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Showing posts from 2004

Made-for-TV-and-me

One of my favorite things about Christmas - besides the birth of Jesus - is the surplus of made-for-TV Christmas specials, which usually air on CBS and have the words "Hallmark," and "Wish," in the title.

Because I have to admit that sometimes I let the chaos of the holiday season get to me, and I need someone - like Jennie Garth, Patrick Duffy, or even Meredith Baxter-Berney - to remind me what the holidays are all about. So what ARE the holidays all about anyway? Well, from what I've learned from made-for-TV specials, Christmas is all about a) reuniting with your long lost husband who you thought was dead but was really living in the Republic of Congo for reasons that are irrelevant at this time, b) discovering that a mall Santa Claus is the real Santa Claus because you asked him for "true love" and then ended up having simulated TV sex with Patrick Duffy, c) rescuing somebody from a well, and d) realizing that someone who you thought was mean is act…

Peyton Manning - An exclusive look

Whenever I think of Peyton Manning - which is quite often - two funny things come to mind. First, there was actually serious debate six years ago as to whether Manning or Ryan Leaf should be the No. 1 draft pick. Secondly, there was actually serious debate two years ago as to whether or not Peyton Manning was overrated. Now these two things might not be "ha ha" funny, like Margaret Cho, if she were funny. No - they're "funny" in the sense of "I can't believe people are so stupid."

The Indianapolis Colts were not stupid however, when they selected Manning with the #1 pick in 1998, leaving the San Diego Chargers to select Ryan Leaf, who went on to have a more hilarious career than Margaret Cho, if you can imagine. And last year, Manning put to rest all the talk of him being overrated by a) winning a share of the MVP award, b) winning a playoff game (two games, actually), and c) becoming the highest paid quarterback since Alex Rodriguez (who played qu…

A Christmas Carol...and Staci, and Barbi, and Denise...

The strip club on Route 516 is having a Christmas party!

From what I understand, the date of the party is December 17th - a Friday night, so as not to compete with Saturday evening mass - and will feature "DJ Nasty," and $1.50 ello shots," which I inferred to mean "jello shots," with the "j" most likely somewhere in the Club 516 parking lot.

Now I've never been to a Club 516 Christmas party, but if it's anything like their Easter throw-down, then I'm in luck! (I can't even TELL you about the Easter egg hunt). And I hear that the employees will all be wearing Santa hats - and JUST Santa hats - and that they feature the only eggnog that tastes like Coors Light. Oh boy!

The only problem is that my wife and I apparently have another Christmas party scheduled for that exact night. But it's the same darn party we go to each year, where everybody has their clothes on, and there's no cigarette machine. We have to listen to stupid, generi…

A dollar and a dream

I walked into a Wawa store the other day to purchase a Gatorade and a coffee cake, and while I was at the register performing my duty as a consumer by paying for my chosen items, I was asked by the cashier if I would like to give one dollar to the "hungry children." I replied - without hesitation - "No." There was no explanation to follow either. A simple "no," seemed, at the time, to suffice.

I did not say, "No, thank you. That was my last dollar," which would have been a lie because I DID in fact have several other dollars, AND I wasn't really thankful at all for being put in that position (the one where you're standing up and people pressure you to give them money for various reasons). I did not say, "No - I have a dollar in my wallet, but that's all the way in the back of my pants now, and I really don't feel like going back there to get it," which would not have been a lie, but didn't feel like the actual reason…

Frost art

If somebody out there has a worse ice scraper than me, I'd like to meet that person. That way, we could compare ice scraper horror stories, maybe over a cup of coffee on a cold winter night, while our respective vehicles waited outside, acquiring multiple layers of frost that neither of us would be able to defeat. We would probably call a cab.

It was last winter that I said to myself, "Mike, you need to get a new ice scraper." But then summer came, and purchasing a new ice scraper was the farthest thing from my mind. My scraper was left unattended underneath my seat, along with my trusty first-aid kit (one day I fear that I may actually need that kit, and I will open it to discover that there is only a note inside that reads, "Call 911.") It wasn't until recently, on a crisp November morning, that I walked out of the door only to realize that my vehicle was a startling shade of white, like it had seen a ghost, and tried to protect itself by covering its'…

