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  INCOMING! APRIL 4, 2005.  


Daylight Savings Time started yesterday, which means that we're even less well-rested than usual and just a little bit crabby. Our only consolation is that this is good practice for the upcoming baseball season, which also started this weekend. If this year is anything like last year, we'll need to get used to being sleep-deprived. Of course, some of us are based in Boston, and thus pretty busy anyway. Between ironing our pants from Abercrombie and Fitch, crushing beer cans against our foreheads and date-raping each other, we hardly have time to watch baseball.

Speaking of people who WON, Viktor Yushchenko meets with President Bush at the White House today for a working lunch. After the whole, you know, poisoning thing, we bet Yushchenko hates working lunches even more than the average person. Now that Pedro has gone to the Mets and cleaned up his act, maybe Yushchenko can borrow his midget, to taste the veal before he tucks in.

Today is also the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. If we were Yushchenko, we'd reschedule.

Also, enjoy the national championship game tonight between the Illinois Fighting Illini and North Carolina Tar Heels.






It's Fun at Work Day! We at The Black Table love our day jobs and would never ever do anything to jeopardize them. However, you may feel differently about yours. In that case, we recommend you do one of the following:

1) Start your next meeting by rearranging your papers crisply, looking at your watch and saying, "OK, are we all here? We're going to have to make this fast. I have to jump off this call at 2:30, so that I can call up my friend and talk about boys."

2) You know how you're supposed to repeat things back to people, so that they know you're listening to them and acknowledging what they're saying? Try doing this when your supervisor gives you instructions, but then change what she says just slightly, so that the meaning is totally different. So, for example, let's say your supervisor has told you that the meeting is on Tuesday and there will be muffins. You would say, "OK, so: The meeting is on Monday, and there will be stuffing." Repeat if necessary. This will also qualify you for unemployment and, in some rare cases, severance, but don't quote us on that.

3) Decorate your cube with millions and millions of postage-stamp sized pictures of Barbra Streisand. When asked about them, just say, "Oh, well, I just think she's magical, don't you?"

Less magical, fun, or amusing: Carpetbaggers! Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney headlines the Corry County GOP dinner in South Carolina today. The Black Table has no idea what Mitt Romney plans to discuss at the Corry County GOP dinner and in fact is still somewhat confused about Romney's 2002 gubernatorial victory over State Treasurer Shannon O'Brien, who is a Democrat and has an Irish name, two things that generally go down like home-cookin' in the Commonwealth. All this despite the fact that Romney is a Mormon, not from Massachusetts, two feet tall and every bit as realistic looking as a Ken Doll or else one of those off-putting celebrity replicas at Madame Tussaud's. However, middle-aged Republication ladies think he's a hottie. And since they're the only Americans who vote anymore, Romney will probably be President someday.

Today is also the scheduled start of the Iraq


Fragging Trial. Sgt. Hasan Akbar will be court-martialed for attacking his comrades in arms with grenades AND rifles as they slept in their tents. Because whatever else you want to say about Akbar -- he's thorough. Allegedly.

Two soldiers were killed, and 14 were injured. This incident is notable for two reasons, other than being just plain horrifying: It marks the first time since Vietnam that an American soldier has been put on trial for murdering a fellow soldier during wartime, and Akbar's counsel is expected, as part of his defense, to paint the Army as anti-Muslim and exclusionary. The shocking revelation that the military might be less diversity-oriented and all-embracing than, say, the average liberal arts school campus, will no doubt cause shockwaves that will shake the very core of the Armed Forces, and indeed, the country. Also, if Akbar gets off on account of this, we will institute a policy of administering black eyes to everyone who does not feel that we are uniquely special and talented. Why not?

Finally, Kansas votes on gay marriage today. The proposed amendment to the constitution would legally define marriage as being between a man and a woman. Dorothy would be so proud.




Speaking of which, today is the 110th anniversary of Oscar Wilde's arrest for sodomy. On April 6, 1895, Wilde lost his libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry and was promptly arrested for, among other things, having the sex with the Marquess' son, Bosie. Bosie was kind of a jerk, it seems, since he abandoned Wilde shortly thereafter, but if you believe the movie, he looked like Jude Law. So you can see why Wilde might've been inclined to overlook his personality defects.

Wilde's arrest was especially interesting, given that he was about as "out" as a person could be in Victorian London. In addition to traveling openly with his lover, dressing flamboyantly and being rather too clever for a straight dude, his career had been somewhat telling. He started out editing a publication called Women's World, wrote one novel about a beautiful, wicked man who never aged and then topped it all off by writing five or six plays about breeders behaving stupidly. Probably no one was really all that surprised when he turned out to be gay as a tangerine.

His legal woes started when his lover's father sent a note to him at the Albemarle Club addressed: "To Oscar Wilde posing Somdomite." Wilde famously retorted, "Well, at least I can spell."

No. No, he did not say that. He said something much cleverer and more good. As an aside, while some of us are watching the gay marriage debate with despair, it might do us some good to consider that at least Kansas is actually discussing gay marriage today, whereas a hundred years ago, illiterate homophobes ran about freely restricting people's rights for ... oh. Just kidding. Pass the




Today is also the 25th birthday of Post-It Notes. When interviewed for this article, Post-Its remarked: "I don't know. It's not like I think I look old, exactly. It's more like I can see what I'll look like when I am old, you know? And I'm so tired. So, so tired." They then mocked highlighter pens for coloring their nubs.

Speaking of old, want to get really depressed? Lando Calrissian is 68 years old today. That's right. It's Billie Dee Williams' birthday. Take out your old Star Wars action figures and sob.




Then put aside that Colt 45, cuz it's World Health Day. While you're at it, the World Health Organization would also like you to give up cigarettes, fast food, sweets, stress, many forms of sexual activity and anything that would keep you from getting a good night's sleep. At which point, you and the rest of your creepy Amish friends can go plow a furrow or something. If you know what we mean.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force will present Dr. Howard Dean with a lifetime achievement award in Washington, D.C. today. Guess they were too embarrassed to tell him what they really meant when they said he was "kinda gay."

It's No House Work Day. But then, isn't every day?






Betty Ford was born today in 1918. After living with American politics for 20 years drove her to drink, Ford co-founded the drug and alcohol treatment center that bears her name. Once a hot spot for celebrities with substance abuse issues, The Betty Ford Center has recently been eclipsed by Promises and its ilk, but they're still doing great work. (If we give them a plug, there's always the chance that they'll give us a group rate, right?)

Speaking of needing a drink, Karl Rove will speak at the annual Lincoln Day dinner in Lake Geneva, Wisc., this Saturday. Rove, currently the White House deputy chief of staff, is widely acknowledged to be the brains behind Bush's reelection campaign and ongoing plan to make the world safe for NASCAR, Jesus and gynormous gas-guzzling cars. The Lincoln Day dinner is closed to the public, and no one seems to have any idea what they will discuss, so we will leave you to your imagination. Here's a head start: Karl Rove stands up before his minions, holding a live chicken and wearing a menacing expression. The chicken is terrified. Now



you go.

After the dinner, Rove is expected to return to his summer home in the Eighth Circle of Hell, to be gripped in ice alongside Archbishop Ruggieri and Count Ugolino.

Saturday is also Listening Day. Don't make us tell you again.

All the Jen Hubley you can handle can be found at


INCOMING! runs every Monday on The Black Table.