There's More To Life Than Just Traveling The World And Marveling At Its Varied Peoples And Cultures

In This Section

Vol 37 Issue 20

Average Age Of Wacky TV Neighbors Dropping

ATLANTA–According to a Center For Media Studies report released Monday, the average age of wacky TV-sitcom neighbors has steadily declined over the past half-century. "In the '50s, during the days of Ed Norton and Fred and Ethel Mertz, the median age was a mature 53," the report read. "By the late '70s and early '80s, with the likes of Larry on Three's Company, Monroe on Too Close For Comfort, and Lenny and Squiggy on Laverne & Shirley, the average had dropped to 36. Today, the wacky-neighbor landscape is dominated by twentysomethings, typified by Jack on Will & Grace and all the friends on Friends." At the present rate, the report added, wacky TV neighbors will primarily be toddlers by 2015.

Mediocre Painter's True Talent Lies In Acting Like A Painter

LOS ANGELES–According to art critics, mediocre painter James Augustiniak has proven masterful at cultivating the self-centered, womanizing demeanor of an art-world enfant terrible. "Augustiniak's latest exhibition, featuring dozens of paintings of melting eyeballs and hearts, was a staggering achievement in clichéd, pseudo-pretentious banality," said Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight. "But I went anyway, just to see him throw a fit over the lighting in the gallery. He's very good at that sort of thing."

America A Fascist Police State, Stoned Underage Drunk Driver Charges

SMYRNA, GA–Outraged by the brutal suppression of civil liberties that has defined the nation's history, stoned 15-year-old Corey Shifflett denounced America as a "total fascist police state" following his drunk-driving arrest Saturday. "This whole country is, like, totally Hitlered-out," Shifflett told friend Glen Withers, who posted his $500 bail. "These cops, they're just looking for any excuse to pull us over and hassle us, just to feel like fuckin' Superman." Shifflett then knocked over an orange highway cone and vowed to move to Amsterdam.

Longtime Sexual Fantasy Awkwardly Fulfilled

LEXINGTON, KY–The longtime sexual fantasy of Andrew Marcone was awkwardly fulfilled Saturday, when the local record-store clerk participated in a clumsy, embarrassing menage a trois with girlfriend Karen Wagner and her roommate Shelley Peelen. "Well, I finally did it, for what it's worth," said Marcone, 27, following the long-dreamed-of sexual encounter, six minutes into which he ejaculated. "So much for wondering what it would be like, I guess." After achieving orgasm, Marcone spent the next half hour "trying not to get in the way" of his companions.

Hidden Valley Ranch Bombed By Balsamic Extremists

HIDDEN VALLEY, CA–A radical Balsamic fundamentalist group detonated an estimated 800 pounds of TNT at the Hidden Valley Ranch compound Monday, killing 11 and injuring dozens more. "Let no salad again be foully tainted by the corrupt regime of Hidden Valley," said Martin Pulaski, leader of the Nation Of Balsam, in a statement claiming responsibility for the deadly attack. "We shall not rest until every salad's flavor is enhanced by a light and tangy vinaigrette, not buried in a shameful avalanche of buttermilk."

The Jeffords Defection

Last week, U.S. Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont left the GOP to become an independent, handing control of the Senate to the Democrats. What do you think?

Just Being Neighborly

You know, you'd think a genuine people-person like me would have friends coming out the wazoo. But other than Patti and Fulgencio, and my two sweet kitties Priscilla and Garfield, I don't have a whole heck of a lot of buddies. I've never understood it: I'm always eager to initiate a conversation (even with a complete stranger), I'm always smiling, and I'm ever-ready to lend a helping hand or shoulder to cry on. I'm serious! If any of you Jeanketeers out there ever need a favor, just let me know. Heck, if you're real nice, I'll even help out with the housework! (Only, I don't do windows–ha ha ha!)
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Entertainment

Comedy

There's More To Life Than Just Traveling The World And Marveling At Its Varied Peoples And Cultures

I guess we inherit a certain worldview from our parents. My father was a reporter for National Geographic, and my mother was the photographer on his assignments. We spent 11 months out of the year seeing the world and taking in its various wonders. Since that's the way I was raised, I just figured that's what families do; that's how life is lived.

My folks retired when I was 19. Not long after, I joined the Peace Corps, in which I helped a remote Honduran village develop an irrigation system. Along the way, I got to know the locals, learned their traditional folk songs and tales, and saw how their strength comes from their closeness and interdependence. Why did I do this? Frankly, because I knew no other way. I was just copying what I'd seen my parents doing.

Today, I'm one of the world's leading anthropologists, an accomplished archaeologist, and an award-winning novelist. And, at 41, I'm only now becoming aware of the globetrotting rut I've been in my entire life. Looking back on everything I've seen and done, I can't help but ask, "Is that all there is?"

If this is such a great life, traveling the world and drinking deep of its bountiful cultural and historical well, then why am I the only guy doing it? It's time for me to wake up to the real joys life has to offer.

Every weekend, in malls across America, guys hit on girls and dine on food-court Chalupas and Mountain Dew, then go off to buy the new Tool CD. Why am I not among them? Because while they're spending genuine quality time in fluorescent-lit shopping corridors, stupid me is off becoming a blood brother of the Blackfoot Indians or observing a Haitian voodoo ceremony. Well, I'm sick of it! I want better. I want to watch the DVD of Miss Congeniality in my bathrobe! I want to blow my money on scratch-off lottery tickets! I want to make my ass go numb sitting on the floor playing Donkey Kong 64 all day! I don't think that's so much to ask.

Everywhere I turn, I see ads for a corn chip called "Fritos." I think, "My God, this must be a truly remarkable corn chip, to be so widely and confidently touted." My thoughts often turn to Fritos while eating the obscure regional cuisine on which I invariably subsist. Like when that Chilean peasant village held a banquet to thank me for showing them how to dam the river and create a fishing reservoir. They made this local delicacy called "Pastel del Choclo" with corn, meat, and spices. But if it were as good as Fritos, wouldn't Pastel del Choclo be on billboards in every city? Why am I getting shorted? Will I die not having tasted Fritos?

Recently, I was with the Wapemba tribe in Zanzibar, and I heard their chieftain recite the mythology of creation that these people had known for thousands of years. And I was struck by its similarities to other creation myths, including the Judeo-Christian model. Then I thought to myself, so what the fuck am I doing here in Zanzibar? Why did I slog all the way to Africa to hear a story that I could have heard at the Baptist church two blocks from my house? You get what I'm saying? If all people are the same on the inside, why did I spend a year learning Swahili when I could just talk to the girl at the Tast-E-Freez? It's all the same shit, folks. Save your plane fare.

I'm not saying you should never go places and meet people. I'm just saying don't get too carried away with it. Sure, visit Paris and chat up a local in a coffee shop. But stay home, too. Get drunk and sleep until noon. Before studying the coastline of Sicily, learn the shape of your own mattress.

Sometimes, I just want to draw the blinds, tell the Explorer's Club to fuck off, and order two large pizzas and the Spice Channel. Now, that's living.

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More