I’ve been in at least 50 countries, mostly for business, and I have said before that I found Denmark to be the friendliest place I’ve ever visited, with Ireland second.

Those two nations are both among the drunkest on the list, so maybe the drinking explains it.

Or it could be the red hair that’s so common in both places.

Nah, it’s the booze.

Maybe a nipple, maybe not.

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The lawman Bass Reeves was a real person, kind of a real-life version of Django – a slave who became one of the best lawmen in the West. By the way, Bass Reeves had a brother named Tenor Reeves, who was even deadlier with his shootin’ iron, but failed to inspire any Old West legends because his would-be biographers couldn’t stop laughing at his squeaky voice.

Bass Reeves remains to this day one of the greatest humans named after a fish, joining:

Zebulon Pike
Salman Rushdie
Catfish Hunter
Mike Trout
Ed Muskie
Sid Bream
Marlin Perkins
Marlon Brando
Laura Harring
Gar Heard
The Cisco Kid
Mike Carp
Dore Schary
Jackson Pollock
David Soul
Aldo Ray

I disqualified “Other” Crappie Henderson because he apparently only exists in my imagination.

I should have but did not did not disqualify The Cisco Kid because one of my favorite TV shows called him “O. Henry’s Legendary Robin Hood of the Old West.” Here’s the real story. O. Henry created the character, but the original Kid was not any kind of good guy, or even an anti-hero. He was a low-down, ornery skunk, a desperado who killed people for fun. As the law closed in on The Kid, ol’ Cisco used a confederate to get a message to the lawman following him, saying that The Kid had kidnapped the lawman’s girlfriend, and had switched clothing with her in order to sneak away. When the lawman high-tailed it to the girlfriend’s house, he saw two figures in the moonlight, and shot the one in women’s clothing. Given that this is an O. Henry story, you can probably guess the ol’ switcheroo. The figure in men’s clothing promptly rode away, and the lawman then realized that The Kid had tricked him into killing his own girlfriend.

Pretty dark.

Somehow, this vile character later became a hero in movies, comics and TV shows.

That is even more difficult than it sounds. Our last five months in North America were filled with balmy weather, but the June-July-August period is winter in Buenos Aires, with lows in the 40s.

Not too long ago I heard someone proclaim confidently, “There will never be another Beatles,” but this lady seems to be The Chosen One. Swift is the first musician to achieve billionaire status “solely based on her songs and performances”, according to Forbes.

Lord knows why.

I suppose I’m not the right age or gender to grasp the reason for her immense popularity.

“She says she was unable to move, but that the aliens ‘touched me and it felt like the finger of God.’”

Could it just have been Harvey Weinstein?

I guess not, because …

“She claims she then saw three ‘triangular-shaped heads’, silver in color with a ‘tiny little nose,’ no ears and ‘a slash for a mouth.’”

That sounds more like the Hudson Brothers.

A study conducted by Visit Sweden in the US found that half of the respondents were not sure if there was a difference between the two nations.

And while they’re at it, they might make up a quick brochure on Switzerland vs Swaziland. (Swaziland was renamed Eswatini a few years ago, probably to avoid the disappointment of Americans who arrived there to ski the Alps. I’m willing to bet that, rounded to the nearest percent, zero percent of Americans know that Eswatini is a country. If you give us a multiple choice, we would probably identify Eswatini as an Italian cocktail. “Vodka Eswatini. Shaken, not stirred.”)

When I was in the Netherlands, the locals there told me that visiting Americans were convinced the locals were Danish, not Dutch. Ah, we Americans, always ambassadors of ignorance. You have to give us different first letters or the words look the same. Most of us probably can’t even tell Poland from Peru.

Also, Czechia and Chechnya might at least tack up a few flyers for us.

The events planned are as follows, according to the Florida Man Games’ website:

Evading Arrest Obstacle Course — Jump over fences, through backyards and away from actual police officers to earn your freedom.

Category 5 Cash Grab — Subject yourself to Category 5 winds as you scramble to catch as much real cash as you can.

