The Icing Man Commeth

As in a man icing a birthday cake.

Yes, the old Laur will have traipsed Ms. Buck’s ‘Good Earth’ for 57 years.   Hard to believe.   It’s been an interesting  57 jam  packed years filled with amazing life experiences so incredibly groovy and so horrible, they could reanimate  Buddy Ebsen.

And some years could’ve inspired Dante.

Good and bad were and are always present,  just at different times for different  purple.

I keep getting asked what I want this year.      My answer is nothing.    Im  reminded  that everyday I spend  above ground is a treat and I am grateful.     And I want other things like global  love, world peace , equality,  no more profiteering from war and all the other typical Miss America Q&A response shit.    But my passion for al these things are waning.   Im hardly as passionate about any of it as I used to be.   I mean, I’m not willing to burn the flag, my haggard bra  or my AARP card in protest.     I protest with my wallet now.   For example, If I don’t like how little Dole pays its pickers, I don’t buy their pineapples.

And I used to think college protestors who burned the ROTC building or overtook the dean’s office were cool.  Today, I think they’re criminals.    To have youthful idealism is womderful, but keep it within a reality  based perspective.   Everything must change.    Like elongated boobs that were once taught and perky but  now hold a tray of canapes. They’ve changed.    Everything changes.    Life is about change and how we changed with the changes forced upon

My whole family consists of pre-Clinton Democrats.      They aren’t now.     I used to be a blond.   The every increasing streaks of grey  amid the dark roots prove I’m not that not that much of a liar..     My tolerance has changed.     And I’m now far more confrontational.     If I see an ininjustice, I’ll say something.   If one is perpetuated against me, God help the perpetrator.  If warranted, I’ll use what few good bones I have left left in my leg aim directly at the crotch.    Any crotch..      A grocery cart rolled into my car recently.   You know that  plastic sign in the side insisting that all children be” carefully strapped” in  seats??

The cart now has a huge ding between the reo ‘Ps’.

As for turning 57, my brain is now taking orders from my body more than my brain,     I had a nasty car accident 27 years ago and broke 11 bones, so my brain gets overridden quite a bit.    Moving really isn’t all that easy and the accompanying chronic pain is no picnic  but if strong enough, you learn to live with your newfound abilities..

So….I guess what I’ll do my BD do is wake up that morning, take a post wake up nap, scratch whatever  itches—-bathing will  be based on a coin flip, check FOX News to see who blew what up, then go my almost 86 year old  mother’s house and stare at her third and final caesarean  section scar for 57 seconds as she reminds me how painful my birth was.    Her memory wanes.   I keep telling her she did not have me vaginally.  She insists she did and seems to recall the spinal block  injection that numbed everything below her waist was just a mosquito bite.

I’ll just sit there and agree with her, then make an apology for my painful birth she never felt,  but that’ll fall  on deaf ears.     As in literal deaf ears.

Then I hope I go back to my house sans people trying to hide behind furniture to surprise me, then I’ll light a votive candle and make the same 51 year old birthday wish  I always make.   It won’t come true, but after 57 years  it’s become a habit.   I can always hope.

Look, I know this makes me out  you be a cynic,  pessimistic and  jaded.   Don’t get me wrong.   Life is okay.    I go out early on clear Central Texas morning and see stars that I just know are looking back at me and only me.     I’l be thankful that while my boobs a do look WWII issue German hand grenades, they’re both healthy.   Ill smile because I’m NOT a mother of five in Mexico who struggles to feed her children.    Then I’ll smile even bigger becsuse I can  write a check to a charity that can help her her get all the food  she needs.

So  yeah, , I’ll 57 in a less than week.    Sure I’ve hardened;  gotten older, colder and in the process of being happy to be bored, perfectly ok with being alone, even being more intolerant of certain things, I’ll,be okay,   All those things, as unpleasant as they might be, means I’m alive.

But you know what?   On second thought, I do want something, but good damn luck trying to wrap it in a box, because all I want is some time back.     I want the time….just enough time to express my gratitude for all the things and people in my life.

And for all the things and people I’ve lost and will soon be losing.


























Political Fan Bases & Religion

Hillary Clinton’s desperation is quite sad.

