Friday, January 09, 2004

Girls Gone Wild

It's Friday, and we're coming to the end of "Update Every Weekday" week. I lived up to my promise!

Last night was Thursday, of course, and the first Thursday at Samy's in a while. It was extremely crowded, but luckily there was no line. However, Samy's did have a new addition to its ever increasing ambience: a fog machine. I am not particularly a fan of the fog machine, though its distinctive scent (a combo of maple syrup and . . .fog) brings back fond memories of being in Godspell in high school (apparently musicals about Jesus necessitate fog, though I can't vouch for Jesus Christ Superstar) and Batman: The Ride at Great America. As "atmospheric" as the fog was, I don't think it had the desired effect, as people tended to leave the dance floor whenever it was activated. Also on the dance floor was a man whose moves reminded me of the "dancing, spinning, allegedly intoxicated man" who made the police blotter a couple years back. He spun around as though there was a mini-tornado (perhaps the same one that wrecked N Sync's stage at the Route 66 Speedway in 2000, thus preventing Wendy and I from getting to meet Justin, J.C., Joey, Lance and Chris as planned) encircling him. Later on Tornado Toby relocated his moves to the bar, where he managed to break someone else's beer bottle in his dancing frenzy and was quickly overtaken by the bouncers. There seemed to be a large number of newsboy hats out last night, perhaps the resurgence of this fashion trend was in honor of Britney Spears' short-lived marriage. All Time Twirler was there as usual, along with Bouncer on a Box (hands on hips was the preferred pose of the evening), but JLH was nowhere to be found. The t-shirt award of the evening went to a guy wearing a shirt that said, "Free to a Good Home." No word on if he got adopted.

The most amusing event of the evening occurred when a drunken man who strongly resembled Super Mario approached us. The man claimed to be from a production company that was making "Girls Gone Wild: Joliet," and was trying to woo female bargoers into starring in the video. He claimed that if we went out front and gave someone our names and signed some papers, he had a production crew outside waiting to film us, and we'd get free t-shirts. As we quickly declined (I love free t-shirts, but not THAT much), Super Mario approached our friends Brian and Mike. Starting off the conversation with an ever-encouraging, "You guys are men, right?" he tried to convince them to do something that involved a "14 hour party." I don't know what was involved in this event, or if Super Mario was also trying to convince the guys to lift up their shirts on camera, but Brian and Mike also said no and the man walked away. Super Mario did not stop there, and continued on to Lucas, another guy we know who was sitting not too far away. Megan and I approached to listen in, but couldn't hear too much. After Super Mario moved on, we asked Lucas what Mario had said to him. Again, it involved some sort of "14 hour party." No word on if Princess Toadstool was part of this event.

Well that's all I got here for now, enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Naper News

In our top story today, we look to Yahoo!News:

Boy Gets Stuck in Animal Game Machine

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - A 7-year-old boy had to be rescued with the help of a locksmith Saturday after crawling into a supermarket's stuffed animal game machine while his father talked on the telephone.
"He was sitting right in there with the stuffed animals," said Shift Commander Mark Zittel of the Sheboygan Fire Department.
He said the boy, whose name was not released because he is a minor, crawled through about an 8-inch-by-10-inch opening to get into the glass enclosure via a chute where the toys come out, but when he tried to get back out his way was blocked.
The stuffed animals are prizes that can be hooked by players with a crane-like device.

He said the boy stayed calm and didn't panic as firefighters responded to the Piggly Wiggly store and then moved the game machine to the back of the store and got a locksmith to open the main loading door. The process took about an hour.
"There was no panic," Zittel said. "We could have broke the glass if there "His dad was three feet away at a pay phone," Zittel said. "He was talking on the phone and he said the next thing he turned around and the kid was in the thing." was an emergency."
The boy was not injured or traumatized but desperately had to go to the bathroom, he said.
But rescuers hadn't figured out how the boy was able to crawl into the game, or why no one in the store's busy lobby spotted him and stopped him before he got inside.

