Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pruneface and Women.

Man, Fred Thompson is a real dick.
He uses the news of an assassination to try to score political points against Hillary Clinton. Jesus, Fred. Show some fuckin' humanity.
Oh, wait. I forgot I'm talking about this guy:

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Where do I begin?

Grampaw Fred Thompson sure is frikkin' cranky.

After a quick meeting with the staff of the newspaper, Thompson climbs aboard the bus for the four-block drive to the gleaming new building that houses the fire department. He and Jeri walk down the line of firemen assembled to greet him. When someone presents him with a fireman's helmet to wear for a photo-op, Thompson holds the helmet away from him to get a good look at it and laughs. "I've got a silly-hat rule that I'm about to violate," he says, raising it toward his head before thinking better of it. "I ain't gonna do it," he says, laughing.

Well, Fred. I got a silly old man rule, and that's not going to get violated. How about WALKING four blocks, you fragile geezer?

Also pick a better campaign song. This one is horrible:
Ain't no tellin' where the wind might blow
Free and easy down the road I go
Livin' life like a Sunday stroll
Free and easy down the road I go
Free and easy down the road I go

Free? Easy? Blow? Are these the words we associate with the office of the presidency?

That's what we need in a President: Someone who lives like a Sunday Stroll. If I wanted that kind of philosophy, I'd be hanging out at the retirement center. And NOT mocking the residents.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Ghost of Tom Joad

Nobody reads The Grapes of Wrath anymore.
ONTARIO, Calif., Dec 21 (Reuters) - Between railroad tracks and beneath the roar of departing planes sits "tent city," a terminus for homeless people. It is not, as might be expected, in a blighted city center, but in the once-booming suburbia of Southern California.
The noisy, dusty camp sprang up in July with 20 residents and now numbers 200 people, including several children, growing as this region east of Los Angeles has been hit by the U.S. housing crisis.
The unraveling of the region known as the Inland Empire reads like a 21st century version of "The Grapes of Wrath," John Steinbeck's novel about families driven from their lands by the Great Depression.
As more families throw in the towel and head to foreclosure here and across the nation, the social costs of collapse are adding up in the form of higher rates of homelessness, crime and even disease.
While no current residents claim to be victims of foreclosure, all agree that tent city is a symptom of the wider economic downturn. And it's just a matter of time before foreclosed families end up at tent city, local housing experts say.
"They don't hit the streets immediately," said activist Jane Mercer. Most families can find transitional housing in a motel or with friends before turning to charity or the streets. "They only hit tent city when they really bottom out."

One commenter over at Eschaton proposed that such encampments be called "Georgetowns." Ha ha.

My mind turns to too-easy-to-draw comparisons between 1939 and 2007.
Mike Huckabee can be Father Coughlin.
George Bush can be Hoover, but that would be insulting Hoover.
Halliburton and Blackwater can be the union-busting goons. (Oh, and they will be. Make book on it.)
Surprisingly, not too many people want to be Preacher Casey. We've seen what happens to people who do that.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Letters to the Editor

The Machines are heading back to Grand Rapids soon for the holidays, so I figured I'd check out the talk of the town in the Grand Rapids Press. Today was a banner day for people who like to read batshit craziness. I count my readers among that number, so I'll share:

Choose candidates wisely

Selection of political candidates dominates the news so I suspect people are trying to evaluate what they see and hear to make an intelligent choice. My concern is that because of misleading statements many will choose candidates for the wrong reasons.

One accepted chunk of nonsense is "exploration of working families by corporations." First of all, corporations don't do things, people do. A corporation is a type of business structure owned by stockholders who for the most part are institutions like pension funds and mutual funds owned by working people. They elect directors who choose management. There is an occasional bad-apple but how is it in their interest to exploit their owners?

Another favorite technique is to magnify historic grievances of groups to get their vote. First, the people who suffered are long gone and we have plenty of laws to prevent reoccurrence. Second, when has nursing, even legitimate hurts, increased our well-being or prosperity?

Ok, one more. Everyone likes freebies. Everyone hates war. So blame war on your opponent and promise to use the cost of war for government benefits. As has been said, "a government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. Is that what we want if we and our children aspire to become "Peters"?

Voters, please, choose a candidate who is knowledgeable, has management skills, is honorable in conduct, honest in word and deed, dutiful in service and respectful of the rights of all people, including those with an attached umbilical cord.

-- NORMAN J.E. ROE/Elk Rapids

Not a good moral

I have not seen "The Golden Compass" yet, and I don't plan to. After reading the Pulse letter "Wrong direction" (Dec. 13), I am even more convinced, being brought up in a Catholic family.

It bewilders me to know that people would pay money to see a movie by someone who doesn't believe in the creator of the universe, God. I hope that dissuades people from seeing "The Golden Compass."

Instead, why not see a movie that is fun to watch, has a good moral and is worth the money. I would suggest people see "Bee Movie." For those who have kids, or don't, it is fun to see by oneself.


Handout is wrong answer

I am writing in response to the "Mother of triplets moves to Hastings apartment" (Press, Dec. 13).

Monica Roberts met a guy at a bar, had pre-martial sex and had three babies. On top of that she was homeless and living off the state. She claims she is a Christian. Part of being a Christian is to take accountability for one's actions, to be humble and unselfish. How is one (Monica Roberts) going to take responsibility for her actions if everyone else is handing out donations for her mistake?

I believe every child conceived is a blessing from God. Although every Christian sins every day, we also have to learn by fessing up and fixing our sins. I would rather have my tax dollars go to a single mom who works her butt off to provide for her children, and who is humble. This is why I believe some people who need the state's help cannot get it because it goes to women like Roberts.

The father has not stepped up to the plate, nor has Monica Roberts, everyone else has been providing for her along with her mother.

-- GENEVA R. WYNIA/Hudsonville

I make this offer now:
If Norm, Noah, or Geneva are reading this, they all owe me a drink when I roll into the Rust Belt. If they buy me a drink during my visit, I will repay the kindness by not knocking some sense into their heads.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


And I can say this now:
Campbell's Supper Bakes are the most horrid food ever invented.
I would prefer a three course meal of poison ivy salad, haggis, and cow pie to Cambell's Supper Bakes.

Seriously, Mr. Campbell. Stick to soup in a can.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Now comes the sweats

Finished my last exam.
Now the real hard stuff kicks off.

See you next Tuesday.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Elderly Menace

This is all you need to know about Fred Thompson.

A Perfect Storm

Hey, Amtrak!
Nice try at trying to reduce the West Michigan Dutch population (and I mean that), but you're not going to help your case if your engineers keep smashing into other trains.

Amtrak passengers, many of them carrying winter coats and luggage, streamed off the train with the help of rescue workers. Some held the hands of children; others were taken away on stretchers and backboards.

Coert Vanderhill, 60, of Holland, Mich., said the train was approaching the station at 15 to 20 mph when the engine "just ran right up the tail end" of the freight train.

"Everybody just hit the seat in front of them," he said.

Vanderhill, who had come to Chicago to visit his children, had a small cut on his nose and said he and most of the other passengers were "walking wounded."

This story is one of those rare moments where many things that factor greatly in The Legend of Frankie Machine all converge.
1. Amtrak
2. Wounded old Dutch people
3. "University of Chicago Medical Center got 13 patients, three of them in serious to critical condition, spokesman John Easton said. "

I swear, I had nothing to do with this.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bitter Old Man Fred Thompson

He's mad that even FOX Noize is picking on him.

So you know, they’re entitled to their opinion, but for you to highlight nothing but the negative in terms of these polls, and then put on your own guys, who have been predicting for four months, really, that I couldn’t do it, you know, kind of skews things a little bit.

He added:
"And get offa my lawn!"

