Am I expected to know everything?

Last night I sent Shank and his future bride a wedding gift. I was telling my wife what we got them and my wife said that’s all fine and dandy but asked what I wrote on the card.

I’ll admit that I’m walking on thin ice with things like this. I have enough class to know what’s appropriate and what’s not, but I still freeze up.

She was reading my mind, obviously, because just moments before, I was upstairs staring at the blank field where I was suppose to write something wondering what the hell to do. My natural instinct is to write something funny. Or obscene.

I’m not a touchy feely kind of guy. I’m not one of those guys that hugs other guys all the time. I’m not afraid of turning gay or anything, it’s just that I grew up in the firm handshake school. When I grew up there wasn’t a lot of hugging in the family, even with women. I think a lot of it had to do with putting on airs. I’m pretty sure my family was preparing me for a Princeton education where proper fellows didn’t show live sex cams emotion.

Once when we were in Los Angeles we went to see a band at a well known club. My wife was talking to some friends and when she turned around there was a guy hugging me. He was the lead singer of the band, and as such, he was wearing arm length opera gloves with the fingers cut out. So she turns around and there this guy with opera gloves hugging me and she has no idea who the guy is but thinks it’s hysterical. I was nonplussed, but I had officially been hugged by a friend. I would have rather been hugged by the guy’s girlfriend who was a hotty. There’s always the chance she’ll squeeze your ass and then wink at you when she breaks the embrace, but it didn’t look like that was going to happen. Neither did the Princeton education, but that’s another story.

All that was some years ago. Friend hugging has now encroached upon my life in a huge way. There’s way too much hugging in the world. I don’t like hugging my friend’s wives. I don’t like kissing women on the cheek. I don’t like human contact at all unless it’s with my wife or my kid. Or a hooker. Okay, so I’m exaggerating, but you know what I mean.

Meanwhile, my old lady still wants to know what I wrote on the gift card.

“I think I wrote ‘best wishes’.”

“That’s totally wrong! You’re supposed to say or write ‘Good luck’ to the groom and ‘Best wishes’ to the bride. You should have written both. Don’t you know anything?”

Apparently not. So, Shank and Mrs. Shank, Good luck and best wishes on this joyous occasion.

Twenty Major

Twenty Major: The Interview

As the winner of Best Irish Blog in the recent Irish Blog Awards, Twenty Major stands head shoulders above the rest. We badgered Twenty until he agreed to talk to us on the record:

CN: One thing we love about your blog is your liberal use of the word "cunt." Here in America we're very repressed. Most American bloggers wouldn't dream of using "cunt" at all, mainly because we're pussies who are afraid of our women. Does everyone in Ireland use "cunt" as liberally as you or is it frowned upon? Personally, I'd like to see more clergy use the term. Do the clergyman in Ireland say it a lot?

tm: It's still quite taboo really, you certainly wouldn't hear a priest saying "Let us pray, you cunts", or "Our cunt, who art in heaven." Although the priest might say "If you tell anyone what I just did to you, 11 year old altar boy, I'll kill you, you sored arsed little cunt." Personally I like to think the site is helping to spread the glory of such an underused and wonderful word. Most of the clergy in Ireland now say "I didn't touch him, I swear", before they're sent to work in Boston. I'd like to see more American bloggers use the word though. Certainly that Instapundit fellow could liven up his live sex shows site with a 'cunt' here and there and that lad from Star Trek needs to get more in touch with the common Irishman if he really wants to make. Wesley cunting Crusher, indeed.

CN: We've had enough of Bono. Is there anything you can do to control the fucker?

tm: No. We've been trying for years. Luckily he seems to spend a lot of time outside the country. Adam Clayton is nice though. For a robot. You do know he's a robot, don't you?

CN: How'd you get the name Twenty Major?

tm: Major is a brand of cigarette in Ireland, smoked by old codgers, curmudgeons and pigeon fanciers. Twenty Major and a box of matches was something you'd hear in the newsagents or in bars. Naturally I smoke Major. I would like to stress that as it's illegal for cigarette companies to advertise and sponsor anything these days they're certainly not handing me a great lump of cash, off the books, each month.

