EXTRA, EXTRA

Well, all I know is what I read in the papers.

– Will Rogers

Holey Picasso, Batman

From a Reuters story I learned that Steve Wynn, the Las Vegas casino magnate, recently sold a painting by Picasso for $139 million. However, while showing it off one last time to his friends, he poked a hole in it with his elbow.

Oops! His bad!

The painting is titled “The Dream” but I think circumstances demand it be renamed “The Nightmare.” Many more incidents like this and Mr. Wynn might also change his name – to Mr. Lose.

I can’t help but wonder what Mr. Wynn did after his blunder. Did he Scotch-tape it? Did he call the new owner and say, “Listen, Boobala, there’s been a teeny-weeny accident and I’m more than willing to knock thirty or forty million off the price.”

I know the story is about the damaged painting, but I’m more amazed that it sold for $139 million. I mean, who bought it – Mr. Magoo? It’s allegedly a painting of a dream experienced by Picasso’s mistress Marie-Theresa Walter, but the poor woman has six fingers on one hand and an obscene growth on her head in the shape of Mr. Microphone. I had a similar dream once, but that was the last time I ate anchovies and peanut butter for a late-night snack. Given the choice of Picasso’s “The Dream” or Vinny Goombotts’s black velvet masterpiece “Mary Magdalene Dealing Texas Hold ’em At The Last Supper,” I’m all in for poker. And, with the $138,999,979 I’d save, I could purchase the island of Antigua and still have money left over to buy Mr. Wynn some custom elbow pads.

Turkey Testicle Festival Turmoil

According to the Associated Press, some people in Fort Myers Beach, Florida want to change the name of their annual Turkey Testicle Festival. This festival is similar to Carpinteria’s Avocado Festival, except with smaller orbs. I can imagine such culinary festival delights as turkey testicle gumballs, turkey testicle ice cream, and the ever-popular, turkey testicles on a stick. Some citizens say the word “testicle” is inappropriate for a family town. I had a great aunt who’d agree 100%. She was a delicate flower and whenever the word testicle would come up (and it came up more times than you might imagine when I was 10), she’d blush and substitute “sparkleberries” for “testicles.” Example: “If that postman doesn’t arrive soon with my social security check, I’m gonna snatch his sparkleberries and turn them into humus.” Obviously, I come from refined stock.

I’ve e-mailed the town’s city council with some alternative festival names that might be more “Walton Mountain” friendly. I think the Turkey Doodads Festival is better. Or, how about the Turkey Love Apples Festival? Some others that come to mind are the Turkey Danglers Festival, or the Turkey Nutmegs Festival. However, my favorite, and a sure crowd pleaser, would be the Turkey Tallywags Festival.

Running With Rock, Paper & Scissors

And lastly, a Reuters story about the Rock, Paper, Scissors World Championship in Toronto. More than 500 contestants, including national champions from Canada, Norway and New Zealand (three countries known more for fur-lined underwear than outstanding athletes) are expected to compete. I guess America doesn’t have a national champion, and to tell you the truth, I’ve never been more proud of my country. Apparently, adults have too much time on their hands nowadays. It isn’t enough that there’s city leagues for softball, basketball, bowling and darts, but now grown-ups are playing Rock, Paper and Scissors, too? Can Capture The Flag be far off? Thinking back to my youth, I have a hard time imagining my Dad saying, “Jimmy, you and your sister stay home with Grammy tonight while your Mom and I compete in the Tri-City Four Square playoff. And try to finish all your homework early because we’re going to Bristol this weekend for a Duck, Duck, Goose tournament.”

Why can’t parents of today act like adults and exhibit the family values our parents did? When they came home from work our parents didn’t change into their swimsuits for a rousing game of “Over 30” Marco Polo. They ate their dinner, drank a couple of highballs and fell asleep in the chair watching “Gunsmoke,” which allowed us kids to sneak out and play Kick The Can.