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A Gentleman of Bologna

Dec. 29, 2011
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I'm Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain'a? So how was my merry focking Christmas? No, Santa—fat moralistic fock that he is—did not deliver the bevy of Vegas showgirls I requested; but thanks for asking.

So anyways, here's the deal: This is to be my gala final essay of the year, the usual once-a-year unmoored commentary all about the highlights/lowlights, winners/losers, cream/crap and blah-focking-blah we had suffered through, along with a brief look-see ahead at the unholy garbage to rain down upon us during next year's run. Just thinking about it gives me a focking headache.

Which is what I got the other night whilst trying to slap this essay together as quickly as I could. And so I closed my eyes, put my head down and in moments began to dream. I dreamt I was penning my focking essay and the words flowed thusly:

I'm Art Kumbalek, and in my head, way, way in the back there somewheres, is this little focking birdie trying to tell me I ought to believe barely that this here column be the
finis el focking grande to another long-night plus early-morning times 365, equaling the sum of hardly enough steam to fricassee said “birdie” with a chirpy “End of the year, big focking deal.”

Or as the Immortal Barge of Strap-on-Avon was wont to quill in one of his umpteen-dozen king plays (and prithee, as I interrupteth thine focking self to query a “how come” back then when those guys wrote those thespian plays, everybody ended up talking like they were in some Dr. Seuss book with big words
—“Green Eggs and Hamlet”?)…

(Now, I—and countless juveniles in jail—can understand your usual royal pain-in-the-butts talking that talk 'cause other than to try on those fluffy pillow things on their heads so that a couple hundred years later a guy like me could eyeball one of their portraits and say, “Hey, get a load of the focking knob in the stupid hat,” all they'd do for fortnights at a crack is squat upon their thrones, pluck their focking lutes and rhyme for no reason, because they didn't have TV yet, nor did they have regular show business. Back then they didn't even have bathing, what the fock. That would be like spending your life on a county bus that never stopped. No wonder they had wars all the time.)

(And for cripes sakes, in these plays even the focking peon pissants would be rhyming like banshees and generally sounding like one of those upper-crusted farts you find on public TV. Didn't anybody talk regular back then, so that a guy like me could catch what they were saying?)

And aye, oh my, where the fock was I before I had interrupteth't myself? Oh yeah, I was wondering what Bill Shakespeare would've had some wiener sayeth concerneth a year's dark twi-night if he'd a' wrote it before me, as I shall do anon. (The following passage is doctored from
Mac and Beth: A Winter's Piece of Tale):

: (A typical focking castle fop. If nobody in the play murders him, somebody in the audience ought to, the sooner the better, and ideally before the curtain rises) “Mine liegeing sire, loveth thy hat, it's thou; but nay, 'tis more than that, it is thou with a focking pillow perched topsides thy royal dome; but dost thou know I heard tell that a week is a week is a year is a year by any other name, 'tis be the same, lean and hungry, yea; and 'tis getting kind of hectic the more things changeth, this milking of the human kindness abso-focking-lutely drip-dry; the more they remaineth the sameth. Dost thou not agree? 'Bout what I just saideth, I meaneth?”

(The liegeing lord of the land, always played by a Sir English hambone type, yelling his lines at the over-the-top of his lungs for absolutely no reason other than that he's drunk as a skunk by the time the overture's done) “Huh-eth?”

And that's why those plays are still getting acted today in modern times, 'cause it takes a couple hundred years for folk to focking understand what these clowns were trying to say; and what I'm trying to say is about what it is to be the best things about 1991, that numberical year the same frontwards as backwards, like some kind of worm inside your apple red read delicious, so allow me to cast my baited hook into this sea o' confusion and pull out the best thing you can say 'bout '91: 'Tis done.

I awoke from my winter's night dream. 1991
, what the fock? In my daze, I recalled that indeed that year had sucked. In fact, in my much ballyhooed year-end essay, dipped in pith, I surveyed and summated '91 in one word: “Sucked.” My crystal-balled forecast for the following year? “Will suck, even more.” And so it was written in every year-end, look-ahead essay since; events and whims having forced me to conclude, and to divine, likewise, what the fock.

But then was then, and now is now. And so consciousness obligates me to flip you the following:

The Year 2011:
Really sucked.

A Look Ahead, 2012:
Will really suck, even more.

Hey, when you're batting 1,000% is no time to change your stance, so happy focking New Year 'cause I'm Art Kumbalek and I told you so.


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