Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rickey Ruminates

In this thrilling column, Rickey is provided with the exciting opportunity to make brash & seemingly untenable statements in bullet point format. It’s a little column we like to call RICKEY RUMINATES, and is essentially a bastardized redheaded stepchild of RICKEY RECOMMENDS. Instead of passing on esoteric recommendations that .015% of our readership will adopt, we’ve decided to pass along ponderous pearls of wisdom that .015% of our readership will heed. Everyone up to speed? Dandy then, here we go:


…that he will remember the late great George Carlin best for his role of “Mr. Conductor” in the PBS television series “Thomas the Tank Engine.” What can we say? As a kid, Rickey had a thing for anthropomorphic toy trains. (It was one of the primary reasons why Rickey was summarily evicted from the Land of Make Believe).

…that his new prescription Ray Ban aviator sunglasses make him feel like the cock of the walk. Combine ‘em with a baseball cap and a beard and you have a recipe for unadulterated awesomeness. Or another reason for mothers to grip their children’s hands a bit tighter than usual when you pass them by on the street.

…that Joan of Arc would have been far more successful at the Battle of Orleans if she had only allowed her troops to fight on Sundays.

…that people who use the phrase “with all due respect” in conversation should be rounded up and sent to a labor camp in the outskirts of Vladivostok. Other runners up for the highly coveted title of “insipid sayings that are killing our conversation” also include “at the end of the day,” and “same difference.”

…that we haven’t heard an awful lot about acid rain recently. Where did it go? Is it still a threat? Did Captain Planet and the Planeteers fix the problem while we were all on vacation? These are the sorts of things that keep Rickey awake at night.

…that all post-game press interviews with Jerry Manuel on SNY are now required viewing for Mets fans. Rickey tuned in last night following the Mets dignity salvaging victory against the Marlins and Manuel concluded the interview by saying “cool” then languidly sliding out of the room. We can’t really describe it. It was like watching that famous bigfoot video footage or a gazelle calmly walking off camera into the woods. Weird and strangely riveting stuff.

…that “The Office” boasts the best television jingle Rickey has ever heard. “The Daily Show” theme song would be a close second.

…that actors of a certain age should think carefully before choosing their next film roles. Lately, we’ve been noticing an alarming trend of great actors like Michael Gambon or Ian McKellan playing wizards in Hollywood children’s movies and we wonder: if these guys croak tomorrow, are these the sorts of roles these guys want to be best remembered for? Because let’s be honest here, Raul Julia didn’t win any posthumous Oscars for his role of General Bison in “Street Fighter.” Same goes for Orson Welles voicing Unicron in the animated 1985 Transformers movie shortly before he passed away. Or Buster Keaton in “Beach Blanket Bingo.” Or Peter O’Toole in “Club Paradise.” Or Richard Burton in “Exorcist II.” Or… well, you get the idea.

…that the eggplant is a criminally underused and underrated food item in today’s modern cuisine. Bake them, fry them, roast them, broil them, stir fry them, we don’t care what you do—you’ll find that nothing beats the earthy flavor of a well cooked eggplant. And no matter how hard it tries, the artichoke will never be as sublimely cool as the eggplant.

Posted at Humor Blogs.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Watching Bad Movies So You Don’t Have To: Rickey’s Review of “The Happening”

“Holy Mother of God…Christ on an Accordion… Meandering Moses… This is an incredibly bad movie.” -Rickey Henderson, RwR

Always on the lookout for a punching bag, Rickey has chosen M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening” to discuss in our latest movie review column. Since Rickey will do whatever it takes to persuade his readers that there is no reason on god’s green earth for anyone to suffer through this cinematic atrocity, we’ll go ahead and spoil the whole damn movie for you. Essentially, the film boils down to plants rising up and killing people. And this premise is so poorly executed that rather than coming off as a biting environmental parable, this movie will most likely set the efforts of Greenpeace back roughly 25 years. Most of the movie consists of images of wind rustling through the trees followed by the actors who have the great misfortune of appearing in this movie suddenly freezing up and killing themselves in the most accessible manner possible. As people begin killing themselves en masse, the movie quickly shifts from Shyamalan’s all too familiar stomping grounds of Philadelphia to the all too familiar Pennsylvania countryside setting that we’ve seen a bazillion times before in his movies. We wonder, does this guy ever leave the state? Is this a Roman Polanski type of situation where he’ll be arrested on sight for making shitty narcissistic movies if he travels outside the state of Pennsylvania?

Of course, this being an M. Night Shyamalan movie, there’s no concrete explanation how or why this “plants killing humans” event is occurring (or is even remotely scary) because the real focus in his films is a rather curious phenomenon that he likes to refer to as “human drama.” And what a compelling drama we are presented with: Mark Wahlberg unsuccessfully trying to convince us that he’s a high school science teacher, Zooey Deschanel unsuccessfully trying to convince us that she hails from this planet, and John Leguizamo unsuccessfully trying to convince us that his performance in “Spawn” was a cinematic opus compared to the sheer awfulness that Rickey had to suffer through. In the film, the big threat to Wahlberg and Deschanel’s marriage is that she had dessert with one of her co-workers. Dessert. Nothing more. We’re sorry, but in his insistence on writing the scripts for all his own movies, Shyamalan appears to have completely lost touch with how people actually speak and behave. In the Shyamalan universe, characters walk around, saying their thoughts out loud. Who does that?

