Sendoffs

Good Evening, I’m Chip
Fortuna. God’s Off Today

Legendary sportscaster and political commentator Chip Fortuna, who died 60 years ago today, belonged to the golden era of journalistic expression, one devoid of fears of embarrassing powers that be and unbound by the politically correct.
Controversial he was and would often emerge from his well-publicized brawls bruised and execrated by his own peers. Dopes, he’d mutter. A maverick, he could always come out with the perfect quip to ultimately vindicate his position.
A perfect fit for the expression larger than life, many a time he was described as a combo of Ernest Hemingway and James Cagney, and hard-boiled was another expression that was probably created to define his sheer manliness.
There was no half measure to Chip. He could be as viciously cruel, especially when drunk – his operating mode – and unabashed loyal, evidenced by the many potshots he took defending his friends.
Despite his large 6’3″ frame, he could be nimble at tango and a charmer with the ladies. He did well as a war correspondent, becoming fluent in six languages and learning to curse in seven others.
Not a bad banjo player either, according to contemporary Django Reinhardt. But since he detested boasting about anything, no list of celebrity friends will follow, lest not mistreat Chip any more than peacetime has already.
A wolf of another age, it’s easy to imagine his displeasure with the comforts of the modern era. Nonetheless, he would’ve been impressed by the many new ways people invented to justify not moving a muscle to change the world.
For at heart, he was an idealist who’d do no better alive today, than his outdated habit of calling woman dames, and Asians, Orientals; well

____________________________________________
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Good evening, I’m Chip Fortuna,

* stepping in for god, who’s playing softball for charity at Rikers Island.
 * substituting for god, who got arrested last night. Cops hate the you-know-whom-you’re-talking-to routine.
* doing it for god, who’s in bed, with a migraine and some cough. Don’t worry, I gave him soup and some aspirin.
subbing out for god, who’s locked his keys inside the car. I told him he’s not having mine.
* standing in for god, who’s running a marathon, you know, for the kids.
replacing god, who’s refused to come out of his room today. He must apologize to Aunt Eve; she’s very hurt.
* filling in for god, who’s home nursing a shiner. He got into a fight with a guy claiming to be Jesus at the local soup kitchen.
stepping in for god, who’s taking the cat to the vet. Tough job because they hate each other’s guts.
* substituting god, who’s visiting grandma upstate. She’s doing time for armed robbery.
doing it for god, who’s at home all day waiting for the cable guy. The damned box never worked properly.
* subbing out for god, who’s banned on the air for as long as he keeps screaming his hair is blond. His pubic hair.
standing in for god, who simply can’t handle it today. You people…
* replacing god, who’s gone to the DMV. They’d taken his license away years ago for DWUI.
filling in for god, who got arrested again, last night, for exposing himself on the subway.
* stepping in for god, who’s having some memory issues. Last night, he couldn’t remember who he was.
substituting for god, who got caught partying at a motel with some teens. I need to pick him up downtown.
* doing it for god, who’s making some dough shooting pool at Billy’s.
subbing out for god, who was fired after some child porn was found stashed in his cabinet files.
* standing in for god, who’s skipped town and is on the lam. Watch out, he’s armed and may be dangerous.

***

at least he’d never call them broads and once punched a guy in Chinatown for using a slur against a florist.
Chip took along with him the now obsolete concept of doing something nice for someone just for the kicks of it. In any case, he’d get quickly deranged by so many flukes and grandstanding phonies babbling around all the time.
A carnivore who suddenly became a vegan before the word was even invented, the reason he gave for the change put to shame many a Christian preacher: for the animals, he chuckled, unconcerned (more)
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* Before Afterlife
* Final Cut
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Sendoffs

Good Evening, I’m Chip
Fortuna. God’s Off Today

Legendary sportscaster and political commentator Chip Fortuna, who died 60 years ago today, belonged to the golden era of journalistic expression, one devoid of fears of embarrassing powers that be and unbound by the politically correct.
Controversial he was and in not a few well-publicized brawls, he emerged bruised and execrated by his own peers. Dopes, he’d mutter. A maverick, he could always come out with the perfect quip to ultimately vindicate his position.
A perfect fit for the expression larger than life, many a time he was described as a combo of Ernest Hemingway and James Cagney, and hard-boiled was another expression that was probably created to define his sheer manliness.
There was no half measure to Chip. He could be as viciously cruel, especially when drunk – his operating mode – and unabashed loyal, evidenced by the many potshots he took defending his friends.
Despite his large 6’3″ frame, he could be nimble at tango and a charmer with the ladies. He did well as a war correspondent, becoming fluent in six languages and learning to curse in seven others.
Not a bad banjo player either, according to contemporary Django Reinhardt. But since he detested boasting about anything, no list of celebrity friends will follow, lest not mistreat Chip any more than peacetime has already.
A wolf of another age, it’s easy to imagine his displeasure with the comforts of the modern era. Nonetheless, he would’ve been impressed by the many new ways people invented to justify not moving a muscle to change the world.
For at heart, he was an idealist who’d do no better alive today, than his outdated habit of calling woman dames, and Asians, (more)

