Smile Politely

Lions and Townies and Porn

Well, you all once again get a column written in a bar. The watering hole this week was Brass Rail. I was going to listen to a ballgame in the garage and knock this out but I decided I really needed the visual stimulation only TV can offer. Besides, the Redbirds have been a train wreck for the past few weeks, so I thought this might change their luck. I doubt it helps all that much. Let’s get it on.


I’m happy to report that my wonderful and lovely mother is once again out of the hospital. Apparently she went sometime in May and ordered a medical sampler platter of surgeries. We sort of thought we were done a few weeks ago, but then a little gall bladder problem popped up. That organ really did have a lot of gall going batshit crazy like that.

Either way, it turns out the gall bladder is sort of the vice president of organs, a regular Joe Biden. It doesn’t really help you all that much, but if can definitely hurt you when it’s not acting right. Like a watch fob, it’s sort of an unneeded accessory these days. To remove it, they make 4 or 5 tiny holes in your stomach and yank it out. I could have probably done it in the garage if I could ever manage to be sober in that room.

The entire affair sort of sucked but there was at least one moment of funny. Mom’s hospital roommate called food service to place her order and said she was choosing the “pork lion.”  Yeah, that’s not a misspelling; she said “lion.” Sure, she was sick and whatever but you just have to laugh at something like that. I suppose it is possible that she assumed Carle Hospital had the same menu as your run of the mill, wild game-hunting lodge. There’s also a chance that she was aware of some crossbreeding taking place on the premises. Still, in all fairness, lion sounded better to me than the vegetable lasagna.


I mostly wrote this part so I could use the headline before anyone else did when they wrote about Kansas playing the Sweet Corn Festival. I’m strangely juiced about this show. I was supposed to see them before on two separate occasions in Terre Haute, Indiana a long time ago and they canceled both times. I get it. I would have probably cancelled my working in Terre Haute years if I had a choice.

Still, I’m not holding a grudge anymore against Kansas. If anything, I’m got way more of a grudge against the City of Urbana. It’s been about 10 years since I suggested a complete overhaul to the event when I came up with the “Sweet Porn Festival.” It would be a really awesome deal and they only have to change one letter. Forget all those sweaty masses piling into a parking lot to see some classic rock. Row after row of climate controlled viewing booths would be a far more welcome respite.

Plus, I’m sure a ton of porn stars would happily come to town to be honored, as they often seem to enjoy attention. You don’t even have to abandon the original concept completely. They could still sell several buttery ears of sweet corn…it’s just that some of it might not be used for eating. C’mon Urbana, try to be just a little better. Sweet corn really only goes with cookouts. Pornography goes with everything… except, you know, butchery…and maybe lawn darts.


Note: Yes, I probably should have participated with last week’s Smile Politely poll about townies, but I’m not super good about remembering passwords.

Anyway, I’ve lived in town for 25 years or so and I still don’t think of myself as a townie and I don’t think others do either.  It seems to me you really have to grow up here in order for that phrase to be used. I talked to a few people and was a bit surprised that they felt the term was derogatory. Dude, I’ve been called way worse things than townie.

Hell, even if I moved back to the place I was once considered a townie, Oblong, Illinois, I wouldn’t be considered a townie anymore since I moved away. They run a pretty tight ship down there.

Just so you know, that’s not even an old picture. It’s sort of like that one movie, Pleasantville, where the town has no color, except in Oblong, no one ever made an attempt to add color to anything. They like it just fine the way it is.


  • Matthis’ Sideshow Bob impersonation is really coming along. He can do anything with plants.

  • Yeah, that’s my hand in the picture. I may have had a few.
  • To that, um, let’s say “lady” who flipped me off in traffic last week, way to class up a bad situation. Yes, that gesture would have been completely justified if you had heard what I was mumbling under my breath, but there was no way you could have read my mind at that moment, as you were too fucking busy making a left hand turn from the right hand lane. In the future you should be more careful with your PT Cruiser.
  • If I’m playing a video game where I shoot people, I still generally use the sniper rifle. Even in a virtual world, I prefer to stay far away from most people.
  • I hate to say never, but I can’t imagine ever watching a movie on my phone.
  • I sort of like Slipknot for one song… one song.
  • It’s hard to find a really good lawn chair.
  • Hamm’s, a complex American lager.

Buona sera, senorina, kiss me goodnight.

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