Archive for April, 2013

Bat Bites Head Off Ozzy Osbourne At Black Sabbath Concert

tvdeath-ozzy

In the most ironic attack in recent memory, a 500-pound bat attacked Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, severing his head clean off of his body during a show last night in Los Angeles.  Black Sabbath, the metal band formerly fronted by metal legend Tony Martin, were performing the song “Headless Cross” when Ozzy was accosted and decapitated by the bat.

The bat, a mutant Eastern Tubenose indigenous to the Three Mile Island region of Pennsylvania, scrawled out the word “REVENGE” in Ozzy’s blood on the stage immediately after the attack.  Police quickly apprehended the bat and are holding him in a steel box on 1 million dollars bail at Lompoc Federal Prison.  The bat’s attorney Ken “Iron Head” Murphy has said that the bat will not make any comments until his 5 PM press conference tomorrow afternoon.  However, a police officer who interrogated the bat claims that he bit off Ozzy’s head accidentally, thinking it was made of plastic.

Miraculously, in spite of no longer having a head, Ozzy is in excellent condition.  He was unable to finish the concert, but has said he will solider on and not miss any other show dates.  He was even seen playing touch football in the hospital courtyard with members of the band One Direction and former Falcon Crest Star Lorenzo Lamas.

“I can’t said miss eleven quarter horse the whole enchilada, you know.  On stage is where I glumfer and would never become a gorilla, at least not on purpose,” slurred Ozzy through a hole in his neck to a crowd of reporters outside of his hospital room.

Rumors have begun to swirl about a potential connection between the bat and Al-Qaeda.  Supposedly, the bat had contacted other bats in a local cave about starting a “bat jihad” against infidels and vampire novelists who have been creating and enforcing negative stereotypes their species.

The bat was carrying a journal at the time of his arrest that listed plans to carry out several attacks against high profile celebrities including Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight books, former Batman star Adam West and musician Meatloaf, who is best known for his bat-sploitation album “Bat Out of Hell”.

Meanwhile in Washington, several conservative talk radio hosts and Republican Congressmen have criticized President Obama for not referring to the bat beheading as a terrorist attack and immediately invading Transylvania.   Obama’s response has instead been a more measured approach, authorizing Predator drone strikes on caves and belfries that harbor bats that might or might not be linked to terrorism.

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Of Antlers and Essence

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(Whatever you do, when you get up to the counter, do not say the word “antlers”.  You want a cup of water.  This is McDonald’s.  There are people in line behind you.  They are anxious to get their McRibs or apple pies or whatever they came here for.  Just say “Water, please”.  That’s all.  Don’t screw this….)

Woman Behind The Counter:  Welcome to McDonald’s.  How can I help you?

Me:  Antlers.

Woman: (with a quizzical, mildly amused look)  Uhmm.  How can I help you?

Me:   Antlers?

Woman:  Sir?

Me:  (pleadingly)  Antlersssssss…

Woman:  (in a sacchariney sweet “oh, I get it, your trying to be funny and I’m trying to get through the day without choking a customer” voice)  Ha.  No sir, we don’t have antlers?  Would you like a Quarter Pounder?

Me:  (I swear, I’m trying to say “water”)  Antlers…antlers, antlers…..aaaaaanttttlers.

Woman:  (losing patience)  Sir, we do not have antlers?  What is it that you….

Me:  (I have lost any control of my tone)  ANTLERS!!!!!!!!

Woman:  (looking frightened)  Uhm.  Sir, are you okay?

Me:  Antlers?  Antlers!  Antlersantlersantlersantlers!!!  ANT-LERS!!!!!

(The people in line behind me are growing more impatient.  There is angry mumbling.  People behind the counter are starting to pay attention)

Woman:  (near tears)  Sir, I’m going to have to go get the manager.  I don’t understand…..

Me:  Antlers!!!!!  What part of antlers do you not understand????  ANTLERS!!!!

(The woman behind the counter turns and begins to walk towards the back of the kitchen)

Me:  (Turning towards the gathering crowd behind me) Antlers!!!!  All I want are some antlers!  Antlers!  I’m thirsty!!!  Don’t you understand! Antlers!!!!  Anyone….please!!!!

A large man in the line:  (helpfully)  Are you okay?  Do you need some….assistance??

Me:  I asked for antlers!  Not a difficult request!  Antlers!  Antlers!  Antlers!  Am I not speaking English or something?

