Tuesday, October 13

What happens in vegans definitely doesn't stay in vegans.

NEWARK, OH — First-time vegan Charlotte Treadwell found out the soft way that adopting a total vegan diet isn't quite as easy as it may seem.

A recent conscious uncoupling with her partner combined with a downturn in her home Kombucha brewing business had left Treadwell feeling a bit "adrift" and "without purpose." Turning to veganism seemed to her like logical step in self-awareness that would ultimately lead to better self-fulfillment, and other random new-agey stuff.

Scene of the crime against nature. 
"I really wanted to dedicate myself to myself, you know?"

Now, Charlotte has dedicated herself to cleaning up the ULGBTQA restroom at Gaia Horzions bookstore, where her initial excursion into veganism turned ugly.

"I was in the Queer Theory section, when I felt a sudden churning that quickly swelled to a boiling roil."

Charlotte's mad dash to relieve herself, unfortunately, did not end well.

Thankfully, Gaia Horizons co-owner Lillian Woolsworth-Toth was quite understanding of the fecal matter.

"Who are we to denigrate the wonders of the human body, no matter how abominable they may appear ... or smell?"

Bookstore regular Sally Hewes wasn't as accommodating, nor skilled at math, apparently.

"It was half on the wall, half on the floor, and half in the sink. Reminded me of my performance art days in the late seventies."

Veteran vegan Paula Nicolo tried to stifle a chuckle.  "I've seen this happen before with newbies. You have to maintain a proper balance, it's all in my hemp paper pamphlet series, The Virgin Vegan, available now out of the trunk of my Subaru."

The horrifying incident, however, has helped Charlotte recalibrate her daily intake of non-animal-based nutrients.

Nicolo added, "They become so gripped by vegan excitement they lose their shit."

Friday, January 10

Loose stool pigeon on the runs.

HEATH, OH — Heath Police are concerned about the whereabouts of informant Lenny "Trotts" Trotter.

Some guy from the internet.
Trotter (not his real name) has worked with law enforcement since 2004. He recently disappeared from the Hebron road station during a routine interrogation.

"I had a few more questions for him, but he squirted out the back door." lamented staff sergeant Mark Bednarski, who was the last to see Trotter before he vanished. "Now, I'm just bracing for the inevitable shit storm."

The Heath police have valued Trotter's continued input on several criminal cases, most notably the repeated vandalism of The Havana Omelet Shop's front windows.

A visibly displeased Chief Alan Maybrooke was blunt about Trotter's disappearing act.  "This has certainly left a stain on our precinct."

Monday, January 6

Hey-O sports fans! It's your least favorite sports prognosticator, the SportsBeard, a.k.a.  Roy Hinke.

Nineteen years ago, I grew out my first beard and through the miracle of modern magic one can only experience at an Amazing Randi live performance, it grew into a sentient symbiotic life form that began sending sports predictions directly to my brain.  With enough time, I learned to harness the immense power of my facial hair to bring these patented "Snow White Locks" to you, avid sports fan*.

Here's the my final three locks for bowl season. I'll be back for the Ledger's legendary March Madness coverage in April.

Van Nuys, California • Sometime later in the week, check your call sheet.

Some people think college football is sports pornography. Not me, no sir. I lived through 1977 and I saw a lot of real-life sports porn with my own two, yet unreformed eyes.  And you think I'm hairy!

This 'bowl' pits the Texas S&M Stallions against the Brigham Young University Cougars in a unmarked warehouse somewhere in the valley.

Texas S&M features exciting and endowed quarterback Johnny "Footlong" Manzarro, who likes to go deep to his wide receivers, if you know what I mean. The only problem is that he's been missing for six days after disappearing from the roof of a Amarillo whorehouse.  His backup, Casey Ringo, has one eye and a habit of throwing off his center's back foot.

The Cougars are led by sophomore running back Joseph Smith X who leads the nation in tithing. BYU is in for a real shocker (not that kind ... I think) this week and I wouldn't be surprised if they all end up in outer darkness at some point after the game.  That said, they're the clearly superior team here.

Take the Cougars and lay the points. Hey-O!

Brigham Young Cougars 24, Texas Science & Military Academy Stallions 7 

Hattiesburg,  MIssissippi • January 7, 2014

This game has been cancelled due to lack of interest in white power.

USS John C. Stennis, Bremerton, Washington  • Any minute now?

Former NBA center Manute Bol takes on a team of college All-Americans in the first annual Manute Bowl.  I had this idea come to me back during a raging, fevered cocaine and TuKola-fueled orgy with Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine in Fort Lauderdale in 1987. Thanks to a throbbing headache and a missing wallet, I never followed up on it. ESTEFAN, SI USTED ESTÁ LEYENDO ESTO YOU SÉ QUE LO ROBASTE LADRÓN PÉSIMO!

