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The Inquirer's "morning show" dishes news and views, as it tries to amuse. Participate by writing comments, calling in opinions, emailing answers, or voting in polls.

About the Host
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

Friday, December 23, 2005

Joy to the Sports!
The Spirit of Competitive Seasons has inspired Frank Fitzpatrick. (Either that or the Inky columnist finally snapped.) He's rewritten carols that I wish a choir would perform so I could show you the video. There are:

-- Terrell the Big-Mouth Wideout
-- Jolly Old Pat Gillick
-- It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Foosball
-- O Come All Ye Race Fans
-- Away in the Apple
-- O Nittany

and this take on Silent Night, which inspired Early Word to conjure up Allen Iverson as a singing shepherd:

Silent night, Sixers game
In first place, no one came
Round yon A.I., C-Webb and Mo
Empty seats, where'd everyone go?
Play in Wachovian hush
Play in Wachovian hush

Great game, Frank!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Santa Lovers: Do Not Read!
Have you heard the latest in the St. Nick Leak Scandal? No, it has nothing to do with plastic lapguards worn by mall Santas. Highlights Magazine's Timbertoes cartoon recently revealed the true identity of the Jolly Old Elf himself: "Your mommy and daddy." So says satire peddler The Onion. And who was the blabbermouth? White House mastermind Karl Rove! (That's him, pictured above.) "This leak compromises generations of undercover work on the part of U.S. parents," said counterterrorism quote-machine Richard Clarke to the Onion. "Consider all the covers that will be blown, all the secret gift-hiding places that will be exposed." And the reason for this nefarious deed? Getting back at a second-grader who wore an antiwar T-shirt to school. Read the whole spoof and nothing but the spoof.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Barbara Walters with Hellboy'Barbara Walters: Hell, Where Is It?'
Last night's ABC special, Barbara Walters: Heaven, Where Is It?, was so special, asking everybody from the Dalai Lama to Liz Taylor about the afterlife, that spinoffs are sure to follow. Just imagine: Barbara Walters: Hell, Where Is It? (That's her, interviewing Hellboy above.) ... Barbara Walters: Limbo, Where Is It? ...Barbara Walters: Atlantis, Where Is It? ... Barbara Walters: Victory in Iraq, Where the Hell Is It? ... Barbara Walters: Trenton, Where Is It? ... Barbara Walters: My Sense of Shame, Where Is It? and Barbara Walters: My Retirement, Where Is It? Email your ideas for more great shows.

Monday, December 19, 2005

It's an Inflatables Pandemic!
Bloated Santas and snowglobes cover more yards than Chem Lawn. Stop this trend now! Or just imagine what's coming:
--Inflatables will replace bobbleheads as giveaways. See larger-than-life Charlie Manuel above.
--The ACLU will sue towns over inflatable baby Jesus scenes.
--Writers like me will ask what famous people, besides Rush Limbaugh and T.O., would be perfect lawn icons because they're such windbags with inflated egos.
--Mini-inflatables will appear on hats and dashboards.
--Anna Nicole Smith will be mistaken for an inflatable.
--A divorce will make headlines for involving inflatables.
--Sotheby's will sell an inflatable of Van Gogh's Sunflowers for $147 million.
--Banks will display the ultimate icon of inflatability, the U.S. dollar.
--Jay Leno will make jokes about Viagra inflatables.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Eagles Name Game
Could call this duo the Song Birds. Or the Backup Singers. Quarterback Andy Hall (left), just moved up from the practice squad, backs up hobbling Mike McMahon and fragile Koy Detmer. So it's possible he'll play this season. Rookie running back Ryan Moats has already cracked the lineup, scoring two TDs on Sundays. If these guys do form a backfield duo, no better title than the combo of their last names, pun intended: Hall & Moats. (A caller to WIP gets credit for this idea.)

Hall & Oates, of course, were huge pop stars from Philly. Change the name of their hit "Private Eyes" to "Scrutinized," and the lyrics would surely apply to these guys (and all Eagles): "They're watching you. They see your every move. ... They're watching you watching you watching you."

See story on final Eagles games as player auditions.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Here's an idea for a new instant lottery game. You take Whack-a-Mole, and substitute Gus, "the second most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania," for the moles. Gus, as you no doubt have noticed, is the weaselly pitchpuppet for the state's instant lottery games. His voice is grating. His look ain't cute. He's wasting a lot of lottery money to encourage more gambling. And his slogan, "Keep on scratching," is pretty obnoxious, when you think about it. So, Gus, go back in your hole. We don't even want to see your shadow. Unless you can give us a hot tip on some winning numbers. Agree or disagree? Email Early Word.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Dog-gone Double Feature
White House Dogs' Holiday Video,
How to Meditate With Your Dog

The First Pooches have made a movie, A Very Beazley Christmas. Barney acts like a terrible terrier, jealously hiding sister Miss Beazley's presents. TV's George Stephanopoulus and Nancy O'Dell have roles, along with the Bushes. The video has its moments, with dog popularity polls and a presidential pun. The leisurely pace, though, could test all but the most partisan dog lovers.

Another way dogs might relieve holiday stress: by helping you meditate. Milo the miniature schnauzer turned guinea pig as the Inquirer's Tanya Barrientos investigated a new book, How to Meditate With Your Dog. Read her account.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

No, that wasn’t an ocean liner coming up the Delaware last night. That was the first official blare of two new air horns trumpeting Mike Richards’ shootout goal, giving the Flyers a 1-0 victory over Calgary. Each of the S-203Cs, acquired from a ship manufacturer, issues a blast that can surpass 140 decibels. Hear it. More details. See also game story, goalie analysis and notes.

Monday, December 05, 2005

'Tasty' $3 Tofu Hoagies?
Yes, you'll find them at the Fu-Wah Mini Market, 810 S. 47th St., writes Inquirer food columnist Rick Nichols. "The real surprise is how full of juicy lemongrass-soy flavor the tofu is. The texture reminds you of a pepper-and-egg sandwich." Then again, are we sure this is a hoagie? Yes, there's a hoagie roll, but it's topped with daikon, carrot and cilantro, with optional jalapeno slices. No lettuce and tomato. See "Where's the beef? Who cares?". What wild or wacky hoagies have you liked? Email Early Word.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Putting Two Heads Together
Word is Donald Trump's bid for a Philly slot license includes Pat Croce. Imagine this merger of personalities. Maybe they'd rub off on each other. The Donald with shaved head, glasses and earring, gushing, "I feel great!" The Pirate Soul museum man with bushy hair in a business suit saying, "You're fired, Larry Brown!" Arg, this face-swap idea should have walked the plank. See story on casino quest.

See related story on face transplants.

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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