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Peter Mucha, husband and father of two, grew up in Cherry Hill and is a lifelong Philly sports fan. He's been writing and editing for The Inquirer for 18 years. His motto (at least for today): "If I'm not brief, give me grief."

Inquirer Bloggers
• Blinq Dan Rubin
• Changing Skyline Architecture critic Inga Saffron
• Cancer Chronicles
• Consumer Inq Columnist Jeff Gelles

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Someone Loves Fruitcakes?!
No, not me. I relate to a story my step-sister, Sandy, tells. Every Christmas, her grandmother gave out dozens of heavy rectangular gifts. All were fruitcakes except for one. Sandy puts hers unwrapped in the fridge and forgot about it for two years. Upon opening it, she realized she'd gotten the ringer: An embroidered brick doorstop!

The Inquirer's Tanya Barrientos actually likes fruitcakes. Not the breed with Dayglo gooballs that assassinate appetites. "My favorite is loaded with pecans and pineapple and a touch of clover honey, which I get from the famous Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas," she wrote in her "Unconventional Wisdom" column.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

World's Ugliest Dog Dies
Let us mourn the passing of a champion. Sniff, sniff. (What's that smell?) "I don't think there'll ever be another Sam," said his owner, Susie Lockheed of Santa Barbara, Calif. Sam was so hideous Lockheed's boyfriend left her after she adopted this canine catastrophe. Sam, though, achieved fame. Three times, this hairless pedigreed Chinese crested with crooked teeth and freaky eyes won "World's Ugliest Dog" honors at the Sonoma-Marin Fair. He went on TV in Japan. He met Donald Trump. He wen on radio in New Zealand. (New Zealanders are smart.) Nearly 15, his heart ailing, Sam was euthanized. Should have had him stuffed. Could have sold him on eBay as a Halloween decoration.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Cartoons Lampoon Eagles, T.O. 

Bangcartoon.com's animated take on the T.O. mess, titled "Child's Play," begins with Joe Banner talking like Simpsons skinflint Mr. Burns, when in comes Hugh Douglas wearing an "Ambassador" sash. A mock-shocked Douglas explains, "Well, I was down in the locker room and I mighta said he was fakin' injuries and next thing I know he's up and throwing punches!" In come a diapered, pacifier-sucking Terrell Owens and a bawling Donovan McNabb, who blubbers, "He called me fat, and said I got tired in the Super Bowl, and he knows I was sick, and the relative humidity was too high ... and he said ... my mama could take a million baths and she'd still smell like Chunky Clam Chowder!" Andy Reid tries, unsuccessfully, to calm his offensive threats (in more ways than one) by taking them for ice cream. The site's devoted to such mockery of all sorts of National Football League issues and people. So in the archives you'll find more T.O.-ripping cartoons. If you're bothered by foul language, though, you'll want to skip the likes of "Bye Bye Birdy" and "Whine and Cheese." But don't miss the 2004 classic "Blue Christmas," in which McNabb serenades the injured T.O. and sings, when Todd Pinkston and Freddie Mitchell show up (below), "I'd do what I must, with this wuss and this bust." (Update, March '06: Looks like you have to register to access these clips. They're in the archives.)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A Thanksgiving Game!
Here's a puzzle/activity I whipped up that families might enjoy. Hit the button below and a grid with letters and categories should pop up. Right click on it, then click "print" to make copies. Compete as individuals or teams, filling in as many boxes as you can. Or make it a non-competitive group activity.

If some boxes stump you, check our array of answers. (If you have trouble reading it, right-click and print a copy.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Get the Weatherman!
Still steamed about some old forecast? Here's a game that will help you chill. Let "Hurricane" Schwartz stand in for his profession, and pelt him with snowballs. "What'd you do that for?" he'll say. As if he doesn't know. Go to the game.

