My friend Al over at the always entertaining Bike Stories has a message he'd like to convey:
Jeff, Can you tell your Salad readers that Bike Stories is down for technical difficulties and hopefully it will be up soon. In the meantime, feel free to use this shot of a mascot that also looks outraged at the Lightning play against Buffalo tonight. Al
Message delivered. Thunderbug would no doubt approve of being used for such purposes.
Back when the Salad Clan was young and had discretionary income to spend on things other than trombones, pre-paid college tuition, monster-truck-size replacement tires and adolescent orthodontics, we actually would stay at nice hotels for the weekend.
What did that gain us? For one, it allowed us the exciting opportunity to be put on e-mail spam lists.
And since Valentine's Day is around the corner, our friends in the hospitality industry seem to think it's time to refresh our acquaintance.
What are the good folks at Loews resorts offering? A multitude of romantic weekends in a variety of cities.
A note to the wordsmiths at Loews: If there's a package and it's pink, there's a good chance that it could require tickling, but it's unlikely that the package belongs to "her." As a result, a few customers at the Don CeSar may be expecting more room service than you're planning to provide.
...maybe the hotel is just one gigantic pink metaphor.
You were one helluva runner, Mike Alstott. And an even classier guy. Which really sounds unclassy to say, but so be it. Not many people would have eaten the gigantic shit sandwich handed to you by Gruden & Co. with such dignity.
Plus, you made a great bobblehead.
I was there for the 19-yard run against Cleveland. I almost started weeping, it was such an amazing run. I was there for the Washington game, too. The man just had no regard for his body. Which is why he's retiring today, I guess. That he hands the legacy keys to the running game over to Earnest Graham instead of Michael Pittman pleases me to no end. There's a symmetry in one lunchpail guy ending his career as another one takes his place.
For the record, that officially leaves us with one to root for on our tally sheet.
Some things in life are just that literal.
One thing you won't get by reading my story today about The Tampa Underbelly Tour, Part Deux: giant babies.
Yes, that's right. Humongus offspring. Fake, of course.
After our meal at La Pequena Colombia, we walked a few doors down in the strip mall where it was located so we could stop in a store called El Encanto. The thing that got our attention was the line on the sign that read: House of Pinatas.
This was one of the oddest places I've ever been in. It wasn't just that you had to limbo through the store underneath the pinatas. It was, well, the giant baby dolls.
That's just wrong. I'm sorry.
Anyway, if you want to get a sense of what it's like to spend six hours eating yourself stupid at some of the tastiest spots in Tampa, check out the videos we shot:
Stop No. 1: China Yuan Seafood Restaurant
Stop No. 2: Honduras Cafe
Stop No. 3: La Pequena Colombia
Stop No. 4: La Lechonera
Stop No. 5: Pupuseria & Cafeteria Centroamericano
The Big Finale:
To see a gallery of photos of the tour, click here.
And if you want to go and visit for yourself, here's a map you can follow:
Even to me, someone who has run a celebrity Dead Pool for the past few years, this seems a little harsh.
Inevitable, yes. But harsh.
PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS OF
YOUR MOMENT OF BRITNEY
Behold, the Brit'brero.
When Xanax and dancing collide.
No carpet, no drapes, no problem.
Now, with a breathable cotton panel.
K-Fed cornrows. Bad idea.
Gallery of the Absurd.
Brit and KFed, the ill-advised reality TV series.
Lights, camera, Britney.
Britney wears the glamorous life.
Britney takes a palimony suit.
Something old, something new.
Britney takes a groom. Again.
Britney defends her latest love.
Britney marries a childhood friend. For 50 hours.
Britney swaps spit with the Rosetta Stone of Skank.
When Xanax and dancing collide.
Britney poses for photos that make her look even more plastic and lifeless than she already is.
Britney, as she would look if she hit the all-you-can-eat Seafood Lovers Special at Red Lobster every night for six months.
Britney runs a restaurant into the ground.
Britney has an evil twin available for parties.
Britney and George cut a rug.
Britney proves the axiom: Beer affects the way males respond to females.
But nothing prepared me for the unadulterated, nuclear-bright star power of meeting the most droll mascot on the planet: ManDog.
As the spokesman for Flush Puppies, a new product created by two Tampa entrepreneurs (and University of Florida graduates) that allows owners to flush their pets' waste in a biodegradable bag, ManDog's responsibilities include speaking with the media. Hence his visit to the News Center.
He's also the cover boy of this promotional newspaper:
In the promo paper, I was particularly struck by this magnificent piece of excretory journalism. (Yes, I know. Some might argue that most journalism is excretory in nature.):
To get an accurate sense of ManDog's magnetic appeal, you really must check out his reviews of culturally significant videos, including this one of a Ron Paul TV campaign ad:
Still can't hit the curvball.
Yes, that is a silk shirt.
Yes, that is a stampede of wild horses.
No, I did not have pinkeye.
1976. Montgomery Ward department store.
Christmas breakfast with Santa.
Free portrait with breakfast.
Grumpy and tired.
Moderately less grumpy, but still pretty damn tired.
Temps are supposed to drop into the high 20s tonight.
Had to cover the plants, of course.
Oh, and I had to bust out one other tool.
Can't have freeze warnings without deploying the smoker.
39 34 degrees out and I'm smoking a brisket.
Why go out and drive around to act stupid on New Year's when you can do it at home in front of your house with your family, friends and neighbors?