An elderly woman behind me in line:  (slowly dipping her hand in her purse for either mace or a cellphone)  I think that you are confused.  Antlers are things that are on a deer’s head?

Her husband:  Or an elk.  Or a caribou.  Or a…..

Me:  Listen you ignorant mongrel!  I came in here, I asked politely for antlers and these people are acting like I’m crazy.  ANTLERS!!!  You are trying to confuse me, but I’m not confused.  I’m as clearheaded as I have ever been IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.  I was born in New Rochelle Hospital!  My mom’s maiden name is Czechlowski!  I have green eyes!  The 18th President was Ulysses S. Grant!  ANTLERS!!!!

(The enormous manager comes out from behind the counter with a menacing look.  He puts his hand on my shoulder.  I spin around and glare at him.  His name tag reads “Timothy”)

Manager:  Sir, I’m going to have to ask….

Me:  ANTLERS!  Listen you burger flipping, fry shoveling fascist!  I made a simple request.  I asked for….

Manager:  (sternly)  You are going to have to…..

Me:  NO!!!  I will not be silent in the face of tyranny! I will not wilt in the face of oppression!  I will not change my order!!!  I will not stand mutely as you ignore my desideratum!!!!  You will not press down upon my brow with this crown of French fries!!!!  You will not crucify me upon an arch of gold!!!!!!

Manager:  (looking towards the kitchen)  Somebody needs to call the police.  CALL THE POLICE!!!!  (looking at me)  Sir, if you do not calm down you are going to be arrested.  Please…CALM DOWN!!!!

Me:  Calm down!!!  Don’t tell me to calm down. Don’t you understand!!!  Antlers….you mindless chromosome deficient mongoloid!  Antlers are all I wanted!  ANTLERS!!!!!  The world is falling apart!  The ice caps are melting!  Small microbes are currently circulating through this room AS WE SPEAK that have the power to kill us all!  I just want some ANTLERS!!!!

Manager:  (trying to hold in his fury)  Okay….OKAY….we don’t have any antlers?  Is there anything….ANYTHING….else we can get you?

Me:  ESSENCE!!!!!

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Public Amused By Anything; Dies In A Fire

concert crowd

In the future, people will only communicate with each other using Top 10 lists.  Progress in the name of progress for the sake of progress will render all other forms of communication meaningless.  We will engage in the illusion of order until our planet is completely overrun by humans that are well armed, in peek physical condition and filled with a snarling, vengeful hatred towards one another. Then, some shocking and terrible catastrophe will take place and lots of people will write Top 10 lists about how awful it was and how sorry they are.  And they will be forgiven in order to do the same thing again.  Here’s my list…

1. You’d kill anything with a heartbeat.  You just like having other people do it for you.  No blood on your hands.  Very clean.  If you can put ketchup on it, chances are, you don’t care.  Tell me again about how you love the unborn, but you want to own a weapon that could flay the skin off of a buffalo from the distance of ten football fields.  Tell me about how people in far away places matter, but the idiot who just cut you off in traffic should burst into flames.  A fetus, presented neatly on a plate with a neatly arranged side of rice pilaf and a sprig of parsley, would present you with a nearly impossible ethical dilemma.

2. Everything is terrible.  Acting like this world is anything but a madhouse should be a  criminal offense.  Those who send greeting cards should be put in front of a firing squad.  Those who pretend to find meaning in life should be hanged.  If you are not disgusted by the basic perimeters of life, you are wildly disengaged from the events going on around you.  You are a product of a planet gone completely insane.

3. You are the problem.  If you look at all of the problems in your life, you are the common factor.  There are no outside factors or extenuating circumstances. You are both victim and victimizer in all cases.  You created God in your image in order to cause your own suffering and give meaning to your world.  There is nothing outside of you except for more you.   If you ever noticed the depth of it, you’d drown.

4. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  People who don’t eat breakfast are demented and spiritually compromised.  They all should be punished.  They are the problem.  If you speak to them, they will infect you.  If they are not dealt with, the human race will sink into a spiritual vacuum and mankind will slowly die a moral death.

5. 9 out of 10 dentists are simply trying to feed their kids.  Experts are unreliable shills who offer nothing but reaffirmation of a world bereft of anything that could even remotely be considered human.  They have been compromised by a system that rewards blind allegiance, conformity and drooling stupidity.  They are afraid to be the one dentist who thinks the other dentists are morons.  They are compensated well for their crimes and their children grow up to be happy and healthy robots only slightly more disgraceful than their parents.

