Friday, October 31, 2014

Twick or Tweet! Best tweets of October

Some day I’m going to dress for Halloween like a guy who really loves Halloween. No one will recognize me.

Yet again what was once a one-day holiday has become Sprawl-o-ween. We had a great time in our little borough Wednesday night. They usually have Halloween on the Wednesday preceding Halloween around here because that’s when the volunteer firefighters meet and they don’t want to disrupt their scheduled.

They do such great work I’d never dream of complaining about them disrupting everyone else’s. So we’re doing Halloween again tonight on Halloween. It’s just too much for me.

I guess that’s just selfish because on Friday night’s I like to dress like a guy who enjoys BSing in the bar all night.

For those of you who enjoy Halloween, have at it. I hope you have a great time.

For those of you who enjoy witty @8days2Amish — new followers welcome — tweets, well, these will just have to do.

• Hope I’m on jury the day group of accused arsonists respond with the musical plea, “We didn’t start the fire! It was always burnin’ . . .”

• CDC reports on binge drinking are too ironically sobering for binge drinkers to bother to read.

• People who live in glass houses shouldn’t.

• We live in an age where people display more affection for devices that play music than for the music devices play.

• I figure by my crude calculations you could probably fit about 5 queens in your typical queen-sized bed. Seven if you persuade 'em to spoon

• It’s surprising that a musical genre called hip hop doesn’t have a memorable song about the Easter Bunny.

• Think absolute power corrupts absolutely? Think again. Even the sun can’t shine ‘round the clock.

• Our greatest lie is anytime we say, “I hate to say I told you so, but...” Saying, “I told you so,” is one of life’s greatest joys.

• I wonder if other owls roll their eyes whenever they hear a "wise" guy owl describe something as a "real hoot.”

• I think I'm going to start a band called Ock 'n' Oll so promoters can say, "You can't spell Rock 'n' Roll without Ock 'n' Oll!”

• I love it when the wind makes the brittle leaves sound like they're applauding me. Or is it people in my head? Either way, I feel inspired.

• Just once I'd like to read a story about a some one shoplifting and learn the culprit actually lifted a shop.

• My phone message ends with, "And if this is a real emergency, please call 911," like people call me for medical advice

• We somehow wind up missing so much whenever we always end up going exactly where we think we need to go.

• It’ll be beneficial to both your healthfulness and disposition if you eat meals at places where food is prepared and not just assembled.

• Ebola, ISIL, etc. Some days it seems like Satan's either winning or God quit caring. Change starts at home. Spend day smiling at strangers

• The trouble w/ most people who blow their own horns is they rarely bother to obtain or learn to play actual horns. Hence, they merely blow.

• Funnel cakes and funnel clouds as threats don't seem like they'd be too different. Indeed, they are.

• Drug "czar?" C'mon! I'm so sick of silent letters! From now on it's drug "zar." Urz trule, Cris Rodl

• Any boss who, frankly, doesn’t give a damn why today you’re late for work is a Clock Gable. 

• I wonder how many centuries it’s been since a dragnet involved the actual dragging of a net.

• Given trends against public transportation and for finger pointing, at any given time more people are likely to be under the bus than on it.

• I know it's going to lead to trouble, but I can't resist putting lit matches under ears of strangers and asking, "Are your ears burning?”

• Savvy mechanics always wear CarGo pants.

• It’s out of my realm of experience, but I sometimes cheer myself up by humming the "Movin' On Up!" theme to #TheJeffersons

• If our bodies are, indeed, temples then how come everything that comes out of them is so disgusting?

• Bull-headed is meant to describe stubborn people. I prefer to use it in reference to people whose heads are full of bullshit.

• I reiterate: hyphen should be spelled hy-phen.

• There’s nothing hospitable about hospitals. We should call them docitals or discomfitals.

• We are all born free and spend the rest of our lives constructing prisons around ourselves.

• It’d be neat if our sneezes revealed our personalities. Cheerful people would sneeze confetti; sweet people jelly beans; politicians, crap.

• I believe most people are inherently good. The problem is most people are prone to outrageous bursts of stupidity and it's usually in cars.

• I so love baseball I'm intending to DVR tonight's final Game 7 and watching 2 pitches a night 'til spring training.

• I enjoying hanging with drunks ‘cuz you can tell same joke same way five times in one night and it’s always hilarious. Not so with sober wife.

