Tuesday, July 22, 2003

(July 23) This week’s victim is someone who actually moved out of town quite a few years ago. But he still occasionally makes appearances in Sioux Falls, slumming it with the common folk at Theo’s, Champps, and the Crow Bar.
He’s also someone that I have referred to many times before, but never actually kicked out of town. Well, this week I have to do it…so this week’s victim is Pat O’Brien.
I’m actually sort of sorry that I have to do this. At one time I had some respect for the man. His work for CBS Sports was very good, or at least as good as anyone else on the network.
But he sold his soul to the devil a few years ago, taking an anchor gig for the dreadful Access Hollywood. We all know my thoughts on those so-called “entertainment news” programs – there’s nothing that ever resembles news on these shows. They’re nothing more than pre-packaged publicity for the most trite pseudo-celebrities that plague our entertainment choices.
Hosting the show is bad enough, but in recent years he has started to believe his own hype. He counts morons such as P. Diddy and Will Smith as friends, and makes sure that we all know they hang together.
The topper, though, is the oral sex…I mean interview…that he recently conducted with the world’s worst couple, J-Ho and Ben Affleck. Not only did snippets of this conversation take up his awful show for a few days, but an expanded version was shown as a prime-time special, and NBC and MSNBC also ran segments for an entire week.
The fact that he interviewed these ass-clowns is bad enough, but the actual interview was even worse than anyone could imagine. It started off with a lengthy segment that attempted to compare their so-called romance to the great Hollywood romances of the past – Hepburn and Tracy, Burton and Taylor, etc. Sorry, but nobody is going to ever compare the acting skills of either of these bozos to these legends.
Then the rest of the hour was spent trying to convince us that J-Ho really is just Jenny From the Block, and that Ben is just a typical “bro” from Boston. Softball after softball, with the hardest hitting question being “are you a diva, Jen?” No, she’s just a typical hard-working girl. Yeah, and I’m Mr. Positivity.
And to prove how down to earth she is, Ms. Lip-synch even cooked a meal for the crew. Like she’s ever set foot into a kitchen before. Well, we know she’s eaten a few meals in her life, but there’s no way she’s ever cooked before. I’d bet that the Queen usually sits on her throne and barks at her crew to hurry up with her fried chicken and bon bons.
It’s pretty telling that even with Mr. O’Brien’s assistance, the pair still came off as the most shallow, phoniest, most idiotic couple since Bruce and Demi.
And the reason this whole charade even happened is because that movie that features the pair is said to be one of the worst movies offered up in some time. Test reviews have been dismal; reviewers predict that this could be THE BOMB of the year…and in a horrible year for movies that’s saying something.
And it’s also a chance for J-Ho to change her image. Reports have run wild in recent months over her bitchy demeanor; her on-set demands; her quickly failing singing career. And yes, it is failing. Despite constant MTV and radio airplay, her last album sold a fraction of her previous, and it’s become common knowledge that Ashanti handled most of the vocals on all of her albums.
So Pat, this rant may have been more about Hollywood’s worst couple, but you’re guilty by association…not only with these morons but anyone else that you fawn over on that awful show you host.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

(July 16) As I do every so often, this is a week to spew out a bunch of garbage that has been bugging me in recent days. I’m not going to waste a bunch of time with an intro, so let’s get right down to it.
My first rant is sort of my intro. Numbed by the aftermath of an alcoholic stupor, I spent most of this past weekend channel-surfing. I noticed a horrible new trend – list shows. The top 1000 most shocking moments, the top 50 sexiest tv moments, 25 sleaziest rock stars. They’re all over the dial, especially on E!, CMT, and VH1. All of these shows exist for only one reason – so we can see that stupid dress that J-Ho wore to the Grammies a couple of years ago. So let’s call today’s rant Scott Hudson’s Ten Worst Nightmares, with list shows at number ten.
