But when our consciences kick in, we wonder how this tribute to gastronomic excess in the United States — presented by Major League Eating & International Federation of Competitive Eating (seriously!) — goes over in places like the Sudan or Haiti, where a handful of rice is considered abundant. Seeing some youthful clown gorge himself before a cheering crowd and a national TV audience must make a great impression, and dictate how we residents of the Golden Mountain are viewed by the rest of the world. (Pause: Lest P+J be accused of not believing that America is the one and only place on earth to live, we hope everyone saw the video clips of the many folks formally sworn in as citizens on Independence Day, which makes these hearts swell with pride along with their own.)
Let's just hope that gross-out displays like the hot dog contest don't define our nation, as much terrific work worldwide is done and paid for by taxpayers here in the US. But between LeBron James being deified and Joey Chestnut stuffing his face, perhaps we could do a bit better, image-wise.
RIP, Linda Lovelace.
PAGING MICHAEL PHELPS
P+J had barely whisked our house guests, Queen Lilibet and her husband, Phil the Greek, out the door before we hopped into our Speedos, grabbed the Mae Wests and water wings, and headed down to our local Providence city pool for our swimming test.
In a grand display of overreaction to the tragic death by drowning of a nine-year-old in a city pool last year, a swimming test must be taken by anyone who wants to use La Prov's public pools (children lesss than 3-1/2-feet are banned from the sites). And it's terrific timing, as temperatures hit record highs, and anyone with half a brain would welcome standing neck deep in water with an anchor chained around their neck just to beat the heat. (Remember: It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.)
As we pondered this new regulation, P+J were musing on one of the great conundrums of our age, which is that many commercial fishermen do not know how to swim. On the other side of that coin, Brown University used to require that every student be able to demonstrate that they could swim 200 yards. But that necessity went unchecked, because no one was about to tell a future Master of the Universe he couldn't graduate because he had not done the requisite number of laps.
MAY WE REQUEST THAT WHOEVER CAME UP WITH THIS FOOLISH ORDINANCE TO BE SUMMARILY CASHIERED, AS THEY OBVIOUSLY HAVE FAR TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS. THAR SHE BLOWS! GO, GO, GO . . .
... to Hell.
Gosh, within the space of one week, the Vo Dilun public has been subjected to the transformation of the Other Paper, which now offers three great (honk!) features: the incredibly lame "Thrive"; "Politifact": and "Go."
So this is the latest installment of the eternal Fountain Street quest: "How to beat the Phoenix at appealing to a younger, stupider readership who only glom the paper for club appearances by bands whose names we can't print in a family paper"? Sail on, Urinal bigwig Senor Tom Heslin!