"I'll get you, Dick Tracy!"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Wishes

One big thing to be thankful for:
This time next year, we will have a new president-elect.

If George Bush or Dick Cheney is reading this, I'll repeat:
This time next year, we will have a new president-elect.
Got it?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I dare call it treason.

I've said it before: There are a lot of Minnesotans that do not consider themselves Americans.

“This hurts our feelings a little bit,” said Margaret Hayford O’Leary, chairwoman of the Norwegian department at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. Will the Midwest soon become “flyover land,” Professor O’Leary wondered, even for Norwegians?

Residents have sent letters to members of Norway’s Parliament. They have sought help from Norwegian-American leaders like former Vice President Walter F. Mondale and Roger Moe, a former Minnesota state legislator. A delegation arranged a trip to Norway to complain.

Some question claims that the issue is one of financial shortfalls. What, they ask, about the government pension fund of more than $300 billion that Norway has amassed in recent years from its oil exports?

“It’s silly to think that this place is somehow going to break the budget for Norway,” said Anne Kanten, a resident of Milan, Minn., which calls itself Norwegian Capital U.S.A. “What’s more Norwegian than Minnesota, anyway?”

Memo to traitors: When Walter Mondale is your last best hope, you're done.
How about assimilating already?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Fred Thompson Update!

Ol' Pruneface has a blog.

If you wanna make those terrorists die
And make Osama cry
It’s not too late
To get behind Fred in ‘08

If you want to keep the boarders secure
And the races pure
If its Mexicans you hate
Throw your support behind Fred ‘o8.

If you don’t trust the Mor-man
And about keeping your guns you give a damn
If a woman’s place is in the kitchen cleaning a plate
Then you want to vote for Fred in ‘08

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Late Night Comedy

This one from Mrs. Machine, having just watched a TV show about a family with a pair of twins and octuplets:
"I'd hate to live next to them. I'd keep putting out 'Have a Heart' traps."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Come ON!

You can't tell me this isn't Fred Thompson.

Just to remind you:

This is what Fred Thompson REALLY looks like:

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Dear Television Executives

I am more than willing to cross the picket line of those "writers."

I have some good ideas for how "How I Met Your Mother" should play out (hint: Richard Belzer enters the scene), as well as some "retooling" ideas for "Law And Order" (hint: Richard Belzer leaves the force to run for President). I will work cheap, too. All I ask is that I be allowed to develop my sitcom idea: Matlock Goes To Jail.

Let's do lunch.


Frankie Machine

Vote Belzer!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

DARE to fight Fred Thompson

The Elderly Menace Candidate runs with drug dealers.

Bill Clinton, at least, threw his own family in jail for drug violations.

Not ol' Pruneface. He stands by his trafficking friends.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A day late

But I think if I had really wanted to go as something scary yesterday, I would have gone as Scary Old Man Fred Thompson:

I think the sight of him made that young woman vomit.

News from Home

This is all true:

Calvin College recruited a black professor, in an effort to encourage diversity on campus.

As a condition of employment, they made her agree to become a member of a Christian Reformed Church. You know, to be welcoming. Worship like us, or you're fired.

And that's what happened. As an African-American, she didn't feel comfortable in a Christian Reformed Church.
(I could have predicted that).

So, they are thinking about firing her.

However, this quote makes me wonder how familiar this professor was with the Christian Reformed Church and Grand Rapids:
"I wish there was a (Christian Reformed) congregation in Grand Rapids that was fully multicultural or even that there was one that was largely African-American," Beversluis said.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Studs Terkel

I, Frankie Machine, am still in awe of Chicago's Best Writer.

I have observed and written about American life for some time. In truth, nothing much surprises me anymore. But I always feel uplifted by this: Given the facts and an opportunity to act, the body politic generally does the right thing. By revealing the truth in a public forum, the American people will have the facts to play their historic, heroic role in putting our nation back on the path toward freedom. That is why we deserve our day in court.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Religion Freaks Can't Laugh

Dear Chuck Norris,
You made a career out of your ability to spinkick somebody to death. Don't talk to me about The Lord.


Frankie Machine

Alleged Chuck Norris Fact: "Chuck Norris' tears can cure cancer. Too bad he never cries. Ever."

There was a man whose tears could cure cancer or any other disease, including the real cause of all diseases – sin. His blood did. His name was Jesus, not Chuck Norris.

If your soul needs healing, the prescription you need is not Chuck Norris' tears, it's Jesus' blood.

Again, I'm flattered and amazed by the way I've become a fascinating public figure for a whole new generation of young people around the world. But I am not the characters I play. And even the toughest characters I have played could never measure up to the real power in this universe.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tired Old Man Fred Thompson

The bloom is off the rose.
The old, thorny rose that is Fred Thompson.

Thompson’s presumptive candidacy was such a joke, after all, way back before he entered the race. There was excitement and enthusiasm — among desperate Republicans, to be specific — but not for Thompson the man, the former lawyer and politician, but Thompson the actor, specifically for the Thompson characters on TV and in the movies. An admiral, a DA, a wise and authoritative tough guy, the same character over and over again — it was that character Republicans wanted to run, not the real-life Fred Thompson with the political past.

But what Republicans have now is the real-life Fred Thompson, and, whatever the poll numbers, he’s just not to their liking, not living up to expectations, because the expectations were unreal, because the characters are unreal, because “Fred Thompson,” as opposed to Fred Thompson, is a fiction. That fiction has fallen from grace, and the man along with it, the man wrapped up in the fiction, the man mistaken for the fiction.

In short:
Without that makeup and flattering lighting, Fred Thompson is Pruneface.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Now I know how a psychic feels.
I am watching the Sox game, in my apartment within shouting distance of Fenway.
I have the TV volume turned down.
I know what is going to happen on the TV with each pitch.

I can tell by the roar coming through my window whether it was a pop fly, an RBI, or a homerun that just occurred. Then, I look at my TV screen, and watch it happen. That was a helluva third inning.

Pretty cool. Just thought I'd tell you.

I am still a White Sox fan.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fred Thompson

What the hell is wrong with this guy?

Fred Thompson embodies everything that makes the Elderly Menace such a menace.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My early endorsement

This should help his numbers.
Positively Unemployed formally endorses Stephen Colbert for President.

His "elderly look like lizards" platform should suffice to defeat the threat that Fred Thompson poses to this nation.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

University of Chicago, back on the blog

Another Nobel Laureate U of C alum of the day.

Congratulations, Professor Myerson. Now go to the University of Chicago Alumni Association and explain to to them how the job market works. They seem to be lagging.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Lazy Old Man Fred Thompson

Man, he just lives up to the stereotypes, doesn't he?

Thompson is sitting next to a Hollywood insider who asks him, Why weren't you interested in being president of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America)? Look, Thompson says. Dick Wolf (creator of "Law and Order") pays me a lot of money to work two days a week. Why would I work for less money and work six days a week?

Fred Thompson is going to gum you to death, terrorists!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Pregnant With Freedom"

I am proud to learn that Stephen Colbert has adapted my ideas about the elderly into his book.

Watch the video clip to see what I mean.

He does kind of look like me, doesn't he?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dear Mean Old Man Fred Thompson

I didn't watch the debate.
If I wanted to see an old person acting high-and-mighty and accusing everyone in sight of being murderers, I can turn on the Hallmark Channel and watch "Murder She Wrote."


Frankie Machine

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Hey Dick Tracy! Your nemesis is running for President!

For godsakes! Look at him!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Crazy Old Man Fred Thompson

He doesn't even know how many Commandments there are. Just like Reagan.

Next thing you know, he'll be coming out in support of the rights guaranteed by the 43rd Amendment.

I am lazy.

And overworked.

Contradiction? I don't think so.

