By Robert Gillis. A combination post of four columns that have been published as follows: Published in the Foxboro Reporter and the Boston City Paper: (1): 2/2007; (2): 7/2007; (3): 4/2008; (4): 7/2008. Also, Boston Herald (Paris Hilton / $1 million) as a “Letter to the Editor” 6/26/2007.

Slow news day. Random Thoughts.

Celebrities …

You know who we never see any more? Rachel Ray. Whatever happened to her?

Like most people in this day and age, when faced with a moral dilemma, I ask myself, “What would Britney Spears do?” And then I do the opposite of that.

Speaking of Britney Spears: Please go away.

Note to the paparazzi constantly following Britney Spears and putting her on the cover of your magazines, consider the following quote from a reader in Esquire Magazine, praising that publication for running a terrific profile of a disabled soldier returning from Iraq: “We need more covers of real heroes and not Hollywood types who have never risked anything, accomplished anything meaningful, or sacrificed for others.”

On that note, here’s something I would love to see: “Ladies and Gentlemen, we here at NBC have decided not to pay one million dollars for the first exclusive interview with Paris Hilton when she is released from jail. If she has a message to share with the public, we will be happy to interview her at no charge. We’re going to take that one million dollars and give $50,000 each to twenty of the neediest city food banks across the nation. That way, rather than giving ONE MILLION DOLLARS to someone who doesn’t need the money, we will be helping thousands of people find food to put on the table. We here at NBC hope you understand.”

Yeah, that’ll happen.

And speaking of media, let’s talk about the Boston Herald …

Please stop referring to Gisele Bundchen as Tom Brady’s “Brazilian Boo” and actress Bridget Moynahan as “Tom Brady’s Baby Momma.” And a note to everyone regarding the Gisele Bundchen / Tom Brady / Bridget Moynahan baby thing: Can you just mind your own damn business?

I’m no English major, but second note to the Boston Herald: It’s not, “busted,” it’s “arrested.” And it’s not, “slammer,” it’s “jail.” It’s “drugs,” not “dope,” or “pot,” and it’s “police officer,” “not cop.”

Finally to the Herald: Any news article that mentions “busted” and “men’s room” in the same sentence is never a happy story.

Speaking of sex, let me understand this: Candice Houlihan, the former STRIPPER who committed ADULTERY with Yankees player Alex Rodriguez, is applauding A-Rod’s wife Cynthia for divorcing A-Rod because he cheated on Cynthia with many women including … um, her???

While we’re on the subject of sex, did you know there is actually a yearly adult movie awards ceremony in Las Vegas — the AVNs, the “Academy Awards” for porn movies. I have one question: Do award winners thank their parents? “I want to say thanks to my Mom and Dad, for your unwavering support — I couldn’t have made Barely Legal Lesbian Cheerleaders Gone Wild and Spanked 28 without you!” Even scarier: Do they thank God?

Speaking of God, wouldn’t the world be a far better place if the commandment were, “Thou shall not commit any act of violence, torture or murder in the name of God.” I don’t claim to be a religious scholar, but I’m sure that the commandment “Thou Shall Not Murder” didn’t have a “Except in God’s name” escape clause.

Speaking of violence: The United Nations announced today that effective immediately the new policy regarding worldwide human rights abuses will be as follows: “STOP! Or we’ll do nothing!”

Speaking of politics …

“You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test” — Former President George W. Bush

“You helped our nation celebrate its bicentennial in 17 … ” {pause} ” … 1976.” — Former President George W. Bush, to Queen Elizabeth, Washington, D.C., May 7, 2007

“Wait a minute. What did you just say? You’re predicting $4-a-gallon gas? … That’s interesting. I hadn’t heard that.” — Former George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Feb. 28, 2008.

Congrats to Governor Patrick and everyone on Beacon Hill who sneaked in the “urgently needed” tax on cigarettes while letting so much else needed legislation die. Golly, it sure is a good thing that all that new tax money will go entirely toward smoking cessation programs and the American Cancer Society, and not toward pork barrel projects, right? Right?


*cricket* *cricket* *cricket*

See also: “Mass Turnpike to be paid off in 1985.”

Speaking of the Pike, many of their “Fast Lane” transponders are malfunctioning, which brings us to technology …

In computer storage, you’ve probably heard of Megabytes and Gigabyte and maybe even Terabytes. What comes after that? Petabyte, Exabyte, and Zettabyte. And after that? I’d like to suggest, “Naughty Byte,” because let’s face it, if you need that much computer disk storage, you’re probably downloading naughty videos or sharing lots of music files.

And thank you for calling! If you’re calling from a rotary phone, press 1! This call may be monitored for quality and training purposes. And by “quality and training,” we mean, “In case you swear at us.” To continue in English, veuillez serrer un — oder sagen Sie das Wort “Englisch” nach dem Ton — por favor espera para un operador. Grazie.

And speaking of technology we do not need: Dear Supermarket Managers: We hate “Checkout TV.” The world is a noisy enough place without your blasting old Jay Leno clips and 10 second meal tips at us while we’re sorting the produce and trying to find our discount card while our children are asking for more candy. We lived for decades without Checkout TV and got along just fine. Please shut it off?

Note to everyone: Everyone else thinks your ring tone is annoying, not cute. Shut it off.

Dear man at the Sharon Commuter Rail Station who regularly stops in the crowd of people walking up the stairs to check your email on your Blackberry — the rest of us reserve the right to toss you bodily to the concrete below if you don’t stop doing that.

Our final section is entitled, “That’s so random…”

I got a fever! And the only prescription … Is more cowbell!

If Kryptonians are so super, why do they live in igloos?

Mr. Pibb and Red Vines = CRAZY DELICIOUS

We need more TV commercials where people walk into doors and spill their coffee all over themselves. (“Door: OPEN!” {CRASH!} {SPLASH!}) I love that.

“Olsen, where are the photos of that birthday clown massacre thing?” — Perry White.

Whatever happened to S&H; green stamps?

Did you ever realize that on TV and in the movies, whenever anyone orders Chinese food takeout, they eat it out of the container with chopsticks? I have never, ever seen this done in real life with Chinese take out food.

Seen on the t-shirt of a very attractive young lady on the commuter rail: “Make cupcakes, not war.”

That’s good advice, and a nice thought to wrap up a slow news day.

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