At number nine we have people who try to jump ahead of everyone at road construction. You know what I’m talking about – you’re stuck in traffic because construction up ahead is going to cut off one lane. For some reason, there’s these morons who think they can just skip the line, drive up as far as they can, and sneak in. Hey, if I have to sit in line for a few minutes, so do you. Don’t expect to cut in front of me because it ain’t happenin’.
In a similar vein, at number eight we have motor homes slowing down everyone through interstate construction. There’s a lot of roadwork going on right now, and it’s inevitable that you’re going to run into it no matter which way you head out of town. Every single time I hit one of these fifteen mile long annoyances, there’s a motor home driving at least twenty miles below the speed limit. Because there are so many people lined up behind them, it then takes forever to pass them afterwards even though they haven’t sped up to the regular speed limit.
Next up at number seven we have local tv news “safety tips”. Anytime there’s some sort of tragedy, from the drowning last weekend to fires, tornados, power outages, and extreme heat, our local news stations feel they have to remind us how to avoid grill fires, sunburn, flat tires, and other seemingly common sense solutions. In the winter they teach us how to shovel; in the fall it’s how to rake leaves. Are we that stupid, and isn’t it a case of too little too late for those that could learn something?
I sort of covered number six in my number ten rant. But VH1 has become so awful that they just have to come in at number six. It’s hard to believe but the channel used to be occasionally entertaining. A few of the Behind the Music’s were enjoyable the first three dozen times you saw them, and some of the other shows devoted to the great artists of the past were at worst entertaining. Now there’s nothing to watch. The only original programming they have are those awful list shows, with no-name b-listers attempting to be funny while proclaiming their love for the song “Mickey” or George Michael. Even worse, they replay network movies that should have never aired in the first place, such as their multiple airings this past weekend of the Three’s Company miniseries.
Up next we have a last minute entry to this list. I’m talking about Deion Sanders’ self-proclaimed “Jesus discount”. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, Deion ran up a $4500 bill at an auto garage, but wrote a check for only $1500 because that’s what Jesus told him the work was worth. And since it happened in Texas, he won the resulting lawsuit. Deion, grab your buddy Michael Irvin and head over to Hammer’s church. Maybe Jesus will help his career.
At number four, we have a return look at a trend that I’ve attacked in the past. Of course, I’m talking about the current wave of reality television. The last few weeks the networks have given up on providing any real programming. Instead we get shows such as For Love Or Money, Paradise Hotel, American Junior, Fame, Marry My Dad, Last Comic Standing, and, god helps us, Big Brother 4, which made headlines this past weekend by kicking someone out after he had a tantrum and told the other contestants that he has genital warts. Nice, classy stuff.
Where do they find these people? Granted, some of them are attractive, but they have the intellectual capacity of a coffee bean. Take this great comment from the ex-con from For Love Or Money – “you’re wearing a red dress…it matches the carpet”. Yeah, he’s a catch.
And these women – most of them really think they’re going to meet they’re dream mate, get married, and live happily ever after. Do people still believe that they’re life is not complete unless they’re married by the time they hit 25? Not that the guys are any better – “this is the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make.” Please.
The absolute worst of these shows is not really a reality show, but it combines the worst elements of all of these shows in one 30 minute show. I’m talking about Anything For Love, the most evil show I’ve ever witnessed in my life. In the episode that I watched a few weeks ago, they had this woman who made her boyfriend choose between her and his $3,000 bicycle. When he chose her, he then had to take a chainsaw to his prized possession. She cooed, but you can’t tell me there won’t be trouble in the near future. Other spots on this show included hidden camera temptations with supermodels, surprise “I love you’s” from people they hadn’t seen in decades, and other ultimatums that should make everyone involved feel ashamed.
We’re run down seven and have three to go. Who else will earn the wrath of Hudson?
