All Shatner, all the time

* My appeals for Cubs guest ideas and morning song suggestions have fallen on deaf ears.  How dare you, blogosphere?  After all I’ve done for you…

* The Detroit Lions fired Matt Millen.  It’s hard to find anybody anywhere who was ever worse at his job.  You almost expect President Bush to survey the football wasteland in Detroit and declare, “Heckuva job, Matty.”

* In contrast to yesterday, today was a news wasteland.  Our live shot was the extension of a runway at O’Hare.  Even airport officials agree this won’t change much.  It’s like leading with a pothole being filled.

* Blind Item! Which NBC5 Executive Producer named Wendy said the following: “I happen to have steel-toed construction boots, but not everybody does.”

* I decided to get creative to hype our “Name the Rocket” contest, so I held my show hostage by showing nearly three minutes of William Shatner singing “Rocket Man.”  I said I’d keep playing it until we got 50 name submissions.  This was possibly the highlight or lowlight of my producing career.

Half the reaction was extremely negative.  People were literally begging me to stop it.  But Shatner sang on.  The other half of the reaction was extremely positive.  Even the anchor desk was divided.  Rob messaged me, “I thought Shatner was funny!” Immediately after, Z wrote, “Sorry, but please don’t play it again!”

To convince me never to show William Shatner singing ever again, Zoraida and Rob sent me a list of 50 submissions on their own. I’ll spare you the full list, but here are some standouts: “Ben Bowman,” “Mobius,” “Grand Master Flash,” “Prom Night,” “Is This Necessary,” “Cookie Monster,” “Tipper” and “Vomit Rocket.”

Their list also contained some incredibly lame rocket names: “Stupid,” “Snot,” “NBC5,” “Lightbulb,” “Camera,” “Blue” and “Green.”

Among the names actual viewers have suggested: “The Boobular Groove,” “Barocket Obama,” “The Bailout,” “Challenger II” and my favorite, “Boosty.”

This is an incredible amount of time and effort wasted on a contest that no one will remember in a month.  But I ran nearly three minutes of William Shatner singing on television in the 3rd largest market in the country.  That’s a story I’ll tell my grandchildren, provided anybody would procreate with someone crazy enough to run nearly three minutes of William Shatner singing on television in the 3rd largest market in the country.

* For the record, Shatner’s “Rocket Man” is only one one-hundredth as terrifying as him singing “Mr. Tambourine Man.”  Listen to the last 30 seconds where he’s just screaming like a caged howler monkey.

* Genius Louisiana State Rep. John LaBruzzo wants to sterilize the poor.  I don’t know that I can get behind that, but I’m all for sterilizing the stupid.

* Speaking of people who need to be sterilized, how about the Rhodes Scholars who contact computer help desks to ask questions like, “Can you rearrange the keyboard alphabetically?” or “My computer is telling me to press any key to continue. Where is the ‘any’ key?” or “Can you tell me the weather forecast for next year?”

Such ridiculous requests are not uncommon.  Once, while working at Best Buy in my youth, an illiterate person wanted me to help him program his VCR.  Remote controls and on-screen menus are easier to understand if you have a vague grasp of the written word.

* TV anchor in Maine gets hate mail for looking too much like Sarah Palin.   Rob got the same treatment when David Archuleta was on “American Idol.” 

* Arizona State frat boys vomit milk from a campus bridge, causing a car wreck that injures two people.  Stories like this make me realize how much fun I missed by not joining the Greek system.

* Man pleads guilty after being busted going through a donut shop drive-thru naked from the waist down.  In his defense, his hands were probably full and he just needed some other way to hold the donuts.

* Rob hangs upside down and talks about David Blaine’s total failure as a human being.  I wish some brave New Yorker would have taken a busload of children down to where Blaine was hanging.  And then they could have blindfolded the kids, spun ’em around and handed them a bat so they could take cracks at that clown like he was the world’s most worthless piñata.

* When things get boring in Wisconsin (read: every day), buy your toddlers a beer.

* Rule for Life #782 – Aim your flatulence away from the police officer.

* Our crosstown competitor presents a story about dating in the big city.  When I read this, I expected to hear concrete evidence that dating was hard in Chicago, or that the city is a great place to date.  I expected to read anything useful.  And the story failed on every level.  It’s like, “Some people think dating is easy and some people think it’s hard.  Anyway, here’s a soundbite from the Sex & the City lady.  Oh, and some people use dating coaches.  THE END.”  Thanks for wasting my time.  I am dumber for having read that.

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