She was begging for votes the other day, not cool for a Clinton for m everything always seems go swimmingly. Or so it would appear. Hill even toted out Madeline Albright as a shill. Really? Most of the younger voters she so covets weren’t even born when Maddie was wearing ugly broaches in prime time.

So, is Hillary’s campaign in crisis? Well kids, I’m really not qualified to opine, BUT as a former broadcast journalist with 30 years in the trenches, I can recognize fear in someone’s eyes.

And what’s scaring Hillary her is an older, rather frail, balding, hunchbacked zayde of a man. No, not her husband, Bill Clinton.

It’s Bernie Sanders.

I watch his campaign stumps and notice the audience, filled with 20-somethings all gacked out on this age appropriate idealism. My first instinct is to tell them, enjoy it now.

I was only four when President John Kennedy was killed, but I’m something of an assassination buff and have spent a lot of time reading and You-Tubing his life. His audiences remind me of those who clamor for The Bern. Kennedy won because he wasn’t Dwight Eisenhauer. It didn’t hurt that he was young and handsome when compared to those who held the office before him. He had a well-heeled young wife who loved art and history and couture. Her style was mind blowing in her time. Together, they had two cute young kids. He came from a large family who was already storied back in 1963. He also had dreams and goals and that spoke to baby boomers, most just entering the legal age to vote.

I see the same zeal in Bernie zealots. Personally, I’m too jaded to believe all that Sanders is feeding his minions. Over the years, I’ve heard all the campaign promises and my lifetime, I think the ONLY president that ever kept a real, campaign promise was Lyndon Johnson. He established the Great Society which in part, gave all of our Black brothers and sisters the right to vote without suppression of any kind.

Hillary can beg to differ but she is establishment and her audience it seems, reflects thst. They appear to be mostly older females. I don’t chide these broads. They’re not that much older than me and they were probably the first ones to burn their bras while freely burning a big fattie. These women were gender suffragettes during the ERA years. I respect them, but Hillary can’t win with this demographic. Even when her husband comes out swinging. As I mentioned above, is Cltinon version 5.0. He’s not that much younger than Bernie and he looks it. In Texas, we say “he looks road hard and hung up wet”. Then again, nothing ages you more than eight years in the Oval Office. Take one look at Obama’s ever-growing jowels.

To me, the vocal minority of Trump fans seem to be blue collar white guys. Late 40’s and up. Lots of gimme caps.

Rubio’s fan-base? Looks mixed to me.

Bush? I glance at is audience and it appears to be comprised of older people who are mostly pale skinned. If younger, they’re preppies.

Cruz? See above.

Kasich, Fiorina and Dr. Ben? To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve seen any coverage of their events to opine.

So, let’s segue to the candidates’ religions. Not that it matters, but I’ll make a point about that in a bit. Trump is Christian, Hillary is Mathodist. Kasich is Anglican. Dr. Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist. Fiorina is currently a non-dnominational Christian. Cruz is an Evangelical with Southern Baptist ties. Bush, Rubio and Christie are Catholic and Bernie Sanders is the first Jewish contender for president. Now, this makes for some interesting dissonance–Bernie is married to a non-Jewish woman, which according to Jewish law, makes his grandchildren non-Jewish. Trump’s daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism before getting married, making his grandchildren Jewish.

Fortunately for most thinking people, religion today is a sidebar within a footnote. Now, what candidates believe has become more more important than how they practice their beliefsis. We’ve certainly evolved as an electorate since 1960. That’s when Kennedy ran against Nixon and won, making him the very first Catholic elected into executive office and it didn’t come without bigoted drama. There were a lot of people who were actually scared of any political repercussions due to Kennedys perceived links to The Vatican.

Really, it’s all quite laughable all these years later.

The Latest GOP Debate

I watched the whole thing.

Political commentary will appear shortly. I must start this post with a comment about one of the under-moderators and one of the candidates particularly and all of them, generally. These comments come from from a purely broadcasting POV.

1)–Josh McElveen, is a Political Director or Reporter, probably both at a station in the tiny TV market of Manchester, NH. Did you hear him speak? A slightly more masculine version of Greta van Sustern, hand to God. He swallowed every suffix. I had a hard time understanding him.

