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  INCOMING! NOVEMBER 22, 2004.  


It's a short work week! The week of Thanksgiving is always a fun one in the corporate world, because unless you're one of those poor souls who works on Wall Street -- and therefore has to suffer through a pointless, inactive and infuriating Friday of picking your nose and sticking it under your desk all day -- you're essentially going to sleepwalk through Monday and Tuesday, leave at noon on Wednesday and then you're free free free!

So, Monday is a day to set yourself up for an unproductive, self-indulgent 20 hours of company time. If you're firewall free, may we suggest Limewire? If you're not afraid of getting your ass kicked by Eminem and D12, we hear the new album is worth listening to … well, worth listening to if it's free anyway! Also, as long as you know your boss isn't going to be sneaking up behind you anytime soon, you'd be remiss not to go try out the glory that is Tammy, the girl. If you don't know Tammy yet, Tammy is like the "Subservient Chicken" Burger King guy who was out on the Web a while back. You can type in commands to Tammy, just like the chicken, and she will follow your instructions, in real-time.

The only difference, of course, is that Tammy is a hot blonde with enormous breasts, and the chicken was, all told, pretty creepy.

Because we don't work on Wall Street and



therefore do have a short work week, we, for the sake of The Black Table readers, have been playing around on, trying to find out what makes Tammy tick. This was our weekend, actually.

We've discovered our favorites so far. The Black Table gives them to you, for free. This isn't rocket science; you probably would have come across them on your own. But still. You'll thank us for saving you the time.

"Kiss a friend."
"Show me your tattoo."
"Sing a song."
"Dance topless."
"Pour me a beer."
"Have a pillow fight."

So, um, yeah. You know, if you're bored.

Oh, President Kennedy was assassinated 41 years ago today. But who cares!




You thought they were brought here to save the world, and we assure you, they were, they were. But that's not all U2 is up to! They're apparently making music too.

The much-acclaimed, hard-rockin', we-swear-Nelson-Mandela-or-The-Pope-have-nothing-to-do-with-how-we-play-guitar How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb is released worldwide today, or, if you're really nerdy, last night at midnight. (What's the age when you become too old to wait in line at midnight to buy albums anymore? 25? 30? 10?)

U2's last album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, made the band really popular again -- if just because Bono wasn't doing that weird Mestipho character anymore -- but, mainly, the album was two or three good radio songs and a bunch of filler. The critics have been much kinder to this new one, which is excellent, because those late '20s/early '30s girls who think Bono is The Most Important Man Alive, were really into Noam Chomsky in college before ultimately taking a public relations


job and still tear up when they listen to the first half of The Joshua Tree -- which, of course, is every day -- need some happy news these days. After all, they're all going to be awfully busy on Thanksgiving, still answering to all their relatives why they're still not married.

Also, Interpol secretary Ronald Noble is heading to Pakistan today to work with Pakistani officials on their attempts to stop money laundering and human smuggling. With U2 and Interpol, honestly, rock bands are getting a little too powerful in The Black Table's eyes.




The Black Table's mother was 14 years old when she was watching "As The World Turns" with her older brother. All of a sudden, they flipped over to Walter Cronkite, who was telling the world in just a few moments they would have live footage of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who supposedly had killed President Kennedy. Seconds later, she had seen her first execution on live television.

The older generation had it so much better than we did. That was also 41 years ago today.

Kurt Cobain. John F. Kennedy Jr. Jimi Hendrix. Aaliyah. The world is full of incredibly young, talented people who were cut down before their time. So have a drink in honor of Ted Bundy, who would have been 58 today, if he had not been killed in the middle of his prime, at the age 43. What great works we missed from this unusually gifted young man.

Yet, somehow, Mark Harmon walks the streets,


alive somehow.

Oh, Oliver Stone's Alexander opens today as well. So if you lost your copy of Colin Farrell's and Jared Leto's private makeout tape, you can get the next best thing on the big screen.




What's more indulgent than Thanksgiving? You wake up late -- the NFL starts an hour early … and it's on a Thursday! -- you start drinking at noon, you eat more than your pants can hold and you're usually asleep by 9 p.m. It's like being Anna Nicole Smith, except with less vicodin.

Former Florida Marlins manager Jim Leyland was interviewed once on ESPN's old "Up Close" interview show, which is what was around until "Pardon The Interruption" took over the time slot and inspired horrible Jason Alexander sitcoms. Leyland was perhaps most famous at the time for chain smoking cigarettes, on camera, in the dugout during games. For whatever reason, those involved in sports are expected, because they make millions of dollars, not to resemble normal human beings, so the interviewer asked Leyland if he planned on stopping smoking, you know, for the children.

Leyland gave the usual banalities about smoking


being a terrible habit, telling kids they should never smoke and talking about he should really, really quit, really. He paused, looked down and then stared straight into the camera.

"Though I have to say," he started. "You know how on Thanksgiving Day, when you've had a huge meal, and you've drank several glasses of wine, and you are contented, and everything is well? Well -- and smokers out there in the audience, you will totally know what I'm talking about here -- there's nothing on the planet better than that moment, when you're full and kind of drunk and happy, than stepping outside and having that first cigarette in several hours. I know smoking is bad. But that's the best feeling in the world. I can't deny it."

We can't either. That's what The Black Table is looking forward too most on Thanksgiving too. Well, that, and Katie Couric in a parka.




Obviously, the last place anyone wants to be today is within 10 miles of a Wal-Mart. The day after Thanksgiving is the day for America's militant consumerism to run completely out of control. Does it frighten anyone else when you see those lines of violent parents waiting outside toy stores to punch each other in the face, just to buy some poorly made whirly-gig that their bratty spoiled children are going to forget about in a week anyway? If you wonder why the rest of the world hates us, this is an excellent place to start.

Thankfully, a movement is afoot about this, and just to really tilt at windmills, the day after Thanksgiving, the Biggest Shopping Day of the Year, has now been dubbed "Buy Nothing Day." That's right. Consumer advocate groups -- and other left-wing commie pinkos -- are encouraging Americans to stay away from the malls and liquor stores -- well, not the liquor stores -- this Friday to


protest the growing hysteria.

Amusingly, the group behind the protest, a group called Media Jam, is taking donations on its Web site to support their protest. ("No, this isn't buying anything. It totally doesn't count. Really.") So far, they have raised $4,356. Which is enough to buy Tommy tons of Play Station 2 games and still have some left over for a hooker for Dad. Happy shopping, America!


Will Leitch is a managing editor at The Black Table.


INCOMING! runs every Monday on The Black Table.