Monday, July 25, 2011

The "27 Club"

On Saturday, singer and well-known drug addict Amy Winehouse died.

Why does she looked so surprised???

Reportedly, the cause of death was not confirmed by an autopsy.

But we know.

Amy was 27.

Celebs from Elton John to Lady Gaga tweeted their condolences. Even Tony Bennett called her “an extraordinary talent”, but lamented, “It had been my sincere hope that she would be able to overcome the issues she was battling…”

But now everyone is talking about the “27 Club”. Even USAToday recently ran a retrospective on all the great musicians who have died at age 27:

-Robert Johnson, the great blues guitarist, who claimed he sold his soul to the devil in order to play guitar, supposedly died at the hands of a jealous husband. (1938)

-Brian Jones, former guitarist with the Rolling Stones, drowned in his own swimming pool; substance abuse "may have been" a contributing factor. (1969)

-Guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, died famously by asphyxiating on his own vomit; again, drug-related. (1970)

-Janis Joplin, singer, died 16 days after Hendrix; also from a drug overdose. (1970)

-Jim Morrison, lead singer for The Doors, died in Paris in 1971; the official cause is listed as “heart failure”, but it was most likely alcohol-related.

Interesting side-note here: Christophe Maillet, a Morrison fan and owner of “The Lézard King” bar in Paris, was issued a cease-and-desist order from attorneys representing The Doors, saying the band does not want to be associated with a drinking establishment.


-Kurt Cobain, lead singer of grunge band Nirvana, shot himself. (1994)

All of them were 27.


Yeah, probably.

I mean, seriously, people die every day. Of the more than 100 funerals I have conducted over my 20+ years of ministry, most of the dearly departed have been 86. Yet we don’t talk about the “86 Club”!

And there’s a good reason for that. Groucho Marx died when he was 86. And he once said, “I’d never join a club that would have someone like me as a member!"

Seriously though, the people listed above just happened to all be famous musicians.

John Belushi died of a drug overdose in 1982 at the age of 33. Chris Farley also O.D.'d at 33. Is this the start of a comedians' “33 Club”?

So what about those artists who manage to survive past 27? What hope is there that they will ever be remembered? What hope is there that decades after they have "left the building", people will still swarm to see their gravesites?

BTW, Elvis was 41 when he O.D.'d.

And despite rumors to the contrary, yes, he really is dead!

But what about other great entertainers like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Cher and Sir Elton John, Tina Turner and a whole host of others, who have long ago passed even that milestone?

Good news! There’s still hope! You still have a chance to be famous!

Comedian George Burns, died in 1996 – from age-related causes – becoming the first member of the “100 Club”!

"Say good night, Gracie!"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I May Start Drinking Coffee

Several years ago, we traveled to California to attend a family wedding. We stayed in an expensive hotel, and the next morning walked down the street to a quaint sidewalk café for breakfast.

My “shot-glass” of fresh-squeezed orange juice cost me $4.

Karen ordered a cappuccino. It came out smothered with a pile of whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. It actually looked tasty, so I asked if I could sample it. She answered, “Sure.”

Did I mention we were newly married ourselves?

Anyway, the sip was disappointing, to say the least. All that fluffy, whipped goodness simply camouflaged a cup o’ Joe.

Excuse me… a $7 cup of Joe!

I am not a coffee drinker. Frankly, I’m surprised they even let me be a preacher. I don’t drink coffee and I don’t play golf. I hate it when I attend church meetings and they only offer free coffee.

“Oh, there’s a Coke machine down the hall. I think they’re 75 cents.”

Anyway, recent news reports coming out of the Great Northwest have made me want to reconsider my drinking habits. It seems there is a proliferation of coffee shops in the Seattle area in which the baristas wear bikinis, lingerie, or other sexy costumes.

If the coffee won’t make you open your eyes in the morning, perhaps a little cleavage will!

It seems, however, that even with such a gimmick as this, tips are not what they should be, and some of the “bikini baristas” were recently arrested for showing a little extra in order to make a little extra!

After a nine-month undercover police investigation (I know, right?), four arrests were made at “Java Juggs” in Edmunds. Prostitution and “permitting” prostitution were the charges.

But the java wars are on!

Now, for Starbucks, it’s about the taste. But for others, anything goes. Some of these establishments serve lukewarm coffee that reportedly tastes like an ash tray; others add so much corn syrup-based flavors you can’t taste any coffee.

But, as you can guess, guys don’t go there for the coffee!