Twenty-seven years later, someone has made my perversions real!

Expect Bol to use his incredible height and wingspan to interrupt the flow of the game.  Even at his age, he can still be a force in the paint, or did you not see those GEICO commercials? I like the one with the camel. Hump day. Ha. Even so, he's at a numbers disadvantage here that doesn't bode well for success. He has to my knowledge, never played American-style football, and has a relatively lousy career field goal percentage — he's only made 40.7% of his kicks. Yikes!

Add to the mix that this is the first football game ever to be played on an aircraft carrier, and well Manute is in for a real shocker. (Not that kind ... I think.)

Take the All-Americans for easy cheese.

UPDATE: It has come to my knowledge that the All-Americans in question are Academic All-Americans.  This certainly changes the calculus as nerds:bad at football.  Like some kid from Columbia is ever going to quarterback the Chicago Bears! Fat chance, smartypants! Watch Bol swat away the "competition."

UPDATE II: It has come to my attention that Manute Bol is dead, passing away in 2010.  A distinguished basketball player and humanitarian, the bowl game is named after Manute Bol to honor his memory, and is, in fact a basketball game featuring the University of Bridgeport vs. Virginia Commonwealth University.  As my life-partner Judy would say: "do some research dumbass!"

College Football All-Americans 700, Manute Bol 2

Manute Bol 50, College Football All-Americans -200

VCU 88, Bridgeport 50.

*— The Heath Ledger does not promote gambling on sporting events, nor is it financially responsible for monies lost wagering on such events. 

Thursday, January 2

Hey-O sports fans!

Nineteen years ago, I grew out my first beard and through the miracle of modern magic one can only experience at an Amazing Randi live performance, it grew into a sentient symbiotic life form that began sending sports predictions directly to my brain.  With enough time, I learned to harness the immense power of my facial hair to bring these patented "Snow White Locks" to you, avid sports fan*.

Here's the second of my five "Snow White Locks," just in time for tonight's game.

Minneapolis, Minnesota • January 2, 2014

This will be the final game played at the "The Baggie", also known as the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis.  Three years ago, the dome's snow-covered roof collapsed under its own weight. We can only be so lucky history repeats itself prior to this forgettable matchup between two irrelevant Midwestern collegiate lightweights.

In the likely event we aren't blessed by Mother Nature and poor structural design, we're not in for a real treat.

The Iowa College of Corn Management touts the nation's only roster filled entirely with synonymous first names. The Ethanolics literally field a team of Jakes.

The "Two Jakes" running back tandem of Jake Smalley and Jake Bruck have combined for 2,213 yards and 479 pounds of flesh.  Don't sleep on ICCM quarterback Jake Mallett.  Seriously, don't sleep on him — he's not a bed! I found out the hard way at last year's ConAgra GMO Bowl. I'm not the most well-endowed man on the planet, but that's a dick punch I'll never forget.  Right in the mushroom! The only remedy was the sweet soothing touch of my life-partner Judy, and listening to the Chicago Transit Authority's greatest hits.

ICCM's opponent, the poorly-conceived Ohio School for the Tasteless are appearing in their first bowl game.  Hailing from the Ohio Physical Impairment Conference (formerly the Ohio Cripple Conference), the Flavor Warriors beat rivals Ohio School for the Blind and Ohio School for the Deaf by a combined total of 554-2. I guess not having taste buds or the ability to discern between sweet and salty is a lot less disabling than not being able to see or hear — especially when it comes to the gridiron!

The only thing the Flavor Warriors will be fighting for here is their pride. Led by senior safety Gary Coleman III, or GB3 as he's known around campus, the Warriors' stifling defense runs the 2-1-2-1-2-3, which sounds retarded but has led the team to a 9-2 season record.  In this matchup, however, they are clearly outclassed as they have exactly zero Jakes on their roster.

Take the Ethanolics, give the points and let the New Year ring in like a cash register!

Iowa College of Corn Management Ethanolics 31, Ohio School for the Tasteless Flavor Warriors 14

*— The Heath Ledger does not promote gambling on sporting events, nor is it financially responsible for monies lost wagering on such events. 

Monday, December 30

Hey-O sports fans!

It's your Ledger Sports Correspondent and former Ohio Dominican Panther, "The SportsBeard" Roy Hinke.  Nineteen years ago, I grew out my first beard and through the miracle of modern magic one can only experience at an Amazing Randi live performance, it grew into a sentient symbiotic life form that began sending sports predictions directly to my brain.  With enough time, I learned to harness the immense power of my facial hair to bring these patented "Snow White Locks" to you, avid sports fan*.

