Home > Uncategorized > FATZ: Texas heat, Farewell to Jacko and McNair, ‘Boring’ Cohen, and someone President Reagan disliked

FATZ: Texas heat, Farewell to Jacko and McNair, ‘Boring’ Cohen, and someone President Reagan disliked

My latest column sent to the Beeville Bee-Picayune

From A to Zowie
Texas heat, Farewell to Jacko and McNair, ‘Boring’ Cohen, and someone President Reagan disliked
By Richard Zowie
…Daytime temperatures in Michigan have reached the low nineties. Someone recently asked me, “Hot enough for ya?”

I replied, “You’ve never been to Texas, have you?”

Reading a recent issue of the Beeville Bee-Picayune, I was amazed to see one business displaying the temperature at 111 degrees.

Zowie! I thought, taking my last name in vain at the thought of such high temperatures.

Maybe my memory’s fading as I get older, but I could’ve sworn we had one particularly brutal heat wave in Beeville in the mid eighties. For a few summer months in the Summer of Parachute Pants and Michael Jackson Mania, the daytime high always surpassed 110 degrees. I also seem to remember Tom Nix, then the weatherman on Corpus Christi’s ABC affiliate KIII, telling us one day that summer how Beeville’s temperature of around 116 was the hottest recorded temperature in the nation. Even hotter than America’s Official Oven of Death Valley, Calif.

It led me to conclude that an air conditioning repairperson in Beeville will never have to file for unemployment.

It might really amuse Beeville readers to learn there is actually a town in Michigan called Hell. One popular winter activity is to photograph the city sign when it has icicles hanging from it. As in, h**l freezes over.

Ha. I understand there was a rush of people who chose to get married in Hell, Mich., on none other than June 6, 2006, or 06-06-06.

I’ve endured both extremes—110-degree heat in Texas and Michigan winters where my car almost didn’t start because the temperature was 18 degrees below zero. As crazy as it may sound, I’d rather endure a Michigan winter than a Texas summer.

Minus nasty, 20-inch snowstorms, where some Michiganders will still drive on Interstate-69 at 75 mph even with about 20 feet of visibility…

…Speaking of Michael Jackson, I was surprised to hear of his untimely death. He certainly had a seesaw life, having the top-selling album all-time in the 1982 “Thriller” but also having a very messy personal and financial life. Some sources claim Jackson was around $400 million in debt despite all the albums he sold.

I respect the musical artist, but I also remember the numerous accusations of inappropriate behavior with children. Jackson was acquitted in one case, but he settled out of court on at least two occasions. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

It’s been said Jackson never really had a childhood and was abused by his father, but I don’t buy that as an excuse for his behavior. I’ve known people who were physically and emotionally abused in their childhoods but still turned out to be well-adjusted, well-respected adults…

…Besides Jackson’s passing, I was also shocked to hear of the untimely death of former Houston Oilers quarterback Steve McNair, who led the Tennessee Titans to a Super Bowl and later played for the Baltimore Ravens. McNair died in what appears to be a murder-suicide. He was only eight days younger than I am.

His personal life aside, here’s how I’ll remember McNair. He came to the NFL out of Mississippi’s Alcorn State University, a lower division school. Amongst countless unsuccessful NFL quarterbacks from Division I schools like Notre Dame (Rick Mirer and Ron Paulus), Washington State (Ryan Leaf), Georgia (Quincy Carter), Colorado (Kordell Stewart), Virginia Tech (Jim Druckenmiller) and Miami (Gino Torretta), McNair proved that where you played college football isn’t as important as the skills you have and how well they’ve developed.

Sorry to see you gone so soon, Steve…

…There are people out there who laugh themselves limp at movies like “Borat” and “Brüno”, both of which star British “comedian” Sacha Baron Cohen. I don’t get it.

Or, maybe it’s just not really funny.

Here’s my policy on deciding whether to waste 90 minutes to two hours of my life watching a movie. I watch the previews and read what the movie’s about. If the previews look dull and the plot sounds stupid, I pass. This is why I haven’t seen either of the two aforementioned films.

I love to laugh, and anyone in Beeville who knows me (such as my parents, my oldest sister, my brother-in-law and anyone I went to A.C. Jones High School with) can attest to that. But when humor relies on offensive stereotypes or gags pertaining to disgusting bodily functions, I pass.

Want examples? In Borat, Baron Cohen gives a politician cheese and then tells him the cheese was made from human breast milk.

Did you think that was funny? Neither did I.

And, yes, while I don’t care for Baron Cohen, I do like some of the British comedies. “Keeping Up Appearances”, “Are You Being Served?”, “My Hero” and “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” are favorites.

Unwitting people can make for great comedy when done in the harmless style of “Candid Camera”, but I find Sacha Baron Cohen’s “comedy” another example of why comedy is in desperate need of a laugh transplant, stat!…

…I just finished re-reading “The Reagan Diaries”, a book where former President Ronald Reagan chronicled his eight years in the Oval Office. Sorry, political lefties, but he wasn’t even remotely the dunce you’d prefer to imagine.

Making its way around the internet is a rumor that one of the entries has Reagan grousing about trying to find a job for then-Vice President George H.W. Bush’s ne’er-do-well oldest son George W.

Too bad it’s an urban legend.

However, the Gipper did record an entry where he talked about one “smooth” Democratic senator who’s also a “pure demagogue” and out to save America from “the Reagan Doctrine”.

Care to guess who that senator was?

Treat yourself to a Pantry breakfast taco if you answered current Vice President Joe Biden…
Richard Zowie grew up in Beeville and remembers the value of a good air conditioner. He works in Michigan as a writer. His e-mail address is richardzowie@gmail.com. An active blogger (he currently operates four and also blogs about sports), his satirical work can be found at www.ponderingsfrompluto.wordpress.com.

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