Monday, April 25, 2011

In the Valley of the Cretin, the Half-Wit is King, Dept.

As some of you might know, I have a hate/hate relationship with those Bunyanesque twins, Willful Ignorance and Self-Inflicted Stupidity.  And, from daily exposure to their misshapen brood--in this episode, as you'll see, I encounter Cluelessness--I wear their stink like a '20s frat boy wore a beaver coat.

An example?  Certainly.  I arrive at a local medical facility for an appointment.  At the elevator bank, I press the "up" button.  Soon enough, the elevator arrives with a chiming tone and the illumination of a white and upwards-pointing arrow.  The door slides open.  Inside are two young women in their twenties.  They stare at me, but make no motion to exit.  I enter the elevator and press "4," the button for my floor, then share with them my view that this elevator is now going up.  "Naw, it's goin' down," I'm told.

The elevator door closes, and, to my non-surprise, it heads up.  The two women are confused.  They were apparently heading for the garage.  For which reason, I deduce from their few words to each other, they had pressed the starred "G" button, perhaps unaware of the convention whereby "G" stands for "Ground Floor," and of the one whereby a star beside the floor alphanumeric indicates that it is the principal exit floor.

The elevator, of its own volition, stops at 1.  This floor is handsomely appointed, wood-grain trim above and below, tastefully matched to the paint, other nice touches.  They overcome their apparent reluctance to leave the safe haven of the elevator, step out, look around and exclaim, "Where the hell we at?!" and "How we gettin' outta here?!" before the door slides back shut, sparing me the sight of their descent into madness.

Q: If they thought--perhaps not unreasonably--that "G" stood for "Garage," then why didn't they get out of the elevator when it arrived at that floor, particularly as they hadn't pressed any other buttons? 
A: Possibly because it didn't look like a garage floor might look.
Q: And the fancy-schmancy wood-paneled floor looked like the garage?
A: Yeah, I'd love to answer that, but I can't.

Q: At any rate, why insist, after I board the elevator, that it's going down, if they hadn't pushed any other buttons?
A: The topic of today's sermon:  Cluelessness.

Another?  My pleasure.  Casa Sobsister has a shabby little black metal mailbox that may, at one point, have been attached to the house.  It now leans against the house, its flappy door resting in the "closed" position.  So, some time back, in anticipation of a Thanksgiving trip out of town, I submitted a request to the USPS to hold our mail until we returned.  Off we go, back we come five days later.  Well, not only had my "hold mail" request not been heeded, but the brain trust that comprises the mail carrier corps of my local post office had kept wedging the mail into the narrow little mailbox, despite the fact that, oddly enough, the residents were not retrieving their mail.  As a consequence, then, of having a week's worth of mail (including magazines and a book) shoved into it, the mailbox stood with its flappy door forced open and skyward during a period when it rained quite heavily.  Did any of the fucktards from my local post office regard the situation and think, "Hmm...this customer's mailbox is entirely full, possibly as a consequence of not retrieving the mail due to absence.  Perhaps I should check to see if he has filed a 'hold mail' request."?  Short answer: no.  Somewhat-longer answer: no, because the radioactivity to which the postal drone in question exposes him- or herself while hanging onto a cell phone for the entirety of his or her shift renders him or her Clueless.  And that is the kindest of the explanations I've been able to devise.  Otherwise, why would I always get my next-door neighbors' mail?  Why would I get the mail for the lady one block over who has the same house number?  Why, despite the very large sign pasted to the shabby little mailbox that reads, "PLEASE KEEP CLOSED," do the mail carriers leave the flappy door w-i-d-e o-p-e-n?  It's Cluelessness, plain and simple.  Irremediable without a strong and conscious effort, which these shitwits are extremely unlikely to make as they slouch down the street, head and shoulder sandwiching a celly: "Mm-hmm.  Mm-hmm.  You know that's right.  Mm-hmm."

Q: What, are they retarded?
A: No, because the retarded make an effort.  These minus-quam-sub-geniuses don't.

I occasionally despair for the species.  And by "occasionally," I mean "every time I go outside."  And by "every time I go outside," I mean "I have to go outside because I don't trust the USPS to deliver my magazines without jamming them into my mailbox in the rain and leaving the flappy door open."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The 420 Steps, Dept.