Monday, September 24, 2007


If the writers of the Simpsons have now been placed in charge of reality, somebody forgot to tell me.

MAHOPAC, N.Y -- It was just another morning at the senior center: Women were sewing, men were playing pool and seven demonstrators, average age 76, were picketing outside, demanding doughnuts.

They wore sandwich boards proclaiming, "Give Us Our Just Desserts" and "They're Carbs, Not Contraband."

At issue is a decision to refuse free doughnuts, pies and bread that were being donated to senior centers around Putnam County, north of New York City. Officials were concerned that the county was setting a bad nutritional precedent by providing mounds of doughnuts and other sweets to seniors.

The picketers said they were objecting not to a lack of sweets but that they weren't consulted about the ban.

"Lack of respect is what it's all about," said Joe Hajkowski, 75, a former labor union official who organized the demonstration. He said officials had implied that seniors were gorging themselves on jelly doughnuts and were too senile to make the choice for themselves.

"I'm 86, not 8," added C. Michael Sibilia.

So much over which to laugh myself silly. I love this story for all the wrong reasons.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I am not alone.

A lot of other people agreed with me about Minnesota Monthly's schlock.

A Cool Response
Editor’s Note: Our September issue, “The Cool Issue,” earned us a cold shoulder from more than one subscriber.

Cool? I think the word you’re groping for is “shallow.” I keep hoping for Minnesota Monthly to reflect the intelligence of its parent company, Minnesota Public Radio, but you seem to be in a race with Mpls.St.Paul magazine to see which can produce the least amount of content per column inch. Rather than reporting on a community, you’re marketing a lifestyle, and I don’t want you on my coffee table anymore.
Dan Sullivan

Brian Johnson’s cover on the September issue is awesome. Things quickly descended from that high point. Tim Gihring’s article (“The State of Cool”) made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

The people bit? Nice and all, but a whole twelfth of these “faces of cool” is black. No other ethnicities are represented. Great—we’re cool if we’re white. Where’s that pride in immigration again? The people of my generation (X, but surely you guessed that) and younger score if we’re well-to-do, it seems. Or clean. Clean is cool. Rich is cool. Boomers are automatically cool.

The Matrix of Cool: shockingly accurate, drearily bourgeois. Again, so bad. Downtown St. Paul: nope. University Avenue at Frogtown: uh uh. North Minneapolis: not on the list. Rural Minnesota: not a chance.
Jon S. Olsen

And when a semi-coherent guy named Olsen has a problem with you glorifying Minneapolis, you know you've screwed up.

A rational response

What better place than a bingo game to try to subdue the elderly menace?
BOSTON -- There was no bingo at an elderly complex in Jamaica Plain after someone dispersed pepper sprays.

Residents of Woodbourne Apartments called 911 when people began to feel ill during bingo night.

It's been my experience that when someone gets pepper-sprayed, they've usually done something to deserve it. An unruly mob, those seniors.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fred Thompson: Fake

Hizzoner speaks truth.
"The sad comment is when you see some of the candidates going into a gun show and they think that's machoism. Someone walks into a gun show and says, 'Oh boy. I'm here watching people buy all types of guns and see all types of guns and ammunition,' " Daley said.
"The first thing you think is, 'How about a police officer just driving through a community. Why don't you go visit them and talk to them about gun violence. Why don't you talk to some families of gun violence [victims].' It's like machoism: 'I'm gonna go to a gun show, walk around and show you how macho I am.' That's not machoism. That's strictly a political stunt."

Daley never mentioned Thompson by name. But when pressed to identify whom he was talking about, the mayor said, "The newly arrived candidate on the Republican side."

Fred Thompson, old person, is an actor. Nothing more.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturday Morning Coming Down

A quick observation.
I may be wrong about this, but I saw an Olive Garden ad for unlimited salad and bread sticks.
At the bottom of the screen, there was a note that said:
"Offer not valid in MN."

I wonder how many Olive Gardens in Minnesota went bankrupt before they figured that one out.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Fred Thompson

I'll admit it. I was thinking of taking a break from this blog to attend to East Coast business.
I've decided not to. Here's why:
This old person

is running for President.
Two things factored into my decision to keep blogging in the face of threats of being sat on by the Minnesota Anti-Defamation League.
1. An old person running for president is just too rich a vein of comedy gold to pass up.
2. I will not let the Elderly Menace seize the reins of this country without a fight.
That old man's gonna wake up one day, forget to take his pills, and detonate a bomb over Chicago. You think I'm kidding? Would you let your grandfather have access to any type of explosive? Yes, yes. I know. There's some rumor that my grandfather was the guy who threw the bomb at the Haymarket Riot, but that's never been proven. The point still stands: old people like Fred Thompson are for entertainment purposes only.
Earlier, I proposed the Democrats run B.B. King. I have changed my stance on that issue. Now, I believe there is only actor from the Law and Order franchise that deserves our country's adulation. That actor?
Richard Belzer.

Here are some inspiring words from my actor candidate of choice:
You remember France, it's the country that financed the American Revolution...OK, it was in their self-interest, but still, they made it happen. Let's face it: without the French there would be no other words, without them, there is no us. Sorry, but c'est la vie...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

"Little Jerk."

The elderly will send you to die.
CONCORD, N.H. - An unflinching John McCain was told Tuesday by New Hampshire high school students he might be too old to be president and too conservative to be respected.

McCain, the Arizona senator whose presidential bid has stumbled through the summer, countered the Concord High School students with humor.

"Thanks for the question, you little jerk," McCain joked back to one student who asked the 71-year-old about his age. "You're drafted."

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Aw, heck.

You know I couldn't forget all of ya. I am still ducking the Minnesota Anti-Defamation League agents. Fortunately, they are easy to outrun and easily distracted off my trail by sticks of butter.

Here's some fun. Enjoy your Labor Day, and thank all the blue collar folks who stared down union-busting goons so that you could have the day off.

First, here is a picture from the weekend trip Mr. and Mrs. Machine took:

That's Maine, brother.

Second, here is more batshit crazy Andy Rooney footage:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Larry Craig

I guess the only people who try to have fun in Minnesota are from Idaho.

And that's all I'll say about that.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Look, Nerds...

I don't mean to keep looking at pictures from your spawning parties every year, but you keep making the train wreck worse than the year before. I can't help but look.

You've gotta stop doing this:

I detest myself for doing this, but, to quote George Bush:
"There oughtta be limits to freedom."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dear Minnesota

Here is something I learned in fifth grade:

If you have to tell people how cool you are,

you're not cool.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Now It Can Be Told!

Ol' Frankie Machine is the subject of a feature in Minnesota Monthly magazine. Despite not getting mentioned by name, or a cover photo, I think "Scoop" Enright has many years of quality journalisizing ahead of him.

State of Disgrace
Next May, Minnesota will hit the century-and-a-half mark. But not everyone will be celebrating, it seems. The MNMO staff recently came across an online petition demanding that the Land of 10,000 Lakes be ejected from the union. Among the charges:

» “The residents consider themselves [more] proud to be Scandinavian...than...American.”
» “There is an unbelievably high ratio of dirty ignorant yokels to people with brains.”
» “Most residents drink Hamm’s beer.”

The redress proposed by the wag behind the petition? Revoke Minnesota’s statehood, divvy up our 10 congressional seats, post guards on the Wisconsin border, and turn Minnesota into a protectorate of Norway. (Hmmm, wouldn’t Canada be a better fit?)

Tracked down via e-mail, the 32-year-old author, who recently moved to Minneapolis from Chicago and asked for anonymity, confessed he had posted the petition mostly in spite, alleging a generally snooty attitude among Minnesotans. So far, however, the petition has only drawn 26 signatures, so it’s probably a safe bet that the North Star state will last another 150 years or more. To view the petition, log on to


Link here. (Scroll down.)

