Monthly Archives: January 2013

Hedgehog Hospitalized

Ron Jeremy

The Hedgehog: Adult Film Legend Ron Jeremy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have some terrible news for anyone familiar with the adult film industry.

Put another way…

Hey EVERYBODY! I have some troubling news to share from the world of porn, adult entertainment or whatever the hell you choose to call it.

According to recent reports, one of the founding fathers of the adult film industry–the infamous “Hedgehog” himself, Ron Jeremy–has been hospitalized following an aneurysm near his heart. He is now at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in critical condition.

The 59-year-old star of more than 2000 adult features, and director of over 200 more, apparently had some chest pains on Tuesday afternoon and drove to the hospital. After the aneurysm was discovered, Ron’s condition deteriorated and he was moved to intensive care.

Last I heard, they were prepping Ron for surgery.

I feel comfortable calling him “Ron” because after all these years, I feel as if I know him. Maybe more of him than I care to admit, but you know what I mean.

In honor of this amazing performer of nearly limitless stamina–as well as a “damn-why-couldn’t-I-have-been-born-with-that” flesh torpedo–I offer this post as tribute.

Whether you like adult entertainment or hate it, no one can deny the impact of Ron Jeremy on the industry. His name is synonymous with porn in the same way Kleenex is synonymous with tissues. There simply is no bigger name out there. And The Hedgehog has been doing this for decades.

But did you know that Ron Jeremy began his professional life as a teacher for special needs children? That’s right. In addition to having bachelor’s degrees in theater and education, Ron also holds a master’s degree in special education. He only went into nude modeling (originally for Playgirl) and adult film to make ends meet.

Ron would be the one on the bottom (courtesy of GardenSouth.org)

And boy, did he ever.

If you count up all the films in which Ron Jeremy either starred or directed, the total comes close to 2,400. However, Ron also served as a consultant on a multitude of other, non-pornographic films and even flexed his above-the-waist acting chops from time to time.

You might guess that he consulted on the 1997 Mark Wahlberg film Boogie Nights, which was based on the life of another porn legend, John Holmes. You know? The one that ends with Wahlberg removing a prosthetic penis from his pants?

If you ask me, it looked more like an elephant trunk, but that’s neither here nor there.

Ron also popped up in cameo roles on television, like the ABC children’s show “Bone Chillers,” and in movies, including Ghostbusters, Detroit Rock City and The Boondock Saints

He truly is a Renaissance Man.

So please keep Ron Jeremy in your thoughts and prayers. With any luck, he will fully recover and will be back on top again soon.

And yes, that pun was intended.

Held Hostage

The school bus boarded by the suspect (courtesy of ABC News)

Yesterday around 3:30 p.m. in Alabama, a man with a gun boarded a school bus, killed the driver and kidnapped a 6-year-old boy. He took the boy to an underground bunker/storm shelter at his home and is currently holding the young student hostage.

Local police began to negotiate with the suspect through a PVC pipe, but the case was recently handed off to the FBI.

According to Michael Senn, a local pastor who spoke with one of the young eyewitnesses, the suspect told most of the children to leave the bus and shot the driver four times when he tried to help. The young boy he eventually kidnapped had fainted, which made him easier for the suspect to grab.

The slain bus driver has been identified as 66-year-old Charles Albert Poland Jr.

During the initial negotiation, authorities realized that the kidnapped boy needed daily medication. Late last night, they were able to send the child’s medicine down the same PVC pipe they were using to communicate with the suspect.

If nothing else, this adds a glimmer of hope that harming the young boy might not be one of the suspect’s goals. Thus far, no one knows what his motive might be.

Mike Creel, the suspect’s neighbor, told police that he has lived in the area for roughly two years and began construction of his “homemade bomb shelter” immediately.

I’m no psychology expert, but to me this sounds like a man suffering from paranoia or some other anti-social issue. Do people in Alabama really need bomb shelters? Storm cellars, I can understand, but this seems a little “out there.”

This story is still developing, but let’s hope things end without further violence or bloodshed. That would certainly be a nice change from everything that’s been happening lately.

Man in the Can

An unforgettable scene from “Trainspotting” (property of Channel Four Films)

Go anywhere that different generations of people regularly interact—like the campus of the small, private college where I work—and you will inevitably hear the same grumbling from one of the older folks: “I don’t know what’s wrong with the youth today, but we never…”

I’m sure you can fill in the rest.

