Beware of best men carrying wedding rings

Next to picking a good bride, it’s important a groom pick a good best man.
We all, of course, have been at weddings where the best man’s toast was more embarrassing than suddenly discovering your fly’s down while meeting your bride’s parents for the first time.
But some best men are the worst.
Click here to find out how one dolt ruined a wedding.
This clumsy dufus certainly wasn’t as smooth as a the top of a Formica table.
The moral of the story: Some guys just have a knack for turning champagne into vinegar, diamonds into coal and caviar into Cracker Jacks.

The earth is quaking and we may be soon shaking, too

Earthquakes are noted provocateurs of social unrest.
When the ground suddenly moves like a cloud rolling across the moon, leaving only a shadow to chase, we all stand shaking at the brink of chaos.
Now I’m wondering if the Big One is about to hit, a massive quake that will be all shimmy and shake — like a belly dancer on amphetamines.
The other night, actually I think it was early Saturday morning just after midnight, I felt the tremors spawned by the 3.4 magnitude earthquake centered in Lancaster County.
To protect my wife just in case our family room suddenly was swallowed up by the earth, I poured myself another drink to stabilize my balance.
Now I may have to pour ourselves a round of drinks. Because Yellowstone National Park is rocking and rolling like an early Beatles album.
Yellowstone National Park was jostled by a series of earthquakes for a third consecutive day Monday, and nervous scientists are worried the more than 250 tremors could be a sign of something bigger to come.
If the Big One strikes Manhattan as the ball drops in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, I may have to pop another bottle of champagne to enhance my flexibility. You don’t want to be stiff when you plummet to the core of the earth.

Eagles blow out Cowboys to climax Resurrection Sunday

Do you know why folks love the NFL?

Because things can go cuckoo on any given Sunday. And often do.

Take today for instance. Call it Surreal Sunday.

The Philadelphia Eagles woke up Sunday morning basically as a waning afterthought.
All the possibilities of their future seemed flooded out, leaving only the anchors of their failures behind to rattle in their helmets.

For the Eagles to make the playoffs, the tremors of several miracles would have to ripple throughout the day.

Tampa Bay would have to lose to Oakland and that seemed to be implausible. Well, the Raiders stunned the Bucs, who fell on their swords until their innards spilled all over the turf.

Chicago would have to lose to Houston. That was a possibility. It turned out to be another boon for the Birds as the Bears got lassoed by the Texans.

Suddenly the Eagles had regained control of their destiny. The fickle finger of fate was back in their hands. All they had to do was win their playoff-for-a-playoff, winner-take-all, win-and-you’re-in showdown with the dreaded Dallas Cowboys.

The ante had been upped. The Eagles suddenly had a golden chance to rehabilitate a seemingly squandered season. Of course, they also could lose to the Cowboys and their receptacle of dreams once again would morph into a trash bin.

Well, in a scenario even the drunkest Eagles’ fans couldn’t have seen in the bottom of their empty beer glasses, Philadelphia absolutely flat-out skunked the Cowboys.

The dudes from Dallas were never in it. They moved as if they were as heavy as Andy Reid full of bacon grease. The Eagles’ offense advanced like a forest fire and their defense was a bunch of capture-and-punish invaders in throttling Tony Romo and the ‘Boys 44-6 at a balmy Linc.

Many Eagles’ fans figured Sunday could have been the final game for Reid as coach and Donovan McNabb as quarterback. But they staked a big claim to return Sunday and certainly relished what they had wrought. McNabb flexed his muscles, apparently mocking former Eagle and now Cowboy bad-boy wideout Terrell Owens. And Reid, normally as effusive as a fire hydrant, stopped being the eternal stoic and repeatedly implored the crowd to make noise.

So the Eagles earn a wild-card berth and visit the NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings next weekend.

Yep, when Sunday dawned the Eagles’ 2008 season seemed to be historically sorry.

And by nightfall the promise of the playoffs was a beacon shining upon Billy Penn’s hat. And in its reflection you could see the shadows of Andy Reid, Donovan McNabb and safety Brian Dawkins.

Once the holidays are out of here, it will be time to pay the piper

While Christmas has come and gone, the holidays are not yet over.
Hors d’oeuvres and alcohol still are gurgling everywhere.
Folks still are plunging their fists into ice buckets of champagne and fresh shrimp.
Granted, this holiday season we are all partying while we whistle past the graveyard.
The piranhas of a recession-about-to-be-a-depression and a credit market tighter than our pants after Christmas dinner are assembled in a sullen squadron ready to gobble us all once we return to reality on January 2nd.
Once upon a time we worried about ray guns and the Russians. Now we worry about starving to death.
Unfortunately, there is no antibiotic for poverty. Well, there is one — government bailouts. But Uncle Sam won’t be putting you or me on the dole. The only thing the feds do for us is make the IRS an equal partner of ours.
But there are some things we can do to prevent ourselves from drowning in this economic maelstrom.
* Use debit cards and cash until you have eliminated your credit card debt.
* Don’t pay penalties. Make sure you pay at least the minimum on every card each month on time.
*Pay at least the minimum using one of two strategies: Pay off the card with the highest interest first. You’ll pay less in the long run. Or, pay off the card with the lowest balance first. That will give you a rich feeling of satisfaction.
* Sign a $180 million contract with the New York Yankees.

Christmas the perfect catharsis when a Scrooge of an economy is marauding us

There is something about Christmastime that moves some of us like the clarinet glissando in Rhapsody in Blue.
Even when an economic meltdown is winging cringing rounds of volley caroming off our hearts and wallets and spirits, leaving us all in desperate need of electroshock therapy, we pause to savor the joy of Christmas and its singular capacity to string families and friends tighter.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
And when the holidays pass into memory, don’t allow the megaton of gloom out there to weigh you down.
Resilience and ingenuity will steer us through this foaming chaos in due time. In the meantime, denial is a good salve. The exile our minds impose on us can be a recuperative elixir.

