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by: Max Burbank

Last night I made the time to watch the Miss USA pageant, not because I dig anorexic chicks with lots of teeth publicly humiliating themselves, but because it was hosted by William Shatner. With the exception of T.J.Hooker reruns which are known to cause intestinal bleeding in Laboratory animals I try to take in everything the Shat Man does and this gig came just in time as I was in clinical withdrawal since he and Priceline.com parted company.

I was hoping to completely submerge myself in a blissful Shatner fugue but a few things got in the way and prevented this from happening which accounts for why, on my way to work this morning, I took advantage of the anonymity provided by the bovine human heard on the commuter rail platform and popped some hapless child in the back of the head. I didnít make me feel a whole lot better, but I take what I can get.

Iíd hoped to watch the event carefully, take notes and write an insightful review for a legitimate publication, but things didnít work out that way as evidenced by the fact that itís you reading this and my wallet is empty. On the other hand a fella canít have too much bitterness. This being the case, here are my scattered recollections which I toss before you as I would bits of Alka-Seltzer before pigeons.

First and foremost; Like a rich desert weíve eaten so much of we were sick and now can no longer enjoy as we associate it with vomiting, we have made too much fun of William Shatner. So many bad stand-ups have imitated the characteristic halting delivery he uses to hide his poorly memorized text or perhaps booziness that he no longer does it. Not one abusively lengthy pause, not on sudden speed up at the end of a sentence, nadda. Comedians, myself included, made too many damn trips to the well and now the poor bastard is self conscious. On the plus side, he obviously doesnít take the jibes about his weight to heart. You can make your own hairpiece joke, Iím tired and cranky.

Then I got all distracted by Evan and Jaron (not a real name) Lowenstein who to my jaundiced eye appear to have only a passing acquaintance with puberty and a more than passing resemblance to Robert Tulloch and James Parker.

This was followed by a K-Mart commercial featuring Martha Stewart, first in a bubble bath and then in a bed coyly pulling a sheet up her obviously naked chest. I got all scared and started crying. It was just too much, the combo platter of Martha Stewart and sexuality was plenty disturbing enough, but mix in the idea that this Teutonic Wasp Queen Avatar of Anal Retentive Frigidity would set foot within fifty feet of a K-mart let alone shop there was intolerable I had to go get a lot of ice cream and eat it so fast I got a headache which I was deeply disappointed to find was not in fact a fatal stroke. Then they showed the same commercial every single station break which would have been annoying if not for the bizarre contrast it provided with the actual Martha who was one of the pageant judges. K-mart was kind enough to slather their camera lens with Bag Balm, something the Miss USA folks neglected to do and we all got a glimpse of Martha as she actually is, kind of bulgy about the face in odd places, like a freezer bag of clam chowder you put in the ice box at an odd angle.

Tommy Davidsonís comic intrusions were good, if by Ďgoodí you mean really, really, really awful and kind of like if GQ gave Jimmy Jay Jay Walker a makeover and then let him on a TV show. You got to see Donald Trump in the audience now and then since he owns the Miss USA pageant which I assume gives him Ďaccessí to the Ďdelegatesí, as the prancing young escorts in training are now called to avoid offending anyone. Like if your watching the show exploitation offends you.

Then the baby woke up and started crying and what little was left of the mood evaporated. I donít know. Maybe itís me. Maybe Iím just too old to reach the kind of religious union with Shatner that once made my life bearable. Or maybe itís that right at the top of the show he announced he was married again. Didnít he find his last wife floating in the pool, like, six months ago? That reminds me. I need to call my Doctor and cancel that sex change operation I have on Tuesday.

note #1: Max Burbank will apply the Vulcan death grip on anybody who finds Martha Stewart to be attractive in that K-Mart commercial.

note #2: -RoG- applied the Vulcan death grip on himself when he saw that Martha Stewart K-Mart commercial.

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