I'm sorry, this is one of the funniest news stories ever. It reminds of me of the Simpsons episode where Homer accidentally traps Maggie in the newspaper dispenser. I also love that it happened at a Piggly Wiggly.
However, the best quote on this issue comes from reader Angie of Joliet:
"I was like, if he wanted his son back so bad, he shoulda just spent the damn quarter and tried to win him."

Last night I ventured out of J-town and headed up to Naperville with Shannon and Joe to get our eat on. We had dinner at Mongolian BBQ. Now, my favorite food in the whole world, next to potatoes, is stir fry at any sort of make-your-own-stir-fry kind of place. The best of these restaurants is Flat Top (aka "the promised land"), which has locations in Evanston, Chicago, and Oak Park, but Mongolian is also awesome, especially with their new sauces. Mongolian has the added bonus of the little show that the guys who grill the stir fry put on. They're usually very animated and do a lot of singing; last night featured, "You've Lost that Grilling Feeling." One of the grillers bore a remarkable resemblance to Sam from Lord of the Rings, but there was no Frodo (and, I'm very sad to report, no Pippin and Merry) to help him flip the pea pods and other veggies. On the celebrity tip, Shannon astutely pointed out that one of our fellow stirfry eaters, who was wearing the dreaded trucker hat, looked like the result of what would happen if Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake mated (provided this was biologically possible, of course). Another odd moment with a Mongolian BBQ employee came while we were eating. We were sitting at the table, and I was in mid-sentence when I looked up to the right and saw a bespectacled employee hovering over us, rhythmically polishing a bottle of chili sauce. Taken aback, I weakly said, "Hi," but he didn't respond, or cease his bottle polishing. We were overcome with amusement/fear, and Joe wondered if the bottle was getting turned on. Eventually this stopped and I said that I was surprised that the bottle didn't explode at the end of the encounter. We decided to do a test and put our own bottle of chili sauce up on the ledge. Soon after the employee returned and started polishing it. Again overcome with fear/amusement (more fear this time), we decided it was time to go up for our second bowls of stir fry. At some point the man finished with the bottle and started talking on his cell phone, and we left the restaurant, shaken but not stir. . fried. Sorry, worst pun ever, but it's gotta happen sometime.

Though we were pretty full, we decided to head over to what I like to call "Dessert Mecca," Coldstone Creamery. For those who haven't been there, this place has the best ice cream ever (tying with the rainbow cone at Walt's). The website used to show that we would be getting franchises in Shorewood and Plainfield, but it doesn't show this anymore, so hopefully this will still be happening. Apparently it was singing night at the dining spots of Naperville, as the employees of Coldstone would sing whenever they got a tip. I asked if they took requests, and they told me that once they tried "Jingle Bells" and it didn't go well, so I refrained from suggesting "Milkshake." Anyway, the best ice cream at Cold Stone is by far the Cake Batter flavor, it's heaven in a bowl, but last night I tried the Monkey Bite, which is banana ice cream with pecans, crunch bars, banana, and coconut, and it was also quite tasty. While eating our ice cream, we noticed a poster on the wall featuring a person holding an ice cream cone. Amused by the fact that the person looked like he/she was going to shove the ice cream into his/her temple, Shannon and I noticed something odd: we were unsure of the gender of the ice cream model. The eyebrows were too groomed for a man, not groomed enough for a woman. The lips were definitely covered in some high beam lip gloss. The picture was an extreme close up so we couldn't tell what kind of hair the person had. The three of us discussed the picture for a while until one of the Coldstone staffers overheard and came over. She informed us that she, too, had been confused by the picture, and was joking about it on a day that one of the Coldstone corporate officers came in. Mr. Coldstone asked her if she was referring to "Corey," and informed her that he had picked out "Corey" (apparently a male) to model for the poster. We were happy to hear that we were not alone in our confusion and went home with full stomachs.

