"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 21 December 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run 12.21.00


Hard landing, soft landing — who cares? It's time for football. With the strange and costly NFL season collapsing into obscure questions about reforming the fumble/safety rule and whether the Redskins might be better off convincing Al Gore to stay in D.C. and jump in at cornerback, we're debating plunking down a few sawbucks on Vince McMahon's XFL come February. The attraction sure isn't McMahon's bogus promises to keep it street, or the prospect of seeing former Heisman winners humiliated for our enjoyment, or even the possibility of betting on games that really are fixed. No the XFL's real score is with its team names. No family-friendly Panthers or Jaguars here, no gate polls that leave the choice of franchise monikers in the hands of 12-year-olds. The XFL gets to the coin toss with some of the best sporting nomenclature in recent decades: "The Chicago Enforcers," "The New Jersey Hitmen," "The Memphis Maniax," "The Orlando Rage." These may not be real places, but they're pretty great names. Even more intriguing is the list of team names that didn't quite make the cut, which we obtained while searching for steroid caps in the dumpsters outside WWF HQ in Stamford, Conn.

The New Orleans Whores
The San Francisco Packers
The Denver Faunlets
The California Ballot Referenda
The Miami Relatives
The Utah Spazz
The Seattle Seamen
The Green Bay Shih-Tzus
The Florida Absentees
The Boston Fighting Blackamoors
The Houston Frottage
The Washington Indian Savages
The New York Jews
The Oklahoma Bombers
The Detroit Puke
The St. Louis Stiffs
The Nashville Crybabies
The Iowa Caucuses
The Portland Spoilers
The North Adams (Mass.) Internet Incubators
The Dallas Shoppers

Finally, our thirst for physical fitness and unbridled sloth can be quenched by the same drink. Minnesota-based Gluek Brewing Company recently announced the creation of Hard E, an alcoholic energy drink. Company officials hope the drink will catch on with twenty-somethings looking to enjoy the buzz of a fine malt liquor without the mushmouthed grogginess that usually comes with it. The drink should provide great convenience for those who already achieve the same effect by mixing uppers and downers with Elvis-like precision. Now if they could just invent crack that didn't make us want to blow our dealer for $20.

E-commerce just got a new lease on life. Rona Barrett, the legendary multimedia journalist who showed that in this business you have to be able to write both flack-approved news flashes and full-blown puff pieces, has finally come back from the hiatus she took after "30 years of presenting the true picture behind the Hollywood headlines." And this time the celebrity supersleuth whose list of discoveries includes "Jimmy Dean, Natalie Wood, Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Fabian, Frankie Avalon, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, etc., etc." has something besides just The Truth to hawk — lavender-based anti-aging creams created on Rona's own organic farm. "As many people know, I love uncovering new discoveries," Barrett notes, showing some of the Menckenesque phrasing that made her such a hit with Good Morning America audiences, "and so I am thrilled to re-enter public life by introducing new quality lavender products to the world and joining in a resurgence of the plant's healthful benefits and popularity." Think anti-aging creams ($116.00 per ounce) hit the online shopping demo at, well, only an oblique angle? Well they told Jeff Bezos Americans weren't reading books anymore, and look where he is. Or actually, don't look where he is. We're a little disappointed that a lavender-identified site doesn't have a more openly gay appeal, but we're happy to have the author of the "best selling intimate autobiography, Miss Rona" back, and not just because we're looking forward to the weekly "Rona Report" scheduled to begin next month. This is shaping up to be a blue Christmas all around, and whatever it takes to put a little pink back into the sallow complexion of online shopping, we'll take two!

courtesy of the Sucksters