Beer Belly Florida Sumo — Dive into the beer belly of the beast as you try to blast your opponent out of the ring.

Mullet Contest — Florida is well-known for being the home of the most outrageous mullet cuts on the planet. Watch and pick the winners.

“‘When I was in the White House, every single American had blonde hair, blue eyes, and porcelain skin,’ said the 45th president, adding that ever since Joe Biden was elected, there were suddenly all these Blacks, Latinos, and Asians who simply did not previously exist within the United States. ‘Now, there are non-whites. There are gays. And there are non-Christians.'”

It is so named in honor of the greatest role of my favorite living character actor (since Wilford Brimley died), and my fellow Longhorn, the F man himself, F. Murray Abraham. He won an Oscar for playing the cunning, Machiavellian character of Antonio Salieri, “the patron saint of mediocrities,” and possible poisoner of Mozart. Today is Abraham’s birthday, so happy 84th birthday, you magnificent, Mozart-killing bastard.

To celebrate this special holiday each year, in honor of Abraham’s memorable representation of the sycophantic and hypocritical Salieri, we take this time to honor our loved ones publicly and to their faces, but then to betray them behind their backs and take credit for their achievements.


“When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

As far as we know, the “Salieri killed Mozart” legend is total bullshit, as is just about everything else people think they know about Salieri. (The New Yorker covered the modern misperception of Salieri with an excellent and detailed article.)

Just a few years after Salieri’s death, Pushkin wrote a short play («Моцарт и Сальери») that gave a public, artistic airing to an idea that previously had been merely a rumor in intellectual circles – that a jealous Salieri had poisoned Mozart. The great Pushkin was a brilliant wordsmith, the Shakespeare of the Russian language, some say the very creator of modern Russian, but he was no historian, and was also a hot-headed ass whose own character flaw was … (wait for it) … jealousy. In English we often use the expression “fatal character flaw” with no regard for the literal meaning. In Pushkin’s case, his propensity for jealousy was indeed fatal. (He died in a duel involving his wife’s flirtations, or lack thereof.) Although Pushkin undoubtedly pictured himself as Mozart, the crass interloper in courtly society who was somehow blessed with an immeasurable genius unattainable by the Tsar’s favorites, his version of Salieri is a rather obvious subconscious representation of himself, a man so consumed by jealousy that he was willing to kill his rival.

Pushkin’s accusation would undoubtedly have exited the 20th century as an obscure piece of literary and historical trivia, but the idea that Salieri may have poisoned Mozart was resuscitated and cemented into our modern consciousness in the 1970s. The culprit was “Amadeus,” a celebrated play that became Oscar’s “Best Picture.” As a result of the popularity of that story, many people believe the legend today, notwithstanding a complete lack of any factual or logical basis for that belief. In reality, all of Mozart’s closest friends and associates continued to associate cordially with Salieri after Mozart’s death, and none seem to have suspected Salieri of foul play.

Mozart and Salieri were rivals, to be sure. That rivalry even included a head-to-head battle during an opera composition competition held by Emperor Joseph II in 1786. Mozart lost that competition. Contrary to the entire basis of Amadeus, it was actually Mozart who was the envious one. He was jealous of Salieri’s success, and of Salieri’s position as the emperor’s favorite. This was no literary fabrication, but was based on the hard evidence of Mozart’s own words, as expressed in letters to his father.

Wikipedia picks up the story:

In the 1780s, while Mozart lived and worked in Vienna, he and his father Leopold wrote in their letters that several “cabals” of Italians led by Salieri were actively putting obstacles in the way of Mozart’s obtaining certain posts or staging his operas. For example, Mozart wrote in December 1781 to his father that “the only one who counts in [the Emperor’s] eyes is Salieri”. Their letters suggest that both Mozart and his father, being Austrians who resented the special place that Italian composers had in the courts of the Austrian nobility, blamed the Italians in general and Salieri in particular for all of Mozart’s difficulties in establishing himself in Vienna. Mozart wrote to his father in May 1783 about Salieri and Lorenzo Da Ponte, the court poet: “You know those Italian gentlemen; they are very nice to your face! Enough, we all know about them. And if [Da Ponte] is in league with Salieri, I’ll never get a text from him, and I would love to show him what I can really do with an Italian opera.” In July 1783, he again wrote to his father of “a trick of Salieri’s”, one of several letters in which Mozart accused Salieri of trickery.