Although I still consider myself to be a young man, the sad fact is that at nearly 42 years of age, I am no spring chicken (to use an expression from my neck of the woods… damn it, the clichés just keep on coming). In my mind, I’m still that young, idealistic go-getter with his whole life in front of him. Reality, on the other hand, is quite different. And all the warning signs are there: a habitually sore back and aching bones; a goatee speckled with white hairs and covering a double chin; an inability to stay up past 11:00 at night or to sleep past 10:00 the next morning, even during a vacation or holiday; a staunch refusal to turn the speaker to 10 (or 11 for all you Spinal Tap fans) and a preference for quieter tunes; and all sorts of other interesting changes.

If you’re a little older, then I’m sure you know exactly what I mean. And if you know what I mean, then we probably share another fundamental belief: AGING SUCKS.

Sure, there are those who would have you believe “The Golden Years” are wonderful, but even they know deep down in their brittle, calcium-deprived bones that it blows to get old. It’s like the Dread Pirate Roberts says in one of my favorite films, The Princess Bride: “Anyone who says differently is selling something.”

But I digress.

Accepting the fact that I’m older isn’t a huge problem for me yet—it’s possible I could only be at the mid-point right now—but I also find myself wondering (and worrying) about young people. Since I work so closely with them and tend to be more of a realist, I don’t find it tough to relate because we’ve all been there. Nothing shocks or offends or surprises me any more. And though I am always straight with them and try to steer them in the right direction—even if it means leaving college to follow their dreams or achieve their goals elsewhere—the reality is that some will succeed and others will not.

Where I come from, we have a name for this phenomenon. It’s called life. And yes, the place I come from is Earth, just like you. I hope.

Without much effort, I could ramble on about all the differences between “my” generation and the youth of today: What’s up with texting pictures of your junk to total strangers? Or going thousands of dollars into debt only to sleep all day and fail all your classes? Or loading up your Facebook page with pictures of you flipping the bird or dropping your pants? You think you’re going to land that kick-ass job once your prospective employer sees photos of you at some party with a beer in one hand and a bong in the other? Think again!

Don’t get me started.

Instead of wasting time with all of that, I would prefer to focus on a specific set of skills that seem to be lacking in our young men today. It isn’t pretty—and can often be quite stinky—but I am of course referencing BATHROOM SKILLS. And for a guy like me, who prefers neatness but is willing to lower the bar a little for public restrooms, the situation is worse than you can imagine. Consider my own workplace, the aforementioned small, private college.

Relief can be hard to find (property of Channel Four Films)

At most—and I’m sure someone will tease me later for not remembering the exact number—we have around 400 students on campus, the majority of them male. And since my building holds many of our classes, a lot of these students pass through each day. It’s a busy, high-traffic area.

Our young women have nothing to fear because there is a restroom on each of the two floors to accommodate their needs. Unfortunately, men only have one and it’s right there as you walk through the front door. Everyone uses it, and here’s where things get nasty both figuratively and literally.

I apologize in advance if I start ranting and raving. And if I happen to offend, I am truly sorry.

Whenever I walk in to this particular bathroom—and believe me when I say that I visit it as infrequently as possible—it’s almost as if I teleported to the School for the Blind. I’ve never actually seen it happen, but I envision students entering the lavatory with their business hanging out of their flies, spraying wildly and then fleeing the scene of the crime. In those terms, I would have to be the forensic expert who arrives later and attempts to piece everything together. The veteran forensic expert, I mean, given all my unfortunate experience with this public health issue [attempting to sound serious given the topic is pee pee].

It’s gross, but sadly that’s only the beginning.

Earlier today—and given that I only had number one needs, if you catch my drift—I reluctantly walked into this nightmare lavatory and found another horrifying sight: a toilet backed up with the “bad stuff” and in danger of crossing the threshold. As much as I hate to say it, this kind of thing happens so often that I barely take notice any more. Only this time was different.

Lined neatly along the toilet seat were little strips of paper towels, all of them roughly the same size and overlapping perfectly to prevent any skin-to-seat contact. As usual, the bathroom was poorly stocked and this poor bastard had to go all MacGyver on it. You older folks… I mean, more mature readers… should catch that reference. But he did it with class, spent some time on the details and at least started his business the right way.

Based solely on the evidence—which I hope has not been tampered with since I would be the only suspect—only two scenarios seem likely at this point.

In the first scenario, the subject starts off strong, but soon things take a turn for the worse. He pushes so hard that he blows out his O-ring. The shock slams his head into the wall and in a semi-concussive, even dream-like state, he simply forgets to flush and wanders away.

One can only hope that he remembered to wipe first, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Actually, scratch that because I believe I did hold my breath for a short time there.

