I Feel I Have Earned The Right To Not Have To Call 'Shotgun'

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Vol 40 Issue 37

Kerry Vows To Raise Wife's Taxes

BOSTON—Campaigning in his home state, John Kerry vowed Monday to raise taxes on his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, whose worth is estimated to be in the range of $900 million to $3.2 billion. "My spouse has benefited long enough from tax cuts," Kerry said. "If Congress increased her taxes by 15 percent, this country would have millions of dollars to use to create new jobs and explore alternative energy sources." Kerry added that it's high time that billionaires like the one with whom he shares his life start paying their fair share.

Letter Of Recommendation Reused For Eighth Intern

NEW YORK—Attorney Dina H. Berman of Oliva, Berman & Chase said Tuesday that he has used the same letter of recommendation for eight consecutive interns. "Unless someone is a complete fuck-up, I can pretty much pull up the letter and just change the names and dates," Berman said. "They're all 'enterprising and enthusiastic with a lot of great ideas and an asset to any team' to me." Berman finished the letter with the standard offer to answer any questions about the intern, but did not correct the transposed digits in her phone number.

Petulant 12-Year-Old Refuses To Brown The Ground Chuck

SCOTTSDALE, AZ—In spite of repeated requests from his mother, 12-year-old John Farina refused to brown the ground chuck Monday. "With the things I do around here, I ask you to do one thing to help me get dinner ready, and even that's too much," Farina's mother Karen yelled at the wall of her son's bedroom, where he had been playing a video game since returning from school. "And I don't care if you don't want taco casserole—it's your sister's turn to pick. You chose sloppy joes yesterday, so deal with it." Family sources report that Farina acceded to his mother's hamburger-related demands as soon as she introduced the alternate threat of washing the lettuce.

Cinemax Director Wins Award For Skinematography

HOLLYWOOD, CA—Marvin Solis, director of the late-night Cinemax offering Uptown Girl, nabbed the coveted Best Skinematography trophy at the 2004 Eroty Awards Monday night. "It's truly an honor to be recognized for this wonderful project," Solis said of the 43-minute erotic thriller, which stars Kira Jackson as a bored high-society housewife seduced into the steamy world of underground sex clubs. "I couldn't have done it without the help of my location scout, my lighting coordinator, and all those 14-year-old Cinemax viewers." Last year, Solis won the Zalman King Lifetime Achievement Award.

Assault-Weapons Ban Expires

The 10-year-old federal law banning the sale of 19 types of semiautomatic assault weapons expired Monday. What do you think?

I Wish My Life Was Better vs. Do You Wish Your Life Was Better?

I spend a lot of time sitting around, hoping that something will drop out of the sky and make my life better. I talk about it all the time. My friends have heard me say it, my family has heard me say it, and my ex-girlfriends have heard me say it. I really believe I deserve more than what I have, but whenever I think about how hard it is to turn things around, I end up feeling so hopeless. I'm stuck in a rut, but what can I do about it?
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Scientists Posit Theoretical ‘Productive Weekend’

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Challenging long-accepted scientific convention, a group of leading MIT scientists published a report Thursday positing that, under certain rare and specific conditions, a so-called “productive weekend” is theoretically pos...

Fantasy Sports

Little League Pitcher Just Getting Fucking Shelled

RED BANK, NJ—After watching the 11-year-old give up the fourth straight double that inning, sources confirmed Sunday afternoon that local Little League pitcher Dustin Bauer is getting absolutely fucking shelled out there.

I Feel I Have Earned The Right To Not Have To Call 'Shotgun'

Jeff? Did I just hear what I think I did? Is it possible that you just said "shotgun"? That's pretty fucked up, Jeff. Because I think it's pretty obvious that, after all these years, I've earned the right to not to have to say "shotgun" when we get into the car.

Okay, everyone shut up. Let's discuss this.