Beat the clock

The alarm clock in our bedroom is nine minutes fast. The reason for this is that the interval time in between snooze bar hits is nine minutes, so if the alarm goes off at 6:00 am, I can hit the snooze bar with the comforting feeling that it's REALLY only 5:51 am, so I have plenty of time for another dream in which I win the World Series with a walk-off home run, defeating some random team that features my cousin John and Nelson Mandela. The thing is, I usually set the alarm for 5:00 am, so the hour or so before I have to get up for work is spent like this: "Yes - I can still sleep! Yes - I can still sleep! Yes - I can still sleep! Yes - I can still sleep! Yes - I can still sleep! Yes - I can still sleep! Yes - I can still sleep! Yes - I can still sleep! What?! It's 6:03 already? Crap - I have to get up. I hate (fill in the day of the week)!"

From this point, I hop into my truck (not immediately - I usually get dressed first...usually) where THAT clock is seven minutes…

Image over-haul

A lot of people who know me assume that I can do manly things like build decks, not because of my physically imposing presence (I have a cleft lip that appears to be the remnants of a fight that I lost) or my tattoo, but because I drive a pick-up truck. But in reality, the only manly thing that I really know how to do is drive a pick-up truck, although I have been known to mow a lawn or two in my day, if that counts. Oftentimes other pick-up truck drivers will look at my truck up and down, and then ask me questions like "What kind of truck ya' got there?" to which I will reply, "red." Then they will ask me how many "cylinders" it has, and I will pretend that someone is calling me on my cell phone.

I drive a pick-up truck because when I graduated from college, I got a job in the field of construction. At that point, my background in construction consisted of living in a house (my parent's house) that was more than likely constructed at some point, a…

Half-inning from hell

If it's not bad enough watching playoff baseball on the FOX Network, with it's shameless promotions and useless gimmicks, there is a chance in 2004 that the St. Louis Cardinals will be in the World Series. FOX's marquee broadcast team - Joe Buck and Tim McCarver - are St. Louis Cardinals through and through. Buck is the current Cardinals' broadcast voice and son of Jack, the former Cardinals' broadcaster, and McCarver is the former Cardinals' catcher, and proponent of everything Bob Gibson, the former St Louis pitching great. Whether or not the Cardinals make it to the Fall Classic this year, it deserves to be examined what a FOX broadcast would be like under these circumstances. Hmmm...

Joe Buck: What a night for baseball as we get set to call Game One of the 2004 World Series. Hi everybody. I'm Joe Buck, and next to me is my good buddy - I think you all know him - Tim McCarver. Tim, it's been 20 years since the St. Louis Cardinals have been in the Worl…

These pictures of you

I've often found myself strolling down the aisles of a local supermarket, and saying to myself, "Ya' know - I wonder who the Produce Manager is here. Is it a man or a woman? And what does he or she look like?" Luckily for me, most supermarkets have an entire wall dedicated to their most famous employees, accompanied by huge 35" x 45" close-up photographs, with a label specifying each person's job title.

This "Wall O' Employees" is integral to the average person's grocery shopping experience. For example, let's say that you asked the idiot teenager at the deli counter for a pound of Boar's Head turkey breast, and he goes and gives you 1.19 pounds, completely going over what YOU were willing to pay for turkey breast on that particular day. You ask him to see the Deli Meat Manager, and some other teenager comes out claiming that HE'S the manager. "What a farce!" you think to yourself. So you haul yourself over the &qu…

Red Light Special

My mom was waiting at a red light in my hometown of East Brunswick, New Jersey, when she was approached by a man handing out flyers. (As a side note, while waiting to get on the GW Bridge last year, I was solicited by a man offering a telephone - not a cell phone - but a TELEPHONE that attaches to a wall in your place of residence, with wires and everything. Because, like most people, when I'm in the market for a new phone, I want one NOW. I don't have time to go somewhere like Radio Shack, and haggle with some employee who "graduated" from high school. I need a cheap, plastic phone, while I'm in my car, waiting to cross a humongous bridge, just like everyone else. Unfortunately for this particular individual, I was not in the market for a new phone that day.)

Anyway, back to my mom. The flyer she was handed turned out to be an advertisement for a gutter cleaning service in the area. It looked somewhat professional, with the name of the "company" on top,…

For Giants, time isn't now...it's later

It's difficult to make generalizations about the New York Giants' season this early, unless you're me, in which case it's very easy. I would venture to say that the season is lost, and in order to find it, someone is going to have to send out the proverbial search party, where people wear yellow helmets with lights on them, except that those people will be searching for a while because a season is not a tangible object that can actually be found. So maybe instead of saying that the season is lost, I should instead say that the season is over, minus the little formality that the Giants have fourteen more games to play.

