln and other high ranking officials, the biblical law being “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” However, most experts now agree that this was foretelling the finale episode of Seinfeld, where the four main characters are captured for breaking the ‘Good Samaritan’ law and former characters from the show testify against them until they are thrown in jail.

While not as heralded as his brother, Pete is vastly underrated in the world of prognostication; hopefully he will one day receive the recognition he truly deserves.


The Masked Smoker

14 05 2010

I was driving through town earlier today and I saw a man sitting outside of a building smoking, this in and of itself is not peculiar. What caught my attention was that the man had on a surgical mask. Originally, I found it ironic that this health care professional was sitting outside smoking. But, upon further inspection I realized was not near a hospital or medical office; so the only logical explanation was that this man was trying to protect himself from something in the air. I then started to think what is in our air that scares this man so much that the only way he will reveal his face and take an unprotected breath is if that breath is full of carcinogens and poisons.

Of course, it may not be something pre-existing in the air, perhaps this man is trying to enjoy a cigarette without experiencing the harsh side effects of second hand smoke. They say second hand smoke is just as dangerous as smoking is, thus, by wearing a surgical mask between puffs this man has reduced the danger of cigarettes by 50%. A man that at first seemed to be an ignorant dufus may well be revolutionizing a safer way of smoking cigarettes. Smoking jackets could soon be replaced by smoking masks.

Regardless of this man’s reasons for his smoking wardrobe he caused me enough unrest about the atmosphere to roll up the windows on my car.

An Academy Award Winning Story

11 03 2010

Here I am going to attempt to tell a story that involves all of the titles of the Academy Award winners for Best Picture since 1960:

The story begins in “The Apartment.” “Tom Jones” was sitting quietly. “The Sound of Music” broke the silence as Tom’s cell phone blasted his newly downloaded Billy Joel ring tone. As the phone sang ‘”Lawrence of Arabia” British Beatle mania,’ Tom flipped open the phone and accepted the call emphatically, “Oliver!” he exclaimed. Oliver and Tom began discussing their favorite scenes from Seinfeld and it turned into a “Kramer vs. Kramer” debate. They then continued discussing sitcoms.  They discussed “Patton” Oswalt’s performance in the King of Queens. Tom began telling Oliver about his date tonight, a date with one “Annie Hall.” In preparation for his  upcoming date, Tom asked Oliver if he knew the weather forecast for the night. Oliver replied “Rain Man.” It was unseasonably warm that night and Tom expressed concern about sweating profusely “In the Heat of the Night.” When Tom expressed his disdain for spring because of its unpredictable weather Oliver told him that he was “A Man for all Seasons.”

Later that night, Tom knocked on Annie’s door and greeted her with a ‘good evening “My Fair Lady,” you are not only an “American Beauty,” but you also have “A Beautiful Mind.”‘ Annie responded with ‘I love all of these “Terms of Endearment.”‘Tom presented Annie with a bouquet of daisies and then opened the car door as he offered to begin “Driving Miss Daisy” to dinner. As Tom started the car and backed out of the driveway, Tom and Annie became “The Departed.” Annie began telling Tom about how she was planning to adopt a child from China, but the process was very expensive. Tom referred to Annie’s future adopted child as a “Million Dollar Baby.” As Tom was laughing hysterically  at his own lame joke Annie grabbed the steering wheel and jerked the car around the stopped car in front of them avoiding a “Crash.” Relieved, Tom thanked Annie for being such a “Braveheart” for saving their lives.

Tom and Annie arrived at the restaurant founded by an African immigrant. The restaurant was named “Out of Africa.” Tom and Annie sat down at a table. They were surrounded by “Ordinary People.” Annie began telling Tom about her life growing up on the west side of “Chicago,” and her recent divorce.  She went into detail about how her ex-husband had cheated on her; she had been deeply in love with him. She had written many poems about her husband; she was like “Shakespeare in Love.” He was still “Unforgiven” in Annie’s book. Tom was enthralled by her “West Side Story” and tales of infidelity. The waiter interrupted to introduce the specials. Tom asked the waiter for advice on picking a wine.  The waiter directed Tom to “Schindler’s List” of fine red wines. Tom and Annie sampled a Merlot, and they immediately realized that they had “The French Connection” between them.

When the food arrived Tom was amazed by his “Titanic” rack of lamb. He took a bite of his sizzling lamb; it was much too hot and he felt “The Sting.” Tom decided to wait until the lamb quit sizzling. He was waiting for “The Silence of the Lambs.” Tom thought it would be interesting to discuss politics with Annie. He began to describe how he favored the welfare and medicare programs. Annie argued that the United States was “No Country for Old Men.”