Vaguely related anecdotes:

1. The F in F. Murray Abraham doesn’t stand for anything. His name is Murray Abraham, but he thought that sounded undistinguished and pedestrian, so he added an initial to make him sound special. He chose F in particular in honor of his dad. In theory, it should be written without the period, since F is just F and not an abbreviation, but he spells it with the period.

2. The great genius’s name, the part between the Wolfgang and the Mozart, was not Amadeus at all. In birth it was Theophilus. His baptismal certificate reads: “Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart.”

Theophilus is Greek for “beloved of God.” Amadeus is simply a direct translation of that expression into Latin. Mozart himself used the French, German and Italian translations at various times. (Amadé, Gottlieb and Amadeo, respectively.) He generally signed his compositions “Wolfgango Amadeo.” A benefit concert for Mozart’s family was held in Prague on December 28, 1791, billed as “Concert in memory of Wolfgang Gottlieb Mozart.” His earliest biographers also used Gottlieb as a middle name. As far as we know, Mozart never once referred to himself as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, although he did jokingly sign correspondence in pseudo-Latin as Wolfgangus Amadeus Mozartus. Somehow, in the 19th century, Mozart’s little jest became his posthumous reality.

The weirdest variation of all appears on his marriage registration, where his name has been mysteriously Anglicized to “Adam” – Wolfgang Adam Mozart! Scholars assume that is a misspelling of “Amadé.”

3. Tom Hulce played Mozart in the film version of Amadeus. If he were cast today, he could play Steve Bannon.

“A Florida man wanted by the cops tried to throw them off his trail by placing a big sign outside his house, reading: ‘Johnny Yates does NOT live here!!'”

The official police reaction was actually quite funny. They wrote on Facebook:

“When the deputies arrived they noticed a note written on a dry-erase board in front of a window that said, ‘Johnny Yates does NOT live here!!’

Gee…a dry-erase board never lied to us before!”

“A couple retreats to the island that inspired Ingmar Bergman to write screenplays.”

Whoo-hoo! Party time!

The actual spot, Bergman Island, is regarded as the world’s most depressing vacation destination. It’s the direct opposite of Fantasy Island. Instead of fantasy, there is only grim, somber reality. As you visit, you join everyone else there in staring off blankly into the middle distance while you consider the futility and essential pointlessness of a completely accidental existence that must be endured until a lonely death.

And the buffet is great!

Except maybe a little too heavy on the herring.

Now that I think about it, it’s only the second-worst vacation destination, right after this one.

Anyway, here’s Mia:

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Hey, look what it did for Danny Trejo!

‘Medical experts’ are sounding the alarm over a new bizarre TikTok trend that has people hitting themselves in the face with hammers in hopes it will make them more attractive.”

Medical experts were needed? Did they have to call in the NIH to figure out that hitting oneself in the face with a hammer might have some negative effects?

I’m not going to go into them, because they will be done to death this week as she promotes her book.

I just want to make a note on a picture accompanying a Cassidy story.

One site says: “Congressman Jim Jordan is 6’3″. This makes him one of the taller members of Congress.” Yeah … maybe not.

Here is Jordan next to Cassidy Hutchinson (5’7″, so probably 5’10” in heels), Kevin McCarthy (5’10”) and Mark Meadows (6’0″).

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There are some perspective issues in that photo, but it’s clear that Jordan is much smaller than Meadows.

Matt Gaetz is reliably measured at 6’2″ according to his arrest record, but if Jim Jordan is 6’3″, then I’m guessing that Gates may actually be seven feet tall (see below). I guess that could be. He does have the forehead of Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster, who was about seven feel tall in those built-up shoes.

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Jordan’s real height? Well, he wrestled at 134 in college, so I’d say 5’7″ or 5’8″ is a decent guess.