To prove my point, the magazine had an unrelated writeup below the story about me. It begins:
Luverne, a town of 4,600 near the South Dakota border, is best known for its buffalo chip–throwing contest.


It ain't a party till someone gets eaten by bears.

A 23-year old Serb was found dead and half-eaten in the bear cage of Belgrade Zoo at the weekend during the annual beer festival.

I like this quote:

"There's a good chance he was drunk or drugged. Only an idiot would jump into the bear cage," zoo director Vuk Bojovic told Reuters.

Oh, really?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I was this guy.

And, some might argue, I still am.

Bank of America

You are on notice, Bank of America.
If, on Monday, I can not access my funds, you will be on "The List."

Maybe you should hire some Americans, instead of Russians.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

In Hiding

The Lam is a familiar perch for ol' Frankie Machine, but I was hoping to go legit this time.
Nonetheless, I'll post more soon.

Quote of the week?
"For 'The Bank of America,' there are a lot of Russians working here."

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Have been exaggerated.

The Machines are now firmly ensconced in some place other than Minnesota. To dispell some of the gossip that's floating out there on the blogs, here are some FACTS:

1. I have not "sold my soul" to The Man.
2. I am not fleeing the cops or the Minnesota Vikings fan club.
3. You are not a sad, dehumanized media consumer. By reading this blog, you place yourself firmly in the avant garde of internet wit.

There ya go.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Notes from the road

Again, thanks to the Czar.

Friday, August 03, 2007


The Czar and I are rockin' upstate New York.
Updates as they become available.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Soon to be gone

In 48 hours, I should be in Cleveland.
Internet is sporadic, so I will post more when I get settled.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Minnesota is for potato lovers.

This, my friends, is culture where I live.

See more "greatness" here.

The Kids Are Alright

What a bunch of thugs they hire as crew.
The father whose several children, ages 12 to 15, were removed from an Amtrak train said he's considering filing a lawsuit against the rail carrier.

Peter Sharfin accused Amtrak of overreacting and abusing the children, who booted them out in the dark and 600 miles from home after accusations that one of them stole an iPod.

"I felt like it was child endangerment," he said. "These are children alone at night."
Sharfin said the children didn't know where they were.
"They were hundreds of miles from home," he said. "It was dark. Their parents weren't there."

Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham said the children "weren't just put off in the middle of nowhere, mind you. They were put off in the custody of the police department."

You damn kids! Get off our train! I'm glad to see Amtrak conductors are taking it upon themselves to make citizens arrests.

I've ridden Amtrak enough to see some real shitheads that should have been kicked off the train. The guy who would NOT SHUT UP about what he was going to do in Chicago. The two ladies who would NOT SHUT UP about what they had gotten at Zabars. Don't forget the derelict loser who was hitting on the mother of two for five hours. Kick those people off the train. Leave the kids alone.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

College Republicans

Adding, Max Kues of Christian High School in Saint Louis, MO is officially not gay.

Glad we cleared that up.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hey Hey Woodie Guthrie!

Click the picture for some subversion.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Drunk and Violent Nordies

Now that's some Minnesota Nice right there.

A traffic control agent was blindsided by a punch to the side of his head Saturday night at the Aquatennial fireworks downtown and hit his head on a fire hydrant, police said.
A Minneapolis police officer trying to arrest the suspect was also assaulted but uninjured, police said. Two Twin Cities men and a local woman, all in their early- to mid-twenties, were arrested in the incident.
Although police said it's not common for people to get physical at such events, they said tensions can rise when large crowds are thrown together.

"I've worked those fireworks details before," said police spokeswoman Lt. Amelia Huffman, "and people get furious over traffic issues."

I'll explain it to my readers who live back in civilization. Minneapolis crowds like this are composed of the rubes and hicks who populate the Twin Cities, suburbs and villages of the surrounding area. They've never lived in a real city, or in close proximity to other people. And so, like a five-year old who's never been properly socialized, they react stupidly and violently when put in a large crowd situation. As the story illustrates, their little underdeveloped minds can't process a person directing traffic, and so they throw a tantrum that is made all the more deadly by their above-average body mass and pent-up rage.

Such is Minnesota. I hope the Republicans know what they signed on to by holding their convention here next summer.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Comics, again

Unfunny Comic Strip of the Day.
Funky Winkerbean.
Damnit. You'd think a comic strip named "Funky Winkerbean" would be silly and slapstick and gleefully stupid. But you'd be wrong.
Despite e-mails from readers asking him to save her, "Funky Winkerbean" creator Tom Batiuk says the comic strip character Lisa Moore will succumb to breast cancer.

I'll add that this news was released to coincide with the insane Harry Potter book release. It's as though Batiuk was jealous of JK Rowling and jumped up and down saying "I'll kill off a character! I'll kill off a character! Look at me! Look at me!" Hack.

Compounding this is that all week, there was a cheap'n'tawdry storyline culminating in:

Oh, Bill Watterson! Save us!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Damn Minnesota Hippies

Always with the drugs.
Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon says about a dozen arrests were made, and close to $25,000 worth of Ecstasy, heroin, cocaine and mushrooms were seized.

The music festival continues through tomorrow night.

Yes, the music festival may continue, but what's the point?

I'd just like to say that I love it when online newspapers allow reader comments. Like this one:

If it were Country Jam, the cops would be busting the rednecks for 'making love' to the farm animals.

Cardboard Box Blogging!

To use the cliche,
this ain't the half of it.

In other news, there is a big story on the horizon that may have dangerous ramifications for ol' Frankie. But rest assured. I haven't been this ready for a fight since I encountered that besotted longshoreman behind The Holiday Club.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Thanks to the Czar for lookin' out for such hilarity.

Monday, July 16, 2007

From Yesterday

You may not have heard it on the news, but pirates invaded Minneapolis yesterday.
About damn time, I said, as the buccanneers tore through the crowd of Minnesotans bloated on corndogs and lutefisk, slashing and shooting all those in their path. But the carnage really got going when the pirates tried to buy beer and were told it was Sunday.

All kidding aside...what kind of provincial city has an outdoor festival in the summer, but does not have a beer tent? Say what you will about my people, the Poles, but we are always looking for an excuse to have a beer tent. I've seen beer tents at first communion parties and funerals. There was something sad about seeing a horde of Midwesterners standing around a lake, trying to have a good time, and being sober.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Back in a few

Off to The Milk Carton Races.
Will post whacky pictures and derogatory commentary.

Friday, July 13, 2007

More from Craigslist

This person tops Frankie Machine for invective against Minnesota.
Go read this rant before they pull it down for not being "Minnesota Nice."

Cellphones....if you know you can drive with one (and you either can or you can't) then do it!! Have fun! If you can't (like the girl on 4th of July at St. Anthony Falls who drilled a guy on his bicycle and didn't even say I'm sorry or HANG UP HER PHONE, but kept on driving bitching to her friend while the biker cleaned the blood off of his pants) then don't!! What's more important? "Oh yaaaaa?? Are ya makin da hot dish tonight Sven?" or avoiding causing the deaths/injuries of those around you?

Update: That didn't take long. Flagged and removed. I bet that hot dish remark really pissed some people off.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Funny Letter to the Editor

From the New York Times:

Inside the continental United States and Canada, the answer is to go by train whenever possible. Rarely is there ever a weather delay, and the on-time record is superb. I have never lost my luggage by rail.

Peter J. Peirano
Ridgewood, N.J.

When did the NYT start publishing brilliant sarcasm on its letters page? I hope it's sarcasm.

