Column: The real issues we face today

Beware the Ides of March, Shakespeare wrote. I don’t care about March 15. It’s beware March in my case. I hate this month.

It all goes back to high school, when the state testing period came up. During that awful stretch, which, by the way, contained no days off, I’d be stuck in Spanish class for two hours or in Calculus for one and a half hours. Now that spring break is in March, the month is not all that bad. Nonetheless, in honor of the third month of the year and its suckitude, I will list some aspects of our current world that grind my gears.

AIM Triton: Instant Messenger is the best procrastinating invention of all time. And it’s free. So whoever came up with it deserves a holiday. Unfortunately, AOL has decided people should not be able to enjoy such a useless thing without some minor annoyances. Thus, Triton – the newest version of AIM, which is still in development but available to the public for downloading and comes with a handful of fresh features – rose out of the sea to ruin everything. First of all, I still don’t get the away message setup. I’ll be talking to someone online and it will inform me he has returned. He was never away in the first place. I guess Triton offers a good number of extra features, like video chat. I can transfuse blood over it, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out the away message stuff.

Non-sports on ESPN: This is getting ridiculous. I’ve barely tolerated the glut of NASCAR coverage and now they’re devoting precious SportsCenter time to bass fishing? All through February I had to endure Southern white guys whining about other Southern white guys because his car specs were out of whack or whatever. Now it’s fishing – the Bassmaster Classic, to be exact. ESPN thinks that if it televises something, it’s a sport. Poker is not a sport. NASCAR is not a sport. Bass fishing and bowling are not sports. When evaluating if something qualifies as a sport, I have a few simple rules. If you can drink beer, smoke a cigarette, eat pizza or read a book while doing said activity, then it is not a sport. Also, if an athlete’s level of success at this activity is in direct correlation to the ridiculousness of his mustache, it is not a sport. Now get it off ESPN. I need to see more Yankee players making fools out of themselves at Spring Training and less dead fish.

T advertisements: Companies must not think too highly of MBTA ridership. Here’s your normal ad on the Orange Line: “Are you a homicidal manic? Do you torture squirrels in your basement? Is your life a never ending cesspool of despair and rage? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you’ll be a perfect lab rat. Come to our shady basement on Mass. Ave. and let us prod you with sticks for a few months. You must be between the ages of 18 and 65, and you can’t be shy about urinating in public.” Just because we can’t afford cars does not make us the dregs of society. These ads must get the heave-ho. I would much rather see ads all over the place on the T for another of Heather Graham’s soon-to-be-canceled television shows – remember that “Heather’s Reasons Why Not” was canceled after just one of its episodes aired – or medicine for the diseases I catch touching the poles on the T.

Carrot Top bashing: Make fun of me all you want, but I like Carrot Top. He is a funny man and does not deserve the ridicule that has been foisted upon him. No other comedian has the guts to use props to make a joke. Guys like Dave Letterman and Jay Leno hide behind their big desks and annoy band leaders while Carrot Top engages the people and puts himself on the line. Who can forget his 1998 movie “Chairman of the Board?” It was one of the seminal achievements in the history of American cinema. Frankly, I think it’s a bias against redheads. They’re the ones with freckles and smirks on their faces in the movies beating up the innocent main character or doing unprintable things in “American Pie.” Think back to all of our cherry-chromed brethren. Brian Scalabrine excluded, you have the older brother from “Home Alone,” the lead singer from Eve 6, Willow from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Conan O’Brien and the president of Finland, Tarja Halonen. Their contributions to world justice will never be forgotten. To all you Carrot Top haters, just admit it. You are rabidly anti-redhead.

Girls marrying each other on Facebook: I don’t get it. According to her Facebook profile, my sister is in a complicated relationship with another female. Others are getting married or engaged. I thought President Bush was going to put a stop to this. Doesn’t this just create animosity among friends? I know if one of my friends decided to marry another guy, I’d be none too pleased. “You’ll marry him but not me! Why have you been dragging me along this whole time? Am I just your whore? Is that what I am? I hate you!” I would accuse them while teary-eyed and then storm out the room in a huff and slam the door behind me. Anyway, the last thing America needs is more marriages. So stop marrying each other, please. Use Facebook for what it was truly meant to be used for: stalking.

– Stephen Sears can be reached at [email protected]

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