Coming in at a strong number three is major league baseball, particularly Bud-lite Selig. The former national pastime has become the biggest joke in professional sports. From the tie-game in last year’s All-Star game to the uncertain future of the Expos to Sammy Sosa’s corked bat to this insane idea of the all-star game determining home field advantage for the World Series, which led to a game missing half of the game’s biggest players, baseball has become little more than a bad joke by a late-night talk show host. Let’s get a real commissioner; not a club owner playing one on ESPN.
Up next we just have to find room for those divas in training with one-named monikers. I’m talking Shania, Pink, Mya, Beyonce, Ashanti, Mariah, Jewel, Cher, and the seemingly dozens of new no-talents that the record companies spring on us every week. And don’t think I’m excusing their male co-horts. I’m a fan of Bono, Edge and Stipe but let’s get real. You guys all have real names; use them. How do you get your mail? Is it sent to Ms. Beyonce? I didn’t think so.
All right, we’ve made it through nine nightmares; it’s now time to unveil Scott Hudson’s number one worst nightmare. Drumroll please….the winner is that demon Windsor. Yes, that sweet elixir made in the North Country. This past Friday, my good buddy Cade coereced me into leaving my palatial estate and indulging in my drink of choice, Windsor-Coke. Actually, my drink of choice is James Foxe and Coke, but nobody stocks that anymore. Ok, I had a great time and made quite a few new friends (who better be listening this morning) but when I awoke just four hours later with a head throbbing louder than a Led Zeppelin drum solo I knew I was in trouble. But I’m sure I’ll do it again real soon, although I may try to eat a little dinner first and maybe stop before I hit a dozen drinks.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

This Week's Get Outta Town

(July 9) Yesterday was a horrible day for me. I’m still bummed that my kid had to go back to his mother’s house, and it was payroll day for me at work. If that wasn’t enough to give me a headache, my day was constantly interrupted with insane people asking stupid questions.
Finally, the day ended and I headed home. Not having eaten all day, I decided to call my favorite Chinese restaurant, Kowloon, for some Szechwan chicken. Twenty minutes later, the food is delivered and I’m about to sit down and eat when the phone rings.
”Mr. Hudson?”
“This is him.”
“Hi, I’m Stupid Twithead from Numbnutts Mortgage, and I’m calling to talk to you about your mortgage. Did you know that interest rates are at an all-time low?”
“I told you last week that I wasn’t interested, and that was the same answer I gave you the other 20 times you called. So please go to hell.”
I hang up, and start unloading the sack of food. I’ve just grabbed a plate when the phone rang again.
“Could I speak to the woman of the house?”
“Uh, the hooker left ten minutes ago. Is this her pimp?”
“What? Oh, you’re joking.”
“No, she really did just leave.”
“Ok…well, I’m from Ameircan Magazines, Inc. Would you be interested in a five year subscription to Oprah Magazine?”
“I don’t need to look at that cow every month.”
“What if I told you that 2% of the proceeds goes to supplying poor children with American flags?”
At this point I start singing the Sex Pistols “Anarchy in the UK”, but I change the UK to US. She finally gets the hint and hangs up.
Finally, I start eating. I make it ten minutes before the phone rings one more time.
”Mr. Hudson?”
“This is Clem Wanker calling from the American Veterans Association. Do you have time to take a survey?”
“This will just take a few minutes. On a scale of one to ten, could you please rate the importance of owning a firearm?”
“Ten? Good. On a scale of one to ten, could you rate Tom Daschle’s level of patriotism?”
“I see where this is going. Goodbye.”
“Mr. Hudson, please don’t hang up. We only have thirty more questions.”
“I don’t have time for this. My heroin is cooking on the stove.”
“I see. How many flags do you have hanging in your home?”
“Three French flags, an anarchy flag, and of course, I’m always waving my freak flag.”
“Thank you for your time.”
At this point my food is cold. Of course, once I stop eating the phone stops ringing. My anger doesn’t go away, however. Later in the evening, I decide to put my name on the Do Not Call Registry. Why I need to do this is beyond me as I’m already paying the phone company a few bucks a month to keep my name anonymous.
