Everyone’s a music critic

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You can sell millions of records. You can even win a Grammy. But if the avian world doesn’t like you, the best thing to do is just keep your mouth shut.

The Kings of Leon now know this after a non-too-impressed pigeon reportedly defecated into the mouth of bassist Jarred Followill during a Friday performance in St. Louis.

The Kings cancelled their show after the incident, which has me mixed. I would definitely consider it a showstopper if it happened to me, but then I’m not a bigtime rocker. If a pigeon had pooped in Ozzy Osbourne’s mouth, he would’ve snatched the offending fowl from the air, ripped its head off with his teeth, crapped down its neck and swallowed it whole.

I apologize to anyone who is feeling sickened by this topic, but sometimes even the most modest of us writers must, now and then, talk about The Kings of Leon.

Honestly, though, I can’t say this was handled poorly. Fans have been offered a refund and band members have apologized on Twitter. If anyone, the pigeon is the one who’s going to lose the most face on this. Every bird groupie knows pooping in the mouth of the bassist is only, like, half a notch above nailing a roadie. Also, any bird can claim to be a music critic, really. It’s the ones who show their displeasure to male models and airplanes that are truly dedicated.

Accident spurs stereotype of whales as worst drivers in ocean

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Twitter has a new Fail Whale.

CAPE TOWN — All it takes is one little mast-bender with a boat to reignite old prejudices in the ocean.

A southern right whale (as opposed to the southern liberal whales found off the coast of Atlanta) recently belly-flopped onto a couple’s yacht off the coast of South Africa,  damaging the vessel but not appearing to injure anyone involved. Unfortunately for the whale, however, the accident was caught on film and has been spreading like a tsunami across the internet. Other creatures of the deep are nodding their heads — or head-like bulbous outcroppings — in what they believe is evidence  of the Old Gull’s Tale that whales are horrible navigators.

“I know they’re basically the biggest thing out there, but come on; you’re still in the middle of the ocean!” said Margaret Billings, a cape fur seal. “There’s literally miles of open water on either side of the boat. Are you telling me she couldn’t have just veered to the right or left? And then you try to dive over at the last moment or something? Like the Amy Winehouse of Free Willies. There’s a little move called ‘underwater.’ Try it sometime!”

“Cetacean drivers…” muttered seahorse Stanley Firkis. “Always riding your tail, sounding their blowholes at you. They have no respect even when you’re wearing your ‘Babies on Board’ sign! Look, I’m sure they’re not all so lousy, but how many beached dolphins or octopi do you ever see, huh?”

The National Association for the Rights of Whales, Heritage and Aquatic Life (NARWHAL) has decried the uprising of anti-whale-driving sentiment as speciest and unwarranted.

“This is just one incident after years of safe swimming,” spokeswhale Dimitri Miller said. “This is just one drop in the ocean. A huge, blubbery, ship-splintering drop, yes, but still a drop. And as you can plainly see, the ship had no visible turn signal at the time of the incident. There is clearly no one involved who doesn’t share some of the fault. The matter has been settled like mammals and I implore the rest of the ocean to keep their opinions to themselves.”

Lawyers for both sides said insurance information was shared at the time of the accident and that the couple has already received 5 tons of plankton for compensation.

Wife-carrying competition allows singles

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LATVIA — Organizers of the annual Latvian wife-carrying competition have agreed under pressure of protest to allow single competitors in the race.

While longtime participants have balked at the decision, citing that the object of the competition is to carry one’s wife (or an approved cohabitant) and that the unmarried (or mono-habitant) would have an unfair advantage, single protesters are seeing it as a victory for equal rights.

“For too long, married couples–and approved cohabitants–have enjoyed segregated privileges such as tax breaks, hospital visitation rights, conversation partners and the ability to make little copies of themselves,” said Ludis Kalnins, head of All For One, a singles rights advocacy group that is often mistakenly booked to sing at lavish weddings and state fairs. “Married–and approved cohabiting–people are allowed to participate in solitaire tournaments; why can’t we participate in their wife-carrying competitions?”

While some argue the move is right under political correctness, others dismiss the singles’ push as merely a veiled attempt to get in on action implied through event-related quotes taken entirely out of context.

