My Bracket of Madness

Well, there goes my perfect bracket. Alas.

My Final Four teams are still alive: Kentucky, Arizona, Virginia and Gonzaga. I’m picking Kentucky to beat Gonzaga in the final game. I’m waaaay out on a limb on that one, I know.

I did not see UAB over Iowa State and Georgia State over Baylor coming. If you say you did, you’re lying. If you chose both of them in your bracket, you probably don’t know much about college basketball. You likely chose teams randomly or by location, by color, by mascot or by name recognition. You did not have a hunch.

By the way, yesterday began Round One of the tournament. Not Round Two. Don’t tell me those “play-in” games constituted the first round. No. Robert Morris didn’t make the second round of the tournament as a 16-seed. They made the first round and will get clubbed.

In fact, let’s just jettison all this play-in nonsense. Go back to picking 64 teams and be done with it. Make the tough decisions. Get a spine, tournament committee. We’ll get over the snubs.

The Magic of Sky Mall

A recent flight afforded me the chance to pore over one of my favorite publications—that venerable staple of air travel, the Sky Mall catalog.

I admit I’ve never actually purchased anything from the Sky Mall, and I often glance around the cabin to see if anyone is filling out the order form. Somebody is buying this stuff, I have to assume. The readership, after all, is vast: the catalog proudly states that “If Sky Mall’s audience was (sic) a country, it would be (sic) third largest in the world.” Not that this nation would be entirely literate.

Despite the occasional typo and grammatical gaffe, the catalog is a veritable treasure trove of good stuff you just can’t find in most normal stores. Thanks to enterprising entrepreneurs whose brainstorms populate these pages, you can obtain a wide variety of useful household items and gadgets to make life more pleasurable. There’s the touch-free toilet seat that automatically opens as you approach and shuts 30 seconds after your business is finished. The nearby giraffe-neck toilet-paper holder is a nice complement. For the bedroom, the “always cool” pillow means less tossing and pounding on warm summer nights. Another pillow option is one carefully crafted to resemble a roll of sushi.

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Hire-a-Hound

Funny Dog-09
Do you love dogs but don’t want the hassle of owning one?

Let’s face it: dogs are cute and can be lots of fun, but who wants to deal with the barking and whining, the chewed slippers, the daily feeding routine, the walks and, of course, the poop?

At Hire-a-Hound, we offer a part-time, worry-free dog ownership experience. You can choose from a wide range of breeds, from perky poodles to pernicious pit bulls, along with an adorable array of mutts. Rent your pooch by the hour, or choose our monthly plan that includes up to three on-site visits a week.

Here’s how it works. First, pick the dog of your dreams. Second, give it a name you or your kids have always wanted to call your pet. It doesn’t really matter because they don’t respond anyway. Third, treat your new pup to our two-acre dog park featuring a variety of obstacle courses, watering holes and private spots for sniffing and social exploration. Feel free to take photos with the family, and be sure to participate in the time-honored tradition of pooper-scooping so you’ll know what you’re happy to be missing.

When your time has expired, simply return your dog to our rental facility and sign up for your next visit. You can reserve your new pooch or choose another until you find just the right match.

So come visit Hire-a-Hound and enjoy dog ownership on your terms. Your part-time pet awaits!

March Madness

It’s that time of year again. Let the madness begin.

And so it’s time to break out an oldie but goodie column I wrote for Inside Higher Ed called, appropriately, “March Madness.”

Here you go:

Every March, university campuses embrace an enduring tradition. No, not spring break. I’m referring to college basketball, and those few weeks when our attention turns to bubbles and bracketology, office pools and buzzer-beaters, Cinderella stories and Final Four mayhem.

As we watch marquee teams and those making their only TV appearance of the year, we’re constantly serenaded by marching bands furiously trumpeting fight songs during breaks in the action. Their feverish displays showcase collegiate spirit at its best.

We might find ourselves whistling the tunes of teams surviving well into the tournament, but how many of us know the words to these fight songs? What do these verses reveal?

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Pun-ishment

The chef served dry mutton and got lamb basted.

My broken snowblower didn’t augur well for the coming storm.

At a meeting of greedy investment bankers, I saw Nick, the hedge hog.

My moldy bread is multi-green.

Weatherman said to watch out for patchy black ice, so I kept my eyes peeled for pirates of the Caribbean.