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  INCOMING! OCTOBER 10, 2005.  


If you see a bunch of Italians running around the streets today singing songs and wearing sailor's hats made of prosciuto, do not fear for your safety, it's only Columbus Day. Yes, who would've thought that Columbus would take this brave journey, discover new worlds, and change the course of history, to only have his legacy sullied by a bunch of bookish history wonks who accused him of being a hateful, genocidal maniac.

Columbus is the Roger Maris of historical figures-his world-altering travels now marred with an asterisk reading "but he killed and maimed lots of Indians in the process." But the Italians don't care about such petty details. Columbus Day was first celebrated by Italians in San Francisco in 18969, on the heels of 1866 Italian celebrations in New York City. The first state celebration was in Colorado in1905, and in 1937, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt set aside Columbus Day as a holiday in the United States. So, those of you who do have a day off, grab yourself some smoked meat, rent a copy of 1492 and rearrange your spice racks to pay homage to one of the world's greatest explorers.

Speaking of misguided greaseballs, it's former "Saved By the Bell" meathead Mario Lopez's 33rd birthday. Currently, Lopez hosts ESPN's silly entertainment/sports show "ESPN Hollywood," which should be cancelled in the next five minutes.

Also, on this day in 1991, former U.S. postal worker Joseph Harris shot two former co-workers to death at the post office in Ridgewood, New Jersey. After a four-hour standoff with police at the post office, Harris was arrested. His violent outburst was one of several high-profile attacks by postal workers that resulted in the addition of the phrase "going postal" saddling Americans with an irrational fear of mailmen from here on out and killing John Ratzenberger's career.

And if you're stopping by Washington D.C. and your thinking to yourself "Hey, where the fuck is Congress?!", well, detective, they're actually on their annual October recess which began October 9 and ends on the 16.






It's Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day! So, please stop by and see what kind of bear Midge, the overweight human resources manager, has displayed on her desk. We're sure it's a white one, given to her by a boyfriend 20 years ago before she really began to pack on the pounds. That was the last time she ever felt loved. So, go see Midge's bear, then apologize for her life being so pathetic and miserable.

And what better way to top off TYTBTWD than to bake yourself a cake made of pulp detective novels and help blow out the candles for writer Elmore Leonard, who turns 80 today. Also celebrating birthdays are "Beverly Hills 90210"'s Luke Perry whose giant forehead and sideburns turn 39. And female golfing phenom Michelle Wie turns 17. Wie just turned pro, which means that she only has a couple more years until she suffers a Jennifer Capriati-like breakdown and gets found in a shady motel with three crusty friends smoking pot out of a tinfoil bowl. We look forward to that day with much anticipation.






Whip out your tractor and your pig slop, because it's Farmer's Day! Yes, it's time to dance around in your overalls, skin a cat, plow a field and tip over the outhouse while your sister is in there washing her hair. But seriously, the farm industry has been decimated by inflation and technology, and plenty of our brothers and sisters in the Midwest have to auction off their land everyday just so they can feed their families. Or that's what we heard from John Cougar Mellencamp when we watched Farm Aid a couple years ago.

Anyway, find a man in a straw hat sitting under a silo, give him a hug, and thank him for providing this country with, um, corn or something.

And on this date in 2001 President George W. Bush requested an episode of "America's Most Wanted" to feature the 22 most wanted terrorists in the country. In memoriam of this event, take a ride on the New York City Subway system today, reflect on how well that plan worked and embrace the feeling of security that washes over you.





If you somehow forgot that yesterday was Farmer's Day and you're feeling all guilt-ridden about it, well, tag-a-long with a Jew to service today because it's Yom Kippur. The Bible calls it Yom Hakippurim ( Day of the Atonements) and it is also one of the Yamim Noraim (Hebrew, "Days of Awe"), but Yom Kippur was originally thought to be celebrated by the Germans in the 18th Century, who called it "Yom Kippurg," meaning "whale's vagina."

Here are some people born today most likely not celebrating Yom Kippur: The man who made Van Halen a chick band, Sammy Hagar turns 58; actress and brainwashed wife of John Travolta, Kelly Preston, turns 43; and, surprisingly, female R & B singer Ashanti turns 20, even though we thought she was the one killed in the plane crash a few years ago. You go girl.






On this date in 1987, 18-month old Jessica McClure fell into a well in Midland, Texas and captured the heart of America as we anxiously watched the 58-hour rescue unfold. Today Jessica McClure is all grown up and living inside a well with her parents just outside of Lubbock, Texas, still pissed about those firemen and rescue workers who stole her from her underground home 18 years ago.

And we know you're thinking about when the referendum vote for the Iraqi Constitution is, well the polls close tomorrow, Saturday October 15. If the Iraqi people do vote to ratify the Constitution, America's mission will be complete and all our troops will be sent home safe and sound. Nah, just kidding.




A.J. Daulerio is a managing editor of The Black Table and editor of Oddjack, Gawker Media's gambling site.


INCOMING! runs every Monday on The Black Table.