By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
b) No TV interviews will be conducted in the studios of middle-school A/V clubs. (High schools are fine.)
c) Print publications must not include the words "Greensheet" or "PennySaver" in their title. (Exceptions: See previous "Unless the album's" clause.)
a) No questions allowed about "Beyoncé," whoever she is.
b) No questions allowed about "So how come you couldn't even get into Destiny's Child?"
c) No questions allowed about Frank Stallone, Billy Carter, Roger Clinton or Joe Montana Jr.
d) No questions on how to spell "Solange."
e) Permissible questions include "How do you possibly maintain such a high level of excellence in everything you do?" and "How come more people don't appreciate how much better Destiny's Child would have been with you in it?"
f) No asking if you can get Beyoncé's or Jay-Z's autograph. (See, again, the "Unless the album's" clause.)
a) Yes, please.
Yes, it is tough being Solange.
Especially when you have to sing the new, improved lyrics to "Survivor" that have been custom-made for you:
Now that I am out of your life
I'm so much better (Background singers: No, really, I am)
You thought I'd be weak without ya,
But I'm stronger (Background singers: No, really, I am. Really)
You thought that I'd be broke without ya,
But I'm richer (Background singers: No comment)
You thought I'd be sad without you,
I laugh harder (Background singers: [Looking at their shoes, embarrassed] )
You thought I wouldn't grow without ya,
Now I'm wiser (Background singers: Don't ask about Jay-Z!!)
You thought that I'd be helpless without ya
But I'm smarter (Background singers: Ummmmmm...)
You thought that I'd be stressed without ya,
But I'm chillin' (Background singers: [Will this verse never end?] )
You thought I wouldn't sell without ya,
Sold nine million (Background singers: Uncontrolled giggles)
I'm not Beyoncé
I'm not gonna give up
Don't ask me questions
I don't wanna answer
I'm not Beyoncé
But I'm gonna milk it
Tourin' all week
On the D-list circuit...............
We have been semi-reliably informed, by the way, that at one point this year Solange was asked who her favorite author was, and she replied something along the lines of "The guys who wrote the Bible."
But we have not been able to find definitive proof of this, and, in the spirit of God's infinite mercy toward the helpless, we refuse to believe that it's true. (But we bet it is.) And we bet those "guys," whoever they are, are bustin' their buttons with pride.
There are worse lives out there, we suppose, than touring the "Zany Morning Crew" world of drive-time radio plugging some album that will be forgotten in two months.
We're just glad we don't have to live them.
Astros owner Drayton McLane has long been striving to be a Turkey of the Year: He maniacally throws himself face-first into startled employees, asking what they've done to be a champion today ("I've...ummm...fried up those corn dogs extra good?"); he seems to think he knows more about baseball, via his few years paying attention to the sport, than those who've spent their lives studying it; and his forays into the free-agent market have usually been bombs.
This year, though, he topped himself.
The Astros had been left for dead by almost all of the civilized world by mid-August but, due to the stunning mediocrity infecting the NL Central, they clawed their way back into having at least a shot at the division title.
The race, it was clear, was coming down to a crucial series against the Chicago Cubs, to be played at Minute Maid Park. This was amazingly terrific, as far as McLane was concerned, because even if jaded Astros fans knew there was no reason to head to the ballpark, transplanted Cubs fans would fill it up.
The problem was, Hurricane Ike was barreling down on Houston.
What a conflict for an owner: a) Put your fans, your employees, your players and their families in mortal danger by forcing them to stay in town while a massive hurricane loomed; or, b) lose some money.
McLane dithered. He was like Jack Benny in the classic skit where a mugger says, "Your money or your life" and Benny stands there for untold seconds before yelling in exasperation, "I'm thinking!! I'm thinking!! "
There was a chance, after all, that every meteorologist, every so-called "Weather Channel" and self-proclaimed "National Hurricane Center" would be wrong, and Ike would miss Houston and the games would be able to be played at Minute Maid. (Oh frabjous day!!! All that Cubs money in my pocket!!)
Eventually, as the city of Galveston became part of the bay, as Bolivar Peninsula became a thing of the past, even McLane was forced to admit that the series would have to be moved.
Except by then, there was no good place to move it. So baseball commissioner Bud Selig decreed it should be played in the neutral site of Milwaukee.
Which was kind of like the NFL commissioner saying, "The neutral site for the Cowboys-Redskins game will be Fort Worth."