I am way too familiar with our nation's Amtrak stations. From Chicago to Philadelphia to DC to Ann Arbor...I've had train delays due to heat, rain, snow, mudslides. If you don't believe me, ask The Czar, who once sat in the Jackson, Michigan train station until just about dawn waiting for me. I once considered stealing from the concessions stand on one train, because it meant I would be kicked off the train, which sat for two hours outside of Union Station in Chicago.

I cannot vouch for how Amtrak handles luggage, because I wouldn't trust a nickel to those sticky fingered thugs. When I used Amtrak, I kept my bag on my lap the whole time, with my revolver lying on top to discourage any shenanigans.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Banks and the elderly

Another automotive offensive by a senior.

Around 10 a.m. Thursday, police said an elderly man drove over a curb and crashed into the southeast side of a U.S. Bank on Southwest 116th Avenue in King City.
Police said the crash caused damage to the side of the bank’s vault and ATM.

He should have followed this old person's style.

A 76-year-old woman who robbed a bank to help her troubled son pay off debts will serve her sentence at home, not prison.

Marilyn Devine was sentenced Thursday to 23 months of house arrest followed by 20 years probation for using an unloaded pistol to rob a bank branch inside a supermarket in West Mifflin, Pa., in March, 2006.
“You don't remember my face but I'm haunted by yours, your pale blue eyes,” said Janelle Drecnik, 25, who was on her third day on the job when Devine stuck a pistol in her face.

Ms. Drecnik is no longer a teller and now lives in New York.

Ms. Drecnik said she still has nightmares and must deal with “the ridicule of people laughing that I got robbed by a grandmother.”

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Mitt Romney: Pornographer!

I am not intending this blog to do a regular "know-the-candidates" feature, but following my comments on Mean ol' Man Fred "Get offa my lawn!" Thompson, I was made aware of this story about Mitt the Fightin' Mormon Romney.

Mitt's in trouble with, of all folks, the batshit crazy religious right who think that Marriotts are dens of iniquity, and Mitt should have stopped it:
Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, who rails against the "cesspool" of pornography, is being criticized by social conservatives who argue that he should have tried to halt hardcore hotel movie offerings during his near-decade on the Marriott board.

Marriott? Yes, Marriott. Why?

"Marriott is a major pornographer. And even though he may have fought it, everyone on that board is a hypocrite for presenting themselves as family values when their hotels offer 70 different types of hardcore pornography," said Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values, an anti-pornography group based on Ohio.

If I were Marriott, I would advertise this!
Marriott: Now with 70 different types of hardcore pornography!
Marriott: Pssst...We've got 70!

Embassy Suites would counter with 80 different types of hardcore pornography, then Microtel would go to 85.

And the winner would be you, the consumer.

He was her man

And he done her wrong.

Elderly woman tries to shoot boyfriend.

Officers reported that Paolone said Morgan-Roberts was very intoxicated. She staggered when locating the gun for the officers, police said.

An elderly person writes in to the paper.
And hilarity ensues. I swear, the editors who select these letters for publication must be readers of this blog.

I am an elderly citizen. I obey the laws, pay my taxes and keep my property looking decent as I can with my income.

I don't think the town is doing much for the elderly.
There are signs in my neighborhood that are green, but only the red are stolen and destroyed.

I'm wondering if I will be safe going to a polling place to cast my vote. Will I have to sneak in? It's sad.

There are reader comments, too! My favorite, and the one that gets everyone riled up:

You know you will be safe to vote, yet you write your last line as if you are living in another country, unable to safely cast a vote. You are a disgace, trying to scare elderly voters.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

I once read a statement by someone who lived under the brutality of Soviet communism, in which the author claimed that the best way to fight a tyrannical oppressive regime is to live as if you are a free person. Pretend that you have the freedoms denied you.

And so (and it's sad that I have to say this in my own country), this Independence Day, let us pretend that we are led by a president who considers himself constrained by the rule of law.

I am moving to Boston in August, and will make a visit to the site of the Boston Massacre, where Crispus Attucks took a bullet for liberty. He was a former slave, and he knew from oppression. I'll also visit Lexington Green, which was the site where the bravest people the world had ever seen were told: ""Lay down your arms, you damned rebels, or you are all dead men."

So, this Independence Day, pretend you are at Lexington Green again, or that you are Crispus Attucks, and don't be afraid of King George.

Head Start

The elderly hate disadvantaged children.

An elderly man lost control of his car and plowed into the Head Start Development Center in Stockton Monday.

What about the children?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Back to Un-business

Soylent Green is NOT old people.

I was drawn to this letter by the headline:
How to reduce Florida's elderly population

and I thought, "they aren't asking ME?"

I think reducing Florida's elderly population is a worthy goal. As worthy as reducing Florida's Republican population, redneck population, Skunk Ape population, and Jimmy Buffet fan population. I think you should just let the Seminoles have the whole state again.

But the writer ascribes to people like me the idea that such a goal is accomplished only through using the elderly as a food source.

Many elderly people living on a fixed income have only one choice: Get out of Florida!

Such a move is a traumatic experience at any age, but for elderly people, leaving their home, friends and familiar surroundings can cause serious illness and even death.

The state government needs to take action to remedy this tragic situation.

Raise your hand if you remember "Soylent Green."

The elderly are a poor source of protein and vitamins. Many have heart disease and other infirmities. Ick. Nobody has ever said, "Maybe the dingo ate your grampa!" Because even dingoes know this.

I resent the writer thinking that dealing with the elderly menace involves eating them. The elderly should stop flattering themselves so.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sorry for the delay.

Took a trip.
Good times.
Expect your usual unemployment-fueled posting flurry tomorrow.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Amtrak is Evil

They dropped a sick person off in the middle of nowhere.

PHOENIX - A 65-year-old St. Louis man went missing outside Williams, Ariz., after he was kicked off an Amtrak train in the middle of a national forest, Williams police said.

Police said Roosevelt Sims was headed to Los Angeles but was asked to leave the train shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday at a railroad crossing five miles outside Williams.

Police said there is no train station or running water at the crossing, which is about two miles from the nearest road.

Amtrak personnel told police dispatchers that Sims was drunk and unruly.

The Sims family said Sims is diabetic and was going into shock.

Amtrak crews are some of the stupidest, most bullying people I've ever crossed in my travels. I guess being around the smell of Amtrak train bathrooms for days at a time can turn you mean, but this is inhuman. I hope the Sims family sues Amtrak for a billion dollars.

And if Amtrak is going to kick people off for being drunk and unruly, I guess that means half their ticket agents, conductors, and engineers should find themselves in the middle of a national forest as well.

And with that, Amtrak is added to "The List."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Oh. My. Word.

Visit the The Comics Curmudgeon for the whole story.

I remember getting in serious trouble in high school for drawing stuff that was half as disturbed as this.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fred Thompson is a scary old man.

There, I said it.
However, one of the memes being kicked around by the people who care way too much about these things is that he evokes a daddy figure, somebody who is strong, and smells manly, and will make us feel secure.
Some strange justifications for Fred Thompson as president come from his former honies:
The Times quotes old flame Lorrie Morgan, who spoke of the man in rather favorable terms. "I think he has a great chance of capturing the women’s vote. He’s majestic. He’s a soft, safe place to be and that could be Fred’s ticket," Morgan said, offering the following rather graphic kicker: "Women love a soft place to lay and a strong pair of hands to hold us."

I'll pause a moment while you go vomit.

Back? Alright. There is only one way to defeat this soft, strong hand juggernaut. The Democrats have to nominate someone just as soft, and just as strong handed, who captures women's hearts and makes weak pansy boys feel secure.

I speak, of course, of B.B. King.

Before you laugh, look at his record.

