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Buy something... cheapskate!

Sunday, 6/30/02 - Well, I had a big day today. A friend and I traveled to the Harrah's Casino in Cherokee, North Carolina where we won $12,000!!!!

OK, so I'm lying... about the winning part... but we did go there. If we had won, I'm sure we would had looked as happy as this couple...

(Image lifted, without permission, from Harrah's web site.)

Wow, what expressions on these two. It looks as though the guy is just a little too excited and is squeezing the breath out of his bee-yotch.

Anyway, we left for Harrah's about 1:00 this afternoon, and got there about 4:30. The trip from Knoxville is a tiring one. You can avoid Pigeon Forge (Home of Dollywood) pretty well and bypass Gatlinburg (Home of Tourist Crap), but to get to Cherokee you sure can't bypass the mountains. What a drive... 30 miles on a two-lane twisting mountain road. But the drive was made a bit more enjoyable by listening to a Luther Vandross CD that I shoplifted just before we left.

Then you finally get to Cherokee. Now, there's a charming town... a gritty little hamlet specializing in The Exploitation of the American Indian. If you go there, count how many times you see the word "moccasins."

We stopped for gas and directions. I hestitantly asked the convenience store clerk (who is an Indian) where Harrah's is. I hesitate because this pretty much identifies me as "the white guy tourist."

We pulled into Harrah's parking lot and my friend starts dying laughing when she sees a bunch of mobile homes on the side of the hill with the title "Casino Villas." We caught a shuttle bus to the front door of the casino. We walked in from stifling heat outside and were hit with a blast of air-conditioned air filled with the smell of cigarettes.

Now, the nearest thing I've seen to gambling in person is back when I was married and went with the wife one night to play bingo... tough, professional bingo (before it was outlawed in Knoxville), not some retirement home social event. The bingo bothered me. I don't have any moral problem with gambling at all, but the wife was forking out money for game after game like it was of the Monopoly brand. That's the part that bothers me about gambling... the casual handling and risking of sums of money. Sure, you have the chance of winning, but I've never had much to play around with.

But, I digress...

When I walked into the casino area, I felt overwhelmed much like an outback aborigine might feel on his first trip to a Wal-Mart. I staggered around for a few minutes and took it all in. My friend has been to Las Vegas, so she had experience somewhat. We converted some cash into coinage and headed for the slot machines. On the way, I saw big-time players sitting at machines with $100 bills in their hands, ready to feed into the machine... while I rattled by with a cup of $10 in quarters. Small potatoes, that's me.

I should pause right here and say that this was not a "casino" casino... in the traditional sense that you would think of one. Every bit of gambling there was done on videogame-like machines. There were some dealers at tables, but... and get this... they didn't deal cards to the players. The players had little video screens in front of them displaying their cards while the dealer pushed buttons to conduct the game. Weird stuff.

Even weirder were these two clowns on stilts walking around juggling frisbees. I have to tell you, there were a lot of confused elderly women's faces when those two strolled by. Imagine a bunch of old hard-ass women with bad hairdos looking up from their gambling, cigarettes dangling in gaping mouths, and in unison silently forming the words, "What the f...."

To sum up, we spent about 4 and a half hours and $60 there (that includes a "fabulous" all-you-can-digest buffet meal for two). We also realized (thankfully) that we are not gamblers... we don't have the "fever," we didn't spend more than we set out to, we left when we planned to... and even though we did win a bit of money (but fed it back into the slots) we generally suck as gamblers. But, besides the hellacious drive there and back, it was fun entertainment for a few hours. We both agreed that the drive was actually a good thing after all... it's just far enough to be a deterrent against routine repeat trips to "The Money Pit of the Smokies."

Friday, 6/28/02 - Please repeat after me...

"I pledge adhesives to the hag and her Collectible Plates of America and to the redundant with witchy pants, one NASCAR under Dale, indigestible, with linguini and cell phones for all."

This page has good intentions... but is just a tad too much...

Wednesday, 6/26/02 - On the CNN website the other day, sounding like must-see TV or a plug for a new summer movie... "New bin Laden video on the way." "Americans should fasten their safety belts" because he "will soon appear on television screens."

In addition, al Qaeda sources say bin Laden is alive and well and preparing future attacks against the United States... "as soon as he finishes a model kit he's been working on."

Pray that you never have a redneck neighbor. Or if you are one and can relate to this awesome tale, this may help you identify and end your stupidity.

Sunday, 6/23/02 -I saw Minority Report tonight. It's got plenty of cool gadgets and vehicles, graphic special effects... but I have to tell you that it has as many story flaws in it as it does shameless product placements. It's plain to see that Nokia, Pepsi, Lexus, The Gap, Ben and Jerry's, among others, are still going strong 50 years from now. Although the movie was enjoyable overall, I would recommend this movie be seen on video with a group of friends... so that you can discuss how many discrepancies in logic that there are in the script.

Saturday, 6/22/02 -

Don't worry about me, I'll be OK. I don't need anything. Well, except maybe a red kitchenette chair... and another chair... a golden crushed velvet one. Yeah, that's all I need. Oh, and a carpeted platform thing and a couple of garbage filled with a big foam rubber block...that's all I need. Better take a hot water heater... just in case. Yep, that's all I need in this world, thankyouverymuch. So, go on and enjoy your precious life and don't give a second thought about me. I'll be on my way now.

