Friday, March 28, 2008

Ultimate Fighting Championships for kids

I really, REALLY wish that the story below came from a fake-news source such as The Onion. But unfortunately, this is real.

Ultimate fighting was once the sole domain of burly men who beat each other bloody in anything-goes brawls on pay-per-view TV.

But the sport often derided as "human cockfighting" is branching out.

The bare-knuckle fights are now attracting competitors as young as 6 whose parents treat the sport as casually as wrestling, Little League or soccer.


Seems a little crazy. Unless, of course, you want your 6-year-old to be part of the "Garage Boys Fight Crew."

'80s Flashback: Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker

Friday is here again, so it's time for another '80s Flashback.

Before a word from our sponsor, here are the recent '80s Flashbacks:

'80s Flashback: Avoid the noid
'80s Flashback: Mary Lou Retton
'80s Flashback: One night in Bangkok
'80s Flashback: Adams Atoms
'80s Flashback: Don't you forget about me

OK. This week's flashback is brought to you by the television show Who's the Boss?, which for several years held a spot in the top TV ratings. I believe the spot was held with serious amounts of hair spray.

Now, let's go back to 1987, when Jim Bakker resigned from his ministry at The PTL Club. His resignation came after the disclosure of his extramarital affair with his secretary, Jessica Hahn.

It was a very trying time for Jim Bakker, and a very crying time for his wife, the late Tammy Faye Bakker. That meant a lot of makeup running, which was kind of her claim to fame.

Here they are, shortly after leaving the PTL, in a very uncomfortable interview.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The doughnut burger

If in a couple months we're still on the lookout for the overweight bank robber, a good place to look would be at a Gateway Grizzlies baseball game.

After all, they now have the doughnut burger at the concession stand.

The ballpark sandwich will include a hamburger topped with sharp cheddar cheese and two slices of bacon -- all between a "bun" made of a sliced Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnut.

I'm not a health nut, but that just sounds gross. I'll have a hamburger and then a Krispy Kreme. (And then, perhaps, a heart attack).

Armed, dangerous and authentically fat

The man who robbed three banks within 90 minutes?

He's probably armed and dangerous. And he's not wearing a fat suit.

"We don't believe it's a fat suit," Det. Russ Fairey told thestar.com today. "We just think he is fat."

So he's now armed, dangerous and angry.

If sodas are four bucks, how much is the sushi?

A new idea in movie theaters, and one is being built in the Dallas-area:

"Gold Class Cinemas."

Each complex will sport theaters featuring 40 reclining armchair seats with footrests, digital projection and the capability to screen 2-D and 3-D movies, as well as a lounge and bar serving cocktails and appetizers, a concierge service and valet parking.

But the circuit will especially push its culinary offerings -- made-to-order meals like sushi and other theater-friendly foods from on-site chefs (a service button at each seat calls a waiter). Moviegoers will have to pay extra for any food they order, however.


Sound like a good idea?

Well, each movie ticket will cost 35 bucks. And that doesn't include any food.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rules for the Grand Canyon Skywalk

The Grand Canyon Skywalk has now been open for a year, allowing tourists to walk 70 feet beyond the edge of the Grand Canyon, look through a glass-bottom observation deck and gaze down at the canyon floor 4,000 feet below. And then watch the person next to them get sick.

Or maybe it will be you feeling sick. That seems unlikely, however, because to be a reader of this blog you need to have a strong stomach. Anyway, if you're heading to Arizona, here's a reminder about the rules for using the Grand Canyon Skywalk:

1. No running, hitting, horseplay or other activities that you wouldn't do on your Skywalk at home.
2. No jumping up and down repeatedly to make the Skywalk vibrate.
3. No standing on the rails and yelling, "I'm king of the world!"
4. No asking other visitors, "Did you feel that?" as if the Skywalk is starting to fall.
5. No asking the Skywalk attendant if he or she knows where the Brady Bunch Grand Canyon adventure was filmed.

Hey bud, ace the job interview

If you've got a job interview coming up, Monster.com has a good tip for you:

Write down and memorize three achievement stories.

Tell about times you've really felt proud of an achievement at work or school. These stories demonstrate all those hard-to-measure qualities like judgment, initiative, teamwork or leadership. Wherever possible, quantify what you've done, e.g., "increased sales by 20 percent," "cut customer call waiting time in half," "streamlined delivery so that most customers had their job done in two days."

If the only thing you can think of is how your initiative and efficiency helped organize a beer-pong tournament, just make sure you point out how time to inebriation was cut in half and level of party awesomeness was raised 20 percent.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Elvis returns as a robot

For 300 bucks, the King returns! Well, his head anyway.

You ain't nothin' but a freakish Elvis Animatronic Robot, cryin' all the time ...

Pilot's gun fires on flight

You've probably heard that a gun belonging to a pilot went off during a flight over the weekend. Interesting part of the story:

"We know that there was never any danger to the aircraft or to the occupants on board."

