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British aisles

A British guy at UB got married last weekend, and his parents flew in for the blessed event. Savvy hosts squired them around town, taking them to the Albright-Knox, City Hall, the Darwin D. Martin House, Niagara Falls, the Swanee House, Ulrich's, all the great places. The Brits loved Flying Bison beer. But nothing impressed them as much as -- you guessed it -- Wegmans. "We have cheese counters, but nothing on the scale of this," marveled the groom's mother. On their last day in Buffalo, the Brits returned to Wegmans to take pictures. Such obsession! A UB philosophy professor was, well, philosophical about it. He confessed that when the university wants to make sure a promising recruit takes a job offer, the academic types do not head to Lockwood Library. Au contraire. "You take them to Wegmans," he said.

You better watch out
Was ever a villain more aptly named than Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi? No comic book writer could have come up with anything better. There's that Z, that ominous Q, that W, that hyphen. Anyway, we've caught sight of what must be Al-Zarqawi's most recent victim -- a Santa Claus, slouched on a front porch, missing his head. In East Aurora, of all places! What is this, a weird cross between Christmas and Halloween? It's going to be one of those holiday seasons.

The guilt, the shame

Buzz feels like a greedy pig. The world will hate us, but we have to confess. We have ... we hogged ... we were given ... we didn't mean to get, but we got ... oh, heck, we'd better just spit it out. We got a flu shot! About a month ago, we went for a checkup and the doctor all but forced it on us. We didn't even want it. Buzz had never had a flu shot before (funny, we never got the flu, either). But we couldn't think of a way to wriggle out of it. So we (ouch) had the shot. And now we (double ouch) feel so guilty! Here we are, fit, healthy, the exact kind of person the president sensibly suggests should step back and save the vaccine for the sick and the elderly -- and it's too late. The pain! Can they give us another shot for mental distress?

All together, now

Buzz applauds the Western New York schoolchildren who all read, together, a poem called "Hug O'War," trying to win the Guinness Book of Records' title for simultaneous poetry reading. (Do kids these days even know what a tug-o-war is? We wonder.) But the Guinness book is beginning to make us uneasy. It used to be so forthright, with categories like Longest Bar Strip (Oliver Street in North Tonawanda used to take that honor), and, oh, Biggest Nose. Now, there are dumb things like Largest Collection of Paper and Plastic Bags (amazingly, the winner of that one is in Germany, not in Buffalo) and Fastest Pogo Strip Jumping Up the CN Tower. Where will these categories end? Can we custom-design them for ourselves? How about Longest Time Spent on the Couch Reading Guinness and Drinking Guinness? That might get the authors' attention.

The buzz

Here's a Guinness category we propose: Most Mysterious Ending to a Movie. "The Door in the Floor" would be a contender. After a showing last weekend, we saw one viewer turn to another and say, solemnly: "That's it. Just like that." ... Sign outside the marriage license bureau in City Hall: "If You Can't Prove Who You Are, Don't Ask Us To."


"My other car is a broom." -- Bumper sticker seen on Parkside Avenue