Dispatches from my Death Bed – November 29

* I am sick. I’ve had a fever since I woke up Tuesday morning. It’s not really better now, but I came in anyway. I figure it’s best to jeopardize my fellow coworkers by spreading the disease as far as I can.

* Behold the first of several pictures taken by our Web Czar, Marcus. This is supposed to be me, looking worn, haggard and unshaven. I kinda look like this now, except sicker. Yes, I look worse than this, if such a thing were possible.

* Today’s big event was a morning live shot extravaganza at the Shedd Aquarium involving the contest to name the new baby beluga. Fun fact you may not know about belugas: they eat time in a newscast like nobody’s business. I’m fairly proud to have included two or three news stories in today’s beluga-cast.

* Hot chick news: Jennifer Love Hewitt is engaged. I guess my repeated letters were not enough to draw her attention away from… some Scottish actor no one’s ever heard of.

* Kinda hot chick news: A pregnant Christina Aguilera posed partially nude for Marie Claire magazine. I can’t decide whether Christina is hot or not. She always looks so heavily made up, kinda like a drag queen. But partial nudity is something I can get behind, even if she’s pregnant. On second thought, maybe she should just put some clothes on.

Does Marie Claire magazine exist? I have never heard of this publication, nor have I ever seen anyone reading it.

* A school in New Jersey has a padded room where they occasionally toss their autistic kids. NBC5 also has a padded room. That’s where most of the producers spend their days, howling at the unkind news gods.

* As I sprawled on my couch yesterday, trying unsuccessfully to recover, I watched the worst movie I have ever seen: “Ice Cream Man,” starring Clint Howard, Jan-Michael Vincent and Lee Majors II. I had to see it to settle a challenge more than 5 years old (long story).

This movie was worse than even “From Justin to Kelly,” which, yes, I have also seen.

It’s the story of a guy named “Ice Cream Man” (Howard), who goes around murdering people and shoving bits of their remains in his ice cream cones. You could make a case that this film explores the nature-nurture debate, because Ice Cream Man seemed like a pretty screwed up kid when we first meet him (eating an orange push-up at a murder scene), but he also seems to have been pushed overboard by some really substandard psychiatric care at the Wishing Well Sanitarium.

I guess it’s supposed to be a horror movie, but it wasn’t scary. It was inept. And its total lack of any redeeming quality eroded what was left of my soul. Rarely do you see a film where you want all the characters to die within 30 seconds of their introduction. “Ice Cream Man” is such a film.

* Cheap plug: my improv team performs tonight at 10:30 at the i.O. Theater – 3541 N. Clark St, upstairs. Tickets are just $5. Come and watch me humiliate myself while I try to shake off this fever.

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