It's the most wonderful time of the year — college football bowl season, and what better way to parlay the vast knowledge of the Sportsbeard than by making some bold predix on some of the season's  lesser-known bowls? As my life-partner Judy always says, college football is like pizza — greasy and gut filling!  Here's the first of my five "Snow White Locks." Let's go bowling!

Richmond, Virginia • December 31, 2013

One of the conditions from the most recent tobacco lawsuit settlement is that cigarette manufacturer R.J. Reynolds must sponsor a college bowl game that encourages young people to avoid the health perils of smoking.  The result is this lesser-known bowl that doubles as a legal requirement — Happy New Year's to you, too.

This contest, "flexed" by ESPNOCHO to 3:30 AM, pits the Remedial College of Southern Kentucky Grizzards versus the new-to-the-NCAA People's University of Portland Granolas.

The Granolas are clearly overmatched, what with their penchant for ironic clogging and statist municipal regulation.  Coming east will certainly affect their level of energy, considering the team is mandated to ride bicycles to every away game to lessen their carbon footprint.

"We've added a few wrinkles to our offensive gameplan" coach Lillian Woolsworth-Toth told reporters. Toth, the only openly lesbian head coach in college football, also showed off her latest macramé project and vintage tea collection. "We've freed ourselves from the oppression of expectations."  The Granolas plan to confound opponent and viewer alike by not wearing uniform numbers. "We find that sequential numerals are an outdated, chauvinistic expression of micro-aggression.  Frankly, all of our players are number one to me."

The Grizzards tout eighth-year sophomore quarterback Turd Perkins, whose leads the team with a -1.8 GPA. He plans to never graduate with a degree in General Studies.

"General Studies is my hero. Without him, the South woulda lost our war."

Speedy and electric cosmetology college transfers Demontague McSimmons and Fittydollarzzz Jones highlight a passing attack that averages 412 yards per game.

Look for the Grizzards (combination Grizzly Bear/Buzzard for the unfamiliar) to strike early and often and send the Granolas two-wheeling back to the Pacific Northwest hinterlands in tears.

Southern Kentucky Grizzards 41, People's University of Portland Granolas 20

*— The Heath Ledger does not promote gambling on sporting events, nor is it financially responsible for monies lost wagering on such events. 

Wednesday, December 25

Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia.

This post originally appeared back when The Ledger was better. It appears again here now as recycled content. 

We take little pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great embarrassment that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Ledger:

Dear Editor—

I am thousands of years old. Some of my little friends, er, employees say there is no Virginia. Mrs. Claus says, “If you see it in The Ledger, it’s shit.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Virginia?

Santa Claus

Santa, your little friends, er, employees are wrong. They have been affected by the ignorance of an ignorant age. They do not believe except they see — probably on TV. And no current television shows are set in the great commonwealth of Virginia. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Santa, whether they be men’s or children’s, or ‘elven’, are little. Even yours, as evidenced by the letter above. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge, and that there are 50-odd states here in our union. Frankly, they are probably screwing with you so that you skip Virginia on your annual Christmas Eve jaunt to dispense gifts to the world’s children, piss off a lot of Virginians, and have to go back on the 26th or something to make everything right (which would be a total embarrassment to yourself, right?)

Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia. It exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and unfortunately, also as West Virginia exists. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Virginia! No Roanoke! No Norfolk! No Blue Ridge Parkway! It would be as dreary as if there were no Marylands. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence, save for the childlike faith of Dakotans and Kentuckians, Maya Angelou, and a well-worn Danielle Steel novel or two. We should have no Virginia Hams, Moses Malone, no Wayne Newton, no Willard Scott, no Cyrus H. McCormick (and thus no grain reaper!), no Ward Burton, nor any mention of the Piedmont.

Not believe in Virginia! You might as well not believe in the North Pole. You might get your wife to hire men to watch all of the highways and byways of this great county to spy a license plate from Virginia. But even if they did not see one, what would that prove? Not everyone has been to Virginia, but that is no sign that there is no Virginia. (Actually, there is a sign – it’s the Welcome to Virginia one on I-95.) The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men, nor elves — for pete’s sake, can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? If you answered yes, then, you sir, are a bigger fool than I had originally surmised. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world — that would be super cra-zay. That person was probably Albert Einstein, but alas, he is dead.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the baby cry, because now there is a broken rattle, which the baby would like to play with, but now that a jerk like you has broken it, the baby is shit out of luck per the rattle. (But I digress.) There is a veil covering the unseen world, and a lot of Islamic women, which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived (except perhaps Arnold Schwarzenegger) could tear apart. Is it all real? Ah, Santa Claus, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. You can thank Thomas Jefferson and his fellow white slaveowners for that! For Rill-a!

