Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

31 July 2007

Random Book Quote, Vol. 7

Sorry to come atcha with this one early, but I'm out of town early tomorrow on a story. So with no further ado....

After one's teenage years, there are only two ways an adult human head can expand. The first is from acromegaly, a disorder in which the pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone. Diagnosed in approximately 60 out of every million people, acromegaly derives its name from the Greek words for "extremities" (acro) and "great" (megaly). ...
The second way an adult human's head can grow - and the only available explanation of Bonds's cranial expansion - is with the use of human growth hormones (HGH), a dangerous, illegal polypeptide that regulates multiple metabolic and growth functions.
- Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of An Anti-Hero; Jeff Pearlman

Happy 756 Hunting, Barry!

Dude actually can't be touched

From my CP co-worker, Drew Lazor:

OK, so we've all seen the Filipino prisoners dancing to "Thriller" video. It's already so passe. Seriously, it was having the best week ever on VH1's Best Week Ever yesterday. Yeah yeah. God, fame is so...disposable!

What you might not have seen is the video of Chinese rapper MC Qiangqiang performing — STEP FOR STEP — the entire dance routine from MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" while his mom knits on the couch next to him. ... I wouldn't be surprised if this video — which is hilariously hosted on YouKu, China's version of YouTube — reaches Cebu Correctional Facility-type Internet fame within the next few weeks.

I feel that it is my duty — as an Asian-American and as a dork — to share this link with everyone so you can truly grasp the context of the video. (Read the second part of the post...the first part is — yes — the Filipino prisoners dancing to "Thriller.")

It's a brief background about the video itself compiled by Oliver Wang, hip-hop scholar and one of my favorite bloggers. I'm not sharing it to be a douche — on the contrary, I just feel that it is infinitely more funny once you understand that, through the power (or ineptitude?) of the Chinese bootleggers, early '90s acts like Hammer and Kriss Kross became the unwitting ambassadors of hip-hop music in China.

So, in the next few weeks, if one (OR ALL) of your friends IM and e-mail you in a frenzy trying to put you onto the latest Asian dancing video craze, you can tell THEM what's up.

That's all! Enjoy the rest of your day.

Dude's right.

Random Book Quote*, Vol. 6

All modern American Literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. If you read it you must stop where the Nigger Jim is stolen from the boys. That is the real end. The rest is just cheating. But it's the best book we've had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing good since.
- Hemingway, Green Hills of Africa

* - Because it's easier than typing the whole thing out again

30 July 2007

Brian Simpson

(Create your own at

My hero

When you make it rain, even momentarily, sometimes it pours back your way.

Late last week TNA Wrestling signed suspended Tennessee Titan cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones to a contract that will see the NFL star perform as a wrestler. Jones is currently suspended for the entire 2007 NFL season, without pay, for personal conduct problems off of the field. Under his suspension, Jones is not allowed to attend the Tennessee Titans' training camp. He is currently trying to get his suspension reduced to 10-games. Reportedly the Titans have no issue with Jones getting involved in professional wrestling.


Random Quote from a Book Deemed Good Enough to Bring Home; Vol. 5

Because only one state can be the breastuses of America (even if it takes a children's book to make us remember):

The Knobbed Whelk is the state shell of New Jersey. It is a large, yellow-gray shell with a cream to red opening. It is also known as a conch shell and can be discovered on most bays and beaches. Whelks are harvested for food which is often canned.
Periwinkles, scallops, slipper shells, moon snails, wentletraps, and clam shells can also be found on the beaches of the shore.

G is for Garden State
A New Jersey Alphabet

Written by Eileen Cameron
Illustrated by Doris Ettlinger

27 July 2007

Random Quote from a Book Deemed Good Enough to Bring Home; Vol. 4

It's Friday, you ain't got ....
You get the point. So, in addition to Hemingway Tuesdays, Fridays belong to the cocktail. Well, cocktails.

1 1/2 ounces tequila
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lime juice
Crushed ice
1 teaspoon cherry brandy

In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the tequila, lemon juice and lime juice. Shake well. Strain into an old-fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Drizzle the brandy over top.

The Bartender's Bible, 1001 Mixed Drinks and Everything You Need to Know to Set Up Your Bar, Gary Regan

26 July 2007

Joey, have you ever been in a Filipini prison?