That's according to a member of the Federal Air Marshal Service. But what if the bullet had been "accidentally discharged" in a different direction?

"If that bullet had compromised the shell of the airplane, i.e., gone through a window, the airplane could have gone down."

Pretty scary. And this quote provides a nice image:

"A properly stored weapon with the safety on does not go off. The gun had to be out in the open. The gun had to be handled. The gun had to be in somebody's control."

So who knows what was going on in the cockpit. But I think the pre-flight safety video should now include this:

In case of the accidental discharge of one of our pilot's firearms, please remain seated in a full and upright position. It's for your safety.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sorry officer, just an Oreo situation

Attention to anyone who saw the 1993 BMW that seemed to be going a little too fast:

No need to worry. The driver has taken care of his Oreo problem and shouldn't be a danger to you again. ...

Police say Vonkummer told the trooper that an Oreo had just slipped from his fingers as he dunked it in a cup of milk, and that he was trying to fish it out when he lost control of his car.

So he wasn't drunken. He was dunkin'.

Open lewdness runs amok

Question of the day:

What do you have to do to get charged with risking a catastrophe, criminal mischief and open lewdness?

A. Trash office space at a hotel
B. Drike a forklift into a wall
C. Throw a 300-pound pizza oven to the floor in a market
D. All of the above while naked.

Truly a situation where the phrase "ran amok" applies.

Humor Me: Dawdling to a better life

By MATT WIXON
The Dallas Morning News


My 5-year old son made his basketball debut a couple weeks ago. His uniform was a little big and the basket was a little high, but I think anyone who watched Ryan for a few minutes would notice two things:

1. He seems to enjoy playing.

2. He seems to be under the influence of cold medicine that includes the warning, “May cause extreme drowsiness, do not take while operating heavy machinery.”

Actually, it’s not that Ryan is drowsy on the court. But you know when you take cold medicine and get that sluggish, “out of it” feeling that makes it hard to focus?

That’s a good description of Ryan on the basketball court.

He follows behind the action, occasionally glancing at the scoreboard. Then he looks down at the lines on the court and checks out the wristband he’s wearing. Sometimes it’s like Ryan is part of a video trick that makes everything around him move in fast motion while he stays in slow.

Yes, he’s an all-star dawdler. And I envy him.

Why?

Well, the world Ryan lives in moves unbelievably fast. It’s driven by high ambition, fierce competition and the fear we all have of falling behind. What we are falling behind doesn’t matter. We don’t even know in most cases, but we know we’ve got to keep a brisk pace on the treadmill.

Ryan, on the other hand, is skipping along at a turtle’s pace. He smiles as a teammate makes a shot, does some kind of dance down the court, then spends a timeout pondering whether the postgame snack will include a juice box and animal crackers.

If Ryan gets the ball right in front of the hoop, he’ll take a shot and he might even make it. But he’s very easy to defend. In fact, although I shouldn’t offer tips to the opponent, here’s the secret to keeping Ryan from scoring:

Right before he shoots, ask him to give you the ball.

Oh yeah, Ryan will hand it over. He’ll even let you take a shot and cheer when you make it. Hey, we’re all friends out here.

Not the most effective basketball strategy, obviously. And because I played basketball for most of my childhood, it’s a little frustrating to watch Ryan play with the aggressiveness of a librarian on Nyquil. But apparently, I was like him.

“Get mad!” my dad used to yell from the stands, hoping to make me play with more intensity and competitiveness.

I never did get mad. But my dad did, which is why he was sometimes asked to leave the gym after yelling at the referees. He also confronted one of my coaches and scared him into quitting. My dad was much more memorable as a fan than I was as a player.

Ryan might be a much better player than me. Or maybe not. He’ll need to be more intense, more aggressive and get a pair of shorts that aren’t so big that he nearly trips on them. He’ll need to learn that you can’t take six steps between each dribble. He’ll need to be more interested in making shots than dancing around to whatever song is playing in his head.

But if he doesn’t, that’s OK. In that case, I might envy him even more. Not to get all peace, love, happy-fuzzy bunnies on you, but wouldn’t the world be a nicer place if we weren’t always ultra competitive and trying to pick up the pace?

This world needs ambition, of course. It needs competition that leads to invention and solutions to problems. And we’ve got to have some sense of urgency in our lives. Put Ryan in charge and you would get one-hour photos back in about 27 days.

No, dawdling won’t cut it in this world. But now that the world has taught me what my dad couldn’t -- to get mad -- I wish I could learn to be more content. To just be happy to be in the game, and not always looking at the scoreboard to see if I should be smiling.

If you can do that, wow. You're winning the game. And I envy you.

Especially if you're past the days of juice boxes and animal crackers.

***
To be sent the column each week, send an e-mail mwixon@dallasnews.com. Have a great week.