Monday, March 31, 2014

The 2014 Total Bozo Magazine Baseball Preview

You may have noticed baseball is happening now. It started happening, in spring training, a little while ago. And then there were two games in Australia last weekend that for some reason actually counted, like for real in the standings and everything. The first baseball game of the year was between the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks, and they played it at 4:00am Eastern Time. Nine days ago. And then there was another Dodgers game last night. A real one. And now today the other teams are really having real games that aren’t with the Dodgers. It’s great. It’s baseball. That means winter has to stop shitting on us soon.

I asked Kelly McClure to take a quick free-associative tour through Major League Baseball in anticipation of the upcoming season, and added my comments. It’s the Total Bozo Magazine 2014 Baseball Preview! Enjoy.

Love, Ben Johnson.



Boston Red Sox:
I feel like the Boston Red Sox have the most iconic hat. I feel like their hat would be most likely to be worn by the kid who played a young Tom Hanks in Big. Did he wear their hat in that movie? Why do I feel like he did? I should have saved this to say about a team I know even less about than the Boston Red Sox.

Young Josh Baskin from the New York tri-state area. He definitely wore a Giants hoodie at one point, and later as Tom Hanks requested Giants game footage with the commercials edited out. His buddy I think wore a Cardinals hat. He probably would have been a Mets or a Yankees fan. I did not use Google for any of this information and do not intend to.

Tampa Bay Rays:
Anything that comes from Florida is horrifying and will find a way to kill something or someone at any given moment. I picture going to a Tampa Bay Rays game being similar to sitting in an empty metal wash tub in the middle of a dirt field while angry runaways with black teeth throw bees at you.

Tropicana Field is exactly an empty metal washtub. Exactly. This is uncanny.

Baltimore Orioles:
I bet you John Waters has thrown out a pitch at a Baltimore game. Can you imagine?

I imagine they’d introduce him and then he’d walk out there with a beefcake “bodyguard” whom he effetely gesticulates to as if to say “go ahead, throw the little ball or whatever,” and then the beefcake scoops him up and carries him off the field as he waves enthusiastically. Maybe that’s a little much, but also we’re talking about John Waters here.

New York Yankees:
I saw a Madonna concert at Yankee Stadium last year and even though it rained I basically screamed for two and a half hours straight. The beers are like $25 a piece there and I wanted to remember to bring home my blue plastic Yankees cup, but of course I forgot it.

I’ve never been to a game at Yankee Stadium even though I like baseball and have been to New York like 10 times. It seems odd that anybody would want to go all the way up to the Bronx to see a baseball game and spend $25 for a beer when they’re busy living in New York where there’s a million other things to do and the beer is more reasonably priced in the $15-$19 range. I realize that’s a hipster/transplant’s mindset, but New York the actual city and the New York Yankees are like two entirely separate things in my brain.

Toronto Blue Jays:
My Grandma really likes blue jays. She has special feeders for them in her back yard.

Part of me thinks those birds are assholes, but maybe I’m getting them confused with grackles.


Detroit Tigers:
Do people in Detroit even have money to go to ball games? How do they get the time off from their factory jobs?

Ha ha ha ha ha “jobs.”

Cleveland Indians:
Cleveland. Pfffffft.

People who live in Brooklyn can’t pffffffft a place, Kelly. I hereby revoke your pffffffffting privileges.

Kansas City Royals:
I would like to go to a Kansas City Royals game and just eat ribs until I throw up or shit my pants or both. Ribs seem like a potentially dangerous thing to serve at a ball game though, now that I think of it. I wonder if they decide not to do it for fear that people would get angry about something that happened or didn't happen and then start throwing rib bones at each other, or the players even. Picture getting ready to throw out a pitch and then getting hit in the side of the head with a sticky rib bone. That would for sure go on the internet.

One of the great things about the internet is that if something unusual happens in any baseball game, it ends up there.

Chicago White Sox:
I took a girlfriend to a White Sox game once and I was in a really bad mood about something. I remember just sitting there frowning, and also being really worried that I'd have to try and catch a ball at some point because we were sitting in those seats where they say you should keep an eye out for balls coming at you. I didn't want to have to deal with that.

I remember sitting in some seats like that at a Sox game with a girl I was trying to date but who didn’t like me “that way,” probably because I was acting like a drunk buffoon, and I remember not enjoying it that much either. Third base side? Third base side is where bad dates happen, I guess.

