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  INCOMING! OCTOBER 4, 2004.  


The week "gets off" to a rousing start with the celebration of International Toot Your Flute Day. In the same way that the religious origins of Christmas have been overshadowed by mall Santa Clauses, the true reason for this season has been obliterated by a continent full of dirty masturbators and their disgusting double entendres.

No, the spirit of Toot Your Flute Day is not found in the perverse pleasures of an amateur teen Web site but in the purity of the shameless self-promotion. It's about the basic goodness of making a cell phone call after scoring a touchdown in a nationally televised football game. It's about the satisfaction of making yourself a celebrity following the "accidental" release of a homemade sex tape. It's about the freedom to walk into your boss's office with a stack of accounting reports, slam them on his desk and say, "Who runs this shit? That's right, I do, motherfucker."

VH-1 commemorates the holiday in their own special way with a three hour marathon of this season's "Surreal Life," where has-beens like Brigitte Nielsen, Flavor Flav, Jordan Knight and Dave Coulier celebrate themselves as only they can. Since last week's Black List had its own Flavor Flav reminiscence from a former white suburban teenager, it's only fitting that I add to the tribute. As a 13-year old from north of Pittsburgh, I was waiting for a ride following my first concert ever



(Public Enemy, Digital Underground, Yo-Yo and the mysteriously named Young Black Teenagers) when a fully cold lampin' Flav appears outside of the auditorium. Flocked by a small harem of young male admirers, he breaks into an impromptu, unprovoked sermon where he instructs us to "stay in school, and if you ever get a woman pregnant, take care of your responsibilities." Thanks, Flav! Hopefully you'll do the same if you knock up Mark Gastineau's old chick.




Dick Cheney will bring his winning personality and youthful optimism to the "Mistake On The Lake" as Cleveland hosts the campaign season's only Vice Presidential debate. Let's hope John Edwards forsakes the aw-shucks routine for one night and reverts into hardcore ambulance chaser mode, hammering Cheney's Halliburton ties and overall sinister nature.

It won't be all business for the candidates during their stay in "The New American City." Expect Cheney to check out the Queen and Sly & The Family Stone exhibits at the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame while Edwards recovers from a misguided photo op at Sunday's Browns game, where the shirtless Senator was captured in orange body paint gnawing Milk Bones with fans in the Dawg Pound.

Speaking of frothing disheveled men, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 is out on DVD today. Gotta think that'll be a big-seller at the Wal-Mart.

Today also marks the beginning of the baseball playoffs, or as they call it in Pittsburgh, "Tuesday." Could this be the year the Red Sox finally defeat their evil counterparts in the Bronx? Not likely. Perhaps trying to reverse the effects of last season's "Cowboy Up" buzzcuts, several Sox



players have been rocking some rather notorious manes. I can get with Johnny Damon's caveman 'do, Pedro's "Cool It Now" era New Edition throwback and Manny's Sideshow Bob routine … but there is no way -- absolutely no way -- that any team with a bleached blond cornrow-sporting Bronson Arroyo wins a pennant. That Japanese gay porn actor/relief pitcher from the Indians is embarrassed for Bronson. It doesn't matter what Arroyo does at this point; once you take the field looking like the fifth member of Color Me Badd, terrible things are destined to happen.




Looks like all of you double caramel mocha latte whatever addicts will need to turn a few extra tricks to keep your lips adhered to the disposable paper dicks: Starbucks is raising the price of all beverages by eleven cents on Wednesday. Instead of the crappy folk pop and sanitized classics that


serenade customers, they should just start filtering "Dopeman" by NWA and Curtis Mayfield's "I'm Your Pusher" through the speaker system. Dress the baristas in Nino Brown style purple suits. Rather than the generic corporate responsibility mantras that litter their Web site, the company should just embrace slogans like "The World is Mine" and "Sit your five dollar ass down before I make change." Thanks to the bean cartel's global domination plans, we all might as well live in The Carter.



It's only been two days since the start of NBA training camps, and given the tumultuous offseason we can only imagine that one if not all of the following scenarios have already taken place.

-- Texas health officials note a frightening increase in the number of newly reported herpes cases in the Houston area at a level unseen since San Antonio's infamous Rodman strain in the early 90's. Newly acquired Rockets forward Juwan Howard claims that the outbreak is purely a coincidence.

-- The Lakers seem bent on placating franchise


player Kobe Bryant's desire to recreate historical Laker moments. Owner Jerry Buss has asked new coach Rudy Tomjanovich to allow Bryant, wearing a throwback "Washington" jersey, to cold cock him at midcourt of the Staples Center prior to their January 7 game against Houston. The team's public relations department is also working on another scenario where Bryant gets busted in a prostitution sting, a la James Worthy.

-- The Suns swing a three-way deal with Sacramento and New Jersey which results in Jason Kidd and Doug Christie arriving in the desert. The result is a horrific failure in which Kidd, Christie and Quentin Richardson accidentally scramble each other's on-court hand signals, prompting Mrs. Christie to physically attack Mrs. Kidd, Richardson to bring Kidd's son to press conferences and Christie to fall madly in love with Darius Miles.




It's Bush vs. Kerry, Part II, which can only mean one thing. After a resounding victory in the first debate, Kerry and his young protégé John Edwards travel to exotic Missouri where the rolling Mississippi River reminds him of his days on the Mekong Delta. While Bush was content to play the smirking bully in the first installment of the debates, he resorts to his Yale persona this time around, taunting the equally privileged Kerry for running away to the jungles of Vietnam instead of sticking around New England to cheerlead and snort coke. Bush begins the debate by standing on the podium and uttering a blood curdling "KERRRRRRRRYYYYYYYYYY!" before pronouncing him a coward. Suddenly a tornado warning is broadcast throughout the auditorium as the audience scrambles to find the nearest basement.

But wait! Where's Jenna Bush? It appears that she was taking a drive with St. Louis Rams lineman Leonard Little and is trapped in an overturned car across the street. Kerry sprints into action and uses his Munster-like strength to overturn the vehicle, freeing the First Daughter just before the


storm hits. A wave of gratitude overcomes the President, and he apologizes to Kerry for all of the attack ads, vowing to seriously work together in realizing this country's promise. The rivals celebrate with a Missouri-themed festival featuring country acts from Branson, and St. Louis' own Nelly. Just as Edwards is ceremonially getting "Hot in Herre," an enraged Rick Santorum swings down from the rafters and challenges Edwards to fight to the death. Initially Edwards is no match for the mighty Santorum, who channels his hatred of homosexuals yet confused attraction to the handsome Southerner into a latent rage of fury. Suddenly the entire crowd begins waving their miniature American flags from left to right, shouting "USA! USA!" Edwards mimicks the motion of the patriotic symbols, punching left then right and repeating furiously until the right-wing blowhard is battered and unresponsive. The former trial lawyer stands over the barely conscious conservative and utters his closing argument.

"Unborn fetuses live or die, man? Live or die, man?"

"Live," replies Santorum.

"Wrong," counters the pro-choice Edwards, as he honks his opponent's embarrassed red nose.

It'll go something like that.


Chris Strauss stayed in school and handled his responsibilities. The Brooklyn based freelance writer was the former editor of online mag Gaffled before the domain name was jacked by Brazilian pornographers.


INCOMING! runs every Monday on The Black Table.