2–Will someone in Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign PLEASE teach him something/anything about popping his “P’s” into the microphone??? It’s annoying on a Karsahsian level. And here’s a hint for every candidate and amplifted public speaker in the world–please understand the sensitivity of the microphones and how pounding points home on the podiums (pop THAT Christie!!) are audible through the mics. Oy, I’ve heard less thumping and pounding in the rap music the all the kids today seem to love. It was as if Snoop MC Cool Ice moved in next door.

Sorry…I watched Larry David host Saturday Night Live.

So, on a serious, more goyish note, I’d have to say Marco Rubio lost the debate as much Christie won it. The Jersey Boy was on a mission and needed to win the debate as much as Peyton Manning wants another certain gold ring. Watching Rubio’s repetitive use of the Obama phrase on a continuous loop, is painful to watch. FOX News has been skewering him. Despite his microphone and pronunciation issues, I’ve always liked Christie, but prior to Saturday night’s debate, it was never enough for me to vote for him. He’s winning me over.

I was supporting Rubio, but during the broadcast, I could clearly see his Boy Scout milk mustache on his upper lip. The child needs more political seasoning. I feel that the 2020’s will be his decade.

Bush? Nice guy I suppose, but his last name is a burden in this political climate and yeah, I voted for his brother…twice.

Cruz? Meh.

Kasich? Dr. Ben? Fiorina? The Professor and Mary Ann? Footnotes.

Trump? Liked him too—in the beginning when his shtick was novel. But it’s growing tiresome. I’m losing my political patience as I get older and Trump’s behavior and comments have become cringeworthy for me. As for his popularity on the Internet, online searches and debate results polls? I’m a Republican, but I’ll admit, his incessant perch high atop the American political consciousness reminds me how the unshorn, creepy Sanjay surged to 7th place on the sixth season of American Idol.

Sanjay probably did it old school back in 2009, but hey, having the financial access to all the latest campaign hardware ever made is worth the investment.


A Friday Montage

Wow. What’s up with this Zica virus? Scary stuff, right?

It’s been around since the 1950’s and believed to be related to Malaria, the West Nile virus and anyone in the Cyrus family (I am decidedly NOT a fan).

It’s also thought to be a principle cause of microcephaly (what’s also known as Pinhead Syndrome). Tiny head, normal body. Sometimes, there are intellectual and developmental issues, sometimes, not at all, but in Zica’s case, it basically turns the contents of the head into nothing more than mulch (my word, not a quote from anyone in a white coat) and the mortality rate is high.

It’s passed from daytime active mosquitoes, because, well, those skeeters with nightlives have things to do and pregnant women are susceptible. I can’t seem to find how it would affect those who are penised or crones or pre-pubescents.

I found this photo of the virus (see above) on the Zica Wikipedia article. It’s been magnified many times on an electron microscope and to be honest, I think it’s constructs form a piece of art. I’m thinking of a marriage of styles between Pollock snd Kandinsky.


I’m annoyed by politics. Ted Cruz is irritating. Ben Carson is a non-event. Carly Fiorina is too robotic. Trump is Trunp. Santorum has a Latin last name and that’s all I know about him. On Young Rubio lapel, you can still see Boy Scout merit badges.

Bernie Sanders is every bubbe on the planet and if elected, conversations with his Cabinent on defense spending will inevitably turn into 72 minute arguments over which Washington area deli serves the best pastrami.

Hillary? Why isn’t she in a orange jumpsuit?


I don’t know the source of the following, but it was sent to me via e-mail.


May you be reunited in the world to come with your ancestors, who were all socialist garment workers.

May you grow so rich that your widow’s second husband is thrilled they repealed the estate tax.

May you feast every day on chopped liver with onions, chicken soup with dumplings, baked carp with horseradish, braised meat with vegetable stew, latkes, and may every bite of it be contaminated with E. Coli, because the feds gutted the EPA.

May you sell everything and retire to Florida just as global warming makes it uninhabitable.

May you have a rare disease and need an operation that only one surgeon in the world, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, is able to perform. And may he be unable to perform it because he doesn’t take your insurance. And may that Nobel Laureate be your son.

May you live to a ripe old age, and may the only people who come visit you be Mormon missionaries.

May your son be elected President, and may you have no idea what you did with his goddamn birth certificate.

May you live to a hundred and twenty without Social Security or Medicare.