Perhaps not my most exciting entry ever, but I'm fulfilling my every weekday this week goal. More tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Whiskey Tango Recommends. . .

Keeping with my goal of writing every weekday this week, I have a new feature for Whiskey Tango readers. Although it may seem that I spend all my reading time going over the Herald News with a fine tooth comb, I've read several books recently that I think Whiskey Tango readers would enjoy, so I'm going to pull an Oprah and give a few recommendations.

1. Fargo Rock City by Chuck Klosterman: This book details the author's life growing up in North Dakota as an obsessed fan of 1980's hair metal. It's absolutely hilarious and made me want to go CD shopping for some Poison and Bon Jovi.

2. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman: Also by Klosterman, this book is a collection of pop culture essays on topics that range from Saved by the Bell to The Sims to Guns N' Roses cover bands. Good stuff.

3. Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty: These are two of my all time favorite books. These novels center around the journal of Jessica Darling, a sarcastic teenage girl growing up in a town in New Jersey that seems to have a lot in common with our beloved J-town. Though they're about a teenager, they seem more geared to an older audience and are incredibly funny. I've rarely seen a teenage character written so well in books or movies.

In terms of other (not Whiskey Tango related) book recommendations, I have to go with a few Beatles biographies (A Day in the Life and Ticket to Ride), and of course the Harry Potter series (I rank them, from best to worst, though they're all great, 4-3-5-1-2). That's about all I have today, more news tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

The Best and the Rest of 2003

I know you've all been breathless with anticipation waiting for the Whiskey Tango 2003 Awards. Basically, I'm making up these categories as I go along, so if anyone has any other ideas I can always make a second edition. Read and enjoy!

Favorite bar (Regular Hangout): This was a tough one. Obviously, the top 2 choices were Heroes and Samy's. While Heroes embodies summer fun, Samy's has been great lately. I wanted to make it a tie, but that would be copping out. Based mostly on recent trips out, I'm going to give Samy's the 2003 award. It's a very rare night that Samy's is "dead," there's always something going on and adventures to be had. Another good thing about Samy's is that there are always people dancing there. When you go to Heroes, it's quite often that the dance floor is nearly empty. Though my opinion may change again in the summer, right now Samy's is the favorite.

Favorite Area Bar that I Went to for the First Time in 2003: I'm limiting this to bars in Chi-town suburbs, as I went to some awesome bars in Ireland that would definitely win this category. I went to some new places in Chicago as well, but we're talking Whiskey Tango, not Windy City. Suburban bars I went to the first time last year were McBrody's, Wild Olive, Buffalo Wild Wings, the little Irish pub in downtown Plainfield and "The Pub," the newest incarnation of "The Lodge" at Four Lakes. We apparently went to the Wild Olive and the Pub on their off nights, some strange stuff was going on at the Irish place when we went there, and I will forever associate Buffalo Wild Wings with Steve Bartman, so I'm going to have to give this award to McBrody's. I haven't been there since Labor Day weekend, but it's a great place to hang out in summer after Jackhammer games, especially on the patio, and it's where I had my first encountermeeting Whiskey Tango fans. Though I have not ventured that way in quite a while, I'm sure that when the weather gets nicer I'll be checking it out again.

Least Favorite Local Bar: Another fun one. I could say Grapevine, but Grapevine has been fun at times. I could say Bedrocks, and I'm very close to saying Bedrocks, but I had fun there once. I'm going to have to go with Glory Days, because in all the times I've gone there (maybe 5 or 6?), I've never had fun. I do really like their food, and I think it's a really nice bar, but the fun factor is just not there. It's not too social, the music seems like an afterthought, and I always forget it exists. I think maybe it's geared toward an older crowd and that's why I don't have fun, but I don't know. I have heard that it is (or used to be, I can't keep up with all the trends sometimes) fun on Wednesdays, but I've also heard that the dreaded Gippers is fun on Wednesdays, so I'll have to check these things out soon. Glory Days has a lot of potential, it just hasn't become the best bar it can be yet.

