What Doesn’t Kill You on Thanksgiving Only Makes You Fatter

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ABC News ran a piece on its website titled 4 Things That Can Kill You on Thanksgiving. But they forgot the leftovers. That would be all the OTHER stuff beyond their potentially fatal four: (1) highly combustible deep-fried turkeys, (2) eating certain food that’s been left out and unrefrigerated too long, (3) engorging and/or imbibing your way to a heart attack, and (4) holiday car accidents.

All that other stuff for me includes birth, death, food, football, and boobs, which makes Thanksgiving the best holiday.

My son was born at Thanksgiving in 1986. Low bilirubin levels left him jaundiced, so he spent part of his first holiday cooking juuust right under the bili lights at the hospital. Dashiell turned out better than the turkey.

When I was in college in the late 1970s I hitchhiked to a couple of Thanksgiving dinners. Imagine trying that today! One time I was picked up on New England’s busy I-91 by (what are the chances?) a friend from middle school. We had both changed in the 8 or 9 years which had passed, so we didn’t recognize each other until a few minutes of conversation had passed. Then, the miles zipped by as we talked and joked and laughed. Three years later he died in a car crash.

Thanksgiving always brings fond memories of that unlikely ride with Alex, and the notion that those types of meetings are not coincidental. Of all the motorists passing me that day, he stopped by pure coincidence? I doubt it. Alex’s father, a prominent minister, would probably have agreed. And so my faith in life’s hopeful possibilities (against the cruel forces of reality and improbability) is accumulated and strengthened.

My golf buddies play a Turkey Bowl football game each Thanksgiving morning. Despite their advancing ages and heavily-Ibuprofened joints, there are no deaths so far. And so my faith swells.

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My Aunt Helene was scheduled to join us one Thanksgiving. When she failed to show up, my grandfather drove crosstown to her apartment and found her wedged into the bathtub. Grandpa George spared us the gory details of the rescue, but I imagine it must have sounded like the jellied cranberry slowly splurching out of the can. One of the reasons I pass on the Thanksgiving cranberry.

There have been classic Thanksgiving board games, like Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, and Cranium. Bloody campaigns have been waged, with emotional winners and losers. Just last year the relatively new Pictionary Man produced a memorable artist’s rendering (and I use the term loosely) by my stepfather. Nobody guessed the answer (VIRGIN) from his sketch. And we have the embarrassing and hilarious evidence forever:

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Trips to the theater for holiday releases have became an annual tradition. I recall animated classics like Toy Story and Frozen. Big, life-affirming adventures like Life of Pi. Lighthearted comedies like Home Alone. And then there was the glorious mistake my folks made in 1972–taking me to that heartwarming holiday classic The Godfather. All about…Family. Starring severed horse heads! Bloody murders! Naked breasts! I was horrified. Not at the material, but because I was seated between my mom and grandfather. I’m sure they were equally appalled at the corruption they had wrought, but…I survived.

Happy Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday, for a lot of reasons.

Dave Coombs is a morning radio host and he likes the drumstick.

Odell Is the #1 Sports Beckham

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After Odell Beckham Jr. (left) snagged his unearthly one-handed TD reception against the Cowboys, it became clear he’s the best sports Beckham.

And he may even be a better soccer player than David Beckham, who basically excelled at free kicks–which are kind of the soccer equivalent of the basketball free throw.

Growing up in Louisiana, soccer was Odell’s original sport of choice. And he was damn good. The (American) football Beckham was asked to join the US National Soccer program before he gave up soccer prior to entering high school.

We’ll never know how good Odell would have been at soccer. But I think we can assume the mediocre international midfielder could never have pulled off the kind of catch (photo below by Al Bello/Getty Images North America) the Giants’ wide receiver made on the final Sunday before Thanksgiving 2014.

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Both Beckhams have impressive tatts, if you’re into ’em. And in the stats department, David scored 17 goals for England in 115 appearances over 13 seasons for his national side. Odell already has 3 touchdowns in 6 NFL games. That would translate to about 57 scores if he plays as many games for New York as David did for England. We rest our case in favor of Odell.

Dave Coombs played pro soccer for 3 seasons, and has hosted morning radio shows ever since.

Doctor Huxtable and Mister Cos?

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Sometimes a whole picture makes sense when you closely examine all of its parts. It’s that way with Bill Cosby.