May you grow like an onion with your head in the ground, and then may the ground be fracked and millions of gallons of oil be found and you own no mineral rights.

May your child give his Bar Mitzvah speech on the genius of Ayn Rand.

May your insurance company decide constipation is a pre-existing condition.

May God give you a daughter-in-law who is as kind as she is beautiful, as patient as she is rich, as wise as she is devoted, a virtuous woman in every way. And then may a ballot initiative invalidate her marriage to your only daughter, Rebecca.

May the secretary your husband is schtupping depend on Planned Parenthood for her birth control.

God Texted


God:   Hello Laurie. You there? Texting is cool.

LK:    Well….well….well.     Greetings Hosannah In The Highest!

God:    The notorious G-O-D. I thought I’d try this texting stuff. It’s so instant us!

LK:   More so than talking on w phone?

God:  You guys to read more.   It’s all good.

LK:   How different the everything would have been had the technology existed back in the day.

God:   You guys were in your infancy back then. I had to introduce things to you in baby steps. Most of the early flock were Empiricists. These guys didn’t believe anything unless it could be felt, smelled, tasted, seen or heard. I had to be very creative back in the day.

LK:   And these days we take it all for granted.  We have banking, communication—everything In a cloud. And instantly accessible.

God:    You think Apple is a big deal? There was such mishegas with Guttenberg and the printing press!! What a commotion!!!    But it was good. I needed the world to be better connected…you know…closer. That Tower of Babel explanation only made things worse. It destroyed more bridges than it made.

LK:   Then why didn’t you just stick with Esperanto when you you had the chance?

God:    Water is great, right? But if you have access to eight different tasty kool-aid favors, well, how groovy is that?

LK:    Variety, huh?

God:    Anybody can learn a second, even a third language. Then there are emotions–those are universal. Love feels the same in if you speak Swedish or Urdu. Hate can be expressed in Mandarin as easily as it can be in German—Bavarian accent, thank you. And English is really kind of the new global speak. For a while I thought it should be Hebrew, but it’s a bit too glottal.

LK:    That would’ve infuriated the Islamic states. Can you imagine anyone there joining “the talibansky??????”

God:     Lead by Osama bin Ladenovitz???? Wasn’t in the cards.

LK:     What’s in the cards, then? Share, please.

God:     That’s up to you.

LK::     I hate it when our exchanges turn vague.

God:     They’re only vague to you and always only in the very beginning. The last word you type or utter in our conversations always come from a more enlightened person.

LK:    Knowledge is power.

God:     And faith is sustaining.

LK:     But more difficult in terms of adherence.

God:    For some, not for all. Faith is there for all who need it; those who seek it. It’s good to believe in something.  Even if it comes in the form of disbelieving.   That’s a commitment too.   It’s like what we were talking about earlier.

LK:     You mean the Internet? The ether? A cloud?

God:   Yes, and the big, white, gassy ones in the sky are no picnic to explain either.

LK:   I have faith, but it’s hard to describe.

God:    You’ve just described faith.

LK:     Interesting. Tell me please, do you know how it all goes? How it all ends?

God:    I know when it begins and I know when it ends.

LK:    And the middle part?

God:    That’s up to you. Look sweetie, life is like a sandwich. I give you two slices of bread—one is for birth, the other is for death. You decide what to put in between the slices, Ham, egg salad, a little roast beef, turkey or whatever.

LK:   You admit you know when it ends, but do you know how it ends?

God:   Simply put, it’s like this. Do I know when? Yes. How? No.

LK:    How can you not know how?

God:    I’ll let you in on a little secret. The keyword here is mystery. I can’t possibly explain everything. Only a few people can handle the reality–Steven Hawking and Nancy Pelosi to name a few.

LK:    Pelosi always sounded like an Italian verb.

God:    Yeah and who knew Nancy would become such an adjective!

LK:    I’ve known a few Nancy boys.

God:     As have I. You know, I’m perfectly okay with them getting married. I created them for a reason.

LK:    Which is???

God:   So everyone would have the chance to find love if they so choose. Your relatives 170 times removed poo-pood the concept of homosexuality. But that was when the world needed populating. I needed humans to procreate, but I needed them to love more.    So I let nature take its course.  People should love who they love. I never meant for the issue to be as divisive as it has.