Well, these guys have, ok, they actually are right now, and, well, I guess this is actually how I'd have pictured a prison in the Phillipines if I'd ever stopped for a moment to picture a prison in the Phillipines, which I haven't, and I'm sure the most of you haven't either, except maybe Mr. Skittles who, should he go to Vegas again next year, might end up smelling the funk of 40,000 years, which would ultimately seal his doom.

Random Quote from a Book Deemed Good Enough to Bring Home; Vol. 3; Plus, this week's column

The boy told him that he had already promised to give one-tenth of his treasure to the gypsy.
"Gypsies are experts at getting people to do that," sighed the old man. "In any case, it's good that you've learned that everything in life has its price. This is what the Warriors of the Light try to teach."

- The Alchemist, Paolo Coelho

And, a link to this week's column.
Go Cubs!

25 July 2007

Random Quote from a Book Deemed Good Enough to Bring Home; Vol. 2

Rising anger now, painful throbbing in the head. "Fuck you, Squane! I'm on nobody's team! If you want my vote you know damn well how to get it - and that goddamn dope-addict girlfriend of yours didn't help any."
Squane smiles heavily. "Tell me, Virgil - what was it you wanted for the vote of yours? A seat on the federal bench?"
"You're goddamn fuckin'-A right! You got me in bad trouble last night, J.D. When I got back here my wallet was gone and there was blood on my hands."
"I know. You beat the shit out of her."
"Look at these photographs, Virgil. It's some of the most disgusting stuff I've ever seen."
Squane hands them across the table.
"Oh my god!"
"Yeah, that's what I said, Virgil."
"No! This can't be me! I never saw that girl! Christ, she's only a child!"
"That's why the pictures are so disgusting, Virgil. You're lucky we didn't take them straight to the cops and have you locked up." Pounding a table with his fist. "That's rape, Virgil. That's sodomy! With a child!"
"Yes, Virgil - and now you're going to pay for it."
"How? What are you talking about?"
Squane smiling again. "Votes, my friend. Yours and five others. Six votes for six negatives. Are you ready?"
Tears of rage in my eyes now. "You evil sonofabitch! You're blackmailing me!"
"Ridiculous, Virgil. Ridiculous. I'm talking about coalition politics."

- Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson with Illustrations by Ralph Steadman; 1973

24 July 2007

Nope, no blow here, officer. Well, at least not that kind. So, what can I do to get out of this ticket?


If Bob were dead, he'd be rolling around in his grave with one of those girls he couldn't keep his dirty old man hands off.

Random Quote from a Book Deemed Good Enough to Bring Home

"I don't know why people shouldn't write to each other anyway. They did in the old days. But now I guess all they want is to be on television."
to Arthur Mizener, 1950
Selected Letters, p. 697
(from Ernest Hemingway* on Writing, edited by Larry W. Phillips)

Dawn of a new daily feature day here, folks. As in, nobody cares about books anymore so each morning, or afternoon, or whenever I get a chance to, will pick, at random, a book from my office and offer an interesting quote from therein.
As Tuesdays are deadline days, however, they'll be reserved for the Greatest American Writer*.
Other than that, they may be classics, they may be new releases sent to work and they may be utterly ridiculous. But they'll all remind us that reading's cool, mmmkay. Hope you enjoy.

23 July 2007

D-bag Dadlani?

Dude might not be in cage, but there's truly a striking resemblance, no?

237 Days

And, I finally figured out where I'm going to get the money for the trip. Or at least enough that I won't get stuck at the Bellagio, without cab fare, but with a jug of vodka in one hand, a warm Coors Light in the other and a hankering for some cabbie's Skittles.

It's either that, or bringing our buddy Donaghy along. It is the first weekend of March Madness, after all.

18 July 2007

WSOP and this week's column

If you don't want to know who won the World Series of Poker, don't click this link. If you do, well, click it already.

And here's a hint as to this week's column.

Go Cubs.

17 July 2007

Stunted Growth

Yes, I used to live right by 22nd and Green.
No, I don't grow weed.
(Photo from the Daily News' Jessica Griffin)

11 July 2007

Live Earth

So, a lot of people might have missed the Saturday global-warming-awareness extravaganza, and even more have been ripping the Smashing Pumpkins for reasons unknown. But I have to say this much: Their opening song, United States, was f'in intense. Check it out.

WSOP Update and this week's column

Now that our favorite awaiting-trial-on-gambling-charges-former-Flyers-star is out of the mix, could Tobey Maguire still be alive and spinning webs of card-playing deceit at the World Series of Poker? No spoilers here, other than there are fewer than 200 of the 6,358 players remaining; you'll have to go here for that.