The horrible truth is that the one dentist who disagrees doesn’t even really exist.  He is a creation of some marketing executive who understands that 9 out of 10 is more believable than 10 out of 10. If he actually does exist, his views have been streamlined in order to create bigger and more inclusive slaughterhouse of a world.  Any dentist fit to look at the teeth of a human being wouldn’t even take part in this sort of a carnival.  And what kind of fool would trust a dentist anyway?

chicken wings and homicide

6. You are waiting for me to talk about you specifically.  Sure, all this railing against the world is entertaining, but when is this weird fellow going to say something that applies to me.  Or separates me from the rest of the fools he’s talking about.  Or takes me into his arms and offers me forgiveness.  I’m not that awful.  I belong to a neighborhood association and I fought hard to make sure that no retaining wall obstructs the view of trees from the highway.  I laugh at all the jokes I’m supposed to get and cry when I receive the appropriate cues.  I am in conspiracy with this jerk and he’s not going to offer me absolution.  The hell with him.  I’ll never read him again and unsubscribe from his blog.

7. Who are you to tell me I’m a fraud?  You are just as pointless as me, Cowboy.  Being a guy with an Internet site doesn’t make you interesting.  How dare you point out my faults without accepting your own?  This is self-indulgent drivel.  You are a pretentious fraud who couldn’t think of a dumb metal parody for this week, so now you are picking on strangers.  This isn’t funny anymore.

Most of the others have stopped reading and gone on to find more cute pictures of cats or something to prove once and for all that Obama is a Marxist or that Rush Limbaugh is a pill-popping degenerate. (Here’s the part where you insert the cliché about “wanting your two minutes back” in order to remind your audience that you know all the things that smart people are supposed to say in these circumstances.  Go ahead.  Someone will nod approvingly and laugh).

8.  This article is a complete waste of time.  Jesus, haven’t you outgrown the “meta-” stuff already?  Most writers go through this phase then move on to writing something worth reading.  It’s something that people tend to outgrow in their early 20’s.  Like cartoons.  Nobody really likes this style of writing; they just act like they get it when you are around so you don’t get your feelings hurt.  Time is running short.  Your coming up on a thousand words now, Tough Guy.  Better find something worth saying

9.  Pro-Pain is a vastly underrated band.  They have 13 or so albums and almost every one has a great song or ten.  I’ve listened to Foul Taste of Freedom almost 50 times in the past week alone.  I would love to live in a society where the only form of currency were Pro-Pain albums.  Two “Shreds of Dignity(s)” could buy you a goat.  Five “Fistful of Hate(s)” would get you a horse.  15 acres of arable farmland?  That’ll be 12 “Straight To The Dome(s)”.  And on and on.

10.  Spleens are not food.  I think this one is pretty self-explanatory.  I’m going to go look in on my fantasy football team now.

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Danzig Escapes From The Atlanta Zoo

Never Gets Old

This Never Gets Old

If you are anywhere near a television, a radio, the internet, your phone, your Blackberry, or a noisy colleague who spent most of the night in a cough medicine induced stupor watching news broadcasts on one of 68,032 news channels, you have probably heard about Danzig’s harrowing escape last night from the Atlanta Zoo.  Here’s a quick timeline of how the events transpired…

5:10 PM-Radio station 640 WGST reported that Danzig gnawed through the bars of his cage and ran through a crowd of terrified onlookers on his way to the Dippin’ Dots stand.   He knocked the stand over and began to howl in a bluesy voice about how ice cream used to mean something.

5:20 PM-CBS News reported Danzig was surrounded by police. Desperate and frightened, Danzig took a three-foot marmoset hostage at gunpoint.

5:47 PM-ABC News reported that Danzig threw the marmoset at police officers.  The marmoset exploded into  giant ball of light temporarily blinding the officers and allowing Danzig to escape the park. 

6:08 PM-Several witnesses claimed Danzig ripped his shirt off and stole a broken down 1995 charcoal grey Ford Focus with a “Who Is John Galt?” sticker on the bumper.

6:09 PM-CNN reported that the Ford broke down and Danzig was left to escape on foot.

6:16 PM-Witnesses spotted Danzig in a BP station stealing boxes of beef jerky while bellowing the lyrics to “Sistinas”.

6:25 PM-Danzig stated unequivocally that there will be no Misfits reunion.

7:26 PM-Fox News reported that MARTA cameras identified a well-built, naked man fitting Danzig’s description running through the Vine City station.  Fox anchor Brit Hume went on to conclude from the footage that it is clear that Danzig is a Muslim terrorist.

