Check it, Peons: Your CNN Humiliation Compartmentalized

Monday, March 26, 2007


Thursday's post got me to thinking about pubic hair.
Here in New York, it seems that female pubic hair is nearly extinct, what with all the painful, intricate and expensive ways in which women groom their nether regions. You'd think there wasn't a single female pubic hair left in the whole city. Men also seem to be doing quite a bit of pruning. We are truly living in anti-pube times. For several years now it has been a thriving industry, this taming of the bush.
An ex-CNNer friend of mine (you knew I'd work a CNN connection into this post) told me a story about her waxer recently. This strapping woman came to America to escape hardship in Russia, only to find work as a pube waxer. Day in day out, until the work whistle blows, she stares at snatch and removes pubes. Apparently one day she sat down to eat a hard-earned McDonald's hamburger, only to realize there was pubic hair trapped under her fingernails.
Somehow I doubt she's living her American Dream.
Hmm...I seem to have gotten off topic...
This post is ultimately about a phenomenon that continues to haunt me, even in this pube-sparse era:
Have you ever been sitting in a dentist's office, or wandering around a hotel lobby, or buying a wrench at a hardware store and suddenly you spy, in the most unlikely place-THE LONE PUBE?
It's never a cluster. It's just one. You'll lean in closer and rub your eyes. Indeed, you were right, because there it is:
The Lone Pube resting carelessly on an arm rest, next to the jar of mayo on a refrigerator shelf, on the pettle of a tacky silk floral arrangement, in the cupholder of an SUV, mocking you with it's curly, bold pubic-ness.
Much like my dwarfy little legs strutting on a catwalk, The Lone Pube knows it's out of place. But it still commands attention.
Or how about The Permanent Lone Pube? I was on jury duty once, looked down and saw The Lone Pube had been shellacked into the courtroom floor. Just the other day I noticed The Lone Pube had been painted into a wall in my apartment.
Which brings me to my other point:
The Lone Pube sneaks up on you. I've been living in this tiny apartment for 5 years. How did I not notice it?
And how do they travel so far, these Lone Pubes? How do they get from their rightful nest all the way to the top of the coffeemaker? A strong breeze? Telekinesis? Or deliberate placement by unsanitary pranksters?

If anyone has any theories, please pass them along. I've spent far too much time trying to figure this out. I need some concrete answers already. Or, if you spy The Lone Pube that has migrated to a particularly remote region, far away from its usual surroundings, please snap a photo or draw a delightful sketch and e-mail it to It will be posted promptly for all to admire.

P.S. How about the saucy lady in the above black and white photo? No, that's not underwear. That's reason number 803,743 to be grateful that we don't live in the 19th century...

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Check out the "CNN STUDIO A" photo above.
It's from a 1997 Time Warner brochure that contains an article called, "24 Hours In The Life Of CNN". You can see me there in profile, at the crummy, paper-based, duct taped TelePrompter. Note that I have a Prompter Assist, even though this shot was taken during the easiest TelePrompting gig around-CNN Newsroom. I do not think I inspired confidence as a solo act. Also note how we lowly VJs are the only people in the article whose names they did not deem important enough to print.

So as you can see, I've been going through a bunch of old crap. I never seem to get rid of it, just shift it from place to place. I also came across my CNN ID badge. The photograph was taken on my first day as a VJ, and I look so hopeful, so convinced I was going someplace.
That didn't last long.
It was quickly replaced by the look on my face when I ducked behind a rack of clothing at Lennox Mall, tripping and falling on my ass just to avoid contact with an anchor who was so bitchy that I literally trembled and pissed my pants once (just a bit) while TelePrompting for her.

Looking back, I know this was stupid. She would never have recognized a peon like me anyway.