As for this week's column, let the photo do the hinting. Because, quite frankly, I'm too broken up over another wrongful Pacman legal-run-in to come up with something witty. Can't Whitey just leave Jones alone once and for all? How much rain-making would do that trick?

09 July 2007

Maybe a boto made your baby

Great piece in yesterday's New York Times about efforts to find an elusive, yet likely mythical creature that roams the Amazon. It's called the mapinguary, and it has bad breath. But in the story came the best fable I have ever, ever, ever, ever heard in my life. To wit:

Amazon folklore, in fact, is full of fanciful creatures that are used to explain unwelcome or embarrassing phenomena. The boto, for example, is a type of dolphin that is said to be able to transform itself into human form, wearing a white hat to cover its air spout, and seducing and impregnating impressionable young virgins.

So, say there was a virile dolphin roaming around Center City, but he was wearing, say, a blue hat. Would he be a Boto? Or does the lid have to be white? I don't know, but I will most certainly be philosophizing on this one for a spell.

World Series of Poker underway

It's that time of year again, folks; main event's underway in Vegas. Some BIGGGG names already gone; some celebs disappeared too. Won't say who here on account'a not wanting to be a spoiler, so here are the official standings.

Um, is Rick Tocchet, the Rick Tocchet, actually playing this tourney?

08 July 2007

The Countdown Continues

Happy 7.8.07, or, as I like to call it, 253 and counting.

06 July 2007

The Dallas Rainbow Cowboys

Hey Pete, is it true the 'Boys will be wearing these on their uniforms this year to make T.O. feel more at home?

HCWD of the Week

Yes, I'm officially hooked on Hot Chicks with Douchebags. So much so, that I humbly offer my nomination for the douchiest dude I've seen in ages, accompanied by a HCWD-written haiku.

Her hills are alive,
With the sound of cleavite. Hark!
Eurodouche is scrote.

05 July 2007

Miss New Jersey Scandal solved

Anonymous, my ass. It's Bernard!

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. - Miss New Jersey says she won't give in to an anonymous threat that personal photographs of her will be made public if she refuses to relinquish her crown.

"It would certainly be easier for me to simply succumb to these unlawful and immoral threats, and quietly disappear," Amy Polumbo said Thursday at a news conference in Asbury Park.

Polumbo's lawyer, Anthony Caruso, said that starting last week, Polumbo, her family and officials in the Miss New Jersey Education Foundation received packages with pictures of her and the demand that she resign by Friday.

Caruso said the pictures show her with some friends and some may have been photos that she posted years ago on a private Internet site.

Did they reveal more skin than a pageant-sanctioned swimsuit? College students behaving badly, perhaps? Caruso would not say.

"I don't think the photos are that bad," Caruso said. "The people posting this blackmail scheme are trying to make these photos out to be worse than I think they are."

He said he couldn't comment further because more photos could arrive and change everything.

The 22-year-old Polumbo won the Miss New Jersey competition last month, giving her the right to compete in the next Miss America competition , wherever and whenever it may be held.

Miss America Organization officials said they were aware of the situation, but it was up to the New Jersey pageant officials to deal with. The local affiliate did not immediately return a message Thursday from The Associated Press. But Caruso said the state competition officials were on board with her trying to fight back.

03 July 2007

Happy Fourth

Don't blow any fingers off, y'all. (The paper comes out Thursday; here's a hint as to this week's column.)

02 July 2007

One Well-Coothed Vigilante

The Associated Press

PENN HILLS, Pa. - A man who thought the clerk at a fast-food drive-through was rude for not saying "please" and "thank you" punched her in the face, police said.

Duane L. Williams, angered by what he felt was the clerk's rudeness, walked into the store to complain just before 8 p.m. Wednesday, Penn Hills police Chief Howard Burton said Friday. Before the manager could meet with Williams, he walked back outside, pushed open the drive-through window and punched the 19-year-old woman in the face. The clerk was bruised, but not badly hurt, Burton said.

"He didn't like the girl's attitude because she didn't say 'please' and 'thank you,'" Burton said.

Williams, 46, told police he had "anger-management issues" when he turned himself in later that night, Burton said.

"He was unable to tell the officer why he did that. He said he remembered opening the drive-through window, but could not remember if he punched the victim or not," Burton said. "I guess he just had a bad day."

He just had a bad day?

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