July 2008 Archives

Average of Joe: Welcome to China

With the Beijing Olympics about to begin, here are a few pieces from my 2001 trip to Beijing:

Welcome To China
Inside the Forbidden City
Hello, Humor Column
On and Around the Great Wall
Rubber Dinosaurs and Cadavers

And finally, in The Boston Herald, I was just a little skeptical about how The Smog Olympics would turn out.

But, More Importantly, Do We Have a State Munchkin?

BostonCream.jpgRecently, I needed to look up "Boston cream pie" on Wikipedia. Sometimes, these things just happen. Wikipedia informed me that the pie, which is really a cake, was created at Boston's Parker House Hotel in the 1850s. But, on the same page, I found something even more interesting. I learned that the Boston cream doughnut is the official state doughnut of Massachusetts.

Here, at the All Star Break, the Boston Red Sox are in first place, and I think I know why. It has nothing to do with their money or front office smarts. No, there's a more important reason. It turns out that the Boston Red Sox are juiced, not with steroids, but with ... juice. J.D. Drew, Jonathan Papelbon, and several other Sox players are hooked on a Brazilian health drink called MonaVie. They swear that MonaVie is giving them a definite energy boost, helping them to compete at their very best.

Average of Joe: The Retro Technology of Tomorrow

In 2005, I speculated that someone would eventually create a USB typewriter to use as a keyboard, and luckily someone has. (Link courtesy of the esteemed Professor Barnhardt.) Below is my retro piece on the retro technology of tomorrow (or today).

Last year, someone took a bulky old-style phone and made a cell-phone headset out of it. It was at once the dorkiest and coolest headset around and understandably a big hit online. This is not an isolated case. At Radio Shack, you can now buy modern phones that look so old-fashioned you'll feel like you're in the middle of "His Girl Friday." Revamped Beetles and Mini-Coopers are all over our roadways. Even Atari games are back in vogue. It seems that we all like our technology to be a little retro. Here then are some suggestions for the future of retro technology.


High Security

The other day, I was flipping through my copy of J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye," and I noticed a receipt in the book. I'm not sure if I was using it as a bookmark, or if it just ended up there by mistake. Holden Caulfield, however, would not be impressed, because it was a receipt for my February 1997 trip to Disneyland.
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    A periodic humor column, disguised as a blog. New columns published on Tuesdays or not as the case may be.



  • I've written for Slate, The Boston Globe Magazine, Salon, McSweeney's, WBUR Radio, The Christian Science Monitor, The Globe and Mail, and many other publications. Thanks for dropping by. I hope you enjoy my Internet column.

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