Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes (Etc.)


As ever, each headline brings more hope and uplift than the last:
  • A meth-addled hillbilly lady -- pardon me, alleged meth-addled hillbilly lady -- tried selling her infant for $500 to $5000 just across the river in Vancouver, Washington, out of the parking lot of a Taco Bell. If the rumors are right, she offered to throw in a bucket of Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes for any winning bid over $2500. Here's the unexpected twist to the story -- the infant-peddling hillbilly was not Vancouver's most famous alleged drug-addled hillbilly, Tanya Harding.
  • Whoever had this week in the Borders Death Watch has won the pool:
    Any hope that Borders would find a buyer and keep its nearly four hundred American stores open for business ended on Monday when the bookseller chain announced that it would liquidate its assets in an effort to pay creditors.
    I have no idea where we are going to spend several dollars too many on CDs we don't want, or very-near-full-retail on books Oprah has recently promoted, but I totally know a parking lot where you can score a cheap infant.
  • Apparently, only 19% of Republicans believe Obama would be rapture-vacuumed up to heaven if Jesus exercised that option. I'm surprised the figure is as high as that. Maybe 19% of them momentarily forgot he has dark skin and reads books?
  • Breaking Bad has started a new season (spoilers afoot), so the wrong-headed commentary has begun:
    Walt is weak. Sure, he's a great chemist, and by now he knows just what to do when confronted with an inconvenient dead body, but his attempts to sweet-talk Gus were just as spectacularly ineffective as his attempts to sweet-talk his wife, Skyler, back in his early days in the meth business. His head is packed with facts, but is the heart inside that Kenny Rogers T-shirt strong enough to survive this brutal business?
    I say the Kenny Rogers t-shirt is the perfect complement to the sand-toned Pontiac Aztek, but no one asked me. However: sweet-talk? That was someone's idea of sweet-talk? No, that was Walt doing what Walt always does when cornered or anxious: over-explaining, saying too much, getting didactic, waxing preachy. This is a bad idea in the best of circumstances, but Walt has a knack for entering this mode even in the immediate presence of proven sociopaths. He is way past lucky to be alive by now, which brings me to the last counterpoint: no, Walt is not going to survive all of this. One way or another, whether by cancer or box-cutter or bullet, Walt is doomed. He might provide for his family, and might even contrive to extricate Jesse from their chaotic miasma, and he will surely beat the odds a few more times before the end, but he has known from the start that he is a walking cadaver. He has turned this to his favor by mastering his fears and maintaining a strict focus on what he must do, but he cannot ultimately endure.
As with Walt, so with us all.

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