Yes, I am aware that the Giants won this past weekend, defeating the Washington Redskins 20-14. They even looked, dare I say "pretty good" at certain points. But the Redskins, who were working with the vaunted Brunnel-Ramsay two headed monster at quarterback, actually turned the ball over SEVEN times. Using my football mathematical equation, that…

Where the deer and the buffalo roam

"Either your neck hairs are strangely stubby, or you need to shave your back again." This is the kind of advice guys like myself get at the HairCuttery, where I go for a cheap haircut, and leave with grooming tips from 290 pound women who wear DMX t-shirts under their haircutting apron.

If you don't have back hair, consider yourself lucky. I am currently on a once-a-week back and neck shaving program, and if I go more than two weeks without shaving this area of my body, I can use styling gel to spike my back and neck hair, and make myself appear like a 6'3" walking hunchback, if I choose to do so. Not to mention, I have a mole on the back of my neck, and if I'm not careful shaving, I will cut it, and it will bleed for approximately three consecutive months, which means I have to wash a lot of sheets.

I don't know when I realized that I had back and neck hair, although I probably was aware at the time that most members of the opposite sex don't find thi…

Someone fought the bank, and I won!

Guess who's $0.49 richer thanks to a lawsuit that he didn't file? That's right - me!

Yep, I received my $0.49 check in the mail just the other day. Well, actually it was sent to my mom's house, at which point my mom proceeded to illegally open government mail with my name on it (I have spoken to my lawyer and he suggests suing her for upwards of $0.60, which he gets half of). Nevertheless, she did hand it over to me eventually at a family function, so everybody in my extended family could watch me open it, and then have a hearty laugh because I am still poor.

Apparently, some guy named Edell (Vladimir Edell, maybe?) sued the Bank of America because the Bank of America screwed him over in some way that was probably explained in detail to me through some correspondence, of which I most likely threw away because it wasn't a check. Nevertheless, he won his case, which resulted in me finally receiving the $0.49 I have been waiting for all of these years, that I didn't…

Fantasy football highlights, '04

Instead of making bold predictions about the upcoming NFL season, which starts in just a few days, kicked off by a very football relevant performance by Elton John (who, I hear, once watched half of a football game), I'm going to tell you all about my fantasy football draft from last weekend. The reason for this is because I have no idea what's going to happen in the NFL this year. I know that the Patriots will be good, I think. After that, I'm lost. If the Bengals win the Super Bowl, I won't even be shocked, unless they do so because every other team in the league gets trapped in an avalanche while mountain-climbing. So I'm not even going to pretend like I know how this season is going to turn out. But I DO know how my fantasy football draft turned out, because I was there, I was told.

For those who don't know, fantasy football is a game whereas people like myself draft real players (unbeknownst to the actual players) for fake teams, so people like myself can m…

Gary Sheffield: You had me at "hello"

Big Time Sports' recognition of the feats of Gary Sheffield has been long overdue. In honor of Sheffield, I have been working on several opening lines to this column, like "The Shef is cooking up an RBI special, and it' delicious," and "Can you smell what the Shef is cooking? It's great baseball," and my personal favorite, "Shef boy-are-dese Yankees something else, or what?" But then I realized that none of these lines make any sense, and are all predicated on the assumtion that Gary Sheffield is an actual chef, which he is not. Nevertheless, he is very good at baseball.

I, along with Yankees' fans worldwide, had assumed that the off-season acquisition that would make the biggest impact in the Bronx Bombers' lineup this year would be, quite obviously, Miguel Cairo. But even though Cairo has played well this year, it's been Gary Sheffield that has separated himself from the pack. And that "pack" is not just Sheffield's …

That's it - We're going home

I walked into a Toys 'R Us store the other day for the first time since "He-Man" was the hottest cartoon on the planet. I won't get into why I was there, but I will say that I am currently a Godfather two times over, and my Godsons don't necessarily accept Best Buy gift cards.

Since it had been so long since I had walked through those hallowed automatic doors, I was fairly intimidated upon entering the store. For one, my mom wasn't with me, which was a first. Secondly, I had no idea where to go, plus I was wearing a tie, which signified that I DID grow up, and was no longer a Toys 'R Us kid - a fear of my youth that had come to pass.