So, last year on this date, I riffed on the cannabine associations of April 20.  Sophomoric prattle, really; terms like "rolling a fatty" and "torching a tenement tiki" being bandied about like a teenager's first pair of breasts.  And, certainly, there was a reference to a certain Austrian paperhanger's natal day.  How could there not have been?  But, the tone, I felt, was a low one.

So, instead, I thought today to honor the day with a bit of poetry.  Not my own, mind you.  That's so elevated in tone, it would bleach the tabs on either side of me in your browser.  No, something a bit more traditional.  Folk poetry, perhaps?  There's something invariably noble and grounded about the people's creative product, isn't there?  Well, let's see...what would be nice...?  Oh!  Yes.  This'll do.  This'll do nicely.

And so, without further ado, I offer for your delectation that family favorite, "The Ball of Inverness":

The Ball of Inverness

Four and twenty virgins,
Came down from Inverness,
And when the ball was over,
There were four and twenty less.

Singing balls to your father,
Your arse against the wall,
If you've never been fucked on a Saturday night,
You'll never be fucked at all.

Four and twenty prostitutes,
Came up from Gloccamore,
And only one went home that night,
And she was double-bore.

The village plumber he was there,
He felt an awful fool,
He'd come eleven leagues or more,
And forgot to bring his tool.

Sandy McPherson he came along,
It was a bloody shame.
He fucked a lassie forty times,
And wouldna take her haim.

Mrs. O'Malley she was there,
She had the crowd in fits,
A-jumping off the mantelpiece,
And landing on her tits.

The minister's wife was at the ball,
A-sitting in the front,
A wreath of flowers 'round her ass,
A carrot up her cunt.

Father Feeney he was there,
And in the corner he sat,
Amusing himself, abusing himself
And catching it in his hat.

The Parson's daughter she was there,
The cunning little runt,
With poison ivy up her arse,
And thistle up her cunt.

The Vicar's wife she drank beer,
Back up against the wall,
"Put your money on the table boys,
I'm fit to do ye all".

The Vicar and his lovely wife,
Were having lots of fun,
The Parson had his finger,
Up another lady's bum.

The vicar's daughter she was there,
Getting very merry,
Swinging from the chandelier
And peeing in the sherry

The Queen was in the parlor,
Eating bread and honey,
The King was in the chambermaid,
And she was in the money.

First lady forward,
Second lady back,
Third lady's finger,
Up the fourth lady's crack.

The bride was in the kitchen,
Explaining to the groom.
The vagina, not the rectum,
Is the entrance to the womb.

The groom was in the parlor,
Explaining to his bride.
The penis, not the scrotum,
Is the part that goes inside.

The village magician he was there,
Doing his favorite trick,
Pulling his foreskin over his head,
And vanishing up his dick.

The village cripple he was there,
He wasn't up too much,
He lined them up against the wall
And fucked them with his crutch.

Now farmer Giles he was there,
His sickle in his hand,
And when he swung the blade around,
He circumcised the band.

Giles he played a dirty trick,
We cannot let it pass,
He showed his lass his mighty prick,
Then shoved it up her ass.

Farmer Brown he was there,
A' jumping on his hat,
For half an acre of his corn
Was fairly fucking flat.

Officer O'Malley he was there,
The pride of all the force.
They found him in the stable,
Wanking off his horse.

The chimney sweep he was there,
They had to throw him out,
For every time he farted,
The room was filled with soot,

The village builder he was there,
He brought his bag of tricks,
He poured cement in all the holes,
And blunted all the pricks.

Little Jimmy he was there,
The leader of the choir,
He hit the balls of all the boys,
To make their voices higher.

Little Tommy he was there,
He was only eight,
He was too small for the women,
So he had to masturbate.

The village doctor he was there,
He had his bag of tricks,
And in between the dances,
He was sterilizing pricks.

The doctor's daughter she was there,
She went to gather sticks.
She couldna find a blade of grass,
For cunts and standing dicks.

The village postman he was there,
The poor man had the pox,
He couldna fuck the lassies,
So he fucked the letter box.

The village shepherd he was there,
And he began to weep,
All these willing women,
And not a single sheep.

The local harlot she was there,
A lay'in on the floor,
And every time she spread her legs,
The vacuum shut the door.

