Character Study

Funny man Stephen Colbert, who it was announced will take over for late night TV icon David Letterman when Mr. Letterman retires next year. I am a long time fan of Mr. Colbert's cable TV show The Colbert Report in which he portrays a woefully uniformed right-wing pundit named Stephen Colbert. But that's my issue with him replacing Mr. Letterman because while I love the fictional Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report, I have no idea what I think about this so-called "real" Stephen Colbert that CBS is foisting on us. It reminds me of years ago when the Seinfeld TV show was #1 in the ratings and the character Cosmo Kramer was beloved by America, Kenny Kramer (the guy who Cosmo was based on) set up "Real Kramer" bus tours of New York to cash in on the show's popularity. I have no way of knowing if this "real" Stephen Colbert got his job on CBS because of any alleged talent he might possess or if he's just riding the fictional Colbert's coat tails to fame and fortune Colbert says he won't be playing the Colbert character on Late Night, so the question remains what character will he be playing? Since he's not playing Stephen Colbert anymore, CBS could be opening a Pandora's Box of characters that are currently up for grabs. Will I turn on my TV to CBS at 11:30 in 2015 and find Stephen Colbert depicting the sinister Heisenberg from Breaking Bad now that no one else is playing him? Maybe he'll pick up the titular "half man"character played by Angus T. Jones on Two and a Half Men before he left that show for the far more lucrative field of bizarre religious cults. Or perhaps Mr. Colbert will take the safe way out and host Late Night as the latest incarnation of Dr. Who. Whoever takes his place behind Mr. Letterman's desk in 2015, it won't be the Stephen Colbert that I've come to love for the last ten years on Comedy Central, and I deeply resent the betrayal. Frankly, I think that it shows a lack of character.

Jonny: Better with age
Stephanie Fredricks, who posed the question "Is it possible to bathe in Botox? I'd like everything to appear younger." The simple answer is "no" because Botox is actually a dry substance that is diluted with saline for injection, so bathing in it would be like sitting in a bathtub full of talcum powder. Added to that is the reality that Botox' wholesale price is approximately $15 an ounce, which means that Ms. Fredricks' beauty cleanse would cost about $96,000. But a far bigger issue to me that comes with this question is the common misconception that looking younger means looking better. To support my argument, I'd like to offer the two photos on the left. The first (apparently taken by Matthew Brady before the invention of color photography) shows me in the flower of my youth. The second (taken just a few weeks ago as I awoke from a nap to find my beloved pug Winston taking refuge on top of my head) shows me in my decrepit old age. Any plastic surgeon wanting to part Ms. Fredricks from her money would insist that I look better as a young man, but a single glance makes it clear that I'm more attractive now with the lines in my face, gray in my hair and lard in my gut. I grant you that Winston's presence in a photo improved it by at least 50%, but even taking that into account I don't think there's any question that I was a physical train wreck back in the day whereas now I possess a certain je ne sais quoi that only comes with experience. I'm not denying that I have my beauty secrets, though. Every night before I go to bed, I sit in a bathtub full of talcum powder.

Jeebus Burbano, who advised "Pro tip: Don't walk around in the altogether when they are painting your building." That might apply to people of Ms. Burbano's ilk; über-hot vixens who the guys she hired in front of Home Depot to do her handiwork will stretch out the gig for as long as possible to catch a glimpse of his employer strutting around like the Venus de Milo. For someone like me, it is essential that painters, contractors and handymen see me naked as often as possible to incentivize them to finish the job as fast as they can. If you have a painter who provides a quote stating that your home will take him two weeks to complete, I guarantee you that he'll be able to do it in less than half that time if he knows that every time he looks up, there's a 95% chance that he'll get a glimpse of my fat ass through the window. And if you add to that a bonus that I'll probably be doing naked yoga or abusing myself to Internet porn when he does, you can take another two days off the balance sheet. The only drawback is that I have to have everything painted puke green to blend in with the projectile vomiting that's sure to take place when they see me, but fortunately, that's my favorite color. Everybody wins.

A typical game of Words with Friends with Misty LaRue
My nemesis Misty LaRue, with whom I have been trying to offer an olive branch to soothe our embattled relationship by joining her in the online sensation Words with Friends. For those of you unfamiliar with this obsessive waste of time, it is the popular board game Scrabble played on a computer. I have a few pals that I go head to head with in the pastime but, as always, Ms. LaRue is set apart by the manner in which she plays the game. My other opponents strive to beat me by coming up with words that combine for the highest possible score. Ms. LaRue isn't interested in that, since she only lays out letters that spell out horrendous insults directed at me. She would rather play "ASS" for three points than rack up a triple-digit score with something like "COMPATRIOT" or "ARISTOCRATIC" because of the remote possibility that my seeing it might raise my self esteem for even a minute. But sometime, her strategy does work. She once beat me by playing "ASSPOTATO" on a triple word score.

Jonny Award-winner Jesse Merlin, who sent me an online article maintaining that there is a "high likelihood" of zombies in outer space. Astronomers Stephen Kane and Franck Zelziz have published a report that suggests that there are 2,500 zombie-infested planets within 326 light years of our solar system. This news doesn't concern me since all a zombie is is the body of a dead person given the semblance of life by a supernatural force. That means that if a nice guy drops dead and is then reanimated, there's nothing that says that he won't continue to be a nice guy (albeit with a newly developed dietary requirement for human brain). The only thing that concerns me is that when I'm in the presence of Mr. Merlin, I usually wish that I was dead. If earth was hit by an outer space zombie plague, I would be denied that relief because I would just be brought to life to be annoyed by him all over again. What's more, with Mr. Merlin as my only company there would be a shortage of brain for me to snack on, so he wins again.