7:34 PM-Fox retracted the earlier MARTA story and confirmed that the naked man was former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue.  However, they continued to claim Danzig is affiliated with Al Queda.

7:46 PM-CNN reported a SWAT team has surrounded a Waffle House in Downtown Decatur and that Danzig was eating a plate of hash browns and talking to the waiter about the occult roots of Nazism. 

7:58 PM-A SWAT team stormed the Waffle House and arrested the suspect.

8:09 PM-CNN reported that the man in police custody is actually Arnold Horseschaker, a Danzig impersonator who had, hours earlier, played a 5-year-old’s birthday party in Alpharetta. 

10:38 PM-AP reported that Danzig was spotted on a Vincent Blackshadow motorcycle riding up I-85 at speeds of up to 120 miles per hour, his hair gently cascading in the wind. 

10:43 PM- According to AP, Danzig’s flaming motorcycle leapt over 25 police cars while flipping multiple times through the air.  He escaped again, unharmed.

10:56 PM-AP changed its earlier story and claimed only that Danzig was photographed on a motorcycle in 1985.

11:07 PM-Danzig’s apartment on Stewart Avenue in Hapeville was raided.  Several highlighted copies of Catcher in The Rye were found along with 45 fishnet shirts.

11:13 PM-According to Fox News, a man fitting Danzig’s description was arrested in Osaka, Japan.  The man was carrying a copy of the Koran, 5,000 pounds of plastic explosives and Bill Ayers autobiography.  Fox announced it is a “100 percent certainty” that the man arrested is Danzig.

11:17 PM-Fox News announced the capture of Danzig in a bar in Tupelo, Mississippi.  He was carrying a small nuclear bomb in a suitcase, reading out loud from a copy of Das Kapital and wearing an Obama for President tee shirt.

11:19 PM-The Drudge Report announced that Danzig is actually a Kenyan national named Hussein Abdul-Jihad.

11:38 PM-Various media outlets reported that Danzig and an unnamed accomplice, Glenn Doe Number Two as he’s referred to, were seen breaking into an exotic pet store in Marietta in order to liberate all the pythons, ferrets and tropical fish.  The two quickly left the store with several animals and were chased by police.

11:54 PM-WSB-TV in Atlanta reported that police have shot a suspect fitting Danzig’s description only feet away from the Chattahoochee River.  The man, who authorities are referring to as “the guy who probably isn’t Danzig but looks slightly like him”, was attempting to throw a bag of tropical fish into the water.

12:01 AM-CNN reports the man shot by the Chattahoochee River was actually Ron Ziegler, former Press Secretary to President Richard Nixon. 

12:05-4:30 AM-Most media outlets, realizing the audience was quickly losing focus, began to speculate on the nuclear capabilities of North Korea and the possibility of the Ebola virus being spread through Wendy’s hamburgers.

4:33AM-CNN reported Danzig was captured only feet away from his cage at the Atlanta Zoo.  He had been hiding behind a tree.

 

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It’s Over!!!!: World To End At Eight O’Clock Tonight

The Future

The Future

After years of interminable suffering, the human race will finally be put out of its misery tonight at 8 o’clock Eastern Standard Time (5 PM on the West Coast).  There will be no giant mushroom clouds, no asteroids unstoppable hurdling towards earth, no lights, no sounds, no music, just the immediate and unexplained termination of all sentient human life on our planet.

“I, for one, am thrilled to see the human race ending in such a bloodless and efficient fashion,” said Charles Guiteau, a car insurance salesman from Provo, Utah.  “To be honest, the next week was going to be hell.  Now, I’m free to spend the day catching up on the episodes of Game of Thrones that I missed.”

“It was going to happen at some point,” exclaimed Mark Chapman, a traveling pudding salesman from Denver, “why not just get it over with?”

“I mean, honestly, I’m tired of worrying about all the different ways the human race could end.  This way, we are free of the fear of terrorism, of global warming, of viruses, of nuclear bombs, of bacteria from spoiled meat, of the federal debt, of running out of oil and of endless war.  We were all going to die at some point anyway, might as well do it quickly.”

“If you think about it, it’s probably for the best,” announced Leon Czolgosz, a professional juggler from Memphis.  “We’ve been around for thousands of years and what have we really done with our time?  Create more humans.  Create machines that make humans live longer.  Create devices to make our time on earth more bearable.  Create stories about afterlives and vengeful, jealous gods.  Create reasons to love each other.  Create reasons to hate each other.  Create reasons and methods to kill each other.  To what end?  It’s all wasted motion.”

