I spoiled “Star Wars.” No. I didn’t tell everyone the ending. Saturday my brother Brian called me up and asked me to go see it with him and his son, Max. I jumped at the chance. I wasn’t doing much anyway, except throwing up. Yeah. I was sick, but I decided I could sit and watch a movie. I wasn’t that ill.
Okay. Maybe I was.
I went into a bit of a coughing fit at the movie. I tried to time my coughs with the explosions. Luckily, there were a lot of explosions. I thought about getting up and sitting in the lobby until the coughing jag passed, but I didn’t want the Force to awaken without me.
I now realize ‘coughing jag’ is probably what the other audience members were calling me.
A few years ago, I promised my friend Veronica I would see a particular movie with her. It was one of those movies where a teacher comes into a student’s life and changes them with poetry. I don’t remember the name. I had to cancel on her twice. The third time she invited me to the film I figured I had to go, except I had the flu. Out of obligation, I went. It was a miserable experience. I had cold sweats, coughing, vomiting; a veritable smorgasbord of flu symptoms. I don’t really remember the movie. I think Forest Whitaker was in it. I’m not sure. I was pretty out of it.
I vowed I would never go to the movies while I was sick. This week, I broke that promise. But you know…for “Star Wars.”
Side Note: When are we allowed to talk about the actual movie? How long do we have to call ‘Spoilers’ before saying anything about those space people and their plucky robot sidekicks? Are we never going to talk about it? Is this going to be like “The Sixth Sense” all over again?
Can I just say one thing? Why were they calling a sixty-year-old woman Princess? How old does she have to be before she gets to be queen? For the rest of the story, click here.
Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and a sit down author. His book, "Below Average Genius," a collection of humor columns culled from the Observer-Reporter, can be purchased here!
It’s that time of year when all the holiday parties are in full swing. There is an abundance of alcohol around and lots of chances for people to say and do stupid stuff. That’s why I’m here. I’m an expert on stupid stuff.
Recently, I went to a Christmas party and I didn’t hate anyone there. It was a very rare occurrence, like seeing a unicorn or a Sasquatch.
Every year, the parties start, I know I’m going to have an argument with someone. Inevitably someone starts talking about a taboo subject, like religion, politics or math. Yes, math. It’s hard and it makes people uncomfortable. Equate in the privacy of your own home. No one wants to see you ciphering out in public.
I’ve gotten into to some really stupid arguments in my life. It’s not that I’m always right, but when I am, other people need to shut it.
I remember one year I argued with a guy who insisted Rosalind Russell was in an episode of “Bewitched.” She was not. Yeah. I know. It wasn’t the most masculine argument I’ve ever had, but I had it, nonetheless. He kept saying, “I’m pretty sure she was.” I had to go to IMDB to prove it to him. Then, he said, “Well, people miss stuff on that website all the time,” and “The Internet isn’t always right.”
Side note: Rosalind Russell made very few television appearances though she was on the Schlitz Playhouse of Stars. I only bring this up because it’s hilarious. Once upon a time, television shows were like stadiums. They had cars, motor oil and beers at the beginning of their names. Schlitz for Heaven’s sake!
But I digress, like I do. I have a few reindeer games planned this year. I want to take a shot every time someone says, “Trump,” “Caitlyn Jenner,” or “Star Wars spoilers.” I’ll be drunk by 6:30. They’ll have to call an ambulance by eight.
I am starting to panic. I didn’t buy one Christmas present yet. If you see a man at the mall breathing into a paper bag this weekend, say hi. It’s me, hyperventilating over the holidays.
I don’t have an excuse for not buying anything yet.
A few years ago, I had what Dolly Parton would call a “Hard Candy Christmas.”
I was working for a university in Pittsburgh that shall remain nameless (I am a good hinter, though). We were paid monthly.
I was used to getting a weekly check, and now it came every 30 days. I didn’t budget correctly.
I kept spending my salary frivolously on things like food and rent. I worked in the university bookstore because I liked books. It was a ridiculous reason to get a job. I didn’t last long.
I decided I liked money more than books and got a higher-paying job with the phone company. P.S.: I like to talk on the phone just as much as I like books.
But I digress, like I do.
That year on Dec. 24, I found myself at a 24-hour Kmart in the middle of the night. Imagine sad, weird and lame, and kick it up a couple of notches.
I remember pushing my cart past the Christmas zombies and assorted weirdos, the kind of people you can imagine who would be at the Kmart at 3 a.m. on Christmas Eve.
I pretended I wasn’t one of them. In retrospect, they were my people.
The kids on my list got the off-brand toys like Action Man, a generic G.I. Joe, Remco’s Zybots Multiforce, the generic Transformers, and Jazzie, the generic Barbie.
I believe I got my mom three different kinds of popcorn (regular, cheese and caramel) that featured a Christmas scene on the large tin.
I don’t have an excuse this year. I have wads of cash ready to spend. I think I painted myself into a corner. The past few years, friends and family have said, “This is the perfect gift! How did you know?” I kept outdoing myself.
Now, I’m out of ideas.
I got busy and haven’t put much thought into it, but I still want to get gifts that make people “ooh” and “aww.”
Christmas should sound like the Fourth of July. I don’t want to throw crap in a bag and say, “Merry Christmas!”
P.S.: I wrap like a 10-year-old, with bits of paper and lots and lots of Scotch tape. I sang “Hallelujah!” the day I discovered gift bags.
I made a mistake. I went down to Washington, D.C., over the Thanksgiving holiday. Mostly, I spent the weekend in Alexandria, where I went to several fine restaurants and some terrific museums.
I went to the Apothecary Museum. Yes. You read that right. It’s a museum dedicated to a drug store that had been around since the beginning of the United States. There’s a note from Martha Washington in there, asking for a bottle of castor oil. There also are all sorts of fun little rusty tools that assist a person in bleeding. Back in the day, they thought that you’d be a lot healthier if you had less blood in your body. It was a wonderful time to be a leech.
Going to the Apothecary Museum was not the mistake. I found it rather enjoyable. I drove down to D.C. on Black Friday. While everyone else was either sleeping or spending all of their money at the mall, I was on my way to a wild weekend of restaurants and museums. OK, maybe it wasn’t wild, but it was a lot of fun.
The tricky business was that I left Washington, D.C., on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. I chose to drive on the busiest travel day of the year. That was my faux pas. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday there is … Standstill Sunday!
It was smooth sailing until I got to Breezewood (I have always wanted to rename that town Pitstop, Pennsylvania). If you’ve never been, Breezewood is like a science experiment: You add gas and relieve yourself of liquid.
The gas stations in Breezewood were all crowded. I decided I could wait to Midway, a rest stop on the turnpike several miles away. The mile to the toll road was a parking lot. I looked down and noticed that I had a fourth of a tank of gas. I knew I made a critical error.
I thought, “Once I get through the toll booth, it’ll be smooth sailing again.” It was not. I panicked. I didn’t think I had enough gas to get there. I threw the car into neutral and went hypermiling. Basically, I tried to coast my way to Midway. Luckily, it was mostly downhill.
I made it to Midway on fumes. Meanwhile, inside I was a water balloon that had been filled up too much. I was ready to burst. There was a long line to the men’s room, but it moved pretty quickly. Luckily, I wasn’t a woman. The line to the ladies’ room was like Space Mountain. There were at least 400 women waiting to divest their bladders.