LK;     How did you…YOU NOT see that coming??

God:   Maybe, I looked the other way. Maybe, I decided to give you guys the option of accepting things or denying things.

LK: Free will, again?

God : Again, free will.

LK:   That’s something you know I have trouble with.

God. Calvinism still keeping you up at night?

LK:  Well yeah frankly. Why does someone’s free will impinge on another persons free will? For example, a child is innocently playing in the front yard and some pedophile drives by, sees his opportunity, snatches the kid and a four year old’s battered body is found in a semi dry creek bed three days later.

God: You just answered your own question, doll.   Opportunity and outcome.

LK:  But we’re talking about an innocent child with just four years of life under his belt? He doesn’t know morality or what’s good or what’s evil.

God:   Maybe this ignorance can be a gift. That was his life. That’s all he got for this go round.

LK:   What do you mean?

God:    Here ‘s that Pesky Calvinism again. Pre-determination, but even that’s over simplifying it. Let’s say everyone has an alpha and an omega. A beginning and end.  .Don’t forget the sandwich metaphor.

LK:    How does that play into the reality that a toddler was abducted and found murdered?

God:   Again, it’s not that easy. But look at it this way: The child was going to die, It just so happened that he played outside on that particular day.    The murderous pedophile chose to turn down the street where the kid lived. Sometimes lives intersect. Sometimes only one comes out alive.

LK:    But to die in such a horrific way?

God:    Death is the destination, dying is the process. It gives me no pleasure watching a baby die en utero, There’s no joy in watching a platoon taken out by an IED. Its painful watching a jihadist wearing a suicide vest killing himself and everyone else in an open air market in Tel Aviv. It pains me to see a bomb landing in a playground,

LK:   Then why do we need to die at all? Why kill a baby before its born?

God:    Envy life has a purpose.  But the purpose has to be finite.   For the time the baby had, her impending arrival gave great joy to a mother and a father, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.

LK   And great pain when it was miscarried.

God:   Yes, but perhaps it wasn’t meant to live.

LK:   Then why couldn’t you intercede?

God;    Who’s to say I didn’t? The one thing you mortals that makes me crazy is attribute perfection to me. Heck, I invented mistakes. Some rapper once warbled, “ain’t nuthin’ perfect”. Preach on, my son because that’s the truth. Humans are created with a divine recipe. I’m talking about a billion spontaneous combustions of cells amid myosis and myotis and other fancy Greek based words with ‘osis’ as a suffix. That means the odds are pretty good something might go wrong. And sometimes it does. I start the car; Nature is the engine. As for your fetus question, some baby’s aren’t sustainable outside the womb.

LK:  I understand attrition and culling of the herd and all…

God:   Don’t put it like that!!!

LK.   Then explain why some disabled kids make it through the gauntlet.

God:   Because they have a purpose, too. Primarily, they bring joy to the lives around them. They make people in their spheres, willing to be compassionate and tolerant, more compassionate and tolerant. In essence, better rounded as people.

(Texting ceases briefly)

God:   Uh…you there? I sense you’re making that confused face, right?

LK   I’m here.

God:   What everyone must understand is that you spend your life as both teacher and student. Life is a gift and each life regardless of where or how it’s lived is a process in which a lesson must be learned and must be taught as well.

LK:   Like famine?

God:   It gives cause to celebrate times of plenty and stock up, when there are periods when food is scarce.

LK:   Like war?

God:    Peace can’t exist without war. We wouldn’t know sweet without bitterness. If love exists, hate has to exist…or worse, apathy.

LK:    Explain apathy then.

God:   Switzerland.

LK:   I love that you’re funny.

God:   I communicate with you in ways relatable to you. If I’m funny, then you’re funny since the ancient texts say you’re made in my image.

LK:  But I don’t have a big white beard and wear long flowing robes.

God:   Neither do I. That was Chuck Heston and someone’s idea of me in the make up and costume department on the set of a Cecile B. DeMille movie.

LK:  bDo you like food, too?

God:   My child, happiness is a twelve inch high pastrami on rye. Heaven to me looks a lot like the old Stages deli.

LK:   What’s hell like then?

God:   No decent deli to be found within a hundred mile radius.

