If you got just the bumper, I’ll give you $50.
Feel free to chuckle at this one; it’s a test run for my broadcast class. Number one thing I learned: white guys in their twenties love beer and fear change.
As all good baseball fans know, tomorrow is Opening Day. Which means the amount of father-son moments, peanuts and drunks is about to increase exponentially in this country. For me personally, it means I will never find a parking space again since I live within walking distance to Wrigley Field. It also means I’m about to start secretly wearing an A’s rally shirt underneath my clothes on game days since I can’t be running down to the Coliseum every time I’ve got a BART ticket and $2 in my wallet.
So, in honor of the A’s opening game tomorrow, I’m throwing down a little trivia. Which superstar rapper of the 80′s and 90′s got his start and his stage name while working for the Oakland A’s?
The answer, of course, is Stanley Kirk Burrell, the future M.C. Hammer. The A’s eccentric owner, Charlie Finley, spotted him breakdancing outside the Coliseum and hired him on the spot as a batboy. Legend has it Reggie Jackson gave him the nickname “Hammer” since he looked like “Hammerin’” Hank Aaron. Yet more proof that Oakland is an awesome, awesome town.
Viva los Athleticos, and let’s go Oakland!
So, I only recently discovered that you can see your site stats here on WordPress – something I can see becoming a narcissistic addiction. The stats also let you know how people stumbled upon your post: Facebook links, Twitter, search engines, etc. I found out two things: number one, one-two people out there were searching for “emily gadek.” Secondly, and more importantly, someone searched for “michael caine shakira.” Either someone else has actually read his book, or my efforts to start a rumor that Michael Caine is seeing the Columbian pop sensation Shakira are taking off.
This morning, with my heart full of indignation and my pocket full of dimes, I walked to the ticket machine at the Wellington stop. At the end of each quarter at Northwestern, our CTA passes expire and we have to go to the Evanston campus and get a new one on the first day of class. I had bought a 7 day pass to tide me over spring break, but it was already expired.
I realized this morning that I no cash, either, and the ATM was several blocks in the opposite direction of my train. I raided my precious stash of change and came up with $2.25: twenty-one dimes and three nickles. I started putting dimes into the machine.
Nineteen dimes in, the ticket machine flashed “no more coins.” I was perplexed, having never seen any human or robot refuse to take my money in Chicago. My confusion must have shown on my face, because a beardy CTA agent came over to see what was going on. He nodded comfortingly: “Oh yeah, no more coins, don’t worry about it. Just hit cancel.” The machine spewed my dimes back at me, and I scooped them up and moved over to the next machine to try again. Before I could stick a single coin in, he stopped me and swiped me through the turnstile on his pass. I tried to give him my dimes, but he just shooed me up to the platform.
Long story short, I rode the train for free. And so can you, with a pocketful of dimes and a suitably bemused look. Try to use this power for good.
I hope this one is already common knowledge. I’ve known Michael Caine was magnificent ever since he was Scrooge in a Muppet Christmas Carol (hands down the best Christmas movie of all time). He’s the original bad-ass working-class Brit. He’s not always in great movies, but every movie he’s in (Batman, Children of Men, the Illusionist, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,to name a few) is better because he’s in it. Something about the voice, perhaps…
So imagine my surprise when I walked in the Borders around the corner and saw piles of his latest autobiography The Elephant to Hollywood lying around at 60 percent off. Yes, I did say latest autobiography -this one just covers 1992 onward. Obviously, I snapped it up, and have been spending my last day of freedom before class starts reading up on the man.
Here are some truly wonderful things I’ve learned from the first few chapters/dust jacket alone:
Michael Caine’s wife’s name is Shakira Caine.
His given name is Maurice Joseph Micklewhite.
He is best friends with Sidney Poitier.
He survived the London Blitz.
Barbara Streisand has “sensational Shaker furniture.”
The most truly excellent thing about Michael Caine, though? His impression…of himself.
In 2001, Kofi Annan, 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations, won the Nobel Prize for his role in promoting peace around the globe.
1960, he was a runner-up in both singles and doubles men’s table tennis championship. In 1961, he won.
And fifty years later, he has been handsomely rewarded with his very own:
If Ali G followed up on this and played a brisk round of table tennis with Kofi Kofi Kofi Annan, I would be very happy indeed.