Scenario two adds a bit of normalcy because for the first few minutes—perhaps for most of the movement—everything is fine and runs smoothly. It’s even possible that successful wiping took place before disaster finally struck. With his ritual complete and his clothes in order, our subject attempts to flush five “gallons” down a two-gallon toilet and quickly realizes that “it ain’t happening.” Did that make me sound young?

He flees. I walk in. There’s poo-poo everywhere. You get the picture.

2011's winner was The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois

The Cream of the Crap: Chicago’s Field Museum restroom (courtesy of Business Insider)

I also feel impelled to mention the “put the seat up/put the seat down” thing despite the fact that only men use this particular restroom. We don’t like to admit it, but we have all used questionable facilities at one time or another. Sure, we seek cleaner, more private venues when they’re available. But on the rare occasion, a perfect storm converges at the most inopportune moment and despite our best efforts, there simply isn’t time to find a new toilet. You just have to make do, and that’s no easy task in most men’s rooms. All you can do is pray the guys before you lifted the seat before spraying—which often is not the case—or start cleaning.

Then you realize there aren’t any paper towels and the soap dispensers are dry. Confused, shocked and angry, you make the mistake of standing motionless for 15 seconds and the lights suddenly go out to conserve energy. Aaaahhhh!

I have some other examples that I could share—some of which are even more disturbing—but I think my message is clear. To eliminate all possible confusion, though, I now address the young men out there with deficiencies in the bathroom. And you know who you are.

I don’t care if you were poorly trained, have vision problems, suffer from vertigo or nervous urination—if there is such a thing—don’t pay enough attention or simply don’t care. When you use a public restroom, please try to be clean and considerate so the next guy will do the same (i.e. pee it forward). If you want to piss all over the place, sit in your own urine, flood your bathroom with sewage or even smear yourself down in unmentionable substances in your own home, please be my guest. Most of us will never use your facilities anyway. Just don’t impose your bad toilet habits on the rest of us. That shouldn’t be too much to ask.

Of course, we should all keep something else in mind: someday in each of our futures, we won’t be able to control any of these bodily functions. We may even hire people to clean up after us. Who knows? When that time comes, I say piss and shit all over the place if you like. You may not have a choice. But for now, while you’re here and we all have to live together, please do us all a “solid” and keep it neat in public.

After all, we don’t want the next health pandemic to come from our bathrooms, do we?

Jesus Thwarts Robbery Attempt

Busted by Jesus? (courtesy of the Lake City Police Department)

If there was ever any doubt about the power of invoking the name of Jesus Christ, it was quickly put to rest in Florida recently.

Jacquie Hagler and roughly 15 of her closest girlfriends were having a jewelry party when suddenly, a man wearing a ski cap and a bandana across his face burst in. With gun in hand, he demanded the women give him all their money.

At first, guests thought the intruder–later identified as 24-year-old Derick Lee–was part of some elaborate prank. One woman even brushed the gun aside and claimed it was nothing more than a water gun.

Things changed once Lee showed them the gun was loaded.

“I’m not joking,” Lee told them as he held the weapon to a woman’s head. “I’m going to shoot someone, give me your money.”

With no concern for her own safety, Hagler quickly took action, stood up and said, “In the name of Jesus, get out of my house now.”

Lee ignored her initial exclamation and again demanded everyone’s money, so Hagler repeated herself with a little more force behind her words.

“In the name of Jesus, get out of my house now!”

Before Lee could react, Hagler’s guests joined in and within minutes, they all began chanting “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”

Jesus has your back!

Apparently this was enough for Lee, who quickly turned and fled the house without stealing anything or harming anyone. Police arrested him a short time later and he is currently being held on $200,000 bond.

I’m not sure what impelled Lee to leave at the mention of Jesus’ name, but obviously it struck a chord with him and convinced him that robbing or shooting these spiritual ladies was a bad idea. Perhaps he went to Sunday school as a child and believed punishment on Earth to be preferable to an eternity of punishment in Hell?

Regardless of Lee’s motivation, I must admit that it’s nice to hear of a would-be criminal having a change of heart because of religion. And if he eventually decides to clean up his act and leave his criminal career behind, all the better.

At least there’s hope for Derick Lee. And it’s never too late to leave the darkness for the light. I’m sure even Jesus would agree with that.

Band in a Well

Members of the popular band (courtesy of Pinterest)

If you watch the news regularly, then you are probably aware of all the violence in Mexico, most of it being perpetrated by drug cartels. Since December 2006, the year incoming president Enrique Nieto started cracking down on these clandestine organizations, more than 70,000 people have fallen victim to drug-related violence.