No Virginia! Thank God! It lives and lives forever (or until the fall and destruction of the United States.) A thousand years from now, Santa, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, (okay, I’m pushing it, but you comprehend dramatic license don’t you? I mean, you fly around in a sleigh with eight tiny reindeer for crying out loud!) it will continue to be a tourist destination for one and all. And remember, Santa (and Mrs. Claus), Virginia is for lovers!

Monday, December 23

Romo chokes game away for Redskins.

LANDOVER, MD  — Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has again added to his resume of fourth-quarter failures, this time for NFC East rival Washington Redskins.

Blows it again.
A talented-but-flawed gunslinger whose name has become synonymous with choking put on a dazzling display of defeat as he came up short once again. Romo's 10-yard touchdown pass to running back DeMarco Murray with only 1:08 remaining handed the Redskins their 12th loss in a season gone awry.

Unable to force a game-ending interception, Romo instead sealed the Redskins' fate for the seventh straight week.

"Can you believe that guy? It's like he doesn't even play for our team." lamented long-term Redskins linebacker London Fletcher.

The Redskins have found, much like the Cowboys, that leaning on Romo is quite a dubious endeavor.

Beet-faced Redskins coach Mike Shanahan was less critical of Romo's deficient play. "Sometimes you expect too much out of one player."

Wednesday, October 30

Man finds dead gerbil in rec room.

WESTERVILLE, OH - An area man discovered a dead gerbil in his rec room last night. Seriously. This is a news story? A dead gerbil in the rec room … big whoop. No wonder no one comes to read this “newspaper” anymore. This is ridiculous. We make Fox News look like a credible source. Stupid gerbil probably got out of its cage in a child’s bed room or something. Maybe the family cat got it. It’s not a news story!

Pardon me? What’s that? Not the rec room? Oh. My. God. Get out! How is that even possible? How do you get it up there? Are you kidding? Sure sounds a lot like rec room, doesn’t it? I mean you can see how I may have been confused. It’s certainly not the first place I think of when I hear “dead gerbil.”

Of course, now it sure will be.

Monday, June 3

Senator keeps campaign promise.

TRENTON, NJ — Frank Lautenberg, the New Jersey Democrat who was the oldest sitting member of the United States Senate, died this morning of viral pneumonia at the age of 89. A recent bout with stomach cancer had left the Senator in poor health.  As a result, Lautenberg promised constituents not to seek re-election in 2014.  By passing at 4:02 this morning, his most recent campaign promise has been fulfilled.  

Lautenberg is survived by his wife, Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg; six children and their spouses and 13 grandchildren. He was also the last remaining World War II veteran serving in the chamber.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will appoint a temporary replacement.  A special election may be called before the regular election this fall, at the Governor's discretion. 

Despite his death, Lautenberg still plans to vote in November.

Washer, dryer finally reunited in appliance heaven.

LEWIS CENTER, OH — Seth and Ginger McCormick recently bid adieu to the dryer that occupied their laundry room for eleven memorable, lint-filled years.

That dryer, a Kenmore 7.0 cubic feet electric front-loading model 61662, was preceded in death by its laundry cleansing partner, a matching Kenmore washer. The McCormicks purchased the pair at their local Sears department store over a decade ago.

"It was such an exciting time. Our first house ... our first laundry room!" Seth exclaimed.

Washer and dryer pairs are typically designed to last between 12-15 years.

"Like any old couple, the moment one goes, the next ain't far behind." said appliance repair specialist Mike Krzyzewski.  "Like Johnny Cash, and his wife, that June Something-Cash. She went first, and then, next thing you know ... bang! ... He's in the ground."

The demise of the crisp white Kenmore 2130 Top-Loading washer left the McCormicks saddened amidst piles of unwashed laundry.

Odd couple.
After a few trips to the laundromat, they broke down and bought a new washer.

"We picked up a brand new replacement LG, put it down next to our old, trusty dryer ... but something didn't feel right." Ginger confided. "They were mismatched in more ways than one."

Not soon after, the dryer's heating coil began to diminish.

"We'd have to run it two, three times to get stuff dry. It was sending us a message ... it was time to finally let go." Ginger tearfully recalled.

A brief eulogy was offered at the end of the McCormick's driveway.  By morning, the dryer was gone.

Now, the two are together again, blissfully losing socks in the home appliance afterlife.