I'm not saying that anchors and other newsroom VIPs have to make nice or bake cookies for the underlings or ask about your dog/husband/baby/new car. I'm just saying you can always tell which ones are confident professionals and which ones aren't by the way they treat the people around them. The shrill, nasty ones are pretty transparent in their insecurity.
The point is, back then I endured my stultifying, sometimes humiliating shift by enjoying the little pleasures in life like:

1.) Being the first person in the bathroom after it was cleaned

2.) When people brought in movies to watch at 2am

3.) When MARTA arrived on time

4.) Turkey Tetrazzini

5.) Daylight savings, when you got paid for an hour that you didn't actually work

6.) Director Earl Maple's jokes crackling through one's headset

7.) Going to the Omni hotel bar with a pal, sitting in one of those cushy, vagina-shaped chairs and having a Bloody Mary

8.) Calling up a friend and telling them to turn on CNN while you walked behind the set

9.) Read-Me flame wars

10.) When someone hit return on BASYS without noting the name, sent you the wrong message and revealed good gossip

ACK! If you click on the photo above, the enlarged image shows what looks like a lone pubic hair! Very mysterious. It isn't mine. Perhaps it's from 1997...Vintage pube!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


It's always interesting to see which types of projects high profile anchors undertake after leaving CNN. (See the "Lynne Russell's Lampshades" link at the right.)
Today, a Peon Confidential reader forwarded me this link: DARYN KAGAN. No unpleasant tales of housefires, mudslides, or missing pets here. Ms. Kagan's website offers up only good news, to remind people of the heart-warming stories happening each and every day.
My favorite story is whimsically titled, "Mr. Right and My Left Kidney".

The fine folks at KosFilms saw this post and sent me this link:

Monday, March 19, 2007


First off-good news!
The CNN Blooper Reel has been handed off to someone smarter than me to be transferred onto DVD. It should be back in my stubby fingers (once described as "Yoda-like") in a week, and I'll start uploading all your favorite vintage fuck ups. Standing by for requests...
Secondly, some wacky yet endearing news-
I saw this story on the CNN website and it touched my cold, brittle heart:

"A church was planning a Sunday moment of silence for what the pastor called a model member of his congregation: a wild turkey.
The turkey, which died last week after being hit by a car, regularly attended Sunday services and greeted people as they arrived, said the Rev. James Huff, pastor of Lambs United Methodist Church in St. Clair County.
'He would kind of wait for me to come in,' Huff told the Times Herald of Port Huron. 'He knew when I got there. Service was about to begin, and then he would sit on one lady's car until we were done.'
The animal had been hanging around since late last year and quickly became known for its fearless attitude. Some people said it showed up every morning at the community's bus stop and chased children. Others enjoyed watching the bird strut down the street, trying to impress female turkeys.
'We've got so many pictures of it,' said Douglas Bishop, the church's music director. 'It was like our mascot.'"

A few thoughts on this fierce, God-fearing, lady-killer turkey story:

1.) I had no idea that Michigan was so overrun with turkeys, especially female turkeys just hanging around waiting to be impressed. Now, I know this story did not take place in Detroit, Michigan. However, Detroit is the primary image I have of Michigan. So I think Detroit-native Eminem should rap about these turkeys. Particularly this cock-of-the-walk turkey. The way people described his life has the makings of rap star legend: "fearless attitude", impressed the females, and died a violent death while still young and in his glory.

2.) I hope none of the children he chased at the bus stop were going through puberty. Going through puberty is a painful, embarrassing enough experience without being chased by a turkey on your way to school.

3.) My dad and his friends used to wear tons of gold jewelry, play poker, smoke cigars, tell dirty jokes about Raquel Welch and call each other "fuckin' turkey". As in:

-"Did you hear the one about Raquel Welch on a lifeboat with The Pope?"
-"You told me that one last week you fuckin' turkey!"

This has nothing to do with the story, of course. Just thought I'd ressurrect that linguistic chestnut in honor of this kick ass turkey.
Rest In Peace, you fuckin' turkey.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Mama D's is back and it's dirtier, boozier and sleazier than before. This time we're celebrating St. Urho, the fearless Finn who drove the grasshoppers out of the vineyards that produce the famed [sic] Finnish wine... We've got a hot line-up of performers: David Silverman will spin a tale of restless nights in Prague. Mike Maloney will serve up some foot-stompin' drinking songs. Pete Olson will wax scatalogical. Daniel Figueroa will screen his film "Bike Rider", a Hasselhoff-inspired romp about a man and his crime fighting bicycle. Mama D will impersonate a drunken Bahamian. And Mary Crowley will soothe your soul with her sexy melodies. So on March 15th, come raise a glass and say "kipis" (cheers) to St. Urho and enjoy a fine night of entertainment.

