Destination Unknown Indiana Pacers blog with Mark Boyle

But this is Indiana?

February 11th, 2012

In 49 states, it’s just basketball. But this is Indiana….where nobody appears to care.

Too harsh? For years, we’ve heard people say that if the Pacers put a competitive team on the court using good men, they would be more than happy to come downtown and support the franchise. Well, this is no longer a team that is off to a good start. We’re too far into the season for that. No, it’s a good team, and the roster is populated by good men.

So where are you?

Now, don’t misunderstand where I’m going here. I’m not from the “we’re pretty good, and we’re Indiana’s only professional basketball team, so if we open the doors you owe it to us to support us” school. Quite the contrary. I’m probably in the minority when it comes to people who earn their paychecks inside of Bankers Life Fieldhouse, but I don’t believe the consumer owes the franchise anything. The franchise has a responsibility to offer a product that appeals to the fan, and in an ideal world that should be enough to drive attendance.

But it’s not happening here, at least not yet.

Is it the economy? Hard to buy that, when the Colts put together a wretched excuse for a football team and still sell out every game while going 2-14. I’m aware that this is, at least to a degree, an apples and oranges type comparison, but it seems to me that a community with the resources to fill a 60,000 seat facility ten times a year should be able to populate an 18,000 seat building better than it does. Throw in the fact that the Pacers ticket prices are in the low rent district by NBA standards, and this is an even more baffling development.

This is a state that is proud of its basketball heritage, and rightfully so. Indiana University’s basketball program has long been one of the college game’s jewels, Purdue is always competitive, Butler has joined the conversation recently, and Indiana’s high schools have produced talent at a level that seems incongruous with the state’s population.

So why no love for the play for pay boys, particularly when they’re winning while playing an appealing style of basketball and are representing themselves and the franchise with class both on and off the floor? I don’t know the answer to that, and in the weeks ahead fans could start flowing through the doors at The Hoops Hall, making this question moot. But meanwhile, I wonder. Is it possible that this is just not a pro basketball town?

Is it?


I’m tired. Really tired.

February 3, 2012

I believe I’ve mentioned before that I can’t function in the real world. This means that I would likely be camped out in a cardboard box at the corner of Washington and Meridian, harassing unsuspecting Super Bowl visitors if the Pacers suddenly decided they had wearied of my eccentricities.

So I don’t want to appear to be complaining. But for the first time in my 24 seasons with the Pacers, I’m tired. Really tired. And while being grouchy is an accepted – or at least tolerated – part of my persona, I think I’m grouchier than usual. And it’s all because The Hoops Emperor decided that 66 was the magic number of games that needed to be played to make this a viable NBA season.

Why? Didn’t we play 50 games the last time we navigated our way through a truncated season? Doesn’t The Hoops Emperor know that I’m 12 years older than I was the last time we danced to this tune? Is he unaware that I’m now fending off constant advances from the well-meaning folks at AARP and am much closer to the urn than I am to the cradle?

Either he knows none of this, or – and this is the far more likely reality – he simply doesn’t care about my physical well-being. That the latter is the more likely reality hurts my feelings, as I’ve now known The Hoops Emperor for almost a quarter of a century and am crushed to find out that we’re not the BFF’s I thought we were.

In any event, I’ve recently devised a strategy that I hope results in a fresher, more focused and – dare I say it – kinder, gentler Yours Truly. Well, maybe not kinder and gentler, but you get the idea.

This is my recipe for rejuvenation:

  • Instead of going to bed at 3:30 in the morning, I now shoot for 3:15. That extra fifteen minutes of sleep should prove very beneficial.
  • I’m cutting back from two cigars a day to one.
  • If I have a drink, it will be straight whiskey. Mixers like seven up have too much sugar. Sugar is not good for you.
  • I will avoid strangers; as such interaction can be extremely difficult. Oh, wait. I’m already doing that.
  • I will read comic books instead of the newspaper. Too much bad news in the paper these days. Very stressful. Comic books are not stressful, they’re inspiring. Superman rules, though I am puzzled as to why the citizens of Metropolis don’t recognize Clark Kent just because he takes off his glasses and dons a cape.
  • No more chores at The Fortress of Solitude. This is risky, as I like an orderly environment, but the energy I’ll save by not doing dishes, laundry, etc. should offset the angst I may have to deal with living in a pig sty.