Most Entertaining Bar Employee: As many of you know, Chuckie, the booty loving, flashlight shining bouncer from Heroes had this one won for the last few years. However, now that Chuckie no longer works there, we had to find a new winner this year, and it comes in the form of the bouncer that stands on a box on the dance floor and strikes J. Crew catalog poses at Samy's. The poses include "Hands on Hips" and "The Thinker," and must be seen to be believed.

Most Amusing Bar Patron: There is little doubt in my mind on this one. The one, the only, the JLH.

Favorite T-Shirt Slogan: 2003 was the year of the t-shirt. I'm hoping this trend continues next year, as I love amusing t-shirt slogans. My favorite t-shirts that I myself own are "Joe Mama" and "Everyone Loves an Irish Girl." However, I've seen some great ones this year, including "The Cross: It's Not About Jewelry, It's About Jesus," "The Legend" (featuring an arrow pointing to the crotch)and "Injection Is Nice but I Prefer to Be Blown." However, the winner of this award goes to the shirt worn by a Heroes patron on my birthday: "You Say Tomato, I Say F**k You.". What happens if you say Tomahto?

Favorite encounter with a Whiskey Tango fan : This would be a tie between the party I went to over Thanksgiving (they had Chicken Chunks!!!) and the time this summer when some guy, I still don't know who it was, came up to me by the dance floor at Heroes, yelled, "Whiskey Tango!" and gave me a High-Five.

Favorite Police Blotter Entry: A tough one, as you can imagine. There really wasn't one particular one that stood out to me, but I'm going to have to make it a tie between the "exotic dancer gets dropped during a lap dance incident" and the "senior citizens get feisty about Bingo" debacle. You can't make this shit up. Honorable mention goes to the Coal City Courant's oral sex incident.

Best Bar Night (Heroes) There were so many, but we're going to go with Casual Night, August 7. So many amusing things: the dollar, shout-outs, capri pants man, and I'm thinking that may have been my first trip to the Hot Skillet.

Best Bar Night (Samy's): I'm thinking Night Before Thanksgiving/Megan's Birthday. Essence Suites gift certificates, JLH at her usual level of hilarity, and we finally got our guy friends to dance.

Worst Bar Night: An Easy Winner: Saturday, June 7, the Night at Samy's We Don't Like to Talk About

Best Pick Up Line: Another easy winner, coming from Hank, the former Jackhammer: "I'm Hank, this is my nekkid partner Brent, and we're gonna have a nekkid party with you."

Ok, I think that's about it. Again, if you have more ideas for categories let me know. I'll be back tomorrow or Thursday (I'm going to attempt to update every (week)day this week!). Adios!

Monday, January 05, 2004

The Best Is Yet to Come

I'm planning on putting up The Best (and worst) of 2003 tomorrow. I would have done it today, but I have other weekend stories to talk about and I want the Best (and possibly Worst) list to have its own separate entry. However, if anyone has any requests for categories for The Best and Worst of 2003, leave a comment, e-mail me, or put it on the tagboard.

As usual, we have Herald News stories. First, Sunday's paper had a good blotter entry:

Bad luck

JOLIET — A Chicago man had crappy luck while gambling at Harrah's Casino on Friday afternoon, police said.
As the man engaged in a game of craps, an unidentified black man standing at least 6 feet tall and wearing a Marshall Faulk football jersey reached in front of the victim and snatched seven black chips worth $100 apiece. Casino security was unable to catch the suspect as he fled from the establishment, police reported.
The supervisor on duty at the time of the theft told the victim that the suspect would be caught on security tape.

There was also a robbery at a fishing supply store. I'm thinking the "crappy luck" pun would have been equally appropriate.

In today's Herald News there was a pleasant surprise! I flipped to the In Focus section only to experience deja vu: the picture the Herald News printed in August of the kissing couple at the Jackhammers Game that features Courtney, Melanie and I looking on in amusement was featured again today as one of the photographers' favorite pictures of 2003. So last year I had my picture in the Herald News once and the Plainfield Enterprise once, I'm already at one picture in the Herald News this year. My quest for local celebrity continues. . . maybe one day I'll be interviewed by Diana Stonitsch on Channel 6 (and yes, I'll wear a hat)!