As they were leaving dinner, Tom told Annie that he had planned a special horse drawn carriage ride for them from a company named “Chariots of Fire.” As the horses began to pull away, the driver introduced himself as “Amadeus” and told the couple about the wooded area they would be touring. He told them all about the “Forrest Gump.” As the carriage drew past a broken down neighborhood and further into the forest, the path became “Rocky.” Soon, one of the wheels broke off, leaving them stranded in the dark woods. As Amadeus tried to fix the carriage, Annie heard a sound from behind her. She turned around to see a man dressed like a “Gladiator,” who claimed he “Dances with Wolves” and was “The Last Emperor” of this forest. The crazy man proclaimed that he had escaped back to the forest and this was the “Return of the King*.”Annie nudged Tom and whispered to him that she had heard about a dangerous British man that had escaped from a nearby mental institution. Tom said he had indeed heard of “The English Patient.” The insane man approached the couple, wielding a gun, and introduced himself as “Ghandi” “The Deer Hunter.”  He said he had been shooting quail. Suddenly, without notice, he spun around and fired three shots at a birds that flew overhead. Tom told the man that he thought one bird fell behind a tree and “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

The next morning Oliver met Tom at the park to play football. Oliver was anxious to see how the date had gone.While the offense was on the field, Tom, Oliver and the rest of the defensive “Platoon” sat on the sidelines. Tom told Oliver that he had not returned until one in the morning. Oliver ribbed him, jokingly referring to him as a “Midnight Cowboy.” Tom kidded that when he and Annie had children that Oliver could be “The Godfather.”

After the game, Tom and Oliver walked into the William Hurt Locker Room and tossed their stuff in “The Hurt Locker.” Oliver once again brought up the chances of him becoming the godfather of Tom and Annie’s child. Tom said that he was not going to engage in “The Godfather Part Two.” Tom told Oliver that he had a great time with Annie, and when he was with her he felt like a million bucks. Thus, on their date the night before, as they had toured a broken down neighborhood, he felt like a “Slumdog Millionaire.”

*Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Dr. Oz Examines Himself?

12 02 2010

At the gym yesterday. while I was changing in the locker room Dr. Oz was on right above me and I was only  halfheartedly listening to the beginning of Dr. Oz’s show as he was teasing the audience with what was coming up on this episode of Dr. Oz. The scrub laden Dr. Oz had a assembled an audience entirely composed of men, a rarity for his show. He would be giving all sorts of advice to men including how to fend off heart disease and various erogenous zones. I am not sure exactly what kind of specialty you need to be an expert in all of these areas but I digress. Anyway, the final, and based on his reaction the most exciting portion for Dr. Oz, was for the first time on television they would broadcast a live prostate exam. This exclamation was followed by video of a man wincing as Dr. Oz stood behind him gesturing to the audience. Evidently, enticing lead ins are not taught in medical school. I am hard-pressed to think of a time when I would be giddy to watch someone get a prostate exam on television, I am, however, sure that I do not want to watch prostate exams while I am in the buff, bent over putting my pants on.

Infidelity and Flap Jacks

27 01 2010

When I spend time on the treadmill at the gym there is a multitude of daytime television options for me to view on the wall of flat screen televisions. Most are boring reruns of soap operas or pointless debates on Judge Joe Brown. However, there is the lucky occasion where Maury Povich is broadcast to entertain us as we run. (Side note: isn’t it weird how we can laugh at how stupid a hamster is for running on a wheel for so long and then we will go to the gym to run on a treadmill with the exact same look on our face as the hamster?) It should be noted here that I did not have my headphones plugged into the mechanism that would allow me to listen to the Maury broadcast, but, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. In this instance, I am not sure I wanted to hear what was going on during the show. The title of this episode was “Sex Decoys and Lie Detectors.” At the point that I looked at the screen I saw a woman in tears a then a few shots of her husband in low lighting, followed by Maury poking, prodding and taunting the weeping woman with a spatula. The woman was crying and holding her head while Maury smiled and seemed to gesture some sort of lifting and flipping motion. At this point I was so excited I was sprinting. When the man came out the woman slapped him across the face and Maury seemed to scold him while keeping the spatula in hand. I am not sure whether the spatula was used while the man was cheating on his wife or if Maury had just finished with a cooking segment and had forgotten to put the spatula down. Nevertheless, that was the fastest twenty minutes I have spent on a treadmill.

Subway Series Part 2: Movin’ on up, to the South Side

28 05 2009

After a long three days of sandwich artistry (they don’t enjoy abstract art as much as you would think) the owner of all of the local area Subways asked me to come speak with him. Was I being fired already? It was too early for a promotion, right? In broken English the boss told me “You are a very hard worker, and you seem to have caught on to everything quickly.” I felt honored and eager to hear what was in store for such a hard working and naturally gifted sandwich artist. He told me “Our Crestwood store is having trouble dealing with the lunch crowd and I think they need someone with your work ethic to help out over there, I am transferring you to that store.” I felt a sense of elation, the kind typically reserved for an artist that perfectly folds a double stacked cold cut trio with all the toppings and no spillage. I was on top of the sandwich world.

I told some of my coworkers, whom I had grown so close to over the last few days, about my new fortune. After talking to a few coworkers it became obvious that they had also been spoken to and the only reason I was selected to be transferred was because I was the only employee that had a car. Nonetheless, for those of you who don’t know, Crestwood is the Paris of sandwich artistry, and working at the Subway near the railroad tracks would be like painting while sitting right in the Louvre. I had been awarded the chance to drive 20 extra minutes round trip everyday and practice my craft  in the sandwich capital of Kentucky with no increase in pay! I was living the sandwich dream.

Continue the Series with Part 3

Subway Series Part 1: If The Glove Don’t Fit, You Must Quit

24 03 2009

The Subway series will be a three part series chronicling my short two week stint and unforeseen rise through the ranks of the national sandwich chain Subway. This is part one, a look back on my initial integration into the sandwich conglomerate. Read the rest of this entry »