This is my plan. I feel confident that it will yield positive results. And if it doesn’t? Well, Kevin Lee has been skulking around behind my back for years, plotting my demise and his ascension to the throne.

He might just get his chance.


Area 55, The Sequel

June 22, 2011

Regular visitors to this wasteland of the mundane may recall my visit to Area 55 last season. Slick and I broadcast a game from that sea of insanity and had a terrific time (at least I did…I’m not sure Slick ever really figured out what to make of that band of reprobates), and when it came time to put a crew together for Season Two, I jumped at the chance to be a judge.

This is Roy Hibbert’s baby; naturally he (and his dog) served as one of the judges. Colts punter Pat McAfee and Pacers PA yakker Michael Grady rounded out our group, which eventually sat in judgment of 90 hopefuls last night at the Pacers practice court at Conseco Fieldhouse.

The process was fairly simple. Each contestant had thirty seconds to demonstrate worthiness for inclusion into the mix. After each performance, the judges, in a manner vaguely reminiscent of the old Roman gladiator days (without the carnage), gave a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Additionally, Roy had the ability to induct as many as 10 folks instantaneously with a Golden Ticket.

The quality of the contestants varied. I loved the guy that ripped of his suit to reveal a Superman costume. There was an 82-year-old woman, and while she wasn’t particularly inspirational, I considered voting for her in an act of compassion. Alas, I am not a compassionate man. There were husband-and-wife acts. There were a couple of kids under 18 that I really liked, though in good conscience I couldn’t vote to put an impressionable youngster in with this group of lunatics.

In the end, we came up with 31 candidates that had either been given a Golden Ticket by Roy or had received a thumbs up from all four judges. That left 21 spots to fill, and as McAfee and Grady bolted prematurely, Roy and I, along with an assortment of other tireless behind the scenes types collaborated to decide which of these eccentrics should round out The New and Improved Area 55.

As I said earlier, this is Roy’s baby. But now that I’ve participated in the process, I consider myself an uncle to the denizens of Area 55. And like I do with all of my relatives, I plan to visit on rare occasions (make that very rare occasions), root for them to succeed, and rip them behind their backs. Or maybe even on this blog at some point.

This is a brilliant idea, and I’m glad that Roy came up with it rather than Darren Collison. While the judging wouldn’t take nearly as much time, Area 2 just doesn’t seem to be a workable concept.


Hmmmmmm......

June 15, 2011

I’m always disappointed when the NBA season ends, and that’s particularly true this season. The playoffs, especially The Finals, were great, the league seems to be enjoying a renewed burst of popularity, and I hate to see the balls put away for the summer when everything appears to be on the upswing. But moving to hoops hiatus doesn’t mean that my relentless and occasionally productive mind stops wandering.

These are some of the things that keep me engaged.

This is funny. But governor, if you’ve got time for such frivolity, surely you have time to address the renegade football program in Columbus that has disgraced your state. That school does refer to itself as THE Ohio State University, does it not?

Hangover > Hangover II. By a mile.

The old adage "Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt” has been attributed to, among others, Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, and Albert Einstein. None of these luminaries were alive when LeBron James was born, but that pearl does seem tailor made for the self-proclaimed King.

Let me make sure I understand this. In the NHL, you can take a bite out of an opponent’s hand and escape without suspension. In the NBA, if an on court skirmish breaks out, you’re on the bench, and you move even a toe across the sideline, you’re automatically suspended for a game. Does this make sense to anyone? Anyone at all?