And the body count continues to rise.

The latest victims are members of the music group Poderoso Kombo Kolombia, a band hailing from the South American nation of Colombia.

Last Thursday evening at a bar in Monterrey, 12 musicians and staff members from the popular group were kidnapped by unknown assailants and taken to an undisclosed location in the area. Members were asked if they belonged to a rival gang and when they refused to answer, they were shot and killed.

One band member managed to escape and to alert police, but it is still unclear as to how he got away.

On Monday, Nuevo Leon spokesman Jorge Domene announced the discovery of a dozen bodies inside a well in northern Mexico. Although an investigation is still underway, some of the bodies have been identified as members of the missing music group.

Four of the bodies had Poderoso Kombo Kolombia t-shirts on them, so it didn’t take authorities long to determine who the victims were.

I can’t imagine why drug cartels would want bands like this one dead, but it became clear long ago that the violence plaguing Mexico is largely senseless. If anything, it strengthens the case for drug legalization because if there was no demand for illegal narcotics, especially in America, drug-related violence would likely fade.

Of course, cartels would then find something else to fight about, but we’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it, won’t we?

Death and the BK Drive-Thru

A Burger King Whopper.

Whopper: King of the Burgers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you think of Burger King–if you’re anything like me–you probably imagine a fast-food restaurant full of kids wearing cardboard crowns; delicious, charbroiled burgers like the world-famous Whopper; and a general “have it your way” attitude visibly absent from most businesses these days.

Those of you in England and Ireland, on the other hand, might be wondering if your Whopper is made of horse meat, but that’s another story.

What you might not expect to see at BK is a funeral procession through the drive-thru, but that’s exactly what happened last Saturday in York, Pennsylvania.

In honor of recently departed 88-year-old David Klime, whose favorite restaurant was Burger King, friends and family members took a detour through the drive-thru before heading over to the cemetery. His daughter Linda placed a Whopper Jr. on his grave once the short service concluded.

As touching as this is–and with due respect to this deceased Army veteran ad Purple Heart recipient–I found myself wondering if eating BK for so long had something to do with his ultimate demise. Since he lived 88 years, though, that seems highly unlikely.

However, I once went to a food expo and saw a McDonald’s cheeseburger from the 1960s. Thanks to all the preservatives and other crap inside it, the burger looked almost exactly as it did decades earlier. A little dry, perhaps, but otherwise the same.

So maybe the truth is that BK and its many delicious treats kept David alive all these years. It is possible, I suppose.

Is it possible Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has a fast-food burger habit? That would explain how he just keeps on going, and going, and going…

Fun with Leeches

Police released this image of Matthew Allen, 18, when he disappeared from his home near Sydney in November.

Leeches loved this young man (courtesy of The Australian)

One of my favorite adaptations of the work of horror master Stephen King is the 1986 film Stand by Me. 

The story follows four friends in 1950s Maine who trek across a great distance to search for the body of a young boy who was hit by a train. It stars some of America’s young and burgeoning talent, including Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland and River Phoenix, who would tragically die from a drug overdose in 1993.

In the movie, there is a scene where the boys cross a swamp to shave some time off their hike. When they finally emerge from the murky water, they are covered with leeches. Poor Wil Wheaton’s character even pulls one from inside his underwear, the sight of which causes him to faint.

Believe it or not, but these guys had it easy.

On Saturday, Australian authorities finally found 18-year-old Matthew Allen after he was reported missing for more than two months. Allen was last seen on November 27 near his home in Westleigh, a suburb not far from Sydney.

Two hikers making their way through the dense bush spotted a “disoriented man” near Westleigh and reported him to police, who caught up with Allen a short time later. According to local media, he was covered in leeches and mosquito bites, emaciated and even had gangrene in his lower legs and feet.

“He was in such a poor state,” Detective Glyn Baker told reporters after the rescue. “He was completely exhausted, completely dehydrated, suffered significant weight loss, somewhere up to 50%. He was suffering from partial blindness and he had leeches all over him.”

Leech!

Leech! (Photo credit: d4vidbruce)

Eat your heart out, Wil Wheaton.

Allen was rushed to a local hospital and reunited with his family, who lost track of their son during a record heat wave several months ago. Fortunately for them all, he was able to survive by drinking the stagnant water from a nearly dry creek bed.

Detectives are still waiting to speak with Allen and like me, believe there could be more to his story. Of course, the important thing is that he made it home safely and if he’s lucky, he will never have to deal with leeches again.