My radio partner Gomez had a run-in with the Cos recently, where he was invited backstage for a “special” one-on-one meet and greet with the comedy legend. The offer was extended during a phone interview to promote Cosby’s upcoming appearance in our area. The eventual dressing room conversation included some avuncular tips and ended with a gift to Gomez of a special sweater Cosby created in memory of his deceased son.

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We later found out that the practice wasn’t all that uncommon.

Comedian Jim Norton told us recently that the Cos had done the same thing with him, and with many other comics over the years. And Norton didn’t recount the tale with any sense of reverence.

In light of all the stuff now surfacing about Cosby, it seems these backstage meetings Cosby conducted with comedy up-and-comers were not so much genuinely offered in the spirit of advice. Maybe they had more to do with public relations. Like, maybe Cosby felt: Hey, if I act like a nice guy to these other comics, maybe some good karma will come my way and erase some of my misdeeds.

Or, there’s another reason. Maybe these comedy pep talks are just more evidence of his tendencies toward control and entitlement. I’m Bill Cosby, dammit, and I’ll show these young whippersnappers how to do it.

Abusing women, verbally bullying a student-athlete, giving young comics a piece of his mind…maybe all just part of the whole picture: the portrait of a controlling bully hiding behind a set of comfy sweaters.

Dave Coombs and Glenn Gomez Adams started as morning radio partners together in 1995.

Home Home in Detroit, Where the Deer and Buffalo Play

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So, due to the glacier that hit Buffalo this week, the NFL’s Bills get to play a home game in Detroit this Monday night. Pretty fitting for a team that leaves Ralph Wilson Stadium to play one home game each year in Toronto.

Hey, why stop at Detroit and Toronto? Maybe the Bills could just go on tour all year. Kind of like the Stones. Play at Syracuse’s Carrier Dome one week, followed by a series of stops at large stadiums in various northern cities. Columbus. Toledo. Harrisburg. And don’t forget Ann Arbor! After all, it’s been a long time since Michigan fans have seen a real team in the Big House.

And if it feels too much like cheating, there are actually 13 other STATES with towns named Buffalo. Each one gets a lot less annual snowfall than THE Buffalo.

Or, the Bills could stay home but spice it up by changing their nickname on a regular basis. The Buffalo Toms, Dicks, Harrys. There are worse things that could happen to a football city. Just ask Oakland.

Dave Coombs is a morning radio host. He once hired a voodoo priestess to remove a spell from the Buffalo Bills.

All I Want for Christmas is…Anything But Flip Flops

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All this snow in nearby Buffalo has us thinking about what to pack for our next warm weather vacation getaway. Flip flops are not on my list.

They’re the fashion equivalent of chopsticks. Shoes and forks function much better for their assigned tasks. And humans look better in public with more updated gear.

Flip flops and chopsticks are both vestiges of pre-Christian history. If you want to use chopsticks as a nod to traditional cultures, whose people utilized the crude sticks to shovel food into their pie-holes, that’s cool. And it’s also ok if you want to wear old-fashioned sandals because they’re comfortable. But let’s not pretend either item functions better than today’s footwear and utensils. Embrace the technology, people. Progress is not a bad thing.

On the topic of appearance, have you seen how bad most of us look while attempting to use chopsticks? It’s so challenging, it should be an Olympic sport. (In case you’re tempted, don’t bother. The Chinese would dominate, just as they do in ping pong.) And feet are the ugliest feature for many humans. Why show them off any more than necessary? Barefoot is bad enough. Stick some sandals on Fred Flintstone (or your next-door neighbor Wally), and observe how the horror is framed and accentuated.

Then there’s the annoying sound flip flops make when you’re in motion. The noise is like your soles are being softly spanked by a wet noodle. Foot fetishists: stay out of this discussion!

The very names of the items even have bad connotations. Chopsticks is the most rudimentary song on the piano. Flip flops are what bad politicians do when they’re not consistent on the issues.

Girls do look good in flip flops, but there’s no upside for men to wear ‘em. They don’t look good. You can’t run well in them. The rubber strap irritates the webbing between your toes. There’s just no point. Unless you’re dressing up for a Halloween party. In fact, this year I think I’ll go as a male douche. I’ll wear flip flops and carry my own chopsticks to eat the hors d’oeuvres. And I’ll top it all off with one of those porkpie hats. I can see Beth keeping her distance from me right now.

Dave Coombs has been a morning radio host since 1984.

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