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May 18, 2008

The Cougar Lounge - The Call Of The Wild

"There's something special about college sports. We're not pro people. I follow pro sports, but I don't go or really watch it. It's strictly college because it's kids trying to make their way."

- Arizona State fan John Caldwell - one of three ASU fans who have purchased season tickets to all five Sun Devil sports which offer them.




"We didn't give O.J. one dime. I was told that O.J. had an exemplary year on campus and was riding his bike to class."

- The namesake of Bill Duffy Associates, Bill Duffy, now acting as the professional agent for former USC guard O.J. Mayo, and reportedly adding in a statement to ESPN, that, as he has heard it, O.J. was also getting off his bike and helping little old ladies cross the street with their groceries, making it an even more exemplary year.




"As he was in such a generous mood, I asked him what he had done with the house he had left behind in Turin. Unfortunately, he smiled and said he wanted to keep hold of that."

- Manager of English professional soccer club, Birmingham City, Alex McLeish, after his star player, Olivier Kapo, made headlines by giving away his Mercedes Benz convertible to his assistant as a gesture of appreciation.




"I had an idea for a short film about a cat being knocked bumper-to-bumper across a highway until there was only a scrap of fur left - and that one didn't go over so well. On reflection years later, I can't imagine why I thought that was funny, so yeah, being aggressively cruel is discouraged in favor of being extra silly."

- Comedian and Kids in the Hall member, Mark McKinney, recounting one of his ideas that did not make it into a full-fledged skit.






Listed among those events in history that are worthy of praise for certain human beings are creating a theory of relativity, inventing the light bulb and figuring out this gravity thing. None of those are on the same level as running in and completing another Bloomsday run. But as anyone who has completed such a task with 40, 50 or sometimes even 60,000 other people, can attest, it feels like much the same accomplishment - especially when the number of pre-race mileage training for the event hovered perilously close to zero. But that was the Lounge's own fault - as was the pre-race decision to drink fluids within 45 minutes of the start of the race with a notoriously small bladder capacity. This major tactical error came back to haunt the Lounge in Mile 2 where an inviting row of Porta-Potties beckoned in that sultry, plasticky way that only Porta-Potties can, and effectively clipped 45 seconds off the Lounge's nowhere-remotely-in-the-galaxy-of-the-winning time. But it was a lot easier going up Doomsday Hill without feeling like an internal jug of juice was sloshing around in the belly of the beast and the Chili-Pepper Bloomsday short [as we are dubbing it] was one of the race's better designs and colors and made the Lounge at least appear faster than reality.


With another Bloomsday in the rear view mirror, it is time to begin our training for the international doughnut throwing competition next year. It has to be held out of the country, because the doughnut authorities frown on that sort of thing here in America at least with the powdered variety. Perhaps, in the future, they will be more understanding with the plain cake doughnuts and we can work our way up from there to powdered doughnuts.

Or they could take a lesson from the gals who play softball for Central Washington University, more specifically, Mallory Holtman. In a game with a potential NCAA playoff bid on the line, it was Holtman who initiated the idea last month to carry her Western Oregon opponent, Sara Tucholsky, around the basepath after Tucholsky had hit a home run but then suffered a knee injury near first base and was physically unable to complete the circuit. The Lounge clientele rarely sheds tears [crocodile tears don't count] for any sporting endeavor, unless it involves Rose Bowls after 67 year spans, clocking Notre Dame to get to the Sweet 16 or seeing a tin of Cougar Gold awaiting them after completing Bloomsday. But even Father Lotto - whose favorite dwarf has always been Grumpy - was moved to prolonged eye-watering episodes when he found out what Holtman had done.

Then, on the other end of the spectrum, there is beer. Or, more precisely, how certain Australians view beer - which turns out to be not so different from how Father Lotto views beer.

But when faced with a dilemma of this ilk, frequently, the thing to do is to pull out your giant worm. Not just any giant worm but the giant Palouse earthworm, which lives in - where else? the Palouse! - and is said to be 37 feet long with nasty, pointy teeth and responsible for eating Detroit [which nobody missed]. Uh, hold on a second there, this just coming in over the internet newswire…apparently, that was just somebody's YouTube version of the giant worm. The real worm can only grow up to three feet long and it's a "reputed" three feet, at that [there might be beer - and an Australian - involved in that measurement].

