September 27, 2009

Rodney Dangerfield Visits a Coldstone Creamery.

Cake Batter,Coffee, Mint, Sweet Cream or Cheesecake? Toffee bits, Butterfinger pieces, white chocolate chips or Gummi Bears? Waffle bowl, sugar cone, shake or cupcakes? This is why on July 5th, 2003, Rodney Dangerfield spent six and a half hours choosing what kind of cold treat he would like to have.

“You got a lot of options here, ya know? I get more options here than I get respect, I tell ya,” Dangerfield informed the staff behind the counter, waiting to turn his request into a tasty concoction. “So many varieties to choose from nowadays. In my day you had two flavors: chocolate and vanilla. And the vanilla tasted like expired eggs and the chocolate was really just vanilla with a dye-job.”

For a generous part of those six and a half hours, Dangerfield mused on the difference between what ice cream was like “back then” and what it was like “nowadays.” In between tasting several dozen samples of the creamery's flavors, he also speculated on how each mixture might react once in his digestive system.

“I'm a fan of Kit Kat bars but Kit Kat bars ain't a fan of me. They hate my guts! Seriously, they can't stand my intestines, but I can't walk away from the stuff. I like it, I love it, I gotta have it!”

So as not to disrupt the customer flow, Dangerfield routinely allowed the patrons behind him in line to continue ahead of him as he mulled over the possibilities. This is the reason—perhaps the only reason—he was allowed to loiter inside the business for six and a half hours. Still, each person to frequent this particular Coldstone during Dangerfield's stay was provided insight into the many downfalls of the current American society, including (but not limited to) the introduction of the chocolate shell, the economy's mass aversion to sprinkles, and the overall lack of ice cream trucks.

“The ice cream truck gets no respect anymore. The driver, he gets even less respect! The kid gets a strawberry waffle cone that tastes like real strawberries and real waffles and he has a fit, I tell ya. The only reason so many kids chase after it anymore is to get a refund!”

Dangerfield also gave employees several suggestions for new flavors.

“You should get a flavor that tastes like Bananas Foster. I'd eat it twice a day, even though honey does bad things to me. Honey is what I call my wife. She hits me in my sleep and leaves me all sticky afterward. I'm a sado-masochist, ya know?”

He also explained his distaste for their more popular flavors.

“What if I want the first birthday cake mix? Why does everything nowadays need to be redone and remade? Wasn't it done and made the first time? Twice-baked potatoes, re-fried beans, double-fudge brownies, double-stuffed Oreos...”

Dangerfield continued a list of similarly-dissenting foods until well after 10 o'clock, when workers were attempting to close down the store. He left Coldstone Creamery that night with a bowl full of pecans covered in whipped topping, singing the lyrics to Erasure's “A Little Respect” all the way to Burger King. The rest of his night was spent debating the high school staff on exactly how a lobster sandwich didn't fit into the company's branding of having it “his way.”

September 20, 2009

John Mayer Gives Girlfriend Mix-tape of John Mayer Songs For Anniversary.

At a small, candlelit table inside Gino's Italian Cuisine, blues-guitarist/emotive crooner John Mayer sat across from his girlfriend of six months, Jeanine Beasley, clutching a small object wrapped in shiny blue paper and topped with a silver bow. Staring into his ladies' eyes, reflecting on the pitch-perfect days that led to this, their 6-month anniversary, Mayer presents the thin gift. Watching her hands gently pull the blue wrapping away, he beams. Her heart aflutter from the thoughtfulness of her companion, Jeanine begins to slide away the last bit of cover as she says, “John, you shouldn't have...done this.”

She sees her expression change from cheer to confusion in the reflection of John's gift: a clear jewel case containing a Memorex disc inscribed Songs From Me, By Me, 4 U.

While debating what he should give to his beloved at the half-year mark, Mayer says he “searched deep inside his heart” for the perfect token of his affection. The end result was a mix-tape featuring sixteen songs, all previously performed and recorded by Mayer himself.

“At first,” says Mayer, “I considered writing a batch of new songs dedicated, specifically, to Jeanine. Then I realized that those songs already existed. The songs on that blank CD are for her.” He added, “It just happens that another twelve million people know the lyrics to them.”

“It was cute in a way,” Mayer's now-ex-girlfriend recalls. Mayer opened the “album” with his biggest hit, Your Body Is a Wonderland. “What girl doesn't love that song? But by the time I got to track 4 it was apparent that every song was his and, to be honest, I just—I don't think he really thought it through very well.”

Sources close to the couple admit that after Slow Dancing in a Burning Room, Come Back to Bed and Back to You, the mix-tape seemed to dissolve into a list of Mayer's chart-topping hits and personal indulgences. Some even went so far as to call it a “last-minute slapdash.”

“I mean what's the hidden meaning in Love Song For No One?” a bitter Jeanine asked. The answer seems clear.