Who doesn’t like the new and improved Mark Cuban?

Would you rather be Erik Spoelstra or Rick Carlisle?

Liquor inspectors and Vancouver police reported a drop in liquor-related problems Monday when liquor stores closed early, before the start of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. That early closure followed concern about public drunkenness following the game Friday, and 19 downtown Vancouver liquor stores will close early again before Game 7. You paying attention, US?

Saturday Night Live is just a shell of what it once was. But Bill Hader is hilarious.

Which will come first, Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit or his 45th birthday?

I’m secretly hoping that the Pacers don’t draft Jimmer Fredette. It’s not that I don’t think he can play – I have no idea about that – it’s just that I don’t know if I can bring myself to refer to a grown man as Jimmer on the broadcast.

Sure glad that Sarah Palin released all of her e-mails. I was having trouble sleeping at night.

Did Birdman really drop $2 million backing the Heat in the NBA Finals, then show up to party with the Mavericks following Game 6? This man has style.

Mr. Stern? Mr. Hunter? The ball is in your court. Please don’t drop it.

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Hoops versus Pucks

June 3, 2011


You may not know this, but before I came to the Pacers – back in the Mesozoic Era – I spent two seasons working in the NHL as a member of the Minnesota North Stars broadcast team. I loved working in the NHL and this is one of my favorite times of the year, with both the NBA and NHL Finals percolating.

Having seen both leagues from the good seats, you might wonder which league I prefer. Not an easy question to answer, because I enjoy both, but I can tell you that the two cultures are radically different.

For example:

It is not uncommon for an NHL player (see: Belanger, Eric) to have his teeth knocked out, head to the bench to drop aforementioned teeth off, then return to the game. While there are certainly tough NBA players, there are also those who can nurse a hangnail for several days (see: O’Neal, Jer…, ah, never mind. I’m not into cheap shots). Advantage, NHL

The NBA features scantily clad dance teams entertaining the masses during timeouts. The NHL offers a Zamboni resurfacing the ice between periods. Advantage, NBA.

With rare exceptions, such as our own Area 55, NBA superfans are usually obnoxious dufuses who dress up for no other reason than to call attention to themselves and offer nothing in the way of creativity. The NHL has the Green Men. Advantage, NHL.

The commissioner of the NBA is David Stern. The commissioner of the NHL was David Stern’s protégé. Advantage, NBA.

Summers in the NBA feature such preposterous events as The Decision. Summers in the NHL feature each player on the championship team spending a day with the Stanley Cup, bringing it anywhere they want to so they can share it with friends and family. Advantage, NHL.

NHL players have shown themselves stubborn enough to miss an entire season’s worth of paychecks lobbying for a new collective bargaining agreement, only to capitulate in the end anyway. NBA players have not done that. Yet. Advantage, NBA.

NBA franchise shifts including swapping Seattle for Oklahoma City and ditching Vancouver for Memphis. NHL franchise shifts include abandoning Winnipeg for Phoenix and bolting Quebec City for Denver. Advantage, NHL

If you’re keeping score, you may note that I’ve given more advantages to the NHL than I have to the NBA, which might lead you to conclude that I actually prefer pro pucks to pro hoops. Not so. Because I haven’t yet gotten to my most significant point.

The NBA provides me with an opportunity to make a living doing something I have a passion for. The NHL does not. Advantage, NBA.

Well, really, advantage Boyle.

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He's My Brother

June 2, 2011


That’s my brother on the left. I’m in the middle, and my dad is on the right. That picture was taken about a year-and-a-half ago when we all got together in Phoenix during one of our Western road swings.

It’s also the only time I’ve seen my brother in the last 15 years.