Each of us has a role in Rick's car. Rick is the driver. What he says goes. However, as he is occupied with the top duty—getting us safely to our destination—he leaves me to handle certain details, such as the radio station and garbage control. I am Rick's second man, his cardinal advisor, if you will. I can't even guess the number of times I have alerted him to the presence of bacon on the side.

Yes, ha ha. You find that funny? You three sit back there elbowing each other and quoting Aqua Teen Hunger Force. You don't even realize that there's a whole complex set of tasks being completed up front. Take, for example, the drive-thru. Justin, what do you think goes into getting food from the drive-thru? No one help him! I want to hear his answer.

"Ordering"? Uh-huh. Sure. Ordering. Good. Anything else? "Paying." Very good. Anything else? No? You sure? Try collecting money from each person and making change, taking the soda tray and bags of food from Rick, and distributing the correct food items, as well as napkins and condiments, to each occupant of the car. Ordering and paying. Pfft.

No, I am not freaking out, "dude." I am illustrating a point, and if you want to be a dick, I will happily meet you at your level.

Fine, the gloves are off.

Justin, the one time we went through a drive-thru with you in shotgun, you dumped a goddamn Big Gulp's worth of Sprite in Rick's lap. When you thought no one was watching, you stole one of Will's chicken fingers. You thought you'd gotten away with it, didn't you? Four years riding the wing, and I have not so much as dropped an unopened ketchup packet. I have certainly never abused my privileges and snagged a fry—much less an entire finger. Being klutzy is one thing. Being a thief is something else altogether.

That funny, Will, you pussy? You heard me. You are a pussy with the radio dial. This is you: "Guys, what's a good station?" It takes a man to decide what his friends are going to listen to—a man of action, and you have shown, several times, that you're not a man of action. No pussy will ride wing for Rick as long as I'm saving for my brother's Honda.

Jeff, you seem to be enjoying this. Laugh not too loud, my friend, lest you find they jokest at your expense. I grant that you are a competent operator of the radio dial and quite adept at passing food. I noted some flaws in your technique, but nothing several months of sidecar wouldn't fix. What impresses me most, Jeff, is your character: You are honest and considerate. You are strong and fair. Jeff, you have the makings of a great wingman. Unfortunately, you are not ready at present, as your sense of direction sucks.

Remember that trip to your aunt's beach house? You said you knew the way, so I entrusted you with the role of navigator for a day. Well, thank God I had the foresight to bring along Mapquest directions, or we never would've made it to your aunt's at all.

Oh, come on, Jeff. Who was calling out specific turns to Rick, as well as the approximate distance before the next turn, and who was muttering, "Oh, yeah, I forgot that"? And you want to ride shotgun? For Rick? Maybe if you sit down with every map from the glove compartment and study for a few weeks. Then, perhaps someday, you'll qualify for the sweet corner. But really, what you guys should do is just enjoy the freedom from responsibility you now have in the rear. You especially, Will. As the hump-rider, you don't even have to operate a window.

Okay, if you don't want to appreciate riding rear, fine. But you need to stop taking my function as a considerate front-seat passenger for granted. I don't know how many times I've adjusted the heat for you guys. I always check to see if the person behind me has enough legroom. I never toss a cigarette from my window without looking to see that the back windows are closed. And when Jeff broke up with his girlfriend, I gave him shotgun when we went over to her place to pick up his CDs.

I confess that I am not without sin. I have been known to be a bit brusque with my orders to defrost the rear window. On occasion, I have toyed with the child-safety locks. This I grant. But you want to get into the realm of dark truth? Justin, you once flipped on the hazard lights while Rick was driving. Ha ha, very funny. Until someone dies. And Jesus, Will, when you get a car of your own, challenge as many people to drag race as you want. Until then, work on your fear of the radio dial.

Look, guys, I ride shotgun because I'm the right man for the job. When I believe one of you is ready for the responsibility, I'll mention it to Rick. But for now, I'll continue riding up front, no matter who "called" it, and I'll thank you not to drive your knees into my back.

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