Overall, it’s your typical Shyamalan movie, with acting performances ranging from “sleepy” to “legally comatose.” Toss in a dash of that old timey religion, a cynical look at human nature in times of crisis, and a magical mood ring that somehow saves the day and you’ve easily got the worst movie of 2008. Even the scares that the movie attempts to conjure up seem stale in comparison to the ones from the director’s previous films. And Shyamalan, in his latest proto-Hitchcockian indulgence, makes an off-screen cameo as the guy who sends a text message to Mark Wahlberg’s wife. No joke—it actually states this in the credits. Rickey would go on an angry rant about the massive chutzpah at work here, but we’re scared that Shyamalan would kill Rickey off in his next movie like he did with the critic in “Lady in the Water”…

The sad thing is, Rickey enjoyed Shyamalan’s early movies and now Rickey can’t even bring himself to defend the guy. Rickey may be in the minority on this, but “Signs” was a very well written and all around great film (and arguably the high water mark for Shyamalan’s career). That scene where Mel Gibson sits with his family at the dinner table and cries and eats mashed potatoes at the same time… well, we’re sorry, but that’s just all around great stuff. For those critics who take issue with “Signs” and whine about how illogical it is for aliens to conquer a planet that’s 75% water (which kills ‘em), remember: who’s to say that invading aliens wouldn’t be as woefully short sighted as the Bush Administration was when it invaded Iraq? And while we’re talking politics, Rickey also dug “The Village” which despite it’s numerous flaws, is one helluva great parable about American closed mindedness and paranoia in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. Ultimately, what is most disappointing about “The Happening” is that judging by his past work, Shyamalan really does appear to have something meaningful to say, but this movie’s overall crappiness totally overwhelms it. Rickey’s verdict: even hardened M. Night apologists will want to steer well clear of this one. Rickey’s just glad he didn’t pay to see it. Now if you’ll excuse Rickey, his fingers ache from typing the word “Shyamalan” ad nauseam…

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rickey’s mind is murky at best following the Mets’ soul stomping loss to the Seattle Mariners, so in hopes of putting the pieces together, we’ve organized our thoughts in handy bullet point format. Those in search of something a tad more coherent should check out yesterday's post of job interview tips. Anyhow, behold, Rickey’s list of…

Things That Had Not Occurred Prior to Last Night!
  • Rickey and Ms. Henderson had not tailgated with Anchor Steam beer. We’re pleased to report that the results were overwhelmingly positive and Rickey looks forward to working this tasty adult beverage into the rotation for future tailgating endeavors.
  • Jerry Manuel had not coached a game at Shea Stadium.
  • Felix Hernandez had not batted this season.
  • Felix Hernandez had not hit a grand slam in his career.
  • No American League pitcher had hit a grand slam in interleague play. Ever. (Are we noticing a trend here?)
  • Aaron Heilman had not looked as good all season as he did last night. At this point, Rickey will take any silver lining he can get, no matter how dark and ominous the storm clouds of dysfunction at might Shea appear to be.
  • Rickey had never won a give away contest at a Mets game. Indeed, Rickey and Ms. Henderson were fortunate to be sitting with a group of people who were the bemused recipients of a free one pound box of Bubba Burgers. And we are now contractually obligated to state the following: “You’ll never bite a burger like a Bubba Burger! Bubba Burger—it’s the burger Mike Francessa sinks his teeth into daily!”
  • Finally, Rickey had never had the distinct pleasure met the distinguished people (read: nerds!) running such notable blogs as Metstradamus, Faith and Fear in Flushing, Pick Me Up Some Mets, My Summer Family, and Yes Joe, it’s Toasted. For those of you wondering what the atmosphere was like when these great blogging minds congregated, think Yalta, but with a whole lot more pathos. So even though the game itself was a wash, we’re pleased to report that Rickey was in exceedingly good company for its duration. Cheers guys.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Rickey’s Tips for a Fruitful Job Interview

Rickey’s kicking off the week with a handy guide for those of you seeking gainful employment in the workforce. See, a little while back, Rickey was contacted by a company and asked if he’d be interested in interviewing for a position with them. Rickey, having vague recollections of putting his resume on a few years ago, consented to go on the job interview with the hope of ascertaining his free market value and honing his ability to brag about himself in corporate speak. At the very least, Rickey figured it would be an educational and mildly illuminating experience. Oh how horrifically wrong he was.

The company, which in the interest of confidentiality shall remain nameless, was a fiber optics network provider. For those not in the know, here’s a brief background on this fascinating industry of modern day robber barons: after deregulation hit a few years back, many of these fiber optics companies ran their businesses similarly to how a sociopathic vagrant might play “Monopoly.” In search of fortune and glory, they essentially mortgaged their four railroads in order to purchase Park Place, even though someone else already owned Boardwalk. And now, companies like the one Rickey interviewed with are just beginning to pick up the pieces from the mess. So without further ado, below is a list of tips that Rickey gleamed from his job interview last week.

1) Do your homework about the company you’re interviewing with. Rickey neglected to do this beforehand which is a damned shame because oh so much more hilarity would have been added to the proceedings had Rickey been aware that this company’s top clients included Bear Stearns and a bevy of “adult entertainment” websites. Odd, and everyone at the company seemed so professional, solemn, and upstanding… We live in a strange strange world.

