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Sylvester Stallone Says God Wrote Rocky Dec 21, 2006 - 6:44
LOS ANGELES - Rocky Balboa climbing off the canvas. Jesus Christ climbing out of the tomb. Mere similarities with no causal connection? Not according to Sylvester Stallone, who told Christian leaders in a conference call yesterday that the six movies in the Rocky series are "the inspired word of God."
"Rocky is Jesus, fighting the devil, who cleverly disguises himself as a series of fighters from Apollo Creed (Rocky I) to Mason 'The Line' Dixon (Rocky VI)," Mr. Stallone told representatives of the Universal Religious Leadership Council (URLC).
"Jesus and Rocky are one of the little guys, and just like starting a new religion was a way for Jesus to make something of himself, boxing is Rocky's salvation. If they had boxing back in the day, Jesus would have been one of those great Jewish middleweights."
When one of the URLC members asked if god had written other films for Mr. Stallone, such as Rambo and Cliffhanger, the actor replied, "Nah. I wrote them when my marriage wasn't too good and I felt myself being seduced by all the temptations that Hollywood has to offer: the booze, the drugs, the broads."
Mr. Stallone told URLC members that he was first visited by god in the early morning hours of March 25, 1975, after watching the Muhammad Ali-Chuck Wepner fight on closed circuit television. Mr. Wepner, a liquor salesman from Bayonne, New Jersey, was given no chance against Mr. Ali; but Mr. Wepner fought valiantly—knocking Mr. Ali down in the ninth round. In fact Mr. Wepner nearly went the distance against the champ, but the fight was stopped with nineteen seconds to go in the fifteenth and final round after Mr. Wepner had lost two pints of blood and his sense of direction.
For the next three days and nights Mr. Stallone, then 28, could not eat or sleep: "I started writing the script for Rocky I, and I couldn't stop. It was like 'somebody else' was writing it. I could tell, you know, because I could spell words like courageous and determined that I had to look up when I was writing The Lords of Flatbush."
After finishing Rocky I, Mr. Stallone took his script to several studios. Those who were interested in the project wanted a major star to play Rocky, but Mr. Stallone insisted that he play the lead: "It was like a voice in my head was telling me that because god had written this script for me, I was the only one with the chops to play his son."
Mr. Stallone told representatives of the URLC that he believes "we need the God-fearing script, the script that really deals with compassion and deals with the word of Jesus and God. The last thing Rocky hears before he enters the ring in Rocky VI is scripture, and that's what gives him strength. People need to hear that sort of message."
Mr. Stallone concluded by saying that "some pretty unusual things" have been attributed to the 8-foot-6 bronze Rocky statue he commissioned for Rocky III (1982): "Like the other day this young dude from Manayunk, whose left leg is noticeably shorter than his right, was able to climb to the top of the statue and pose for a cell phone photo taken by a friend.
"If that don't prove somebody up there likes Rocky, I don't know what does," laughed Mr. Stallone.