"White rappers. There's just no excuse."
- Comedian Denis Leary, telling Maxim magazine what he thinks should be a capital offense, quoted in salon.com
Last weekend, at the Anchor Bar, we couldn't help noticing how on the menu, the chicken wings aren't under "Specialties of the House," but are banished to a little box off in a corner. Wings are central to this city, like hair spray to Staten Island! Friday, they even took over Kleinhans Music Hall. BPO guest conductor Thomas Wilkins, confessing himself in love with the deep-fried delicacies, lamented that when he phoned room service to order them, his hotel told him, "We're out." Heinous! (Of course, he could be wild and crazy and venture outside the hotel - but no, he settled for a turkey sandwich.) Formality fell away completely when the conductor asked where the good wings were. "Anchor Bar!" yelled someone. "Duff's!" shouted someone else. And one wag yelled, "KFC!" KFC??? People, please. This is still the house of Beethoven and Schubert. Get into heaven, $2
The bad news: You're at the Pearly Gates. The good news: You've got a pass! And made in Western New York, no less! (Wipe that hot sauce off it before you hand it to St. Peter.) The laminated heaven passes, available at galaxymall.com, are the brainchildren of Jim and Jeanneann LaMonica, a Catholic couple in Webster. They cost $2 and list "directions to heaven," paraphrases of the 10 Commandments. And they come in two models, Universal and Christian. "I started out with Universal, but got a lot of people saying, "Jim, this is good, but you got to mention something about Jesus,'" says Jim LaMonica, speaking over the ringing phones at his main business, a Ryder truck rental place. The passes are selling well. "Parents and grandparents buy them for kids," he says. Get 'em while they're hot at the Web site, or call 265-0110. Hmmmm. Wonder if we can flash it on the Metro Rail.
Bunch of flakes
Next time you're sliding down the Youngmann, consider this: People in Los Angeles drive 3,500 feet up into the San Gabriel Mountains just to see snow. Ha, ha! One L.A. Times reporter, attempting the trip, writes of being stopped by a ranger, "who informed us that we couldn't see snow today because too many people were already up there." Well, John Kopczynski, a buddy of Buzz's who moved from Buffalo to L.A. to take one of those high-power jobs, had to see the spectacle for himself. "You wouldn't believe the traffic!" he reports. "Bumper-to-bumper cars. Mature adults building snow men on the hoods of their cars and driving back with them as some kind of sick trophy. People shoveled snow on their vehicles so they could look cool. Unreal."
If winter comes...
...can summer adult ed classes at Chautauqua be far behind? (Shelley wrote that, after taking "Poetry for the Novice.") Though registration for Chautauqua Special Studies doesn't begin until April 2 (call 357-6255), the list came in the mail this week. There are broad topics ("Islam," "The Art of Film") and niche markets ("Russian Fairy Tales: Jungian Interpretations"). Mid-life crisis? Try "How Did I Get to Be This Age So Soon?" or "What I Really Want to Do Is Direct." And here are two classes that go hand in hand: "A Century of Bing Crosby" and "How to Become a Successful Elder and Sage."
After the Kleinhans concert where Marcus Roberts played the Rhapsody in Blue, a Mazda peeling out of the parking lot bore the license plate "GERSHWIN." Someone's a real fanatic! ... Fie on the Spectrum, UB's student paper, for now using the F-word freely, even in headlines. Propriety used to set it apart from the more plebeian student papers. ... BPO conductor JoAnn Falletta takes up the guitar Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Kleinhans Music Hall. Let's see how her chops are! Call 885-5000. ... Missed Mardi Gras? All is not lost. The Crocodile Bar on Chippewa Street toasts what it calls "four years of crocdom" Wednesday at 8 p.m. Did we hear the words "free buffet"?