2) Dress smart. Rickey trimmed his beard a bit, polished his shoes, and tossed on a suit & diagonally striped tie, but we see no reason why you couldn’t up the ante a bit by donning a conductor’s outfit. Or dressing up like a vampire, take your pick. (Vampires are fairly self sufficient as far as medical needs go, which is an added bonus for any company fretting about its rising health coverage expenses).

3) When you’re greeted by the people interviewing you, they will most likely ask you whether you’d like some water or perhaps a cup of coffee. Rickey has read more than enough “New Yorker” exposes on interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay to realize that this practice is nothing more than an attempt to strip you of your control, put you on the defensive, and ultimately, make you feel powerless. If you’re going to regain your composure, you’ll need to turn the tables: your dietary needs demand that you be brought a concoction of two parts cactus juice and one part monkey tears, posthaste. All out of monkey tears? Fine then wench, distilled rainwater will have to do. Congratulations, you’re back in charge once again, master of your destiny.

4) When being interviewed, be sure to inquire as to the company’s financial standings. Because call us nuts, but an ongoing SEC investigation is the sort of thing you should be aware of. As is bankruptcy. But hey, at least they’re trying to right the ship by hiring a patsy smart fellow like you, right? Rickey was indeed comforted to hear that the company was making an effort, but let’s be honest here: if you’re still can’t piece together your books from the year when John Kerry was running for president, perhaps a little outsourcing of the accounting department is in order…

5) Practicing your job interview conversational skills is paramount, because no other instance in your life requires this manner of talking and you will undoubtedly be rusty. You want your speaking style to be confident and easy to follow, which is why we’re advocating that you subscribe to the Al Swearengen school of conversation. Ye gods, just wait ‘till those heathen cocksuckers lay eyes on you.

6) Breaking the ice is crucial for any successful interview. Bring your large menacing dog to the interview in order to provide a suitable conversation piece. Then proceed to kick off things by challenging your interviewer to arm wrestle.

7) Before hiring you, many employers will require that you submit to a drug test and credit check, and Rickey learned that this one was no exception. So why not cut out the middle man and save everyone the troublesome paperwork? Get up out of your chair, stand on the desk of the person who is interviewing you, urinate in a cup, and then empty the contents of your wallet onto their desk. Checkmate, shmohawk, the ball’s in your court now, Rickey has nothing to hide.

8) In preparation for the interview, decide the important items that you are going to say no matter what they ask you. These are your “nuggets,” important workplace skills you possess that your potential employer needs to know about. For example, did you know that as a child, Rickey created his own cartoon superhero called “Cricket-Man”? He was essentially an amalgam of Batman and a ninja turtle and 100% all-cricket. Rickey would spend hours doodling elaborate pictures of “Cricket-Man” in his school notebooks, even inventing his own movies starring him: “Crick to the Future,” “The Crickenator,” “Beverly Hills Cricket II,” etc. Don’t be afraid to share--these are the sorts of valuable qualities that your future employer absolutely needs to be aware of in order to hire you.

9) Remember to ask for a tour of the office. This is your chance to get the lay of the land. Be sure to inquire as to the availability of a private office to accommodate your prolonged bouts of open weeping. Now is also a good time to ask if the office honors the customary “No-Pants Tuesday” policy that you were accustomed to at your previous job.

10) When asked why you left your previous job, remember not to talk excessively about your dissatisfaction with your employer. No one likes a disgruntled worker. Instead, just mutter something about a structure fire and gaze distantly out the window.

11) When you’re finally introduced to the company’s CEO, it is your responsibility to try your damndest not to laugh your ass off at how much the guy looks like Robert DeNiro, complete with slicked back grey hair, wise guy attitude, and sleepy expression. Rickey persevered, but sweet fancy Moses, it was a real challenge.

12) It’s important to let the company interviewing you that you’re a hot commodity and that your time is limited. Pack a large alarm clock in your suitcase, and set it to go off mid interview. When it does, apologize to everyone in the room and inform them you have to leave for another job interview. On the way out of the room, remember to pause at the door, slowly turn around, put on your sunglasses, and do you very best David Caruso impression from CSI: Miami and smoothly say “unless… you’d be willing to offer me more money…” Trust us, it’s a bulletproof way of landing a high paying job.

And that’s all the advice Rickey has to offer. Even if you’re just a listless fool trying to convince the unemployment office that you actually are looking for a job, we figure a few of these tidbits might prove useful. And with that, Rickey’s off to Queens this evening to inaugurate the dawning of the Jerry Manuel Era at Shea Stadium. Marvel as Johan Santana takes the mound against Felix Hernandez and the ailing Mariners offense! Behold the hilarity as fickle Mets fans boo Jerry Manuel for his inconsiderate comments about them! Tremble as Jerry Manuel attempts to regain his street cred by challenging Sandy Alomar Sr. to a knife fight! (Oh yeah, and root for good weather too…)

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Rickey’s Exhaustive Search for a New Mets Skipper

Despite the fact that Gerry Manuel will remain as the Mets manager for the remainder of the season (and we can’t begin to tell you just how thrilled we are with this development) Rickey believes that it is never to early to start the search for a new manager for the 2009 season. So let’s take a peek at some of the stronger candidates out there who could potentially restore honor and dignity to the reputable institution that is the Mets clubhouse.