1. He has been an ambassador for more than 50 years. An ambassador of the blues.

2. Unlike Obama, nobody is going to argue about whether B.B. King is black.

3. Having diabetes, he knows all about health care.

4. He is very giving. I heard that he gave a woman SEVEN children. Unfortunately, the mean-hearted woman wanted to give them back.

5. He has paid the cost. To be the boss.

6. Strong hands. Soft places. He's got them. Look at that picture.

Chortle all you want, but I think Lucille would make a great first lady.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bong Hits 4 Jesus!

Support Student Freedom of Expression.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Funny things

If you can catch the whole Robot Chicken Star Wars on Cartoon Network, do so.


The elderly are hiring someone to manage their schemes.

Also, the Washington Post ran a story on how Dick Cheney considers himself an emperor.

Someone posted this comment:

I am from Wyoming, a political scientist, and a Republican. I have spent my entire adult life listening to Dick Cheney. I do not recall ever hearing him tell the truth to the public. He is among the most vile politicians in American history. But let's be realistic about who's to blame for all THIS. Our critical institutions - e.g., the media and the universities - have completely failed us. And though the electorate is also to blame I personally hold seniors and veterans responsible for this debacle. They should have known better.

My Word continues to spread.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Nothin' pulled the trigger but the Devil's right hand

The elderly play Gin Rummy for keeps, brother.

Four residents were playing bid whist at a small table in the recreation room at the home when one of the players, a 77-year-old man, went to his room and came back with a gun, said Maywood Police Sgt. Tim Curry. But the motive for the shooting remains unclear.

"The offender had played a hand and then he got up--nobody knows why--he went into his room and came back with a shopping basket, reached in and began shooting," Curry said

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

John Kerry

John Kerry is doing something George Bush could never do:
Supporting our troops and their families.
Case in point.

While the U.S. military searches for a soldier missing in Iraq, kidnapped by insurgents possibly allied with al Qaeda, his wife back home in Massachusetts may be deported by the U.S. government.

Gosh, those Republicans sure do love the troops, huh?

An immigration judge has been sympathetic, putting the case on hold since Alex Jimenez was reported missing. But her case is in limbo, and her future in this country uncertain.

She is currently with family members in Pennsylvania.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., has asked federal immigration officials not to deport Hiraldo.

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Kerry said the grief and stress being felt by Hiraldo should not be compounded by worries about her immigration status.

"Under no condition should our country ever deport the spouse of a soldier who is currently serving in uniform abroad," Kerry said. "I feel even more strongly in this case, given the terrible uncertainty surrounding Army Specialist Alex Jimenez."

I will lay $50 that says George Bush does not even know who Alex Jimenez is. As long as I can remember, I've heard the conventional wisdom repeated that liberals can't relate to the troops, that they hate the military, that Republicans are strong on national defense, how the troops love Republicans. I never bought it.

Republicans are about to deport the wife of a soldier who is missing in Iraq. They are so spun sideways in their immigration crackdown that they are destroying a military family in an evil, heinous way. These people are cowards.

At least John Kerry is doing something about it.

Dennis the Menace

It's been a while since I did Unfunny Comic Strip of the Day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

FIght the power, Gramma!

They should have used those "special" handcuffs.

Deputies arrested a 94-year-old woman who spit on, hit and tried to bite authorities at a Bank of America in suburban Boca Raton today, the sheriff's office said.

The woman was upset over money she believed the bank owed her and became combative when a deputy asked her to leave, the sheriff's office said.

You know who the real victim is here? The police officer. Not only did he get savagely attacked, but he had to go home that night and tell his family he had gotten into a fight with a 94-year old woman. His children probably lost all respect for him.

Thanks to Sinfonian for bringing this to our attention.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Crack is Whack!


An elderly man who reached inside a car Friday afternoon and inappropriately touched a Staunton woman was charged with misdemeanor sexual battery


HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Hagerstown police filed drug dealing charges against a 79-year-old woman who was allegedly dealing drugs.

Gettin the nation's youth hooked on that poison. Thanks, elderly!

Rock and Roll!

Fred Knit tle wears his belt up high. His nose is tethered to an oxygen tank; on stage he’s confined to a folding chair. From this unlikely perch, he’s turning rock ’n’ roll on its head.

Singing Coldplay’s “Fix You,” Knittle transforms the song into a powerful ballad about a grandfather’s healing wisdom. It means something different coming from an 80-year-old retiree suffering from congestive heart failure.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Early bet

I'm going to go out on a limb here.
This is not going to work out the way it's supposed to.

On Fox News Sunday General David H. Petraeus expressed concern about the new US plan to arm Iraqi Sunnis who promise only to fight al Qaeda.

"How do you know, or do you worry, that they are going to end up using those weapons to either attack US forces or to fight their civil war against the Shiites?" asked host Chris Wallace.

"Those are legitimate concerns," replied Petraeus, but said that the US was taking precautions to prevent that from happening.

This is from the same group of people who told us our troops would be greeted as liberators, that oil revenues would pay for this war, that an Iraqi army was just about ready to stand on its own, that etc.

They do have great plans, don't they? And they're so good at taking precautions.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

And the heat goes on

Well, here we are. My last Minnesota summer.
It's a scorcher out there.

The elderly scare small children.
"I thought I was going to be the only one," Edwards said. She confessed to her fifth grade teacher Vicky Dow and guidance counselor Barbara Moskol that old people sometimes scare her.

That's totally understandable.
Hudock's wife, Paula, drove up and saw the car inside the store, but her husband called her on her cell phone to let her know no one was hurt, she said.

Tieche said an elderly woman was driving the car. He did not release her name, saying the department's report was not finished

I'd be especially scared of an old person who does this:
Thompson is also charged with animal cruelty, accused of tying two horses by their heads while transporting them in a makeshift flatbed trailer.

So don't blame the children. They seem to know what's going on.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Rock and roll

Please help a friend of a friend out.
A band I know is trying to get enough votes to play at Lollapallooza. Please click on the link and use your email address to vote for them.
Thanks a lot.


Frankie Machine

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


The Amway name is back in play.

Amway is coming back.

Alticor Inc. today confirmed it is in the process of dumping the 7-year-old Quixtar Inc. label and relegating the Alticor name to the back burner as it focuses on rebuilding the Amway brand in North America.


The move also was widely viewed as a way of helping the company shed some of the negative connotations the Amway name had acquired.

Over the years, some of its "Independent Business Owners" have been accused of focusing more on high-pressure recruiting tactics and selling highly profitable motivational events, tapes and books -- known as "tools" -- rather than selling Amway's products.

So, now, about those IBOs who tell people Quixtar is not Amway...

Goddamn do I hate these people. My take on this is that enough time has lapsed since they introduced Quixtar for the negative connotations of the word "Amway" to be diminished. In much the same way Arnold Schwarzenegger was able to invoke the name of Nixon to cheers at the Republican convention in 2004.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

An interesting study

Cartoons make fun of the elderly.
You may think that there’s nothing wrong with letting your kids watch Disney movies or cartoons, but it seems that the way these depict the elderly is making young kids view older adults in a very negative light.

The finding is based on a study conducted by a team of researchers from Brigham Young University, who took a look at Disney pics such as "The Sword in the Stone", “Cinderella”, "Snow White", "101 Dalmations" among others.

The researchers noted that old people are more often than not depicted as angry, senile, crazy, wrinkled, ugly and/or overweight.

That's what cartoons are supposed to do. Make fun. I do hope the American Federation of Wabbit Hunters hasn't seen any WB cartoons, because they are going to blow a vein over Elmer Fudd.

And actually, I do think there is something wrong with letting kids watch Disney movies. When I have a little Frankie running around, he's not going to see any Disney. All Disney movies do is make kids say "Buy me that!"