Whether it's the Marvel Ranch or Kailua Beach, Obama keeps popping up on Zeke's turf

President-Elect Barack Obama and yours truly aren’t exactly living parallel lives. But we both seem to favor the same haunts and morning workout regimens.
For instance, Obama and the ol’ Zekester bumped into each other outside the Marvel Ranch in March.
And now he’s hanging out flexing his muscles on Kailua Beach, my hands-down favorite beach when the “Can You Beat Zeke?” gang heads to Oahu for the Pro Bowl.

Kailua Beach is like walking into a picture postcard come to life. Kailua is so breathtakingly beautiful that it’s impossible not to be serene.
If Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and all the Middle East countries could be transported to Kailua, there would be no political chaos in the world. That goes for Russia and all those African countries that seem to be imploding and exploding on the gunpowder of power trips.
Obama, like me, is a morning workout fanatic with pecs like mountain cliffs, delts like watermelons, abs like chiseled tablets and traps exploding out of his neck.
Weights and cardio are steeling Obama for his upcoming workout with the economy and foreign affairs.
My gym sessions help relieve the suffocating stress that comes with pigskin prognosticating when the NFL landscape is a rugged terrain that bears no resemblance to Kailua Beach.

The Eagles come up so small against the Redskins you may need a microscope to read this

The stars seemingly were aligned for the Philadelphia Eagles to control their own destiny in clinching an NFC wild-card playoff berth.
When San Diego slapped Tampa Bay silly Sunday, the Birds suddenly could claim a spot if they beat Washington late Sunday afternoon and then Dallas next Sunday.
So much for all of that. What befell the Eagles was a more stunning transition than going from armed robbery to probation.
Philadelphia lost to Washington 10-3, a game that had the odor of a deceased carp.
Now the Eagles have to beat Dallas and pray the Oakland Raiders stun the Bucs next week in order to make the playoffs.
That double play strikes me as unfathomable.
The Philadelphia offense was comatose today, moving to the strains of a Strauss waltz.
The Eagles must have been wearing invisible boxing gloves because they dropped eight passes, four by rookie DeSean Jackson.
Jackson’s biggest drop came in the dying final minute when he let a potential 40-yard touchdown bomb clang off his hands in the end zone. There was no excuse for the killer drop. Donovan McNabb, for once, threw a perfect ball that you could have hung wash on.
And the final coup de grace transpired on the game’s final play when Reggie Brown’s 17-yard reception ended on the 4-inch line.
So close. So far.
All of which left Eagles fans trying to punch their shadows.

Bush to U.S. automakers: Start your engines

Things have been so gloomy in Detroit that nobody has seen the sun there for weeks.
Now daylight is about to crawl through the town’s front windows.
The Bush administration threw a big hunk of crumbs to the comatose U.S. auto industry today, offering $17.4 billion in loans in exchange for concessions from carmakers and their workers.
Bush said the auto rescue package gives automakers three months to come up with restructuring plans to become viable companies. If they fail to produce a plan by March 31, they will be required to repay the loans,
Granted, coming up with a restructuring that is viable could be a long shot.
An even bigger long shot would be the automakers repaying the loans since their pockets are emptier than a broken heart.

What will this guy's day in court be like?

We all sometimes grump and glower behind the wheel since everybody but us is a lousy driver.
But the line between annoyance and road rage should not be thin and permeable.
Unfortunately, that is the ideal, which seldom intersects with the real.
Road rage at times gets hotter than asphalt in the summer.
But road rage to the degree it bubbled over Wednesday on Penn Avenue in West Reading was outrageous.
And even more moronic because the guy ran over a sitting judge on foot.
Authorities don’t believe that Berks County Judge Steve Lieberman was targeted because he is a judge by a 21-year-old Kutztown man who, according to police, drove a van into Lieberman after Lieberman got out of an SUV to find out why the man was beeping his horn and shouting profanities at him.
Lieberman was pinned between the van and the SUV and wound up hospitalized with leg, foot and back injuries.
The guy was arrested and charged with numerous offenses.
Over 400,000 folks live in Berks. And a judge is the victim of a mindless assault. Even Vegas can’t fathom odds like that.
Hopefully rage steeped in stupidity now has morphed into remorse cradled in sympathy.

Eagles gobble Brownies with gusto

Suddenly the surging Eagles are interesting characters who create a combustion when you put them together
For much of the season most of us had had cysts that were more fun than this Philadelphia season.
Watching the Birds underachieve was like feeling an ice-cold hand on the back of your neck while you’re home alone. The Eagles were coming up so short we all swore they could no longer go through life without arch supports.
Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb seemed to be masters of self-destruction. During that horrid tie with the Bengals — a game in which Eagles Nation was so overcome with self-loathing that it’s a wonder nobody caught a flight to Cincinnati and broke into the Birds’ huddle to shampoo them — the men in green essentially wet their noses and inserted them into light sockets.
Granted, things have picked up drastically.
The Eagles are no longer loathsome vermin fit only for extermination.
They dismantled the Brownies 30-10 Monday night as McNabb stroke the pigskin with a surgeon’s precision — going 26 of 35 for 290 yards and two touchdowns. The Birds are 8-5-1 and in the hunt for an NFC wild-card spot.
Now the Eagles soon could be asking the philosophical question of the ages: Once you have reached the playoffs, is the afterlife anticlimactic?