So I go to the website and enter my phone number as instructed. Unfortunately, one must give their email address so I’m sure I’ll be inundated with spam for the next few years.
While I’m at the site, however, I read the fine print. Signing up does not relieve you of all unwanted calls. And the damned program doesn’t even start until October!
Here’s who can still call: Political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors, phone companies, insurance companies, and companies with which you have an existing business relationship. So I’ll still continue to get calls from Tom’s political friends and enemies, telephone features that I have no use for, the Y’s never-ending clothes drive (who have called for over ten years despite the fact that I’ve never said yes), and I’m sure the mortgage people will weasel into one of the categories. And the “existing business relationship” category will probably be the loophole that allows everyone else.
So while the deal looks good in the press release, it probably won’t stop the bastards from bothering me. And since it only applies to home phone numbers, I’m still going to have to deal with the 9 am American Express sales pitch that I receive at my office every single morning. Or the couple of dozen “out of area” calls that have no response when you answer. They can all go to hell…at least I’ll have fun tormenting them.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Hudson's Best of Sioux Falls, Part 2

Best Place to See Nascar Paraphanalia: The Country View Trailer Park. They may not have running water or working electricity, but they have all of the latest Dale Earnheart junk. And a satellite dish.
Best New Event for 2004 Olympics: Storm chasing; KELO will finally bring home the gold for something. It certainly won’t be for their reporting.
Best Place to Pick Up Divorcees: The Sunbird…not that anyone would want to, though.
Best Place to Pick Up an STD: Acme. Thankfully, I don’t know that from experience, but one has to admit there’s some stanky ho’s in that establishment.
Best Place to Bitch About Sioux Falls: Black Sheep Coffee, formerly known as Great Plains Coffee. Let’s face it, any place that counts myself and Ehrisman as regulars has to be THE place to bitch and moan. Trust me, we’re not the only ones.
Best Place to Feel Good About Yourself: Wal-Mart. You may feel dirty after you’ve left, but no place in town will enhance your self-esteem like a short visit to this wretched place of business.
Best Place to Urinate: Obviously, it has to be The Loop; extra points for hitting a doorway from a moving vehicle.
Best Hottie Bartender: Little Jen at the Top Hat. A tiny little girl with beautiful legs. What more can a drunk guy ask for?
Best Smart-ass Bartender: Sandy at the Crow. A gruff woman on the outside, but an absolute sweetheart of a person. But don’t piss her off.
Best Substitute For the Top Hat: Some’s or the Little Coalinga. The Hat is starting to get overrun with weekend hipster wannabees, so maybe it’s time for a new dive bar. My vote is for either of these two bars located just a stone’s throw away from Phil’s.
Best Undiscovered Restaurant: A Touch of Europe. Overshadowed by the Minerva’s publicity machine on the other end of the block, A Touch of Europe features food just as enticing without the perceived high-classed snobbishness. Plus, they have jazz on weekends, and a beautiful woman by the name of Melissa as a waitress.
Best Hairdresser By Day/Coffee Server By Night: Lisa at Black Sheep Coffee. During the day she cuts hair at Hair Essence, but a few nights a week you can find her at Black Sheep. A beautiful young indie-rock chick, and one of the nicest women I’ve ever met. Last week I remarked to Alec that I’d like to find a 30 year old version of her. His response? He’d like to find a younger version. Like father, like son.
Best Server: Traci at Spezia. Easily, my favorite person in the world, even though her beautiful co-worker Heidi likes my mixed discs more than she. Traci’s one hip, hot chick, and when Alec and I go to visit her at Spezia we don’t even have to place an order. She decides what I need to eat, and she has yet to choose a bad meal.

Hudson's Best of Sioux Falls, Part 1

(June 25). This past Sunday, the Argus Leader wasted a couple of pages of their Sunday edition to something they called The Best of Sioux Falls. They should have just called it The Same Things We Have Liked the Past Five Years. How predictable was this waste of space? Nothing against Minerva’s, Bucks, a certain so-called regional band, but why bother if the results are the same.