Sunday, 6/16/02 - Happy Father's Day, you freaks!

It was a beautiful day in Knoxville yesterday. I went out to the airport and took a look at a couple of WWII vintage bombers (a B-24 Liberator and a B-29 Superfortress) on display by the Commemorative Air Force.

Click on above photo to see a panoramic shot I pieced together of both aircraft .

Driving down a street in a neighborhood I'm not usually in, I saw a sign that read, "LOCAL HONEY FOR SALE." Hmmm... looked like an ad for a friendly little neighborhood prostitution ring.

Saturday, 6/15/02 - I rediscovered this old photo of myself taken by Suzy J.

Is the hair real or is it Photoshop? Only my hairdresser knows for sure.

Friday, 6/14/02 - NEWS FLASH!!!!


#1 in a series, titled... The Disgruntled Sign-Guy

Thursday, 6/13/02 - I got this chain letter e-mail today...

My name is Billy Evans. I am a very sick little boy. My mother is typing this for me, because I can't. She is crying.

The reason she is so sad is because I'm so sick. I was born without a body. It doesn't hurt, except when I try to breathe. The doctors gave me an artificial body. It is a burlap bag filled with leaves.

The doctors said that was the best they could do on account of us having no money or insurance. I would like to have a body transplant, but we need more money. Mommy doesn't work because she said nobody hires crying people. I said, "Don't cry, Mommy," and she hugged my burlap bag.

Mommy always gives me hugs, even though she's allergic to burlap and it makes her sneeze and chafes her real bad. I hope you will help me. You can help me if you forward this email to everyone you know. Forward it to people you don't know, too.

Dr. Johansen said that for every person you forward this email to, Bill Gates will team up with AOL and send a nickel to NASA. With that funding, NASA will collect prayers from school children all over America and have the astronauts take them up into space so that the angels can hear them better. Then they will come back to earth and go to the Pope, and he will take up a collection in church and send all the money to the doctors. The doctors could help me get better then. Maybe one day I will be able to play baseball. Right now I can only be third base.

Every time you forward this letter, the astronauts can take more prayers to the angels and my dream will be closer to coming true.

Please help me! Mommy is so sad, and I want a body. I don't want my leaves to rot before I turn 10! If you don't forward this email, that's okay. Mommy says you're a mean and heartless bastard who doesn't care about a poor little boy with only a head. She says that if you don't stew in the raw pit of your own guilt-ridden stomach, she hopes you die a long slow, horrible death and then burn forever in hell.

What kind of cruel person are you that you can't take five freakin' minutes to forward this to all your friends so that they can feel guilt and shame about ignoring a poor, bodiless nine-year-old boy?

Please help me.

I try to be happy, but it's hard. I wish I had a kitty. I wish I could hold a kitty. I wish I could hold a kitty that wouldn't chew on me and try to bury its turds in the leaves of my burlap body. I wish that very much.

Thank You,
Billy "Smiles" Evans

P.S. You can send the money to the person who sent you this because that person is very trustworthy.

Monday, 6/10/02 - NEWS FLASH!!!!
Multiple Monks Murdered in Missouri Monastery Mayhem!

Brenda and I went to the Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg yesterday. Check out this shot of me with my new friends as they gather around to hear a Christmas story...

Sunday, 6/9/02 - I'm back, Jack! I've been busy this past week playing the new Playstation 2 game, Medal of Honor - Frontline. I don't play videogames very much, but when I do play a new one I get obsessed and can't stop until I finish it, even if it means staying up until 2 a.m. on a weekday. The Medal of Honor games have been my favorites. If you're a gamer, I strongly recommend this game. Excellent graphics and action.

OK, now... about AdventureCon last weekend. Yes, I went and met acting legend Richard Kiel (see 6/1/02 entry for more info). It was a blast... read about it here.

I bet this was a fun meeting...

Saturday, 6/1/02 - Lord Have Mercy, EEGAH'S in Town!

I know where I'm going this weekend. Just a quarter-mile from my house is an exhibition hall where AdventureCon is being held today and tomorrow. Old toys, comic books, and collectibles will be available for trade and sale along with appearances by several cult celebrities. No, I don't mean that the Manson family will be there... I'm talking about cult movie and TV celebrities such as: Batgirl and Catwoman from the old Batman TV show, the guy who played Chewbacca in Star Wars, the actor who played Michael Myers in Halloween II (how obscure can you get?), the guy who donned the monster costume in Swamp Thing (OK, even more obscure) and the main reason why I'm going... Richard Kiel.

Richard Kiel is the 7' 2" actor best known for the role of "Jaws" from the James Bond films, but I like him best as the star of my all-time favorite bad movie, EEGAH! Here's some more info in an article from Metro Pulse, Knoxville's alternative newspaper, and also this article from The Knoxville News Sentinel.

I'll have commentary and some photos from this convention on The (almost) Daily Comment next week. In the meantime, enjoy The Richard Kiel Experience.

"Watch out for snakes!"