HOT SHEET: Connery dead, mask misery, and Christmas cancelled

From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station, Des Moines, Iowa.

The torsion on this costume is said to have taken seven years off of Sean Connery’s life.

ITEM FIRST: Breaking news bummer: Sean Connery has died. The Scottish actor was best known for playing the Zed in science fiction masterpiece “Xardox,” which popularized underwear with suspenders.

Spider-Man knows his mask isn’t impeding his oxygen levels, but he sure feels that way.

ITEM TWO: After eight months in the pandemic, the typist still can’t get comfortable wearing a mask. He finally understands why Batman left his chin exposed.

ITEM THREE: The ol’ Paragraph Stacker understands wanting to steal the Lincoln head from Mount Rushmore while riding flying bicycles that shoot red lightening bolts. Really, who hasn’t dreamed of that? But the funny book raises another crime quandary — where would the crooks fence it?

The typist was in his late 30s before someone pointed out how gross this photo is.

ITEM FOUR: Rock band the Who offered sage advice in the lyrics of their 1971 hit “Behind Blue Eyes” that can easily be applied to the 2020:

When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool.

Tom is the good guy in “Tom and Jerry” cartoons. You have a cat to kill the mice. These are the rules.

ITEM FIVE: It’s Saturday. Remember to take a nap.

Well, this sucks.

ITEM LAST: Mom 2.0 announced the official cancellation of family Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings due to COVID-19.

This is the right thing to do. Parents 2.0 are both 71. Family gatherings are large and crowded. We lost Grandma Lois this year. An uncle struggles with an unknown ailment. We don’t want to have a mini-spreader event.

But when the typist heard the words come out of Mom 2.0’s mouth, he was speechless. It wasn’t the loss of delicious meals or presents that made the ol’ Paragraph Stacker so sad.

No, it was that he know how much those celebrations mean to Parents 2.0. They love nothing more than to be surrounded by family and extended family.

And this goddamn virus robbed them of that. The typist thought this broke his heart. But then Mom 2.0 said: “There’s talk this might go on another year.”

And that was too much to contemplate.

Daniel P. Finney wants you to know he’s a mirrorball.

ParagraphStacker.com is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I continue writing while I pursue my master’s degree and teacher certification. Visit paypal.me/paragraphstacker.

HOT SHEET: Drake Jethro’s trims hours, Trump honors Dan Gable, and horse skeleton chicanery

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020

From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station.

ITEM ONE: Terrible news from the bar at Jethro’s on Forest Avenue near Drake University: The restaurant is closing on Mondays and Tuesdays for at least six weeks. Insiders tell the typist the restaurant has a steady flow of regulars — including this ol’ Paragraph Stacker — but has struggled to lure students from the nearby campus during the pandemic. With reduced capacity due to COVID-19 social distancing protocols, all restaurants and public gathering spaces are feeling the pinch. Jethro’s owner Bruce Gerleman, a Des Moines businessman and restauranteur, considers the Drake Jethro’s, his first in a chain of seven barbecue joints around the metro, his personal favorite. He’s spoken to the typist of his loyalty to the neighborhood. Of course, all businesses, no matter how altruistic, face the reality of the bottom line. Jethro’s will keep regular hours Wednesday through Sunday. Let’s hope the shortened week is a temporary taking of the knee during exceptional circumstances and not the beginning of the end at Drake Jethro’s.

ITEM TWO: Whenever possible, drink cold beverages over lots of ice in a glass. Pause before you sip to recall our not-too-distant ancestors lapped water from streams. Now we have uncounted flavors of water and ice on demand. What a time to be alive.

ITEM THREE: President Donald Trump plans to award Dan Gable, perhaps the greatest wrestler of all time, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor bestowed upon citizens, writes Cody Goodwin, the Des Moines Register’s superstar wrestling writer. Whatever one thinks of Trump, it’s a tremendous honor for arguably the finest athlete and coach Iowa ever produced. As a campaign strategy, it isn’t shabby either. Polls have shown Trump dead even or slightly leading in Iowa. Showing some love to a living Iowa legend can’t hurt.

ITEM FOUR: Dedicated to the great state of Florida in all its weirdness: The UPI reports Florida officials seized a package from Hungary containing a full horse skeleton. So for those of you planning on getting a Hungarian horse skeleton for Halloween, remember you need a special agricultural permit.