LK:     Good one, G-dog.

God:   Hate to end this delightful texting session, but I must. Your Me-given opposable thumbs must be hurting by now and I have a massive prayer list to deal with, some dating back to the Nixon administration.

LK:   What are those prayers about?

God:  You had Gerald Ford in office, right? Prime example of that old saying, “be careful what you pray for.”

LK: Good point. Then get busy, God. One last question?

God:  Shoot.

LK:  Does that mean you answer all the prayers you get?

God.  Of course. I texted you, didn’t I???

Oh My God-diva!!!!

Hello all,

It’s been forever since I’ve written anything on this blog.

But today, I stumbled upon something so incredibly decadent, that I decided to end my journalistic exile….if only for today… sharing with you a new, but regrettable appreciation for sweet stuff.

Up until quite recently, I was a savory loving broad. If I ever had anything sweet, it was a Coke and nothing else. But here I am four years into crone status, and chocolate has become a lusty pursuit. Thanks estrogen declination.

So today, while waiting for an appointment with a repair tech at a local Apple store, I happened by a Godiva boutique. Nice chocolates, right? But not my cup of tea. So, I have always been able walk by these ass expansion projects with no problem, but this afternoon, I was lured inside by the muse, Cacoacophony.

She’s the pudgy one with blood glucose issues.

I walked in the store, took a look around the place, and my eyes went straight to the chocolate dipped macaroon packages displayed on shelves, but arranged to say in the most subliminal ways, Eat me!”

I did.

I bought a four pack (around 20 bucks or so) knowing full well of the impending punishment. I took one bite and my jeans and I both cried simultaneously.

We’re talking about a nice sized truffle almost as big as my palm. Calorically?? About 330 calories packed inside a rich, dense, not overwhelmingly sweet, cake-like macaroon, not “bonbonish” at all, yet still quite moist. They’re all hand dipped in your choice of milk, white or dark chocolate. I have no idea if they’re kosher or gluten-free. I couldn’t read the label after shredding the package open with my teeth and at least four toes.

Make no mistake, these are  guilty pleasureS  INDEED imageat 330 calories per macaroon. I found this out after the fact and immediately vowed I would eat only a half each day, which would allow me to spread out my joy throughout the week.

That didn’t happen.

One half lead to three quarters ,which lead to one whole macaroon which in turn, forced me to eat a second one. Yes, forced,. Gum paste gunpoint. I was in such chocolate denial, exacerbated by sugar rush that would gack out a Howler monkey.  I found myself cutting it up in  8 tiny slices.

Seriously. As if eating it that way would make a difference. Whether you cut a 16 inch pizza in four slices or eight, it’s still a 16 inch pizza.

But mind you, this minor math lesson could necessitate the need for a meth session. One bite and you will happily bloat up and feel generally guilty and slovenly for hours. These are hubris filled bad boys and damn good. If they were humans, they’d be coconut narcissists.

All I know is that after one bite I wanted to light a cigarette, change the sheets and take a nap.

Keep in mind this is coming from a non-sleeping, middle- aged woman, teetering on frigidity, who doesn’t like sweets and never smoked.

The University of Texas: Forty Very Acrid Acres

Yes, I know.   Six generations of fruit flies have come and gone since I last posted a fresh, new blog.    I have no excuses, nothing much has inspired my digits to glide across my keyboard lately.    And in an effort to curb the codpendence blogging can create, I vowed to myself that that’s exactly what I’d do—-publish something ONLY if I felt moved.

Well, after last night’s humiliating Longhorn loss to Ole Miss, I had a movement alright.    And  the color of it just happens  to be  newest hue in the Crayola box of 64:   Mack Brown.

Look people, I’m a faithful Texas fan.    I’ve been through the years of feast and the years of famine, but lately UT football has been terribly frustrating and ironic….not unlike a bulimic trying to maintain an impossible binge/purge a habit while living in Sub- Saharan Africa.     And this sentiment has been bubbling to the core ever since the Longhorns won the National Championship in 2005.   After that, things went downhill.   We’re talking eight years of demonstrating frustration and eating humble pie.    Now, I know what it’s like to have been an Aggie for a while there.

In all my years of being a devout Orange Blood, I have never, even allowed the possibility of this thought to enter my gray matter.   Loyalty is the very core of  fandom.


