Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Daily Briefs: Return of the Jump Tuesday

Posted By on Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 8:23 AM

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When I used to live in a fourth-story apartment, I thought that a cool invention would be a charcoal grill that you mount outside your window frame so that you could enjoy the delicious, smoky flavor of meat slow-cooked over compressed briquettes of petroleum waste without any need for a patio. The obvious disadvantage is that a window-mounted grill might fall out of the window and plunge four stories into somebody's baby carriage, incurring the wrath of consumer safety watchdogs. Still, the superiority of my imaginary invention over the real-life boxer-endorsed dual-press grill is obvious. But I present to you the unfulfilled promise of the window-mounted charcoal grill as my credential for genius, a rhetorical tactic called the "appeal to authority," hoping that it will entice you to click through the jump to the day's news roundup, which includes sports journalism about the Talladega Speedway and tips to avoid a mortgage-related confidence scam. Click here or on this award they gave me:

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ARE YOU NOT INFOTAINED????? The exciting thing about spectator sports is the possibility that some mishap will occur resulting in the deaths of spectators. Look, it's not that I want that to happen -- due to a genetic deficiency, my brain doesn't release dopamine in response to sports, so I have to take a lot of Schedule I opiates instead. Dimethylthiambutene is totally my "fútbol." I got into it in high school. You're the one who's into sports, so you're the one who wants spectators to die. I personally hope that you return safely from your trip to the Kansas Speedway or Kauffman Stadium, and also that you won't be inviting me to come along, thereby forcing us both into the embarrassing explanation that I would really rather sit at home and enjoy my dimethylthiambutene buzz and my DVDs of The Wire than spend three ridiculous hours with you watching the baseball tournament or the racecar meet.

But my central assertion, that sports is exciting primarily because someone might die, is now conclusively proven by the very scientific field of sports journalism. I assume that sports journalism is scientific because it's always full of statistics, which are made out of math, and deploys a lot of terminology that I don't really understand, kind of like biochemistry. This article in the Miami Herald about the weekend's Talladega Superspeedway mishap starts out with the statement that NASCAR officials "dodged a bullet" after "the big one," and then continues on to report that seven spectators were injured by flying shrapnel. THE PROSECUTION RESTS, JUDGE REINHOLD. If it's a gigantic relief to NASCAR officials that seven spectators were injured by flying shards of twisted metal, then it will probably be a titanic relief to the Magistrate of Baseball or whatever when some senior citizen is killed by a pop-fly ball into the stands. Maybe you'll be safe if you ride on Masterblaster's shoulders.

Your pocketbook, Zach Braff and You: KCTV Channel 5 reports that there has been an upswing in mortgage scams because of the mortgage recession. An all-star supergroup consisting of Kansas Rep. Dennis Moore and the Kansas and Missouri attorneys general have apparently hired a group of brilliant teen detectives to look into the problem. Or whatever. I didn't really read the whole article, because I was too busy last night explaining common mortage-related confidence tricks to a group of vulnerable elderly people at Olive Garden.

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The "Zach Braff" confidence trick, a huge problem in Kansas City, is a two-man scam in which the mark is approached by someone they believe is a famous celebrity, often Zach Braff, holding a gasoline can. In reality, "Zach Braff" is just a chinless confidence trickster with an expensive haircut. He tells the mark a sob-story about being out of gas and late for an important interview with Shawn Edwards. As it turns out, he "happens" to be carrying a Scrubs syndication residual check in the amount of $30,000 and offers to sign it over to the mark in exchange for $20 in cash to fill his gasoline can. Needless to say, the endorsement on the back of the $30,000 check isn't actually Zach Braff's -- it's a cunning forgery. Thinking that they've just made a $29,980 profit, the mark deposits the residual check and after a few days, the money comes rolling into his account. Then the mark is sued by the actual Zach Braff, who pretends to be "outraged" at the mark for forging his signature on what turns out to be a very real Scrubs residual check. Needless to say, the actual Zach Braff is in league with the fake Zach Braff, and will ultimately settle the lawsuit out of court if the mark agrees to return the money and take out a second usurous mortgage from the predatory lending corporation owned by Zach Braff and registered in the Antilles. Watch out for that one.

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