There was fucking in the haystacks,
Fucking in the ricks,
You couldna hear the music,
for the rustling of the pricks.

And when the ball was over,
Everyone confessed,
They all enjoyed the dancing,
But the fucking was the best.

Monday, April 18, 2011

American Hystery, Dept.

Your sobsister rides the subway to work.  Here in Choc City, the subway is called a "Metro," the sound of which conjures up Parisian romance, even as the experience conjures up Dantean expiation of what must have been horrible, horrible sins on Earth.  If Washington has been described as a city of southern efficiency and northern charm, the Metro is a transportation system of Nigerian efficiency and North Korean charm.  While the frisson of sudden and unexpected death by incompetence does shake the previous night's sleep from passengers each morning, it is not, on the whole, a pleasant experience.  And, by ironic understatement, I mean to say everyone associated with Metro--and here I'm looking at the person who let out the contract for installation and maintenance of the system's escalators--should be horsewhipped, if not daily, at least weekly.  At least weekly.  Maybe thrice a fortnight.  Which is pronounced "Cholmondley."

Anyhoo.  Every day, I wait for the Metro homebound, and I stare across at the facing platform, on which there is a backlit sign for a new show at Ford's Theatre.  The venue will likely be familiar to you as the place where Abraham Lincoln took in most of Our American Cousin.  And currently the theater is presenting a musical titled Liberty Smith.

Now, I don't claim to have psychic powers, you know, since the cease-and-desist, but, one look at that ad triggered what might be latent mutant tendencies.  The poster transparency shows the title character, a fellow, affable in appearance, seated with a colonial American flag in his lap.  I looked at the image, looked at the name of the production and intuited a show wherein the aformentioned Liberty Smith "happened" to have been comically present at key moments in revolutionary-era America.  Maybe he told Betsy Ross that concentric circles wouldn't work as well as stars and stripes.  Maybe he told Thomas Jefferson that once he went black, he would not, in fact, go back.  Something along those lines, all whimsical and juvenile and easily digestible.

So, today, after a few weeks of staring at that ad while waiting for the train, I went to the Ford's Theatre Web site and read the synopsis of Liberty Smith.  And it goes something like this:

Ford’s Theatre presents the world premiere of Liberty Smith, a madcap musical romp through Revolutionary America. A childhood friend of George Washington, apprentice to Benjamin Franklin and linked to Paul Revere’s remarkable ride, the elusive Liberty Smith weaves his way through familiar tales of a young nation.

As they say, nothing but net.  Madcap net.

Now, you may ask, will I find love or who will win the Stanley Cup or when will a cure for cancer be found?  My nascent powers, I believe, confer upon me a sacred trust to use them wisely, sparingly and well.  Further, regarding the Stanley Cup, I think I'd rather inventory the earthworms in my back yard than devote a scintilla of thought to the most pointless of the generally pointless array of professional sports.  But were you to ask: How is Liberty Smith?  As two teams of wild horses would be woefully inadequate to drag me down to the theater, I'll supply a few choice quotes from the Washington Post's reviewer: "this energetic if flavor-deprived waltz through American revolutionary history...[is] a harmless riff on what spills out of every elementary school history text...The predicaments seem inspired by lame skits from long-ago TV variety shows."  Funnily enough, none of this is quoted in the ad, which someone very carefully crafted from the handful of phrases in the review that didn't damn with faint meh.

So, yes, Liberty Smith.  Exactly what out-of-towners expect of a Washington show and about what they deserve.  I keep wanting to call it "Liberty Jones," except that would be the title for a Bing Crosby musical number of my imagining, circa 1940, featuring a goggle-eyed pickaninny shoeshine boy who dreams of being elected to a White House surrounded by cotton fields and watermelon patches, with a Secretary of Fried Chicken and a federal tap dancing holiday.  "Liberty (Liberty!) His momma named him Liberty (Liberty!), 'Cause he'll set all the dark people free."

At any rate, pastiche pool's closed, kids.  It's time to retire for the evening to face down another day tomorrow.  And so, as another blogger once wrote, to bed.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

It's on Everyone's Lips, Dept.

You would think sodomy would be a divisive issue in today's America, but, surprisingly, it is not.