Also in the Herald News today were some entertaining Open Line entries. This first one is accompanied by a witty response from the H-N staff:

Another HN scheme ...
The gripers of the week who criticized the parents who brought a three or four year old to the sick movie "Bad Santa" ought to ask themselves what they were doing there. They evidently had read the reviews and came to deliberately watch the sex, vulgarity and violence and the swearing drunk Santa peeing on himself. I believe this letter was probably composed by The Herald News to get a little controversy started. No reader could possible be as sick as the gripers who found it difficult to enjoy this perverted movie because a child was present. Perhaps it has something to do with guilt about being there themselves.
Joliet Editor's note: We didn't write the letter. Honest. We were too busy getting drunk and wetting ourselves.

That is a classic. I'm still laughing. I haven't seen Bad Santa but now I really want to. Yesterday's Herald News (can't find the column online) featured an editorial about how this year the H-N would include less "lowbrow humor" (this is tongue in cheek, of course) and sited Friday's "Reindeer Games" entry as an example of more sophisticated humor. If "Reindeer Games" and drunken urination are examples of more sophisticated humor, bring it on!!!

And bringing up the "rear" is this Open Line entry:

Bring back the thong guy

To the thong guy, please know that there are a lot of people who are behind you and thought you got a bum rap when you became the butt of everyone's jokes last year. I for one thought your story was quite fanny, I mean, funny. Joliet

Man, if I didn't know better I would have thought I wrote that one myself. However, as every time I've tried to call the Open Line I've burst out laughing in the middle of speaking, I can tell you it wasn't me. Also, in terms of the other thong guy, I wonder what Sisqo is doing now. I'll ask around.

Weekend stories. . .went to the mall with my mom on Saturday only to discover a Jamaican man performing with a keyboard at Carson's. I have no idea why. He performed such hits as "Don't Worry Be Happy" (he couldn't do the high part, so he played it on his keyboard) and "Day-O" over. . .and over. . .and over. . .again. "Day-O" appeared to be a favorite. I heard it 3 or 4 times when we were at the nearby Treasure Tree, walked around the mall for an hour or so, then came back to hear "Come mister tally man tally me banana" yet again. I'm surprised the nearby cosmetics counter employees at Carson's weren't stabbing themselves with their eye pencils.

Saturday night was a little bit of overdue Samy's action, considering that it was closed (again, how dare you!) on Thursday. Samy's was hopping as usual, and after my experience with the Wakeboarder/Extra/Gynecologist trio, it seemed like a good idea to try on some new professions for the evening. I became a nanny, and Megan became a Willowbrook police officer. The first guy that we tried this on fell for it hook, line, and sinker, though I almost got caught when he asked if I was a nanny or an au pair, and I wasn't sure about the difference (aren't au pairs just nannies from other countries?) According to, I'm right. I even concocted a tale for Megan about a throwdown at a wedding at the Willowbrook Ballroom involving a bride whose middle name was "Cupcake," and he seemed to believe it, especially when Megan pretended to get annoyed with me for breaking privacy codes. We tried it again with another guy later, but Megan eventually told him the scoop. Other than that not much else happened, but it was a fun night.

Sat on my ass and enjoyed TIVO yesterday, though why it thinks I would want to watch Family Ties and Nickelodeon cartoons is beyond me. I hate Rugrats with a passion, I just think they're scary. However, my neighbor Jack, kid reviewer for the Herald News and karaoke star did give "Rugrats Go Wild" an A+. As Jack is a smart kid, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on that one, and he did make a good point, stating that it was hard to understand what the Rugrats say because they don't pronounce things correctly. True that, Jack. Ok, I'll be back tomorrow with the Best of 2003. Have a good one!

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