• If ears had taste buds, mine would be salivating every time they hear Ray Wylie Hubbard.

• If everyone everywhere helped the people who are always helping people then no one no where would ever feel helpless again.

Related . . .

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Isn't it time we resurrected another Carpenter?

Me and my buddies enjoyed a spectacular post-Steeler game carouse Sunday with a young Australian couple. We met on a hotel shuttle and they wound up joining us for dinner at Fat Heads on Carson Street.

They were taking the kind of tour of America even most travel-seasoned Americans envy. San Francisco, Yosemite, Texas, Graceland, Washington, NYC — and Pittsburgh!

He was a carpenter and she was one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen.

Each was cheerful, engaging and prone to both laughter and inebriation.

We were all destined to be friends.

My buddies asked a lot of questions about their Aussie homeland, their impressions of America and what other destinations remain on their bucket lists.

I asked the carpenter his thoughts on the identity of history’s greatest carpenter.

“Why, Jesus, of course!”

That’s probably the safe answer the Australian state department recommends for anyone traveling to a country that’s just lousy with so many Christian conservatives.


In fact, Jesus was probably a pathetic carpenter.

First of all, if His carpentry was at all competent some of his stuff would have endured. Really, if in the year 1 A.D., you had a swing set that had been built by the crucified Savior, wouldn’t it be something you’d have cherished and preserved? Even one of the Roman pagans would have said, “You know, I may not have agreed with all that ‘love-thy-neighbor’ crap, but I think I’ll hang onto this lunch box He made. Might be worth something one day.”

Why, Pat Robertson would pay a fortune for a lunch box built by Jesus.

Second, who’d hire a hourly wage carpenter as chatty as Jesus must have been?

He’d be standing there saying all His preachy Jesusisms like “The meek shall inherit the Earth,” and, uh, “Live long and prosper!” when all you want Him to do is shut up and stabilize the shelves.

Really, He probably should have been a bartender.

“Well,” the Aussie asked, “who’s a better carpenter than Jesus?”

My answer floored him.

Karen was the better Carpenter.

Karen Carpenter was 32 in 1983 when she died from complications stemming from anorexia, or about the same age as Jesus when He died from complications stemming from crucifixion. So next March she’ll be dead as for as long as she’d been alive.

If there’s ever been a wave of Karen Carpenter nostalgia, I must’ve missed it. I worry that she’s being forgotten.

Not by me.

I spend a lot of car time listening to WCNS-AM, the local Latrobe radio. They play a pleasing variety of oldies in the morning whenever I’m seeking a clear mind for what Moe Howard always called “real thinkin’.”

The station’s motto, “It’s Yesterday Once More,” is a nod to The Carpenters and a voice that never fails to move me.

Recall for a moment these hits: “Only Yesterday,” “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Close To You,” “Superstar,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” “Top of the World,” “Hurting Each Other,” and “Won’t Last a Day Without You.”

Each is a wonderfully crafted pop song, all of them anchored by Karen’s angelic contralto.

Did you know she always considered herself more of a drummer than a singer, and that she in 1975 was voted by Playboy readers as rock’s top drummer? Whether the results were a goof or not, I do not know, but I do know the man who came in second, John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, took them seriously enough to ungraciously say her drumming sucked and she “couldn’t last 10 minutes with a Zeppelin song.”

He must have been a humorless jerk.

It would have been funny if Oscar the Grouch would have challenged him to drum on “Sing” with him and the rest of the Sesame Street gang out front.

Her suitors included Steve Martin, Tony Danza, and Mark Harmon, a classy group of relevant gents and testaments to her charming appeal.

Her urgent desire to have children may have played a role in her hasty decision to in 1981 marry a real estate developer named Thomas James Burris. The marriage ended about a year later after he revealed he’d concealed the fact he’d undergone a vasectomy prior to the courtship.

I’ve never heard of Thomas James Burris, but if I ever meet a man who says, “Hi! I’m Thomas James Burris!” I’ll recall his cruel deception and rip his head right off.

Today, her brother and bandmate Richard Carpenter is an avid arts supporter and in 2004 donated $3 million in Karen’s memory to a local arts foundation.

So that’s my story of why I think Karen was the better Carpenter.

It’s such a shame she died so young and tragically. I wish we could bring her back, but I know we can’t.

I guess the best we can hope for is that someone one day will give her outstanding music a proper resurrection.

Related . . .