Though we grew up close enough in age that we spent a lot of time together as kids, we were never particularly close. I got good grades and enjoyed school, while he looked at the school day as a chance to be with his friends and never pushed himself in the classroom. We played on the same youth league teams in baseball, football, and basketball, but sports were a passion for me and just a diversion for him. I was a loner, perfectly happy to be myself with a good book or my own thoughts when I wasn’t playing ball, and he was a very social guy. All the other kids, both boys and girls, gravitated to him. We didn’t look anything alike; while I’m fair skinned and looked like a human blister most of the summer, he tanned quickly, had jet black hair, and never lacked for female companionship. In other words, we didn’t really have a lot in common. But that’s not why I’ve seen him only rarely in recent years.

My brother has spent almost his entire life fighting a grueling and mostly unsuccessful battle against alcohol and drug addiction.

It started when he was 14 or 15; one night, he didn’t come home and after a frantic 24 hours my parents finally got one of his friends to admit that my brother was passed out at another house in the neighborhood after a drinking binge that had lasted several hours. I can still remember my dad bringing him home unconscious and holding him under an icy shower trying to revive him.

That was just the start. Over the years, my brother has been into any number of addictive substances and has been through rehab on multiple occasions, he’s been homeless, and has disappeared for months, and even years, at a time. When my mom passed away a few years ago, we weren’t able to find him to tell him about my mom’s terminal condition and she died without him getting a chance to tell her good bye. He’s been beaten and even shot, but he’s still standing. More or less.

My brother has a lot of hard mileage on his body, and though he’s still a reasonable young man, his clock is probably ticking a lot faster than yours or mine. For the last several months, he’s been hooked up to a colostomy bag because his battered internal organs have started to rebel. Very soon, he’ll undergo an operation that the doctors say might last as long as ten hours. The idea is to try to patch him up and get him back to a level that would allow him to carry on in at least a reasonably functional manner.

People always tell you to pray when a family member faces a difficult situation, but I’ve never really been able to do that. My mind works in a logical manner, and faith has always been an elusive concept for me. It’s not necessarily that I don’t believe in God; it’s more that I’m just unsure about the concept of a greater power, and I’ve never gone the route of asking for anything in that vein. So now, it seems to me sort of hypocritical to turn in that direction. If there is a God, I’m sure he doesn’t think this way, but I can imagine him frowning on some guy asking for something all of a sudden when this same guy (me) has poked fun at organized religion on a regular basis over the years.

But I can hope. I can cross my fingers. I can send good thoughts. Maybe my brother will sail through the operation and wind up as good as new. Or maybe not. Maybe he’ll stay sober and enjoy the rest of his life. Or maybe he won’t. Whatever happens, he’s my only brother and I love him.

It’s been over fifty years. I think it’s time I finally told him that.

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Yesterday When I Was Young

May 24, 2011


I do not believe in false modesty. With that in mind, if you ask me if I’m clever, witty, and talented, I will answer with an unequivocal “yes”.

However, as the great philosopher Dirty Harry once observed “A man’s got to know his limitations”, and I know mine. Among them: I am not a handsome man.

Oh, I’m not Elephant Man hideous. That’s the gold standard. To put things in terms an NBA fan would relate to, I’m probably somewhere between Sam Cassell and Chris Kaman. In other words, while I am not likely to be offered a leading role in a major motion picture any time soon, neither am I going to send young children running away from me in terror should we cross paths on a street near you.

The reason I mention this is that there was a day when I was a young swashbuckler. Or at least a guy with hair. A friend sent me the link to this video recently. It’s from sometime in the mid-80’s, so I’m guessing that I was in my late 20’s. A Minneapolis television station did this feature on our radio station (KSTP-AM), and Yours Truly makes a cameo appearance about twenty seconds in. If you can ignore the sweater, which I apparently pilfered out of my grandfather’s closet for reasons I can’t possibly fathom now, I think you’ll agree that this is an up-and-coming hipster that could have gotten a date or two had he had any idea at all how to talk to women.

Thanks, You Tube. I had almost forgotten that I was young once.

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Anyone Have Change For a Dollar?

