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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Swankxmas Eve

Saturday
December 16, 2006

As I type this we're just hours away from the inaugural Swankxmas 2006 party at Matt/Dustin's place in Smyrna. And, already, it's been an eventful day.

When I woke up this morning, no one else was here. So I decided to watch the critically acclaimed movie Dr. Strangelove, which Comcast On Demand had available in its free movie on demand section. An early film by Stanley Kubrick, the movie was one that I knew little about... except that it was almost always among the Top 100 in all-time great movie lists that I've read.

Strangelove is from 1963, and it's a dark comedy satirizing government and the military. Dark comedies are my favorite (in many ways, my life has been a dark comedy), but I wasn't sure how a comedy from 43 years ago would translate.

I'm happy to say that Kubrick delivered the goods. I found myself laughing long and loud, and I was drawn in enough that by the time Matt and Dustin got back over here that I insisted on watching it all the way through. It's a very smart movie, and I'm not sure how it would work now with the average audience that has been dumbed down with so many sub-par comedy efforts, but for me it was spot-on great.

From there, Matt and I went to find a liquor store and then hit Wal-Mart. Because the authoritarian bastards who oppose individual freedom here in Smyrna voted against allowing liquor sales in the city (using churches, which pay NO property tax, as places from which to spread their propaganda), I had to go over to LaVergne.

And, lucky me, I didn't realize that the speed limit was 45 on Murfreesboro Rd. The 45 speed limit seems to be everywhere around here, and it feels like you're driving in molasses at times when you have to regulate your speed. I thought it was a little odd that I had burned the rest of the traffic so far off of a red light stop, but whatever, my skills of driving anticipation are strong.

Unfortunately for me, somewhere in there (either hidden off the road in true coward-cop style) or within the traffic mix was a LaVergne city police officer. I saw him coming from over a hill in the distance, lights blazing, which in hindsight makes me think that he was just well-hidden. I pulled over, hoping that he was simply on his way to something pressing, but no. He pulled in behind me. Lovely.

Normally having out of state tags is something I'd think would be a negative, but in this case it apparently helped me. "When are you leaving town?" he asked me. "Early next week," I said, which is actually inaccurate (I'm going home tomorrow), but when Johnny Law is glaring at you, sometimes you might not say what you expect. But my impending departure was actually a good thing, as he used that as an excuse to give me a warning. No ticket for 13 over the speed limit!

Until today I'd never received a warning for anything, just a ticket. Now I've only had one ticket in the past six years, but that's in large part because in Tampa hardly anyone gets speeding tickets (except for on the Crosstown Expressway.) But, hey, I'll take it. And here's a big Screw You to the anti-liquor store forces in Smyrna. You're going down in the November 2008 election (when the issue will be on the ballot again), at least if I have any say in the matter.

Matt and I stopped at Fazoli's for lunch, which was delicious. I haven't eaten there in years. Mmmm. From there I shaved my head, since I want to fix up and look sharp for the big party tonight. Unfortunately I didn't bring my normal head-shaving shears with me, and my electric razor (which could be used to knock down some of the places where my hair had grown longer) was almost dead. Consequently, it required a Mach 3 Turbo (named after Dustin, obviously) and a lot of work for me to get from frizzy to smoothly shaved.

I showed Matt the Yule Log HD that Comcast offers, which I discovered last night at my parents' house. It's 2 hours of a fireplace in digital glory, complete with holiday music. It's pretty cool, and it seemed to mesmerize my Dad last night (and it takes a lot to mesmerize him.) It's taken from the WPIX-TV/New York playbook, where they traditionally show a show titled The Yule Log on Christmas Eve/morning.

Well it looks like the final push to clean up the house has started, so I'll wrap this up...

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