A Vietnamese chain of coffee-pushers in San Jose, California, has upped the ante by offering topless waitresses who also dance on the tables, the very thought of which makes horny men all across the country start humming, “Do you know the way to San Jose?”

Honesty, although I have been a regular customer at Hooters for many years, the thought of a topless waitress kind of grosses me out!

“Hey, put those things away! I’m trying to eat over here!”

Some claim this “bikini barista” phenomenon is degrading to women. But I’m all about free enterprise and female empowerment. If the women are working there of their own free will, they’re willing to wear the “uniform”, and it's legal, then I say, “You go, girl!”

Besides, it seems most of them can handle themselves quite well. At one coffee shop, some fat slob entered the work area unwelcomed and ended up with a face full of mace. At another shop, a perv exposed himself to the baristas – he got 90 days in jail, two years of supervised probation, and mandatory psychological-sexual treatment.

See, good things come from these places!

Just to be fair and balanced, in Puyallup, Washington (yes, it’s a real town near Tacoma), the “Rescue Me” coffee shop hires hunky fire fighters for baristas. The men are single and remain fully-clothed… except for Car Washes, when they go topless!

Sex objects? Yes.

Degrading to men? I don’t hear anyone complaining.

Would I do it?

Nah. Mostly because nobody would want to see my pudgy body anyway!

The real question is, would I drink a cup of coffee if it was served to me by a cutie in a bikini?

Could we make it a margarita instead???

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

So What Did I Miss???

Having been away from my blog for about a month, I feel like I missed a lot. So having reviewed the news from the last month, I will recap for you the highs and lows:

-Sarah Palin rewrote history with regards to Paul Revere’s ride, and in the process stole the day’s press cycle from fellow Republican Mitt Romney as he announced his candidacy for the Presidency.

Coincidence? I think not.

-A Congressman from New York named Wiener got caught sending photos of his – yes – wiener to women. At first he promised to get help (well, duh!), then he resigned his congressional seat.

The comedy shows all had a field day with this one, so nothing more needs to be (nor can be) said.

Well, maybe just this:

-New York voted to allow same-sex marriages. And “Barefoot Wine” (one of my inexpensive favorites) hosted a pre-Gay Pride Parade party.

Does your wine taste "different" lately?

Just kidding!

But seriously, I still don’t understand how allowing two men to be married is going to at all affect or diminish my own marriage.

Yet, as expected, TV Evangelist Pat Robertson once again predicted that as a result, God will destroy America.

-Michelle Bachmann, another GOP Presidential hopeful, told folks in Iowa, “Well, what I want them to know is just like, John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That’s the kind of spirit I have too.”

Unfortunately for Bachmann, that was John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer. John Wayne, the actor, was born in Winterset, Iowa.

Bachmann also told one crowd of curious on-lookers that “the Founding Fathers didn’t rest until slavery was abolished!”

(Thump… Thump… Thump…) Is this microphone on? Hello?

-It was discovered that former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has fathered a child by another woman. Maria has filed for divorce.

News reports confirm that one’s looks have nothing to do with infidelity.

-Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was convicted on 17 of 20 charges of bribery and extortion while in office.

Hey, I thought this was Chicago!

-And speaking of Chicago, a handgun once owned by Al Capone was sold at auction for $110,000. A few days later, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” jacket sold for $1.8 million. And a few days after that, the only existing photograph of Billy the Kid sold for $2.3 million.

Sorry, I don’t have anything funny to say about all that. Just found it interesting.

-Of course, the BIG news is that Charlie Sheen is being replaced by Demi Moore’s toy-boy, Ashton Kutcher on “Three and a Half Men”.

It will be interesting to see how they write off Charlie Harper and incorporate this new character, but that’s probably as interesting as the show’s going to get this season.

In other Charlie Sheen news – because, you know, it’s all about him! – Charlie’s stand-up show tanked, he’s still out of work, and his final “Goddess” has left him.

It must be difficult being Charlie Sheen! Wow!

-And finally, just this past weekend, a group of motorcycle enthusiasts staged a rally in Onondaga, NY, to protest wearing protective helmets. During the parade of motorcycles, one rider hit his brakes wrong, flipped over the handlebars, and landed on his head. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

Some say he might have survived had he been wearing a helmet.

Which leads me to say, if you’re not going to wear the helmet, at least buy the sidecar!

So that’s what I missed during all the packing and moving.

In other words, I didn’t miss a thing!