Friday, April 25, 2008

The h is silent, except at Subway

I went to Subway yesterday for lunch. Being very non-adventurous and cheap with most of my lunches, I go there a lot. And the person behind me did something while ordering that I've noticed a lot.

Was it that she acted like this was a fine-dining establishment, and therefore could be ridiculously picky and time-consuming about the way her sandwich was made?

No, not this time. But that does happen a lot. It's Subway, people. Give the sandwich artists a break. If they don't get exactly 1.5 ounces of oil and vinegar on your sandwich, let it go.

Anyway, what I noticed this time was that, when the person behind me ordered her sandwich on Italian Herbs and Cheese bread, she made the "h" sound at the start of herbs. The Subway worker then responded to confirm the order, and he also made the "h" sound at the start of herbs.

I hear this from at least one-third of the people who order that. Maybe close to half the people. It makes me wonder how many people think "herb" is pronounced like the name.

Not a profound thought, I know. I just thought it was interesting. It also reminded me of when my brother and I were kids, looking through the freezer for something to eat.

"What are Horse Devores?" he said.

It was a box of frozen hors d'oeuvres.

'80s Flashback: OP corduroy shorts

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: Parachute pants
'80s Flashback: Rambo cartoon
'80s Flashback: Psyche!
'80s Flashback: Jim and Tammy Faye
'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 1982 song "Pass the Dutchie," which shot up the charts despite most people having no idea what the members of Musical Youth were singing about. I was 10 years old when it came out, so I had no clue. I also had parents who wouldn't get cable, so I didn't get to see this video. I still think the song is pretty catchy. I also want to get a pair of those rolled-up jeans.

Speaking of clothes, this week's flashback is:

OP corduroy shorts, as in the colorful Ocean Pacific corduroy shorts that fit in well during the shorty shorts era of the '80s. I had several pairs, which I could wear with colored tube socks that made me look like a total goofball. (Sadly, it probably also marked the height of my fashion sense.)

By the late '80s, the longer shorts were taking over. But, as is the case with most '80s items, you can still find them. Check them out here. Just make sure your hair is totally feathered before you wear a pair again.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Star Jones: Public wedding, private divorce

Remember a few years ago when Star Jones made her wedding into a ridiculously huge affair? She talked about all the details on "The View" and got wedding stuff for free in echange for plugging products and services on the air.

She basically took everything about her wedding public to make herself a bigger celebrity and some money.

Well, now she has something she wants to keep very private. She's getting a divorce.

In a statement to "Entertainment Tonight," Jones said:

"The dissolution of a marriage is a difficult time in anyone's life that requires privacy with one's thoughts."

The actual wedding, however, should be made as public as possible so everyone is reminded that you're more special than anyone else.

Sure, Star. It all makes sense.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Video of softball chants and cheers

Have you ever gone to a softball game and watched some of the interesting chants the players do? Some are pretty creative, some are pretty unintelligible.

I went out to a few games and put together a video on it for The Dallas Morning News. Here it is:

Softball chants and cheers

A dog's diary, a cat's diary

This was e-mailed to me. Seems pretty accurate:

A dog's diary
6:00am - At last! I Go Pee! My favorite thing!
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
6:00 pm - They're home! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from a cat's diary:
Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What would Jesus do? Not this

Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

Words to live by, especially when you are in one of Christianity's holiest shrines:

Dozens of Greek and Armenian priests and worshippers exchanged blows at one of Christianity's holiest shrines on Orthodox Palm Sunday, and used palm fronds to pummel police who tried to break up the brawl.

Whenever the word "pummel" mixes with religion, it's not good.

Gatorade Tiger is for you, Mr. (or Ms.) Perfection

New from Gatorade. A drink -- I mean beverage, because it sounds more important -- inspired and formulated for "an athlete who embodies mental strength, physical power and technical perfection."

Wow! That's me!

Actually, that athlete is Tiger Woods. But Gatorade won't make any money by just making a drink for the athlete who embodies mental strength, physical power, technical perfection and accepting endorsements for everything from sports drinks to razors.

So the drink is actually for the rest of us ... the slightly overweight, creaky-kneed sorta-athletes who need a day to recover from a game of one-on-one at the YMCA. And, of course, it's targeted for people who haven't played any kind of sport in years but will still fork over $200 for the LeBron James Nikes.