Democrats, for example, enjoy having their dicks sucked by zaftig interns with daddy issues, while Republicans like being reamed by hung rentboys.  It's as natural as cherry blossoms in spring or fetal alcohol syndrome in reality show contestants.

Apropos of which, former Sen. Rick Santorum has taken the first baby steps towards the White House by announcing the fundraising committee that will sound the waters for financial support for his candidacy.  For those who've not had the opportunity to google "Santorum," the Web site is the first hit for the former senator's surname, thanks to the SEO efforts of sex-advice columnist Dan Savage and his many followers.  The site's purpose: to immortalize the redefinition of "santorum" (as devised by Savage's readers) as "the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex."  Savage and his followers took the initiative in response to the former senator's many and unenlightened pronouncements on homosexuality.  (The second Google hit is the Wikipedia page for "Santorum (sexual neologism)"--huh huh, he said "jism"--followed only then by Santorum's Wikipedia bio page.)

Now, Santorum, as a devout Catholic--if his seven children and virulently antigay pronouncements are any barometer--may be a stranger to back-door lovin', given that, by my best calculations, it doesn't seem to lead to babies very often (one notable exception: Glenn Beck).  Or, as a devout Catholic who is virulently antigay, he may be well-acquainted with back-door lovin' (see rentboy above).  It's all between him and his confessor.  Who may be well-acquainted with back-door lovin' (see rentboy above).

But Santorum's reappearance on the national stage after having had his pee-pee spanked in the 2006 senatorial race by Democrat Bob Casey will allow national media to revisit this "colorful" senator's past statements and activities and report them to an audience a bit bigger than the tragically slackjawed Pennsylvania electorate that first elevated him to Capitol Hill.

Here's one of my favorite Santorum stories, a testament, really, to the type of president he might make were he to achieve this nation's highest elected office.  So, as I noted, Santorum and his wife have seven children.  Well, actually, they would have had eight, but the child fifth in line died a few hours after birth due to a severe genetic disorder.  A tragedy by any reckoning, but Santorum decided to put his own special spin on the situation by bringing the deceased infant home, introducing it to his four children as "your brother Gabriel" and spending the night with it before returning it to the hospital the next day.  Talk about kickin' it old-school.  That's an attitude towards death with which most Americans would be familiar.  In the 19th century.  When post-mortem photography reached its zenith.  It's certainly of a piece with his attendance of Latin Mass and his trogolodytic attitude towards human sexuality.  Would your sobsister be surprised to find that Santorum cinches a metal cilice around his thigh just a bit tighter when he has an impure thought about Justin Bieber?  Well, would your sobsister be surprised to find that Yosemite Sam recently pitched a minor hissy regarding a certain consarned long-eared galoot?

So, yes, Rick Santorum, welcome back to the national stage.  In an electoral season where the ring is increasingly crowded by the tinfoil hats of the bizarre, disturbed and irrational politicians of the American Right, a man synonymous with shit-flecked spooge should feel right at home.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Definition of Solipsism, Dept.

I'm on Twitter.  As some of you may recall, I'd ridiculed Twitter before I joined, its notion that anyone outside of your head cares in any meaningful way about your individual thoughts and actions unless they're your parents or your stalker.  But I did join, first, by setting up my office's account and then, familiarized, by setting up my own.

I've used it more or less frequently since joining.  It's fun to craft a punchy statement while working within the character constraints, and it's nice to "publish" a quick thought that isn't substantial enough for a blog post.  From the user standpoint, it's great to find content from a variety of providers, from friends to corporations to commentators on it all.

But, here's the thing: I follow just over 60 accounts, and, even so, I rarely have the time to do more than cast a quick glance at these tweets when I do access Twitter to post, clicking infrequently through the attached links and never scrolling down more than a few screens.  As a consequence, unless I make the effort to see what one Twitterer has had to say over X period of time, I miss much of what's been said while I've been offline.

By contrast, at work, I use HootSuite throughout the day to track my office's tweets, as well as subscription tweets, responses and retweets, in a four-column configuration.  To the casual observer, it looks as if I'm monitoring battlefield reports at a C3 bunker, new tweets streaming on constantly, the software chiding me if I leave it unattended for over an hour.

