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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

American Idol - Blech!

Gas Pains, Personal, Rubbish, Strange But True

Here it is.  I admit it.  I know absolutely nothing about The American Idol.

Sometimes I think I am the last person on the planet that hasn't had my cultural pedigree enhanced by this phenomenon.

This is a chronic affliction that first manifested itself at a company Christmas party a number of years ago.  We were engaged in a festive camaraderie of potluck food and and Secret Santa - you know - where everyone has to bring a gift valued below a certain amount and it gets thrown into the bag and the managing partner wears his Santa Hat and redistributes the gifts.

The gift I receive is obviously a festively-wrapped CD.  Peeling-off the wrapping I announce I have a Clay Aiken album.

This is met with a chorus of oohs and ahhs.  What do I do?  I lamely ask - so who is this - a rising country music star?

I am clueless.

I trade the CD for a more valuable gift - a small mag light.  As a result this Aiken guy left a small impression on me.

It gets worse.

I few years ago I have to go to New York on business and because it is on the company tab I stay in a fancy schmaltzy hotel adjacent to Central Park. 

Before I leave I have to go to the front desk to settle a charge and am chagrined to find the space of all three desk clerks occupied by a very humongous man in gangsta clothing - you know - baggy shorts that hang to the ankles, over-sized expensive basketball shoes,  a stiff baseball hat worn backwards and what appeared to be about 400 pounds of jewelry. 

I'm a bit frustrated as I'm in a hurry to catch a cab and not miss my flight home and this guy and his people are taking-up all of the space at the front desk and his people are arguing with the hotel people

I stay out of it since I figure it's New York, it's basically weird, it's some sort of important rapper dude and you know me - I don't want any trouble.

The entourage eventually resolves whatever issues they have and moves-on.  I spend all of about a minute taking care of my business with the nice lady behind the counter and turn to my buddy Bob and say - Sheesh, let's grab a cab and split.

Bob replies - Hey, you know who that guy was?

Nope.

That was Ruben Stoddard.

Who the hell is Ruben Stoddard?

You moron, he's the American Idol.

Yes - still clueless. 

So there you have it.  I wouldn't know who the American Idol was if the Idol showed-up on my front porch to serenade me.

I am a cultural lowbrow.

Tom

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