May 23, 2011


Remember the problem with my keys I wrote about last winter? How I couldn’t find them for hours, eventually locating them in the refrigerator? If you read that, I’m sure you came to the conclusion that I had reached the heights (or depths, depending on your perspective) of buffoonery.

Alas, that conclusion would be inaccurate.

Last night, I woke up around 3:30 with a thirst that would put all other thirsts to shame. I’m talking Sahara Desert level dehydration. So I roll out of bed and head for the basement, where I keep my stash of Gatorade in a pantry type closet down there, but before I take more than two or three steps I see a bottle sitting of the dresser. Great, I think to myself. I can save myself a trip downstairs, quench my thirst, and head back to the rack, all in a matter of seconds.

So I quickly cover the distance between the end of the bed and the dresser, grab the bottle, and tilt the thing up toward my lips, getting set to take an enormous swallow, and in short order find my mouth filled with…..

Pennies. Nickels. Dimes. Oh, and quarters.

I had forgotten that I keep a bunch of spare change in a Gatorade bottle on the dresser, and in my half-comatose state, derailed by the thirst of all thirsts, I came perilously close to becoming a human piggy bank. Fortunately, I was alert enough not to swallow, but I was so rattled that I staggered back to bed without addressing my need for hydration.

Next Stop: assisted living.

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It's a Hard Life

May 22, 2011


For the most part, this is a seasonal job. Oh, there are the occasional appearances, sponsor breakfasts, draft parties, etc. that dot the summer calendar, but for the most part my reward for navigating through a hectic NBA season is an abundance of free time during the off-season.

I try and take advantage of that time to explore new territory, and over the years have done everything from playing in the US Open Chess Tournament to walking 500 miles for charity, but a lot of people ask me what I do on a typical summer day and I thought I’d take a random day last week and share it with you.

7:45 AM – I’m up and ready to go. Over the years, I’ve found that I always wake up between 7:30 and 8:00 without the aid of an alarm. This is true whether I go to bed before midnight – which I almost never do – or roll in at 3:30 AM following a night of pub crawling. If I did pub crawls. Which I don’t. At least as far as you know.

8:00 AM – I feed the birds, brew the coffee, and grab the newspaper. If it’s nice, I try and read the paper with my coffee on the back patio. This doesn’t take long, in part because I basically skim through the paper without finding much interesting. Whether that’s because I’m shallow and vacuous and don’t find much that engages me, or if it’s because the Star is one of the weakest major daily newspapers in the contiguous 48, is hard to say.

8:30 AM: I spend some time perusing the Internet, looking for NBA news. I find it’s important to stay current with the league all year round. Makes it easier to fool the listeners once the season starts again.

9:30 AM: I walk between 6 and 8 miles. I try and vary my route; the Monon Trail is excellent, so is the canal, and the Butler campus is very appealing. Doesn’t really matter which route I choose, as the goal is the same regardless. I am trying to ward off my inevitable physical decline as long as possible, and I think I’m in reasonably good shape for a 65 year old man. Too bad I’m in my 50’s.

11:30 AM: Lunch. I almost always make a sandwich and some soup. A few years ago, I became interested in making my own soups and took a class. Turns out that making soup, while fun, is also somewhat time consuming. This means that I don’t really have time to do it during the season, and it’s too hot to spend time in the kitchen during the summer. So my soup almost always comes out of a box.

12:30 PM: Shower, followed by a cigar and some time with a book. I’ve always been a voracious reader, and I’ve already read 10 books since the season ended last month. I try to read at least two books that have nothing to do with sports for every sports related book I inhale, which leaves me with a little knowledge about a lot of things and a lot of knowledge about nothing.

2:30 PM: Nap. I always try to grab 15 minutes every afternoon. I don’t usually sleep more than four or five hours a night, and these naps help keep me going. I always sit in a chair; if I lie down, I’ll sleep too long and then never get to bed at night. As you can see, my life is quite complex.