I'm sorry, but either scenario is more than a bit unsatisfying.  I mean, I want to be as informed as the next fellow of Christina Aguilera's thoughts on a real-time basis.  And, doubtless, some of you are far more efficient than I and effortlessly multitask monitoring your overflowing Twitter stream, even as you earn Foursquare badges and update your Facebook status.  But the democratization of online communication and the concomitant multiple-magnitude increase in online content have made it, to my mind, almost impossible to conduct a casual online life, one that does not require constant care, attention and commitment if one is actually to use the social media for which one has created accounts.

Granted, even among this democratized twittering class, some voices, by dint either of celebrity or of the actual value of their content, draw eyeballs.  The aforementioned Aguilera has been on Twitter for just under a month and has over 220 thousand followers.  Britney Spears has been on since October 2008, has 7.4 million followers and follows 417 thousand others.  That said, while it's understandable that more people than inhabit Massachusetts would want to catch such gems as "@rihanna You're such a tease! I like it, like it.... -Britney" drop from BritBrit's virtual lips, is Britney assiduously reading the tweets from all four hundred thousand-plus of her followers?  Such as intriguing tweet "@ You didn't actually :') Like whaaaat? A PINK DILDO? :B <3"
or any of the tweets from the 12-year-old "Verified Beliebers" who also follow her?

In truth, is anyone listening to anyone else?  Because from my perspective, it's the virtual equivalent to a stadium concert where everyone is too busy texting, talking and tweeting to actually watch the act onstage.  Except that the act onstage is everyone texting, talking and tweeting.  And if that's the case, then what's Twitter but the ocean into which everyone throws a message in a bottle knowing? assuming? hoping? that someone will not only find it, but take 30 seconds to read it?

I referred earlier to the "democratization" of online communication, but Twitter represents not so much the democratization of electronic media as the reification of the ego.  The expression of each individual, however benighted or brilliant, is given form and life in a way unimaginable a generation ago.  As a consequence, people, their dreams kindled and expectations raised, want to be heard--even if they don't want to hear others--and want to have even a little assurance that they are being heard.  "Follow-me-I'll-follow-you" logrolling only goes so far (the rolled log being the remains of the tree that fell in the forest to no audience), because you, Joe or Jane Blow, may have a thousand followers, but can you say with certainty that any 100 are actually reading your tweets regularly?  If others do this math, then I can see a near future when Twitter sheds its "social media" skin to serve as a customer service channel for merchants such as airlines and big box retail or an expedited channel for news dissemination, be it from media, the government or grassroots reporters.  But the notion that everyone or anyone cares about each and every hair, mood, location or LOLZOMG!! tweet you squirt is likely, I think, to be discarded sooner rather than later.

Because, ultimately, you're not that interesting, and neither am I.  Keeping that knowledge to ourselves is as essential to the social compact as covering one's mouth during a sneeze and faking an orgasm with royalty.  Any system that reminds us, tacitly or otherwise, of the world's indifference to the minutiae of our mental lives is not fated to enjoy a long life.

Monday, April 04, 2011

The Conscience of the King, Dept.

So, I'd recorded the All Together Now: A Celebration of Service TV special that aired March 28 on NBC.  A little bit of propaganda to goose the notions of service and volunteerism among the couchlocked viewing audience.  All the living former presidents were in attendance, and, for some reason, Bush XLI was being particularly fĂȘted.  Or "fetid," I'm not sure which.  So, Bill, Jimmy, Dubya and Poppy were all on display, along with the no-account Bushes, old Barbara and hot Barbara, etc.

From the attendees, you might imagine that the entertainment on offer would not be boundary-pushing.  Whoever the fuck Miranda Cosgrove might be gave a little speech about service or something.  Cee Lo Green came out to sing a verse of "Soul Man," then introduced his uncle, Sam Moore of Sam and Dave, who duetted with him.  Brad Paisley, who we know is "country" 'cause he had the good taste to sport both an inappropriately large white cowboy hat and a silver-glitter-and-paisley Telecaster, sang "Try a Little Kindness."  Lots of reaction shots of the prezzies.  GHWB was looking very Monty-Burns-ish.  Dubya unsurprisingly looked lost, as if Laura had snookered him into going out by telling him they were going to see The Wiggles.  Bill, minus Hill who actually has paying work, was eyeing Miranda Cosgrove like a cartoon cannibal eyes Bugs Bunny.  Jimmy and Rosalynn looked marooned on an island of fatuous.