Minnesota Twins:
Every single person at every single one of their games is the opposite of not fat. That's just a guess, but I guess I'm right.

I have no idea of the relative girth of Twins fans. I don’t think of Minneapolis as being a fat city. Because one time ten years ago I was hosting at a late night post-club barstaurant and Morris Day came in and I was like “who does this guy think he is with this haircut, Morris Day?” and it was him, and he was skinny.


Oakland Athletics:
I bet it takes roughly four hours to go from the parking lot, through security, and then on to your seats at one of these games. You could potentially miss the whole damn game just trying to get in.

I think of the security in Oakland as being more like a Thunderdome vibe, where you’re sprinting from your car to the gate, clutching your children close to your chest. I could be wrong.

Texas Rangers:
My Dad's from Dallas. I don't know.

Their manager Ron Washington reminds me of every gym teacher I ever had.

Seattle Mariners:
The stadium here is probably really clean. You could go and sit in a clean seat and drink some coffee if you wanted to.

I feel like if you sit really close to the game, somebody might throw a fish in your lap like how they do that at that fish throwing place. Because I’m just as ignorant about Seattle.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:
Is this really what this team is called?

Yes because of reasons.

Houston Astros:
I heard that all of the players for this team are actually talking Great Danes.

They not trying THAT hard to lose.


If Paula Deen was a pure evil version of a car...


Washington Nationals:
I Googled "Washington Nationals throw up parade" and this came up.

That’s excellent. As you know I’m a huge fan of Paula Deen’s version of a person who is the complete worst. She’s an antique version of American terrible. Like if she was a car she’d be the worst possible Model T.

Atlanta Braves:
I've always thought of Atlanta as being a place where a lot of beautiful, sassy women live. I bet it's fun to tailgate at these games and just look at butts go by while you sit on a folding chair and drink beers and eat cold pasta salad.

Outside in the air where the AIR is? In Atlanta? Anytime after May or before mid-September, you’d melt before you saw butt one.

New York Mets:
I have spent less than zero amounts of time thinking about this team.

That’s appropriate.

Philadelphia Phillies:
I bet they try to tie Rocky in to everything in some way. I'm surprised this team isn't called the Philadelphia Rockies.

I have a feeling you’re in for a surprise later.

Miami Marlins:
Lots of white shorts in these stands.

There’s not lots of anything in these stands.


St. Louis Cardinals:
My Grandma also really likes cardinals, and aside from finches, these are my favorite birds. All in all I find birds to be disgusting though. They're filled with mites and they're just constantly pooping.

But Kelly, what you don’t understand is that cardinals are the best birds in the game. They take a special species-wide pride in being the best birds, they know more about being birds than any other birds, and they’re even courteous to all the other birds. That’s why they are the state bird of so many states, Kelly. They’re the best birds in the game.

Pittsburgh Pirates:
I bet their merch tables are hilarious and you KNOW that all the beer girls have to wear a "sexy pirate" outfit, and the peanut guy has to attach a fake bird from Party City to his shoulder for eight hours a day.

I don’t know where the concept of girls dressed as “sexy pirates” came from. Like “portside whores?” As is “hey there sailor, nobody will discover penicillin for hundreds of years.” That gives me the willies.

Cincinnati Reds:
I'm drinking red wine right now that we ordered last night from a delivery service called Booze Carriage. It was raining and we were too lazy to go out. It comes in a little box that has a house drawn on it. Also, being from the Midwest and all, Cincinnati is a REALLY hard word for me to say in any normal sounding way.

Marge Schott. She’s another one. She’s the prototype for Paula Deen awful.

Milwaukee Brewers:
Beer city USA.

I went to a Brewers game and sat in the cheap seats and saw a guy barf into his hat.

Chicago Cubs:
I feel sentimental about this team. More than any other sports team I have been to the most Cubs games, hands down. I've been to three.

I used to live on the street in front of the street where the Cubs play. The name of my street was Southport and there was a DQ on the corner, which was both amazing and a big big problem. One time I was sitting on the outside patio of the DQ eating a dipped cone and an old man popped up from behind a brick wall and blew cigarette smoke like directly into my ice cream.

I was just around the corner from that DQ, Kelly. It sucks.


Los Angeles Dodgers:

Oh no! You just accidentally whatevered Yasiel Puig, Kelly! You can’t do that or you’ll disappear like Michael J. Fox’s hand in Back to the Future!