With nothing to do last night except watch Jay Trobec babbling about heading into the basement, I decided to stay on my couch and come up with my own Best of Sioux Falls. I think you’ll find mine much more enjoyable.
In fact, let’s dispense with the niceties and right one godawful wrong:
Best Morning Radio Personality (Male): How in the world can anyone choose the Mullet and the not-so-thin ones as the best morning show? Everyone listening right now knows who rules the morning airwaves. Cade, you’re the man.
Best Morning Radio Personality (Female): I wanted to award this to a certain beautiful blonde seated to my left. But last week I heard reports that she was dissing me on the air. I’m shocked and saddened. I’ve never said anything but the nicest things about Ms. Jen, and look how I’m treated. So I’m giving this award to that cute dark-haired woman next door. At least she’s nice to me.
Best Overreaction: The Loop. You know my feelings, and you’ll hear a few more of them now, but there’s no doubt that this so-called controversy has wasted too much of our time.
Best Local Comedy Show: One would think that maybe I’d choose the Caribou Show, or maybe that trainwreck of a newscast across the street. But after the events of the last few weeks, this award has to go to channel 16’s broadcasts of the City Commission meetings. Yes, Mr. Kant, one can watch your hilarious rants live on the air.
Best City Council Member: Kermit Staggers, aka the Voice of Reason. I really didn’t think much of Mr. Staggers until a couple of weeks ago. He seemed like a bit of a crackpot, and maybe he is. But he’s a crackpot who appears to be the only member of the City Commission who’s not bought and paid for; and who’s actually read the Constitution. You’re the man, Kermit.
Best Future Traffic Jam: The Loop. If I am to understand the plan, 10th and 11th Streets are going to be reduced to one lane after 11 pm on weekends. Oh, that’s a great idea. Again, let’s inconvenience everyone because of the sins of a few. Great job, guys.
Best Intersection to Witness Road Rage: 41st and Louise Ave. Road rage is pretty easy to find in this town. Get behind any car with Iowa or 44 license plates and you’re going to be seeing red. Or behind the construction business owner making deals on a cell phone while sitting through a green light. Or Grange Avenue in the Sioux Valley Hospital area. But the absolute worst place in town to drive is on the busiest intersection in town. You have people in the left lane wanting to turn right to go to Wal-Mart. You have chunky soccer moms in the right lane needing to turn left to satisfy their desire for doughnuts. Then there’s the elderly who have no clue how to maneuver through a double turn lane.
Best Place to Determine How Open-Minded Your New Girlfriend Is: Scarlett’s. I wouldn’t go there for a first date, but once you’ve become comfortable with her you may want to try this out. You will know your boundaries within five feet of the door. Who knows, maybe she’s kinkier then you?
Best Place to Have Sex Outside: Tuthill Park. Not that I would know…at least not recently. There’s a trick to finding the sweet spot…at the park. You have to park in the Tuthill neighborhood and then sneak through some private property. There’s an open area that’s shielded on three sides with no access from the main park. If that’s too much work, there’s also Lyons Park.
Best Rock ‘n’ Roll Mom: Barb Christen. You have to give mad props to any mother who takes their teenage sons to Minneapolis to see three nights of rock ‘n’ roll – from the classic guitar twang of Link Wray to the street girls gone wild sounds of the Donnas. Barb’s even allowing her sixteen year old rock ‘n’ roll boy to go on tour with his fledgling punk band, the Unis.
Best Sign That Summer’s Here: Power outages. First two days of summer – first two power outages. And no squirrel was forced to give his life this time.
Best Media Ass (Figuratively): KELO’s Brian Karstens, aka the Professor. Unfortunately, there’s no Ginger of Maryann present as he explains to us how high-definition television works, or what causes clouds. There’s an aura of superiority as he gives us our daily lecture that’s beyond annoying.