____________________________________________
=====================================

Good evening, I’m Chip Fortuna,

* stepping in for god, who’s playing softball for charity at Rikers Island.
 * substituting for god, who got arrested last night. Cops hate the you know whom you’re speaking to routine.
* doing it for god, who’s in bed, with a migraine and some cough. Don’t worry, I gave him soup and some aspirin.
* subbing out for god, who’s locked his keys inside the car. I told him he’s not having mine.
* standing in for god, who’s running a marathon, you know, for the kids.
* replacing god, who’s refused to come out of his room today. He must apologize to Aunt Eve; she’s very hurt.
* filling in for god, who’s home nursing a shiner. He got into a fight with a homeless man at the local soup kitchen.
* stepping in for god, who’s taking the cat to the vet. Tough job because they simply hate each other’s guts.
* substituting god, who’s visiting grandma upstate. She’s doing time for armed robbery.
* doing it for god, who’s at home all day waiting for the cable guy. The damned box never worked properly.
* subbing out for god, who’s banned on the air for as long as he keeps screaming his hair is blond. His pubic hair.
* standing in for god, who simply can’t handle it today. You people…
* replacing god, who’s finally getting back his driver’s license. It was taken away years ago for DWUI.
* filling in for god, who got arrested again, last night, for exposing himself on the subway.
* stepping in for god, who’s having some memory issues. Last night, he couldn’t remember who he was.
* substituting for god, who got caught partying at a motel with some teens. I need to pick him up downtown.
* doing it for god, who’s making some dough shooting pool at Billy’s.
* subbing out for god, who was fired after some child porn was found stashed in his cabinet files.
* standing in for god, who’s skipped town and is on the lam. Watch out, he’s armed and may be dangerous.

***

Orientals; well at least he’d never call them broads and once punched a guy in Chinatown for using a slur.
Chip took along with him the now obsolete concept of doing something nice for someone just for the kicks of it. In any case, he’d get quickly deranged by so many flukes and grandstanding phonies babbling around all the time.
A carnivore who suddenly became a vegan before the word was even invented, the reason he gave for the change put to shame many a Christian preacher: for the animals, he chuckled, unconcerned that people would think it out of character. Out of safety, no one ever dared to call him a pussy, though.
But it was the way he’d wrap his on-air chronicles that remains the most distinctive feature of his complex legacy. Suffused with his quicksilver wit – sharp tongued and absolutely merciless – they stand as a journalism chapter of their own, still being taught at classrooms across the land.
Tonight, we’re all Chip Fortuna, standing in for god, who could never do a better job anyway. Glad to get acquainted, Skipper.

Finger Picking

When Nature Deals
A Sleight of Hands

Not to point any fingers, but when it comes to physically identifying someone, it’s no longer safe to rely on memory or anatomy alone. The issue is naturally crucial for law enforcement, and police departments all over have alreadyrevised old guidelines for fingerprinting and lining up suspects, so to adapt to more scientific methods of identification.
Memory does play tricks and someone’s recollection of an event is conditioned by subjective factors and plagued by all sorts of potential distortions. So is the analysis of someone’s marks and crevices at the tip of their fingers, long considered gospel in police work.
At the end of the day, suspects should be positively identified based on a comprehensive set of parameters, rather than how they look to someone, or whether they’re born with more digits or have no fingerprints at all.
Speaking of which, meet Yoandri Garrido, a Cuban who has two extra fingers and two extra toes. In itself, the condition, polydactyly, is not extremely rare neither in humans nor animals. But it is in the case of Garrido, because his extensions are perfect and functional.
EXTRA FINGERS OR NO PRINTS AT ALL
You may go out of your mind, thinking about what you would do with them, and why you should be so lucky. But for him, the freak of nature is a bliss, making him a superior coconut picker and a favorite of tourists, who’d pay up to $10 for his picture. So, stop whining, will ya?
Of course, unlike you, there’re some who may think they’re lucky exactly for not having any distinguished anatomical feature, easy to be picked up by the accusatory finger of a witnesses.
Now, you may go ahead and congratulate yourself for not being someone who needs to be concerned about other people’s testimony against them.
Adermatoglyphia is an even more unusual condition: lack of fingertips. It’s thought that it can have several different causes, but the main one is a genetic mutation. It’s been recently found in nine members of a Swiss family of 16 (don’t ask), who could easily slip through a crime scene undetected, but who’d also have a hard time crossing country borders.
As it turns out, immigration officials of all nationalities have little patience with those who lack fingertips, but we won’t get into that just yet. Suffice to say that scientists are learning a thing or two about genetic mutation of the kind that caused this family of Robinsons (so to speak) to have the majority but not all of its members sharing the condition.
Again, you may envy their predicament for a second (more)
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* A Farewell to Furs