3:00 PM: Correspondence. I hate the phone, rarely answer it, and only occasionally return calls. E-mails, Facebook posts, and tweets, though, are another story. I answer every one I get, even if it’s only a line or two in response.

5:00 PM: Grill King Time. During the summer, I almost always grill for dinner. And, if I do say so myself, I am a master. Burgers, buffalo, elk, fish, steaks, chicken…I do it all. Always use charcoal, too. Gas is for amateurs.

8:30 PM: There’s a cool little watering hole less than five minutes from my house that I frequent. It is cigar friendly, offers several big screens for perusing playoff games, and has free peanuts. I would tell you where it is, but why would I give any business a free plug unless I get something out of it? Besides, if you knew the name of the place, you might be tempted to come down and hang out, and neither one of us really wants that.

11:30 PM: Back to The Fortress of Solitude. A final check of the Internet, then some late night reading.

Hmmmm.

I just went back and re-read this. Until just this minute, I hadn’t actually realized that I was retired.

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Pacer Car

May 10, 2011


It was with a sense of sadness that I watched the folks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway act quickly last week, replacing the disturbingly smug and possibly insane Donald Trump with the legendary A.J. Foyt in the driver’s seat of this year’s Indy pace car.

Not that Trump shouldn’t have been replaced (he shouldn’t have been invited in the first place), or that Foyt isn’t a good choice. His credentials speak for themselves. He’s won the race four times and has been a long time and staunch advocate of what has become a fading sport. It’s just that I feel that there was an obvious candidate that was overlooked.

Me.

On what level, you’re no doubt wondering, would I be a better choice than Mr. Foyt? Well, it’s not that I would necessarily be a better choice. It’s that I would be a unique choice. A choice that would potentially allow the speedway to reach a previously untapped audience, and a choice that would allow both sides to take advantage of a new and potentially mutually beneficial relationship.

The reasons to reconsider and remove Mr. Foyt and insert Yours Truly are myriad and, I think, irrefutable:

  • I’m an excellent driver. I haven’t had a moving violation or been in an accident. At least not lately.
  • I’m better looking than Mr. Foyt. At least marginally.
  • I’ve been here for 23 years and have been on enough talk shows that my antipathy for this senseless sport is well documented. All these guys driving around in circles on the way to nowhere? Yeah. Really exciting. Anyway, if the on-the-fence fan sees that someone with my views on this event wants to become involved, he may well think about doing so himself.
  • I’ve always thought that the pace car should be driven by somebody associated with the Pacers. We could even call it the Pacer Car this year. Of course, this line of reasoning could lead race officials to Ron Artest, who actually owns an Indy car and has had some misadventures patrolling the streets of California in it. But he’s not with the Pacers anymore. I am, at least as I write this.
  • Doesn’t Florence Henderson still attend this race? I need to meet Mrs. Brady. I’ve had a crush on Marcia since I was 13, even going so far as to watch the truly egregious Celebrity Fit Club when she was on it a while back. Surely Mrs. Brady could set up a rendezvous.
  • I’m not actually allowed to mention the L word, but we all know that there’s a chance I might not be working my normal schedule next winter. Right now, I’m a one-trick pony. It’s in my best interests to develop as many new skills as possible.

Now, I understand that there would be some sensitivity issues if the speedway were to come to their collective senses and make this switch, and I have no interest in embarrassing Mr. Foyt. With that in mind, I would propose a face-saving swap. I drive the pace car. In return, I step aside one night next season and allow Mr. Foyt to take my place on the broadcast. A.J. Foyt and Slick sharing the air for three hours? How is that not fabulous?

I would be shocked if the speedway hasn’t called me by the end of the day.

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Battle Stations

May 9, 2011


I am, at heart, a pacifist. I detest violence, and always try to talk my way out of any physical confrontation. I would much rather try and defuse any situation with logic and common sense than to try and engage a person – who in almost any conceivable matchup would likely beat me mercilessly – in a throwdown.