Wally Backman. Yes, he’s had some well documented legal problems, but what the Mets need more than anything right now is a little fire. A bit of moxie. A touch of gumption. DUI arrests, public temper tantrums, and bankruptcy usually don’t hinder our elected officials from staying in office, so why should they disqualify this memorable 86er from coaching the Mets? It’s a no brainer: kick over whatever rock Backman is sleeping under, sign him, and sit back and watch progress and/or public misdemeanors occur.

Jeff “The Demon” Torborg. Granted, under him the Mets were .444 and .342 in 1992 and 1993 respectively, but Rickey enjoys the idea of him returning to coach the Mets in 2009 (if for no other reason than we enjoy typing the word “Torborg” a whole lot). TORBORG!

Bobby Valentine. We hear he’s kind of a big deal over there in Japan these days. Hey Bobby: why not drop the “Mr. Sparkle” shtick, come back to the states and give the MLB coaching gig a shot again? Not a likely possibility, we know, but we’ll keep a light on and a pair of Groucho Marx glasses handy just in case…

Batman. This dark & dangerous vigilante brings with him a mood of urgent determination that is so sorely needed in the Mets clubhouse. Due to his current crime fighting obligations, Batman might not exactly be the most reliable candidate to lead the Mets coaching staff, but we feel that the possibility of him ominously creeping out of the dugout to snarl at a MLB ump: “I’m the goddamned Batman!” would offset these weaknesses.

Jack Bauer. Since we’re looking into the possibility of hiring someone to coach the Mets who just oozes with gravitas, why not go for broke? What better way to boost morale than with Jack Bauer telling you that “it’s the ninth inning, and we’re running out of time damnit!” And if that fails to work, he can always torture Oliver Perez senseless. True story: on his tax returns, Jack Bauer has to claim the entire world as his dependents.

Isiah Thomas. If this week’s firing has taught us anything, it’s that the Wilpons are actively competing with the Dolans for the highly prized title of “Biggest Fuck Ups In New York.” So why not carry on this proud tradition by signing Isiah Thomas to a ten year coaching contract with the Mets? You know, really fly this plane into the mountain, because if you’re going to suck, why not make it as epic as possible?

Rickey Henderson. Not to pimp ourselves too much, but… Rickey is ready. Rickey is battle tested. Rickey has baseball knowledge. Rickey knows what ails the Mets. Rickey can right this sinking ship. And that’s all Rickey has to say about Rickey. Hire Rickey.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Open Forum Tuesday: The “You Don’t Change Horses in Midstream" Edition

This week in “Astonishingly Poor Managerial Decisions,” the Mets opted to fire Willie Randolph at 3AM last night after winning two of three games against the Texas Rangers and taking game one against the Angels. For just a moment, let’s put aside the argument of whether firing Willie was justified. What cannot be argued here is how absolutely poorly this firing was executed.

Why fly him to the West Coast, then fire him after only one game out there? And who pays for his flight back to NY? The Mets? Will Willie be forced to purchase his own tickets and fly on Jet Blue and watch the in-flight Sportscenter coverage of his own firing? Rickey’s sorry to feel the need to commit the fax pas of comparing the Mets and Yankees, but the handling of this situation far eclipses last season’s Joe Torre debacle.

Did he deserve it? Rickey says no, but you’re perfectly entitled to argue otherwise in the comments section below (with the forewarning that Rickey will proceed to argue this issue with you like a rabid raccoon). At the very least, Willie had earned himself a far more dignified departure than the one that the Wilpons and Omar Minaya game him last night. Fired after a win: just classless. We don't know about you folks, but Rickey's pretty embarrased to be a Mets fan today. Discuss.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tales From the Mets Locker Room: Super Secret Closed Door Team Meeting #72

Willie Randolph: Ok everyone, have a seat. Is everyone here? Good, let’s begin. It’s team meeting time.

Billy Wagner: We’ve had 8 team meetings in the past three days. Three of which involved helping Sandy Alomar Sr. find his car keys. Maybe it’s time we admitted to ourselves that these meetings aren’t accomplishing much.

Luis Castillo: [entering clubhouse] Oh hi guys, I just stopped by to pick up my paycheck. Is now a bad time?

Jose Reyes: ^*!__*^!!^*^__^*!^*!^*!^___!^*!^*^!

Willie: Damnit Luis, you heard Jose, this is no time to think about money. Get in here and sit your ass down. Alright people, let’s brainstorm. What needs to be done to get this team back on the winning track?

Marlon Anderson: I have an idea! I can put together a PowerPoint presentation detailing what we need to do in the next 100 games to win the pennant. I like clip art!

Willie: And I like outfielders with batting averages higher than .155. Sit down Marlon.

David Wright: Pedro wrote a manifesto the other day and handed it out to everyone to read.

Willie: What does it say?

Wright: [puts on reading glasses and reads aloud] All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind. For too long, the bourgeoisie epoch which governs baseball has subsisted on naked, shameless, direct, and brutal exploitation. We the proletariat have nothing to lose but our chains. We have a world to win. Baseball players of the world, uni---

Willie: Stop right there. Someone please translate.

