Friday, February 03, 2006

And the winner is . . . .

Posted by Craig Westover | 10:30 AM |  

Thanks to everyone that entered the first-ever Captain Fishsticks Invitational Comment Contest. The task was finishing the sad tale of Blake Van Denburgh, a University of Minnesota student lured to a liver-polluting life of alcohol consumption by the St. Paul’s smoking ban --
Blake Van Denburgh, an animal science junior, said the smoking ban in St. Paul has encouraged him to go to bars more often.

“The smoky environment kept me from going out before,” he said.
The objective was to complete the story of Blake’s dim future. Once a promising student, Blake now sits in his own waste outside of a St. Paul bar cursing not the day of his birth but the St. Paul smoking ban that lured him to smoke-free bars and demon rum.
“If only there hadn’t been a smoking ban . . . . If only I’d never gone to a bar . . . . Didn’t I deserve to be denied freedom of choice for my own good as much as any smoker? Blake shouts the last into an uncaring, smoke-free world. He drops his head into his hands and weeps.

At that moment a tall shadow -- a dark-haired big bird-like shadow -- looms over him. “Why?’ he asks, sensing that this man might hold the answer. “Why . . . What laid me low, enslaved me to this demon rum?”Bob Moffitt looked down at the pathetic creature at his feet and said . . . . .
What did Bob say?

Well all things considered, you have to give some consideration to the entry from Marcus Aurelius, who delves into Bob’s psyche and puts into his mouth thoughts that might actually be sublimated in the darkest corners of his mind alongside that incident on the playground . . . But we won’t go there. Marcus writes . . . .
"Listen kid", Big Bird communicated, "we all saw this day coming, surely you knew as soon as the Nicoderm funding started flowing that it was inevitable for you to be forcibly, I mean, your right to breathe clean air in any "public" venue was now at hand."

"And if this new Maoist freedom was too much for you to handle well too bad, so sad......Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has just extended my contract, $150,000.00 / yr. for 5 more years.....or until we get a statewide smoking ban, whichever comes first." "Now get out of my way punk, your dried vomit is starting to offend me....which secretly makes me long for the days of secondhand least it covered the odor of vomit."
Sisyphus, with the sensitivity of Ang Lee in Brokeback Mountain, paints a kinder, gentler but nonetheless totally clueless Bob Moffitt.
“The scales have fallen from my eyes! I now see the error of my ways. Working for the American Lung Association has been a major mistake! Please forgive me Blake, for I have failed you. I was so concerned with your lungs that I neglected your liver!”“I swear I will make it up to you Blake. I will form the American Lung and Liver Association. We will lobby to protect you from alcohol in addition to smoke. The first priority of ALLA will be to lobby for a constitutional amendment banning alcohol!”

"Never fear Blake, I'm Bob Moffitt and I'm here to help."
Taking the documentary approach are three of the MOB’s finest, each identifying with Hemmingway-like incisiveness a Moffitt trait -- misuse and exaggeration of empirical data -- and lampooning it.

Nihilist in Golf Pants writes --
Your story cannot possibly be true. There is no empirical evidence to support it. The American Lung Association has tons of psuedo-science showing you are better off.

And what are you doing in the doorway of O'Garas anyway? That place has been closed since mid-year 2006!
R-Five writes --
"It was either that or a Smoker's Tumor, son."
Saint Paul writes --
Watch where you retch boy! According to widely accepted scientific studies, second hand vomit is a carcinogen!
Worthy efforts all. But who wins the coveted, world famous Keegan’s Fish ’n Chips Platter courtesy of Captain Fishsticks?

It is not the best of entries, nor the worst of entries, but it is a far, far better thing that I do than awarding first placed based on merit alone. The winner of the first-ever Captain Fishsticks Comment Contest is . . . .Bob Moffitt!
Hey, kid, the Saint Paul ordinance doesn't begin until March 31, 2006! That's why I didn't use your quote in our blog. :-)
Bob’s comment perfectly captures the Moffitt mindset -- right down to the smiley face, Bob‘s little way of being a nice guy as if that were an excuse for the draconian policies he pushes. Failing to grasp the concept of the contest, Bob places blame on poor Blake for not understanding Bob’s vision -- much the way he blames bar and restaurant owners for not recognizing that smoking bans are inevitable, one might say “resistance is futile,” and reforming their lives and their businesses more to Bob’s liking. The only variance from Bob’s normal modus operandi is that he didn’t use Blake's inaccurate quote in his blog, but then Blake wasn’t talking about science or statistics so perhaps Bob understood better that was inaccurate.

All-in-all, can there be a better choice?

Congratulations, Bob. Drop me an email and let me know which Thursday night you want to come down to smoke-free Keegan’s Irish Pub and enjoy that world-famous Keegan’s Fish ‘n Chips Platter. Who knows, maybe the publican himself, Terry Keegan, will join us. I’m sure you two would have plenty to talk about. Your presence is much anticipated.

Thanks to all that entered.