"People say no matter what happens this year, you're going to be the starter. How do I know that? They could bring in some kid who is awesome and beats me out."
- Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter, which got the Lounge to wondering, where is this kid anyway and does he already have a public relations firm working the Southwest and that's how Carpenter found out about him?
"If we want to talk fair, why in the world are coaches paid seven-figure salaries?"
- Wazzu president V. Lane Rawlins speaking about the alleged "fairness" of the rise of presidential salaries…well, sorta.
"I think that was the point at which it became apparent that going on the road takes all your sense of perspective away. We always came back with a souvenir. I had my little Sydney Opera House ashtray, Terry [Chambers, the drummer] had two tobacco pouches made from kangaroo testicles and Colin [Moulding, the guitarist] brought back an entire woman."
- Former XTC frontman Andy Partridge talking about his former life on the road. Hmmm…maybe the Cougars should see what they can bring back from Tempe.
The weather people said there was a big storm coming our way last week. They said it like they meant it but the Lounge clientele poo-poohed it like they usually do most things that come out of the weather person's mouths. That's mostly because the hair has usually captured them in a tractor-beam trance. Not just the weather person's hair but all news people's hair intrigues the clientele – especially Larry King's - but either that's not really hair or he's not really a news person. The hair usually falls into two categories – perfectly coiffed [for males, this tends to be in a DEVO-like fashion] or a little wild and bordering on out of control [usually females with the larger hair]. The females, almost always, are attempting to be slaves to fashion and attempting to follow some fashion trend that their hair stylists told them about but is muted because it won't go over well with the 34-49 demographic. So what comes out instead is something in-between that is neither hip nor conservative, but rather, just some hair going off on some funky tangents.
So when the weather people get on – on National College Football Day, no less! – to warn us about some looming storm, the clientele's first thought, naturally, is "whether" or not the anchor's hair stylist is the same as the weather person's. Storm? What storm? Doesn't Nebraska or Florida get all those? But it was a storm. It was raining down water droplets, cats, dogs, locusts, half-eaten oranges, Bunsen burners, tater tots and pretty much all bad news for Cougar fans and well-wishers this weekend. First, let's go to the football defeat that turned into a debacle.
"The band played better than the team!" says Mrs. B.H. Smegma in disgust [well, Mrs. Smegma was trying to hide her disgust actually – but failed miserably].
Father Lotto was trying to think of a way to put it better but could not – and usually he doesn't anyway. The band was pumped! The band came to play! The Cougars, alas, came to play up until the third play of the game when Arizona quarterback Willie Tuitama who hadn't played a down of college football in two weeks [and who hadn't exactly been tearing it up when he had been playing] torched the Cougar defense on a long-range missile for a quick first quarter touchdown and gave the upstart Wildcats all the momentum they would need for the rest of the game. From there, the capacity crowd – minus a few thousand no-shows – watched helplessly as the Cougar defense suddenly became equally helpless in the face of a vaunted Arizona rushing attack that was the worst in the conference except for winless Stanford [and it has yet to be determined if the Trees actually have a football team]. The Cougars were like that infamous master detective Inspector Clouseau, trying to figure out what Arizona was going to do on the next offensive play [first clue – former walk-on running back Chris Jennings set a school record for number of carries]. Then, just as they would get that case solved, Cato, disguised as Tuitama, would jump out of the refrigerator and throw a pass to receivers that, if we are going by those damn, lying statistics, are unable to get open against anybody else in the league…until last week. By the time it got to the botched fake punt [not to be confused with the earlier, merely botched, punt] it was all over and so were the Cougars' chances at the Holiday Bowl and possibly, the Sun Bowl. But that's the least of their worries. The sly thief of Wazzu momentum escapes once again and now the Cougars are free to figure out how one of the nation's worst offenses scored 27 points on their defense. As soon as they get that solved [or "sol-ved" as Inspector – "Chief Inspector!", in later episodes – Clouseau, would say], then they can figure out how they intend to beat Arizona State in Tempe this weekend without injured receivers Jason Hill or Michael Bumpus. All the Lounge can say is – don't worry too much about those bowl game ticket orders just yet and look out for a "minkey" carrying a "bim."
"The truck ran over my dog, my wife left me and it was a bad week for the Cougars," laments Horst P. Horst, Lounge Aficionado, who's been dipping into the country and western sauce on the jukebox again.
But it's true, Horst peaks the truth. The week could not have gone much worse for Cougar fans and well-wishers of all sports. It might have been worse it the Lounge had run out of nog, but the Lounge maintains strict measures of security to avoid that nightmare scenario. The Lounge has plenty of auxiliary nog vats scattered throughout the region. First, volleyball all but lost their slim chance at an NCAA tournament slot with a road loss to Oregon. It was a skimpy chance to begin with - but a chance, nonetheless. Now the Cougars will likely have to win all five remaining matches – three against ranked teams - to assure that berth or at least four of five to give them an outside chance. Meanwhile, the Cougar soccer team almost assuredly burst their own bubble with an upset loss to Arizona State before getting a season-ending victory over Arizona That loss means they finish with four conference wins and two fewer wins than last year when Wazzu was snubbed by the NCAA tourney when they had 11 overall wins and four conference wins. At 9-7-4 overall and 4-3-2 in the Pac-10, the Cougars find themselves again at the mercy of the NCAA selection committee, which will be making their selections tomorrow. There is a small chance that the consistency of double four-win conference seasons may be enough to sway the committee of the Cougars' worthiness.
It was the Lounge clientele's darkest hours and they were looking to be swayed but all we could find was this indolent palm tree staring us in the eye at Experts Exchange. Of course, it offered us nothing but the promise of finding karaoke machines at Wal-Mart and who wants that when you are missing feathers out of your favorite party hat? Nobody. But if we want romantic getaways with air hockey tables – we'll know were to find them, along with additional padding for our philosophy on dirt bikes.
Finally, the Lounge Scientists took a nap last week and woke up smarter. They already thought they were smart whippersnappers anyway, but researchers in a recent study found that a short nap helped in factual learning tests later on in the day. Nappers tested 15% better when they were allowed to take a nap of up to one hour on the day of the test versus testers who were held nap-less.
"Traditionally, time devoted to daytime napping has been considered counterproductive. It now seems sleep is an important mechanism for memory formation," says Lounge Scientist #43, Matthew Tucker of the City University of New York, who had not yet taken his nap and was reported to be a little testy after all the testing.
The Lounge clientele took a vote – it is election week and we're doing our civic duty – and they think maybe a good nap might be in order for the Cougar football and volleyball teams and NCAA soccer selection committee this week.
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