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hoping for Game 7 extra-extra innings

I’m thinking of DVRing tonight’s World Series game 7 and watching just two pitches every night until the game’s concluded about four months from now.

See, I like to savor my baseball.

No matter who wins tonight, I lose. I’ll be without baseball until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training Feb. 11.

But I recognize inherent flaws in my plan.

First of all, I’d have to avoid all sports news or risk getting blindsided with a spoiler of historic proportions.

Second, I could be settling in to watch two pivotal bottom-of-the-eighth inning pitches in late January and find the whole ingenious project ruined when my daughter deletes the game to make room for a “My Little Pony” episode she’s already seen 79 times but simply must see again. 

Third, I’d have to stop going to the bar where sports talk dominates, and if there’s one thing I need to help get me through winter without baseball, it’s bar banter.

I think I’m drawn to baseball because it’s maybe the most sublime waste of time man’s ever invented. 

Each of the 30 teams plays 162 games. That’s 2,430 regular season games, with about 40 October playoff contests. With 25 men on each roster, that’s about 121,500 human interest stories right there. Some players win, some lose. Some perform heroically, some can’t hit the cut-off man.

Throw in a supporting cast of inept managers, drunken fans, horny groupies and gaffe-prone team announcers and it’s like reading the Bible while some unseen organist plays “Take Me Out To the Ballgame.”

It’s a cornucopia of meaningless conversation. That’s something I relish.

So many conversations these days are like warfare. The combatants concede no ground and will talk/shout until their opponent either submits or dies.

People involved in baseball conversations are more philosophical and enjoy sprinkling their insights with trivia useful to other baseball people.

And unlike nearly everything else in life, baseball is barely troubled about how long it takes to play baseball. Some see that as a flaw. They are mistaken.

It is a virtue.

A baseball game could conceivably last forever. That’s why when I tell I tell my wife I’m going to attend a baseball game, she knows there’s a chance she might never see me again.

This would be different from what happened last week to a 53-year-old father at a Denver Bronco game. He said he was going to the bathroom — and just disappeared. There was no trace of him. No call. No hospital admission. No suicide note blaming Roger Goodell for ruining the NFL.

Thankfully, he was found about 100 miles south of Denver, alive and unharmed, five days after the game’s final whistle. No explanations were forthcoming so we’re left to assume the lines to the men’s rooms that night were just really, really long.

It’d be different at a baseball game. 

The longest game I’ve ever attended was 16-inning marathon in 1997 when the Pirates beat — who else? — the Chicago Cubs. We were there for 7 1/2 hours.

We had no intention of leaving, even though MLB rules cruelly require the teams stop serving beer after the 7th inning. At the end me and my buddies congratulated ourselves for having stayed mostly alert for the whole thing with only a couple of brief naps.

I invite you to read the top link below to learn stories of what happened in 1981when two minor league teams featuring future HOFers Cal Ripken and Wade Boggs played a game that lasted 33 1/3 innings.

My dream is to attend a baseball game that never ends.

In fact, that’s in some ways my idea of heaven. The green grass, the crack of the bat, the smell of the popcorn and all that glorious ballpark humanity.

Maybe that’s what’s in store for tonight.

Maybe we’re all about to be treated to one of the greatest baseball games ever played.

That’d be great.

I just hope I don’t snooze through the end.

Related . . .

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My celebrity friend & four brushes with fame

I’m not famous, but I know one famous man. He’s Arnold Palmer, a good guy to know, especially if you’re a blogger looking to add a little sizzle to a line up that sometimes includes mundane topics like socks and potato chips.

I know someone else you’ve never heard of. He’s not world famous, but he is famous to many famous people so today I want to tell you a little about Rudy.

We’ve been friends for 20 years. He’s the only guy I know who says if he hits the lottery he’s moving to Pittsburgh. That doesn’t make him weird.

It makes him tasteful.

He grew up in Puerto Rico and, naturally, became a fan of the great Pittsburgh Pirate, Roberto Clemente. He became obsessed with Clemente and the American city where the great Roberto played baseball.

That was about the same time another team from Pittsburgh started becoming world famous.

It was the Pittsburgh Steelers, teams famous for great players like Jack Lambert, Joe Greene, Franco Harris and a cast of future Hall of Famers.

Rudy eventually moved to New York City and earned a commercial driver’s license.