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Tell a Story in One Sentence

Say it All
in Six Words

‘For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.’ This Ernest Hemingway-credited ‘novel’ is arguably the best known example of how entire lives can be distilled into only six words. If ‘brevity is the soul of wit,’ to quote Bill Shakespeare, then this is probably how it’s done.
The concept’s also a suitable match to our age’s short-span attention, managing to beat Twitter at its own game, fit easily in a tiny phone screen, all the while delivering a potential knockout. Papa was on to something, and his story is as moving now as it was then.
The current revival that the concept enjoys nowadays can be attributed to Larry Smith, who launched the Six-Word Memoir Project in 2006. Few would’ve expected that the Website would be now home to over a million six-word sentences, by thousands of people, celebrities or not.
The latter includes yours truly, whose literary concoctions found their way into Six Words About Work, published in 2009, and Best Advice in Six Words, coming out this week (yes, it’s a plug). Both books are part of a growing collection edited by the Smith mag team. Hooray.
Thus we decided to show you some of our own contributions, gathered here in a sort of chaotic way, for your enjoyment. It’s also our humble way of thanking the good people of the Six-Word Memoir community, who obviously could’ve done just fine without our input. Still, we’re proud.
There’s something about the format. Not as complex as a Haiku, or functional as the 5-word limit Ig Nobel Award recipients are bound to keep on their thank you speeches, six words are perfect to strike a balance of just enough info and emotion, convey background, and leave much to be guessed.
None of these is at par with Papa‘s, mind you. Or Bill, for goodness sake. But they’re fun to compose and, honestly, addictive. You should try it sometime. Thousands have. What if you have just the perfect idea about what happened to those shoes? Cheers.

PROXIMITY MADE MY HEART GROW NASTIER

SIX PILLS REPLACED SEX & THRILLS

A Farewell to Furs?

What’s Up With Bogart, Gable &
the Other Hemingway Cat Friends?

Throughout his adventurous life, few creatures brought Ernest Hemingway more pleasure than cats. So, only three years after his tragic death in 1961, Bernice Dixon bought his Key West home and turned it into a museum to celebrate one of America’s greatest writer.
Thing is, soon enough, visitors seemed more interested in the cats, lots of them, than in Papa’s legacy itself. Now they number at 45, and the house doubles as a museum and a sanctuary to them, all supposedly descendants of one of his favorite cats. Also, they’re all polydactyl.
Another distinguished characteristic sets this felines apart: most of them are named after movie stars and famous people, both the living, and those who’ve passed away and rest on a private cemetery in the museum grounds. Now their tranquil existence as keepers of Papa’s life is being disturbed by a recent legal decision.
The U.S.Court of Appeals ruled that the Department of Agriculture has jurisdiction over the cats, subjected to the same rules that regulate zoos and traveling circus animals. So, the care for some of the best treated felines in America now requires a federal license, and as such, it can and may as well be revoked.
In one incomprehensible bureaucratic twist, a lot of federal, state and local laws and resources are being directed at a group of cats that have been helping the public interest in the life and work of Hemingway to remain very much alive. They’re also essential for the museum’s fund-raising efforts and sale of exclusive keepsakes at its store.
At the same time, just a few blocks of its location, and throughout the Florida Keys and many parts of the entire U.S., stray and abandoned Continue reading

Bull-Headed Return

Spanish TV Resumes
Its Corrida Broadcasts

It didn’t last long. When bullfights stopped being televised in Spain, six years ago, it was the start of a movement that eventually led to a full ban of toradas in Catalonia, and a hard won victory for animal advocates. Many exaggeratedly called it a battle for the soul of Spain.
As aficionados of the bloody sport filled stadiums over the weekend, though, even that ban looked fragile at best. It may also help that the momentum inside the country is considerably darker, compared to 2006, when the broadcasts were halted.
To be perfectly fair, even before it, the popularity of bullfighting in Spain had already been waning, and demographics became a factor, as its enthusiasts are already in their greying years. The vibrant, culturally engaged Spanish youth has stayed away from the tradition.
The use of animals for public entertainment may be also on its way out throughout the world, specially when they may wind up killed, as they do in bullfighting. Despite a rich cultural and literary tradition in the past, resuming the toradas at this point may have to do more with local politics than with the march of time.

Talking about literature, for Americans the corrida de toros will always be identified with Ernest Hemingway, who wrote extensively about it and even called it not a sport, but a tragedy in a famous column about the one he attended in Pamplona, in the 1920s. Accordingly, he Continue reading