* Today on NBC5, Rob Elgas revoked his man credentials by cowering in a corner while a reptile expert showed snakes on TV.  Seriously.  Zoraida stood closer.

* My vacation begins as soon as I punch the button to post this blog.  I have absolutely no plans, aside from continuing the growth of this rockin’ vacation beard I have goin’ on.  I’d love to go somewhere, but my personal finances have crashed through the floor.  So I’ll spend a week looking out the window.  That costs me nothing (beyond the extortion-level rent I’m paying).

* The CTA is raising fares.  Again.  Since I moved here in 2004, the sales tax has leapfrogged itself to an unthinkable 10.25% and CTA fares have gone up at least twice.  Now I’m gonna have to pay $2.25 every time I want to go somewhere beyond walking distance.  Could this have anything to do with the fact that I’m paying for free rides for every old person in a 40-mile radius?

We asked viewers to send in e-mails about the CTA fare hike.  This is my favorite: “I PROPOSE WE RE-EMPLOY THE HORSE! FORGET THE CTA.”

* Speaking of horses, set aside a half-hour and check out Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.  It features a villain named… well… I won’t spoil it for you.

* Gawker brings us this gallery of sad Wall Street traders.

* The Wall Street Journal asks, “Is bling over?”

No, Wall Street Journal.  Bling is not over.  Wherever there are rap videos, bling will be there.  Wherever some wealthy widow needs an accessory to distract from her botched facelift, bling will be there.  And wherever AIG gets a government bailout and wants to celebrate, bling will be there.

* Back to hip-hop for a sec… An Ohio judge got creative when sentencing a guy who played his rap music too loud.  Instead of a $150 fine, the judge would let the guy pay a $35 fine as long as he listened to 20 hours of classical music.  The guy listened for 15 minutes, then paid the higher fine.  Seriously.

* My favorite thing ever (EVER) is when an anchor pauses midway through his/her script to comment on the story.  “Get a look at this amazing video… this video isn’t that amazing.  It’s pretty bor… oh, NOW it’s amazing!  Anyway, this nuclear explosion immediately vaporized 7 million people…”  Just read.  Just read.  For the love of God, just read.

* My second favorite thing ever is when an anchor just refuses to read a line for whatever reason.  Today’s unspoken line? “That might explain why John McCain pulled out of the state altogether.”  Scandalous, I know.

* Now SNL is cracking on the Cubs.  Sorry, Cubs fans.  You’re the easiest target of them all.

* Who among us hasn’t wanted to retaliate against the cop who gave you a ticket by extinguishing a lit cigarette in his eye?

* Britney on Britney…

“I sit there and I look back and I’m like, ‘I’m a smart person. What the hell was I thinking?'”

* A man assigned “The Crucible” in an adult education English class doused his teacher with a nonflammable liquid and threatened to burn her as a witch.  Irony runs thick in Ferndale, Michigan.

* Sometime next week, nbc5.com goes away.  Bookmark https://bensbreakfastblog.wordpress.com in the meantime and I’ll give you the new URL once it’s decided.

* The soon-to-debut nbcchicago.com has a lot of cool new features.  I’m told the best is a search box that actually works.  Imagine!

* Some parting shots from the Sun-Times media watchdog Robert Feder.  (What, no plaudits for ‘Barely Today’?)

* For those of you who didn’t show up to last night’s Whiskey Rebellion show, the line, “I’m a consultant,” got a laugh.  Guess you had to be there.  And you weren’t.  My feelings are hurt.

Lucky for you, we have another show next Friday – 10/24 @ 8 p.m.  (Info here.  Get a 2-for-1 coupon in the previous entry.)

* Among the many things I need to do this weekend: edit new episodes of America’s favorite internet advice series, “Ask Jason Piazza.”

* More fun after a week off, kids…

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