ITEM FIVE: New Comics Wednesday recommendations:

  • Iron Man 2020: Robot Revolution TPB — The idea of a future with a morally ambiguous Iron Man mercenary first came to be in 1984 created by Tom DeFalco and Herb Trimpe. Now it really is 2020 and things are far worse than Iron Man 2020’s creators envisioned.
  • Rorschach No. 1 — in another case of what’s old is new again, Rorschach, the most interesting characters of the magnificent 1986 Watchman series gets a three-issue DC Black Series run by comics’ best current writer, Tom King.

ITEM LAST: The stress mounts and continues to build as we approach holidays reduced and fall celebrations cancelled by the coronavirus, the most uncivil election in modern memory, an economy on the verge of collapse, joblessness, an impotent Congress and a harmful executive branch. Just remember: You can’t fix it all. All you can do is your best and even then, sometimes you’ll stumble. Take a moment to remind yourself that you are the only one of you in the whole world, a child of God worthy of love, dignity and respect. Then take 10 deep breaths and find one person you love and remind them, too.

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. Daniel P. Finney is controlling transmission.

ParagraphStacker.com is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I continue writing while I pursue my master’s degree and teacher certification. Visit paypal.me/paragraphstacker.

HOT SHEET: Stop badgering people to vote, ‘L.A.’s Finest’ is TV’s worst, the typist’s COVID-19 test and new comics recommendations

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020

From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station, Des Moines, Iowa.

ITEM ONE: Every group who sent the typist mail urging him — almost begging him to register to vote — can fucking relax. He’s been registered since age 18. Also, as it comes to more pleading about voting by mail, when, how and whether I vote is my own goddamn business.

ITEM TWO: The Hot Sheet sampled Fox’s fall new show, “L.A.’s Finest.” The show stars Jessica Alba as a woke super mom who can spit out Dumpster-diver “Gilmore Girls” dialogue while shooting to wound in a firefight who harbors a dark secret. Gabrielle Union plays a cop who loves sex with at least two genders, hates relationships, smokes weed and … also harbors a dark secret. Despite amped SFX for the pilot, the show offices little more than a standard police procedural with a soapy twist in the background. The show is a victory of sorts for the representation of Black and brown people on prime time TV. It definitively proves Fox can make mediocre shows starring people of any race, color or creed. What a time to be alive.

ITEM THREE: The typist took his first COVID-19 test Wednesday. Drake University requires random sampling of students — even those who live off campus and study remotely. He spit into a cup until it covered the bottom. The ol’ Paragraph Stacker doesn’t know yet if he has coronavirus, but he finally found a use for all the spitting technique he learned playing Little League.

ITEM FOUR: Unavailable due to COVID-19 quarantine.

ITEM FIVE: Hot Sheet has learned that Item Five was at a party that was improperly socially distanced with Item Four on or about Sept. 7. Item Five is now quarantined in location outside the Drake station. This behavior undermines our ability to keep the station and surrounding community safe, and puts the continuation of in-person paragraph stacking at risk. It also violates the Hot Sheet Together Compact and is subject to disciplinary action under our Code of Typist Conduct.

ITEM SIX: Hot Sheet notes the wedding of typist favorite actress Emma Stone to some dude who will clearly not worship her as much as he would.

ITEM SEVEN: New comics Wednesday recommendations:

  • Vampronica: New Blood — Archie Comics’ reimagining their core characters as horror icons continues as Veronica becomes a vampire who stalks the night for blood, vengeance and opulent handbags.
  • Acts of Vengeance: Marvel Universe — The great villains of the Marvel Universe form a cabal and decide to put new foes against the heroes that have defeated them time and again. The result is a late 1980s classic.

ITEM LAST: If it’s true that every person must make an accounting of their time on Earth at the end of their life, the typist is concerned about how much time he spent looking for the goddamn remote.

OK, let’s close the book on this one. Please donate if you can. It supports the creativity and keeps up the typist’s grad school efforts.

Daniel P. Finney covers widescreen photos for ParagraphStacker.com.

Cut loose and cashiered by corporate media, lone paragraph stacker Daniel P. Finney makes his way telling stories about his city, state and nation. No more metrics or Google trends, he writes stories about people and life ignored by the oligarchy.

ParagraphStacker.com is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I launch this new venture continuing the journalism you’ve demanded. Visit paypal.me/paragraphstacker.