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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.

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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

Monday, January 30, 2006

Who should play 'Me' in 'Marley & Me'?
Inquirer columnist John Grogan sold the film rights to his best-selling dog memoir. Which raises the above question. Hmm. Here's a picture of Grogan. Two readers suggest he looks like actor Craig T. Nelson. We're dubious, judging from Nelson's most recent role. Click these buttons to possibilities.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Bot Pours Beer!
Finally, a useful robot. It can store six cans in its tummy fridge, take one out and pour it into a glass. Sure beats talking toys and stalking vacuum cleaners. Japanese beer maker Asahi is giving away 5,000 beer-pouring robots, as part of a contest. Alas, it's only in Japan. Wonder when they'll start showing up on eBay.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Who Really Invented the Pizza Protector?
Ben Franklin did, David Letterman asserted this week. Some readers disagreed. They say the local guy who invented K'Nex was the true genius. C'mon. Take a gander at the cover of a special issue of Time about Ben Franklin. What is that on his head? Doesn't the cover say, "Inventor of the Pizza Protector"? Pretty persuasive, yes? Of course, we jest. As does Dave. The real inventor was Carmela Vitale of Dix Hills, N.Y., who got the patent in 1985. K'Nex was dreamed up in '89 by Joel Glickman, whose Hatboro-based family business made plastic parts and objects, such as those pizza-box-lid keeper-upper thingies.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Incredible Hulk's Wife
"I'm not being rude" is the newest mantra of American Idol judge Simon Cowell. Before verbally kicking contestants in the groin. The guy above? Cowell said to him, "You look like the Incredible Hulk's wife." Another guy (Simon has a thing for zinging effeminate males) was likened to "Sylvester Stallone's younger sister singing Paula Abdul." But not everybody sees the humor. Does the show poke more fun at minorities? Not sure. Is it fair game for him to whine about weight and masculinity? Debatable. But one thing's for sure: In a casting call for the Incredible Hulk's wife, I can see that green-haired guy as a finalist.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Rejected FDA Products
Whew. Feel a lot safer now. Knowing the government is protecting us not only from the morning-after pill but the likes of Gerber's Red Bull, Swanson's Frozen Leftovers, and Honey Roasted Tylenol. This "news" is an "exclusive" from David Letterman, who has pictures of even more bad ideas. Thanks, Dave. I know my personal alert level is much lower now.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Sure Their Kid Will Be Gorgeous?
Ever see Conan O'Brien's "If They Mated"? He morph-melds two faces to show what their kids might look like. Now that Angelina Jolie is incubating Brad Pitt's sperm donation (People magazine paid $400,000 for the telltale tummy picture), folks wonder how that hybrid might wind up looking.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Cupid or Stupid?
For a "cheep" $275, you can hire Swoop, the Eagles mascot, to personally deliver a Valentine's Day Gam. OK, he does come bearing gifts: a dozen roses, a Swoop doll, an Eagles hat and T-shirt, a box of chocolates and a signed Swoop card, all in an Eagles bag. You'll also a digital photo of the event. But seriously, folks, unless he's got game tickets, is a visit from a beak freak, who's been known to shoot Silly String (pictured above), a way to warm someone's heart? Oh well, can't do 1-800-SPAGIFT every year ... or can you? For details, visit the Eagles Web site.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Philosophical Question of the Week
Yes, that's what it's all about, as the lyrics say:

Everybody form a circle...

Put your left foot in,
Your left foot out,
Your left foot in,
And shake it all about.
You do the hokey pokey
And turn yourself around.

Now put your right foot in,
Your right foot out,
Right foot in
Then you shake it all about.
And then you do the Hokey Pokey
Turn yourself around,
That's what it's all about.

See more verses.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Only 1 Way to Make '24' Tougher: Move It to Philly!
Sunday, once again, fans of Fox's body-count countdown thriller 24 found out that America's security depends on one man ... ex-super-agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), who drives fast, freaks out loved ones, and kills and tortures people. The story begins at 7 a.m., and by 7:10, an ex-President has been shot, two ex-agents bombed. No way to top all this action, you say? Sure there is: Move the show to Philly! Just imagine. Since we're twice as tough as L.A., 12 hours ought to do:

9:00-9:59 a.m. Terrorists steal the Liberty Bell and repair it! The nation's symbol of freedom is ruined! But Jack comes to the rescue -- he tortures the bell till it cracks!

10:00-10:59 a.m. A Frankenfish laps up grease from a radioactive cheesesteak, and grows 40 feet high. Eek! Jack slices and dices with the Action News chopper's blades, as a wily vendor invents the Filet-O-Frankenfish sandwich.

11:00-11:59 a.m. Chloe picks up a panicky communique: Thousands of people -- gone! After Jack tortures the Phillies into being clutch hitters, the missing fans start returning to Citizens Bank Park.

Noon-12:59 p.m. Someone has bombed a back-to-nature group! And a plane just strafed a Jersey school! What? The bomber was a Philadelphia mayor, and the fighter was from the National Guard? Whew! Thank goodness the attacks weren't the work of terrorists!