Some people, however, are not taking the news as well.  “As a Nationals fan, I’m disappointed to think that I’ll never get to see Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg develop into the superstar caliber players I know they can be,” said longtime Washington resident Gavrilo Princip.  “I really thought the World Series was ours this year.”

Meanwhile, some Americans are upset about the timing and details of this extinction level event.  “America is the greatest country on earth.  The idea that we are going to die at the exact same time and in the exact same way as all other countries boggles the mind.  We give millions of dollars in foreign aid to countries like Somalia.  We should at least be granted a few extra hours.  Fair is fair,” said John Booth, Mississippi treasurer for the Tea Party Patriots for Freedom and The Avoidance of Responsibility for Others.

In Washington, the news has brought a halt to the constant bickering between Congress and President Obama.  In the spirit of bipartisanship, both sides have promised to pass legislation to end the impasse over the federal budget within the next few weeks.

Regardless of how people feel, the end is coming.  It will be quick and painless.  You won’t even know what hit you.  There will be a flash and it will be done.  There is nothing you can do about it.

(Inspired by the Ray Bradbury story Last Night of The World)

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Guns N Roses Fans Told To Boil Copies Of “Chinese Democracy” To Avoid Salmonella

Axl Today

The problems with the Guns and Roses album “Chinese Democracy” never seem to end.  First, there were the years of production and exorbitant cost.  The album was expected in the late 90s but didn’t come out until 2008 with a whopping price tag of 13 million dollars.  Lawsuits, lukewarm reviews and tepid sales followed.  Just when it appeared that the seemingly cursed album had finished its run of ignominy, it was hit with its latest calamity, salmonella.

As far back as 2009, Guns and Roses fans had complained of adverse reactions to eating the “Chinese Democracy” CD.  However, over the past three months, nearly four thousand people have ended up in emergency rooms with salmonella symptoms from consuming the album.

Salmonella, a meat disease usually found in chicken, can cause fever, abdominal cramping and sudden clucking sounds to emanate from the mouths from those who are affected.  In some cases, victims of salmonella can begin to grow feathers and lay eggs.

Some of Guns and Roses biggest fans have been severely afflicted by the album.  “I’ve been listening to Guns and Roses since the 4th grade,” said Janet Watkins from her sick bed at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Dumfries, Maryland. “I loved Use Your Illusion 1 and 2 so much that I ate them 20 minutes after I bought the albums and felt great.  I ate a vinyl copy of Appetite for Destruction as well as four tapes in one sitting without any problems.  Chinese Democracy has nearly killed me.”

For Mark Watkins, of Flagstaff, Arizona, Chinese Democracy has been a nightmare.  “I couldn’t wait for the album to come out.  I ate my copy moments after I first listened to it and felt fine.  By the next morning, I had grown a beak.”

Watkins was forced to leave his job  at Chik-Fila because the owner thought that it would disgust customers who didn’t want to think about actual chickens while eating their chicken sandwiches.  He has been unemployed for the past 5 years, searching desperately for an employer that will overlook his disability.  “Looking for a job in this market is hard enough without having to explain to a potential employer why you have wings and feel the urge to make loud crowing noises at sunrise.”

Geffen Records, the band’s record label, has stated that while there have been some problems with digesting the album, most people who have eaten it have been fine.  Axl Rose has supposedly consumed over 500 copies of the album alone and has had no adverse effects.   However, the label has encouraged people who own the album to boil it in water for twenty minutes before eating it just to be on the safe side.

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A Hypothetical Review of Black Sabbath ‘13’

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I was one of 60 lucky people who were able to hear the new Black Sabbath album ‘13’ on Wednesday at its premiere in Hollywood.  Ozzy and I have been close since we served together in the Korean War and I often get invited to these big Black Sabbath events.  I don’t like to make a big deal about it, but I took a bullet for him as the two of us charged up San Juan Hill.  Back then, he liked everyone to call him Sparky.

I introduced him to Tony Iommi at a VFW function in the ‘70s.  His father and mine were traveling pudding salesman in Yorkshire.  Pudding was a huge industry in those days.  Tony and I both had part time jobs at the pudding mill up the road from our high school.  When the mill closed, Tony considered moving to Pittsburgh and becoming a professional buffalo hunter.  I knew he was a good guitar player and Ozzy used to sing really well in the shower in our bunker, so I put the two together.  The rest is history.