Brian Snyder: Best as we can figure, Pedro is advocating that we break free of the interests of the bourgeois class and return to a classless agrarian society and spend our days sleeping in hammocks under mango trees.

Pedro Martinez: We must renounce the apparatus of the social hierarchy and cast off the shackles of our oppressors!

Willie: Uh, well that’s going to be a big hit on the Dominican Republic lecture circuit Petey, but I don’t see the relevance here. Come on guys, we need to get our shit together. The Phillies are running away with the division!

Wright: We’re failing, no big deal!

Willie: But what about the playoffs?!

Wright: Let’s face it: we’re not going to the playoffs!

TV Announcer: [entering clubhouse & talking to camera] Is this a familiar story? Is your baseball franchise currently struggling? Have you tried just about everything to get them back on the right track? Then give The Baseball Learning Center of Knowledge™ a call. We specialize in teaching your team to develop stronger athletic skills in catching, hitting, and throwing. After only a few weeks, you’ll notice your baseball players developing better concentration, focus, and attention span. Here at the Baseball Learning Center of Knowledge™, we strive to ensure that your players gain confidence and motivation. Results guaranteed, or your money back. Pick up the phone, the toll-free number to call is…

Willie: [interrupting] Who are you and what are you doing in my clubhouse?

Omar Minaya: Easy there Willie, I’ve contracted the services of this company to help the team to relearn the fundamentals of playing baseball. It’s our best shot at fixing this mess. And best of all, because it’s a cross promotion, we’re getting paid for it. Smile wide for the camera everyone!

Willie: I’m not entirely comfortable with this Omar. It seems a little gimmicky…

Omar: Gimmicky? Nonsense. Look Willie, revenues are down and the team is playing like crap. We need exciting cross promotions to fix things. For tomorrow night’s game we’re painting Ramon Castro green in conjunction with an ad campaign we’re doing for that Hulk movie that’s coming out this weekend. It’s all about the marketing tie-ins people.


Omar: Yeah, that’s the ticket Ramon, keep it up. Get mad!


Carlos Beltran: Mmmm, now that’s good crazy. So this Baseball Learning Center of Knowledge™, it can fix my dismal performance at the plate with runners in scoring position?

TV Announcer: Indeed it can! A mere two weeks with our instructors and you’ll be slugging like Chipper Jones!

Duaner Sanchez: And it can fix my arm and make me pitch fastballs again?

TV Announcer: Results guaranteed! That cab accident will soon be a distant memory!

Carlos Delgado: Can you make me 10 years younger?

TV Announcer: Sure! Why not?

Scott Schoeneweis: Can you fix Oliver Perez?

TV Announcer: Absolutely, where is he?

Scott Schoeneweis: He’s the guy openly weeping in the corner.

TV Announcer: [walks over to Perez] Why hello there son, what’s your name?

Perez: Oliver Perez.

TV Announcer: And what seems to be the problem?

Perez: My life is shit. Willie abuses me when I don’t pitch well…

TV Announcer: Did you just say….

Willie: [interrupting] Uh, Ollie meant to say that I amuse him after a bad game. See, I like to keep my players light hearted and jovial after a tough loss. A little levity goes a long way, you know?

TV Announcer: I could’ve sworn he said…

Willie: Nope, nope you misheard him. Let’s wrap this up.

Perez: [grabs announcer by the arm and pleads with wild panicked eyes] Please sir, please fix me. Put your baseball knowledge inside of me!

Omar Minaya: [to announcer] Uh, you can edit that out of the commercial, right?

Willie: Meeting over! Everyone out of my locker room, now!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Heads Down Mets Fans, It's Exam Time

As of this writing, only 100 games remain in the 2008 Mets regular season. And if things continue on their current course, only 100 games remain for the Mets this year, period. How to put this delicately… they’re just…ah… well they’ve just very not good. So what better way to familiarize yourselves with some of the issues plaguing the Mets than a fun-filled quiz?* Everyone have their No. 2 pencils sharpened? Good, here we go. Please note that the use of scientific calculators and/or anti-depressant medication is strictly prohibited during the exam.

1) While playing a series in Colorado in which he was called upon to pinch hit twice despite suffering from a concussion, what did Ryan Church tell reporters he felt like?

(a) “Fit as a fiddle—no man can stop me!”
(b) “My head feels like a boat bobbing on the Bering Sea.”
(c) “Neurologist, schmerologst. I’m not letting Moises Alou back on the roster.”
(d) “Daddy I want ice cream!”

2) If the Mets choose not to exercise Carlos Delgado’s option this winter, how much money will they owe him?

(a) $4 million
(b) $2 million
(c) $5 million in Denny’s gift cards
(d) Money? His contract stipulates an offering to Jobu.

3) What is the current promotional slogan for the 2008 Mets?

(a) “Fuck You, We Know What We’re Doing.”
(b) “The Mets: Live & In Person.”
(c) "Big Market Payroll, Small Market Results."
(d) ” Your Season Has Come.”

4) What was Abraham Nunez’s batting average in New Orleans before being called up to the Mets last week to spell David Wright and Luis Castillo?

(a) .188
(b) .133
(c) .192
(d) Ah christ, just shoot me now.

5) Aaron Heilman was selected by the Mets in the first round of the 2001 draft. What number was his overall pick?