Monday, June 11, 2007

Elderly Handcuffs

This special treatment for the elderly has gone too far!

The Victoria Police Department has developed a prototype handcuff for the elderly, designed to protect their fragile skin in cases where they have to be restrained.


Safe restraints are also good for police image. Privately, officers complained about the publicity surrounding the case of 87-year-old Arthur Pegler last October. A traffic unit pulled over Pegler for not wearing a seatbelt. Police say he became agitated and struck the officers. Pegler was placed in handcuffs, but the metal cuffs broke his skin before they were removed.

So, he's not wearing a seatbelt, he strikes police officers, and it's the police who worry about their image. Huh.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Crashin' the Caddy

The elderly assault has expanded to furniture stores.
A funiture store in North Fresno got an unexpected addition to the showroom floor Thursday morning, the front end of a Cadillac. The driver of the car lost control of the vehicle, slamming into the Furniture Direct store at Blackstone and Herndon.

Police say the 93-year old driver was parked in the lot outside the store.

If that elderly assailant wants furniture that badly, I'll be happy to meet her demands by giving her a sleeper sofa and entertainment center. I just don't want to move the damn things.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Back In Town

Those who have been following the saga know that I have been looking to relocate.
Because Minnesota is soooooo great.

Anyway, I'll keep this brief:
Here is a picture of the street upon which I shall soon reside.

I think I'll be there at about the same time Paris Hilton crawls out of jail, beaten, humiliated, and finally actually funny.

Monday, June 04, 2007

University of Chicago Reunion

Oh lawd.

Nerdapalooza. Poindexter-on-Avon. Nerdlingers' Ball. Call it what you will, it was a bogus waste of my ill-earned money. Here is what it looked like once you got through "security":

Two conversations stood out, and I transcribe them here, so that you can share in my pain:

[FRIDAY NIGHT, at a reunion party at some trendy sushi restaurant]
Mrs. Machine: I'm going to talk to some people.
Me: Alright. [Orders a complimentary beer. Takes the first delicious taste. Starts composing witticisms in head].
Two minutes elapse. Mrs. Machine returns.
Mrs. Machine: I tried to be social with those girls over there.
Me: How'd that work out for ya?
Mrs. Machine: Yeah.

[SATURDAY NIGHT, at the reunion held in the gym]
Mrs. Machine wraps up some conversation with a woman from the class of OLD. Leaves for some coffee. Which you need in order to speak with old alumni.

Me: Smart kid, huh?
Old Alumna: Ha ha!
Me: She didn't go here.
Old Alumna:...
Me: Where did your husband go to college?
Old Alumna: The University of Michigan.
Me: Woo-hoo! U of M! So he has social skills!
Old Alumna:...

All in all, I did not get thrown in jail or "talked to." I had a great time seeing my old chums, retelling old running jokes and creating new ones. I even made it to the track to drink and play the ponies. Outside of the U of C events, it was a blast and a much needed rest before the madness rolls back in.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Absolutely Positively Unemployed!

Inspiring words for right now.
The day after Jeanne Steager died, I went into Mr. Stern's office and quit my job. I was out of there in an hour; I was back home for lunch. It's never too early. Plans are just guesses.
I suppose I am bringing tidings of subversive cheer; I suppose I am suggesting that you consider a change. Quit your job if you hate it. Go on. I know these are hard times, and people fall off the edge, but God is passing out brain tumors too, and you might as well take the plunge. The plunge is all we've got.
When you're young you think that life stretches out indefinitely and you can take this crap for another decade. And the lesson of Jeanne Steager is, No, you bloody well can't. Life is of varying lengths, and actuarial tables are only averages, and sometimes you gotta close your eyes and jump. Even if it's scary; especially if it's scary.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


While Frankie enjoys his foray into the cool north, I am curently stuck in the hot, sweaty south. I heard this the other day from a man seated behind me at the Jamestown anniversary celebration:

"Robert E. Lee was a gentleman. Ulysses S. Grant was just an alcoholic." I kid you not. Enough said. I would have booed the president when he took the stage, but it was very clear that the 28% of Americans who still approve of him all live in Virginia. I was definitely outnumbered. I am just waiting to be hunted down in the backwoods by Civil War reenactors and southern colonels. Happy Memorial Day, freedom lovers.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Homeward Bound

If the flophouse I'm staying in has free internet(s), I'll post some pictures from the old neighborhood.

See you soon.

B-licious, feel free to grab the podium.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Who Would Jesus Bomb?

I'm not surprised to see Tubbo Falwell inspired murderous fanaticism in his followers.
And Campbell County authorities arrested a Liberty University student for having several homemade bombs in his car.

The student, 19-year-old Mark D. Uhl of Amissville, Va., reportedly told authorities that he was making the bombs to stop protesters from disrupting the funeral service. The devices were made of a combination of gasoline and detergent, a law enforcement official told ABC News' Pierre Thomas. They were "slow burn," according to the official, and would not have been very destructive.

I cannot do better at commenting on this than the folks over at Americablog.

So this kid makes some bombes he intends to use against a specific group he disagrees with and plans to use them... that would make him a terrorist---yet he's not in Gitmo already?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Packing Up

So, again, I'll be as AWOL as a certain pResident.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Elderly Fisticuffs

The elderly punch police officers in the face. Repeatedly:
Officer William Perazzo, 38, who is assigned to the Brooklyn South canine unit, said he was walking with his mom and dad when a van driven by George Karavitis, 63, of Staten Island, mounted the curb.
He said Karavitis got out and for some reason began hitting him, even though he identified himself as a cop.
"I don't give a f- - - who you are," the older man said, continuing to punch, the sources said.

This story brought to you courtesy of fellow hoodlum New Yark Mark*, who just wrapped up some book larnin' and is pounding the Scotch.**

* Not his real name or nickname. I just made that up.
** The drink. New Yark Mark is not going around beating up dudes in kilts.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Zimmers

Note to the police:
Should you ever need to extract a confession from me, this'lll do the trick.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Wilco Setlist

Sky Blue Sky
Muzzle of Bees
What Light
When the Roses Bloom Again
Hesitating Beauty
That's Alright Mama

Oh, what a show. Too bad that Poindexter Garrison Keillor had to keep yapping on and on about the differences between Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

Summer Offensive

Summer is in full swing.
You can tell by the increased attacks by the elderly menace.

Authoritoes are investigating what caused a an elderly driver to plow her car through a supermarket patio, injuring four people, including a 3-year-old girl.

I know what caused it:
Rage and cheap, easily obtainable prescription medication.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Senior Prom

Why do old people want to relive high school?
Frank, 69, and Marjorie, 66, were among several people attending a special prom for the community sponsored by the Weimar FFA and held at the Weimar VFW Hall. The event was the brainchild of Erynne Treptow, 17, the vice president of the Weimar FFA chapter.

"We had our own junior-senior prom, and after it was over I thought about having something for the older residents of the community," she said. "We used the same theme, 'Starlight Paradise.' We already had the decorations, so I brought it up at a chapter meeting and put out a sign-up sheet."

Treptow said that as a member of the FFA, she's been involved in a number of community service projects but most of community events were for young people.

"We do things like coats for kids and adopt-a-kid for Christmas," she said. "But we've never done something big for the older residents. We go to some of the nursing and retirement homes and dance and visit with the residents, but we've never done something on a communitywide basis. We called it a prom for senior citizens, but it was actually open to everyone."

Really. One of the most boring stories of the week. It keeps going:

The playlist for the dance included country tunes, a few polkas and the occasional early rock-and-roll. FFA Chapter President Cole Ulrich, 17, said it was a little different than what he'd danced to at the high school prom.

"It's a little different," he said. "A little less rap and hip-hop and more country. We wanted music the people could relate to."