Best Media Ass (Literally): KDLT’s Melissa McCreedy. Now that’s one fine woman. When I went out of town a few months ago, I had the pleasure of sitting in the airport restaurant while Ms. McCreedy worked on her script a few tables over. Wearing an extremely short miniskirt and thigh-high boots, I couldn’t help but discretely ogle this wonderful beauty. (Actually, I had another person in mind for this category, but on the legal advice of my sister’s baby’s daddy, I thought I should refrain from mentioning the country video vixen. And trust me, he knows the law.)
Best Blowhard: I suppose I could and/or should give this to myself, but I have to give this award to Robert Regier and Paul Erickson. Two men that have never met a Democrat they didn’t hate; two men who have devoted their life to dogging Tom Daschle. I can understand not wanting certain candidates to remain in office, but they’re treatment of South Dakota voters is extremely condescending and shouldn’t be tolerated.
Best Smart Ass: Obviously, I know a lot of smart asses. Scott Ehrisman probably deserves this award, as does Ben Sagmoe, aka White Trash Prophet. But I have to give mad props to my buddy Pat Hagan, a person who’s vicious one liners actually makes me look mild-mannered.
Get Out of Town July 2

Before we begin, I have a question. If you’re a fan of the Sioux Falls Storm, does that make you a Storm Chaser?
So this week’s episode of Get Out of Town is a bit different. No politicians are going to be skewered; no media ho’s will get their panties in a bundle. This week I’m bringing up a subject that has affected almost everybody at some point…but it’s rare that anyone will do anything about it.
No more. I’ve had it and will not take it anymore. What am I talking about? Unruly children in public. Now I’m not saying that I’m a perfect father, or that my son is perfect. There were times in his early years that he acted in appropriately in public, and his mother and I dealt with it appropriately.
But we must have been a rare example of people dealing with our responsibilities. I’ve noticed a trend lately – people seem to pretend that their children aren’t even around when they’re in public. They do their shopping; their eating; their touring; even their drinking without even caring what their little bastards are getting into.
Here are a few recent examples:
At the Tom Petty concert last week there were a number of extremely young children who had no business being around a bunch of drunk, pot-smoking, acidheads. They had no desire to be there. One young mother wasted a front row ticket on her toddler-aged child. Within two songs the kid was asleep.
Sitting next to me at the show was a young couple with a six or seven year old. Before Petty hit the stage, the child and her mother came and inspected their seats at least a half dozen times. They didn’t even sit down; they just squeezed their way in, looked at their seat for a second, and squeezed back out. To her credit, though, at least she was reasonably entertained by the show and wasn’t much of a problem once the show started.
The day after the Petty show, Alec and I went down to Omaha with the rest of my family to visit the Omaha Zoo. While the zoo was pretty cool, there were moments where I was tempted to give a swat or two to some screaming brats. While their parents were in their own little world, these kids couldn’t go a few seconds without some kind of scream-fest. Some were running around, hiding behind exhibits so they could scare their siblings, which generally caused another kid to come close to knocking over a few other brats. Was harsh words spoken by the parents? Hell, no.
Finally, there was an incident at Boomer’s this past Sunday morning. Not in any mood to deal with much of anything, I just wanted to scarf down some greasy breakfast food. Instead I had to listen to this nitwit scream for at least a half hour straight. I’m not exaggerating. This kid was out of control. Finally, an eating companion yelled, “tell your goddamn devil child to quit screaming!” Nearby tables applauded. A couple of minutes later, this trailer trash family walked out, seemingly oblivious to the discomfort caused by their children.
I’m no child-rearing expert, but common sense should tell people that they’re responsible for the behavior of their children. If they’re acting up, they need to take action to quiet them. Sometimes that does mean you have to leave your meal, movie, or concert. You can’t just sit their and ignore them. If they can’t behave in public, get a fricking babysitter.