(a) 12
(b) 17
(c) 18
(d) Wait, you mean to tell me that we drafted this miserable bastard?

6) In order to win 90 games in the remainder of the 2008 regular season, how many games over .500 would the Mets have to play?

(a) 20
(b) 21
(c) 19
(d) We’re fucked. We’re so fucked we don’t even know how fucked we are.

7) What reason did Ramon Castro give for showing up late at the San Diego Padres Stadium and missing the game this past Sunday?

(a) Family obligations.
(b) Forgetting to adjust for the West coast time zone change.
(c) Getting lost at the San Diego Zoo.
(d) Up all night on the phone with Jose Lima’s wife.

8) How many catchers do the Mets currently have on their roster?
(a) 3
(b) 2
(c) 5
(d) Leave me alone, I don’t deserve this.

9) Since taking over as GM of the New York Mets, Omar Minaya has increased the Mets’ payroll by how much?

(a) $31 million
(b) $48 million
(c) $55 million
(d) We suck. We’re the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked. Boy do we suck.

10) Which American League baseball team is Rickey recommending that you start watching instead of the Mets?

(a) The Tigers
(b) The Red Sox
(c) The Rays
(d) The Angels

Answer Key: 1(b), 2(a), 3(b), 4(a), 5(c), 6(a), 7(b), 8(a), 9(c), 10(c)

Score Results:

1-2 correct – Haven’t been watching the Mets much this season, have you? Mazel tov, you’ve saved hundreds of dollars on antacid medication.

3-8 correct – Middle of the road. You know all about Pedro’s health problems but are unsure who this Victor Zombrano fellow is that the other Mets fans like to curse about.

9-10 correct – Congratulations, you’re Steve Philips. You’re well versed in everything that’s wrong with the Mets. How’s that working out for you?

*h/t to Toasty Joe for the Mets quiz premise which Rickey so recklessly absconded with.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Rickey Recommends

This is where Rickey posts recommendations of noteworthy consumables, practices, and pastimes that have been deemed invaluable for the reader’s betterment. All products and pieces of advice listed herein have been Rickey tested and approved. Again, this is in no way shape or form a complete rip off of McSweeney’s (fa-la-la-la-la, lawyers, Rickey can’t hear you). Enjoy our latest installment of


Dual Monitors. Get a load of this: Rickey recently had a new computer added to his office but opted to keep his old monitor and place it next to the new one at a 20 degree angle. A little creative wiring & configuring and lo—Rickey’s workspace is now displayed seamlessly across two flat screen monitors! Nifty, eh? Our apologies if Rickey’s newly discovered innovation is old hat to some of you, but having two screens makes Rickey feel like a high powered stock trader or missile command operator. Truly a worthwhile addition to Rickey’s desk ahem, we mean CENTCOM.

Microsoft Office’s Autocorrect Feature. (Bear with us, Rickey’s on roll with work related tips for you office professional types). Yes, it’s a handy feature that prevents you from sending sentences containing the word “teh” to the boss, but there’s a far more fun application for this tool. Did you know you can tweak this feature to have the autocorrect function replace words such as “and” with another word such as “pig vomit” when you type them in? Rickey recommends sneaking onto an unsuspecting coworker’s computer and giving this a shot sometime, because nothing brightens up one’s day quite like the sudden and unexpected appearance of the phrase “calamitous cocksucker” while you’re attempting to draft an interoffice memo.

P.G. Wodehouse. Hey kids, do you like Douglas Adams? Well then, Rickey suspects that you’ll also enjoy this master of the breezy comic tale. Start with his Jeeves and Wooster stories and go from there. We think you’ll find that it’s impossible to be unhappy while reading the adventures of Jeeves & Wooster (Rickey’s tried).

Holding off on making that emu-egg omelet for a little while. 52 days ought to do the trick. (Proceed to the link for your daily dose of emu-related cuteness).

The “Parking-Spot Pull-Through” Maneuver. Picture yourself on a warm sunny day circling the mall parking lot. You see a spot; you pull your car in. Then you see the pull-through opportunity: the spot in front of you, usually already occupied by someone who parked facing you, is open! It's not just sensible logistically to go right through and park facing out. It's plain old good karma: a sign of promising things to come.

Freon Conditioned Air. Rickey sat down, did the math, and came to the conclusion that being comfortable is far more important than one’s Con-Ed bill tripling during the hot summer months. So crank up the A.C., and enjoy the modern wonder of climate control, because we don’t know about you, but we prefer being broke to being miserably hot.

Civilization IV for the Mac & PC. Ok, so we’re what—two or three years late on this? Nonetheless, you need a game in your library that involves conducting diplomacy, discovering technologies, going head-to-head with some of history's greatest leaders, and building vast empires. And if you dare to venture online, Rickey will mercilessly kick your ass on Civilization IV. (Hint: Rickey’s key to winning is playing as the Roman Empire and building tons of roads …and not using those pesky lead pipes for the water supply).

Keeping a low profile if your name is Dick Dickenson. Well this pretty much cinches the deal: Rickey is never, ever taking his children to see a mall Santa.

M.I.A. Are you up to speed on your Sri Lanken hip-hop artists? A few years ago this artist came stateside, complete with hard-thwacking electronic beats and a sort of rambunctious energy that you just don’t hear in the hip-hop/electronic/reggae genre as much these days. For those looking for familiarize themselves with this quirky artist, Rickey recommends listening to her single “Paper Planes” and proceeding onwards from there.

