SlowNewsDayFullBy Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City paper 1/2012

Back by popular demand, and because we REALLY need some humor in the local news, slow news day, random thoughts, entertainment edition!

The New Year begins with the heartbreaking word that Katy Perry and Russell Brand are divorcing. My immediate and obvious question comes up — is she too young for me (27?). Probably. I mean, she’s adorable, I love her music and she doesn’t scare me.

Lady Ga Ga scares me. A lot. I like a few of her songs but she scares me. Then again, in a bar fight, I guess I’d want Lady Gaga and not Katy Perry backing me up. Then again, I haven’t been in many bar fights lately. So maybe Lady Gaga could do the fighting and Katy and I could go make out. Wait, did I just say that?

Speaking of bars, did you ever notice that on TV, the character walks into a bar and orders a beer. Not a Budweiser Light, not a Heineken, but a BEER. NO bartender ever asks, “What kind of beer?” or says, “We have 75 brews on tap,” they just give the customer a BEER. This never happens in real life.

On the same subject, sometime after Christmas I’m watching TV and a commercial of a beautiful Christmas tree comes up with a crowd gathered around it. The tagline says, “It doesn’t matter what’s on the tree, it’s what’s around it,” and it shows bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey around the tree. I busted out laughing. I just think it would be hilarious if the commercial ended more TRUTHFULLY with the words, “Jack Daniels whiskey: Ruining Christmases since 1846.”

Speaking of truth in advertising, a new commercial for a truck shows it SNOWBOARDING (or perhaps skiing) as it plunges down a snowy mountain, doing a barrel roll before safely landing at the bottom of the mountain. “DO NOT ATTEMPT!” is displayed on the bottom of the screen.

Do not attempt? Seriously? Really? You, mean, I shouldn’t SNOWBOARD my new truck (should I ever buy one) down Mount Attitash? Good Lord, even if I COULD find a way to get the truck UP the mountain, surely there are laws against this sort of behavior? What about the poor skiers? It’s enough they have to watch out for trees and other skiers, but plunging, barrel-rolling TRUCKS?

I mean imagine the funeral: “Did you hear about poor Jimmy? Got killed skiing.” / “Oh, did he hit a tree?” / “Nope, Ford-F50 got him.” / “Man, I hate those plunging, out of control trucks. They shouldn’t be allowed on the ski slopes.”

Thank God the disclaimer was displayed — because I was THIS CLOSE to heading up to the White Mountains and doing some serious truck-skiing. Wait, I don’t own a truck. I don’t even ski because I fall down a lot when I do. Anyway…

Back to TV and video: “Dear Netflix: Please stop writing to me. It’s been months; I haven’t changed my mind; we’re over. We had a good run, and maybe I’m going through a selfish phase right now, but your cavalier attitude your customers, your disregard for the economy, and your habit of often shipping unplayable disks just got annoying. Perhaps someday we’ll be friends again, but for now, just let me be. No hard feelings, OK?”

Speaking of that, I get a little sad when I see a shuttered video store. I always liked them. And kids today probably don’t know what, “Be kind, rewind” means. Farewell and goodbye, brick and mortar video stores, we hardly knew ye. On that note, the only time you hear the words “brick and mortar” these days is when an online store has forced a “regular” store to close.

Speaking of farewells, no one on TV ever says “Goodbye” when they end a cell phone call. Watch for it, it’s true; they have their conversation and just hang up. It’s really rude.

When critics hail an upcoming film as, “The best movie of the year,” it’s a good idea to remember this is JANUARY or FEBRUARY.

Speaking of quality cinema and its exact opposite, I have tried to watch Jersey Shore. I simply can’t do it. I can’t get through five minutes of an episode. I mean, I can literally feel my brain cells begin to scream and die. I just don’t understand the fascination with these frivolous people. I mean, I’m frivolous and often clueless, and you don’t see ME going to Italy on reality TV and writing million-dollar best-sellers about doing laundry, going to the gym, and tanning.

Even if a show is good, I think most TV shows should only go about seven years. Even the best shows, by seven years, start running out of story ideas, get tired, or hire Ted McGinley or Cousin Oliver. Seven seasons and done, I say. {cough} The Simpsons {cough}

Speaking of not knowing when to get off the stage, how exactly is it that stars like Justin Beiber and Miley Cyrus can write autobiographies? I mean, if you’re going to tell your life story, don’t you have to, I dunno, LIVE more than 17 years first? I mean, your freshman year at high school just WASN’T that fascinating.

Speaking of social media (I wasn’t but work with me), here’s a generic FaceBook post you can use when you are out of ideas: ” I am 71242th in line to win a car, had scrambled eggs for breakfast, my beagle did the funniest thing yesterday, all our country’s problems are caused by immigrants from some foreign land or planet, today is the first day of the rest of your life or something, A Jolly Vindaloo Day to everyone, today is National Giraffe recognition day, here is a picture I took of {place}, great game yesterday by {local sports team}, and remember the words of St. Betty of Narnia, “We need more cowbell.”

In closing, I recently posted this on FaceBook, a quote I stole from John Wesley but one I think is a nice way to try to live your life: “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” And I always add, “…And love will steer the stars.”

Slow news day. Hope I gave you a few laughs! Remember, keep smiling — we need more of that these days around here!

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