I hope Texas never wins another game this season.

There, I said it.

And I said it because this is the only way the puppet master withing university brass will fire Texas head coach, Mack Brown.  He’s been at the helm of the UT program for 16 years.  Several were good years indeed. He helped us get to the Rose Bowl for the very first time.  We played Michigan and won thanks to the golden toe of young field goal kicker, Dusty Mangum who put it between the uprights in the final seconds of the game.   We returned a year later   to beat USC for the national championship.     A few years later, we played Alabama for the National Championship.      We took home the silver medal in that contest.      Even so, it was a good run for Brown;  was being the operative word.

There was, I feel, a great deal hinging on the outcome of the Longhorn’s third game of the season.  In the first contest,  they beat a community college who’s name escaped me.  Then in game two, they lost to BYU.     Last night, after showing some initial promise in terms of field command, they went into the locker room at halftime and reemerged sub par.   The Kennedy’s playing flag football at the Vineyard compound at Thanksgiving could have beaten Texas.

There are two things the top brass at Texas don’t like:  losing and the colors maroon and white.    Texas, love it or hate it, is a very wealthy school.   It’s coffers  perennially  beat out  other Texas Universities hands down and is the third wealthiest in the country behind the Thurston Howell the Third schools, such as Harvard and Yale, respectively.   The UT system’s endowment totals more than $17 billion, and check this out:  the school only receives 20% of its budget from the state, and that support has dropped steadily since 2009, leading to student walkouts to protest the budget cuts.

So, where does it get its money?    A couple of places:   There’s the University  The Permanent University Fund (PUF) which is a Sovereign Wealth Fund provided by the state to  fund public higher education within Texas.   It started out as funds received from the least of grasslands owned by the state and then came Spindletop and big oil.   Need I say more?     A portion of the returns  are annually directed towards the Available University Fund (AUF), which distributes the funds according to provisions set forth by the Texas Constitution of 1876, subsequent   amendments made since then, and the board of regents of the all powerful  University of Texas  System and their counterparts at Texas A&M.   The PUF provides extra funds, above monies from tax revenues, to both collegiate systems  which collectively have approximately 50 percent of state public university students. But while this fund was established to fund public universities, no  other schools in the state are allowed to dip their feet into this ever flowing font of green.   However, in 1984, university systems such as those at Texas Tech, North Texas State and others were given access to   the Higher Education Assistance Fund, essentially oil and natural gas crumbs.   Adding any other university system  or individual institutions to the Permanent University Fund would require an amendment to the Texas Constitution and since the majority of the Legislature consists of Aggie and Texas alumni, that ain’t gonna happen.

UT also operates on endowments…BIG ENDOWMENTS from deep pocketed alumni, who say prayers to St. Darrel of Royal every morning.    And then there’s the licensing of merchandise.  For the eighth straight year, Texas tops all other schools in terms of selling Longhorn merchandise and this is on going despite several abysmal football seasons.   People love the burnt orange and apparently, this little logo:


Bevo, as it turns out is quite marketable as bovine goes.

And then there’s the hand gesture:


It’s cool.   It kinda looks like the horns on a steer of that particular breed.   Rockers love it, but not for team loyalty and let’s be honest,  hands down it beats all the other Johnny Come lately team hand signs that came afterwards.

So, burnt orange means   green in Austin.      But while Longhorn caps, shirts, golf clubs, Christmas ornaments, insurance policies and , prosthetic limbs continue to fly off the shelves, I would think endowments from the Mega Bucked, would falter. If I were giving multi-million dollar donations to keep the Laurie Kendrick Endowment for the Endowed to stay afloat, I would most certainly want some bang for my buck.

Like winning football games if I may be so shallow.

The powers that be at Texas love Mack Brown and they have for the last 16 seasons which have been uglier than pretty.  After losing to BYU more than a week ago, Brown fired his defensive coach 24 hours after the second game of the season, something he said he’d never do.    It was if the Longhorns were trying to lose.    I witnessed more blown tackles on that field, than on a post game Sunday night in San Francisco’s Castro District.

And during last night’s debacle, the team looked like uncoordinated flying squirrels.   Leaping and lunging for tackles only to fall short.   They stood up  with mouths full of turf and little else.  As for receivers?   They can’t even catch subtle nuance.

