Archived Columns

Life Lesson #9: Gas Station Manager Syndrome

I received this distress signal from a reader: Dear Mrs. Judge Mental: I recently joined a community service organization, and the person in charge is driving me batty! Here I am VOLUNTEERING my time and talents, and the leader of the group is a total control freak, bossing everyone around. If things don’t improve, I’m afraid a mutiny is in order! Help me! “” Beat Up in Boston   Dear Beat Up, Gentle Reader, thank you for your letter. It’s very likely that the person you describe has a case of Gas Station Manager Syndrome (GSMS). GSMS is a phenomenon by which a small-minded person comes to be in charge of an insignificant thing, causing him to behave like a pompous jerkface. Gas Station Manager Syndrome is a serious epidemic affecting our community. GSMs discount all opinions that are not their own, grab onto their tiny corner of the universe, …

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A Louisiana Sports Bicentennial

On April 30, Louisiana “” the state, not the blob on the back of the quarter that stretches to Winnipeg “” celebrated its first-ever bicentennial. The Zombie State’s sports history is rich, and Balls now presents the Top 200 Moments in Louisiana Sports History. Editor’s note: Due to press limitations, 186 of the Top 200 Moments in Louisiana Sports History had to be omitted. September 7, 1892 “” Corbett beats Sullivan. Fifteen months earlier, Louisiana had become the first state to legalize prizefighting, and “Gentleman Jim” Corbett, using a new, schmancy, scientific boxing technique to which the newly popular Marquis of Queensberry Rules lent themselves, became boxing’s heavyweight champion by upending John Lawrence Sullivan, the “Boston Strong Boy” who proved to be the final heavyweight champion of the bare-knuckle era, by way of a knockout in the 21st round. Unusual for boxing at the time, the fight took place inside …

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Death of a National Pastime: The Pussification of Professional Football

It’s a swift kick to the testicles of American society when all the primal glory of violence is stripped from its most beloved sport. Gladiators are forced to play two-hand touch under penalty of suspensions and fines. It’s sad that all the sport’s savage appeal has been shoplifted from the field by the fatheads in the Commissioner’s Office. Frank Monica, head coach of high school Class 3A state champions St. Charles Catholic, once said that football is not a contact sport; it’s a collision sport. Ballroom dancing is a contact sport. Whatever happened to my favorite Monday Night Football segment, “Jacked Up”? It has since been replaced with “C’mon Man.” The latter (basically a blooper reel) is not nearly as entertaining as watching players knock the snot out of one another. I can remember Steve Young on TV a few years back. He was saying that several retired players realized …

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Doing What You Love

The other day, I was flipping through radio stations and UB40’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” was playing, and immediately I thought, “What the hell were we all thinking making these guys popular? They are terrible. TERRRRRRRRIBLE. White guys with a Rasta style; yuck “¦” And 10 seconds later, the thought went out of my head as I started singing along with my best Jamaican accent, then I downloaded their greatest hits on iTunes and searched out the classic album 12 Inches of Snow. I miss the drugs of the ’90s. As my newest Facebook album will attest, my latest obsession is Draw Something. It really brings out the most primitive need in man to communicate by picture. It also reveals just how far we haven’t come. Sure, Picasso was great, but for the most part, the average person is still just drawing stick figures on a cave wall and …

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Satire Assemble!

Dear Readers of Red Shtick: It is with great sadness that I admit defeat. Each month, it is my task to review a new film for you and attempt to find the humor contained within it. However, this month, I had a choice of exactly ONE film that I could review, and didn’t it just have to be The Avengers? From all early prescreening reports, The Avengers appears to be a great film. And it is. There. How was that? That is the uniform opinion of the entire moviegoing public that has seen the film. There are no stars in Avengers who currently provide fodder for entertainment gossip. Robert Downey Jr. has been clean and sober for years and has ceased to be a story. Chris Evans is Captain America again. Yawn. The most interesting thing about him is that because his last name begins with an E, he is …

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Gym Shorts

No matter how many vitamins you take, how many condoms or diaphragms you buy, or how selective you are with the people you keep company with, one thing is for certain. At some point in your life, no matter how careful you are or how much you try to live a clean life and protect yourself from communicable diseases, you will get Fashion Syphilis. What is Fashion Syphilis, you ask? Well, let Dr. Ruby explain. You know that sensation you get in your eyes or that queasy, nauseous feeling you get in your stomach when you see someone publicly dressed in an offensive, inappropriate, or alarming manner? That is Fashion Syphilis. Try as you might to avoid the effects, the infected party manages to spread sickness to all that witness her disease. Consider this scenario: You are in a bar, minding your own business with your friends and a few pitchers …

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Lord Boner of Titicaca

If you are into HBO’s Game of Thrones, you probably fall into one of three categories of fans. The first group includes people who haven’t read a book since Bobby Hebert was a quarterback. They can’t wait for all of the British people to stop talking and show their tits. They tell their friends that it’s based on a true story, and they think a period piece is a fetish film. HBO, Starz, and the others have figured out that two androgynous boys talking about dragons can be interesting to anyone if two hot girls are finger-blasting each other in the background. It’s made me uncomfortable at times, and that’s damn near impossible. The second group includes people like me. I love to read, but you have to keep me intrigued. George R.R. Martin (an a””hole of a name) has created some great characters that I will truly miss when …

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Everything Newsy Lately in Music Is From the ’90s

Aha! Caught ya! You thought you could just overlook the whole fact that you once wore Z. Cavariccis (to homecoming!) and Zumba pants[1] and had a Rob Van Winkle hair phase! That you had, like, eleventy hundred slap bracelets and a spiral perm, and you religiously watched Saved by the Bell! And that you totally cried when that stupid fartface Ray pushed Donna down a staircase on 90210![2] Well, you can’t overlook it now, because history is repeating itself. Repeating itself. Repeating itself. So it seems when so many of our favorite (and, perhaps, forgotten) musical heroes from the ’90s are making news as of late. First we have the tiny, yet fierce, Fiona Apple. She has launched her first single in seven years, called “Fiona Apple’s First Single in Seven Years” (sorry, had to fire my research assistant), off her upcoming new album, aptly named Fiona Apple Is World …

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