DATE: March 15th, 2007
(This is the Eve of St. Urho's Day, which is the Eve of St. Patrick's Day--by design! We Finns wanted a head start on the boozing.)
TIME: 8:30 pm
PLACE: Jimmy's No. 43 (Backroom)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


It's official:
After a rocky stint at WABC, anchor Steve Bartelstein (a one-time CNN sportscaster) has been given the sack.
Avid readers of Page Six or Gawker could tell you that his time at Channel 7 appears to have been marred by chronic tardiness and accusations of lewd behavior. The rumor is that WABC overlooked these problems because of his popularity with TV audiences.
But apparently, he recently missed a cut-in and finally managed to piss off the wrong person.

Bye Steve.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Since I'm a person who is fascinated by happenstance and connections in life; links, threads, and situations beyond mere coincidence, a friend sent me this story that she found on the CNN website:

"A college ring lost more than 20 years ago by a former undercover officer for the CIA has been found in an underwater cave off the coast of Africa.
Steve Ruic, a writer on staff at Notre Dame College, received an e-mail about two weeks ago from a professional diver from Germany. Wilfried Thiesen wrote that he had found a class ring bearing the college's name while diving off Mauritius.
The ring was engraved with the year '76. The ring was missing the thin portion on the underside that ordinarily carries its owner's name.
Ruic publicized the discovery in both an e-mail to college staff and a newsletter to alumni, but no one came forward to claim it.
Then, while interviewing a member of the class of 1976 for an unrelated alumni magazine story, Ruic asked Dr. Maryellen Amato Stratmann if she'd ever been to Mauritius.
"I couldn't believe it," Ruic said. "She said, 'No, but Clare Cavoli Lopez has."'
Lopez, a 1976 Notre Dame College graduate and former CIA undercover officer, was stationed at Port Louis, Mauritius, from 1983 to 1985. During a dive, the ring slipped from her finger.
Ruic sent Thiesen's address to Lopez. She has exchanged e-mails with Thiesen, she said Monday, and they're arranging for him to mail it."

Now consider all the elements in this tale:
The diver had to be diving in that particular area, possibly on that particular day. The diver had to be bored or kind enough to contact the school. Steve Ruic had to interview that particular person, Dr. Maryellen Amato Stratmann, who happened to know Clare Cavoli Lopez and remember that she was stationed in Mauritius over 20 years ago.

But also consider this:
Look at the picture, imagining all it took to reunite the ring with its rightful owner.
The perfect timing and alignment of events and people.
Look at it some more...

The truth is, that damn ring is hideous.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


So I, along with millions of other losers did not choose the winning lottery numbers for the MEGA MILLIONS jackpot.
But I, along with several other co-workers, did have a rather lengthy list of ways in which we planned on spending the dough. Here's a list of things that we will NOT be doing now:

1.) Being the first Mexican/Egyptian in space.
2.) Building a special glow-in-the-dark laboratory just for "volcanic experiments".
3.) Driving around different Lamborginis (referred to as "Lambos") each day of the week.
4.) Being photographed with "bangin' babes who just want me for my money".
5.) Inventing "weird shit" like "a fart-powered zamboni".
6.) Buying an elephant.
7.) Employing an elephant keeper to clean up the shit.
8.) Employing a HOT elephant keeper with big tits to clean up the shit.
9.) Having a vodka named after oneself.
10.) Buying up a large portion of Wyoming and building a "massive fuckin' mansion...and a 1,000 foot swimming pool suspended in air...with bangin' babes swimming in it."