We met through my old college roommate John, now a long-time New Yorker who is famous among my small circle of blog readers as the friend my Mom mistakenly thinks is gay and who once sat idly by while I nearly choked to death.

John and Rudy are two of the most rabid Steeler fans I’ve ever known. They’re the kind of fans who become furious in any season the Steelers don’t finish as undefeated Super Bowl champions.

Talking football with them always makes my head hurt.

But, naturally, the two were destined to meet. They became friends at a Manhattan bar that was proud to host Steeler fans on game days.
John told Rudy he’d have to come to Pittsburgh to see a game at old Three Rivers Stadium. John knew a guy who was a long-time Steeler season ticket holder.

That’s how I became famous to Rudy.

It’s been for 20 years one of the best weekends of the year. Rudy, John and about five or six other guys storm the city. We stay at a hotel near the stadium and just really whoop it up.

Rudy asks how I’m doing.

I tell him I’m still friends with Arnold Palmer so I must be doing something right.

Then I ask how he’s doing. His answer often sounds something like this:

“Well, I had to drive Streisand to Philly last month and this week I have Reece Witherspoon and Stella McCartney. I was able to squeeze De Niro in between juggling Gwyneth and Chris Martin. That’s been dicey since they split and he started dating Jennifer Lawrence, but she’s cool so it’s all working out.”

Rudy is one of Manhattan’s top celebrity limo drivers.

I knew this when I was working for National Enquirer, but never wanted to impinge on our friendship by pumping him for juicy tidbits on any of his famous passengers. In the world of celebrity journalism, it was a rare instance of someone too ethical to tell colliding with someone too lazy to ask.

One of my favorite things to do is scroll through his phone directory and see my name wedged between Scarlett Johansson and Kate Upton, the only time “Chris Rodell” will ever be wedged between two celebrity babes and the image makes me tingle.

The great thing about Rudy is he’s not an obnoxious name dropper like, say, I am about Arnold Palmer. He’s utterly professional. I can see why people who are picky about what’s reported about them are so fond of Rudy.

So I’d feel sheepish about sharing any of the details he’s shared with me, save one: He says Mike Myers is one of the world’s greatest guys. They’ve become true friends and Myers and he often just hang out.

I find that very cool because I’m a big Mike Myers fan.

I’d like to think that one day Rudy will introduce us and we’ll all be great friends hanging out here in Latrobe. Or the Hamptons, if that’s more convenient.

See, unlike Rudy, I still get starry-eyed around celebrities. So here are some of my brushes with fame four famous and historically-significant Americans.

• Michael Jordan — This was at Mario Lemeiux Celebrity Golf Tournament in about 1999. I was doing stories for Maximum Golf magazine. Jordan  was at the peak of his fame and had ground rules that reporters weren’t allowed to speak to him. We were told he was not to be addressed or approached. I didn’t give a shit. I fell in line with a group of about five handlers who were running interference for him as he walked from the practice range to the first tee. I was holding a copy of the magazine and said, “Uh, Mr. Jordan?” As I spoke, two of the handlers turned to glare at me and shake their heads. They took their jobs very seriously. I continued: “This is a copy of the new Maximum Golf magazine. We predict in six months it’s going to be more popular than Playboy. We’d like to put your picture on the cover. We think it’ll make you famous.” Even the sourpusses cracked up. Jordan, chuckling, told me to contact his management. That was the end of that.

• Garth Brooks — Did you know my wife used to be the country music queen of Pittsburgh? It’s true. She wrote the “Country Connections” column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. I thought it would have been more successful if they’d have called it, “Fiddlin’ ‘round with Val.” But we used to see all the big country acts: Alan Jackson, Reba, George Strait and the great Garth Brooks, maybe music’s least likely superstar until Susan Boyle. Brooks was kicking off a string of concerts in Pittsburgh and Val got invited to a press conference and I got to tag along. It was packed. There were about 50 journalists there so you can guess how stuffy it was. Lots of pretentious questions about his impact, his sales, etc. I couldn’t abide the boredom. So I raised my hand. He nodded in my direction (Val, incidentally, was glaring at me the way Jordan’s handlers did). I said, “Given your popularity with your female fans, have you ever thought of doing a book like Madonna’s?” Madonna had just released her naughty book of nudie bondage shots. I caught Brooks in mid-sip. He nearly shot the water out his nostrils. He howled with laughter. Everyone did. Never underestimate the power of a stupid question asked with a straight face.

