People drive long distances and gather in raging crowds to see all kinds of ridiculous things: Dollywood inexplicably attracts millions of visitors yearly, flocks of tourists park themselves outside Buckingham Palace every day for the changing of the guard (which I can say from experience is so NOT worth ANY amount of time you sit and wait for it), but the Tony Lama 100th anniversary cowboy boots on display at Carol’s Western Wear in Glen Burnie this weekend is the most bizarre attraction I’ve ever heard of.
The boots are worth a whopping $50,000, are “adorned with 4.4 ounces of 14-karat gold and studded with 100 diamonds.”
“John Wayne never wore boots like these,” read the article in Hometown Annapolis. Yeah, no kidding. The Duke is rolling over in his grave at the mere mention of his name in the same sentence as diamond-encrusted boots.
As impractical as they sound, rest assured these boots are strictly for display. In fact, there’s fiberglass inside them to discourage anyone from trying them on.
So… boots that are not for wearing… or for trying on.
I call that a tease.
Like a naked Jake Gyllenhaal who is not for touching.
But for some reason a great number of people call that intriguing.
The boots, not the off limits Gyllenhaal. No one finds that intriguing. Just depressing.
The boots are made with alligator belly and English calf skin, which I’m told is more sophisticated than American calf skin, but not as snobby as French calf skin. My sources on that are sketchy though.
It took eight designers five months to make the boots and they are protected like the freaking Hope Diamond – behind glass during store hours, locked up at night and accompanied by an armed guard when travelling.
The security measures for the “El Rey IV” are apparently necessary because both the $5,000 original “El Rey” and $10,000 “El Rey II” boots were stolen. Maybe a proper solution to curbing the theft of ridiculously expensive, non-wearable (read: pointless) boots is to STOP. MAKING. THEM. Seriously, who is benefiting here?
Certainly not the English calves.
A couple weeks ago on Weekend Update, Seth Meyers quipped, “This week, children at more than 1,700 schools in North America sang the song “I Want To Play” at the same time, while simultaneously in China, over a billion kids were doing math.” Unfortunately for us, it’s not just Chinese students who are grossly out-working Americans. Their bugs are overachievers too.
According to Historic Annapolis Patch, stink bugs are natives of China. Over there they are called “stinky big sisters.” Over here, I call them little armored Satans.
While we have been busy keeping up with the latest in a long line of “best ways” to get rid of the bugs – vacuuming one week, drowning by dish detergent the next – farmers are having even more difficulty with them. They “would come in waves,” said the article, “so if you got rid of one batch, the next would be right behind it.”
Apparently there are no pesticides that have proven effective in killing stink bugs, and no predators native to North America are having any success in stopping them either.
Maybe there is some truth to the whole “the world is going to end Saturday” rumor after all. Forget cancer and heart disease, THIS is how we’re all going to die.
“Researchers at the University of Maryland Extension are looking at pheromones as well as the light spectrum” as possible methods of extermination, and a Delaware USDA research team is working on importing parasitic Asian wasps “that lay eggs inside the stink bug eggs, destroying them at a rate of 50 to 80 percent.”
I don’t know what frightens me more: apocalypse-by-stink-bug or crazy wasps capable of killing a bug that nothing else can kill.
I feel like they’re crawling on me.
Maryland Gazette reported yesterday on a group of residents in Millersville who have taken making-mountains-out-of-molehills to a whole new level. Funeral director Dorota Marshall and her husband Sean are meeting with resistance in their attempt to open a “no-frills cremation service” in lieu of having to use the equipment of other facilities to cremate remains as they do now.
The “no-frills” is said to be “cremation, keepsake urn and a death certificate for only $875.” Man, it sure is expensive to die these days.
What would a “frills-included” cremation service be? Glitter mixed in with the ashes to give your loved one’s remains a more Dancing With the Stars feel? An urn decorated to reflect the deceased’s personality? The death certificate written in calligraphy? I’d really love to know.
Residents are concerned about having the crematorium in an area where there are many families. The kids of these families, on the other hand, are super-psyched to have a new place to go to freak out their friends. “First fourth grader to make it all the way to the door of the place where they burn people is the winner!”
One claim I found interesting was the insistence that the crematory only “handles one body at a time,” since I’ve heard all those stories about how when you get someone’s ashes back, you’re really not guaranteed that they are all that person’s ashes. They could be a mix of a bunch of different bodies… and for all you know, various pets and homicide victims.
The article went on to say that during this question-and-answer session with the Marshalls, “audience members cheered or applauded comments from their neighbors and interrupted answers.” Sounds civilized.
Furthermore, “in the middle of the meeting, one man stormed out, turning and pointing to [Maryland Department of the Environment] officials while yelling, “This is a set up! You already made your decision!”
I’m going to have to read this again, because upon closer examination it really sounds like an episode of “Judge Judy.” Or a particularly inflammatory scene from a Grisham novel.
No wait… this WAS real life.
This is why Chinese bugs are going to kill us all.
As if I needed one more reason to get road rage. Here’s another gem from the Maryland Gazette: With the rising gas prices, motor scooters, which can get 80-90 miles to the gallon, are quickly becoming a trend.
The problem I have with scooters is the same problem I have with regular motorcycles, and even though “according to county police, a scooter can’t be operated on a roadway with a speed limit of 50 mph or more and can’t be driven at speeds in excess of 30 mph,” that doesn’t mean that they won’t piss me off on winding back roads just as much as motorcyclists piss me off on major highways.
As anyone with working corneas is aware, May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, and we are constantly reminded via flashing highway signs to “share the road” with bikers.
I wouldn’t have a problem with this if most of the bikers I encounter in high-speed situations didn’t make me want to run them off the road. I am supposed to be alert and respectful of them, but that does not imply that they can drive like Evel Freaking Knievel while those of us who happen to have doors and four wheels on our vehicles ride around all nervous that they are going to ride their one headlight up our tailpipes.
The article acknowledges that no helmets are necessary when riding a scooter which is awesome, because it’s not as if I’m not paranoid enough that a two-wheeled daredevil is going to skid into my car, but with no helmets that means the chance of death for that person is through the roof, and the chances of me going down for manslaughter are too.
“We all should be wearing helmets, but it’s just not fun,” says one scooter enthusiast. Yeah, y’know what else isn’t fun? Having your brains smeared like a Rorschach test across three lanes.
Remember when What’s Up Mag told us that wallpaper was coming back?
That was a fun day.
If that was weird, this is weirder: The Mag teamed up with HGTV again (because the first time was so spectacular) to inform America that “menswear will soon be coming to a sofa or chair near you!”
It seems that furniture is now going to be inspired by fashion, specifically men’s fashion. More specifically, men’s suits. “Think Ratpack and the Frank Sinatra era.”
What’s Up says “we’ll be seeing a lot of herringbone, houndstooth, argyle, and pinstriped patterns”…on furniture?
Okay, first – What kind of delusional man wears an argyle suit? Does such an eyesore even exist? And two – the second I see an argyle couch, I’m going to think those damn diamond-encrusted cowboy boots were maybe not such a ridiculous idea.