CN: What's the difference between Ireland and Scotland?

tm: That is a good question. There are more protestants. Also they're pretty much incoherent before they drink whereas Irish are ioncoherent after drink. There's a bar I sometimes go to, don't tell Ron, owned by a man called Alan from Glasgow. I cannot understand a word he says until I've had at least 4 pints then I can speak fluent Scottish. The men also wear skirts when they go to weddings which is a bit gay really. You can call it a 'kilt' if you like but lets be honest, it's a skirt.

CN: What's more Irish: Potatoes, Guinness, or the word 'cunt'?

tm: Guinness. Potatoes are a stereotype. The word cunt is not particularly Irish. I imagine it to be Germanic. It's got that harshness that only a German or a visigoth could have mustered. Guinness came to the fore after the potato famine. We put all our eggs, so to speak because we didn't have any eggs, in one basket there. Now Guinness is like one of those Slimfast shakes. It's a meal. 10 pints of Guinness a day and nobody starves so if the English try to kill us all again it just won't work. Check out the belly on a regular Guinness drinker. There are fat reserves there to fill the humps of a 8 humped camel, if such a thing existed. When there's a worldwide food shortage due to global warming, pesticides in foods and genetically modified crops becoming inedible Ireland will be the healthiest, tubbiest nation on earth. And we won't share. We only send the gone off barrels anyway,

CN: Would you piss drink warm Guinness if it were free?

tm: I'm not quite sure what you mean. If you mean 'If you could piss warm Guinness would you drink it?' then the answer is yes, yes I would. If I could piss Guinness I'd be the richest man in the land. If you mean 'Would you drink warm Guinness if it were free' then the answer is no. A man has to have standards and while I would happily fill a pint glass with my own Guinness piss I would prefer to pay for cold Guinness than drink warm free Guinness.

CN: In American bars, there's usually a dish of complimentary peanuts or pretzels to snack on. What do they have in Dublin bars?

tm: There is no such thing as compimentary snacks in Dublin bars. Sometimes Ron puts out some Ritz crackers but Stinking Pete is the only one to eat them and they give him the raging scuts each time. He never learns.

CN: How many pints would it take before you had sex with Mary McAleese?

tm: All of them.

CN: How many pints would it take before you had sex with Britney Spears (current skanky incarnation)?

tm: You mean there was a previous non-skanky version? I must have missed that. Her current pie-eating physique means she'd fit in well in most Dublin nightclubs. Mini-skirt and enormous thighs is not a good jasmine live look.

CN: Shane McGowan. First thought to come to your mind?

tm: Why aren't you dead yet?

CN: Have you ever been ejected from Ron's?

tm: Never. Dirty Dave was thrown out once for suggesting that Ron gave him the wrong change. He insisted he'd given Ron a twenty. Ron said he gave him a ten. There was a big argument and Ron fucked him out on his ear. When he did the money at the end of the night he found himself a tenner up. He didn't say sorry but when Dave asked for a whiskey the next night he gave him a triple and only charged him for a double. He's big hearted once you get to know him.

CN: How sorry are you that you agreed to this sad fucking excuse for an interview?

tm: Not sorry at all. I love interviews.

American Idol

I mean, it was inevitable that I would write an American Idol post. I got pretty drunk last night, bombed actually, and decided that American Idol was a good way to spend my time. It wasn't as increidbly gay as I thought it would be, but understand, that's how drunk I was. I wouldn't recommend trying this without supervision; the old lady was home and wasn't nearly as plastered as I was.

First, the judges. Randy is a sycophantic jerkoff. That guy tells everyone "It's not the best song you've sung, but I like it." What a limp noodle that guy is. Paula is just like Randy, but with smaller tits. A big ol' bag of clapping, head-nodding idiocy. Simon. I like Simon, much like myself he's almost always right. And, much like myself, he could probably stand to be less of a dick to absolutely everyone in the world. Guy needs to tone it down a few notches. Seacrest needs to be lit on fire during the season finale. I can't believe Simon's never jumped over the table and throttled that guy. He's such a corny, limp-wristed, plastic geek. I mean, they might as well just have a cardboard cutout of Ben Stein interviewing these people.