Beets. Turns out they don't have to be gross. For example, did you know you can make borscht with ‘em? True story, you can. And on these hot summer days, is there anything better than some ice cold borscht with a dollop of sour cream in the middle? Rickey thinks not.

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Friday, June 6, 2008

Rickey’s Theater of the Imagination: Featuring Environmentally Conscious Free Climbing Frenchmen

Alain Robert, a French stuntman known for climbing tall buildings, scaled the north face of the New York Times building on Thursday, ascending 52 stories to the roof and clutching a bright green banner, before police officers arrested him around 12:22 p.m. The words on the banner were illegible from the sidewalk, but from office windows inside the tower the slogan on the banner could be clearly read: “Global warming kills more people than 9/11 every week.”The NY Times

[And now, a running internal monologue from the aforementioned Frenchman as he makes his daring ascent up the building]

2nd Floor: Why do I do this? Much like all other aspects of my life, I am guided by a certain je ne sais quoi. An undeniable joie de vivre. But my ultimate cause is to raise environmental awareness! Zee icecaps aren’t going to stop melting themselves unless Frenchmen everywhere scale large buildings and unfurl banners for all to see. This is my mission, this is my curse. I am condemned to be free. Allez!

8th Floor: For provisions, I have packed a rucksack containing fine baguettes, cheeses, and fruits. Surely the authorities will allow me to enjoy a pleasant scenic picnic when I reach zee summit. The police in this city must be more lenient and friendly than the ones in France, oui?

23rd Floor: Mon dieu, this building is enorme. I would have climbed zee Wall Street Journal headquarters, but only ink dot drawings of people work there, and I am too lazy to have created a hedcut banner for them to read. Aussi, I hear that those swine have built a moat around it and electrified the exterior since Rupert Murdoch took over.

26th Floor: Half way there, let’s see those parkour bastards beat this!

30th Floor: Let me pause and take a peek through zee window. Sacre bleu, is that the famed Arthur Sulzberger I see? Why is he wearing a diaper and dictating a memo to a rubber chicken?

37th Floor: Zeut, the air up here is getting thinner! In retrospect, 25 years of drinking only the finest wines from the Loire River Valley and smoking unfiltered cigarettes may have been a poor decision. But I will persevere—after all, je suis le pied.

45th Floor: Merde, I am fatigued. I will pause momentarily to get my bearings. What floor is this? What zee shit that? Is that Maureen Dowd wearing a dominatrix outfit and whipping Paul Krugman?! Suce ma bite, I’m getting the hell out of here!

49th Floor: To hell with zee melting icecaps and dying polar bears, I am experiencing vertigo up here! When I get down off this building, I will purchase zee largest recreational vehicle I can find and drive through Alaska on a seal clubbing expedition!

52nd Floor: My arms ache and I feel blackness closing in around me: there is no exit here… Who is that beckoning to me? A police officer? I shall go surrender myself to him, toute suite. L'enfer, c'est les autres

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

This Week in Political Wonkery

And so it ends (or begins, depending upon your view of things). At long last, our national nightmare of inconsequential Democratic strife has come to an end. For the most part, Rickey steered clear of discussing the matter, primarily due to the fact that in the absence of any substantial differences between the two candidates on the major issues, the discourse quickly devolved into petty bickering on the topics of corkscrew landings, renegade reverends, and musings on who whitey would feel most comfortable voting for in November. As the primary season dragged on (and on, and on…), Rickey had come to regard Hillary Clinton and her followers with the same attitude he does for the mother goose and her baby chicks that insist upon crossing the road on Rickey’s commute to work each day: get out of the goddamned way you goofy fuckers, this shit isn’t helping anyone.

In principal, Rickey has no qualms with Hillary Clinton: she’s a strong candidate with a clear vision of how to undo the clusterfuckery of the past seven years of a neo conservative controlled White House. What Rickey takes issue with his how she ran her campaign, because somewhere along the line she unwittingly transformed herself into the caricature of herself that the GOP machine has been successfully demonizing for years. Those who honestly believe that she’s the strongest candidate would do well to remember Rush Limbaugh’s campaign to enlist his listeners to vote for her, and the fact that there’s a massive swath of the American populace that would crawl over mountains of broken glass to vote against her in November. Even more harmful is that fact that when faced with a setback or script change, the Clinton campaign became shrill, increasingly populist, and depressingly calculating.

By mocking Obama’s alleged empty rhetoric, Clinton was actually rallying against hope, idealism, and the notion that yes, goddammit, we actually deserve a candidate with lofty principals who doesn’t pander to the lowest common denominator. Rickey takes issue with her campaign slogan: “Ready to Lead From Day 1,” the insinuation being that upon entering the Oval Office for the first time, a bleary eyed and coked up Barack Obama would accidentally hit the big red button that overturns Roe vs. Wade, inserts Scientology in the nation’s 8th grade Biology textbooks, raises everyone’s taxes by 300%, nukes Israel, and awards Bechtel a no-bid contract to clean up the whole mess. Ultimately, it was Clinton’s sense of entitlement that bugged Rickey the most, and it’s that arrogant entitlement that makes it so hard not to experience a certain measure of schadenfreude at her defeat. Our apologies if that last statement goes against the grain of party unity, but after witnessing Clinton’s open mouthed toothy smile on the campaign trail for the past two years, Rickey had been becoming slowly unhinged.