Mayer continued her sentiment, saying, “In retrospect, I'm Gonna Find Another You, was probably a poor choice of inclusion. Overall, though, the point of my gift was to show her all the different sides of me. It's like, yeah, I can be a sentimental dude and completely soak you with your own tears by singing Daughters. But right after that I'm going to finger-pick some little blues ditty that's going to make you think 'Wow, this dude's just a legitimate, technically-proficient blues musician.' Ya know? And I think that's the sign of a really great anniversary present.”

Jeanine considers it differently. “It's pretty obvious that he just wanted me to listen to a lot of his music. I think he was starting to get jealous of all the Jack Johnson records I owned.”

Two weeks following the couple's anniversary, the relationship suffered a broken string and subsequently lost its tuning. Jeanine decided that their harmonies no longer mixed or layered in a pleasing way. All vocals in the matter were severed, leaving only the final rasps of a disheartened Mayer to echo through the walls of Jeanine's inner sound stage.

Since then, Mayer's record company has started production on a greatest hits collection entitled “Songs From Me, By Me, 4 U.”

September 10, 2009

Dave Grohl Stole My Dollar.

On February 25th, 2008, my body glistening with the sweat of my hero, my poor brain swollen to incomprehensible dimensions, I walked out of a Foo Fighters concert aglow with the euphoria of live music. On February 26th, I filed a police report.

After the nearly three hour set, the plan was to sprint to my car–parked 5 blocks away–grab a framed photo of the band, and return to have it forever slicked with Sharpie ink. With Dave’s autograph. On my way out of the arena that plan was voided when I noticed the band already shuffling toward the tour buses. It would be impossible to make it from the car back to the bus before they became permanently inaccessible. Decision time just came knocking...and I wasn't about to answer the door in my skivvies.

I had only three things in my pocket: a cell phone, a dollar bill, and some Big League Chew. Since I could never in good conscience relinquish the Chew (which was grape), the obvious choice became the dollar bill. Shoving through the crowd, I waved the green wildly near Dave Grohl’s face, screaming for him to “sign it, sign it ” He appeared confused. “Put your name on it with that pen in your hand!” He looked at me, then at the dollar, and then at me again, finally taking the bill. I stared, horrified, as he walked onto his bus without saying another word...dollar in hand.

I was stunned. Here I was, a loyal fan who had waited everlong to meet my idol, forced to leave that meeting tragically dollar-less.

It’s at this point that I hear at least a dozen people ask how I could get so up in arms over something as silly as a dollar. Maybe it’s because I have morals. Okay? Don't misunderstand; I can appreciate the “edginess” of rock and roll as much as the guy behind me at the concert (who accounted for no less than 12 percent of the overall perspiration on my body) can, but a guy has to draw the line somewhere.

And quite frankly, big me to talk about this experience openly. I applaud myself for not falling prey to the mysticism of superstardom that allows regular people to be walked on by those with famous faces. And I will re-tell this story as many times as it needs to be heard before my message rings throughout the nation: famous people, stop stealing my money. I'm serious with this. It's disrespectful and I don't have to take it.

It saddens me that a successful, Grammy-winning singer/guitarist of one of the greatest rock bands in the history of singers and guitars would think it funny to thieve away MY dollar. It’s not funny. It’s heartbreaking. I’m not some incredibly stacked actor that throws his dollars around like quarters; I’m a poor college student who could’ve used that very dollar to buy a McDouble for sustenance, which is exactly what I would have done had I known where its final whereabouts would be.

It’s times like these that I worry about the future of the celebrity/fan relationship. I mean, all my life I’ve been raised to believe that if you respect people and follow the Ten Commandments, good things will surely happen. Well, guess what? The last time I checked, “thou shalt not steal” was still listed on the stone tablets. And from the moment I was without that dollar I found myself wishing I still had it. That’s coveting, Dave! So now you’ve turned me into a sinner. And for what? Is this retribution for that time I illegally downloaded a copy of Monkey Wrench instead of purchasing it off of iTunes? Because, if so, that only cost 99 cents. You still owe me a penny.

To date, the police have done nothing to help me regain my monetary property. One officer went so far out of his way as to openly mock me in a private rebuttal to my police report. In it, he claimed that my request for legal recourse was “a waste of time, energy and ink” and that I should spend more time trying to “locate” my “balls.” Though I have yet to formally reply to these statements, let me say here and now that this sounds like a classic case of the pot calling the disheartened victim of theft black.

Dave Grohl hasn't returned my calls, either.

I find it difficult to think that I’ll ever be able to move beyond the events of February 25th, 2008. The events that took place that night will never completely dissolve from memory. In the end, Dave got the best of me. I learned, much to my own displeasure, that the deepest blues aren’t black, but green. I also learned that you don’t always get what you want or what you expect. From this point on, I will never again ask for an autograph from a famous person, or anyone else for that matter. Especially Dave Grohl.

The only thing I’ll ever ask of you, Dave: you gotta promise to stop stealing my hard-earned cash.