Category: The McBournie Minute

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The McBournie Minute: The deli that changed the world

A hundred years ago today the World War I: The Phantom Menace began. Unless we’re talking about birthdays or wedding anniversaries, marking the years since an event happened really doesn’t serve much more purpose other than to sell books or fill time on Pardon The Interruption. (What is it with those guys? They have a “Happy Ann’y” for the most meaningless stuff in sports.)

However, marking a century since the beginning of a massive war that claimed at least 39 million lives seems somewhat appropriate, doesn’t it? After all, WWI gave us some of the 20th century’s greatest hits: machine guns, poison gas and Adolf Hitler, all of which have made American movies what they are today.

But it almost never happened. In fact, the whole thing only occurred because one guy was hungry. Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: Amusement parks are out to get you

Summer time is perfect for doing stupid stuff. You and your friends are outside enjoying the warm weather, and between the beers you’ve been pounding and the sun beating down on you for hours, you’re dumb enough to make some bad choices. Plus, there’s usually some fire and/or sharp things around, which are essential tools for bad drunken ideas.

Fortunately, it’s also the time of year when people head to theme parks. They flock to these places, because there’s no summer memory that is as indelible as throwing up Sno-Cones on the scores of people below the ride you’re on. It’s a nice, safe, occasionally clean place to go with your family.

But unfortunately, it’s not safe from the mayhem of summer, either. At least if you go to Florida. Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: Beer vending machines signal end of humanity

God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates robots. Robots destroy man. It’s the shadow of a dark future looming over our heads. All the time we are building smarter and more automated machines, on top of this, we’re teaching them things about ourselves, so it stands to reason they will get tired or reading our whiny Facebook posts, snap, and kill us all.

One day, when our robot masters decide to write history e-books, they will show that the beginning of the end of mankind occurred during the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, of all places. There aren’t any robot baseball players, that would actually be kind of cool. Actually, it’s the dawn of the automated bartender.

Unsurprisingly, the end of humanity is brought to you by Bud Light. Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: Transformers in Boston, Texas

Why do we allow these things to keep happening to us? When are we going to stand up and say we’ve had enough of this abuse. I’m speaking, of course, about the newest Transformers movie.

It was back in 2006 when I first heard about Michael Bay working on a live-action movie about alien robots that change into vehicles to hide in plain sight. It was one of my favorite shows as a kid, but as the basis for a movie, it just sounds terrible. Yet it worked for the most part.

Eight years later, and things are so far gone it’s tough to remember that first one. Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: Green isn’t called green and other lessons from wedding planning

In less than a week I’m getting married. As I mentioned last Friday, that means this is the last missive you’ll be getting from me for a bit, as I will be drinking my ass off helping my fiancee put the finishing touches on our wedding, then spending a week drinking my ass off drinking my ass off on a tropical island.

I’m exhausted, I’m excited, but mostly I just want this all to be over with. Everyone knows that wedding planning is a lot of work and a fair amount of craziness, but I don’t think people really understand to what degree the insanity will reach.

You’re in luck, unmarried reader. I’m here to share with you the lessons I’ve learned along the way. Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: Movies aren’t good anymore

One summer when I was in college, I figured out a way to game my local movie theater. I had a book of coupons worth more $1 more than the price of admission on certain days. The theater was actually paying me a $1 to go see movies, so I saw a lot. And it was generally a good time, because I was otherwise pretty bored and didn’t mind taking a chance on a movie because it was free.

I even saw one of the Fast and the Furious sequels voluntarily, and I’m a fan of acting and plot. I walked out of the theater shrugging my shoulders, rather than pissed off at myself for going to see it. I didn’t really have expectations about films back then.

I don’t feel that way now and haven’t for a long time. Maybe I just don’t like previews anymore. Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: The end of rail drinks

A decades-old American tradition came to an end last week, and if you’re of my generation, you may have never heard of its existence in the first place. The American last bar car on a commuter train made its final stop. From now on, if you’re riding the rails, you’re doing it sober, bub.

At the end of World War II, American soldiers were coming home, and a good many of them took trains. Luckily, trains all had bars on them back then, and if a returning war hero wanted to get crocked, who was to argue? These former servicemen carried on the tradition of drinking on trains as they went home from work, though probably it was just to maintain the buzz they’d had going since noon.

But now it’s all over. It’s a tragedy for the entire nation. Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: Will you go with me to prom?

With ads for formal wear and spots about the consequences of drinking and driving, it can only mean that prom season is here once again. Yes, that beloved ritual of looking good but not being allowed to do anything about it is upon the high-schoolers of our great nation. Very soon, parents will be spending way too much for their daughters’ dresses, and boys will send Axe body spray stock prices through the roof.

It’s awkward, it’s gaudy and it tends to go viral several times over lately. I’m here today to put on my old man hat (which is not turned backwards) to discuss what prom is today, as I understand it, and why it makes no damn sense to me.

So come on kids, you won’t get this dressed up again until your next failed job interview. Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: Saying goodbye to the creepiest show on TV

Not so many years ago, there were all sorts of good shows on network TV. There were some flops here and there, but for the most part, there were a lot of shows still well-known today. That hasn’t been the case for a long time, and it probably won’t happen again.

Tonight, How I Met Your Mother comes to an end. Its passing will probably be an emotional one for those who have followed the show for its nine seasons, because they have watched the characters go through a lot of things, and not all of them seemingly relevant in the end. For me it marks the end of really any network shows that are worth the time.

The show worked so well because deep down, it was super creepy. Continue reading

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The McBournie Minute: You have been poked

In the U.S., we tend to think of the British as uptight or overly formal, which may not be entirely accurate. It’s not our fault, they don’t really send us the best examples of their culture, even though we ceded PBS to them. If they’re not doing something magical, or being incredibly charming in a shy way, they are looking down at us for showing emotion or not having an unspoken caste system.

Sure, they gave us one of the greatest bands of all time (the Spice Girls), but aside from that, we just don’t see the passion in their culture. This could be why we see them as being generally cold or aloof to each other.

Yet paradoxically, some of them check Facebook while (whilst, for our outraged British readers) having sex. Continue reading