But wait! I'm an out-of-shape sports wannabe who wears tight Under Armour shirts despite having no real ability to "protect this house." Is there a Gatorade for me?

Sure. Try G2 or Gatorade A.M. There's an overhyped sports drink for everyone!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Humor Me: The lost Kit Kat opportunity

By MATT WIXON

Just about all of us regret a time when we played it safe. The time
we didn't pursue the exciting, but risky, career. The time we
didn't ask someone out for fear of rejection. The time we decided not
to sing the Kit Kat "Gimme a Break" song at a commercial audition.

Actually, that last "we" should be an "I." It was I who turned down
a brush with fame that may have rivaled my friend's appearance on
The Price is Right, during which he won a set of bedroom furniture
for identifying that Downy fabric softener cost more than Bounce
dryer sheets.

His price was right in 1991, and I thought my timing was right in
1996. That's when Kit Kat filmed a commercial at the Arizona Daily
Sun
, where I was a sports writer. The premise of the commercial was
to show journalists hard at work until they stopped to enjoy some
"enticing chocolatey fingers," as Nestlé refers to Kit Kats.

The best part: Employees of the newspaper, not actors, would be the
stars of the commercial.

The newsroom was buzzing when the casting crew began taking
Polaroids of potential Kit Kat stars. I grinned for the camera in my typically
unphotogenic way, yet in a way that I thought reflected, "I am Everyman, and I will sell your Kit Kats."

The next day, I was asked to audition. Actually, pretty much everyone was asked, but I felt special enough to entertain some ridiculous thoughts.

What if I'm so good in the commercial that Kit Kat hires me for another one? Could a commanding Kit Kat performance earn me more acting work? Would I someday be McChicken Eater No. 2 in a McDonald's commercial, announce that my heart burns for Pepcid AC, or describe how Snickers really satisfies?

I was out of control. But my acting fantasy didn't last long. It was over as soon as I learned what I would be doing in the audition.

"We'll just ask you to sing the Kit Kat song and dance a little," the Kit Kat representative said.

Sing and dance? Somehow I thought this commercial would be different from the other Kit Kat ads. I thought it would be different because, of all the strange things I have seen in a newsroom, I have never witnessed a reporter dancing with a Kit Kat.

A reporter banging on a vending machine that wouldn't drop a Kit Kat, yes. But a reporter busting out dance moves, even under the influence of enticing chocolatey fingers?

Never.

So I turned down the audition. And I was pretty comfortable with my decision until the day of taping.

On that day, the stars of the commercial got the royal treatment. They grazed at a buffet set up for them. They sat in special chairs where crew members briefed them between takes. They were pampered and powdered while the rest of us -- the newspaper employees either unwilling or unable to pull off the Kit Kat shuffle-and-sing --
watched in amazement.

One of the stars of the commercial was a fellow sports writer who, like most sports writers, was not known for his fashion sense. But the day of the Kit Kat shoot, his hair was perfect and his clothes were dynamite. He looked nothing like the guy a day earlier who covered a college basketball game with a ketchup stain on his shirt.

He was also wearing so much makeup that I thought he had signed to do a Maybelline ad after his Kit Kat duties.

Still, I was jealous as I saw, for the first and only time, a reporter dance around a newsroom with a Kit Kat.

"Gimme a break ... gimme a break ... break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar!" my friend sang, dancing much like Sammy Davis Jr., if Sammy had put his shoes on the wrong feet.

My friend sure looked stupid, but I sure felt stupid for passing up the chance to look the same. Maybe it was because, even if he looked like an idiot, he was brave enough to accept the challenge. Maybe it was because the Kit Kat commercial was a sensational show-and-tell for his children. Maybe it was because the commercial aired for a year and my friend was more than willing to tell me about the royalty checks.

He made thousands of dollars. Seriously.

I think the main reason I felt stupid was my cowardice. When I had a chance to step into the spotlight, fear kept me in the dark. I played it safe and missed an opportunity that I'm sure I will never have again.

As it turns out, enticing chocolatey fingers don't come around often in life.

***
To be on the list that is sent out when a new column in posted, e-mail mwixon@dallasnews.com. Have a great week.