We should just all count our lucky stars that we are terrorized by giant earthworms and not wizardry, like they are in Florida. Evidently, an outbreak of unauthorized, toothpick-induced "wizardry" in the Sunshine State has caused a teacher to lose his job. It is just this sort of threat that faces all the non-wizards out there - not to mention the thousands of toothpick lovers nationwide who will now cautiously guard their toothpicks from this clear wizardry menace.

There, of course, remains another, lesser-known menace out there - an annoyingly, noisy killer known as a bad song. It is the University of Washington school anthem. The university has known about it for some time - the current song was written over 100 years ago - but, recently, matters have become worse and the situation is so bad that the school is bribing, uh, we mean, offering, $1000 to someone - anyone - who can write a new song for the school, a song which perfectly captures the spirit of being regularly defeated by Wazzu in just about everything.

"It is kind of like summer vacation for sports right now, isn't it?" asks Ethel the Kaiser, as she is in the middle of birthday suit shopping.

Sorta, Ethel…if you are claiming not to acknowledge baseball, track and field and rowing as sports, then, yeah, it's summer vacation. But if you do acknowledge them, then there are plenty of things going on, especially with track and field and rowing. The most popular, or at least sports receiving the most play in the attention spans of the brain - football and basketball - are on siesta break right now, but will be back in only a few short months - three for football and five for basketball. About the same time as football is beginning, there are a few other sports that will also be beginning and each of them has their own intrigue associated with it. Also beginning in three months will be soccer - in which we will discover what will be required of Wazzu by the NCAA selection committee in order for the Cougars to be awarded a berth in the NCAA championships. Perhaps to again finish in the top half of the Pac-10, plus defeat three or more national champions or national finalists of the past three years and the Brazilian women's team?


"Do they have a serious shot at the NCAA title?" asks Lola Peppers of the rowing team's chances when they get to the NCAA Championships later this month.

Well, more serious than they have had in past seasons anyway. Wazzu is currently ranked 4th among the nation's women's varsity eight boats, but the top-ranked team, California, is way out in front of everybody else and in between the Cougars and Cal is the always formidable Ivy League duo of Yale and Brown. If there is smooth water for Wazzu at the Pac-10 Championships this weekend and they put up good numbers, the Lounge can see them making a row for the NCAA title. Winning will be difficult - as winning always is in the NCAA championships - but Wazzu will at least have a chance to bring home their first NCAA team title in any sport in 31 years and their first-ever NCAA team title in a women's program.

While we are waiting to find out if Wazzu will get the NCAA rowing title, look what we Found lying around the internet. The lost & found bin is always good for some interesting tidbits and our favorites here are the note attached to the bottle of Maker's Mark whiskey, the 7th-grade dollar bill insult and the "almost haiku" that falls one precarious syllable short of perfection.

Finally, the Lounge Scientists have confirmed some not-so-startling news - obese people are hurting the environment. No, they are not creating another ozone hole but rather a newly developed obese hole [so to speak], in which they concluded in a hypothetical exercise [again, so to speak] that overweight people [BMI [body mass index] of over 29] consume 18% more food energy [the consumption required to run their bodies on an average day] than leaner people [BMI of 24.5 or less].

"It's just due to being fatter," says Lounge Scientist #24.5, Phil Edwards, an English scientist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who reputedly, does not believe in beating around the bush nor the existence of chocolate-covered bon-bons.

This new finding may put a crimp in our international doughnut throwing strategy.





+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++

Attention COUGAR fans and well-wishers! Summer is almost here and you have the hunger. How can you afford to go one day further without some tasty morsels from Clark's Restaurant in Grays Harbor - home of the Best Hamburger in Twin Harbors for nine consecutive years? Come in for the burger, fresh homemade fries and milkshakes concocted from homemade ice cream. Go ahead, we dare you to try and pass up more than 12 varieties of hamburgers to choose from, full dinners, lunch and full breakfast served daily. Clark's Restaurant 360.538.1487. Seven miles south of Aberdeen, Washington on Highway 101. Proud supporter of CougZone. Mention this ad for a free small ice cream.


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