All of this was etched on  Brown’s face.  I noticed it in pics taken before the game.     It was care-worn in that way.  His expression was like “I’d rather be in Damascus”.     He’s aged ‘presidentially”.     You know, as presidents do during extended times of crisis.  As Nixon did during the Checkers speech….and Watergate.    As Carter did during the Iranian embassy crisis.   As Clinton did after Lewinsky, as Bush did after 9/11…as Obama has done since taking office.      He looked bad before the game.  I can only imagine the facial pallor afterwards.   Mack, I beg you…do what Deloss Dodds and that other head honcho   guy won’t do.    It’s called ‘ the right thing”  and you’d accomplish that by abdicating.   Help return some gravitas to UT by hanging up your head coach’s whistle and head set.

NickSabanOr better yet, hand it all over to Nick Saban.   He’s perfect for Texas and I’ll tell you why.   It’s early in the season, but I’d lay odds that he’ll lead the Tide to their fourth (maybe fifth–sorry, not a fan) consecutive BCS title.    Every winning streak ends. It happens.   Ask Oklahoma.     And when it happens to Bama…and it will, do you think those spoiled fans, now so used to winning season after season,  would let Saban survive when its all over??     Highly doubtful he wouldn’t be tarred and feathered beyond one losing  season.

And every losing streak must end, too.  And it will for Texas.     Saban could be key to that.     And why not?      For Coach Nick, it’s a classic case of ‘been there/done that’.   By coming to Texas, he could possibly earn as much ten to 12 million per year, making him the highest paid coach in college football history and trust me, UT can afford that salary  and  then some.   That’s two days production on some UT owned oil wells in South Texas.w    He’d have the chance to do what coaches love to do:  take over a struggling program and rebuild it.   Shine it up pretty to its original Southwest Conference luster.  He may love the Alabama regents, the team…he may even love the state, but the man is human.   Team Saban will always come first.   Nothing against Nickie for that.   It’s all part of today’s survival skills.  In the new millennium, that means making money.   Fiscal promotions are perfectly acceptable exit strategies.    Besides, college coaches are gridiron bohemians, they move a  lot, they have to  command respect in a variety of team colors.   Very few coaches ever have Paterno-like staying power and let’s be honest, even that storied history  was no match after being Sanduskeyed as all of Penn State was.

So Saban, head west.   Come to Austin.     Keep Mack around if you must.   Use him to recruit.   He’s good at that and over the years, he has helped lure many talented blue chippers to the Forty Acres in the heart of Austin.    The problem is  he just forgets how to use them effectively once they sign their commitment contracts.

If that road is not taken,   well, then my beloved Longhorns,  you just keep on playing swinging statues out on the field.   Get tossed around like salad…and not the good kind.    Continue to drop passes.   Give up yards.   Penalize yourself into negative rushing.   Depend on field goals to do what rubbery passing arms and greasy catching hands can’t do.   If you must fail with Mack holding the reigns, then please do so with epic intent.   Be the best at being the worst.  Prove your point with more marks in the Lost Column.   And just remember, lost games means lost revenue.   Sadly, that just  might be the only real reality check at Texas.

And  when the  Longhorn merchandise sales falls behind that of Slippery Rock, when fans no longer buy tickets to the games and refuse to watch the contests on TV, leaving the networks desperately trying to find sponsors, when new building endowments are replaced by  paltry cashier’s checks to purchase  lean- to’s at Mart-O-Rama, remember the glory days when the winning was easy and the money flowed.    When strategy ruled.   And an offense was something beyond that which was listed on  a crime  blotter.

And uh, speaking of,  Mr. UT  Athletic Director, what’s with  all the criminal news issues coming out of Austin regarding team members in recent years?  With all the accusations of rape, drugs usage, DWI’s, attempted murder and other assorted acts of mayhem, I suggest  you might want to follow Patty Hearst’s lead and replace Defensive coach Manny Diaz who you fired after the BYU loss, with renowned defense attorney, F. Lee Bailey.    How about Robert Shapiro? Clarence Darrow’s great grandson?   Matlock?????

prison-uniformBook ’em, Horns,  as the old joke goes.       What the hell, they already look decent in orange.