Whether he pulled one of the leeches from his genitals or not, I have no idea. So perhaps Wil Wheaton still has “one up” on him…

Miley Turns Heads

Let me be the first to say that “Hannah Montana” was a long time ago. And if there was ever any doubt that its star Miley Cyrus outgrew the Disney hit–despite being featured in provocative outfits and more mature situations since leaving the show–they were all obliterated when she recently posed for Cosmopolitan magazine.

20-year-old Cyrus will be featured on the March cover of the famous, ad-filled, advice-giving publication. “Racy” is one way to describe her cover photo, but to me that still seems rather understated. See for yourself.

Miley does Cosmo (courtesy of Matthias Vriens-McGrath)

[I make a sound like a cat purring with pleasure]

Pretty nice, huh? And people said her new hairstyle was bad. I kind of like it, actually. The only downside is that from some angles, it sort of resembles the old Kate Gosselin “doo” from John and Kate Plus 8. I can live with it, though.

A few additional photos of Cyrus appear in the magazine, so take a gander at these and tell me this girl isn’t a woman now.

Ooh la la (courtesy of Matthias Vriens-McGrath)

[Somewhere a car is overheating as a direct result of these images]

Sassy in her suit (courtesy of Matthias Vriens-McGrath)

My, oh my.

I never imagined, in my wildest dreams, that the man responsible for “Achy Breaky Heart” (and for bringing mullets back into the public eye), could produce such a lovely creature.

Nice work, my friend. And smart move on not forcing her to remake your big hit. Her career is better for it.

Anti-Gun from Beyond the Grave

Carl Sandburg, American poet

Carl Sandburg, American poet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a poem just discovered at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, famous and deceased poet Carl Sandburg speaks out from beyond the grave on a very relevant subject: guns.

Honestly, it’s almost as if Sandburg wrote the poem today. And the English major within impels me to share it with others.

So here you are: “Revolver” by the great and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Carl Sandburg.

Here is a revolver.

It has an amazing language all its own.

It delivers unmistakable ultimatums.

It is the last word.

A simple, little human forefinger can tell a terrible story with it.

Hunger, fear, revenge, robbery hide behind it.

It is the claw of the jungle made quick and powerful.

It is the club of the savage turned to magnificent precision.

It is more rapid than any judge or court of law.

It is less subtle and treacherous than any one lawyer or ten.

When it has spoken, the case can not be appealed to the supreme court, nor any mandamus nor any injunction nor any stay of execution come in and interfere with the original purpose.

And nothing in human philosophy persists more strangely than the old belief that God is always on the side of those who have the most revolvers.

Not hard to see where he stood on gun control, is it?

Thank you, Mr. Sandburg. I literally could not have said it better myself.

Hundreds Dead in Brazil

Outside the Kiss nightclub (courtesy of Globo TV)

Early Sunday morning at the Kiss nightclub in Brasilia, Brazil, members of the band Gurizada Fandangueira were playing a gig for students of the local university’s agronomy department.

Things were going well until several band members lit flares and held them over their heads. The soundproofing along the ceiling caught fire and within minutes, toxic smoke and fire filled the venue.

In a panic, people rushed for the exits in a stampede of confusion and, eventually, asphyxiation. Some mistook the bathroom door for the exit and found themselves trapped. Others clawed through the bodies of choked and burned victims only to fall victim to the blaze themselves.

By the time the smoke cleared (no pun intended, of course), 232 people were dead and another 117 were being treated at local hospitals. And if you’re the type of person who enjoys superlatives, then chalk this up as the world’s deadliest nightclub fire in a decade.

This certainly isn’t a record you want to hold, but is also isn’t one you want to see broken anytime soon (or ever) for that matter.

Although the investigation into this terrible tragedy is still underway, some facts have come to light.

As you might expect, the club was filled to its 2000-person capacity, making it very difficult for party goers to escape. Some even believe it was filled beyond capacity, but I haven’t heard for sure yet.

The nightclub after the blaze (courtesy of The Daily Star)

Dr. Paulo Afonso Beltrame arrived at the scene later and estimated that 90% of the victims died from asphyxiation, specifically related to smoke inhalation. From what I understand, this is like choking on hot cinders that essentially cook you from the inside out. Pretty gruesome way to die, if you ask me.

It’s also not clear at this time if any of the band members were among the dead. If any survived, though, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them charged with some kind of reckless negligence. Using flares in an enclosed, tightly packed, alcohol-soaked nightclub? Give me a break.

Stay tuned to your international news sources for more about this terrible story as it develops. In the meantime, though, please keep the families of the victims, as well as the survivors, in your thoughts and prayers.

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