There's always next time, folks.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I just read this story on the wires last night, and I believe it should be examined:

"An off-duty Northwest Airlines employee was arrested after a woman on a flight from Seattle complained that the man had ejaculated on her.
The FBI identified the man as Samuel Oscar Gonzalez, 20, of Lakewood, Wash. He was charged in federal court with simple assault, a misdemeanor.
It happened on the redeye Monday morning from Seattle to Minneapolis. The woman was headed back to college.
Near the end of the flight, the FBI said Gonzalez sat next to the woman as she was trying to sleep. He touched her, which she described as spooning, lifted her shirt and then got up and left. Court documents said she felt a warm fluid on her back, clothes and seat after he walked away. She told the officers he had ejaculated on her."

Here are some thoughts on this issue:

1.) This is exactly why all those airline budget cuts are so damaging. These airlines are so cheap now I bet there wasn't a single moist towlette to be found on the whole plane. She'd be better off if she were ejaculated on at a KFC.

2.) I'm from Washington State. We've really produced some winners: Ted Bundy, that tacky band Heart and now this mad ejaculator.

3.) How long did the spooning go on before ejaculation? Or had Mr. Gonzalez been in the bathroom for a while, engaged in the solo mile high club, then ran out to find the nearest female to ejaculate on her?

4.) With all the aforementioned budget cuts, will they wash the blanket?
Or, with all the budget cuts, did she even have a blanket?
What are the odds that the blanket I get next time I fly will be speckled with cum? Do we all have to start carrying around CSI cum-detecting goggles? I hope not. Those overhead bins are already too full.

5.) The FBI was called in on this? The FBI? Is there a special ejaculate division that I didn't know about, or is the war on terror going so well that they all have extra time on their hands? I lost an earring yesterday. Will they help me out with that too?

Monday, March 05, 2007


So there I was, munching on popcorn, watching "Zodiac" at my local cinema. (Robert Downey Jr. was fantastic as always.)
But at a pivotal point in the film, I missed out on what was being said.
Because crucial information about the Zodiac homicide case was being delivered by none other than ex-CNN sportscaster Barry LeBrock, sporting a 70's mustache. At least, I'm pretty certain it was him. The only other person that looks like him is Jason Hervey a.k.a "Wayne" from "The Wonder Years" and a quick check on IMDB tells me that Jason Hervey is now married to a former porn star and his last claim to fame was a voice-over for the Justice League cartoon.

Anyway, Barry was playing a newscaster, and seeing his mustachioed face beaming from the retro TV set was hilarious. Or rather, my friend sitting with me, a CNN veteran, pointing at the screen and shouting "LE COCK! LE COCK!" was hilarious.
I started to laugh. And I kept laughing, trying to muffle it under my scarf. Hot tears rolled down my cheeks.

However, the point of this post is:
Can anyone who has seen the film tell me what the Barry LeBrock character actually said? I'm not willing to part with another 11 bucks to find out, especially when there is a very real threat that I would just start laughing again.

I just found out that Barry LeBrock published a book on football called, "The Trojan Ten".
I don't think it was a best seller, but the fact is that Barry LeBrock has a book available on
As for me, I have a book available in a Mead binder.
I once used it to prop up my TV.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


There was once a rather scatterbrained VJ whom I'll refer to as Trudy the Muddled. She was very book smart, but I think all those thoughts of The English Enlightenment and 15th century Italian poetry took up all the space in her brain for making basic life decisions. Just asking her if she wanted to go out after work was a major endeavor. She'd nod vigorously and say "Oh Yes!" But then slowly shake her head, "Oh no. I" Then follow it up with "Well...uh...yes."
This same routine would take place if you asked her if she wanted to get Turkey Tetrazzini from the Hard News Cafe, sign up for Girl Scout cookies or chew a stick of gum.
I imagined her brain to be a rather fractured place, filled with unusual, often smart ideas that just needed organizational units from Ikea or The Container Store.

One day she told me this story, which illustrated two important things:
A.) her muddled thought process and B.) CNN poverty-related embarrassment:

"I went to a horse show over the weekend. It was really great. We were all standing around drinking wine and this guy comes up to me and asks if he could buy my underwear. At first I was grossed out. Then I told him I'd think about it. So I did. I thought about it for a while. I had another glass of wine. And I realized I could use the money. So I went up to him and said I'd sell him my underwear for 25 bucks. But then I realized I wasn't wearing any."