1:00-1:59 p.m. At a lecture by intellectual firecracker Camille Paglia, Jack falls in love. Here's a woman as gutsy as he is! Now in touch with his feminine side, he renounces torture. Oh no, who will protect us now? Firing Tasers from the Zoo Balloon, tech-head Chloe reboots Jack's brain.

2:00-2:59 p.m. Ira Einhorn escapes from prison, takes over the U.S. Mint, and prints his mug shot on $20 bills! Bauer engraves him a new nose, says, "Keep the change," and stuffs the French-swearing killer into a police car's trunk.

3:00-3:59 p.m. Monitoring satellites, Chloe detects dozens of urban craters! Jack's squad discovers it's the spring crop of potholes! He tortures PennDot into speedy repairs.

4:00-4:59 p.m. Fitness guru Pat Croce concocts an "I Feel Great!" pill. But it saps people's will to work. Woe the economy! Jack arm-wrestles Croce until he says, "I don't feel so great," and keeps it off the market.

5:00-5:59 p.m. Osama bin Laden, disguised as a tourist, is trapped by Jack. Gunfire erupts. "I heard you shot him in the heart," the President says to Jack via cell. "Not his heart!" Jack replies. "The Franklin Institute's!"

6:00-6:59 p.m. Chloe, spying on suburbanites via satellite, detects chatter of a "dirty bomb"! Jack leads a S.W.A.T. assault, only to find two kids at a Lower Upper Middle Salford construction site throwing "dirt bombs."

7:00-7:59 p.m. Jack is shocked when he realizes: not everyone at the Counter Terrorism Unit has slept with somebody else there! So he orders Chloe and Edgar, lardo guru of sweaty keyboards, to monitor online porn, hoping that magic happens.

8:00-8:59 p.m. A disgruntled Comcast technician pulls the plug on all TV! Oh no! People might read or converse! Chloe reroutes signals so people can watch on computers, cell phones and digital cameras, saving the American way of life!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Gluttonous Maximus:
Top 10 Wing Bowl Tryout Videos

The clips are collecting faster than beer cups at the Linc. Three dozen already, with four weeks till Wing Bowl. Can't stomach watching them all to discover the "best"? We're here to help. This Top 10 will surely give a "flavor" of the wretches (and retches) WIP's morning show witnesses.
1. Joey Drinks a Gallon of Milk in 41 Seconds. You gotta see this to believe it.
2. Dr. Winglove and 5 Pounds of Corn. (Not for weak stomachs.) That's him, middle above, shoveling the bright yellow slop with his hands. "He's gonna blow!" "Oh!" "Oh!" "Ho!" "Ho!" "The receptable!"
3. Creamed Spinach Is El Creamador's Downfall. "He's really struggling!" He's also pictured.
4. George and 24 Deviled Eggs. "That was a record! ... Thirty seconds before something came flying out!" Blame the pint of hot sauce.
5. The Vulture Tries 8 Pounds of Baked Beans. "He's got on a nice sweater. Do you believe this jackass?" "Eeeeh, he's out."
6. Kensington Klown Outed; It's Hank the Tank! No returnees in Virgin Wing Bowl!
7. Gary Can't Swallow 50 Meatballs ... in 3 Mins. So close! If anybody deserves a second chance ...
8. The Colonel Can't Down Mashed Potatoes. "Oh, that was nauseating."
9. Rich Comes Up Short at the Borgata. Heaping helpings of ridicule. "This guy's a disgrace!"
10. Macwing Downs 1 Haggis in 5.5 mins. Schlock jock Angelo Cataldi: "It stinks to high heaven. Producer Joe Wechter broke wind and actually improved the smell in here!"

Ex Con Eats 3 Cheesesteaks in 6 Minutes. Scared-shirtless isn't good. "This guy's got some blubber!"
Meatball Bill Downs 2 Wawa Meatball Hoagies. Intestinal fortitude triumphs.
Wife Outeats Husband for Spot. Gives a spoon of workout, slugging down stuff in tubs.

See full list of Wing Bowl videos.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Let's All Go 'Cruisazy'!
Rhymes with crazy. Describes that daffy coach-jumping routine sprung by love-struck Tom Cruise on Oprah and later imitated by the likes of Charlize Theron (left). This "word" is as good as any up for 2005's most-apt coinage, to be picked when the American Dialect Society meets Jan. 6 in New Mexico. Other candidates: truthiness, ego-casting, lifehack, sudoku, floodweiser, emo-anchor, snowclone, fobbit and blogola. Read Amy Rosenberg's story to find out what they mean, and why a much more familiar word -- refugee -- just might win.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Geek Chic
What are you lookin' at? Attention-getting picture, isn't it? It's an ad for Beauty and the Geek 2, which debuts Jan. 12 on the WB. Since I'm sure that unreadable tiny type caught your eye, as a public service, here's what it says: "8 beauties meet 8 geeks. May the best pair win." In other geek-related news, the Inquirer's Art Carey writes about Best Buy's Geek Squad. Especially liked a couple of puns: "double agents" (they work in-store and visit homes) and "counter intelligence agents" (they work at the counter). Which, I guess, makes me a geek.

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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