Friday, December 16, 2011


1.  "Christmas With the Gingriches"

2.  "Winnie the Pooh's Holiday Pot Party"

3.   "Herman Cain's 999 Mistletoe Memories"

4.  "Police Navidad"

5.   "Joey Buttafuoco's Last Incarcerated Christmas" (encore presentation)

(See your local listings for time and station information.)


In response to numerous requests, here are the song titles Jim wrote for a Chicago Tribune staff newsletter of long ago.

10.  "A Way With a Stranger"
  9.  "It Came Upon a Midnight Leer"
  8.  "Rudolph the Snot-Nosed Reindeer"
  7.  "All I Want for Christmas is a Plea Bargain"
  6.  "I Heard the Sirens on Christmas Day"
  5.  "Have Yourself a Very Little Christmas"
  4.  "Do You Snort What I Snort?"
  3.  "It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Memphis"
  2.  "I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus"

And last but not least: 

 1.  "Christopher Walken in a Winter Wonderland"

(Get your copy of the lyrics to these songs at all participating Red Lobster.)


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life: 
  • Do they make partial toupees?  (What would they call them--throw rugs?)
  • Got "Merry Christmas'ed" for the first time on Dec. 2!  (Well, the displays have been up since mid-September, so I guess I shouldn't have been all that surprised. )
  • Remember when you went to buy orange juice and didn’t have 37 choices confronting you?  Lots of Pulp, Some Pulp, No Pulp, From Concentrate, Not From Concentrate, Fortified with Calcium, Fortified with Vitamins D and E, Low Acid . . . .  (Not labeled just yet:  Toxic and Non-Toxic!)
  • Personal to Herman Cain:  If you aren't on horseback, don't wear a cowboy hat.  (Some called it a pimp hat, but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.  But only on that score.)
  • Do they sell Quilted Southern toilet paper in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi . . . .?
  • SZSEZ's Media Word of the Week (a word you only see in print or hear on broadcast media but never hear a real person ever use):  "Erstwhile."
  • "Wanting to meet an author because you like his books is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pate."--Margaret Atwood, quoted in
  • Cultural note:  Did a double-take when I skimmed the concert listings in the Weekend section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and saw "The Milwaukee Symphony plays the music of Led Zeppelin, Dec. 10, Riverside Theater."  What's next:  "The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Plays Rachmaninov . . . "?
  • Musical note:  Tennessee has eight--count 'em--Official State Songs.  New Jersey?  None.  (Kind of hard to work into a conversation, but there you have it.  The SZSEZ experience at its quirky, idiosyncratic best.)
  • Headline:  "Cops closed two brothels owned by gang." 
  • Brothel. Now there's a strange word.  ("Hey, keep it decent; no brotheling allowed in here!" "What  the brothel is going on here?"  "I drank all weekend and really got brotheled up!")
  • All-Over-Rated Club:  Roy Orbison, Jimmy Kimmel and Queen Latifah.
  • Why do I have to "Log in" to "My Account" when it's already in MY mail box?  Don't they already know it's me?  How else do I have access to it?  They sent it to me!  Maddening.
  • Another (bad?) sign of the times:  Twenty or more years ago, maybe not even that long ago,  most Americans could name the heavyweight champion of the world.  Now?  Not so much; in fact, not anyone that I know of.   For all I know, there could be three of them claiming the crown at this very moment.   (And outside of that sleazy, brutal corner of the world,  who cares?)
  • "I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin deep.  That's deep enough.  What do you want, an adorable pancreas?--Author Jean Kerr to the Columbia, Mo., Daily Tribune
  • Another in a series of Stupid Warnings on Actual Products: On a Japanese product used to relieve painful hemorrhoids: "Lie down on bed and insert poscool slowly up to the projected portion like a sword-guard into anal duct. While inserting poscool for approximately 5 minutes, keep quiet."
  • Thirtieth entry in the Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw it Mentioned in a Newspaper Obituary sweepstakes: Tigerton, Wis. (R.I.P., Candace L. Cornelius, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, Dec. 1, 2011.) Previous entries: Athelstane, Walhain, Duck Creek, Breed, Anston, Sobieski, Amberg, Osseo, Angelica, Brazeau, Waukechon, Sugar Camp, Kossuth, Lessor, Kunesh, Pulcifer, Cato, Florence, Greenleaf, Eaton, Poygan, Hofa Park, Hilbert, Hollandtown, Beaufort, Glennie, Harshaw, Bessemer and Crooked Lake.
  • The question: What are public hugging, selling chewing gum or forgetting to flush a public toilet? Answer: Real crimes with big fines in Singapore (according to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg).
  • New SZSEZ Rule of Thumb: Never eat at a place called Mom's, never play poker with a man named Doc . . . and never answer the phone between 6 and 7 p.m.  (99.9 percent probability it's a telemarketer.)
  • (Isn't it about time that charities and questionable organizations like "The Volunteer Firefighter's Adoration and Appreciation Association" get put on the No-Call List?)
  • "People call us lazy, that's what gets to me. We're not lazy, folks. We've only been in this country for 300 years. We built nuclear weapons plants, malls, factories. We're not lazy--we're done."--Colin Quinn 
  • Guys who wear their watches on the inside of their wrists are in need of immediate counseling.
  • Stupid Warning Label on Actual Product II:  On a cardboard windshield sun shade: "Warning: Do Not Drive With Sun Shield in Place."
  • Today's Latin lesson:  Is dico may exsisto recorded pro palaestra voluntas.  ("This call may be recorded for training purposes.")