The bright side to Erie County's fiscal troubles: It makes "Shear Madness" even funnier. The play, which enjoyed a long run not long ago at Studio Arena, reopened recently with all kinds of laughs at the budget's expense (which, come to think of it, could be why we're broke). One guy, taken to task by police for his expired license, defends himself by arguing: "Have you tried to renew a license lately? People wait for hours in line at the DMV." One character asks: "Is there some law against being discreet?" The reply? "Well, Joel Giambra's driver didn't think so." The play also alludes to Geico insurance, hip-hop night at Sphere, and Cellino and Barnes' office is in the emergency room of ECMC. What a drama! We almost don't have to see it. We live it!
Last weekend's warmth put Buzz into a daze. We saw Buffalonians of every age, race and shape parading proudly around the Delaware Park Ring Road. And dogs, giddy with glee. We went to our piano lesson Saturday on UB's North Campus and kids were gamboling about, tossing Frisbees, greeting faculty as "Professor." We were introduced to Carl Dennis, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, looking splendid in springy tweeds. Buzz always goofs such situations; we managed something like, "I've seen your poetry." Doh! Oh, that we had been ready with a few lines to recite. Oh, to have reeled off: "What if the great day never comes/And your life does not shine with vivid blossoms/Just with the usual pale variety?/What if the best china never seems called for?" Everyone, learn those lines. When you meet the poet, be ready.
The pain, the pain
That's French for "the bread, the bread!" It's the kind of wail you see on MSN's group chat room for victims -- we mean followers -- of Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet. Buzz is on the diet, and we're in that phase, which lasts for two weeks and makes you give up not only all carbs and sugars but wine, as well. Wine! The pain. The pain! In search of consolation, we logged onto that Phase 1 chat room we just mentioned. It was like opening the door to hell. "I NEED A SNICKERS!!!!!" screamed one message line. Others read: "Ack! I want sugar!!" "Never gonna happen." "OMG HELP!!" "Sonofa #$*&!" "Grump grump grump!!" "I'M SO HUNGRY!" "Argh!" And the best: "Ugh hearty beans! Are they a must?" Who needs group therapy? In this case, it might be better to go it alone.
He is the egg man
Ever go to Dave's Y Diner in Niagara Falls? Strong, silent Dave never says a word. He just stands there and scrambles eggs. You'd sit there wondering, if he ever spoke, what would he say? Sunday, we finally found out. Dave caught a customer's eye, opened his mouth and spoke. He said: "Hey, Lenny, heard you got drunk last night." What an opening line! Just like hash and eggs, it's a classic.
Weirdest sight following the Pope's funeral: cardinals parading across the mute TV screen at the Scotch and Sirloin on Saturday night, as Doug Yeomans wailed "Stormy Monday." ... Weirdest sight at the Sunday night showing of "Downfall," the jarring account of Hitler's last days: a guy eating popcorn. (You can't blame him. It gets harder and harder to find popcorn movies.) ... Whump! That's the Park Lane, lobbing clams at us to assert that the summer season is here -- and that our lives, as the poet put it, do shine with vivid blossoms. Rain, shine, sleet or snow, the restaurant welcomes summer today at 5 p.m. with a happy hour on its canopied patio with daiquiris, free shellfish and other delights.
"I looked out the window and there's no snow. I'm wondering, what's wrong? Am I drunk?"
-- Folk musician Bob Farmer, bantering into the mic Saturday night at the Clarence Center Coffeehouse