As I walked around aimlessly for what seemed like several hours, a thought occured to me. All of these years I was under the impression that this store was a happy and festive place. After all, it was filled with toys. And when I walked in, I had expected to see Geoffrey the Giraffe galloping about with a bunch of excited kids,…

Professor fails to teach fundamentals

There is a show on ESPN called "Streetball," where various streetballers with names like "The Professor," "Hot Sauce," "Mr. Dribblesworth," and "Sir Dunks-A-Lot" travel the country playing basketball and doing crazy dribble moves until the crowd goes wild. It is an enjoyable show, and like any reality television show, the viewer is asked to ignore certain, very obvious aspects of each episode. For example, the streetballers don't necessarily play basketball by the "normal rules," in that they often carry the ball, walk, use props, sit in the stands when they're supposed to be playing defense, and don't tuck their shirts in. They are like the Harlem Globetrotters if the Harlem Globetrottters actually played in Harlem, and not Madison Square Garden. The only problem with this is that the line between "Streetball" and the NBA has become very thin, and many professional players have crossed that line, which…

A mouthful of regret

When I was growing up, I rarely brushed my teeth, which, in retrospect, was probably a bad idea. I don't know why I avoided brushing my teeth. It's not like it hurt. Yet, I hated to do it.

In fact, I hated doing anything that involved my teeth. When I had my braces on as a kid, I never wore that God-forsaken headbrace at night, or put those attractive rubber bands in my mouth during the day. On one particular visit to my orthodontist - who was evil, and had chairs in his office shaped like teeth that I still see in my nightmares - he asked me if I had been wearing my rubber bands, to which I replied "yes." Then he told me to put them in, but I didn't know how, and rubber bands began slipping off of my fingers, shooting across his entire office, hitting other patients. This resulted in myself, my orthodontist, and my mother having a very heated discussion, on top of tooth-shaped chairs, about how I will never amount to anything unless I start wearing my rubber band…

Family softball: Hazardous to your health

I normally use this allotted space to discuss recent happenings in the world of professional sports, and then insert bad jokes periodically. But this week we’re going to try something different, because quite frankly, I’m getting sick of professional sports, with all of its’ ridiculous contracts, weed smoking, and non-televised games due to greedy cable companies. This week, we’re going to talk about people who play for the love of the game. People who play for pride. People who play, mostly, for beer.
My family.
Last weekend was important for many reasons, not the least of which was the commencement of the 1st Annual Kenny Family Softball Game, which was held at Johnson’s Park in Piscataway, and commanded the usual celebrity crowd, including “Popâ€� (my grandfather), Frankie Muniz — who was mistakingly under the impression that this was Rock & Jock 2004, and subsequently left in disgust — and Park Ranger John, who assured me that, as long as he didn’t see an…

Non-retirement speech

A lot of people often say to me, “Hey Mike — you’re young, untalented, undeniably charming, AND a great lover. Have you ever thought about retiring early, before your writing gets worse than it already is?� That’s a great question, and a very relevant one for this week, considering that Miami Dolphin running back Ricky Williams recently retired after just five seasons in the NFL. But enough about Ricky Williams. Let’s talk about me.

Retirement isn’t in the plans for me just yet. For one, I still love to write. Secondly, I have no other source of income. And finally, as much as I would love to stay home all day and watch reruns of “Mama’s Familyâ€� and “Judge Joe Brown,â€� I would probably go crazy, at which point I would have to call a news conference that nobody would attend where I would declare my intentions to drammatically return to the field of writing. I would have to wear a #45 jersey, instead of my usual shirt and tie. And, needless to say, I would prefe…

Reunion Number Two

All new homeowners have little problems that arise with their new house, I would assume, like squeaky doors, and windows that jam. But we - that is, my wife and I - have a rather odd problem in our new house, and I was wondering if, by chance, that this problem is more common than I think.

You see, the toilet in our guest bathroom occasionally regurgitates feces, and this feature was surprisingly not included in our homeowner's contract.

Let's say that I have a bowel movement in our guest bathroom, which is quite common considering I am not allowed to have bowel movements in the main bathroom, because that's where my wife keeps important things, like 345 bottles of lotion. Anyway, I will flush the toilet, like a good husband, and everything appears to be okay in our new house.

