Welcome to the inaugural edition of "Ask BWA," which we plan to bring you regularly -- say, every month or so or, you know, whenever I remember to do it. For slower readers, let me explain that "Ask BWA" means "Ask Boomer With Attitude" (you may have noticed that "Boomer With Attitude" is the name of this column).
Consider "Ask BWA" a spoof of newspaper Q&A columns. Q&A, of course, means "question and answer." OK, that's it -- that's as far as I'm gonna go to dumb down the column. What do you think this is, the Observer's Style section? And another thing -- I'm not repeating this introduction next time, so don't write in then asking what the column's all about. I don't need the headaches. Thank you, dear readers and valued customers. For this first edition of "Ask BWA," I'm starting from scratch, so I sort of, um, kinda ... well, made up the questions. So ... OK then, here we go.
Dear BWA: What are the chances the Florida Marlins major league baseball team will move to Charlotte? Anxious Slugger
Dear Anxious: The Marlins will move to whatever city gives them the sweetest deal, period. One sign that bodes well for the Marlins moving to Charlotte is the fact that public officials salivated so heavily during the presentation of the idea last week that council chambers had to be evacuated and a flood-control team brought in. Another good sign? City Manager Pam Syfert's "negotiations" with the Bobcats, during which she gave away everything but her shoes. Never mind that there's not a snowball's chance in hell of a major league team being successful in a market this small. And never mind that it's been pointed out a million times that big arenas and stadiums are the least cost-effective way possible to feed economic growth. Fools will do what they want, no matter what. That's what makes them fools.
Dear BWA: How are all these big changes in the school system going to affect my children, Parker and Lanyard? Will they have to go to a school with more, uh, "minorities"? I don't want my kids to come home asking for those awful hip-hop style clothes and tacky jewelry (I believe they call it "blink"). Before you know it, my kids could be shooting heroin -- or cops! Please let me know, as we're planning a big Caribbean trip this summer and I'd hate to have to cancel it just so we can afford to send our little darlings to private school. -- Concerned in Southeast Charlotte
Dear Concerned: Jeez, lady, why not just go ahead and call 'em "darkies"? Relax. No public school changes have been confirmed yet, but considering the balance of power in Charlotte, it's doubtful you will be made to expose your children to anything other than your comfortable vanilla bubble. Go ahead and take the Caribbean trip -- it could be good for your kids to be the "minority" for a change.
Dear BWA: Iran is threatening to increase the price of oil if the US and the EU don't get off their backs over this nuclear thing. Can we assume the Bush administration will finally start weaning America from its dependence on foreign oil? Concerned Environmentalist and Car Driver
Dear CE & CD: Look, you're talking about an administration that's largely made up of former oil company executives. If you're looking for them to accelerate the development of alternative energy sources, the answer is "Yeah, right." On the other hand, if you're suggesting they should bomb the hell out of Tehran while drilling for oil in every square foot of American soil and coastline, then I'd say you've got a good grip on the situation.
Dear BWA: I've gotten a few catalogs in the mail from companies that are selling nylon/polyester "Sunblock Shirts" for men. They claim the shirts are rated SPF 40. Is this for real? Jamaica-bound
Dear Jamaica-bound: I'd say this particular item of apparel is ... how to put this delicately? ... a crock of shit. You see, the point of sunblock is to keep the sun off your skin, and as you may remember from previous shirt-wearing experiences, just about any friggin' shirt will do that. You put on the shirt, and voila!, instant sunblock. In fact, that's one of the points of wearing a shirt in hot, sunny weather. So for companies to market a shirt as being special because it blocks out the sun is like Ford hyping a new car because it "moves forward on four wheels!" Does this mean the shirtmakers think consumers are stupid and will buy almost anything? Well, yeah, of course it does -- what version of capitalist consumerism are you living in?
Dear BWA: Is CNN anchor Nancy Grace as crazy as she seems? I mean, she acts as wired as a rottweiler on diet pills. Getting Nervous
Dear Getting Nervous: Actually, Nancy Grace is a rottweiler on diet pills. Congratulations on being such an astute judge of character.