• Jimmy Carter — One of my first assignments as a young reporter in Nashville was to cover a symposium featuring Presidents Carter and Gerald Ford. It was 1986. President Reagan was riding high. At the press conference following the talk,  they were taking turns answering questions. That’s when I raised my hand and mustered up the courage to ask Carter, whose turn it was to answer, a real toughie: “Where did your administration fail where President Reagan’s has succeeded and does he ever seek your advice?” It was a ballsy question for a kid to ask a former president. Clearly, Carter’s presidency had been a failure and everyone knew Reagan wouldn’t call Carter for advice if Nancy’d locked him out of the White House and he needed to know where Carter hid the spare keys. And Carter was eager to answer. But then out of the blue, Ford jumps in out of turn. He blusters: “I’ll let history be the judge if my administration was a failure or not, and I’m very close to the Reagan White House, why just the other day . . .” And he went on and on about how buddy-buddy he and the Gipper were. Carter, meanwhile, kept raising his hand to get a word in edgewise. But Ford’s excessive yapping ran out the clock. The session ended. I’ll never forget the friendly smile on Carter’s face as he shrugged and disappeared through the curtain. I’ve always wondered about what he’d have said if that big mouth Ford had shut up for even a second.

• Tone-Loc — I met the rapper at a ’99 New Orleans convention of TV producers where he was promoting a show. Tone had two big hits — “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina.” We talked for a minute and I can’t remember a word he said, but he was kind enough to give me an autographed business card. It read: “Call Tone anytime and get your Funky Cold Medina!”

Someday I’m going to find that card and I’m going to call Tone for my Funky Cold Medina.

It’s not exactly like getting invited to spend the weekend with Mike Myers at his Hamptons pad, but it’ll have to do.

Related . . .

Friday, October 24, 2014

My facial procedure & aversion to big ass needles

The unbidden gusher of tears came squirting out of my face the instant the dermatologist stuck the needle into the soft skin one half inch below my left eye.

I felt an instantaneous wooziness that usually takes about three hours, two cigars and a half a bottle of bourbon to acquire more organically.

I’d gone to the doctor to have a small growth removed. I’d had it removed once before in 2009. It grew back. If friends said they didn’t notice it, I think they were just being polite.

My 8-year-old, an unflinching accountant of fatherly flaws, enjoys pressing it when I’m laying down until I say, “Doooot!

To me, it was huge and ugly. My vanity would not abide it.

The doctor told me he was going to biopsy the mass to determine whether or not it was cancerous.

I told him not to bother.

It’s not cancerous.

I have foreseen my death and won’t be in some sterile hospital bed. It will be out of doors and it will be violent.

It’ll be in the year 2055 on my 91st birthday. I have a vision of me stumbling out of a local bar and right into the path of a speeding bus. Witnesses will swear they saw my soul shoot straight up to heaven and that my soul wasn’t wearing pants.

My death will make news all around the world because the bus will just miss striking Keith Richards, too. 

I believe Keith will one day hear about what a great drinking buddy I can be and will venture to Latrobe to see for himself. And then Keith’ll never leave.

Or die.

Moments before the doctor had been starting at my face and intermittently speaking a language that was either Latin or gibberish. His pretty assistant was taking notes and nodding like she understood and cared deeply about my pending disfigurement.

He told me I had nice skin.

I asked if he was hitting on me.

He pretended he didn’t hear me and just kept staring like he was trying to hypnotize me, which I’d be fine with if it’d save me a buck or two on anesthesia.

I view my body the way I view my utilitarian vehicle. I don’t love or pamper it. I demand it be mobile in all conditions and take without complaint the necessary beating it requires to travel with reckless abandon through all life’s obstacles.

I like that my body has a high pain tolerance and has survived some hangovers so severe they equate, I believe, to the female birth ordeal, but am baffled why it so weakens whenever a needle pierces the skin.

Of course, I like to think even John Wayne would wobble seeing a big needle coming straight for his eyeball.

What’s funny is right after the needle prick began my foreseen slide into oblivion is right when the doctor started feeling chatty. He began asking me a bunch of questions while he chiseled away chunks of my face.

“So what do you do?”

I’m a writer.

“What do you write?”

I told him about the crayon book and slurred some examples. He liked the one about telling friends you’re going to open an art gallery and have them enter a room with nothing on the walls and be greeted by 40 guys who say nothing but, “Hi, I’m Art!”

