This blog has been neglected lately—partly due to mysterious technical problems that just as mysteriously went away—and is likely to be neglected more in the upcoming days. But I wanted to post a small something just to plant a flag that says I’m still here.
After a sluggish start, I’ve finally started getting into the World Cup. I was fairly amazed watching Brazil play Ghana the other day. Ghana manhandled the U.S. team and continued to play well against Brazil, yet still lost 3-0. Brazil could just as easily have scored 10 goals if they’d shared the ball and, you know, focused a little bit. They carved up Ghana’s defense like that Ronco knife carves up tomatoes.
The upcoming holiday weekend presents a quandary: wholesome outdoor activities versus the rare harmonic convergence of the World Cup and the Tour de France. Wiffle ball & hot dogs versus semi-understood European sporting events. What oh what shall I choose?
Meanwhile, I wanted to share this WC anecdote from correspondent Stewart, for no other reason than it amused me:
I wouldn’t miss a match — but as we don’t have cable, we have to watch it on the Mexican channels — which means you don’t have to listen to commentators. Although, during the Portugal/Holland game — containing the most fouls in the history of the WC — the Mexican commentator said, “Welcome to the jungle!” in English. Very funny.
Which reminds me, Axl Rose—now sporting what appears to be a headful of yarn—was arrested this week for biting a security guard. Amazingly, it appears that alcohol was involved.
But this was just too good to resist:
“That’s us,” I said.
“That was Earth. Number One turned millions of bits of himself into single-celled organisms—he can do it any number of times without diminishing himself—and waited to see what would happen. The idea was that he wouldn’t interfere, but there were times when he couldn’t help himself.”
“Well, he didn’t like the dinosaurs very much. Big, dumb brutes were not what he had in mind. So he… made an adjustment.”
The night air was humid but relatively clean and I felt my head begin to clear. The moon was bright and, of course, full, casting a grayish-white glow on the Bringer of Light as he handed me a cigar. We lit up and started walking, our cigar tips pulsing orange in the darkness.
“So there is a God,” I said.
“That’s not a good word,” he answered. “Too mechanical. Too many associations. What we call him would translate into English as something like ‘Number One.’”
In honor of 6/6/6, I decided to finally type up a story I wrote a while back (pre-Katrina, in case you’re wondering). It’s a bit long, so I’m breaking it up into parts, which I’d recommend printing out and leaving in your bathroom for a rainy day. Now, without further ado…
Me & the Devil
Last summer I ran into the devil down in New Orleans.
Oh, I didn’t know it was him at first. After a night in the French Quarter, my lame-ass friends had crashed out too early for my taste, so I decided to go out for a drink on my own. After a few minutes I found myself in front of a strip club with a big marquee and all sorts of enticing-looking pictures outside—naked bodies creatively piled and daisy-chained. But once I got inside, the place looked completely different. It was a rundown dive with one pale, pot-bellied stripper dancing halfheartedly to faint piano jazz.