“We do it two or three times a week,” one champion said in recent coverage. “We run in the stadium, we go with a bicycle, we go in somewhere together. Even when we come home, I lift her on my back and go fourth floor.”

Under the new rules, all single men who wish to participate must shoulder their own awkwardness and insecurities through the course, while single women, like their married counterparts, must cross the finish line without touching the ground. No single competitor placed in the first competition since the rules change.

To the People of Cleveland

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No doubt the imminent departure of your figurehead and hope for the future, LeBron James, has hit with full, soul-crushing force by now. LeBron has left you for Miami, a city that is much prettier, warmer and more fun at parties than you, and things are looking quite bleak.

You may be pondering at this moment just ripping the expensive LeBron jersey off your body and throwing yourself into your once-flammable river in despair, but I am here to tell you that is the wrong choice to make. For one, there’s probably a long line backed up at the river right now. But also, there are several things Cleveland as a city still has going for it. You just need to be reminded at this time of grief.

Things Cleveland Still Has Going for It

  1. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame–A building that is not only the bastion of music history and culture, but also serves as a pointy foot-spearer of any mutated creature that should rise from the sludge of Lake Erie.
  2. Drew Carey–A man who was able to rise from the ranks of inconspicuous, down-on-his-luck people from Cleveland by playing an inconspicuous, down-on-his-luck person from Cleveland.
  3. That new show on basic cable, “Hot In Cleveland”–I haven’t seen it, but it has Betty White. White can be your new LeBron!
  4. Um…
  5. Er….
  6. How do I turn the numbering off on this–ah! Here we go.

OK, so it’s somewhat of a meager list for now, but I’m sure there are plenty more reasons! And even if there aren’t, just take a look to your left and right. You’re in good company, Cleveland: Detroit and Buffalo are here for you. The Ladies of the Great Lakes have fallen on some hard times, all with industry not being what it once was in this great country and all of our sports teams abject failures. We’re sad to see you come back into the fold with LeBron’s departure–that last crush of hope is the worst–but we’ll get through. How about you wipe those eyes now, eh? We’ll go get some beer and wings, and then we can all make fun of Kansas City’s sports teams together.

Soon you’ll forget all about your turncoat prince. Just as long as you don’t watch ESPN for the next 8 or so years.

The Absolute Best Job in the World This Week

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AP Photo

Oooh... Ahhh...

If there is anyone who can not possibly have a cooler job as the Fourth of July nears, it is our brave officers and explosives experts who produce all those bits for the local news on how utterly dangerous fireworks can be in the hands of haphazard, ignorant rubes (i.e. us).

Many a mannequin and watermelon is sacrificed in this yearly ritual, but all vaporize honorably for public service… and entertainment. To say anyone whose duty is to blow things up to show people not to blow things up is not having fun is blasphemy against the very laws of the universe. The police are not only trained in explosives; they are trained in hiding their juvenile glee behind their mustaches as tiny crumbs of Molly the CPR Doll fly into the next county (which is all right since they likely stole the next county’s Molly for the demonstration in the first place). Blowing stuff up when you have the right conditions and opportunity is inherently and inescapably fun. It is the unwritten myth proven by the Mythbusters in nearly every episode they’ve ever made.

You know the only thing that makes this job not fun for the authorities. When after they spend a good day vaporizing produce and test dummies they still have to spend the next day responding to accidents where people blow off their hands and kill themselves with fireworks anyway. In fact, that kills everyone’s buzz. Seriously. So after you have your giggles with the safety videos, just take that extra few seconds, spark that bit of imagination that hasn’t yet been killed by quitting books and just superimpose your head over that mannequin’s. Yeah. When it comes to fireworks, you’re a schmuck. I’m a schmuck. Your Dos Equis-drinking uncle is a schmuck. DON’T LIGHT YOUR OWN FIREWORKS.

Maybe–just maybe–if we’re all good this year, the cops will be in a good enough mood to continue warning us about other things, like the hazards of walking under monster trucks, running in front of out-of-control flamethrowers or falling out of planes while strapped with live grenades.