The event, which took place at the Herve Villachaize Theatre, was attended by some of the top names in journalism.  I was lucky enough to be standing in line directly behind former CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite.  Old Uncle Walter was sipping off a mug of paint thinner and orange juice and raving on and on about how it was Bill Ward’s fault that we abandoned the Gold Standard all those years ago.  Pretty soon, he had gotten completely out of control and was escorted out by security, but not before he had invited me to an afterparty down in Crenshaw at MC Ren’s house.

We were escorted through a long tunnel into the basement of the building.  There we were all strip searched by former Sabbath singer Tony Martin and forced to bathe in ox blood in order to make sure we had no audio equipment and were free of what he called “impurities”.  It was all quite weird.

Finally we reached a cavernous room filled with medieval torture equipment and a buffet table featuring all sorts of Black Sabbath themed appetizers.  I avoided the Rat Salad.  Ozzy was in the midst of an in depth conversation with several reporters about which brands of freezer bags are best to preserve the ear wax of small children when I caught his attention.  We talked for a minute or two, then he got that far away look he gets that makes him look like he is receiving signals from the planet Melmac.  I knew my time with him was up.

I wandered around for another 15 minutes trying to find Tony, but when I finally caught up with him he was locked in a heated debate with former Happy Days star Tom Bosley over whether aerosol cans were actually a technology created by aliens.  Tom was getting pretty heated and said some stuff about the breeding practices of the British royalty and Tony stormed off after threatening to have Tom’s legs broken by a gang of soccer hooligans.

After sitting through some opening comments from Ozzy’s son Jack about the importance of proper dental hygiene and watching Geezer Butler pass out face first into a bowl of tomato bisque, they played the album.  The whole thing was terribly awkward.  A group of strangers shuffling around in their seats watching other people listening to music.   Everyone casting nervous glances at Ozzy, hoping they wouldn’t chuckle when he turned some simple lyric into an incoherent noise that could only be deciphered by a team of top-flight linguists or a pack of geese.

The whole experience took a turn for the worse quickly.  The album started off with the pseudo-ironically titled “End of The Beginning”.  A catchy song that seems slightly longer than director’s cut of Apocalypse Now.  The guy next to me began to doze off and was audibly snoring through the last 12 minutes of the song.   Ozzy start walking over with his mouth gaping open, pointing at the guy and looking ominously like Donald Sutherland at the end of the 70’s “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”.   A security guard instantly grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and jerked him out of his seat.  Two other guards pulled him to the back, beating him on the head with a truncheon as they walked.

Next thing I know, the second song lurched forward muffled by wild howling and jeering from the press as the wheezing miscreant was dragged out of the room for some sort of 14th century torture at the hands of Ozzy’s goons.  The song was embarrassingly titled “God Is Dead?” and, unfortunately, is not a Carnivore cover.  And then came the next song.  And the next.  And on and on.

It sounds like a Black Sabbath album.  What else was it going to be?  It’s not like they were going to shift gears in their late seventies and start sounding like England Dan and John Ford Coley.  Everything sounds vaguely like Children of The Grave.  Tony tunes down to Q flat minor for most of the record and Ozzy’s voice floats its way through hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of production equipment in order to sound like he’s in tune.  It’s all assembly line stuff at this point.

The thing about the record that is unique and somewhat horrifying are the lyrics.  I was astonished to see a bizarre homage to MC Hammer’s gangsta phase in the song “Age of Reason”.  “Pumps and A Bump, I liiiiiiiii-ke the gi-rrrrrrrrls with the Pumps and A Bump” bellowed Ozzy in a hideously uneven chorus that would shame even the most ardent of Sabbath fans.  Then, there was the whole part where Ozzy starts mumbling about the dangers of poison sumac in “Damaged Soul”.  I can’t begin to explain what he’s talking about there.  The albums high point, oddly enough, is the uncredited cameo rap verse that OJ Da Juiceman lays down about halfway through the album’s final track “Dear Father”.

The record ended and a chorus of applause cascaded through the hall.  The band said a few things and the press, several members of whom were greedily jamming the remaining trays of bat-shaped chicken fingers into their Sabbath ‘13’ tote-bags, anxiously filed out trying to get home in time for the night’s airing of American Idol.  In what felt like seconds the room was empty of everyone but Tony, who sat alone in the corner with his guitar playing notes to no one in particular.

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