So let's say it's the next day, and I have the urge to perform another act of defecation. I will open the lid of the toilet, and right there staring back at me, like he just went to hell and …

Phat and all that

There is a man who lives in my development, most likely a modest, hard-working, Youth Group organizer at the local parish, who drives an SUV with a license plate that reads “Eyez Off,� which is to signify that everyone in the world, because they drive lesser vehicles than his, is not worthy of even making eye contact with his pimped-out GMAC SUV with the tinted windows. In fact, the windows are tinted so that if some crazy person actually had the audacity to lay their eyez ON his “ride,� they wouldn’t be able to see who the Youth Group leader is that is driving it. And then they would turn to stone, unable to withstand the hottness of the GMAC, to which this modest man would most likely reply, “I told you so...bitch.�

Of course, this man is not the only person who lets his vehicle do the talking. And in most of these cases, the vehicle is saying, “Look at me. I’m a jackass!�

Like the other day, while I was in the parking lot of the local supermarket, staring acr…

Continental Airlines: Where Passing The Buck Is Easier Than Refunding One

Hey - do you know what’s a highly underrated form of exciting entertainment? No? Well, try sitting on a mammoth plane, in the middle of a runway in Newark, New Jersey, not moving, behind 10 other mammoth planes, for 2 ½ hours because “Air Traffic Control� said so. This exercise is doubly exciting if you have a connecting flight, of which you were originally concerned how you would kill time in the airport waiting for, but now are hoping is filled with passengers looking around desperately at an empty seat, and saying things like, “Where the heck is Mike Kenny?� and “Don’t even think of taking off without Mike Kenny, Mr. Pilot!�

Unfortunately for me, that hope was futile, and I missed my connecting flight by a whopping five minutes, thanks to Continental Airlines, whose motto is, “Don’t Blame Us. We Already Have Your Money.â€� In retrospect, I probably should have steered clear of traveling on an airline with such a motto, but I was desperate to get to Phoenix, Ari…

Elvis is in the building

As is quite comon in the professional workplace, an Elvis impersonator visited our office the other day. Why? I'm not exactly sure.

What I did learn however, is that Elvis impersonators make no apologies. This particluar Elvis, who was decked out in full Elvis garb — a white jumpsuit, collar up, sunglasses, and white boots — walked in like he was wearing a suit and tie. There was no, "Hi, I'm Bob. You're probably wondering why the hell I'm in the middle of New Jersey dressed like Elvis Presley. It's because I am an Elvis impersonator, and I believe strongly in what I do, which is why I wear this outfit everywhere. I sleep with this on, in case you were wondering."

No, there was none of that.

I would assume that our noteworthy publication was doing a story on this Elvis. After all, in the last three weeks, we have done features on the Catwoman — a local lady who housed 35 cats and kittens in conditions deemed abusive, and who was forced to turn herse…

A little story

I am the circualtion manager at a newspaper in New Jersey. This means that I have to deal with drivers, those people directly responsible for getting our newspapers to the stores, homes, sewers, etc. This may sound crazy, but older people who deliver newspapers for a living aren't always the most stable of folk. Luckily for me, most of my drivers are very good workers, and good people at that. But I ran into a little problem a few weeks ago that brought me to the conversation I became involved in today.

One of my drivers, let's call him Mr. Alcoholic, went on a drinking binge three weeks ago, never picked up his papers, and stole the money that he had already collected from the stores that was supposed to go directly to me. This is status quo in the field of newspaper drivers, so after I threatened to press charges, I finally got the money back, all in singles. I wore gloves as I counted it. But alas, our newspaper has a policy against going on drinking binges and stealing com…

Liquid Fantast Part II

This was written a couple of weeks after it's predecessor...

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a great idea that I had. Well, now I have a new idea, and it’s to forget about the old one.

As many of you may remember, I thought up a wonderful invention: an additional shower faucet that releases liquid soap into the water stream, thus making the act of taking a shower more efficient. I was a bit apprehensive about releasing my idea to the general public, or that is, all of you, because I thought many of you jerks would think the idea was stupid. Then I realized that most of you don’t take showers anyway, so why would I care what you think?

Actually, the responses were very positive, and a lot of you actually liked the idea. And as you all know, I had already submitted my name and contact information to the ISC (Inventor’s Submission Corporation). Well, their “patent specialistâ€� called me back last week, and if Mel is in charge of getting things invented, then it’s a w…