Ah, but when threatened, it’s a whole different story. And when that threat takes place on my home turf, I can be as ruthless as the next guy. So when ants attempted to invade The Fortress of Solitude this weekend, I immediately moved to DefCon One.

Now, I’m sure many of you have had issues with ants – it does seem to be an annual problem in many homes – and most likely have handled it the old fashioned way, which is to call the exterminator or traipse on down the store and stock up with some generic brand ant killer. That may well be the best way to address this situation, but it’s not my way.

In the first place, I kind of like ants. They are the San Antonio Spurs of the Entymology Kingdom; hard working, team oriented, and quite successful in achieving their goals. Beyond that, going with the professionals or picking up some toxic brew to eliminate them seems somehow unfair. I’m already smarter than they are, at least theoretically, so I should be able to vanquish them with hard work and superior intellect, no?

The invasion was centered on the kitchen. When I noticed the first infiltration around the sink, I quickly checked the perimeter and found no viable threat. Cupboards were clean, drawers the same. I asked myself what history’s great military leaders would do when confronted with such an attack and concluded that deception would serve as a potentially lethal weapon in this conflict. So I turned off all the lights and headed up to my office. Once I was convinced that they were under the impression that I was gone, I stealthily snuck back into the kitchen, flashed on the lights, and found them grouped around the coffee maker, jauntily planning their own brand of six-legged atrocity.

I acted quickly, using a damp sponge to scoop them up in large quantities and wash them down the sink. Those that escaped this blitzkrieg scampered madly for cover as I gleefully explained to the survivors that their days were numbered and that they best find a less determined general to spar with. In a matter of moments, the assault was over, normalcy returned, and I had emerged victorious at The Battle of The Kitchen Sink.

I awoke the next morning, still euphoric in my demolition of the invading army, only to find that reinforcements had crept in during the night and were maniacally attempting to reestablish a foothold in the kitchen sink area. Impressed by their determination and fortitude, and more convinced than ever that these cretins were an admirable adversary, I decided to go with the heavy artillery.

That’s right. The vacuum cleaner was now in play.

I plugged the beast in, then crept below counter level so the invaders couldn’t see me, finally reach the point of attack. In one motion, I flipped on the power, lifted the hose to counter level, and began sucking up the enemy troops in a manner that must have resembled Marlon Brando hoovering up grub in his latter years. Devastated, the few survivors made a mad dash for safety, and I think a few probably made it.

I’ve seen no sign of these courageous, yet annoying, soldiers in the last 24 hours and have concluded that I have prevailed. I know they’re still out there somewhere, but I’m certain that they’ve learned that The Fortress is not a terrain suitable for future visits.

Take that, Terminix.

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Captain Video

May 6, 2011


I am driven by ego. I’m not ashamed to admit that, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m not little bit embarrassed by it. The reason I mention this is that I’d gone ten days without being on the air – the performer’s equivalent of being a beached whale, though in my case not quite as large – which explains why I was willing to do a television interview on a subject I know next to nothing about at a television station I didn’t even know existed.

About a month or so ago, I participated in a Cooking with the Pacers segment on this website. The idea is to encourage fans to eat healthy, and given that I typically get my vitamin C from Starburst and my grains from beer, I was a bit surprised that I was invited to participate. One of the folks at WHMB-TV 40 saw the segment and invited Darnell Hillman, one of our community relations gurus, and I to appear on the program.

As is my wont, I got lost on the way to the studio – Fishers may as well be the surface of the moon in terms of my familiarity with the area – but I made it on time, and Darnell and host Kelly Vaughn handled the heavy lifting. All I had to do was appear to be coherent and offer a few pithy comments when Darnell needed to catch his breath.

All in all, not a bad way to spend part of an afternoon. Not exactly my milieu, but it temporarily satisfied my egomaniacal urge to perform and I was able to banter for an extended period of time about a topic I know relatively little about without sounding like a complete dolt.

Maybe I should go into politics.

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