Mandisa - Despite her unfortunate name (which sounds like something one might call a crossdresser) and the unfortunate shape of her body, she's got awesome talent. And don't get me wrong about her body, I'm not saying she's too fat to win, I'm just saying her shape is odd. It's like one size above the waist, and a totally other size below. How does this chick find clothes? Anyways.

Bucky - What a fucking reject this guy is. Why are you even on the show? He's up there, singing like he's got a handful of marbles in his mouth and just in general looking like a complete tool. His hair is horrible too. Like I can't fucking tell you dye the shit when you've got Walter Matthau's eyebrows reincarnated on your forehead there.

Paris - This chick has style for miles.That's all I have written down on my notes. The word style over and over again. Must've been getting pretty wasted by this time. She did pull this 'Aw shucks' routine while talking to Seacrest (that insufferable side-alley glory hole) that I totally didn't believe. I think that's the chick whose family is in the biz, so I doubt she's one of these types who shufffles her feet and stares at the dirt.

Chris - You almost made me hate Johnny Cash, then I remembered it wasn't his fault you were encouraged to completely mutilate the song that would become his mantra. You're a fucking dick for singing 'Walk the Line' like some kind of Vegas lounge lizard. I hope Cash haunts your nightmares. If you want to sing like some soulless idiot, I'm sure Limp Bizkit could use a new frontman, or your local college band is scouting for some groupies to tour with. Unbelieveable man.

Catherine - Wow. This chick, besides being finer than frog's hair, can sing like only a couple other ladies on the show. She smolders like a smelt pot at a die-casting plant, and sings with real feeling. Granted, I think she missed a note in there somewhere, but it's not too often someone does justice to such a song.

Taylor - I love me a whiskey tenor. Besides the fact that this dude is old enough to have fathered the rest of the contestants and is still a contender, is the fact that he's got one of those rare gravelly tones that's still even. It's a difficult voice to sing with, and I'm not surprised he's so much older - probably took him that long to get it right.

Lisa - What a cornball this chick is. She's not unique, nor does she have any real outstanding appeal. I mean, she's up there obviously trying to be sexy, but it just looks like some highschool kid imitating Christina Aguilera or any of the other million pop princesses out there. Besides, she's oversinging the shit out of the song, and would be better singing show tunes.

Kevin - When this kid walked out, I had pretty much decided that I wasn't going to like him. I mean, he's dorky looking, young, starry eyed; and that shit is just the slippery slope to another one of these "Oh man, I never thought I'd make it to Hawllywood!" types. But he fucking nailed it. He could have so easily been corny and hokey, but he fucking nailed it. I was assuming he'd get out there and absolutely belt this tune out; loud long chords, just murdering the song. But his delivery was smooth and his own. Great. Now we just need to get him laid.

Elliot - Looks retarded. He's wearing a 'Striped Shirt!', untucked of course, a big fucking dorky yellow tie, and faded jeans. How obnoxious, he's dressed like Carrot Top or some shit. Where your props at dickface? Anyways, and he sings like a douche too. Barry Manilow even tried to coach you into not mauling the melody, but you went out there and rode the thing all over the stage. I can't believe Simon gave you the thumbs up, if I was there, I'd be throwing shit at the stage.

Kelly - I love the chick's backstory, very authentic; but she didn't sing the blues well. I don't know if she wasn't feeling it, or just didn't tap herself, but she's out here singing this blues song and I fell like I'm watching the Mickey Mouse Club or some shit. She's not dressed to sing the blues, not expressing the blues in her facial or body language. What gives girl?

Ace - Another unfortunate name. People name their pets Ace dude, I'm sorry. You have better intonation than that other long haired wanker, but you need to move from behind the mic. What are you hiding from back there dude? It's not your date man, quit trying to make out with the thing. Oh Christ. He's got sunglasses tucked into his pocket. Man, you're inside and it's nighttime. You sang well, but in the end, you looked like a bonehead. It's okay though, I'm sure your mommy still loves you.