Monday, November 21, 2005

'Calvin and Hobbes' is back
The comic about a rambunctuous boy and his tiger, named after two famously pessimistic thinkers, was one of the all-time great comic strips. Starting today, it's running again in The Inquirer. These aren't new strips, alas, but reruns sure beat Funky Winkerbean.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Paris attacked by monkey!
No, we realize that's her Hilton-ness with her chihuahua, Tinkerbell, and chihuahuas belong to some species (we're not sure what) besides monkeys. Anyway, the Simple beanpole was shopping in Vegas with her kinkajou (about the same size as her chihuahua) when "Baby Luv" scratched her. This "news," of course, is a shameless way of filling this space and working in selections from Letterman's latest, Top Ten Questions Paris Hilton Asked Herself Before Buying A Monkey:

10. "Does it go with my shoes?"
9. "Should I get the extended warranty that covers replacement monkey parts?"
6. "Will it get along with whatever wealthy twit I'm currently engaged to?"
5. "If I don't buy this monkey, does that mean the terrorists have won?"
4. "Will it get along with Lindsay Lohan's orangutan?"
2. "Can it be trained to hold a video camera?"
1. "Will I still want a monkey when I'm sober?"

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

N.J.: We Can Take a Joke
The acting governor thought "New Jersey: We'll Win You Over" sounded apologetic. So the state's searching for more motto ideas. Inquirer columnist Monica Yant Kinney got 400, including:

New Jersey: You got a problem with that?
New Jersey: Corrupt and proud
New Jersey: We can have you killed
New Joyzee: Better than Boise
New Jersey: Come glow with us
New Jersey: What happens here stays in a landfill

For more, read her Sunday column, then Tuesday's, where she picks a winner. But for pungent wit, it's tough to top Saturday Night Live's suggestion, delivered by Amy Poehler (above): "New Jersey and You: Who Farted?"

Disclaimer to fellow New Jerseyans: Just kidding, of course.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Live From New York,
It's the McNabbs!

Or at least a couple of funny facsimiles. A Saturday Night Live skit on NBC had "Donovan" announcing he wanted Terrell Owens back. (Check the temperature in hell, somebody.) Next to him was his "Mama." Here's how the "news" conference went:

Donovan: I just want to say that I'm ready to put this whole ordeal behind me and concentrate on bringing this team back to the Super Bowl with Terrell Owens.
Mrs. McNabb: C'mon back, T.O.!
Donovan: Mama, we can win the Super Bowl without T.O.
Mama: Boy, you all can't win the warmups without T.O. He's the man!
Donovan: No, he was a distraction, that's all.
Mama: The only thing he was distracting you from was losing! We're through! Come back, T.O.! Come back, T.O.! (opening her white fur coat to reveal her No. 81 Terrell Owens jersey) Oh-ohhhh! Ohhhh! T.O.!
Donovan (trying to get her to close the coat): Come on, now, Mama, that's cold now!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Replay the T.O. Game!
Back in the day (actually this summer) while pass-catcher / rehabber extraordinaire Terrell Owens was jonesing for more moolah, the Inky's Alan Baseden cooked up a spiffy video game. By jumping over or ducking under obstacles ("ankle injury," "his agent" and "his own fat swollen head") you could help him "negotiate his way to a $100 million contract." OK, that's not gonna happen now. But the game's still fun. And even more ironic. Load it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Chicken Little's Eagles Toons
Disney's new animated flick should strike a chord with worried Eagles fans. You know the drill: "The sky is falling!" So check out two clips that show the flick's characters reacting to the season so far:

1a. Eagles Are Falling! (Windows Media, 344 kb)
1b. Eagles Are Falling! (Quicktime)
2a. Run! (Windows Media, 362 kb)
2b. Run! (Quicktime)

The Lighter Side

Cartoonists Also Take Aim at VP Cheney's Misfire
Click names below to see smart-alecky art.
Tony Auth, Philadelphia Inquirer

Steve Benson, Arizona Republic.

Sandy Huffaker, CagleCartoons.com.

Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Gary Varvel, Indianapolis Star
Other links: Story. EditorialCartoonists.com.

Once a year for six years, The Inquirer's "Kid's Talk" column asked, "Heard any good jokes lately?" Now, we've collected the best answers, along with some great children's illustrations, just for Early Word.
Kids' Joke Book, Part 1.
Kids' Joke Book, Part 2.
Kids' Joke Book, Part 3.

More the Merrier
• Tony Auth cartoons
• Tanya Barrientos Unconventional Wisdom
• Spilled Inq Celebrity news

Short. But with a Philly twist. Know of a smart remark you'd like to share? Maybe you said it, or heard it, or just made it up. One sentence is best. Email it. Use a nickname or go nameless. See the list.


   •  September 2005
   •  October 2005
   •  November 2005
   •  December 2005
   •  January 2006
   •  February 2006
   •  March 2006

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