Several speeches later, Carrie Underwood is introduced.  I expect her to sing "Jesus Take the Wheel" or "Jesus Go Out for Burgers" or some other of her simultaneously pious and patriotic numbers.  Out she struts in a snug'n'shiny black suit with three-quarter sleeves over a pirate shirt.  Cut to the prezzies: old Barbara and Dubya and the rest are bobbing their heads to the intro music in expectation of some sweet Muskogee truisms about the flag and the Lord.

Instead, Carrie plants herself mid-stage and launches into
Instant Karma's gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you're gonna be dead

If anyone with even slightly less Red State cred than Carrie U. had addressed these lines at the assembled, she would've been run out of town on a rail after a vigorous horsewhipping.  Instead, Carrie stands there, unsmiling, staring up and out at the prezzies and sings
Instant Karma's gonna get you
Gonna look you right in the face
Better get yourself together darlin'
Join the human race

Umm, wow.  Okay.  Maybe she? the producers? Satan? thought that the "Well we all shine on/Like the moon and the stars and the sun" bit made this song up-tempo and happy and appropriate for the occasion.  Or maybe Carrie Underwood is the most subversive woman in America.  But to tell this particular band of men, to tell the honoree and his skeeze-bag sons seated to his right and left, that karma is hovering over them like the Eumenides over Orestes?  Oh snap, girl.  That's better than Colbert reading Dubya at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.

I don't own any of her albums.  I didn't root for her the year she won Idol.  I don't know the backstory to this performance.  But for four minutes this week, I was a huge Carrie Underwood fan.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

The Coprokomodia, Dept.

So, this episode contains allusive content that may prove distressing to those with sensitive nerves or vivid imaginations.  Let that serve as my only warning.  Which reminds me, how's your mom, Ed?

I'm at work.  I'm in the bathroom, I enter a stall.  Someone is already in the far stall, the handicapable stall.  As I ponder, let my thoughts meander, freely wander, the occupant of the far stall begins to make noises.  The noises a very unfit man makes walking uphill in the summer.  The hard breaths, the grunts.  Should I intervene?  Is the occupant in distress?  Is the occupant about to gaochao?  Is the four-alarm chili doing a Sherman through his Georgia?

The noise continues.  It ends.  The hoarse roar of his flush masks other ejaculations.  I can see a sliver of the sinks through the crack between my stall door and the stall frame.  The heavy breather--I recognize him, a morbidly obese dude in his early 30s I've seen on my floor--stops at a sink only long enough to trigger the motion-sensor water flow with a swipe of a hand, then walks to the paper dispenser to grab a length and out the door.

I can understand many trespasses and forgive some.  Situation and circumstance can force men and women to do things that they might not have chosen to do, or they can offer men and women the opportunity to do things that they oughtn't.  But the pro forma automatic sink swipe to convince whom? Me? Jesus? Ceiling cat? that you had washed your hands as thoroughly as anyone who's just finished a hot toilet grunt session might do, i.e., as thoroughly as if about to perform open thoracic surgery.  That I shall not forgive or *gaak* forget.

You don't know me, and I don't know you.  But, entre nous, in Tom Cruise's words from Magnolia, I'm quietly judging you.  The judgment? You are one fa schifo motherfucker.

And I hope the maintenance guy scalds the bathroom door handles every night.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Gen 6:4, Dept.

Listening to a stream of Miles Davis' sextet on April 12, 1970 at the Fillmore West.  Jesus Mary and Joseph O'Leary, they started with an "It's About That Time" that must've flash-fried every hippie in that temple to Euterpe, then continued one minute voodoo funk the next free blowing for the entirety of the set, with occasional oases of quiet lyricism.  If you've ever asked yourself as I am wont to do, "What's a good example of a band that listens to each other with elephant ears, then plays as tightly as, I don't know, some 12-armed deity of asskicking ecstacy music?," this will answer your question.

Then, the Grateful Dead walked on to headline, reportedly awed by Davis and his band.  No offense to the Dead, and on their home court yet, but you can only follow an opener like that, to quote Lenny Bruce, with Art Baker whacking it in Bert Parks' face.