Another of the FFA volunteers was Clint Anders, 16. He said the idea of Sunday's prom was one that appealed to him right away.

"A lot of people see FFA as being raising animals," he said. "But a big part of it is community service. When I heard about the idea, I thought about the fact we still had all the decorations from our own prom and thought it was a great idea."

My guess is Clint Anders gets beat up a lot for being such a feeb. But that's not the point here. God help me, I will not be wishing to relive high school when I get up in years. And if some do-gooder honor student wheels me to one of these things against my will, you can be damn sure I will demand the DJ play "Straight Outta Compton." I will also spike the punch. Then I will go start a fight with the principal. Clint Anders is gonna wish he'd never met Frankie Machine.

One more thing: Welcome Grace Nearing of The "Next Blog" Blog to the blogroll.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Say it Ain't So!

I am going to see Wilco
at the State Theater...
in Minneapolis...
on A Prairie Home Companion.

Which T-shirt do I wear?
The Chicago Bears shirt I got at O'Hare
"Screw You, Lutherans!"

I intend to show up as I do at all Wilco concerts...half drunk.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Keep sounding the alarm!

Now the elderly are attacking liquor stores.
Police said an 89-year-old woman was behind the wheel of the car when she hit the gas pedal instead of the brake.

The car plowed through a concrete pillar and then through the glass window, police said.

Delis, liquor stores. The elderly are attacking my way of life.


Please take my blog reader survey!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Elderly Attack!

Been a while since I sounded the alarm.
I would like to point out that the car

is remarkably similar to "Ginger," a Cadillac that the Czar and I used to raise hell in, back in the day (y'all). It rips my heart out to see such a fine piece of automobile being used to destroy a New York deli.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May 1.

I think what gets lost in all the media discussion of George Bush's "Mission Accomplished" nonsense, and his declaring of May 1 as Loyalty day, is one simple fact:

Today is my birthday.

Why must the MSM have such a clear anti-Frankie Machine bias?

Yes, four years ago, W played fighter pilot on the deck of an aircraft carrier, but 32 years ago I WAS BORN. Come on, you MSM-ers. Let the scales fall from your eyes. How about giving some time to the silent America that only wants to commemorate the birth of me?

Sunday, April 29, 2007

More elderly alerts

Another old person involved in crime and meth.
Huerta, arrested in the sting, is accused of demanding taxes from drug money earned by Latino gang members in the Coachella Valley and paying a cut to his Mexican Mafia sponsor, Richard "Psycho" Aguirre, who is serving a life sentence at Pelican Bay State Prison.

Aguirre's mother, 5-foot-1 Jovita Aguirre, 75, collected Huerta's payments and passed along orders to him from her son, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Riverside County.


In addition to Springsteen, I have also been listening to someone, like me, who couldn't wait to get the hell out of Minnesota.
This video had been getting replayed a lot in my house for a lot of reasons.
1. The half-smirk on Bob's face in so many shots.
2. The final shot of him eating a hamburger.
3. This is before Katie Holmes got kidnapped and brainwashed.

Packing and arrangements are taking up a lot of my evenings, so please understand the sporadicism of it all.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Way to set precedent, elderly!

Colbert tipped me off to this.
BAGHDAD -- The U.S. military is walling off at least 10 of Baghdad's most violent neighborhoods and using biometric technology to track some of their residents, creating what officers call "gated communities" in an attempt to carve out oases of safety in this war-ravaged city.
"They've been doing it in Florida, and the old people seem to like it," joked the platoon's leader, Sgt. 1st Class Charles Schmitt, 37, as he watched his team create the public entrance to the new gated community.

Minneapolis is like New Jersey

Only with more crime.

It's not often I quote Springsteen, but with certain transitions approaching, I've been revisited by a certain elan I last had when I was 18 and busting to get out of another Midwestern crudpit.

So, to give you a sense of where I am, Bruce Springsteen:

"You hear their engines roaring on
But when you get to the porch theyre gone
On the wind, so Mary climb in
It's a town full of losers
And I'm pulling out of here to win."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dear Dennis Kucinich,

I'm with ya all the way, buddy.

But I still think you should shoot for all the marbles:

Let's impeach the president for lying
And leading our country into war
Abusing all the power that we gave him
And shipping all our money out the door

He¹s the man who hired all the criminals
The White House shadows who hide behind closed doors
And bend the facts to fit with their new stories
Of why we have to send our men to war

Let's impeach the president for spying
On citizens inside their own homes
Breaking every law in the country
By tapping our computers and telephones

What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees
Would New Orleans have been safer that way
Sheltered by our government's protection
Or was someone just not home that day?

Let's impeach the president
For hijacking our religion and using it to get elected
Dividing our country into colors
And still leaving black people neglected

Thank god he¹s racking down on steroids
Since he sold his old baseball team
There's lot of people looking at big trouble
But of course the president is clean

Thank God.

--Neil Young
from the album Living with War

Sunday, April 22, 2007

So Young

Every so often, I try to remember what it was like to be young and earnest and full of energy. This helps.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Even I Won't Go There

As much as I rail against the elderly menace, I at least acknowlege that they are human beings.
Not to be treated like a dolphin or grizzly bear.
'Electronic tagging can certainly help people with dementia achieve greater independence and dignity, and reduce the concern and worry that carers may have about the person they care for. But we need to strike a balance between the benefits to an individual and the ethics of electronic tagging.'

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

You go, Kiwis!

New Zealand sends old people to jail.
"Despite your age and infirmities, you have deliberately, for a period going on for 10 years, made life a misery for neighbours. The consequences of your behaviour mustbe brought home to you."

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Another Reason to hate Minnesota

People here attend Shakespeare productions for all the wrong reasons.
After seeing the Guthrie production, Steve Marsh, an associate editor of Mpls.St.Paul magazine, wrote in his blog that "listening to the wealthy Lutherans in the Guthrie audience cracking up at Jew jokes made me horribly uncomfortable. Angry, even."

Yup. People here see no problem in Germans villifying Jewish people like this.

Now, people who know me know I love Shakespeare. Even though it hasn't gotten me one whit of career advantage, I consider my time studying Shakespeare at Chicago to be among my favorite days. But I think, just as you would not let a second grader read Huck Finn, you shouldn't expose the people in this state to something for which their Cro-Magnon brains have no capacity.

I am the last person to call for censorship. But I think the Guthrie should refuse admission to any Lutheran from Minnesota.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Okie Dokie, Then.

Minnesota Datin'. Donchaknow.

There's Something About the Elderly

Cameron Diaz sells out.
The 34-year-old says, "I look forward to partaking in that elderly lifestyle. I wouldn't mind being in a retirement village where you're in a community with people who are like-minded and have the same interests.
"So often the elderly are just forgotten about, but I think there can be really green pastures at that age."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Farewell, Kurt Vonnegut

I would have liked to see you at the U of C reunion.
In Chicago, Mr. Vonnegut worked as a police reporter for the Chicago City News Bureau. He also studied for a master’s degree in anthropology at the University of Chicago, writing a thesis on “The Fluctuations Between Good and Evil in Simple Tales.” It was rejected unanimously by the faculty. (The university finally awarded him a degree almost a quarter of a century later, allowing him to use his novel “Cat’s Cradle” as his thesis.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Winter, still.

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
--Wallace Stevens

It is the most depressing thing to see the trees bare in April.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Oh, well.

B.C. creator Jonny Hart has met his maker.
I sincerely hope newspapers open up their comics page space to new, FUNNY comic strips. The last thing I want to see is B.C. and Wizard of Id being immortalized as Peanuts is.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


It's not the 20-degree weather in April that caused me to shiver this morning.
It was this:

Unfunny Comic Strip of the YEAR.