Arizona Diamondbacks:
Too hot to leave the house here. Watch the games on TV if you can.

They have a pool.

San Francisco Giants:
You're probably not allowed to smoke anywhere near this stadium. I also can't think of a snack that San Francisco is known for. Salmon burgers? Would you go here and eat a salmon burger? That might be refreshing.

For some reason that sounds disgusting to me.

Colorado Rockies:
Sister team to the Philadelphia Rockies.

Yep. There is a team called that. It’s the only team named after a geological formation, and zzzzzzzz (that’s the sound of every vagina in America going dry because I recited that factoid).

San Diego Padres:
I bet the majority of players on this team have mustaches.

They should do that instead of always wearing camouflage.

Well, there you have it, folks. Baseball. It’s here. It’s happening.

Huge Feelings: Lou Loves Willie - A Video by Contributor Lindsey Baker

By: Lindsey Baker

As you should be knowing by now, Total Bozo contributor Lindsey Baker makes amazing videos that we can't personally talk too much about because we don't know shit about art. Thankfully Lindsey Baker knows a great deal of shit about art, so much so that Bozo #1, Ben Johnson, referred to her videos as "MESMERIZING" the other day via text message.

Here is Lindsey's latest, the first video of a series called Huge Feelings entitled "Lou Loves Willie. 

For more from Lindsey Baker, keep an eye on her website HERE.


I Read A Book: Over Easy by Mimi Pond

By: Kelly McClure

My favorite part of any average day is the first two hours. I get up, wash my face, make coffee, and then sit in my leather reading chair in the corner of the apartment and read until it's time to do work stuff. Sometimes I get distracted from what I'm reading because there's this little hamster ghost in my head that keeps making me think things like "you better look around and make sure all the paintings are straight," or "who in the building across the street has the ugliest curtains?" But sometimes, and these are the best times, everything around me falls away and I get lost in a different world for a little bit. Not only am I getting lost in someone else's various situations, but I'm also holding this clump of paper that smells real good, while also drinking coffee that smells good, and makes me feel good. It's just an all around nice thing, and a thing that has been consistently good in the same good way since I was a kid.
My girlfriend and I spend a lot of time on our Amazon wishlists - adding and subtracting shit we want to buy - and then buying it. On average, we probably collectively buy six books a month on Amazon. If we're reading a book and don't have one or two waiting in the pipe, we feel like we're just really shitting the bed. Even better than buying books from Amazon is getting books sent to us for free in the mail, which is something that happens sometimes.

I used to work for a magazine so people liked to send me free things to write about. Now I don't work for a magazine, so no one gives a shit about me, but Drawn & Quarterly does for some reason, and they still send me all of their titles for free a month or so before they're out, which I enjoy very much. The most recent one they sent is a graphic novel called Over Easy written by Mimi Pond. According to the author's page in the back of the book, Mimi Pond wrote the pilot episode for The Simpsons, which is an admirable achievement.

Over Easy is about the years taking place in the late 70's/early 80's in which Mimi worked as first a dishwasher, and then a waitress at a diner in Oakland, California. In the press release for the book, and in the book itself, the diner is called the Imperial Cafe, but in real life it seems to be called Mama's Royal Cafe. I figured this out because the author said that it was called that in her "thanks" section. 

The book is 271 pages and it took me less than two days to read at the rate of two hours a day. So in conclusion, this book took me four hours to read. When it comes to graphic novels, two things I most enjoy seeing are 1) the insides of people's apartments, and 2) the insides of diners. This book has both of those things. 

The Imperial Cafe/Mama's Royal Cafe looks like this in real life:

And this is what her co-workers looked like when she worked there:

I highly suggest spending some time with this book  even if you don't get it sent in the mail to you for free, and have to buy it on Amazon or somewhere else.

That's it. This was a book review.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Case for Baby Tailgating

By: Pete Johnson

My friend Mike is having a baby today. I am genuinely excited for Mike, and for his wife Wendy, who when they first started dating we all called “his fwendy.”  I got a text message from him saying that the baby is on the way at 11:52am this morning, which if I was in Mike’s immediate family would be just about perfect timing for “hey look I get to leave work now and go be nervous and excited about Mike having a baby all day.” Instead, I’m still at work. I’m getting the occasional exciting text about baby progress, but am otherwise still just having a pretty shitty day at work. This is all happening because baby tailgating isn’t a thing. It should be.

