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Mace Me Bro!

While you have to be impressed by the sheer audacity of a mother who goes on Good Morning America to protest the pepper spraying of her son during his enraged assault on teachers, students, and an innocent television set, you should be even more impressed by the sheer cheek of her 8 year old son who, while wielding a cardboard shield and a wooden knife, tells the cops to, “Come get me F^*#ers!

As impressive as this level of insanity is, we should be even more impressed by the actual nerve of the police officer who let the kid have it with the business end of an 8 oz. bottle of liquified peppers… twice. Sure the kid wasn’t really a danger to the police officer, but he was IN DANGER of not learning a very important lesson and that lesson is this: “You don’t screw around with people who put their lives on the line to protect human beings.” Whether it’s a cop, a fireman, or a soldier, you don’t get in the way of someone whose job is the care and protection of people, even if that person is you.

None of us live in a vacuum, and while our Constitution gives us a right to speak and live freely, it doesn’t actually protect us from the consequences of our freely issued words and actions.

Sometimes you call a cop out, and he calls your bluff in a way that makes you cry, foam at the mouth and wet yourself in front of the other kids… whom you’ve forced into a closet.

Mascot Madness

With the NCAA Final Four upon us, we’ve been treated to a cavalcade of college mascots, some of them silly and some of them superlative.

Some of us get to go to a school with an awesome mascot.  A mascot that evokes the mystery of a super villain or does something awesome like riding a horse while brandishing a weapon.  Sometimes it does both, like the angry church clergyman who burns into Wake Forest stadium riding a custom chopper.

Some of us get a mascot that looks like a rabid gerbil wearing a scarf.  Still others get something that appears to be a love interest for Grimace.  Sometimes your mascot is terrible because it’s just patently offensive.

In 1991, just 2 years before the politically correct revolution, I attended Antelope Valley College and our mascot was a marauding, bloodthirsty Sheik.  I’m not going to lie to you, the marauder was as awesome as he was offensive to the arab student population.  While he no longer menaces the cheerleaders,  the athletic teams are still called “the Marauders”, and today they are represented only by a gleaming scimitar… because blood thirst is evidently acceptable when a racial slur is merely implied.

Whatever the situation occurring at your Alma Mater, the truth is that a great mascot inspires the crowd and unites a community in the same way that sticking with a terrible mascot insults your fan base and makes you the butt of a million jokes.

I’d love to hear a school mascot you hate and why.  It can be silly or serious but I want to know what would you’d change it to and why?

I’ll tell you mine tomorrow.


The Ghosts of Candies Past

The 1920’s were a decade of decadence for Americans, an era when we refined frivolity from indulgence to art form.  The post war economic boom meant that people with ideas could find capital to finance them; professional sports, comic books, and trading cards became thriving industries. It was during this era that America said goodbye to “Little House on the Prairie” era candies and confections, gone were the days of sucking on peppermint sticks or chewing on anise roots and only a hayseed would be caught dead with marzipan.

Many of the candies of the interwar period have survived to both pleasure and torment us almost 100 years later.  Here are five that are worth their weight in sugar and five that never should have survived beyond the Korean War.

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