As a rule, those seeking a place on the Presidential ticket need to eat a little humble pie for a little while. We’re not sure how Clinton’s decision to employ the angst of her 18 million supporters as a thinly veiled threat to Obama plays into that notion, but if those 18 million supporters are all like this one, then Rickey’s pretty sure that the Democratic party can do without ‘em for the moment. And now that we’ve moved from the frivolous phase to the “shit just got real” phase of the election cycle, Rickey has the distinct pleasure of fixing his gaze upon John McCain The Maverick™, a man whose campaign rallies are set to the Indiana Jones theme song (no joke) and who as far as we can tell, is only a few weeks away from wrestling a grizzly bear on live tv and changing his campaign slogan to “It’s Not the Years, It’s the Mileage.” And isn’t that fun, someone simultaneously new and old to vilify...

Update: (courtesy of ATK) for those that haven't seen it, here's the video of Terry McAuliffe on The Daily Show last night assuring John Stewart that Hillary Clinton is still bound for the White House. John Stewart's response: "Wow. How do you do that? I'm a Mets fan. They started the season strong and then completely collapsed. Convice me they won the World Series."

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Your Weekly Linkage!

…in which Rickey culls the internet for only the choicest links with the intention that maybe, just maybe, the handful of misanthropes that come by this site daily might actually click on ‘em and use the vast knowledge contained herein to somehow better themselves. (No luck so far). Bon appetite, fuckwits.

As of this writing, Al Franken is only two points behind Norm Coleman in the race for the Minnesota Senate seat. The latest Ramussen/RwR poll on Franken reveals that:

35% say he's good enough,
35% say he's smart enough,
and 30% say doggone it, people like him.

So go, Franken, go! Rickey is downright giddy at the idea of this guy winning a seat in the Senate. Just imagine how epic would the Bill O’Reilley freakout be…

In space, no one can hear you flush…because the goddamned toilet is broken. How is there only one toilet on the ISS? Doesn’t this seem like horrifically poor planning? All together now everyone: “Even in the future nothing works!”

In our ongoing series, “Dispatches from Arkansas” Rickey proudly presents the story of two bright young lads known as the Johnson County Boys: a 10 year old and a 12 year old who got liquored up and crashed their car while trying to pick up a girl they met at the rodeo. Yep, just another day in Arkansas…

Taking a peek at the calendar, this week brings the following videogame releases: Ninja Gaiden II (ninjas!) and Lego Indiana Jones (Indy + Legos = awesome). Assuming your wallet isn’t hurting too much, Rickey recommends picking up both. Ninja Gaiden has ninjas(!), so that’s pretty much a no-brainer, and who wouldn’t want to play through a Lego universe interpretation of the original Indy trilogy? Hitler, that’s who. Fucking Hitler.

Now this is just all sorts of fun: a tiny fruit that tricks the taste buds into thinking that sour foods actually taste sweet. Just rub one berry on your palette and lo!, goat cheese tastes like cheesecake, vinegar tastes like apple cider, lemons taste like sugar, and any/all wine suddenly tastes like Manischewitz. Practical applications? None whatsoever, but trippy as all hell nonetheless.

The countries of Peru and Chile are arguing over which country potatoes originated in. And so it begins: what we can only hope will be a Dr. Seuss styled potato war between these two nations, featuring these as armaments.

This just in: Dwight Schrute from “The Office” will battle Decepticons in “Transformers 2.” Will he be paid in Schrute Bucks? Only time will tell…

And in yet more “Giant Robots Fighting!” news, a man was banned from boarding a plane at Heathrow Airport due to the fact that he was wearing a t-shirt with Optimus Prime holding a cartoon gun. Nice to see that we haven’t allowed the terrorists to win, eh? Good thing he wasn’t wearing a Megatron t-shirt—the whole damned robot is a gun for christsakes…

This may be just about the only exciting thing ever to happen in Oak Lawn, Illinois: stop signs with funny slogans worked into ‘em. Being humorless schmucks, the Illinois DOT is debating decommissioning them which is a low down dirty shame because Rickey has some suggestions for additional signs:

STOP… Collaborate and Listen
STOP… Or My Mom Will Shoot
STOP… Hammertime

You’d think that in today’s world, over 140 years since the conclusion of the Civil War, cannonball related deaths would be somewhat of a thing of the past. And for most the most part you’d be correct, except on this occasion.

Fresh off her charming Crawford ranch wedding, Jenna Bush is considering teaching at an inner city public school in Baltimore. Federal Hill to be precise. Pryzbylewski from “The Wire” approves of this decision!

Rickey loves, loves, loves, Google trends. Here’s why.

Because you were clamoring for it: The 21 Most Outrageous Sports Illustrated Covers of All Time. Rickey’s favorites include the one of Joe Namath looking eerily like a Taliban member and the cover with the ferocious bear on front bearing the title: “THE GRIZZLY: THE ENEMY OF MAN!”

And what could be a more fitting way of wrapping this column up than with a story about how ADHD is costing employers millions of dollars? Oh, hey, look… a pretty colored butterfly… Rickey’s gotta run.

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