I love Mike, but I’m not really in the small group of people in his sphere who should be comfortable rushing to the hospital to go be with him during baby time. My boss doesn’t know that. I’m sure if I had hopped into my boss’ office at 11:53am this morning all flustered and said “my friend Mike is having a baby! I gotta run to the hospital!” he would have been totally cool with me taking the rest of the day off to be genuinely excited about my friend Mike’s first baby. I also could have said those exact same words and then gone home and farted into my couch in between getting exciting baby texts instead of having a shitty day at work in between getting exciting baby texts. But I didn’t do either of those things.

I certainly didn’t choose not to do those things because I am dedicated to my job, or because I don’t like farting into my couch. I would run into my boss’ office all flustered and tell him I had just fucked a chicken if this was a socially accepted excuse to take the rest of the day off from work and fart into my couch all day. In such a fantasy world, I would do that EVERY DAY. It is THAT EASY to lie about having fucked a chicken. Excuses are arbitrary. All a good excuse needs to exist is for when you say it out loud at the office, every(boss)y’s response is an immediate “Oh my god! You’ve gotta get out of here! No, no, I won’t hear it!” It works for deaths or births in the family. It could just as easily work for chicken fucking. All it would take is a boss of the correct mindset to honestly think, “You just fucked a chicken, yeah yeah, say no more, go home and take the rest of the day off while you recover from that.”

The thing is, we as a people can decide what things we have that reaction to, and viola, more days off from work. It might happen slowly, but if enough people and eventually enough bosses start agreeing, we can make anything a totally legit excuse from work. It’s been working pretty well for snow days in Maryland. I submit that it is not every day that a person gets to meet a new baby that they care about. I also submit that a baby being born is very special thing, in the sense that bosses are usually pretty cool about it.

In fact, a baby being born is already a way legit excuse to miss work. The only reason I'm not at the hospital right now in my own nice little boss-judgment-free zone is that hospital waiting rooms suck. Bosses know this, and it explains their forgiving attitude about letting you leave the office with their blessing. “You’re going someplace more awful than this due to something that won’t happen often? Be my guest.”

The thing is, the waiting room is not the only place you can excitedly wait for a baby to be born.

When my brother had a baby a while ago, I warned my boss ahead of time that I was going to drop everything and run to the hospital. I knew I wanted to be there no matter what, to meet this baby when it was still purple and sticky. I knew this so early that I had time to think about how much hospital waiting rooms suck, and even the birth of my first nephew was not enough to have me over the moon about spending an indecipherable amount of time in one. So we tailgated in the hospital parking lot.

I put together a kit ready to go at a moment’s notice, and 25 minutes after I got the text I was sitting in a comfy chair with a beer, waiting for the grill to warm up and my nephew to get borned. Family and friends came as quick they could, we toasted to the future, and 5 hours later I held my nephew for the first time. It was great, and it should totally be a thing.

If Mike had a baby tailgate party, I would be have been there at 12:08. I wouldn't even have tried to lie my boss about it. Not only is my close friend Mike about to have a baby I am excited about one day teaching how to gamble, but there is a tailgate in the parking lot, and I get to go because: babies, end of story. It would work because I’d have a valid case for being there when new little Mike Jr. is born, and also because even my boss would have to admit it is pretty genius.

If baby tailgating became a thing, and I honestly in my bones think it could, you could leave work and go hang out in a parking lot with your friends every time someone you are feasibly close enough with has a baby. That would be like sprinkling in 10-20 extra July fourth holidays, 20-50 if you know a lot of Catholics, into your life, at random times, and you’d have no idea how long each one would last. How is this not a thing?

Next time one of your loved ones has a baby, consider having a tailgate party in the hospital parking lot to wait for it to be born, and then tell everyone (especially bosses) how great it was. If not for me, do it for the imaginary person in the future who might one day take three consecutive days off from their shitty job because their cousin’s friend’s husband went into labor and it took forever.

And also me. Do it for me. I’d much rather be in a parking lot with my friends than here getting shit from Pam because I just accidentally gave my boss his own birthday card to sign.

Oh man! Mike’s baby is here. Never mind, do it for little Brayden Thomas Anderson. Welcome to the world little buddy. If I can pull it off, someday you’ll get a chance to write your boss an email that says “I’m out of here for a while, go fuck yourself” as politely as possible, and you’ll get away with it. I’m all about boss science and the future.

@johnny11hours (not an active Twitter user)