“You know, I should write a book about being a dermatologist. I have some great stories.”

I told him I thought he was onto something. A book about a skin doctor would be a huge hit because none of the nudity would be forced or gratuitous. Throw in a little exam room bondage and maybe make the doctor a vampire and he’d have a bestseller: “Fifty Shades of Flesh.”

The whole procedure took about 6 minutes. They let me lay there with a cool towel on my forehead for about 20 minutes before I could resume mobility.

So in order to get rid of a small blemish no one really noticed, I’m now walking around with a huge navel-sized bandage on my face everyone notices.

People have been very considerate. They ask concerned questions and tell me they hope I’ll be all right. No one’s been jagging me.

It’s very comforting and more prudent than cruel mockery.

You don’t want to see what happens when a guy like me gets needled.

Related . . .

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dreamt I got a parking ticket (woke up pissed)

I woke up this morning with the memory of a terrible dream in my head. It wasn’t a nightmare. It was just really annoying.

I dreamt I got a parking ticket!

Yes, great men like Martin Luther King Jr. have dreams that all men will be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

I dreamt I’d been wronged by the meter maid.

So I woke up all pissed off.

Parking tickets are one of the most annoying aspects of modern life. Heck, as we’ll soon see, they’ve been one of the most annoying aspects of life since 700 years before Jesus drove a donkey.

Those of us who pay to park probably do so legally about 80 percent of the time. We read the signs, pump the meter and race the clock.

But about 20 percent of the time we’re on the cheat. We play the odds. We see the meter maid down the street and figure we can get back before we’re busted.

Most of the time that’s just the way it works out.

Some of the times it does not.

And it’s infuriating. We plead for understanding. We make excuses. And it’s usually just a humiliating waste of time.

We’re stuck paying the parking ticket.

I’ve been issued scores of them, some of them for as much as $40, in downtown Pittsburgh where I often push the scofflaw envelope.

It’s in part because city parking meters have become so complicated. In fact, many true meters are gone. In their place are remote stations much less convenient than popping a quarter in a slot

I hate it, too, because the stations — if they’re even working — eliminate the joy of finding a meter with time to mooch. Now, you often pay for more than you need and the time you paid for expires. Both you and the next guy are screwed.

It reminds me of a favorite Henry David Thoreau quote about the how it is impossible to kill time without injuring eternity.

City parking authorities do it all the time.

Amazingly, small town Latrobe is at the vanguard of hassle-free parking.

We have a great smart phone system called Pango (Pay ’n’ go). It’s simple and fair. The system is available in 11 cities including Boston, Scranton, Alexandria, Va., and amazingly, Latrobe.

Too bad Pango wasn’t available in my dream.

I remember arguing with the stupid meter maid that no one was around, that I was on business, etc.

It was no use. The tyrannical old bitch still gave me the ticket.

You’d think the history of parking tickets would have begun with the advent of motor vehicles.

You would be mistaken.

It’s true, they began becoming a popular form of easy government revenue back in 1926 when vehicular congestion started becoming a problem.

I’ve always wondered if old West sheriffs ever issued parking tickets for unattended horses outside rowdy saloons. I’ve never found any stories relating those facts.

I wonder if it was because, unlike tucking a ticket under a windshield wiper, there was no place convenient to put one on a pony.

If the revelation makes you nostalgic for the days when bucolic horses reigned, you haven’t thought it the whole way through.

Sure, cars are a major source of pollution, but so in their own way were horses. And say what you want about choking vehicular exhaust, you can’t step in big pile of smog.

Interestingly, the very first parking citations pre-dated cars by about 2600 years.

Archeologists say the first evidence of parking restrictions were found in a dig near ancient Nineva, the 700 BC capital of Assyria. They say they found a sign that read, “ROYAL ROAD — LET NO MAN DECREASE IT.”

I wonder if they found the sign on a pole on a sidewalk next to an ancient fire hydrant.

From Wikipedia: “The penalty for parking a chariot on this road was death followed by impaling outside one’s own home.”

Even though the old laws had some inherent deterrents, I still imagine scofflaws were common. I mean for people in a hurry death and public corpse mutilation is only slightly worse than The Boot.

I guess the lesson is this: We should be grateful that parking tickets are merely a nuisance because the penalties used to be much tougher.

So, too, I guess, were the meter maids.

Related . . .